Thursday, May 31, 2012

More travel scrapping.

Now I've dug out some of my old travel albums, I've been motivated to start scrapping them and this one was a fortunate find just as I had a little splurge on Studio Calico papers from Sarah's Cards - not a big splurge you understand!!  I wish I had bought a second sheet of this paper as it's lovely on the back as well, but I did rescue a small strip for another layout, because I cut out the skyline.

I loved my visit to Hong Kong and the view, even on a cloudy day, was breathtaking.  We took the cable car/train thingy up to the top and spent ages just looking around, spotting planes going into the old Kai Tak Airport - runway sticking out into sea job - so fairly exciting on a jumbo, and looking for swimming pools on the roof of tower blocks - plentiful, even in 1985.

I splashed out on another strip of my Out of Print pp - used up some old travel rubons and a couple of 7Gypsies brads, a strip of washi from my generous friend Jo, Studio Calico Alphas and some clouds from an American Crafts sheet of paper I bought at the crop from Sandra at Gottacraft, who always has loads of delicious goodies for us, including the camera stamp which I had to have.  I also managed to put my donut punch to good use.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

And now for something girly....

It's not often I scrap in pink, but sometimes the urge overtakes me to do something a little more girly than my usual.  The photo was taken on DD's birthday when most of the pictures were of her happily opening presents, but at one point younger brother made some typically crass 11-year old boy comment and I managed to snap 'that look'!  You know, the one they develop as teenagers to express their disapproval of everything that fails to match up to their idea of cool, acceptable and definitely including little brothers.  Oh I was happy to have camera to hand to capture something that occurs every day in our household, and to scrap it for posterity as, hopefully, she might grow out of it one day - or maybe just come to appreciate her darling little, soon to be taller than her, brother!

I couldn't make it stay flat to photograph, hence the wonky appearance of the black border but it's better irl!  The papers are BG Out of Print, which I had from Emma for my Advent Swap and have been stroking ever since :)  I 'borrowed' from Ronda Palazzari in sewing around some of the petals, but I'm not nearly as patient as her, so I stopped after a while!  The scalloped border is from Crate Paper, and the title is black glitter thickers, which coordinate with the Bazzill Bling Cardstock in Black around the layout and the photo.  I was gutted to find that I had no 'O's but butchered some other letters and then found that serendipity had made them look like a pair of eyes - so I'm happy - although I can't decide whether to put 'quotation marks on the title or not.

Only time will tell.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Try something new - May week 4

Another new experience.  DS1 and I went to BBC Broadcasting House to hear the recording of a radio play for Radio 4.  It had a fairly well-known cast and the inside of the building is wonderful.  There was a big crowd waiting to get into the Radio Theatre and there weren't enough seats so we were directed to a pile of 'wine boxes' stacked up against a wall which turned out to be funky foam cubes to sit on - loved it!

The play was by Jack Docherty, who's written for many comic shows, like Spitting Image and Lenny Henry, and was funny. We enjoyed ourselves and it was great to spend some time with DS who is so busy all the time with his Brit School projects that we hardly ever have time for a really good chat without interruptions.

Obviously no photos of the show (strictly forbidden)!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Try something new every week - May week 3

I've had some good fun doing new things these past couple of weeks.  These are the highlights.

A friend invited me to visit an exhibition at Lambeth Palace - a place I've never been, to an exhibition called 'Royal Devotion - Monarchy and the Book of Common Prayer'.

After a wonderful walk along the river - isn't London gorgeous in the sunshine? - we entered a side gate of Lambeth Palace and visited the exhibition.

So many treasures - of course you aren't allowed to take photographs, but it took place in a library full of ancient books - I never knew 'opera' meant a collection of works, not just the musical kind!  We saw a book belonging to Elizabeth I (see above), the gloves in which Charles I was executed and a host of beautiful books, illuminated, some very ancient, and all with highly interesting information alongside, filling in the history around the book itself. I learned loads.

It was just the right size exhibition, not so big you got information overload, and small enough that you didn't freeze in a very chilly room, but so magnificent that it was worth it.

Lambeth Palace was an interesting place too - they are resiting the Library so that the books can be better preserved and above the flood line of the Thames should it spill over, but I was glad to see the old version and would definitely like to return and see more of the Palace and hear about its history.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Try something new every week...

Well a bit of a catch up this week as I realised I've not actually blogged some of my new experiences recently. This is from April - as a birthday celebration for one of my friends - a trip to Fanny's Farm.

This place is legendary in our locality for its quirky approach to life and we thoroughly enjoyed our meanderings past chimney pots in the style of famous houses, blue eggs for sale and seasonal jollity for the jubilee.

We ended our visit with delicious scones and tea, on vintage assorted plates and cups - and resolved to return to the tree house on another day for more indulgence.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The sketch part two!

So going back to yesterday's story - this is the first version of the sketch that I did, before I remembered the twist.

I was trying to scrap a holiday in Tunisia that DH and I took before he was DH and was just DF!  I've done a couple of layouts, and have made a couple of Project Life style 6 photo pages with more of the photos, but I really wanted to do a 12 x 12 of our camel trek.

It's a very simple layout, but I was so happy to find the map of north Africa tagged onto an ancient Anna Griffin sheet of pp I found in my stash.  I also wanted to use some stripy paper to offset the blankets on the camels, and these came out of my scraps.  The green pp is from Echo Park's Christmas range but the curly bits reminded me of the art I'd seen on tiles in mosques.  The delicious button was given to me by my friend Gaye.  The letters are 7 Gypsies and the tiny ones came from my advent swap and are by Kaisercraft.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Twisted Sketch #152 - in two acts!

I loved this week's sketch (find it here on the Twisted Sketches blog) when I saw it and quickly formulated plans for a layout!  Then I remembered the twist - so I had to rethink - more of which tomorrow!

Warning - photo heavy.

The layout below focuses on this twist - 'Mother' - and is of my Mum with my daughter as a baby.  I love this photo and was happy to scrap it, knowing that I had the perfect papers from Gottacraft, left over from a previous layout (found here).  It makes me happy to use up papers and I have only the smallest bits left over for my scrap box.

Materials Used: Cardstock - Bazzill Basics, Patterned paper - Authentique - Delightful range,  Echo Park  - This & That, Graceful; Tissue flower - Studio Calico; Embellishments - Basic Grey Little Black Dress - Petals, Anna Griffin - epoxy stickers, flower, ricrac and brad from stash; Mask -   Heart Punch - Martha Stewart,  Scalloped border punch- Fiskars, Scalloped circle punch - Woodware.  Alphabets - MME Lush and Chatterbox.  Other: chalk.

I had so much fun playing around with this until I got the look I wanted.  I started by chalking through the clock mask to provide a subtle background.  I traced the shaped card from a sheet I already had, then matted and scallop punched the photo.  I unpicked the SC tissue flower, cut the ends off and used it to back the lettering, and the offcut for the little embellishment cluster in the top corner.  I dithered for ages before deciding to use the blue lettering but it matches perfectly the little dot on the fleur de lys patterned paper.  Old stash used is the epoxy rose stickers which reflect the rose bush that they are standing in front of, and the discovery in my stash of the linen look Basic Grey 'petals' was one of those joyous moments when you know you've found just what you wanted.

Here are some close-ups so you get an idea of the textures:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A little bit of vintage...

The counterfeit challenge was to be inspired by vintage hats! and I loved the flowers on some of those featured in the prompt so I thought I'd have a go.

I've been playing around with making a layout before adding a photo - not all the way but at least at a basic level, and this one started off with a handful of scraps from one of my first ever scrapbooking projects in 2005 and my Tim Holtz Tattered Florals die.  Under that I stamped some flower images and used my brick mask (again).  I was really pleased with the subtle stamping onto the cardstock.

I added the Prima bird, the mother of pearl buttons and various flower centres before the photo was chosen, then added rubons and alphabet stickers for the title.

I treated myself to some photo printing this week - Jessops  very kindly gave me 50 free prints with my passport photos and it would have been rude not to use them!  I have mentioned before that I've been scanning old family photos and so I printed a couple off to scrap. As the challenge was for vintage hats, I had to choose this photo of my great great grandmother and two of her children - looking stunning in their outfits.  I can't imagine climbing down that cliff with those clothes on!

I'm so pleased to have these photos as a glimpse into my past,  and I loved 'playing' with my layout to achieve the vintage look.

Monday, May 21, 2012

What I did with my counterfeit paper....

A few days ago I posted about making counterfeit paper from this month's kit here, and all the time I was making it, and every time I caught sight of it on my table, the Katie Melua song came into my mind - 9 Million Bicycles in Beijing.

As luck would have it, also in my mind were my photos from a 1985 visit to China which I have been wanting to scrap for a while, and have done a couple of layouts, but I still haven't found that perfect China paper yet!  The photos were taken with an instamatic camera - very basic and I didn't have much film as customs were so strict and I didn't take anything like the number of photos I would these days in consequence.  However, there are stories to be told, and my eyes lit up when I found photos of me in a skirt that perfectly matched the bicycle paper in colour - however none of them are in Beijing, and I was determined to have my title!!

Materials used: Bazzill Basics cardstock, Scrapagogo stamp, patterned paper - Studio Calico Abroad and Sassafrass . Chipboard frame - Sassafras, Alpha stickers - Scenic Route, Bicycles - Oliver Bonas. Border Sticker - Crate Paper , Other: Washi Tape, luggage label, assorted rubons.

The Art of Layers book (mentioned previously in this post) also helped in the making of this layout - in particular, I was struck by the project about using up old rubons - of which I have many - and which I never use.  They can just add subtle decoration to a page and having resolved to start using them, I have incorporated them into several recent layouts.  I don't buy them really any more, so there is hope that one day my collection will be used up!

Of course I had to use the wire bicycle clips on the layout as well, although I had to sew them on!!  I also love the look of washi tape behind my journalling strips as it makes them pop more.

At the crop on Saturday we were talking about how we are using subtle patterned papers more and more as background rather than plain Bazzill - I'm guessing it's just a trend thing, but it's definitely true for me!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

When old photos aren't all that...

I've been having a massive sort out of old photos - hence the wireless silence on here recently.  My biggest problem is that when I began scrapbooking, I wildly sorted through packets and packets of photos to find the perfect photo for whatever I was doing at the time, and didn't keep all the photos together.  Over the years they have become more and more mixed up as I kept on searching.

Now I am being ruthless - my pre-digital photos are now in these categores - rubbish photos - out!  Average photos - stay in packets; good photos - in divided page protectors, complementing the best photos which are scrapped 12x12.

Along the way I found some photos of Sweden, a country I used to visit often as I worked with the Nordic Marketing Centre at my company.  I didn't have a very good camera in those days and lots of the photos aren't all that really.  So rather than chuck them, as I don't have too many, I decided to trim the good bits off and the layout below is a good summary of the Sweden I experienced.  I am really pleased as none of them merited scrapping, or even keeping really, but with this lovely woodgrain paper have made a great memory keeper for my travel album.

Materials:  MME Miss Caroline PP, Cricut Die Cuts use SC Woodgrain no. 1,  ticket by Anna Griffin, Washi Tape from Le Box Boutique on Etsy, Tin Pin and Star - Studio Calico, Pearls from Stash, Alphabet Letters by Basic Grey.

Thanks to Debbie for use of her lovely Paper Lace cartridge and the Cricut.  Thanks to Daisychain888 on UKS for the lovely doiley.  I discovered on this layout that you can punch washi tape, but it's better to de-stick it first!!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Try something new - May Week 2

One of the first things on my 'To Do' list for this year long challenge of trying new things was to see a Tribute band, so I tagged along with my friend Dawn to a local venue - The Boom Boom Club!  She reliably informed me that the Bohemians were a most excellent Queen tribute band and indeed they turned out to be just that.

I didn't have a decent camera and the venue was so packed it was hard to take photos but I had a great time.  There is something nice about hearing familiar songs in a small venue where the atmosphere is completely different to the O2 - scene of my last band experience!

I snagged DD's little camera as it fits in my bag, but it was a mistake, I just couldn't get a good photo - this is as good as it got!

I'm not a huge Queen fan, but I like a good singalong and the band were more than competent although the backing singing was weak - making me realise just how proficient the real band are vocally.  They looked the part (more or less) and there were enough Freddie -esque antics to be amusing!

Photo  from The Bohemians website.

So, another tick on my list - and I might even go back one day - I spied a T-Rex tribute scheduled for later in the year!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Enjoying the Counterfeit Challenge

I'm enjoying the challenges being set in this month's Counterfeit Challenge Blog.  We were challenged to counterfeit the recent Studio Calico City of Lights range of kits - and being a lover of SC but currently not able to justify having their kits, it's been fun to try and mimic the range of beautiful goodies.

I started by taking up Crystal's challenge to make your own background paper and not use standard shapes.  Being the proud possessor of a bicycle stamp, and in an attempt to counterfeit the 'Lady Bike' paper in  the kit, I ink-shaded half a pale yellow sheet of Bazzill Basics in stripes and stamped my bicycle stamp on it.  I decided I prefer it without the white line of the original kit version, and of course my bikes only face one way, but it's good enough for me!  I will team my layout with one or more of these gorgeous bicycle clips from Oliver Bonas.

My next attempt was at the Kesi'Art paper from the CE2 collection - the original has part of a big circle on it, but my scraps weren't big enough, so I made a smaller circle instead in the spirit of the same colour scheme.  I am definitely going to have a go at the larger part circle - with a different colour scheme at some point as I really like it.  This is my attempt.

I'm feeling a trifle smug as I already had a go at punching shipping tags to make patterned tags a la Pebbles in the Sorbonne kit, and my recent post here counterfeits the butterfly paper from MME.  I think I might have a few extra left over to counterfeit the stickers  :)

Finally, I also had another go at stamping a background - not too large a piece as argyle is very bold (and I have a feeling it will be more prevalent in scrapbooking over the coming months), but just enough to try out this stamp which I have had for years but never actually used before - mainly because it is unmounted and not clear - I'm definitely a clear stamp fan!

I have plans to use this on a golf layout of my son.
Now to have a go at some of the other blog hop challenges...

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Twisted Sketch #150

I've been having a major sort out of photos - trying to make sense of a lifetime's photos, especially old pre-digital ones, and making plans about what to scrap or not.  In this meandering through the kids' lives I found these photos of my DD which fit perfectly with the two photo sketch with the twist of  'Flowers' which was my challenge this week.

Head over to Twisted Sketches to see the original sketch and my fellow teamies beautiful layouts on this theme... and this is mine.

Materials used:  Patterned paper from MME Miss Caroline range; Alphabet stickers by Amy Tangerine for American Crafts and October Afternoon; Flowers by Prima, Basic Grey, Sarah's Cards and from stash; Brads by Basic Grey, Making Memories and from stash; Handmade pennant with Sassafras paper; Ribbon to match the bonnet from stash.
As soon as I saw the yellow on the bonnet I knew I had the perfect flower and the rest of the layout just went from there!  Thank you for visiting my blog.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Try Something New - May Week 1

I've had a bit of a bumper week on trying new things.  Sadly the rain put pay to my guided walk round the Medieval churches in the city of London but we compensated with a trip to that temple of Mammon - Westfield!

I haven't been here before, not being much of a shopper and it was a vast space which could suck your cards dry in a few minutes if you were minded to spend!  I invested in a new top but that was the extent of my extravagance.

I was also fortunate to be taken out to lunch - I have been to two different Jamie's Italian in the past few weeks - once in Guildford - where I ate squid ink pasta (another first, and then at Westfield.  Both meals were fabulous and I thoroughly enjoyed them.

Another culinary first this week - I cooked oxtail!  I have not ever eaten this before but found a recipe and it turned out nicely - the family thought so too.

Monday, May 07, 2012

Handcutting - my first love.

I adore handcutting, although with the proliferation of die cutting machines, it looks rather less impressive than it did when I began scrapping.

Today I was finishing off layouts which I have half done over many years and then put aside, mainly for journalling, or because I was out at a crop and I didn't have the item I wanted.  I am useless at being disciplined to finish my layouts so they sit in a pizza box and just occasionally I try to finish some off.

Today was one occasion, as I promised my friend Gaye that I would work on half done projects until the next crop!   Now I am not entirely able to keep my promise as I have layouts to do for Twisted Sketches, but at least I'm trying.

This is one of my finally finished layouts.

It's a rare foray into the world of 8.5 x 11, some handcut scallops, some white rubons and a white journalling pen and that's the lot.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Stealing other people's Pinterest projects!

I was cropping with some friends recently and one of them (Sandra) is a real Pinterest afficionado with many wonderful things pinned for inspiration.  She printed off some of these inspirations for scraplifting purposes and me being nosey, had to have a little look at them, and then a little copy!

Bless her, she let me scraplift her project, and we had lots of fun playing with papers that are similiar but different, very different photos etc.

Anyway, the original layout was The Green Hat by Justem and is truly adorable and well worth a little detour - who knows? you will find so much loveliness that you may never come back!

This is my version...

Papers are from Lilybee - four ranges - Picket Fence, Buttercup, Happily Lost and Memorandum. I decided to go with ovals rather than the original circles as the boys were at rugby.  Old rubons, some washi tape and a brad were all the embellishment it needed when I'd had such fun playing with the Cricut (thanks again Debbie) to cut the number border and the title.

This link will take you to Sandra's lovely blog 'Homely Pursuits' to see her gorgeous version of this layout - thanks for sharing your Pinterest!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Thank you Ronda Palazzari

On a recent blog meander, I came across this book called Art of Layers by Ronda Palazzari - her blog is an awesome arty treat for any papercrafter.  Anyway, I HAD to have the book and ordered it immediately.  Well it didn't disappoint - at all!  Not only is it chock full of delicious projects, it also has fantastic photo instructions and loads of little extra ideas.  I cannot count the number of times I've dipped into it since it fell onto my doormat and each time I've noticed something else wonderful.  The final icing on the cake is that it uses recognisable and recent and lovely products which means that they are still available if you want them!

So my first foray into one of these techniques was paper patchwork - and this is the result.

Ok, I didn't exactly sew on them as my sewing definitely falls into the amateur class, but I love the effect it gives, not to mention using up scraps which is my raison d'etre!  I cut the blank shape on the Cricut - thanks Debbie :) and then covered it.  You could equally make a sheet and then cut out a shape from it, but I'm too much of a control freak for this.  I also made a mini book to showcase my photos as I had too many even for a double layout.

I will certainly be back with more projects from this lovely lovely book.  Thanks for looking.