Sunday, 31 August 2014

Zooming Towards The End Of Scavenging

Rinda is linking up the Scavengers again as the deadline draws ever closer.  I thought I'd better see how many I have left.

I nabbed this lovely lamppost fairly a while ago in my local town:

Jimjams - Scavenger Hunt 2014 - #17 Lamppost
#17 A Lamppost
And as I'm still not brave or sneaky enough to get a stranger's tattoo shot, I asked my colleague to share with me:

Jimjams - Scavenger Hunt 2014 - #8 A Tattoo
#8 A Tattoo
I cannot imagine how painful that must have been to do on her side - well done to the tattoo artist for keeping the lines straight!

I already have a rural landscape, so this shot isn't for #7:

Jimjams - ZIZO 35 - Scavenger Hunt #3 Birds on a Wire
#3 Birds On A Wire

Zooming in a little you'll see that it's for those (elusive for many) birds on a wire!  Which allows me to join in with Helena's 35th week of ZIZO too :-D

However I still have SEVEN to go ... #1 A Welcome Sign, #6 An Urban Scene, #11 A Horn, #12 A Mascot, #15 A Juggler, #16 A Foreign Language Sign, #19 A Public Garden ...

Saturday, 30 August 2014

August's Book - Hard To Swallow

Diane Setterfield "The Thirteenth Tale"August's been a lean month for reading: just Daine Setterfield's "The Thirteenth Tale".  This was a book I'd apparently given to my Mum, which she hadn't managed to get through!  I have no memory of that, so it must have been a while ago but I was up for a challenge!  However, I could quite see why she got bored with it, as the first half is uphill all the way with too many hints at secrets, too much atmospheric description and very little actually happening!  In the end it did acquire a bit more pace, but left me cold, despite a twist at the end.  Two narrators, two time-lines, two authors (Diane Setterfield and her character Vida Winter) ... to be expected in a book featuring twins I suppose.

Here's hoping that September's books are a little lot livelier!

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Zoom In Zoom Out #34

A quick ZIZO from me - just in time to join in with Helena's 34th week.  Hubby had a Boxed Set of DVDs for his birthday.  Six series worth.  We're watching together; sort of.  I like to watch one episode at a time and think about it.  Although if it ends on a shock cliffhanger the temptation to carry on and watch another is huge.  Occasionally we succumb.  I draw the line at three episodes in a single sitting though, so occasionally I'm left behind if things have been particularly exciting.

Jimjams - ZIZO 34 - Breaking Bad

It's lucky that a second viewing of an episode is apparently acceptable to Hubby as long as he doesn't have to wait too long.  We're on Season Four now and I cannot believe how much I have engaged with methamphetamine c(r)ooks and junkies.  Anti-heroes doesn't quite do them justice.  No.2 Son & Child No.3 keep telling me "It's not real Mum!" as I sit there urging Jesse not to do it!

Have you watched Breaking Bad?  Can you watch a boxed set slowly, an episode a night or do you binge on it, watching back to back episodes?

Sunday, 24 August 2014

40 Love

Welcome to the start of August's Members' Blog Hop from the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog.  I chose the first challenge: to keep to just one layer for my project, adding only embellishments.

A friend turned 40 recently and I decided to send her a card made using Tagxedo:

Jimjams - Card - Tagxedo 40th

Just one layer of printer ink ... glammed up with a few small crystals so that it can still be posted as a normal letter (the Royal Mail is annoyingly picky about all three dimensions).

I wonder which of this month's challenges will feature on the next stop on the hop: Tina's blog.

If you get lost whilst hopping the full order is published on the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog today.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Raised From The Deep

Jimjams - Layout detail - Doily & scrabble title
Do you ever get frustrated that your holiday photos simply haven't worked?  Or realise whilst taking them that you haven't got the right lighting/vantage point/equipment/skills?
If in doubt buy a postcard!

This page uses two postcards from the Vasa Museum because, although I took lots of photos of the ship and the surrounding museum exhibits, I simply couldn't get the whole ship in my viewfinder!

My page started life as Sketch 'n' Scrap's sketch #62 but I merged the lower two photos to accommodate my second postcard!

Sketch~n~Scrap #62

Then, as is my habit with sketches, I decided to put the journalling elsewhere and tucked it behind the top postcard with a chevron pull and added more chevrons to mimic the sinking of the ship on its maiden voyage!

Jimjams - Layout - Vasa museet

Jimjams - Layout detail - layered embellishments

Back when I worked in Sweden, the Vasa was in the final stages of nearly 20 years of preservation work, having been raised from the harbour bed in 1962.  I missed seeing it then, so I was really excited to visit the museum last year and it did not disappoint - though it's best not to visit on a day when the huge cruise liners have already unloaded hundreds thousands of tourists! Luckily, having seen the enormous queues, we had the time to change our sightseeing plans and returned early the next day!

Supplies are from my August Counterfeit Kit, including some blinged up children's stickers I showed here on the CKCB

Monday, 18 August 2014

Zoom In Zoom Out #33

Another weekend away ZIZO from me today.  In fact I have two for you.  We met up with friends from Holland holidaying on the South Coast of England.  We split the distance between our house and their campsite by meeting up at Stonehenge!  It's probably 40 years since Hubby and I last visited and things have changed (several times).  There is a newly opened English Heritage Visitor Centre which explains some of the timelines, artefacts and theories around the stones and has models with "Please Do Touch" signs!

Jimjams - ZIZO #33a - Stonehenge Model

It's a nice detail, especially as you cannot feel the real thing, nor even walk amongst the stones (except by paying extra and booking ahead or joining in with the solstice celebrations).  Instead, regular tourists are driven (or can walk) up to the ancient henge and can then walk around the stones at their own pace, listening to hand-held multi-lingual audio guides.  With millions visiting every year it's important to manage the tourist flow and allow everyone a clear view to take their "selfies" proving that they were there!  I even saw a pair of girls take turns with a selfie-stick ... and wondered why they couldn't just ask each other to take the photo?!?

Jimjams - photo - Stonehenge

I'm glad we had free entry with National Trust membership as the price is pretty steep otherwise.  We took our friends over to Avebury after lunch so that they could get up close and personal with sarsen stones erected around the same time as Stonehenge ... for free!

See that large rock nearest the foot of the path ...

Jimjams - ZIZO #33b - Avebury

... that's us in front of it!  It was quite mind boggling to realise that we were touching a rock of that size that was put there 5000 years ago with nothing but primitive tools and manpower!

I wonder what other spectacles people have zoomed in on with Helena ... check out week #33 here.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Little BIG Brother

My latest page with my current Counterfeit Kit* fits the final challenge this month over at the CKCB because I have incorporated some vellum.  Not just any vellum, but Crate's Boys Rule Starry vellum ... the final scraps.  I received a full 12x12 sheet of it with my DT package from S J Crafts back in February and it has featured its loveliness on four or five pages now.  It makes me sad that there is none left, but one look at my pages and I am happy, especially when I look at this one:

Jimjams - Layout - Little BIG Brother

Jimjams - Layout detail, stitching, vellum & journalling
The photo is from our Disney 2004 holiday which was full of photo opportunities and there isn't always much to say about them other than where we were or what day it was.  However, when I looked closely I realised that this photo represented No.2 Son's ability to put others first, especially his little sister and I felt that some journalling was required to celebrate his thoughtfulness.

Which also ties in nicely with Merly Impressions current challenge to tell a story on the front of your page.

*I have added a couple of papers from MME's 6x6 Cut & Paste Charm pad allowing me to use  smaller versions of the 3x4 cards in my kit and grabbed some white BG Chocolate Chip and Woodware Chippies alphas for a contrasting title.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Space Age Scrapping With A Sketch

Jimjams - Layout detail - chevrons and die-cut title on 3D padsToday it's Challenge #2 at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog and we're playing with a sketch.  I'd say it was a card sketch myself (the word "sentiment" being my clue LOL) but I've adapted it for a simple page for our Disney 2004 album, putting my title where the sentiment should be.

Supplies are from my August Counterfeit Kit with the addition of a couple of toning paper scraps for the title (cut with Sizzlit Man O Man dies) and the chevrons (cut with fellow Master Forger Lesley's lovely chevron punch).

Jimjams - Layout - Space Age

Thanks Lesley!

While you're here, let me share the new challenge from S J Crafts blog this month: to scrap a holiday or travel using old and new stash.  Being a seasoned kit counterfeiter, I'm constantly mixing old and new supplies in my kits and this month's Counterfeit Kit was no exception, so I chose some more photos from our Disney 2004 trip and got scrapping.

The journalling describes how No.2 Son wanted to re-ride the Duelling Dragons, but his elder brother wimped out and Hubby was sick ... leaving one very-scared-of-heights-mum with a dilemma: disappoint him or keep him company?

I rode the coaster!
I've combined new-to-me MME papers from last summer with Basic Grey alphas from their 2009 Marrakech collection and topped it off with some ThermoMorph* dots made by yours truly just last month!

The S J Crafts challenge is open until September 6th if you want to join in and kit counterfeiters are welcome to join our Members' Blog hop - just e-mail the CKCB by August 18th!

*my ThermoMorph review is here ... still working on a post about making the dots though :-D

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Zoom In Zoom Out #32

A friend invited me to accompany her on a 7 mile ramble through the countryside.  That's twice as far as I normally walk for pleasure or exercise, but I decided to accept the challenge.  Had it been weather like we've had this weekend i.e. torrential rain, I might not have managed it.  However we were exceptionally lucky and not only did the rain hold off, but the sun shone.  The other Ramblers were welcoming and the pace was more like an amble so I had no trouble keeping up.  Indeed, it was slow enough for me to take a snap or two too:

Jimjams - ZIZO #32 - Corn

I have no idea whether the corn is close to harvesting but the farmer had been kind to us, leaving a footpath free for us to walk down:

Jimjams - Photo - Ramblers in Staffordshire Cornfield

Happily joining in with Helena's 32nd Zoom In Zoom Out, why not ramble over there to see what golden items others have spotted.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Tagxedo Theme Tones

A reader recently contacted me to ask if I had some pointers for personalising a Tagxedo colour theme.  To get the techniques straight in my head I decided to make a flowery 40 for a friend's birthday card following my own Tagxedo tutorial on using flowery fonts:

Jimjams - Tagxedo Themes - Blulola

To save you clicking back to 2012, here are the steps for making the card design before I address the colours:

Download Sarus's Flower Ding Font to the computer, then click on Font ► and use Add Fonts ... to load it onto Tagxedo.  The flowers will appear (in red) on the list of fonts.  Click on it to select it.

Click on Shape ► and use Add Words ... to create a "40" in ChunkFive (a nice chunky font to fill with flowers) and click Accept.

Choose Orientation ► Any so that the flowers can be at any angle and then lock the three padlocks.

Load a variety of letters, corresponding to pretty flowers, as the text and click Submit:
X X X X X X X X o o o o o o o p p p p p x x x x x x x x x y y y y y y
The 50 forces the ♥ to be the most frequent character and the @0 forces it to be horizontal.

Worryingly at this point, the image disappears!!!  A few settings need tweaking to get it back:

Select these Word Options, press Accept when done:
Punctuations = Yes (this allows the to show)
Remove Common Words = No (this allows the individual letters flowers to show)
Select these Layout Options, press Accept when done:
Max Word Count = 150 (stops the flowers getting too small - but make sure that the shape is still filled)
Tightness = 150% (fills the shape as much as possible, but slows Tagxedo down)
Normalize Frequency = Yes
Hard Boundary = Yes (makes the shape seem more defined)
Allow Replication = Yes (so that there are enough words flowers to fill the shape)
Font Preference = Any 1 (only the red flowers should be selected in Font ►)
This produced a chunky 40 filled with flowers in the default colour theme "Quiet Morning".

Jimjams - Tagxedo Themes - Quiet Morning

To choose another of Tagxedo's colour themes simply click on Theme ► and choose a different one e.g.  "Elephant In The Room"

Jimjams - Tagxedo Themes - Elephant In The Room

Re-spinning Colour will change the colours of the individual flowers, keeping within the current theme:

Jimjams - Tagxedo Themes - Elephant In The Room

It's worth re-spinning Colour (and possibly Layout) several times before choosing the one you like best from the History ...

Tagxedo allows some variation from the colours shown in each theme (normally 50%) but you can change this to 0% to use ONLY the specified colours ("Fallen In Love" has just 4 shades: black, turquoise, hot pink and yellow) or increase it to 100% for maximum colour variation within the theme:

Jimjams - Tagxedo Themes - Fallen In Love

Finally, if none of Tagxedo's colour themes float your boat, you can create your own:

Click on Theme ► and use Add Themes ... to see a sample colour theme called "Blue Meets Orange" with six strings of numbers and letters afterwards (000000 007080 4080a0 f0f0f0 d0a030 c06010).  These are the RRGGBB (red, green, blue) codes for various colours where 000000 is black and FFFFFF is white.

You can change the name*¹ to something sensible e.g. "Mauritius Flag" and then replace the RGB codes with the RGB codes for the colours*² you prefer e.g. ff0000 000066 009900 ffcc00 before clicking Submit.

Your new colour scheme will appear below as blocks of colour with a border representing the background.  Auto chooses one of the colours as a background, but you can change the background colour e.g. click Bright for the brightest of your colours, click First for the first colour in the list or even select Black or White.  Edit the RGB strings to change/add/delete colours and click Submit to make new themes.  When you find one you like click the Add to the left of it and X to get rid of the Add Themes ... box.  Now you can select your newly named theme (with or without colour variation):

Jimjams - Tagxedo Themes - Mauritius Flag

My thanks to Lynn for her query.  I hope this helps a little.  Have fun!

Jimjams - Card - 21st Birthday Card with Tagxedo flowers
I can't show the 40th card yet, but here's one I made earlier (using "Happy Brights")
*¹ Unfortunately when you have finished with Tagxedo for the day it doesn't save anything ... neither your shape, your extra fonts, your settings nor your colour themes will be there next time you play ... so don't stress about what you call your scheme! 

*² Try Colour Picker, Design Seeds  (hold your mouse over the side colours to see the codes), or Colour Palette Generator to choose colours and find out the required RGB codes.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Zoom In Zoom Out #31

I'm just in time to join in with Helena's 31st week of ZIZO and another Summertime Scavenger Hunt "find":

#2 A Garden Gnome
Scavenger Hunt 2014 # 2 A Garden Gnome + ZIZO 31

Though as you see when I zoom out ... he was in a garden centre along with several others!  Does a garden centre gnome count I wonder?

Monday, 4 August 2014

Happy Mail #4

One of the things that I love about the "wonderweb" is the ability to connect with people with similar interests.  I've had holiday tips, book recommendations and scrapping inspiration from all over the globe. It also allows me to enter challenges and competitions ... resulting in the arrival of a fun prize parcel from time to time.  I recently entered Sue's Sketch Challenge and won one of her lovely kits with this page.  Not only could I choose which kit I liked best, but it came with an inspiration sheet as well.  Brilliant Sue - many thanks!

Jimjams - Prize from Sue @ Me & Mine

They say what goes around, comes around ... I was able to return a favour to Sue when I made her a replacement foot for her Big Bite using ThermoMorph (which I had received for review here):

Jimjams - Big Bit Replacement Foot made from ThermoMorph

I also entered a contest on my friend Lesley's 500th blog post and won a super tailor-made prize package, full of the things that she knows I love, including some personalised frames cut on her Cameo - aren't they incredible!

Jimjams - Prize from Lesley @ Oh Blog It!

Thank you Lesley :-D

There's a contest running over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog at the moment. It's to celebrate their 1000th post and the prize is to be Counterfeit Queen for October.  The deadline is August 9th ... don't be late!

Friday, 1 August 2014

Cutting & Pasting A Counterfeit Kit

Welcome to August's kit counterfeiting with the Counterfeit kit Challenge Blog.  This month we have former Master Forger Sherri back as our guest designer and you should have reached me via Lynnette if you've followed the hop from the start.  The kit-to-copy this month is Studio Calico's Penny Arcade and its add-ons.

I ended up picking and choosing elements from both the main kit and the Fortune Teller add-on (now sold out) to make a hodge podge kit!

I found dots and stars, clouds and doilies, wooden letters and typewriter key numbers ... orange and teal, yellow and brown, grey and white ...

Echo Park's So Happy Together Road Trip (vehicles on the reverse)
MME Cut & Paste Charm Hey You Route (arrows)
Simple Stories Smarty Pants Stars (bingo cards)
MME Cut & Paste Charm Carefree Mellow (giant chevrons)
MME Cut & Paste Charm Sweet Treat (yellow stripe)
MME Cut & Paste Charm Sweet Spin (bicycles)
BG Marrakech alpha stickers
Polar Bear Press Northern Lights (plain blue)
BG Recess Test Sheet 
MME Cut & Paste Charm Smile Shine (scales)

Various colours of toning cardstock
Vellum circles with punched shapes
Crafters Cords in teal, yellow & cream
Doilies inked in orange, yellow & duck-egg
Jar of wooden scrabble alphas
WRMK orange floral washi
Crate Paper Boys Rule Star 4x6 Card
Sn@p! Typset alpha stickers
Craftwork Cards Typewriter Keys clear stamps
BG laser cut doilies
Crate Paper Boys Rule Starry vellum
A stamp punch

I'm looking forward to using the vellum shapes ... nice to get some use out of my old punches.  What old tools and supplies can you drag out of hibernation this month?  Let's see whether Bethany is using old or new supplies ... she's next on our hop this month (the complete list is published here on the CKCB).  Happy hopping!