Saturday, 27 November 2010

All time favourites

A scrappy friend of mine, Natalie (NJMax over on UKS) is just launching a challenge blog at the moment and has a blog hop this weekend ... why not check it out over at Punky Scraps.  I shall be having a look around this evening once I've watched "Harry Hill's TV Burp", which is one of our favourite family shows on a Saturday evening.
Part of the requirements of Nat's blog hop is to link to your all time favourite layout ... now there's a conundrum!

Remember, we all stumble, every one of us.
That's why it's such a comfort to go hand in hand.
Emily Kimbrough
My first instinct was to choose a page that had been popular over on UKS because I do get a sense of affirmation when LOTS of other people also like my current favourite page.  In which case I would have picked this one, made in 2007 for my Dutch friend who actually introduced me to scrapbooking.

It was inspired by a page called "Laugh" by JoolsG who seems to have moved over to digi-scrapping these days.

I loved my page because it was simple and clean, it used my friend's beautiful photo, it had a quote that was perfect and the title was also apposite!  On top of all of that I had great fun making the title rub-ons myself using the !Sketchy Times font and special Crafty Computer Paper.

On the other hand, I wanted to choose a layout that I still owned, one that was my own design and contained more of me!  

In which case, it would probably have to be this one from 2009, which was made for a challenge over at Indigo Mill (I miss their shop).

I had fun thinking of an A-Z of what my hands can do; I took the photo of my hands myself, having mastered the self-timer; I included lots of sewing on the page and best of all, I managed to use up some un-loved peel-offs to transform some truly awful shiny paper into an interesting background.

Looking at that page got me thinking about another page I did for an Indigo Mill Challenge - this one telling a story about my mobile phone battles with my kids.

The challenge had been to make a page without any adhesive at all.  I had a lot of fun with staples, sewing, brads, grommlets, clips and even punches to affix the various elements to the page.

However the main reason that I love this page from 2008  is the journalling - it takes the form of a monologue addressed to my middle child who, like the others, had to wait until he was 16 before being able to have his own mobile phone.  It lists the reasons why the kids wanted phones, and the reasons why I didn't want them to ... a piece of our family history!

Now, back to the conundrum I started with: my all time favourite layout.
On the one hand, I like the page about my hands. On the other hand I like the page about our mobile phone battles. But which one is best? According to Harry Hill, there's only one way to find out.  

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

I'm back!

Did you miss me?  "Who?" I hear you ask, "Where are you back from?"
I've just had a brilliant, unexpected and very last minute break by the Red Sea - that's one way to replenish and revitalise my stock of photos to scrap.  Here are a few to be going on with while I wait for the prints to arrive ...
... and also for my friends to share their underwater photos - whoever knew there were so many different kinds of fish?!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Work In Progress

I won't be able to blog for a couple of weeks so I thought I'd share some sneaky peeks of what I've been working on ... watch this space!

Sneaky Peek - origami decorations - Jimjams

Sneaky Peek - Xmas word book - Jimjams
(The cat is now out of the bag here)
Sneaky Peek - Origami Xmas tree - Jimjams
(Pop here to find out what this turned into!)

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Scoubi Doings

Whilst queueing at the bar at a concert recently I nudged my friend and gestured towards a girl standing nearby.  Said friend is a fellow scrapbooker and understood immediately ... we'd spotted a crafty item that perhaps we could recreate!  Using existing stash.  Without costing a fortune. Creating something unique and personal.

And so this week I decided I'd have a go at making a similar bracelet to the girl in the bar - a bracelet made from buttons.  Only I didn't have the right sort of buttons.  Not enough four-holed, equally sized, tonally pleasing coloured buttons. Well I did have enough buttons for one bracelet, but it was immediately snaffled by Child No. 3 - "Buttons are IN right now" she informed me!

So what to do for a bracelet for me?
I have lots of chipboard, I have loads of scraps of patterned paper, I have a 1" circle punch and I have a Silent Setter which punches tiny holes, so I set to work once again.

Of course paper-based jewellery won't last forever, despite a couple of layers of PVA glue, but then these are so cheap and fun to make that I'll make more when they wear out while I'm looking for decent real buttons!

My prototype bracelet used wool to string the buttons together, which works fine; I'm sure thin ribbon would also work well enough.  Of course there are proper jewellery making supplies of waxed cotton thread or leather thongs that are meant to be used for these things, but, again, I didn't have those.  Instead I have used some scoubis - remember them?  Scoubi heyday was back in 2006 and it seemed like the whole world was busy weaving and knotting and plaiting ... the children (teenage boys included!) and I made necklaces, animals, bracelets, key fobs, coasters, ... "Buy more please Mum", "I've run out of pink!", "Rachel's asked me to make her a green sparkly bracelet" ... and then suddenly, almost overnight, they lost interest, leaving hundreds (possibly thousands) of the things rotting in a bag at the back of the cupboard.  Except that they aren't rotting - they're plastic and will sit there forever, waiting, abandoned ... :o(

Anyway - three scoubis have now been put out of their misery and pressed into service ... just 1397 to go!

Friday, 5 November 2010

Yuletide is looming ...

I love Christmas - the decorations, the lights, the mince pies, the mounting sense of excitement, the darkening nights, the stollen, the window displays, the carols sung by church choirs, the royal icing on top of marzipan on top of alcoholic fruit cake, the stockings hanging by the fireplace, the mulled wine - I love it all!  But only in DECEMEBER!

During November I despair that other people make me feel under-prepared because I haven't even made a Christmas shopping list, let alone tackled it; I shut my ears to the claims by friends that all their hand-made Christmas cards have been stamped and addressed and are ready to be posted (last year I received the first Christmas card in October!?!?!?); I turn away from stacks of seasonal goodies in the supermarket - those mince pies will be out of date before we're half-way through Advent, let alone be in a fit state to leave out for Santa!

I haven't always been like this.  One year I did manage to make about 100 Christmas cards for all our various friends and relatives and they were delivered on time!  The secret to this was finding a simple design that allowed for a bit of creativity, wasn't too boring to make over and over and over and over .... and wasn't a ridiculous price to send (Royal Mail's Pricing in Proportion has had an unfortunate effect on the hand-made card production in this house!).

Christmas Cards - Shrink plastic - Jimjams
These cards were made with triangles of shrink plastic, which were doodled with OHP pens before shrinking, wrapped in coloured wire, dotted with toning glitter glue, mounted on doodled silver card with a sequin and the whole shebang was matted on a couple of rectangles of shimmery paper.  When I got bored with drawing lines I switched to wrapping wire and when that palled I dotted glitter glue ... it was fun and the kids could help too.

Nowadays, however, I am down to making just a handful of cards, which get hand-delivered to my nearest and dearest.  This does mean that I can make more of an effort; my Mum's favourite was a Christmas Tree card which folded flat for the envelope but functioned as an ornament as well as a seasonal greeting.
Spiral greeting on Christmas tree card - Jimjams
It isn't my design though - I found it in the UKS gallery and contacted its creator Irene Tan (Scapperlicious) for the instructions (which are based on Sandi Genovese's original design).  Irene has kindly given me permission to share the trunk and spiral templates and her original card is here so please give her some comment lurve if you have a go at making the card too.
Christmas tree card ready to post - Jimjams
Flat for posting!
Awful flash photos sorry - taken before I actually learnt to use my camera!
Now, I wonder what I'll do for this year's couple of cards ...