31 May 2013

Just a quote for Friday- Deb's challenge

A few weeks back Deb at Paper Turtle posted this photo and set  a challenge to play with it, add a quote and link back to her for her weekly "Just a quote for Friday" meme.

Well, I did just that....

I loved how graphic the photo was and played with several ideas about light and the colour red. What came out most to me though was the geometric shapes and how great they would look if repeated. I also figured that an ombre effect couldn't go a miss! I fiddled with the photo several times to get varying shades of red and liked how abstract it turned out.

The quote was a bit trickier. I eventually stumbled on this one and it couldn't have been more perfect. It summed up the way I viewed that picture but also how Deb had seen it and how other bloggers had seen it and seen different things. 

Thank you for such a fun challenge Deb and for letting me use your lovely photo.

30 May 2013

The great big swap

So this package was sitting in my pigeon hole yesterday. The french stamp got be excited before I had even opened it...

and it got even better when I did... how amazing is this?

Sweet little sentiments

An Amy Tangerine notebook

and the cutest card.

The "friends" meme continued on these intriguing envelopes....

How lovely is that fabric? There was a final envelope that was labelled "the one with the surprise" and contained two new stamps!

Alinor thank you so much for such a wonderful parcel. I can't wait to start crafting with this! It was the best way to finish my exams! Sian, thank you for such a lovely idea, I have loved sending a parcel and I have loved receiving one.

29 May 2013

let's talk project life...

The other day after posting project life Amy asked me whether I see this project continuing next year and it got be thinking about doing a bit of a review/chat about project life so far.

The short answer to Amy's question is yes. I like this project, I like that I have a comprehensive document of my first year of university and I like that I am getting into scrapbooking again. I think to have three albums, one for each of my years at uni will be rad. 

The long answer is this... 

My photo taking has increased and improved. I am more conscious, especially towards the end of the week, of having enough photos to fill a spread. Project Life has made me realise that I value having everyday photos and how grateful I am for the camera on my phone.
It has also made me use those photos I take of "things because they look nice". I have endless photos of the sky but on project life they do get used. I like this. I also like that any crafts I do get documented in a way they didn't before.

I like the simplicity of project life. I don't know if this is because I am doing it in digital form but for me it feels clean and simple and uncluttered. I feel in many ways like it is an extension of the blog. Photos and words paired together in a graphic way with bursts of colour and pattern. I like the fact that a lot of decision making like photo placement is basically done for me. 

I like that I have tailored it to suit me. I think this project can go anyway you want and I enjoy the flexibility of that. I feel that it would work brilliantly as once a month spread or a special moments album. I think my advice to new project lifers would be that you have to be prepared to let your album be how you want it to be. It is very easy to be swept away in all the other layouts out there but really however you do it is fine because this project is quite personal.

I have to admit it but it does get dull. The first few weeks are super exciting but as the year progresses it  becomes another job. I find this worst on the weeks when I know that I don't have as many photos. 

Probably linking to getting dull is that it can feel overwhelming. I will find myself putting it off just because I don't know where to start. Again this happens when I don't have enough photos or when I have too many.

Having an aim is key. I can so see why it is easy to fall behind on project life or to just stop. When the dullness kicks in, it really is just another thing on the to do list. I have found having an aim is crucial. I had two simple aims for project life. One was to share it on the blog each week and the other was to have my digital spreads made into a book. So far I have shared on the blog nearly every week. It is a good way for me to feel accountable and to make sure I do a spread each week. The thought of the book at the end of it though is what is really pushing me. The thought of having that hard back book in my hand with a years worth of memories in is the best.

I think at the end of it I have learnt that photos and words are more important than finished or perfect spreads. That getting behind is ok and normal and that sometimes it is dull but that the finished project will be so worth it.

Ruth summed it up well in the comments by saying this "Embrace the monotony of PL- it shows exactly what life is like: a steady line of routine, interspersed with peaks and troughs." 

I also loved this from Elise Blaha"This project is a marathon, not a sprint and just like a marathon, you have to come up with ways to stay inspired and keep your mind moving forward."

Do you do project life. If you do, what are your thoughts on it? 
If you don't do project life are you tempted to or are you not interested? 

28 May 2013

Project life week 21

I love it when the weeks are busy and there is a lot to record. A bank holiday always helps too! 
This is what my week looked like...

I didn't plan it like this but the left hand spread is all instagram photos and the right side are photos from my big camera. I had to include that tea photo just because I am so chuffed I finally managed to capture it. The pictures on the right hand spread document the arrival of my school friends in Durham. I love having lots of photos to play around with on a spread. 

A few bits and bobs to document this week. I wanted to record how the exam had gone this past week and how I had found the week quite long. I also wanted to record how fun it was seeing everyone. Less journalling on wrap around tags this week and more little sentiments directly on photos. 

Still loving spreading a big photo across a few spaces. I also ran the three portraits through a new action. This black and white matte effect seems to be a bit of a thing at the moment and I quite like it. I often have a battle with how much I am going to edit photos on my spreads. My feeling is I want this to be a form of art so if editing a picture works I tend to go with it! 

Anything else: 
I have been using lots of Elise's sweet quote cards over the last few weeks and the one on the right hand page seemed to some my week up quite well with the spontaneous arrival of my friends.

Do stop by tomorrow when I am going to be sharing a few thoughts about project life, now that we are just a month off being half way through!

What did your bank holiday weekend look like?

27 May 2013

Let's sit and have a cup of tea...

Hey, it's great to see you on this bank holiday monday. I'm hoping its sunny with you? Would you like to stay for a cup of tea....

If I were meeting you today I would take you to the back garden in college. I would usher you to the picnic bench under the magnolia tree and we would smile at how nice the weather is and how good it is to finally feel comfortable sitting outside. If you were from warmer climes you would probably sit shivering and I would rush in and grab you a big quilt so you didn't get too chilly.

I would pass you the first cup of tea, or juice or maybe something stronger,  and we would put our heads together and enjoy this monthly meet up that seems to have become tradition now. I would ask you if you liked our little garden and I would laugh and comment that I don't really lead a conventional uni life! We would look up at the magnolia tree and I would tell you how it was so late to blossom but how lovely it is to look out of my window and see it.

I would moan that I have just one exam left and that I can't wait to be finished now. You would reminisce about your exams at school and university and I would be intrigued to hear about your experience of revision and staying motivated. I would confide in you that we have so much planned for June. That June is like a fun month in Durham. That we have a summer ball to look forward to as well as my college day and plenty of trips out of the city planned too. I would ask you what your summer plans were, if you were helping smaller people get through exams, if you were taking exams yourself or if you were just going to spend some time in the sun.

I would push the plate of biscuits towards you and as you bit into your first one I would excitedly tell you about the last weekend. That my friends from school came up and visited and we had a mini reunion. That I feel so blessed to have had such a happy time at school and that meeting up with these special people is always cause for celebration. I would ask you if you still stay in contact with school friends. I would tell you that I hope we do keep in contact and do keep meeting up. That from boarding we are all close and seeing each other again feels like no time has passed.

The sun would go behind the clouds and it would start to feel a bit cooler. I would check you were warm enough and then bring us round to the subject of crafting. I would laugh as I tell you that I have been so crafty in the last few weeks when I should be working but that I am not going to try and stem this sudden inspiration because it surely won't last! I would share with you my feelings about project life and tell you that I am going to be writing a post about it soon because there is lots I want to say. Leaning closer I would whisper conspiratorially that I am working on a scrapbook page. The first in about a year and I don't think it is quite ready to be shared just yet but that I am enjoying the process.

We would inevitably get onto talking about blogging. I would bemoan that I am eager to change a few things up with the background but blogger is really not cooperating at the moment and that it is being really frustrating. Do you have the same problem that effects can't be applied? I would also comment that I have read an re read a post from Rinda about pinning and photos and privacy and have found it so interesting. I would tell you with a laugh in my voice to go check it out.

We would smile at each other as the last dregs of tea were drained and as the last few biscuits were demolished. I would laugh and tell you not for the first time how quickly time seems to have gone chatting to you. How easy it is to share things and wonder out loud if this comes from naturally sharing our lives through our blogs. I would give you a hug and show you out onto the quaint cobbled street and make you promise to see me again in a month.

If we were sitting together in the sun now, what would you tell me?

If you would like to write a "tea" post please add it to the linky at the bottom so we can all sit and share with you! The linky will be open for a week so you have plenty of time! 

24 May 2013

Life right now according to instagram

Oh instagram. I am such a fan and I think I have converted several friends too! I am so ready though for my phone contract to finish and to upgrade to a phone with a slightly better quality camera. 

A fun instagram feature that has been added to the recent upgrade is that you can now tag photos. On your profile there is a section to see pictures you have been tagged in. I don't really know what I think about it to be honest because if I have had a photo taken of me I will tend to be following the person whose picture it is anyway. Have you used it? What do you think? 

Besides that, here is what has been happening in the last month....

Top row left to right: we bought a silly amount of chocolate for less than two pounds at the beginning of term, the sunsets this month have been wonderful, typically drinking lots of tea. 

Middle row: going on revision break walks, taking photos of blue skies as they are such a novelty and the loyalty card at the student cafe at church. 

Bottom row: blossom on the trees, eating the first ice cream of the year outside and fabric heaven. 

Top row: we got a bit bored whilst revising and decided to improve my friends hair instead, a green canopy, pretty pumps. 

Middle row: more skies, enjoying having flowers in my room and my favourite person on the way back from Church. 

Bottom row: doing a bit of crafting. I am so proud of this picture of milk being poured into my tea and the meeting of the sun and the clouds. 

Another busy month and so many fun pictures to capture it. 

A quick plug, on Monday 27th I am going to be sitting down, pouring a cuppa and sharing a bit of life again. If you would like to join me for tea please do, it would be great to see you. I will add a link like normal so we can all enjoy what you have to say! 

22 May 2013

Project Life week 20

Week 20 sounds exciting doesn't it?! Last week never got posted and that is ok, it got made and that is the main thing.

This is what my last week looked like...

Not a huge number of photos this week but a nice mix of instagrams and big camera photos. I like it when i get a mix. I am gutted that I forgot to include a rad photo of a cup of tea that I instagrammed at the weekend. Ah well, I'm sure it will grace the blog sooner or later! The aztec pattern is something I have been working on in quiet moments. If I get an iphone (which will hopefully be this summer with a contract renewal) I hope to get this pattern printed into an ace cover.

Quite a bit this week. I wrote about our walk to observatory hill on a beautiful evening, about the start of the exams and about how I have become oddly creative during the last week. I also added a few bits and pieces on several photos.

Nothing too out of the ordinary this week. I feel this week looks a bit flat which I'm a bit sad about but i  guess that it is swings and roundabouts. Some weeks I love it and some I don't. I did use that great watercolour brush in white to surround the feather tag photo. I like this effect a lot as it is something I would probably do in the paper version.

Anything else: 
I am really enjoying using this set of free project life cards with the cute camera motif. I'm sorry, another blurred out photo this week. This is my exam timetable. I really enjoy including details like this and know that it will be fun to look back on in coming years. Obviously it has personal details and as some of the exams haven't happened yet I guessed it was best to blur it!

So that is week 20 in a nutshell. I am loving this documentation of my life.

21 May 2013

Fork Pom Poms

After my post yesterday in which I mentioned fork pom poms, a few of your asked what they were or wanted to see the finished product, so by popular request here is a quick tutorial ;)

Disclaimer: These are all over pinterest at the moment so I don't really have anywhere to link to but Lisa Leonard has a sweet tutorial. 

You need: 
Standard wool. I used DK weight but I think anything would work pretty well! 
A fork. 
White cotton for hanging. 
Something good on TV. 

1. Grab your fork and start wrapping the wool around it. Make sure you leave a gap at the bottom of the fork like this... 

2. Keep wrapping the wool until you are happy. Basically the more wool you wrap, the puffier the pom pom will be. 

3. Cut the end. Thread another piece of wool through the middle prong and tie in a knot... 

4. Pull the pom pom off the fork and pull that middle thread tight so it is more of a circle shape. 

5. Get your scissor and cut open all those loops. 

6. Trim your pom pom to get rid of all those straggly ends. 

7. Voila- one sweet little pom pom. I then strung them on white cotton and hung them from my mirror. I think in the summer I will string lots up and hang them like bunting. 

There are so many things you could do with these little pom poms.  They are so addictive to make though. Don't say I didn't warn you! 

20 May 2013

Keeping it real

So life has been looking pretty good on the 'ol blog recently and most of the time it really is, but just for fun, and because I am an advocate of keeping it real, here are a few secrets of the last few weeks which will hopefully bring a smile to your face!

1. I haven't got around to posting my project life from last week. I'm not bothered. It didn't get finished until Wednesday and by that point, I had thoroughly lost interest in the last week.

2. They don't tell you when you start project life that there is a certain level of monotony about it. But the good parts of this project so outweigh this factor.

3. I walked to Tesco last week to pick up a snack I didn't need, got back only to find out that I had run out of teabags and milk- the two things I did need!

4. I am the most creative when I should be doing other things. I think I have created and had more ideas  for craft in my moments of procrastination than I ever have when I am totally free. Why is this?!

5. I spent a happy hour at the weekend making fork pom poms. I have yet to work out what to do with them. Needless to say they look pretty!

6. My poor little phone is falling apart and rather than look after the little thing better I am just becoming more envious of you i-phone users.

7. I was given two bars of chocolate this week and a bag of dried pineapple. I still have half a bar each of the chocolate left but the pineapple is all gone. I don't recognise myself any more.

8. I am about a year too late on the BBC Sherlock series and have just finished series 2. I am spending my revision breaks reading conspiracy theories and am dying for series three to be aired!

9. You know revision is going well when you refer to doing your washing as a "break". (Not as bad as a friend of mine though who was so bored of working he went and ironed all his shirts. He said it was a very happy hour and a half!)

10. I am so excited for Sian's great big swap of small things and have my swap all ready to go but haven't managed to get to the post office yet. I'm sorry Sandra, it will be on its way soon!

What little, funny, not so perfect secrets about your day to day life would you share?

17 May 2013

Paper Feathers

Last weekend Jennifer ran one of her fantastic blog events. She set several challenges and one of them was to be inspired to be as "free as a bird". To use bird elements and to try things outside of your comfort zone.

Here is what I created....

The feathers were so easy to draw. I just searched for drawings of feathers on the web and combined several styles, smudging and changing pens when it felt right.
I also found that the more I cut into the feathers the more realistic they looked.

I have drawn a lot in the past but hadn't for quite a while so it was a bit out of my comfort zone. It is also ironic that I absolutely hate birds so to draw feathers was interesting!
I think these would add lovely texture to a scrapbook page or as a detail on a card.

Thank you for a fun challenge Jennifer.

15 May 2013

One May evening

It has been a long day. 
I missed my connection and so my train is getting in half an hour later. It's funny the difference a seven on the clock makes to my mind. I am suddenly weary. 
Nevertheless my heart has started its little bass line as the train gets closer to my destination. 
I look down at my feet and remember him telling me that the train won't get there faster if I am pushing. 

I pick up my bag far too early and wait for too long by the doors. 
Finally we crawl into the station and stop. I pull my backpack over my shoulders and join the crowds streaming from the train. 

I fumble to get my ticket out at the barrier. I can't see him yet. And then as I round the corner he is there, a smile playing across his lips. I don't remember walking the final few feet to get to him. I am just there, his arms around me, his hands lifting the bag from my shoulders. 

We walk away from the station, talk interspersed with laughter. It is later now and I am hungry. His hand on my waist directs me into the warm Indian restaurant and we take our seats... 

I am feeling relaxed and full and sleepy. It is the most beautiful evening and we take our time strolling back to the boys house. We pass the green exterior of Maddisons ice cream parlour. He looks at me and laughs. 

There is such an array of ice cream that I am stumped at first. Finally we settle. Mango for her, white chocolate for him. As we leave I wave my phone asking for a picture. There is the sigh of long suffering as he grabs the camera. 
I stand holding two ice creams with a rucksack on my back, smilingly goofily at this special man. One May evening, him and her, the.best. 

Today I am joining in with Alexa's beautiful meme, "Simply a Moment." Do stop by her blog to read both Alexa's words and other bloggers as they record their moments.