Thursday, 31 January 2013

40 before forty | rome album


One really huge project for me during the autumn and winter has been to create the photo album about our trip to Rome. If you have been following along this blog you have seen the layouts come up in bursts. It really was a big thing for me to finish, and important enought that I felt like it had to be on the 40 before forty list so that I could have one more incentive to actually make time to work on it.

It took me three months, but in the end it was finally ready to be uploaded and ordered for print. I decided to give Blurb a try after many years with Shutterfly. I am so glad I did; the shipping was incredibly fast and the quality of the colours in the book is so much better than any of the books I already own from Shutterfly.
If you haven't had enough of my album, you can see a preview of it here.

So now that I have the book, it was finally time to check one more thing off the list and create a page about it.


(Supplies: Crate Paper Sleigh Ride at ACDigitals.com, For the Record Documented by Echo Park)

Just a side note;
I set a small goal for myself to blog every weekday for the whole month of January. With this post I have met that goal. Go me!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

p52 | winter garden

I have really wanted to document our garden covered in a white blanket for a while now. With the way our house is set on our lot, the garden is an akward L shape that doesn't really photograph well. It is impossible to get it all in one shot, even though it's a small garden. I have tried numerous times without being happy with the results. In the end I settled for one corner of the lot.

My beloved lavender plants look terrible, just dead sticks that pop up out of the soft snow. But I know they will recover once spring rolls around and then explode in a lovely blue/purple sea of beauty in the summer.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

laying it out | time to grow up yet?

So I don't drive. Not because I don't like it, because I'm not allowed to. See, back in the 1800s, when I was old enough to take my driver's license, I had already moved away from home and thus spend all my money on food and rent. That went on for quite some years. When I finally had the finances to spend on other stuff than the bare necessities, I chose to spend it on stuff like trying to have a baby, a wedding, travels, and a house. Somehow time just passed by in the blink of an eye. So, that puts me here - at 38 - without a license.

Now that is about to change! I've promised myself that I will not see my 40th birthday without a license. Since that is quite some time away (about a year and a half) hopefully that will be an easy promise to keep. It is also one of the things on our 40 before forty list, which is another incentive for me to get it done.

I had my first lesson with my personal coach, the husband, last Sunday.
Naturally that had to be documented.


(Supplies: Flight Plan 19, These Walls Addon, both by One Little Bird Design)

Monday, 28 January 2013

laying it out | it's a love fest

With just a couple of weeks left until the big love day of the year, I got in the spirit and did a couple of layouts to honur the greatest thing in life; love.

I am still infatuated with the photos of my sister and her husband on their wedding day. If this doesn't portray love, then I don't know what does!


(Supplies: Fourteen by Crate Paper at acdigitals.com, Fairytale Kit by Paislee Press and One Little Bird)

I know I've used this photo of the husband and I about two thousand times already. But since we very rarely get our photos taken, and since I love this one, it never grows old for me. Kind of like the love I have for him.


(Supplies: Fourteen by Crate Paper at acdigitals.com, Fairytale Kit by One Little Bird and Paislee Press)

The gorgeous Fourteen Kit by Crate Paper is new to the digi world at ACDigitals.com today. You know you need it! :)

Friday, 25 January 2013

laying it out | winter fun

Oh, I'm so excited about these two layouts I have to share today!
All the photos are from last Saturday when I first forced the husband to agree on a mini photo shoot, and then to go for a walk. It was so cold, especially during that shoot. The burn on the hands from holding the snow lasted for hours. But now that I'm sitting here looking at the pictures, it was all worth it of course. Ha!


(Supplies: Brownbagger Vol. 4 Paper Pack, Nature's Canvas Paper Pack, Winter Breeze Kit, Bubbling Over Brushes, Graphic Day Labels, This & That Sticker Pack all by Liv.e Designs, Father Christmas Papers by Jodie Lee, Note To Self Elements Pack 2 by Echo Park, Stitches by Anna White 3 by Anna Aspnes)


(Supplies: Snow Much Fun Kiddos Elements Pack, Joy of Childhood Paper Pack, This & That Stickers Pack, Winter Breeze Kit all by Liv.e Designs, Project Life Seafoam kit by Becky Higgins, Ready Set Go  and Kringle & Co by American Crafts)

The Brownbagger Vol. 4 Paper Pack and Snow Much Fun Kiddos Elements Pack by Liv.e Designs are new today at JessicaSprague.com! Hop on over and pick them up! Because, how could you not?

Thursday, 24 January 2013

photography | 2013 calendar poster

I posted a while back about a poster I created with a template by Paislee Press. It took me a while to get round to ordering it, and then a while to get a frame for it. But now it's here and framed, and will go up on my wall at work very soon.

It is very pretty, and the photos look gorgeous in the squares. Unfortunately the printer cut the paper right at the edge of the photos on both sides. I would have wanted them to not touch it but can't be bothered to hash through it all with them - I just want it up on my wall.


Please excuse the crappy photo, it gets dark here before I come home from work and so it is virtually impossible to get yummy photos. But I think you get the idea.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

photography | david loftus



You guys probably know by now that I love food. I also like to document what we eat, sometimes with my phone, but other times with my Nikon. Naturally, I'm always up for learning how to improve my food shots.

If you follow me on Facebook (if not, just click the Facebook logo over on the right to go straight over and like me) you saw yesterday that I gave a tip to check out Jamie Oliver's Food Tube on Youtube to get food photography tips from his go-to photographer David Loftus.

Now, they just started Food Tube on Monday so there is just one film with David as of yet, but there is more coming. I have subscribed, go on over and do it to, why don't you? Check out David's master class here!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

laying it out | good times

We had a perfectly lovely weekend filled with lots of good food and drink. On Saturday we spent the day cooking, and it was a super luxurious experience.


(Supplies: Crate Paper Storyteller at ACDigitals.com, For the Record Tailored by Echo Park, Fairytale Kit by One Little Bird and Paislee Press, In Good Company by Pixels & Co)

I admit, my contribution to all of this was to place the salad on the plate (first course), and to bake the chocolate fondant (dessert). I am lucky to have the most awesome chef in the house to make all this delicious food for me.

Monday, 21 January 2013

p52 | icy cold

It has been cold here this past week. We had snow on Monday and Tuesday and then sub zero temperatures for the rest of the week. I fully admit to not being cut out for this kind of weather. Our walk on Saturday only solidified that, as I was ready to head back after a couple of minutes.

The small pond in the open area behind our neighbourhood was completely frozen and we went out on it to skid around.


Even the husband thought it was a bit too crispy in the icy wind and bundled up properly.




He didn't hesitate to throw some snowballs my way though!



Friday, 18 January 2013

laying it out | all about betsy

I am lucky enough to have been able to get two lovely bags from Jo Totes. I've had the Rose bag for a few years and got the Betsy in 2012. I love them both, but felt I wanted to praise the newer one a little extra in this layout.


(Supplies: Knock On Wood Paper Pack by Liv.e Designs, Mistletoe Magic by Design by Dani)

You can pick up the new gorgeous Knock On Wood papers by Liv.e Designs today at JessicaSprague.com!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

laying it out | roma travel album part 5

Rest assured, this is the final installment in the longest running album showcase in the history of like, ever. Because I am done! Finished! At the goal post! Yes!





















I have to be honest, I am proud of this album. Very proud. I think it is so pretty. I think the photos and the papers and elements work perfectly together. But I am also so very happy that I don't have to spend one more minute making one more layout for this album.

Supplies in the book: Worn Kit by One Little Bird and Sahlin Studio, Create a Book Posted Collection by Katie Pertiet (modified)

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

p52 | picking back up

In September and October of 2012 I did so well with the getting fit thing. I ran every other day and had this vision of actually getting fit. In November I started to slip a little, and then in December winter struck with full force for a few weeks and all my inspiration went out the window. Naturally, going out running in full snow storm is not an option, but to be honest I could have done more once the snow had melted.

But now I want to start up again. And this time I don't want to give up. I want to be able to run effortlessly. I want to feel strong and fit. Of course, it seems the universe is against me in this and gave us lots of snow again so I have only been able to run three times. But as soon as that snow melts away, you can be sure I will be out there again.

I hope posting this here will serve as a promise to myself rather than setting myself up for failure.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

laying it out | Roma travel album part 4

Here we go again! Another set of layouts for the book! Are you with me?





















Stay tuned for the fifth and final part on Thursday!

Monday, 14 January 2013

laying it out | a look at Milano

With us making plans for this summer, I got an urge to look at some pics from one of our trips to Milan. And of course, with looking at them I had to scrap them!

This layout showcases some photos that I took in Milano when we were there in 2011 to celebrate our 10th anniversary. You've seen at least one of the photos before (the drink was recently featured in a layout). I guess I wanted to focus on little details, and not the usual touristy stuff - ok, apart from the glass ceiling of the galleria in the bottom.


(Supplies: Storyteller Kit by Crate Paper for AC Digitals, glitter style by Flergs)

The beautiful Storyteller Kit is new in digiland today. Pick it up at ACDigitals.com!

Friday, 11 January 2013

laying it out | exuberant

I love this photo of me, taken in Siena, jumping off some steps. I like that I look happy and vivacious.  I want to feel inside like I look there always.


(Supplies: Here We Go Loopy-loo, Bubbling Over Brushes, Splatters Vol 1, Nature's Canvas Papers, Tape It Up Krafty all by Liv.e Designs)

You can pick up Liv's beautiful new handdrawn loopies today!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

p52 | a fresh start

OK, so I couldn't stay away. After discussing it with the husband, and being coaxed on by my mother with some lovely comments, I felt I must give it another try. Will I make it through this year? I don't know. Will I resort to using prompts? Maybe. But I am giving it a go.

My first photo of the year is a goodbye to Christmas.


I still have to put the 2012 book together but I am making myself focus on the Rome album first before I do another book. I know the Project 52 one will be finished in an hour or two, but I need to get that damned Rome album finished and I can't put it off all the time by doing other stuff.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

paper crafts | giftbag



A friend of ours turned 40 the other day and we were invited to help him celebrate. I made this giftbag to hold the gift.

The bag was made with papers from Echo Park's Note To Self digi kit, which you can find at JessicaSprague.com, and printed onto two sheets of 12x12 cardstock, cut to size, and assembled.



What you see on the front of the bag is a pocket that holds a card that can be pulled up and out with the greeting. The pocket and card were also made from the same kit, designed in CS6, printed and cut, and then attached to the bag.



I looked and looked for a suitable template to use for the bag. Unfortunately, due to the size of the gift, I had to create my own. I made two identical pieces; each containing the front/back, one side panel, and half of the bottom. Each piece fit on one sheet of 12x12 cardstock. The pocket and card was cut from a third sheet of cardstock.
Otherwise, here is a great tutorial by Nexttonicx on how to cut and fold a giftbag from one sheet of paper.

Once I had the size of each panel figured out, it was easy to clip in my papers and then print and cut. The assembly took about 15 minutes or so with cutting, folding and putting on double sided tape. The finished result is a truly custom gift from start to finish that was very easy to make.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

laying it out | roma travel album part 3

Slowly but surely, I'm making progress on the Rome album. The reason that it's taking so long is that I never had time to edit all the photos when we got back so I'm doing that as I go. So, each photo that goes on a page gets edited first. To save time I decided to repeat page designs as much as I can.

I've got another 12 pages, or six spreads, finished. That puts me at around noon on day three. About half way in other words. I'm up to 40 pages total so far, so the fear I had that this would be a big book was not all that far off.













I have to admit that I've hit a wall with this book. I think maybe because I've had so much on my plate for so long, I haven't had time to do little bits at a time, but rather cram as much as I can in one go. Doing the same thing over and over does kill enthusiasm, even if the objects are gorgeous and the memories fantastic.
Huh, writing that makes me thankful I never really felt like doing Project Life - I think I would hate it after a while. I need variation to be happy.

Until next update!

Monday, 7 January 2013

laying it out | looking back

Am I the only one who feels done with winter now that all the fun parts are over and done with? I was looking through my photos the other day, while uploading to the EHD, and really wishing it was summer again. I am quite certain I was born in the wrong place as I just don't like cold.


(Supplies: Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic for AC Digitals, template by Tiffany Tillman in Pixel & Co collab In Good Company)

This summer the husband built an extra shed at the back of the house. Apart from the deck, which he had help building, this was the first real building work he has done and he did it all on his own. I was knee deep in wedding stuff so he decided to just do it. It turned out great. I never got a picture of him and the finished shed, but I love that I at least have these in progress ones, with a very proud husband showing off his work.


(Supplies: Dear Lizzy 5th & Frolic for AC Digitals, In Good Company collab from Pixels & Co)

We're really not good gardners. Mainly because we're lazy and get bored with the work. But somehow we've not been able to kill off the lavender that we planted our first year with a garden. They take over the back of the garden each summer with their amazing scent and colour. It's like a sea of purple during a few weeks and I just love it so much. This picture makes me long for summer so much that it almost hurts.