Saturday, 25 December 2010

Just to say...

Sunday, 19 December 2010

December Daily/JYC Day 5

Sooooo....after worrying that I would be marooned in Scotland by the imminent adverse weather, I made it back to London without any problems at all.  And then today, it snowed.  Big time.  London had about 3 inches, which might not sound much...but trust me, that's a lot of snow for London.  It meant that we left work early this afternoon, so I had a welcome couple of hours this evening to work on my December Daily (although the 'daily' part is probably a bit redundant now.  Oh well).  

For day 5, I wrote about how - for me at least - the annual Coca-Cola Christmas commercial marks the start of the Christmas countdown (using Shimelle's prompt as a starting point). 

Here's a close-up of the envelope on the left:

I'm excited about how this album is coming together - I think I'm finally starting to find my groove.  And hopefully I'll be able to catch up over Christmas it really only a week away?!  I'm slowly chipping away at my to-do list, but I honestly can't wait to have a few days to 'pause' and enjoy the festivities as they  reach a crescendo next weekend.  How are your Christmas preparations coming along? 

Happy Sunday!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Off on an adventure

 I'm currently sitting on a train, hurtling towards Edinburgh.  Loving the pearlescent skies and snow-covered English countryside.  Also loving the opportunity to wind down after another hectic week...right now I'm sipping a cup of tea and watching Pride & Prejudice (the original BBC version).  As a side note, I have a bit of a crush on Mr Darcy.

I'm spending the next few days in Scotland and I can't wait.  I should still be able to check in from time to time, so expect an update soon :)  And here's hoping I can get back down to London - with another dip in the temperatures predicted for next week, I have a feeling that Edinburgh will get more than its fair share of snow and ice for the second time this month.  

*And yes, after professing my undying love for the Hipstamatic app just a few days ago, I am celebrating a new love affair with InfinicamSharyn, I place the blame squarely at your feet :)

Have a fantastic weekend everyone...and thank you so much for your wonderful comments on my last post.  I know I've said it before, but you guys rock

Thursday, 9 December 2010

December Daily/ JYC Days 3 & 4

Before I started putting my foundation pages together last month, I spent a few happy hours researching Christmas albums from years past.  Needless to say, I came across some fantastic and equally inspiring albums, but the ones that stayed with me the most were those that incorporated photos + journaling + memorabilia (like Molly Irwin's beautiful December Daily from last year).  This year, I decided that I would try to use this formula to tell a more rounded and more complete story of Christmas 2010.  And, since I've shared scans of my first two pages with you, I thought that I would do a post about the 'bits in between,' which will hopefully give a more complete picture of where I'm going with my album.... 

Day 2:
You've already seen the page on the left, but I also included some photos that I took on my iPod Touch (Hipstamatic and IncrediBooth apps) in the snow.  The 'Baby it's cold outside' stamp is from the AC Dear Lizzy Christmas collection - love it!       

Day 3:

And the before:
 Day 3 is about the Spirit of Christmas Fair at Olympia (back in November).  I collected a lot of business cards that day, so I put a few of my favourites inside the envelope.  Attached to the back is my journaling and a metal 'season's greetings' tag, which I purchased from one of the stalls.  I also included the Spirit of Christmas pamphlet...I've got a lot of bits and pieces like this to go inside my album (I'm just hoping I'll have enough space).  I included just one photo of the fair itself, but I might put a couple more inside a divided page protector if I have the room. 

Day 4:
Images from Victoria magazine.

And the before:
 Day 4 followed Shimelle's prompt about 'perfection' (click on the image to read the journaling).  The twill ribbon is from a local art shop.  If you look closely at the last image on the left (taken from a magazine), the name on the table setting is Genevieve :)  I thought that the list on the right (a hand drawn brush by Ali Edwards) would finish off this page pretty much epitomises everything 'perfect' about this time of year.   

And that's my album so far.  There have been a couple of hiccups along the way and the 'daily' dimension lasted for all of 24 hours, but that was to be expected!  Otherwise I'm happy with how it's coming along.  I have a feeling it's going to be a slow process, but this fabulous post by Sian reminded me why it's so important to persevere.  How's your album coming along?  

Saturday, 4 December 2010

December Daily/JYC Day 2

Webster's Pages and American Crafts papers, Bazzill cardstock, Fiskars punch, number tag from every jot and little

On Thursday morning I peered groggily through the gap in my curtains....and there before me was a winter wonderland.   I spent most of the morning snapping pictures before my parents and I risked a walk to the station to investigate the train situation (I had a presentation in London on Friday that I couldn't miss).  As we plodded down the lane towards the centre of town, we were overtaken by a small group of kids chattering away whilst hauling their sledges along behind them.  For me, that almost timeless moment pretty much epitomised everything that I love about this time of year...and just for a minute, I wished that I was 8 again.    

I wanted my page for day 2 to capture that sense of nostalgia, so I used what turned out to be the perfect piece of scrap paper from the Dear Lizzy Christmas collection alongside my photo of the retreating backs of the kiddos and their sledges (edited with the Pioneer Woman's PSE actions - it looks a lot more sepia in real life!).  It also helped to tone down the busy pattern on the foundation page, which I felt detracted a little from the photo.  Also for that reason, I decided to let my journaling stand alone on the adjacent page:

I also included a divided page protector to accompany this prompt.  I'm going to do a bulk order of 4x6 prints from Photobox once Christmas is over...but in the meantime, here are two of the pictures from Thursday that I will include:

And on the other side (from Friday):

Even London had to get to grips with snow and ice!  I took a detour through Trafalgar Square on the way to my seminar on Friday afternoon and snapped these photos on my phone.  It was freezing....

And here's a look at the original:

Thank you so much for looking!  I'll be back soon with day 3.  And I hope you're having a fabulous weekend...perhaps you've been working on your December Daily too? 

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

December Daily/JYC Day 1

Echo Park and October Afternoon papers, Bazzill cardstock, October Afternoon cardstock stickers,  
number tag from every jot and little, Ali Edwards 25 Days of December Overlay.

Happy December everyone!  Can you believe it's only 24 days until Christmas?!!!  I know the next few weeks are going to fly by, so last night I thought that I'd make a head start on the prompts for Journal your Christmas.  In fact, that's what I love about doing JYC in conjunction with a December Daily can mix things up, do the prompts out of order if you want/need to (especially if you're having your photos printed in one bulk order)...and you have something to inspire you on those December days when you've tried to catch up on laundry.  Perfect.
A couple of quick words on my system: I'm doing an internship, a part-time job and a Masters at the I know that I won't be able to stay ahead of the prompts for long.  On some days I will post multiple pages...but there will likely be long gaps in between.  But that's ok, because as I keep reminding myself, live first and document second.  A combination of the big freeze, winter weather and a basement flat mean that daylight is scarce in my neck of the woods, so I won't photograph the actual album in its entirety until it's pretty much finished (or at least half way through).  I think I'll try and post a picture of the foundation page as well, because a little 'before and after' action is always fun: 

And last but not least, thank you for your wonderful comments and  words of encouragement - they never fail to make my day :) 

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

It's a relationship thing...

{Click to enlarge 

I often get asked what it's like to live in London.  Usually I come up with a fairly generic response...something along the lines of "it's amazing."  Short and to the point, etc. etc.  You'll find that most Londoners will say something similar...or they'll simply start complaining about tube strikes, which is fair enough.  But after Keshet asked me this very question a couple of months ago, I started thinking....and a layout was born (thank you, Keshet!).  I have a feeling that you might think my answer is a little unconventional, but that's ok :) 

By the way, iPhone/iPod Touch 4 users, have you tried out the new Dali Museum Goodpak for the Hipstamatic app?  I love how surreal and unexpected each photo is: 
Piccadilly Circus, the BT Tower, Big Ben
 {click to enlarge}

The film has a canvas-like texture and looks awesome printed on cardstock.  I'm starting to wonder how I ever lived without anyone else a convert?

Only 24 hours until the start of JYC!  Already there are some seriously inspiring projects appearing in the forum...I can't wait :) 

Monday, 29 November 2010

December Daily/JYC foundation pages

 The blogosphere has been buzzing with anticipation over the past couple of days...December 1st is just three sleeps away, which means that Journal your Christmas is very nearly upon us!  I've seen some amazing albums (both past + present) on various blogs and I'm so excited to see how they come together over the next month - it amazes me how people can interpret one prompt in so many different, unique ways.  So cool.  I put my own album together a couple of weeks ago.  Since then I've been waiting for the right light to photograph the foundation pages, but the weather has been conspiring against me, so apologies for the not-so-great contrast on the pictures.  

I'm using an A5 kraft ring binder from Paperchase this year, along with a mixture of papers from last December...and (of course) some new releases, too.  Any excuse to shop ;)  I thought about pre-embellishing the pages, but I tend to use the photograph as a starting point, so I'll add bits and pieces as I go along.  I'm also using these number tags from every jot and little (you might recognise them from Ali Edwards' December Daily albums from years past)....they arrived a few days ago and I. love. them.  Anyway, without further ado, let's get started!

*Be warned, this is photo heavy!

 Paper from Echo Park.

Paper from Webster's Pages + Echo Park.  Envelope from Paperchase.

Paper from Making Memories + October Afternoon.  Envelope from Paperchase.

Paper from Crate Paper + October Afternoon.  Scalloped notebook paper from Making Memories.

Paper from Crate Paper + Echo Park.  Envelope from Paperchase.

Cardstock from Bazzill.  Transparency and paper from Making Memories. Bingo card from Jenni Bowlin.

  Paper from Cosmo Cricket and American Crafts.  Postcard by Belle & Boo (available from Paperchase).

Paper from Echo Park + Crate Paper.

Paper from Echo Park.  Envelope from Paperchase.

Paper from Making Memories + October Afternoon.

Paper from Echo Park.

Paper from Echo Park.  Transparency from Making Memories.  Envelope from Paperchase.

Paper from Crate Paper + October Afternoon (just seen).  Envelope from Paperchase.

Paper from Echo Park.  Bingo card from Jenni Bowlin.

If you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me!  I'm still not sure how I want to document the days between Boxing Day and New Year's, but there is a little bit of room left in the album if I need it.  Throughout the album you can probably see some divided page protectors peeking through as well...these are also from Paperchase and give a little bit more  flexibility in terms of how many photographs I can use.  December is already looking hectic and it hasn't even started yet, so I'm relieved to have finished the foundation pages in advance (the major lesson that I took away from JYC last year).  Now I'm just looking forward to getting started!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Celebrate the season: autumn banner

With Thanksgiving less than a week away, autumn feels as though it is rapidly giving way to winter.  I wish this season didn't feel so short.  

Anyway, a few months ago I bookmarked this project with the intention of making something similar...only to discover that the Maya Road Pumpkin Coaster album is very hard to come by in the UK.  After tracking it down a few weeks ago at Bubbly Funk (they have an amazing selection of Maya Road products)...I set an evening aside earlier this week to make my own 'Fall Banner à la Katie Watson.' 

In the end, I switched things up quite a bit.  After experimenting with several different painting techniques, nothing looked quite fact, it was a mess (maybe the quality of paint?  I'm not sure).  Instead, I traced around the pumpkins onto AC cardstock and simply adhered it to the chipboard - much easier, no drying time...and no getting stressed out.  Perfect.  I used a combination of Bazzill ribbons and ribbons from a local craft shop to embellish each pumpkin, along with some of those felt leaves you can see in the pictures above (20p each from an arts and crafts shop in Scotland!).  Some miniature leaves from Paperchase, a selection of buttons and a black outline to give each pumpkin some definition completed the project. 

Owing to the problematic lack of a fireplace/mantle, I decided that my parents could offer the banner a much better home.  It is currently strung across their fireplace, with a log fire and some pheasants for company :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

They're here!

Yup, it's that time of year again!  I had my first Eggnog Latte of the year on a fittingly freezing day (while listening to the Pogues, no less).  The Christmas countdown has officially begun! 

I have lots to share with you over the next few days, but I've got some sorting and editing to do, in the meantime, I thought I'd do a quick post about the beginnings of my 2010 December Daily/JYC album... 

As you can probably tell from the mess, I spent most of this evening putting the album together.  It was an uncomfortable few hours on the floor, but it was definitely worth the time and effort!  After doing Shimelle's Journal your Christmas class last year, I knew that the only way I'd be able to stay on top of the prompts was if I prepared the album well in advance.  I'm using a Paperchase kraft album with a combination of current and past papers from October Afternoon, Echo Park, Crate Paper, Cosmo Cricket, Making Memories and American Crafts (among others).  I just have a little bit more to do it, but I'll hopefully be able to do a post about the foundation pages some time next week.  Here are a couple more photos...

My big box of Christmas embellishments (which is currently expanding by the day)...

...and a sneak peek of the pages I've put together so far.  It feels good to be organised (for once!). 

How's your Christmas album coming along?

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Fright night festivities - part 2

So, here we are again.  It's November, which pretty much means that the countdown to Christmas has begun.  I've started to pull papers for my December Daily/JYC album and daydream about Christmas decorations (I can't wait to put the tree up this year).  That said, right now I'm munching on the remaining few pieces of candy corn while the scents from my Halloween-themed Yankee Candle samplers waft through the flat, so indulge me one last time as I share some 'fright night' photos with you!  And then I'm done.  I promise.

Jamie and I managed to squeeze in some pumpkin carving before leaving for the San Francisco 49ers V Denver Broncos NFL game at Wembley on Sunday morning.  I grumbled my way through the design/carving stage, but loved the result (mine is on the left, Jamie's is on the right).  Always a classic, we watched Hocus Pocus at the same's still one of my favourite films.  
Some more pumpkin shots, iPod Touch style (using the Photobooth app).

Some Halloween decor - I tried and failed to successfully photograph the whole display, but it grows each year. 

More Halloween decor.

Two staples - Halloween isn't quite the same without large quantities of candy corn and the Martha Stewart Living Halloween issue.  By the way, if you're in the UK and enjoy the unrivalled Halloween treat that is candy corn, try American Soda - their customer service was fantastic and the shipping is pretty reasonably priced. 

 Krispy Kreme donuts.  The pumpkin-esque donut on the left was had green ooze inside! 

Jamie and I didn't have a chance to wear costumes this year...instead, we spent the evening at Wembley watching the 49ers beat the Broncos.  The atmosphere was amazing, and we had a wonderful time with Jamie's family (who came down from Scotland especially for the occasion).    

And that was Halloween, 2010.  I love this holiday, but nothing beats the next month and a half.  I can't wait for Christmas.