Thursday, November 3, 2011

Slowing down…

Well, what a difference a few weeks make! Last time I posted I could hardly keep up with the creative urge; since then possibly the most creative thing I’ve done is pick which DVD to fall asleep in front of each evening. Still, the rest was appreciated. J

Motivation’s starting to perk up again now, so here’s Twenty-four:

This is one of those layout designs I always come back to - think it shows up in the last post, come to think of it. I like having a few dependables like that; I find it takes the pressure off when I'm only feeling semi-creative. And why reinvent the wheel if you don't have to, hey?

Have a great weekend  :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Catching up...

It’s been a good week, in terms of productivity! Here we have Layouts Nineteen through Twenty-three:

The first is a “now” one, but the others are all catch-up pages. Feels good!

Was sorting out some of the final boxes leftover from moving house, and realised that the last page I’d done for my son’s album was from late 2008. So the layouts over the coming weeks may be fairly heavily Joel-based…

On a final, completely unrelated note, I just wanted to share a little bit of wonderfulness I picked up last week - biscuit cutters from Typo:


Have a great week J

Friday, September 2, 2011

The course of creativity never did run smooth…

Back again! Life appears to be settling down a bit now, so I’m renewing the resolution of a layout a week. We’ll see….

Layout Eighteen was sparked off by this picture in a magazine:

I  loved the look and colour combination of the jade and amethyst necklace (slightly to right of centre) and since I don’t have a spare $600, I decided to channel it into a layout. I’d had these summer pics on my desk for a while (waiting for inspiration to strike) and thought they’d combine well with some sea-toned sparkle. Went with my Old-Faithful-for-multi-photos, the trusty grid, and then filled in the gaps:

I was actually pretty happy with the result – it all seemed to blend nicely with the photos and suggest summery things, like sunlight on water, etc.

And then we hit a wall.

All the bits and pieces of paper and extras I’d dug out to go with the layout just looked wrong. Really, really wrong. Everything I tried just looked faded, dull or insignificant. The layout had become a bling sample, with some photos attached.

Had to face it. It was time to start again. Telling myself sternly, “if it’s not working, it’s not working,” (to balance out the other side of my brain that was bleating, “but it took so looooong!!”), I pulled off the photos and began afresh.

On the plus side, I still liked the arrangement of the photos, so it wasn’t really starting from scratch. And being able to use the little tree badge (which I really, really liked) cheered me up no end. I’m finding I’m really drawn to that style of artwork at the moment – sort of folksy, simple and graphic; the kind of thing Kikki K does so well.

So here ‘tis; Layout Eighteen, Take Two:

Less innovative, yes, but I’m much happier with this one. My favourite layouts are always those ones where everything’s blending harmoniously into a whole, and you only notice individual elements gradually; to me, this fits the bill. And the aqua/spring green combination is a definite new favourite. Oh, and I’ve kept and stored the first background – couldn’t bear to take it apart! Will probably use it for a collection of pool photos or similar eventually.  

The whole process this time around reminded me of a quote from a book by one of my favourite authors, Susan Howatch. It’s part of a passage I’m intending to paint on to a canvas someday for the study. (That to-do list of “some day” projects is getting lengthy…)

“ ‘And when the work’s finally finished,’ I said, ‘does every step of the creation make sense? All the pain and slog and waste and mess – how do you reconcile yourself to that? Is every disaster finally justified?’

‘Every step I take – every bit of clay I touch – they’re all there in the final work. If they hadn’t happened, then this –‘ She gestured to the sculpture ‘-wouldn’t exist. In fact they had to happen for the work to emerge as it is. So in the end every major disaster, every tiny error, every wrong turning, every fragment of discarded clay, all the blood, sweat and tears – everything has meaning. I give it meaning. I reuse, reshape, recast all that goes wrong so that in the end nothing is wasted and nothing is without significance and nothing ceases to be precious to me.’ “
Have a wonderful weekend J

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Food for thought…

The other day I was listening to the radio in the car, and I heard something that startled me so much I actually had to pull over to get my head around it. The interviewee (didn’t catch who he was or where he hailed from, sorry) was saying that if you have:

a)      a car
b)      money in the bank
c)      a little extra in your wallet/purse

you’re in the top eight percent of the world’s wealthy.

Eight percent! Now I’m aware that my life is pretty comfortable from a global perspective and I’ve heard statistics on poverty before, but something about that one brought me up short. Maybe because those are things that I’d class as essentials, rather than extras. And I never would have guessed that I’m better off than 92% of the rest of the world. I don’t know about you, but while I’m fairly definite with my kids about the difference between “needs” vs “wants”, I’m not always so good at distinguishing it for myself! (Particularly when the end-of-financial-year-sales kick in…)

Frankly, it inspired a “Pollyanna / count your blessings” moment. Which brings us to Layout Seventeen:

Happily, I re-discovered my album-for-me a week or two ago. (Unpacking those last few boxes takes a while, huh?) This is where all my contemplative / experimental / don’t fit anywhere else layouts go. I’m hesitant to call it an art journal because so far it’s really just scrapping, but it pretty much fulfils that role. Good fun – and satisfying.

On a final note, I need some advice. I finally worked out how to do a blog background / header (hurrah for on-line tutorials!), but do you think I could find how to get rid of the old background? I could not. So if any of you who are more technically-minded than me – which appears to be anyone over the age of oh, say, four – could help me out, it would be very much appreciated!

Happy scrapping!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Layout Sixteen

Well, it has been a while since I last visited Blogland! I think this year’s goal of one-layout-a-week has well and truly fallen by the wayside, although not as badly as any of the fitness aspirations (which I’m starting to suspect I only ever include to make all my other goals look slightly more achieved than they actually are). Never mind; creativity always has peaks and troughs.

Managed to get a bit of playtime in yesterday though, so here’s Layout Sixteen:

Several months ago (back when fitness was still on the agenda), I was out for an early morning walk on what promised to be a pretty dreary day weather-wise, and the sunrise was a really unusual and striking deep yellow and steel grey. I’ve been waiting for a chance to play with that colour combination ever since; I’d never think of putting those two together on my own. It was fun, too – might set myself a few more challenges of that kind.

Until next time, then :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Less IS more...

A couple of years age I read something Ali Edwards wrote about creativity and stash quantity. She said that she'd found a really large stash of stuff can hamper her creativity; rather than actually creating, she'd spend the time sorting through, trying to find stuff, or even losing things in the clutter. At the time, I dismissed it, thinking, "Less is more? No, more is more..."

But over the past week and a half of unpacking my stored stuff - very exciting! - it dawned on me, looking at the sheer volume of product covering the study floor, that if I scrapbooked every day for the next few years, I still might not use it all up. Now, I don't think I'm particularly extravagant when it comes to buying supplies, but after ten years of collecting, the stuff really does pile up. Plus, it really was hard to find things I wanted.

So, as usual, Guru Ali was right. It was time to cull. Any double ups of a product....culled! Anything I couldn't immediately see how I'd use use.....culled! Anything I'd bought more than three years ago and hadn't yet used....culled! And do you know what? It felt fantastic! Now, I can find everything easily, and I have a stash consisting solely of things I love and can't wait to use. All very good. :)

Something else exciting (to me, at least) - I just realised I missed a layout when counting last time. So, last post was Fourteen, not Thirteen, and I'm not as far behind as I thought. :)  Which brings us to Layout Fifteen:

(Apologies for the slightly wonky photo there...) I've made a discovery over the last nine months of not having supplies: I really love scrapbooking recent photos. I used to be a strictly chronological kind of gal, but I really like hopping between the old and new. It's much easier to record memories while they're still fresh, huh?

And now, housework calls...Happy rest of the week to you and yours :)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Virginia Woolf was on to something,,,

Well, admittedly, a room of one's own is not a "must", exactly, but after ten years of scrapping on the dining room table, it's a pretty wonderful thing to have! Yes, we have officially Escaped to the Country, and after the frenzy of packing, moving and unpacking (nearly done), the whole family is loving the new house and land.

We were really blessed these past nine months to have had the rental we did  – excellent location and extremely accommodating landlord. That being said, I will not miss:

  1. Freight trains at
  2. 3 kids in one bedroom
  3. Living on a building site
The kids themselves, not being particularly thrilled by the wonderful cafes and shops nearby that were the enjoyable silver lining for us, found it a pretty challenging time. So I thought I'd make Layout Thirteen a "thank you" one to them, for how well they made the best of it all. Here 'tis:

It's been lovely to watch their excitement in their new home :) - they've earned it!

Layout Thirteen....just worked out that if I was doing one a week this year, I 'd be up to No. Eighteen. Still, moving house is a pretty good excuse to be behind. And think of all the fun of catching up, especially since I have my own room to do it in....:)
And now off to finish unpacking the study....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Inspiration from "North and South"

It’s been a little longer than I intended since the last post, I’m afraid. I’m not sure why I always anticipate that school holidays will give me more creative time; I think the opposite is the reality!

Happily however I have found time to indulge in watching my favourite DVD, North and South.  (NB: BBC version, not US Civil War. Much less carnage.) It’s so utterly wonderful, it’s beyond words. To any scoffers, I would like to point out that an hour after the first screening of Episode One in 2004, the BBC website forum crashed due to all the traffic. I’m not alone on this, girls J

I got to musing over what made it so satisfying a love story. And here’s my conclusion: restraint. Now I know that doesn’t sound remotely alluring, but bear with me…

So much of what would just be normal today was taboo back then. But before we start muttering “repression”, here’s the thing: when the big things are taboo, the little things – a glance, a touch, a word – become incredibly powerful. They don’t get lost or overlooked – they mean something.

That was the inspiration point for Layout Thirteen: restraint. Now, yes, I love new products. Buying stamps makes me smile. My heart sings the Hallelujah Chorus when I spy new papers. But just occasionally, isn’t it good to just strip it back to the essentials? A photo. A word. An exactly-right accent. Just to make sure the emotion… the story... the moment… isn’t lost in or obscured by the ‘stuff’ (wonderful though it may be).

So that was the challenge I set for myself this week: essentials only.  Here ‘tis:

Verdict: Essentials only is hard! There’s definitely more on that page than I thought there’d be. And I think the trickiest part was finding the right photo. A stripped-back layout needs a really strong focal point. Mine’s not technically brilliant, but for me, it captures the emotion of the moment. (Though I admit, I could be biased ;) )

All in all, while I’m not sure that I accomplished what I set out to, I had fun along the way and ended up with a layout I’m happy with. So we’ll chalk it up as a success.

Until next time, then...may your holidays be relaxing and refreshing :)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Looking beyond the obvious...

Had a nice little reminder to do exactly that the other day. We’re living just off a fairly wonderful shopping / cafĂ© strip at the moment, and are finding plenty of excuses to meander up and down its length most days. A few days ago there was an obviously  homeless man sitting on the ground outside one of the shops. He waved cheerfully at my five year old as we walked past, who promptly waved cheerfully back. The next day, the man was again sitting outside the shop, and Mike watched him intently (with another answering wave) as we passed. I could just about see the wheels in his head turning, and, sure enough, he looked up at me with brow furrowed and said, “Mummy, that man was sitting there yesterday.” “Uh huh,” I replied, and mentally geared up to explain ‘homeless’. His eyes grew huge as he exclaimed excitedly, “Mummy, he must own that whole shop!”   

Oh how wonderful to have eyes that see beyond the so-called obvious! Eyes that don’t dismiss what they see, or miss the magic in the everyday….Thanks, Mikey – I needed that reminder.

Now in a perfect world I would have a layout inspired by that, but I don’t – busy, busy week. However, I did find time to do a couple more mini canvasses for New Project Part Two (must come up with a better name than that…;) ) Have a feeling those are going to be my creativity fallback position – the art you do when you’re too busy to do art. J

Kinder artwork makes me so happy…Think I may need to redo my teacup photo though – it’s just a bit large for the canvas. Will see if it bugs me when it's up on the wall...

Until next time, then! Happy scrapping :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Celebrating love…and getting philosophical in the process :)

Last weekend we went to what was probably the most wonderful wedding I've ever been to (except my own, of course ;) ) I don't think I've ever seen a couple so utterly, joyously and unashamedly happy as the bride and groom. And, being two of the most jaw-droppingly creative people around, they made their day exactly what they wanted it to be - a whole-hearted celebration of life, love and family. From the invitations made of old children's book illustrations to the 'hangi'/'hungi' (meat roasted in underground pit for a day and night) reception on her family's farm, and everything in between, it was just amazing. And I still get a wee bit teary - in a good way - when I remember his speech: "The day I met Laura, she ticked all my boxes. And ever since then, she's been drawing new boxes, and ticking them..."

From a what-was-inspiring-and-how-can-we-apply-this-to-scrapbooking point of view (because I know I'm not the only one who does that, hey??), I was really inspired by how authentically "them" their day was. There was nothing that was done simply because they felt they 'should', or because some magazine had said it was this season's "must-have/do". Every little detail reflected something of Jono and Laura themselves - and everybody there LOVED it.

I've been thinking about that and it struck me that while, yes, new products and trends are wonderful and exciting, and while it's good to try something new every so often, at the end of the day what's most important is that I tell my stories in my own authentic creative voice. I can think of several layouts I've done just because a product/style was trendy at the time, and they're definitely not the ones I enjoy going revisting once a bit of time has passed. I guess what I'm really talking about is learning to be satisfied with the way I express myself creatively, rather than letting what's fashionable, or other people’s opinions dictate it. After all, so long as I'm satisfied, that's what really counts, huh? It was a timely reminder (and seems to be an ongoing life lesson for me :-/ )

Enough philosophising! On to Layout Twelve. Here 'tis:

(That illustration below the photos was on the front of their invitations – just gorgeous) This was the easiest layout I've done in a long time, mainly because all the elements (book text, sheet music, scrabble tiles - scrabble tiles! :)  - keys, twigs) were just mimicking the wedding decorations. Too easy! In fact the hardest thing was trying not to think about all the supplies from my still-in-storage-stash I could have used, while I was buying this lot. Missing stash quite badly now - 9 months is a long time... Nearly there!

On a final note, thank you to all of you who take the time to leave comments – they really are very much appreciated! Ooh, and if anyone knows of a company that makes Scrabble style patterned paper, I'd love to hear of it. (I thought there'd be stacks out there, but apparently not...)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A note to self

Hello and happy Friday to you! Blogging has taken a back seat this week, I'm afraid; every spare moment has been spent engrossed in a book. I've been reading "The Sunne In Splendour" by Sharon Penman, and I have a feeling it's set to become one of the old friends on my bookshelves that I return to again and again. It tells the life of Richard III (stay with me...), who's been reviled as one of history's great villains. The book is the author's attempt to "reclaim" him, so to speak, from what she sees as the vicious rewriting of his history by his enemies after his death. It's just wonderful.

Plus, it got me to thinking about just how powerful - and enduring - the written word is. It can utterly destroy a reputation, or it can celebrate, inspire, encourage and heal. (Can you see a link to scrapbooking hoving into view here?) Made a mental note to re-commit to telling the stories of my family's lives. Stories matter. Stories endure. And when it comes to my family, my taking the time to record their stories is tangible proof that they were deeply loved and appreciated.

And so on to Layout Eleven (done prior to this week, obviously!)

These shots were just practising-with-camera-settings ones initially, but when I looked at them, the splash of red in a sea of steel grey seemed to symbolise Mike's personality nicely. They made me smile, and when partnered with some "Alphabet Soup" papers, became one of my "Friday" layouts. Good fun.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Thank you, Eleanor Roosevelt!

Was it she who said “do something every day that scares you”? Can’t remember. In any case, that quote was the springboard for Layout Ten. I came across it again and started thinking about what “scares” me in scrapbooking terms. Or, if that’s a little strong, what it is I avoid for being too intimidating or simply “not me”.

Two things sprang to mind: Bright, in-your-face colours and bling. I’m a quiet soul generally, and I think that carries through onto my pages. I love rich colour, but I like it to blend in and harmonise with my photos, rather than contrast. I’ve mentioned my Bling Aversion before now…

So, breathing deeply and with photos in hand, I trotted off to the local store, and bypassed all the sections I usually beeline for.

Here’s the end result:

(I’m not sure that the purple of the paper and rhinestones shows up in the photo here as it actually is; it’s a really vibrant ultra-violet in the flesh.)

First thing I found was that I had to play with my photos a bit. I liked the shot itself, but it got lost when I held it against anything bright. So I messed around with the colour and brightness levels, until I got (what I thought was) an intense ‘arty’ effect. Discovery: You don’t need Photoshop for this – it is in fact extremely easy to do! After doing that, the photos actually preferred the company of the brights.

Second thing I found (and I hope this isn’t cheating) was that I was happiest with a bright + neutral scheme, rather than a bright + bright one. That scheme seemed to work best with the photo – the bright emphasised the intensity of the photos’ colours, while the beige echoed the serenity of the pose. Whatever the reason, it made brights Dani-friendly. J

And so to the bling. Do you know, I actually felt slightly anxious as it started to go on. Had to keep repeating, wild-eyed, to myself, “thematically justified! It’s thematically justified!!”  That’s what made it work for me, along with using it tone-on-tone. That was a discovery – when you use bling in the same colour as the background, it’s there without being THERE!!!!  Ha! Bling for the shy and retiring…
So, this week has taught me that “do something every day that scares you” is still valid and pithy advice. I shall make a mental note and try to follow it – though perhaps just every other day ;)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New projects – part two

It’s a tired but happy blogger that I am tonight. Last night my sisters and I got together to watch the Oscars – as we always do. Perfect girly fun. Only thing was, we’d planned to record it during the day so we could fast forward through the ads and plastic orange people doing the red carpet interviews, which worked like a dream last year. This time for some reason it didn’t work, so we couldn’t start watching until after 9.30. ’s a lot later than it used to be…. Still, The King’s Speech and Colin Firth both won, so the universe is as it should be. J

Have started another new project. (Very excited by this one, since it’s for my room in our new house.) I love having photos around me, but I discovered during the de-cluttering house-selling process last year that I really don’t like clutter. It felt so good to get rid of stuff!  Plus, a lot of the stuff – especially frames and pictures – I realised I just had up or out because I always had done. It was simply habit. So how to combine the love of photos with the dislike of clutter?

This is my solution:

Several packs of Kaiser’s mini canvasses, and the photos I most adore. Have only done 8 so far, but have 15 planned (for now). These are going in a grid like this on the wall. As I make more I’ll change the configuration around to suit.

I love the idea of it being a work in progress, but looking finished and streamlined now. Completely neutralises that inner sinking feeling you get when you look at a still-to-do pile of stuff. Best of both worlds, frankly!

 Problem solved. Now, to solve the issue of missed sleep….

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New projects are fun

It’s been over a week since I posted; too busy doing life to record it! I’ve been up to my ears in projects for Kaiser’s June (or is it July? Can’t remember) Release, which is fun, but doesn’t allow for much free time.

Even so, I managed to start a new mini album. Now I know I new-year-resolved to finish off other minis, but let’s face it, new projects are much more fun than old ones. J Besides, I wanted to do it while the memories are fresh. (That’s my justification and I’m sticking to it.)

This is my ‘building our new house” mini:

Inside I’ve just done a main photo of the house itself at each stage so far (taken from the same spot on the property), with one smaller “people” one beside it. So now, whenever someone asks “how’s your house going?”, I can whip this out and SHOW them. All very exciting!

Funny thing: the chipboard house by the title was actually from a pack of variously sized arrows. I was feeling pretty darn pleased with myself and mentioned it to Husband when I showed him. His response? “Oh. I thought it was an arrow…” C’est la vie…

One last thing. That quote stamp is from  Have just discovered this site and I love it! Their stamps are sublime and their service outstanding. Just sharing the love….

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Strawberries and the grinding of teeth

Isn’t it funny how some layouts come together so willingly, while others are so…stubborn, they make you grind your teeth in frustration?

Layout Nine was definitely a teeth-grinder. I swear it was like trying to feed a fussy toddler; everything I offered, it threw back at me. I think it’s had three different backgrounds and heaven only knows how many embellishments. Flowers, stickers, chipboard, ribbon, even bling – all were refused. I loathe feeling rejected by my own creation…

Still, taking the Big Picture Perspective, the story is told. And for every layout I look at and think, “meh”, there’s another that makes me smile. Besides, (with due apologies to Scarlett O’Hara) “tomorrow is another page.”

Ciao for now, and may all your layouts this week be well-behaved! J

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A scrapbooking epiphany

In the grand total of two weeks that I’ve been a’blogging, I’ve made a discovery. (I’m fairly certain this won’t be at all revelatory to anyone else out there, but for me it was a light bulb moment!)

In the nine years I’ve been scrapping, roughly 99% of it has been spent at my dining room table on my own. I have one or two Scrap Friends I’ve occasionally gone to a crop with, but typically, scrapping is a solo event for me.

Now here’s the moment: Sharing my stuff online; having people-other-than-family taking a look and leaving lovely comments; discovering this Whole New World of incredibly talented and creative people encouraging and sharing with each other; all this made me realise that scrapbooking is a community thing. And this amazing hobby/lifestyle is enhanced and made richer by sharing it with others.

Now, you’re possibly thinking “Well, duh!” But I never got this before! And now I do J.  So thank you all, for helping me to see it. I get it. I love it. This is scrapbooking times a million….

And so to Layout 8:

I’m trying to live up to my new camera and take better photos this year. I usually point and shoot, then crop like crazy on the photo kiosk. But this one I framed before I took it. New concept, that. Then I played around a bit with the colour levels….Techno-fear?? Ppffftt! What techno-fear?!?

Until next time, then. Have a wonderful Monday. J

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Here’s to Fridays…

I love Fridays. I love knowing the week’s to-do list is pretty much over (bar the ironing); I love that “first-day-of-the-holidays” kind of feeling; I love settling into the (mostly) slower weekend pace. And I love feeling that there’s time and space for creative play...

Layout 7 is a “Friday” one – just playing about with paper and bits until it feels right. There are lots of reasons to scrap, I know – recording for posterity, celebrating and commemorating, etc – and they’re all important and valid and ‘worthy’. But the “Friday” layouts are the ones I do simply because they make me happy. And, come to think of it, isn’t that the place where all the other reasons spring from??

Here’s to play and scrap happiness! And here’s to Fridays…

Monday, February 7, 2011

On not reinventing the wheel

I’m a big fan of Ali Edwards’ philosophy, “don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be.” When I find a layout that works, I tend to use it over and over again. With different colours, papers and what-have-yous, no one seems to notice that it’s the same basic format. (Or if they do, they’re politely refraining from comment.) So here are Layouts Four, Five and Six – my version of not reinventing the wheel.

They all have the one large photo, larger mat, and horizontal row of embellishments beneath. Even the same background. End result: same but different. J 

These pages are standards for me, along with birthdays and Christmas ones. I like having an overview of their year at each age; it includes anything relevant – interests, dislikes, traits, achievements, etc. Plus, it takes the pressure off having to do a page for every little thing. This way, if I get to do the specific pages, great; if not, the memories are recorded before they fade. All good.

Here’s to making it easy!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A thankful kind of week

First of all, I want to thank all of you for visiting – it’s been lovely to make some new friends and catch up with old ones. I very much appreciate the comments too. J Isn’t blogging fun! I should’ve started this years ago…

It’s been a thankful kind of week all round, actually. Our youngest turned five (Five! Where does the time go??) amidst great excitement, and I sent up a little prayer of thanks every time I thought about where we were this time five years ago. Here’s life, as it was then:

Ten weeks early and a six week stint in hospital.

And here’s life, as it is now:

I get hung up on the little things occasionally, so it’s good to have a reminder every now and then to be grateful – there’s always something to be thankful for, huh?

Moving right along; here’s the third layout for the year:

Orange, in these kind of tones, is one of my all-time favourite colours to scrapbook with. It’s funny - I never go near it in real life, but paper-wise it’s become a bit of a go-to for me. Probably because I have twice as many boy pages to do as girl ones, come to think of it! Yellow’s the same. I can’t ever wear it without looking seriously ill, but it’s such a happy colour, I’m drawn to it for all sorts of layouts. Actually just finished a mini album of 2011 goals – all yellow. Might post that next time.

Until then, then. Happy scrapping!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Christmas 2010

Here’s Layout Number Two for the year. Have to confess I toyed with the idea of making it Layout Two & Three – you know, store it up against a creativity trough – but we’re humming along nicely so far, so will keep it as is.

Quite happy with this. It’s very simple, but there’s so much going on photo-wise that I think it almost has to be. I like the way the wreath in the large photo works almost like an accent. Must remember to try that again sometime. That photo, incidentally, is of my effortlessly stylish sister’s front door. (Would love to say that I chose the background paper to match the lines and angles in the door itself, but actually I only just noticed that now. Serendipity alert! In fact, I chose the paper because it was red and on sale.)

By the by, I love Kaiser’s silver rhinestone strips! I’m not a bling kind o’ gal by any stretch of the imagination  - most of the time when I try to add a bit my inner Coco Chanel kicks in and insists I take it off – but these are great. I love how adaptable they are; streamlined, whimsical, energetic – they can do it all. I realise that sounds a wee bit ad-speak, but it’s true! Plus, if you cut them up you get stacks more out of a packet than the regular ones. Random Thrifty Tip # 1….

So Christmas 2010 is sorted. Hurrah!

Note to self: Buy new white pen.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Miracles do happen...

Well here ‘tis: electronic proof that miracles do happen! With this blog I’m overcoming my techno-fear and procrastination simultaneously. Am feeling smugly virtuous. Credit where credit’s due though; a huge and heartfelt thanks to the ever so lovely and always inspiring Al Hannah for talking me through the set-up.

I set some scrapbooking goals for myself for this year, including:

1. Complete a layout a week for the year.
2. Finish (and in some cases, start) some mini albums that are still on the to do list.

So how are we doing?

Well, I’m slightly ahead of schedule on Goal Number 1, especially if I count the ones that just need some journaling. So a high five to self on that score. Here’s the first layout of the year (and, incidently, the first photos printed from my sublime new camera – a definite pro of Husband leading a school mission trip to the Philippines. God bless duty free. J)

I’m keeping my own stuff pretty simple at the moment, partly because I find I’m always happiest with the simpler ones, and partly because while we’re renting as our new house is being built, 95% of my stash is in storage. Remember those first, heady days of discovering scrapbooking? Going to the local store, photos in hand, picking out the bits and pieces one at a time to match….that’s me at the moment.

And Goal Number 2? Not so impressive. Presenting Exhibit A: The Shame File:

UK Album:       Not yet started.     2 ½ years of procrastination
Cairns Album:  Front cover done. 3 ½ years of procrastination
NZ Album:         Not yet started.     6 years of procrastination

So, plenty of room for improvement there! And, come to think of it, plenty of excuses to go shopping. There’s always a silver lining.

Now, off to complete aforementioned journaling….