Monday, 26 October 2009

Bits and bobs (and a sad farewell)

It has been such a busy few days, with Jamie's brother staying over the weekend for the NFL game at Wembley between the New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday (which was incredible!). In the meantime, I have been tracking down books and doing LOTS of preparation for my lectures/seminars this week. So, not much time for scrapbooking or finishing my neglected Halloween projects...Just hoping that I get them finished by Saturday!

Anyway, I thought I would share with you some pictures from the football game on Sunday. I can pretty much say with conviction that I won't have a career in sports phototgraphy, but I can't help but love the colours and the drama of American football! I do not partake in sports (which is a good thing) and I generally do not watch sports (I tend to irritate my boyfriend) but I make an exception for football and baseball. I love the atmosphere and the 'performance,' and, most importantly of all, the food. Funnel cake is quite possibly the yummiest thing in the world!

I heard that about 80,000 people watched the game at Wembley, and there were people everywhere! They even had policemen doing crowd management at the tube station (which in hindsight was a good idea). Also, the weather was beautiful - such a contrast to the year before.

This was the only good photo of Wembley Stadium that I managed to take - a combination of the crowd and the position of the sun made it very difficult to photograph!

These floating helmets were amazing! Before the game started they were just suspended in mid-air, floating around the stadium....such an awesome idea!

During the 'Star-Spangled Banner' (sung by Toni Braxton), one section of the stadium held up the colours of the Stars and Stripes....

And, during 'God Save the Queen' (sung by Katherine Jenkins) another section of the stadium held up the colours of the Union Jack, which were both such impressive sights!

The Buccaneers were the home team, and we were sitting right behind them! Sadly they lost (7-35), which means that they have lost every game so far this season (!). I was really hoping to get a picture of Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady, but my zoom just wasn't co-operating.

On a crafty note, I thought I would include a photo of my 'procrastination project' from last week. I was setting up our Halloween display and thought that the photo collage from a couple of posts ago would add a festive touch to the whole thing. I also had a spare frame, so I printed off the collage in A4 and slipped it inside. It looked horrible! The frame wasn't especially nice and the photo paper that I have been using has an odd sheen which made it look 100% tacky. So, to further postpone my reading, I searched on Google for some autumnal digital elements. The maple leaf (or at least I think it's a maple leaf) was free from an article on and you can find it here. The other elements are all from Shimelle's lovely 'Autumn Apples Embellishments' DigiKit over at Two Peas, which you can download for a very reasonable $4! The whole thing isn't very sophisticated - I just printed off the elements onto white cardstock and cut them out whilst watching Running in Heels re-runs. I attached them using a glue gun, and then used some co-ordinating buttons from my stash to fill in the gaps! This was actually my first foray into the world of digital scrapbooking and I was so excited by how easy it was. I don't have PhotoShop Elements or a similar program ordinarily used by digital/hybrid scrapbookers and I was a little nervous that I wouldn't be able to use the elements on my laptop. As it happens, I downloaded them, opened them up in Windows Explorer and then pasted them into Word! So easy.

* I should also apologise for the poor quality of these photos - there is either too much or too little light in this flat and it is impossible to take good photos. A definite problem!

And finally, I just wanted to say how completely gutted I was to find out that Scrapbook Inspirations magazine will cease publication after the December issue. I only discovered Scrapbook Inspirations earlier this year, and it is largely due to this magazine that I returned to scrapbooking over the summer. I was so thrilled to find something on our shores which in many ways 'legitimised' scrapbooking in the UK - by featuring new products and techniques, by advertising retailers and by showcasing readers' submissions in a very unpretentious way. It is a misunderstood hobby in Britain, where I have found that people are generally apathetic - even derisive - about the idea of celebrating and preserving memories. Sadly scrapbooking is either a 'waste of time', a 'waste of money', or people just think that you're completely insane. I am so sad for the staff and the wonderful design team, which had recently expanded to include some hugely talented people - I can only imagine their disappointment. I am so going to miss the thrill of excitement each month when the latest issue falls through the letter box. You can read about the news here, here and here. So sad to hear that “Scrapbook Inspirations catered to a very specialist market which has unfortunately declined significantly during the last year." Scrapbooking in the UK is already such a nascent hobby - I truly hope that this is just a minor setback.

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