Month: November 2015

Photo a Day – week thirty six

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A good start to any week. Malted milk cheesecake……mmm.

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More Eggnog and a cinnamon swirl.

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Cold weather arrived today which signals gloves and tangerines of course.

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The effect of frost on Dahlia foliage.

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In a week this wonderful potted fir tree with be all festived up. This will be its fourth year.

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He doesn’t go near that footstool until I give a vacuum and then all of a sudden it’s his favourite place…..

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Ablaze.

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There goes another one.

Hydrangea wreath 2015

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I can’t resist them. Here is 2013’s and here is 2014.

This year I managed to save some blooms from the blue coloured plant in my Mums garden.

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I don’t think blue really goes with the room……. but it’s done now so will stay there!

I liked looking back at the older versions to compare them. Such a great plant for colour variations.

With only just taking last years down, as it’s so close to December, rather than just composting it I decided to see what it looked like spray painted gold. I kept the coverage light so that some of the faded colours from the blooms still came through.

Here it is against the wall.

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And here on a black surface. Love that reflection.

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On the wall I think that the gold needs to be stronger so I might give it another coat.

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Yet on the other hand I adore the delicate touch of gold when looking at the wreath close up. Maybe I could use it as a centerpiece instead of hung up? Then you can see the colour range from blues and purples to the gold.

Whatever I decide to do just really happy to have these floral beauties adding charm to a gloomy damp Friday.

December Daily® 2015 – the album cover

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Hello and welcome to this year’s post all about my cover for this festive album.

Like I said in my Foundation pages post although I wanted to use pocket pages I still wanted to make my own cover as that is one of my favourite parts of this project.

Before I made this year cover i looked back at all my previous ones.

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And last years.

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Based on that evidence I should have picked a red or kraft coloured cover this year just to change it up a bit…… but I decided on all white because that was the mood that struck me this year.

It was this pin combined with my previous album from 2009, with the tree shape adhered to the cover, that gave me the inspiration this time.

First I drew a snowflake shape on a thin piece of chipboard.

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Making a few measurements I tried to get the length and width of each ‘stem’ the same.

Below you can see the little snowflake die-cut I used to copy the shape.

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After fiddling about for some time trying to get it to look exactly symmetrical I eventually gave up and left it as it was, according to Wikipedia most are not perfectly symmetrical anyway!

Here it is cut out.

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It was then glued to the cover.

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And given several layers of white paint. I used artists acrylic.

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And then the good stuff. What embellishments to add? I am such a huge fan of the metal rimmed tags so added one of those along with a wood veneer snowflake I’d painted white and some white and silver bakers twine.

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I added glitter to the little snowflake and went around the edges of the large one with a silver gilt pen. The 25 was added and finally the title to the tag using some very old Doodlebug mini rub-ons. I almost used red letters but thought the black looked different to other albums so went with those instead.

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So there we are, all ready! Only five days to go……..

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December Daily® is an album project developed by Ali Edwards. Read all about it over here.

52 Stories – number two – It’s in the Genes

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Hello and welcome to week two in this storytelling adventure.

It’s in the Genes

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My ‘test’ if you will, to knowing if I’ve succeeded in my quest to capture the story, will be that if I can just quote the journaling I’ve used on the page and not need/want to add anything here in the post to explain it further, then I have done it, I’ve got all the bits of the story down.

Here’s the story from this page –

Mum B***, H**** and I arrived and the caravan & unpacked. A little later I wandered around the little bedrooms and noticed that every one of us had hung up our dressing-gowns on the little hooks by the doors. We love a dressing gown in our family. Nothing as wonderful as putting on that cosy garment.

The takeaway from story number two/Would I add anything more?

I think that the same conclusion I made last week applies here. Write out journalling first. I repeated the word ‘little’ in the second sentence which I’d have changed if I’d drafted it first. I don’t think I would add anything else to the story because I found on this page the title plays a big part in getting the story across. Just reading the title indicates that this layout is going to talk about some sort of family trait or connection, that’s a great bit of information to remember. Titles count towards the story too.

Okay two down…..

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52 stories is a year long series or adventure in my story telling. Can I get the whole story onto a layout? Am I telling the stories I want to tell? Read the inspiration post here.

December Daily® 2015 – thoughts on this years album

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I said in my previous post that I’d be back with more thoughts on this album, so here I am. The Storytelling with December Daily® really got me thinking about my journey with December Daily® and I have gained a different perspective on the process and the album itself.

As I contemplated and looked back I discovered that I’ve shared many a pre-December pondering here on the blog and most of them amount to the same ideas over and over. I don’t mind that, in fact I love that I’m consistent! Tradition is one of the joys of this project. Bring it all on I say, the new and the old. The well loved traditions and the exciting firsts.

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As part of the class Ali has encouraged us to think about the story we want to live this December. Amazing right? The story we want to live.

She has encouraged us to look back at past albums if we have them and think about the kinds of stories we want to tell. She has encouraged us to look for the story each day. She has encouraged us to make it work for us, nothing is set in stone. Do it every day, do it five times in the month, make the album later; whatever works. She has encouraged us to set an intention for the month and to tell just one story a day.

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Out of all the thought, looking back and pondering I have come up with a few notes.

  • I feel like I have had a pretty good overall approach to the albums and tell a variety of stories. (Although not enough writing – see below about this.)
  • I’ve found that although I get the idea of just one story a day I actually love my pages where there is a rundown/overview of events on a particular day.
  • I also adore the little bits of memorabilia tucked into pockets. I like the process of taking them out, opening them up to see what I saved.
  • I still love full page photos and with the pocket page album this year hope to do more of those.
  • Love photos taken from outside looking in.
  • There are not many of them but I love candid photos showing expressions of joy. This is a double edge sword because in order to get those photos I’m not ‘in the moment.’ There has to be a balance here.

I could go on and on because I have so many thoughts whirring around but they are my main takeaways.

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Something I did notice as I flipped through all the albums was that I didn’t really stop to read the journaling, I was just looking at the photographs. I was wondering why that was.

Was it because I don’t like my writing? Was it that I’m not comfortable reading my ‘voice’? I also found a few day where I hadn’t written anything. I know in years past, time has been a factor and I have left days simple in order to move forward with the album. But looking back I wanted to know what the story was that day so I need to try a different approach this year. One that both gets the story told and told in a way that I am happy to read back. I will try Ali’s approach to telling stories which is facts and feelings, facts and feelings.

I am excited for the final week of the Storytelling class, excited to write my intentions, charge the camera battery, stock up on photo paper and let December in.

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December Daily® is an album project developed by Ali Edwards. Read all about it over here.

Photo a Day – week thirty five

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One season ends…….

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Took this at 1.50pm, wanted to remember how low the sun was at that time of day in November.

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For dinner.

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Stately entrance.

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Riot of red.

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Just us two.

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Caught.

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And there we have it.

December Daily® foundation pages – 2015

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So it’s that wonderful time of year once again. December approaches which for me means that preparations for December Daily® need to be done. What a chore!

I have another post coming soon where I’ll set out a few intentions and thoughts about this album – I have been taking part in Ali’s Storytelling with December Daily® class and this has triggered a new perspective for me as I embark on my eighth December with this project. But for right now I want to share my foundation pages.

All past December Daily® albums have been made from scratch. This year I moved away from that a little by using 6 x 8 page protectors inside the album. I thought long and hard about whether to buy a pre-made album but making the cover a big part of the creative process for me and I love doing it so I’m still making my own then putting the page protectors within that.

The jury’s out on whether I like this way of doing things or not. I hope it will give me greater flexibility and make the process throughout the month easier. We’ll see and I’ll certainly share my feeling after the festive season is done.

I made a Pinterest board with ideas for the colour scheme I wanted this year. Still white red and kraft but more airy, dreamy, muted. Not sure I’ll pull it off as my photos will be colourful but I love that little board of inspiration!

You’ll notice that because of the flexibility of an album this style I’ve left all my numbers for the days of the month ‘loose’ within the pockets.

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Above is a 6 x 8 for day one and a 4 pocket page for day two. I am really short of number two stickers (all used up in previous years!) so for this day I intend to print the number on a 3×4 card to insert in a pocket.

Here is day three and four. I found photographing the album a challenge because of the glare but also as many pockets are empty you can see straight through.

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Day five and six.

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That’s a Tim Holtz number brad for day five and below you can see that I’ve cropped a 6×8 page to make it 3×8.

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Day seven and another page I stitched to make 2×2 sized pockets on the right. It holds wooden embelishments at the moment.

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Day eight with a die cut snowflake card.

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And I painted a few hearts on this woodgrain paper.

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Day nine and ten.

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Always love including some of the metal rimmed tags.

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Below you can see day eleven and thirteen. Day twelve is in there but you can see through the pockets to the next day! Also on this photo you can see that I have added a piece of 3×8 card outside a page protector. I still intend to have some of these types of pages as I love that tactile element of turning a paper page.

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A got crafty with day 12 and added a glittered arrow that I cut out freehand. I’ve left the brad with the twelve on loose to add onto the page somewhere.

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Day fourteen and fifteen.

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I used a Tim Holtz star stencil to paint white stars on a 3×4 card. Love white on white.

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And a little piece of velum I have been saving. That’s the beauty of 3×4 pockets. You can use little bits and pieces.

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Day sixteen and seventeen.

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And for day eighteen I stamped some words with red ink onto a white card. The stamps were the free set from the storytelling class.

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Another piece of card tucked into the album on the left, just to remind me to add these ‘free’ elements. And then day nineteen with a pipecleaner that I shaped into a star.

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Day twenty will have a printed number card added.

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I used a card from the Say Cheese line from Simple Stories on the left here. And another metal tag for day twenty one.

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Again day twenty two will have a printed card and on the left day twenty three.

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Day twenty four starts with a cut down 4 pocket page so there are two 3×4 pockets. I love different sized pages and don’t want to miss that element even while using the pocket pages.

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And on the right a 6×8 page.

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And finally day twenty five.

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You can see that I have quite a few ‘spare’ pages there at the back so I can slip them in where needed.

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Phew. Hope that if you are taking part that you’re getting prepared. I have to say it feels good to be trying something new.

Back soon with more thoughts on this album and a post all about my cover for this year.

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See all my other foundation pages 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 part 1, 2010 part 2.

Read 2015 – Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case by Agatha Christie

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So milestone passed. Apart from a few short stories that I’m sure I have missed this was my final Poirot and I have resisted reading it for decades! But when we arrived at the cottage the other week there it was on the shelf of books they keep there for guests to read. It was fate and I decided what better way to while away a few hours in my favourite place than with good old Hercule.

Agatha wrote this book in the 1940’s although it was only published in 1975. I am both glad I waited all this time to read it (it felt like a treat I had been saving all these years without realising it!) and glad I finally read it. It is classic Christie. I mention that it was published long after it was written because I think that it’s obvious it was written during her most imaginative writing time, and quite different from novels she was writing in the late 1960’s.

If you are a fan then it’s a must read but only when you have read all the others first!

52 stories – number one – Time for Coffee

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Here we go with story number one in this year long story telling adventure.

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Before I share this page I wanted to say that when we came back from the US in May and I looked at the hundreds of photos we’d taken a vast array of stories came to mind about almost every picture. I was excited to scrapbook and tell these funny tales. I can’t remember having this happen before. Maybe it was because I was more open to the idea of story telling? Maybe we just had more stories to tell this holiday? I’m not sure if there is an answer but I jotted all the ideas so I did not forget. I’ll be sharing those holiday ones throughout this story telling year too.

Okay, here is story number one.

Time for Coffee

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I adapted this layout by Ali Edwards. Imperfect stamping repeated, some Studio Calico stars and labels from Simple Stories with the location of each photo noted.

My ‘test’ if you will, to knowing if I’ve succeeded in my quest to capture the story, will be that if I can just quote the journaling I’ve used on the page and not need/want to add anything here in the post to explain it further then I have done it, I’ve got all the bits of the story down.

Here is the story from this page –

Americans do coffee well. They take it seriously and you kind of get drawn into the whole deal. Even in the hotel you get a little proper coffee maker and ground coffee. What amuses me is that with the perfect coffee they put creamer…. Ah well they tend to drink it black anyway with sugar. Funny story – I was waiting in line for my Dunkin’s and was asked if I wanted cream and sugar in my coffee. I’d said yes before I even thought about it. CREAM & SUGAR! On top of all those donuts. Oh well it was actually rather delish. And I kept adding sugar & half & half all the holiday. Even Gav the stalwart tea drinker opted for coffee while we were away. Coffee they can make tea they can’t but that’s another story.

The takeaway from story number one/Would I add anything more?

I need to draft the story out first. I think this will be my takeaway from every layout. I am aware that handwriting my journaling always results in an incomplete story. When I re-read them I want to pick up my pen and add more. So note to self, draft it out! I get that there is a place for just writing off the cuff so to speak but I must try to draft a few just to see if I am more satisfied when I re-read those.

I think that this does capture more or less what I wanted to say. I adore the coffee drinking rituals we make while away and I think I more or less got that worked into the story?

Back with another next week.

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52 stories is a year long series or adventure in my story telling. Can I get the whole story onto a layout? Am I telling the stories I want to tell? Read the inspiration post here.

Photo a Day – week thirty four

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Stopped at our usual spot for a coffee and muffin on the way home from the cottage. Delighted to find a seasonal guy atop the most sickly, sweet yet delish gingerbread treat.

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Eggnog latte how I have missed you! And oops another muffin…

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It appears to be the food edition this week. All the ingredients for the perfect pasta for dinner.

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A pile of papers ready for the re-cycling bin.

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Oh look, I did do something other than eat.

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Although not very much it seems.

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What can I say? Dog hugging radiator, Gavs mess on the floor. Just a regular Friday.

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Okay that was that.