Tuesday 31 August 2010

My Month in Numbers: August

Hello. Hello.

I'm not quite sure I'm ready to admit that today marks the end of another month ... and with it, I become a month nearer to starting back at work! But there's no holding back the itde is there? I'll just have to make the most of the free timeI have, just like I was fortunate enough to do to during August.

Here's a glimpse of it, my month, in numbers ...

1 = the number of sales I've had so far in my new etsy shop: 'The Carousel Zebra'! [Yay! Go me! Go Zebra! "A journey of a thousand miles begins with one badge" and all that ....] And here's what The Zebra and I sold: One of my badges made from vintage images and text. I wonder if I'll get as excited about every sale I make as I did with this, my first?
I'm very willing to find out!
8 [or 3] = 8 is the number of stepping stones James and I bravely tackled in order to cross the children's paddling pool on one of the beaches near us on a Sunday morning!:
3 however ... is the number of people missing from this photo if James was to more accurately re-create the cover of The Beatles' Abbey Road album cover - which he was attempting to do here!

25p = the amount my friend Hannah and I paid for each of the 4 vintage girl's annuals we spotted at a carboot sale we discovered near Whitby:
One stall sold glorious collectable/useable papery goods such as postcards, stamps and little items of traditional 'scrap' which we were already clutching greedily to our chests when we spotted several old annuals. Hannah was in the process of picking one of them up when someone asked how much one of the other books cost.When the stallholder replied: "25p. All the books are 25p", she swiftly and stealthily scooped up all 4 books illiciting an audible groan from someone behind us as we secured the best deals of the day for oursleves!

£1.00 = the price of a bumper pack of old postcards Hannah and I also bought to share between us:
And had a lovely time over lunch in Whitby's Art Cafe where we we sat and sifted through them, with Hannah reading out all of those which had messages written on the back:
£45:00 = the price of my ubiquitous purchase of the month ... my newest shoes: Almost worth it for the lovely chain sections alone ... ... they're definitely worth it for being amazingly comfortable and, as they stay in place when zipped up, I can drive in them without endangering the wider public! [Surely the holy grail of the footwear world?].

And finally ....

Countless = the number of ubiquitous photos I've taken this summer. You know ... the poses that you always assume and the things you just have to take a photo of while you're there? Such as .....

Us in a mirrored lift [certainly not the first or last of these we have in the collection!]: Or how about another photo of the Shambles in York? Because you know, it may have been there for hundreds of years but, and I may take a photo of those amazing buildings every time I go but, you know ... I might capture something different with this latest shot:Other additions to the 'ubiquitous photos of the summer' category include 'shadows cast on the floor by James + I'; 'feet in the sea'; 'looking out across the sea in a pensive manner'; 'clear blue sky' and 'clear blue sky with silhoutte of flocking birds'.

Every year. Without fail!

What are yours? Which poses can you spot recurring through your albums? Do you have a tradition of taking a particular photo at a particualr time or place during the year? I'd love to hear your versions.

This month I've added a 'linky-box' below for you to share any of your August numbers with me.

You don't have to create a new number-specific post for it though, just link up something you've already posted on your blog / Flickr / online place ...

.... and then leave me a comment explaining where the numbers come into it. Maybe it's the amount of tea cosies you've knitted - with a link to a photo/post about your knitting in general.

Whatever you choose to share I'd love to hear how you interpret your month using numbers too.

Thanks for visiting 'me' today ... and throughout the month too. I'll 'see' you in September!

Julie :)

Monday 30 August 2010

Blog hop: Luminous embossing powders ... and curry

Greetings to you if you've hopped-in here on your way around this month's Banana Frog blog hop [see their blog for a list of those taking part today]. In fact, 'greetings to you' even if you haven't.

Before we begin, let me just make one thing clear ... there's every chance that despite having taken part in numerous Banana Frog blog hops I maybe, might have, just possibly, forgotten [YET AGAIN!!!] that there's meant to be a theme that the Design Team all base their projects on during the 'hop'. And I might just have made something quite far off the mark ... [AGAIN!].

But, I could be wrong ... how about I let you judge for yourself? The theme was actually 'Vacations' .... OK? Is that clear? 'Vacations' Got that?

So what's the theme of my project today?

Well, errrr ... that would be 'curry':

Yes, curry:
How about we all just pretend that the theme was 'Asian food' rather than 'Vacations' and then we can move on? OK? Good!

This page is actually a scraplift [of sorts] of this one:
It's the page I made for my Banana Frog Project of the Day on August 14th - which you can have a proper look at here at your leisure ... but for now, back to today's project which uses a similar technique to that one:Just as I did on that previous layout, here I've inked up the entire sheet of alphabet stamps [the Pharmacy font set] this time using a Versamark Watermark ink pad then embossing on top in a fluorescent pink and lemon:
I then painted over the whole embossed area using a Shimmerz paint from 3DJean in 'Jilted Jade' buffing it off the raised embossed lettering. Finally I gave it a spritz of a lime green spray ink: I then built up my layout, repeating the same colours throughout which also mirror the colours within my photographs:
To create the title I simply placed some cardstock alphas down on my paper and spray-inked around them in two shades of ink: The story behind the page tells of how when James's company carried out some work [for someone he knew through the business] he bartered with them for a rather unique additional form of payment .... an authentic curry!

A few weeks later, once the job had been completed, the man's wife actually sent over an entire, delicious, home-cooked traditional Asian meal.

Naturally I had to have a photo of it to scrap and then, while he was taking a photo of the meal ... I grabbed a shot of him grabbing a shot of it:

Now then, considering how the previous Project of the Day I mentioned above from was also about a curry ... I think maybe I'll change my scrapping subject! For now at least!

Thanks for visiting me today - sorry the food was only the 'virtual' kind - hope I haven't made you hungry! Especially as you'll need your strength to hop on now - to visit Annlouise Rispling's blog.
As usual, if you want to be in with a chance of winning a set of Banana Frog stamps [sometimes it's one prize per blog, other times it's a random selection]then leave comments around the hop somewhere. In fact, beneath this post would seem a good a place as any to start! ;-)
See you soon. Hop on.

Julie x

Thursday 26 August 2010

This time it's an owl t-shirt.

Hello again.

I like bird stuff. You know I like bird stuff ... let's just get straight on with more bird stuff.

I have made my own birdy themed clothing in the past [remember the dick-dicks debacle?] but my latest item, despite having a very arty / handmade feel was not made by my fair hand:

Quite the contrary.

It's actually from Primark! More specifically ... from Primark's children's section:And it was in the sale!For £1.00!

[I'm going to go and hide now from those of you who don't approve.]

If you're ashamed of me for my Primark weakness ... please go and restore your faith in me over at Copy+Paste where today I blogged something hand-made.

I swear!

Julie ;-)

Wednesday 25 August 2010

Small Stories: It's a bird thing. It's *always* a bird thing.

Hello you.

This summer I've been on a hunt for vintage treasures. And I've found some.

Many of them are books. Books of magnificently low price and even more magnificent illustrations. Books which I've photographed and will share them with you in the coming weeks. Books which, when I leaf through them, reveal a currently recurring theme of zebras and birds!

But, in amongst this safari and flock of illustrated creatures there also dwells this little ceramic treasure ... my beautiful blue budgerigar complete with temperature gauge:

Vintage budgerigar ... with temperature gauge!


And I'm smitten with him. Isn't he pretty?:

Vintage budgerigar ... with temperature gauge!

From the moment I spotted his wings deep within in a battered, neglected, dusty, heaped-up 'Everything in here 50p' box at carboot sale near Whitby ... I wanted him. Even when James looked like he was re-considering [a] my sanity and [b] our future together, even then, I wanted to buy a ceramic budgie with in-built temperature gauge.

So I did.

We're still trying to work out it the gauge still works properly.

Vintage budgerigar ... with temperature gauge!

As you can see, it's registering almost 30degrees in this photo and considering it was taken outside on a English summer's day ... it might not be entirely acurate ....

At the very least he's all clean and fresh now he lives with us plus, since I took these photos James has painted him a new left eye to match his right!

Vintage budgerigar ... with temperature gauge!

Yes, he may be a little bit kitsch. And yes, he may have been broken and glued back together. But you know what? He's unique. You certainly don't see many like him ... now, get your eyes off him ... he's all mine ...

You are allowed to cast your eyes over these though, they're my latest additions to my Carousel Zebra etsy shop. In fact, I'd positively encourage you to have a look at them:

Bird badges - assorted

Thank you!

I'll be winging back here soon [I know ... appalling pun ... apologies] with more birdy treasures.

Until then, have a lovely day!

The sun's shining here right now and, should I wish to know the exact temperature, ... I know a budgie who can help me out with that!


Saturday 21 August 2010

Overheard: Ingredients for the perfect movie.

Hi there.

It's been far, far too long since I shared something I've overheard with you, so I've got a good one to make up for it.

In a few weeks time I'll be going back to work, when the new University term begins again. It seems like I've been off forever.

I have been off for ever!

But when I do get back into the swing of things, if ever you catch me complaining about my job just remind me that I do get to sit in on lectures 4 days a week [how can that be a bad job?] and that better still, I get to listen-in on student's conversations before those lectures begin.

Conversations such as the following, which is a superb example of teenage male pleasures and priorities ...

Student 1, summarising the plot of the DVD he'd just pulled from his bag: There's these 3 women in bikinis who walk around with swords, killing zombies ... That's it ... Everything I need in the world ...
Student 2: Do you know what would make it even better though?
Student 1: What?
Student 2: If they were lesbians!
Student 1: Oh yeah! If they'd done that they would have made 'The Film'. No more films!

And then, somehow, I was meant to pick up my pen and concentrate while taking notes in the subsequent lecture ... it's a tough job sometimes you know? ;-)
Photo details: A card I made especially to accompany this post! Because, goodness knows I couldn't find a suitable photo on the hard drive to illustrate that particular conversation ...
Stamps on card: 'Silk' by Sweet Pea from 3DJean.co.uk and 'Heads' by Stampotique from Art From the Heart.
Just think, whenI go back to work there'll be a lot more conversations like that for me to share with you. I bet you can't wait .... eh?

Friday 20 August 2010

A little bit like a rebus [no, not the Scottish detective ... the other one]..

Hi you. It's me.

Ever played with
rebus puzzles? Well, you're about to now anyway. Just use the pictures to guess what it is I'm trying to tell you. Ready? OK ....

When I was in York last week there was a mini fair in the town square and when I saw this:

I could not resist grabbing a photo!

Later that same day, while browsing in Zara, I spotted this shirt:... and, while I didn't exactly want to buy it, I did want to scurry into the changing rooms and take a few snaps of me wearing it:

How are you doing with the puzzle side of things? Any ideas yet? For obvious reasons I've also been put in mind of another top I once used to wear [12 years ago to be precise!]: At least it shows I'm consistent in my pattern preferences!

Have you got the answer yet? Just work out what photos we've had so far. Got it? .... OK then here's the best bit:If you're still baffled, click on any of the photos for the answer. You'll be glad to know that that's where the rebus puzzle ends. Meanwhile ...

.... the other bit is just beginning ....

J :-D

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Small Stories: Is it still considered 'littering' if you do it from the 7th floor?

Hi, hi, hi.

When James and I stayed overnight in Harrogate a few weeks ago we re-enacted something rather ridiculous and juvenile which we'd first done in the same hotel almost two years beforehand. An event which I scrapbooked and blogged at the time.

Any ideas? OK then, here it is:

Yes. That's right. We made a paper plane and launched it from our hotel room window.

Into this beautiful view:Maybe you might remember the scrapbook page I made in 2008 showing the first time we took flight:

Paper Planes

What can I say in our defence? It's becoming a family tradition? Does that work on you?

Unlike last time [I can't believe I'm talking about this like it's a regular occurence ...] this time round we couldn't see where any of them landed. Then, as we were leaving the car park, on our way home, James spotted one in the gutter. Trust me ... if there hadn't been double yellow lines everywhere, and if we wouldn't have been blocking the exit ... he'd have most certainly stopped the car and taken a photo of his crash-landed aircraft!

And that my friends ... is the kind of rock & roll hurling-things-from-hotel-windows kinda lifestyle we lead ... don't hate us just because you envy us ....

Sorry. Here, have a highly infectious and wholly appropriate tune to make up for everything:

.... and so .... errrm, while it's probably not the most 'rock & roll' of all questions ... is it still considered 'littering' if you do it from the 7th floor?

J ;)

Saturday 14 August 2010

DIY: Customised backing papers.

Hi. How's your weekend going?

So far my weekend has so far been full of lovely food and the promise of an end to all food going off within minutes of entering our currently failing fridge. Because, today James made celery & onion soup followed by banana & walnut loaf ...

... right after we'd been to look at healthy new fridge-freezers!

Anyway ... I certainly didn't drop in here to tell you all about sour milk and mouldy carrots so how about we move on to the crafty business?

I can be quite determined to do my own thing sometimes. [You're stunned at that revelation aren't you?] and recently this independent streak has led to me to dabble in making my own patterned backing papers for my craft projects.

The main focus of my Banana Frog Design Team Project of the Day today featured a sheet of 12x12 which I'd decorated myself:
For more photos and details of how [and why!] I did this, drop by my 'Graffiti-Effect Stamping' post on their blog to see my full project. Please do. I always feel a little bit like I'm away-from-home when I post on a DT blog!

Below are two scraps of paper I'd used last night to catch the overspray while I working on my Project of the Day layout:In the background of the photo is James, who spent part of the day airbrushing one of his model planes. At one point, when I saw him reach out for some kitchen roll to wipe some yellow paint from a stirring stick I practically fell over myself to stop him!

'Wipe it on there!' I demanded, pushing the scraps toward him, recognising the potential loveliness of combining his 'Insignia Yellow' enamel with my 'Fuchsia Pink' and 'Raspberry' spray inks! So, expect to see it re-appearing on a papercraft project sometime or other!

I can't remember if I've showed you the outcome of my earlier experiments with customising my own papers on these cards: If not, it's because they were another Design Team project, this time over on Scattered Scarlet, the 3DJean blog: You can see my full set of cards here if you like. And I think you will like ... I do. I'm really happy with what I came up with there!! [Did I ever mention I was modest? ...].

And then there was this set of cards [blogged here]: ... which featured scraps of papers hand decorated, not by me, but by Effie [of Efemera Ink and Scattered Scarlet] who donated them in my direction and which set me off on my customising spree!

I can see lots of potential for stencilling and stamping on and customising all those 12x12s that are languishing in the back of my storage folder and which could gain a whole new lease of life through a few new layers of ink and paint!

So, now you know what's been occupying my hands recently, I think I'll leave it for tonight. [My hands are currently pre-oocupied by a glass of Sauvignon Blanc].

I'd love to see any papers you've customised yourself, either in the past, or whenever you get around to making some in the future, just leave me a comment or drop me a line and I'll drop by yours for a peek.

It reallyis good fun and can even save you money as you don't have to dash out to buy brand new papers when you fancy something fresh and unique:However, please don't blame me if you then end up spending everything you've saved on new inks and stamps instead!

See you soon. I have tons of blogging projects planned for between now and ... I wasgoing to say 'Christmas' but, if truth be told, it's more like 'the end of time' actually!

So ... soonly then? I'll be here. I'll look forward to 'seeing' you.

J :)