Monday, 19 November 2012

Another Birdy-Themed Handmade Card

It's that time of year again. Between November and March I am always crazy-busy making handmade cards for family members. Don't get me wrong, I love doing it, I just tend to spend too long making the cards, and before I know it the whole day has gone. This latest one is for my mum, who has turned 21 again! (You're only as old as you feel right?!).

I love birds, and most of my artwork tends to centre around a bird of some kind, intentional or not.  Last year I made the Rain Bird card for my mum. This year she is getting an owl. Speaking of birds, I just found out that my little parakeet, Pippin, is a girl and not the boy we thought s/he was*... no wonder she never replied to "who's a good boy?" But I's a pic of my handmade effort

I used various cardstock I have collected over the years, with the patterned card coming from different Dovecraft packs. This design just came from a doodle I had scribbled a few weeks ago. Doodling is the best way to let the ideas flow!

I took another pic with the flash on so you can see the lovely sparkly card (and also the manky glue blobs).

So that's one card down...

 * You're probably thinking 'how the heck did you not know he was a girl?! It's hard to tell when they are babies, the colour of their cere often changes, especially through hormone imbalance which is what we thought had caused the change.. Pippin also has the body shape of a boy. S/he is effectively a parakeet Keira Knightley.


Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Using Washi Tape in My Filofax

A long anticipated parcel arrived through my door the other week. Washi tape!!

Belive it or not, this is my first ever batch, I have seen so much Washi tape featured in various arts, crafts and stationery blogs that I found myself idley lusting for some. I think it's a brilliant idea to have designs on masking tape, such a simple concept but very effective for adding finishing touches to almost anything.
These beauties are from a lovely seller on Etsy called Pretty Tape. She has a huge range but unfortuantely is in the USA so it cost me a little bit extra for shipping costs. They arrived within 10 days of ordering which I thought was pretty good.

Here they are on paper:

I came across a post by Imy of Imysworld about sticking Washi Tape in your Filofax so you could keep track of which Washi tapes you already own (great for the impulse buyer!). I think I'll cut this paper down and punch it into my Filo :)

At the moment I'm just using the tapes for brightening up boring stationary, namely my Filofax stationary.

To Do Lists

Notepages (The bird cage stamp is from the same Etsy Seller).

I'm also using the washi tape to stick in any lists that I make for the week.

I've been trawling eBay since they arrived and have noticed that a few of these same tapes are available on the 'Bay but I just hadn't noticed them. It's amazing what a difference good product photography can make! Browsing Washi tape on eBay is dangerous though...there are so many more I'd like to have. So pretty! Uh oh, I feel a new obsession coming on...

Saturday, 6 October 2012

New Homemade Filofax dividers

My old dividers were getting a bit scruffy looking so I decided to make some new ones from some card stock that arrived through my letterbox last week:

The sun came out just as I took this picture! The shadows are from my plants on the window sill :)
This card stock is from Dovecraft, this set in particular is called Garden Party. I have loads of Dovecraft paper; I just love their colourful patterns.
Here are the dividers I made using the flyleaf as a template:

The post-its and stick-on tabs are from the Martha Stewart / Avery collection at Staples. Post-it notes are ideal labels for me as I chop and change my setup all the time. I love the colours used in the Marthe Stewart range, colourful but not overbearing.

And here are the finished dividers in my Malden, all ready to go!

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A Trip to Venice

When I disappeared back in March I was preparing to go a short break to a place I have always wanted to go to - Venice. I can honestly say that it didn't disappoint :) I have to say I was surprised by how much I enjoyed my stay there, I really expected it to be a big let down as I read so many wonderful things about the place before I visited and thought it was just tourist hype.
We had been very lucky to spot an online offer to stay in Venice during the off peak visitor season. On arrival we found that despite it being March we had the fortune of a wonderful weather forecast, and even better, there were less tourists around than I can imagine there would be in Summer - another plus was that the lack of extreme heat meant we didn't experience the...'aroma' of the canals.

We stayed in a town near the coast of mainland Italy called Mestre, and from there it was a 10 minute train journey into Venice. We had our first journey across on a Wednesday morning at 11am on an unusually quiet train. I couldn't believe my eyes when we walked out of Venice train station to find that Venice...was completely silent. Empty! A few locals, the odd group of tourists here and there... but peaceful. I will never forget that moment. It was exactly how I had wanted Venice to be. 

 The following trips we had over the next few days included a day out in Verona and Murano. But we came back to Venice as much as we could before our time was up.
You really can spend a whole day losing yourself in the maze of bridges and miniature footpaths that connect the city. We also had the obligitory trip in a Gondola, and witnessed what can only be described as peak time congestion in the afternoon as too many vessels were trying to cram themselves down the narrower canals.

There is a kind of abandoned beauty to Venice that I just fell in love with. The ornate ostentatious architecture contrasting with the old neglected houses, not to mention the ancient carvings and paintings inside and out... oh just amazing! (I'm such a massive art nerd!)

If you ever plan to visit Venice here's my advice; go in early Spring and don't plan! Let yourself get lost in the backstreets of the most beautiful city in the world, you'll discover treasures that many tourists won't see. Like the San Giovanni Evangelista Complex, the most incredible marbles and ceiling paintings decorate this building. I would have loved to have seen the famous theatres of Venice too but I ran out of time - there's too much to see! I will definitely be going back to resume my exploration! Another piece of advice: visit Harry's Bar and get yourself one of the original Bellini cocktails. Be warned though - They are expenisve (of course!) and you will be required to be wearing long trousers; visitors in shorts be prepared to be turned away.

And now for some snap shots! I wanted to create a fancy pants montage with these, but I seem to have misplaced the SD card containing the originals when moving house.
You can see the originals and more on my feed over at Flicker.

One of the first views you will see if coming in by train.

Waiting for the waterbus to pick us up from Murano.
You can see Venice on the horizon.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

An Accidental Hiatus

Oops... it's been a while...
So sorry that I disppeared for so long! Life has a habit of getting in the way! So what's been happening?? Well, I've been on holiday to a beautiful place called Venice, bought some new Filofaxes, had a relationship breakdown, moved house, started a new obsession with fountain pens, and acquired a pet. Busy times!

I will try to resume my blogging activities now things have clamed down a bit. Take care for now!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

30 Days of Lists: Day 13

List 13: 10 years ago I...
Fonts used: NeoRetroDraw, NeoRetroFill

I really struggled to remember what was going on 10 years ago. It's not very interesting!
That last point - the one about being too quiet - I still get this today. For some reason people can't understand that I don't like to vocalise every thought in my head, it's really annoying.

Monday, 12 March 2012

30 Days of Lists: Day 12

List 12: Super powers I would like to have
Fonts used:Abberancy, Teen

Time control is an obvious one isn't it! If I couldn't have time control then I would at least like to take down one of my biggest time killers at weekends: housework!  Failing that, then it would be quite nice to have the ability to see the stars clearly whenever I liked. Not for any particular reason, I just think it would be quite pretty and would cheer me up if I was having a bad day :)