Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Back to the grindstone and 2 birthdays to celebrate.

The last week in August is always a bit strange. We are no longer in France and I am back at work, so it definitely isn't part of my holiday PL. On the other hand P and the kids still had a week to go before the start of term so it isn't part of the next school year either. I scrap monthly, ending my albums at the end of a school year, not December. Al and P and R both have their birthdays this week so I decided to create a stand-alone week which is distinct from both August and September's styles.
I enjoyed this opportunity to do something different. Having used the pretty, muted tones of the Coral and Summer PL kits in France, I chose the bright punch of Simple Stories Snap for this LO. The patterned paper and the balloon embellishments come from the Hip Hop Birthday line and the tiny wood veneer stars are Studio Calico. I love the sharp colours. This was also different in that the 6x4 Snap pad did not have rounded corners so I left them square and I journalled white on colour, instead of in black.

I journalled about going back to work but didn't want a picture of that.
We had 16 people over for takeaway curry to celebrate P's birthday. For R we went to the local ice cream parlour and then I took him and his cousins to see Guardians of the Galaxy at the cinema - a real boys' film!
While I was at work the kids went to Holiday Club at church every morning so I used a sticker and a flyer to document that. After some research and soul-searching, they also both decided to take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge.
 Did you do this? What do you think about it? There was a lot of controversy on Facebook but in the end we decided it was harmless and a good awareness-raiser. I was concerned about the message of 'You have to do this - you've been nominated' though.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Project Life Goes On Holiday- the last installment

I ran out of photo paper for my little photo printer at the end of the holiday so I had to wait until I got home to finish off my France 2014 Project Life. Unfortunately I had to go straight back to college (on August 26th - feeling resentful about that) so it's only now that I am able to share my pages from the last 2 weeks.
 I had to include a memorial to the late great Robin Williams. He starred in pretty much all my favourite films throughout the 80s and 90s. Oh Captain, my Captain!
The weather turned this week for the worse so we played board games and built indoor dens. We had dinner with new friends and painted. The photo top middle is P's acrylic painting of a colleague's house - his first commission and his best picture so far, in my opinion.
August 15th is a Bank Holiday in France. We went out to a in a local town. The parade itself was followed by a fair so we spent a good couple of hours there then had a Scrabble and pizza evening with the neighbours.                                    
In out final week we had a flying visit from friends on their way home from the South of France.
We discovered a great new place with a 1km luge and bungee jumping. P took M on the luge twice for a very reasonable 2.50Euros each. R doesn't enjoy fast rides. Even if we had fancied the 65m bungee it cost 130Euros so we were content to eat ice cream in the sunshine and watch others. P's description of the atmosphere as like that at a public execution was spot on, I think.
We were not ready to come home but had no choice so we had a last supper at the pizza place. I love that Dr Seuss quote- it summed up my feelings perfectly. We arrived back in the UK to driving rain which continued for the next 24hrs.
M also needs reminding of this message. Her behaviour became increasingly challenging and we have witnessed some terrible 7yr old tantrums. I think I have linked them to an adrenaline rush and inability to cope with the coming down, but I have yet to find a solution.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Project Life is still on Holiday

And so am I. Hurrah.
I'm trying to ignore the fact that I'll be back at work this time in two weeks, although I did have to do some marking yesterday.
We have been super busy and I  have lots of fun things to document. I'm printing direct from my DSLR with my 6x4 hp Printer. For some reason it will read my camera memory card but not a saved image from my PC so I can't use Photoshop or cameraphone pictures. But I'm happy to swap that inconvenience for the enjoyment of scrapping things almost immediately. There are only a couple of cards that I know I'll want to redo when I get home. I'm doing lots more journaling too than normal, probably because the events are so fresh in my mind so I need to keep that up when I get back.
 A 12x4 landscape across 2 pockets. This is one I'll have to reprint at home as the colours aren't as defined as I'd like. The embellishments are all on top of the Becky Higgins  transparencies though so it'll be easy to do. 
A random beautiful snap of M.
Goat cuddling and cheese tasting at a local goats' cheese producer.
The first week in August.
P and I ate at the local Michelin-starred restaurant, just the two of us, while our kind friends watched the kids. I've wanted to go there for the past 6 years, but resent paying that sort of price for dishes I know the children won't eat. I wasn't disappointed.
An open-air concert in the sunshine.
Sunset over the village church.
A visit to the national pottery museum.
Barbecue and karaoke with the neighbours. I like the series of single portraits of the 4 of us singing. I'm trying to include more pictures of myself this holiday
More pictures from the pottery museum, including a demo.
Our guests went home so we had a slightly quieter week:
R watching films on my laptop
Another BBQ with other local Ex-Pat friends.  It was never our intention to become part of the Ex-Pat crowd, but they are nice people and this was a very funny night.
A friend M made at the second open air concert.
A game of Jenga
Journalling about the books I've read so far (on going) and about the fact that we have actually made French friends as well as English. We spent all of Sunday speaking French with our village acquaintances.

We had one big day trip this week, to the Zoo. This layout is the result of a lot of selection from the 100 plus pictures I took. I placed the paper-pieced giraffe and lion on top of the page protector so they crossed several pockets.

I made 12x12s of the highlights - for the kids that was the chance to feed the giraffes. The layout was inspired by a colour  combo in 'Esprit Scrapbooking' magazine. I'm short on tools and supplies here so I added interest by tearing the papers and distressing them with white chalk. I 'hung' the title from a piece of Baker's twine.

 The highlight for me was managing to capture these bat pictures. They were shy and extremely fast and I took a lot of rubbish snaps. In the end I waited until the crowd had moved on to watch the otters being fed, set my camera to Sports mode and continuous burst and succeeded in getting these.
The background papers were layered and then doodled. As the story was about taking pictures of bats rather than the bats themselves, I drew attention to the camera print paper by doodling over 3 cameras with black pen. To give the title extra interest, I used the letter stickers as stencils to draw the black 'shadows' before adhering them offset.
I had more photos from the goat farm which I wanted to use, and I didn't want a whole PL page about it so I made this 12x12. The lovely paper had complementary patterns (white/aqua, aqua/white) on each side which gave me the idea of folding back the corners. As I obviously didn't have any farmyard embellishments to hand, I cut the kid out of a 6x4 print and had him peeping out from behind the fold.

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Birds on a Wire.. and lots of other animals

We had a fab trip out to the zoo yesterday. I love photographing animals. If I was a more patient person, I'd have been a wildlife photographer, but I would rather not wait for 3 days for a glimpse of my subject. I took hundreds of pictures and then spent a pleasant evening sorting through them.

Here then are my birds on  a wire for Rinda's Summer Scavenge Hunt. Much more beautiful than my previous pigeon on a phone line, I think you'll agree.

We saw lots of other very unusual animals too. It's a good breeding zoo with an excellent educational programme. If you're not an animal lover then you're welcome to click away now. I am, though, and I'm quite proud of some of these pictures. The highlight of the day for me was snagging a photo of fruit bats in flight - very very quick and hard to photograph. For the kids it was the chance to feed the giraffes.

As we left through the gift shop I grabbed another from Rinda's list - a rack of postcards.


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Sharing a couple of layouts

I've had a bit of holiday scrapping time this week. I only have a limited kit with me, but I planned out these too layouts before I left and had the supplies ready to go.

The 'stage' paper and stickers come from Scrapping the Magic, my favourite online store for themed supplies. I ordered them some time ago as I knew I would have plenty of shoe-related photos. These are R playing Mike Teavee in Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. I didn't need to add much to the detailed paper except some journaling. I made a pocket behind the photos for the programme from the show.

My second layout was of M looking particularly gorgeous and grown up after a friend's birthday 'Pamper Party'. I love this background paper by MME. Just pink and pretty, like her. The embellishments were fussy cut from patterened paper and enhanced with Glossy Accents


Friday, 1 August 2014

6 in 6 minutes

Join the Scavenger Hunt!

This isn't a new meme (although it could be) but the number of items I ticked off Rinda's Scavenge Hunt list in a 6 minutes stroll around the village
1. A sign welcoming you to my holiday town and 16. A sign in alanguage other than English

2. A garden gnome on a neighbour's window box

3. A bird on a wire - just the one, hoping I'll do better with this one

7. A rural landscape.I 'll share a few more I took from this favourite spot later

9. A bakery. Not the best or the prettiest, but the one I can walk round the corner to for my morning croissant
 I'm quite pleased with this little hoard. How are you getting one?