Sunday, 28 June 2009

A 'Jersey Girl' forever

You know how much I love jersey/T-shirt fabric don't you? If you don't, then my 'Jersey Girl' layout may give you an idea of the level of my interest - basically a large proportion of my wardrobe consists of jersey material. Be it t-shirts [of every colour and sleeve length], vests, leggings, skirts, dresses or cardigans .... I'm never more than a few inches away from something jersey-based.

When i first saw the '
Necklush' [a jersey scarf / necklace type wonderment] on I fell head over heels in love. But, considering the price of them, and the poor £/$ exchange rate I'll either have to go without ...or wait until Christmas for one. Until then I'm going to make do with the slashed jersey scarf I found a few weeks ago in Primark ....for £2.93!!!! OK, so it sheds black 'bits' everywhere ... but it's fabulous ...and cheap - one of the best combinations there is!

Then a friend [who knows my proclivity for the glory of jersey] sent me a link to a tutorial to make something very similar to the 'Necklush'. So, out I went, pennies in hand, to buy a new t-shirt to cut up and create with. I spent many, many, many a minute loitering around the t-shirt section of Primark [again], loaded up with shopping bags and hangers and embroiled in a tug-of-war with another hanger which was tangled around the thousands of vest straps on the rail. It must have appeared like I was losing the battle because a kindly shop assistant [her own hands full] asked if I needed any help!!!

Eventually I bought a few vests and t-shirts, including the yellow/blue/green/purple flower patterned one below:

I know, more yellow ...those of you who've read my other blog The Copy and Paste Project lately will know all about my fondness for the sunshiney shade.

Following the instructions on the tutorial I cut the vest into inch-wide strips, width ways. That was quite brave really wasn't it? To play fast and loose with a rotary cutter across something made from the fabric I love so much ...but we suffer for our art don't we? ;)

Then, only after disecting it into 12 strips, did I realise that I hadn't really read the instructions properly [don't tell my Dad / James ...I usually chastise them for doing that!]. I hadn't noticed that to create the soft, rolled effect I liked I should have used a seamless t-shirt. Also the method used would have hidden the pattern so I had to improvise. and created this instead:

Improvised or not .... I love it! I'm actually wearing it right now and have done so ever since I made it on Friday afternoon, only removing it to shower and sleep! I can just imagine a craft stall or shop filled with these in every colour and pattern, decorated with buttons, beads, ribbons and jersey flowers ... well either a stall ...or my bedroom. The possibilities are endless. Really ....

We bought a new duvet cover yesterday and, as the space in which we store our bed-linen is so small, James asked "Which one are we going to get rid of to make room for this?".

My first thought?

The cream jersey one.

Imagine how many necklaces I could make from that .....


Friday, 19 June 2009

What strawberry?

Earlier this year, in a fit of nostalgia for his childhood, James bought a strawberry plant for our garden. [Just the one plant ... I don't expect we're going to be over-run with fruit!].

Then, when I saw that my DT Quirky Kit [from Crafty Templates] contained strawberry themed paper, ribbon and embellishments everything seemed perfectly placed for me to produce a summery layout featuring the summery fruits on the summery papers. I think that perhaps I forgot for a moment that our lone strawb is experiencing a British summer ... and they're not famed for their especially 'summery' characteristics.

Our fruit has not yet ripened and to be honest I don't know how long we'll have to wait for it to do so. But being the good, conscientious Design Team member that I am ... [Bev at Banana Frog has another word for it ...but won't go into that...;)] I was eager to make another layout in order to showing the kit in all it's glory. So, I braved the mild temperatures and threat of showers of a mid-June-afternoon- in-England and marched into the garden, camera in hand to capture a photograph for this:

OK, so they're not exactly the juicy red berries I was hoping to scrap but, to paraphrase that popular saying about lemons, my philosophy was ...'when life gives you a mild Northern hemisphere climate that just won't ripen your strawberries in time to fulfil your design team obligations ...make a cute layout all about that same mild Northern hemisphere climate that just won't ripen your strawberries in time to fulfil your design team obligations'. Granted, it's not as catchy a saying as the original ...but it got a layout made and that's all that counts!

[Earlier in the week I also created some everyday stationary items using the very sweet, custom-made 'Cute Strawberry Label' acrylic stamp and I wrote about it here on the Crafty Templates blog.]

I know what you're thinking .... how're the strwbwrries doing now after 3 more days of ripening? You want to know if we've cracked open the double-cream and Pimms yet don't you? Well we haven't ....and we won't anytime soon either.

Yesterday I went to check on it's progress, hoping to see a rosy glow poking out of the foliage and do you know what I saw instead?


I suspect a fruit-loving bird has also had it's eye on our one and only vaguely red berry ... and what's that other saying?? Ah, that's right ....the early bird catches the partially ripe fruit, sprinkles it with a little caster sugar, sits back, eats it and then hides in the grass laughing at the entirely befuddled human staring at the empty space where the first pinkish strawberry used to be ....

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

A Month of Colour ... and one day of me.

If you haven't done so already, then check out Shimelle's month long colour-themed blog project where Shimelle discusses colour for a month...on her blog....

In particular ...check out the latest guest post because [no modesty spared] I'm the guest designer! I contributed a sort of mini-layout tutorial / insight into my colour addled brain and have just noticed that it had gone 'live' when I checked my blog reader. Here's the photo I based my layout around:
If you want to know exactly what I did with it [perhaps in more detail than you could ever have wished for] ...then hop over to to see it in context.

I'm really interested to know whether anyone else works in the manner I describe in my tutorial .... so do let me know [in one way or another] if you too consider yourself a 'colour crazy'. Oh, and do drop any of your 'those colours shouldn't work but they do' or rather 'atypical colour combo' projects in the Month of Colour Flickr group for me to admire. :D

See you very soon,

J :)

Monday, 1 June 2009

3 out of 5 aint [that] bad.

I'm two short ...

... and no, I don't mean 'I'm too short', you can keep your comments about my petite stature to yourself. I mean that I failed in my self-imposed challenge to create five layouts [from the challenges set by
Doris Sander in the Product Pizazz 102 class], by the end of last week.

I'm being very brave in admitting this to you as I don't like to fail at things ever. Plus I never miss deadlines. Or hardly ever.

During the three years I attended university I only once had to ask to have an assignment deadline extended. I'd done the work, it was just that I couldn't make it into town to hand in an Early Modern Verse and Drama essay due to suffering from an extreme allergic reaction to tea-tree oil! Let's just say the situation arose from my overly thorough care of a new body piercing which resulted in my entire body breaking out in the most incredible purple patterns. If you'd seen me, I swear that you'd be forgiven for thinking I'd been spirographed!! If only I'd thought to take a photo back then ...imagine the layout it would've made!

Anyway..... I digress ... my excuse for not completing the challenge of 5 layouts does not, this time, revolve around requiring regular doses of anti-histamine tablets nor several nighttime visits from a GP. Rather, several other crafty projects arrived and begun tugging at my sleeve, demanding my immediate attention.

But here's the 3 that I did manage finish.

Challenge 1 [in brief] was: to use patterned paper from at least three different manufacturers; use a couple of eyelets; give thought to theme and mood and dress-up chipboard.

[Ribbons, paterned paper and alpha-stickers from the 'Juicy Fruit' Quirky kit.]

Challenge 3: [below] see how many colors you can work into a layout, bonus points if you use purple; add some ribbon and attach with staples or stitches; use at least three journaling spots; add a few polka dots.

Challenge 4 [below]: use the rule of thirds to guide you in the placement or your photos or patterned paper or both;
use that specialty paper; add a scalloped edge and add a tiny bit of yellow.

As you may have noticed I didn't tackle the challenges in chronological order and you should also know that Doris's instructions are slightly more broad and subtle than the brief description I've given here. She provides more leeway than I've allowed myself here, but, I wanted to follow the instructions to the letter. Sometimes I find that working within a tight structure can be quite freeing. [Not that I'll be making a new habit out of doing exactly as I'm told anytime soon!!! :D].

If you feel like judging my efforts based upon my achievements in presentation, the ability to follow a brief and artistic expression ... then you're very welcome to leave me your marks out of 10, plus any various medals or small cakes as rewards, if you so wish. ;)

Julie :)