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 Hipstamatic...is 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 right...in 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 first...so, 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 time...it'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 delicious...it 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.