Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Pass The Book - Lifted Winner

Pass The Book - Lifted by Michelle Miesenbach
Missus Wookie

Your name was drawn by and I will shortly be "passing "Lifted" by Michelle Miesenbach on to you.  For the curious, details of "Pass The Book Year 2" are here.

I do hope you gain some inspiration from it (and don't hang on to it quite as long as I did before "passing" it on to someone else). 

Monday, 28 January 2013

Fifty-five Bags - Week 3

Tagxedo - 55 bags in 55 days - JimjamsThree weeks down - approximately eight to go - with my de-cluttering for 2013.  That's two whole weeks more effort than 2012!  While I'm still on schedule (17 down 38 left), the number of bags has reduced each week ... I think being ruthless is wearing off!

I had more support and funny comments from you guys last week , including Missus Wookie who reckoned her friends were de-cluttering by sending their offspring to her house!

And do you remember Ladykis who was determined not to de-clutter, leaving her children with plenty to sort out once she was dead and gone?  Well she relented a little and managed to give her boys a taste of things to come:
I was inspired by your determination and "did" the cutlery drawer. I then shared out the - wait for it - 59 medicine spoons. No wonder there was a fountain of plastic every time Mr M opened the thing. My two sons will be getting a very strange packet in the post in a day or two - a brief note that says "this is your share of the cutlery drawer booty, love Mum" and some plastic spoons. Wicked? Me? you betcha!
I think our medicine spoon stash was dealt with in 2012 and we have since taken care to avoid storing them in pairs to stop them breeding.

So, what did I manage this week?  I know you are agog to hear about the contents of two of my bedroom drawers!  One was relieved of three unused sets of diary pages (2007/8/9), some out of date and unused tablets and several empty ring boxes plus four pairs of spectacles that went back to Specsavers for their charity bin.  The other no longer contains several old hair-driers, a broken in two hairbrush, a number of un-wanted gifts (I hope Auntie M doesn't read my blog) and some left over Christmas gifts from when I was training to be a primary school teacher and needed 30+ presents for my Year 5 class!  All bagged up now.

Photo Collage - De-cluttering - Week 3

My utility room cupboards revealed that I never need to buy another bottle of Flash again ... ever!  If money gets short I may open a shop selling Flash myself!  I did dispose of four yucky sponges and consolidated several part used containers of detergents.  This week's biggest surprises were two bottles of orchid food and one of ceramic hob cleaner - we don't have any orchids and we have had a gas hob for over two years now!!!  Out! Out! Out!

My family are impressed with my dedication so far, but not enough to join in (yet)! I think the biggest problem is that not everything has a place to be put back in.  Next week's motto will have to be "Put it away or throw it away".  How are you doing?

Friday, 25 January 2013

Just The Ticket

Layout detail - 3 papers, home-made "flair" button - JimjamsWelcome to the first outing of the re-introduced Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog Members' Blog Hop.  I am so happy that we've brought it back; it was how I first got involved with the CKCB and it's such fun to see lots of new blogs and get lots of new visitors.

I'm hop#1 today (the whole list is published today on the CKCB) and the main subject of the hop is our takes on the first CKCB challenge for January which was all about the number THREE: use three papers, a three word title and three embellies.

I had a go at this challenge at the beginning of the month using my November Counterfeit Kit, and today I have my January Kit version.  I've used three photos but I promise that was chance rather than more OCD tendencies surfacing LOL!  Now that I look at the page I am SO amazed to see that the diagonal stripes on the right hand strips actually match perfectly - also entirely by chance!!!  Rather than include a block of my 3rd patterned paper I used it to cut my title from (using Blossom & Man Oh Man dies).

Layout - Just The Ticket - Jimjams

Can you read the journalling?  It tells of our first lazy day at Downtown Disney in 2004, mooching around recovering from the flights from the UK ... and how I was keeping an eye out for shops selling knickers as I'd been so busy packing for the family that I'd left home without doing mine properly!  Needless to say Downtown Disney was not the place to go to replenish your underwear!

While you're here you might be interested in a book "passing" that is up for grabs on an earlier post, but if not, your next stop on the CKCBMBH (!) is Lesley who has already produced several lovely pages from her kit and will no doubt have something gorgeous to share today.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Pass The Book Two - Lifted

What better way to celebrate my 300th post than with a Giveaway?  A very late Giveaway, I'm ashamed to say ... as it's actually really just me passing on a "Pass The Book" book!  Alison in Spain kindly drew me when she was passing it on back in September? so it has been with me far too long, thanks in part to Christmas.  Apologies to Melissa in Texas who is hosting this arm of "Pass The Book", hopefully the next person in the chain won't be as big a procrastinator as me.  Anyone without a clue what "Pass The Book" is, please check it out here.  If you would like to be in with a chance of having temporary ownership of the book, please add a comment indicating that you'd like to be in the draw (and promising not to keep it as long as I did before passing it on to someone else).

Pass The Book - Lifted by Michelle Miesenbach

The book is "Lifted" by Michelle Miesenbach and is chock full of lovely pages to scraplift.  Michelle and her team of designers have then taken various elements (colours, embellies, title, format, subject) from the example pages to produce new ones - you can see where the inspiration has been drawn, yet each finished page is totally new - my kind of scraplifting!  Six chapters deal with each aspect of partial and full scraplifting and I particularly like the chapter on title-lifting as I'm a sucker for typography as well as wanting to steal lift other people's great page headers.  The only possible proviso with this book's appeal is that the pages are perhaps slightly dated: the book was published in 2008.  However, as I'm sick to death of seeing trendy ink splatters and tiny instagrammed photos all over the web, I really loved the book's clean graphic style.  Even if you are a fan of modern trends I reckon the book will still have plenty of lift-able ideas to offer.

We all know that trends come and trends go ... and return again ... so before too long eyelets will be making a BIG comeback ... and when they do, I'll be ready, Silent Setter in hand!

I have made a page using a couple of ideas I lifted from the book: spacing a title out with dots between the letters (p93) and cutting up patterned papers into strips and putting them back together (p29).

Layout - Cute (cartoonist at work, Seaworld) - Jimjams

Layout detail - distressed, stitched paper strips, counterfeited flair buttons - JimjamsThe page design is from a sketch posted on UKScrappers' Weekly Challenge and the choice of papers is inspired by the "Ombre" challenge over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog.  I inked two of the strips to add to the range of colour graduation and used the counterfeited Flair Buttons that were in my January Counterfeit Kit.
You can't see it too well in the photos but I also added increasingly dense (over-) stitching on each row and inked the lower part of the pink photo mat more heavily than the top.

Do you like to scraplift?  Are you interested in passing this book?  Let me know and I'll make the draw next Monday (28th).

P.S. "Pass The Book" is international - happy to post world-wide!

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Fifty-five Bags - Week 2

Tagxedo - 55 bags in 55 days - JimjamsLast week labelled my de-cluttering post "Fifty-Five Bags - Week 1" and I wondered if I was being optimistic?  Would I have enough backbone to manage a second week (and keep going even further than that).  Was I setting myself up for a fall?  Or making myself accountable?

Well, thanks in part to all the lovely, encouraging  comments I received last week, I have made it to Week 2.  Some of you were already de-cluttering and others were inspired to play along - do let me know how you that's going - but one comment in particular had me laughing out loud:

You go girl!! I'll watch from here and shout encouragement. I thought a lot about decluttering and decided that if I do that what will my children have to do when I am gone? They won't need to get together and divide up the spoils so, no de cluttering for me! I want them to open a drawer and say "Good grief! what the h*ll did she need fifteen printer cables for?"

Thank you Ladykis for giving me the best reason for NOT tackling the clutter (and I certainly regretted throwing away those 16 airline headsets last week - perhaps I should have put them into a "special" box in the attic for a laugh).

I was working for part of the week and my daily de-cluttering fell by the wayside but I made up for it over the weekend.  On top of that a couple of my 55 locations didn't produce any bags of rubbish/recycling/redistributing (they still benefited from a deep clean and a tidy up though)..

The saddest thing that I addressed was a set of drawers housing the children's old art & craft supplies: felt-pens, "magic" pens, psychedelic papers, crayons, pattern pads, hand-writing books, Christmas card stamps, pipe-cleaners ... As Child No.3 is now of an age to start learning to drive a car, the contents of these drawers haven't been used for a while.  I regularly used to test the felt-pens and throw out the dried up ones, but this time they all went into the rubbish bag.  Child No.3 now has her Pro-markers for colouring!  Her scrapbooking stickers went into my bag of stash to donate and the local charity shop will benefit from several unused craft kits.  The tin of wax crayons has been saved (for now) as I'm sure I saw a tutorial somewhere about melted wax backgrounds :o)

Photo Collage - De-cluttering Week 2

The bottom of the mountainous ironing basket was also tackled this weekend: Child No.3 will be taking her still-wearable old school uniform items back to lost property now that she no longer has to wear a uniform ... {don't tell, but I'm pretty sure she "rescued" a P.E. shirt from there during her final term rather than ask me to buy a new one!}

Running total 12/55 which is still ahead of schedule (just!)

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Late Night Caching In Vegas

Layout details - altered sticker cluster - Jimjams 
Back in March 2012 I was visiting Las Vegas with some girlfriends and we certainly saw plenty of sights.  However there was sight that I did not see: the Bellagio Fountains from the top of the Eiffel Tower.

"So what?" I hear you ask.
Well, the thing was, I needed to photograph the fountains from the top of the Eiffel Tower in order to claim another of the virtual geocaches in the city.   Jacqui agreed to keep me company after our visit to see Penn & Teller (awesome show ... truly magical, highly recommended), while the rest of our group took a separate taxi back to the hotel.

Late night traffic was heavy and it was a slow drive to the Paris Hotel but there was no queue at the ticket desk to ascend the tower lift.  A cheesy souvenir photographer delayed our arrival at the base of the tower where there was a short wait for the tiny lift, guarded by a wonderfully knowledgeable pensioner in red jacket with gold epaulettes.  Only she would not let us into the lift!  No!  Some "priority" guests came up a private stair-case and were allowed to go first!  Right in front of us!

We Brits know how to queue; we delight in queueing; we don't like queue jumpers! However we Brits aren't that great at complaining, so we just stood there and rolled our eyes.  That'll teach 'em!!

We finally squashed into the lift and made our way towards the top.  We caught glimpses of the illuminated  fountains through the girders when suddenly we heard loud bangs ... gunshots? ... cannons? ... fireworks?  Our lift operator cheerfully informed us that this signalled the last fountain show of the evening, it now being midnight!  What?  How could that be?  Midnight isn't late?

Layout - Sight Unseen - Jimjams

We had a wonderful view of the fountains, duly photographed to claim the geocache, but they weren't actually spraying any water!!!

My page is based on this month's sketch over at Sketchbook365 and the remnants of my November Counterfeit Kit match the colours from UKScrappers' Simple Recipes challenge this month.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Fifty-five Bags - Week 1

Tagxedo - 55 bags in 55 days - JimjamsSomewhere in my recent surfing I came across the idea of de-cluttering using 40 bags for Lent's 40 days.  Filling a bag each week day with rubbish/recycling/stuff-to-freecycle/sell is a great idea for steady, bite-sized clearing that would culminate in a clutter-free Easter.  Every year I resolve to make a start with de-cluttering but lose steam/enthusiasm after about a week and the clutter starts building up again.

It never hurts to try again though, so I thought I'd give this a go NOW without waiting for Lent which is only an excuse for pancakes for us!  I started making my list (OK I admit it, my spreadsheet) of 40 locations (drawers, shelves, cupboards, surfaces etc) that need a purge and a clean ... and erm ... discovered that 40 locations doesn't even begin to cut it in our house!!!  So I settled for 55 locations (excluding kids' rooms and Hubby's side of the bedroom) to fill the weekdays in the eleven weeks until Easter, and got cracking.

First off, rather than just taking down our Christmas decorations and putting them straight back into the loft for next year, I purged the stringy tinsel, wrong-colour baubles, faded candles, dated garlands, bent fairies (!) and unwanted mini-trees.  Score 1 bag for the local charity shop and 1 bag for the bin!

Another day's effort involved a 3 drawer chest in our hallway: filled with junk plus a much-used dumping ground by the front door/at the foot of the stairs, covered in books, homework, pens, catalogues, laundry etc etc etc ... too shameful to take a "before" photograph ... but an hour's work resulted in a stack of 16 airline headsets, 2 phones, 1 answer-phone, 3 walkie-talkies, 2 walkmans, 1 broken-in-two-but-somehow-still-working-calculator, 1 picture in frame and a ceramic oil burner all for the bin/charity shop!  The drawers are still full of games and jigsaws but the surface is now completely clear - and, more importantly, is staying clear!

Photo Collage - De-cluttering Week 1

I won't bore you with ALL the details, but it's already been a week and I have tackled at least one drawer or cupboard or shelf every day (I need to get ahead with my bag count as I know I'll be away for some of the time before Easter).  Some locations don't result in much of a throw-out but get a good clean instead.  So far I've made up for that with shredding old paperwork or recycling Christmas cards or sorting through some scrapbooking stash.

By posting today I'm hoping that you will keep me accountable and that my target of 55 bags is achieved.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

And We're Off!!!

Away we go!  The first challenge of the year is up at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog today and it's a special one.  Take a look over there because you will not only find details of the challenge criteria, but also hear all about the re-introduction of the CKCB members' blog hop associated with it.

I've already had a go with the challenge, but used up the remains of my November Counterfeit Kit to do it with (as long as the supplies get used it's all good LOL)!

Layout - Away We Go! - Jimjams

A blank journalling tag - apologies - because I still need to quiz Child No.3 on the name of her travelling companion (the one on the right).  Using a sketch from Scrap Friends I had fun adding Spellbinders So Trendy embossed texture to my title letters which were cut with my Sizzlit Round-a-bout dies.

Can you guess what the criteria for the first challenge from the CKCB are?
To use three patterned papers, three embellishments and a three word title - the use of a three pointed shapes or a photo with three subjects is entirely optional and probably over the top!!

There is now plenty of time to be inspired by the challenge, sign up for the blog hop and schedule your post.  Will you join me?  I loved the flexibility of this challenge so much that I'll have another page for you (this time made with my January Counterfeit Kit, honest) - hope to see you then!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Counterfeiting

Kit detail - home made "buttons"Welcome to 2013 and a whole new year of the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog!

Did you see that we have a number of new Master Forgers? And have you noticed that we are doing the Kit-To-Copy reveal on the first of the month?!

Today you also get to see how the Master Forgers have taken inspiration from the Kit-To-Copy by hopping around their blogs, starting here with our Guest Designer Madeleine Lopez and, if you're following in order, then you will have reached me from Angela at Toucanscraps.

Paper Issues Merry Winter Kit
January's Kit-To-Copy is from Paper Issues: the Merry Winter December Kit sold over on Etsy.

At first glance lots of white, teal and pink, chevrons, winter patterns, labels and trim.

Now I don't generally do a lot of Christmas pages, and we haven't had any snow this year so I knew I didn't want to put a lot of festive papers into my kit and needed to focus on patterns and colours rather than the theme.

So I picked out the chevrons, some music paper, some wintry patterns and grabbed some journalling cards, mini-alphas and ribbons. It was all looking rather blue & green as you can see:

January 2013 Kit Fronts

Five of the six papers were double sided so I flipped them to see what was on the back ... added a couple of half-sheets of warmer colours and grabbed some more journalling spots to match.  I reckon this kit should be pretty versatile now.

January 2013 Kit Backs

Echo Park Neighbourhood and Diagonal Shot from the So Happy Together collection
American Traditional Designs Snow Day Earthtones
My Mind's Eye Follow Your Heart Be Amazing Geo Star
Kaisercraft Silly Season Candy Cane
American Crafts Neapolitan Heart Song
Dizzy Lizzy and Strawberry Pop from Pink Martini's Orange Creamsicle collection (with more flowers and stripes on their reverse sides)
Various trims from my stash
Cratepaper, Adornit & Kaisercraft alpha stickers
Lots of Kaisercraft Silly Season journalling spots and jewels
Various tags left over from previous kits
Some FREE hybrid library cards by Shimelle at Two Peas - I may reprint these onto white cardstock as they look very creamy compared to the papers in these photos.

My take on the original kit's button badges are simply ancient Papermania acrylic dome stickers stuck onto patterned paper and die-cut stickers ... I'm waiting to see if there are some better counterfeiting tips shared in the next couple of days ... I'm sad to say that my experiments with paper covered buttons haven't worked out too well!

In the meantime, please join me over at another new Master Forger's blog: Jennifer's Jumbles and see what she has put together for this month.

ETA P.S. Paper Issues have a generous discount  code and are sponsoring a prize this month ... all you have to do is go here and join in!