Saturday, 10 December 2011

"Here, Waiting For You"

For thirty years my neighbours Karen and Les shared their lives together, and when Les passed away a year ago, his absence left a significant void in Karen's life. They were each others soul mate.

One year on, and Karen and her daughter are moving overseas to start a new life. The house they're moving to is one that they have stayed in previously. And so when Karen was getting her belongings organised for the big move, she was thrilled to come across a photo of Les enjoying a hot cuppa on the very veranda of the home she's now moving to. It made the decision to move feel right - that although Les will never live in this new home with them, he is as Karen said, already "here, waiting for us".

That night after my neighbour relayed this to me and showed me the photo, I had an inspiration to make a layout. I could see it perfectly in my head. A few days later I asked Karen for the photo so I could scan it, and I set to work on a little gift for her.

Of course, once I began the project, I found the papers I'd matched the photo with inside my brain didn't actually suit the photo in real life. I went through my stash and found a new set of papers to use (Bo Bunny 'Time Piece') but I couldn't find the right alpha for the title. Thus I decided to Photoshop it into the photo itself.  The suitcase was a last moment add on to symbolise the move overseas.  Ultimately, it looked nothing like I had originally intended, but such is life, isn't it?

Exceptionally boring details: The layout was mounted on an A4 sized canvas block, and there were a few mistakes made with attaching the cardstock to the canvas. Namely, I cut the cardstock to A4 before considering I needed cardstock to line the sides of the canvas block. I bound the sides with strips of cardstock and the striped paper, then when I laid the A4 cardstock sheet down, I found I'd cut it askew and it didn't quite meet the edges. It looked pretty rough, as you can imagine, so I decided to just go with that and sand the edges of the cardstock as it has a white layer in the middle that shows through with a wee bit of sanding. Kind of hid the mistakes (or added to them? Whichever way you want to look at it...)

Monday, 14 November 2011

"Time Flies"

Within a day of publicly declaring I have not a scrap-happy bone left in my body, I developed an urge to create a new layout. Kinda figured that would happen.

This photo of Bree was taken via camera phone while we were on holiday in Taranaki a few weeks back. I loved the pic because Bree radiated with carefree laughter as she ran across the beach, and - if you squint really hard until you go a little cross-eyed - you can see this expression in the photo. It was a good moment. On an otherwise bleak bleak scrap of windswept Waitera beach.

The colours of the photo were edited to try and be all arty (and attempt to cover up the fact it's a bad pic taken on a low resolution camera phone that insisted on capturing the moment about 1.5 seconds after the moment had actually passed).  My real camera died on holiday and attempts to perform a zombie conversion on it have failed. Thank goodness we still have one working camera in the house  - thanks for doing a good job of taking care of your stuff Char!

The journalling says:

Run, laugh.  Throw yourself into life and hit the ground running.
Don't look back, unless it's to smile upon fond memories.
Time flies and quicker than you realise.
Soon you'll be all grown up and "too big" to run carefree and laughing.
Live in the moment and keep on smiling.

The papers and chipoboards alpha are 7 Gypsies.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

When the Get Up And Go has Got Up And Left

Don't you hate it when the well of scrappy inspiration dries up? This has been an issue for me over the past few weeks, and although I want to create a new page, I just can't get the creative gears in my head moving.
Short of chucking my brain in neutral and rolling it down a hill, attempts to jump start my inspiration have been attempted. And failed.

I've wandered through scrapblogs, thumbed through scrapbook magazines, flicked through the stacks of photos all printed out and awaiting a layout...  To no avail. My brain is dead.  Well, as far as scrapbooking is concerned anyway. (Actually, some might theorise that my brain is in fact dead, and it's only the electrical impulses from my nerves that keep my limbs moving.)

Though in saying all of this, I did finally finish a page for Bree's Kindy Portfolio this morning that I have been 'getting around to' for two or so months now. It was a forced effort and in the end I was sticking all the pieces down while I sat on the lounge floor with Bree climbing my shoulders and sliding down my back and Indie wiggling his way on to my lap every other minute. Things get messy in such circumstances. In particular; my handwriting. But, at least it's done...

Anyway, on to other things... Here's a long rambling question:

Do you find yourself printing out photos for several layouts that you want to make at once, then re-delegating them all to the 'actually I can't be bothered with that one right now, I feel like creating a different layout instead' pile? And then printing out entirely new ones??

This is another of my dilemmas. Maybe I need to start buying some normal photo albums, because I have a massive massive load of photos still sitting in their photolab folders and awaiting their scrap pages. Several are of the same photo but in a variety of sizes or with a variety of photoshop enhancement applied to them. It's a Things To Do List that just keeps growing.
  'Hmm. I'm not happy with this one as a 6x4 in sepia after all. I might cross-process it and a couple of others from that day, reduce their size and do another multi-photo layout.' 

 and then, two days later..
'I don't feel like doing this page at all any more. It's sunny today and I feel like creating something with a more summery theme. I have some beach photos printed already, but they're not the right size for what I have in mind. I'll need to print off fresh photos...'

This is less about having the right photo, and more about me stalling because the get up and go has simply got up and left.

Oh well, now that the Kindy portfolio page is off my shoulders, perhaps I'll get on with a new project tonight?

... That is, if I can decide on the right photos... ;)

Thursday, 27 October 2011

"Breaking Free"

About two months ago I had a sudden inspiration to submit a layout to NZ's own scrapbooking magazine, Up2Scrap. With so many beach photos up my sleeve, I'd been meaning to make a new summer page for some time but always found other projects to start on first. The magazine submission was my driving force to finally get something done.

Of course, I created a page, didn't like it enough to bother submitting it (like most of my stuff, it's too 'safe and dull' to display anywhere other than my own albums and my blog!) and so I tucked it into my album and kinda figured I'd come back to it and work on it some more... Redo it completely perhaps..

Submission date is now closed and I never got around to reworking this layout. I'm reasonably certain I never will, thus I've decided to post it to my blog. I LOVE the photo - Char is usually quite introverted and here she is jumping around on the beach like she doesn't have a self-conscious bone in her body. For that reason it's one of my most favourite photos (taken by the girls on auto-timer by the way).

I used a cross-process effect on the photos to help their colour blend better with the layout, and to give the scene a kind of surreal feel.  Then I decided to make the photos into Polaroid style, as Polaroids are fun, spontaneous and have a sense of nostalgia which is also the feelings evoked for me by this photo. Nostalgic because this is the beach where so many of my own childhood summer memories took place.

The card poking out from the right of the main photo holds hidden journalling.

Paper - Simple Stories '100 Days of Summer'. Chipboard flourishes - Fancy Pants

Monday, 17 October 2011

Indie and the Robots - another as-yet-incomplete!

I had a burst of inspiration to put this together over the weekend, but then ran out of steam when it came to the title and journalling. As seems to be my habit, I'm posting it up although it's unfinished.  Why?  Because I'm impatient to make a post and I don't want to put up the last layout I did for my mum of one of her childhood photos, as it was a rush job I'm not at all proud of, as much as she seems to love it...

Anyway, I digress as usual!

Here's the so-far-untitled-and-incomplete Indie layout, featuring papers from Kaisercraft's K-bot range.

 The photo as it is on the layout is so much better than the way it has come out in this photo of the photo. Doesn't help that I seriously need to clean my camera lens!

I have an idea of what I want to write for this, but need a nice peaceful moment to get it together. So far, every moment has been crammed full of kids-on-the-go or my own attempts to recover from a day of kids-on-the-go (ie, that 'me time' after the munchkins have gone to sleep at last, when I sit and stare blankly at a wall and try to simply recover from the day. Lately that 'me time' has lead to me falling asleep where ever I happen to be sitting. The couch... The floor...)

Time to go, the Teen is nudging me to hurry up so she can get back to facebook, the Lily Bug (aka Bree) is pulling the house apart because she's bored and no one's taking any notice of her...

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

"Little Lady Muck"

I have had this paper set aside with this photo for months now, in a drawer within my scrapbook closet labelled "works in progress". I loved how the colours of Bree's outfit and the greenery behind her matched up so nicely with the colours in the paper, but had no idea where to go with it from there. Finally while the little dude was having his daytime nap yesterday, I decided to get on with it. 

At the same time, I hauled out Bree's own scrapbooking box (sheets of A4 paper in a variety of colours, stickers, pictures cut from magazines, glitter, felts, stamps) and encouraged her to "come do some scrapbooking with mum". Of course, sometimes her idea of scrapbooking and mine are two totally different ideas. She loaded her stamp pad full of small glitter stars and dumped it all on to the carpet. Then trampled stampy ink finger prints all over the carpet while trying to pick up the stars. But that was her little game and she enjoyed doing it, and the ink did scrub off for the most part... Silly me for not putting down a play sheet first, but hey the carpet's munted anyway. :/

So, here's what I came up with:

Originally I thought to make a clean simple layout with the photo mat cut all nice and straight - I even tried to measure it all up, but the effort to cut in a straight line frustrated me. Using the edge of the scissors, I roughed up the photo mat and then cut the strips at random widths for the loose weave.

The journalling was going to be within the circle flower thingie, but once I thought of what to write, I could see I was going to waffle on far too much for it all to fit. Twisted strips of brown paper into twine. Finished it off with splatters of brown paint.

The journalling:

Anyone looking at this photo would think you're a little princess. 
All High Teas and frilly flouncy dresses. Yeah right!
You love to run barefoot through muddy puddles. Dresses annoy you
by the fact that they trip you up when you're climbing trees.
This dress stayed clean for the photo due to clever diversion tactics and bribery..

Monday, 3 October 2011

Project Self Destruct

When the lad came home from work last night declaring he had plunder, then set about showing me (with great deals of excitement) a whole bunch of fibre optic cables and speaker wiring and cords and plugs for gods-only-know-what, I thought he may have lost the plot just a little. It was all stuff that had been on a direct path to the work skip but it was - so I was told - all good useful stuff.

I thought he was nuts and groaned inwardly at the thought that my clutterbug tendencies had somehow gone viral and spread to my other half, but then he revealed this...

This baby has a digital photo frame inside it, but it can play videos as well as display photos. For a fraction of a second I thought to rip the housing off it so it's not so chunky, but then my slow-to-click-but-I-get-there-eventually brain realised... This big clunky box will look AWESOME once I pimp it out!!

Actually, it'll probably look absolutely rubbish and I'll wish I'd handed it on to someone with creative flare to make it look stylie and awesome rather than cheap and nasty...   But sod it, I'll give it a shot anyway!

My initial thought was to use up what's left of my Graphic 45 Steampunk Debutante papers on it, but as I look at that big red button in the middle that says "press here" a little voice in my head says "do not press the red button!" Because you know, it's always the self-destruct button...

That's right folks, I'm sensing some industrial sci-fi/alien hardware theme going on here...

I'm. So. Excited. I. Could. Just. About. Poo.

That's all for now, but stay tuned - I have a new layout update on the way. (Yeah I know, you're so excited you could just about poo, right?)

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