Tuesday, 29 July 2008
The other project was created as a Father's day gift for my Dad - it commemorates a beautiful day I spent with my mum and dad walking on the South Bank and taking photos of the city - we had such a happy day together and I wanted to record our memories of it.
Today I've been out for a fantastic lunch with my Dad and sister at the Italian restaurant in Banstead, where the food and the peroni was absolutely delicious. Tomorrow I'll be heading off back to Coventry, but I've had such a nice few days I'll be sorry to leave my family. I'm looking forward to seeing Ed and the furballs again though, and I have a holiday in Portugal with my family to look forward to soon as well...
Monday, 28 July 2008
The papers for this page were lovely to use - I used a black fineliner pen to doodle around some of the images for added definition, and created the title by drawing around BG monograms and adding small cut out strips of paper for added interest.
So, to the missed blog prompts, the first one I missed asked if there was something we would like to pass onto the next generation. Now there are all kinds of things I would like to pass on, but being a teacher and witnessing what childhood today is like in comparison to my own, I think I would like to pass on the imagination that my childhood games entailed and encouraged, as we did without computer games and spent hours creating our own stories and scenarios. Much as the internet and computers are an amazing development which improve our lives in many ways, I sometimes feel like something has been lost by our reliance on them.
The next prompt was to talk about an artistic technique which we love but perhaps do not use often or it intimidates us. I suppose an artistic technique which I would like to try but haven't really had a go at yet is collage. I love looking at the work of others but its either too far from my own style or looks too complicated for me to really give it a go. Another technique (though I'm not sure its exactly a technique) is 'white space' - the use of large areas of space on layouts. I have a tendency to fill up all available space (usually because I've got a lot to say and fill it up with journalling strips!), and a half empty page just doesn't seem complete. But others use white space so effectively, I'd love to try it more.
My favourite treat as a child is an easy blog prompt. My mum used to work overnight at a care home on Friday's and Saturday's when I was a little girl, so my dad looked after us. Me and my sister would both go to bed at the same time, but I would always wait for her to fall asleep, then I would get up and go downstairs to join my dad and we would watch 'The Price is Right' on television together. He always made sure he had bought a big bag of Golden Wonder Cheese and Onion crisps for us to share too. I loved this time together with my dad - it was my treat of the week! My treats today are a bit different. I suppose one would be Fry's Turkish Delight bars eaten straight from the fridge. Another treat would be a meal out with my family, particularly to the Thai restaurant in Sutton which we all love. And sometimes, the best treat is just a day to myself drinking tea and watching box sets of my favourite period dramas such as Pride and Prejudice and Bleak House. I have noticed that a lot of my treats involve food. Clearly I haven't changed much over time!
And finally, today's blog prompt was to tell about a person who influenced my creativity. This one is easy. My nan was a massive influence on me and got me into all kinds of creative pursuits. She taught me to knit, cross stitch and embroider, and I still use the box of embroidery threads she bought me and put aside for me and which my Grandad found and gave to me after she died. Nan used to make up stories and use to write poems, which she wrote down in little notebooks. She was a clever lady, but most of all she was a real eccentric, a one of a kind and a completely unique person. I missed her terribly when she left us, and I'm always sad that she never saw me embrace this hobby because she would have loved it.
Anyway, a little sentimental for today, but my next post will hopefully be sharing more eye-candy as I upload my pages for Serious and Playful.
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
So I've managed to miss yesterday's My Freedom blog prompt, to share my favourite game. This is a toughie. I used to enjoy a lot of different games, from card games like Happy Families and Grumpy Gus Gorrilla (noone else has heard of this one, but I have fond memories of it!), to board games like Cluedo and Monopoly.
Probably my favourite board game though is one called Scotland Yard. It was based on a big map of London with a transport network printed on it. One person took the role of a criminal on the run, and the rest were detectives. Everybody had a limited amount of transport tickets, and the idea of the game was for the detectives to catch the criminal in order for them to win, or for the criminal to evade capture, so that the person playing as the criminal won. I always played as the criminal and used to absolutely love it! In fact, I have such fond memories of it that I forced my family to play it last Christmas day, though I think they only did it to humour me :)
Today's blog prompt was to talk about our first job. My first real job was working in the Customer Services department at Allders in Sutton. Allders has since shut down, but it used to own a big string of department stores across the country. I had to wear a horrible uniform of a navy blue skirt and white shirt with blue flowers printed on it. At first, my skirt was also made out of the horrible flowery material, but I quickly bought myself a navy blue pencil skirt to wear instead. And I always used to catch my tights on the filing cabinet drawers - so often in fact, that when I left I was bought a pair of tights as a joke present (along with some other lovely gifts I hasten to add!).
My job involved taking payments for customer account cards and sorting out their queries, selling items from wedding gift lists and dealing with customer complaints and returns. Way to be dropped in at the deep end on your first job! I only worked weekends, and most customers were ok, but there were some customers who were serial complainers, and the minute you saw them coming you would run and hide! One woman used to buy items, especially kitchenware, use them, then try and return them for a refund. She used to do this most weekends. I can even remember her name - Mrs Bidessie!
Off the topic of the My Freedom class, one of my pages was featured in the We Challenge You article in Scrapbook Inspirations this month, and here is a scan of the page...
I love this layout - it brings back such hilarious memories of me moaning non-stop about having to wear plastic macs in public!
Sunday, 20 July 2008
In other news, I have finally started my Summer hols but it has yet to sink in that I have six weeks off to myself - it will really hit me tomorrow morning when Ed gets up for work and I don't!
It has spurred me on to make a few changes. I want to spend more time with friends and family, I want to sort out my finances in the face of the dreaded credit crunch, and I want to spend some time clearing out the house of any old stuff which is cluttering it up. I also want to spend some time scrapping of course! Every now and then you reassess the important stuff and I've been doing that lately - spending less time on the computer is going to have to be a part of that for the next few months, although I will endeavour to keep updating my blog most days as this is also a way for my friends and family to keep in touch with me too.
On the theme of change, I had some sad news this week - one of the online stores I design for, Rebecca's Scrapbooking Stash, is closing down. As a result, Rebecca is going to be having a sale for the next few weeks which will be well worth a look. It means I'm now only designing for one store, which is a shame, but I'm sure Papermaze will continue to keep me busy!
Thursday, 17 July 2008
For some reason, I couldn't get the scanned pages to stitch together exactly, but its not too bad and gives you the general impression of them as they look when they are in my album.
Today's blog prompt was an odd one - what quirk do we have that explains what inspires us was the way I read it. So I suppose my quirk would have to be my obsession with sixties music -whether it be American Motown or British guitar bands - and this is reflected in the tunes I choose to listen to when I create, and the fact that I selected the Beatles as one of my biggest inspirations.
The only reason this is a quirk is because I am only 26 and therefore way too young to have listened to any of these bands when they were actually playing. But maybe there are some other youngsters out there who are equally inspired?
In other news, only one more day to go before my six weeks of school holidays start, and I think I'm starting to count down the hours...
Lots of stuff going on here. I used stamps, letter stickers, Heidi Swapp masks, flowers, string and scraps of ribbon. I wanted to give it a slightly distressed, beachy feel, so the edges of the layout have been roughed up and inked, though you can't actually see that on this photo as I've cropped it quite close.
This was definitely fun to do, and again made very easy by my colour coordinated stash. Bring on the next challenge girls!
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
I sat down to do this when I got home from work, and its amazing all the things you remember when you get thinking about it! Its nice to think you have achieved lots of great things, even if they were quite small achievements.
So I have to share some of my achievements so far with you. I think one would definitely have to be my first graduation day - I have graduated from three different postgrad qualifications but the first definitely meant the most. I achieved a first in my BA History and Politics degree, something I had been hoping for but never thought I would actually get. A lot of work in the second year of my degree really paid off in the end. It felt like the world was my oyster. I just didn't know what I wanted to do with it yet...
Another big achievement was buying my first house. I felt so elated when I finally got those keys in my hand after weeks of solicitors playing silly buggers and holding the whole thing up. It made me feel really grown up, and I was so excited about decorating and getting cats to live in it!
So what about a future aspiration?
Well, there were a number, but one I've had for a long time and which I really hope to do one day is to write and illustrate a children's book. I mean for quite little children, with great big pictures and cute stories. I am always getting ideas for these books. Maybe some time I'll actually sit down and produce one of them!
Another aspiration is to live by the sea. Probably somewhere in or around Brighton. I just love it - the sea makes me feel so happy and I hate the fact that currently I live just about as far away from a coastline as you can possibly get in England (though admittedly, thats not really far considering this is an island nation!).
Finally, I would really like to achieve my PHD one day. Maybe even when I retire. I always planned to do it after my Masters, but decided I wanted to work and earn money. But one day, I will definitely go back and do it. Just not sure when...
Tuesday, 15 July 2008
It would basically involve mainly my family, a trip to the British seaside, and an awful lot of eating! My family are very food-orientated - one of our greatest pleasures is eating and we can wax lyrical over the whole process! I would definitely have to stay in a lovely hotel with a massive bed and jacuzzi bath, enjoy a great big breakfast buffet and eat either Thai or Italian food for dinner (probably my favourite, a tomato and mozzarella salad if it was Italian. If Thai, a dish whose name escapes me but it involves chicken, cashew nuts and dried chilli). There would be lots of messing about on the beach (which would be fun because unlike most British summers, the sun would be shining). Me and the young folks would go out to a bar with some fantastic music in the evening. And I would take tons of photos of everything to scrap the next day and turn into a minibook :)
Meanwhile, today's blog prompt was to share a list of links to websites that inspire me most. So here goes...
First up, we have my talented friend Laura, who is also doing this class. She always has some awesome eye candy by way of her fantastically bright and funky layouts.
Next, we have Print and Pattern, which also has some gorgeous inspiration in the form of, you've guessed it, print and pattern!
Another great website to browse is Colour Combos - I've spoken about this one before, but it really does have some great ideas on it for combining colours.
My very talented friend Micayla designs for a challenge blog called ScrapMojo - Micayla's layouts are just amazing, as are the rest of the ladies there. Micayla also has a fab blog, though she is not updating quite as much at the mo because of computer probs, poor girl!
Another very cool site is this one by Scrapperlicious - even if you don't like her layout styles, her technique descriptions are fantastic!
Helen's blog is always good for a look - she has a lovely style and creates adorable layouts of her little girl.
And finally, I know I'm biased but the blog I design for, Scrap, Paper, Scissors has some amazing work from the other ladies involved, including Wendy, Angie and Debs which are always worth a look.
Hope that is enough to get you going - can't wait to get started on this week's pages now...
Monday, 14 July 2008
In the meantime, back to 'My Freedom' and I have my travel pages to share.
As you can probably tell, I'm limiting myself to a certain colour scheme of pinks, greens and turquoise, as well as keeping the format of the pages very similar as it makes it far easier to create an album, while also giving it a unified look. Not that this is always important, but seeing as this will form a complete album when it is done, its nice if it has common elements running through it.
Today's blog prompt was to share an old photo of yourself as well as a current photo and explain what has changed and what has stayed the same.
So here is the old photo...
And the most recent one I have...
Things that have stayed the same:
- My love for my family
- My creativity
- My interest in the world around me
- My desire to achieve
- My strength of will
Things that have changed:
- My hair!
- My levels of self-confidence
- The place I live
- My goals for the future
- My friends
And finally for today, I thought I would share my inspiring photos - most of these were taken at different times, because I find lots of things inspiring but they aren't necessarily within easy reach!
First up, I will definitely be including some reference to the Beatles - probably the photo from my blog post the other day. They have never failed to inspire me for years - their songs speak to me in a way that most don't.
Secondly, we have my family - you don't get much more inspiring than them - they have supported and encouraged and are what I predominantly scrap!
Thirdly, we have my favourite city in the world - London. Every time I go back there and visit I am inspired by the atmosphere and buzz and diversity - you truly feel alive there.
Fourth, we have the artwork of others, which I have represented with this photo of my various design books - looking at other's work can be incredibly inspiring, as I am influenced by their ideas and styles.And finally, we have my stash - very inspiring! I only have to look at it to want to start creating.
Friday, 11 July 2008
Shimelle asked us to comment today on whether we enjoyed a fast or slow pace of life - this was prompted by the manner in which she 'drip-fed' us the instructions for journalling on our first page. I have to admit, I quite enjoyed the slow pace of the prompts. While normally I would sit down and plan my page with journalling very much a part of the initial design, this way of working made for a refreshing change.
The page came together very easily, and I think thats partly down to my fab new colour-coordinated system which allowed me to pick out my papers for the project so quickly. Hopefully the travel page will be just as quick...
Thursday, 10 July 2008
Before You Were Mine
I'm ten years away from the corner you laugh onwith your pals,
Wednesday, 9 July 2008
Definitely a book - last year I picked up the last Harry Potter novel on the day it was released at Gatwick airport before we flew. I had finished reading it by Day Three of our holiday...
Tuesday, 8 July 2008
Now, today's blog prompt was: if we could travel anywhere in time, where would it be? Anyone who knows me well would be able to answer this one - definitely the sixties! And I would go to see this little lot...
I think I would be one of the girls in a Hard Day's Night chasing them through the train station! Or chasing them anywhere really. I'd just love to be able to wait expectantly for their next LP and hear their songs brand new for the first time. This is a life long obsession which resulted in me studying Sixties history at uni way too much and now enthusing about it to my sixth form student, poor little mites!
Now, I'm off to fill out my schedule for prompt two...
Monday, 7 July 2008
So first up, we have my bedside clock - this is for telling the time late at night normally as its actually Ed's phone alarm that gets us up in the morning. I lost the front of the clock when moving into this house, so it has its battery all exposed (tres pretty).
Then we have a detail from the July page of our Rotten Veg calendar which my mum bought me for this year. I'm afraid I just love the cards with these vegetables on and the calendar was just too much to resist...
This clock gets used way too much in my day, with all the time wasted on the computer in the evenings, and if anyone can tell me how to get a good shot of a computer screen please let me know!
The oven timer gets used practically everyday, except when we have takeaways! Or beans on toast...
This is the main clock in our house - it hangs above the calendar in our kitchen, and I always glance at it in the morning when I'm trying to eke out the time spent over my breakfast and GMTV before I absolutely HAVE to leave for work.
This is our living room clock - I bought it in the Next sale years ago and I have to admit that its mainly used for decoration rather than time-telling these days as I always forget to change the batteries in it...
This is my little lifesaver, my mobile phone. Right at the start of the year my watch broke and I never replaced it, so all my classes get timed on this little fella and its my chief means of telling the time when I'm out and about.
Finally, we have the timekeepers by which I run my working life - my school timetable and my planner. Of course, there are less than two weeks left for these - I get brand new ones in September again when they become totally vital for several weeks until I memorise my classes.
And that, as they say, is that. Now I'm off to look for suitable travel photographs...
Sunday, 6 July 2008
Can't wait for the class to begin tomorrow - loads of the lushalicious girls are doing the class too so its going to be awesome seeing their - and everyone else's - amazing interpretations of the same project.
Right, I'm off to enjoy my glass of wine in front of the TV before bed...