Monday, 14 May 2012

Lumps and bumps

It has to be said, I'm starting to feel decidedly large now.

This is me at 31 and a bit weeks (apologies for untidy bedroom in the background!). I have now put on over two stone, am getting decidedly breathless having to walk around at work and have forgotten what a decent night's sleep feels like. But I know it'll all be worth it in the end - just counting down the days until I can go on maternity leave and have a rest!

It's been a busy couple of weekends too. We went away two weeks ago, after my very clever husband attended his OU degree ceremony. I'm so proud of him - he completed it in less than three years while working full time, which is more than most uni students can say - I worked part time at best through my degree!

Ed had booked us a couple of nights in a hotel at Ironbridge, which is well worth visiting - very pretty and the Victorian museum is great. I have quite a few photos which will probably appear on layouts in the near future.

Then last weekend we visited my mum and dad's and I got to show off my bump which had grown a lot in the five weeks since I had last seen them.

Speaking of mum and dad, they feature in this layout which I made a week or so ago, the picture is ancient, from 2007, but I really love those beach huts! I'm not in love with this layout - the balance is a bit off - but I don't want to do anything else to it right now so it is going to stay how it is until I decide to come back to it and work out what is wrong with it. I think it might be the title.

The trouble with this layout is that after deciding to organise my albums chronologically (inspired by the Shimelle Cover to Cover class) I realised that this layout really stands out in my 2007 album because it has such a different style to the one I had back then when I scrapped a lot of my 2007 photos. I used to have such a busy, intricate style, I've really pared that back to let me have a chance of finishing the odd page since work got so much busier. I hadn't really thought about how much my style has altered over time.

Shimelle's class has got me all inspired - I have printed a lot of my 2012 photos and ordered an AC album ready to start scrapping some up to date layouts and hopefully create an album with flow. We are supposed to be looking for the things that will create continuity in our albums rather than a set of disconnected pages, and I'm struggling a bit with this. I tend to grab whatever is in the Cocoa Daisy kit I'm currently working through, but I'm wondering whether for this 2012 album I need to put more thought into it.

So here are the things that are fairly common on my pages:

- 7 gypsies quote stickers (or October afternoon sometimes)
- Stamping, usually in black ink. I particularly like my set of Autumn Leaves border stamps.
- Butterfly punches, but not on every page
- Buttons
- Ribbon or ric rac, usually to underline a title or similar
- I used to use a lot of paint, and have recently been experimenting with mists instead (a bit less messy/time consuming)
- One photo layouts (though I would actually like this to change to get more of my photos scrapped)

I'm wondering whether I need to choose a particular motif or maybe a colour scheme to create commonality. I'm not sure if I could limit myself though, so maybe just colour schemes for particular events or sets of pages instead? I do like Shimelle's use of kraft cardstock on all her pages in one album, but I would have to buy a load more kraft if I wanted to do this.

It is certainly giving me plenty to think about anyway!

For the two people waiting on their flowers, they are all now parcelled up, addressed and ready to be posted in the morning. Sorry it's taken so long!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

An unusual double layout

You see, this is what happens when I go back to work - any other life goes straight out of the window! I haven't blogged for a week and a half, and I had been so good up to that point. Oh well, here I am again, ready to share an uncommon sight in my scrapbooks, the elusive double page spread!

As a rule, I don't like to scrap double pages - I find them really hard work to do well, and you need a lot more space to spread them out and check you have achieved continuity across the two. I have probably done about three double page spreads in the last four years. But I decided that I didn't want to have just one photo of this event in my scrapbook, but didn't feel like squeezing them all on one page.

The first page was inspired by an old Shimelle starting point - I often struggle to use plans or sketches, and I did with this, but I was quite pleased with the finished page. I really love the little camera and chandelier stamps, but for the life of me can't remember what brand they are! I continued my experiementation wth ink mists, in this case lime green and blue, to take away some of the harsh white of the background.

I then added the second page. I'm not as happy with this one, but I tried to fit three more photos onto the layout and also take some of the design features across, hence the use of the horizontal strips and blocks of paper and the same stamp set.

Here are the two as they appear in my scrapbook album - went a bit overboard with the lime green on the second side, but never mind! It isn't the favourite double page I have ever made, but it isn't awful and allowed me to get more photos scrapped.

The event in question was my third hen do. Yes, the third. I had four in total, though I suppose not all would be described as traditional hen dos. It comes from having such separate sets of friends. The first was an awesome day out in Stratford Upon Avon with my work colleagues involving a river boat trip and plenty of dares (and booze!). I had a fantastic time, but have yet to get any photos of this from my colleagues - I dread to think what I look like.

The second hen do was with another set of friends at one of their houses - good food, lots to drink and lots of gossip.

The third was this - a really lovely meal out with my in-laws, so quite a small affair.

And finally, the fourth was with my family in London - a trip to the theatre to see The Mousetrap, followed by another fantastic meal.

So this is the first one to be scrapped, but I'm sure I'll get around to the rest in due course!

In other news, the kitchen is getting gradually closer to completion - still no sink, but we may actually have a worktop and oven by the end of the day tomorrow.

Baby is starting to make me breathless going up the stairs and walking around - I assume because it is pressing on my diaphragm. I literally have to stop half way up to get my breath back - very embarassing. It's not that I'm particularly fit usually, but I definitely have better lung capacity than a sixty a day smoker. It's like getting a taste of what old age will be like!

To those ladies still waiting for their flowers, I plan on packing these up tonight, so hopefully will post at the weekend.