Tuesday, August 31, 2010


My Kindle 3 is in the "dispatching soon - you can not change or cancel your order" on Amazon! Yay! With having my old one, I was not in a mega rush to get it and therefore I was in the second batch of orders (ie not getting it on the release day, with was 27/8)... but I'm totally happy with that. Mine's due to arrive before the 4th... so it would be cool if that happens :) I really can't wait! :)

Hope you all had a great bank holiday (or not, if you're not in the UK) weekend. We had a great time!! Reasonably nice weather, though super windy. Went to the gym + swim on Fri evening, Sat morning (slightly overkill LOL!) and Mon. Really enjoyed it + a nice day out yesterday. :)

Right I'm off to get some crafting done. Have at least 2 birthday cards which I really need to make today... so I better get going!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


On Friday Kate Hadfield, Karah Fredricks and Kaye Winiecki released this great collab at the Lilypad:

At first I was a little stuck on what to scrap using this kit... But then I dug out some "old" photos from a kayaking trip in 2006 which I thought would fit the kit/colours and got scrapping:

[Supplies: CU Classified Brushes - Amy Wolff, Divided Bundle 1 - Gina Miller, Tackling Nature - Kate Hadfield, Karah Fredricks, Kaye Winiecki (all from the Lilypad)]

I hope you're all having a great weekend. Here in the UK it's bank holiday on Monday so we get an extra long weekend. Yay! :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Feeling a bit yucky today. The bones in my face ache, all my teeth ache, my throat & nose is tickly and my head feels hot,heavy & achy. Looks like a cold eh? I'm hoping it's just one of those days and nothing actually becomes of it tomorrow. *fingers crossed*

In the meantime I'm going to take it a little easy today. My brother wanted me to pick out some photos for him to have enlarged and framed, so I might take some time to look through photos and burn some onto a CD for him. Not sure I feel quite up to scrapping today...

Above is a layout which I made for Shimelle's recent cyber crop. I'm happy to get some time to scrap some older photos that dad scanned for me from old slides. The photos feature me as a baby with both my grandmothers. These are so special to me because neither my mum's mum nor my dad's mum are with us anymore.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Really looking forward to the Big Brother final tonight! :) Though I have to say it would be far more interesting and exciting if some of the big characters which went on Friday were still there. Like John James and Sam. If it had been "vote to win" rather than "vote to evict" for last Friday I think the final lineup would have looked quite different.

I mean... Dave? JJ? In the final??? And even though I like Andrew in a geeky way... I'm not quite sure that he should be there either. Oh well LOL! Let's hope they put in some fun people for Ultimate BB :)

[Supplies used: Bazinga Mini Kit - Shimelle Laine, Instant Pretty Page Template - Shimelle Laine (both from 2Peas)]

The above layout is part of my Design Team work for Shimelle's CT. I rather enjoyed working with this kit even though it was a bit of a challenge for me to use yellow as such a main layout colour LOL!

Monday, August 23, 2010

And A Few More Kindle Things...

Following on from the E-Reader review post at the weekend, Carly has sent me a few more questions... and I figured I might as well reply on the blog rather than privately as it might be something someone else is wondering about too :)

Before going onto the questions, I just wanted to say to Carly that I'm really pleased that my review was helpful to you and I'm very happy that you have now ordered a Kindle. I'm sure you won't regret it :) I'm really excited for you!! :)

Okay Carly's first question: "Do u have a reason for choosing the 3G model? Does the kindle 2 have 3G? I have ordered the wifi only model now I am debating changing as the models haven't shipped yet. "

My reply: The Kindle 2 is 3G only. I was very unsure of which model of the Kindle 3 to go for. At first I was thinking of the WiFi only. But since I'm used to the 3G (Kindle 2 does not have WiFi) and it was not several £100s more, "only" £40, I decided to get the WiFi+3G model. Just on the off chance that it might be something I'd regret later. Having said that, to be totally honest, I don't really see a reason as you why you'd really *need* 3G. Unless you're very disorganised it's not exactly hard to make sure you have a few books bought+downloaded before a trip. And I have actually never bought a book while being out and about (I've always been at home) so WiFi would have done just fine. As I said, it's only because I'm used to the 3G from my Kindle 2. And maybe (probably!) it was unnecessary for me to go for the WiFi+3G really... I'm normally a very organised person and I always have a few unread books ready to read on my Kindle, so I have no mega emergency to download a book while not at home.

(The case I ordered, even though *gulp* I think it's very expensive for what it is LOL!)

Second question from Carly: "Have you found yourself downloading a kindle edition of your favourite paperback books? I think I would be tempted just to have them in my e book collection but thus seems a little obsessive lol"

My reply: I try not to, because if they are some of my favourite books it's not like I will get rid of the hard- and/or paperback anyway. Having said that, I totally have the feeling of wanting to have them for the Kindle too!! :) And even though I try to resist it, I have to admit that some books (like the Twilight saga) has indeed been bought for the Kindle even though I have them both in English paperbacks and Swedish hardbacks LOL! :)

Hope that was of some help & hope you will love your new Kindle when you receive it just as much as I do mine :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

E-Readers (Kindle vs iPad... and 2xSony)...

Carly left me a comment, asking advice about e-readers, and since I love my Kindle I'm very, very happy to take some time to answer this... :)

First of all, Carly's comment: "Hi Anso I see your Kindle in the pictures :) I am really keen to get one and I remember your wonderful review post on your blog a while ago. My question for you is the ipad or the kindle, I have a hankering for a kindle but the ipad is also an e-reader. The obvious difference is the price and as I already have plenty of mac hardware I am trying not to give in to temptation... so my question is do you use your kindle more than your ipad as your e-reader of choice :) thanks"

Right, where to start? First of all, I have a Kindle 2 (or second generation) which you can't really buy anymore (unless you buy it second hand). I bought mine in January from Amazon in the US. The Kindle 2 looks like this:

The new Kindle 3 is due to be released by Amazon on the 27th of August (yes in just a few days). You can buy a WiFi only version for £109 at the moment or a WiFi+3G for £149 from Amazon UK. I love my Kindle so much that I have actually pre-ordered this in WiFi+3G. Why? Well, it's a bit of a luxury really as I could have easily made do with my Kindle 2 (and I will still keep using this from travelling and stuff like that) but I just couldn't resist something even a little smaller and crisper etc. This is the Kindle 3:

And then we of course have the iPad which is an e-reader amongst lots of other functions:
Right, my opinion, if you want an e-reader and nothing else, it is very simple ---> the answer is to go for a Kindle. 100% for sure. No doubt at all! Reasons? I could make a huge list but the main things are that Kindle is very kind on the eyes and therefore reduces eyestrain, the text is more crisp (and again easier on the eyes), and it's both smaller and lighter (more portable) than and iPad.

An iPad, to me, is almost a little too big to carry around with you every day (unless you have a laptop bag or rucksack) while the Kindle easily fit in a medium sized handbag. It is quite nice to read on an iPad (the Kindle is better though!) but one thing you'll notice if you read for a while is the weight. It kinda starts straining your hands a bit. Over time this becomes quite tiring.

However main thing I think is the glare factor. The Kindle gives hardly any glare at all, while the iPad clearly does, sometimes really terribly so. What's even better is that you can easily read on the Kindle outside (even on a sunny day!) while reading on the iPad outside is NOT that easy at all. (If you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you know what the display looks like in the sun - the iPad is the same). Even inside, having a light on, the iPad is very affected by glare while the Kindle handles this very well.

I can also add 2 Sony readers into my e-reader review. First we have the Sony PRS600. This is a current model with a touch screen:

And the Sony PRS505, which is a slightly older model:
Ross had the opportunity to borrow both of these for the weekend from a friend and we had lots of fun playing around with them and comparing them to the Kindle. My opinion is that the touch screen on the 600 is pretty rubbish! We both thought it was terrible to use. Neither the 505 nor the 600 came even close to the Kindle when we compared how clear and crisp (and this, plus the glare factor, is of course the most important things when it comes to e-readers!) the text was. We were quite surprised just how much the Kindle outclassed both these models!! Ross had the option of buying either of these really cheap, but we decided that they were not even worth £20 and he'd rather put the money towards a Kindle. To be totally frank, the 600 model was so bad we wouldn't even use it if we were given it for free! It was just terrible.

So we're back to the iPad vs the Kindle. Even though the iPad is nice to read on, I'm struggling to think of points where it beats the Kindle! One thing is that if you read at night, the screen is back lit (while you need a light with the Kindle - just like you would with a book)... however this also gives more eyestrain. The other positive that I can think of is the format it uses for e-books: EPUB. EPUB is more widely available in on-line stores. With the Kindle (which uses the MOBI format) you're kinda relying on the Amazon store. For me that is not a problem as they have a huge range of books to good prices (and it was always my bookshop for paper books before my Kindle anyway). However if you have un-DRM'd books in a different format, it's super quick to use a program like Calibre to convert books to the MOBI format. We're talking only a minute or so per book :)

If you scroll down to the bottom chart on this page you can see a good overview on what e-readers handle what formats :)

To summarise: if you want something where you can also play games etc, then of course go for the iPad, but if you really only want an e-reader, the Kindle wins hands down on basically every aspect! And it's much cheaper too :) I have only ever used my iPad as an e-reader while flying (as it was handy to have access to books and games in one unit), otherwise I wouldn't even dream of picking up my iPad to use as an e-reader over my Kindle!

Hope this was of some use to you Carly, and anyone else thinking about the same purchase... :) If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask, I'm only happy to help! :)

*** For more Kindle info, please see this post ***

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Cute Camper...

I love being on Lliella Designs Creative Team. Her cute designs are so "me" and every kit makes me very happy to work with. And that's how it should be really, shouldn't it? :)

Her latest kit is called Happy Campers. Check out the cute animals in this kit:

Imagine her cute animals as stamps? Wouldn't that be great. :) But hey, I'm going off track here LOL! What I was meant to say is that I downloaded this kit yesterday and did some scrapping with it this morning. I had this cute tent photo of my niece which I thought would fit perfectly...

[Supplies: Happy Campers - Lliella Designs, Ticket To Ride - Lliella Designs (both from SSD)]

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


First of all, a reply to Marja who left a comment on my Monday post: no we do not have a pet (though I would love a cat and we will definitely have one at some stage, unfortunately at the moment it's not really convenient for us).

However a lot of houses nearby have cats and we have one/some in our garden nearly daily (which I love!). At the weekend, when we were out doing some gardening, one of the neighbour's cats came by and spent some time with us. As it happened, this was just perfect for some of Shimelle's cyber crop challenges.

And talking about the cyber crop, here's a layout I made from one of the challenges...

It's quite funny actually as I had planned to scrap these photos next anyway AND I had this layout idea in my head already. As it happened it fit very well with one of the challenge sketches that Shimelle supplied, so I was definitely meant to make this layout at the weekend :)

Right I'm off to get some tidying done...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Challenge Photos...

Wow that was weird, not blogging for two days in a row. I wanted to keep the challenge post at the top for anyone who was hunting for it from Shimelle's crop... So making a second post would have confused things. If you *are* still looking for the challenge, you can find it here.

And talking about challenges, this will be a very strange post with lots of random photos. They are all taken in response to Shimelle's cyber crop photo challenges. They are all in a random order, the way they ended up being uploaded, but I will go ahead and label them correctly...

Sunday - Zoom Out Challenge:

Saturday - Up & Above Challenge:

Friday - Through The Glass Challenge:

Saturday - Study Session Challenge:

Sunday - Smile Challenge (a slightly different take on this as my eyes fell on this minibook when I went to pick up the camera!):

Saturday - Reflections Challenge:

Sunday- Portrait or Candid Challenge:

Friday - Night Light Challenge:

Saturday - Nature Challenge:

Friday Manmade Challenge:

Friday - I Saw The Sign Challenge:

Sunday - Get In The Picture Challenge:

Friday - Get Close Challenge:

Friday - Explosive Energy Challenge:

Saturday - Below The Knee Challenge:

Sunday - At Home Challenge:

Saturday - Add A Laugh Challenge:
..and that's all of the photo challenges for Shimelle's crop I believe. Wow that actually took a lot longer time than you would think LOL!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Cybercrop Time!...

If you have come from Shimelle's blog, looking for the next cybercrop challenge, you have come to the right place - welcome! :)

If you have no idea what I'm talking about: Shimelle is hosting a 3 day long cybercrop this weekend. Lots of fun challenges for 3 days :) I took part in her last cybercrop back in April and it was great fun (not to mention that I got LOADS of layouts done!). So if you have some spare time this weekend, I really recommend that you check it out...

Right... onto the challenge :)

Make a layout (paper or digital is fine) where the journaling goes around your layout design. Either around the outside edge of the page or in a circle/square/rectangle going around the photos and/or embellishments in the middle of the page. The page can be about anything, using whatever supplies you fancy.

[Supplies: Papery Templates 5 - Amy Martin, Coffee & Cupcakes - Kate Hadfield, Gina Miller (both from the Lilypad)]

For my layout I first wrote my journaling in three separate strips of text (making sure I got the suitable length I needed for each strip) and then rotated them and moved them into place afterwards. You can see two close-ups below.

I hope you enjoy the challenge and have some time to take part. Don't forget to head back to Shimelle to let us know where we can view your finished layout.

Have fun :)

Get Ready...

Check back later today for something challenging & fun...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hunting Toads Again...

We went back to Hull and decided to try and find a few more of the toads...

These 4 took about the same time as the about-15-ish-ones that I got last time. Of course you tend to go for the ones that are closer together first. So these were spaced further apart and also not as super-central as the first lot (though still central).

I was hoping to get 5. That's what I had plotted on my map. But when I got to the place where one should be, I couldn't find it. I went round and round the block but no sign of it. After some closer studying of the brochure it turned out that this was a "travelling toad" and apparently it was a different place each week. You could check on the internet where it was supposed to be each week. So I had to skip that one for now.

I think the one above was the most "fun" of the toads I found this week. Very different and lots to look at. Oh and of course, it does help that it's GREEN too :)

This pale toad was pretty hard to find. Well not really that hard. But the tricky part was that is was not outside like most others, but rather inside the library!

So that's another 4 toads got. I'm unsure when this "exhibition" finishes so I don't know if they will still be there next time I get a chance to go to Hull again. But it would be cool to catch some more...

Monday, August 09, 2010


Yay - we had such a good time yesterday!! Despite having read the books several times (in more than one language - yes a bit desperate, I know LOL!), I didn't really have any expectations on the film (so that might have helped?!) but I really, really enjoyed the film and the 2+ hours went way too fast :) Can't wait to see the final film too...

Oooh I've just seen on IMDB that it looks like Twilight is "doing a Harry Potter" and splitting the last book into two films, one for 2011 (11th Nov) and one for 2012 (16th Nov)! Didn't know that before...

[Supplies used: My Desk Drawer - Amber Clegg, Buttons & Bows - Amber Clegg, Bingo Time - Amy Martin, Uber Mini Bundle X - Amy Martin, Birthday Booya - CD Muckosky, Sweet Tweets - CD Muckosky, Wildflower - Gina Miller, Sidekick Solids - Rachel Young (all from The Lilypad)]

Above is one of the layouts which I made using some of the BYOC stuff from the Lilypad. I really enjoyed using some of CD Muckosky's doodles on this one :)

So, who's watching Big Brother? Have you got any favourite to win yet...? As usual I really don't have a favourite... you know, someone who stands out way above the rest... But I guess if I had to pick, at this very moment, then I'd probably go for John James.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Movie Time...

Going to see this at the cinema today...

Soooo excited! Would have seen it on the day of release if we hadn't already been abroad by then for our summer vacation - so it's been a long wait...

Saturday, August 07, 2010

BYOC for August...

I know I'm "a day late" posting this but I was out almost all day yesterday and then got stuck in some bad traffic on the way home so it was laaate when I got in and I was too tired to start up the laptop LOL!

So here we are today instead. Yesterday was the first Friday of the month and therefore time for Lilypad's major BYOC (Build Your Own Collab) release. Yay :) For those of you who are not familiar with it, ALL the designers at the Lilypad get together and do several kits each, working from the same colour palette. I think there's something like over 50 (!) colour co-ordinated kits released in one day. How cool is that? So you just pick and mix... matching whatever you want to create your own "mega kit".

Anyway, I always try and do a little post on the BYOC when it's released and pick my favourite 3 kits. Every month it's getting harder and harder as there seem to be more kits with each release. But let's see what I'm going to go for this time...

First (though not in any order) is this kit which I think is a great paper kit - in fact I really love Gina Miller's paper kits in general and always find that they catch my eye.

Then we have this super useful button & ribbon kit by Amber Clegg. I just knew I had to have it as soon as I saw it as I would use it lots :)

And finally this bird kit by CD Muckosky. Just because! :) Because it's super cute and I love the bright colours she's used on the birds :)

Have a great Saturday everyone! :)

Thursday, August 05, 2010


This is another layout that I have done for the Lilypad Creative Team...

[Supplies used: Uber Mini v 13 - Amy Martin , Lime Rickey - Gina Miller, Fruit Stand - Kate Hadfield, SMJ Designs (all from The Lilypad)]

The Lime Rickey kit by Gina Miller perfectly suited the picnic photos that I had taken in Sweden. We have a little tradition every year to go and have a picnic at this special place, just by the Baltic Sea, just north of a little place in Sweden called Kivik. As we have done it for several years in a row now, so we really can't miss doing it one summer... so back we go... and enjoy it just as much each time. :)

This is our special picnic place...

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


Oh I feel sooooo sick today. :( Not a happy stomach at all. Unfortunately it's all my own fault as I have eaten stuff I shouldn't (food intolerances). Why oh why is everything that's "bad" so hard to resist...?!?

Normal service will resume tomorrow...

Monday, August 02, 2010

Strawberry Cake...

Trying to get back into scrapping again after being away from my stash for over 3 weeks. :)

I'm dying to do some paper scrapping but I have quite a few digital Creative Team assignments that I must get done before that, so I have to prioritise them.

The first kit that caught my eye was this fruity summery kit by Kate Hadfield and SMJ Designs. And straight away I thought about the strawberry cake photos I had from my little niece's birthday party in Sweden. And yes I really did go for a YELLOW background! That's nearly unheard of for me. It's not a colour I use too much in scrapbooking and certainly not as a background paper LOL!

[Supplies used: Fruit Stand - Kate Hadfield, SMJ Designs, Pink Princess Alpha - Gina Miller, Uber Mini v 14 - Amy Martin, Blinging Frames - Amber Clegg (all from the Lilypad)]