Monday, 31 August 2009

Normal Service has Resumed

Once again there has been a rather unintentional extended pause in my blogging and general online activities but life got in the way. Namely the fact that he fell off his mountain bike, dislocated bones in the back of his right hand and had to have them wired back together... not nice at all.

So for those of you waiting to here from me and I haven't got back to you recently I'm sorry but as you can imagine things got a little crazy round here. However, he's on the mend and things are returning to normal so I can get back into the swing of things again.

Speaking of which, Learn Something New Every Day starts tomorrow. And I'm all set to go. The biggest thing I've learnt so far is it pays to be organised. And I am. I think the best thing I ever did was to buy some baskets that I could organise supplies for different projects in at any one time. I have three nice magazine baskets that sit in a row on my desk and can just be lifted up and taken into the front room or wherever I feel like crafting. I'm lucky enough to have a huge desk and so can do this but I really do recommend the "basket" technique.

So what have I got in my basket? Well the basic tools of trimmer and scissors and then so pretty punches and stamps too. You can't really see it but the other week I treated myself to a huge bingo stamp and it's amazing. Woodbacked stamps are big in my world right now. I love them!

And then there's the other pretties. A selection of mainly Hambly patterned papers and overlays, dotted swiss and kraft card stock goodness with some vintage book paper and sheet music too. Mini thickers, tiny alphas, ribbons, prima leaves and an assortment of other little embellishments.

And do you know what the point is now? If it isn't in the basket it's not being used. Well, the only exception is my buttons (which are kept in a HUGE glass jar and embroidery thread). Simple really, there's more than enough to create the whole album in there and it's makes it so much quicker. I'm aiming to spend no more (hopefully less) than 30 minutes per night on this as if I'm honest I tend to spend longer than that watching TV or on the internet so it's hardly an impossible task! Oh and hopefully daily blogging too!

In other news I passed my City & Guilds Level 2 in Digital Image Capture with flying colours and have enrolled on the Level 3 which starts next week. So exciting!

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Learn Something New - Preperation

I can't believe it's already well into August, seriously. I know it's such a cliche but honestly, where has this year gone? Over the last few days I've been planning ahead to how I'm going to complete a couple of projects this year. Learn Something New in September, Journal your Christmas and also how I'm going to display the photos for are upcoming trip to Longleat for a VIP Safari.

And the answer? Simple and planning ahead is the way forward! So first projects first, I'm just about ready for Learn Something New now. I made a little album from scratch that takes 6x6 AC Page Protectors and then covered it in woodgrain sticky back plastic. I saw this in a previous issue of SI where Shimelle had used it for covers on a mini book and loved how it looked. I love woodgrain at the moment. I then added a pretty Hambly rub on and voila - album finished!

Then for the internal pages, I've gone for Kraft cardstock as you can never go wrong with kraft. I thought about making my own page templates in photoshop but then I got looking at the ones you can download and for the price, it really wasn't worth my time in making my own! I've gone for these by Ali Edwards which have the days of the week on them and are only $3.99 from Designer Digitals. I've then added a date to each of them using a free typewriter font I downloaded a while back. Cheap, cheerful and very very simple!

And so how am I actually going to do the project? Well, having done it last year I know what to expect so I do have a slight heads up. I'm going to use a small 4x2.5" photo on each page, a little bit of PP and some journalling and that's it. No embellishments... eeek! Simple I know, but it needs to simple and super fast to do otherwise I won't have time to keep up.

I can also feel pretty smug as this whole project has cost zero. The woodgrain sticky back plastic was off cuts of a bigger project I've done (pictures soon!), and I already had all the cardstock and rub ons. Plus, I've been "shopping in my own stash" for the PP and have picked out a load of beautiful Hambly overlays and PP that I've been stroking and not using for far too long. A little bit of a beautiful pp or overlay goes a long way and that's the theory I'm working with on this. Oh, and some dotted swiss cardstock too.... because every project needs some dotted swiss goodness!

Monday, 3 August 2009

Good timing or what?

I decided to treat myself to a new lens on Saturday after a particularly hard week at work, the canon 50 - 250 IS telephoto to be exact as after nearly a year of photography with no zoom it was high time I got one!

So, armed with my new zoom we went out on the canal on Sunday and what did I see but a Kingfisher who to all intents and purposes appeared just for the sole purpose of me photographing him! He kept landing on a branch, waiting for us to catch up and then flying a little bit further on until he finally flew off into a field. Lucky of what? A Kingfisher has been on my list of things I want to photograph for ages, and on my first trip out with my new zoom I get the chance. Definately glad I bought it now!

It's been a while since I updated my blog, but in fairness I haven't been doing anything particular exciting (or atleast nothing I can share at the moment). However, I'm having to take a little bit of a step back from the virtual world of crafting forums and blogging, and also (shock horror) crafting. I have a limited amount of spare time and all of it has to be dedicated to something else at the moment. I'm not going to say it's going to be easier but it'll be worth it in the end. Afterall, what is the point if you don't follow your dreams?

So for now, the frequency of blog posts is going to drop a little. Maybe if I'm lucky I'll update once a week with some photos or maybe even something crafty if I manage to spare a little time to create. I am still hoping to do Learn Something New in September with Shimelle again this year, but instead will be focusing on just the words and photos. However, I'll still be about and will update when I can and will be keeping up to date with my friends blogs. And fingers crossed it won't be too long til I can share what this huge amount of effort is all about!