28 Dec 2012

Changes to the way I craft

After a whirlwind year last year, and this year being the year I celebrate the big 30, I have decided to make some changes in my crafting focus. Cards are out, scrapping is in. Plus some house type crafts and sewing/wool based crafts.

I want to do this because I feel that I have made so many life changes in the last year that carrying on as I was is not the best use of my time. I need different crafts for different times to maximise my figit potential.

I also want to really focus in on scrapping. I want it to reflect on events in my whole life but also a snapshot of my life now for as much of the year as I can manage. Also as I am still very close to my schoolfriends I want to document all the ways that we celebrate as they are all going to be different. Plus do some as gifts which takes a lot of time.

I know I don't want to do Project Life, though listening to a recent podcast on Paperclipping Roundtable has adjusted my views on it. . I just managed Journal My Christmas last year, tho I have a few last posts to do possibly. I know I want my recording to reflect this special year and this may mean that as I get busier I have to change the way I record. I also want it to take many different forms.

I have decided to buy the Listography book as it's a great, quick way to document my likes and personal history in this landmark year. I am also taking Ali Edwards "Word for a year" class which sounds interesting, and the rest of my recording will probably be diary style entries to which I will dedicate a notebook or blog posts like this.

I also want to make sure that I am taking as many photos as possible to illustrate the points that I want to make, even if it means posing them or taking extra time from my day.

But what I don't want to do is let my documenting get into the way of the living. I don't want to create a massive task that I will resent by March which means I will miss an opportunity to reflect. Hence the dropping of card making, it is now a chore rather than a hobby. I also have baby albums to do and 2 wedding albums that I want incorporate mixed media and more arty elements.

So we'll see how we get on then. First order of business, tidy up my space!

10 May 2012

How many scrapbooks does one baby need?

3 as it turns out. Or will turn out. 

When I was pregnant, I decided to spend my Christmas money on a lovely chocolate brown American Crafts D-ring album. My mum brought me a lot of Rusty Pickle White chocolate Bunnies papers and embellishments and I had a colour palatte of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla to work with which would not tie me to a specific range for any future purchases. The album was to be for her first year, just higgledy piggledy of all the little moments from conception to 1 year.

I didn't manage to scrap LO's scan photos before she cam along so that album is sitting patiently waiting for me to get started. But before I gave birth I visited the range. To find that Papermania have just launched a new range of Forever Friends new baby items. To whit 2 scrapbooks, a 12x12 cardstock pad, decopage, A4 papers and stickers. How lovely of them!! I brought the A4 die cut pack with a view to making some thank you cards for all the lovely things that I had received at my baby shower and told my mum (fellow crafter) about the range at The Range. 

When LO was born, she brought pretty much the whole set for herself, in order to scrap LO's first years. 1 album for monthly pages and 1 for random pages. And I thought "that's a good idea" so I brought 1 album and the paper pack for LO's  first years random pages. And the thought that I would use the other album for her key photos; scan pics, birth photos, yearly photos etc etc. 

I have already made a mini-album of the pregnancy, which includes pictures, receipts for important things but I am struggling to find a cover. I did think of my Once Upon a Time stack which after 5  years is still unused but it wont co-ordinate with the page colours. I briefly thought to use it for LO but couldn't come up with a good album theme. Until now that is. 

So my OUAT pages (and the co-ordinating album when I can justify the cost) will be LO's monthly photos. 1 picture plus the associated blog post with what she is doing at that month. If I have enough pages, this will span 2 years. The Forever Friends album will be for her first years pictures, although at this rate I may need to buy another one. And the brown album will be a slow work in process as she grows with key photos and yearly photos. 

And then we'll see what else we can fit in....

Love Elliefantasy

9 May 2012

Looking to the future

Having had experience of being a parent for 8 weeks and being home alone with a small baby for 4 weeks, I can now start to gauge how much time I have to craft. Which is not a lot.

I have also not had time to sort out my new craft room after the hasty change of venue pre-baby and have had to cram a lot of stuff in a small space. I know that in 2-3 years time I will have to move to an even smaller space and this has led me to think about what crafting I really want to do.

So For the next 2 years (as much as time allows) I am embarking on a large scale stash busting exercise which will also allow me opportunities for trying out techniques and crafts that I haven't yet tried. My stash and tools will be whittled down to only what can be fitted onto a 4x4 Expedite unit.

I will try to collect together all my stash busting tips to share to help anyone else like me who started out by buying massive paper stacks which are now collecting dust somewhere. It may also result in some Robo templates to download so keep an eye out if you are interested.

I will also be scrapping my daughter as she grows. I have big plans for this but it is a post for another day.

Love Elliefantasy xxx

23 Apr 2012

Why doesn't anyone make attractive womens safety shoes???

Now technically this post is a bit irrelevant whilst I am at home for the rest of the year on maternity leave, but now I am at a point where I need to re-assess my wardrobe, the issue has raised its ugly head again.

I would like to try and trim my wardrobe a bit, put in some good pieces, get rid of the bad and retain those things that I love to wear (while making sure that it doesn't consist entirely of tracksuits) Yes I am now a mummy, but I wish to be a Yummy Mummy. I want to wear good clothes whether I am at work or home, and there are some clothes that I can't wear when I return to work. Some of those occur for reasonable reasons (shorts for example don't count as office wear) but some are out of the question simply because of my limited footwear choices. 

Now although I work in Sales, I do have to go out onto our factory floor on a daily basis, normally quite a few times and never at the same time of day. So I need to wear my safety shoes all day long, all week long. I have now got 3 pairs. One horrible pair of loafers, one pair of typical safety boots and one pair of Mary-Jane style shoes. Compared to some of my other Mary-Jane shoes, they are ugly in the extreme. But when put alongside most of the steel-toed shoes on offer for women, they are very presentable. Which is ridiculous. 

I do understand the need for safety shoes and would never jepordize my safety just for wearing some pretty shoes (and frankly our H&S department wont let me either) but there are some styles of shoes that would be very easy to make in a STC variety, and still look attractive.

Knee high booths are a classic example. It is actually possible to buy some, but only if you are happy looking like you are going to a BDSM club, which isn't a look I want to go for at work. All of my STC shoes are round-toed, and I have a very nice pair of knee high boots with a round toe and a small heel. So why can I currently only buy boots with a million zips and massive platforms on them.

And as an extension of that idea, what is wrong with nice ladies ankle boots. Its the same thing as a knee high boot, just cut some off the top? As a staple collection of shoes for work, I would say that I needed 1 pair of flats, 1 pair of ankle boots and 1 pair of high boots. And all of those could quite easily be made with STC. I am also happy to pay for these shoes as they will get the wear. I wore my Mary-Jane shoes Mon-Thursday for a year and they are only in need of a polish to put them back to new. 

This might seem to some as a trivial matter, but I believe that how good you feel in your clothing is important to how good you can feel in yourself. Its not the be all and end all, more like the chocolate in a cake. We all like any cake, but would prefer it to be chocolate. Nor do I think that I am in a unique position here. There are several industries where women are taking a more active roll on site; Engineering and Architecture for example, or those who frequently need to visit factories and worksites and those women must therefore also need safety footwear that fits in with their working wardrobe. 

So if there are any safety shoe manufacturers out there, please take pity on us poor women and make just a few really nice pairs of Steel toed shoes.

Thank you


PS for those who were expecting a more crafty post, I apologise, but this may well end up as journaling for a scrapbook page about my shoes.