Monday, September 29, 2008

couple more layouts

The first I did for a speed scrap on Digital Scrap Garden yet another forum celebrating it's birthday.. what is it with September and digital scrapbooking? Anyway I wasn't going to do the speed scrap as it was at 3am my time but Treestump decide he wasn't going to sleep so here is the result. I mainly used their new members kit for papers etc with a couple of extra bits from Gunhild.

The other one is of Tom's main live roleplay character wearing the 'wedding' outfit I made him for his very short lived in character marriage. The photo is partly black and white and is for a selective colour technique challenge on Go digital Scrapbooking, they did a short tutorial on how to do it. I can see me using this again for roleplay photos as it is a good way to remove things like overly bright colours from modern tents which it is harder to ignore in a photo than when playing the game. The papers are from chocolate covered cherries add on by christy and my little sweet cupcake by digital anemona both at Go Digital scrapbooking as were the flowers by Amy Leigh. The Fleur du lyr was from 2peasinabucket and the jem was from Bon Scrapin, part of her current free It's Falling kit.

Friday, September 26, 2008

seashore Splender scrapbook kit

I'm a bit slow about blogging about this kit but then I have only just started to get my head round digital scrapbooking. One of the blogs I found early on was Tempus Fugit a name that appeals due to it being very close to Tempus Fugative which is a friend of mine's company and I have done historical education stuff for him in the past. Anyway it turned out to be a great blog by a lass called Doris and she has been doing a wonderful seaside related kit along with Nicole at NBK scrap.. between them they have given out a whole bunch of stuff for free and then asked for layouts made from them and in exchange you get some more sections of the kit.

I finally got round to making mine just as the deadline looms making it rather hard for anyone reading this now for which I'm sorry. Though do go and look as the rest of the kit is great and there is a gallery of all the LO's people have done.

This is the Layout I did for Nicole.

And this is the one for Doris.

Both are from a trip to the seaside this August. The weather wasn't brilliant but it was good enough for Small to go paddling and jumping waves with his gran, who also seemed to be having fun :) Actually I joined in to but as I was the one with the camera I only got pictures of them not me and him !

The second one I did another version of with an extra picture merged with the background. I couldn't decide if I liked it so I put it here for your consideration. Is it an improvement or not?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

All sorts of shiny Black

Our washing machine upped and died at the weekend. The motor is no more, the brushes are worn down and the door lock has been iffy for a while. As it is out of the 5 year warranty and changing motors etc ends up being expensive we decided to look for a new one.

Now while we like technology we are less gadget girls and boys than some of our friends and last time we looked at washing machines, about 6 years ago, I resisted the Dyson much as it was cool technology and pretty colours :) However this time we have gone for the cool new technology and tomorrow a shiny black steam washing machine will be turning up.

Does this mean we have a steam punk mashing machine ??

We are getting the LG F1402FDS6 which has a 9kg capacity and thier new direct drive where the motor is connected to the middle of the drum so it doens't use a belt like a standard machine.

It does wash normally but it also has a steam function which can do things like refresh mostly clean shirts as well as doing deep cleans the way a steam cleaner round the house can. It's A++ rated for energy and A for wash quality and spin though the second just seems to mean spins very fast if you want it too. It isn't the cheapest thing out there but it does have very good reviews including from one of Small's friends mums in the playground, it's always nice to get first hand experience on these things after all and I happened to mention we were looking at one and she couldn't praise the one she got recently enough.

At the other end of things price wise. Matalan is known for it's low prices and actually I've been surprised by it's quality particularly as it isn't totally slammed but the ethical consumer lot like most cheap priced places are for how they source things not that they couldn't do better but so could most main stream shops..

I have found they do a great line in shoes and boots. I have very wide feet and high insteps and I can still wear most of their shoes even the court shoes and heeled boots.. I tend to go up a size but that is more to get an extra degree of comfort where as in most shops I can't even get them on my feet as they are too narrow, in Matalan my size will fit me it's just a bit tight and with heels that makes my foot cramp which is very unpleasant.. Also the styles are fun and I'd even go as far as to say verging on fetish in style so I am now the proud owner of a new pair of black shoes which a friend described last night as my burlesque shoes ! Though I do need to practice walking in them as it's a long time since I've heels like that.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I forgot one

I forgot the first one I did which I must have saved in a different folder. It was made for what was called a crazy crop on Go Digital Scrapbooking . Basically the person running it gave us a list of things to do exactly how you did that was up to you. I used the welcome kit and birthday freebees as that was about all I had at the time. Plus a couple of bits the person running the crop gave us.

The rules

1/ Choose 1 large photo and 2 smaller ones for your layout.
2/ Now choose a plain background - but it must have some sort of texture to it.
3/ Choose 3 elements to use on your layout - at least one of them must be from the little group of freebies they gave us.
4/You need to choose 2 co-ordinating patterned papers for your layout. You can use them any way you want to. But there must be 2.
5/ Choose an appropriate quote to use on your layout and try to add it in an interesting way.
6/ You need to use cross-stitching somewhere on your layout to hold something down or merely as a decorative element - your decision entirely. (they gave us one to use)
7/Now add some sort of pin - any one you like. (again gave us a freebee)
8 Add a title. Optional : Add 2 more elements (your choice) OR double up on any of the elements you already used for prompt # 3.

This was a great way to start off as while there was a lot of variants between all the Layouts it was still very good to have some steps to follow.

Digital scrapbooking

For a long time now I've been meaning to get my head round a graphics package and do some digital scrapbooking but most tutorials didn't start in the right place and I'm very task orientated so I tend to need something to be aiming at to learn next techniques.

However a week or so ago I found a forum which was about digital scrapbooking and happened to have it's second birthday celebrations so lots of freebees and games and such. Lot's of challenges to do great for specific forms of layouts too which is great for me as it gives me some direction. Then I looked some more and found two more, also having birthday celebrations so obviously September is THE month to start scrapbooking endeavours !

The two I have actually got involved with so far are Digital arts Cafe and Go digital scrapbooking but I have also been following Stone Accents Studio who are running a designer completion at the moment and all the kits being designed for that are available free. The last two do a free mini kit of some sort every day and they all have really nice kits as joining presents so you can quickly build up a big library of papers and elements to use in your layouts plus they all have shops where you can buy more kits if you want something specific. So I would highly suggest joining a couple if you are starting out as I am to get ideas and items to start you off and also they are friendly places too.

I have also found a whole host of blogs that give away free designs or do useful tutorials, you can find most of those under the groups I follow and in just a week I've picked up some wonderful kits for free from some very talented designers.

So what have I actually managed to do? Well I am using Gimp so there are less tutorials on the forums than if I was using Paintshop but it's close enough I can work things out and Go digital scrapbooking has a good getting started tutorial plus a fourth forum Scrapbooks gone digital focuses on Gimp and has lots more tutorials.

I have done three layouts so far.

The first is of a photo I did a while ago and is for a challage to do a modern picture in a heretage style. Of course doing roleplay does have it's advantages and I worked on this photo to make it look like a painting a couple of years ago. The original was extremly dark and looked like there was nothing there but after lightening it and playing about I like it very much. Most of the papers etc are from Prairie Tales by Marina designs but the frame was from Cen's Loft. The seal I picked up ages ago and I've no idea where. The font is King and Queen which you might see again as I like it and it is for another challenge this month.

The second was done with a kit which I got from doing a treasure hunt.. it's by Rhondogg and I just used items from the kit. The font is wicker SF. This is the christmas Small was two and four months and he was very much able to get the hang of the V-Smile he has in his hands. It is a games consol but runs educational games for small kids. He has loved using it and the games have helped him learn several things, I think used right such things are a bonus though of course if they only play with computers that isn't good.

The final one was for a challenge where we had to use several specific things. A torn edge, a button, a leaf, lace, a striped paper, string, and a tag. I used items from various places. cardboard, lace and string stitches by gunhild, who has all sorts of useful bits for free. Papers, tag and button from My Favourite Things by Christy Skaggs. Leaves by Bon Scrapit Designs

I did my first ever merging of layers with the photos on the cardboard and also had to make the edge of the photo match the edge of the ripped of cardboard. I'm not entirely happy with the way things are laid out on this one but I am happy with the techniques I've learnt and the fact that being told I had to get certain things in made me do more than I would have other wise.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hypobolic Crochet and tiny hats

I recently made a scarf for a swap which it turns out is hypobolic crochet!! Now I have some understanding of hyperbolic maths though not much but apparently crochet is the best way to model it. In simple terms you start with a line or a point and then each line out form that gets bigger so you end up with a plane that turns in on itself. In scarf terms you get a corkscrew effect which is easy to do and very effective.

Also this last weekend I saw more hypobolic crochet becouse the UK crochet coral reef was at the NEC. It was really fun, i wish i'd gone down to London now to see the American one but I'll have to make do with the photos here instead.

So what about tiny hats? Innocent smoothies run the Big Knit each year, they ask people to knit little hats which then get put on their smoothies and sold in Sainsburies then 50p each smoothie goes to Age Concern. If you look on their blog you will see my friend Heather's hats being showcased too. I plan to do a few this year though I don't think I will be able to match her or indeed the other friend I know is doing them who has done over 30 so far! Oh and when I say knit they are happy to get crochet ones too.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The party is over

That's right yesterday was the day of Small's party, a dozen small people all five or under and several adults with babies as well. Two hours of vaguely structured mayhem and it was all over. They all seemed to enjoy themselves even Small who was over tired before it even started.

So you'd expect such a party to leave the house in Chaos but far from it because we had to tidy up so much to fit them in it is much better than normal and it was also the driver to get the last zone of underfloor heating and new flooring done in the back of the house so we now have new oak floor in the final section, just like the kitchen but narrower boards. Actually there are a couple of short boards still to be finished but only because we are waiting on our heating engineer to pop in and plumb up the pipes properly as we couldn't get them to seal properly, it's a knack and one we don't seem to have. However an advantage from my old job is I got to know a lovely man who is happy to send one of his boys round to do the finishing touches.

I have a bunch of small projects to post that I have done in the last few weeks so watch this space! However my camera has finally died so I need a new one soon, luckly it's my birthday soon.

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