Wednesday 31 July 2013

My Month in Numbers 2013: July

Hello hello.

How do you fancy joining me as I untie July from its moorings and send both it - and all its statistics - gently downstream towards August?

Good, let's make a start ...

July was the 1st time I set questions for us all to try to answer and this month's inaugural 'communal count' asked ...
And, as I'm the host, I felt obliged to answer both questions. You however got to pick and choose, because guests are allowed to be fussy! Here are mine:

Between 10-15 = How many individual items I carried around in my everyday bag this month
This included my core essentials of: purse, phone, keys, tissues, mints, black Bic pen, notebook, sunglasses, lip gloss, Ibuprofen and fold-up shopping bag ... plus ... occasionally [depending on the weather or whether I want to carry everything]: a fold-up shower proof mac, a bottle of water and my camera. [I really wish there was something weird in there so I could explain all in a funny story ... but it turned out pretty average really! I did used to carry a plastic zebra everywhere with me. But you knew that already, right?]

Meanwhile ...

330[approx]= how many photos I took [give or take a few I deleted straight away and a few I most likely forgot to count!!]

Not all of these were memorable moments, glorious landscapes and fabulous days out though. Nor were they a collection of every meal I ate [although I did take my fair share of foodie shots while on holiday]. No, some were photos of craft projects, blurry images and things I'll no doubt delete later when I clean up my hard drive.

And I only printed 5 photos all month - a sure sign I'm in a scrapbooking lull ... to say the least. [Edited to add: after scheduling this post I printed off lots of photos of my twice yearly crafting retreats to put in my album ... so maybe the scrapbooking's picking up a little!]

Now then ... why don't we look at a few of these 330 photos in question  ...

6 hours = the delay we had  between setting off for our city break the first time round ... and when we actually began our travels. 

2 minutes = how far we were from home when the ignition lock of our car jammed up and our trip ground to a halt.
The lock died while we were still in the petrol station filling the tank for our drive down to Lincoln!! This meant we had to push the car off the forecourt and sit and wait for rescue. Once home I updated my Dad via text ... and this is the genuine - yet highly appropriate - typo I made while meaning to type 'someone's coming':
Considering how I felt at the time ... the error makes perfect sense to me!

Anyway .. the locksmith [who we waited all day for] let us down and we ended up borrowing a car for the week instead. But finally we were on our way ...

36p = the fee to cross the toll bridge into Lincoln:
Crossing this bridge always marks the beginning of our breaks away in Lincoln - once we're on the other side of that we're in holiday mode! And, after waiting all day to get there .... it was a welcome sight.

78,000 = the number of people who attended the RAF Waddington Airshow the day we were there:
And no, I didn't count them all myself. The organisers believed it was the gloriously sunny day and, importantly, the very clear skies, that brought everyone out in such numbers. We'd arrived before 9am and bought our tickets when we got there ... yet by 10am they were turning away anyone without a ticket!!

Imagine how pleased we'd have been to have had our car breakdown before even setting off, then waiting 6 hours to even begin the trip, only to finally get there then the following day get turned away at the gate!!

100 = the number of steps climbed to reach the roof of Lincoln Cathedral:
Considering how many times we've been to Lincoln before, and that James lived there for many years, we did quite a few 'touristy' type things on this trip and a roof tour of the cathedral was one of them.
Due to restoration work on the exterior of the building this wasn't their usual roof tour [where you actually go out on to the roof and can see for miles and miles.] No ... this was something more intimate ... more Pillars of the Earth:
The 90minute tour took us behind and indeed above the scenes of the Cathedral, up into the space above the vaulted ceilings where we could see the actual construction of the building. The tour guide even pointed out some of the maker's marks left by the men who worked on individual beams ... in the 13th Century!
It was a wonderful experience so, if the opportunity arises ... go and try it yourself. Go stand where the medieval craftsmen stood and admire their work.

132 = the number of steps climbed to reach the the top of Redcar Beacon [which was one of my Scavenger Hunt photos last year]
Just as we did in Lincoln, we did a few tourist-type things once we were back home too including our first trip up this new tower which sits on the beach. [Everyone wanted a new pier ... but we got this instead ... we're still trying to keep an open mind about it!]

There's actually a room up in the beacon called the 'Sky Lounge' which you can book for the day ... and I couldn't help but ponder the possibilities ... anyone for a day of crafting overlooking the sea?

And, as we're speaking of steps ... I finally got a pedometer!! And I can now bore you with all kinds of statistics!!

3752 = the number of steps my current morning walk route takes:
It also took 28.15 minutes and I covered 2.62km.

What it doesn't mention is the 3 blisters I have from my new walking shoes. 1 of which I actually got from the gel inserts I added after getting the first 2!!

21/31 = the number of days I blogged. Which may well be a personal record. I seem to have a lot to say at the moment!

4 = the number of books read all of which I pinned to my Pinterest board of books read this year. 4 definitely seems to be my steady monthly average.

And finally ...

6 = the number of items from the Summertime Scavenger Hunt list I blogged.
However ... I actually found more than that which I'll be sharing in the weeks to come. In fact there's only 1 photo left for me to take and I'll have found all 21. Which is just as well ...

... because my friends have persuaded me to join in their 52 week photo project now! But those are numbers for another month ...


So, that was how my month added up now ...

Here's how YOU can join in:
If you've never joined in before there's a lot more information on the Month in Numbers page - including a 'How To' guide to inspire you. [You don't need to follow any guidelines other than those I'm about to set out below ... everything else I'll leave up to your own creative  interpretation!]

**Please note: I can only 'pin' a post to the board if it contains at least one image/photo. Otherwise I can only leave a comment and smile at you from a distance**

So ... if you want to share a link to your Month in Numbers post / photo / layout etc for me to then visit, comment on, and pin to the communal Month in Numbers Pinterest board then ...
  • Leave a link to your numbers in a comment on this blog post ... but ... 
  • When you swing by my blog to drop it off - please leave a comment for me while you're there. Not because I'm needy ... but because it's nicer if you don't just throw your link on my table and leave without saying hello!  
  • Please remember to link to my blog in your post. As much as I'd like to think that everyone who reads your blog already knows what 'My Month in Numbers' is [hey, it's nice to be popular, right?] ... the truth is, they don't. So unless you explain to your readers where the idea comes from and how they can join in too, they'll never know.
  • And finally ... please try to take time at some point in the coming month to visit and comment on a few of the other posts too. It really does help build a community both around My Month in Numbers .. but also around your own blog space.
If - after reading through all the info on the Month in Numbers page of my blog - you still have any questions just get in touch. My email's in my right sidebar as are the links to my Facebook page and Twitter.

I'll look forward to reading your numbers ... and the stories the numbers unlock.

And you can drop back tomorrow to collect your questions for August's Communal Count.

Julie :-)

Monday 29 July 2013

Snippets of Words: 'Have Strong Wings'

Hi, hi.

In the previous Snippets of Words post I mentioned some of the benefits of using foreign language papers and for today's example, while I didn't use it for my sentiment snippet I did use it as my background paper:
Now, call me shallow, but the page may be all about Russian nuclear physics [true story] ... but isn't it pretty? I love the way it's aged and has that gorgeous yellowing around the edges. [You can get your hands on your own from  the existing packs in my shop or as always, you can arrange a custom order. No problem!].

As for the sentiment snippet itself, this one came from a 1960s illustrated children's encyclopaedia entry on birds ... but again, as I also mentioned in my earlier post ... these kinds of phrases can take on their own, alternative, meaning when you free them from their original context:
And suddenly a simple fact about some prehistoric bird can become a positive, life-affirming  message to the recipient of this card!

The remainder of the card was just an experiment with combining the lovely soft ice-cream pink with jade green:
And in a nutshell, that's how I roll: playing with colour; mixing vintage book pages and patterned papers ... and snipping out something the will [hopefully] mean something to someone!

Have you found a perfectly pithy phrase lately? I swear this is true ... I was tidying my craft room while thinking about accountants [as one does] when I picked up a snippet of an old book page from the floor. And what should the snippet say when I turned it over? 'Profit and loss'! Spooky no?

Right then ... I'll be leaving you to sift through your pages or to visit my shop for a wide range of book pages old but new to you to inspire your next project!

Julie :-)

p.s: My Month in Numbers will be here on the 31st [as usual on the last day of the month] ... see you there.

Saturday 27 July 2013

Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt 2013: The Windmill do-over


Not only have I already captured a 'windmill' photo for Rinda's Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt, I even shared it here on my blog, last month. And I never intended to go seeking out another but then two things happened:
  1.  my good friend Kirsty - windmill freak, tomato hater, creator of the soon-to-be-published craft book Hoop-La! :100 Things to do with Embroidery Hoops - Neale, yes, that Kirsty Neale, expressed her deep disappointment that the windmill I found wasn't a real one ... ;-) and
  2. ... on our drive in to Lincoln the other week we spotted a 'real' windmill high up the hill ... seemingly very close to town. And it's a sight we've seen many times before, off in the distance, but which we'd never, ever, seen any closer up ... so we decided to make this the year we tracked it down!  Which was easier said than done ...
Once you land in the city centre you really can't see it anywhere. Which is very strange considering the size of the thing!

Then we came across a tourist leaflet for it in our hotel, in which we learnt:
  • It was real after all! Yay!
  • Built in 1798 Ellis Mill it was still in working order. Yay!
  • It's open to the public. Yay!
  • You can buy souvenir flour there. Yay!
  • It's only open on weekends 2-5pm ... oh ...
It was around 6pm on a Sunday when we learned that it's going to be an entire year before we get to go again and look inside the thing! I couldn't believe we came so close to the full mill experience and missed out by a matter of hours!!!

Anyway, to make the best of things, the next morning we decided to go and have a look anyway, checked out a street map and set off for a for a walk ...

After a while we found this rather promising road name:
So we followed it around ... and around ... past tightly packed, old red brick terraced housing where we soon  realised that we were looping back on ourselves and heading back towards the main road we'd just turned off! The road was one long curve and we were almost back were we began but then ... we passed by a house calling itself 'Windmill View' ... and once again ... our hopes were raised.

But where was the view? How could there be a windmill tucked in here between these narrow roads and small houses?

A few steps further and I had my answer ...
And there she was, in all her glory.

Her arms open wide in welcome:
and, for the second time ... I got to tick-off my list ...

 No.16 A Windmill:
And a beautiful one at that!

For those interested, here are a few more details:
And if you want to play along with the Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt there's still plenty of time [it doesn't finish until Sept 21st 2013] then make sure to visit Rinda over at Gallo Organico for all the details.
Thanks for spending time here today.
Julie :-)

Friday 26 July 2013

It's A Sign: Can we clarify the phrase 'enjoying yourself' please?

Hi, hi, hi.

I spotted this sign in the communal lounge area of the hotel we always stay in when we visit Lincoln.

The image it conjures in my mind is a little too x-rated for this blog ... so I'm going to just rely on you spotting the same risqué double entendre that I read into it ...

I'm just not sure how anyone 'enjoying' themselves [quietly or otherwise] would show respect towards the remainder of the guests.

But I guess every establishment has its own customs ...


I think I've said enough already ... I'll see you later.


Wednesday 24 July 2013

Snippets of Words: Questions, questions, questions.

Hi, hi.

In my previous posts I've been heavily promoting / twisting your arm / forcing you ... to consider how the most random 'found' phrases make brilliant sentiments for your card making. And that's true. They are brilliant. Would I lie to you?

However ...

... if that's not really your thing, how about finding a snippet which poses a question instead? Like this:

The great thing about asking a direct question on the front of a card - or indeed on any paper craft projects - is that it gives you an automatic link with the person reading it.

We just can't help answering it ... even if it's just in our heads. So, if you like the idea of snipping out some ready-made questions then here are a few tips ...

Where to find a good source of interesting questions to add to your projects:

Old school books and textbooks:
  • just think back to when you were in school and were given a book to work through when the teacher wanted to keep everyone quiet for an hour!
  • School books, comprehension books, textbooks, Q+A books ... they're all filled with questions for you to browse through and find something suitable for your project
  • An old 'Library Assignments' book from the 60s has become a firm favourite of mine and has featured in many, many projects over the last few years.
  • You can often find this kind of book in the childrens' book section of old book shops or ... you could always commission a custom pack of question pages from my shop and 'll do my best to find a mix for you from my collection.
Another bountiful source of questions is ...

Foreign language phrase books:
  • because phrase books are set up to help you make sense of things in a new country ... they're full of questions!
Granted ... the usefulness of the questions you can find in these can vary ... I mean ... you can go from the ever-practical 'Where is the beach?' to the, well, less immediately useful such as these I've found in my collection:
  • 'Have you fruit salts?'
  • 'Ought I to dress?'
  • 'Would you close the porthole?'
  • 'Is your cycle in order?'
Much fun can be had by deliberately snipping phrases out of their original context, wouldn't the following [genuinely taken from my old phrase book hoard] make great existential questions on a project?
  • 'What are you doing here?'
  • 'Who are you waiting for?'
  • 'Will you come with me?'
  • 'Must I change?'
If you've been inspired to go question-hunting then you can find old phrase books in the usual book shops / charity shops / car boot sales etc OR there are pages from phrase books in my Foreign Language text packs:
Please note: they also contain a mix of pages from dictionaries too - so they're not all phrasebook / question type pages.

But if you'd like a purely phrase book pack ...again,  I can put together a custom order for you. Just get in touch.

And, before we go, here's a quick look inside the card itself:
Paper scraps, sticker sheet surrounds, patterned tape .. all the usual suspects here:
If you want to catch-up on the other posts in this series, there's the Snippets of Words Pinterest board where I'm keeping all my posts, plus inspiration form other people too.

I'll share another snippet card next Monday ... maybe you'll have some snippety projects of your own to share by then? If you fancy it - just let me know - and I'll drop by for a look. Or link me up via my Facebook page.

But I'll be back before then with something else to try to drag a grin from you! [You know me: will perform for smiles].

Julie :-)

Monday 22 July 2013

Snippets of Words: 'Challenge and encourage you'

Hello, hello.

Let me start a new week by getting a little bit organised: I've now made a Pinterest board to house all the things I'll be blogging as part of the Snippets of Words series.

You don't need to have a Pinterest account to see all the posts in one  place though - you can just follow this link. I'm also collecting together and pinning works by other people that fit the theme too - so if you're looking for inspiration on how to use any old book pages you have in your stash, then that board's going to be a good place to start!

Now for today's example ... and after the two very small cards I've shared so far ... I think we're starting to grow in size. Well ... ever so slightly:
Just another from the scrap bag' card but this time my base was a patterned cardstock ... that's not something you see that often is it? Textured card - definitely, but not with a printed design on it. I've had them a while now and I can't remember which brand they came from [I accepted them in fun  payment-by-stash transaction once!] but it made a great, quick, backdrop for the rest of the scraps.

Note the punched-out circles ... I've had a newly renewed fondness for my circle punches and corner rounder this year. Not sure why although clearly it's a 'round' thing!

And, one tip if you're just staring at a pile of random scraps wondering where to begin:
  • start by pulling out all the scraps in similar shades - as I did here selecting blues and greens;
  • because, if all else fails ... you can always turn to the most basic colour coordinating to inspire 'something' to emerge from a mass of 'bits'!
As for the wording itself ... it doesn't mean anything at all except whatever the recipient made of it. It certainly wasn't selected for any particular reason ... but I think [actually I know, because she told me!] that the recipient made her own interpretation of it. 
It's one of the most interesting aspects of using these 'found' phrases rather than always turning to tried and tested [dare I say cliché?] ready-made sentiments
  • oddities like these leave lots of room around them for people to fill in the blanks for themselves.
  • ... to receive the message they want to hear ...
  • which may be far more deep and meaningful than anything you originally intended!
There'll be another example featuring 'Snippets of Words' along later in the week until then, don't forget  to visit or follow the inspiration board ... and then go sharpen those scissors!

Sunday 21 July 2013

Simply A Moment [July]: The Clash of the Seasons

Hey you.

Goodness, it seems that after my self-imposed blogging break in June ... I now can't turn around without bumping into yet another post I really want to share with you. What with my 'Snippets of Words' series and my scavenger hunt photos my draft post dashboard is looking mightily populated lately.

But I really did want to make time to fit in my 7th monthly response to the 'Simply A Moment' meme [I'm proud I've kept it up all year so far!]. If you don't already know then Simply a Moment is hosted at Simply Alexa -  a mid-month marker which encourages us to stop, pause and record something which could otherwise have disappeared into the ether. [To learn more you can read Alexa's tips on how to record your own moments and if you do join in, there's a link box there for you to add your post.]

And now here's my July moment ...

The Clash of the Seasons

Date: Monday 15th July 2013
Time: 15:15 ish
Location: Home. Work room.

So warm.

The breeze through the open craft room window buckles the vintage curtains forcing them inwards.

I glance down at the large bulldog clip I'm using to pin the hem of the curtain to the storage box beneath the window. It's meant to prevent the curtain from flapping like a ship sail where the gusts it creates are incompatible with the amount of paper on my work desk.

The crystal hanging in the window spins and the jingly bells on a string ... jingle. Appropriately.

I return my gaze to the Christmas-craft-projects-in-the-making covering my entire desk ... and most of the floor.
I thought I'd have got more done by now. OK, don't panic. It's always hard to begin. Remember? Hard to break the ice. But the thaw always comes ... and the job gets finished. Every time.

I'm still debating over whether to make another cup of tea. Am I thirsty? Or just looking for an evasion strategy?

Another warm breeze brings with it the smell of food. It reminds me of Auntie Rosie's Yorkshire Puddings. I can see a tray full of them now, bronze, crispy, perfect and never too far away from the equally famous Auntie Rosie's gravy. Ahhh the scent of nostalgia ...

Through the gap between the half-drawn curtains an old man wearing sunglasses, and his equally aged dog, enter stage-right ... stroll across the scene... and exit stage left.


Behind me, through the radio on the floor, the host of the music quiz asks the contestant "Who composed the Christmas carol 'Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day'?"

More Christmas. How funny. And naturally I'm now humming it.

I'm surrounded by 'the most wonderful time of the year' and yet I'm sitting here in shorts [can't remember the last time it was so warm that I had to wear them. And I'm just glad they still fit!].

I notice that the green of my t-shirt matches that of my cutting mat. But the blousy florals of my shorts, in shades of cerise, gold and purple share nothing in common with the wintry prints of the patterned paper and ribbons I'm working with.

OK, I give in. I get up to close the window. It's still hot, but too blowy and I can't focus.

My warm calves stick together as I uncross my shorts-clad legs as I settle myself in my chair ... and return to making Christmas cards ...


So, there you have it, if my moment has made you want to read more, then do drop by Alexa's to catch-up with her latest and those of the other bloggers who've linked to their own.

See you tomorrow with some less festive crafting ...


Saturday 20 July 2013

Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt 2013: The Lincoln Edition

Hi hi lovely people.

How's things? How's the weather? Warm? Too warm? Glorious?

[I must apologise to my non-British readers here but the thing is ... we're having a summer right now ... just when we'd all forgotten what one of those was. And the thing is ... we have to talk about it all the time. By law. We get deported for non-British activities if we don't.]

OK then, enough about the weather .. almost ...

This time last week it was a beautiful sunny day in Lincoln. I know, because I was there. And all the time I was there on a short [and most welcome] break I kept Rinda's Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt List with me at all times so I wouldn't miss an opportunity!

So here's a couple I captured around old Lincoln city ...

Item No.2: Theatre for performing arts (not a movie theatre)
We knew there was a theatre in Lincoln ... but we couldn't find it. Even though James did live there for much of his childhood. Lincoln that is. Not the theatre! In fact, we only spotted the theatre when walking past, by accident, days after seeking it out.

BTW: that's nothing compared to the time we stopped-off on a car journey to stretch our legs in Berwick-Upon-Tweed a coastal town ... and couldn't find any water. True story. But I digress ...

So yes, the theatre ... I spotted a sign for the Drill Hall which, while it isn't the main theatre, I knew was an arty place ... so we sought that out instead. And found it!:
And - you must know by now how excited I've been getting when I find an item on the list and it has what it is written across it [like the 'Fire' truck and the bench] - well, this was a similar thrill. Because ... Rinda asked for a 'theatre for performing arts' and look what I found along the side ... photographic evidence of what goes on in there!
And on their other wall we found this beautiful sculpture:
I love anything to do with heads / faces etc [... oh ... I feel a new themed series coming on ... but I mustn't get distracted ... ] so it was a complete treat to find this beauty entirely unexpectedly. Serendipitously.
It's the main reason I LOVE the scavenger hunt .. it truly does force me off-piste, wandering around with the camera, finding whatever there is to find! Despite visiting the city for countless years we'd never strolled down that street ... and if we hadn't been seeking out a theatre ... we never would have. I love how the list allows you to become a tourist in a town you think you know well!

One place I was certain I'd find something from the list ... was the Cathedral where I knew I'd find ...
Item No.17: Candle(s)
From the first time I saw it, probably 15 or so years ago, I've loved this area of Lincoln Cathedral:
I've always admired how, in such an old and traditional space, Lincoln Cathedral are not afraid of modern artistic additions. [If you ever get chance to see the stained glass in the Treasury or the wooden stations of the cross ... then do!]. And these large, ceramic candle holders have always appealed to me so  I knew where to head for my photo ... except ...

... while I'm no longer a church goer ... I did wonder if it was OK to take photos of a space where people go to pray. Photography is completely allowed in the cathedral ... I just felt unsure. In the end, I decided to go ahead ... but waited until there were no other people around, especially those lighting candles.

And, just in case those didn't turn out very clear [the perils of being anxious, in low light, without a tripod ...] I took some shots of back-up candles - ones in the more traditional style:
Like the chandelier [above] and the lanterns in St Hugh's choir:
I'm about to reveal myself as a cretin now. OK? While these carved oak stalls make up a striking feature in the centre of the cathedral ... and while they may hark back to the 14th Century ... when I was taking this photo I was thinking to myself ... 'Ooh it looks like something from Hogwarts' ...

And on that note ... I'm going to go hide my face in shame ... and cross some more items from my list!



Friday 19 July 2013

Snippets of Words: Jolly tiny strip cards!

Hello hello.
You know how I like the occasional themed series here don't you?  I even advocated the use of them in my Push-Up Bra Blogging series - see if you remember this from Chapter 10 'The Freezer Meals Approach':
"And if you've got more material on a similar subject, eg. you've made a set of matching items, or in variations of colour, using a similar method etc etc:
  • that's still no reason to blog them all in one post!
  • put a feather in its cap and call it 'a mini-series'
  • then space them out over a week ... or whatever."
Well it's a case of  'physician heal thyself' because, as I mentioned in yesterday's post, I'm taking my own advice by creating a little mini-series drawing together a whole range of different styles of greeting cards [well, up to now it's just cards ... I think there'll be a later series with other craft projects] that have one thing in common: their sentiments have all been snipped from a book page.

*Remember that you can get 10% off any order from my shop [until the evening of Monday 22nd July 2013] by using the code SHORTSINPUBLIC when you checkout. So you can get your hands on some new/old book pages for less!

Now let's start off today's 'Snippets of Words' examples with this ...
This is a set of very, very, very slim cards that I made by:
  • covering the front of an average 5x7 ish greeting card blank with patterned paper then ...
  • slicing it up into smaller cards measuring just over 1" each
  • it's a bit like when you make a patchwork quilt and slice up a larger piece into strips to save on the faffing about!! If that makes any sense!
I then simply delved into my scraps bag and pulled out tiny off-cuts of patterned papers, added a few here and there:
Then I added washi tape [like the zebra print] and also used a small circle-punch to 'nibble' away at the edges [no real reason ... I just like circle punches!]:
And finally ... I challenged myself to find all the words for the cards from the same little section of an old children's book page ... hence all the golly, jolly chuckles involved!
And why would one want such tiny cards? you might be asking, well ...
A box full of these super-slim-scrap-cards on your desk can act as ...
  • a quick supply of gift tags - adding an instant, handmade finishing touch to any parcel;
  • business cards [eg. if you're attending a craft show or networking event]: just stamp your contact details on the inside
  • a ready-made 'Thank you' or 'Hello' inside a parcel
  • a secret message left somewhere in public ... as a little treat for a passer by to find [I've never done this ... but admire people who do! It's nice to be nice for no reason isn't it?]
And the beauty of them is:
  • they're small, portable, easy to store
  • they use up scraps aka: the holy grail of crafting projects!
  • they're one-of-a-kind
  • they're a personal touch that shows some thought ... even thought they're super quick to throw together.
And the font size of book pages is the perfect snipped-out finishing touch to these tiny greetings. Because for me, a project is just unfinished, nay ... naked ... without a word or two hurled at it! They make an extra connection between you and the recipient.

There'll be more Snippets of Words posts next week, along with a mix of Scavenger Hunt and Simply A Moment catch-ups too.

See you then then.

Julie :-)

Thursday 18 July 2013

Snippets of Words: 'You can be responsible for the shopping'

Hello you.

It felt strange to close my Etsy shop for a week and just to enjoy having nothing to do [not to mention not checking my emails for 4 days. And I survived! My world did not unravel! Who knew?].

But, now the shop doors are flung wide open again and, as I mentioned earlier, I'm marking the occasion with ...

[a] a discount code for any + all orders until the evening of Monday 22nd July:

So, if you've been meaning to grab a kit or a paper pack to use in your summer journals or crafting in general ... now seems as good a time as any!

And, if you do place an order, or if you already have some of my packs ... or if you have any vintage papers of your own then hang around here for the next week or so ...

[b] I'm going to be sharing new examples of where you can use 'snippets of words' in your crafting ... like this ...
[You see what I did there? That's a hint for you to go shopping!] ;-)

I make lots of these small cards [you can tell by the cotton reel that it's just a few inches across].As I've mentioned on here before, they live in a box on my shelf and come in handy to:
  • drop into parcels I send out as a little personalised 'Hello'
  • they could also make great little - unique - business cards
  • and - perhaps if you make them a bit bigger - they're great for general greetings cards for any occasion. And for no occasion. [Who doesn't like to receive unexpected happy mail?]
This style of card is so relaxed, informal and fun ... and that all reflected in how they're put together:
  • I make the base card from scraps of cardstock left over from other projects;
  • I then decorate them with other scraps of patterned paper
  • I usually always add washi tape on there somewhere too. Being self-adhesive means they add colour and interest in seconds - and with such small, casual cards I don't want to be spending hours on them!
Then, finally I scrabble around for the nearest vintage page [OK, so, in this house you're never more than an arm's length away from an old book!] and I skim read it looking for anything I can snip out and add as a sentiment and focal point on the front.

It doesn't always have to make perfect sense or be a complete quote or anything like that because I like to think they leave room for the recipient to interpret the meaning for themselves ...
  • maybe they'll find their own meaning in it ...
  • they'll interpret it to mean something just for them ...
  • they might even think 'Wow, why did she send that to me? How did she know that's what I was thinking / needing to hear ' etc ...
  • these little snippets begin life so general and random ... but can have a life of their own once they land in someone else's hands!

If you'd like a more varied collection of snippets to sift through then here are some ideas currently in stock in my shop ...

The Fiction themed mixed text pages are perhaps the best choice if you're looking for poetic or narrative snippets:
These contain a lovely mix of pages from story books, comics, poetry, adventure stories and ... one banned book [carefully proof read before being added to the pack!]. You're bound to find a suitable line amongst them.

Meanwhile ... if you're up for a spot of random snippet hunting then a Serendipity Pack  could be the one for you: 
I can't tell you what you'll find in your Serendipity pack ... because they're all different. A complete mix of pages and phrases from across my entire book + publication collection.

There could be anything in there! All orders for them are picked and packed at random [they're on a high shelf and I just reach up and pluck one out without looking!].

If you prefer a full kit of co-ordinating eclectic supplies which also contains vintage pages plus little packs of pre-cut words + phrases then you can head towards any of the new Ephemera Bits packs:
The Ephemera Bits kits are currently available in shades of pink, orange and blue.

And finally for today ...

If you're looking to make something more lasting than a card ... then the Message in a Bottle kits are just the thing:
These contain full book pages along with packs of pre-cut phrases which can be scoured to create a phrase, a poem, a story or a message then you can pop it inside the little glass bottle, and inside the fabric pouch for safe keeping. There's also twine and charms in there too to decorate the bottle or pouch.


I'll be back soon with more 'snippets of words' projects to inspire you to get your scissors out!

Until then ... don't forget there's 10% off until Monday [22nd July 2013].

Julie :-)

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Papery goodness ... for less!

Hi, hi.

Now I'm back from my litlte break away my Etsy shop is open once again and so ...

So ... just enter that code  SHORTSINPUBLIC when prompted at the checkout and I'll package up your parcel and be heading out to the Post Office with it ASAP.
Possibly with bare legs. [Thankfully - for both of us - you'll never know!]
Now, go have a browse around the shop, see what catches your eye.
See you soon.
Julie :-)

Sunday 14 July 2013

Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt 2013: The Airshow Edition

Hi hi hi.

So, last week, when I wasn't here [by the magic of post-scheduling you probably won't even of noticed ... or cared ... nor should you! ] I was on or annual trip to Lincoln, James's original hometown.

Our yearly trip is partly so he can catch the air show at RAF Waddington and, as we only ever attend  one day of the show - even I can manage to [almost] not get bored and behave myself for that long!  And then the remainder of the time we're away we eat, mooch around the town and generally pretend 'work' doesn't exist.

Now, I know I said I don't get bored at the air show but ... I do have plenty of back-up plans just in case ... for example ...
  • I always take a book to read plus a notebook to scribble in while we're sitting down by the runway waiting for things to take off, fly about, and land [see how technical I am? You're impressed aren't you?]
And, in the past I've been known to amuse myself by:
Here's how I got on ...

Item No.4: Airplane
Now then, if I couldn't have found a plane to photograph at an airshow ... then, well ... I don't think anyone would be asking me to organise anything in a brewery any time soon.

But, that said ... the phrase 'spoilt for choice' springs to mind, as I simply could not decide which one of the many to capture for the hunt!

Eventually ... in the very last area we looked around ... right before heading for the exit ... I found this one which I deemed interesting and stylish enough to make the grade:
I have it on good authority [from my in-house plane expert] that it's a Saab Grippen belonging to the 'Tiger squadron' of the Swedish air force ... hence the amazing tiger design art work on the wings and tail: 
[BTW: when it came for me to write this I couldn't recall the term 'air force' ... instead I could only think of 'air flyees' ... which may suggest I haven't quite learnt all I should from the years I've been going to the airs how!] 

Item No.1: Open air market
It was a very, very, hot day down on that airbase concourse so there's James buying some cold orange juice from one of the many refreshment stalls at the show.

Not everything we ate was that healthy and, after re-reading my post from last year I realise we've accidentally begun a tradition. For two years running now we seem to have had a lunch of bacon + sausage sandwiches plus a Mr.Whippy ice-cream!

Item No.15: A fire truck or police car
I think that ones fairly self-explanatory really. It's a truck ... and it even says Fire on the side.

As with the outside bench form my earlier scavenger hunt post I like it when the item I've hunted has its name written across it!

It's unequivocal. Not contentious.  It leaves little room for debate about how I've interpreted the category.  But I fear I can't say the same thing about the next category ...

Item No.12: A cloud in the shape of something (please specify what you see)
I've been hunting one of these since I first saw Rinda's list ... and I reckoned that if I couldn't spot one while looking up into a vast open area of sky at the air show all day ... then it would be a poor do!

That was until it turned out to be a near cloudless sky!!

However I did manage to spot these two ... which I think look like ...

A dragon's head in profile:
What do you think? Can you see a big snout and an open mouth? Well I can!

Or how about ... a snail:
This one first caught my eye as it was so spherical ... but I thought I'd be pushing my luck to say it was in the shape of 'a ball'! But then I spotted the section on the left - which I think could be its snaily body and antennae / eyes.
So there's another four to cross off the list courtesy of a very hot day at RAF Waddington. While we were out and about in the rest of the Lincoln I managed to make an even bigger dent in that list ... and I'll share those item soon.
Happy Sunday to you - have a great week ahead.
Julie :-)

Saturday 13 July 2013

It's A Sign: It's almost as if they did it on purpose ...

Hello, hello.

Noticing - and photographing - signs that makes me stop and smile is often one of my favourite moments of a whole day out.

Here's one I spotted from a footbridge just outside Lincoln city centre the other day: 
OK, have we all got that?

We're NOT to dispose of household appliances in this area. Is everyone clear with that? No. Appliances. Left. Here.


Now, granted, in-and-of-itself this isn't the most side-splitting of signs but ... let me just zoom out a little ... there:

They knew didn't they? Whoever left that fridge standing there at a jaunty angle, looking all innocent, as if butter wouldn't melt ... they knew.

I'll be back next week with some more Scavenger Hunt finds ... and more.

Have a great weekend.

Julie :-)

p.s: You can catch up on some of my earlier 'It's A Sign' posts here.