Tuesday, 29 November 2011

new52 | always food

Last week was my second week off work, and it was all spent in the house, watching tv, reading, designing, cleaning, recouperating, and relaxing. It was marvellous, but it also meant that my only new thing was the monthly cooking of a three course meal.

I am not beating myself up about it. I really needed some time off to just be myself and not worry about anything. And I keep telling myself that this project wasn't about forcing myself. So it's all good.

But I did cook. And it was pretty good. I am pleased that I can get through cooking the meals without wanting to throw the pots and pans through the window. I did have a small meltdown when the recipe called for butternut squash and the store didn't have any. But with some gentle whispers from the husband, and a few suggestions on things to exchange it for, I was ok.

For starter I made a soup of roasted Jerusalem artichoke and apple with chili and thyme. It was served with a onion and chevre tart.

The soup was a tad bit too hot, but otherwise it was delicious. And that little tart with the chevre? Delish!
The main course was cheese tortellini with a cream sauce with sugar snap peas and pancetta. This was really great. And so easy to cook. What a shame I completely messed up the photo taking.

The dessert was a monster to make. It took me two hours early Saturday morning, but I figure it was worth it. I made homemade Nutella pudding. Yum-oh!

And that's it for last week, folks. Now, I have to figure out something fun for this week before it's all over, LOL!

Sunday, 27 November 2011

rewards program

If you already didn't know it - but I think you do - JessicaSprague.com really is your best friend in digi shopping. Not only does this place have the best classes around, and the most amazing designers in the business (I truly thank my lucky star every single day that I get to be a part of that group); this place always works to bring you the best deals ever as well. The newest thing, and also possibly the best since sliced bread for all our customers, is a rewards program. How does this work, you say? Ah, well, you can here the full info here, but let me run it down for you real quick.

Let's say you pick up this little gem in my shop
Be Merry

and then you quickly grab this beauty by Liv Esteban
Paint Swashes

and then you fall in love with the little birds in this kit by Jodie Lee
Vintage Birdies

and you feel like a winner because you just gave yourself some real eye candy. Well here's the best part: not only do you get some truly great stuff for your stash. You also get, without doing anything else, 2 points for each dollar you spend. So for the above products you would get 20 points (based on regular price). Once you reach 200 points we give you money. Now calm down people, there won't be a person knocking on your door wanting to give you cash - you get a $10 gift certificate to spend as you wish in the JessicaSprague.com shop. But who would say no to that, right?

Awesome stuff, I say!

PS. Click on the images to go straight to the products in the shops!

Friday, 25 November 2011

photo class feedback

I had my second photography class this week and for this time we had a new assignment. We were all supposed to take photos at the same place in our city; a large and busy square in the centre. Now those kinds of assignments always make me really nervous, simply because my performance anxiety kicks in high gear and tells me I need to be perfect to measure up to everyone else. I worked through those initial feelings of despair and got on with the assignment as soon as I could.
I ended up bringing six photographs to class on Tuesday. Squares are difficult to shoot because of the open space and abundance of details all over. Taking panoramic photos will likely end up with a busy result and a photography lacking of a specific focus. My solution to that? Shooting details of course. Cop out you say? Yeah, me too! LOL!

Feedback: The colours are nice and the contrast of the leaves agains the gravel leads you into the image. The focus is at the right place. I should have cut out the tree and the green at the top of the image as it distracts the eye.

Feedback: This image doesn't work because it is impossible to understand what the saying is about. The roundness of the IRL globe is lost and the image seems flat. Also, the last part of the last word is out of focus and I should have used a smaller aperture.

Feedback: This is a really good image and the large aperture means that the little devil is the perfect focal point with very little distraction from the background. The composition is good.

Feedback: Interesting composition but the blue bike on the far right is a bit distracting. I couldn't have cut it out though because that would have meant that the red light would be too far towards the edge. The focus is nice on the rusty frame.

Feedback: Good composition and a good idea to not include their heads. That means the viewer starts thinking about who these guys are and what they are doing and talking about. Perhaps I should have cut out some of the stones at the bottom as the rest of the image is so tightly cut around the three guys. Good decision to make it a b/w image.

Feedback: This image should have been shot from straight ahead (which I actually wanted but was afraid to do since they played for money and I had no cash). The girl is the weakest point in the image as she is looking away and her hands aren't showing that she is playing the drum. The face of the male is nicely lit though.

So there you have it. Not all bad but not raving reviews either. I didn't expect that though and I love hearing what professionals, and other enthusiasts, have to say and how they can help me. The fun thing about this assignment was to see how differently everyone had gone about it and what different styles there were in all the photographs. I am so glad I was able to join this group.

The assignment for next week is to shoot something that sparks great emotion. Haven't got that down yet. :o

we're having a sale

Yes my dears, this is the time to whip your credit cards out and steer straight for JessicaSprague.com. The reason? Today marks the start of our huge annual sale!
Annual sale

All classes are included in the sale at 20% off.
All products in the shop are included in the sale at 35% off.

And you know what? The sale goes on right up until the last day of the year! So even though I know you want to run like mad straight over, you will have plenty of time to come back again (and again) for some more shopping.

Have fun shopping, my friends!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

autumn dinner table featured

This is just a quick note to say that YAY! one of my table scapes was featured at Hostess With the Mostess last week. Since I was away I missed the day it went live, hence my late posting.

The HWTM blog is my favourite place to go to when looking for inspiration for party decorations so being featured is a very, very huge honour for me. And, yeah, the excitement when I found out was as big as the first time I was featured.

Just click on the photo to go to the post.

p52 | italy, of course

Seeing as I spent most of the past week in Italy, of course the week's photo had to be from there. I haven't had time to start looking through and editing my photos yet, but I knew when I snapped this one that I would love it. And I do, even though it's not technically correct. I think I have about fifty or something photos from the Vittorio Emanuele II galleria; I take new ones every time we pass it. But I just think it's such a stunning place to photograph.

I will most defenitely post photos once I've had time to sit down with them. This one will have to do for now though!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

obw | retro mango

For the last One Buck Wednesday of 2011 I have one of my favourite paper packs up for grabs.
Get it for one single little buck today only!

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

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

new in store | alamanc

I didn't get to post about this yesterday, as I was still on the road, but I have a new product in my shop at JessicaSprague.com.
(Click on the image to go directly to the product in the shop)

The Almanac template pack features 19 calendar templates in three designs.
You get
- Twelve 5x7 templates for each month of 2012
- Six 8,5x11 templates which holds two months each
- One 11x14 poster template for the whole year
All the templates have a very sleek and minimalist design. Just add your photos if that is your style, or add elements and papers to your heart's content for a more custom look.


new52 | anniversary

One of the things I had on my list of things to do this year when I first started the project was to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary with a really good champagne on a trip outside of the country. On our honeymoon in Thailand we said we'd go back for our 10th, then that destination changed over the years to NYC. This year we finally decided to go to Italy and Milano. So we have spent the past week eating a lot of fantastic food, drinking really great champagne and wine, seeing some excellent sights, and doing some pretty decent shopping.

I've been to Milano twice before, to visit my sister who lives there, so that wasn't the new thing but I did get a couple of new things in anyway. Well, celebrating ten years of marriage for one. Haven't done that before, LOL.

Other new things:
We visited the La Scala museum and were fortunate enough to get to see the rehersals for Don Giovanni. Seriously, that place is truly stunning. My only regret for this trip was that we didn't get tickets for a concert or an opera. That will have to come next time for sure.

We visted the Pinacoteca di Brera and saw paintings by my favourite artist Monet, among many others (including Picasso and Van Gogh). I am in complete awe of Monet's technique.

We saw Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece The Last Supper and I was floored. Now, this piece of art is severely damaged and is in a completely bare room. But the history of it, and the fact that it is still competely amazing makes it truly one of a kind. We were only allowed to stay for ten minutes, but during that time I couldn't take my eyes off it.

I had pizza fresca, which has neither tomato sauce nor melted cheese. It had a chili oil on the crust, small balls of mozzarella, shrimp, fresh tomatoes and arugula. It was totally not what I expected to get, but it was good none the less.

I bought a couple new things as well, including a pair of shoes, a sequined tank top, and a small purse with a leather rose on it.

Other than that we did a bunch of fun things like watch football, eat at fabulous restaurants, visit an outlet shopping center, and spend lots of time with my sister and her boyfriend. All in all it was a fantastic trip and anniversary.

Free class by JessicaSprague.com

Friends, have you seen that Jessica Sprague is offering a class for free? Head on over to JessicaSprague.com to check it out!

Holiday Memories

Thursday, 17 November 2011

thursday love | decade

My Thursday love this week is me! Today is my wedding day! Yay!
This is us 10 years ago.

Please, please disregard the atrocious scrapbook layout - I made it for our 6th anniversary, I was new to scrapbooking and really didn't know what the heck I was doing. What you should focus on is the photo in the layout. I couldn't be bothered to go look for digital copies of the wedding photos so you will have to make do with this, sorry!

This is us now-ish.

This was taken last summer at a wedding but it's the latest photo I have of the two of us together.

Happy anniversary to us!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

coming soon | almanac

I am going to be indesposed for the remainder of the week, as I am allowing myself to step away from the computer for just a minute and enjoy the 10th anniversary of getting married to the the most wonderful husband in the universe. True story.

But before I go, I thought I'd share with you a little sneak peek of a new product coming to JessicaSprague.com next week. I guess no explanatory words are necessary; it kind of speaks for itself, hee!

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

p52 | autumn beauty

I have to say, I am a pretty lucky girl to have beauty like this about two hundred metres from my office building. On days when it's totally intense and it feels like the head is going to explode, it's so lovely to just pop out for fifteen or twenty minutes and exhale. Right now the park is exploding in pretty colours and crunchy sounds of fallen leaves. It had to be a photo from the park this week.

Monday, 14 November 2011

baby alphabet poster

A year ago I created alphabet posters for our godson and for our friends' daughter, and I knew I wanted to make one for my nephew as well. His first birthday (celebrated this weekend) was the perfect opportunity. I really like this idea. It's a custom version of a great tradition for nursery or playroom, and I just know it will be cherished forever. I also really like the combination of fonts. :)

new in store | be merry cards and ornament

I said last week that there would be more from the Be Merry line, and I wasn't lying. This week I have to new products for you guys!

It's about time to start thinking about your Christmas cards this year. If you are going the photocard route, then I have good news for you!

Be Merry

The Be Merry Photocard Pack contains four quick cards with the pretty papers of the Be Merry Paper Pack and custom wordart sentiments. The pack also contains a bonus template for each card design.

If you are into handmade Christmas decor and ornaments then this project is perfect for you. The beautiful paper ornament is easy to make and is very decorative.

Be Merry

The Be Merry Christmas Ornament contains two printable files with beautiful papers from the Be Merry Paper Pack and a printable tutorial with photographs to guide you through the process of making the ornament.

If you go to my Facebook page you will find, in the fan exclusive section, a coupon code to to get the ornament project for free! Please note that you need to be a fan to access the code.

Be Merry Cards Pack and Christmas Ornament Project are both available at JessicaSprague.com today. Both are 25% off today only!


Christmas Ornament project by Camille Robinson

Christmas card by Lauren Madsen

Sunday, 13 November 2011

just sayin'

I guess it's a matter of context? Hehe!

a photography project for 11.11.11

I was told about a photo project that a local photographer arranged for 11.11.11. The project was open for anyone and the challenge was pretty simple: take one or several photos in the city of Malmö (that's my hometown) and then upload to the project site. The main purpose was to show Malmö on that special day. Out of the (thousands, I'm sure) photos submitted they will choose a certain number to be featured in a local gallery and in a book to be published before the end of the year. I have little to no hopes to be chosen, but I still went out on my lunch break and shot a few pics. I uploaded three photos today.

So, looking forward to the gallery showing and the book now!

Monday, 7 November 2011

new in store | be merry

When I think about Christmas I think about the warm, loud, and fun Christmases of my childhood at my grandmother and grandfather's place. We would all gather early on Christmas Eve, aunts and uncles, cousins, babies,  and doggies and then spend all day and night eating, playing games, talking, and just generally wreak havoc until it was finally time to sit down and wait for Santa to come and give us our presents. I look back at those times with so much fondness and emotion and I am so happy that I got to experience them.

This year I wanted to create a kit that captures that warm feeling of my childhood Christmases. Of course this kit couldn't be a cutting edge, hot and hip kind of kit like last year's Sassy Season, or a sleek snowflake one like Frostbite. No, I had to make this kit with traditional  Christmas colours. But knowing me, I also wanted to do a modern take on tradition. The outcome is Be Merry!

Be Merry

Be Merry
(Click on the images to go directly to the products in my shop)
The paper pack contains twelve beautiful 12x12 papers. The tags pack contains twelve 3x4 tags in six designs (with and without sentiments) and one printable PDF file with all the tags.

Be Merry Paper Pack and Tags Pack is available today at JessicaSprague.com.
Both packs are 25% off today!

More products in the Be Merry line to come next week!

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Supplies: Be Merry Paper Pack, It's a Start Templates 6 by In the Making Design,
Jane Austen, LL Rubber Grotesque, Century Gothic fonts
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Supplies: Be Merry Paper Pack, Foto Template, Sassy Season Elements Pack all by In the Making Design,
Reklame script font

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