Sunday 30 January 2011

On Travels

I just love little weekends away - stolen moments of calm in the midst of a hectic lifestyle. Back in August, we had exactly one of these little weekends. In a month of rain, Friday morning rolled around and we were bathed in gorgeous sunshine as we set out for the Ardennes.

On our travels we found a waterfall and swam in its icy pool. The country houses planted in us a seed of an idea to maybe one day have a guest house out there. We savoured the local cuisine and beer, and saw buzzards and bikers and... on the way home, we took a detour to a castle. It was stunning - peaceful, yet buzzing with no less than 3 bridal parties being photographed in the grounds. Of the many photos my fiance took of the castle, one stood out for layout-making.


I love this photo. I love how the blue of the sky makes such a strong reflection of the castle in the moat. It perfectly embodies our little weekend.

Thursday 27 January 2011

It's All About Cards

As those two ladies of Good Mail Day write, there's nothing quite like receiving something personalised and made and sent just for you in the post; emails and e-cards just don't cut it. They talk about the rules of mail art sending - that you should honour everything you receive with a reply - and then reiterate this in a softer way - that if you want to receive something, all you have to do is send something and wait for the response. I'm happy to say it's working: my Postcard-a-Week postcards have resulted in this, which came through my letterbox yesterday:


Which spurred me to on make a reply, even though I didn't have an awful lot to say. Last week was very full of work and not much play. The weekend, however, was full of relaxing, wood walking and going to the market on Sunday to buy yummy artisanal food for lunch (and dinner, it turned out. Never shop for food when you're hungry!). So that's what informed the reply I sent:


The little play I did get to have last week was very time-pressured and resulted in a handful of little-effort cards that I'm not thrilled with. But freelancers must not say no to work. I did make it a bit difficult for myself, but at least I didn't fall to pieces.

I used my Letterpress for the sentiment on this card - I'm waiting for the opportunity to use it more!


And finally... Tuesday was the 25th. That means, according to my resolution, and like Sandra and my mum and probably many others, Christmas creation day. I stuck with a theme and got some cards under my belt (11 to be exact. It would've been 12, but I stamped the inside of one of them upside down):

And with that I think I'll have a little break from card-making. Got to save my efforts for wedding invitations (coming very soon!).

Monday 24 January 2011

Happiness Is...

This week's Scrapbook Challenges sketch looks like this:

And my take on the sketch looks like this:

Some details of which look like this:


Saturday 22 January 2011


Everything is an adventure at the moment. My husband-to-be and I were talking the other day about how it's almost a year since we went to collect our dog from the shelter. He said, 'You do realise that everything we do from here on in is brand new?' It sounds obvious, but it's also profound. We go on living our everyday life too often without stopping to think that we're experiencing most of it for the first time. It's good sometimes to stop, take stock, pat yourself on the back for not doing too badly under the circumstances. And it's good to not be afraid of adventure.


Thursday 20 January 2011

I Already Went Postal Once, Didn't I?

Ooops... I almost used the same post title as I did back here. (Hmmm... mini-challenge: come up with 52 different postcard-related blog post titles...)

This past week I've mostly had dancing on the brain. After a 3-week break, our lessons began again and although we could've been rusty and stressed, we did really well. The worst exchange, caused by me stopping every time we made a wrong move instead of trying to recover and carry on, ended with him giving me some advice: 'It's dog eat dog out there in the ballroom. Move, or get off the dance floor!'

So my postcard this week used bits from our teachers' flyer. I am liking paint rings at the moment, too:


Ooh, and just a quick note to say that I was given honourable mention for my submission to the Play Date Cafe's competition last week, meaning I get to sport this badge on my blog:

Tuesday 18 January 2011

Fancy a Cuppa?

A little bit of a shake-up this week, so that I can enter a competition. I will post the Postcard a Week Challenge on Thursday; today, instead, I'm going for a cuppa at the Play Date Cafe. Come along for a cuppa and take part in a competition!

Their colour challenge this week was this beautiful combo:

And my response to the challenge:


I love this little cut-out part revealing another balloon in the background. I love this stamp set so much (it's Kaiser Craft's Up, Up and Away). And I love the Play Date Cafe's colour combo.

Anyone coming for a cuppa?

Sunday 16 January 2011

Scrapping in a Punky Kinda Way

One of the Scrapbook Challenges DT members, Natalie, also has a little challenge blog of her own. It's called Punky Scraps, because she's a punky kind of girl. She offers sponsored prizes every month and sketch challenges every week, and in short she's a girl after my own heart - to steal my university's old motto, we like to 'do different'.

I made a layout for last week's sketch, using scraps of paper in colours I would never normally dream of using. It's a fun, bright little page with some hidden journalling and some paint splodges. And that's about it!

The hidden journalling tells of how, at my cousin's 80s-themed party, my family dressed up to the nines and when I saw the photos I was struck by how young my mum looked - the outfit, the makeup, the hair all took 20 years off her. Of course, she still looks young now (and yes, she does read this blog), but really, she looked younger than me! This is the 80s word I used to describe her and title the page:

Nostalgic, anyone?

Wednesday 12 January 2011

Project Restyle

The other week I came across a great little venture started up by Elsie at A Beautiful Mess called Project Restyle. Since it just happens that I have oh, about a million restyle ideas, it kind of made sense that I would join in. If only to make me actually get onto them and get them done.

My first one comes in the form of a picture frame. Not too adventurous. Just dipping my toes in the water. This is what it looked like before I got started:

It wasn't even wooden. It was coated with some weird vinyl paper with a grain design on. I didn't discover this until I came to stamping on it - my hand and the stamp almost skidded off the edge and ruined the whole thing. Actually you can't even really see the smudge:

That was the Stazon phase. I'm loving the Stazon at the moment - it's going on everything I can find. Then came the Distress Ink and Cosmic Shimmer Mist phase, a short heat embossing phase, and  finally the dressing up the image phase (sadly I can't take credit for the artwork itself- that's thanks to these guys):

And a couple of close-ups:


And that's my first Project Restyle task. I'll aim for something a little bigger next time.

Oh, before I go, let me remind you that the True XOXO Girls blog's January Lift Challenge is underway - my page here is up for lifting among many others. The sweet and juicy prize is donated by the Sweet Peach Crop Shop and it looks like this:

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Postcard a Week Challenge

I have just received the news that the first postcard I made arrived safely at its destination. So, it looks like this plan is going to work.

Week Two's postcard is still on a 'thank you' theme. As I briefly mentioned a few posts ago, my cash-strapped younger brother hand-made our Christmas presents. All his own ideas, he went to the effort of researching his tasks; he improvised when things went wrong; and he even sat down at the sewing machine (and I checked all the seams of the bag he made - they are all very straight and very tidy).

I was, and still am, amazed at the boy. He has certainly kept this talent quiet. Anwyay, postcard number two is for him - to say thank you for the effort he spent on us.

Monday 10 January 2011

Let's Talk Business

When the snow comes, the best days are those blue-sky, nip-your-nose-cold, white-sunlight kinds of days. We caught one of them in December, and the feeling in my fingers was sacrificed for a few clicks of a button.

Somehow, despite the cold, those days fill my heart with the colours of early summer. I am reminded of what it is like, even at a time when it is so far away that I think I have forgotten. 

I got down to business that very evening with the layout below.

It became everything I wanted it to be. It is precisely how I feel on those clear, crisp days of winter, when ice merges with the white heat of the sun and the sky has never before looked so blue.

January usually brings more days like this; I'm waiting expectantly, my fingers ready to click.

Friday 7 January 2011

Some News...and my first Scrapbook Challenges Blog Hop

Welcome to the first Scrapbook Challenges blog hop of 2011 - if you're here for that, you should've reached me after visiting Natalie's blog. If you are just stopping by but want to join in with the hop, you'll need to start at Pamela's blog. There are prizes to be won...!

OK - now for the news! I am proud to announce that I have been selected for the Scrapbook Challenges DT for the first term of 2011. So, I'm a newbie. For the benefit of other newbies, Scrapbook Challenges is a group positively bursting with sketches, challenges and inspiration, not to mention fantastic members, as well as monthly prizes from sponsors! I'm really happy to be part of this DT and can't wait to get started.

A little bit about me: I'm a freelance editor with a fiance, pink in my hair, a dog and fingers that won't keep still. I try to keep them occupied with scrapping, baking, dog training and learning to play the piano.

I might have mentioned prizes a little earlier. This is the sketch challenge in which you must participate to stand a chance of winning some goodies:

And here's my take on the sketch:

The paper I used was Bazzill Swiss Dots (Rope Swing), MME Quite Contrary Jack & Jill (Favourite Things "Colourful Umbrellas"), MME Quite Contrary Jack & Jill (Life is Good "Hanging Around") and Basic Grey Basics (Ledger).

And now for the juicy bits. The RAKS involved in this blog hop:

1. One person who leaves a comment on all the blogs in the hop will get the new Spring Market collection from Webster's Pages, including chipboard buttons and twine:
2. One person who does a layout based on the sketch will get the Be Mine collection from Echo Park:
3. For inviting people to join the group, one person will get a collection of adhesives from Helmar:

4. One new member over the weekend will get some new stamps from Unity and Webster's Pages. These are top secret and only just about to be released so there is no picture yet - but they will coordinate with the new Spring Market line from Webster's.

Now, hop on over to Mary Ann's blog to continue the hop. Thanks for stopping by and good luck with the sketch challenge!