When the Stories the Thing: Nan’s Dressing Table

One of my enduring memories of my paternal grandmother was her dressing table. I don’t recall her being a fashionista or anything like that but she was quite respectably put together and her dressing table always struck me as elegant and to my young mind so very grown up and sophisticated. Particularly the silver brush that always sat upon it. She passed away when I was only twelve but that image still lingers in my mind as being quintessentially her.

She was an author, a historian and had been involved in the theatre so I suppose there was a little bit of a sense of awe and mystery about her that struck a chord with my own writing/ memory keeping/ drama loving self who was only just discovering to find that passion for the arts. She wrote in a different way to me but what connects us both is that desire to tell stories, our own, those of our forebears and others. I’m lucky in that she’s told some of her own stories and had gone to great lengths to find out those further down the family line but I’ve never recorded anything about her in my own scrapbooks. I thought it was well and truly about time I did. Her dressing table was a natural starting point because it’s one of the things that always comes to mind when I think of her.29082014_1WhenStoriesTheThingI really wanted the focus of this layout to be on that story. It’s such an important one for me to tell that I really kept the embellishing to a bare minimum for this layout. It almost feels like a bit of a departure from my usual scrapbooking style because it’s so very understated, but in light of my goals for Super Stashbusters every time I kept flicking through my old Paper Pizzazz Ephemera Books I kept seeing that silver brush image. 29082014_2WhenStoriesTheThingLikewise the stamped image that you can barely see  framing my journaling is one that I keep thinking I want to use but was never quite sure what kind of layout I would use it on. Since I didn’t want my embellishing to overshadow my story in any way I choose to stamp it in Versamark Watermark ink and appreciate the subtlety and elegance it adds to the page.29082014_3WhenStoriesTheThing The photos are not actually of my grandmother but are similar to ones in her home and help to evoke the feeling and era that I associate with my grandmother as a younger woman. Since I don’t have any photos or ephemera of hers readily accesible to me I really wanted to convey the elegance of that dressing table in the imagery that I choose to help to reiterate the theme of my story.

I would love to sit with her now and talk all about the things she discovered as a historian and pick her brain on her method and practice of writing but those stories are no longer able to be told which makes it all the more fascinating to me. Yet another reason to want to make sure that I got this story down in my scrapbook, and yet another reason I love this practise and craft of scrapbooking.

What images do you associate with loved ones of your own?

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Around Here

  27082014_1HappeningRoundHere27082014_2HappeningRoundHere27082014_3HappeningRoundHere 27082014_4HappeningRoundHere27082014_5HappeningRoundHere27082014_6HappeningRoundHere27082014_7HappeningRoundHere 27082014_8HappeningRoundHere27082014_9HappeningRoundHere 27082014_10HappeningRoundHereWe celebrated with pig cake.

We finished off the season with good food, good friends and a fabulous view.

We said goodbye to those good friends.

A pair of sea eagles have been sighted frequently above the dam

The hubby and I took off for a swanky Melbourne getaway, just us.

I watched my very first live AFL game during that swanky getaway and loved it.

My boy is becoming such a wonderful helper.

We’ve been fixing, tinkering and building in preparation for our busy period.

It’s still pretty cold and frosty.

Calving season is upon us.

Simple Scrapper August Colour Inspiration

At the very beginning of the year I signed up for Jennifer Wilson’s Start Fresh course over at Simple Scrapper. I had a lot of goals for my scrapbooking for the year and I wanted to make sure that I could keep track of them. I needed a viable, easy to use and easy to access method for getting my ideas down. A place that I could go when I needed a story to spark a layout or to track my progress on projects. Participating in Start Fresh also got me in the habit of visiting Simple Scrapper every month and downloading her Free Calandar Printable these have been fantastic for keeping track of month specific scrapbooking goals, Scrapbooking Events/Classes and more recently blog post ideas.

Also included on the printable are a colour palette and a storytelling theme as well as information for the Simple Scrapper Community. This months colour palette was seriously calling my name. Shades of brown and green have been part of my go-to colour palatte ever since I started scrapping, way back in Scrapbookings Brown Period and I love this colour combo just as much now as I did then. Happily though I have updated my supplies here.25082014_1SimpleScrapperAugColourInspo

Sometimes I just feel like playing with pretty things and the act of creative play is what gets me to sit down at my scrap desk, for this one I was really in the mood to just start playing with the colour palette without a clear idea of where my layout was heading. I pulled out a few favourite items from my stash, like the Kaisercraft butterfly sticker (from the Bonjour collection) and the green diecut paper (from their Nan’s Favourites line) and went to town. In the interest of using things that I’ve already prepared once my page was formed I went looking for a something that would suit my design and it’s not only supplies that are part of my ready-to-go stash but stories as well. This one, from when I was pregnant with my eldest is one that has been waiting in the wings and since I’d included that postcard with the birds on it Nesting seemed like the perfect topic for this layout, complementing my soft-toned colour palette 25082014_2SimpleScrapperAugColourInspo

Got a go-to colour palette? What are your favourites?

The Silly Season is Upon Us

It’s official we are now in the thick of the Silly Season around here. Now I know for some of you the Silly Season may refer to that time just before Christmas when everyone is in a mad rush decorating , shopping, creating and all around going a little nutty with Christmas preparations but I can assure you that is not what I’m referring to. For us the Silly Season means that time in late Winter to Spring when the calves start dropping like crazy and we all go a little silly. You might picture something a little like this…27082014_1TheSillySeasonSerene calves, beds of hay, well-fed glossy creatures, cuteness galore. Whereas for me it’s a little bit more like this…21082014_2TheSillySeasonFrenetic, calves jostling, being sucked on, not knowing which way is up and a little unfocused at times. There’s plenty of this…21082014_3TheSillySeasonbuckets upon buckets upon buckets of milk.SCCS Snapshot16 Upside Down. Sometimes I get my priorities a litand then there’s always the normal day to day stuff going on – juggling motherhood and calves and housework and everything in between that makes up the usual routine. The transition to calving season is always a difficult one, our workload goes from nothing to flat out and we all get tired, emotional and a bit stressed, but once we find our rhythm and get into the swing of things it all evens out and settles down. I do have a few classes lined up in the next few months so I’ll be sharing some layouts from those but just in case you’re wondering why things may get a little quieter around here it’s because I’m in the calf shed looking after my babies (all 200 of them, at least that’s what we’re expecting).

How do you handle busy periods and scrapbooking?

My First Foray into Project LIfe

So I know that Project Life and Pocket Scrapbooking is all the rage at the moment and that week-by-week documentation is the preferred method of many a scrapbooker but it’s one thing that I have decided was just not for me. I’ve tried a couple of spreads for various class challenges and just to dabble but had a bit of a hard time with the division between elements. I’m not saying that’ll apply forever and I could totally see myself using it to document a pregnancy, or the first year of my baby’s life, or some other topic driven scrapbook but as an ongoing project, keeping up with PL… I just wouldn’t have enough motivation to keep me interested. Besides I am waaaayyy too in love with the 12×12 canvas, and that does not look like its gonna change in a hurry.

All that said, I’m a bit of a fan of all the gorgeous kits that keep coming out (OMG have you seen the Heidi+Becky collaboration, just sayin’)  and as a reader of Becky’s Blog, just her whole approach to memory keeping and engaging with her customers really inspires me. So what’s a girl to do when she wants to get her hands on some cool product and play a little but not commit to the whole she-bang: go small to get her feet wet.18082014_1FirstForayintoPLI’ve mentioned before that for the last few years we’ve had the opportunity to host people in our home from other countries and learn a little about their cultures. Well the two fellas with us most recently had finished their stint here and I was looking for a way to give them a going-away pressie that was meaningful but could be put together fairly quick. A lot of the main impetus behind the Project Life brand was to find a managable way of documenting life without it getting to complicated. So I thought it was a good fit for this project, all I wanted to do was stick cards in the pockets add my pictures and call it good. In the end I did add a little bit of stamping for tabs and titles but that was about all the embellishing this got.

18082014_2FirstForayintoPLIt really was as simple and easy as it should have been and the photos remain centre stage which is really what I wanted for this album. Given the audience I thought simple would be rather appropriate. I did include journaling cards and invited the blokes to write down some of their memories and thoughts on being here but given that it’s two single blokes on the receiving end of these I don’t hold out much hope that they will. The design really needed to ensure that the message could still hold up even with out it and I’m confident that it does.

18082014_3FirstForayintoPLSo what are my takeaways from doing this project? It was suitable for the end-product I wanted to produce. Keeping it simple allowed me to get it done in the short amount of time that I had to do it. A few little extras help bring the message home. Ultimatly Project Life is still not for me. While I pleased with what I made, I felt that there was not enough in the creative process that allowed me to  ‘play’. You may well say that there are plenty of scrappers out there who do engage in creative play but I have found that the tiny 3×4 or even 4×6 size of a PL card is just too small for me. Part of what I enjoy so much with the 12 x 12 canvas is the act of creative play. Picking my photos, developing my story and then moving little bits of paper, stickers and whatever else around my page to find a design that I find attractive. I really come alive when I have elements I want to include on a layout but have to figure out how to make them fit together. Spending that time finding a creative solution to a design problem is what lights me up and there was definitely not enough of that in this project.

18082014_4FirstForayintoPLFor my two albums I used Project Life Mini Albums filled with mostly the Jade Edition Core Kit (album above), the Cut & Paste Mini Edition (album not shown), with a few cards from the Wellington Childhood Edition and a bunch from their Australia Themed Card Kit thrown in for good measure. I especially love the Wellington cards and have also just snagged myself a Cinnamon Core Kit & DIY Shop kit super cheap this past week for use on my 12 x12’s. Both Cinnamon and the DIY Shop kit have colours and designs that I use All. The. Time. in my pages so I’m sure they will not go to waste. I’m excited to see how I can alter, crop and just generally ‘play’ with them to make them work for me.

I really hope the guys enjoy their little reminder of their time in Tassie. This was a really helpful experiment in scrapping for me. What are your thoughts on Project Life style documentation?

Melbourne Meet Up

So we’re in the second week of Super Stashbusters at Big Picture Classes and I am loving it. Aly Dosdall has really packed the classroom with such wonderful stuff. For each challenge we get a couple of example layouts one by Aly and another from a guest designer, a sketch, a layered template, bonus handouts, a process video and depending on if the design calls for it – even a cut file or two . Our first Challenge was to use three different sets of odd embellishments and cluster them.

It goes without saying that I love scrapbooking, but like quite a few people I have developed a side hobby or acquiring scrapbooking product too. When taking Organizing Fundamentals last year I went through every single item in my stash, deciding what to keep and what to move along. It helped me re-discover a whole bunch of stories that I’d bought supplies for and still wanted to tell and it also showed me that I still love quite a few older items. As part of playing along with each Super Stashbusters challenge I’ve set myself a few mini challenges along the way.

1. I want those cute supplies I love off my shelves and into my albums  .

2. I want to use/re-purpose ready-to-go things as much as possible.

I’m not sure if you have ever been crippled by the thought of “it’s too pretty to use” or if you hoard scraps like there will never be more paper, or if like me you cut up those cute cut-apart sheets/papers and then never think to use the cut-outs. I have done each of these at times and that’s really what I want to focus on when putting these pages together. The hoarded, the pre-made and the “too pretty” are all getting a look in here. So far the challenges have been specific enough to be achievable but broad enough for me to be able to add in my own challenges.

13082014_1MelbourneMeetUpBy giving myself constraints it made my first page super quick to put together because I used a bunch of elements I’d already cut/made for other projects that got left behind. That banner in particular has been waiting for just the right layout for some time. I think I made it for a layout about my 30th birthday so it’s been dressing up my scrap space, just hanging off some decor, for a couple of years now . Needless to say I started this one with the product and then went looking for a story to fill the design,sticking pretty close to the sketch but adding an extra photo.

13082014_3MelbourneMeetUp There is often no rhyme or reason as to what will spark a page for me: the story, the photos, the product, the design, simply wanting to play or anything else but product is often lower on the list and the story is always the end goal. Like I said before the desire to use specific product started this layout, the design then dictated where things would go, which led me to look for smaller photos and Whamo! I had my story. I found a couple of pics that had been taken with a phone camera and emailed to me (and therefore had a lower resolution) making them just perfect to fit this design. 13082014_4MelbourneMeetUpThe finishing touch for me was adding in a few sequins. Lets talk about hoarding tendencies – quite a number of these were from my dance costumes back in the day and others acquired from various crafty projects over the years. It’s kinda cool that I get to use up supplies and be on trend at the same time.

Any suggestions on how to use old supplies on your layout?