Monday, 9 June 2014

Tag - you're it!

I have played a lot of Tag this week. IRL Tag and Cyber Tag. More about the cyber Tag in a moment...

IRL Tag is an ongoing game with the kids. Sometimes it will take place in the house, mostly on our way to and from places or out and about. Our favourite one is to Tag whoever is getting out of the car on the school run or a drop-off; Lauren tagged Ali the other morning, he had got out of the car walking towards the school gate, she opened the window and swiped him as we drove away. His face was priceless, surprise and annoyed that he was 'it' for at least the next few hours. 

I am sure you are thrilled to know what passes for entertainment at Hart Towers.
A close-up of the last layout I made using the swirl on my eclipse die-cutter.

So cyber-tag, Sue has tagged me to take part in the blog tour that is going around which asks us to talk about our crafting. 

I do think about this a lot anyway, I know it is so good for me as I love it, but balancing real life with a hobby is a real balance, sometimes I go too far one way and sometimes too far the other and I think I have had to to see what works and what doesn't work for me and my family.
So the questions that the blog tour poses are:

How does my work differ from others of it's genre?
Why do I create what I do?
How does your creative process work?
What am I working on?

So I am a memory keeper primarily for me, when I am elderly I wish to be able to look back on these years with the children and remember the little things, especially as I don't have an especially good memory.
I started scrapping and paper crafting because I was attracted to the glitter glue and pretty paper that I spied in a new shop in our town. I asked loads of questions of the owners and they politely answered them and then steered me towards a class with Tracie Hudson. I was so excited to go. I wanted to know how to do things, I wanted a hobby, I wanted to be good at it. I think I was looking for something. I certainly and clearly remember a sense of 'finding something' about ten minutes into my first class.

I experimented, I bought stash, I attended IRL classes, I dabbled online, completely overwhelmed with the huge resource that is UKS,, Two Peas and many, many more. The side effect of all this experimentation and learning was 12x12 layouts of (mainly) the children. 

I painted a wood veneer card with gold pearly paint.

I was unhappy with the quality of my photos and that drove me to buy a DSLR and spend time learning how to shoot on manual (still forever learning that one and have upgraded the camera since then and I enjoy photography as a hobby all by itself, I also have Louis now choosing to study photography, my goodness if only that had been an option to me). I was happy with the photos and the progress I was making with my skills at scrapping  but something was missing and that was the writing. 

Setting up the blog, learning new technical skills  (more learning, classes, youtube, photoshop, blog design etc, has become a hobby on it's own) and writing has been so enjoyable. It is wonderful and gratifying when you see how many people have visited your blog and how many people leave kind comments, but it is such a resource to me, somewhere that I can go back and see how I felt about something and find the scrapping and the photos and videos (more learning on how to upload them, making QR codes and embedding them) all together in one place with it's story. 

I used an idea I saw on Ashli's blog to embed embellies into modelling paste.

I love that I am now in a cycle of live life, record it and document it. I love to plan what we are going to do (I completely subscribe to Becky Higgins' ethos of "Cultivate a good life and record it".), including stuff we have never done, see my Summer Bucket List below, taking my iPhone (best blimmin' invention ever) to record snaps and amazing quality video, taking my DSLR for the money shots, taking my notebook and pen (I adore technology and can see handwriting becoming an art form not an essential, but for me, there is nothing like a nice biro and blank lined page) to record moments and thoughts and feelings. Then most importantly, putting it all away in my bag and get in the moment with the kids, and I love the movement between being in the moment and stepping away from it to observe it, whether it is a beach trip, a museum visit or just a walk along the coast. Then I love editing the photos, choosing paper online, buying, stroking, putting kits together with older stuff and then spending time scrapping it. I feel an overwhelming sense of calm steal over me about ten minutes into scrapping time, a feeling I only ever feel something even vaguely similar when I have my toes in the sand and I am either sat on the beach or mucking about in the waves. My very happy contented places. I then love editing the video, (I loathe uploading it, roll on fibre-optic and 4G broadband, come on Mr Cameron sort it out) making the QR codes and writing my blog post.

My favourite blog posts have a close-up of the layout to start, then an introduction to whatever it is I am talking about, then the photos describing the story, then the video (if there is one, or it has ever finished uploading), then the layout and it's details. 

The layout above was, obviously, from a wedding I recently attended at the fabulous Saunton Sands. I have been using a flourish from my eclips die cutter that I also used on this layout and this one too. I am adding it in as I don't really like blog posts without any pics.

I am working on my Summer Bucket List. I did it for the first time last year from an idea by The Solar Family that you can see here
I have been writing the list with my family, choosing paper to scrap it all, waiting impatiently for it to arrive! Hopefully you will want to come back and see the post when it is done :-)
My last years Summer Bucket List intro post can be found here and here are some links below to posts from the events that we completed.
Devon County Show
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at the beach.
Evening Coastal Cruise

I now Tag the lovely funny Linds, her blog post will be up next Monday.


  1. Super post Jen, thanks for sharing all the interesting bits that we never know about :D Your wedding page is lush!

  2. Love your bucket list page!!! Love your blog posts too!!! Happy blog tagging! Xx

  3. I love how you approached this in a slightly different way to the norm....It was a great read. I loved following your journey into scrapbooking ,photography and blogging.
    Karen x

    1. P.S would you mind checking your link to LINDS blog.. it may be my computer gremlins or maybe not!!

  4. Really interesting post and I'm completely with you regarding the DSLR, I'm forever learning. The Bucket List is a fab layout and definitly food for thought.

  5. Love this Jen.. wonderful.. I wish I had 3G here 'in the sticks' let alone 4G.. I can barely get 2G and that makes You Tube almost impossible.. I feel so cheated!

  6. Great article, how on earth do I follow that!!

    I really need to learn how to use my camera properly, there is a local course I might go on. I love your layouts & your reasons for crafting are excellent.

    Enjoyed reading your post.

  7. I knew you'd do a stunning post when I tagged you, Jen, and I'm not disappointed, I love your family stories, you take me right there with you all.
    Sue x

  8. I thoroughly enjoyed reading really pulled me in and entertained while I found out a little bit more about your "behind the scenes" too. Great stuff.

    Totally agree that scrapbooking has pushed me to learn lots of new things which aren't even paper related

  9. Your bucket list page is very sift and pretty; a very interesting read and I especially appreciated your thoughts about recording life as it is lived.


Aren't you lovely, you have made me smile =)