Wednesday, 29 February 2012

My Month in Numbers 2012: February

Hi, hi, hi.

It's happened again hasn't it? Only this time it's been even sneakier than usual and finished a whole day early.

Another month has passed us by which can mean only one thing ... it's time to blog My Month, in Numbers ...

19 = the number of posts created, by me, for my Month of Sunrays series.

32 = the number of posts created and shared by people who aren't me, for my Month of Sunrays series. Thank you to everyone who shared the yellowy goodness for me to pin on the Pinterest board.

2 = the number of special guests who agreed to take part , thank you again Kim Dellow and Flora Jamieson.

4 = the number of people who've sent me happy, unexpected mail while the series was running:  

My happy cards arrived courtesy of 2 lovely online friends + my 9 year old niece. Thank you ladies.
I was so touched that, in my attempt to share some online sunshine, some of it ended up shining right back on me. 
How could I fail to be happy with people sending me vintage school books and handmade notebooks?
D21 = the seat number I sat in to see The Spaghetti Western Orchestra performing live:
It was an amazing show and if you haven't already seen them, run to their website to see if they're touring anywhere near you! Run. No, hang on while I tell you how good they were ...

All of my life I've been pretty much allergic to audience participation [apart from that one time at Wembley Stadim where I joined in with a band who were swearing to annoy the local council ... long story]  and yet, while watching The Spaghetti Western Orchestra, I actually played along with the  audience participation sections which ranged from the clapping in time, to the humming in tune, to the singing on cue. Ahh the singing ...

When it came to the encore they divided the audience into The Good, The Bad and ... yes, The Ugly giving each section a part to play. Our side of the audience were The Good [story of my life ;-)] and we had to shout ou the "aiy, aiy, aaaiy" bit, while The Bad & the Ugly had to respond with the "wah, wah, waaah"s. And because that's not a brilliant explanation, here's a video I found to explain what I mean [try from 1 min 20 if you don't want to watch the whole thing]:

James, poor thing, wished we'd got to be The Bad. Because, he said, he found being The Good too high pitched for him to manage.

Make of that what you will!

4 = the number of previews of my articles I've been sent by 3 magazines I've never been in before. [If you're interested and/or if you're my parents you can get a general idea of what I'm referring to here,  here and here - exciting!]

342 = number of pages read to finish the Andrew Miller novel Pure:

 I really didn't want it to end. It's a definite contender for the title of  'favourite book' where it's battling it out with Ingenious Pain, also by Andrew Miller. 

I'm going to stop there as I'm an Andrew Miller bore, and if I hang around much longer I'll be confessing at how I frequently have to pause while reading his work, because I get utterly intoxicated; dreamy; awed; bowled over; elevated and plain drunk on his sentences ... especially the metaphors. So much so I've been known to only get through a paragraph at a time before having to close the book and drift away ...

So, that was me and my February, now you can show me yours!

Last month there were an amazing amount of you taking part and I hope to see st least a few familiar faces again this time around. I'm going to be pinning your contributions to the Month in Numbers Pinterest board again this month, as I think it worked well for a few reasons:
  • it's visual - meaning we could all quickly and easily see who else had taken part. It's also easier to remember which posts you've clicked on and visited with a photo.
  • the increased visibility really seemed to get you all visiting each other's posts and led to lots of commenting. Which was lovely to see.
So if you'd like your Month in Numbers post to be pinned on the Month in Numbers Pinterest board then you need to:
  • have at least 1 photo in your post - purely because images are what Pinterest uses to save your post;
  • let me know where you've blogged your stats. Leave me a link in a comment here, or via Twitter, my Facebook page, or by shouting really loudly. Or sky-writing. Whatever's easiest.
  • Please consider leaving a link to this series in your blog post somewhere [a very quick link at the end of your post is fine] as your sharing the idea with your readers really does help make the time it takes to pin your post worth it. And, if last month is anything to go by, it also leads to brand new people joining in with us all.
  •  if you can't or don't wish to use photos, or you don't want to be pinned to the Pinterest board, you're equally as welcome to join in.
  • You can simply leave me your links in a comment etc and I'll come by and visit you just the same.
OK ... it's over to you. Throw your numbers at me. *holds out a large net, closes eyes in case you miss*

Julie :-)

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Layout: Who Needs To Focus?

Hello again.

Today is my turn to blog a project on Scattered Scarlet: the 3DJean Design Team blog and this is what I made, a scrapbook page using the 'Lecon de Choses' range of [French] scrapbooking papers:
The photo I used - which is pretty blurry and out of focus - was one of those I often print out with no clear idea on what I'll do with it.

Then at last month's crop it dawned on me that it could help me document something I've been thinking lately ... 
It's something I've battled with myself over for a long time. Focus. Because I like lots of things. I like to create lots of different things; blog lots of different things; work on different things and so on ... and I like it that way.

But then I'd read advice about targeting, narrowing your scope, creating a signature style, doing one thing well ... the pitfalls of being a Jack of all Trades. And I'd question myself. Feeling like I was being indisciplined.

That I was failing.

And then ... I read a few things recently which made me change my mind. I always knew that those other ways of doing things weren't for me, but then suddenly everyone else seemed to be saying the same thing.

I don't know if it was me who changed, or if the advice has changed. Either way, it's a good thing!
 I'm going to keep doing the different things.

Because no matter how many there are ... they're all me!

Julie :-)

This is also the first in my 'Plundering Pages' posts:  
Materials used on layout:
  • Bazzill cardstock;
  • Individual papers from the Lecon de Choses range at 3DJean: 'Drawing'; 'A Bit of Fashion' + 'Horizons';
  • Label stickers: October Afternoon
  • Alpha stickers: Studio Calico
  • Clear stamp [can't remember what it's called - will check later!]
  • Glittered stag's head: Boyes
  • Raffle ticket; paper doily;
  • Phrases cut from an old children's encyclopedia [see my Plundered Pages packs for similar];

Monday, 27 February 2012

A Month of Sunrays: Scrapbook page 'Among Mad People'


Other than a numerical round-up, in Wednesday's Month in Numbers post, this is the final installment of A Month of Sunrays and I wanted to bow out with something completely bright and happy-making.

Something like this:
I've scrapped a photo of me in this costume before, [which you can see here should you wish], but I really wanted to scrap this group shot ... if only to prove I wasn't alone in the Alice madness.

It was taken almost exactly one year ago on one of the twice yearly crafting-in-a-cottage trips I go on with friends. This particular time the theme was 'Alice in Wonderland' and, unbeknown to any of us, one friend crammed these costumes into the back of her car for us to have great fun squeezing into:
ETA: just realised I must have been channelling the MadHatter when I did my journaling on this - 'I'm late, I'm late for a very important date' - because I've written the wrong year on this!
My most vivid memories of the whole escapade are:
  •  the struggles eople had getting both in - and out of - the Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee outfits;
  • and also that, where we posed for these photos, we were just by a country road and I spent much of the time wondering when a bus, or perhaps a group of ramblers, might drift by us with the passengers rubbing their eyes at the sight, pinching themselves to see if they're dreaming while the walkers are left wondering if they had accidentally fallen down a rabbit hole ....
When I found this quote, from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland:

It was too perfect not to use:
I actually began this layout when I was running my Purple Phase series last Autumn, but I didn't get around to finishing it in time.

I made it to demonstrate how purple combines nicely [if unashamedly brightly] with yellow. But now ... now I'm using it to show that yellow combines nicely [if unashamedly brightly] with purple! ;-)


I just want to say a big Thank You for the cheerful, happy, welcoming, shiny and bright response you've given to this series.
Whenever I announce"Hey, this is what I'm doing this month, you can join me if you fancy it", I'm always amazed / relieved / grateful that some you do! You join me, you share the idea, then your readers join me and suddenly everyone's talking about yellow, or purple, or postage stamps ... It's fun. A lot of fun.

I love blogging and I'd do it even if you weren't there, on the other side of this screen I'm typing into. But luckily you are there, so ... thanks!  

As I said at the top, I'll do a quick statistical summary of the series in Wednesday's post, but until then ...

I hope the sun's shining on you today. And if it isn't, I know where you can find some virtual rays if you need them.

See you tomorrow.


p.s: I have at least 3 clear ideas for topics I'm going to use for the next themed series ... so there'll be another one on its way at some point this year. :-)

Saturday, 25 February 2012

A Month of Sunrays: Accessorising a room with yellow; my spare bedroom.

Hi, hi.

Now there are only 4 blogging-days left until the end of February - and my Month in Numbers post will take up one of those - I'm finding myself having to drop some of the posts I was going to include in A Month of Sunrays. But they'll come in useful at some point I'm sure.

However, as a follow up to last Saturday's post about wearing yellow in small doses, I thought I'd squeeze in a quick look at a similar idea, but in the home.

This is our spare bedroom, where the walls, carpet and bedding is neutral, but where I've added splashes of yellow here and there to lift things.

[I say *I've* added the colour in *our* spare room because - as James is colour-blind - I have sole responsibility for the colours used anywhere in our house. Which is OK with me!]

The yellow and grey geometric design, in the frame, is a section of 1950s sticky back plastic which I peeled from an original kitchen unit my sister found in the shed of the house she moved into. The kitchen unit was disintegrating but, as the 1950s is my favourite style decade, I rescued the fabulous plastic before it was lost forever:

Below it hangs a coat rack which is also a rescued item, only this time it was something we found in our own house when we moved in.

In fact, it's the most interesting thing to found in an under-stairs cupboard since Harry Potter:

It had white gloss paint splashed over it and a few knobs missing but I sanded away the paint and made replacement ends from big wooden beads which I painted to match the room.

Finally there's a collection of patterned cushions on the bed:
The button prints were from IKEA while the yellow house design was designed, made, and gifted to me, by my super-talented friend Hannah:
The approach I took to decorating this room is the same throughout the rest of the house:
  • keep everything you can't easily move [carpets, walls, curtains] neutral meanwhile introducing colour with the things you can lift and carry [cushions, wall decoration, ornaments].
  • If you remember my Purple Phase series, you might remember I did this same thing in my bedroom but with purple ... not yellow.
OK then, before I go [to pay full attention to Inspector Montalbano on BBC4,  - because it's hard to read subtitles while you're blogging!] ... I'd better announce the winner of the Ribbon Girl Giveaway ...

I used to pick a number and the winner of the yellow ribbon and embellishment kit is ...  Julie of

Congratulations Julie! Email me the address you'd like your prize sending to and I'll pass it on to The Ribbon Girl so they can send you your parcel of crafty sunshine! 

I'll be back ASAP with the last of the remaining sunrays. See you then.


Friday, 24 February 2012

A Month of Sunrays: Decorative egg wreath

Hello, hello.

Whether it's the colour of daffodils and primroses or fluffy chicks ... Springtime is traditionally the time when yellow makes its way onto the papercrafting scene in earnest. Also with Easter just 6 weeks away, I thought I'd share an Easter wreath project with you today:
I made this decorated, polystyrene egg, wreath for the Easter issue of Creativity Magazine last year.
The full details on how I made it were published in Issue 26, March 2011 and all of the products used to create it are produced by DoCrafts,  but, briefly ... 

I cut various sizes of egg in half with a bread knife then used watered down PVA glue to soften scraps of torn patterned papers, which I then smoothed on over the half-eggs:
The structure around the back is a testament to the strength of craft lolly-sticks and  a hot glue gun. Let''s just say it's more a case of brute strength over elegance ... but it works! 

Then I could move on to the prettier aspects, like adding little bows and gems [and raffia to hide the lollystick joins!]
I really liked how this turned out and feel these particular prints and shades make for a more sophisticated use of yellow than usual [appropriately the range is called 'Sunshine'] In fact, there's actually something about the patterns on the papers  and the gems which puts me in mind of the Tudor period of history!

But then maybe I've just been to too many museums ...


Just before you go, in case, after a month of near-daily posts, you haven't had quite enough of me yet ...

I was recently invited by Vicki from 'It's A Good Place to Start' to take part in her 'Feature Artist' series and you can now find  my answers here:
Click image to visit my guest post. Or don't ... y'know ... whatever.
If you do visit the link you'll find a discount code for orders from my Etsy shop which is valid for use until Thurdsay 1 March 2012. So if there's been something you've been thinking about buying, now's a good time to do it!

OK then. Soon soon.


Thursday, 23 February 2012

A Month of Sunrays: Yellow inside our hats

Hi, hi, hi.

Another day, another post under the influence of sunshine ...

It's not like, before this series, I didn't know that I was partial to the occasional indulgence into thoughts of sunshine, quotes about light, positive thinking, yellow accessories and so on ... it's just that, the more posts I've blogged on the topic this month, and the more photographic evidence I share with you here ... the more I feel a little bit obsessed. [Either that or I really am turning into Pollyanna ... which I've often suspected was the case.]

Anyway ...

I've revealed the yellow in my wardrobe and in my crafting ... so it might not surprise you know it's found its way into my house too.

Below is a print from Freya Art which I bought for James a couple of Christmases ago, and which which we've framed and displayed on the sideboard in our living room:
Lots of the prints by Freya Art & Design appeal to me, but there was something just right about this particular one:
 Maybe it was the birds that swung it for me.

Or the idea of yellow paint ... or of sunshine... or walking barefoot. OK, so it all appealed to me, which is why I wanted it in our home.

Although, as of yet, we haven't carried out the grass sowing in our shoes and the hat painting ... maybe I should put it on my To Do list.

In the interests of balance, I should say that while I gave this print to James, some of the other lovely things in the photo are gifts he's given me:

Both of the ladies in danger of being eaten by an antique crocodile [which belonged to his grandparents] were gifts from James.

Nothing says 'I Love You' like the gift of a disembodied doll's head for Christmas.

And luckily for him, I actually mean that!

[Please note: this is not, in any way, a sponsored post. I bought the art print myself, on my own accord, with my own pennies in 2010!].

Thank you to everyone who's joined in with the series so far.
This last week has seen another flurry of sunny projects dropping in [how many metaphors have I just mixed?] and I'm pretty sure I've pinned them all to the Pinterest board now.

If you've just found my blog, and you want to join in, all you need to do is:
  •  blog a project / photo / story which fits the theme;
  •  link to this series in your post;
  •  and then send me a link to it in the comments below, by email or via any of my social media haunts [see sidebar for links].
  • Then I pin your post to the board.
Oh and before I go, a quick reminder that the Ribbon Girl ribbon kit giveaway closes tomorrow [Feb 24th 8pm UK time].

See you with more yellow cheeriness soon.


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

A Month of Sunrays: interview with stained-glass artist Flora Jamieson

Hello again.

I keep a list, [in fact I keep lots of lists] but this particular list in question contains the names of people I'd love to feature as a guest blogger here in my corner of BlogWorld and today I can cross 'Flora Jamieson' off the list.

Because she's here!

If you don't already know Flora's work, let me show you this:
'Here Comes the Sun' by Flora Jamieson
... and then you can work out for yourself why I had to ask her to contribute at this particular moment in time, for A Month of Sunrays! So, now that she's here, allow me to introduce her properly: 

Flora is a UK artist, based in Dorset whose work I first came into contact with via her Etsy shop 'Through the Round Window'. I spotted the Here Comes the Sun decoration [above] and fell in love with her style then and there.

Alongside creating these beautiful, small scale, contemporary pieces that everyone can enjoy, Flora also takes on commissions for wonderful full-sized, bespoke, stained glass windows, which you can read more about on her website.

[You can find more links to Flora's online hang outs at the end of this post.]
'Spring Girl' by Flora Jamieson. Click image for further details.
I felt the best way to share Flora's work with you would be through her own words, so I asked her a few questions ...
Can you tell us about the role which light plays in your work?
Flora: Stained glass needs a good light source in order to be appreciated – without it the colour of the glass is muted and the lead lines look grey and meaningless.
If you walk past a church from the outside, you barely even notice the stained glass windows, but once you’re inside, with the light streaming through them, it’s quite a different story.

What’s it like to see the sun streaming in through your designs?
Flora: It’s a great feeling to lift a piece that I’ve been working on for some weeks – from design stage, through to cutting and painting the glass and finally leading and soldering – off from the workbench and up to the light – it comes to life!  
The colours are more vivid, and the contrast with the black lead outlines is greater, allowing the design to fully reveal itself.

Also, in bright sunlight, the colours of the glass are reflected on the walls, creating a beautiful kaleidoscopic effect. I made a window for my daughter’s bedroom, and the dancing pools of colour on her walls on a sunny morning are very lovely.

'Linear flowers' by Flora Jamieson

What influences your choice of colours for your contemporary pieces?
Flora: My designs are influenced by the simplicity of 1960/70s graphic design, so I’m drawn to bright, bold colours.

I use Polish mouthblown glass which comes in a vast array of colours with wonderful clarity and movement – little airbubbles and striations on the surface of the glass.
There’s a feeling of warmth and happiness to your designs, not just in colour, but in theme and style too. Is that something you deliberately set out to include, or does it just happen when you begin the design process?
Flora: It’s definitely a conscious thing - stained glass should enhance its surroundings, not only in the way it makes a room look, but in the way it makes the people within feel.

The UK is not blessed with a particularly sunny climate, so I try to design to counterbalance the gloomy conditions outside. Sunshine, birds, flowers, children – all themes to lift the spirits.
'Happy Valley' by Flora Jamieson
If you'd like to connect further with Flora then you'll find her:

I don't know about you, but when Flora says "I use Polish mouthblown glass which comes in a vast array of colours with wonderful clarity and movement" I [a] get slightly envious ;-) and [b] get the feeling that she finds great satisfaction in not only her job, but the materials she uses day to day.

And, quite evidently this comes out in her work.

***Thank you so much Flora for the insight into your creations [I now wish I hadn't narrowed down my list of questions for you, and asked you them all!] And your designs certainly do lift the spirits.***

If you get a minute please grab the chance to leave a comment here for Flora, or hop over and visit her in person.

[Quick note: It was recently pointed out to me that I had Word Verification for comments turned on - when I was under the impression it was off! After some searching for a resolution I have now - almost definitely - turned it off. So, if that's prevented you leaving a comment previously,  hopefully it's now resolved. But then again ... ].

With now only 7 days of February remaining I'm having to prioritise all of the remaining posts I had planned for this series! But whatever I decide ... I'll be back tomorrow with something yellow or sunny ... or both.

Julie x

    Tuesday, 21 February 2012

    A Month of Sunrays: Chicken Licken 'thank you' card

    Hi, hi.

    Today's Month of Sunrays moment is a card I made for Papercraft Inspirations magazine last year, which I thought fit with our theme of sunshine and happiness:
    The 'Chicken Licken' character is actually a free digi-stamp download from Little Musings which you can still download here and which might be useful for anyone making Easter cards or projects this year.

    I printed mine on several different patterned papers, cut out various sections and then re-assembled it in a technique you I might even be brave enough to call: 'decoupage'.  If you can imagine such a thing ...

    [The full details of how to creat the card appeared in Papercraft Inspirations Issue 90]. 

    The wording was just typed in MS Word and then printed out:

    That's all for today. Don't forget to check out the list of previous Month of Sunrays posts here, and I'll be back tomorrow with another special guest post.

    See you soon.


    Monday, 20 February 2012

    A Month of Sunrays: Marcel the shell with shoes on

    Hello, hello.

    How's things? Really?

    I thought that for today's Month of Sunray's post I'd share something to brighten your day, whether you need your day brightening or not [even good days can be improved upon!].

    It's something that never fails to make me smile ... and I hope that it does the same for you. No, hang on, that's not strong enough.

    'Smile' doesn't cover it.
    These videos don't merely make me smile ... they've been known to make me hoot, holler, grin, giggle, splutter, snort, beam, cry and laugh out loud.

    They're short films, part animated, about Marcel ... the shell with shoes on by Dean Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate. If you've not seen them, settle in for the next 10 minutes and treat yourself.

    And if you have seen them already. Throw caution to the wind ... watch them again.

    I just did.

    And I laughed. Again. For the millionth time. [In fact, while laughing just now James turned, saw what I was watching and said 'You have seen that before, you know?'.

    I know.

    And it makes no difference!

    See what you think ... here's the first film:

    And now there's a second helping.

    If you'd like to know what I'm like around dogs ... pay close attention to Marcel's behaviour at around 2.30mins into this [and you'll also learn how the phrase "Oh God, I can smell his face" made its way into everyday language around here!]

    Marcel also has a book which you can read about here on the Penguin site where you can also read more about Marcel and his creators. The only thing I don't understand about the site is that he's listed as part of the 'Young Readers' section.

    Because, for me, Marcel is for life, not just for childhood!

    I hope you love him too. [But it won't change my mind if you don't!]


    Julie x

    Saturday, 18 February 2012

    A Month of Sunrays: Wearing yellow in small doses

    Hi, hi, hi.

    I feel perfectly OK about what I'm about to do [which is, to try to make you wear something yellow ... again] because I treated you to a brilliant guest post earlier in the week. So now I get to torment you. But if you missed Kim Dellow's sunshine-in-a-tin project you need to hop back here to see, then come back here, prepared, for more yellow.
    Are you back now? Good, then I'll begin ...

    I wear yellow. Some of you wear yellow; you've told me and I've seen you! And I've been suggesting throughout the series that more of you try it, even those who swear they can't.

    But, to my credit, when I raised the idea of wearing yellow I'm not actually suggesting you only wear yellow:
    Source: Click image to vist their site + memory lane!
    I just mean it can make an interesting addition to you normal, existing wardrobe.
    I don't know if you'll consider my outfit here a cop-out on the 'dressing in yellow' front as there's relatively small amount of it in this outfit ... but really that's the point:
    Dress: Warehouse ¦¦ T-Shirt: Miss Selfridge ¦¦ Cardigan: TopShop ¦¦ Scarf: Internacionale

    [BTW: James had been watching when I was taking these photos, with the camera on self-timer, and he called this look my 'stoic face'! And I was indeed being stoic, I had no coat on, it was minus 5 and, not that we knew it at the time, it was 4 hours before the first snow of the winter fell! ]

    Anyway ... back to yellow ...

    Ways to try out yellow in small doses:
    • You could do the reverse of my yellow coat / grey scarf outfit [from this post] and brighten up a dark coat with a yellow scarf.
    • Same goes for a yellow / mustard or even gold bag.
    • A yellow belt looks great with jeans, especially dark denim.
    • And not forgetting yellow shoes ... [they don't need to give you ridiculous clown-feet, I got these last summer, which are just yellow enough].
    • Try a cheap yellow t-shirt pokig out of the neck of a darker jumper or cardigan.
    • Or let the sleeves poke out beneath a 3/4 length sleeves. [Like I did above].
    • well,
    And, if you're still not convinced:
    • Look out for yellow items in the sale or in low cost fashion shops. When you've found a £1 bargain, you can maybe risk taking a chance on a colour you might not normally wear!

    Next week is the last full week of A Month of Sunrays but there's plenty more sunshine I'm going to try to cram in.

    Don't forget ... if you'd like to join me and the others who've contributed rays of their own:
    • You can browse the Pinterest board to see the projects people have created especially for the series and also others which I've found on my travels around the web.
    • You can contribute to the board yourself by blogging a sunny post of your own, linking to the series, and letting me know about it; and ...
    • You can add your name to the entries for the yellow ribbon kit giveaway from The Ribbon Girl.
    Right, I'll let you go. I have a new dress to go and alter before I wear it tomorrow night.

    For the record ... it's orange ...

    Julie ;-)

    Thursday, 16 February 2012

    A Month of Sunrays: with special guest Kim Dellow

    Hi, hi, hi.

    Today's Month of Sunrays is brought to you by the letter 'S', in the form of a mix of:
    • Sunshine,
    • Sardines ...
    • and a Super Special guest!
    Please welcome the very talented Kim Dellow:
    If you don't already know Kim's work, do make sure to have a browse around her blog ... just as soon as you've cast your eyes on the project she created especially for A Month of Sunrays.

    I'll let Kim to speak for herself now ...

    Guest blogger: Kim Dellow

    I'm a UK-based artist-crafter-blogger living in London. I started my crafty journey in 2007 as a cardmaker but I've been expanding out into mixed media - I just love paint, stitch, paper, fabric and all things messy. I'm a bit of a chameleon and try my hand at all sorts of different styles and techniques.

    I've been very lucky working with some great companies as a design team member and also with some fabulous UK craft magazines.

    But mainly I'm just enjoying the journey and seeing where it goes.
    'Catching Sunbeams': An altered tin project

    Hello Sunbeams, Kim Dellow here all sunshiney and excited to share some rays in Julie's wonderful A Month Of Sunrays! Thanks Julie for inviting me along. Just totally what we all need at the moment, don't you think? I'm loving all your Sunrays on the Pinterest board, yellow is just a wonderful colour isn't it?

    I thought I would capture some sun in an altered sardine tin, as you do!
    It is very strange but before I got the email from Julie asking if I fancied participating, I kid you not, I had this image of a large yellow sun in my head but it hadn't quite worked out what it was going to be, it was waiting for A Month Of Sunrays!
    I have this thing about the unexpected and 3D, touchy-feely art so a large sun in a sardine tin with the sentiment reaching out to the viewer drawing you in to the lovely yellow heat is so up my street!
    The inside of the tin and the sun have been covered with Washi Tape which is another firm favourite of mine.

    Hope you are enjoying your Month Of Sunrays and if you are interested you can always find me: 
    Catch you later!



    Well then first things first:
    • Thank you Kim!!
    • Your project is such a treat - I love it!! A lot.
    • It's been an absolute pleasure to have you drop in and share your work here, I'm very grateful.  
    • I neeeeeeeeed to get some washi tapes. I mean, I've always needed to ... but now it's absolutely imperative! A necessity! 
    • The way Kim's used it to cover the awkward shape of the inside of a sardine tin is inspired. Anything that looks that good, but which is speedy and self-adhesive is an ideal material for someone as haphazard and impatient as me!
    If you get a minute, please grab the chance to leave a comment for Kimand her project today. Thanks!

    I'll be back soon.

    Julie :-)

    Wednesday, 15 February 2012

    February 'Month in Numbers' reminder

    Hi, hi.

    For those of you planning to join in with your own Month in Numbers project for February, here's your reminder in the shape of another page from one of the most handsomely illustrated maths books you could wish to meet:

    And with it falling right in the middle of my Month of Sunrays series ... I just had to choose a yellow page for today didn't I? 

    Unlike that page though, I don't know how many of us will have been counting girls and dolls this month, but:
    • have you been counting and collecting anything yet?
    • have you got a draft blog post with all the basics [eg. an introduction, links, brainstormed notes of which numbers to use] in it already?
    I haven't! But I swear that it's what I'm going to do just as soon as I schedule this post. Anyway there's still at least 2 weeks to work on it - if you're playing along in 'real' time that is - which is not necessary!

    A few people apologised for being 'late' when they sent me links to their January posts in February - but, like I told them at the time:
    • there's no such thing as being late for My Month in Numbers.
    So please don't worry and/or apologise!
    • These are your numbers, your scrapbook pages and it's your life you're documenting - do it whenever and in whichever manner you are happy with.
    • Until people started joining in with me, I blogged mine any time after the month had ended. The only reason I keep it to the final day of the month now is in case others are expecting to see it before they blog their own.
    • I'm happy to pin you posts to the board at any time during the month. Whenever you've blogged it.
    Speaking of the pin board ...

    ... including my own, I've pinned 35 January posts to the Month in Numbers Pinterest board so far! Amazing. And it's been such a treat to see so many new faces joining in and so many of you leaving comments for one another.

    I'm going to be continuing with the Pinterest board this month but I've realised something important since last time:
    • If you want your Month in Numbers blog post pinned you MUST have at least ONE PHOTO in it!
    • Pinterest can only 'pin' / save a blog post through a photograph within the post - a fact which didn't even occur to me when I decided to use this method.
    So, if you do want to see your post on the board you'll need to add in a photograph somewhere. However:
    • If you don't mind about not being on the board, then no-photo posts are perfectly OK with me too! You're still welcome to leave a link in the comments section so we can all visit your blog that way.

     Right, that's enough for today, I'm off to open that draft post ....

    See you soon with another Month of Sunrays post.

    Julie :-)

    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    A Month of Sunrays: My only sunshine

    Hello, hello.

    I wanted to share another greetings card with you today but this time it's not one I've made, it's one I received.

    [I'd better give you fair warning: as it's Valentine's Day today this post may contain some mild references to love + stuff ... so if you're in a delicate, indifferent and/or vengeful mood when it comes to that sort of thing ... you might be better off leaving this post and going to play some Tetris instead.]

    There's a good possibility that today's card is the original source of my sunshiney-leanings and when I remembered I still had it, it led to a search for it beneath years worth of sentimental saved cards.

    But eventually I found it:
    Remember how, since January, I've been going on to you about the trials of having a wintry birthday? I'm sure you do .. in fact, it's asafe bet you're tired of hearing it by now ... so spare a thought for James who's had to put up with it for almost 2 decades.

    Which is where this card comes in.

    It's a birthday card he gave me after we'd been together a few years ... but clearly my message had already got through to him! Last night, when I asked him why he chose this particular card he said: "There's not a lot I can do about the weather, but I could at least bring you this."
    So, despite never being able to have a bouncy castle in the garden on any of my cold January birthdays ... I really have nothing to complain about.

    Nothing at all.

    Julie :-)


    We're almost half-way through both February and 'A Month of Sunrays' so, if you need to catch up:
    • There's a list of all the posts in the series so far here [including the giveaway if you haven't already entered.]
    • And the Pinterest board [which is a combinartion of posts you've all shared with me and inspiration I've found and pinned myself] is looking very bright and cheerful here.
    Plus there's still half a month's worth of posts heading this way. The kind of things you can expect are:
    • a few more crafting projects;
    • at least one more attempt to get you to wear a tiny bit of yellow;
    • a couple of home / interiors type posts; and  ...
    • a few special guests!
    See you soon.