Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Pencil Lines

Yesterday I followed my first sketch (apart from those given to us on the AYTR class). I used the Pencil Lines sketch #38 and I have to admit, it was quite fun and went quite fast. It helped that I had a basic idea of where the photos should go and seeing the DT's efforts showed me how differently it could be interpreted. One of my biggest problems is choosing the photos - I will have to work on that and come up with a way of organising them all so that when I get the urge to create a layout, I can just reach for them rather than rummage through hundreds trying to get inspiration.
So I chose a couple of my recent Paris trip and it has given me the idea of continuing scrapping the Paris trip using the range of papers etc. Although I am a little concerned that it might be a bit busy as far as the patterns go - so I will need to go through some ideas in my head and come up with a plan.
Guess that is where the whole notebook, journal thing comes in which I do not really keep up with and never capture my ideas - need to take on some of these habits.
Enough rambling for one evening...

Monday, 25 June 2007

Another Heidi project

With the Heidi Swapp "A Year To Remember" class on Big Picture Scrapbooking we get various optional projects that support the theme for the month. June's theme is change and so far we have produced a layout based on our views on what needs to change in order to reach this year's goals and then Heidi has presented two altered projects: an inspirational banner to hang in our creative space and an altered mirror. I am not sure I will be making the mirror but the banner appealed to me, so I finally got around to thinking about it. I don't know why it always takes me so long. When I look at the gallery and message board, I think it takes an average of about 12 hours for the first photos and comments to be posted about the finished products but it usually takes me about 3 weeks! Maybe I am just too cautious and I think a lot about each idea and try and make it my own at the same time as following Heidi's guidelines (which is part of the learning process for me).

To cut a long story short - I decided to go with my word of the year (One Little Word from Ali Edwards) and chose "POSITIVE". Of course, it took me ages and I managed to get ink and glue and glitter everywhere - even finding it in my bed! And I used my (still) beloved BasicGrey Perhaps papers with plenty of fibres and loads of glitter. Here is the final result with close ups of each card to be found in the album to the right...

Sunday, 24 June 2007

A first for me

I have not tried altering items before, although I really like the look of the projects that are "out there". I especially like Lisa Pace's style (http://www.lisapace.com/) and think that her altered items are just lovely!

So I felt rather nervous about trying my first box. It's not perfect but I am still really pleased with it. I used a pink paint base with a crackle medium and cream paint over the top, finished off with mod podge (although I think it would look better with the glossy or glitter mod podge).
I wanted to try to make some flowers with wire stems and Libby had sent me some shrink plastic so I had a play with that too - and put it all together to make my finished product. All pink and glittery - just my style right now (when I am not producing green and muted!).
However, the quality of my paint texture leaves a lot to be desired - does anyone out there have any tips for me on this one? Is my paint too thick or is it the brush or my technique? Advice would be really gratefully received. I think I will definitely try some of these techniques again to improve the final result - the shrink plastic is certainly something that takes practice.

Photo of the day ...

... for

Sunday 24th June

The street where I live - quiet and empty. Although we live in the centre of town, it is so peaceful and you would never know most of the time. I like this time of day, when everything is closed and there is no one on the street. Our street is quite old-fashioned with small, individual shops and we have a great coffee shop, a small bistro/cafe as well as a super pizzeria which means that we are never short of somewhere to go for something to eat if I am feeling lazy - and we do not have to worry about driving home!

Thursday, 21 June 2007

June Photos

Thursday 14th June
Recklinghausen at sunset
Friday 15th June
Somewhere close to my heart - the bus terminus and train station! I seem to see quite a lot of this place throughout the week.
Saturday 16th June
Sunday 17th June
Monday 18th June
I would love to live in this house. It looks so interesting and must have been wonderful when it was originally built. However, today it is on a busy road junction, the back garden has been taken away and it is occupied by businesses. I still love to dream about how it must have been to live there...
Tuesday 19th June
Wednesday 20th June
Thursday 21st June
Midsummer's day!
Friday 22nd June
Saturday 23rd June

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

My (oh my!)

I decided once again to join the One Little Word challenge with the word "my". I veered from topic to topic on this one - you can really use the word in so many ways. But I knew that I really wanted to do a layout about R and once I had decided to use my favourite photo, the rest came together quite nicely.

I have hand-written some journalling around the edge of the photo telling him how much I love this photo and how he just looks so relaxed and at ease and that I wish I could help him to feel this way every day, but that I will never stop loving him.

And then I kept thinking about the word "my" and going through some recent photos, I came across those I had taken in February when I was home in UK and saw that the buildings around the corner had been demolished. I stopped to take some poignant snaps of what had been my treasured business and flat. I had a small dress design business back in the late 80's, designing and making evening wear and bridal dresses in a workshop on the first floor of a local shop and then I lived on the second floor. Those were hard times, with long hours, no money, no central heating, no bathroom & no hot water (luckily for me, it was just 100yds around the corner from mum). But it was also an incredibly wonderful time for me with treasured memories of the time I worked hard for something I was passionate about and had many happy and satisfied clients - many of whom were beautiful, young brides! (so much fun...) I was young enough not to mind the hard work and no food, and continued there for three years, of which I was very proud. The building was a very historic one in Harborne and it is such a shame that it has been pulled down - it really made me sad. The layout just came from that. There is a journalling card underneath the photos.

Friday, 15 June 2007

A Year to Remember for June

Lucy (my friend M's gorgeous little dog) will be 1 tomorrow and we are invited to dinner so I thought it would be fun to make her a card and get her a small gift. I just kept the card really simple and then there is a new shop here in town selling organic dog food (!!!) so I bought a bag full of treats for her - they look good enough to eat!

But the main achievement of the day is the completion of my June layout for A Year To Remember (Heidi Swapp class) - just a week late which is quite something for me. Her instructions were to use her butterfly mask with a distress ink that came in our kit; back a ghost butterfly with pattern paper; make a "bubble border" with different circles etc; and reflect on what changes would be necessary to make our goals come to fruition with the journalling behind the photo. Everyone got different colours and mine was blue which I was a bit disappointed about to begin with but then I realised that it could go quite nicely with green and green is a favourite colour of mine at the moment so that ended up working well.

I turned her layout 90° so that my border is along the bottom and got into such a mess with the inks! I have blue fingers, a blue desk and blue half way up my arm - but it was kind of fun! I am not so keen on the photo but it was the best I had at the time and I just wanted to get the layout finished so I used it. The journalling pages can be seen above the photo and I have focused on the fact that I still want to get my photos fully organised which was my original AYTR goal but I am also focusing on becoming a more positive person and this will take a lot more work and change...

Told you that I had a bit of a thing for green right now! Bit of a nice change from my usual pink. The layout looks quite different from Heidi's which I am pleased about but it still has most of the components she wanted us to try - my problem is that it seems to take hours and if I want to actually complete layouts, then it takes me too long to do all this "fancy" stuff.

I also completed my calendar page for June using the mask and a ghost butterfly and adding the main points of the month. There are many other calendar pages being completed by students which are a million times better than mine, but am pleased with my achievement!

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

June Photos

Here are my latest offerings for views of Recklinghausen. I am so proud of this small town and love living right in the centre. The town centre is still to be found within the original town boundaries with evidence of the original wall just around the corner. To live within the wall is indeed very special and means that the whole town is literally on our doorstep. I will try to give a little more information on the town later in the month when I have done my research!

I had to cheat a little over the weekend as we were in Italy for 5 days and could not take daily photos of the town. So I have used photos taken at other times, or just before/after the weekend.

CC always welcome...
Tuesday 5th June

I love to look up at the top of the buildings in town. Often what looks like a plain modern building with a shop in it on the ground floor, is very ornate and beautiful towards the roof where the building is how it was when first built.

Wednesday 6th June

And then there are the new modern buildings that have still been built in a very sympathetic style. This is one of my favourites. I like the way that the building underneath is very classic with large blocks of stone and the windows at the top have a lovely arched shape, while the main body of the building is covered with glass. I just like this one.

Thursday 7th June

Our market square in the middle of the day - great, colourful, old buildings. A really nice place to just sit, have a cold beer and watch the people go by.

Friday 8th June

The Recklinghausen Icon Museum which is the largest museum of icons outside the orthodox world.

Saturday 9th June

The Petrinum school at dawn.

Sunday 10th June

This statue features the "B├╝rger" - people - of Recklinghausen holding the town - represented by a coal mine pit head frame, the Rathaus and the church of St Peter. It can be found outside our beautiful council house and I think it is very symbolic.

Monday 11th June

Our Rathaus or Council House which I think is the of the most beautiful buildings in town. Built in 1908, in German Renaissance style it houses many local government offices including the local registry office where we registered our wedding back in 2003 and received our "Family Book"!

Tuesday 12th June

In the part of town where we live, there are many small alleyways with old buildings and houses just like this one here. I know that the town was very damaged in the war so it is great for me that there are so many surviving buildings built in the old timber frame style.

Wednesday 13th June

Again, just near the part of town where we live and this house would not look out of place in a little country village - I love the fact that Recklinghausen has such an old village feel to it.

Monday, 11 June 2007

A special birthday project

I had some fun with this as I knew that it needed to be relatively simple but I also wanted to bring some pink into the whole thing. I used three shades of pink cardstock and then four or five sheets from the BasicGrey Perhaps range - a few flowers and a bit of ribbon and part of a journaling paper was practically all that I needed apart from that.

I bought a ready made small accordion photo album thing and then set to work using these simple supplies and a few photos.

In total, I made a card, a mini photo album of Lucy, a voucher and then lots of small gift tags which were attached to each of the small packages.

I forgot to take a picture of the voucher and the tags but they were really very simple so not really so worthy. Overall, I am really pleased with how it all turned out and the album was really lovely with three journaling areas, a quote page, a collage page, a title page and the rest were single photos.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007


I decided to join the One Little Word challenge again this month and went head over heels over the top with glitter and colour! I used glitter paper which was already super colourful and then decided to layer this with two other bright papers, using shaped scissors to give it a scalloped edge and then punching holes along that edge. I found some mega glitter letters for the numbers and then used a sort of glitter glue for the word "almost" as the glitter letters I used were not really showing up enough so that the main title is "almost 40 ?". Then I used plain white (but quite large letters) to finish the sentiment "Stop worrying. It'll be fine" (click on the piccies below to see the detail)

The photo on the layout is from our trip to Paris when we were out for posh dinner at Bofinger sitting under an incredible art deco stained glass window sipping champagne and generally being very sloppy and romantic. (here is my photo of it - not as good as their website but anyway..)


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