Sunday, 23 May 2010

Some Flickr favourites

Flickr is one of my absolute favourite places to find inspiration.  Here are a few things that have caught my eye recently:


MayaLee Photography via Decor8

Love, LOVE those colours together.  Perhaps it's the warmer weather we've been having recently, but I'm becoming increasingly drawn to turquoise (cerulean?).  


Another pink/turquoise combo.  Loving the use of white space...and that frosting looks amazing.  

Sea Shanties via Decor8

I just love how whimsical this is!  That fabric makes me so happy. 

Banners of all shapes and sizes are so huge at the moment, but I particularly love this idea by Sweet Sweet Life.  There's a sentimental story behind these words which you can read about here

Kristena Derrick has so many awesome and original ideas...I love how something so simple is so striking at the same time.  Check out her amazing Etsy shop to see more! 

What's inspiring you at the moment?

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

A questionnaire!

The lovely Meghann, who also happens to be the fabulous guest designer over at Sketchy Thursdays this month, tagged me in a very cool questionnaire that has been circulating around the blogosphere recently.  I couldn't wait to play along!  Here we go:      

1. If you could own any car, regardless of cost, what would it be?

A Range Rover Autobiography in white, preferably with spinners.  It's my dirty little secret. 

2. If you could spend an hour with any person in the world, living or dead, who would you spend it with?

As a general rule, I'm not a huge fan of stand-up comedy.  The one exception, however, is Michael McIntyre...I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in my life!  So, if I wanted to laugh, I would have to say him.  Otherwise, Winston Churchill and Jackie Kennedy Onassis are at the top of the list.    

3. What color is your living room?

A nice, neutral white with a touch of maroon surrounding the fire place (a little random, I know!).  

4. What vacations/trips do you have planned for the summer?

Nothing is set in stone at the moment, but Jamie is really keen to go to Spain at some point (I also really like the idea of visiting Marrakesh).  I'm pretty sure we'll be making a trip up to Scotland as well.

5. What is your favorite flower?

 Daffodils!  Every year that little shock of yellow fills me with enthusiasm for the summer months ahead.       

6. Chocolate or vanilla?

Chocolate.  Without a doubt.  

7. What person do you think knows you best in the world?

Hmmm...It's a toss-up between my mother and my boyfriend...

8. Do you have a laid-back or keyed-up personality?

Unfortunately, I'm Type A all the way.  

9. What goal do you want to accomplish this year?

I have a huge list!  Right now I'm focusing on my fitness, but above all I am 100% determined to pass my driving test.  It's an uphill battle learning to drive in London...
10. What is the best photo you've ever taken? If you can, share it!

In terms of composition etc., probably this photo:

But for the 'cool' factor, I love this photo:

Your eyes do not deceive is indeed of three fish floating around in a telephone box.  I took the photo during Lyon's la Fête des lumières when I lived in France in 2007.  For three days or so, Lyon was full of light installations and projections against some of the city's beautiful old buildings.  It was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen.  My favourite installation by far was this telephone box (which I had walked passed several times previously) that had been transformed into an aquarium.  SO COOL!   

Thank you so much, Meghann, for the opportunity to participate!  Be sure to hop on over to her won't be disappointed!

So, technically I'm supposed to tag seven people too...but instead I'm going to open the floor to you guys :)  Are you a Type A or a Type B personality?  Who would be your ideal dinner party guests?  Are you secretly addicted to reality TV?  What one food could you not live without?  Are you double jointed?   What's the one film that you could watch over and over again?  Feel free to play along! 

Thursday, 13 May 2010

On my bedside table

In addition to watching the election coverage pretty much non-stop since last Thursday, I've recently been reading a lot of fiction in my spare time.  I practically devoured The Pact and Redeeming Love (blogged here)...both kept me awake well into the wee small hours of the morning.  The Pact was my first Jodi Picoult novel and I was totally blown away by her writing and the sophistication of a seemingly predictable storyline.  Redeeming Love was just beautiful...I think perhaps every girl is subconsciously seeking out her very own Michael.  In any case, I cannot recommend them enough.

Image credits: here and here

I have three weeks of revision ahead of me, so I wanted a couple of books to counterbalance the monotony of my Masters reading.  I was seriously tempted by the Vampire Academy series (yup, I jumped on the Twilight bandwagon!), which I first heard about on Jennifer Johner's blog.  I just wasn't 100% convinced that it was entirely my scene, so I settled instead on another Jodi Picoult novel, Nineteen Minutes, and The White Queen by Philippa Gregory (one of my go-to authors, along with John Grisham).  Despite its inaccuracies, I love historical fiction...The Other Boleyn Girl and The Boleyn Inheritance were both fantastic.  Has anyone read either Nineteen Minutes or The White Queen?  Any other recommendations?

Before I head off, if you're a Twitter fan, Oscraps (@oscraps) is running a promotion at the moment...each new follower is sent a link to a Twitter-themed freebie digital kit!  I downloaded the kit this evening and used a couple of the digital elements to create this little button for my blog:

One of these days - when I get a little less stressed out by PSE - I'm very tempted to give digital scrapbooking a try.  Digital kits are scarily addictive!

Happy Thursday!

Sunday, 9 May 2010

One spring day

Just a quick, colourful layout to share with you on this dreary Sunday! I was really inspired by Stephanie Howell's Studio Calico challenge on National Scrapbook Scrap your Opposite. As a general rule, I like to use neutral cardstock (white, vanilla, grey, kraft etc.) with just a few embellishments (usually punches). I tend to avoid bright, vivid colours...and even though I LOVE the layered, distressed look on layouts, I find it difficult to recreate myself.

Sooooo, I decided to use some Dear Lizzy patterned papers against a nice, bold background (American Craft cardstock in Grapefruit). I based the overall layout on Sketch 183 from Pencil Lines...

....and pretty much went from there. I did my best to 'scrap outside the box,' with varying degrees of success (I ended up pulling everything off the page and starting over). I don't really have much in the way of co-ordinating embellishments in my stash, so I used several different punches to accent the page, along with a couple of cut-outs from the Dear Lizzy papers. Can you tell that I have a bit of a thing for butterflies at the moment?! Love, LOVE the Martha Stewart Large Double Butterfly punch and her Monarch Butterfly Edge punch. I also used my brand new Tim Holtz Tiny Attacher, which was on sale at Craft Obsessions. Those staples really are tiny!

So, does colour scare you too? Do you like lots of white space or do you like to layer different elements on your layouts? I'd love to know!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, 7 May 2010

A new blog design!

The blog redesign is FINISHED!! I was so unbelievably nervous about plunging into the unfamiliar world of HTML and CSS...but it has been a lot of fun (unexpectedly so!). I was determined to move outside of my comfort zone, so I started with a white Minima template and went from there. There were a few hiccups along the way, but I am so excited to have finally finished it!

Here is the before:

I loved my original template, but ultimately I wanted to have more input into the overall design and feel of my blog.

And...after sitting on the fence for months on end, I decided to sign up to Twitter! (@gen_bateman). Very few of my friends use it (they're Facebook fans), but I was so intrigued that I had to try it :)

If you encounter any problems...if the text is too small...or the alignment is off...I would really appreciate it if you could let me know! As I said, there were a few hiccups along the way...

Thank you so much for looking!