Sunday, 27 February 2011

Adding to the collection

With the annual book sale starting last week, I knew I was in trouble when I hit the shops this week (shopping for birthday presents for my sweet sisters). Now, I don't read a lot of books anymore. After working 9-10 hours, and then putting in two or three more hours more in front of the computer to design, blog, and so on, I just don't have any brain capacity left to concentrate or focus on one single thing. So novels are definitely out. If I read two our three books a year nowadays it's to be considered  a fabulous effort. 

So with that in mind, there was no danger of me picking up too many novels. No, my weakness is cookbooks. I love cookbooks. I love beautiful food photography. Love it. Needless to say I also love good food. So I'm like a kid in a candyshop when I get to flick through a really good book filled with gorgeous shots of delish food. This all means that we have tons and tons of books all over the house.

Still, faced with all the goodness in the store I couldn't help myself and picked up two new books; one for me by Swedish celeb cook Leila Lindholm all devoted to baking, and one for the husband by Jamie Oliver. I'm a good wife. I think of my husband and give him little treats. But I'm also a smart wife because I am the one that will get to enjoy the food he cooks. Very smart wife. :)

On weather and shoes

Let me just state that I was born in the wrong part of the world. I don't do well with cold. Not only do I freeze my behonkey off far too many months of the year, it is also impossible to wear the kind of shoes that I really would like to wear most of the time. Super cute ballerina flats? Sure, maybe in June and July, but not when it rains. Sexy stillettos? Right, about three months of the year, but again, not when it rains. And it seems to rain a lot in the summer around these parts. The beloved Converse All Stars? Hah! Not unless you want your toes to be little tiny frozen sticks attached to the feet. No, for large parts of the year (read: October to April) you need to cover your feet in thick, heavy insulated monstrosities for shoes to even be able to go outside. I detest it. And that's just shoes people. Don't even get me started on coats! Haha!

I decided to brave it today and get those Converse out of the depths of my wardrobe just to stick my tongue out to the weather and say HA! Take that, you! You won't concour me! Of course I wore two sets of extra thick socks but don't tell the weather that. Three hours later my toes are still ice sticks. Sheesh!

But they do look so good. Even old, worn, and dirty ones like mine.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Plugging away at warp speed

Ok, so warp speed might not actually be correct, but I have been working a lot on my Italy book and it's going very well. So well that I've reached 50 pages and I've still got six days left of the trip to cover. It's going to be one big mutha of a book that's for sure. I love reading my journal, looking at the photos and thinking back to the days of the trip. Nostalgia at its best. I just cannot wait to finish and order it so that I can get to see it in real life.

Pages 48 and 49


If you hadn't guessed it by now, we're all about the food and drink. It was a very good trip. And I mean that literally. :)

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

About a book

I briefly mentioned in my P52 photo the other week that the photo of the book with the heart shaped pages was Mistral's Daughter. Well, I felt I needed to scrap the  photo and the story behind it. Here is the result.



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Journaling:
My absolute most favourite book of all as a teenager was Mistral’s Daughter and I think I read it at least 25 times through the years. I had a passage marked that I would read when I felt down or sad and I needed to believe in love again. The words were so very cheesy but to a teenage girl it was exactly what love was all about. Time stood still when I would read this book and I can still to this day miss that excitement and hope for adulthood and love that I felt back then.

Supplies:
Moments Paper Pack, Moments Elements Pack, Charmed Alpha Set by In the Making Design
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Inspiring ladies

The girls in the JessicaSprague.com are marvellous. Just marvellous. They do such pretty things with my designs and I am so proud to be able to showcase their work here.

by Mindy

by Celeste

by Renee

by Linn

by Jen

Sunday, 20 February 2011

A big day for a small guy

My little nephew had a big day today; it was his christening. I guess there was a lot more work for his parents but the boy had a lot of people to meet and greet as well as putting up with a complete stranger put water on his head. He did so well though, the little guy.

We were asked to not take any photos during the ceremony but I had to risk it and shoot one anyway. I know, daring to defy the priest in church, where will that get me? Heh! I'm not sure they get how important it is to document what actually happens rather than just posing after the fact. Anyway, I am glad I did because I just love this photo (even if it's a bit unfocused and blurry due to me trying to sneak the shot in).


I just have to show the beautiful setting for the fountain in the curch. I love the stone wall in the background.


What's for dinner?

With the husband being a chef we have the good fortune of being able to eat fantabulous food any day of the week right in the comfort of our own home. This means that we don't go out to eat all that often. Unless it's really spectacular (and with that pricey) we can eat just as well for less at home.

But nontheless, it is nice to sit down together and be served by someone else and just relax. So our joint decision for a new thing this year is to try (at least) four new to us restaurants in our town. It wasn't hard at all to pitch that idea to the husband when I first started thinking about doing New52 in January, he was all over that idea. Anything with regards to food is sure to get both of us excited.

We tried our first new restaurant on Monday. Valentine's isn't really huge in our house but why not spend some quality time together, you know? The restaurant we went to has been open for a few months and is an English style pub with a gastro pub type dining room in the back. We decided to sit in the pub area to eat though - more relaxed and a little more lively.


We had both heard good things about their food and we weren't disappointed. I had grilled monkfish with beetroots and potato purée with a lovely glass of white wine and then finished it all off with a creme brulée and orange sorbet. Lovely it was. We went home quite happy.


And now for a follow up of another of my new things; remember a few weeks back I cooked dinner for the husband? Remember that I also said I would cook once a month? Yeah, well so far I am holding my end of the bargain. Two for two now as I did my second three course meal all on my own on Friday. If I may say so, this time it was better than the first. It took me a while, but the end result was great. Yay!

Here's what I did:
Bresaola and chevre rolls with roasted pine nuts and arugula


Saffron and fennel risotto with grilled tiger prawns


Warm chocolate cake with coconut and raspberries served with soft vanilla ice cream


There's hope for me yet, you guys!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Dreaming about the sun

It's been what, six or so months since our holiday trip to Italy? Yeah, time moves fast, for sure. I think I started on the book about the trip about three weeks after we came home. I got real far. Two pages far. I totally suck at keeping things up. This was not the first book I started without being able to finish the damned thing. I also started a book about a weekend trip to Milan a few years back. That book has twelve pages or so. Really pathetic. :)

But anyway, I hit a major wall recently with regards to creating and decided I should give myself a break and just play around a little. After all, I have been working non stop on things for almost a year now (gah, next month marks my first anniversary as a digi designer, but let's get back to that later).

One thing I like to do when I feel in a rut is look at pictures. Quite often my own. Mostly of lovely times, like sunny and relaxed days filled with ice cream and love. It makes me happy. Happy that I got to experience it. Happy that I got to capture it in a  photo. Happy that many of those photos don't suck entirely.

So that was exactly what I was doing the other day, when I felt a real punch in the gut of inspiration to scrap. And not just any old layout. No, I felt I had to scrap our holiday. So off I set, pulled out the photos again, and the kit I created with the book in mind all those months ago; La Storia. Now I just needed to get going again. And it's been going well. I have created 16 pages in three nights by the telly. I am quite pleased. One thing that has helped me tremendously is Nisa Fiin's awesome template album set coming very soon; Classic Album templates. I think I might be able to finish this time, even if it takes me a month.

Here are pages 12 and 13 of my book


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Supplies
La Storia Paper Pack and Elements Pack by In the Making Design
Modernist Elements Pack by In the Making Design
Classic Album Templates by Splendid Fiins
Stitches by Anna Aspnes

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Sunday, 13 February 2011

Creative team inspiration

How about some beauty from the JessicaSprague.com CT girls?

by Jenn

by Miki

by Miki

by Becky

by Becky

Words of love

With love day coming up tomorrow, and every website, blog, and FB status is bogged down with hearts and lovey dovey, it's only natural that my weekly photo is related to all that. Being immobalized and in a foul mood due to back pain probably helps with not being inspired to do anything else as well. Ha!

Now this is the total cliché! The book is Mistral's Daughter which I thought very fitting for the heart shaped pages. It might be a worn out thing to shoot, but I have to admit that I like it.


Also, I like that the very shallow depth of field makes the back of the book all soft and that you can only make out the bottom line of letters. I did bump the aperture on a few attempts but this one, the first, was my favourite by far of the lot.

Glossy, trashy, cool, pretty

This week has been pretty crappy to tell the truth. I trew my back out last weekend when I sat in a very soft sofa, holding a sleeping baby for several hours, and then tried to get up without waking him.

I was born with an extra vertebrae in my lower back and the disc under it sometimes slips out of place and gets stuck. It hurts like you wouldn't believe. This is exactly what happened last week. I know the pain and the signs very well by now unfortunately.

So dealing with this, I haven't exactly felt like doing anything at all but get through the work day and crash on the sofa propped up in the strangest positions with pillows to get even remotely close to being comfortable. Doing something new this week was certainly not going to be a priority.

I ended up doing something that was on my list of things to do this year but was still very easy to pull off. I got black nail polish! Just a tiny little thing but I've had my mind on this for the longest time. So now I have glossy, trashy, cool, and pretty black nails. It rocks in a big way.



Photo taken while making tomato sandwiches for lunch today.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Taking the cake

I enrolled in Jessica Sprague's newest class, Digi in Deeper, and I'm finding it very inspirational. This week it's all about graphic and grungy scrapbooking styles. The first lesson inspired me to start working on a project that I've been putting off for the longest time. I hope I can share it real soon. The sketch for the second lesson inspired me in a huge way to scrap. Here's what I created with the sketch



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Supplies:
Indulgence Paper Pack and Elements Pack by In the Making Design

Moments Elements Pack by In the Making Design
Pattern overlay by Corinna Nielsen
Sketch by Jessica Sprague for Digi in Deeper class

Iecster font
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If you want to take the class, then don't despair. It's a self paced class so you can sign up any time. Check it out!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Designer spotlight, a new product in store, and a freebie - all at once

Gosh, talk about long title for a blog post! :)

This weekend I am the featured at the designer spotlight at JessicaSprague.com. Yay! This means you get to learn completely random and silly things about me right here. It means you can shop my whole store at a 25% discount all weekend. As if that wasn't enough, it also means I have a nice little freebie for you to pick up. Go to the DigiLovely blog to download and see some beautiful work by the amazing ladies of the JessicaSprague.com creative team.

But here is a little preview of Calendar, the freebie
Calendar

But the goodness doesn't stop there people! I also have a brand new template and quick page combo! This is a double page template and there are lots of space for both journaling and photos. If you want to use the quick page, featuring items from the freebie, you get the writing space of a day planner and the photo space of a wall calendar all wrapped up neatly with a pretty bow in one single page. Calendar template is available today at JessicaSprague.com.

Calendar

And look what the ladies did with it:

by Celeste

by Carol
 
by Mindy
 

quick page sample by me
 

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

What am I doing wrong?

Blogger bloggers (ha!), help a girl out here, please! Why aren't the share buttons showing up after my post even though I have that box ticked? Is there some secret trick I need to learn to get them there? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Love.

Monday, 7 February 2011

Up for learning something new?

Did you know that JessicaSprague has a new class starting today? It's the fourth and last of her digital scrapbooking classes called Digi in Deeper. It's geared towards advanced scrappers and will without a doubt be filled to the brim with fabulous inspiration and mindblowing techniques.

If you sign up before midnight EST today you will get it at a discount.

Look at this beauty. It's the first lesson! Go on, you know you want to!
Digi in Deeper
(Click on the image to go directly to the product in the shop)

Sunday, 6 February 2011

The New52 that wasn't

Our town got a brand new metro at the end of last year. So far (which I think will remain for a forseeable future) it only has three stops but there are connecting trains to a bunch of places. One of the things that I had on my list of new things to do tis year was to ride the new metro. A bit silly perhaps but it will undoubtedly be a big part of our town from now on and it will be a shame to not take advantage of it.

Now I have the good fortune of having a husband who is kind enough to drive me to and from work almost every day but I do know that there is a train to the centre of town just a few minutes from our house. So the other day, when the husband was away after work, I thought I'd take the opportunity to try the darn thing out instead of taking the bus home. So I set of from work and walked the five minutes to the nearest station.

I got there and was pleasantly surprised at how nicely designed it was. Very futuristic and with lovely and unexpected art (huge metal snowflakes is right up my alley). I whipped out my camera and was quite giddy about the coolness of our town and that I would get to ride one of the new trains. Add to that also that I would get home in more than half the time it would take with the bus. Imagine my surprise when I saw that none of the connecting trains to our place went through the metro. Huh? What a complete letdown. All there was left for me to do was walk to the nearest bus stop. Crapiola.

I guess that riding the metro will have to remain on my list for another time. I did get a few cool shots though.







Staying with auntie and uncle

We had the pleasure to having the newest addition to our collection of godchildren (yeah, we have a few) stay with us overnight. He is only seven months old so it was a big deal for both him and us. We did make it through with smiles all around and had time for not only cuddles in our bed this morning but also playtime before it was time to go home to mum and dad again. It was defenitely good times and I'm hoping for a new visit soon.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Love is in the air for Hybrid Project Friday

Just in time for that special love day I have an easy little project for you. This will be a perfect card for someone you love. Just print and assemble and you're set. Of course, I've included a template as well for all those of you who want to add your own papers and stuff.

I think the template would be great for special event and invites as well, such as save the dates or shower invites.

Heartily is available at JessicaSprague.com today.

Heartily
(Click on the image to go directly to the product in the shop)