Sunday, 28 April 2013

Passing the Page...

I'm delighted to take part in this special event to celebrate the 2nd birthday of Julie's blog :) What a fun idea! Have you ever played the game Chinese Whispers? I remember it from my own schooldays and time in Brownies and Guides, and still use it myself now in my teaching and small groups - it's one of those perennial games!

What a good idea to apply this concept to scrapbooking :) I was fortunate enough to be sent a beautiful page from Sandie to use as my starting point. My post will make more sense if you've seen her layout first - but then, you should really see her inspiration before that - and so on, and so on, so in fact if you haven't started this blog hop with Julie herself I think you'd probably do better to go there and follow round in order :) You should find yourself visiting:

Julie @ Letting the Days Roll By
Alison @ Life in the Slow Lane
Fay @ Stitch...Stick...Sew...
Ruth @ Chatty Crafty Arty Pig
Jemma @ Just Jimjams
Miss Smith @ Curiouser and Curiouser
K @ K's Crafty Corner
Missus Wookie @ Missus Wookie's Wanderings
Sandie @ Itchifingers
Me! @ I Speak Melsh, naturally!
Alexa @ Trimming the Sails
Jo @ Curly Scrapbooker
Jacky @ Scrappyjacky

If you do need to go back to Julie's I'll wait for you here, OK?

Done that? Good :) Shall we have a look at my layout then? Here you go:

So, how did I get to this from Sandie's layout?

Well, first I tried to 'see' her layout as a sketch, to get a general shape for mine. This gave me a photo towards the top left hand side; journaling below it; something running up the left of the whole layout; something towards the top right; something towards the bottom right. I also looked for any details that gave me particular inspiration. I liked the photo mat with the wider border on the bottom edge (Sandie used this for her journaling). It was when I saw the cute little birdie's caption though - 'Bend when the wind blows' - that I knew exactly which photo I wanted to use, and the whole layout suddenly came together from there!

I went with the larger border for the photomat, but used it to anchor part of my title, adding my journaling underneath but straight onto the page.

In place of the chipboard embellishments or stickers Sandie had used, I made three little paper windmills with a pretty double-sided paper from the same range as my background (My Mind's Eye, Fine and Dandy).

A strip of paper down the left hand side provided my 'vertical' element and gave me a base for the first part of my title.

I've been treasuring this gorgeous paper in my stash for ages, but not only did it have a lovely printed pattern in one of the locations my mental 'sketch' had identified, there was a bicycle as part of that pattern! How very suitable for a page about our trip to Amsterdam :)

I have to say, I don't think my page looks anything like Sandie's lol... But it was definitely inspired by hers :)

And now, shall we travel on to Alexa's? I'm so keen to see her page! I wonder what she took from mine? :)

PS If I've planted this song in your head, I can only apologise. It stayed in mine for several days after I made the layout...

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


I first came across Kat via Rinda, though I know others of you know of her too - I've seen her Photo-Heart Connection appear on a few blogs, for example (I love Blog Land! I love that we can share good ideas and fun finds and introduce each other to each other!) Anyway, I liked what I saw, and I was particularly interested in the Liberate Your Art Postcard Swap so I signed up for this year's - along with a few names I recognised! :)

Today I received my first postcard - woo hoo! Very exciting :) But I'm not going to show you yet; there'll be a blog hop for all participants 10th-12th May, and I shall reveal my 'received' postcards then. For now, here are the ones I sent:

They all began as photos I'd taken (some of which you may recognise, as I've shared them here before) but I played with them a bit in PSE to give them more of an 'art' finish. I found the 'palette knife' tool was great for this, though I also liked the 'watercolour' finish on the yellow daisy - the effects are more obvious if you click on the individual photos to enlarge them.

I had them printed as postcards at Moo (who, by the way, were brilliant; I was very impressed by how easy it was to create my postcards, how quickly they arrived, and how high the quality of the printing was - I can thoroughly recommend them!) There was a message - of my own design - printed on the reverse of each card, but I don't have a photo handy so maybe I'll share that as part of the hop. I also added a handwritten note to each.

Wonder where mine will end up? :) It's just as exciting to send as to receive!

Sunday, 7 April 2013

My Precious {April Edition}

I'm finding Sian's theme for this year's Storytelling Sundays really interesting to ponder. As I evaluate my possessions, by either mentally or actually wandering around my house, I'm interested to discover that although I have a LOT of 'stuff', there's very little that would be irreplacable - there's plenty that I'd be sad to lose, sure, but not so very many things that I'd be entirely heartbroken about. I'm not sure if I'm pleased that material items don't matter so very much, or embarrassed that I've managed to accumulate so many of them anyway! And, of course, I wouldn't want to be put to the test....

But perhaps that's the reason I've already started to interpret this in a slightly different way; my choices so far have been representative of areas of my life that are important to me. My engagement ring is special, of course, but being unable to wear it doesn't detract in the slightest from my relationship with The Doctor - it's the relationship that's truly precious. I'd be pretty gutted if anything happened to my camera, particularly if there were photos still on its memory card, but cameras can be replaced and being unable to take photos at all would be what would really hurt. (And even then, there are other ways of recording memories!) My Bible, too, though I've had it for a long time, is far from being the only copy of a Bible in the world - in our house even - and the faith it represents is what's really precious here.

This mental shift made me look at my possessions in a new light, and with the thought of what was actually precious to me in my life - not necessarily physical things at all. And so, here is my choice for April:

There's a shelf of the wall unit in our dining room which holds 2 little hedgehog ornaments, an old pair of binoculars (a charity shop find that I couldn't resist), something I made during my ArtsyCrafts workshop (2 years ago now, gosh!) and three Willow Tree ornaments. The one in the centre was given to me by The Doctor on our wedding anniversary a few years ago; those to either side, showing a mother and her son and a mother and her daughter, were given to me by The Children for Mothering Sunday and birthday gifts. I love these ornaments - there are others in the range that I really love, too, such as those representing friendship or reading, but I have a self-imposed rule that they should be given to me by an appropriate person - as above - rather than bought by me...

(I don't know why, now I come to think about it. Oh, well....)

Anyway, this long post and this photo could really be summed up in two words. When I think about what is most precious to me, there's an obvious and definite answer. My April precious? My children, of course :)