Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Day 30

Oops - quite thought I'd already blogged about this page but it appears not! Here's the final page of my album:

The back of Day 29 was the envelope I just mentioned here, so my first thought was to attach this page to the flap of the envelope so it could be opened outwards outside the album; I changed my mind though, I figured it might work better for this page to have a separate piece of cardstock attached to the book rings, allowing easier access to the list of extra lessons. So this is just a spare piece of white card cut to size, with offcuts of various papers trimmed into strips (recognise any from other pages in this album?!) I printed a couple of photos of the almost-complete album - it didn't contain this page yet,obviously - and added Dymo journaling. I nearly said something about how it felt good to finish this project, but that would suggest I was glad to get to the end, which so isn't true! But it does feel satisfying to have completed it, which is a different story altogether...

All complete

So here we go - my album is complete :-) Here's a pic of that envelope that formed the base of Day 29:

I compiled a list of 'extra lessons' and tucked it inside. That was the finishing touch, so here's my complete album:

Thanks for joining me on this journey :-) I've had a blast! Can't wait for Journal Your Christmas now...

Meanwhile, my blog isn't going anywhere! It's been fun to chatter away each day, so I shall be keeping my online diary updated, showing off new and old projects, having an occasional giveaway, maybe a tutorial or two - so please feel free to pop back, and I hope you'll find something of interest :-)

Review of Week 4 (and a bit!)

I figured it made sense to wait an extra couple of days before reviewing Week 4, so I could include the last couple of days of September. And yes, I know today isn't over yet, but as the focus of today's page is a reflective look back over the project, I'm not planning to worry about any new lessons learnt today.

So, here are a few of the other things I learnt since 21st September.
  • I can remember quite a lot of German :-)
  • How to say 'I sing in a choir' in German ('Ich singe in einem Chor')
  • A few Spanish words! (While doing supply I got to sit in on the lesson given by a visiting Spanish teacher.)
  • Things can often look better after a night's sleep.
  • I can print OK on canvas (and should be able to sew on it OK too).
  • A dik-dik is a small African antelope!
  • Free chocolate bar with my subscription magazine today! Woo-hoo!
  • It's got nuts in it. Yah-boo.
  • Sometimes the parents can be more frustrating than the pupils.
  • One electric toothbrush can be recycled to make ten yogurt pots.
  • Toasted muffins are yummy :-)
  • It's good to be home.
  • Friends can be so helpful - good friends don't even need to be asked. (Thanks, Fiona.)
  • I wish I'd done more stuff off the edges of my pages in this project - but instead of regretting it, I'll take it as a learning opportunity for next time.
  • I can't type the word September!! It goes wrong every time!!
My plan is to make up a list of some of these extra lessons from the month (my review posts will come in very handy for this!) and pop it into an envelope which forms the base for my last page. Photos will follow to make that clearer :-)

Day 29

Here's my page for the 29th:

The background is a wax crayon technique. I used a pencil sharpener to create shavings of wax in different colours and arranged them randomly on some cheap glossy-finish paper. I put another sheet of glossy paper on top. I then added a large layer of non-stick baking parchment on top and underneath (in case melted wax seeped out the sides) and ironed the whole sandwich. I peeled the glossy papers apart while the wax was still warm. The random, splodgy, colourful and slightly hallucinogenic effect was perfect to represent my swirling thoughts and fuzzy brain when I'm tired! The journaling is printed onto acetate which I then cut to size, punched holes and added to the album in front of this patterned page. I'd found that the crayons were slightly prone to mark the facing page in the album so the acetate will help to prevent this, as well as looking good!

Oh, and 'the Sleep Thing'? So many times through this month my notebook has included the words 'get more sleep' (clearly it's a lesson I haven't yet learnt...) I've noticed that a lot of other class members have also documented sleep-related lessons. There always seemed to be another lesson that I wanted to scrap instead but a lesson that comes up this many times over a month really ought to be in my book - and here it is (at last!)

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Day 28

Only a couple of days to go now - can't believe this project is nearly over! I'm going to miss it... I've signed up for Journal Your Christmas though so at least I can look forward to that! And note that JYC will be going up in price from 1st October so if you might be interested, sign up now! (Shimelle says 'go up in price slightly', but however much the increase might be, it's surely better to take advantage of a lower price now, right?)

Anyway, here's my page for yesterday:

The Boy joined Cub Scouts just over a year ago, and the pack as a whole work on various badges as a group, plus individuals have an opportunity to do independent badge work. Yesterday all the parents were invited to the investiture of one of the new Cubs and to watch the presentation of various badges earnt. The Boy came home with: Outdoor Challenge, Collector, Nights Away (1), ICT (1), Bookreader, Hikes Away (5) and his 1 year membership badge. So, being a good mother, I straight away this morning got out my needle and thread and... stitched my journaling for this page ;-) I will do the badges!! Some time! Wish he could get his needlework badge...

The background that you can hardly see is a blue-ish paper I've never liked - I was quite pleased to cover it up! I found a piece of Aida of the perfect size in my stash, and sewed the lettering using a simple alphabet I made up. I also added a couple of stitches at 3 corners of the photo. The 7 new badges are shown in the photo laid on top of The Boy's folded Cub jumper, which is actually green rather than black; the large purple badge is his membership badge and is actually part of the photo - I sewed that one on a year ago!

Busy day today - German class, housework, craft catch up, school run, got to get the kids to The Nana (my Mum) so she can feed them and get The Girl to Brownies, then feed myself before going to a school governors' meeting later, home, packed lunches, maybe manage to spend 10 minutes with The Doctor (having barely seen him since Thursday evening!)...

Day 25

So here it is, a bit late, but at least I have done it now. I'm not altogether happy with it (it's not terribly interesting) but I dealt with the not-beating-myself-up thing already and I was getting to the point where I might not get around to making this page at all if I put it off any longer!

The background is more of the cardstock I used on Days 1 and 20. I added a couple of pages about use of punctuation from the back of my little dictionary. Now, this lesson is not a big deal, but it's true that I do tend to notice errors - I totally realise that I'm setting myself up for a fall here! I bet I'll make a spelling or grammatical error soon enough, if I haven't made some already! But I'll just blame typos ;-) Things like misplaced apostrophes, your instead of you're, their or there instead of they're, loose instead of lose, less when it should be fewer, should OF instead of should HAVE... they all make me wince. Just slightly. I used various alpha stamps for the message, corrected my deliberate mistakes in red ink (which we're not actually supposed to do any more as teachers, but hey!) and cut the text into strips. Done. Now for Day 28...

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Day 27

And following on from my last post, here's another lesson learnt over the weekend:

It's a collection of moments from over the weekend. We had so much fun, and were so silly! This quotation was in a DCWV Girls "Quote Sticker Stack", and seemed to fit the mood we were in for much of the time. I stuck it onto white card which I trimmed then added to the grid. The background paper is in my mini-book because I didn't like it (and if that doesn't make sense then see this post to find out how I put my album together!) so I was quite pleased to cover so much of it up (sorry to whoever manufactured it...) There are a lot of happy memories wrapped up in this page :-)

Day 26

I've done a couple of pages out of sequence now - I know what I want to do for Day 25, but I was keen to scrap the moments from my weekend away and the lessons learnt there first. The Coffee Plus weekend away is an annual event where (most of) the group of women I mentioned here leave husbands, kids and other responsibilities behind and enjoy a lot of fun, fellowship, fresh air and quality time with God. I learnt and relearnt many things. One of them is the importance of this couple of days to help restore my soul. That sounds sooo weighty and almost pretentious now I write it down!! But it truly is how I felt as we walked along the Anglesey coast and enjoyed the stunning views of sea and mountains and then the lighthouse by Puffin Island. I took so many photos! And here's my page:

(Sorry about the flash! Lighting isn't good in my living room tonight!)

I added the text to the photo before printing and sanded the edges. I wanted something to overlap the edge (I realised most of my pages were strictly 6 by 6 - what a wasted opportunity in a mini-book!!) so I punched a white border with my poor overworked Threading Water punch and layered that onto blue card, and added that tp the edge of the photo. That is then inserted into the book so it lies on top of the background page but isn't adhered to it. (I'm liking this way of being able to still look at backgrounds I love.) The background is made from an offcut of giant postcard that was too small for anything much, and a piece of card painted using acrylic paints in blues and gold, applied with baby wipes. Here's a not-terribly-good photo of that background:

Oh, and I rounded the outer corners of the page, just because...

I'm back :-)

I'm absolutely shattered, but I had a great time :-) I have some pages to catch up on (I have all the notes, and various photos to choose from) but for now just wanted to post this photo:

There are many photos on my camera that represent different parts of the weekend, but I love the peace, tranquility and beauty of this area and the memory of the walk we took together to get there. And the welcome cuppa I had in the cafe...

Pages will follow, just maybe not tonight!! I'm falling asleep already!

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Saturday's auto post

Right now I hope to be enjoying myself on Anglesey with a bunch of friends, but I'd hate my poor blog to feel lonely so I'm hoping I've set this up properly to post while I'm away!

Here's a card I made for a challenge at the Happy Stampers North West stamping show a couple of years ago. I think the theme was just 'Spring' or maybe 'Spring Zing'; this was the first card where I ever used the colour combo of orange and lime, but I was really happy with how it came out. The colours are rather more vibrant in real life!

I used the brushless watercolour technique to stamp the lettering and flowers onto panels of white cardstock, using PaperArtsy alphas and Hero Arts floral stamps. (If you haven't come across brushless watercolour before, I'll cover it in a brief tutorial some time soon so keep checking back!) I also arranged orange and lime buttons into a flower on another panel of white card. These were all then mounted onto a square of orange cardstock which was in turn mounted onto a white base card.

Oh, and there's a new recipe on my other blog Melsh Recipes. It's for spinach and mushroom lasagne (which is much yummier than it might sound!)

Friday, 25 September 2009

A quick moo...

Instead of doing useful things like packing and housework, I made a Moo Card :-) This week's theme at "Something Completely Different" is ABC. It made me think of the Jacksons singing that song, but it also made me think of the obvious learning to read and write at school. So I cut my card to size and looked at it and thought, "It looks far too pristine and bright! It needs to be grubbified! If only I had some Distress Inks..." But I don't, so I decided to see what I could do with the alcohol inks in the shades of brown that I didn't expect to make much use of. First I crumpled and smoothed out the card. Then I inked up a felt with Caramel, Latte, Ginger and Butterscotch (don't these inks have gorgeous names?!) and added a few drops of gold and some blending solution. I stamped this all over the Moo till it was fully coloured and when it was dry I stamped the letters a, b and c with PaperArtsy stamps, in black so they'd show up! I also found the definition of 'dictionary' in a little old dictionary I use for craft, and inked that page in the same way. I trimmed a bit of this and used it to cover a little pencil to match the Moo. And here's the result:

Now for that packing, housework etc...

Day 24

I finally got around to putting the car through a much needed car wash today. Oh boy, the difference!!

(These aren't before and after shots, by the way. I wish I'd thought of that in time, but I didn't... It's just two angles on the clean car.)

For the journaling I used four different fonts, Love Letters, Crushed Out Girl, Girls Are Weird and the snappily named CK_Alis_Hand_Official, all available from DaFont. I printed and then wrote over the words for a handwritten look and cut out each word separately. The 'bubbles' are punched from vellum and then stuck with Icicle Stickles so you can see the glitter through the vellum. I was going to fill in the letters of 'sparkly' with Stickles too, but didn't trust myself not to make a mess of it!! Oh, and the background is a giant postcard, edged with my Threading Water punch, and mounted onto the back of yesterday's page.

I'm going away for the weekend - heartlessly leaving behind The Doctor and The Children with barely a backward glance, and spending a couple of days on Anglesey with a group of friends! I shall try to set up a couple of auto-posts in case my blog gets lonely with me away, but I may forget to submit them or something silly again... And I'll get slightly behind with my pages, though I hope to have a bit of time for catching up on Sunday evening. Anyway, have a good weekend everyone :-)

Thursday, 24 September 2009

A really cool link

I must tell you about a blog I found this morning :-) Firstly (I'm gonna be honest!) if I tell you about it I get an entry into a draw to win the most _gorgeous_ rub-ons. They are soooo beautiful! But also, it's such a great blog - I've had a little browse of the tutorials in particular, and they are FAB - really clear and inspiring. Things like transferring photos onto tape - I so want to try that now! The Kit Club also looks _way_ too tempting (don't say I didn't warn you!) So I whole-heartedly recommend you pop over and visit JuJu Bee's Scrapbook Corner, and make sure you take a look at the Blog Buzz and the cool prizes on offer :-)

PS The aforementioned Blog Buzz runs from today till September 27th - don't leave it too late...

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

What colo(u)r am I?

Still tired but suddenly had to do something with this challenge before I go to bed! It's not a LO, it's an ATC, but here it is:

I copied a photo of me a few times and changed the colour of each one, printed them all and cut around the outlines then layered them onto a white background. A Dymo strip added the caption.

It certainly fits my initial response to the theme of the challenge, which was 'How am I supposed to choose?!' It really does depend on my mood on that day!
  • Right now I'm feeling mostly like the left-hand image - a bit faded and washed out, bluey-grey, almost faint. That also matches the days when I'm feeling quiet and colourless and solitary, through choice or because my self-confidence has taken a nose-dive for some reason.
  • The next image, the orangey-red one, almost glows. It's how I feel when I see a beautiful sunset - it's as if how I feel inside at that moment reflects the gorgeous glowing sky. It's also the warm feeling I get when I feel that rush of love when spending quality time with or thinking about my husband or children.
  • The third pic is one where I ramped up the contrast. It represents me when I'm teaching; I tend to 'perform' when I teach, exaggerating certain mannerisms, prancing round the room, big gesticulatory hand and arm movements, theatrical voice. I'm a version of me when I teach, but not my exact self.
  • Green - because I'm increasingly drawn to this colour in its various shades, but also because of health problems in the past (I hope just in the past!) so I've had times of being quite sickly.
  • The next one is purple which is my favourite colour, but this image also speaks to me of snuggling up on the sofa with a good book or watching something on TV, with a drink of something nice and maybe some chocolate.
  • And the final image is unedited. It's pink-toned, which I like to think matches my generally rosy outlook - I'm a pretty upbeat, optimistic person! But you need to put all those different shades together to get all of me.
I shall go to bed very soon, I promise :-) But I feel better for doing this - I do love to create! Thanks for looking :-)

Day 23

I'm battling against intense tiredness at the moment. I've been very busy so maybe it's just that, but I'm also going to pick up some vitamins tomorrow and keep an eye on what I'm eating for a few days, as well as try to get some early nights, and I don't perk up a bit I may need to check in with the doctor to make sure there's nothing else going on. I've noticed that my latest pages have been really simple and it's partly because I don't have the energy to do much else at the moment (I've done very little else creatively-speaking lately, too - just the Metal Moo - meant to have a go at the challenge at All About Me but it's been and gone, there's a new one now, all about what colour you are - not sure if I'm blue or grey right now but I'm normally something a bit more vibrant!)

Anyway, as this meandering post shows, I'm not my usual sparkling, witty self... ;-) So please bear with me till I wake up again! Meanwhile, here's my page for 23rd September (which I've made already, even though there are over 3 hours of today to go):

I had a day of supply with a Year 5 class today, and amongst other things we covered the Tudors, and Henry VII in particular. I learnt about him when I was at school but I'd forgotten a lot! I was impressed at how much the kids knew already, and we had a lot of fun creating Who Wants to be a Millionaire games using PowerPoint, where the questions were all about Henry VII. I had to photocopy this biography for the class so I sneaked in an extra copy, shrunk down, and tucked it in a pocket created from an offcut of Beatnik Boy paper. (I kept the ID strip on 'cos the offcut wouldn't have been deep enough otherwise, but I quite like the effect anyway.) The journaling is on three strips from the same paper range, which are only glued at the left hand end - the loose right hand edges help to keep the biography in place but allow me to take it out if I want to. Not a very exciting page, but that's where my energy levels took me and I'm OK with it!

Day 22

*edited: doh! Forgot to submit so it didn't auto post!! Here it is anyway...*

Not only have I caught up, I'm now ahead of myself! I'm setting this to post automatically in the morning because I'm teaching tomorrow so won't get online till evening. Here's what I learnt today/yesterday/last week/last year.... Hmm, not that that's confusing or anything!

Well, what I _hope_ I've said (in German) is 'Today I learnt I like studying'. This morning I started a course of intermediate German lessons, with the aim of improving my conversational German and helping me to remember or relearn what I did at school all those years ago. It was so good to be taught instead of doing the teaching for once! I even got given homework lol - that really is turning the tables! The background is a piece of 7Gypsies paper (I also used a piece of this on Day 6). I stamped the journaling with PSX alpha stamps and added an apple rub-on from a school-themed pack by Inspirations. The apple had 'A+' on it which seemed a bit too much to claim just yet, so I stuck the date over the top!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Review of Week 3

This week seems to have gone by very fast! Once again, here are a few extra things that I've learnt over the last week but which I didn't put into my album:
  • Technology is never straightforward (this was when my internet was playing up, but before I realised how problematic it would become!)
  • You _can_ get a lot done in a meeting (but will always get sidetracked at least once or twice)
  • I know a lot of people! (Learnt as I walked back to my car after dropping the kids off at school, and stopped to exchange greetings with so many other parents along the way)
  • A group of jellyfish is called a 'smack' (thanks, Shimelle - I like this one very much)
  • I smile at dogs!! (It's true lol but I never properly realised it before - when I pass someone who is walking their dog, I always smile at the dog!)
  • Some people are _rude_ (I was trying to order a cup of tea and the woman at the serving hatch - who had asked me what I wanted - walked off to continue a conversation with a friend halfway through my order! And didn't even apologise when she eventually came back!)
  • It's good to get to know new friends
  • Check what food we have in the house _before_ going shopping!! (Should've learnt this last week after overbuying bagels, but no... I came home from the supermarket with 6 loaves of bread, to discover that we had 4 in the freezer, 2 1/2 in the cupboard, and - *doh!* - I'd made this one the day before, too...)

  • You can buy Costa Gingerbread Syrup from Roadchef services!
  • People have different standards of cleanliness and hygiene regarding their home. It can be difficult to stay in the house of someone whose standards are significantly lower than your own
  • Patience and toleration (though these are ongoing lessons and I'm not so great at them yet)
  • It's good to be home
  • Sometimes people let you down
  • My friend's driving is quite an experience...!
Phew... Some of these lessons were not easy, some were not pleasant. It's good to look back and see the balance of those with more light-hearted lessons, to put things in perspective. I'm definitely taking more time to reflect during this class. It's good :-)

Craft and Confession

OK, confession first: I still haven't done my homework... But I may yet do it this evening, there is still time! And I do have until next Tuesday, after all.

Instead, I've made a Moo Card for this week's challenge at "Something Completely Different" :-) The theme this week is metal. My first idea (and one I'm still planning to do some time) was to cut a piece the right size from an empty soft drink can and use that as my base, but I haven't had a canned drink yet this week so that idea is on hold for now! Till I can pursue that, I cut some heavyweight card to size and embossed it several times with a mixture of gold and silver embossing powder. The reason I have a mixture of gold and silver is that it turns out tubs of embossing powder do not have childproof lids and so should not be left within reach of your toddler daughter. Luckily it also turns out that embossing powder can be scraped off the carpet and returned to its pots, though not separated back into its different colours. Several years later I still have a bit of the mixture left - it still comes in handy for a project now and then!

Having built up a few layers, while the top coat was still hot and soft I scattered a few tiny pieces of metal over and pressed down lightly. I mentioned here that I take watches to pieces when they stop working, and then use the little cogs, screws and springs? I used some on the inside cover of my LSNED album. Well, that's what I used here too. I remelted the embossing a bit then added one more layer of powder and heated for a final time.

Enough talk! Here's the Moo:

Day 21 and The Time Traveler's Wife

And I'm back up to date :-) Here's my page for yesterday:

I had a stupidly busy day yesterday, lurching from class to meeting to next class to next meeting to... You get the idea! I had two choices for this page: go mad with embellishments to make an ultra-busy page, or keep it really really simple to reflect how tired I was by the end of it. I went with the latter 'cos it was easier, 'cos I'm still shattered now, even though it's been relatively quiet day. So, photo of my diary, journaling using peel-off letters, stamped date, and all mounted onto another quarter of the cardstock I used back on Day 5 and Day 13. That'll do :-)

Oh, and I finished The Time Traveler's Wife. Oh.... my.... gosh.... Wow! I don't know if I dare watch the film, it's important to me that films of books are faithful to the books (so the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice gets the thumbs up, but the Alex Rider film was _rubbish_) I found the film of PS I Love You a bit disappointing and I'd hate to tarnish my memories of this book by watching a below-par film version. Has anyone both read the book and watched the film? Any advice?

Day 20

Still playing catch-up, but here's my page for 20th September:

It's so true!! We've done an awful lot of driving up and down motorways - holidays, visiting family, etc - and we've been stuck in traffic jams, sure, but nearly every single journey we've seen much worse delays on the opposite carriageway. I don't tend to stress too much when we're in a traffic jam, but it does help to remember that we don't have it as bad as if we were going the other way. Even through roadworks (see the '50' speed limit?) we pretty much sailed through our journey home on Sunday.

The background is another piece from the sheet of cardstock I used for Day 1. I got a photo of a traffic jam from Free Foto for the background, printed in black and white, and layered on a colour pic The Doctor took of us having a clear run! I totally and shamelessly stole an idea of Shimelle's, about shoving some of the journaling close together (bumper to bumper) to represent the jam, and placing the last bit spaced out to show the freedom of not being stuck! Oh, and to do the journaling, I used the trick I described here to get a handwritten look. The font was a free download from DaFont (it's called Cheryl).

Hoping to spend some more time scrapping tonight, but I have homework to do first!!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Must share!!

I really should be heading out the door about now but I just _had_ to share these little bundles of gorgeousness first! Jess over at Can You Pixel This is offering for sale some bee-yoo-tiful kits:

Various peeks at Halloween card kit

Jess posts worldwide, so go check out the goodies :-)

Day 19

Still playing catch up - and I have to go out to a meeting soon so won't get any scrapping done tonight :-( Never mind, should squeeze some in tomorrow, and here's my page for the 19th:

(Sorry the lighting's not so good, I tried with flash and it was worse!)

Giant postcard of poppies, trimmed with threading water punch; strip of ribbon and heart frame made of buttons; Dymo journaling. Oh, and a copy of my in-laws' wedding photo.

We spent the weekend with them - The Doctor's parents - to celebrate their Ruby Wedding anniversary with them. Yep, 40 years! Many congratulations, K and J :-) We had a lovely family meal with The Doc's sister and her family, too, and looked through old photo albums and reminisced lots. J hasn't been at all well lately and we had thought we might need to call off the special meal, but fortunately she's loads better, which was so good to see.

It got me thinking about what a gift marriage is. I'm so blessed to be married to The Doctor. He would hate me saying this 'schmalzy stuff' but he really is my rock; I can't imagine life without him and I love him so much. We've been married 12 years so far and I look forward to celebrating our Ruby Wedding anniversary in 2037! (*wipes a sentimental tear from her eye...*)

Sunday, 20 September 2009

A lovely photograph

Busy weekend nears its end... Hooray! Although tomorrow looks horrendously busy too, which is not so good :-( Which means I'm a bit behind with my project, and I may not get a chance to catch up properly till Tuesday now. Or I may just ignore the washing mountain, the kids' packed lunches, my own need for sleep, etc, and craft the night away!!

So, not having a new page to show yet, I thought instead I'd share a photo I really like:

I have a thing about photos taken into the sun! This one I took at Chester Zoo last December. It was a beautiful day, cold and clear. I love the way the sun was shining through the bare branches of the trees.

I hope to share _something_ tomorrow, even if not a new LSNED page. Maybe another photo I like, or an old project, or something. But it does depend on me being able to find a spare few minutes in between my many commitments tomorrow - how did my diary get so full?!

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Day 18

A quick post in the midst of a madly busy weekend, to share my page for 18th September:

The photo is a screen grab, which I printed 4x6 and punched holes so I can add it as a separate page of my album. Underneath is another giant postcard, edged with my threading water punch and mounted onto the page behind so there's a purple border showing at top and bottom. It was so gorgeous I didn't want to cover it by sticking the photo on top or even by adding journaling, so the text was added to the photo before printing. Here's the background page without the photo on top:

I may add some more details about this lesson (including stuff about backing up files - don't get me started, still seething about that!!) on the back of the photo or on the postcard itself, or (more likely) I may just leave this as is so I can contrast the peaceful, beautiful, soothing flowers with my less-than-tranquil feelings about this lesson...

Friday, 18 September 2009

Day 17

OK, well, the good news is that we seem to have internet access again - the bad news is that somehow my laptop has lost all its settings and files (including photos) and the automatic backup only seems to have automatically backed up until the end of July... And with a madly busy weekend coming up I'm not sure when I'll have a chance to look into this properly and see if I can restore my stuff! :-( I am cross and sad and fed up and frustrated... Mostly I'm annoyed that when I'm sensible enough to set up a way of backing up my files so that I don't lose them, the very time that the laptop plays up is the time that the backup plays up too!!

Anyway, I have managed to put together a page for yesterday:

I found the chipboard die cuts that so nicely match the cardstock in a pack by PaperMania; the journaling and date are just stamped onto white card using Whispers inkpads in toning shades, trimmed to size and stuck into place.

The book in question is The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger; I saw the trailer for the film recently and the idea intrigued me, so when I found out it was based on a book I ordered said book from the library. It _finally_ arrived yesterday (think there was a waiting list) and I'm almost halfway through already...! I'm an avid reader, and fortunate that I can read fast (The Doctor certainly envies me this ability!) I generally have at least one book on the go, and a mental list (or sometimes a physical pile) of books waiting to be read next. I love to re-read old favourites and to discover new ones. Favourite authors include Jane Austen, Terry Pratchett, Bill Bryson, Agatha Christie, Elinor M Brent-Dyer, Freya North - quite a mixture! Anyone got any suggestions for other books I should add to my list?

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Day 16

This is an experimental post! I've already finished my page for 16th September, even though the day's only halfway through as I type this, but I got all inspired by alcohol inks this morning... But I may not get online at all tomorrow, so I'm setting up this post in advance and hoping I can prime it to post automatically tomorrow morning. If it works, it'll appear on the morning of the 17th and all this talk of this morning and tomorrow will be very confusing, sorry!!

Anyway... Here's the page:
It's a piece of acetate, coloured with alcohol inks in Lettuce and Stream with a touch of gold mixer. I _love_ the effect! I shall definitely explore this technique with other colour combos :-) I stamped the journaling with StazOn, using PaperArtsy stamps. That's all this particular page needed. I don't intend to use the back for tomorrow's page - it's quite nice to have a single-sided page like this in the middle of my album, marking the halfway point through my project (though I don't plan to do a page about that specifically, as per Shimelle's prompt, I know that's what this page signifies and that'll do me!)

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Day 15

Pesky internet is down >:-( Technician chappy will be coming on Friday to (I hope!!) fix the problem; meanwhile, a kind friend is letting me borrow her connection so I don't get too far behind - and don't go completely mad at not being able to get online! (Today I have learnt how reliant I am on the internet...)

Here's the page I made for yesterday:
I love cooking and baking, it's another outlet for my creativity. Yesterday evening I had a meeting at our house (to plan for our church weekend away) and tonight there's another meeting at ours (weekly house group) so I made a batch of biscuits so I could offer them round and be a good hostess ;-) For one reason and another I haven't done much baking lately, and this quick and simple recipe reminded me how much I enjoy it. I hate my own handwriting but this was an obvious page to use it, so I wrote out the recipe on a piece of notepaper, leaving space to overlap the photo. The background is formed from a couple of off-cuts - some printed watercolour paper, and a patterned cardstock from I have no idea where! I journaled onto blue Dymo tape and added a heart clip for interest.

Yesterday I also started another blog, just to organise my recipes. A fuller version of this biscuit recipe is on it and I hope to add various family favourites over time. You're very welcome to have a look and try any recipe that takes your fancy :-) Oh, but apologies to overseas readers - I've stuck to the measurements that I use, so it's in ounces; I may look up some conversions some time and update but I may not get around to it... Also, I haven't had a chance to play with the settings and improve the look of that blog yet (and clearly won't for a few days, because of the internet problem - grr...)

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Review of week 2

I've made it to the end of the second week of my Learn Something New Every Day project, and I'm still up to date with my pages - woo-hoo!! So here are a few more of the things I learnt that didn't make it into my album.
  • I won some blog candy!
  • It's much easier to dish up dinner in a tidy kitchen.
  • Photocopying for a term's worth of Sunday Club takes a _lot_ of time (nearly 2 hours) and a _lot_ of paper (3 packets):
  • The swimbags I got ready for the kids' swimming lessons? I forgot to put the swimming costumes in!! (Luckily I learnt this before we left the house!)
  • What Marmite tastes like (Yuck!!!) I realised that I hated the smell of it so much I'd never even tasted it - I was surprised at how salty it was, but it tastes as disgusting as it smells (to me, I know there are some strange people out there who actually like it. Even The Doctor and The Boy...)
  • We didn't need any more bagels. Learnt this _after_ I'd bought them. At least they freeze well.
  • _Always_carry_your_camera_. I missed the chance to photograph a cloud shaped just like a huge arrow - briefly, a plane was flying straight towards it as well! WHY did I assume there'd be nothing to photograph on the school run???
  • Sunday Club will be up and down. That's just how it will be.
  • '!' is well hidden on my typewriter.
  • I missed The Doctor _so_ much while he was away at a conference.
  • Allow more time than you think you'll need.
  • It might be difficult, having The Girl in my class once a week :-( She doesn't cope well with the difference between 'Mum' at home and 'Miss' at school...
That's a lot of learning... Such a strange variety of trivial, silly, special, hard, fun lessons. I'm loving this class :-)

Day 14

After quite a 'heavy' page yesterday, a more light-hearted one here:
The background is a piece of cotton fabric from an old pair of trousers The Girl outgrew (they were pretty trashed, couldn't even pass them on to a charity shop!) I mounted it onto a piece of chipboard for stability. It also helps to strengthen my album overall, as this page is fairly central. I stamped the jounaling onto card and trimmed it into strips - a mixture of studio g, PaperArtsy and PSX alpha stamps. The strips are arranged haphazardly to illustrate that I sometimes get a bit tongue-tied on the phone! I added a trio of buttons because of the phone having buttons (well, it made sense to me...) to fill the empty corner of the photograph. Oh, and a strip of AMM card :-)

I really don't like making phone calls, especially to people I don't know. And I hate, hate, hate answerphones! Yesterday I had to phone a few parents to discuss offering their children some free after-school tuition. I knew 3 of the parents quite well so that was OK, but I was a bit scared of the last one and wasn't at all sure how he'd react to the suggestion that his child might need help, even though it was for a positive reason. Well, it was absolutely fine! The guy was really friendly, grateful for the offer, keen to accept, and even asked me to call him by his first name!! All that worry for nothing...

Monday, 14 September 2009

A link or seven, especially for Amy :-)

Amy left a comment about my 'Green' digi LO I posted, asking about the lines dividing up the grid. They were a free download from Shabby Princess, part of their Harvest Spice collection, Amy :-) It's a line of stitches; I copied it a few times and rotated 3 of the lines 90 degrees, then dragged them all into place, using the 'grid' view on PSE to help with placement. I love the Shabby Princess downloads and they have some great tutorials, too! I also used a tutorial from Cathy Zielske to help me put my grid LO together - the tutorial appeared on Ali Edwards' blog as part of her Tuesday Tutorials series; the link is here and there's a downloadable pdf of instructions on that page. I adapted the process to suit the number of photos and the 'look' I wanted, but it was easy enough to do.

Oh, and Amy, I have to tell you that because of your influence I've ordered those same page templates by Ali Edwards (currently on offer, result...) I just love the clean look of your LOs so I plan to do something similar for a project some time soon! Thanks for the inspiration :-)

Day 13

A journaling page for September 13th:
I took this photo while the page was still in the album, so it was slanting, which makes the text look crooked at the bottom... I promise it isn't!!

OK, so the background card is another piece from that sheet that said 'Dance' (that I used back on the Day 5 page). Inside the printed circle was a large letter 'D' that I really didn't need, so I used a dimensional sticker from Marcella by K which I got free with Scrapbook Inspirations a little while back. It's glittery with a big gem in the middle, very pretty! I used my Big Shot and a couple of different alphabet dies to cut the text from co-ordinating card colours.

And now for the back story, including the rusty bucket... *WARNING!* I'm a Christian, and my lesson yesterday was about God and the Bible. I don't want to shove my faith down anyone's throat; it's part of me so I'm bound to mention it occasionally, but I didn't set up this blog to try to convert anyone. Don't feel any obligation to read any more of this post!!

The Doctor and I co-ordinate the children's work at our church. It can be a tiring, demanding, stressful job at times! I do get down about it sometimes and worry about whether things will come together. And they always do! I mentioned last week that I need to keep learning to trust God. I remembered that lesson yesterday, as the Sunday Club term started, all the leaders came along, everything fell into place, and it was all fine. The rusty bucket? Well, the group I was leading yesterday was a bit chatty and restless, but instead of getting stressed about it, wondering if the children would remember anything of what we were reading and discussing or whether I was just wasting my time, I remembered a story I heard in a school assembly a few years ago.

A young boy was given a Bible by his grandmother, and she asked him to read a bit of it every day. A while later she asked him if he was keeping up with his reading. He told her that he found it hard, because he never seemed to remember what he'd read, so didn't feel that it was really worth it - basically, he felt discouraged. Grandma pointed to an old rusty bucket in the corner and asked the boy to fill it from the well outside and bring her the water. Off went the boy, but the bucket was so old it had rusted through in places and all the water escaped. He went back to the well and tried again, but the same thing happened. After a few tries, he went back to his grandmother, feeling cross and frustrated. "It doesn't work!" he said. "Look, there's no water - the bucket's full of holes!" His grandmother calmly replied, "But can you see how clean the bucket is now? How the water has scoured away so much of the rust and washed away the dirt?" And the boy understood that he didn't need to remember everything he read in the Bible, it would still have an effect, and he would still be better - 'cleaner' - for it.

I hope you don't mind me sharing that story :-) It's an important part of my lesson for today - remembering it at the right time saved me a lot of stress!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Day 12

We had a fab day yesterday :-) Some old friends of ours have been holidaying over the past week, and finished up about an hour's drive from us, so we met up for the day. We hadn't seen them in ages - Ted lives in America and Kaele in Australia, and even though Ed is 'only' in Oxford we still somehow don't manage to meet up! Kaele had never even seen The Girl, and last saw The Boy when he was a toddler. It was so good to catch up! So that was the obvious choice for my page:
I wanted the emphasis to be on the photo (which was taken by The Girl, by the way) so printed it 4x6 and just added a strip of navy linen-textured card from the Die Cuts With A View Mat Stack, edged with my threading water punch. I cut strips of the same card and journaled with my Dymo, sanding the card to bring out the words more clearly. I mounted it onto a 6x6 piece of card on which I'd experimented with lemon juice backgrounds (splash lemon juice over white card and singe with a heat gun).

Amy, thank you for your lovely comments :-) In answer to 'how do I find the time?' Well, my house suffers....! I'm fortunate enough to be able to work part-time, which helps. I can also multi-task like a pro - I can fit in a spot of crafting while the dinner's cooking, for example. Basically though, creating is important to me so I prioritise it. It's my leisure activity of choice, what I do when the kids are in bed and the essential jobs are done. I'm also something of a butterfly, flitting from technique to technique, keen to try them all! Next on my list is alcohol inks, hoping to give them a try this week some time :-)

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Circle Moo Cards

This week's challenge at "Something Completely Different" is still Moo Cards, but this time the theme is 'circles'. I made one yesterday:
I cut the white card and a piece of scrap paper to size. I used a 5p piece to draw circle outlines on the scrap paper then pricked holes at regular(ish) intervals through both layers. I then used my Silent Setter to punch holes through the card. I stuck strips of coloured handmade paper behind so the colours show through the holes.

This morning I looked at it again and changed my mind! I carefully pulled away the strips of paper and stuck a piece of denim fabric behind the card instead. Then I attached a few beads with needle and thread to create a fringe:
I prefer the second version :-) But I think maybe the first photographed better :-(

I've had a lovely day today - looking forward to scrapping it :-)

Day 11

Just a quick post this morning, to share this LO:
(I may retake that photo in better light later... The colour scheme is purple, in case you can't tell!)

The back story to this page is here; Amy's comment really made my day and so that was the strongest lesson I learnt yesterday :-) I took a 'screen grab' of her entry on the Learn Something New forum for my photo and made a photo mat out of ribbons ('cos I'd so liked the effect on my Rainbow Wishes LO!) The cardstock is another giant postcard from The National Wildflower centre, edged with my threading water punch and attached to the back of the previous page. I used Doodlebug All Mixed Up rub-ons in lilac and cut each letter and number into a separate strip (another of my favourite 'looks' for journaling) and added three tiny buttons into the empty space on the top right.

I've also been working on the latest challenge over at "Something Completely Different", so look out for another post later. Have a great weekend :-)

Friday, 11 September 2009


This is the LO I did today:
You may recognise the photos, I shared them a few days ago (here). I just had to scrap the main pic as a 'Wanted' poster :-) I was thinking kind of Western theme, so wood tones, sepia etc. I took down the saturation of the photos before printing (slightly less so with the main pic, but a lot with the smaller ones. The original pics were way too bright). I sanded the edges of the little pics then inked with a couple of different shades of brown and a tiny bit of black. I crumpled up the main photo. Aww, cute lil hamster face... Who could bring themselves to crumple you up? I have a hard heart, what can I tell you? ;-) I then flattened it out again and sanded the edges, allowing them to tear slightly. This I mounted on a piece of brown paper bag, which had also been crumpled and flattened, adding Doodlebug Just My Type stickers to spell out 'Wanted'.

The background cardstock is Basic Grey, from their Aged & Confused Sublime Collection. I layered up a page from an old book, strips of different paper and card and the Wanted 'poster'. The smaller pics went along the bottom, with type-written captions ('the scene of the crime', 'the evidence', 'the hideout'). A few strips of parcel tape across the corners of the 'poster' finished off the LO. (I wanted to add a piece of string I found but just didn't find a way!)

By the way, no, I haven't finished the housework... But I've done quite a lot so I reckon I've earned a rest! ;-)

Day 10

Yes, I know it's my third post of the day... And depending how I get on with the housework, there may yet be another one this evening 'cos I have a 12x12 LO to share! For now though, here's my LO for September 10th:
I'll be honest with you, I don't like it all that much, but I remembered what I said to myself on Day 5 and so I don't care that the colours don't go, that the composition isn't great and that it's just not terribly interesting! The back story is simply that while in Asda doing my supermarket shop I couldn't help but notice that the George department had a sale on - so as well as the groceries I came home with a new pair of school trousers for The Girl (she needed them), 4 new pairs of socks for me (I sort of needed them...) and a new pair of cropped trousers, also for me (I definitely didn't need them!)

I used the 1/2 price tag from the cropped trousers, and mounted the sticker from the school trousers onto a die-cut tag. Another die-cut tag has the date stamped on it (really not happy with that bit. Wanted something overlapping the edge but it's not right. Oh well...) The title is stamped onto George tags (those thick ones - I have quite a supply!) I accidentally stamped the 'y' sideways, *doh!* So I decided to make a feature of that and stamp some of the other letters sideways or upside-down, too. I printed the 'sale' word to match the signs in store, and cut up the receipt to make use of anything that was about saving money.

Even if the LO isn't one of my best, I'm pleased to have documented this. It's not a new lesson, that's for sure! But as it's a part of who I am, I'm glad it made its way into this book :-)

I just wanted to mention the lovely Amy from the Learn Something New class, 'cos she made my day today :-) She left a kind comment about my LO for Day 8 yesterday, about my attention to detail. (Shucks, now I feel bad that Day 10's LO is so thrown together!) Well, her scrapbook page for yesterday was that she'd learnt from _me_ about taking time to enjoy the creative process!! I am so proud to think that my style and approach could inspire someone else to be creative :-) Thank you so much Amy, your comment and mention of me in your LO means a lot to me. (I've secretly been envying Amy madly for her beautiful, stylish and simple LOs and kind of wishing I'd done mine like that too!! I love that craft and creativity can vary so widely and yet always be fulfilling and fun.)

Day 9

I would've made this yesterday but the eggshell piece was still drying...
The cardstock was divided up into these panels so it was easy to arrange the page! I typed all the journaling and cut it into strips. (I _love_ strips of text. Much prefer that to a big block, although I do use the latter sometimes.) I cut the piece of card I used for the technique to fit the left hand panel and chose green paint to try to tone in with the top and bottom strip. The details of the technique itself are on the LO so I won't include them here! But gosh, the footnote was heartfelt - I wanted to scrap this yesterday but the glue and paint were still drying till this morning!! I think I maybe used too thick a layer of glue - and I ignored the bit about letting it dry in between, which probably didn't help. I quite like the result, though I'm not sure how I'd use it on a card or LO; I might use this technique for altering stuff, like little wooden boxes or door hangers or picture frames or mirrors or...!

The LO for Day 10 will follow later :-)

Giveaway winner!!

Congratulations to Ladkyis -I pulled your name out of the hat (well, shoebox...) so the goodies go to you. I'll be in touch to get your shipping details. Commiserations to everyone else but I'll run another giveaway soon - watch this space!

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Day 8, and a snapshot of my life...

Nearly forgot the reminder lol! My giveaway ends midday tomorrow (GMT).

I've finished my page for the 8th now:
Lots of details, bear with me!! Firstly, the greenish background is some handmade paper. I have a couple of bags of silk fibres I picked up ages ago. I arranged some of them on non-stick baking parchment and sprayed with shimmer ink in shades of green and a bit of blue. I then put another sheet of non-stick on top and ironed (there's my craft iron coming out again lol) - the heat fused the fibres together into silk paper :-) I mounted it onto cardstock for extra stability and because the piece was a little bit smaller than 6x6. (It's purple cardstock 'cos it's the back of my next page and it just happened to be purple.)

The 'thing learnt' was about what a treat it was to have my hair done! I hadn't managed it all summer because of having the children at home. I decided to stitch the title onto scraps of white card, as touchy-feely stitching seemed to fit the theme. I picked embroidery thread to match the paper, cardstock and my hair colour! The letters were just pricked out beforehand, I did it all fairly roughly (didn't write the words first or anything) as I wanted a 'handmade' finish.

I added stitching to the photo, too, using the inside of my roll of double-sided tape as a guide when pricking the holes (my tools work hard for me, you know). Finally, I arranged the title, photo, receipt (annotated) and a little plastic bag containing a trimmed lock of hair and stuck it all into place.

The hardest part of this LO? Taking a photo of me that I was happy with!! You'll note that my face is almost completely obscured... ;-)

And here's a photo from my day:
These are all mine, and all waiting to be washed... Either I drink too much coffee (and tea, and hot chocolate) or I don't do enough washing up!!

Day 7 of LSNED

A reminder to check out my giveaway!

Hooray, I'm catching up! Here's my page for the 7th:
I went back to work on Monday with a new stash of stickers (v cheap at Tesco) for use as bribes - er, I mean for rewarding good work and behaviour... My classes were so thrilled, even the older ones agonised for ages over whether to choose a star, an animal or a 'cool'! I'd kept the alpha stickers from the pack as not being so appropriate for the kids, and they were perfect for the title of this LO. The border of the photo is just a complete mixture of various stickers from my work file (may need to restock soon lol!) I also added some arrow stickers to point to the smiley being worn with pride in the photo :-) That's all mounted onto a piece of paper torn from a notebook and trimmed to size; the background card with the swirls has been in my stash _forever_. Can't remember the manufacturer, sorry. Oh, and after taking this pic I realised I hadn't dated the page - I've now stamped the date in the top right of the notepaper but can't be bothered to re-photograph the page!

Page for the 8th nearly complete and will follow shortly...

Dinosaurs and deliveries

A reminder to check out my giveaway!

I did my supermarket shop this morning. Halfway round the store I noticed a little toy dinosaur on the floor, near where a chap with a toddler in his trolley had just been standing (I think the toddler was his son, unless Asda have started selling children now?!) I picked up the toy and found the man in the next aisle and asked if it belonged to him; he was sooo relieved! It was clearly one of those 'special' toys, the loss of which would lead to screams and sleepless nights! I sure hope it was the child's toy, not his... Anyway, he thanked me profusely (I thought he was going to hug me at one point!) saying what a disaster it would have been to lose the dinosaur. I replied that I understood completely, I had two of my own. For a moment he clearly didn't realise I meant that I identified as a parent of two children myself, and thought I meant that I had two DINOSAURS of my own... rofl!! Today I have learnt that simple comments can be misunderstood!

I got back from the supermarket to find that postie had brought my new photo paper!! *happy dance* (I actually did do a happy dance when I opened it... *blush* So glad no-one could see me!) This means that later on I should be able to post pictures of the last few days of Learn Something New, and get back on track! Woo-hoo!!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

No longer up to date :-(

Don't forget to check out my giveaway!

Still no photo paper :-( The postie teased me today by struggling to fit a package through my letterbox, but it wasn't the paper - it was my replacement flash drive! I'm glad to have that, sure, but oh - when will my photo paper arrive??? So, I still have no new pages for Learn Something New to share, and while I have been crafting a bit today nothing's in a finished enough state to post...

Instead, here's another 'past project':
It's a card I made for The Doctor for our anniversary a couple of years ago. I cut the red heart freehand - still can't believe it came out so straight! I cut a square aperture in another piece of red card, added a rub-on, and wrapped string around it. I mounted that and the heart onto a white tri-fold base card and drew some 'stitching' with a black fine-liner. Here's the inside:
I made a pocket from another piece of red card, rub-on and piece of string, and stuck that in the middle panel. I also made a tag from red and white card, more string and a third rub-on:
That tucks into the pocket. A rectangle of red card on the last panel of the card for me to write my message on, and all done :-)

Have you come across Craft It Wednesday? Each week you post up a new project (which is allowed to be an old project, like mine here!) It's the site where I learnt what 'meme' means. I'm not telling you lol - go find out for yourself! ;-)