Month: January 2012

30 Soups – What no soup?

I promised soup.

I could really use some soup.

I have another cold.


I feel too ugh to make the very soup I need……..


Weekly Layout – week one

Welcome to my first week of documenting how I got from photos to layout and some of the thinking in between.

Before we delve in I just want to add that the photos I’m scrapping each week are going to be a mix of old and new. Some might be half decent while others will be dreadful because they were taken years ago or they are just ordinary everyday pictures from my life. Ordinary everyday pictures that still can tell a wonderful story even if they’re yellow round the edges or the subject seems like they are miles away.

I’m trying to encourage myself to scrap and get stories told and enjoy the process along the way.

So the first group of pictures I chose are new ones – well taken last summer. They are of Buddy running up and down the garden like a mad dog having the most fun.

I’m not entirely sure why two have the white borders. I had these printed by photobox, it was probably my error in the printing choices. Anyway, I trimmed off the white while I thought about placement of the pictures on the page.

This is always a BIG sticking point with me. How to place the photos? There are soooo many options and I’m bad at going with the same thing every time. I am a fairly clean and simple scrapper. Grids, blocks, lines. And I can count on one hand the number of layouts I’ve done with photos at an angle. Just thinking about that makes my eye twitch!

To start I placed them touching each other in a block with the focal point photo off to the right.

Then I thought about putting them in a line, cropping the outer two (that’s whay I placed a white bit of card over the bottom of the picture) so there was room for embelishment and the focal point picture took centre stage. In the end I got frustrated by my lack of decision and moved on to pretty papers choices.

Orange seemed to work well with the pictures. I think perhaps because there was so much green in them and it provided a contrast. I also like the stripy paper again it was a contrast.

I pulled out a pile of embellishments and letter stickers too. I really wanted to use those Jenni Bowlin number banners. I just got them and love them so.

Then I went off on a tangent and thought about the story. (scrapping with me is really all over the place!)

I wanted to scrap these pictures to show Buddy’s ever changing toy choices that day. He had us laughing so much because every time he appeared he had something different clamped between his teeth.

So with that in mind I jotted ideas down on paper. I think it’s really useful to just get everything down on paper and see what feels right.

I liked the word ‘Bounding’ and how I mentioned each ‘toy’ by name and also the ‘which toy next.’

It then took me about half an hour to pin down my papers. I know! I can’t make decisions. In the end I changed my mind from the original papers and went with just these instead.

Bazzil swiss dot, My Minds Eye – Mischievous and I’m not sure of the black and kraft one but it is new.

Here are the papers adhered to the cardstock. Like I say I’m a straight line kinda girl.

And the finished layout. The title letters are from Doodlebug – Simply Sweet, secondary title is from Crate paper – portrait collection alpha stickers and I used some Elsie cardstock stickers – riley and the 7 gypsies label sticker book in classic brown. I often use a visual triangle often without realising it! In this case it’s the placement of the three groups of embellishments each with a touch of orange for a little repetition too.

The handwritten journaling was done using a Faber Castel – pitt artist pen in dark sepia.

So week one done. Are you scrapping this week?

Changes – part two

Following on from my post about the blog projects…..

5. Garden photo’s – monthly project.

There were plenty of pictures taken of the garden last year and I did share them so I intend to keep up with this but do it every month. I know gardens don’t change radically from one month to the next but I like the idea of a year in pictures out there in a space that is so close to my heart.

6. Improve my photography and record progress.

I love photography, it’s a hobby I’ve had since I was about 12. The DSLR that we bought a couple of years ago gets plenty of use but I want to get better and less frustrated every time I take the lens cap off.

So I have signed up for this class. Hopefully if I work hard (ha, ha) and try to remember stuff the photographs will improve…..

And by the way, I am soooooo excited to be doing this class. I have been tempted for about two years now and always resisted. I read Karen’s blog and am green with envy at her amazing photos.

7. Documenting project flowers – throughout the spring and summer every couple of weeks.

The new year always brings the excitement of planning for the garden and this year it’s doubly exciting because of project flowers. The flowers I’m going to grow are chosen and most of the seeds purchased so now all I need to do is wait.

8. Keep up to date with any progress on the click tick list – as often as I actually cross something off.

I need to focus my mind and decide what is achievable this year and get on with it. Simple right?

Here is to a great, creative, productive and enjoyable year.

Changes – part one

 Hello changes.

I rattled off lists of things in a gabble within my moving forwards post the other day, so let me clarify what the heck I was trying to say. 

As far as the blogging goes I’m not quite as committed to a schedule as Karen is, but I hope to do things semi regularly. With that in mind here is what I’ll be up to in the coming months.

1.  Walk through the process of scrapbooking a story – weekly project.


I surf scrapbook blogs and websites. I feed off their inspiration and layout ideas. I love their creativity and positive-ness. Yet, for all that inspiration I still stand in front of my scrap table and stare blankly at the photos I want to scrap. Part of my conscience change this year is to keep on scrapbooking and hopefully do more of it.  

And what better way to fulfil that commitment than to commit to sharing my pages and how I managed to get from a pile of pictures and a sketchy story to a finished page. It will be a challenge but I’m going to do it and it starts next Tuesday. Eeek….. a commitment!

2.   Make 30 soups this year and share the recipes.

There is something about soup. I don’t even have to eat it, I just need to think about it and I feel better. I want to make more soup so why not do just that and share the outcome’s right here. How about a spicy carrot soup? Soup number one coming right up next Thursday.

3.    Share a sewing project – monthly project.

Ever since my Mum and my sister bought me a sewing machine – that will be four christmases ago then – I have wanted to sew. I just never get around to it. I did make this. And that’s been about it. This is going to change and I am going to make something every month including a sampler quilt. (read a small one that could sit at the bottom of the bed) I have pinned a few projects I want to try too.

4.  Read and share 25 books this year.

Since my target of 26 books failed last year I have given myself permission to lower my target. By one. That pile above was from 2009.

Like I said in my wrap up post I like the challenge of reading a set number of books a year. I have a few put to one side left over from last year and I have started number one of course. And I’m looking forward to any and all book club type TV shows that might be upcoming on UK TV. And if I get stuck there is a great list here.

So that is part one of my plans. Part two coming right up.

2012 Books

About half an hour ago I was waiting for the pasta to finish cooking so I could assemble dinner when I spotted the above book. I gave it to my Mum for Christmas as she just passed it back for me to read.

When I brought it home this afternoon I placed it on the kitchen worktop and had no intention of beginning it right now. But then I was just stood idling away five minutes waiting for the pasta and I picked the book up.

I read the first three paragraphs and was immediately transported to the funny, often dangerous and always entertaining world of Stephanie Plum.

And that is the beauty of reading. I don’t care about the pan of pasta now or the rubbish evening TV.

I have a book to read.

Moving….. forwards, yes, forwards

I want to move forwards. Not to stay still.

And at this time of year renewal and change is everywhere you look.

A fresh new start. Healthy eating, more exercise, clearing out cupboards………..

I said yesterday that I was jumping on that bandwagon for better or worse. I like the kick start the new year brings.

There is the idea out there on the fringes of my vision. Of better or different, the dream of becoming something more.

Under normal everyday circumstances I don’t like change. It is a challenge to make me do anything a bit different. But sometimes even stick in the mud boring old me knows when it’s time to shake things up a bit and would you believe it, it usually comes at the start of the year.

So I have been pondering life. My life, our life.

I have no demands on my time apart from work. So I can choose to do nothing or something and I often choose nothing. Well wiling away the day on the internet. But doing nothing isn’t healthy for mind or the body.

But how do you make a change? 

I like the idea of schedules. Somehow, even though I know I’ve set them myself, it seems more achievable if I’ve made a bargain with myself to achieve something that day.

Also I know from past experience that when Gav and I make a list of jobs to do around and about the house we get more things crossed off and accomplished with a list than without one so they do work.

With that in mind I have made a list, several lists:

Things I want to do

Sewing, scrapbooking, working on the family tree, gardening and growing flowers, reading 25 books this year, improving my photography, writing, work on the click tick list, go out to see a film with Gav once a month.

Things I must do

Increase time with my family, thinking about work and the rest of my working life, get back on the healthier eating regime, think about my wish to be more eco/green etc, learn more about HTML and CSS from Gav.

And stop wasting time on this laptop!

Things I want to do on the Blog

I’ve mentioned Karen here before. After reading her blog for a while and getting my head around her need to schedule things I saw the beauty of it.

Most of the things listed below follow on from my musts and wants above.

Walk through the process of scrapbooking a layout a week, make 30 soups this year and share the recipes, share a sewing project a month, garden photo’s every month, documenting project flowers, share the 25 books, keep up to date with any progress on the click tick list.

It’s good to get things down on paper and see the shape of the tasks that lie ahead. It’s exciting and uplifting. We can do what we want.

I can do it. 

I will be back with more details on this project 2012 soon. Are you making changes and tweaks in this year 2012?

Eleven best’s in 2011

There are a lot of reviews going on out there and I liked this idea so decided to give it a whirl here.

Best photograph.

Taken in Canal gardens on an icy but amazingly sunny day.

The best walk.

In March on the beach and dunes at Embleton Bay in Northumberland.

The best thing we grew.

Okay that’s two things but technically the plum tree did all the growing I just enjoyed watching it. The sweet peas were almost perfect. This year they will be….

The best decision.

There isn’t a photo for this but I made the decision to give up alcohol in March last year. And I am very happy I did.

The best book read.

The best TV show.

We are loving this programme. Still catching up at the moment we’re on series 4.

The best purchase. Baseball was perfect using this little gadget.

The best  picture that shows how crackers I am.

The best photograph of Buddy.

Well my favourite anyway.

The best film.

No surprise here.

Best mini break.

Hope you enjoyed the look back. I know the start of the year is the chance to change things around a bit, start fresh with new ideas and resolutions. We may break those resolutions but I for one love the challenge of change. The oppourtunity to try and change even if I don’t get to the 100% mark.

I have made lists of things I want to change or achieve and I will share them here.

So tomorrow onward with new plans, posts and positive thinking.