Monday, January 31, 2011

copper tape

I love copper – I used copper pipe in my kitchen and I have edged the shelves in this cupboard / dresser with copper tape.  .


The cupboard is in a corner of the living room so I removed the door, widened the shelves and have placed the table in front of it and will use it as a dresser.

The tape is actual copper with a sticky back.  It is actually sold for gardeners to use in keeping slugs away from plants.  Seemingly slugs will not walk over copper because the chemicals they extrude react with copper to give a slight electric shock, enough to keep the slugs at bay.  It comes in a roll like any other tape.







And the fruit bowl that is prominent on the shelves – it belonged to my Grandmother.  My Dad says that he and his siblings gave it to their Mum on her birthday when objects made from clear plastic where first available and fashionable. Which makes it older than I am by at least 10 years.  It sat on my Grandmother’s sideboard, full of fruit, all the time I was growing up.  It was an obvious item for me to ask for when my grandparents house was being distributed.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

what did the postie bring?

did you see this on Mel’s blog yesterday?


Well the purple had me wondering if it was mine, and then while drinking my breakfast coffee the postie knocked and handed me a lovely brown paper parcel.  Inside where two lovely parcels from Mel doing her Pay it Forward and a gorgeous card.  What a lovely way to start my weekend – thanks heaps Mel and yes, she did like her little package – a lot.



Tuesday, January 25, 2011

hanging in the kitchen

I’ve been working on some of the storage/organisation in my kitchen.  Both are things that I have had in mind since I started on the work in July last year.  Two walls are dedicated to being able to hang things




Above the sink and worktop I have two copper pipes attached to the wall with brass plumbing fixtures.  I wanted the copper and bronze because I love the colours and they fit with my orange walls.  I have hanging from the pipes lots of S hooks as well as some shelves and pots (IKEA).  Still working out which things I will keep where.






On the wall to the left of the door I have a whole row of cup hooks as my ‘command centre’ for calendar, pens, shopping lists, take-away menus etc.  I also have a photo magnet rope and some decorative bits in the mix.  Again I’m still working out what works where and which things to hand up.  Lots of things are hung from bulldog clips and some from jumprings (seeing as I have lots in my stash). 




I like to have things ‘stored’ visibly

I like that I am using copper and bronze fixtures

I like the abundance, the sheer number of hooks to be used.  There are 51 cup hooks!


do you prefer storage to be hidden or visible? 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Monthly–January collection

The first page of my photo project for this year.  I’m using the template set from Cathy Z called ‘The Monthly’.  I bought the 8.5 x 11 set and resized each page to be A4 because that is the size that they use for photobooks here in UK.
My plan is to do 4 pages for each month.  One page will be a collection or themed set, for instance I will do one on details of my kitchen once all the renovation work is finished.  For this month I decided to take photos of a number of collections of things that are around my house at the moment: my mugs; scrapping supplies I’ve unpacked and have been sorting; the apples Dad brought me from his garden; the toolbox and my wardrobe to show the colours I’m wearing. 
I used the stitching brush that I found at the weekend for a small embellishment.  The font is one of my new favourites – designer notes.
Looking forward to this approach to the year.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pay It Forward


I’ve been intrigued by this entity in blogland for a while and finally saw a thread in time to take part – thanks Mel.

This is how it works:
I promise something handmade to the FIRST 5 people who leave a comment here. However, to be eligible, you must post on your blog offering something handmade to 5 other people. The rules are that it must be handmade (or homemade) by you and it must be sent to your 5 people some time in 2011.  

I’m happy to send anywhere in the world. My makes will most likely be digital or paper/scrap related and I will tailor each to the recipient, which means I may be asking a few questions of recipients to check on details I haven’t gleaned from your blogs.  I will spread the 5 people out over the year, so it may be later in the year before you receive a mysterious package.

I’m as exited to see who I will be making things for and starting on ideas as I am about receiving a package from Mel sometime during the year – I guess that is the central idea of paying it forward.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sunday Creative–grizzled


Love the weekly prompt from the Sunday Creative.  This week the word is grizzled (streaked with grey). 

Whilst I stand by my statement, my hair is greyer in this piece than in reality. 

For all of you fancying some wings of your own – these are from a free brush by Obsidian Dawn called fairy wings

Sunday, January 9, 2011

look what I found


I like using stitching in digi layouts, although I have never put a paper layout near my sewing machine.

Until yesterday I used bits of stitching that I’d found in freebies or bought sets, which can be frustrating.

Then yesterday while browsing a wonderful site full of free photoshop brushes I discovered a set of sewing stitches.  Warning – the brusheasy site has masses of fabulous free brush sets, once you enter you may lose all sense of time.


So now I can create whatever I want in whatever colour I want.  I love the brushes tool in PSE because it allows so much control over colour and size. I’ve added drop shadow to these stitches because I think it looks more realistic.

If you haven’t download brushes before, accessing them from within PSE is easy. You can access the file each time you want to use them or you can load them so that they always appear in the set of brushes.

To access the brushes

  1. Select the brush tool
  2. Click the down arrow next to the picture of a brush stroke and the brush selection box will appear
  3. Click on the >> to the right of the box
  4. Select Load Brushes. A navigation box will appear so that you can navigate to the folder with the brush file. Double click on the brush file and the brushes will appear in your brush menu ready to use.

To load the brushes into PSE so that they are always there when you look at brush sets.

  1. Make sure Photoshop is closed
  2. Find the location of your Photoshop files – probably under Program files on C:, then under Adobe
  3. Within the Photoshop Elements files select Preset, there will be a folder called Brushes within that folder
  4. Now copy your new brush files into the brushes folder.
  5. Start up PSE and your brushes will be showing in the brushes selection dropdown list.

I know several of you have recently started PSE and may not have played with brushes.  Here are the basics

  1. Create a new layer and make sure it is the top layer
  2. Select the brush tool from the toolbar that is down the left of the screen – a new toolbar will appear at the top of your screen
  3. To choose the brush style that you want. Click on the arrow next to the picture of a brush stroke.  To see the brush collection, click on the down arrow next to the name of the brush set and you will see the list of brush sets that are installed.
  4. Choose the size that you want by clicking on the down arrow next to the size and then moving the bar. If you place the cursor over your layout you will see the selected size in comparison to your layout
  5. The brush will use the selected foreground colour (the one that is showing as the top square at he bottom of the toolbar) so make sure it is the colour that you want.
  6. To add the brush onto your layout, click in the place where you want the brush. If you don’t like it then use the undo button and try again. For the stitches you want to draw a line rather than have a single stitch – just draw a line with the mouse while holding down the left button.  To create a straight line hold down shift while you draw the line.  To draw a straight line that will end where your last line ended, move teh cursor to where you want the start of the line and hold down shift and click – magic.
  7. You can move and resize the brush using the move tool. Select the move tool and click on the brush layer to make the moving box appear around the brush shape and you can then move as normal.

And if adding drop shadow is an unexplored area

  1. Click on the layer that contains the stitching
  2. From the top menus, select Layer, Layer Styles, Style Settings
  3. Select the box beside drop shadow.
  4. Click OK

Let me know if any of the instructions are unclear.

Look forward to seeing some custom stitching on your digi layouts.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

welcome 2011


I love fireworks in big public displays, which Edinburgh does very well.  The torchlight parade on the 30th ended with fireworks on the top of Carlton Hill after over 20,000 people had walked from the Royal Mile with blazing torches (fire not lightbulb).  There were lots of tourists and locals, lots of families – biological and created - and lots of happy people. Fire seems so appropriate in the dark nights of winter, especially when everyone is contemplating intentions and dreams for the new year.

I took lots of photos (flash off, use tripod or wall etc to minimise blur) and was prompted to put six of them together in response to the Sunday Creative word for this week – flourish. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

photo a day–the end

Happy New Year – may 2011 be all that you want it to be.

I decided that the final photo in my photo a day 2010 book would be of me with my camera.  Only slight technical problem was that I do not have a full mirror unpacked yet – so I took my camera with me when I did  the supermarket shop and went into the clothes section and used one of the mirrors there – just another strange situation during the journey.


I’ve enjoyed the project but will not be doing it in 2011. I like variety and am not good at repeating projects.

I remembered to take a photo every day, mostly because I carried my camera with me all of the time, in my bag, in my pocket.  I suspect that having a point and click is an advantage in this respect.  During the year I took over 4 000 photos. There were 5 or 6 days when I was searching for inspiratation in the evening and ended up with ‘around the house’ shots.

I didn’t have any plan for the subject matter for the photos.  Doing a rough count up of categories: food was the most common on 37, followed closely by indications of the weather on 35.  There are 10 self-portraits and 11 in airports or airplanes which is a fair representation of the amount of flying I have done this year.

I will be having them all printed as a photobook.

In 2011 I’m going to do a monthly photo summary instead.  I’m planning on 4 pages for each month and may include some of my digiart from that month.  I also like the idea of choosing a few categories which I photograph each month and then create a page of the 12 at the end of the year, like Stacey did.