29 July 2011

A crafty life. Transition from enthusiastic toddler painter to scrapbooker.


Over  at High in the Sky, Sian has been doing a lovely series on her crafty life, detailing turning points in her crafty adventures. It has been a pleasure to read so I, inspired as I was, set out to create something similar.

Now, I only have eighteen years to look back on, most of which I can't remember so this may be considered a concise version of my crafty life. Or to put it a different way, there is photographic evidence to suggest that giving a paintbrush to a baby will mean they will be a crafter in later life...maybe.

 So, to begin. I have always liked paper. A good start I think.

I liked paper so much that I insisted on playing with those gold paper stars. I think this may have been my way of saying "mummy, please can I have a die-cutting machine?"

 My creative talents though stretched further than paper. Paint. I liked the colour blue. What? You can't tell what it is? Neither can I but I'm sure my three year old self could.

I loved drawing. I clearly remember having a draw in my bedroom just full of plain white paper which I would draw and colour on endlessly. I still find drawing very relaxing.

See that amazing blue line of sky at the top of the page? I have a very vivid memory of my Dad showing me at about this age a painting in the lounge. He pointed to the sky and showed me how it reached right down to the ground. From that time on I never drew the sky just along the top of the page.

 I have never had a problem with getting messy.

 This was a favourite christmas present. A box of pens, pencils and coloured paper. I spent christmas day sitting in my room drawing.

A year later and I got my first craft book. A wealth of new craft ideas was born, demonstrated in my multi coloured version of a pencil tree!

Another christmas and another craft book. This time art attack and the joys of papier mache. I was a papier mache addict for several years much to my mothers constination.

 The pinnicle moment. Christmas age thirteen. I opened my present and it contained a digital camera and a scrapbook set. A hobby was born. For the first time my creative streak was chanelled into something. Over the next five years I had made five albums and countless pages.

I still indulged in my other crafts though...say nothing.

Craft slowly moved from being paint and pencils to wool, sewing and more layouts. I got published in scrapbook magazines and started to discover more scrapbooking on the internet. I completed my art GCSE and took up photography A level. I also got my first DSLR camera.

My eighteenth birthday. Most people ask for a car, jewellery etc. I asked for a sewing machine and if I am honest I have used it, loved it, shouted at it, cursed it, listened to it and enjoyed it far more than anything I could have asked for. I have discovered quilting, I have made my own clothes again and sewn on scrapbook pages.

My craft has moved around a different corner in the form of blogging. I am able to share creations, write tutorials, pick up advice and find new projects. Blogging has opened up a new world of people who share my love of all things paper and glue who have steadily become not only fellow enthusiasts but also friends. 

I am so blessed that my parents encouraged me in my craft. It means that I will always have the tools I need to make a house a home, to record memories and express myself. It also means that for the forseeable future my room will always be littered with pieces of cotton and torn off scraps of paper.

Where has your craft taken you?

Thanks for stopping by and a big thank you to Sian for the inspiration.

Loves xxxx

28 July 2011

A few little projects.


I have been busy in terms of crafty projects this week. I find the summer is a great time to embark on some of those bigger projects I have seen and saved up.

On my last post I blogged with a set of photos I had edited. I edited them in a program called be funky which was so simple to use. It has rad. effects like that instant camera frame. Minor love affair over here. I chose around seventy ( I know, I couldn't help myself) photos and applied a vintage effect to each one as well as the instant frame effect.

I printed off this collection and got started on a new wall display in my room based on something I had seen on pinterest. It was very straight forward to do if a little fiddly. I chose my favourite photos from the last few months. The result is a colourful collection of memories.

Yesterday I sat down with mum and we embarked on another little project. Every now and again I decide to update my wardrobe and that normally involves buying fabric then trying to conceptualise the idea for the new garment. My mother could have been a seamstress she is so good. I simply told her what I wanted; a gathered skirt with a fixed waistband and a zipper and she sat down with me and we had whipped it up in under an hour. No pattern. Honest.

A sweet little dolly skirt.

Finally another, yep, another, bracelet. Seriously who doesn't love summer bracelets? This tutorial can be found here. Uber simple, very effective.

What crafty projects have you been up to recently?

Thanks for stopping by

Loves xxxxx

27 July 2011

The days of my youth

Looking back through recent pictures it has struck me how blessed I am.

Blessed to have had two whole weeks after exams to enjoy friendship and sunshine.
Blessed to have enjoyed my education

Blessed to be able to document that in photo form.

Looking at these photos my youth looks idyllic and if I am honest for those last two weeks at school it was.
More than anything I want to hold onto this, enjoy the days I have as a teenager in all their sun drenched glory.

When I am older I hope I can look back at this period in my life and know that it was one of the happiest times.

I am blessed to be having so much enjoyment in the days of my youth.

This quote really sums it up. I wanted to attach it to a photo of those carefree days. Feel free to copy or print this photo and words for your own private use.

How do you look at your teenage days?

Thanks for stopping by

Loves xxxxx

24 July 2011

putting the pictures into action.

Pinterest. My love affair ( the boy doesn't really understand!). I have a whole board devoted to craft DIY. There are literally hundreds of projects I see everyday and think "oh, I could make that."

I figured though after looking at this that I had better stop browsing and dreaming and actually put some of those pictures and ideas into action.

So, I saw this and fell in love. It isn't actually a DIY but a canvas for sale. It is beautiful but rather expensive so I decided that it couldn't be too difficult to make myself.

I simply stuck a piece of 12x12 on thick cardboard and got out my letter stickers. Thickers work very well for this ( I grudgingly admit) as well as large chipboard letters. I also used fairly flat stickers for a more subtle effect.

A word to the wise, try and use pale coloured stickers otherwise covering them in cream paint is a long job! I stuck my words on in vague heart shaped patterned and got to covering them in magnolia wall paint. Really easy and relaxing and voila a simple wall hanging which I am intending to frame for a fraction of the price of the original.

This was something else that I saw and fell in love with. This is linked to a comprehensive DIY.

A very easy make. I used coordinating patterned papers on the wooden blocks and then rather than put photos on them I put letter stickers. The pictures would be a cute idea though!

Is there anything you have found on pinterest and made? I would love to know!

Thanks for stopping by

Loves xxxx

19 July 2011

Going Postal


The other day when browsing blogs I came across this lovely project from Julie Kirk. The aim is to create or blog about something postal and then it will be pinned and shared on Julie's board on pinterest. It can literally be anything!

Well this got me excited because who doesn't love old postage stamps, air mail envelopes and paper parcels wrapped up in string (cue "sound of music")

I did ponder a post on old letters however I stumbled across this old photo when clearing out the photo albums. It was crying for a page and although there is nothing remotely postal attached to it, postal embellishment looked really nice with it.

There is something timeless about decorating a page with postage stamps. The airmail edging on an envelope made a lovely border. I continued the postal theme with my own handwriting and flowers made from book pages. It is quite a simple page but the soft elements give it a dreamy quality which is what I was aiming for.

Because there is no real story attached to the picture, the postal theme gave me some direction and in my opinion makes the layout unified. Reuslt me thinks! Thanks for the prompt Julie!

Thanks for stopping by

Loves xxxx

 P.S I showed the picture to my Mum and she told me it was taken when we were on holiday. Yep, so there is a tennuous postal link. sweet!

18 July 2011

Garlands and Tutorial


I have recently moved house and when a girl is faced with a new room she has to decorate right?
As seen from previous posts my addiction to bunting knows no bounds.

Well the addiction for garlands I think may be eclipsing that, especially now I have joined pinterest and seen so many lovely things to make.
Garlands are light, easy to string up, pretty and quick to make.

This is my take on a really simple pinwheel style.

1. First to make the strips. I used a second hand book and took a page at a time and cut it in half lengthwise. You will need quite a lot as three strips make on pinwheel.

2. Concertina fold the strip until it looks like this.

Then fold in half and glue together.

3. Once you have made three of them you can see that together they make a nice circle. Again glue the outside fold of one to the other to join them up.

4. Any sort of twine or string works for this project. There should be a small whole in the pinwheel so push the twine through this.

5. For added colour I then cut out circles of a floral patterned paper and sandwiched the twine inbetween them like so.

6. Voila! A pretty garland.

Garlands look beautiful strung up above windows so when the breeze blows they flutter gently.

A lovely summer addition to a room.

Thanks for stopping by

 Loves xxxxxxxxx

15 July 2011

Scrapbook secrets.

I have a confession. In fact several confessions regarding scrapbooking.You ready?

I stick EVERYTHING down with prit-stick. I have tried other things, tape, glue dots etc, Prit stick is so much simpler. Wipe on, turn over, stick. And, it stays. the same cannot be said for re positional tape. I should know.

I get overly excited walking into a DIY store. There are a hundred and one things to use on a page. Don't even get me started on the wall paper section. The trouble is, my enthusiasm for hardware stores has lead my Mum to be overly enthusiastic too. Today we walked into habitat (homeware I know but close enough) and she found this incredible roll of alphabet tape. She got very excited showing me especially when it was only 50p! Good find mum!

I order my photos online. I know it is perhaps easier to print them out myself but the quality is awful. I also don't think I can effictively pursade my family that getting a 12x12 printer is an "investment piece". Online is cheap, 10p a picture and on most companies if you sign uop you get forty free anyway.

I organise my paper in colours. Cardstock and patterned together. Each section is neatly labeled. All the scraps are also colour sorted. Slightly OCD I know, but hey, it works for me.

I have a speical box of my favourite paper. I don't know if anyone else finds this but if I put new paper in with the old I tend to forget it. Therefore this box contains all of my new pieces so I can really make the most of them! Reading back, this is strange. You can be forgiven for thinking I am barmy.

I don't own a single paper punch. Therefore naturally no photo! I think it is because they are quite expensive. If I had one I would probably use it quite a lot but I have coped without for so long that I can never see the point of getting on. I prefer cutting by hand.

I scrapbook listening to Harry Potter. Stephen Fry reads so well and it is lovely to listen to a novel whilst I craft.

I cover my desk in newspaper so it isn't wrecked by paint etc. I scrapbook and lots of ideas come to my head so I scribble these on the newspaper around the edge of the page I am making.

I don't use or really like thickers. There, I said it. Shoot me.

What are your scrapbook secrets? Are mine totally outrageous or are there those of you who are actually similar to me?!

Thanks for stopping by

Loves xxxx

10 July 2011

Big Changes

With the end of school come some seriously big changes. I have never been one for change and this is change in  its biggest form.

Not only do I lose a sense of security in not being at school there is also a sense of change for the boy and me. We have been together three years and for most of those three years we have seen each other every day. Next year I am taking a gap year and he is off to uni. I have had to come to realise that it won't be as straightforward as being at school.

Thankfully we have had a lot of practice with being over two hours away from each other on school holidays. Still, it is something that is going to take a bit of getting used to. At first these changes really scared me but I have come to realise that this is a natural transition. Life has to move on and I have to adapt to that.

One form of therapy for this is to scrapbook it. I wanted to make a totally different page with lots of journalling. I wanted to document the memories and good times the boy and I have had as well as addressing the changes that are up ahead and the list of "safety mechanisms" we can use to make sure we still keep in contact.

The page came together very easily. Just three simple pictures and then different journalling spots. I moved these elements around the page until I was happy with the composition. I then added scraps of paper to add colour. Allthough the page is quite girly I tried to grunge it a bit with staples and distressing.

More than anything the page represents a turning point and recognition. Rather than running away from the worries of the next year I have tried to put them down on paper. In a strange sense it is a form of rationality for a very irrational person!

There are big changes ahead but also really exciting ones!

What big changes have you had to face recently? Advice would be grreatly appreciated!

Thanks for stopping by

Loves xxxxxx