Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween Everyone!...

Whether you celebrate Halloween or not, I hope you'll have a great Saturday! :) We're off out to buy some chocolates and get ready for any "trick or treat-ers" that turn up knocking on the door later.

Friday, October 30, 2009

My First Class Journal...

A little while ago I posted about having been very lucky to win a place for Karla Dudley's class on making journals. I have always loved the journals that she's posted on her blog and longed to learn some techniques.

The class is super fun and I can now show you my first finished journal. Well, at least finished as in: printed, designed, cut and assembled. I haven't actually added any photos or anything to it yet but I feel there's no need to rush that. At least I have finished my journal and got a cool book to show for it :)

I loved the papers and brushes that Karla supplied with the class and I'm really enjoying the orange and grey colour combination which might not normally have been my first choice. That really proves that you should venture outside your colour comfort zone sometimes.

The inside pages are quite random. Some are stamped with swirly brushes and some are left completely blank for just adding a photo or two...

...while others are stamped with some really cool journaling brushes that also were supplied in the class materials.

Above are just a few examples of the inside pages in my journal.

Right I'm off as I'm working on the journal for week 2 now. This one is more complicated, has lots more steps to it and will take me longer to make. I'm really enjoying the process and trying out something I have never done before :)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Card For My Niece...

Thanks for all the comments regarding Copics during the last few days - I have really appreciated them :) And yes I printed out one of those colour charts even before I got my pens. You know, the one where you fill in which colours you have. Even though this is handy when you buy new colours I find it's even more handy while you use your markers and I refer to it all the time for picking which shade to use.

Above is a card I made for my niece who turns two soon (Grattis = Congratulations). Please don't judge the actual card design LOL! I know it's VERY simple. I kinda had to get it off to Sweden in a rush, way ahead of time, hoping that the UK postal strikes will still allow it to arrive in time. The Copics underneath is what I used to colour the image. I really had so much fun and I think I have mastered the technique of not going over the lines while blending now too! Yay!

Kat you asked where I got my pens from. I ordered from Stamp Galaxy - the cheapest place I could find in the UK + very good service! Anyone else found a cheaper place? I also ordered a few shades (as Stamp Galaxy did not have the ones I wanted) from Cult Pens and the service was excellent too :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Blogging Will Resume Tomorrow...

Bad news. I woke up in the night with old (pre surgery) eye pain in my newly operated eye. I've spent hours and hours at the hospital emergency eye clinic and just got home. I'm exhausted and sad and I don't really know how bad this is or not until another appointment in 3 weeks. I'm back having to have the protective lens in my eye, not even allowed to wash my own hair (no water or ANYTHING in or near my eye) and more eye drops. :( If you have something fun to say, please do, I could do with some cheering up...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

No I Haven't Stopped...

...or indeed forgotten the last class by Shimelle which I couldn't work on at the time. I'm still working on it. It's not something that I'm letting myself stress about. Instead I'm pretty confident that I will finish the class and it will have to take the time it takes. I will just fit in a layout here and there. This prompt was about photography...

...and I used an old photo from about 2-3 years ago. My parents were visiting at the time, we were out doing some sightseeing and me and dad started being silly taking photos of each other taking photos. That came in very handy for this prompt.

Wish me luck, as you read this we will be at West Midlands Safari Park, if everything goes to plan, and the weather is not supposed to be too great... so let's hope they are wrong. It's Saturday evening as I'm typing this and the post is scheduled to be posted on Sunday.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Copics...

Thanks to everyone for the feedback comments you have left on my first Copic colouring attempts - I really appreciate it.

I have had some questions about what colours I went for so I thought I might just be as easy to take photos of my new pens instead. :)

(The clear round pen in the top left corner of the first photo is a Spica glitter pen)

...I have a few more coming in the post... but who knows when they will turn up thanks to the postal strike. Fingers crossed that they won't be too delayed.

Right I'm off as I'm in the middle of working on some storage for my markers. Nothing fancy... just some covered boxes but at least it's something to keep them in :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Week 3 - Layout 2...

As I was ending my post yesterday I said I was off to try and finish this week's layout for Ali Edwards' class. The first week had no layout work so this is technically the second (double) layout for the class. I see on the photo that the coloums don't look 100% straight... that's purely my fault with the camera + PSE, it's totally straight in reality :)

The layout Ali showed us was very "simple" in design. Really just the words + photos focus that she promotes and I love. For me, in terms of a layout, it's maybe a bit too simple (I mean for my normal style) but on the other hand I can also say that I'm extremely grateful to Ali for this layout assignment.

I have got some of the old scanned slides printed and I have written down 6 separate memories/moments from my childhood. Things that I most likely would not have come around to scrapping about, any time soon, maybe never. And having written these down makes me so, so happy! So even though the design doesn't have me running around the house in excitement, this definitely goes into the pile as one of the most important layouts I have made :) Love it!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

My First Attempts...

My Copic markers arrived yesterday and I thought I'd be brave and show my very FIRST attempts at using them - aaah! LOL! Please be kind :)

I think after spending, what felt like, half the weekend watching tips & tricks videos on Copics I feel like I have a pretty good idea what to do and not with my markers. Or at least much better starting point than never having seen a video. Still, I know that it's "practice, practice, practice" when it comes to these markers... so if there are any Copic experts out there I'd really appreciate some constructive criticism on my first attempts.

In the meantime I'm going to try and "judge" my own images myself and (to the best of my limited Copic knowledge) point out good and bad points LOL! This should be fun... Anyway, I dug out some of my old Magnolia stamps to practice with and stamped 5 images...

1. In general I was very pleased with my VERY first attempt on colouring with the Copic markers as I know some people just can't get enough of them. So, not trying to judge this one too harshly, I was pretty happy with it.

2. Second image and playing with blues. I really enjoyed the shading and I think I got that pretty OK considering. But by now I discovered what I believe is my biggest problem. I'm normally very good with colouring in and never go outside lines. I was fine with this too, UNTIL I came to adding more colours for shading and I then noticed that I pushed the colour outside the lines a bit (check out the outline of the dog's legs).

3. My third image and again you can see how, once I started adding more shades, I pushed the colour over the lines a little on the legs and arms. I also ventured into reds, having read that this is the hardest colour to blend nicely, and they were not wrong! Unhappy with the result. It might partially be that red is a hard colour to blend, but also to do with that I only had a pale red and then two pretty dark ones...a mid tone might have helped a bit here I think.

4. A bit more advanced colouring. (Please ignore the white bits, beard and on the jacket, I'm awaiting some pale shades so I really couldn't blend this at all!) I'm much more happy with my reds here. I'm also paying more attention to the "bleeding outside the lines". The tree trunk was good practice for this and I think it's improved a lot. I also need my pale shades as I think Santa looks a bit like he's spent the last 3 weeks on a very sunny holiday :)

5. By now it was getting late at night and I did one final image. I was paying close attention to not bleed the colours over the lines. I'm pretty happy with the shading on green sweater and the shoes etc and if I'm going to be picky (and yes I am, being a perfectionist LOL!) I'm not so happy with the shading on the blue hat and trousers. Might be partially me and partially the fact that I was missing some blue mid tones, making it a little hard to blend nicely.

As I said, I would really welcome some constructive advice on my first coloured images please. Or any tips in general on what to avoid etc?

...also before I go I want to say a big THANK YOU to Jessica who left me some really helpful Copic advice the other day, thanks for taking the time to write :)

Now I'm off to finish this week's layout for Ali Edwards' class (hoping I can get it finished, photographed and on my blog tomorrow) and then I will play a little more with my pens.

Monday, October 19, 2009

So excited...

This is silly really! I'm SO excited about getting my new Copic markers that I'm even dreaming about it at night LOL! I seriously feel like a child at Christmas and they are not even here yet. And do you know what's worse? With me only ordering them on Saturday I have of course not received them yet and... (shhh!) I kinda slipped and ordered some more yesterday! Oh dear! Told you I was well and truly hooked...

The good news is that I have had confirmation that the markers should be posted today so you can guess who's eagerly awaiting tomorrow and hoping I'm in luck with the post :)

Jessica & Jen - thanks for your comments left regarding the Copics. I'd love to hear a bit more from you (I'm trying to learn as much as I can - FAST!), or indeed any other Copic fan reading this. These are some of my questions:

* Where do you buy your pens?
* What colours have you found that YOU use the most?
* How long have you used Copics and how many markers do you have?
* What cardstock do YOU find the best to use Copics with?
* What are your fave sites/videos for tips and tricks?
* Anything else that I should know? (Mistakes to avoid etc)

Please leave a comment if you have time - I really appreciate it!

Leaving you with a Halloween card made for the Lilypad Creative Team as I'm off to watch some more Copic colouring tips on Youtube :)

[Supplies: Autumn Radiance - Amy Wolff, Frank 'N Friends - Kate Hadfield , Tricky Treats - Kate Hadfield, Where Bluebirds Fly - Kaye Winiecki (all from the Lilypad), Little Tricksters - Lliella Designs (from SSD)]

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Oh Dear! I Think I Have Caught A Bug...

...not a sickness type bug... but the Copic pen bug :) I have had my eye on these pens for many, many months now. Each time I have managed to talk myself out of it again. And then a few weeks later and I'm back admiring them on the net and watching Youtube videos on colouring etc. Today I finally feel for it and ordered some pens on-line.The above picture is not a picture of my new pens (as they are yet to be dispatched since it's weekend) but rather a little picture which I borrowed from my friend Google :)

I'm seriously excited about getting my new pens (think: small child at Christmas type excited!) and I feel well and truly hooked even though I have not even tried a pen yet. That's pretty baaaad LOL! Of course, since the pens are definitely not the cheapest in the world, there is a part of me that kinda hopes that I won't like them too much as it will be a rather expensive collection, with time, to add to.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I'm exhausted! I have spent all morning (literally not moved from my chair) editing photos. About a year ago dad scanned loads of slides from when we were little (Oh do I love him extra for that!) and sent me a USB memory stick with 349 photos. I'm going through them now, picking my faves (turns out to be a lot!)... straightening, sharpening and resizing for uploading & printing. That is some job. My brain feels fried already and it's only just past 12 o'clock LOL! So far I have finished a batch of 90 photos which are currently uploading to a photo printing site. I really can't wait to get them in the post :)))

Thought I'd better get a blog post in now... before I'm just too mentally tired to do one later in the afternoon. I hope to continue editing and uploading photos for as long as I have the energy this afternoon :)

[Supplies: Safari Malarky - Kate Hadfield, Pat Me - Kaye Winiecki, Polka Spot - Kaye Winiecki
(all from the Lilypad)]

Sharing with you a Swedish birthday card which I made this week as part of my Creative Team work for Lilypad.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This Is What I Needed...

After writing yesterday's post it became even more clear to me that my problem isn't so much with learning how to make playlists (as I believe this is very straight forward) but rather the songs... or more importantly PICKING/remembering songs. In the past I have scribbled down a song title on a piece of paper every now and then only to lose it before I sat down to get the song. So yesterday it came to me. I need somewhere special to write down songs as and when I think of them. A place JUST for that.

I hunted down a spare notebook that I had laying around. But that just looked far too boring and plain. So I set out to make it a bit cuter and at the same time work on one of my Creative Team projects for SSD this month.

Result? The perfect little place to keep track of songs when I hear them. So when I want to create a new playlist I just refer to the newly added songs in my journal :)

[Supplies: The Girls Of Summer - Dani Mogstad, Eva Kipler, My Playlist Mini - Libby Weifenbach (both from SSD)]

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tips For iTunes/iPod Playlists?...

I need some advice when it comes to making iTunes playlists... But first a little look at the layout I made yesterday for the Lilypad Creative Team:

[Supplies: Scrap Pad - Polly Love 4 - Amy Martin, Autumn Radiance - Amy Wolff, Clipping Masks - Cinnamon Designs, Shape Templates Circles - Emily Merritt, Fancy Schmancy Frames 4 - Karah Fredricks, Tall & Skinny Alpha - Kate Hadfield (all from The Lilypad), Brittany - Darcy Baldwin (font) (from SSD)]

Now: Playlists. I'm going to have to admit that I have never made an iTunes/iPod "playlist" in my life. Every few months I keep getting this idea that I really should take some time and sit down to make some. I see people blogging about making playlists and it reminds me yet again that I have not tried this. And where do I stumble? Not on the actual practical ways of doing it (I'm pretty sure it's very easy, and if not, I can Google how to create playlists). But I stumble on the fact that I really don't know where to begin when it comes to choosing songs!! Sounds silly? It does to me at least. I just really don't know where to start. I'm sure some people think I'm crazy saying that...

I think it might have something to do with my film memory (this being similar) being useless. I see a good film and I like it. Trying to remember what a certain film was like or what it was about a few months later (Harry Potter being an exception!) and... I just can't. Same with songs. I love music and I hear great songs that I like to listen to and enjoy. But ask me to list my top 20 fave songs by title and I'd get about one LOL! Hopefully now "my problem" makes a bit more sense? :) So any advice or tips on what to do (where to start?) when it comes to choosing songs please...? I really, really want to have a play with this and I'm so stuck on starting that it's silly...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Yesterday & Today...

On Friday I showed you a little peek of what I was working on. I thought I'd blogged about "Yesterday & Today" a while back, but it seems not as I have just realised that it was back when we were in Sweden in the summer that I signed up. "Yesterday & Today" is Ali Edwards' BPS class. It runs for 3 months and I have been looking forward to it for over a year when it was announced that she's be one of the 4 big teachers for 2009 at BPS.

The class started Thursday a week and a half ago. The first week was just lots of information and brainstorming about subjects and this week we have started on the intro page for our albums. I have always been a big admirer of Ali's scrapping style and always agreed with her focus on "photos+words". It IS (to me) the most important part of our scrapbooks and I feel that anything I can do to focus even more on these parts will only improve my albums even more. I'm really looking forward to working through these weeks and can't wait to see what more Ali has in store for us :)

Friday, October 09, 2009


I'm exhausted today. My eye stayed fine during the night (thanks for the sweet comments!) but I slept as bad as... well, someone who sleeps bad! LOL! I was soooo tense and woke up all the time, so aware of my eye and how it was feeling. Got up extra early as my heart was racing and I could not calm down my breathing and relax enough to sleep. I guess it will get easier with time and I will get more and more relaxed the more nights I can have without eye pain. I can't really think about that I'm on eye drops (2 types, approx 6+ times per day) for the rest of my life.

...I have to go down the denial route on that one at the moment as otherwise it will make me so sad. I specifically hate the thick gel like stuff I have (well, I need to get someone else to administer!) to take every night before going to bed. It lubricates the eye but it makes it super blurry and extremely light sensitive so it's just a case of going to bed and turning the light off straight away. I wake up with it "melted" and smeared halfway down my cheeks (as if I'd rubbed oil beneath my eyes)...oh joy!

Trying to stay awake, I'm working on a new project with some old photos. Dad scanned a few hundred slides for us last year (I soooo love him for that!!) and this is the perfect opportunity to use them :)

I'll be working on this some more later today and I'll be back some time this weekend showing you the finished layout, right now it's time for another dose of eye drops... for a change - LOL! :)

Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Little Update On My Eyes...

I went back to the eye specialist at the hospital this morning. The healing is going well after the surgery and they have now removed the bandage lens (like a contact lens to the naked eye really, that I had to have 24 hours a day) which was protecting my eye after the surgery. I'm still on lots of eyedrops (10+ times a day at the moment) and I will be for the rest of my life... :(

The worst thing for me is that even though the eye is healing well after the surgery I will never know if it's cured or not (same goes for my left eye which had the same surgery back in January). The original symptoms can come back at any time. Basically what happened was that my eyelid stuck to the eye (cornea) and ripped off part of the surface when I tried to open it. And yes it's way, WAY more painful than you could possibly imagine or I could ever describe in words. I'd wake up in the night and sit there for 20-30 mins in the most terrible pain possible, nearly screaming in agony, cheek wet from tears (not me crying, just the eye reacting) and being unable to open my eye. There is no guarantee that the surgery won't make this happen again. I can't even bear thinking about this and all I can do is to hope that it won't.

Tonight will be the first night sleeping without the protective lens in my eye. To say that I will be scared when I go to bed tonight will be an understatement. I think I will have many, many restless, worrying and stressful nights before I slowly learn to relax more and more.

Anyway, that's a little update for today. I'm back seeing the specialist again in 6 weeks to check that the eye surface (cornea) still looks ok.

Thanks for reading :)

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Waaaah - My Fonts!! ...

...that's what I thought this morning as I needed a favourite font. I was trying a little digital scrapping for the first time since the eye operation (I still can't manage masses of time in front of the monitor), forgetting that I had a new computer = NONE of my usual fonts!! Aaah! So I came to add some text to my layout and suddenly realised that I have a huge job in front of myself: to go through and install all the usual fonts that I use. This is definitely the time I wish I had them all neatly in one folder LOL!

[Supplies: Messy Machine Stitches Straight - Emily Merritt, Fancy Schmancy Frames 3 - Karah Fredricks, Pat Me - Kaye Winiecki, Where Bluebirds Fly - Kaye Winiecki , Spilled Things - Valerie Wibbens, Topography Set No 3 - Valerie Wibbens (all from The Lilypad)]

Well I'd better get started finding and installing all those fonts as this is going to be a loooong job LOL!

Monday, October 05, 2009

A Nice Surprise...

We had a great weekend with my parents coming over from Sweden and I felt a bit sad when it was over... But at least I got a nice surprise when I caught up on my mail this morning :)

A few days ago I entered a blog competition and then instantly forgot about it (I always do this when I enter a competition, as the chance of winning is always small, so it's best not to get your hopes up). Anyway... Imagine my surprise when I have a mail from Karla Dudley saying that I won her blog competition and I have a space in her next on-line workshop! Yay! :)

(Photo borrowed from Karla Dudley's blog)

I have always loved making minibooks and I have followed Karla's blog for a while now and always admired her journals. I love the ones she makes with stitched spines etc. I'm really hoping something like that will be taught in the workshop and I'm so excited for it to start. :)

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Quick Update...

Just a quick update with a layout as my parents are over from Sweden this weekend and I want to spend as much time with them as possible :)))

Friday, October 02, 2009

More About The Chirstmas Journal...

Kat (thanks for your comment) - yes I know what you mean. To do a Christmas journal and to commit to make a page a day for the whole month is a BIG thing to try and stick to. Especially since December is probably the busiest month for all/most of us. So I can totally see that it's very hard to complete the project. I normally have the problem that I have no access to my stash for some time during the month too so I always have to work "behind" on the project no matter what.

And I will not say that it's not hard work to catch up afterwards because it REALLY is. It somehow makes the work more of a "chore" and less fun when you're catching up on something that "should" have been done already. So it takes a lot of commitment and discipline (and the extra time too of course)! It's not easy. Maybe the best thing for you is to try and complete the previous album rather than starting a new one yet again? It's certainly something that I would consider. :)

(Page done for Shimelle's "Go To Press" class)

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Journal Your Christmas...

These are some images from my Christmas album from last year. I hunted for these since I got a question (well two actually) left for me yesterday by Liberty and I thought I might as well reply to them straight away.

First of all, wow - thanks for saying that I have inspired you to sign up for the "Journal Your Christmas" class Liberty. I feel honoured. :) You asked if I was doing it again? It's not actually something I have thought about yet, but since you asked, well... yes I think I'm very likely to do it. I have done it now for.... I don't know, 3 years in a row I think, so it would be a bit of a shame to stop now. So yes I think I'm very likely to do a Christmas (December) album this year too :)

Then your second question was about where I store my albums. And maybe this is actually the reason why I have the "layout pile problem", as I simply do not have a good way of storing my albums. Our bookshelves are not deep enough so it doesn't really work to have them there. At the moment they are on top of a big chest of drawers... some albums standing and others in a pile of top of the albums standing up. Not an ideal solution at all I'm afraid and I really wish I had a better way or storing them, or indeed deeper bookshelves :)