Monday, 12 August 2013

Over and out

No - I'm not leaving blogland - but my voice has left me!!! The Boy picked up a throat infection and it appears he was contagious - next time, he's being quarantined until he's recovered! I'm not very consistent with the whole blogging malarkey, but I didn't want to go for 6 months with no posts. For now though, my time is taken up with study, work and, right now, being ill!

Monday, 17 June 2013

Essay from hell: take 2

My apologies for the recent scilence, I've been battling with the essay from hell... well, another essay from hell. But I'm there, it's submitted and there's no going back now! (Thank god!) 

In the process of this, and after LOAD, I've taken some time out of scrapping for a couple of weeks. But I have plans this week so watch this space!

During my brief holiday, The Boy and I met our nephew, Konnah. He's a proper cutie and we both think he's adorable!

Can't wait to see him again and watch him grow up. Any how, that's me for today. Have fun!

Friday, 31 May 2013

Forecast Friday: The LOAD inititive - installment 2!

So, May is finally over. This means, so is LOAD. At the beginning of the month, I was a girl with a plan (for full details of this master plan, click here.) I wanted create a LO every day. Not play catch up at the weekends, or do only the weekend prompts. I wanted 31 LO's, one for each day in May.

I did it ^_^ and I am, needless to say, mighty proud of myself. It's a huge achievement for me and I've still done the study I need to **cue smug moment** I've included some of my favourites in this post.

However, the purpose of this post was not simply for me to brag (although I admit I am, and feel a little bragging at this stage is justified), but to evaluate my grand LOAD plan. I started out with some ground rules, a newly-purged stash of supplies and an untidy desk. These rules were as follows:
  • Study and dinner come first. I'm grouchy and unproductive if I don't eat and my degree is more important to me than a scrapbook page.
  • 1 hour per LO. That's it.
  • Stock up on adhesive BEFORE starting. That way, I'm not checking my supply each day and wasting time.

So how did it go? Actually, really smoothly. I watched the video in the morning, went to work, mulled things over, came home, ate, studied, completed chores and scrapped. Even on those days I didn't want to move from the sofa, I created a page. It was even more satisfying knowing I'd earned my scrapping time by completing my study. 

 The 1 hour limit... Lets talk about that for a minute.
Ok, so I was a little flexible. I usually have some idea of where I'm going with the page, if not I just look through my photos or papers until something catches my eye. If, after 10 mins or so I've done nothing constructive or it's not flowing for me, I'd go and do something else. (This only happened three times over the month, I had a shower, got a cuppa and went back to the LO). I don't set an alarm or finish after an hour regardless, just until I'm happy the LO is finished. The longest was 1 hour 30, shortest, 45 minutes.

I didn't feel stressed or under pressure at any point. I just scrapped until I was happy with the page. I have to admit that I have gone back to a couple of the LO's to add an extra layer, journalling or embellishment, but that doesn't mean they weren't finished before that, call it artistic prerogative. 
There were other benefits, out of the 200 papers I pulled out, I now have 67 and a similar size pile of scraps to the pile I started with. I had to refill my embellishment box halfway through the month, so I suspect I will need to restock shortly. I've spent half the month cutting up letter stickers to make the one that was missing (take note - WE NEED MORE VOWELS, S's, R's AND T's) and have made a huge dent in my alpha collection. I now have an excuse to shop and best of all, I won't feel guilty!

 Oh, and yes, I did have enough adhesive!!!
If you want to see my full LOAD, they are in my flickr gallery, please excuse the bad photography. English evenings have not been my friend (although photoshop has helped!) 

Thank you for stopping by, and if you are interested in joining in the next LOAD, stop by LOAD on facebook for more information.

Monday, 27 May 2013

The LOAD Inititive

Let's talk LOAD, or as it's known in certain circles Layout a Day. It's a one month challenge to create... *drumroll* a layout a day! (I bet you'd never have guessed it)

I have the motivation of a hungover student when it comes to classes and challenges, the will is there, but movement is lacking. I did a 7 or 8 LO's in May 2012, 1 in October 2012 and non in February 2013.

This time, I wanted to give it a real go, the Boy is away, there are only so many games I can play and I thought it was the ideal time to have a proper stab *snigger* at it.

This is what my desk looks like halfway through, I tend to tidy so I can work, but that's pretty much it. I'm an 'out-of-sight-out-of-mind' person, if I can't see it, it won't get used.

Now, like most people, my house is moderately tidy, cleaned as and when it gets dirty. I work 9-5 (well, 8-5), I study and I need to wash clothes and eat. This means I need to do a little planning when it comes to LOAD.

I set myself a few 'ground rules'

  • Study and dinner come first. I'm grouchy and unproductive if I don't eat and my degree is more important to me than a scrapbook page.
  • 1 hour per LO. That's it.
  • Stock up on adhesive BEFORE starting. That way, I'm not checking my supply each day and wasting time.

Speaking of stocking up, I have quite alot of stash, so I haven't purchased anything new. I do have a monthly kit subscription, but I want to use what I have, so with the exception of the kit, no shiny new papers for me. I also have scraps, like most people, so they sit on my desk to be fished through.

I had one other trick up my sleeve before the 1st May 2013 rolled around. I purged (and I do mean PURGED) my stash. Considering I need to get through 31 layouts, you would have thought I needed all the stash I can get... Sounds extreme? Here's my rational:

I scrap at a desk with my stash behind me, but for me, out of sight, out of mind is quite accurate. It's for this reason I keep a box of paper next to my desk and a box of embellishments on my desk. By purging, I sort through everything. I pull out 'new' papers (and my 'use it or loose it' pile), put lack-lustre ones away (they come back out next time round as 'use it or loose it) and get rid of papers I really don't like anymore (I donate these). The same applies to embellishments. I find that this way, I rotate my stash and there is always something new on my desk and I don't get overwhelmed.
It also meant I could have a huge pile of new goodies to work with ^_^ 

As of Thursday, this is my stack of LO's (minus the first 5 days). Looking good so far...

So... This was the theory... How did I get on..? Find out in a couple of days!

Friday, 24 May 2013

Forecast Friday: AKA Hail and Heavy Rain

Seriously, hail... at the end of May. *sigh*

Well, an unproductive weekend on the cards for me. I've picked up a sickness bug which has meant spending the last two days pretty much in bed. However, this afternoon, for a change of scenery, I spent here:

Browsing the interweb for tasty stuff to cook and crafty ideas. This state is expected to continue for the remainder of the bank holiday.

In other news, last Sunday, I handed in the essay from HELL (I have never been so pleased to press the submit button). LOAD is ongoing, I can't believe I've managed a layout every day. 24 so far and counting. I need to put them away this weekend, they're starting to take up a lot of space!

I hope you all have a great bank holiday weekend whatever you have planned.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Forecast Friday: Mopping Up Puddles

So, having gone to leave the house yesterday morning and stuck my foot in a puddle, I have discovered a leak. From the radiator... Having mopped it all up, today, I'm waiting in for the plumber. The joy!

There is one bonus, it's Food Revolution Day. Sadly, I can't make any of the events, but I can have a play in my kitchen. Today's plan is some bulk meal prep. Anyone who has seen my Facebook account recently will probably have noticed my current Food Tube obsession (it's *way* better then Jeremy Kyle!!!) I discovered an old favourite of mine, Steak and Guinness Pie. (I have the book!) So my kitchen currently looks like this:

I'm using Black Sheep Ale rather than Guinness, because that's what I have in

And some gorgeous stewing beef (just over 1kg)

It's been cooked for 10 mins and is currently cooling. I'll be portioning it up and freezing it... When I'm ready to use it, it's going in the slow cooker on low while I'm at work. Then I'll do the pie bit. That's the plan anyway.

And to cheer me on my way, I have FRD live stream on YouTube.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Forecast Friday: Baby talk

Another week down. It's a nice feeling, knowing the weekend is just around the corner. Before I go on, it's announcement time and I'm super excited about this one. My sister in law has just given birth to a beautiful baby boy - well, Tuesday afternoon to be exact. 8lb 10oz, mum, baby and dad are doing well and if mum gives me permission, I'll post a photo mum mum has allowed me to share a photo. Please welcome Konnah Matthew to the world ^_^

I won't be going over until next month, when the Boy is home. But I'm still super happy, he's a beautiful little bundle.

Proud auntie moment over (for now). As you might know (or not) May is LOAD month for me. We're on day 10 and so far, so good.

Here's a couple of my favourites so far... would you believe, I've started journalling!!!

It's been an interesting process, fitting in a full days work, cooking, cleaning and studying. I've limited myself to 1 hour. If I haven't made progress after 15 minutes, I go and do something else and after 1 hour, the LO needs to be finished or right at the end. I like it when something works out. If you want to follow my progress throughout the month, it's looking like flickr is the way forward. Join me here.

I've also been playing along with Shimelle's NSD challenges too, two for the price of one. All in all, a good week.

Anyway, my weekend pans are study and housework... oh, and food shopping. I guess I can't win everything. What are you up to?