Thursday 30 September 2010

Blog Hop: Cute Camera Cards + Layout [with giveaway]


Today's a Banana Frog blog hop day [I'm glad I only had to type that, rather than say it out loud!] and so I'm taking a break from bombarding you with birds like I've been doing all week!

Welcome if you've just dropped by from September's guest designer Birgit Moosbauer's blog. And welcome if you found me any other way too!

If you saw my Banana Frog Project of the Day [here] a fortnight ago, you'll have seen the camera embellishments I created by compositing stamped elements from various different sets. So, here, as promised, is how I've put them to use:
The perfectly fitting camera design backing paper is part of the '7 bis avenue Nicephore' range from 4heures37:
I really liked the end result on these cards and have sent many of them already. And, naturally, I had to have at least a splash of animal print somewhere, didn't I?:
I haven't only used them on cards though, I added two of them to this layout featuring a photograph of me taking a photograph of the sea:
Photographs of photo-taking is an inevitable side-effect of two scrapbookers armed with cameras on a day trip, so naturally the word 'Photographs' ended up as my title word.

I wanted this title to stand out - even against that loud PDQ paper - so I embossed the letters in alternating bright colours. The alphabet stamps I used are also from Banana Frog - they're the FT Rosecube font and Bensfolk [which is on sale at the moment for the silly price of £3.30!].

Here's a close up of that photograph which was taken by my friend, and fellow scrapper, Hannah :
It was taken during our discussions about how our position, on the edge of the coastline, was quite literally at the end of the world! Well, the end of the land at least:
You see? Scrapbookers really are capable of tallking about things other than the latest Crate Paper range ... [although, having said that ... oooh have you seen the 'restoration' range? ...]

Well the, I hope you enjoyed my camera ideas today - let me know if you make any for yourself - it'd be interesting to see another take on them.

If you're following the blog hop around, you now need to go and visit Debbie . [ETA: There seems to a bit of a problem in the hop - so you might like to move on to Michelle's blog for now - to ease you on your way!]
As usual there's a giveaway involved ... just leave a comment below [or on any of the stops along the blog hop] to be entered. For my part, I'll be selecting a winner at random tomorrow afternoon - 16:00 BST 01.10.10.

Best of luck, thanks for dropping by today.

Julie :-)

Wednesday 29 September 2010

Bird Week. Day 3: Birds of the World book

Welcome to day 3 of my self-imposed 'Bird Week' which, upon realising how much bird stuff I've accrued and could be showing you ... could seriously be in danger of becoming Bird Month!

Or Bird Lifetime.

So let me just get started and share with you some really handsome illustrations from a 1961 book 'The Golden Picture Book of Birds of the World' which cost me all of 20p! I rescued it from a highstreet charity shop where it was pressed up against a talking Dick & Dom book which shouted out 'Bogies' next to me!

Oh the indignity!

Enjoy the birdies:

I fully admit to squealing aloud when I saw this page:
And these fancies just make me smile:
Especially this one, who clearly knows just how fancy she is:

Then there's this proud chap:
... who is satisfying similar to one I'd already made for the current issue of Papercraft Inspirations Magazine [Issue 78]:
I wonder sometimes about how much people would charge for books like these if they knew how valuable they were to retro-illustrated-book-loving folk like me...
More than 20p I'm sure.

So, until they come to their senses ... let's just keep quiet about how much I'd be willing to pay if I had to, shall we?

What do you make of my bargain flock then? Would you have stretched to the full 20p for it too?


Tuesday 28 September 2010

Bird Week! Day 2! Bird stuff! Obviously.


I made some cards for my Scattered Scarlet DT project today:

You can see more pictures of them in my actual post over there should you so wish.

As for the quails' eggs ... they were something James bought, as he's always on the look out for an unusual culinary experience. [However, the less said about the 'anchovy style' fillets he bought last weekend ... the better ... seriously ...].

Anyway ... I felt that the eggs, with their soft chalky surface, each with their own unique pale blue/grey/brown markings were really far, far too pretty to be left in the fridge all lonely, under utilised and un-photographed! Especially when I had some tiny birdie cards to show off ... so I borrowed them for styling purposes!

Elsewhere, in a rather similar style to the CatsLife Press stamps from 3DJean which I used on those cards you might expect, birds have been featuring in the badges I've been making to sell in my Carousel Zebra shop:And judgin by the small flurry of bird-badge buying there's been ... I'm not alone in my avian proclivities.

Which reminds me ... when I set about making my badges I try to put them into a few broad categories such as 'birds'; 'animals' and 'hobbies'. So far I've had a few suggestions of specific themes which people would like to see me featuring so, if you have any ideas on that front - or want to request a custom item, just let me know and I'll get to work.

See you soon. I have some splendid bird illustrations to share with you tomorrow - Wednesday - Day 3 of 'Bird Week'!

[I love saying that - it reminds me of those themed weeks you used to get in primary school! Anyone up for rolling crepe paper into thousands of little balls to glue onto a mural?].

Julie ;-)

Monday 27 September 2010

This week is bird week. Costumes are optional ...

Hello, hello.

I know that most weeks around here I inevitably, at some point, write something about birds, but this week I'm making a dedicated and concerted effort to share bird photos, projects, stories and general avian miscellany with you.

Firstly, in case you didn't spot it already, over the weekend on Copy + Paste we challenged two guest designers to produce a project inspired by my most recent favourtie children's show the CBeebies animated series 3rd & Bird. So firstly you should hop over there to see their lovely work ... then come back to me ...

Ar eyou back? Good, because I've got something to show you, something which if my online research is correct, appears to be a buzzard. The first I've ever seen in 'the wild':Last weekend James and I took a short break in the Scottish borders and spotted this incredible bird while taking a walk around the beautiful grounds of the hotel we stayed in.

Each and every time I see a flock of birds wending their way across the sky, my attention is caught and my imagination fired as I'm currently in constant debate with myself over whether to get a bird silhouette tatoo like the one I wrote about in this post for Copy+Paste earlier this year.

So much so that, upon seeing a group of flying birds I've taken to pointing it out to James by shouting 'Look, my tattoo!' while I trace with my finger the pattern they make agianst the sky.

All of which was the reason we spoted this majestic fellow in the first place. After gazing up for a few seconds at a flock of smaller birds, the buzzard's size and slow, easy, zig-zagging drift through the air set him quite apart from the rest and began a mad scramble for the camera so we could use the zoom to work out who and what he was:For the entire time he graced us with his presence, we stood there watching, with necks bent and faces skyward. And all the while the words of one of my all time favourite poems ran through my head on a loop creating a most fitting soundtrack to the spectacle.

It was this, The Windhover by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

The Windhover
I caught this morning morning's minion, king-
dom of daylight's dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate's heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,--the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!

Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! AND the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!

No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermilion.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

....'my heart in hiding stirred for a bird' ... such a beautiful line ... and indeed mine did.
OK then, that's day one of bird week for you [why do I suddenly feel like Kate Humble now ...?]. If you liked the poem too, I'd love to know.
Otherwise ... this is probably where you now tell me that you get to see buzzards [or similar] every day ... I await your bird spottings with anticipation/envy ...

Wednesday 22 September 2010

Overheard: Not *that* old excuse?

Hi you.

Today marks my return to my out-of-the-house work place. Just for two days this week, while I'm inducted [yet again] into the job I've done for the past 4 years ... but who am I to argue ...?

Anyhow ... I thought this was a good time to share another of my most memorable and favourite 'overheards' from the campus. One which always makes me grin when I recall it ...

It was March 2009 and I was having my break in the Student Union Café when I spotted a student waiting to pay for his food but there was no-one attending the tills.

After a short wait, the serving assistant appeared and gave this intriguing and classic apology:

Server: Sorry … I was waylaid with a vegan. ???

Next time I'm late for something, caught in a tricky spot or have fallen short of my responsibilities and am in need of an excuse ... I think i'll give that one a whirl ... how about you? ;-)

Julie x

p.s: It's my turn to do some copying here over at my other blog The Copy + Paste Project today, so if you get chance, drop by and see me there too. There's time-trial poetry involved! How can you resist?

Monday 20 September 2010

My badges: the Rock years. Contains strong language!

[Please don't scroll down to the rest of this post if you are offended by swearing. Or even if you can't face having to re-assess your opinion of my character! ;-)]

Hi, hi, hi.

I love how my badge reminiscing has sent some of you in search of your own collections.

Coincidentally, this weekend I even got to see HannahBanana's full badge archive up-close-and-in-person which, unlike my whittled down few that have survived the intervening years, is beautifully framed and hung in pride of place at the top of her stairs. [I especially enjoyed her own confusion as to why her oldest badge featured a squirrel sat on a letter 'I'!].

It was a lot of fun browsing her lifetime collection and tracking many of the school trips and tourist spot she's ever been to since she was tiny and if my recent conversation with a 10 year old girl at the crop is anything to go by, badge collecting is still alive and kicking in the next generation!

If in fact you are one of those who's ended up sorting through lots of old dusty boxes in your hunt for smurfs, smiley faces or Dennis the Menace .. I apologise. But seeing as how, by the end of this post, I'll have even more to apologise for ... I'll just move on and get it over with ...

My teen years can be characterised by a love of rock bands. A love which I wasn't afraid to pin to my lapel:

As you might imagine, the lapel in question was that on a black leather jacket.

However, there was one badge which, as much as I liked it ... I didn't really wear out in public, and when I show it to you ... you'll be able to see why: It was the title of a song by Skid Row. A song which they were warned not to play by the local council when they supported Guns n Roses at Wembley Stadium in 1991 and really, what were the chances that a rock band was going to take that threat seriously? Seriously?

So, what do you think they did? Did they heed the warning, do as they were told, and refrain from playing it? Or did they see it as a gauntlet being thrown down, a challenge to their rebelliousness, and revel in defiance while whipping-up the huge crowd in the process?

Well, I can tell you, for a fact, that they did indeed play the song. I know this, because I was there.

In fact, I must be in this video somewhere as my sister and I were in the stands just ot the right of the stage!

[Please DO NOT listen to this if you are offended by swearing ... or if you are at work, unless you want to send your co-workers a very particular kind of message]:

And Dad, if you're reading this, let me reassure that had you been there with us on that day, you certainly would not have heard neither Jo nor I singing along to those lyrics with everyone else ...

Nope, not at all.

I can honestly say that [amid tens of thousands of fans loudly chanting expletives] you would not have heard one single word from us ...

[Do you think I'll get away with that?] ;-)


Monday 13 September 2010

My badges: The Teenage Years!

Hello you.

I've loved reading your comments on my previous badge history post! And I'm intrigued at how it stirred up a touch of nostalgia in you. Sorry Gabrielle ... but no, I just can't remember what I'm meant to say in response to your Gnasher catchphrase .. you'll have to remind me! And Hannah ... I'm sooooo looking forward to seeing your framed badges! Soon. xxx

I thought I'd move you on from Dennis the Menace today, and share with you some of the badges I collected as a teenager - no doubt some of these will trigger memories in you too.

So let's start with me at 13, visiting Florida and going to see the first of the Batman films: I remember being so impressed that we'd got to see it before it came out in the UK! So impressed, that I probably bought the badge to take home as proof!

Then, what teenager of the late 80s/early 90s didn't have something featuring one of these:And, alongside my refusal to eat any tuna that wasn't 'dolphin friendly' there was this: These days, when green issues are at the forefront of politics ... it's strange to recall how Anita Roddick was such a pioneering figure in 'Fairtrade', 'organic' and 'environmentally / animal friendly' products. Her principles had a big effect on me and I used to love reading about where The Body Shop sourced it's ingredients and how it treated the producers fairly.

That said ...

... I think, when I bought the following, I wasn't taking myself [or conservation issues] especially seriously:

OK then, I'm going to clear off now, but I'll be back with some more badges later this week. One of which has what I would sheepishly call a 'big swear' on it ...

... consider yourself warned ...

J ;)

Tuesday 7 September 2010

And I have the badge to prove it!

Hello, hello.

You know how I've been having a high old time making badges this summer, to sell in my etsy shop? Well, I thought it'd be fun to take you through the history of my love of all things badge-shaped so have been taking photos of some of those I've held on to since I was small [I know, I know ... I'm still small ... you know what I mean!].

Anyway I thought I'd show you this one right now as, who knows, it may be about to become a collector's item:
And here [courtesy of this page on the BBC website] is why:

"The long-running club for dedicated fans of Dennis the Menace is to be replaced with a website in a bid to attract more members. The Beano Club stopped accepting new members in August, though the comic's Dundee publishers DC Thomson said it would honour existing subscriptions. The club was launched in 1976 as the Dennis the Menace Fan Club. It will be replaced in the next few months with a new website and will be known simply as"

Clearly, you can tell I'm very old, as when I joined, the club was still known by the original name. [Not that I joined in 1976!].

And while to any kids joining today, a shiny new website is all well and good ... it's not the same as having your very own Dennis badge is it?

I'll show you some more of my, slightly less ancient, badges soon!

Julie :-)

p.s: It was my turn to keep the Design Team seat warm over at Scattered Scarlet today if you haven't spotted my post over there already.

Sunday 5 September 2010

The Perfect Pink Parrot.


Once again I'm not here. I'm at a carboot sale.

For the 3rd Sunday in a row.

Remember how
in my August-in-numbers post I mentioned the 25p bargain price Hannah and I paid for the vintage girls' annuals we found at a carboot sale near Whitby? Well, I'm almost certain that that was the first one I'd ever been to ... it's not exactly like they're a new fangled activity is it? I don't know how they passed me by until now ....

... where it seems as if I'm making up for lost time. And even though it's too soon to call this a pattern, I am very pleased to have found a wonderful bird ornaments for very little pence at two out of three of those I've visited since my carboot debut!

This chap, who I introduced you to properly in this post, was the first:

Vintage budgerigar ... with temperature gauge!

I'm happy to say that, as of last Sunday, he has a new friend.

An exquisitely beautiful new friend to be exact:

Ceramic Parrot - front

To tell you the truth, I'm utterly besotted with him. James keeps catching me just gazing at it ... he then laughs at me ... I then shoot him a dark look ... and return right back to the gazing.

The allure [of the bird ... not James] is a combination of that amazing face and pink feathers:

Ceramic Parrot - face

.... and his pine cones! [Sorry, that sounds a bit indelicate doesn't it? ... But they are very nice pine cones ...]:

Ceramic Parrot - pine cone detail

As he needs to be hung on the wall, I'm still deciding on the best place to display him but he's already one of my most favourite ornaments. Truly a very special 'find' for me.

Ceramic Parrot - back

All things condsidered, how much do you think I had to pay for this drop of vintage birdy perfection?

How about one whole English pound. Yes, that's correct - £1.00!!!!!!!!!!!

I know!!!!

I don't know what price an upmarket antiques shop would ask for it, but I can imagine it would be higher than £1.oo.

I'd love to know more about it [not that I want to sell it!] - so if you know anything about how I could go about finding out more about this kind of ceramic item ... I'd love to hear from you. The fact that the only marking on the back simply says 'Foreign' has me stumped as to where to begin researching.

Right then, I'll leave you to have one last longing glance at the most perfect £1 parrot and if I manage to find yet another bargain bird at this morning's sale ... I'll be back to let you know straight away!

Happy Sunday to you.


Saturday 4 September 2010

Spending my pocket-money ... unwisely?

Hello you.

I've been treating myself to a few things today ... things which, on paper, I'm probably too old to have been excited to find. But who cares?

First up is a pack of animal print card:

Animal print card

I have a thing for animal print [as I confessed to in this post, remember?] so it was inevitable that they'd find their way into my grubby hands anyway ... but it was a certainty once I spotted the cute die-cuts they'd included ... I guess it's in case we can't work out which print came from which animal:

Animal print card

Not that I'd have any trouble identifying this one:

Camouflaged zebra

And speaking of zebras ... [What? Too obvious? .....] 'Julie Kirk & The Carousel Zebra', my online etsy shop, has had a lovely week this week.

After I uploaded the first two of my fabric brooches, I had a small [well earned] nap, only to awake to 4 sales .. including both of the brooches! I did ponder the fact that, as I'd had a 40 minute nap, making 10 minutes sleep per sale, I should probably add 'take more naps' to my business plan.

The only problem with that argument was ...
  • [a] when would I ever get time to make anything to sell and
  • [b] I don't actually have a business plan ...

But they're just minor points ... I still like the idea of naps being beneficial to business and since then I have had 2 nights sleep and sold 2 more items ... so there may be life in the idea yet!

OK, back to the age-inappropriate treats from today ....

While in a toy shop I happened to spot a range bracelets to which you add your own choice of lettering. After a while [and much rummaging] I decided upon one of my favourite words, found the necessary letters and bought them:

'Hello' bracelet

Then, the minute I got back into the car, I slid the little metal alphas on to the strap which, although it's meant to be for children, fits me perfectly fine.

'Hello' bracelet

[Maybe kids these days have freakishly big wrists ... who knows?! I blame computer games and the ability to text form birth].
As if it wasn't fabulous enough to begin with .... the entire range was half-price so the whole thing was a complete bargain:

'Hello' bracelet

All day, since buying it, I've been trying to decide on two things:

1. Whether or not to go back to the shop and buy up their entire remaining stock ... and ....

2. Whether or not, if I had the entire set of letters at my disposal, I'd be able to resist the temptation to, every once in a while, spell out swear words across them. You know? For fun? In which case, I'd better check there's at least 3 'F's left before I buy them up ... just in case.

OK, I'm going to skulk off now before you wash your hands of me ... and so I can go and smirk at the thought of having 'OFF' spelled out across my left wrist while ... oh, you get the picture ...

See you tomorrow. [I'm sending myself to bed for bad behaviour ...]

J ;-)