September 25, 2013

On Hiatus

Hello, everyone.

Just a quick note to say that I'm sorry I haven't updated my blog for two weeks now.  My life has taken a downward turn, I'm afraid.  Work is exhausting and a daily uphill battle and my personal life with this renovation is not going well - I have no toilet, no shower and last night I came home to discover I also now have no water and that may be the case for the next three weeks.  I'm just struggling to manage at this point and I haven't had the time, energy or inspiration to craft anything (plus, having everything packed up and wrapped in plastic doesn't help).  Sorry to sound like such a downer but hopefully things will turn around soon and when they do, you can be sure I'll be back and sharing with all of you again.

Wish me luck,

September 13, 2013

Who Knew

Whew!  Work week done - hello, weekend!  I'm looking forward to another crafty weekend but I still have one more LO from last Sunday to share with you.  Remember how a week ago I posted this photo?

A photo badge of my childhood self, my mum and my granny from the '80s.  Unsurprisingly, many people commented that I simply had to scrapbook this little treasure and I couldn't agree more.  So I pulled out my new Hello Again collection by Carta Bella and got to work and here is the final product:

I have to admit, I was channeling Glitter Girl's episode #85: It's All Hunky Dorey for this LO. Like Glitter Girl, I used the same background paper because it's my absolute favourite in the whole collection.  I liked the idea of using the pop of black and great typography for contrast.  I also added that lovely map print from Webster's Pages, which ties in with the journaling.  And I couldn't resist including a View Master slide reel to re-inforce the '80s timeline.

I've been steadily working my way through my bag of Basic Grey Knee Highs and Bow Ties chipboard pieces but hadn't yet used any of the circles.  I was so thrilled to find this largest one was orange with tiny pink dots and worked really well with the other papers.  The extra large scallop die cut is from OA's Woodland Park pack.

The journaling card was part of the Hello Again cut-apart sheet and the glasses with the 'looking back' is from my favourite KI Memories stamp set - just so perfect for this LO.  And I took great cheeky pleasure at throwing in the 'be awesome' chipboard.  I used my first puffy sticker geotag here and a 2Peas star-shaped paper clip.  I added my estimate for the date - 1984.  I'm really happy with this LO and now I really can't wait to get scans of more childhood photos.  I'll have to see about doing that when I'm back home visiting my parents over the winter holidays.

In other news, last night I stopped into the big craft chain store here in Sweden, Panduro Hobby, and was super excited to discover a bunch of new scrapbooking goodies on offer:

That's right - the Simple Stories Snap! line!  And it doesn't appear to just be bits and pieces this time, either but - dare I say? - full line!  The binders, inserts, page protectors, papers, envelopes, journaling cards, etc.  I just picked up the 6x6 paper pad and one of the 3x4 journaling card packs for now but then I realised that this will be perfect to make a special birthday gift for a friend so clearly I'm going to need to go back and get more supplies for that project.  So exciting!

And check out this phrase and date roller stamp - love it!  This is a Panduro Hobby own brand stamp and it's in English, which is awesome.  I really like the variety of phrases, from the simple 'date' to several that will be perfect for travel themes and some fun symbols and pictures (totally love the little cutlery set for Thursday dinner photos).

All right, that's all I've got for now.  Check back later this weekend for more.

September 11, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Welcome back to another WIP Wednesday.  Life has been feeling pretty fast-paced recently and that hasn't left a lot of time for crafting, unfortunately.  I've been trying to make a little more progress on my Nice People, Nice Things embroidery quilt blocks.  Having had both a quilt guild day and another meeting of my Haberdashery group, you'd think I'd have gotten at least another block or two completed.  Sadly, I've been running low on my embroidery floss and no time to get to the craft shops and buy more so progress has been slow.  Here's where I'm currently at, though:

And I have to admit, I didn't get a whole lot of stitching done last night at Haberdashery, mainly because this little fella curled up for a nice, long nap on my lap:

Isn't he a sweetheart?  What with the bathroom renovations started in my flat this week, I've had to pack up my Oskar to stay with a friend (AKA his German holiday family) so this was some much-needed kitty time for me.  It's quite sad not having Oskar at home; and very quiet.

And speaking of the bathroom renovation, today is half way through week 1 (of 6-8 weeks).  Demo started on Monday and here's a quick snapshot of what used to be my bathroom:

Yup, not a whole lot left.  There are two toilets and two shower stalls down in the cellar that all of us currently going through reno must use.  I reckon it's probably around 50-60 people at a time, depending on the number of residents per flat.  Doesn't that sound cosy?  Luckily, I've managed to have a shower two mornings in a row so far; I think most people are either showering at night (thus leaving the showers available in the mornings - yeah!) or sponge bathing.  At least the workers have been really nice and helpful.

Anyway, I'm afraid that's all I have for the moment.  Check back on Friday, though, as I'll be posting a new scrapbooking LO for you to see.

September 09, 2013

I Have a Dream...

So yesterday I had a wonderful day spent scrapping, which means today I have a new LO to share with you.  You may remember that about two weeks ago I shared the following photo of supplies with you:

I was all set to start this LO when I suddenly discovered that I hadn't printed the photo like I thought I had so then I had to wait until my new photo order came in.  Anyway, those supplies turned into this:

This beautiful photo realistic chalk pastel paper from Webster's Pages was actually available at the local Panduro Hobby here in Sweden shortly after New Year so I snatched up several sheets of what was available.  This is not my typical style of paper *at all* but I decided I wanted to challenge myself to use it so I've been saving one sheet of it - until now.  A LO about scrapbooking seemed to be the perfect choice for using this paper and I love the soft, pastel colours.

I knew I wanted to have some hidden journaling in the glassine bag and I used my vintage Olivetti to type 'Can you keep a secret?' on the top of the bag.  I actually had a brain wave for most of the journaling the night before in bed so I typed it up on my phone to use later.

For the rest of the LO, I decided to just use a lot of layering and dug into my scrap basket.  There's sort of a little bit of everything in there - corrugated cardstock, labels, patterned papers, a transparency, a banner, washi tape, stickers, etc.  I decided to add the frames while working on the fly and I quite like how they draw your attention into the photo.  Some dimensional embellishments with the cork arrows, the flair and enamel dots.  I also used a 2Peas star paper clip and oh my, such fun!  I can tell I'm going to become obsessed with those...

I also used some word, phrase and number stickers, sprinkled around the page.  I knew the moment I saw that MME phrase sticker, 'Reach, Imagine, Dream' that it was perfect for this LO.  I'm also really loving that Kensei Thickers font.

September 08, 2013

Pinspiration Sunday

Wow!  I've had such a productive day today!  Always feels awesome, especially when I wondered this morning how I would possibly do it all.  So, I'm going to keep the ball rolling here on the blog, too, so go grab your hot beverage of choice and join me.


* watching - Kitchen Nightmares
* eating - noodle stirfry
* drinking - water
* wearing - jeans, tank top, cardi, socks
* weather - windy & clouding over, 19C
* feeling - accomplished
* wanting - one more weekend day
* needing - to say goodbye to Oskar until the weekend :(
* planning - tomorrow morning before the construction workers come
* enjoying - a day spent scrapbooking

So let's get started!

I love this little, short, pocketed apron.  It would be perfect for crafting, to tuck pens or other small tools or items to hand.

I love handbags but I hate having to move everything from one to another.  Yet despite that, I still don't own a handbag organiser to quickly and easily swap bags.  This particular pin links to a purchase page (item currently out of stock) but it's actually the DIY idea of the item that I find inspiring, not that I would buy this particular item myself.
There is something about poppies that I find enchanting and I love the 3-dimensional quality of these embroidered ones.

I've received a lot of lovely comments on my use of Crate Paper slide frames in my recent LO, In an Octopus' Garden, so here's some more slide frame inspiration to pass around.  I love that they're paired with a great photo enlargement, which by now you probably know I enjoy using.
I love the simplicity of this fun and cute card.  Not that I send Hallowe'en cards (it's really not celebrated in Sweden, although somewhat more these days than the 11 years ago when I moved over) but it's still a fun card.

Today while scrapbooking, I broke into my new 2Peas star-shaped paper clips and I have to admit, they are super fun to use!  Webster's Pages is releasing a wide variety of shaped clips, from these cute hearts and funky arrows to autumn apples, holiday reindeer and golden crowns.  These are must haves for sure!
This is a simple but fun idea, especially for left-over photos that you don't plan to scrapbook or otherwise use but perhaps you don't want to bin them, either.
I spent time today breaking into my new Carta Bella Hello Again collection and really enjoyed mixing the soft pinks, melon peaches and black accents together.  When I saw this colour palette, it reminded me of those papers mixed together.

September 07, 2013

Flashback to the '80s

So with the impending bathroom renovation on the horizon, I had to spend some time this week shifting things out of kitchen and bathroom cabinets and moving things out of the foyer.  It's amazing what you will find doing these sorts of things.

I've had a large box sitting relatively untouched in my foyer since moving into my flat that I started sorting through in the hopes of getting rid of most of it.  Turns out there was a lot more in there than I had remembered (always the way, right?) and then a small treasure I didn't even know I still had:

This is an old photo badge (AKA flair) of myself - probably around age 7 - and my mum and granny, taken at Canada's Wonderland back in the '80s.  I can't believe I still have this.  Furthermore, I can't think for the life of me why I brought it to Sweden; but I do find myself sitting starring at it time and again.

I don't yet have any old photos scanned from my childhood so this discovery has excited me at the possibility of scrapping my younger self.  I'll keep you posted on the layout.

Oh, and last week I shared a link to, a website that allows you to make photo collages for free.  Well, I received my latest photo order, including several collages made using their site, two of which were enlarged to 15x20cm and they look great - everything retained the original photo quality so I'm pleased and will continue to use them again.

September 04, 2013

WIP Wednesday

This week's WIP Wednesday is a work in progress of a very different nature.  This week starts the long awaited (and dreaded) bathroom renovation.  Construction starts on Friday, to be exact, but I've spent a good hour and a half this evening, despite working late, moving stuff around the flat in preparation.  Thankfully my flat has plenty of storage space so I've managed to squirrel away pretty much everything so things still look normal, although it does mean requiring a ladder to access at least half of it, should I have the need.

Pre-Reno Shot

But perhaps I should clarify, as this isn't just limited to a bathroom reno.  Yes, the entire bathroom is being gutted and re-done: all new plumbing pipes, modernised floor drain, ceiling pot lights, new floor tiles, new floor to ceiling tiles, new tub/faucet/shower head, new sink/faucet/cabinet, new toilet (don't get me started on the toilet!), radiator-heated towel rack, new vaniety with built in lights and outlet!!!  This part I'm super excited about, as I haven't had an outlet in a bathroom during the 11 years I've lived in Sweden, due to funky construction laws.

But it doesn't stop there - no!  They will also be installing a modernised fuse box (thank goodness), updating all ceiling light plugs to include grounding capabilities and installing three additional outlets where ever I choose (also amazing and desperately needed).  Oh, and they're also putting in all new plumbing pipes in the kitchen and installing a new kitchen faucet.

So if you're doing the math on all of this, you'll have figured out that this is not a quick and dirty renovation.  They're estimating between 6-8 weeks.  That means between 6-8 weeks without a functioning bathroom and thus the dread and displeasure.  I keep telling myself that it will be nice once it's finished but...6-8 weeks is a reasonably long time.

It also means that for 6-8 Oskar is going to need to live elsewhere, as all of this will be far too stressful on him, even locked in the bathroom (which is directly next to the bathroom where a tonne of noise will be occurring).  I have arranged for him to 'holiday' with his German family - a family from work that I'm close with, as I've taught the two eldest boys - and they've had him at their house several times before for Christmas and the boys absolutely adore Oskar so he'll get a lot of love and attention.  Hopefully he can come visit me on weekends when possible but I'm going to be sooo lonely during the week!

So, wish us luck and I'll keep you posted on the progress.  And of course, you can expect that all of this will be scrapbooked down the line, too.

September 01, 2013

Pinspiration Sunday

I love days when I don't have to leave my flat at all; I mean at all!  Today was one of those days - bliss!  Autumn has definitely been setting in here in Sweden - the leaves have been changing colours, the Rowan trees are loaded with berries and the conkers and acorns have already started falling.  The weather has also been turning to cloudy, rainy and a brisk, cold wind.  So all in all, a great day to stay inside and hermit.  So join me with grabbing your hot beverage of choice and curling up with some photo love.


* watching - Bones
* reading - Papercraft Inspirations, August issue
* eating - fajitas
* drinking - water
* wearing - PJs, socks & cardi (my flat is pretty cold)
* weather - raining, 15C
* feeling - very full
* wanting - the weekend to continue
* needing - to find someone to cat-sit Oskar during bathroom reno
* planning - next several LOs with new photos ordered today
* loving - playing in my new box of scrapbooking goodies
* enjoying - a lazy, quiet day at home

And now onto the pins...

I'm really diggin' the bed runner trend that's picked up in the last year or so; it's like the perfect fit between making a full-sized quilt and making smaller home decor items.

This pattern caught my eye and the whole website and quilt pattern selection is great, too.  Definitely worth checking out, especially if you love modern quilts.

Have you heard of sashiko?  It's a traditional Japanese stitch technique used on kimonos.  Here in Malmö, we're lucky enough to have a talented Japanese quilter and teacher at the local quilt shop so sashiko features in a number of quilt projects regularly at my guild.  However, I've never thought of using it for patching and I love the idea, especially given that the purpose of sashiko is to strengthen fabrics.  Just cool.

Just saw this pattern this morning on Moda Bake Shop.  It's a great pattern and very detailed instructions with plenty of photos to help guide you.  I also laughed out loud at the 'OCD' comments - a quilter after my own heart (and OCD quirks).

Saw this LO on 2Peas this morning and just loved everything about it.  I've been slowly working through my Down by the Shore collection and found this very inspiring.

I love using photo enlargements on my pages.  This one caught my eye because of the white space along the left (and a little on the right, too), the soft colours that seem to melt into the white cardstock and the fun line of tags.

I've been searching for a good photo collage programme for my computer.  I have one on my mobile phone and have gone through several for my PC but I haven't liked any.  Until I found this one today.  It's free, ridiculously easy to use and available as either an online or installable version, available for desktops (Mac & PC) and mobile phones (iPhone & Android).  I made the above collage for my monthly photo order, which I should have within a few days and will let you know what the quality is like.

And now for something truly fun and awesome - design your own shoes!  Squee!  I love shoes - heels, platforms, wedges - basically anything but flats.  I'm going to have to be very careful with this site, or it could become very addicting (and likely expensive).