Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Calm amongst the chaos

We are moving. So of course, I am currently caught up with everything that that entails. Visits to the DIY store, painting, cleaning, organising, sorting, packing. And I am sat here in my little scrap "shop" and thinking, "No!"

Where do I start in packing away all these supplies and I might want to do some scrapping to relieve the chaos over the next three weeks so what do I pack and what do I leave out? Ideas anyone?

But I am surprisingly unruffled. I am taking it one box at a time and trying not to worry. The "one little word" of the year seems to be working. Deep breath, hold the breath, let it out slowly, concentrate on the feeling, calm...

And fitting in a little scrapping along the way also seems to be helping - hence the what to pack now, what to pack at the last minute dilemma.

I broke open the Bellaboo June kit - full of lovely colours and textures and fun - and worked with such a lovely picture of Isabella. I only took a handful of photos when I was there last which was disappointing and so I am trying to work through them a little, even if this means that I do not cover the three children evenly. More of one child than the others for example. But that's ok right? I do not consciously try to make sure I do X number of layouts about each one, I just take inspiration where I find it. So Cam, your time will come later in the year!

It's hot and sticky which makes me grumpy. But sitting here quietly, playing with papers is very therapeutic. Anyway, must go, packing boxes are calling!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Sunny summer days

The sun is shining although I can only see it through the windows! I have been sorting some of our *stuff* and packing moving boxes. I have a LONG way to go, but feel good that I have made a start and can see some empty shelves and plenty of things to throw away, sell or to donate.

Although I really find the moving process hard work, it is a great opportunity to clear out and get rid of all those bits and pieces that you have been keeping - just in case...

We have plenty of *junk* drawers round here and I have been finding all sorts of stuff that make me think either, "Wow, I wondered where that had got to!" or "WHY have we kept this?" I have just been to throw out the rubbish so that the evidence of what has made it to the round file is not around. These *treasures* will never be missed!

So, good and bad. Yes Jac, trundling along... (LOL!)

But I have also found the time and the motivation to do a little scrapping which is never a bad thing. Inspired by this post by Lain, I wrote down a few lines about our imminent move out of my little bit of German heaven here in the old town of Recklinghausen to a new home. I am not at all sure of the design (sometimes I try too hard!) but the sentiments I have captured are good. This is a topic I have not finished with yet as I am leaving here with real mixed emotions! Trepidation and excitement at the same time.

And wanting to do something a bit girlie, I then moved onto a page about sweet Isabella rolling down the hill at the Botanical Gardens. It is so funny that this is an automatic reaction of all children when seeing a grassy bank - roll, roll, roll - losing control but loving it! We have all done it over the years. It was a lovely moment to share with her, taking me back to my childhood but I didn't quite gather up the energy to join in. A reaction I get when seeing an area of flat grass is to do cartwheels and handstands. Don't dare to do the former any more with my old creaking bones but can sometimes be persuaded to try out the latter - and I am really bad! Again, trying to hard with the design, but it's bright and pretty and I am happy enough with it.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


Another trick I use when I am meeting a bit uninspired or demotivated to pick up the glue stick is to rise to a challenge. Libby and I have been doing these on and off since the very beginning and now that she has a bit more time to scrap (which is SO fab!) we have been doing them again recently.

The last one was on the collectibles and honestly, those Momiji dolls were so adorable (here) and this time, I set the challenge to create a layout using different manufacturers and collections. In other words, try and make sure that everything on the page is different. Sarah beat us all this time and speed scrapped a lovely beach layout and after my minor successes last night with my 12 on 12, I moved on to mine too.

I had such a rummage through my stash to find papers and bits and pieces and tried hard not to make everything coordinate too much - think I do that too often!

So here is my list of supplies:
Cardstock - Bazzill
Patterned Papers
Green dots: Rayher Classic collection Dots
Pink solid: Little Yellow Bicycle Delightful collection Pink Bird
Pink Heart: CreaMotion
Apple: Sassafrass
Turquoise: MME Penny Lane
Blue scallop - Creative Imaginations
Blue lace - KI Memories
Words: unknown (from Germany)
Journalling spot: MM Noteworthy collection
Chipboard letters: American Crafts Thickers
Flowers: Artoz papier
Green brads: Chatterbox
Fabric brads: K&Co Amy Butler
Heart: Heidi Swapp Ghost heart
Pens: Black Staedtler triplus gel liner
White Uni-ball Signo

Feel all pleased with myself now! And on a mini roll (and not the Cadbury's chocolate mini-rolls either although one of those would go down really well now... ;-) )

Monday, 22 June 2009

Dry spell

It sounds like I am not the only one to have lost their mojo recently and I have had nearly two weeks with no creativity whatsoever apart from a few birthday cards which always take me far too long to finish.

What to do?

Start small is the method I chose most of the time. The whole, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" idea. It is not like I don't have a lot of ideas of things to do and projects to start, it is almost like I have too many. But every time I look at my wonderful collection of stash, I just feel overwhelmed.

So start small I did. Do you remember my small CD case calender that I made at the beginning of the year? Each month I print out three small square photos to sum up the month and then make a few notes listing the highlights and there it is - a month encapsulated in a very small, easy way. So, I broke the cycle by completing May's entry and already choosing what I think will be the three photos for this month.
Then I felt compelled to print off my 12 of 12 photos for the month and then, on a roll, I finished my 12 on 12 layout. Pat myself on the back and feel much better. Ok, it is a simple design, almost the same as last month (which is the idea!) but I feel so good that it is done!

I might even now go for the challenge I set Libby et al (see here).

Thursday, 18 June 2009


Today I had time to kill because of an unplanned cancelled lesson. So as usual, off I trotted to Starbucks and decided to sketch out an inspirational blog post that I could write up later.

And that's where I faltered.

What should I write? What is it that I want to say? What is my blog all about? Now those are questions. I try to write once a week but this week, I have not created anything. A big fat nothing. So without anything to "show" what is good content?

I have been reading and hearing a lot recently about improving your blog posts or increasing your blog readership and it makes me wonder what am I trying to achieve here?

Well of course, I mainly blog to keep in touch with my sister (although she is really not so far away and we speak on the phone and email ALL the time!) - to let her know what I've been up to and to share my scrapbooking projects with her. My other sister seems to have dropped off the blogging wagon somewhere along the way (helloooo, are you there?) so that is it as far as family goes. And I know that I have at least one friend (hi Sarah!) who checks in regularly and another one or two (hi Jac!) who look sporadically. But who else is out there? Judging from my blog stats, I have quite a lot of passing traffic and I know that at least one or two fellow 12 of 12'ers drop by to see my late entries! (hi Meredith!)

Am I the only one who wonders who is looking and what do they think of what they find?

Let me know!

Other than that, today was a day for noticing the little things.

I noticed a leaf in a bush that must have been there the whole winter long and is just sitting there, happy where it is. I noticed beautiful cloud formations and the birds circling and settling as the sun went down. I noticed that people are unhappy when the weather is unpredictable and oppressive. I noticed that now we are moving away from Recklinghausen (a whole 15 KM away!) we are now finding the inspiration to visit other restaurants and bars in town that we have not been to before. I noticed, thanks to a rather strange TV show, that some people have really strange hobbies (flight simulators in their cellars, tea bag collections totalling 16,000++ and breeding crocodiles to name a few) so that collecting stash and watching TV is really not so peculiar. I noticed that berries are already forming on the bushes and it is not even mid-summer. I noticed several poor bumble bees on the floor fighting for survival (is it the weather?). And I noticed that I must practice *calm* each and every day. But it gets easier.

What have you noticed today?

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Happily unproductive

I was "home" (UK) last weekend to catch up with friends and family. I had a great time and spent Saturday afternoon at Libby's Bromsgrove Crop featuring the Bellaboo shop and two classes from the sweet Cleo.

As ever, I was totally unproductive. I started the layout class and got about half way before deciding to move on to something else. Followed by a layout which was all but finished until I managed to splodge pink ink all over the photo! Off came the photo, cutting away the paper which had been cut out and glued over the top. Then I realised that the mat was also spoilt so off that came too. Back went on a mat and without a copy of the photo, I had to let it be. Mmmm. Two half finished layouts are not really a good result for almost 8 hours cropping time.

But once again, I spent most of my time chatting, laughing, joking around, seeing what everyone else was up to, shopping and generally enjoying the atmosphere. I just want to give a shout out to all of you who were there and thanks once again for a fab time! I wish I could be there every crop and I hope I was not too much of a pain in the proverbial with all my nosing around and chatting!

Anyway, I managed to finish the layout yesterday and think it is so sweet. I love these papers so very much. It was such a shame to cut them up. But I keep telling myself that the only way to reduce my stash is to (shock horror) USE it!

And I have now replaced the photo and finished off the second layout and am happy with that one too.

Today is a bank holiday here in Germany and I am trying to make the most of it as it is, in effect, the last one we will have until Christmas. We have two more between now and then but they both fall on weekend days and they are not moved to a week day. Great for shop workers but bad for the rest of us! I am alone and have been working away at the very labour intensive Family Tree project from Cleo that I did not do on Saturday. So sweet and well worth all that cutting - my poor fingers have quite a few blister points from all that detailed work. I decided to change it a little to make it all about us (no surprise there) instead of the wider family and I love it. So cute!

Tomorrow is of course the 12th so I need to try to remember to pick up my photo and get snapping for my 12 on 12. These months certainly come round fast.

Am off to stroke my stash now. I bought a vast amount while I was home and now need to find somewhere to put it all! Problems, problems...

Thursday, 4 June 2009


The holiday that never was is officially over!

We would have returned yesterday and would now be living off those memories! Life has a way of catching you unawares hasn't it? Instead of going away, we did lots of other things, details to follow soon.

AND I completed my little gratitude journal. Every day.

I have so much to be thankful for and even though I felt a little sad each day thinking about where we would be (and the weather was fantastic there the whole two weeks which is rather irritating), I also focused on what is good. From the little things like a strong, hot shower in the morning, to more in-depth thoughts about what the future might hold in store.

I love the journal and might even carry it round with me over the next few days for when the positive feeling starts to slip!

I will post a few photos when I come back. I am off home to the UK for the weekend to catch up with friends and family and fit in a bit of scrapping!


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