Friday, December 31, 2010

photo a day weeks 51 & 52

Weather and Christmas, predictably, dominate.


1. No real snow despite forecasts of heavy snowfall and blizzards elsewhere in the country

2. Bird decals in my bathroom (silver)

3. Snowed all day

4. Mother Goose panto at the local theatre – oh yes it was

5. Snowy vistas

6. Floor down in living room and table in place

7. Shadow of me and the car waiting to rendezvous for drive to family Christmas



1. Making mince pies – Christmas eve tradition

2. Stocking all lined up waiting for everyone to gather for brunch

3. The book pile – a Boxing Day tradition

4. Christmas jigsaw

5. Provisions for going back home – apples, ham, Christmas cake, crystallised ginger

6. My new IPOD speakers

7. In the torchlight procession in Edinburgh, part of Hogmanay celebrations, 20 000 people

Friday, December 24, 2010

greetings blogland



to all my wonderful blogland friends – wishing you happiness during your Christmas celebrations

Monday, December 20, 2010

knowing when to flash

So many fun photographic opportunities this time of year.  Bokeh is one of my favourites – or at least trying to make it happen.  At an office christmas party recently I spent a lot of time playing with my camera taking photos of the lights. 

dec-9-(50)  dec-9-(28)

I know to turn off the flash and to put my point and click on ‘flower’ mode (portrait didn’t work) and to use a tripod, or in this case sit the camera on the table.

I also had fun experimenting with moving my camera to get light paths.


Again with the flash off but here the trick is to set the timer and then move the camera around.  All rather hit and miss but I got some fun images that will be great in digicollage.

The other photographic challenge I enjoy is taking photos of snow – snow falling.


This time the trick is to have the flash turned on.  I’ve only used this technique when it is dark (given it is only light from 8.30am to 4pm this is not a problem). 

With all those lovely light images I had to play with some collage backgrounds.

lights-montage-1  lights-montage-3

Saturday, December 18, 2010

photo a day week 50

Only 2 more weeks (plus one day), hard to believe.  Already planning next year – not photo a day.  A combination of some different forms of creating a monthly photo record, still deciding on the final format.


1. A window seat over the wing for my flight back to UK

2. Evidence of snow on flight into Edinburgh

3. Santas at the German Market

4. Greetings on my front door – 2 decorations from the supermarket, hope to make a wreath for next year

5. Christmas cards arrive

6. Lights in the high street

7. Spending a lot of time on my computer

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas 2010 tag–Edinburgh tradition

The first of my tags recording my Christmas this year. 


[The two squares will be glued back to back and put on a ring]

Soaked up the atmosphere today and enjoyed a pretzel and some hot chocolate and bought cinnamon star biscuits.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

photo a day week 49

A second week in Bangladesh but the hotel did have signs of Christmas.


1. jute bag bought from handicraft market

2. travelling by rickshaw (I felt precarious)

3. lunch ‘packets’ containing rice and curries

4. it rained

5. Christmas wishes in the hotel

6. group photo at the final workshop

7. the padlock for my suitcase

Thursday, December 9, 2010



Had some time to play on the computer today so despite the 24C temperature here (Bangladesh) I used 5 photos from January to respond to the Sunday Creative prompt of ‘frozen’ and dabble with a range of blending methods in Photoshop Elements. 

Sunday, December 5, 2010

photo a day week 48

I’m back in Bangladesh to complete the work project, so instead of the snow and Christmas topics I would have had back in Scotland, there is sunshine and bright colours.


1. flying again – the departures board at Heathrow

2. my wardrobe for the next 2 weeks – cotton shirts instead of woollens

3. a local snack cart I drive past on the way to work – bananas, doghnuts and tea are the staples

4. the meeting room ready for participants to arrive

5. the view from my hotel room – plants grow everywhere

6. mad traffic during the commute to and from the office

7. the building where I am holding workshops – part of the Parliament annex, with a wonderful stand of eucalyptus trees

Friday, December 3, 2010

finding my Christmas-recording niche

With so many December and Christmas project on the go in blogland, with a focus on photos, journalling, prompts and craftiness I thought I’d easily find the project that spoke to me.  But no, nothing is making the connection.  I’m sure part of the reason is that I am in an totally non Christmasey environment at the moment because I’m in Bangladesh working.  Using some of the exiting prompts for memories of Christmases past didn’t grab me either, I want to record Christmas 2010.

So, despite all of the available formats ready made out there, I decided to go my own way.  I created this template for recording the words and will glue a photo to the back – they are 10cm square.  I will punch  a hole topleft and put them all on a ring.  The trees are from Karen Lundberg last year.


Some titles I’ve thought of are: tastes, lists, look @ that, LOL, outside.  I’m sure I’ll add some more as appropriate.  I intend to have several tags for each title.  I’ve done this kind of tag before and really like the format and using a handful of titles.  I’ll share some completed tags when I’m back in the Christmas zone.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

photo a day week 47

onset of winter dominates this week.


1. Amazing light on the firth

2. Hat and gloves every time I go outside

3. New boots – love that Clarks has wide sizes on the shelf

4. Christmas presents all stashed on top of wardrobe

5. No leaves on the trees in the park

6. Snow forecast over much of Scotland – earliest since 1993

7. My oven and hob are installed and working – yeah

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

2 river shots, some tiles, PSE and we have a cover

I’ve kept a diary for over 15 years.  They used to be black pen in shop bought desk diaries.  Then I was inspired by Simple Abundance to embrace coloured pens and paper.  Then scrapbooking added embellishments and differnt paper.  And now I’m playing with digi and  decided to make the cover for my 2011 journal using digi collage.

Parts of these three photos plus diesel text became this cover thanks of the magic of overlay style in Photoshop



The colour is mostly from the first river photo. The contrast in the 2nd river provided the contrast of the lighter lower right corner. The tile outline used at low transparency created the squares.  I then used some grunge brushes around the edges.  The diesel font has been bevelled to make it stand out more, as if I had stamped it in thick paint.

I have been taking as many texture or digicollage photos as memorykeeping ones recently – I find it provides a totally different perspective. 

Do you keep a daily journal or diary and has it been influenced by your creative habits?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Photo a day week 46


Lots of seasonal reference here with the cold and early darkness and shopping for gifts. Plus progress on the renovation work on my flat.


1. Taking the bus to Edinburgh

2. Christmas present shopping

3. Beachside walk when the rain cleared, loved the reflections

4. Collecting kindling for my sister’s fire, plenty of twigs were blown down in the strong winds

5. Frost on the car window in amazing patterns

6. Looking at lights in IKEA

7. New shower in my flat is working (happy dance)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

paper to play with

I’m back in my flat after four weeks away.  First I was working in Bangladesh and when I returned the plumber was working on my flat – the bath was out but the new shower not in.  So I’ve been visiting with my parents and sister.  Yesterday the shower was completed so I am back in my flat and the renovation enters the last big push.

All of this means that I have had time to properly explore a package that arrived while I was away.  A fabulous collection of paper ephemera that I won from Gallo Organico.   I know that I am going to have a lot of fun playing with these pieces. I love the art journal pages that Rinda often shares and the way that she uses a wide range of interesting found items on these pages.

As well as the creative potential, several pieces sparked memories.  One of the items was library catalogue cards with a hole at the bottom that would have fitted onto a rod that run the length of the catalogue drawer – they brought back many memories of searching through the card catalogues when I was a student. 

Thanks Rinda for the trip down memory lane and the fun I will have using them on various creations.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

lonely in a crowd


Lonely is the prompt of The Sunday Creative this week.  I immediately knew what I wanted to do because a few weeks ago I was discussing with friends our dislike of going to parties or big events where we don’t know many people.  We were grumbling about being introverts in an extrovert world where there is social pressure to prefer any company to solitude.  One of my friends said ‘I’d rather be alone at home than alone in a crowd’.  It was this idea that prompted my image. 

[Photo taken at a workshop in Vanuatu, textures from ShadowHouse Creations, magic from Photoshop Elements].


Where are you on this issue?  Does the idea of being alone in a crowd resonate or puzzle?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Photo a day week 45

Back in Scotland and lovely autumn colours in many guises.

photo a day week 45

1. Flying back from Bangladesh, waiting to board behind the Emirates flight staff

2. Questions in the clouds – really no photoshopping

3. lovely colours on the beech hedge at my parents’ house

4. working on my laptop

5. amazing sunset (at about 4.30pm)

6. frost on the leaves in the morning

7. making cranberry chutney

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

have photos, will create

Joyelle at Artful Endeavour has started a weekly challenge with song lyrics as the prompt.  I’ve been meaning to join in and when I saw the words for this week knew that I could use as a starting point the very hazy photo of Dubai that I took last week as we left the airport because it has such a strong silhouette.  I added a photo of waves in the Firth of Forth  and dollops of Photoshop Elements magic. I'm pleased with the result.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

photo a day week 44

Still in Bangladesh – including three days of running workshops


1. Friday is the start of the weekend, so had a nice walk by the lake

2. the hotel dining room

3. good participant activity at the first workshop

4. on the other end of cameras – at a public workshop there was great interest in the presence of a westerner

5. more good participation at the third workshop

6. the ubiquitous cup of tea – provided at every meeting and at regulat intervals throughout the day

7. plenty of Western reality shows on the TV – this Australian one had English subtitles!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

could we make ironing obsolete?

read the word prompt from Sunday Creative – obsolete – just before going into a 3 hour seminar when most of the discussion was in a language I don’t understand (my translator was awol).  This is where my train of thought went!! I made the image when I got back to my laptop, borrowing a photo of my lovely workshop participants from earlier in the week. 


Sunday, October 31, 2010

photo a day week 43 – in Bangladesh

A different location but many of the same topics trying to record everyday life.


1. my hotel room – nice big bed

2. walking beside the lake near my hotel

3. mad traffic on the way to work

4. my desk

5. lunch at the office canteen – rice, dahl and pakora

6. the local money – taka

7. the Parliament building is surrounded by water

Friday, October 29, 2010

Bangladesh sights

My first impressions, from a week in Dhaka.  It is a big city with a huge population so there is always bustle.  Traffic jams are frequent and most drivers rely on their horn rather than traffic rules.  As well as packed buses there are engine and cycle rickshaws – all competing for road space. There are lots of building under construction, although many seem to have people camped out in the partly completed buildings.  There are also lots of trees and the place is very green and lush.


I’m enjoying the food – mostly what I would think of as Indian such as samosa, pakura, curries and lots of rice. And constant tea drinking. Bananas are also abundant as they are grown locally, most other fruit is imported – I was offered a choice of French or Australian apples. Many things are sold on the roadside – food, water, tea, roasted nuts, popcorn – I even saw candyfloss (cotton candy). 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

a playful session


I started off playing with layering textures using different effects, using a photo I took at the beach near home last week.  I liked the kind of vintage, worn, old look so stopped playing. 

Then I wondered if I could carve a word into the wood and played with those effects.

Then I remembered that the prompt from Inspiration Avenue this week was to use some words which included hope,wish, dream and to  have a vintage feel.  So that is where I went.  I like the result, not a wow, but a good feel, so I’m pleased especially as I just started out playing.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Let’s eat blog hop


If you have come here from the fabulous and creative Rinda at Gallo Organico, welcome to the hop, if you don’t know cake 2what I’m talking about, we are having a food related blog hop, head over to Amy’s blog to see the details. Big thanks to Amy for organising this tasty trip around the globe.

cake 3 However you came here, Welcome, come in and have a slice of sponge cake. Can I tempt you with a cupcake, or a slice of the round iced cake? 

I think the first recipe that I knew from memory was for a basic ‘weight of an egg sponge’.  For each egg use 2oz (56g) each of self-rising flour, sugar and butter.  We put them all in a bowl and then mixed with the handheld beater until all mixed. 

When I was a kid, I remember helping to make cake at the weekend.  We made a big batch of the basic mixture and then divided into three bowls.   Some would be made in a round tin and some would become cupcakes. I was allowed to choose the flavour, topping and shape for one of the batches. Some of the favourites that I remember are:

* adding drinking chocolate or cocoa, sometimes with some coffee too with melted chocolate on top

* adding ginger in syrup to either the cake or the butter icing

* mixing in desiccated coconut then putting red jam and coconut on top

* mixing in raisins and some spice

* adding some lemon or orange juice and zest and then making icing with the same juice

The cakes were baked at 180C (350F/Gas 4).  Check at 20 minutes or earlier if you smell burning. It is ready when the cake has moved away from the side and when you gently press the top it bounces back instead of retaining a dimple.  Put the tin on a wire cooling rack and wait until it is cold before removing from the tin and icing.

cake 1 We used two basic toppings: glaze icing and butter icing.  For glaze icing put a cup of icing sugar in a bowl and slowly add some liquid – 2 teaspoons to start  and stir until it is the consistency you want to either spread or drizzle on the cake.  The liquid can be water or a flavour such as lemon juice. 

Butter icing uses 2oz (56g) soft butter, 4 oz (120g) icing sugar (approx) and 1 tablespoons of a liquid flavour such as coffee or orange juice. Add the icing sugar in batches, stirring well until it tastes nice and will hold its shape. Spread over the cake.

Hope you enjoyed my memories of baking as a child, I certainly did.  Now hop over to Elizabeth at emhowl.

[cake graphic from Scrapsisters – with some tweaking]

Friday, October 22, 2010

photo a day week 42


1. paper, glue, creative fun

2. visited Impressionist exhibition on its last day

3. rather grey and empty by the sea

4. listening to the radio via the internet, so easy

5. street lights are still on when I get up (7.30)

6. my only Halloween bite this year – bat  biscuit from the baker

7. flying again

So all you sleuths out there – yes I’m off travelling again.  Last week I had my packing list and immunisation, I’m away for Halloween and I’ve been in a plane.  I won’t tease you and make you wait til next week to know where I am now – in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, doing some work with the Electoral Commission.  I’ll share photos when I’ve been here for more than a few hours.

Deb asked last week how I  will display my year of photos.  I’m putting them into a week a page template which I will have printed as a square photobook.  Here is a double spread example – the colour of the background and round button change for each double spread.




Be sure to come back on Sunday for travel opportunities in blogland with the Let’s Eat Blog Hop

Monday, October 18, 2010

imagine the world as a Monet painting

On Saturday I went to an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Impressionist paintings with a  garden theme.  A good range of painters and lots of lovely colours, composition and technique.  On the way home I was thinking about what it would be like if we saw things in the way that the Impressionists painted.  So when I got home I went straight to the computer and created this. Continually delighted by the things that Photoshop overs.  The garden in the photo belongs to my parents.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Photo a day week 41

My goodness, only 11 weeks to go until the end of the yearPHOTO-A-DAY-41















1. So many wires with my new computer set-up

2. The flowers I see out the window from my office

3. Autumn trees by the river

4. Collecting a visitor at the inter-city bus station

5. The lady who I help in ‘computer buddy’ made me an apple pie

6. Getting my packing list done

7. Vaccinations up to date

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Remember pink

I must admit that pink is not my favourite colour but when it is used for Breast Cancer Awareness then I se it in a different light.  As I’m sure is true for most of you, I know several women who have faced the diagnosis and treatment.  I admire the courage of them and their loved ones as they deal with it all.  When these friends are not close by it seems that all that we can do is send good wishes their way.


Background uses a photo of my local river.  Clock is from Anna Aspnes;  flying heart from Nicole Young’s Storybook Dreams Page kit; font is papyrus

Prompted to create on this theme by Inspiration Avenue – check them out on Sunday for all the other interpretations on pink

Saturday, October 9, 2010

photo a day week 40

Real progress on my  office / craft room space this week (and some will show in next week’s collection).


1. Hibiscus decal on office wall

2. Started knitting a bed throw in purples

3. The wonders of Skype for keeping in touch

4. Feeding frenzy when I throw my stale bread

5. Washing up

6. Office space ready for the electronics

7. Enjoying the recreation pond area

Tuesday, October 5, 2010



[yes I just spotted the typo too]

The prompt on The Sunday Creative this week was ‘nostalgia’ so I used the magic of Photoshop Elements that will render a photo as a pencil drawing – such magic at my fingertips!   I took the photo last year on a small island in the Pacific Ocean called Niue.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

photo a day week 39

The ongoing work on my flat, local events and the weather make up this week’s offerings.


1. assembling IKEA units

2. Doors Open Day – the view in Quartermile

3. Porty Autumn Fair

4. the tree at the end of the road

5. my crafting space is taking shape

6. driving over the Soutra was foggy

7. coming back it was clear and the turbines were visible

Thursday, September 30, 2010

well that was uncalled for

hopefully this one will make you laugh, after the rather poignant one earlier in the week.


The prompt on Inspiration Avenue was ‘uncalled for’ and I decided to push the idea and have some fun.  Probably influenced by recent discussion of Jasper Fforde’s novel about a colour dominated world.

Monday, September 27, 2010

prompted by nothing !

Madeline at Sunday Creative is really pushing us this week with the prompt word of ‘nothing’.

Often with these prompts my first spark of an idea is the technique within Photoshop Elements that relates to the technique.  At other times the first spark is a particular photo that I have or will take to use.

This time the two sparked into my brain together, pretty fast.  The technique is the ability to cut any shape from a photo and the subject was that my younger nephew left home to go to University earlier this month and everyone is missing him.  So here is what I did


Saturday, September 25, 2010

photo a day week 38

Only 14 more weeks – hard to believe.

I seem rather focussed on dinner and the weather this week.


1. steamed mussels for dinner

2. new walking shoes

3. interesting reflections in the puddles

4. enough sun for shadows

5. woodfired pizza for dinner

6. construction of the new local supermarket

7. more walls are painted

Friday, September 24, 2010

wonderful old photo

A photo of me, aged one, with my new puppy appeared in the local newspaper at the time (not sure why).  I now have a digital scan of the photo which I used in a simple ‘for the record’ format. I haven’t included the names in this version because these details are often part of the security questions asked for online secure logins. 

I like the basic format for some of the key older photos – easy to change the colours and the element in top left, and then just add the basic facts.  I adapted the ‘awesome’ template from Cathy Z.


[Hibiscus created using the hibiscus font;  record is in rub this font, other writing is in fineliner script font.  Background is a texture from ShadowHouse Creations.  Design started with Cathy Z layered template.]

The colours and element were inspired by the ARTastic monthly challenge which uses a famous artwork as the starting point – this month it is Frida Kahlo’s Self Portrait with Monkey.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

saved for a rainy day

Sunday was rather grey and overcast so I made some digi layouts – just for me, just for fun, using some of the photos I’ve taken this month.  Kept to my normal simple style.  I did try some pattern paper on them but really I much prefer plain colour.


Layered template from Design House Digital TNT collection.  Font in the title is orial, journaling is tahoma.

Just noticed the tt in the journaling – will have to live with it, I don’t keep the psd file of digi pages.


Layered template by Katie Pertiet at Designer Digitals.  Fonts in title quadranta is the main one and fineliner the other.

Journaling reads

Each job needs different tools, multiple, not just one.

The big cupboard in the living room is full of tools, all 4 shelves and the floor. And the ones only used sometimes are in the shed.

When the renovation is over, these shelves will be transformed into the dresser. Can’t imagine it yet - it is still tool central.

[The paint colours in the bottom photo are my bedroom]

Monday, September 20, 2010

coming or going?


Oh the magic of Photoshop.  I’ve seen several of these pictures around blogland – the same person appearing more than once in the photo.

Out on my walk today I used the timer to take several pairs of photos.  Then back on the computer put one photo on top of the other and used the eraser tool to remove part of one photo so that the other showed through underneath.

On this one I then applied the Pioneer Woman action called heartland – because the colours were distracting from the duality focus.


This one I created in the same way. Sitting on the stone made it easier to ensure that in the two photos I was taking up different parts of the canvass.  On the next pair of photos I didn’t manage to position myself in different places so I had to use a different technique – cutting myself out of one photo and placing in the other.  This method is much harder in terms of getting relative position and size correct.


On this one I applied the Pioneer Woman’s action called seventies.

These were fun. Setting up the pair of photos was harder than doing the photoshop magic to meld them.  I will definitely play with this some more.

These were prompted by the Inspiration Avenue prompt this week of decide.