30 Jan 2011

A Mini A Month - Jan New Beginnings 2

Sorry its been so long. Here is the album made, I haven't yet put any pictures in, still can't decide what to do, but I have time to worry about that later. I loved making this, and will have a go at some more later in the year. I didn't quite twig that the envelopes didn't have to be open, but hey, that's no bother, I have a nice album with pockets in. Another tip. Leave yourself loads of ribbon to fasten. My jeans hem isn't quite long enough to cover the thickness of the paper and the embellishments that are on the pockets. All in all though, I'm happy about how its come together, with the colours and papers. For those who wanted to know about the rosettes, see this post at Sticky Inky Scrappy Mess, though mine aren't stiffened, its just fabric. But the method still works out fine.

Love Elliefantasy 

17 Jan 2011

A Mini A Month - Jan New Beginnings 1

So, here we go, making the first book. Its not too late to join in either, the instruction post is here

After reading through the instructions, I actually changed my mind over what I wanted to make the mini-book about. Originally it was going to be about resolutions, but the book lends itself to pictures so well, I've decided to make it about moving into our first brought house in the middle of last year, and have pictures of the rooms as old and new. I want to see if I can make little mini-mini books to go into the envelopes so that there is plenty of room for pics and journalling. 

The decorating theme is brown and blue, partly because I am trying to dig into my massive Claire Curd Papermania paper stack, and partly because I managed to make a couple of fabric rosettes from the cutoffs of some superlong jeans. I'm not a big sewer but they've come out really well. When I put the final pics up, I'll link over to a fabulous blog I love, Scrappy Sticky Inky Mess where I saw the video for how to make them. Trying to carry the theme on, I've used the hem as a clasp and will make it close hopefully using some sticky back velco. I'm also going to try and find some denim digital paper, or to carry Karen's "don't buy anything" theme, I might take some pictures of my jeans. The envelopes are just begging to be turned into Jeans pockets.

When I'm done, I'll put up another post. I really encourage you to join up and have a go. I've done this much in just about an hour and a half and I honestly had no difficulty in finding the bits I needed and letting my mojo spark off. At the end of a pretty pants day at work, this is just the sort of pick-me-up I need.

Love Elliefantasy xx 

13 Jan 2011

A Mini A Month

This is a challenge that I mentioned in a previous post. Karen, who is on UKScrapbookers is doing a fantastic challenge about creating a mini book every month. The format is really good, first prompt is about the subject, second prompt is a list of materials and the third prompt is instructions to make the book, with 2 weeks to actually acheive it. So there is time for reflection, a way to document the year and the opportunity to learn new things. One of the other features of this challenge is to try and use existing stash, but we'll see how that goes. 

This months subjects is about New Beginnings, and I'm going to use it to document some of my resolutions for the year. Some are going to be those listed in my JYC album, but there is a new one that I have been trying out fairly successfully for the last couple of weeks. 

As someone who works full time, its hard to make sure that the things that need doing around the house and all the little non-work related jobs get done. I used to put them off and put them off until I couldn't any more and would end up stressed and busy trying to fit them all into a couple of evenings. I would then resent the time away from things that I wanted to do, even though it was spending too much time on those things that meant I had this enormous pile of chores. 

So this year I have been going with the theory of doing 1 thing every evening. So something gets done but its only one thing that takes maybe half an hour maximum, leaving the rest of the evening free, no matter what time I get home. I've made this work for me and cleared a number of things to do, tidying up the bedroom, making a friends birthday card, hand-washing some clothes. This evenings job was to have a quick tidy-up. I washed-up in the dead time between my OH and myself getting home and then just cleaned the bathrooms after dinner. 20 mins of work and the house is clean for the weekend when I have a lot of time to play and a lot of things I want to achieve. Things that wouldn't get done if I had the mundane chores to do. 

I find this theory manageable as I know that I will acheive things that have been piling up and piling up, but still having dedicated time to relax. If there is nothing to do, well thats fantastic. But 20 minutes of work and then a well earned play in my craft room is more than good enough for me!

So, check back in a couple of weeks when you can see the completed mini-book and the other resolutions that made the cut. Also, over this weekend I hope to get a few bits scrapped, some craft room bits completed and make a start on the JYC album, so I hope you might stop by once or twice to see how I'm getting on.

Love Elliefantasy xxx

7 Jan 2011

Happy Happy Happy and I love My Robo.

So first proper project of the year is some 1st Birthday invitations for my nephew. Whilst in shock over the fact that a year has passed since he was born, I relished the thought of a new, non Christmassy project. 

Mr Men are a very nice and simple make as the style is very much hand-drawn. This lends itself well to someone who isn't quite perfect in the drawing field either by hand or digitally. They also involve blocks of colour, again good for digital images and stash saving.

Mr Happy was actually cut on the Robo, which is why I have a salute to that wondeful machine in the title. 32 cuts in only 4 sheets of yellow 12x12 done in only 30 minutes whilst doing something else at the same time. The shape was easy to construct, after all Mr Men are based on regular shapes. So 5 ovals  and a couple of rectrangles later I have a perfect Mr Happy shape which cuts cleanly and quickly. We save a lot of time and a nice job remains a nice job and isn't a chore. 

The background is done on PC, Capitals and script as per the Mr Men covers and a 1 for my nephew. Mr Happy will be stuck on using foam pads and job's a good'un. The print quality isn't that good but that will be rectified with a new ink cartridge. There is a nice invite insert sheet to match up inside. All I need to do is put it all together and hope that my back is happy with me sitting down for such a long time.

Love Elliefantasy xxx

6 Jan 2011

JYC 2010 6th January - And so to end

Twelfth Night at last. So to celebrate, here is a completely unrelated quote from the great playwright himself:

Love sought is good, but given unsought is better.
Twelfth Night, 3. 1

I have never been into the magic of twelfth night, being in an age where as soon as New Years is over then reality comes crashing back in completely unwanted. Our decorations are away and we are slipping back into that time where it feels like the holidays were just a dream. I also was never impressed with the idea that you had to wait until the last possible moment of the holidays to exchange gifts. 

I have enjoyed writing this journal though, as it has made me stop and think about the holidays and the season a little bit more. I have a record of what I did and when I did it so that it wont just become a blur in the coming months. I have not yet taken the opportunity to read through the posts and will probably do so when I come to construct the album proper in the next two months. Certainly the 1st of December seems an age away, rather than just 37 days. 

So, as far as JYC goes,  I will bid you farewell for the moment, and look forward to seeing you here on December 1st 2011.

5 Jan 2011

JYC 2010 5th January - Clean up

This post is a bit previous to be honest, as my decorations were all packed away Sunday. Although I like to have them up, putting them down again is always a bit of a chore and nothing that I want to tackle after struggling through work. Its always a bit sad when they come down and the rooms look so bare and cold without them. But I also like to start the New Year fresh and clear so despite the chore, I get them down as soon as is decently possible. We have the luxury of having a loft to put the decorations in, and this year the tree has been upgraded from the tatty box to "the cricket bag of no fixed purpose." This was a much better idea as the box couldn't fit the tree and the garland in and was beyond rubbish for getting up into the loft. The cricket bag has wheels and handles at both ends, plus enough room for the tree, garland, a spare hanging rail and the bear clothes. I have also splashed out on a new piece of cardboard to wrap the lights around, though I think there might only be 1 more year left in them.

Love Elliefantasy xx

4 Jan 2011

Challenging Times

So, here is the list of year long challenges that have caught my eye so far. I don't think I'll be able to do all of them, but I'm wondering if I might manage to combine a few. They are in no particular order of preference:

First is one at Scrapology. I think it is something that is running on from last year. Basically you get a sketch and a month to complete your layout, one layout per month for the whole year. There are some fabulous examples from the DT and if you are a follower and post to your blog you have the chance to win a prize. Quite a good one as at least one part of the decision process has been taken care of for  you.

Secondly we have a year in review challenge from Scrapbook and Cards today, a Canadian based magazine. Here is their blurb
"Becky will post, both here on the blog, a beautiful double page sketch on the last Saturday of each month for use the following month. Davinie will post a page example to get your creative juices started! When the new sketch is revealed, everyone who has sent us an image or a gallery link of their completed page for the previous month, will be entered into a draw to win a fabulous prize from one of our advertising partners! You can send us your image, or a link, to ideas@scrapbookandcards.com with “Project 12” in the subject line." 
So, again, fairly easy and stress free. Not sure what the prize policy is for the UK though.
Coming in third is Which Crafts, who are doing a project called Life and Me, with prompts every 2 weeks. This has a topic and a technique so you can learn something new as you go along. The first prompt has already been uploaded to the blog if you want to get cracking straight away.
Claireliz from The Crafty Alchemist is doing a couple of year long projects from her blog. The first is "This Year I Will" all about keeping resolutions made in January throughout the year. This is definately something that I will be getting on with, my resolutions in an earlier post will need constant attention. There will also be another revealed on Saturday apparantly so hop along to see what it is.

Ali Edwards is doing her One Little Word class with Big Picture Classes. Its about picking a word for the year and then reviewing and reflecting upon that word throughout the year.

Over at UKScrappers, NettyB is doing a 52Q Weekly challenge. A question will be posed at the start of the week and then you can spend a week thinking about it and making a project, anything you like really.
Finally, also at UKScrappers, Karen is doing A Mini A Month Challenge 2011, a stash-busting project to get us all clearing out, ready for all the new things we will no doubt buy during the year. Quite a detailed set-up so I will leave you to link up, but very useful for cutting out the stress of finding a theme and deciding on supplies. Karen will also be showing how to do a variety of mini-book styles so its a good challenge for learning something new and clearing out the clutter. Definately a winner in my book. The first link is to the post on UKScrappers, the second is to the Blog where she is hosting. There is also a dedicated social group on UKScrappers for people to chat and get at the prompts. 

So, just a few to get you all started. Looking at the list, I shall definately be playing along with Clareliz and Karen's Mini-A-Month and trying to incorporate Scrapology's sketches into the blank calendar I purchased last year. Hope you have seen some inspiration here, something to get you started if your mojo is still on holiday. 

Love Elliefantasy xx

JYC 2010 4th January - Being Useful

Things to remember for next year

  • Do cake and do 2 lots of stollen. Don't forget to do it in little loaf tins
  • Do the Christmas shopping in November
  • Don't forget to get stamps so that the cards will actually get posted.
  • Do a bigger album and start it early November and not late late November
  • Stick to just 1 design of Christmas Card for friends and family
  • Write cards and addresses at the same time
  • Don't forget to get indigestion tablets before Christmas Day. 
Love Elliefantasy xx

3 Jan 2011

JYC 2010 3rd January - An Andrews Family Christmas

One of the over-riding themes this year was that nearly all of us had a stomach bug at one point or another. My step-dad suffered on Christmas Day but managed to procure a tub of Andrews salts which set him right. 

From that point onwards, no matter what ailment you had, Andrews was his answer to it. I had some, my OH had some, I don't know if anyone else got stuck with a dose or not but for every minor complaint, there was the inevitable cry of "Some Andrews would sort you out!!"

Love Elliefantasy xx

JYC 2010 2nd January - Innocence

A trickly little subject really. Sort of boils down to why I like Christmas and that is a hard thing to pin down. Its reassuring to think that no matter who might have driven me mad throughout the year, I still relish the thought of giving everyone a gift that they might like and spending a little bit of time with them, just because its Christmas. And that everyone is just a bit more patient and a bit more good spirited, just because its Christmas.  That is the meaning of it for me, a chance to make amends for forgetting that message throught the rest of the year. (i.e. a chance to make up for being crabby and judgemental for 11 months of the year) 

New Year has its own message, just a fresh clean sheet and a few days to try and put some plans into action so that by the time it comes around next year, I might have learned or improved on something. This year I still have a few prompts of Learn Something New to do, so I intend to start again on the 7th when I've finished here.

Love Elliefantasy xx

JYC 2010 1st January - What will this year bring?

This is a bit of a question as there is one very specific thing that I want to happen this year, but it is something that wont even begin to happen until the later half of the year. Resolutions for me aren't always the best, but I'll have a go. So the list below contains things I hope to happen and things I hope to improve on

  • Resolution - try to spend more time doing things I should do rather than things I want to do
  • I will be going on holiday in June, something to look forward to.
  • Resolution - try to be better with money
  • I hope that I can finally get my Dolls House finished, if only so I stop using it as temporary craft storage
  • Resolution - try to do a bit of exercise
  • I would like to finish a few long term projects and do a few jobs that have been hanging around for ages
  • I would like all the roadworks between here and my mum's to go away!
  • Resolution - get a good balance between what I want to do and can actually acheive 
So there we go. A few goals to aim at so I don't get bogged down in the big issue of the year. 
Love Elliefantasy xx

JYC 2010 31st December - "What are you doing New Years Eve"

The title of a song by Mary Margaret O Hara on one of my Christmas Albums. New Year for me should always be spent with friends rather than family. Christmas is a family time but there should be some dedicated celebration time for friends to enjoy as well. Even as children, we never spent New Years with family; we have a large group of friends that we see a few times a year and a lot of NYE's were spent with them, children and parents together, all children sleeping on the floor in one room (when we were small enough to fit) 

On memory that sticks in the mind is when we played full-sized Cluedo. We had 7 out of the nine rooms covered and sort of shouted from room to room as we moved about. It was very amusing and perfectly suited to the small amount of guests that we had that year.

As an "adult" I've done the pub thing and found it wanting. Like Christmas Eve, its a lot of fuss and cramped conditions for not a lot of benefit when the clock strikes 12. We now pick a house and head over with offerings of food and drink and play on the consoles or play party games as we so choose. Its a good opportunity to catch up with people that aren't about much in the year and make outrageous plans for the following year. It doesn't matter if you don't have a "special person" to kiss at Midnight either, we are all special to each other and normally there is a 5 minute period of emphatic hugging and kissing while the bells chime. This year was no exeption, although a little quieter due to illness. But we had an enjoyable time watching the firework display on tv, glad that we were in the warm.

Love Elliefantasy xx

JYC 2010 30th December - Year in Review

7 babies born to close friends or family
4 weddings of friends and family
1 house brought
4 months of having my own craft room
7 months of blogging
10 trips back home
1 trip to Roller Disco
1 theatre trip
1 Aqua-sphereing experience
Lots and lots of good times

JYC 2010 29th December - Cake, Cake, Cake, Cake.

So we haven't  yet documented the Christmas Cake as yet. I like to make a homemade cake. It starts the Christmas mood off nice and early in October and its a traditional Christmas thing that I can actually do. I have a recipie that works year in year out, no matter what size I might like to make. 

I do make a lovely heavy fruit cake, but I am not so big on the soaking in copious amounts of brandy. So I compromise by letting it mature for the full 2 months but not adding any more brandy so that the cake still takes like cake. I do put cherries in, I don't put nuts in, which makes for a cake that the whole family can eat, from step-siblings through to grandparents. Last year, I made 3, 1 proper sized and 2 loaf tins. This year I went for just the one 10" round, which actually was massive when we cut into it. That did for a lot of people with a nice chunk in for us to take home. 

The cake will get marizpaned and fondant iced, as per orders from my OH. As children we didn't have icing as neither parent is a big fan, but it is a mandatory requirement for a happy marriage, and those who don't like it can always peel it off. I am not a professional cake maker, and mine normally are a little scruffy at the edges. I try for some decoration but it is a little hit and miss; the taste for me is the most important bit. 

I have again this year scored a 10/10 from all but my OH. He maintains that the 9/10 I get is a perfectly good score, and the only problem with my cake, is that it is not our wedding cake, made by his step-grandmother 3 years ago. I do put on a bit of affronted pride for amusement, but really I also know that our wedding cake was the most yummy cake I have ever eaten, and as I will never get the recipie, I will never get the one extra point. 

Love Elliefantasy xx

JYC 2010 28th December - A little bit of what you fancy

Ahh, that wonderful period between Christmas and New Year. We normally have a few visits still to potter through and actually the day was spent with the Mother-In-Law this year. But wherever we end up, its still nice to pop in and see sweets on the table to be picked at all day, plus cake and leftovers for tea. Its nice to have these days to wind down and have a play with the presents, but the biggest indulgence for me is just the freedom of being able to eat whatever and whenever, especially as there is normally so much left-over by this point that people are positively encouraging you to stuff your face. 

Having said that, I managed to get the sicky bug which is doing the rounds of the family, plus having fallen part way down the stairs actually led to a food-free day, the first of 4, so not much in the way of good food and leftovers for me this year. 

Love Elliefantasy xx

1 Jan 2011

Happy New Year

Just a quick post to say a few things.

First of all, Happy New Year, and I hope that you all had a lovely evening, as well as a lovely Christmas Break. I am back home now with lots of memories and lots of things to scrap. Thankfully I have a few days before I go back to work to get myself sorted. 

For those who have been following, I have been trying to keep up with the Journal Your Christmas posts, but not making it necessarily on the right day. This was partly through living the day and partly through problems getting my e-mail prompts whilst away.These will continue with posts up to the 6th January, with a catch up tomorrow. However I will also be doing some non JYC related, plans for the New Year posts at the same time so there may be more than 1 post a day.