Tuesday, 25 November 2008

The one about the new craft shop, another new camera (maybe!) and a trip to the seaside...

Ok first off I pinched the idea for "The one about..." title from Micayla but I was stuck for a title for this post and I love how she always does hers like that, oh how I love Friends!

My blog has been a little bit neglected this week as after starting a new full time job (after not working for a while) I've been struggling a little bit with keeping up with everything and so both my crafting and my time online have suffered. However, I am enjoying the job (a HR Clerk if you really wanted to know!) and will certainly appreciate the extra money. I'm already making plans to save up for a new DSLR. This one was bought by Mark and I always said I'd pay him back when I had enough money but now he's said he'd rather I bought a new one for myself and he'll keep this one for himself. So rather than simply saving up for another 450D I'm going to take a big plunge and start saving my hard earned pennies for a Canon 5D, yes I want to start playing with the big boys now! Watch this space as hopefully come summer time I may well have one.

I guess working full time has also encouraged me to make the most of my time off. I work alternative Saturdays and when the week I'm in on a Saturday I have a day off during the week (which this week was today!) so I decided to take myself off to visit a new craft shop in Preston and then to take some photos.

The craft shop was lovely, they already are stocking things I've never seen in a Bricks and Morter store before (Pink Paislee) and they are definately getting October Afternoon ASAP. They are also considering stocking Sassafras and Hambly. Can you imagine that, all in my local craft shop? Maybe I won't be getting my 5D so soon afterall!

After that I took a trip to Preston docks and then onto Southport. I hung around in Southport until sunset (which is shockingly early now) and managed to capture some great shots. This has to be my favourite of the day.

It's looking out along the pier at Southport just after the lights had come on and the sun was setting. The light was so pretty, I just wish there had been a few more clouds in the sky to help pick up the red of the setting soon and make the sky a little more atmospheric. I'll definately be revisiting there soon to see if I can make any improvements on this!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Journal Your Christmas 2008 has begun...

...ok well not officially but it has for me as here is my finished album cover.

It started off life as a plain old boring dusky pink 8x8 Papermania post bound album. Not exactly inspiring is it? However I've had this album lying around gathering dust for yonks. Infact I think it was one of the first albums I ever bought and it was about time it was put to a good use (excuse the dodgy lighting on this photo as it was taken at about 10pm at night when I was about to start doing the decorating and realised I didn't have any before photos!).

And here is how it looks now, a big improvement even if I do say so myself! I've done it specifically to match the Peppermint Twist christmas range from K&Co as that is what I'll be using to do my pages inside.

I covered the spine and with some pink polka dot fabric (a la the American Crafts Modern Albums) and added some strings of beads with a little snowflake charm at the end of each one.

I edged the pink polka dot fabric with some blue gingham ribbon and created these cute christmas trees for the front cover too. They are so easy to make, simply two triangles sewn the "wrong way" and then turned inside out before adding the various embellishments. I also use a chipboard photo corner painted blue with some stickles over the top and some Thickers for the numbers. The paper in the window is from the Peppermint Twist range.

After looking at some of the past albums I was aware there was a good chance this album was going to get seriously fat, especially as I do like to use chunky embellishments. I've used 5 of those extension thingies on each of the posts to make sure my album has plenty of room to grow! I've already added the right number of page protectors to it so I'm all set! Normally this wouldn't have been an issue but because I covered the spine with fabric I won't be able to expand it now so I had to make the decision before I began decorating it.

Finally I added some ribbon the front and back covers to allow me to tie it shut and then covered the inside of the front and back cover with a square of green fabric (the same as the one used to make the christmas trees).

So there you have it! My finished album all ready and waiting for December. I can't wait to get started now and have been putting together my stash for the class all based around a pad of Peppermint Twist papers. I should hopefully have some pictures of that for you tomorrow.

Tagged - 7 Random Facts About Me

Chloe has tagged me to tell you all 7 random facts about myself, well here goes...

1. I met my partner whilst we were both on holiday in Newquay which is about 350 miles from where I live in Preston. The strange thing was that he actually lived just down the road from me, about 3 miles away. And we're still together over 5 years later.

2. I can touch type at a super duper fast speed, I think my official speed is over 85 wpm. I learnt to touch type because I have an old injury on my right hand that means I find it extremely painful to write for any prolonged period of time but it doesn't hurt to type. My ability to touch type came in very handy when I was doing my exams, as I did them all on computer!

3. I really dislike reality tv. I don't watch any of them... Xfactor, Strictly, Big Brother, I'm a Celebrity... Not a single one! I even haven't watched Gok Wan's latest program because it's a bit like reality tv and I normally love Gok!

4. I have to have the volume on everything on an even number. At one point I was quite obsessive about it but then my new car doesn't have any numbers for the volume on the stereo so I'm calmed down a little bit although there was an initial moment of panic when I realised I wouldn't know what number it was on! However, I'm not as bad as a friend who has to have the volume on number 8 whilst driving to work otherwise they'll have a bad day, not just an even number it has to be number 8.

5. I really really really wish I liked snowboarding. Mark loves it. I've tried it once and had such a bad experience that I didn't even finish the 3 hour lesson. It's a shame but atleast I can say I did try it once.

6. I don't like spicey food. Food that other people tell me isn't really spicey can often in my opinion be very spicey indeed!

7. I didn't go abroad until I was 17 when I went for the first time with Mark. He also had never been abroad. The airport was amusing to say the least as neither of us had a clue what we were doing!

Ok so now I believe I have to tag 7 people to do this too. I choose Jenny, Sarah (aka Gertie), Katy, Claire, Annette, Rachel and Vicki.

I'll be back a little later too with some photos for you of what I've been up and some lovely stash.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Stories In Hand Album Cover

Ok so here's my completed album cover for the freeStories In Hand class by Jessica Sprague. I've covered a 6x6 American Crafts D Ring Album with green velvet flocked paper and then added various embellishments to the front that are from my stash. I'm really happy with the result, particuarly as this is all stuff I already had in my stash (including the album!) so I haven't broken my stash ban!

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

"Bebe never sits on anyone's knee..."

…Or so everyone insists on telling me all the time and they never believe me when I tell them that actually he does sit on me. But now I have photographic proof to prove them all wrong!

First of all, a little about Bebe for those of you who haven’t met him before. If you scroll back a few posts I posted some photos of him inside on the sofa for the first time, something he never does. Because well basically Bebe is an old tom cat who got neutered and turned into this big soft loveable thing. He still doesn’t really get on with other cats but he adores people and always wants strokes and attention although he's still a little unsure of some things. Most people get sick of this after a while and ignore him. Me on the other hand has to make a fuss of him every time I see him. He does a great puss in boots impression from Shrek, I just can’t resist those eyes!

This is stage one, when you sit down he comes and sits next to you be it on the floor or on a bench he just comes and sits right by you and looks at you saying "stroke me, stroke me"! So for a while you stroke him and he's quite content and enjoying himself.

Next however he wants to get a bit closer but he's not quite sure enough yet to sit on you properly so he juts puts his front legs on you and keeps his bum firmly on the ground! However, if you keep up the stroking and making a fuss of him this happens...
Bebe sits on your knee! I think the thing with this is he needs a lot of sustained attention to get to the point where he wants to sit on you and most people aren't fool enough to do it. Me on the other hand is far too soft and can't help but make a huge fuss of him all the time.
Also thank you to everyone who has taken the time to comment on the previous post, it means a lot to me as it's the first time I've attempted something like that. And lets be honest now, we all love comments don't we!

Monday, 3 November 2008

A little creative photo editing

I've been playing around in Photoshop CS3 this morning, trying to get to grips with some of it's many many features to help me when I'm editing my photos. Quite often I find that my photos are a little wonky and the horizon often dips off to one side a little.

In this one it was quite a spectacular dip to onside... I have absoloutely no idea why it was at such an angle (and no I hadn't been drinking!) but this was the best photo of the swan out of a series I took. I like the way the ripples frame it.

So I set about both correcting the view point and cloning out the nasty car and trailer that are in the background behind the boats on the right hand side. For my first attempt I don't think I've done too badly, but would love to have your feedback on it so please leave a comment!