Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Blog Hop: Celebration cards with added jiggling

Anyone for a Banana Frog blog hop with the chance to win some stamps? I hope so, because that's what I've got planned here today.

The theme for this month's hop is meant to be 'summer' and I'd made these cards already before remembering that fact. So here's my attempt at making them fit the theme ... are you ready?

They all have general celebratory feel to them so would be ideal for any occasions where you might want to share in someone's success ... such as after various exam results are announced summer or where you just want to thank someone for a great day out ... I might as well start with a very immodest confession that I love this card ... even if I did make it myself! I made it as a demo item for Bev to take to one of her appearances on Create + Craft TV and it almost didn't make it out of my grubby little hands and into Bev's as I'm rather fond of it ... [although that's not really the point of making cards is it?].

The pale pink, chequerboard and the new size of 'Budmo Jiggler' font alphabet stamps combined into a 1950s American-diner feel and that can never be a bad thing:

Keeping with the 'Budmo Jiggler' [not that I can ever say that without wondering if I've not inadvertantly said something risque ...] for the next celebration card I added a flower and leaves from the new 'Totally Tropical' set: I used another brand new set of alphas for this card:
Once again there's a lovely retro feel to this alphabet stamp set, this time in the 'DeLouisville' font. It's a really useful size for sentiments - my cards measure 4x4.5 inches and you can see that they're not overwhelmed by the lettering:
Finally, I stamped another 'DeLouisville' greeting inside the journalling block from 'Tropical Taste' [the new smaller sized 'Tadpole' set which co-ordinates with the full sized 'Totally Tropical']:As I most often do, I stamped directly onto a patterned paper to add extra interest beneath the stamped image.

So, how did I do? I think I've just about managed to bend my post to fit the summery theme ...just. After all, it's a better attempt than for April's blog hop when I forgot the theme was 'Spring' and instead made cards with moustaches on them!

If you're feeling active you can hop on to the next blog in the hop - Debbie at Country Heart And Home - or hop over to the Frog blog to see a full list of all of today's hoppers and a hint about how to win the stamps.

I'll be back tomorrow with a round-up of my month in numbers but for now, happy Budmo Jiggling to you!

Julie :)

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Using ephemera: soda labels

Hello you.

Are you a papercrafter? If so, do you ever get an item of 'ephemera' in a kit etc which makes you wonder how you're going to use it?

When that happens to me, I don't really mind, I like a challenge and that's when the fun / experimenting bit starts! I recently found some of these soda labels from 3DJean in my Scattered Scarlet design team parcel:
Sometimes when I get very specifically 'themed' items, I wonder if I should put them to one side to fit with a similarly themed layout, card or project. And while one of my favourite parts of selecting supplies for a project is indeed finding appropriately matching items to help me tell the story ... it can also mean that some of those themed items get put to one side indefinitely as the 'right' project never appears! Aware of this, I now try to use them in different ways, let me show you what I mean...

Last month, I created this layout for the Scattered Scarlet blog [you can read the original post here] which told the tale of the tiny kitchen in our holiday apartment in London:

It was *this* big!

I used one of the yellow 'Grapefruit Crush' labels on the right-hand side of the page, but this time I tore it in half and tucked it behind my photo so that only the word 'crush' remained ... which is exactly what that tiny kitchen meant to us!

Similarly, last year I used some soda labels on this mini-album spread:

Art, bagels & cake.

For these pages I kept the 'She' brand name visible to bring the focus of the pages on to me and my friend Hannah, plus there's a sweet fairy on the top corner of them, rather than on any link with soda!

So what this are [hopefully] demonstrating is that items of ephemera can be useful purely for the words they feature on them. Words which may be actually quite unconnected to the very specific theme they fit into into .. like soft drinks, but which may be of use to you in your project.

Finally, and most simply, you can exploit your items for their use of colour and design. That's what I decided to do with these, my latest greetings cards using 3DJean products: Rather than wait for the ideal soda water project to come along ... I simply used the striking labels as I would any other patterned paper; layering them up with various embellishments and twiddly bits.....I selected some 'Chixies' Art Chix images in co-ordinating colours to sit on top of the blue label which, with a hint of pale pink acrossits middle matched perfectly with my pastel card beneath. At the bottom, I stamped inside the 'Best Before' box using the CatsLife Press 'Enjoy Today' stamp [here] but I only inked up the 'today' part!

Next I added the Sassafras bunting stickers [which were also from 3DJean] down the length of the card and added some Tear Drop - Dew Drops in between: The tear drop shapes also made for great wings for my Chixies' fabulous butterfly hat: Next I combined a 'cloudy lemon juice' label with a pretty paper doilie and another Sassafras bunting border: My main inspiration was to simply match up the yellow and blue colour scheme of the label with other items on the card.

These cards could be for any occasion, or no occasion at all. To add some sort of greeting on this one I scoured one of the vintage comics Jean has for sale [here] for an appropriate phrase and found: 'the most amazing things' on a page about the Wombles! It was the perfect colour to bring out the lemon yellow of the label and adds the perfect finishing touch: So, there you have it, a few ways to use themed ephemera outside the original, obvious, theme.

I hope that [a] I've made sense and [b] some of my examples have made you more confident in experimenting with something you've been holding on to wihtout knowing what to make with it!

Any and all links to, or stories of, your experiences are most welcome! I'm always up for a good natter about paper ...

Have a great day, hope the sun's shining on you.

Julie :)

p.s: if you've got time I'd love it if you hopped over to the Scattered Scarlet blog to see my lacy layout!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Quote: High School Government

Today's quote is the mantra which the new coalition government seem to think that we'll all believe if only they repeat it often enough. How many times have you heard:
"We're all in this together"

I've just heard it again this morning and still, a sense of fairness and plain common sense tells me that clearly we're not.

'We' don't all share the same amount of blame for the current economic situation nor will 'We' all feel the cuts in budgets as keenly as others. At the risk of paraphrasing Margaret Thatcher, in this context at least: there is no 'we'!

As you might have gathered by now, this is one of those topics for which I'll happily haul out my soapbox but, luckily for you I'm going to leave it where it is for today as what I really wanted to do was share with you was my personal anti-dote to my frustrations through all of this.

It's the one thing keeping me from yelling profanities, hurling things at the radio and raising my blood pressure to violent levels every time I hear them declare 'We're all in this together' ....

.. it's that everytime I hear Cameron and Osborne et al spout that line, I hear this in my head:

As I declared via Twitter on budget day last week I'd be far happier if, after spouting that line, the ministers had to follow it up with High School Musical style dance moves.

And I'd be especially thrilled to see Michael Gove attempt the splits.

That would lower my blood pressure no end!

Julie ;)

p.s: If you fancy following me on Twitter, I recently changed my username to match this blog - so you can now follow me at: :)

Friday, 25 June 2010

Serendipitously Sasek

Morning. How're you doing?

Did a noisy bird wake you up at 5am this morning, leading you to give up trying to sleep, picking up a book then falling back to sleep skilfully balancing a 650 page novel on your chest without dropping it once?

No? Just me then.

Do you remember in
this post last month I mentioned that I'd picked up some fabulous books in a second-hand shop and was planning to share them with you? Well, in light of a strange coincidence this week I've chosen this one to share with you first:
When I spotted M.Sasek's 'This is Historic Britain' on the shelf of an average charity shop book section, I just had to have it. It really took me back in time and while I don't specifically remember reading it as a child, its 1974 original illustrations were thoroughly familiar. And for the princely some of one whole English pound there was no reason not to buy it.
So I bought my beautifully illustrated children's book, which, as I say, was new to me [as an adult at least], then I brought it home, read it and photographed it. Now for the coincidental bit ...

... while I knew that Kirsty [Neale] had been busy planning a 'Children's Illustrators' mini-series of posts for The Copy + Paste Project we'd not discussed which authors she was covering. Then, in the draft posts section of the blog whose name should I spot in the title of one of her posts? A name I wouldn't even have recognised if his book hadn't found me?

Exactly! M.Sasek! Spooky. Sort of. OK, maybe not that spooky - but a nice bit of synchronicity none the less!

Here's a glimpse inside my £1 gem of an illustrated historic Britain, complete with Shakespeare's birth place:

... some very sweet London traffic:Oxford University and the Bodleian Library [this one's for you H!]:

And here's Carlisle Castle, for you Hannah:
Somewhere very close to James's heart, Lincoln Cathedral:
And something North of the border, Edinburgh Castle ... with more cute cars:
There's even a final treat hiding under the cover flap at the back:
And in case historic Britain isn't your thing fear not! Sasek illustrated a complete series:
Make sure you pop over to Kirsty's post on Sasek -
here - and check out the other illustrators Kirsty has been bringing to our attention through the mini-series, there's a list of her posts so far in the Copy + Paste sidebar.
And if you want to see even more from Sasek then treat yourself to a tour around the website dedicated to the man and his wonderful works - here.

We've already heard from the lovely Alexa from Trimming the Sails who, after reading Kirsty's Sasek post has practically begun buying up the entire stock of them to give as gifts!

So if you've got any M.Sasek books gracing your shelves, or gracing a box in your attic, or somewhere in the back of your mind or even your heart ... I'd love to hear about it.

I just bet there's more Sasek serendipity out there!

Julie :)

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Overheard: International politics for 9 year olds

Do you ever feel that, as an adult who's been around a while, seen, heard and experienced lots of things already, your brain sometimes feels like it's left on a shelf gathering a layer of dust?

A layer of dust which has been absorbing the impact of some of the sharper nuances of life’s revelations, removing the acute level of shock and curiosity with which your childhood brain recieved new items of information?

Because that's how I felt when I heard the following conversation between Year 5 pupils [9-10 year olds] and their teacher when I worked as a Learning Mentor several years ago.

The teacher had a children's news website up on the interactive whiteboard and was reading aloud various items of interest to the class, when she came across something about the Burmese Democracy party leader Ang Saung Su Chi. [Whose 65th birthday last week has meant she's been much in the news and hence reminded me to share this with you].

Explaining to the children who Suu Kyi was she mentioned the issue of her being under house arrest for much of the last 20 years.

Now, I think I know what house arrest means. You think you know what house arrest means. And we've probably both got a good idea of what it involves, however ....

.... I bet you've never given as much thought as some of Year 5 did as to the level of ramifications this must have had for Suu Kyi.

After having it explained to them that it meant her life was very restricted and could not see her family the children were [rightly] indignant about it. They paused for a moment before asking questions which at the same time voiced their genuine concern, while verbalising some of their own 10 year old priorities.

Two beautifully naive questions in particular have stayed with me all this time:

Q1: Year 5 girl: Miss? .... If she can't leave her house, how does she have her hair cut?

Well, honestly now, can you answer that one? No? Me neither!

And then came my favourite question of the day. Perhaps my favourite question of all time. A question asked by a boy [who always reminded me of Joey from Friends] who was not known for paying attention in class but whose interest and indeed, true concern, had obviously been stirred ....

Q2: Year 5 boy: But Miss ....What does she eat? Like ... bags of crisps? .....Or.... can she have like, a little pie?

Funnily enough the teacher didn't know the answer to that one.

In fact the only thing the teacher did know right then and there was that she, in no uncertain terms, had to avoid making eye-contact with me else we'd have both collapsed into unprofessional belly laughs.
I hope it's given you cause to smile today, I know I've been making up for my in-class restraint ever since through my retelling of that tale to anyone who'd listen in the intervening years and now it's your turn!

But, seriously? You couldn't write a scene like that could you? Although the thought of combining comedy and kids is one never too far from the top of my 'might do one day' list ...

Thanks for reading today, I do hope the laugh was worth your time.
If you'd like to know more about Aung San Suu Kyi then here's her Wikipedia page.

Sadly, it doesn't contain the answers to any of Year 5's burning questions though ....


Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Show + tell: 'Summertime Treats' mini album

Hi, hi, hi. Is the sun shining out there yet? Have you had cause to dig out your summer wardrobe yet or even splash out on somehting new to assist you through the heat?

It's been lovely here today, 19 degrees C in my tiny garden right now as I type in fact. So I'm blogging, outside in the sunshine, wearing a new frock and new sunglasses ... so, in short, I'm happy!

As you might already know I've been guest designing for the Which Crafts? blog this month and today they've featured the 'Summertime Treats' mini album I made using their 'Strawberries & Cream' kit: Do drop by to see my complete album in this post on their blog and to see the full kit which I'm pretty sure the crafters amongst you would llike. It certainly went down well at my local crop where I began working on my album. The Martha Stewart fabric strawberries were especially popular and I'm not surprised, they're very attractive:
I liked one of them in particular so much that I held it back form the album to turn it into ... into something I'll show in when I've made it!

Until then, here's a couple of quick 'how to's which show how I put together the front cover of my album and a pocket inside.

Click on the images to view a larger, readable versions.
The front cover:
The fabric pocket:
Right then, I'll leave you to your strawbs and cream while I catch up with some online bits and pieces ... in the sunshine! Ahhhh if only it could be like this for 10 months a year ... just think how often I'd be in a good mood ..... ;)


Monday, 21 June 2010

Quote: King of all the roses

For the last few months, when it came time to document 'My Month in Numbers' I've made mention of my progress in reading Hilary Mantel's Booker Prize winning novel Wolf Hall. Progress. Such sloooooooow progress that I'm rather ashamed of myself ... I'm still not even a third of the way through after three months ... and I daren't add it to my list of numbers yet again this month!

It's not that I don't enjoy reading it, or that it's not my kind of book. I do and it is ... it's just that I've been slacking.

Blogging, crafting and sleeping have eaten into my reading time ... a lapse which I must rectify because, when I do make the effort to sit and read Wolf Hall[oh, OK then, it's often more like I make the effort to lay and read Wolf Hall] I am overwhelmed by the quality of the writing and the freshness and originality of Mantel's descriptive prose. Prose like this .....

"It is June, 1527; well barbered and curled, tall and still trim from certain angles, and wearing white silk, the king makes his way to his wife's apartments. He moves in a perfumed cloud made of the essence of roses: as if he owns all the roses, owns all the summer nights."

Hilary Mantel Wolf Hall

After reading a passage as exquisite as that [and the 650 page novel is filled with such gems] I often stop to pause. I pause ... then I re-read it tracing my finger over every inch of it trying to uncover the source of it's genius ... most likely with my mouth open and my tongue poking out in concentration ... then I'll emit a sigh of approval usually accompanied by a slow shake of the head at its cleverness.

Next, after a few tours around it's construction I'll prod James and read it aloud to him just to share my latest treasure. He'll then say something pacifying such as 'Yes, very good' ... I'll say 'How do people write like that?' and then dreamily return to the book...

... and if I was looking for a further explanation for my paltry reading record of late, I'd say that when you're going through that rigmarole every few pages ... well, how can I be expected to power through 650 of them in a few days??

Well, that's my excuse anyway ......


Photo details: A rose in the gardens of Newby Hall June 09.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Overheard:..and don't get me started on choc-chip

I can't actually remember anything about this snippet of conversation I overheard [20.10.08] which is why I always make a point of writing them down as soon as I can after hearing them:

Female student before the start of an early morning lecture: I couldn’t eat a blueberry muffin, I tell you. They just look mouldy. I’m sorry.

I'm not even sure who she thought she was apologising to about her picky eating habits ....

While we ponder on that ... I'll let you know that foodie illustrations are my featured topic today over on Copy + Paste so if you've got room for any more culinary funnies then pop on over for an inspirational buffet ...

Julie :)

Illustration: Pencil + ProMarkers 17.05.10

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Small Stories: Truths and Lies

A few weeks back Claire, from Curly Locks Pics & Pieces tagged me in a 'pass it on' type blogging activity where the idea was to blog six outrageous lies and one outrageous truth and have your blog readers guess which was which. You probably know the one I mean, [you've probably even had it yourself], but if not you can read Claire's original post here.

It was really nice of Claire to think of passing it on to me and so, at the time, I fully intended to join in. I was all set to think up which truths and lies to share with you all but I struggled with it. Perversely it wasn't so much the revealing of an hitherto secret 'outrageous truth' to you putting me off. After all I talk about myself on here a lot. No, rather I couldn't decide what you might be able to tell was untrue and if I'm reeeeeeeallly honest ...I was unsure if I wanted to provoke such speculation!

While I'd been thinking all of this through, one small truth kept nudging me to have itself revealed. And while it's nothing salacious or earth-shattering it is something that only a few people know about me. So it may not be 'outrageous' but I'm still taking a risk in sharing it ... which may well be why I chose it in the first place .... who knows?

So then... [deep breath]: I stopped going to art college after only two days. There, I've said it!
The whys and wherefores of that decision may be a story for another day but let's just say that while few people know that fact, it's not because I'm ashamed or embarrassed about it. It's just that it was an age ago [and feels like it too!] and to just mention it into passing conversation seems a bit unecessary!

So why has it popped up now? Well, I think there are three main reasons:

1. It did used to something I was embarrassed about, something I kept from people, a question I hoped never to have to answer. So, when I had to think up an 'outrageous truth' I think I had a little flashback!

2. I know someone desperate to put a foot on the path to his dream career after university and is wondering when it will happen for him. Talking to him reminds me of how I thought that in dropping out I'd ruined my entire life let alone my chances to follow my dreams and all I saw ahead of me was a world of uncertainty and likely compromise.

But I was wrong. My life wasn't ruined, just altered. Just because I could no longer see the path didn't mean there wasn't one, I just had to take a different route. A route which, as it happened, never led me back to art college but to an English degree instead. Not to a design career but to various student support roles. Not to a dead-end but to this place, here and now, where I work at combining all of those pathways into my future plans.

I will admit though, that if I could go back and tell my 16 year old self how long it would take to start achieving some of those life goals it would have been cold comfort .... yet the present day me isn't resentful about it. Once I got back to college, four years after dropping out, I forced myself to let go of the regret of, until then, I'd considered 'wasted' time and did my best to move forward. Looking into a future haunted by 'what ifs' was worse than looking into my past and seeing four 'lost' years. So I stopped that line of thinking. Plus, four years which made everything after them possible can not have been a waste!

So, these are the kind of thoughts I try to console my friend with while appreciating that he's still at the point of casting himself into an unknown future, whereas I have the comforts of hindsight. I'm lucky in that I know that I come out of it all OK in the end.

Weapon of Choice

3. The third and final thing which has likely stirred these art-school-dropout confessions is the positive feedback I've been getting from people about the sketches I've done to illustrate some of my 'Overheard' posts and also when I created a Velocirollercape [long story!] for our Copy + Paste birthday party.

There's even been some suggestion that I try to make a career from illustration [very flattering, thank you!] .... and maybe now you can see how my response to those compliment was never going to be without 'baggage' for me.

That said, I certainly wouldn't rule it out!

I now know things happen when they happen and they can't be accurately predicted in advance. Opportunities have their own way of finding me when they feel like it, smoetimes when I'm ready for them and often when I'm not! These days I'm excited by unanticipated turns in my career path and I'm not in the habit of ruling anything out.

That's another truth about me.

Sorry I haven't revealed anything really juicy or gossip-worthy ... or maybe I did??? I guess you should be the judge of that one. It's all old, old news to me ... even if the sharing of it is a relatively new feeling!

It'll be interesting to hear your take on it. Thanks for reading.

Julie :)

p.s: I entered this post into the discussion about 'quitting' over at the Scoutie Girl blog - the specific post can be found here.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Quote: Who do you think you are? Picasso?

My mother said to me, "If you are a soldier, you will become a general. If you are a monk, you will become the Pope." Instead, I was a painter ... and became Picasso.

Pablo Picasso

Creepy Rock Clown

I wonder what we could achieve if we all had even a pinch of Picasso's self-esteem? Maybe we'd be more successful than we could imagine. Maybe we'd get punched for being full of ourselves .... but maybe it'd be fun to find out ....

Photo: Can you make it out? It's an odd 'face' I spotted in the rocks while cycling by, am not at all sure if it was spray-painted on or just a natural - if a little freaky - occurence! [August 2008]

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Small stories: I'll be crying, crying ...

If you've been following me here for any length of time, or if you've ever dipped in and out of my Twitter feed you'll have seen me mention, what now seems like many, many times, something which has made me cry, or almost made me cry that day. [Photos are of the Rob Ryan cut-outs decorating the windows of Yorkshire Sculpture Park visitor's centre]

All those tales which have ended with: 'I nearly burst into tears' or 'and then I cried' have all been true, so it's not as if I could have forgotten about the times I've said such things, it's just .....

... I saw something last week which, you guessed it, made me cry and while my first thought was 'Oh, I should Tweet about that' I was surprised by my second thought which was 'What? Again?'.

And it began to dawn on me just quite how often I conclude a tale with such an admission! Then it all flooded in...

... the times I've mentioned crying in various 'About me' online lists and how often I've summarised work by my friend Jack with the phrase 'It made me cry'. Granted, it's not the only feedback I've ever given him but still ... what's he meant to say in reply? "Er, good?", "Thank you?", "I'm glad you cried"!!? And suddenly I find myself wondering if people appreciate having their life's work measured on my personal lachrymosity scale...

Yet, despite all the evidence to the contrary I do not consider myself a cry baby. Nor am I a hormonally unstable drama queen prone to hyperbole. Oh, OK then, I'll admit to the hyperbole ... but everything else? Nope. Not guilty.

I am however, happy to be categorised as 'sensitive'. Well, I can't really fly in the face of the the obvious, can I?

Once frequently accused of being 'too sensitive', 'hypersensitive' and 'over sensitive' I now consider myself 'just right' in the sensitive stakes thank you very much. It's why I've always chosen to work in support roles. And it's the reason I'm good at what I do.

But then, I've had enough practice, I've always been like this.

Family lore states that, when I was tiny, I would cry if my dolls got 'hurt' or even if they were held upside down! Burned into my memory is the time I accidentally stood on a snail I'd been keeping as a pet and the image of a lamb we saw limping across a road on the moors when I was young!

Even now I have to turn away or close my eyes if there's anything violent on screen especially if it's a head injury or else I'll ... yes, you guessed it, start crying! On the other hand, I regularly seek out tear-inducing films and documentaries about babies, children, ill people, brave people, disadvantaged people, inspiring people, people in love, people out of love ... you get the picture ....

Look, I'm not saying it's a regular bout of all-out, hands-down weeping and wailing, but I bet at least once a week I well-up and sometimes I even lose a few drops of water from my eyes. I swear I've even toyed with the idea of a regular blog feature entitled 'Things making me cry this week'... [a feature I've not entirely ruled out ... ;)] and I could probably go on regaling you with such moments for the rest of my natural, blogging life. But for now, how about I share the thing that made me cry last Monday? The thing which stirred both my tear ducts and this entire train of thought.

I'd better warn you that if you're of an equally sensitive disposition you might want to look away now or at least have a tissue handy. Ready?

OK then. Meet Miss Ellie:

Miss Ellie featured in the Guardian newspaper's regular 'Unsettling animal picture of the week' spot last weekend and after reading her story ... I might just have leaked from an eye .. or two.

It told of how, one year on from being voted the somewhat heartless title of The World's Ugliest Dog ... she's just died.

I know!!!!

I'm not even a dog lover, in fact I'm scared of most of them, but seriously, how sad is that? Talk about adding insult to injury! Or in little Miss Ellie's case the insult of being considered the ugliest dog in the world came first ... and then she died! Poor thing!

So what do I want you to do with this information? I don't know. I just thought I'd mention it, just so you know ... Maybe so you don't think I'm on the verge of a breakdown the next time I mention I've been crying.

Because there will be a next time! There's undoubtedly a whole emotional, uplifting, stirring, inspirational, saddening, frustrating, infuriating, wonderful world of 'next times' out there just poised to draw a tear from me. And it'll succeed.

As for you ... well, if Miss Ellie's story has left you in tears too, I'm really sorry, and I fully understand ... would you like to share a tissue with me?

J x

Thursday, 10 June 2010

365 Patterns: The rabbit dress

Hi, hi, hi.

If you were anywhere near me last weekend, i.e when I was shopping, when I got home and wafted around the bedroom, when I went on Twitter and Facebook to tell everyone or when it debuted at Hannah's birthday tea party ... you'd be aware of one thing: I have bought a dress with rabbits on it. A pink dress with rabbits on it.

It was an event I could not keep to myself. New dresses are always newsworthy.

But ones with bunnies on them? Doubly so! At least.

When I declared to the online world that:
I am 34, but today I bought a pink dress with rabbits on which has made me happier than you can imagine. It's perfect.
4:03 PM Jun 5th
....some other 'grown-ups' said they needed to see it to which I assured them that a dress of such spectacular visual magnitude would indeed be photographed within an inch of its life and shared .... and here it begins:

Rabbit print dress

That puffed sleeve alone could have sold it to me:

Rabbit print dress - sleeve

Let alone the couture bunny print [which has since been pointed out to be rather, how shall I put this? Rather 'similar' to a Fifi Lapin design...].

I must admit the design looked familiar to me from the outset. My other immediate thoughts ran something like:

  • Oooh that's a nice shaped dress;
  • Oh ... it's ....rabbits?!
  • Err ... are they a bit scary looking?
  • No.... actually I think I like them ....
  • I'll just quickly try it on ....
  • Ahhh oohhhh, it fits me perfectly ....
  • ....I think I'm in love ... shall I buy it?

121/365 - Rabbit print dress

Now that it's safely in my possession I've been pondering which lady is my favourite and think it could be either this one rocking the shades:

Rabbit print dress

Or this enviable military jacket + frilly dress combo [centre]:

Rabbit print dress

Yes. I think it's the girly military bunny who I most associate with .... what on earth am I saying???? I think the pink girlishness has gone to my head ....

....and this won't help any ....

What shoes would one wear with such a dress when wearing it to a very special birthday tea party? Why, your high heeled, uber Barbie pink shoes.

Of course:

Rabbit print dress + pink shoooooooes

It's a shame that this is the best photo I could find of me at the said birthday tea party, in the dress of rabbitty glory:

Less 'bunny girl glamour' and more bewildered Alice down the rabbit-hole' I'd say!

I really do look like [a] I've forgotten how to read and [b] that I fear that card I'm holding is radioactive don't I?

All the photos of the dress [so far] have made it into my Chasing Patterns project on my Flickr gallery, where it's burrowed in with 120 other patterns at the moment. But that still means I'm falling behind if I'm to get 365 in there by the end of the year!

There's only one thing for it. I will simply have to keep hunting for more patterned dresses of desire. How ever will I cope?

Links to, stories of and even in-person catwalk-style parades of your own dresses of desire or most bizarrely patterned items of clothing are most welcome.

Don't be shy. After all, as I've established: I am apparently 34 and did indeed buy a pink dress with rabbits all over it, which I wore in public and then told you all about it complete with photographic evidence ....

I'm certainly not in any position to judge your style choices ....

J ;)

Overheard: Brand Awareness

Here's something I heard in the middle of a somewhat dry management lecture in 2009.

It was yet another of those times when I wanted to join in and laugh along declaring 'I get it, I get the joke!' ... but really, listening-in to conversations is not what I was meant to be doing in that room. So I just wrote it down instead!

Male student referring to the business school tutor who was delivering the lecture : Remember when he was asking about our favourite brands?

I wrote down ‘Russell’... one got it ...

Me! Me! I got it!

Illustration: ProMarkers; fineliner 17.05.10

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Cards: Retro greetings

Hello there you.

If you've dropped by from the
Scattered Scarlet Design Team blog [where my featured project today involves some bright, cheerful greetings cards] then you're very welcome. I promised to put the kettle on for you didn't I? OK then, while I do that you can cast an eye over some more of the cards I've been busying myself with this month:My starting point and inspiration for these was a page from a 1970s comic book which was part of my Alter That kit from 3DJean.

I found the animal illustrations so charming [and so very familiar ... am I showing my age now?] that I wanted to feature each individual one on its own card:

My small square cards were an absolute steal at £1.99 for 50 from The Range and, even better still, while they're soft pastel shades on the outside, they're white on the inside - which is my favourite type of cardstock [tell me it's not sad to have a favourite type of card .... please!! ;)]
I then looked through my papers for something reminiscent of the 70s and, as I'm one for lots of gaudy patterns anyway ... it wasn't hard to find in my collection.

The Sassafras border stickers and the Dew Drop Teardrop gems were also from 3DJean.

Nothing quoite says '1970s' like a splash of prange, so here's an orange kangaroo, border and teardrop embellishment card: Finally, there's this little pink-with-elephant number:I kept the cutest illustration of all: ... to give to Hannah, someone very special to all of us on the Scattered Scarlet DT and who, I'm almost certain will be sharing her talents with us as a special guest designer soon:Oh and sooner still, I plan to scrap some of the photos from her recent and rather splendid birthday tea party!

Did someone mention tea? That reminds me ...... the kettle's boiled, milk and sugar?

J x