Sunday, 11 December 2011

Oh Christmas Tree!

We put up our Christmas tree yesterday. I just love the fairy lights - so beautiful! I was watching Kirstie's homemade Christmas this week and she said a Christmas tree should be like a scrapbook, full of collected items over the years. So as I was unpacking my favourites, I thought I'd share some with you!
Silver Christmas tree. This is a new ornament - each year my sister, who now lives in Essex, and I decorate Mum and Dad's tree together and take a portrait photo - it's a tradition Mum and Dad started when we were little and it's so special to be able to get together every year and speand the time together.

Father Christmas. This Father Christmas used to hang on Mum and Dad's tree when we were little and it was my favourite ornament. So Mum kindly gave him to me and now he hangs on our tree - always near the top.

Wooden heart - when we were little, I remember making sewn felt hearts to go on the tree with Mum. We sat down together us three girls and Mum showed us how to sew the edges and stuff the inside with wadding. Each one had a little sequin and ribbon sewn on and 20 years later they still come out and adorn Mum's tree. When we put it up next weekend, I'll try and take some photos so you can see. I'd love to be able to make some of my own for our tree.

This decoration was given to me last year by a girl in my class - it's a mini snow globe bauble, beautiful and I think it will be hangin on my tree for many years to come!

My favourite way to see the tree - lit up and sparkling. DO you have any special ornaments that always adorn your tree? I've made some thins year with the help of Dave. Will post the results soon!

Windsor photo spot

I absolutely love Windsor! Each time I go I feel inspired to take photos, especially along the river like this one:

The seagulls seemed happy enough to pose! But whilst shopping I also snapped this as the light was fading, taken along the high street looking down the hill - festive!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

My albums - mix and match

Over the last 3 years I have been using American Crafts 3 ring binders. In previous years I have chosen post bound albums, but these are not lasting well and it's a pain to add in pages. I love the way they look so neat on the shelf and it's easy to mark the year on.i chose to use thickers for the job.
This year I bought an unfinished album - with a chipboard cover and just a stripe of red fabric. I found some paper I loved but found rather over-powering to use on a layout and simply added some ribbon and number stickers. I think the result is rather good and certainly makes my album unique.

I always used to scrap in 12x12" pages but last year I stepped out of my comfort zone and experimented with different sized layouts. The American Crafts albums work well for this. I bought a selection of their page protectors all with 3 holes in so I can chop and change to fit my layout. The only thing I would say is you need to keep an eye on the sizes you use so that you don't have any gaps. I've become more relaxed about not having my layouts in perfect chronological order but filed in season roughly suits me.

I love the way that as you flick through the album you see glimpses of other layouts and I find it a more flexible way of scrapping. Some layouts just don't need a full 12x12" page/ My favourite is fast becoming 8.5x11" portrait (seen here the page on the left entitled 'Beauty on the Beach' .

I've also been experimenting with 6x12" layouts in both portrait and landscape. Here is another selection. I've scrapped in this mixed size for 2 years now and I'm not going back to just 12x12", but I would like to try an 8.5x11" album for a project. The name of the game is experimentation!

Little crafty touches

Around our home, I've been slowly adding little crafty touches:

Here's a multi frame filled with photos from a skating trip. I found these letters at a local garden centre - love them!

I bought some card 3D letters from Hobbycraft, painted them brown to match pur lounge and them covered the front with scrapbooking paper. They are next to another frame on the bookcase in the lounge. They go well with our colour scheme and I've had lots of people comment on them when they come round.

I love the fact that my hobby lends itself to personal touches around our house.

Advent calendars

Each year, my lovely scrapping friends and I embark on an advent swap. We set ourselves a budget of £15 - £20 and pick a name of someone who we are designing our advent calendar for. We then make/ buy 24 gifts to go into the calendar and present it in a way of our choice. This year I'm making for Claire whose scrapping style I love but we share the same likes for scrapping products.

Here are my efforts:

I keep a basket in my scrapping room that I add items to as and when I find them. I usually find myself going out at the end of November and buying the last 10 bits or so in one go.

I always lay out the gifts on the floor and decide which order I'm going to include to wrap the gifts in so that the recipient doesn't get stickers two days running.

This year I decided to spend more of my efforts on the gifts and less on the packaging. I know that Claire has limited space in her flat so I kept all the goodies in a Christmas gift bag and wrapped them in alternate coloured paper.

I hope she likes it! I love opening my calendar every day knowing that there will be new scrapping goodies each morning!