Friday, 28 August 2009

A trip round the lake...

Some more beautiful photos to share from my holiday - these are mainly for the benefit of my folks who are missing Italy very much - these are for you mum and dad! First up, a view of the lake from Riga...

Next, we have a shot of my Dad and sis taking a break from the midday sunshine in one of the quiet little streets, in Salo I think it is. We had just eaten some of the best ice-cream imaginable from a shop just outside the massive church/cathedral there...

This is a kind of gothic palace/mansion on a tiny island in the lake. It's owned by some Duke or something - us mere mortals can only get this close by boat. Very magical...
Finally, this is me looking all hot and bothered in front of one of the Scaligieri castles in Sirmione - just after a motor boat trip round the peninsula there which had been a welcome relief from the heat that day.

I will share just a few more trips from our holiday - from our trip to the Dolomite mountains. These are breathtaking, and probably some of the best photos we took.

In other news, my GCSE results weren't too bad - a couple of the kids predictably bombed out, but the others all did pretty well and I'm proud of them. History is definitely not the easiest subject to study, so they can all feel deservedly proud of themselves. Just a few more days of Summer to enjoy and then it's back to work - where has the holiday gone to?
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Monday, 24 August 2009

I think this may be paradise...

Believe me, that is not an overstatement! I've recently got back from a trip to Lake Garda in Italy and it's just breathtakingly beautiful - such diverse scenery, sweet little towns and fantastic historical sites to see. If you've never been, you MUST go, Italy is just my favourite place in the world.

I thought I'd share a few pics - these were taken by the lake in the resort of Garda that we stayed in - my sis with one of her trademark expressions, Ed enjoying the waves lapping the shore of the lake and me in one of those self-portrait shots that actually turn out ok. I have more photos to share, but Picasa won't let me at the moment so expect another blog post soonish.

I do have a couple of scrapbook pages to share, and I am working on another few as I type, but I have also rediscovered my love of knitting again in the last week and am just finishing a teddy bear's picnic for my 'niece' Olivia to play with. So if anyone is interested, I can share pics of the finished masterpiece here too. I know this is mainly a scrapping blog, but all craft is good, right?
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Thursday, 6 August 2009


Ok, before anyone starts prodding me via the comments box to remind me to update my blog again, I have another little project to share. This one was originally intended for the magazine, but it didn't quite fit the brief and so I came up with something else instead. But I do still like this page - it uses Sassafrass Lass Anthem paper, as well as a bit of Basic Grey Mellow I think, and that beloved piece of orange KI memories lace paper which has featured on about four of my layouts now I think but is finally finished!

The layout shows some little pics of my place of work, in particular my lovely (orange!) classroom with all the posters and tea-stained newspapers and so on. My classroom is great - our school is in desperate need of being torn down (which is in fact happening in the next couple of years) so you really have to do your best to cheer up your surroundings and I think me and my colleague have achieved that in this room.

Was pleased to receive some of the My Little Shoebox letter stickers in the post the other day - I will now get to make titles in colours other than black and white! It's the first purchase I've made in a while - unfortunately I've been on a bit of a spending spree in Outfit recently, so my wardrobe is looking great but something's got to give and stash is that thing. I do have plenty to use up however, so this is probably all well and good.

Will endeavour to update again presently - but for now, I'm off to try to make my iPhone sync with iTunes - it's not playing ball at the moment!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Back from self-imposed exile...

Firstly, a big thank you to Shimelle. I have been inexcusably terrible at updating my blog recently. I haven't completely stopped scrapping (though I haven't been as productive as I would like) but I just haven't been sharing on here. 

The trouble is, once it gets beyond a few weeks, you start getting that guilty feeling about it. I imagine my little blog staring at me, arms crossed, with a disapproving expression, chastising me for the lack of attention I have paid it. And then updating it becomes a chore, not a pleasure. Which is ridiculous really, because it is MY blog - noone is forcing me to keep it! I guess what I'm trying to say is that I needed Shimelle's gentle push in the right direction to get me sharing and chattering on again. Whether that is a good thing or not is another matter - perhaps I have actually spared the world the inane workings of my bizzare mind!

But anyway, back on topic, and the first page I'm going to share is this one I made for Papermaze ages ago. It's some pictures from our trip to the Isle of Wight this year, Osborne House to be specific. These statues guarded the front entrance and me and Ed just had to take some comical photos with them. 

The background paper is officially gorgeous - I defy anyone to make a less than sensational layout with it for very little effort. The finished layout is one of my favourites of late - everything just came together perfectly with little to no stress on my part. I didn't even have to shuffle the papers around much!

I will be back to share some more long-forgotten layouts with you all - once I have take some decent shots of them. I have a few magazine layouts that have found their way back to me that I need to photograph, as well as some layouts completed just for fun (believe it or not!). Feel free to tell me off via the comments box if I take longer than a few days to update again - I think I need the kick up the proverbial to get me to do it at the moment!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

A Nice Cup of Tea...

Right, let's get this straight right away. I'm not a digi-scrapper. I never will be a digi-scrapper. Digi-scrapping is completely alien to my philosophy of cutting and sticking and getting really messy and hiding smudges and random glue smears under various cunningly positioned embellishments. I don't even type my journalling!

However, when Shimelle asked me to take part in her weekend inspiration party over at her blog, I was intrigued. Could my computer really be more to my scrapping than a glorified photo editor and printer? Would I actually be able to use a pdf file full of images on my layout? I decided I had to have a go.

Shimelle kindly sent me a gorgeous set of 'hot-drink' themed images. I'm a big tea-lover, and had immediately jumped at the chance to use this set as I had a layout in mind commemorating my very important work mug (which has my name and a rhyme on it and everything!). When I opened the pdf, I loved the images, but started wondering how to use them. I'm not that confident using photo or image editing software beyond Picasa really, so I knew I wasn't going to be doing any image manipulating on the computer.

So I decided to stick with what I do best, and went back to basics. I printed out several sets of the images on good quality paper. I wanted to use the journalling spaces on my layout, but I didn't want to 'lose' the sweet hot drinks images amongst my scrawl! So I cut and layered the images up, using foam pads to make them 3D, meaning that they really stood out above the journalling. I then cut another tea cup away from the journalling spot to use as another embellishment. The beauty with pdf embellishments is that you can print out as many as you like for layering up without having to spend anymore - and of course use the images for other projects if you wish. I'm thinking of using them to print a set of cool notelets and envelopes...

So here is the finished project - it's not digital, I don't think you could even describe it as hybrid, but it does make good use of my printer for the bulk of the embellishments. So even if you are as dedicated to cutting and sticking as I am, don't completely dismiss the idea of digital - you might be pleasantly surprised...

If you think you'd like to have a go, check out this class running throughout August - you'll get all the pretty printables as part of the deal.