Sunday, 29 June 2008

My boy Bert

Yesterday, I decided to put my words into action, and inspired by some lovely comments on here too (thanks ladies, you don't know how nice it was to read your words) I sat down to work on a layout. I didn't want it to be a chore, or anything too complicated, so I picked out some fun and funky papers by Sassafras Lass and started handcutting. I had wanted to create a layout about my cat Bert for a while now - both my other cats have their own page in my 'Cats' album and my oh Ed kept teasing me that Bert would feel left out! So I couldn't have that...

And here it is. Very simple, bright and colourful, it took me under an hour to put it together and yet I love it. The photo wasn't even brilliant quality but I used it anyway because I love the expression on Bert's face in it - he can pout like a master!

And yesterday, I signed up for Shimelle's latest class, My Freedom. If you haven't checked it out yet, go over to her site and have a look. This will be the fifth class I have participated in and even when I don't finish all the elements of them, they leave me so inspired that I'm sure I will have enough ideas for scrapping for years to come. Plus the forums are great for noseying at what others have created too :D

Saturday, 28 June 2008

I'm going back to the start...

...I have been trying to work out why I have been off my scrapping for a while now. Partly its been that I've had WAY too much on at work recently, partly its been natural burnout after a period of quite intense productivity scrapwise.

But its also dawned on me that I've been way too concerned about scrapping for other people. When I got into this hobby, I purely wanted to create pieces of artwork that spoke to me, that made me smile, and that recorded the memories I had of different times in my life. As well as letting me get messy with paper and glue! And these are some of my earliest attempts, which I don't think I've ever shared on here before...

And then I got into UKScrappers and found a wealth of ideas and fellow scrappers and enjoyed the challenges and the inspiration I found there. I shared my own work. My style developed rapidly as I was given access to new techniques and ideas. And by uploading my work to the gallery and being spotted, I was offered my spots on two DTs by people who liked what I did. All this happened within the space of about 6 months. I was thrilled that I was able to produce layouts for myself but that others were able to appreciate them even though the words and photos didn't have the same meaning to them that they do to me.

Then at the class I attended, my teacher Jacqui told me to enter my layouts for BOB New Talent. So I thought I'd give it a go, and chose some of my favourite layouts. And then I won. And I was really happy of course. And when SI asked me to do the odd layout for the magazine, I happily obliged - this was all new to me, as up to winning the competition I had never even got a layout into the reader's gallery, and it was fun seeing my layouts in print and showing my family.

But thats when it all starts getting a bit less fun. Because people decide that you shouldn't have won. Because suddenly you feel the need to change your style and do something different, when all you want to do is create layouts that you love and that record your memories in the best way possible. After several anonymous accusations of sameyness I trawled through my gallery, trying to spot the similarities between layouts and wondering what they were talking about. I didn't predominantly use one colour, the same embellishments, the same number of photos. I started trying to use different techniques, stopped handcutting and using journalling strips and other things I liked doing. I was worried I wasn't good enough to be on my DTs.

And so I got turned off by creating. And stepped back for a few weeks. And was reminded how when I was at school everyone was so desperate to please, to be liked, and I had never fallen into that trap despite sometimes feeling alienated. So why on earth was I worried now??? If people appreciate my work and want me to design for them occassionally, thats great! If they don't like it, c'est la vie! There are lots of styles and designs that I don't like too, but it doesn't mean I can't see something of value in them. I don't like scrapping clean and simple, but I like to look at Gertie's blog for example to see the style done well.

And so, I'm going to go back to scrapping what I like. Its the only way to go! Because there is nothing more intimidating than sitting down in front of your supplies and trying to scrap what somebody else likes. After all, this is not my day job, this is my hobby. Its supposed to be relaxing! And from now on, its gonna be :)

Friday, 27 June 2008


Ok, the lovely Laura has tagged me! So here are my answers...

Ten years ago: I was 16, I had just finished my GCSEs and I was loving the prospect of a whole Summer of freedom! I was very into politics and used to love arguing about it with anyone who would listen. I thought Labour were going to change Britain. I was about to start sixth form. I was a massive Oasis fan. I was doing an A level in Art and a Photography GCSE in my spare time at adult ed college and loved going up to the galleries in town with my friends and mooching around Camden market or Covent Garden shopping. I spent my weekends trying to blag my way into the local bars, and (unfortunately) regularly attended Atlantis and Blue Orchid nightclubs in Croydon. Had just got a job working in Allders at the Customer Services and Wedding Gift desk. Oh, happy days...

Five things in todays 'to do list':
1) Get up to date with marking books and assessments (final round before we break up for Summer)
2) Clean the bathroom
3) Go to the barbecue of a friend from work
4) Phone my mum and book cars for our holiday online
5) Scrap!!!

5 Snacks I enjoy:
1) Ryvitas smothered in set honey (I've been dieting recently - this was a real treat!)
2) Fry's Turkish Delight bar straight from the fridge
3) Hula hoops with Philadelphia cheese in the holes!
4) Potato cakes or crumpets with butter
5) French bread with taramasalata

5 Things I would do if I was a millionaire:
1) Buy a flat in London so I could visit the folks without having to kick my poor sis out of her bedroom!
2) Buy a holiday villa in the hills above Florence, Italy.
3) Buy a bigger house with a dedicated scrapping studio with, if I'm lucky, a desk!
4) Go on a round the world trip. In relative luxury.
5) Take a year out from work. Or longer if I could afford it :)

5 Places I have lived:
1) Sutton (nr South London)
2) Warwick Uni campus
3) Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
4) Earlsdon, Coventry
5) Allesley Park, Coventry
(Yes, I know, all very boring and mainly based around the Coventry area apart from the first 18 years of my life which were all spent in the same house in Sutton. I'm not very well-travelled!)

So I guess I need to tag some people now. I will get back to you...

What a day...

...for a daydream. The title of the last layout I completed. The papers are SR Ashville and the masks are Heidi Swapp butterflies.

Its been sitting on my desk for a few days now waiting to be shared, though to be honest I'm not completely happy with it. I feel like its missing something, but after a while I think you have to give up agonising over a layout and just move onto the next one.

Unfortunately, thats something I've been struggling with at the moment. I haven't really been creating for a few weeks now. This does sometimes happen to me, but not usually for this long. I'm guessing its probably pretty healthy as it gives me a break and lets me come up with some new ideas. And I am really busy with the last few weeks of work before the Summer, so in three weeks when I've broken up I will have a lot more time and energy to devote. So anyway, I guess what I was trying to say is that don't worry, nothing has happened to me, I've just not had much to share at the moment!

I may sign up to Shimelle's next class which I believe is going up over on her blog tomorrow though, as it may be the kickstart I need to be creative this Summer. Check it out in the morning. Now, I'm off to maybe even think about crafting...

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Make a Card Week

Ok, ok, I know, I've been absolutely appalling at updating my blog recently. But mainly thats because I haven't had much to share! I've been a bit snowed under at work and the only scrapping I've done has been for the Papermaze blog and hasn't gone up over there yet so I can't share it. So I am still here, just living a very boring and unscrappy life right now!

Over on the Papermaze blog however, things are not boring! Wendy has organised a Cardmaking week - each day there is picture and tutorial to make a different card, and if you leave a comment on the blog, you will be put in a draw to win the supplies to make one of the cards too :) Certainly worth a look if you are into your cardmaking. Just to grab your interest, here are a couple of the cards that you can learn how to make, all courtesy of the very talented Wendy...

Friday, 6 June 2008


So where have I been all week? Nowhere in particular, but I haven't scrapped one jot, mainly due to the fact that last weekend I obviously did something to my shoulder, maybe trapped a nerve, and my whole arm has been aching all week. I've been right miserable company, I can tell you! I may go along to the doc's on Monday if its no better as I'm suffering from scrap withdrawal but there is no way I'm huddling over my craft mat on the floor feeling like this, so nothing layout-wise to share, although more of my Papermaze DT stuff arrived this week so I have plenty to do!

I have been pottering around YouTube however, and found this little gem, which I've included here for my family - remember car journeys singing along to this number?

And hopefully more to share with you fellow scrappers over the weekend...