Monday, 29 September 2014

Me On Monday

It has been the most beautiful end of September morning here: warm, sunny, bright and clear. Like May with added crunch. So my trying on of my new winter jacket will have to be a quick one...

Yep. I need to take it back off again now.

It was a party going, craft market visiting, toasted cheese sandwich making, Red Velvet cupcake baking, I'm-going-on-the-school-trip-to-Romania celebrating weekend. That would be The (Not So) Small One, who came home on Friday afternoon, so excited to tell us that she had made it through the selection process and had been offered a place for the journey in January. She'll be taking aid to orphanages there. It's a big, life changing, life affirming trip; and I'm sure I'll have more stories to tell about the fundraising and the preparations before the year is out.

The cupcakes were for a school bun rota. No, they didn't have bun rotas when I was at school either. But I think she's planning ahead already, selling cupcakes (or "buns" as we usually call them round here) is always a good money spinner. Maybe she's testing her market...

Were there any cupcakes in your weekend? Or buns, even? Hope you find time for cake of some kind this week! With a special wave to everyone who joined me on Monday last week -  Deb, Ruth, Theresa, Fiona, Alison, Susanne and Ladkyis. Have a good one.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Friday's a Good Day For..

Friday feels like a good day for...

...remembering that it's World Cardmaking Day next Saturday. I've made an early start because I couldn't wait to break into the bargain card kits I ordered from a recent Studio Calico sale

Penny Arcade kit
ruffling ribbon....

....and for admitting to feeling a little blue as I've been missing lots of my favourite blogs. My Reader has been much emptier than usual of late. I'm so hoping for updates from lots of you soon. (Though all the round up Scavenger Hunt posts have been brilliant! And I hope Abi's Time For Tea tomorrow will see lots of news hit the blogosphere) I think that's why I started on the cards, to say hello and send good wishes

Penny Arcade kit
...and stamping on cork...

...and for stirring up everything on my desk and putting away as much as I can. And then realising that Supplies On Hand - starting next week - is going to help me use up LOTS of stuff, so maybe I could just leave it all where I can see it. If anyone is interested in joining us, I have a link for a discount code click on Supplies On Hand

...and for simply wishing everyone a good weekend. Maybe you'll come back and tell me about it on Monday?

Penny Arcade kit
to say hello from my part of the world to yours

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Scrapbooking with a Pastel Rainbow and How To Make Your Own Palette

That was pretty colourful by my standards, that post on Friday, wasn't it? Every time I pick up my crochet blanket I'm a little bit amazed by my own bravery. It's bright! And usually I'm not! Most often when I'm asked to choose colours, I head towards paler shades, grungy ones, even. There is quite a bit of grey in our house. 

But maybe it's time for a change? There are so many enticing pastel shades around at the moment. Would I? Could I? Paint a wall pale pink or soft duck egg blue? Perhaps I'll start with paper: it's easier to do over...

Sian Fair for Get It Scrapped
Another page about food! 

..and a very good way of trying out new combinations. Cut it, stick it and then decide where it might go in the house? I like the sound of that. And, with that idea in mind, I finally got round to working out an easy way of making a colour palette from an inspiration photo. 

A Palette from Picmonkey

Recently I've been looking at fresh colour combinations and pinning palettes onto my Pinterest Let's Colour board. And I've always had a hankering for being able to make my own. If I see a photo with shades I love, I think how useful it would be to pull the shades and make one of those mood board paint chip colour things I could  keep. There are lots of ways of doing this with Photoshop and templates and all the rest, but this is what I did with the totally free and ridiculously easy to use Picmonkey

colour palette from a layout
My Picmonkey palette with my layout as inspiration

If I can do it, you can!

  1. Choose the photo you want to pull your colours from and open it up in Picmonkey.
  2. Select "Effects" from the menu on the left hand side
  3. Select "Draw"
  4. Click on the eye dropper tool and pull it over to the first  colour you want to pull from your photo and click again to select it
  5. Now, make the paintbrush tool as big as it goes and colour right over your whole picture. Don't worry, you'll get your photo back. At this point all we're doing is making a square filled with your first favourite shade. So, colour your whole square in and then save it to your computer in a nice new colour palette file.
  6. Hit the "undo" arrow at the top of your photo and your colouring will disappear. leaving your photo back ready for you to choose another colour and repeat the process.
  7. Once you have little coloured squares for each of the shades you'd like to keep you need to go into the collage section of Picmonkey
  8. ..and choose any of the dozens of collage shapes to make your palette. It's easy to drop your coloured squares and your inspiration photo, if you choose, into one of the collage shapes. I used one from the "cards" menu.
  9. Hit save and it's done! If you like, you can go back into the "Editor" and use the text option to add some notes or a chic looking title over the top. That'll be a pinnable palette, then and using only Picmonkey.

My pastel page today was made for Get It Scrapped's Ideas For A Pastel Rainbow Scrapbook Page 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Me On Monday (and a Winner)

It was a fundraisng coffee morning, new floor choosing, work experience organising, pulled beef in the slow cooker trying, Christmas gift catalogue perusing (well, if they send them , you gotta look, right?), birthday present ordering, leaf raking, old boots in the back of the cupboard finding, cough medicine swigging kind of weekend

The late summer sunshine is getting lower and lower in the sky, and it's all the more beautiful for it. It was a fading, leaf fluttering, scuffed up, slightly battered weekend, but in a good way, mostly. Because here's my observation of the week: some days I wake up and look at everything around me and think - argh, it's all worn out and needs changing and replacing (and those days I'm often full of zip and wanting to get things done) and some days I look around and I'm more than happy with the old and the worn in and the comfortable. And actually the comfortable days are best because sometimes you don't need to get a lot done or go looking for the new to have a good time. I found some ancient cowboy boots in the back of my cupboard and I pulled out an old, old soft brown leather bag and I read my book for the Laura Ingalls Wilder class starting today and I sipped my cough medicine in the bottle which looks like a bought it from the back of a wagon and it was all even more cowboy than last weekend's check shirt and moustache. There has to be a layout in that.

Have a great week! And if you'd like, please do give me a Monday wave. Last week Alexa and Alison and DebFiona and Liz and Ruth and Theresa all joined in. Thank you!

Before I go today I need to announce the winner of the class pass for May Flaum's Supplies in Hand class. And the winner is.....

Elizabeth who said "ooh, ahh, hmm. Stamps or sprays!! So hard to decide.. I guess stamps win out.. maybe ;)
Thanks for the chance to win"

Elizabeth please email me and I'll pass your details on to May. I'm looking forward to meeting you in class.

Friday, 19 September 2014

A Little Colour

I've got a quirky, quick story about coincidences today. Don't you just love it when you can say - isn't the world a small place? or how did that happen? There are no photos to go with this story - because asking for a picture would just have been too weird - so what say I completely disregard that blogging convention thing which says one subject, relevant pictures etc etc, and show you some of the other things colouring up my world as I talk? Because it all brightened my day, yesterday.

vintage wooden display tray
Playing about with my new colour display. A wooden tray bought from a pop up salvage shop. It came from a local branch library and was clearly meant for me..

So, there I was in the queue in Tescos. I had quite a load of stuff all piled up on the belt ready to go, most probably because I'd made a half hearted attempt to do a big shop last week, and the week before; but I'd bailed half way through and now I guess you could say the turkeys were coming home to roost. Except we were having chicken. 

washi tape
The old sellotaped labels will fall off eventually I suppose, but I couldn't bear to take them off myself

Anyway, I noticed that the girl who had just joined the line behind me had only one item in her basket and that item was a stick on heat patch. Nobody wants to stand in a queue when the only thing they need to buy is a stick on patch, so I asked her if she wanted to go in front of me, and she thanked me, very politely, and she paid and  she left.

Cath kidston inspired crochet
The colour I work on in the evenings: progress on my Cath Kidston inspired crochet

Fasr forward several hours and I'm out on an entirely different errand. Different part of town, miles away from Tescos. I'm in the Health Centre and I realise the lift door is about to close. I hit the button, hard, but it's okay because the person inside the lift sees me and kindly hits the doors open button too and I have time to jump in. So I do, jump in, and I look up to thank that button presser...

cath kidston inspired crochet

....and, okay, I guess you're ahead of me - it was the same girl! The very same one, from the queue in Tesco! And we recognise each other and we laugh and suddenly being in the Health Centre doesn't seem so bad after all (though I don't have anything requiring a heat patch. I hope she's alright..). And we had each done the other a favour, two complete strangers on the same day in two different places in the same town, though we might never, ever cross paths again. How did that happen?

dolly mixtures
My favourite colours at the moment: Dolly Mixtures, which I eat as I make the dinner. Though, they don't seem as colourful as they used to.The brown ones are my favourites, closely followed by orange.

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