Friday, 30 July 2010



Yesterday I went out with my camera and took photos of different textures. I then used Photoshop to overlay a photo previously taken at a cemetry, and added the woodgrain layer with reduced opacity. I may try out other textures on the same photo to compare effects. It's a good way of experimenting with Photoshop and learning how to use it.

Unfortuantly Monday is the last day of 'Love your Picture, Love your Page' e-course. I thought it was tomorrow, but have been told there will be a final posting on Monday with one or two surprises added. Look foreward to those!

As I've really enjoyed taking part in recent e-courses I have signed up for 'The August Break' run by Susannah Conway. This is an invitation to post photos , without prompts or goals, just a sharing with others. It will be nice to relax for a while and hopefully enjoy more of this lovely summer, while still having a community of friends to share my photos and ideas with.

This week I have a few days planned with friends for creating, and next Saturday my monthly Eclectic Keepsakes Group where Karen Cole will be showing us how to make a mini album. That's right up my street so very much looking forward to that! I'll be posting my finished piece when it is done. Have a good weekend.

Thursday, 29 July 2010


After a stonking headache, and a duvet day to recover, I am taking it easy today. The sun is shining and inviting me to go outdoors so I plan to take a walk with my camera. This is something I often do, but today I will be on the look out for textures. I am trying to create different techniques using Photoshop and I have lots of ideas but little skill. The only way I can grow comfortable and confident is by jumping in... sometimes I sink, sometimes I swim, but it's the only way to learn.
Some of my ideas have been inspired by Shimelle's 'Love your Picture, Love your Page' e-course. Sadly this is in it's fourth and final week, but fortuantly it does not end as I can continue to post photos and take part in discussions. I recommend this course to anyone interested in photography and scrapbooking. I have lots of new ideas to try, and ways of taking these a stage further. So while I'm sad I will not be receiving the daily download, I also need time to try out those I have!

The course gave me reasons and opportunity to try out Photoshop, which was great as I need a prod. I find it so overwhelming! Two books I bought have also been a great help and source of inspiration:

'Digital Expressions.. creating digital art with Adobe Photoshop Elements' by Susan Tuttle (published by North Light Books) .

'The Photoshop Elements 7 book for digital photographers' by Scott Kelby & Matt Kloskowski (Published by New Riders).

You need a basic skill of Photoshop to use the first book, so if like me you need some help with this, I have the second book invaluable. Both talk you through techniques stage by stage and I am amazed how easy some of these are, once you know how.

You can download textures from the web, while 'Digital Expressions' includes a CD with brushes , photos and textures for you to experiment with. However, I think it will be fun to create a texture collection using my own photos and techniques. So I will share some of these later. Meanwhile, the sun and camera are calling!

Friday, 23 July 2010


My overlocker hasn't seen daylight since the day I bought it over 4 years ago. It looked so complicated that I never got round to trying it, and it seemed such a waste. So I booked myself on a one-day course to learn the basics and gain confidence. How I wish I had done this at the outset! I was amazed how easy it was once I got the general idea, and I can't believe all the different techniques I learned. We have been encouraged to make a sampler book, and I can see a scrapbook page or two, or even a mini album in the making. It certainly was a fun day and I am full of ideas. As always, I just need time but hopefully I can organise myself and look forward to practicing with my own machine. I just hope it is as easy without Pam the course tutor to show me! At least I know I can book on further courses and take my own machine into the shop for a personal demonstration.

Sunday, 11 July 2010


Well, what a wonderful weekend! Saturday I went to the Eclectric Keepsake group where Laura Buckingham ran a workshop during the afternoon. She bought some bright De Lovely papers with her for a 12"x12" challenge and I was very pleased with my page (see top left). I also completed my VERY FIRST 12" scrapbook page that morning, using a layout that offers an optional challenge during the day. Since most of my creative work is not planned, but evolves on the page or in the making, I like to try out new ideas. I also used the same layout for two 8" pages, and had to be creative with space and materials available. I was very pleased with what I achieved during the day.
While I was playing, my husband and son were pitching our tent for the annual 'Opera in the Orchard'. The BBQ was lit when I arrived and we had a lovely relaxing time. This morning I was woken with a rare breed pig snuffling down my ear, luckily there was a thin layer of tent between us!
I'm thoroughly enjoying Shimelle's 'Love your Pictures, Love your Pages' e-course. Unfortuantly I'm back at work tomorrow so I won't have so much time to be creative, but look forward to catching up when I can.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Love your Pictures, Love Yours Pages - Day 2


Day 2 project

Photographing Florals

On the first day of this new e-course I had to take a photograph of an object indoors and experiment with lighting, moving it around the house at different times of the day.

On Day 2, my challenge was to go outside and choose a plant. I had to photograph it from different angles, into and away from the light, looking up and down, zoom in and out.... a vignette, add a foreground, front each angle, and so on. I grew quite fond of my pelagonian by the time I had finished, and I enjoyed experimenting with different ways of taking these shots. I'm still struggling with the layout on the blog page, but persistence will pay in the end.

Love your Pictures, Love Yours Pages - Day 3

Shimelle's challenge today was to take photos that focus on '3'. My photo says it all, and I love being inspired with new ideas. I've yet to post day 1 & 2 photos, but can catch up as the rest of the weeks course changes tack. I've also used Photoshop to make a slight modification to a photo that I plan to scrap this weekend. Quite excited that I managed to do this without too much time and effort! I really do need to use these photo challenges to get to grips with Photoshop, and am waiting delivery of a manual I ordered from Amazon so that I can tackle more challenging projects I have in mind. Off for a 3.5 mile walk now, with camera of course!

Monday, 5 July 2010


Much excitement here today as Shimelle Laine's 'LOVE YOUR PICTURES, LOVE YOUR PAGES''
e-course kicks off for 4 weeks.
Having just completed my first e-course, Kelly Rae Robert's 'Taking Flight', I can't wait to get started!
I have always loved Shimelle's photos and creative work, so today I am jumping in with both feet, especially as I am home this week! This e-course focuses on photography and using photos to create scrap book pages or mini albums. I hope to to finally start doing something with all my photos & paraphernalia collected during my West Coast of US holiday. But I'll see what other ideas Shimelle comes up with before committing myself!
The course begins this evening with the first download, but meanwhile Shimelle has tempted us with taster 2 challenges. The first was posting a 'photo that makes me smile'. One that I took at the weekend immediately came to mind, as it's location has happy memories of the past and the present. The second challenge was 'a photo taken in the past 5 minutes'. What fun!! I took a photo of the tomatoes growing on my new plants. (Yesterday's blog tells more about these).
There are 6 downloads each of the 4 weeks, the first 3 days focus on photography and the second 3 challenges is about using photos to complete a page and share it. From forum postings I learned that not everyone can complete the challenges on time and I realise this would be a a challenge all in itself. Especially once I am back at work. So I shall be doing what I can, and enjoying the experience. Let the fun begin!!
For more information about taking part in 'LOVE YOUR PICTURES, LOVE YOUR PAGES', go to

Sunday, 4 July 2010


Today we returned from a wonderful weekend in Suffolk. We stayed in a medieval hall, parts of which date back to 1380. The front of the house is lined with enormous tomato plants, and here by hangs a story:

When the owner lived in France her neighbour grew tomatoes. Seeds had been passed through his family for generations and he gave some to Sarenka. She has since moved back to England and every year she continues to grow these same tomatoes from seed, she also passes on seeds and tomato plants and donations are given to her favourite charity. Amusingly, the man who originally gave the seeds to Sarenka has a name that translates in English as Mr Nobody! When booking the weekend some time ago I asked for two plants to be put aside for me. Sarenka has kindly nurtured these and today I finally bought them home. Like Hill House Hall, my plants stand at the front where they will be sheltered and protected from any wind. I will make occasional posting about their progress, and as I write I look through the window and can see my Mr Nobody tomatoes, a reminder of a very happy weekend and a promise of good things to come.
I will be putting photos of the weekend on my Flickr photostream so do pop in and see what a wonderful place Hill House Hall is.
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