Thursday, 30 June 2016

Posting a Paper Trail

..because I'm having to be inventive with my paper today. I wish I could tell you I'd been a scrapbooking powerhouse over the last few days. I'd love to have sneaks to share and a clutch of finished pages to show. But thanks to a box on a detour (via Canada according to tracking, hope it brings me a nice souvenir), I have no July Gossamer Blue on my desk just yet. Sorry. There is a tantalising unboxing video up on the Gossamer Blue blog right here. It's making me twitch..

Thinking about scrapbooking in other ways while I wait for paper..

So I've been getting my paper fix other ways this week. Last night's bedtime reading included (because I read a couple of pages of one, a chapter of another) a new book called The Beginner's Guide to Writing Knitting Patterns by Kate Atherley. Bad idea: I couldn't sleep for sock possibilities floating in front of my eyes. But it's an excellent book, here in less time than it takes me to pick up a dropped stitch, thanks to Amazon. Amazon Prime! Now there's an idea for a list! A "moments" list for a layout to record what we're up to, right up to the minute:

5 Things I Used Amazon Prime For in June

- The knitting pattern book. I'll be investigating what else Kate Atherley has written. Ther's one on socks. Oh. Yes.

- A put-it-together-yourself model of the Brandenburg Gate: a jokey Fathers Day present for the man who can't wait to see Berlin.

- A German phrase book. See above.

- We watched "A Walk in the Woods": the film of Bill Bryson's book, which was remarkable only in that it got us talking about how it has been since we read the original.

- We watched the first two episodes of the ballet drama "Flesh and Bone" which was rather more remarkable for its racy depiction of every activity you have ever imagined a ballet dancer getting up to, and a few more besides.

That's our Prime right now, put down on paper. So now, of course, I can't resist thinking about a longer paper trail:

Paper: don't you just always want to play? More soon!

Monday, 27 June 2016

Memorandum Monday: Let's Have a Yarn..

Monday! Hello there! In this house you are marking the first full week of freedom - no exams left now. For the rest of us, it's business as usual. But with added teenager.

I'm not complaining! I'm going to make the best of having her around over the summer, before we are down to a twosome for the first time in..many, many years. They find it hard to believe, our pair, when they ask what we'll do after they're gone, and I reply that their father and I were together for ten years before they came along. I think we'll be just fine.

We had a little rehearsal this weekend, while Guide Camp was in progress.

Spin A Yarn, Saintfield

We "dined in for two" thanks to Marks & Spencer and we took a trip - the kind teenagers don't volunteer for - to a beautiful village outside of town. What did I do for the first time here?

Spin A Yarn, Saintfield

 I finally made it to the wool shop. And already I'm looking forward to going back. You can see why: look at the colours! I tried not to touch too much, I couldn't help myself, I chose, I chatted, I asked if I could take a coupe of pictures..

Spin A Yarn, Saintfield

...and all the while, my other half was browsing the genuine, bit of everything, been here for years Hardware Shop further up the street. That's our kind of trip and I expect we'll be making it again soon.

Of course I came home and cast on a sweater. I need to make a dent in my stockpile so I can add more wool to it again. And I knitted and knitted a bit more. And then we went and collected our camper, in the rain. There wasn't much new to be learned there. Rain? We do a lot of it here.

But I did spot in the paper something I think it's my duty to pass on. Selfies: There is, they say, some evidence coming to light to suggest that taking selfies with a smartphone can lead to more wrinkles. It ages the skin. Ooh. Today I'm sticking to pictures of wool. How about you?

Last week  Deb, Ruth, Helena, Eileen, Ladkyis, Susanne, Jane, Mitra, Mary-Lou, Maggie and Alexa made a memo on Monday, with something new, or a first. You are very welcome to join us! Give 'em a wave! And have a great week.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

No Need to Take Them Off at Bedtime

So as soon as I'd cast off the last stitch, darned in the last end, she packed them up in her rucksack and took them to camp.

With thanks to Grandpa's old Scout Handbook

Or, to be more accurate, since I managed two pairs, she put the blue and navy ones on her feet, which were stuffed, then, into her wellies, and she packed the stripey ones for emergencies.

 On Friday night we took her to the drop-off point and the latest news we have is in a forlorn text this morning which tells us that pick ups might be earlier than originally planned. We're used to that round here. It's a rain thing.

I hope her feet have stayed warm, because I was pleased that she had agreed to play along when I had suggested special camping socks. I would have saved their details for a memo this Monday; but, new thing as they are, I can't count them as a weekend innovation if, by Friday night, they were in a field, in a sleeping bag, under canvas.

All the same, they are the first heavy duty socks I have produced, with (UK term) double knitting wool from West Yorkshire Spinners - I love this wool, it seems to help my stitches come out more neatly and more ordered - and a new toe style which achieves a chic little raised line along each side of the top of the foot. I'll definitely be using it again. 

I had started with a pattern from ravelry; but - lesson learned - I now know that just because it has a cute name, a persuasive picture and a set of instructions that doesn't mean my downloaded pages hold the secret to an excellent well fitting sock. So I tried again and made it up as I went along (though some of the colourwork pattern comes from Folk Socks by Nancy Bush. Then I wrote it all down in my sock notebook. Maybe what I need now is a cute name? For socks to help you camp in a field in the wet and cold, in a tent? How about the "No Need TO Take Them Off At Bedtime Socks"? That's June Sock of the Month.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Bash a Bunny: Adding Charm With Details

What's the best piece of scrapbooking advice you have ever been given? We chatted about this before, haven't we? So I'll be all "you're so right" when someone says "My advice? Stop talking about it and just do it.."

Seriously, though, whenever I'm asked this question I always tell the story of one of the first classes I ever took at Get It Scrapped, in which I learned the importance of adding a detail or two, not for luck, but for charm.

Sian Fair for Get It Scrapped

Because it's that "charm" which will bring a page alive. It takes any layout from scrapbooking by numbers - cut the paper, stick it down, add a title - and makes it personal, individual; and it's easy, then, to get a feel for what kind of a person a scrapbooker might be. And I think that's what we're looking for: make  page about yourself, or your family, or friends, and what you are doing is telling us something about their character, or your own.

Sian Fair for Get It Scrapped

Through the choices you make you can give away enough of yourself to charm your viewer and let her see the real you. And that will draw her in. I hope. That's what I try for. That's what I keep an eye out for when I'm admiring layouts in a gallery. If I think Ooh, look at that, I'll hit that Pin It button in a flash.

What about you? What makes you pin? or stop? What delights you? And are you adding it to your own pages?

Sian Fair for Get It Scrapped

Today I'm trying a white fluffy bunny tail. And a pair of ears which are, deliberately, a little tricky to spot. Because you know me: I'll have a go at anything, once.

More ideas on the Get It Scrapped blog article How To Add Scrapbook Page Charm With Unexpected Choices

Monday, 20 June 2016

Memorandum Monday: A Piano With Problems and a Side of Stormtroopers

Ah, Monday: it's really quite nice to see you. I have a list of things I'd like to do this week and I'm hoping you are going to help me to get started.

We had a free wheeling kind of a weekend. 

Sometimes I approach Saturday with a cunning plan (sshh..don't tell the others..): a hope that if I plant the seed of an idea in a few heads here, we'll end up on an interesting trip and I'll have plenty that's new, for a Monday report. But there are weeks when the seeds are hard to come by.

This was one of those weeks, when I'm still waiting for the papers to arrive on Saturday morning in the hope of spotting an inspiring something. I took my knitting outside. I flicked through instagram; and - surprise! - I discovered two new things straight away.

One: it was Worldwide Knit In Public Day (why had this one escaped my radar? maybe next year we could do a web-wide knit together?)

Two: the monthly craft fair we often enjoy had been brought forward a day. So I took a quick instagram picture of my outside knitting, which isn't exactly "in public"  but was the most I was going to try for at such short notice, and we headed off to the fair. I always like browsing the stalls; but they were much the same as always, so we strolled to the bookshop (I bought a book but I'm supposed to be saving it for my holidays. Because I already have a stack by the bed) and then started for home, passing a brace of Stormtroopers on the way. Lookin' good, guys. Wait! What! Stormtroopers? My radar had failed again! If I'd known about the Role Playing Conference in town this weekend, just think, I could have been mingling with the Marios. Maybe.

So, Sunday came round. We did Dad Stuff, what with it being Fathers Day an' all: found him a nice lunch, let him stick stickers in his Very Important Football Sticker Album; and in the evening we set out on our traditional exam "Drivetime". This is a Sunday night chance to wind down after studying all day, to get some fresh air, see some green fields. We had had a quiet weekend. But somebody, somewhere, we discovered had had a more riotous time of it. By the side of the road we found this:

A bar room brawl in the middle of nowhere? A herd of music hating cows just arrived in town? Some of the keys still played, which was strange and a little sad. It must have a story, don't you think? A good one, with an adventure. But for now, it's my "thing I've never done before" for this week. I've never watched someone play part of a piano, in a field, late one Sunday night. So that's a memo, then.

How about you? Anything you learned that you didn't know before? Anything you did for the first time? Maybe it's time to make a memo. Because it's Monday.

Last week  Eileen, Mary-Lou, Ladkyis Fiona, Helena, Ruth, Deb, Maggie, Susanne and Mitra made a few notes. Go on, give 'em a wave! Go wish them a good week! And if you are joining in here (and you are very welcome), please stop by and say hello, then I'll know to add you to the list of memo makers for next time. Have a good one!

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