Saturday, 25 October 2014

Five Things I'm Pondering Right Now

Five things I'm pondering right now?

  1. Why you can't eat fudge and do crochet at the same time. Oh, no, wait, I know the answer to that one. TOO MUCH STICKY. And what a shame that is
  2. Why teenagers will never take a coat. "If your Mum had told you to take a coat, would you have done it?" she said. Actually, yes. My Mum could be scary. Or maybe rain in the 80's was wetter?
  3. Why the easiest sounding presents are the hardest to find. You'd think a black clock to go on a mantelpiece would be do-able. But apparently not. I've been to every shop in town, and then some. So now I have to tell my Mum her birthday present will be late. See 2 above.
  4. Why asking people for money is so very hard. All this talk of fund raising is bringing back memories of having to knock on doors when I was a Girl Guide. At least they aren't allowed to do that any more. Last night I had a dream that we ran a pop up curry restaurant in our kitchen and raised lots. Actually, I think it could work, though the chief fundraiser isn't convinced. But then she doesn't like curry, so that could be a stumbling block
  5. How to bring myself to unwrap this beautiful package from the lovely Julie of Notes On Paper

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Compositional Scrapbooking

....which is a fancy name for a bit of fun. Fun with a point, though. It definitely has a point. Anything you can do which will add to the meaning of what you are trying to convey when you are scrapbooking has to be a good thing, right?

Sian Fair for Get It Scrapped

Sooo if you have a photo which is all about place, the theory is that your story will have more punch if you can grab that place and spread it all over your layout. Put the place in the composition.

That could be by scrapbooking on a map, maybe, or by taking the background elements in your picture and extending them over your page in your embellishment choices, or by replicating the setting of your photos right across your layout. 

So here she is, that girl of ours, at Universal Studios. Did Judy Garland ever pile her suitcases up at a bus stop and sit, ready to leave town? I don't know. And I don't know why I thought of Judy Garland when I asked The (Not So) Small One to pose. I knew she'd get it though, that look I was after. As I snapped, I realised what perfect pictures they were to mark her summer. She's not quite ready to leave us yet; but she's certainly getting ready to consider it. A summer of transition.

And when I printed out the photos and Get It Scrapped asked me to get all compositional, I took the story from the setting. We'd simply been playing about on a film set at the beginning. It was only after I'd taken a few pictures that I realised I'd been telling the story unconsciously. Through her summer of choices she has been writing her own script, doing it her way, and it took a set of fake suitcases and a model bus stop to show me just how well she can do it too.

Suitcases, waiting for a bus to a whole new life? It's a film set, so I edited my photos to get an old film look, layered up old book pages to look like piles of scripts and papers on a director's desk and added a bow in a 1940's print. Because if Judy Garland did sit at a bus stop? she probably wore a frock.

You can find more ideas for Scrapbook Storytelling When Setting Is Key at Get It Scrapped

Monday, 20 October 2014

Me On Monday

Monday...and you've caught me in the act

Too early in the day for another piece? Mmm..maybe not by the time you are reading this.

It was a concert going, Little E cuddling, fudge making weekend.

The fudge making sees the beginning of our fundraising for The (Not So) Small One's trip to Romania. When we're trying to get a few hands in pockets we always start with fudge! It's a secret family recipe; and, honestly, although it's known as "fudge" in the family, it's actually what the Scots call "tablet". Which, as anyone who has ever tried it will tell you, is fudge's more delicious cousin. It's hard, but crumbly, you can bite it, but it melts in the mouth, and it's one of my most favourite foods on the planet. They really shouldn't have left me alone with the rejects. Clearly they need all the love I can give them. The rest has been packaged up, arranged on a tray and taken into work to be sold. We're hoping to do a few more pop-up fudge sales before Christmas. Wish us luck!

We also fitted in a visit from that ruffian nephew of ours, Little E, and a trip to see Elvis Costello in concert.

When Little E arrived, he had one pressing question: does going to a concert, he wanted to know, leave you with hot ears? Then he gave me a present of the nicest enamel mug I've seen in a long time. Funny, every week when I come to "doing Monday" I look for a theme, or something which will connect each photo to the next. I don't suppose Little E, when he chose that mug, realised how nicely it would sit beside Elvis. That was a lucky break.

So, onwards to the rest of the week, then. Fuelled by fudge. Give me a wave if you are "Monday-ing" too. Last week we got a peep into the Monday worlds of Helena, Fiona, Deb, Doris, Ruth, Becky, Karen, Alison and Ladkyis. Very enjoyable!

Friday, 17 October 2014

And Finally I Grannied

Sshh..don't tell anyone. It';; be our secret. I had a funny little life ambition and now, at last, I've managed it. I crocheted a granny square! 

I know, I know: as life skills go it's hardly going to help me change the world, but it has made me more than a little happy. I defy you to look at a stack of springy, woolly, bright and cheery granny squares and not want to smile. And now I know how to make them! 

Six months ago I couldn't crochet at all. Not in any way. But I took up my hook and I made a start and I've finished two blankets since March. Am I ready to stop? Not likely. Si I looked round the house for a space into which I could squeeze another crochet creation, and I thought about the sofa in the kitchen, and - to my surprise - round here they thought that wasn't a bad idea. because, as they said, it's a sofa, in a kitchen, it's covered in - you know, splats and spills and stuff. I could make a cover-up, they said, so I grabbed my hook and ran with it because, as you probably know, not all creative ideas are deemed useful and worthwhile by the ones you love. 

This cover-up, then I realised, shouldn't be too bobbly, not if it had to act as a throw and we might end up sitting on it. That ruled out any kind of bumpy  motif, which was a shame (I love this owl one). I looked at Attic24's Summer Garden granny square, too. But in the end I decided that if it had to sit with the cowboy cushions, it had to look a bit more manly: rougher and tougher, like a campfire rug, so I chose a basic granny from the tutorial here on Little Tin Bird. There are lots of photos and it was very easy to follow.

Oh yes, I had a couple of false starts and I have a little pile of rejects

But then I started to get the hang of it. And now? I do love a Granny! More progress reports soon. The only trouble is I'm twenty squares in and I'm already thinking about what I could make next..

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Scrapbooking Character, Setting and Plot

Photos today don't look like the photos from my childhood. Photos today are sharp: they zing with colour and they zoom in close. They show one beautiful smile, or a pair of sparkling blue eyes; a snowflake, or a golden autumn leaf; or a favourite pair of boots scuffing it up among the daisies. The photos from my childhood don't look like that.

Sian Fair for Get It Scrapped

The smile? You'll see it along with that bargain anorak we bought from the shop run out of Mrs Orr's living room (but that's another story); the leaf? you'll see a garden full of them, and a greenhouse, and probably our old Siamese cat somewhere in the middle. Those are the photos with rich details. Crop? In those days? Hardly. 

I love today's look. I do. I love zooming in on the little things and pulling one tiny detail into sharp focus and telling one story out of something which might have been lost. Those photos can make gorgeous scrapbook pages too, with their strong focal points and no distractions. 

But I do keep reaching back to the pictures with it all - the cluttered backgrounds, the tiny figures in the middle, the stuff. Because often I think if we cut it all out, we're in danger of losing part of our sense of who we are. A story about me making rose petal perfume in our garden? I like to see the whole garden, our long, low 70's bungalow, my sister, my brother, my cat (that cat again), the blue plastic bowl we used for manufacturing - all of it. Because that's who I was, on that day I crushed roses.

Thinking about those rose pictures, now, I'm sorry I didn't pull them out when Get It Scrapped asked me to scrapbook a photo which showed "character, setting and plot" all right there. I think they would have worked. Instead, I found a photo from our summer trip to Orlando

Sian Fair for Get It Scrapped

The character? There she is: The (Not So) Small One achieving her dream at Universal Studios. The setting? Well, she's right on the edge, about to step through the dividing brick wall into Diagon Alley. And the plot? What happened? We spotted the wall, then we noticed the gap, and the crowds beyond, and we realised we were on the edge of something big

Sian Fair for Get It Scrapped

It was - am I really going to say this? Yes, yes, I was magic.

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