June 30, 2013

Pinspiration Sunday

Hello, everyone!  My apologies for being MIA the last few days.  As I mentioned in my previous Sunday post, my favourite computer game, The Sims, released a new game - The Sims 3 Island Paradise - last Thursday and I've been glued to my laptop playing that (awesome - totally recommend if you're a fellow Simmer!).  Here's a little peek at what I've been up to in-game:

Mermaid Rajan and his adorable toddler mermaid daughter, Coral - so cute!

Right, back on topic.  Go grab your hot beverage of choice and enjoy some photo love.

listening - Mix Megapol Top 20 (Sarah Larson)
making - stuffed 'chooks'
wearing - PJS
weather - windy & rainy, 13C (totally depressing)
feeling - hungry
wanting - summer weather & temperatures
needing - to catch up watching 2Peas videos
planning - what to pack to visit friends at their cottage
thinking - I should be glued to the laptop less
loving - playing The Sims 3 Island Paradise
enjoying - having cold running water during daytime hours again (plumbing construction)

I've had these gorgeous citrus felt coasters bookmarked for years now and still haven't made them but I have decided I'm going to change that!  I've finally bought the felt and I'm going to take it with me to the cottage later this week and start stitching.

Another great take on the ombre trend - paint chip placemats (complete with embroidered paint colour names, even!) - love 'em!  I can totally see these in my kitchen and they'd be super quick and easy to sew up.  These versions use the solid ombre fabrics from Moda Fabrics but you could substitute broadcloth in four shades if necessary.  Or, if you're really adventurous, hand dye the broadcloth yourself!

And here's another fun sewing/scrapbooking cross-over: washi fabrics!  A number of online retailers sell this collection online; just Google it if you're interested.

This site is really neat, and having just finished watching the latest episode of Glitter Girl 76: Not Just Geography, perhaps you're looking for a way of incorporating maps into your next project?  Well, this site could help - enter a location, choose a map filter and viola!  Instant map that you can print and use, either with your home printer to make custom map papers or why not print as a photo enlargement to really give your scrapbooking page POW!  The watercolour filter is especially lovely.

There are so many great little details about this grid page by Tonya for the MME blog.  I really love how she ran the journaling around the box and used tiny number stickers to match up the list items with the photos.  I also really liked her use of the black postage stamp-edged mats under the photos and the enamel dots in the grid joins.

I also really liked this page by Nicole Samuels on the SC blog.  I'm one of those scrappers that often holds onto even the tiniest scraps of paper (and actually uses them!) so the idea of using these thin paper strips to make a woven-type frame is right up my alley.

And finally, a bit of colour palette inspiration for you.  These soft, delicate pastels just made my heart swoon.  If you use this palette, I would love to see what you do with it!

So, what's been inspiring you this week?  Enjoy your Sunday!

June 26, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I can't believe it's Wednesday again already!  Things have been progressing with my Ricky Tim's Harmonic Convergence wall hanging.  I still have the top border to sew back on - something's gone wonky with the measurements so it's been giving me a spot of trouble but I'm sure I can work it out.  I'm taking a bit of a break from that right now and yesterday I picked up some new supplies for a few smaller projects that I've been meaning to do for a long time now.  I'm hoping to start them sometime later this week.

I thought I'd also share a WIP my quilt guild is working on.  Last year we decided that we should make a whole guild quilt where every member contributes a block.  Our Danish sister guild has done this and it's really neat to see everyone's interpretation of a theme.  Our theme was Mitt Skåne ("My Skåne"; Skåne being the province in which we live).

At first I wasn't sure what to do and then I found this great poppy fabric that kick-started my imagination.  You see, wild poppies aren't something I grew up with in my area of southern Ontario but they're everywhere over here in summer - through all the fields and in all the ditches along the roadsides in the country, so for me they're very European.

I decided that I wanted my block to be 3-dimensional; something that I'd never tried before.  I started with sewing some pale green scraps together in narrow stripes to mimic the tall, dried summer grass that often surrounds wild poppies.  Then I set about embroidering on some stem work, fussy cutting flower heads and stitching tiny seed beads - many, many seed beads - and came up with this:

Recently the committee responsible for this project at guild posted an update on how joining all of the blocks is coming along.  It's been decided that instead of making one enormous quilt, we'll make three or four smaller ones that will be more manageable.  And here is an update photo that includes my block (second row from the top, last block on the right):

I think only one other person used poppies in her block so I was pretty original.  Willow trees, bicycles, rape seed fields, white geese and The Little Mermaid statue (technically in Copenhagen) were all very popular motifs among the blocks.  It's going to be such fun to see when they're all finished!

I also whipped up a quick birthday card today for my uncle.  I had planned on making some candles out of paper straws but all the shops were out of them yesterday so I just decided to use my current go-to birthday card design.  It's always handy to have a design that you know you can easily fall back on when you're feeling rushed or tired or a birthday sneaks up on you unawares.

This stamp set is by Technique Tuesday and I use it regularly.  It includes a variety of sentiments, as well (birthday, anniversary, good luck, get well soon) so it's quite flexible and you can mix and match as you want.  I use mine with heat embossing powders so that it really stands out on my papers.  The 2Peas store no longer carries this stamp set but you might still find it elsewhere if you look around.

So what you are currently working on?

Reviewing May LOAD

So last month I challenged myself to do a 'layout a day' (LOAD).  It took me a little longer than I had initially planned to wrap up those last few layouts but I kept out all the pages I had made and earlier this week I sorted through all of them and decided that I would share before filing them away into their albums.  Today's video will give you a little tour of those creations.

I also sat down and put together the new job card for a friend that I've been mulling over in my head the last few days.  Inspiration for this card initially came from the July issue of Papercraft Inspirations, where they feature a new job card using a paper pieced clipboard.  I've taken the clipboard idea and made it my own.

The clipboard is made from a scrap of kraft cardstock that I rounded the corners of and then grunged up with sandpaper and distress ink.  I've done some random stamping with a date roller to mimic a well-used clipboard, added some ruler washi tape and since I didn't have a little bull dog clip, paper pieced one with an eyelet that I painted silver.

While I was sifting through my scraps I stumbled upon some old Graphic 45 school primer paper I had forgotten I had (an 8x8 pad someone sent me in a swap).  The handwriting paper was perfect to layer onto the clipboard and a polka dot paper covered the card front.  I wanted to keep the overall design reasonably simple so as not to detract from the cute theme paper but it was a little too monochromatic at this point so I added the red washi tape, letters and star.  The kraft tag added a horizontal element and then I balanced out the left side with a stamp.

Now I just need to get a birthday card for my uncle made...

June 23, 2013

Pinspiration Sunday

It's Sunday today and that means a little reflection on the things that have been inspiring me this last week so go grab a cup of your favourite hot beverage and cozy up for some photo love...

  • listening - Mix Megapol radio station, Sunday countdown
  • making - new job congratulations card for a friend
  • wearing - PJs
  • weather - overcast, 16C
  • feeling - hungry
  • wanting - The Sims 3 Island Paradise EP to release sooner (Jun. 27)
  • planning - to cycle to West Harbour tonight to take photos of the 'super moon' (if weather co-operates)
  • loving - spending all morning curled up in bed with my laptop

Cindy has a great blog with stunning modern quilt and sewing designs.  I stumbled across her last week and she's a quilter after my own design style (but much more productive than I).  If you love sewing, go check her out: Hyacinth Quilt Designs.

Also from Hyacinth Quilt Designs, I totally fell in love with this unique quilt block design.  I think it would be beautiful in rich autumnal colours and made into Thanksgiving placemats - I'm thinking just a single feather on the left side and white space with some wavy quilting lines on the right.  I think I need to make a set of those both for myself and as a Christmas gift for my mum.  A matching table runner would be lovely, too, but I think I would set the feathers side-by-side is opposite directions.  You can download the pattern for free: Feather Bed Quilt Pattern.

Simply Sweet fabric line by Lori Whitlock for EP by Riley Blake Designs.  I love that more and more paper manufacturing companies are converting their designs into fabric (EP, MME, Bella Blvd just to name a few) and I love pretty much everything Lori Whitlock designs so this line is making me swoon right now!  It comes in three colourways (blue, pink and white).  Source: The Little Fabric Shop.

Also by Riley Blake Designs are these awesome large polka dot ombre fabrics in a rainbow of colours!  How fun are these!  I bet they would make super cool quilt/runner/wall hanging backings or borders.  Even chopping them up and using them in block designs would be cool, since you'd get a range of tints and shades throughout the project.  Source: The Little Fabric Shop.

From Christa Paustenbaugh's blog.  I'm absolutely loving how she cut up her photo for this cool "shutter shades" effect.  In fact, I love it even more because the reason she cut it up was due to lines her printer had made on the photo - most of us would have just binned it but she made it work!  I must try something like this.

From June Stricker's blog.  I like how June's thought outside of the box here and changed up her card shape - if you tilt your head to the right, you see a diamond shape.  I'm tucking away this idea for any future engagement cards I may need to make.  I also really like how she layered up papers and washi tapes.

From the new Carta Bella Hello Again collection, set to release mid-July.  I'm absolutely head-over-heels for this paper and if I buy nothing else from the collection, I just might add 10 copies of this paper to my cart!

Pear Brights - I have a new LO gelling in my head that uses this colour palette but think I might have to first re-print one of the photos first.

Enjoy your Sunday!

June 22, 2013

Photo Apps

Yesterday on the 2Peas General Scrappin' forums, the question was raised as to why crafters like Instagram so much.  As I mentioned on the thread, I am by no means an IG elite user (Janna Werner is clearly light years ahead of me!) but I enjoy using IG for the cool filters and the square cropping, because let's face it, retro is still very chic these days.

I also mentioned having printed my IG photos and Janna was curious as to how I go about doing this, because if you've used IG, you've probably noticed that there doesn't appear to be a way to download, print or otherwise save your photos outside of IG.  This is something that really confounded me and being a scrapbooker with a stubborn streak, I wasn't content to simply enjoy my IG photos digitally - I wanted more; I wanted them in my hands and stuck to pretty paper and layered with embellishment yumminess.

So I went Google searching - and found Instaport.  Instaport is awesome.  You sign in with your IG username name and it accesses your IG gallery.  You can then download and backup your IG photos, which also means that you can print them once downloaded!  I also really liked their download search window, which allows you to define which parameters you want to use for selecting photos.  You get options such as 'all photos', 'last 10 photos', liked photos, specify a date period or based on hashtag keywords.  Like I said, awesome.  I print photos once a month at the end/start of a month so I use the specify date option.

Once I have my IG photos downloaded, I just upload them to the online photo printing company I use.  You should also make sure to check if your printing company automatically changes the photo size aspect ratio.  Mine does - their default setting is to stretch any photos to fit inside the standard 10x15cm photo size, which means that if you leave this default setting, you will get a warped IG photo.  I just select the "don't resize" option instead, which prints my photo as 4x4 inches on a roughly 4x6 inch photo paper, then I just cut off the excess white space.  I have noticed, however, that certain IG filters can cause pixelated edges on some of my printed IG photos.  I don't have a list of which filters these are to provide you with at the moment, since I've only just started printing IG photos.  I'm going to try resizing these pixelated ones into smaller squares and re-printing them to see if there is an improvement in the quality.  I'll let you know how that goes in a week or two.

Janna also asked if I only use IG filters so I'll share with you some of my favourite photo apps I've been playing with lately.  I should probably mention here that I use an Android phone (HTC One) so I'll be linking to the Google Play store.  I'm not sure if these apps are also available for iPhone (probably) but you can search the App Store easily enough.

Photo Frame

A nice photo collage app, Photo Frame has a very large variety of collage combinations available that use between 1 to 9 photos.  The single photo option simply adds a white border frame around your photo.  You choose which grid you want to use and then simply tap each grid section to pull up your phone's photo gallery and choose the photo you want to insert.  Once inserted, you can move and resize your photo to your liking.  All collages are cropped to squares but the photos used inside them may be either squares or rectangles.  I've found that these photos print very well, since the app is using the photo's original high quality settings and the white frames look very polished.  Note that the free app version is very ad heavy but it's a mere 7:SEK (approx. $1) to upgrade to the ad-free version, which I'll probably do after I've used the app a little longer for testing purposes.

I can see a lot of potential with this app.  Right now I've been using it to collage food shots from my weekly Thursday nights out with girl friends - Pretentious Dining is a good example.


The Insta series of apps are fun apps that use your phone's internal data info to apply an overlay to your photos; in the case of InstaPlace, it pulls your geo location info for a photo that you can either take within the app or that you choose from your phone's photo gallery.  And because you can choose a photo from your gallery, this means you can layer the InstaPlace overlay onto your IG photos - how cool is that?  There are a good variety of different skin categories and styles available, even in the free version and you can move them around your photo (top, bottom or one of the sides) so that you don't block important features in your photos.  And if the app is having trouble pulling your location info, you can manually write it in.  The pro version unlocks all of the available skins and costs approx. 15:SEK (approx. $2) to upgrade; I'm still testing this app out so I haven't upgraded yet but I think I probably will - just want to see how they print first.

Obviously this app is fab for anyone who travels regularly and I'm thinking I might go back through some of my travel photos that I have yet to print and apply the overlays.


Another of the Insta series of apps, this one again uses your phone's data info to apply an overlay to your photos; as the name suggests, it gives a weather report based on your geo location and current time info for a photo and again, you can either take the photo inside the app or choose one from your photo gallery (and thus also apply to IG photos).  It works the same as the InstaPlace app in that you have a variety of skins and styles to choose from and can move the overlay around your photo so that you don't block out important bits.  The pro version is a similar cost to the one above and unlocks all available skins.

One thing I found with this app was that I couldn't get it to retrieve the weather info at first.  It just sat there saying it was constantly loading the info and never did.  I rebooted my phone and everything suddenly worked fine so if you install this app and have the same problem, try rebooting to fix it.

So those are my favourite toys at the moment.  I'm still looking for a really good photo booth app, though, so if you have any recommendations, I'd love to hear them!

June 21, 2013

L'Aquarium Barcelona

Happy Midsummer!

Here in Sweden we have been celebrating Midsummer today, although the weather's been a bit off and on and the wind has picked up and chilled down so instead of dancing like frogs around a Midsummer pole, I've been scrapbooking instead (don't get me wrong, though, that Små Gröderna is my favourite of the songs - seriously).

So I decided to break out my new Fancy Pants Down by the Shore collection and pulled out the only photo I currently have of my Easter trip to Barcelona with a friend.

This photo is actually a 6x8 and it fit perfectly in size and theme with this cute, chubby little whale and swirls.  I wanted to add more depth and dimension to the background paper so I hand stitched over some of the swirls and used blue, green and white mist splatters, then added rhinestones and enamel dots.  To balance the page, I hand painted swirls in the upper right corner, too.  Here is a close-up shot:

I cut one of the border strips and decided to scallop punch it but I didn't want to punch too deeply into the paper, causing it to become really narrow so I came up with this solution:

As you can see, the foam adhesive squares on each side of the punch allows for less paper to be trimmed off during the punching process, while still ensuring a straight punching line.  I'm sure this isn't anything especially new but I thought it was a clever, if simple solution to share.  Once I had my border punched, I decided to cut part of it off and layer the two pieces over each other, which is a bit difficult to see in the photo but it gives a nice dimensional touch to the page.  I also used the narrow off-cut strips, which look like waves, along the top of the photo and patterned paper - I really love when I can use up even those tiniest of scraps.

For the embellishment clusters, I've layered each with my new red stars washi tape and some of the SC Sundrifter imperfect circle wood veneers and a red enamel dot and then a selection of tabs, labels and die cuts.  I also tacked on some of the left-over embroidery floss in waves and loops and used some OA circle letter stickers in an uneven row to mimic bubbles for the title.

And I know you'll never believe it but after I finished prettying up the whale and swirls, I had the worst luck with accidents on this layout.  I accidentally dropped the border stripe with removable tape runner dots onto the photo and to my horror, the dots didn't come off!  This photo, which was printed at the aquarium, has a different finish to it compared to most photos and everything seemed to stick to it.  I managed to scrap (carefully) most of the tape dots off and I doubt anyone will ever notice but I was so cross with myself!  Later something else sticky (no idea what) got on the photo again, but not as badly as the first time and I got that off with more success.  Finally, I managed to smudge the date stamp on the tab by the title and it bugged me so badly that I ended up ripping it off and replacing it with another from my stash (which had been inked in dark brown ink so I had to cut down the edges first so it wouldn't clash).  Sometimes I should just stop while I'm ahead.

To wrap up, I'll share with you one last photo of a little something I currently have in the works:

June 20, 2013

June Haul - A Video Experiment

So today I decided to take on a little experimental video project - that's right, I played around at making my first ever video.  It's nothing special or ground shattering; it's pretty much just a run of the mill haul video (boy, am I selling this to you or what?).  There is a little back story or two behind it, though, so perhaps that will help to perk your interest and if nothing else, I would love to get some feedback on how I did and suggestions for improvements.  It's been a real learning curve, figuring out how to best set up my tripod for shooting, dealing with a dead camera battery and subsequently editing/merging the two videos together, the long saving and long uploading process...  But here it is!

Okay, so time for a little self-reflection.  I think I babbled too much and really shouldn't have gone through all the papers to the extent that I did.  I also need to remember to keep the products on the table or just barely above them so they fit into the shot and don't blur.  I should also probably close the window to avoid the train noise but today was just too hot to do that.

I also promised in the video that I would link up some of my work I referenced.  Here are my two recent projects featuring the MME Oxford Land papers I've been using.

I'd also like to take a moment to give a hearty note of thanks to Shimelle Laine for her very generous NSD challenges and prize opportunities.  Last month I took part in many of her challenges and I was thrilled to be randomly selected as the winner for the Scrap About Yourself challenge with this LO:

Earlier in the week I received an email from Shimelle about the prize - free entry into not just one but two of her upcoming online classes!  The first is her already announced Masterclass on layering - sounds perfect for me; I like to layer!  The second is a yet to be announced online class through her website - no title yet but I'll keep the details she mentioned to myself right now, as I'm not sure how much she wants revealed at this point but it sounds awesome!  It was the perfect start to my summer holidays, since I'd been planning to take another of her classes.  I'm super stoked and can't wait to start!  I just hope they open up now over the summer so I can really focus on them.  Thanks again, Shimelle!

And finally, I'll share some photo love from my quilt guild's recent trip around Småland last Sunday.  We began by driving up to a jam-packed little shop just outside of Perstorp (in the woods).

As you can see, many lovely creations on display.  I bought a handbag pattern and a set of Marmalade candy pre-cuts to use with it and also three FQs in black, white and a silvery grey for a penguin doll we'll be making for guild.
Next we drove foreeevvverrrrr (or so it seemed) to a golf club for lunch (scrummy food, definitely worth it) and then headed off to the Sprätthonsen quilt exhibition, held is this truly beautiful old barn.  A few of my favourite photos:

Finally, we visited Tyger & Ting quilt shop, where they also had a number of samples on display but I particularly love their back porch display:

I was reasonably well-behaved and 'only' bought two charm packs and a tulip table runner pattern (yes, I know I still haven't made the tulip runner I bought from them last year but this one is different...).  They also threw in a free partial pattern for a runner adaptation of Garden Fence, which is how I stumbled across Cindy's great blog, Hyacinth Quilt Designs (check the links list to the right) - a girl after my own heart and such a great name, too!  Here's the photos of my 'hauls' from this day:

I'm thinking that I might use the Aspen Frost charm pack for the Garden Fence runner and if I start it over the summer, I might actually have it done by the time the holidays roll around (or not)!

June 19, 2013

WIP Wednesday

I feel like there's a lot I want to share recently but I'm going to break things down and not flood the blog all at once.  Right now this is what I'm enjoying most:

Now that summer holidays have officially arrived, it's 100% craft and "me" time - swoon!  Since I don't have an extra bedroom to use as a craft space, I like to set up my sewing machine out on the balcony when the weather is nice.  There is something particularly lovely about stitching outside with the sunshine and a light breeze, watching the trains go by (just behind the fence in the distance).

My current WIP (work in progress) is a Ricky Tims Harmonic Convergence wall hanging.  I made the top about two years ago during a sewing project day with friends but I was never happy with the inner border - it was decidedly blue and didn't really go well with the rest of the colour palette.  Then one day at quilt guild, a vendor had this fabric that I snatched up:

Isn't it just yummy?  And scrapbookers, look carefully - yes, that is a MME fabric!  I'm in total love.  So a few months ago I ripped off all the borders with the plan to replace the inner blue border with this lovely turquoise one but never got that far.  Yesterday I sat down and began the process of adding the borders back on and it's looking so much better now.  The top border is giving me some issues, however.  Despite everything being squared up properly, the border and cornerstones aren't matching up well but I'm sure I'll get there in the end.

Here's a general layout view for you (along with Oskar, who is 'snooper-vising'):

You can see that I've made the borders directional so that the cups look like they're hanging.  The folded fabric in the top left will be the backing fabric.  I haven't decided on the binding yet - probably either that luscious turquoise or the brown.  I may also fussy cut and applique one of the teapots onto the design, too, but that's still being debated at the moment.  For quilting, I'm thinking swirls to mimic steam throughout the body and possibly waves along the borders and maybe concentric circles in the cornerstones.  My machine doesn't quilt well, though, so this might end up being a hand quilt project...

Next up, I sat down today and made a belated Father's Day card for my step-father.  With all the bustle and stress of end of school work, Father's Day just sort of hit me out of the blue.  I was a good girl and made a point of ringing him up but thought I should send along a card, too.

A lot of my inspiration for this card came from working with the MME Oxford Lane papers when putting together my Gaelic Girls LO - the colours are of course masculine and a wee bit retro and I liked how well they paired with both the Maggie Holmes gold glitter Thickers and the Webster's Pages Composition & Colour neon yellow washi tape (seriously, if you love Oxford Lane, invest in this tape, too - they are the perfect match in both colour and style).

I also had some inspiration from this week's Stash Busters Challenge at 2Peas, specifically prompt #1 (use something shiny) and prompt #2 (use something natural).  I recently found these lovely kraft corrugated die-cuts at my LSS and decided to try them out and I knew I wanted to use one on this card.  The MME papers are all white-based, however, so I decided to pull in a little more kraft with the matting and I made a border of the yellow washi tape to remove some of the over-powering white and help draw out a little more pop of yellow in the process.  The button is made of coconut wood and sort of reminded me of a suit button, which would compliment the necktie.  I think the few sequins and the glitter Thickers are just enough bling without going overboard and still works well together with the kraft elements.  If you'd like links to this project's shopping list, you can check it out here: #1 Dad card.

That about wraps it up for today.  What are your current WIP?

June 18, 2013

The Basics

Hello and welcome to my new little corner of the web, Scraps of My Life!

I've been toying for a while now with the idea of setting up a blog and friends have finally convinced me to give it a go.  It's been a looong time since I've last blogged or ran a website, though, and a lot has changed over the last decade so please forgive my learning curve - I'm sure there will be a number of ups and downs here in the beginning but I'll get it sorted hopefully soon (and please feel free to offer suggestions!).

But since this is just the very first post, I thought I should share with you some of the basics about me, so let's get started!

Who are you?
My name is Cindy England.  I'm Canadian born and bred (Ontario, specifically) and a child of the 70s.

What do you do?
I'm a teacher.  Grade 2 to be exact and I teach at an IBO international school.  My class is comprised of children from numerous countries and ethnicities around the world and many of them begin with no English language, which I teach them along with all the usual school subjects.  It's a very interesting environment in which to work.

Why Sweden?
I moved to Sweden in 2002 due to a relationship, which lasted six years.  When that had finished running its course, I had a obtained a full-time classroom teaching position, had a wonderful circle of supportive friends and a cat so it seemed natural to stay and make it on my own.  I have since purchased my own flat, take advantage of traveling Europe several times a year, enjoy a very high quality of life and have never looked back.  I have found where I belong.

What is your crafting background?  Why scrapbooking and sewing?
Creativity and crafting have always infused my life from the very beginning.  I am a quilter's daughter - my mother has spent her whole life sewing; first clothing (she made her own first wedding dress!) and then later quilts and home decor and finally culminating in her own quilt shop business (Quilts 'N Critters in Millbrook, ON - recently closed for retirement).  I spent my youth helping to turn fabric tubes, stuff animals, work craft shows and sew samples, just to name a few things.  At this point I didn't get into sewing too much; it was really more my mum's 'thing' and it's hard to express yourself in someone else's shadow.

After I moved out on my own in Sweden, my best friend who is also a quilter, encouraged me to start joining her and her mum at the local quilt guild, Öresundsquilterna, which I did.  It was really nice to add another community of people outside of my work friends and colleagues to my life and a good opportunity to ensure I kept up my Swedish regularly, as working in an all English environment with English friends runs the risk of loosing the local language.  Needless to say, I started to come into my own sewing here, although I still struggle with starting projects and taking forever to finish them.

As for scrapbooking, I originally tried to get into it around 2005 or thereabouts.  This first go simply entailed using photo corners to stick three or so photos randomly onto some patterned paper and I never got around to adding titles, journaling or embellishments.  I tried again several years later when a friend of mine also got into the craft.  I actually finished some pages, including all of those previously missing elements but they often lacked many basic design principles and they never made it into albums.  I was starting to give up hope and then I found some issues of Papercraft Inspirations at the local magazine merchantile.  I was hooked and the card-sized format was much easier for me to work with and learn from.  I spent a year really focusing on making handmade cards and it became a hallmark to those who knew me.  Then I found Shimelle Laine - amazing!  She completely revoluntionised my understanding and vision of scrapbooking and what's more, she got me back into scrapping full page layouts and they actually worked!  Thanks, Shimelle!

Bits and bobs...
A few other things about me you may want to know or soon discover.

My style: I love bright colours; my favourite colour is currently orange, closely followed by turquoise.  I love graphic prints, especially chevrons, stripes and polka dots and I also like a lot of retro patterns with a contemporary finish or colour palette.  I like to layer but I don't tend to go overboard.

My quirks: I'm a wee bit OCD.  Nothing clinical but in the sense that I'm fairly hyper organised; I like structure and everything has a place and there is a place for everything.  Oh, and I won't leave the flat unless my dishes are all washed and my bed is made.  Also, the cutting edge of all my knives must face to the left in my cutlery drawer.  Don't ask - I honestly don't know why.

My cat: His name is Oskar and he's a 9 year-old classical tabby moggy (feline version of the term 'mutt').  He's slightly over-weight, extremely lazy and not much of a snuggler but he keeps me company and someone to natter to incessantly.