31 October 2014

Our own little sewing bee

I have said it time and again but blog friends are magic.
This summer I got an email from a blog reader. It so happens that we went to uni together and she goes to my church. We certainly knew each other in passing however we had never really sat down and chatted. If only we had!
It so turns out that Ellen is super crafty and a very talented sewer. She made her own graduation dress! How rad is that! You can see it here.

It has been dreamy to talk away with her about dress patterns and favourite blogs and crafty things.
Last Saturday Ellen invited me round for a sewing bee and we spent a happy morning at the table in the sunshine, looking through fabric, working away on our little projects and chatting about Durham life. She had the table piled high with fabric and embroidery thread and of course a big pot of tea.

Sitting sewing with her reminded me again how communal our crafts are. I have found friends I would never have met otherwise through blogging and sharing my scrapbooking and sewing. Craft is good full stop. But with other people, it's just the best.

Ellen, thank you for a gorgeous morning. May there be many more!

Do you get together and sew, scrap with others?

28 October 2014

Time for tea update

So, hands up, who forgot their own meme this month?
Yep. That would be me.
A visit from the boy, coursework and teacher training applications somehow got in the way. I am ok with this.

So here is where I am with 'time for tea'. I LOVE it. I love what we have shared over two years as a community. I love that it is an easy update for me. I love that it is focused around tea.
On the other hand, running a meme takes time. It is so worthwhile but it is time I don't have in my final year of uni.

The sad news then is that time for tea is going to come to an end next month. There will be one last hurrah and I hope we can make it a big one. I am thinking many tea pots, many virtual cakes, maybe even lots of real ones. So mark the 27th of November in your calendars and lets gather around for reminiscing and laughing and lots of tea drinking.

The best thing I have learnt about running the 'time for tea' meme is that we all have stories to share, we all love chatting and we have such a rad community here. If I run the meme or not I don't think that will change.

Thank you to those who joined in this month linky or not. You are the best. Thank you too for all who have joined in over the two years we have been sharing a cuppa. What a joy!

P.S If you want to find me before the end of the week I will be glued to UCAS, wading through a personal statement and wondering why I wanted to become a teacher in the first place! 

23 October 2014

The need to create

The other night I felt low. Like something wasn't quite there....
I felt at a loose end, my head was running a mile a minute and I was achey from sitting at my laptop all day. Naturally I was feeling sorry for myself and a tad dramatic!

It dawned on me as I watched the third episode of friends in a row, that I hadn't 'made' something in several weeks. I hadn't just sat down and created for a while.

At home I am lucky enough to have space in my room so that my sewing machine can be out all of the time. I can come in, sit down, sew a while and then leave.
At uni I just have less crafty things up here, simply because of space and time.

Once I had detected the problem, the answer was simple. I grabbed some newspaper, covered my desk and pulled out some clay. It was nothing too extraordinary. I didn't really have a plan, but I sat and played and moulded with my hands and let my head relax.

It's a lesson I am learning about myself. I need to create. Even if it isn't for a purpose. I need to give access to the part of my brain that doesn't see in numbers and letters but in colour and shape and texture.

I wonder, do you ever feel a real need to create something?

19 October 2014

How to make a transparency layer in photoshop. video tutorial

The other day I shared my recent Project Life pages and the sweet Deb asked how I made a transparency like this:

It is super easy in photoshop and I figured if Deb had asked, a few others would probably want the answer too! So for your pleasure/enjoyment/amusement, here is a little video of me on photoshop doing my thing!

The video is slightly blurred if made full screen so to see it bigger, click on the title on the video to watch in vimeo. 

If you happen to watch it, I would love some feedback. Was the video clear and easy to follow? Do I go too fast? Anything that needs clarifying?! Thank you! 

17 October 2014

Project Life weeks 39 & 41

This is real life friends! You may have noticed by the post title that this is weeks 39 and 41 of PL. I didn't do week 40 as there simply weren't photos for it.
Why sweat the small stuff! I simply and joyfully left it out!

This what the last few weeks have looked like:

Things I am loving this week:
It is no secret that I am a big fan of anything paislee press create. I love their minimalist designs and gorgeous kits. I treated myself to a new kit this month called 'heirloom' and love the papers and colours in it. Think navy, bright green and creams.

Techniques I have tried:
I made a simple mask for my birthday photo. I knew I wanted 22 to feature so just used a transparency to get the effect.

Photos documented:
Of course a fun birthday photo had to make its way into there. I also used a lot of photos of my room from my last blog post. I did this with my student house last academic year and am so pleased I will have recorded both places in my PL album.
We went to a wedding this Saturday so that makes up most of one page. My old housemates and I also treated ourselves to a meal out at Chiquitos and had to get some photos wearing the sombrero!

Thoughts on the project:
I feel much more relaxed now I have caught up. I have set aside Saturday mornings to work on the project and like that I have a dedicated time to enjoy PL.
I can't believe we are up to week 41! Where has the year gone...

14 October 2014

Decorating a student space

After seven years at boarding school and another two at uni, I would consider myself pretty adapt at making a space my own.
I love the challenge of filling a dreary bit of accommodation with my own things to make it a cosy space.

I am so blessed to have a nice big room this year, complete with mantlepiece (I know...) and lots of walls to fill.

Each year I go through my folders and find out all my favourite photos. Most are taken on my big camera however quite a few selfies got in there this year! I then run them through an action on photoshop to make them all black and white. With so many photos in my room I find it can look really busy if they are kept in colour.

This year I wanted to make a 'thing' of the mantlepiece so made a big grid above it of my photos. I like the effect and it also did a good job of covering up all the chipped paintwork from everyone else who has blue-tacked before me!

I also love using frames to highlight special photos. Because I travel quite a distance to uni I order my photos in the correct size beforehand and then buy cheap frames up here. I had big (pun very much intended) plans for this photo of the boy and me and am so pleased I decided to go large.
To me, adding a few frames makes my room far less studenty!

For my pinboard above my desk I tacked string across it and then pegged some instagram pictures onto it. I like using pegs because it means I can change things around easily.

From years of decorating rooms, I brought along a few old favourites. Bunting always works well and I made a few metres with some of my favourite fabrics before term started. I also whipped out the old tuck box and filled it with soft quilts, perfect to grab on the chilly evenings I am sure to have living in student accommodation!

Now I am in my final year I decided to go all 'grown up' and get myself a few houseplants. I often have flowers on my side but went a step further with these .....(insert name of plant here. I think it is a gardenia). I would love any tips you have on keeping house plants. So far they are surviving and I think even flowering so there is hope yet!

I really enjoy the process of decorating a room. To me, it is akin to nesting. I can't wait till I can get my own little place and settle things permanently but for now, my room is home.

And you always have to have a touch of humour.... I call it the 'nude' corner!

9 October 2014

One photo & twenty words

An annual gift from my Godparents. Last year cupboard supplies, the year before biscuits, this year many many sweets! Amazing.

My challenge for you today. Find one photo and choose up to twenty words to tell its story. Jot it down and link back here. The link will stay open for a week so you have plenty of time to join in! 

6 October 2014

Me on Monday

Hello Monday

Today I am back to my favourite seat in the library. Right by the window in the history section, trying hard to work but feeling distracted!

This weekend was a train travelling, new room finding, unloading, unpacking, sorting out sort of weekend. It was an old friend meeting, socialising sort of a weekend too.
I am starting to settle back into this final year of uni. getting used to lectures again, walks in the cold, putting on an extra jumper and motivating myself to do my work.
Bring on year three!

What has this weekend brought you.

I'm linking up with Sian today for her fun meme, 'me on monday.'

3 October 2014

Project life weeks 37 and 38

Project life. It's a constant game of catch up around here! 
Part of me loves the catching up process because I can sit with a cup of tea in hand and quietly re-live some of the best bits of the last month. The other half of me is overwhelmed working out photos, and words and when different things occurred! 

This was what weeks 37 and 38 looked like: 

Things I am loving this week: 
The font courier new. Its clean and light and fun and I am using it for most of my journalling. I am also loving using lots of white space with dashes of patterned paper. Definitely the predominant style through this years album and it is making me happy.

Techniques I have tried: 
Nothing too new here. I really wanted to include that square photo booth style print of me and my friend but was struggling to fit it in. I ended up cropping out one side and moving it across the page with the journalling in the middle. I am really pleased with how this turned out.

I also included all of that blog post about my long distance relationship. Although the post wasn't written that week it felt right to pair it with the photos of my time in Oxford with the boy. I don't usually include blog posts but I like that it is a strong focal point on the page.

Photos documented: 
These two weeks really are the best of a project life mix. There were some big moments like my dear friends 21st birthday tea party and meeting up with some lovely faces at the bloggers weekend. There were also some everyday moments to record like painting our bathroom and making a new dress.

Thoughts on the project:
PL can sometimes be a chore for me. I'm happy to admit that. But once I have those memories down I am so grateful that I do. This project is worth so much more than the time it takes to complete each page. Already I am itching to see this year in book form! Not long now...

I am heading back to uni this weekend so the blog may stay quiet while I adjust to being back up North. See you on the other side.