Sunday, 6 November 2011

pretty paper party catch-up

I started this post last week but realised it was little pointless given I couldn't post any pictures at the time.  So we took a pretty paper party break for a few days and now I have a few prompts to catch up on!

Prompt 4 - Dots and stripes

This photo was taken back in March at my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary.  It's the first family photo we took after finding out I was pregnant with our second child, so there are 4 of us present, even if the youngest is only 5 weeks gestation!

The background cardstock is dotted swiss by Bazzill Basics Paper and the patterned papers are from Echo Park's Walk in the Park range.  I love these papers and the elements stickers included in the collection pack.  And how fab are those glittery pink Thickers?!

Prompt 5 - Rough around the edges

Not a great photo, I'm afraid the light here isn't great.  I have a bunch of these photos of Isaac exploring the grass in our garden but haven't scrapped them yet.  Similarly, I have the collection pack for this paper range (Cosmo Cricket Garden Variety, if you were wondering) and I've only made 1 layout with it.  This class is turning out great for using things up!  I also used a tag and some felt border that I've had for ages.  And that little button embellie was being saved for 'something special'.  Like my boy isn't something special!  (Besides, I have plans to buy more and I can't do that if I still have the originals, right?!)

The challenge was to do a bit of distressing, not my usual style but not completely out of my comfort zone.  I sprayed the cardstock with Studio Calico Mister Huey Dark Calico mist, distressed the edges of the papers and inked the edge of the photo matt, to help it stand out a bit more.  I also used a felt border for a different texture.  Incidentally, this is a scraplift of a layout by a friend of mine and it's based on prompt 1 - paper strips (I think!)

Prompt 6 - Print it out!

The printable elephants on this card were a friday freebie from Little Musings ages ago and aren't available anymore.  I coloured them with Promarkers (grown-up felt-tips!) and used just a scrap of some American Crafts paper to matt it.  I'm not a hydrid convert, I'm afraid; I can't be doing with all the colouring-in or cutting-out.  I also don't think it looks quite the same as proper printed papers and embellishments - unless the scrapper is really talented, you can tell what was printed out at home.  That said, I have the rest of a sheet of elephants and another of birthday dinosaurs that I would use to make cards or on the occasional layout. And it's always good to try new techniques!

Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about prompt 1 but I haven't given that card yet (and I know the recipient reads my blog) so you'll have to wait a little longer!!

Friday, 4 November 2011

document may 2011

I can't believe how quickly these 4 pages came together.  I started work on them yesterday while the boy napped, did about 45 minutes yesterday evening while he was in the bath and finished them this morning during naptime.  (I love 2 hour morning naps!)  So these are my pages for May 2011.  That was the month Isaac and all his friends started to turn 1 so that's taken up quite a lot of room.  I was back at work and so not taking as many pictures as usual or doing as many interesting things either.

May - Playground, Echo Park and Boy's Toys (embellishment kit), Make and Create Shop.  Birthday parties for Isaac's friends, 2 of which were cancelled for illness, Isaac learned to climb, things with no photos, playing in the park, 12 week scan for baby, Isaac's birthday party & Isaac's birthday.  Focus: Isaac turns one.

I love this paper range and I only once came across the problem of loving both sides of a piece of paper!  I used an embellishment kit I bought a little while ago, that's been sitting waiting for the right 'special project' to use it on.  In the spirit of pretty paper party, I just opened it up, tipped it out and used about half of it!  I love the little gingham flower and the felt car embellie the most!  Planning another order from this shop soon as their Christmas stuff looks like it will be fab!

Thanks for all your lovely comments on my last couple of posts - it's always great to know people are looking and liking!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

document 2011

I'm taking a small break from pretty paper party to show you a project I've been working on since the beginning of the year.  The first thing you'll notice is that I am waaaaay behind!

Last year, Shimelle Laine launched a project called Document 2010 with UKScrappers, an online scrapbooking community.  The basic idea was to create an album documenting the big and little things that happen over the course of a year.  At the time, I thought I didn't have time to produce a set of layouts every month so I didn't join in.  And I spent an entire year becoming more and more jealous of all the beautiful projects I saw appearing, such as this one from Laura and this from Jen.

So when 2011 rolled around, I decided to make the time.  The basic set up is to take lots of photos (which I do anyway) and collect little bits and pieces from happenings throughout the month (which I also do anyway, I just didn't have anything to do with them until now!).  Then each month in the album follows the same format;
  • An envelope page for storing all those bits and bobs;
  • 12 mini-pages in divided page protectors, documenting all the things we've been up to;
  • A focus page, highlighting something important from the month.
I've just finished April so I figure this is a good time to do a summary post.  For the most part, I've tried to stay within a paper range to make my life easier, though I do pull embellishments and things from the rest of my stash too.  Incidentally, I have the photos, the bits & bobs and the events for the rest of the months to date.  All I need to do is find the time to document them!

January - A Walk In The Park, Echo Park.  A weekend away in Wales, lots of new things for Isaac (teeth, carseat & shoes), eating out with friends and mummy & baby groups.  Focus: new year's resolutions.

February - Joyride, Cosmo Cricket.  A lot of lasts (last mummies & babies, eating out with Cathy and Kat, days at work for Andy), revising for exams, starting the Marriage Course at church, visitng my parents, a new niece (Amelie May), more teeth.  Focus: my birthday.

March - Girl Friday, Cosmo Cricket.  Full-time daddying, back to work, visiting Calke Abbey with my parents, passing MRCPCH 1b, learning new skills (climbing the stairs), my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary, a positive pregnancy test and the loss of my father-in-law.  Focus: the highs and lows we've had through the month.

April - Earth Love, Cosmo Cricket.  Easter (eating chocolate, messily!), eating outside in the sunshine, learning to stand, my first mother's day, 2 lovely weddings, visiting my parents and the return of morning sickness!  Focus: a sunny weekend with friends, including a BBQ.

I've just realised that this is a bit of a Cosmo love-in!  These are quite old ranges with lots of scraps that I wanted to use up.  I might have to find another manufacturer for May though!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

pretty paper party prompts #2 & #3

I'm blogging a bit out of order cos I don't have pictures for the first prompt and I sort of combined prompts 2 and 3.

Prompt 3 was a scary one.  Take 10-12 sheets of patterned paper, pick a few that you want to use the whole sheet as a background then cut the rest into boxes.  No plan, no photos chosen, just cut them into different sized and shaped boxes.  Then put them onto background paper or cardstock.  Then choose the photos.  Ummm.... pretty sure that usually works the other way around!  It's a speedy way of scrapping that uses up some of that stash and is particularly handy to scrap photos without much story to tell.  So it wins for me on both counts.

So here is my selection of paper.  I chose 2 sheets of paper from the same range that I liked but never knew what to do with before and then picked co-ordinating papers to match the colour scheme of blue, purple, green and dark brown.  I couldn't find enough whole sheets in my random sheets bags so I used some different-sized scraps as well.  I think I ended up with 12-15 different patterns and 3 sheets of co-ordinating cardstock in the end.

Then I picked 3 sheets for background and cut the rest up into shapes.  I needed to find a few more sheets of cardstock because I ended up with the start of 10 layouts!  And here they are:

And then I picked some photos - I limited myself to December 2010 and January 2011, I really do have an overwhelming number of prints to scrap!

So far I've finished 8 of these layouts.  The 2 that are left are photos I love but need a bit more journalling so I need a bit more time for them.

I love love love these!

pretty paper party

So I signed up to a new scrapbooking class.  Nothing new there, I have about half a dozen registrations (all with Shimelle as it happens) that I've never completed, but will do one day, honest!!  The thing I love about Shimelle's classes is that, while the class prompts are sent out over a specified time, you have everlasting access to the forum and materials even once the class has technically ended.  So maybe I actually will end up finishing those classes one day.... Maybe not, but a girl can dream!

This particular class looks at the huge stash of patterned paper that most scrapbookers (and I am no exception) own and says "how are you going to use that investment of time and money to make something beautiful that you love?"  Perfect for me, especially since my mother commented about my hoarding tendencies when they last visited.  I didn't try to explain that every single little bit of stash was necessary and would get used eventually because.... frankly it isn't true!  Like most people I've made distinctly dodgy purchasing decisions in the past and I too am guilty of the number one scrapbooking crime....

Not using a piece of paper or an item in my stash because I love it and it's too pretty and this project isn't special enough and it doesn't exactly fit the colour scheme and I'm not sure how to make it work and.... and.... and....

So I need some help using up all that stuff and documenting the things that I want to remember and reminisce about with my children and grandchildren in years to come.  Because the other thing I have bucketloads of is photos.  Now I'm a mother, I seem to have an excuse for having a camera permanently attached to my hand and I have piles of beautiful, exciting or cute photos that I want to display for others (or just me) to see.

So that's the manifesto.  Thanks for reading.

BTW, I'm slightly behind in blogging - this class started 2 weeks ago - but you can still sign up, just click the picture at the top of this post!!

Thursday, 13 October 2011

It's been a busy 6 months.... I've neglected to keep you up-to-date on a lot of things.  Month-by-month round-up?  Why, what an excellent idea!

March 2011

  • I passed MRCPCH part 1b, on the 4th attempt, to great sighs of relief.
  • We found out we were expecting our second child.
  • My father-in-law, David, died of mesothelioma.  Despite a gradual deterioration over the last few months, in the end, it was quick and he died at home with his wife.  We celebrated his life 10 days later with a fantastically well-attended memorial - an indication of how loved and valued he was in his community.
  • We celebrated my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary in Plymouth.
  • I returned to work full-time and Andy gave up his job to be a full-time Dad.
April 2011
  • We celebrated the weddings of Helen & Anthony and Nat & Ollie.
  • Sarah & James came to stay and we had a BBQ with friends.  Pretty much the best of the weather for the summer!
May 2011
  • We got our first glimpse of the new baby - all good so far!
  • We celebrated first birthdays with our Mummies and Babies.
  • Isaac turned 1 year and we had his first birthday party.  I even baked and iced the cake!
  • We visited Mum & Dad for Isaac's actual birthday.
June 2011
  • Isaac learned to walk; as with most things, he took his time about it having been walking with support since March.
  • We celebrated more first birthdays with more parties!
  • We had our second, more detailed scan and discovered we're going to have a little girl.  Here's hoping she's smaller than her brother!

July 2011
  • We celebrated Sophie & Steve's wedding at Sandhurst Military Academy; our first day out without Isaac, who we left with my parents.

August 2011
  • I attended Laura's hen-do in London; a good excuse to stay with Mum & Dad.
  • More midwife appointments and a diabetes test (just in case that was the reason Isaac was such a big baby).

September 2011
  • We celebrated Andy's eldest brother and his wife's 25th wedding anniversary - the first big family celebration since we lost David.
  • I sat the MRPCH part 2 written exam in London (it's never-ending!).
  • I started my maternity leave.

October 2011
  • Ben & Laura got married on a beautfiul day and jetted off to Hawaii for their honeymoon!
  • Andy got a new job working in Coventry; it's a six-month temporary contract initially but may well continue beyond that.
  • We bought a second car to allow for commuting.
  • We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary with a family trip to Twycross Zoo & a M&S 'takeaway' for two.
All of which takes us up to date.  I've got 4 weeks left til my due-date and I'm already bored of day-time tv so hopefully the next update won't be so long coming!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Post-exam chillout zone

I'm cruising at the moment - having been studying every spare minute since Christmas, the exam is over and I have some spare time on my hands.  I also have a list a yard long of things to do around the house so I won't be short of things to do.

Isaac's growing and changing so quickly these days.  I'm trying to capture everyday and remember the little things that get forgotten so quickly.  I was looking back at baby photos yesterday and I can't really remember the time before he could sit up, let alone those first few weeks when he slept most of the time.

 Highlights of our life recently (from the top): are
  • Twinkling Stars - a parent and child group based at Holy Trinity Church, Leicester.  We're meeting lots of new friends and having a lovely couple of hours playing and chatting each week.  They make good coffee too!
  • Mummy and Baby Group took a little break over Christmas but we're back meeting up again, despite one of the mummies going back to work.  Not sure how we're going to mange as the rest of us go back over the next month.  Hopefully we'll still manage to meet up.  It's great seeing all the babies growing and being able to chat, drink coffee and eat loads of cake!

  • Isaac now has 4 teeth.  He sprouted his first the day before he turned 7 months and the last 2 came together in the last week of January.  That's 4 teeth in 4 weeks!  And he's been so good about them - lots of chewing but otherwise you wouldn't know he's teething.

  • As he learns to crawl more and has discovered doorways, Isaac is gradually exploring the house.  And he's found the cat food...
  • And the best thing yet?  For the last week he's slept through most nights!  From 8pm til 6.30am, we've slept through or only gotten up once for a quick feed.  Bliss!!

This is one of my favourite photos ever!  We did an underwater photo shoot through our swimming teacher back in December.  The photographer was fantastic - he does out of the water shoots too.  Check out his website here.  He got 4 shots of Isaac in the end, 2 of which are amazing and we ordered a 7x5 of this one.  I love the bubbles coming out of his mouth!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

So it turns out...

...I'm a minimalist, who knew! The people who's scrapbook layouts I admire most are definitely not. I love the way they cluster embellishments & layer paper. But this week I've managed to scrap 2 layouts and they're both quite simple. Both baby-themed, but you'd guess that!

I took this picture while out to lunch with a couple of friends, one of whom lives many miles away so we don't get to see her often.  Isaac was just about stable sitting up and so I plonked him on the table while we decided what to order.  Out came the camera to capture the moment and my little magpie of a son decided he'd quite like it, thank you very much Mummy.  He loves anything with a screen, cameras, phones, tv, you name it.  So I have quite a few out-of-focus shots of him lunging for the camera.  I love this one because he's wearing the jumper that I made for him and you can see his expression beautifully, despite the poor focus!

I'm not sure the second one is finished yet but I love it already!  I decided a while ago to scrap Isaac's names and why we gave them to him.  It seemed to fit well with pictures of his paternal grandfather, David Longden Ingram.  My father-in-law is in the late stages of mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer, and we're very aware how little time we have left with him.  He adores his 7th (!!) grandchild and I want to capture that for Isaac to look back on when he's older.  I still have all four of my grandparents living so I can't imagine not knowing them.  I really want Isaac to know how much his Grandpa loved him.  I have a wonderful photo of David holding Isaac when he was only a couple of days old and gazing on him with love.  I'm sure it will end up on a LO soon!!

All this page needs now is a bit more journalling, I think.  Some LOs come together so quickly and get popped straight in an album.  Others have to sit for a while so I can make sure they're finished or work out what needs adding to make them just right.  So this has been sitting on a stand in my craft room waiting.  Hopefully I'll get a chance to finish it this week!
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5