Sunday, 30 January 2011

Whoops Indeed!!

Last night I was working on this page about No. 2 Son's new glasses. It's based on this week's sketch (#222) over at Pencil Lines and was done for the UKS Weekly Challenge.

I'd chosen the photo, the patterned paper, the card, decided upon the shapes I wanted to use, the alphas, even the title. Almost 100% planned out, so I set to work and started cutting, sticking, painting and sewing. Then I realised I hadn't included any  journalling ... whoops!!!! Nor did I have any more of the background card.  What to do?  In my slightly overtired state (the evening's wine had also taken its toll), I decided to gut the card that was behind the large piece of  BG Discover paper.  Not an easy task considering it was both glued and stitched down, but I managed it.
Fancy Pants clear alphas altered with
emulsion, 3D paint and Sharpies
I really shouldn't have bothered, because by the time I'd cut the card to shape and slotted it onto the front I decided that it was far too dark to write upon and rather too eye-watering on top of the patterned paper.  So I did what I should have done in the first place, i.e. grab a scrap of something else to use - there were still plenty of pieces left in my "Colour Me Silly" collection.

The journalling records the reason No. 2 Son had to buy new specs during his first weeks at university: they didn't survive a trip to a foam disco!  Whoops indeed!!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Another Lean Mean Mini

One of my resolutions (for this month at least) is to finish off half-finished projects. I am terrible for getting enthusiastic about a project, completing 80% of it and moving onto the next thing! To this end I have completed my Project 12 pages for 2010, finished my Christmas Journal AND (* insert drumroll *) finished a mini book I started last summer!

It's one of my Lean Mean Mini Books, using just one sheet of card and one sheet of double sided patterned paper, which I designed for the Exhall Summer Workshop last year. I made an example book for the workshop using one half of the kit supplied and this book uses the other half.

Inside are 12 photos from a weekend retreat with some scrappy friends - we hired a bungalow, brought some food dishes (and wine), put together some scrapping challenges and had a blast.
If you fancy making one of my Lean Mean Minis, my instructions are available via this post here and you can see my original book here.

Monday, 24 January 2011


I love making things myself. I'd rather have the satisfaction of putting together a few ingredients and cooking up my own dish/embellishment/fancy dress outfit than pay someone else to do it for me. So you won't find (m)any ready meals or ready-made embellies in my house, nor did my purse suffer too badly when the children needed to wear togas, Victorian dress or appear as skeletons.

Having only a Sidekick and a couple of Sizzlit alphabets, I occasionally suffer from Cricut/Robo/Eclipse envy, but then I remember that I have stamps, a printer connected to my laptop and a good pair of scissors. So it seemed appropriate for my page about the craftsman on the beach of my hotel in Egypt to get back to basics and do my own title.

So I dug out my favourite Banana Frog Steelfish Outline stamps and some scraps of old Basic Grey paper. This font is easy to cut out as the definition of the letter with all the fiddly bits is inside the outline. For the word "Artisan" I'd backed the paper with card before cutting the letters out and mounting with foam stamps (I will be giving the stamps a good clean, I promise!)

My page is originally based on the Sketchy Thursday's sketch for January 20th.

I added Maya Road ribbon, some beadazzle-covered Woodware chipboard to fit in with the rest of this week's challenge over at UKS (thanks Dawn for a great challenge).

It's just occurred to me that I've also got this font on my laptop and therefore I'm not limited to this size and using my stamps ... I'll be back with details of some other good for hand-cutting fonts next week.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

How Times Have Changed

When I first started scrapbooking, back in 2006, I was scared of patterned paper!  I really didn't know how to choose the "right" one for my photos; I didn't see the point of double-sided papers; I didn't dare combine different patterns on one page.  
Here is the first ever page that I made, with a LOT of guidance from my Dutch friend José: one sheet of stripy paper, a full page and a few buttons.
Now, I'm not saying that I know how to combine patterned papers; I'm certainly no expert, but they no longer scare me in quite the same way.  I do still love buttons as well as stripy papers, but take a look at how I've coped with these scary Scribble Scrabble papers on my November spread for Project 12:

Back in 2006, I also wanted to fill the whole page with photos and information; the idea of white space had not entered my crafting consciousness.   Here is the second ever page that I scrapped, this time without José's help: note the complete lack of patterned paper, zero embellishments and the multitude of pictures squashed into the available space (all neatly lined up)!
Fast forward to 2011 and here's another page without embellishments, but with lots of Basic Grey patterned paper, lots of photos and nothing (intentionally) on the same horizontal or vertical line - October's Project 12.

Has your scrapbooking changed since you started?
I wonder what the contrasts in my pages will be in another few years.

Monday, 17 January 2011

In With The New

I resolve ... to get the final pages of my Christmas Journal uploaded and out of the way!  Don't get me wrong, I've loved doing this, but 37 pages ... I want to move onto something new and exciting - the decorations are down, the snow has long gone and I am not feeling at all Christmassy anymore!  So here goes - thank you for sticking with me this far:

JYC 2010/11 - Jan 1st - Jimjams

Today's prompt, naturally, was all about resolutions ... I'm keeping them so far :D  Searching out the Christmas waistcoat photos from my Sunday Storytelling gave me the ideal picture for "Innocence" for Day 2.

JYC 2010/11 - Jan 2nd - JimjamsJYC 2010/11 - Jan 3rd - Jimjams

I found a half-used (?) Thank You note left around after a trip to the post box today - perfect for today's page. Day 35 in the Christmas House was about Reminders: mine for next year from this Christmas are basically to get organised in November so that December is less fraught!

JYC 2010/11 - Jan 4th - Jimjams
 JYC 2010/11 - Jan 5th - Jimjams

Depending on your point of view the 5th, or possibly the 6th is the final day for taking down the Christmas decorations ... neither would do for us as we were celebrating our eldest's forthcoming birthday before he returned to university and a) we did't have time to pack them away and b) I didn't want the house to look bare!  This last page also earned me some team points for the last week's challenge over on UKS, not the full set, because I couldn't use any new stash on the page - this whole project has been so cheap to make with zero embellishments and it has made a dent in my Christmas papers too.

JYC 2010/11 - Jan 6th - Jimjams

I have to admit that I did start de-decorating once everyone had gone home and we'd tidied away the buffet and bottles; I managed quite a lot before midnight ... superstitious .. me?

Saturday, 15 January 2011

That Was The Year That Was!

During 2010 I have been joining in with Project 12 and completing a double page spread of photos and journalling summarising each month of the year.  I didn't have a coordinated set of papers to use, but did do still have a mini-mountain of pretty papers and vowed to make a bit of a dent in them.  I stuck fairly closely to the Pagemaps sketches for each month but varied the number and arrangement of photos depending on how active we'd been and how often I'd forgotten to take my camera with me!

I finally finished my December pages this week as I was in a Christmassy mood with my final JYC pages and again I've combined it with a UKS weekly challenge.
If you're interested in joining in this year, the details can be found by clicking on the Project 12 logo on my sidebar or pop over to Scrapbook and Cards Today and look for the Project 12 logo there.
Shame that I can't say that the album is finished as I still have November and October to do ... better get on with them NOW!

ETA - and they're done too YAY!

Friday, 14 January 2011

Out With The Old

Here are the last few pages from the 2010 part of my Christmas Journal. 

JYC 2010 - Dec 28th - Jimjams

I used an earlier prompt for this one - the most perfect and popular gift got a good airing today ... tasted good, but looked ... not as beautiful as the subject of the next day's page: I should have been quicker with the camera though as there were only a few chocs left to photograph ... and one of them disappeared while I was fetching the camera! 

JYC 2010 - Dec 29th - Jimjams
JYC 2010 - Dec 30th - Jimjams

I wanted to do today's prompt (TheYear In Review) as a tag at the end of the year, so I took the opportunity to give my Christmas Word Book pride of place in my album as it now has pride of place in my Mum's living room.
I used the same template as last year's double-sided tag to document a few highlights from each month of 2010.  This was made a whole lot easier this year thanks to my Project 12 album and I spent a happy half hour looking over the double pages for each month while choosing what to write on the tag.

JYC 2010 - Dec 31st - Jimjams

This last page was also used to fit in with a weekly challenge over on UKScrappers - I love multi-tasking!
Check back soon for the final few pages ... just got the cover to do now!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Christmas Waistcoats

In my first effort at joining in creatively with a blogosphere activity I wrote a Christmas story for Siân's Storytelling Sundays.  This in turn, sent me off to root through our old photos to find evidence of the Christmas waistcoats that had featured in the tale.

Photo - all Christmas waistcoated and tied up!

Taken in the days before digital film, when I used flash all the time and it didn't occur to me to think about what was behind my subject, the photos are not that great technically, but they are wonderful for bringing me back more memories.  Not only were my boys wearing their Christmas waistcoats in 1996, but they each had a Christmas tie on as well.

Photo - Christmas cracker hat held up by glasses!

Bow ties really are cool aren't they!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Onwards and Upwords

Here is the latest batch of pages for my JYC album. They are really fast to make once the journalling is typed up and the photos are printed. I haven't been making time to scrap each day like I intended - more like time for journalling a few days worth followed by time another day for the actual scrapping.

JYC 2010 - Dec 22nd - Jimjams

The JYC prompt for Day 20 was Unexpected Surprises which suited Day 22 very well for me - I had been told that one of the Chester rhinos was now somewhere along this route, but somehow when I am driving this particular stretch I only have eyes for the road!  So it was lucky (!) that we had a family check-up at the dentist today and the kids spotted it as we were driving back.  It was even luckier that I had my camera with me and could ignore the withering glances from the back seat as I made a U-turn in order to use it!  But then it's a mother's job to embarrass her kids, even if there's nobody watching.
Back on prompt for Day 23 with Stockings:

JYC 2010 - Dec 23rd - Jimjams
JYC 2010 - Dec 24th - Jimjams

Finally the festive break begins, the shops close, the lists are completed and we can hunker down for some serious family time :D

JYC 2010 - Dec 25th - Jimjams
JYC 2010 - Dec 26th - Jimjams

All spent up before Christmas I certainly don't venture out to the Sales if I can help it.  After all there's a whole fridge full of food to be eaten and plenty of things to do at home!

JYC 2010 - Dec 27th - Jimjams

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Sunday Storytelling

My internet buddy Siân, an accomplished thinker, writer and crafter, has invited her fellow bloggers to sit by her fireside to share stories on the first Sunday of each month - Storytelling Sundays.  Now that ties in rather nicely with my post from yesterday when I teased my reader(s) that they'd have to check back today to find out why our family eat the Christmas turkey dinner, complete with all the trimmings, on Christmas Eve.

Are you sitting comfortably?  ... Then I'll begin.

Lego Castle 6082
Once upon a time, many, many years ago, when two little boys were still wearing Christmas waistcoats, Father Christmas visited their house one, not so snowy, Christmas Eve laden with huge boxes of Lego.  Not just any old Lego blocks, mind, this was Lego for building castles with trapdoors, turrets, a portcullis, secret passageways and dungeons.  Boys' Lego!  Now this sort of Lego doesn't just build itself.  Oh no!  This sort of Lego requires that you follow the Enclosed Instructions, Step by Step, and if you miss out one of those Steps, then the trapdoor won't trap or the passageway won't be secret, or the dungeons won't hold your prisoners.

Lego Castle 6075
Unfortunately, boys who still wear Christmas waistcoats aren't that good at following  Enclosed Instructions and these two needed some help from their Lego loving mother.  Their father might have been able to help, but he wasn't too keen on Lego, and was happier counting the bubbles in the Christmas champagne and peeling potatoes.  Even more unfortunately, there was a huge Christmas turkey dinner to be prepared.  Thus it was that the Lego castle construction suffered from several delays and interruptions, caused not by plumbers or builder's merchants or carpenters, but by parsnips and brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce.  The two boys found comfort in the chocolate coins from their stockings and wiping sticky hands on Christmas waistcoats.

Eventually all building work was halted because the aforementioned turkey was ready to eat and the family foursome gathered around the table to pull crackers and enjoy.  However, boys who still wear Christmas waistcoats and have eaten lots of sweets don't really have stomachs big enough for plates full of turkey and roast potatoes and parsnips and peas even if you do remove the brussels sprouts beforehand.  Nor are they that keen on brandy soaked Christmas pudding, even if the bit when the lights were put out and the pud was set alight was quite exciting.

Meanwhile it was getting on for 2 o'clock and some Star Wars film was about to start on TV.  Now that was something that boys who still wear Christmas waistcoats could relate to.  Especially if their Star Wars loving father had an arm to put around each of them and room on the sofa next to him.  Who cared that the kitchen looked like a bomb had hit it, with mounds of left over turkey, veg and pud alongside stacks of plates and bowls and cups?  Not these three Jedi warriors.

Luckily for them, there was a dish-washing fairy in the house who wasn't that bothered by watching the Empire strike back or whether there was a new hope for any Jedis coming back!  And once the dishes were done and the left-overs stored away and the kitchen was usable again, those Enclosed Instructions were followed to the Step, enabling two boys who were still wearing their Christmas waistcoats, to dunk Darth Vader in the moat and release Princess Leia from the dungeon.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a dish-washing fairy to visit every Christmas, so the mother helped the father of the two boys to agree that they'd rather both be able to relax on Christmas Day and both be able help with the toys or count champagne bubbles if preferred, and that if there was ever to be another Christmas turkey dinner it had better be sorted out the night before Christmas, and just to be on the safe side, they'd better get a dishwasher too!

And from then on, they lived happily ever after.

Thank you for listening so patiently.  I'm now off to look for a photo of those Christmas waistcoats!

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Not a creature was stirring!

The one big advantage of teenagers ... they sleep late! After arriving back from their New Year's Eve revels in the wee small hours and creeping into bed (thank you for improved consideration boys!) the house has been peaceful enough for me to do some catch-up scrapping. So here is another week of pages for my JYC album:

Back on prompt with Visitors for Day 15 - not that we really class Mum as a visitor!  Day 16's prompt was Gratitude - and after a week with no heating, I know what we are truly grateful for!

Day 17 was rather taken up with the epic journey to and from North Wales, but I'm back on message with Day 18 for Seasonal Food ... and had a go at composing some candy canes for festive effect!

JYC 2010 - Dec 18th - Jimjams
JYC 2010 - Dec 19th - Jimjams

The 19th was full of family shenanigans and would have made a great start to the holiday week, except that my daughter and husband still had school and work respectively.  I used the next day to try and get on top of the mountain of stuff, still to be done - including posting out the final Christmas cards.

JYC 2010 - Dec 20th - Jimjams
JYC 2010 - Dec 21st - Jimjams

Which tied in nicely with Day 21 when I wrote out the final "To Do" list.  A typical mix of the festive and the fraught ... and just 3 days to do it in!  Eat turkey before Christmas? ... check back tomorrow to find out why!

Happy New Year everyone ... thank you for stopping by and brightening my days with a comment or two!