Sunday, 12 December 2010

Christmas Journal days 1-7

This year's Christmas Journal is underway - slightly behind but will get caught up soon, hopefully!  Anyway, here's days 1 to 7.  The cards to go in the tin are double sided - several of the photos are ones I took on the 12 Days course.

Day 7 opened up on both sides to show more photos of the big day and his friends.

More to come - when I've done it!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

More 12 Days - and a birthday!

OK, a few more shots from me today.

Day 6 was about angles and thinking about lighting etc for opening presents on the big day.  Conveniently, it was someone's birthday yesterday, so I was able to practise on him.  Bless him, he went slowly for me so I could get some shots.  Even Maisie got in on the act - and I never get a decent photo of her!

One of our family traditions is that, each year, we let Stephen choose a new decoration for the tree.  This year, rather than just take a photo of it hanging on a branch, I went for a slightly different shot - love how it sums him up, bitten fingernails and all!

And now he's 11!  Where did that time go?  No musical chairs or pass the parcel anymore - just a few friends round for a DVD and popcorn, a few games of Wii Party and tea.  Nice and simple!

He still wanted a homemade cake though - and asked for Annoying Orange!  If you don't know Annoying Orange - just don't Google it.  It's so - annoying!

And here is Day 7 - Razzle Dazzle.  Love the effect of going into manual focus and getting the beautiful bokeh - I even had a go with my punches and got the shaped bokeh.  Not great but it worked - looking forward to getting the tree up so I can play some more.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

On the Fifth Day of Christmas ...

Up to day 5 of CJ's 12 Days of Christmas photography course - thought I'd share what I've done so far.

Day one

This was all about finding the right white balance - I found this a bit of a struggle as the lighting in our house is not great, but I think the subject matter helped!

Day two

This was a creative assignment, to 'spell out' Christmas.  Couldn't resist the tin of Alphabetti Spaghetti!

Day three

Outside lights. No Christmas lights up here yet, so I went for street lights. Loved the deep blue effect created by using the tungsten white balance and the star effect is done by holding a sieve over the camera lens.

Day four

A 'festive' photo walk!  Unfortuately,  all the snow had melted (not that we had much in the first place) and grey, melting slush, sleet and fog were not lending themselves to beautiful photos so I went looking for colour instead!

Day five

Managed to talk the family into a photoshoot, even though we're all bunged up with colds!  Am quite pleased with how these have turned out.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Journalling my Christmas - again?

Didn't I do that last year?  And a few years before?  Haven't I got some lovely albums stuffed full of memories and photos to look back on?

Well ... yes ... yes ... and ... er ... yes.

So why do I keep coming back to it?

I love Christmas.  I especially love all the build-up - Christmas music being played in the supermarkets, Christmas-themed packaging on everything from chocolate bars to cheese, folders marked 'Don't look in here!' on the computer.  Working in schools gives me a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the magic through the eyes of children and to get up to my elbows in glitter year after year. 

I would love to be a Nigella or a Kirstie with delicious food in vintage tins, home-made decorations artfully strewn around the house, singing carols around the piano.  However, I'm not - I'm Alison - more likely to have carrier bags stuffed full of all sorts of stuff spread around the house, Phineas and Ferb singing the 12 Days of Christmas on Spotify and to have drunk all the port before the big day!

But I love it all - even though I can get a bit stressed from time to time about it!  A Christmas journal is a little bit of me time during the month, a time to wind down and think about all the little things that happen, as well as the bigger events.  A time to experiment with my camera - first Christmas with a DSLR! - and, of course, to use all the Christmassy scrapbooking stash that I can't resist buying every year!

So here's this year's 'album' - I've rung the changes a bit this year and decorated an old Basic Grey lunch tin that I've had for years.  Quite simple - decopatch with felt bunting and tiny jingle bells sewn on each point. 


1st December already!  Advent calendars are being opened and it's the start of Journal Your Christmas/December Daily, as well as the 12 Days photography course, so plenty to keep me busy today!

I will upload some pictures later of the things I have been working on but just wanted to share this - it's a printer tray I decorated with a Disney theme for Nigel's birthday.  My favourite part is the tiny PhotoPass card that fitted perfectly in one of the little slots!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Christmas Photography

Cheryl over at Feel Good Photos is offering a 12 Days of Christmas photography course again this year - and I was lucky enough to get a place!  This is my first Christmas with my DSLR so I am really looking forward to trying out different techniques and then putting them into practice over the festive period.  Will also be able to get some shots for my Christmas journal.

We had to upload a festive self-portrait - so here's mine, with everyone's favorite seasonal food!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Christmas Journal '09

I realised I hadn't posted my completed journal from last year. I was really pleased with how it turned out - it was a bit of a mish-mash of Journal Your Christmas, December Daily and lots of odds and sods! It came together really well, though and was finished by the day after Boxing Day, which was a record for me!

I have prepared this year's journal so will share some pictures of it soon but, in the meantime, here is 2009's.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Lucky me ...

I've been lucky this week! 

First, over at the Copy and Paste project, I won a drawing for the most adorable Alice in Wonderland mirror - yay!  And then over at Sketchy Thursdays, I won the drawing for a sticker pack!  Hmmm, they say good things come in threes - maybe I should do the Lottery tonight!

I do have a couple of layouts to upload but haven't taken the photos yet - will get those done this weekend.  I am looking forward to trying out a couple of things - Sketchy Thursdays have put up a sketch of a double layout - I haven't done one for ages and it might just be the motivation I need to get the pictures scrapped of Stephen at the Jedi Training Academy from last year.

And the Color Room has a new palette up - so not the sort of colours I would normally choose, but I am looking forward to giving it a try.

Had quite a surreal experience over at the Color Room, where a scrapper from India recognised me from the British Scrapboking book that was published 5 or 6 years ago! 

Anyway, off to Legoland to enjoy the sunshine (along with several thousand others, I imagine!)

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Scrappy Sunday

I have been looking around inspiration blogs and have done a couple of layouts today.

First, over at Sketchy Thursdays, where there are some great sketches posted on ... erm ... Thursdays!

I loved these photos of Stephen's rosy cheeks when he went sledging in the snow earlier in the year. We had several snow days in January and it was lovely to spend some time together. Used Cosmo Cricket Jolly by Golly - hard to cut up but worth it, I think!

Also, some fantastic inspiration over at The Color Room - a sketch and a colour scheme to use.

Just my sort of colour scheme and I knew exactly which photo I wanted to scrap.  I went hunting through all the photos on my computer and couldn't believe it when I found it in a 2008 folder - I could have sworn I only took it a few months ago!  Just shows how quickly time flies!

I used one of my treasured pieces of Wordsworth paper - they were my favourite paper company and I have been hoarding it, but better on a layout than in my paper box, really!  Also a bit of October Afternoon - love those green spots - some K&Co butterflies, bejewelling and various bits and bobs.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Twisted Sketch

I came across the Twisted Sketches blog the other day and thought I'd have a go at their latest sketch.

This week's twist is "Colour" - any how, any way!

I had decided to invest in a DSLR and, as Nigel is accumulating a small collection of lenses, it made sense for me to get a Pentax, as we could then share the lenses etc.  When they brought out the K-x, it seemed perfect.  Great spec, fantastic reviews - and it came in a choice of colours! In Japan, there are hundreds of different colour combinations available, but in the UK, they brought it out in red, white, blue and black.  Who said a DSLR camera has to be black?  It definitely gets noticed when I go out!

Loving that TH transparency tape!

And look!  I've been C&P'd!  Jennifer asked if she could C&P my little robot and, of course, I was so flattered!  Love the card she made.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Not quite WOYWW

more of a WOYFW!  I have just unpacked my wonderful parcel of goodies from Kate at Pickleberry - all over the floor!  This was my UKS cybercrop prize - a voucher from Kate's shop and I had so much fun choosing lots of lovely goodies that I have not really been able to justify before.

Mmm, punches (inc that Martha Stewart loopy punch I've been eyeing up for ages!), TH dies and masks, stamps, a new cutting mat as mine is shot to pieces, butterflies - and black, white and kraft cardstock as I am a sensible girl and can never have too much of those! Thanks, Kate - I now need to find somewhere to store it all!

And what are you supposed to do with a poodle that just won't move out of the sunshine to let you take a photo!  Bless her.


Sunday, 9 May 2010

Sewing, baking ...

amazing what you can get done with no kids around!

Another couple of things I did today, thanks to the Cut and Paste Project. First up, the gorgeous embroidered items from Sumptuosity. I've never really got to grips with a sewing machine but I do love to sew by hand, so I appliqued a little robot, in one of my favourite colour combos of turquoise and orange.  (I'm ashamed to admit it was a robot because that was about the only thing I could draw!) I'm pleased with this - don't know whether to put it in a frame or on a layout.

And Miss Cay from Domestic Sluttery (is that not the best name ever? Sums me up perfectly!) posted a recipe for Blueberry Boy Bait.  Wow. Normally, I would just drool over a recipe and file it away for later but, as Nigel had been shopping that morning and brought home a big box of blueberries as they were on offer, how could I resist?

Delicious - and the cinnamon crust is heaven.  And as for Boy Bait?  Well, even Nigel has eaten some - minus the blueberries, of course, as he doesn't like them.  Hmmm.

And a gratuitous photo of my boy as I am so pleased to have him back home - he has been on a PGL weekend with the Cubs and had a ball, but came home absolutely shattered! He was remarkably clean, though - they made them all shower before they headed for home - how civilised!