Extending my December Daily 2014

27.12.14 - 20:13
I've decided to extend my December album to the full month. You must be mad I hear you cry.
Stick with me for a moment on this one - do you do project life as well as a December album? Generally? And what about in December?

This is the second year I've done a full 12x12 project life album. Last year I had some trouble sorting out December as I'd put eveything in the Daily and I didn't want to print it out again. Then it finished. I had to put Boxing day - New years eve in the Project life. It was weird.

I've pretty much ended my Project life this year at the end of November, I've realised that if I put all of Decmeber in its own album, I don't have to worry about completeing both.

Plus I did some Christmas-y things after the 25th I wanted to include and another major reason - its snowed on the 26th! yay! Christmas snow pictures. They belong in the December Daily.

I've learned some things this year doing this project.

Firstly you don't need a lot of 'stuff'. I didn't buy anything because I decided to use things I already had. I used a few scraps and a nice little paper pad to do my journalling on, but not loads of bits and pieces.

I don't like working with the small horizontal pockets and large vertical. It's all wrong. 3x4 is awesome for me and I like to add Instagrams and write under them not at the side. It's been a bit uncomfortable with this layout, but worth the challenge and I do love the end product.

When it gets near the end of the season just get it finished. Do the minimum that will finish off a page if you know you won't look at it again for another year!



Merry Christmas

25.12.14 - 09:00

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! x



10 Ways to keep up with your December album

13.12.14 - 10:00

Isn't December just flying by? Every year I forget how fast it goes once you're into the month. Case in point -  the other day I watched
Polar Express as I didn't want to watch one of my real favourite Christmas films as it's not near enough to Christmas. This is silly. I'll never have time to watch them all. I should start in November. (I always watch the full set of Harry Potter in November). Or just get on with it.

This is how I now deal with my December Daily. Just get on with it. I try not to worry too much if something better is going to happen or if there will be a better place for a certain card or embellishment.

'Keeping up' with it seems to be the main reason for people not completing their albums, not enjoying it or not doing it again. How do you 'keep up' during the madness? Here are some ideas.

Continue reading →



December Daily 2014 - Starting points

15.11.14 - 14:00

I made my binder and I've cut up some more page protectors. I've also gathered together a box of supplies that I have already. My decision to not buy anything new seems like a good one: I've got plenty. I've even got some nice festive papers left from last year as I ordered Shimelle's Christmas selection and it was huge.

I did get some fabric for the cover. I know, I know, that wasn't the deal, but at John Lewis you can buy fabric by the 10cm. I normally only need 20 - 30cm to cover something like this so it cost about £2. I'm glad I did, it inspires me to actually want to work on it. I'll finish the cover at some point. I might paint the reindeer, I wonder if gold would be too much with the title holder do-dad being brassy?

The paper on the inside is from the My Mind's Eye collection called 'Collectable'. Its a bit vintage-y for me, but I got a bunch of things from the set at TK Maxx really cheap a little while ago. (I love finding scrapbook stuff there.)

I've put a couple of cards in from last year's SNAP collection (Simple Stories). Unfortunately most of these are 3x4 shaped and most of my pockets are 4x3. The 4x6 ones work well though.

I think it's going to be fun.



December Daily 2014 - Plans

8.11.14 - 17:35
It's December Daily season again! Otherwise known as November, for many scrapbookers it's time to start thinking about documenting December, obviously depending on what festivals you celebrate, this could mean different things. I'm in the UK and once Halloween, Bonfire night and Remembrance Sunday are gone for me it's a slippery slope to Christmas. (Which I love).

This will be my third year making a December album. I call it December Daily as I was inspired by Ali Edwards' concept and I like to give her a shout out every time. Especially since my first album really got me into scrapbooking. 

I was ahead of the trend a bit - using a 6x8 folder. You can see some of it here: December Daily 2012Last year I did something a little different and was accidentally ahead of the curve again with a little 4x4 album! It was before the WRMK ones came out so I made it myself. You can see some of that one here: December Daily 2013.

This year, as a challenge to myself I've decided to make the whole project with things I already have. I'm also going to use page protectors this time, which will hopefully make it a little faster to put together. 
Did you ever get the giant project life variety pack? Mine has lasted a year and a half so far and there are plenty left. Unfortunately they are layouts I don't really care for. Mainly the ones based on portrait 6x4 photographs. Like B and D and I'm not a big fan of the one with four 6x6 pockets either. Cue scissors. I've cut them up. Now I have a bunch of 8x6 layouts and a few 6x6s. 

For the actual book, I'm creating a ring binder using the Tim Holtz mechanisms and some thick boards. These are from the back of sketch pads. (I always keep them.) Joining it together will be similar to how I made my kindle cover (see my tutorial here)

Fabric is going to be a bit more tricky for this one though. Hopefully there is something good in my sewing box. There is definitely white cotton. Plan B will be to make it plain and decorate it.
Wish me luck! Check back soon to see how it goes.



Happy Halloween

31.10.14 - 16:00
Happy Halloween! Are you doing anything fun this year? I'm quite pleased that Halloween has fallen on a Friday this year. It means that we can give out sweets to Trick or Treat-ers and watch 'Halloween' like usual, and then go to a party on Saturday night. Best of both worlds!

On top of that, today is just perfect weather. The last couple of years it has absolutely chucked it down and even if kids are happy to tramp about in the rain, their parents are not!

Check out my pumpkin design for this year:

It's based on one in the film Trick 'r' treat.

Bonus - his and hers:

Have fun out there - whatever you are! bwhahahahhh hahha



Paris scrapbook - in progress

11.10.14 - 21:32

More about Paris today I'm afraid. I've been craving pain au chocolat like mad, but I know they can never live up to the awesomeness of Pierre Herme's! 

I've been working on a Paris mini album. It's not so mini actually. Considering that I made a tiny notebook when we went to Berlin for a similar time period... 

A funny thing happened. I got the colour scheme way wrong. I always put most of my travel journals together before I go (here is a post about the Paris one) and I choose colours and textures to go with what I feel the trip will be like. I chose some really modern colours and styles this time, but it just doesn't work. 
Everything was more beige and brown. I was trying to avoid all the papers and stickers that have the vintage letter/postcard look: turns out they had it right. Ack. 
I had to change it up a bit. 

I ended up using the 6x4 kraft cards as the base for about half the pages and some of the 3x4 cards for interactive sections. But I've not used the other colours. I decided to make this a bound book rather than use book rings so each page is attached to the spine using an accordion fold method like this one from the Graphic 45 blog (scroll down to the bottom of the post).

I've done most of the pages, however I can't finish it completely until I have the perfect fabric for the covers. Where will you find the perfect fabric? I hear you cry! Well, I'm going to work on my Paris street illustration and get it printed up specially for the job. 
When I finally get round to it.
It will be ace.
Watch this space for the finished book. In the mean time here are some more of the spreads from inside:

These pages are about the area we stayed in. I made a pull out section with photos of our lovely apartment.

This one is about the flea market we visited - I used a kind of bunting/washing line effect to hang lots of little bits of photos of things we saw. It's all jumbled up like the stalls.



Je t'aime Paris

4.10.14 - 19:00
A few snaps from le weekend
Do I need to say more? I freaking loved it. We drank wine in cafés and ate steak frites. We went on a boat down the Seine and I saw the Eiffel Tower in real life and we went up the Arc de Triomphe and looked down the champs élysées. 
And the flea market! Not the giant one. Just a fantastic street lined with stalls full of all things French. 
Macarons. Obviously. 

C'est incroyable! 
As I mentioned before this was also my first time using AirBnB. I'm pleased to report that it was a tremendous success. We got to stay in a real Paris apartment with a teeny tiny kitchen like Rachel Khoo has in her cooking programme. 
The location was spot on, in a nice part of town, close to several metro stops and walking distance to the River. 

Now I'm looking forward to printing some of my photos and getting my travel album together.

In other words - I enjoyed it. 



Paris travel journal preparation

12.9.14 - 15:47
I love planning for trips.

I enjoy doing all the research and finding little places to visit that are tucked away behind the main tourist attractions. Not that I don't like tourist attractions - seeing the sights is ace, but if there is a little stationery shop around the corner, I don't want to miss it in the rush!

One of my favourite parts though is putting a travel album together. I usually take a few bits and pieces with me, but I'll admit that I rarely have time to make the pages whilst I'm actually away. Recently I've been trying to do a bit of writing each day, it's surprising what you forget once you've been out all the next day.

I don't use a set book for my journals either - in fact I've done lots of different shapes and styles, my Japan album was 5x7 and bound with book rings, the Germany one was a little notebook, Italy was 12x6!

This time I've gone for 6x4. I'm thinking kraft with red/blue/yellow/green as accents. Since I'm only going away for a weekend I don't need loads of pages so I'm not picking many papers. I'm hoping the kraft cards below (DIY shop by American Crafts) will work as base pages.

Here are few if the things I've picked out ready to go:



Paris sketching

16.8.14 - 21:50
I'm so excited about my trip, I've been working on a bit of a Paris related project. 

Drawing buildings in is one of those things I always think would be great, I love to see architectural drawing from other people- there are loads on Flickr. They are so inspiring.

Mine never turn out anything like these, but it's only because I never practice enough to make a good job. 

Here is my sketch of a Paris street. It's all a bit blah, I drew most of it on train - hence the tray table. It's not even a real street! It's fun to dream though. I like to imagine what is inside each building, who lives there and what they do. Maybe one day I'll practice some more and do a real version. 



Adventure planning: Paris

10.8.14 - 10:00
"Once a year, go somewhere you've never been before."
Dalai Lama 

I am a firm believer in visiting places you've never been before and although they don't have to be far away, I do like those kinds best. Last year I was very fortunate to visit two countries I'd not been to before. They were fabulous trips but it did mean that I didn't think I'd be going anywhere outside these shores this year!

However, I started getting the wanderlust and happened across a cheap flight to Paris, so I booked it. I have been to France before but Ive only really passed through Paris, which seems like a bit of an oversight.

I've heard conflicting views on Paris as a city, some folk say it's beautiful and romantic others that it's dirty and full of rude people. But it is definitely home of the Macaron so I'm excited to see what it's like for myself.

This is going to be the first time I've used Air BnB too, which is an adventure in itself!    



Make you own: Nexus 7 or Kindle case

6.4.14 - 20:00

Once upon a time I was looking for a cover for my Nexus 7 tablet. I came across the 'Alano' made by Portenzo. I like that it looks like a notebook (rather than something expensive) yet would still protect the device from scratches and bumps. What I didn't like was the price. I'm not about to pay £70 to protect a tablet worth £150. Even if it is pretty.

So I made my own using some easy book-binding techniques. It's held up rather well so I thought I'd share the process with you. 

It's not a replica - it's just a basic cover made mostly from things you probably have around the house if you're into crafting. You could use it to make a case for almost any tablet or e-reader. 

How it works

It's basically like a hardback book. The covers are held closed by a piece of elastic which is attached to the back. The device is held inside with sticky pads like the HARDcover DODOCase (I thought this was the easiest way to go since the the Portenzo case has a carved wooden surround!). Another option would be to make elastic corners to hold it in place.

What you'll need:

- Book board or the back of a good sketch book (A4)
- Fabric (a fat quarter is plenty) or book cloth (This fabric is curtain material from a sample book but you can use whatever you like. I used patchwork fabric for the first one I made.)
- Scrapbook paper (12x12)
- Wide flat elastic, about 25cm (I've used ribbon in these photos so you can see it more clearly)
- Restickable tabs (I got these at WH Smiths)
- PVA glue
- Ruler
- Pen
- Scissors
- Craft knife & cutting mat


First off, take you piece of board and measure out the front and back covers. Make sure there is a bit of a border to protect the edges of your device. (For my Nexus 7 I found that the width of the A4 board was about right for the height.) 
Using the same height measurement, also cut a 'spine' for your case.  Make sure it's thicker than the fattest part of your tablet - probably around 1 to 1.5 cm. (According to the specs - the Nexus is 10.45mm thick.) 

Remember: measure twice cut once!

Continue reading →



Happy Mother's Day

30.3.14 - 20:00

This year for Mother's Day I was going to make a card for my mama but I am still a bit low on energy so I elected to alter one instead. Altering cards is a great way to make them a bit more personal but with all the hard work already done for you. You can also pick cards that are not quite the sentiment you wanted and bend it to your will.

I took this card from M&S:

And made it into this one:

I used a few scrapbooking supplies and cut out the lettering with the Silhouette. What do you think? 



Introduction to scrapbooking with Hallam Roses WI

23.2.14 - 18:00

On an extremely windy and grim evening in February I went to talk to the ladies at the Hallam Roses WI about scrapbooking. Hallam Roses is a new wave WI, which means the members are generally younger, but there isn't an age limit.

I talked a little bit about how easy it is to use Project Life and showed a few of my travel journals. I really wanted to get across that you can do as much or as little as you like with the hobby. I think that it encompasses a wide range of possibilities with a photo album at one end and a diary at the other. In between are every cross over of photo/art/design/journalling you can think of.

Here are some links if anyone is interesting in getting started in scrapbooking:


Paperclipping - they have a great weekly podcast called the Paperclipping Round Table which is approaching it's 200th episode! They also have a paid membership with video tutorials.

Glitter Girl - a weekly video produced by Shimelle with super hero 'Glitter Girl' who solves people's scrapbooking problems. There are over 100 videos covering lots of topics.
*Unfortunately Two Peas in a Bucket where this was hosted has closed - you can still visit Shimelle's site.*

Mercy Tiara - videos on youtube


My Pinterest board of scrapbook pages

Two Peas in a Bucket gallery
*Unfortunately Two Peas in a Bucket where this was hosted has closed*

My favourite shops:

Crafty Charlie - are based locally to me and so deliver quickly. They also have a points system which often covers my postage costs.
Paperissues - are in America but have regular 20% deals and good shipping rates based on how much you buy.

Project life:
Find out more about the ethos behind this system at Becky Higgins' site.
You can now buy it from Hobbycraft - but you might want to try Scrapbooker's Inner Circle, they have great customer service and (gave the WI a fabulous raffle prize).

Here are links to some of my projects:
Starting project life
Italy Album
Japan Journal
Berlin Jambook



New gadgets

9.2.14 - 17:00
My husband very kindly bought me a Selphy printer for Christmas so that I can print pictures direct from my iphone. I am very pleased with it. It's small and if you buy the 108 paper pack - the price-per-print is the same as 1hour photos at the 'lab' (Boots generally). It's very close to what I described in a post ages ago.

I borrowed this image from amazon.

Well look-y what we have here. You can now get an Instax printer! This is a genius idea. You can get the right shot on your phone and then print it out instantly. I love the randomness of my instant photos, but damn its pricey if they don't come out.

And finally - a stamp 'printer'. This little beauty the 'Pomrie' can make custom rubber stamps. That is so clever. I probably don't use enough stamps to warrant it, but I covet it anyway. It even comes as a wi-fi version.

I love this kind of stuff! Which would you choose?



A new book list 2014

2.2.14 - 16:01
How often do you get those quizzes popping up on Facebook? If you're anything like me you're seeing gadzillions of them at the moment. 'How 80's are you?', 'Which character in Game of Thrones would you be?', 'What flavour ice cream would you be?' You get the picture. They remind me of those quizzes you used to get in magazines, where you'd follow the lines with yes/no next to them or get 'mostly a'.

I'll not tell you how many I've filled in as I may go down rather in your estimations.

I mainly get dragged into the book and film ones. 'How many of these classic sci-fi films have you seen? Our survey says most people have only seen 8%!' Well, I think, well well well, I must have seen loads. But my being conned into giving this exciting data away for free is not the point of this post.

The point is the book ones. I've been a bit short on things to read. I do have a few things I want to get round to, but I hate heading out for the train with no book. (I'm including electronic and paper in that.) So last time I did a 'How many ...' quiz I made a list of all the 'classic' books from the list I had in fact not read (minus a few 'modern classics' which looked rubbish). Then I did it again with the big list of science fiction books and now I have a healthy reading list which I can go to when I complete a volume and not have to flounder any for my next selection.

It's not set in stone. I can pick something else, but all these books are rated by quite a few folks, so at least some of them should be super, right?



2013 book list

5.1.14 - 15:00
Oh books, lovely books. In 2012 I keep a list of most of the books I read. I thought I'd do the same for 2013, but somewhere along the road I kinda stopped recording. So here is my list from the first half of 2013. After these I read a few more - including some travel guides. I like lonely planet for reading before you go. I don't find the guide books are great for specific restaurants as things change so quickly.

I really enjoyed 'Rivers of London'. It's an easy read and feels a bit like a cross between Neil Gaiman's 'Neverwhere' and China Mieville's 'Kraken'. Both of which are great 'urban fantasies' (although Kraken could do with a little editing in my opinion).

(r) means that I'm re-reading a book from my bookcase
(book club) means someone else chose it

Pixel to Plate by Helene Dujardin (Tartelette)
Build a Business from Your Kitchen Table by Sophie Cornish & Holly Tucker
The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz
Reamde by Neal Stephenson (kindle) - my first ebook, I read it on my Nexus 7 tablet
Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James
Distrust that Particular Flavor by William Gibson
Pattern Recognition by William Gibson   (r)
A Force to be Reckoned With: A History of the Women's Institute by Jane Robinson
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
The Dosadi Experiment by Frank Herbert
Clocks by Agatha Christie
Peril at End House by Agatha Christie
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (r)
Gateway by Frederik Pohl
Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
Interaction of Colour (50th anniversary edition) by Josef Albers

I also read (most of) 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (I read books 1,2 and part of 3 but by then I didn't care what happened, so I stopped) and another book by Ben Aaronovitch. I'm reading a little bit less recently as I've not been well and it takes more energy to read than listen to podcasts. I might investigate some audio books this year.


December Daily 2013

- 13:54

After the success that was 'December Daily 2012' I wasn't sure if I wanted to do the project again.

Let's rewind to 2012, for several reasons that December was super festive. A couple of my favourite Christmas films were re-released at the cinema, I was feeling really well and we had lots planned for the whole month. I had things to put in the book that were Christmas-y nearly everyday. Not that I did it everyday. I did it three or four days at a time. (Mainly because I like to use real photos - I mean ones processed by a shop, not inkjet printed.)

This year was not quite as festive. Apart from I was not feeling so well, we didn't have that much planned. I decided to give it a go since it was fun, but do a much smaller book. Oddly the shape was inspired by something I saw in the medical history museum in Berlin. A small square shape with a thick spine.

I spent a bit more on supplies this time. I didn't really choose them all though, I ordered a Christmas box from Shimelle. I always enjoy her videos and her taste is somewhat similar to mine, I trusted her to pick some good stuff (and get it shipped from America). I was pleased with most of it - there was a great selection of papers which I used for the pages of my book.

Here are some pages from the inside:

I really enjoyed making the book. It has a very simple construction - the outside is three pieces of book board covered in fabric on the outside and paper on the inside. I made the book's 'signatures' by folding the pages over and stapling in the middle. Each section is held into the spine with red elastic. I could have sewn the sections in but I wanted to be able to rearrange them and give them space to expand as I added to the pages.

I wonder how I shall look back on this Christmas. Looking back at my 2012 book was great fun and brought back a lot of memories.