28 April 2012

The sad story of the lost scrapbooker

So this isn't a very happy story- well it is but for different reasons.

I don't really scrap anymore.

There. I said it.

And yep, it saddens me.

I don't know when the break came about or why it happened but it did. I think it was a combination of little time, much work and a feeling of frustration.

I know for others it is different but for me, scrapbooking takes a long time. We're talking days.
If you know my situation, you know that I am not living in one place for extended periods of time, I am about to head off for uni. It is incredibly difficult to come back to a layout after weeks of not seeing it.

I also started to lose sight of why I scrapped. I started to look at how I scrapped and if it lived up to how others scrapbooked. Inspiration is all well and good but when you start to feel that your layout doesn't live up to others, that's when it is hard.

So, I did less and less. I am naturally crafty so I turned my hand to other things. I have done a lot of sewing and knitting and other paper crafts and embroidery and making my own clothes. I have found these crafts amazing. I have started to experiment with ideas. The mobile kites came from an initial picture I saw online and tried to conceptualize in paper and fabric. I have become more confident in my own ability to create something beautiful and practical.

The other reasons I have turned to textiles is that they are mobile.
I can fit them in my handbag.
For a girl who travels this is amazing. I can be crafty wherever. You have to admit, scrapbooking is not so very easy to cart around!

I am sad that I do less and less of the craft that got me blogging. I am sad that for a while I didn't like looking at layouts because I felt upset that I hadn't done one in such a long time.

But you know what. I am still crafty, I am still creative. I think our crafting has to evolve.

The other day I sat down with a clean journal and started filling it with receipts and train tickets and photos. I got out a pen and just wrote about them. Documenting their story.

The photo stories that first attracted me to scrapping.

I don't think it will be too long before those 12x12 pages are dusted off and the jounral expands onto patterned paper.

This craft thing we do, it's circular in the end.

Thank you for stopping by


27 April 2012

How I am (trying) to make 2012 glorious


Way back in January I chose a word for the year. That word was


At the time I wrote that "Glorious, is how I want 2012 to look. I've come to realise that I have a- what I believe-is a God given talent for creativity. I have the ability to make my space, my life look glorious through what I can create and photograph."
So, a third of the way through the year I want to look at how I am trying to make 2012 glorious.

Writing and brainstorming anything that is inspiring

I find I visit so many blogs that my brain becomes full of so much inspiring material. There are so many things I want to create and do and write but because of the sheer number, I hate to say it, I forget them.

This year I have tried to write down and pin these things. I write a copious amount of lists just of things I want to make, or try out, or combinations that might work. As a result, I think I have been more creative.

Starting a visual journal

I have wanted to do this for ages but I never got around to it. As I started to brainstorm more and write more lists, I found I need a place to put them.

This last month I have started my journal, filling it with photos, drawings and ideas. The more I do it, the more I find to put in it. I have always enjoyed creative writing and starting a journal has fuelled that again. I am combining words with pictures in a way I haven't done since my photography A level.

On an excpetionally glorious note, it is becoming the perfect place to jot down my prayers.

Getting out there and creating

I do a lot of pinning. I don't do a lot of creating. There, I said it. My real aim with glorious 2012 was to actually create things. Things that I could look back on and go "yeah, I created that,it's beautiful."

It is a real liberation to have an idea and then sit down and do it. I am very good and just thinking about it. The new quilt was a combination of several ideas and tutorials and rather than just think about it, I bit the bullet and did it. Yep, there were mistakes but I learnt.

I am becoming more impulsive with my craft, I am experimenting. I am making things for myself not just following tutorials.

Redesigning and reworking my blog

At the beginning of the this year I redesigned the blog. It was a great learning curve, battling with HTML but I am so happy with how it turned out. I want my blog to look glorious so I am constantly trying to tweak different bits to keep it looking fresh.

On that note, I am also trying to blog more. This started here when I brainstormed and came up with a little structure to work around. It's not perfect but definitely better.

Writing down the best thing from each day.

Again this was a project started at the beginning of the year that I have grown to love. I enjoy going through my day and thinking to myself about what moment I will write down as the best. Yep, if I am brutally honest there were/are some days when the best thing was going to bed that night but you know what, I am ok with that. This quote is what I am living with "Not every day will be good, but there is something good in every day." Amen to that.

Operation Speak Out.
I am most proud of this little venture started last month. It was amazing to see so many of you commenting and sharing the love.

A little plug. If you want to join in we are doing it again Thursday 3rd May. More details nearer the time.

25 April 2012

This is why I take photos

I was looking through some old photos on my computer.
I found this from the boy.

(Yep, this has to be the worst photo ever taken. I apologise.Go with it for now!)

We were fifteen.
This was in answer to my question about whether we were "together" now.
I love my fifteen year old self for taking the photo.

I love his answer even more.
"I suppose we are because it kind of feels like we are."

This my friends if why I take the photos.

Have a glorious (if slightly rainy) day!

20 April 2012

Quirky Likes//Dislikes

There are big things I love and hate, the typical things; I hate swearing and I love hot chocolate. The other day I sat down and thought about the things that make me smile, the little inconsequential things that I like and the little niggles that I hate. The things that make me, me.

If I did project life (which I don't) this would be a page. Thinking about it this may turn into a LO though.

So, here, in list format, just for the fun of it, are my likes and dislikes aged nineteen:

Likes: Fairy lights, pretty bunting, long evening shadows, the smell of cut grass, the hum of a sewing machine, clean socks, the smell of laundry on the washing line, home baking, finding photos on a memory card, new library books, coffee, sweet notes written in cards, train journeys, long phone calls, sun warmed sofas, rugby matches on TV, board games, open fires, crunchy leaves, the smell of new tennis balls, pretty bed linen, beautiful poetry, bolts of new material, chunky scarves, kraft paper, slippers, worship, watching DVD's in bed on a laptop, putting new photos in frames, texts late at night, family car journeys, making a new playlist, inky fingers and new underwear.


Dislikes: Feeling cold and shivery in bed at night, moths, birds flapping around you, soggy towels, smell of fish, computer errors, running out of minutes on a phone contract, sunday nights, sandy shoes, running out of battery, narrow roads at night, wondering what book to start next, rudeness on the internet, having to blow your nose with loo paper rather than a tissue, forgetting to put a watch on in the morning, missed calls, old flower water and laziness.

What are your quirky likes and dislikes, I'd love to know!


16 April 2012

Right now April edition

Right now I am

Excited for a new little project that is brewing (more in the coming weeks)

Laughing over top gear

Debating about buying the Downton Abbey Christmas special ( not really seasonal I know!)

Enjoying planning the boys birthday present

Experimenting with an art/photography journal.

Eager to start my final term of work but also sad that this will be the last.

Eating far too much easter chocolate.

Loving the brightness pillows and a new quilt can give to a room.

Re-reading some old favourites.

What has April got in store for you?


15 April 2012

The evolution of a stripe

Let's be honest shall we. Much of the stuff we post on the web looks nice. It looks finished and clean and neat. In real life most of the stuff that goes on is pretty messy. Today I am going to treat you to the trail and error that comes with making a stripe.

It would be very easy for me to post this project as a lovely finished design. It wasn't. My oh my was this project messy!!!

I have known for a while that I wanted to make a chevron striped quilt in blue and white. I used this tutorial for this pillow. Easy enough I thought. Blowing it up several times bigger shouldn't be too hard....

The top piece was simple. It turned out well. The iron and I bonded over many hours of pressing seams. Yep, it was fiddly but not a lot went wrong- except the chevrons are more wonky stripes now, but that is a minor point!

I figured a quilt needed batting. Off I go to the nearest shop and have a choice between high end beautifully soft batting or the cheap, off the bolt batting. I am a student, I haven't much money, I go for the cheap. Yep, that was a mistake.

In my head, I wanted this quilt to be drapey (is that a word?). You know the sort of quilt you throw in the car on a camping trip or lie on on a sunny afternoon. Keeping me warm was not its main objective.

The cheap and cheerful batting achieved precisely the opposite effect..puff, and lots of it. Yes, there are occasions when puff is good, I have a place in my heart for puff, that place is reserved for snow and deepest darkest December. Drapey was exactly what it wasn't.

At this point my thought process went like this: "this isn't what I wanted it like." "but, I could live with this, I'm not a perfectionist." "Go with it Abi, roll with it." "Ok, the darn thing isn't even lying flat now oh and that's just gathered in the wrong place." "Yes, but it's handmade, it has charm. "Ok, charm has gone, it looks like I attacked it with a sewing machine."

So, after an internal battle I sat down, accompnied by the voice of Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter, and I unpicked, I unpicked six rows of sewing. They were long rows I can tell you.

Whilst I unpicked I thought- I had a lot of time for thinking- "Why am I unpicking this?" I came to the conclusion that it was because it was pretty and funky and colourful. The top piece that was. What did I want to save? The pattern. Therefore why did I need the batting?

In the middle of the night it came to me- like the best things do- I could just leave out a filling.

So that is what I did, to stiffen it and make it less like two pieces of material stuck together I covered the back sheet in iron on interfacing. I still can't decide whether I like this, but it worked.

I then saved time and sewed right sides together, left a whole and turned it the right way round- voila pretty finished edges.

This was by no means an easy quilt. This was a whole lot of trial and error. But, you know what, at the end of the day it is a quilt for me, and if I'm happy...

The thing I am trying to get at is that Art cannot happen without mistakes. We need the mess to create and mistakes have to happen (however annoying they are when they do!)

P.S A quick-unpick is a misnomer. It isn't quick.

*The wordless picture this week was taken at a manor house where we could dress up in Tudor clothes. I think this is pretty priceless myself!*

14 April 2012


Each week, one photo. One captured moment. No words.

13 April 2012

Photo Stories


There are many times that I look at a collection of photos on facebook and think to myself, "man, I wish I knew the story behind these." I am very aware that I often put albums on facebook and know that I am doing them a diservice because I too have not shared their story. This is why my best friend has been badgering asking me for days to write a post on these photos because these stories need to be told.

The story behind the photos: A trip with a group of friends to Weston beach.

The story behind the story: This was the first day of the boys holiday, the second week of mine and the third week of the other two.

This girl is my best friend and is currently at uni so I see her at best once a term.

This boy is her boyfriend. I have known him since I was eleven, when we both turned up for our school entrance exam, very nervous and young. Them getting together was like two parts of my world colliding- very exciting!

He hasn't stopped growing from when we first met!

This tripped was planned days weeks in advance by my best friend. Let's just say that there was more than one text just saying "WE'RE GOING TO THE BEACH!"

We decided to go by train and it was delayed by twenty minutes, irritated much?! When we finally got there we decided to go for the full on Beach experience.

The girls were far better prepared with footwear than these two were!

Because we don't see each other often, pictures were a necessity. It is also an occassion for both of us to get some really nice shots with our other half. No more of that holding the camera out in front of us shindig!

We girls bossed the boys into having pictures, telling them to jump in the air. It wasn't until I looked at the photo afterwards that I realised what a jump the boy had done! I mean, who jumps that high!?

We had fish and chips and icecream on the beach and then walked along the pier. It's funny, the boys didn't need pursading to stand behind this..

My favourite photo of the boy from the day. I was sitting on the sand and he was looking out to the sea, I pointed the camera up and clicked just as he turned his head. Perfect.

Mostly it was just amazing to see this girl again face to face after many months and have a quality catch up!

This is the story of four people, who know each other inside out, who joined together on one sunny day to create a memory and a bank of photos to look back on in the months to come.

What stories need to be told about your photos?


8 April 2012

Happy Easter


Hope you are all having a glorious easter sunday!

6 April 2012

Thank You

Just a note to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who joined in with Operation Speak Out.
I had so much fun commenting on each blog and smiled every time a comment came in on mine!

Sian had the great idea that we should make this a regular thing. I say Yes to that. How would we all feel about doing this once a month say on the first Thursday of each month?

Each month it will be the same, totally no pressure. If you have a busy day and only visit one blog and comment that is perfect. If you want to have a commenting marathon and visit twenty blogs that is fine too!

Wasn't it so nice to hear all those words of encouragment!?

Abi x

5 April 2012

Making Pillowcases


I have been experimenting with pillowcases lately. I think they are such a simple way to jazz up a room.
For ages I have wanted to try a chevron pattern and after finding this tutorial decided to give it a go.

Result..very easy and quick and what a fab result! I am now trying to make a quilt in the same pattern! I can't really decide whether this will be psychadelic or fun?!

Yesterday I went to Bath (beautiful city by the way) and after a certain amount of searching on my mums part found a shop called The Makery.

My oh my, it is just beautiful. On entering I was greeted with a selection of the most beautiful fat quarters. What was a girl to do? If you are in the area stop by because it is like being in a sweety shop for crafters!

I finally picked one fat quarter and on getting it home made another pillow. This time long and thin to sit on my bed to protect my neck when reading.

I had some material left and just had to make it into something. This tutorial was found by chance but how simple is it?

Pretty pretty bunting.

What things have you been making recently?

*Just a quick plug. Today is Operation Speak out. The task is simple. Comment on every blog you visit. Lets fill the web today with words of encouragment. More details here.*

Thanks for stopping by