Month: January 2014

Layout share – the trip north


Here is the last of that batch of layouts I made the other week. Another story from the Florida hols.

I already had the painted piece of cardstock and though it would look good as a background here. It is regular old acrylic paint and a few drops of Studio Calico Mister Huey mist on the top.

I’m sure she’ll forgive me for posting this photo one day! I was getting the demo of how to eat a doughnut without licking your lips.


The die cut pieces are from Amy Tangerine and October Afternoon packs. The starry paper is Dear Lizzie and the grey stars are Studio Calico. And my favourite alpha stickers making the word ‘North’ are Amy Tangerine again. Glad she’s brought out another pack of those transparent letters.

And there we go.


Review of read 2013


I know it seems a bit late to do a review post but I just wanted to get my thoughts out about my reading list last year.

I pinned all but one book over here. The missing one is the final installment in the Ally Condie trilogy – Reached.

It was the year of YA (young adult) fiction with three trilogies completed within the year and three more books completing two other YA trilogies. Not a literary year then but lots of angst and romance along the way.

I keep wanting to pick up YA because they are easy to read and love usually figures in the story somehow. And we all know what a romantic I am. Maybe I go through reading phases just like I go through other phases and right now I feel the need to just sit and revel in fantasy land. My favourite of the year was Divergent.

Of the other books I tackled I think Spiders Web was the most enjoyable. I read it in a day and it was a good old-fashioned murder mystery.

This year has got off to a slow start. I am struggling with a Lord Peter Wimsey. But have a lovely stack of book sitting in the wings just waiting for me to get to the end of Sayers – Five Red Herrings. It’s not that I don’t like her books but like I said I’m in the mood for non thinking, non literary romance!

Project Life® – week 44 to 47


Here we go, almost done for last year.

4th to 10th November.


And the next week. I have kept recent weeks down to just one page. That little card with the ‘Sometimes you ….’ has the writing on the inside. I added a teeny part of a label that was weft over and stamped that dragonfly on it and finished with a strip of black spotty washi tape.


I managed to get all the sizes of my photos mixed up. I thought I had done just 4 x 6 and 3 x 4 but most came out smaller so I had to add in lots of backgrounds for the pictures to sit on. I like how it turned out though.


Lots of different things going on this week and more use of my new old typewrite!


Back with the final month soon.


Project Life® is a memory keeping system developed by Becky Higgins. I am using the Honey and the Fifth and Frolic ‘Dear Lizzie’ Core Kits and the Seasons Mini kit in my pages.

Go here to find out more from Becky.

Layout share – Operation Deer


Another Florida layout.

I started off with a square shape for the photo grouping after cutting the pictures so that they would line up in two rows and be the same length. I separated the rows with the title and journalling. The journalling is typed onto vellum. Oh how I adore that typewriter. I thought it might smudge but it worked fine.


A couple of pieces of paper top left and bottom right help balance the page with minimal embellishments of a few brad stars and some really old chipboard buttons from the ‘Love Elsie’ collection. Great alphas from Jillibean Soup and foam Thickers and another speech bubble from Studio Calico.

For the love of a manual typewriter


I thought it would be a passing phase, you know, you spend too much money on something you just have to have and then you use it twice. Well not this time. I have wanted an old-fashioned typewriter for a couple of years but I stepped up my search for one when I saw how useful it could be for those little captions and titles on my Project Life pages.


I’d mentioned that I was on the lookout for one to my Mum and about a month later she found this in a charity shop.


So I bought it and told Gav he could give me it for Christmas. And he did. And I can’t stop using it.


It is perfect and just what I needed. No more messing about lining things up to send through the printer or wasting paper because I just can’t get stuff to line up no matter how hard I try.


Now I just pop whatever I want to type on into the old-fashioned machine and type it out. Done and dusted and on the page.



Around here


I’ve been transferring stuff onto a ‘new to me’ laptop and am getting confused with what I’ve saved where. Anyway I found a bunch of photos from the last couple of weeks that I’d forgotten about! So thought I’d share.

Books for me and one for my Mum.


On the way to school. Would you look at that I managed to brush her hair!


Homemade very herby soup.


This one was taken by Gav while he was out walking. He captured the moon for me.


Deliciously bad for you breakfast.


Out for coffee with Mum and my sister.


I think these around here posts might morph into the old photo a day thing because to be perfectly honest I’m actually missing taking those shots and the challenge! And Gav made a request to bring them back too so we’ll see.

Photo a week – week 2


This little exercise is turning out to be much harder than I thought and it’s only my second week! But lets just plod on and see where we get to.

Buddy is the star of the show again.


Canon 550D, 17-40mm L series lens, aperture – f4, shutter speed – 1/400, ISO – 800.

Okay. So much wrong with this one. But I’m sharing because I want to learn and I think writing all my thoughts down about what’s not right with this photo might help me do that….. so here goes.

What was my reason for this shot? Buddy was going cracker-dog crazy in the garden and I wanted to record that fun. Also I was loving the frost.

Factors to bear in mind – I am trying to capture a fast moving subject. It was a bright sunny day but not where we were in the garden and it is January so the light isn’t great.

I know that to get a sharp image where there is a moving target I need a fast shutter speed. But a fast shutter speed means less light coming into the camera and I know it’s January so the  light is poor. To compensate for that I put the ISO to 800. But it wasn’t enough and the fastest I got a decent exposure only let me get the shutter speed to 400, when for a clean image of Buddy running it probably should have been 1000 or more? The upshot of that is that he is blurry because the shutter speed was too slow and therefore I caught his movement instead of freezing the action.

Composition – It isn’t bad. By standing to the side of him I capture the idea of his movement and get the garden in the background. And a great reminder of the frosty day. But I would probably get rid of the houses in the background and focus the picture on just Bud and his running madness.

On reflection then should I have bothered trying to get such a tricky photo? This is such a personal thing to answer. Most professional photographers wouldn’t have even picked up the camera with conditions like I had. (Unless they used a tripod, which I do not if I can help it.)

Lots of professionals will, of course, only want the perfect image. I’m not 100% about the perfect though. I am about capturing true and real images from our life and telling stories about them. Sometimes the only way to capture a story is though a less than perfect picture and I am totally okay with that. But for this exercise alone then I probably should have left the camera inside.

And finally a word on the new lens. I need to use it more to get a handle on what it will and won’t do. It’s a zoom so a different beast than the 50mm. One thing I have learned though, is that its blurry at shutter speed f60 which the 50mm is not. So onward to find more subjects to capture and practice, practice, practice.

On patrol


Very busy.

Busy, busy, busy.

“What?! I said I was busy…..”


“See. Busy.”


Layout share – Laundry Love


Here is another page with tales of the Florida trip.

This one is all about my sisters love of the big washing machines in the house we stayed at.

I took inspiration from this pin.


Some of the circles are punched, a couple were hand-cut to add variety. The mist is Dylusions ink and the speech bubble from a Simple Stories Snap sticker sheet. The geo tag is from Studio Calico and the arrow border from a sheet of Dear Lizzie paper.

Not usually a fan of yellow I actually like it here and love the page.

Around here


A few shots of what’s going on this week.

Above is the Jasmin flowering away.

Seed audit.


The potted Christmas tree back outside.


Fallen over pots.


Buddy napping.


The mantel.


Winter stems.


A collection of things to put in Project Life. Bus ticket, little flags I made for the Boxing day buffet table, a thank you and a Christmas card and a Starbucks sleeve (for some reason, actually I know the reason – thanks sis! Gav says he’s Alex when ordering drinks at Starbucks hence the name on the sleeve……)


Hamamelis coming into bloom.


And my new lens…….


(More on that bit of kit soon.)

Just a few things around here yesterday.