Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!...

Wanted to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

I hope you all have a great evening tonight and a fantastic new year ahead of you :) I'm wishing you all the best for the new year.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Change Of Camera...

About a year ago I bought a new camera. A Fuji Finepix S8000fd. Having previously had a Fuji Finepix s602z. which we TOTALLY loved, we thought this would be a great upgrade. It was not. It was a huge downgrade if anything. Nearly instantly I was very unhappy with the noise on dark colours etc. It ended up on the shelf quickly. A few months later I felt maybe I'd been too hard on it, got it out, tried to used it with an open mind... But soon got very sad about the results again.

Over the last year this cycle has repeated a few times. Always with the end result that I felt very sad to see the pictures I took. :(

Having just returned from spending Christmas (and going to my sister's wedding before that) in Sweden with my family, I got the chance to play with my dad's old Panasonic Lumix camera. I saw the difference straight away. So much less noise compared to the Fuji camera. It was very obvious. To be totally sure that it wasn't just me seeing what I wanted to see, I did a blind test with mum & dad. I took 11 identical photos with our Fuji and dad's Panasonic and re-named them...

And even though they had no idea which photos were taken with which camera, they pointed out exactly the same problems that I'd noticed and came to the conclusion that the Panasonic was way better.

So I have been doing some research on the Panasonic Lumix range and found this:

I ordered it the other day and I'm really excited to see how it will turn out. It's got a delivery time of 1-3 weeks so I'm not totally sure when it will arrive but I can wait.

I did consider an DSLR (which would meet all my "demands"...which no other camera really does) but I really wanted to avoid the bulk & weight. I find that the bigger & heavier your camera is, the less you take it with you "just in case" and the more "big days" (days out, holidays etc) it has to be for you to take it a long. I really love my tiny Canon handbag camera and I'm hoping that this new Panasonic will be the compromise I need to go with it, lightweight enough not to be put off taking it along yet more functions for times when it's needed :)

Monday, December 28, 2009

Mice (!!) ...

*cute alert warning*

If you're into little cute things, I just have to show you this super cute mouse kit by Lliella Designs:

Isn't it just so sweet? I mean, I'm not a mouse person in real life (like it would be amongst the last pets that I would pick... though I'd rather have a mouse than a snake (yuck!!) LOL!) but cute drawn mice like this are hard to resist.

I got the kit as part of my Creative Team work for Lliella Designs and came up with this birthday card:

[Supplies: Teahouse Mouse - Lliella Designs (from SSD)]

Getting ready for New Years Eve yet? Got anything fun planned? :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Birthday Card...

Right I think it's time for something non-Christmas related on this blog for a change. Even though I think I could do Christmas things all year around almost - that's how much I love it :)

But of course, if you're like Christmas like me, it's not the end of Christmas related things quite yet. I will keep showing my December journal on and off throughout January...and who knows, maybe into February too.

[Supplies: Alphabet Zoo Learning Bundle - Shawna Clingerman (from SSD)]

This is another project done for Sweet Shoppe Designs, as part of my Creative Team work. It's a Swedish birthday card (grattis=congratulations) and I really enjoyed working with Shawna's cute animals :)

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas...

Whether you celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve, today the 24th (like we do), or whether you celebrate on Christmas Day, I wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas.

I hope you have a great few Christmas days and may all your wishes come true :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day 7...

So excited - Christmas tomorrow! I really can't wait!! I love all the cosy Christmas traditions :)

And talking about Christmas, I think it's only appropriate to show another page from my Christmas journal today:

So, the back of Day 6 is on the left side. Journaling about how, come the start of December, I always panic a bit as I don't really "feel Christmassy". I also say how I have realised that this is not a feeling that come by itself and what measures I have taken to feel more Christmassy :)

Day 7 is on the right side and it's only the white card that you see at the top (under neath is a peek at Day 8!! LOL!) Day 7 is all about to-do lists and how well (or not) we're prepared for Christmas. This year I feel pretty prepared and by the 7th, all Christmas cards were made and posted and all Christmas presents were bought. :)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jingle Bells card...

Only two more days to go to Christmas Eve and I'm so excited. Christmas is my favourite time of the year. I just love spending time with family and all the cosy lights and trees around. It just makes me smile so much :)

And to keep feeling Christmassy, here's a look at a hybrid Christmas card that I made...

[Supplies: Holly Jolly - Kristin Cronin-Barrow, Santa Baby - Kristin Cronin-Barrow (both from SSD)]

The Christmas card above is one which I made for Sweet Shoppe Designs. I just couldn't resist Kristin's cute Santa kit :)

Right I'm off to do some last minute Christmas preparations :) Hope it's all going well and stress-free for you all :)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day 6...

Onto Day 6 of my Christmas Journal...

On the left side you see the back of Day 5. It's the brown page you can see with the little photo at the top. The Santa peeking from behind is from Day 3. Anyway. Day 5 was all about counting down to Christmas. I journal about our different ways. Three ways this year. An advent calendar which I made last year, a date candle and also the Swedish tradition of 4 advent candles in a special advent candle holder.

Heading over onto the right page you can see another photo of two of the candles lit (2nd of advent) and I've journaled about our tradition to celebrate advent. I know this is a religious thing from the start, but in Sweden this is huge and something that most households do... I think now mostly because it's a Christmas tradition rather than for the religious reasons. We do it purely because it's part of our Christmas traditions and always has been :)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

On A Trip To Italy...

...and no I'm not in Italy. Nor am I going. Or have been. This is a layout I did as part of my Shimelle CT work and the layout features my sister and her boyfriend. The photo is taken on a trip in Italy when they are dressed up to go to a friend's wedding.

[Supplies: Supplies used: Long And Winding Road - Shimelle Laine, Starburst Mini Kit - Shimelle Laine (both from 2Peas), Itty Bits Alpha - Dani Mogstad, Happy Place - Lauren Reid, Border Basics - Lines - Libby Weifenbach (all three from SSD)]

Isn't the background paper by Shimelle just great? I love that starburst effect. Makes me think of some of the more recent Sassafras paper lines where they had similar designs :)

Feeling ready for Christmas yet? I am - I can't wait :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 5...

It's time for one of those blog posts again with a little look at my Christmas journal. We're onto the spread for Day 4/5:

Day 4 was a half-sized page. So it's only what you see attached to the lower two book rings on the left. I have added a little photo of a Christmas jigsaw that we bought this year and journaled about how we've been bitten by a jigsaw bug at the moment. Two Christmas jigsaws plus a few others too.

Day 5, again a half-sized page, is about counting down to Christmas. I have attached a photo of an advent calendar that I made last year and the back will feature journaling about our different ways of counting down to Christmas. More on this another day :)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Birthday Card...

How are your Christmas preparations going? I hope it's not too stressful! We've had a pretty busy weekend but I think it's finally starting to calm down again ...only to get busy a bit more close to Christmas again of course...

[Supplies: A Message - Kate Hadfield, Eclectic Designs By Gabi, C Is For Cupcake - Emily Merritt, Tall & Skinny Alpha - Kate Hadfield (all from The Lilypad)]

Above is a birthday card which I made recently as part of my Creative Team work for the Lilypad. I really enjoyed getting the chance to work with the super cute cupcake kit by Emily Merritt - and it was perfect for a birthday card :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Let It Snow...

Well actually that's exactly what I would like it to do. I love it when it's snowing. Such cosy feelings. Especially when you get the first snow of the season :)

There has been so many cute Christmas and winter kits released at Sweet Shoppe Designs over the last month or so that I just couldn't resist having a play with some of them. I'm totally weak for Christmas related kits... or Christmas related anything for that matter :)

One kit that particularly caught my eye was this green, blue and white kit by Kristin Cronin-Barrow:

[Supplies: Jack Frost - Kristin Cronin-Barrow (from SSD)]

Sunday, December 13, 2009


I know, I know. I have ended up in the wrong season with my title LOL! I just named the post after the layout I wanted to post here today. It's one with some autumnal photos which I have made as part of my Shimelle CT work this month.

I used a variety of Shimelle's kit for this layout, trying to pick individual items that went with my photos. Oh and I'm really pleased that I finally got to scrap my cute deer photo. It was taken in the autumn (of course!) at a National Trust park.

[Supplies: Autumn Apples Patterned Papers - Shimelle Laine, Autumn Apples Polka Dot Papers - Shimelle Laine, Autumn Apples Embellishments - Shimelle Laine, Penned Words - I Heart Scrapbooking - Shimelle Laine, Long And Winding Road Add-On Kit - Shimelle Laine
Starburst Mini Kit - Shimelle Laine (all from 2Peas)]

Tomorrow I'm be back with something a little more appropriate (season wise) and winter related :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Day 4...

Time for another two pages from my Christmas journal this December...

On the left hand side you see the continuation of my Christmas card page. The back just basically shows one of the handmade cards that we sent to close family. I actually made an extra card on purpose just for the journal. This is something I did last year too and I really enjoyed having it in my journal so I kept the same concept going this year too.

The Santa is coloured using Copics (and yes it took rather a long time to colour all the Santas for the cards LOL!) ...and I love my new border punches by Martha Stewart.

The right side (which is just basically the blue sheet that you can see attached in the lower two book rings - the rest is pages behind this) mentions a new tradition of ours - a Christmas bear.

I hope you're enjoying these little peeks into my journal. :) There will be more in a few days again :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Birthday-ish Card...

I can honestly say this was my very first card of this type LOL! Due to having to celebrate Ross' birthday on a different day (because of travel) I decided to be a bit funny and make a birthday-ish card LOL! Silly I know. But at least it made us laugh :)

[Supplies: DJB Angel Baby -Darcy Baldwin (font), Guess Whoo Loves You - Shawna Clingerman
(both from SSD)]

Oh and don't you just love that font by Darcy Baldwin? :)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Christmas Market + Day 3...

We had a really cosy night out last night. Despite some rain on and off, we enjoyed the Christmas markets dotted around the little squares in Manchester a lot. The diet might have gone slightly off track with Nutella crepes and Krakauer sausages...but hey it was worth it. And it's not like you visit Christmas markets every day either.

And below is the follow-up pages to yesterday's in my Christmas journal. On the back of Day 2 I continue talking about my yearly wish for a white Christmas and Day 3 is all about making Christmas cards. How I always intend to start early but never quite manage. I always get the done in time (and well ON time) but it's not without a bit of stress in the end LOL!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Day 2...

Right, I think it's about time to show you another spread in my Christmas journal :) As I said, they will all be here eventually, I'll just mix it with other stuff not to do it day after day... which might get a bit boring.

I love my new snowflake punch!! :)))

I have been working on my journal all day today, trying to catch up on the pages over the weekend etc (on the right side you can see a little peek of the following pages already completed). This spread shows the back of Day 1 and the front of Day 2.

On Day 1 I just journaled about why I'm doing this journal for the 4th (or is it 5th?) year in a row. Day 2 is all about how I wish for a snowy Christmas every year but it rarely happens. Who knows...maybe this year *fingers crossed*

Oh and I'm in the market for some new Christmas music. Do you have a favourite Christmas compilation CD? Please share... :) Thanks!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Doing Some Digital Scrapping...

I've been trying to catch up on some digital CT scrapping over the last few days, so I have a few days of my Christmas journal, from the weekend, to catch up on now. But I have collected photos etc so that should be no problem. I hope to sit down and get some stuff done on that tomorrow if time permits. The last few weeks have been so busy for me I feel like I sometime forget to breathe LOL!

[Supplies: Waiting For Santa - Lliella Designs (from SSD)]

Above is a layout which I made this morning for Lliella Designs CT. When I came to upload it here on my blog, just now, I noticed something. In a big, and I mean huge, folder on my computer with the latest digital layouts this is the ONLY layout with a red background! It seriously stood out. I have never before realised that I ventured towards certain colours when I scrap digitally but this certainly made me look...

There is a huge portion of layouts with a green background (no surprise there!), followed by neutral/kraft/brown/off-white backgrounds and also quite a bit of blues. That's about it. A pink here or a purple there, but they are really the exception. I guess it should have been obvious to me but it was a big surprise and definitely something that I will keep in mind when I scrap in the future. Maybe there will be another red layout soon again...who knows :)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Winter Days...

Just wanted to come on here and share another layout done with the BYOC kits from Lilypad, which I mentioned yesterday. I decided to go with a totally different colour combination for this one. Concentrating mainly on a frosty blue look. Oh and of course I had to fit in a bit of green too :)

[Supplies: Dressed Up Kraft Paper - Amy Wolff, Holiday Sweater Paper Pack - Amy Wolff, Snowy Petal Pops - Amy Wolff, Crazy Stripes Alpha - Cori Gammon, Painted On - Emily Merritt, Happy Holidays Papers 2 - Karah Fredricks, Stuck Together Three's A Crowd - Karah Fredricks, Random Words 2 - Designs By Lili, Hand-Drawn Alphas - Designs By Lili , By Definition Christmas - Valerie Wibbens, Twinkle Tape - Valerie Wibbens (all from The Lilypad)]

Friday, December 04, 2009

BYOC Time...

It's that time again. The first Friday of the month and time for the many, many colour co-ordinated Build-Your-Own-Collab kit releases at The Lilypad. I totally love the colour combination for the kits this month. So bright and colourful. :)

[Supplies: Snowy Petal Pops - Amy Wolff, Glitz-ay - Cori Gammon, Painted On - Emily Merritt, Spotted And Striped - Emily Merritt, Fa La La La La! - Kate Hadfield, FruitLoOp Sally, Happy Holidays Papers 2 - Karah Fredricks, Stuck Together Quintuplets - Karah Fredricks, Hand-Drawn Alphas - Designs By Lili (all from The Lilypad)]

It was really hard to pick some favourites from all the kits released today, but I wanted to share a few of them here with you, so here's my top 3 pick for this time. First of all, this is my absolute favourite: Snowy Petal Pops by Amy Wolff. I mean, h-o-w pretty are these? :)

Then this kit of paper solids by Karah. Simply because I just love the colours and the combination of pink, aqua and lime just make me smile:

And finally I just had to pick this super useful alphabet by Designs By Lili. I love how she left a white outline around the letters - so useful for making them stand out on pages :)

Have I tempted you? LOL! Please head over to The Lilypad and check out the rest of the great BYOC kits.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Day 1...

I don't actually know how I have managed to take a photo that makes my handwriting look *that* uneven LOL! Honestly, it's straight, in lines, in reality :)

...and that is "Day 1" in my Christmas journal. Or rather half of "Day 1" as I'm working back-to-back. So next time you'll see the back of "Day 1" and the front of "Day 2"...if you know what I mean.

Another thing I have been meaning to blog about is... Occasionally I get a comment, wondering if I actually read all the comments that I get, especially on older posts? The answer is definitely, yes :) I get an e-mail when someone leaves a comment. So I read ALL comments whether they are left on today's post or a post a year ago. They are all very much appreciated so thanks for taking the time to stop and write :)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

My Christmas Journal - A Peek Inside...

Continuing on from yesterday, here's the promised look inside my Christmas journal on some of the pages. (If you missed the covers you can see them here).

I continued with the same concept that I used last year as I really loved working like that. Basically anything goes...

It's a complete mix of cardstock, patterned paper, pre-made embellishments and even transparencies. Lots of the pages have been made with scraps and it was only really for the covers that I cut into a brand new paper. That makes you feel so good - using up scraps :)

...and a complete mix of sizes too. Some square and some rectangle. Some with plain edges and some with fancy edges.

This is just what the pages look like now. As I work through my album I might move something (to fit better with my photos etc), add a scalloped edge here or extend a page there.

...all I know is that it makes it sooooo much nicer and quicker to work on your album in busy December by having the pages prepared a bit.

I will show you my completed pages here on the blog. But I probably won't post pages from my Christmas album every single day as that could get a bit boring. So they will be shown, but mixed with other creations too :)

So are you doing an album for December this year? Have you started yet...? Would love to hear :)