Monday, 30 May 2011

Four Things To Look Forward To

It's nearly June.  Where has the year gone?  I still haven't finished scrapping the photos from March!!  In fact I've got so far behind with my Project 12 pages that I'd better make March, April & May's photos a priority or it will stall completely!  Good job I've got a crop on Saturday to look forward to - our third at our new venue - and each month someone has volunteered to make cake - can't say fairer than that!

OK - that was the first thing to look forward to (for me at least) - here are a few more things that you might like to anticipate too:

Sunday sees the next edition of Storytelling Sunday from Siân; I've played along each month so far - will you be there with a tale this month too?

The next day should be the big reveal of June's Kit to Copy from the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog ... as a "Master Forger" with them, I'm working on my example kit already - it will be good to join in again having missed last month's kit.

June 17th will be the start of a Cyber Crop from A Trip Down Memory Lane.  It's free, with lots of classes and challenges and the timetable has just been published here.

Plenty of scrapping opportunities then, and if I get my act together, perhaps a ready made story to scrap as well.  I'm looking forward to it all ... are you?

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

How sweet it is ...

It's here!  Today!!  Yup, we made it!!!

There have been times along the way when I thought it was too, too hard.  Not worth the effort.  Time to cut losses and move on.  But somehow that didn't happen.  The alternative was too frightening.  Priorities shifted.  People changed.  Not every moment has been from a fairy tale, but I believe that helps you appreciate the times that sparkle even more and I'm looking ahead to the next quarter century with a spring in my step, a glint in my eye and a special hand in mine.

I did this page back in April and submitted it for the UKS Scrap Factor competition auditions (the Play-along Competition is still running - with plenty of prizes on offer here).  This is only the second page I've done from our wedding mostly because I couldn't find the wedding album!  It finally surfaced in the attic this spring where it had languished since we moved back to the UK.  Initially I was really upset to discover that the double sided tape used by the photographer had crumbled to dust after 18 hot summers and cold winters of neglect.  Every page we turned came apart in our hands.  However the up-side was that I could scan each photo before applying new DST and making the album as good as new.

James Taylor's lyrics around the circle express my feelings perfectly - we didn't have a special song played at our wedding, but if ever we get around to renewing our vows I think I'd choose this one.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Beautiful Barcelona

I've been neglecting my blog recently ... too few scrapbook pages that I can share straight away and I'm not that keen on teasing with peeks, so I didn't know what to post. Then I remembered that I have a gazillion photos from our 3½ days in Barcelona after Easter and I haven't shared any of them. So here are a few pictures along with a couple of queries I could do with answers to:

Fruit stall in La Boqueria - good enough to eat!
What on earth are these????
Having read all sorts of awful stories whilst researching the city, Hubby & I were completely paranoid about being the victims of pick-pocketing or mugging.  Fortunately we came home unscathed and now the kids feel that we wound them up unnecessarily with all our warnings ... Were we safe because we took precautions or because it isn't any worse than any other city?  I'm quite very glad we didn't get proved right, but not sure they'll ever listen to our advice again ... oh, wait, they never do listen, so no change there then!

Now that's what I call a buoy!
One of the highlights of our trip was a visit to Park Güell - our brilliant bike tour guide, Buddha described it as being designed by Gaudi whilst he was high on something - it was certainly weirder and more wonderful than any other park we'd visited.  While we were there we spotted a Google bike so now we're wondering if, one day, we'll be able to see Hubby and No.1 Son in a Google tour of the park!

No.3 Child took her new camera (a purple Canon Powershot  SX210) and was also photographing like mad, but as she has yet to read the manual, a lot of her photos have been taken with "interesting" settings ... most frequently using Tungsten white balance!  This has given a blue glow to the photos which is a big shame, especially as I was hoping to use some of her pictures for scrapping with - it's nice to get another person's perspective.

Feeling blue :D
Does anyone have any quick and easy ideas for correcting the colour balance on such photos?  I have PSE5, can just about use Picassa, have a Photobucket account and usually use HP Image Zone for cropping and printing my photos.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Bad, Bad Blogger!!!

Well who'd have thought that I, originally a blog-o-phobe, would actually miss being able to blog?  Or be cheesed off that some comments (from me and for me) had been lost?  But I did and I am.  So if you feel I've been neglecting your blog I probably haven't - I'm sure I was there, but Blogger lost the record of my visit - honest!!

This evening I'm running a small challenge for some fellow scrappers on UKS called "Ready, Steady, SCRAP!" - based on the cookery show where chefs were given a random set of ingredients and had to create a meal from it.  I've drawn one colour card, one technique card and two supplies cards for each participant, including myself.  They have to create a page based on the 4 cards, but are allowed to add plenty of other stash, just as long as each ingredient is reasonably represented.  Here's what I drew for myself:

No adhesive ... quite hard to do ... but not impossible.  This page from a few years back was my showcase for all things lacking in glue.  Staples, sewing, brads, eyelets, gromlets, slits in the paper, paper clips ... even my Dymo tape was just wrapped around the backing card!

Fancy getting creative and having a go with the ingredients I drew for myself?
  • Yellow,
  • No Adhesive,
  • Punches & Eyelets
Leave me a link and I'll come and look ... ready, steady, SCRAP!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Scrapping Feelings and Scrapping Freely

One of my audition pages using an online Warholiser
Some of you may remember this post when I revealed that I'd made it through to the final 15 of the UKS Scrap Factor competition, by agreeing to switch from Paper to Hybrid scrapping.  Well, it's Week 4 of voting and Week 5 of creating and I'm still just about hanging in there.
It's rather an odd competition because it's not yet about winning, it's about not losing at the moment.  Each week the two scrappers with the least votes go head-to-head with a new page (not the page from that week's theme) and one of these is eliminated.  We don't get to see the votes, nor are comments allowed while the voting is in progress ... it's an odd feeling to have no idea how well you are doing, or indeed how many close shaves or near misses you've had!
I guess it's all good experience though :D

I've had a steep learning curve trying to incorporate hybrid elements into all my entries but have come across a remarkable number of free supplies and haven't (yet) had to spend any money at all on the competition - my fellow forgers on the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog would be so proud of me! 

Here are a few links I have found useful so far:

Oscraps - lots of free kits including this fab date stamp set - so versatile!
Designer Digitals - some freebies and helpful (video) tutorials too
Louise Fortune has designed some universally useful free printables.
UKScrappers is also having a weekly digi/hybrid give-away this year, featuring several digi/hybrid designers - details available in the UKS library here, and the downloads are available here.

Don't forget that everyone can play along with the competition - and be in with a chance of a small weekly prize in one of the three categories (Paper, Hybrid or Digi) - the deadline for Week 5 (Scrap with ONE photo) is 8pm BST Sunday May 15th.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Time for a quick tutorial?

Back at the beginning of the year I found a lovely flower tutorial over at Scrap a Little and adapted it slightly to make velvet paper flowers for this page using a 1" circle punch.  This week I wanted to make a pointier Poinsettia-like flower and adapted the method further by using a heart punch:

Punch some large hearts from paper and cut them in half - I used 5 half-hearts for my flower as I like 5-petalled blooms, but you could use 6 half-hearts, or 4 or whatever!  You also need a 1" circle from scrap card and a smaller flower to cover the middle messiness.  Ink the edges of the half-hearts and the small flower now if you like that sort of thing.  Fold the half-hearts at the round end and glue inside the fold.  I flattened the shape slightly at the pointy end to help the final flower stay flatter.  Crease the petals on the smaller flower shape upwards to add dimension.

Stick the folded half-hearts onto the 1" card circle and, once dry, cover the messiness in the middle with the small flower.  I added an eyelet in the middle, but a brad or button would be just as good.

Do you like making flowers for your pages?  If so, do pop over to Scrap a Little because Helen has loads of great ideas for different styles of flower - you can find them all here.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Five Forgettings

My days are full - even when I don't have much to do - FULL
So full, in fact, that I forget things.  I used to be able to cope pretty well with a full and varied life ... 3 children's appointments, classes and social lives, plus a job, volunteering, running a home, and squeezing in some adult socialising too.

Now I need lists, and a calendar, and post-it notes stuck in prominent places, and friends who know me well enough to ring me up with prompts.  Yet things still get missed or left behind and even when I remember, I'm almost always late!

Take for example holidays.  We all make packing lists so that we don't arrive with three pairs of trousers and no shirts, or with stout, sensible shoes and no sandals ... I make lists too and still things go wrong:

FREE picture suitcase
Photo by JoesSistah on Flickr
  • You'd think it was a simple matter to go on holiday to the Isle of Wight by car.  Well it is - and so easy to pack ALL you need for a toddler and a baby at the beach - just throw it into the boot of the car.  Wellies and buckets and spades too: you never know what the British Summer will bring.  Trouble was, I forgot to load up anyone's coats; they were all still piled in our hallway ... and it poured for half the holiday!
  • I got better at packing for our family after that.  But began forgetting to apply the same care to my own suitcase.  The first time we went to Disneyland back in 2001 I forgot to pack any bras - and, being considerably slimmer then, I didn't happen to be wearing one when we left!  Not really a problem ... until you go onto the white water rapid rides - or rather after you go onto the white water rapid rides!
  • Three years later we returned to Disney and believe you me, I had bras a-plenty!  Only I forgot to pack any spare knickers.  Yes, luckily I was wearing a pair for travelling.  Our lovely villa was not in an area well blessed with clothing stores - and the novelty XXXL knickers covered in Pooh (Bear!) that were available in the local gift stores weren't quite right either.  My one and only pair of briefs were washed and dried nightly and rather faded and threadbare when we returned to the UK three weeks later!
  • Even when I pack my bags properly, I don't always manage to bring them with me.  I was on my way back to the UK from my home in Belgium one year and took the train from Brussels to Zaventem airport.  As the ticket inspector approached, I looked down and realised that I had my suitcase but my rucksack, containing plane ticket and passport, were still standing on the platform!  Oh dear!  I didn't have time before my flight to go back and get it out of the station Lost Property where some kind soul had taken it.  Thanks to the lovely ladies at the British Caledonian desk we got it checked out of Lost Property and back onto the airport train.  Incredibly nothing was missing from my rucksack when I finally got it back, but unfortunately my flight was long gone. 
  • My most spectacular holiday fail was forgetting the way to the airport car park having dropped my Soon-To-Be-Fiancé off with the suitcases, tickets, passports etc as we were already late for check-in.  I ended up driving several miles down the motorway before finding a junction allowing me to get back to the airport.  STB-Fiancé was nowhere to be seen so I managed to blag my way (in a foreign language, this being Schiphol!) from the empty Check-in Desk, through Departures, past Passport Control (with NO passport) and raced to the departure gate at top speed.  I made it there just in time ... to see the plane reversing away!!  It was then that I discovered that STB-Fiancé was NOT on the plane, and, although he'd somehow been allowed to check us both in without me being present, he was now waiting somewhere on the other side of Passport Control and Customs!  More rather long-winded explanations to bemused officials followed before I managed to get back out of the Departures (or was it now Arrivals?) area without so much as name badge to identify me.  STB-Fiancé was duly found, we wangled a place on a later flight and reconnected with our luggage in Paris.  Despite everything, later that weekend STB-Fiancé proposed so this particular tale had a very happy ending ♥

This post was brought to you courtesy of Sian's Storytelling Sundays (a first Sunday of the month storytelling phenomenon) - full details and more stories here.