Thursday, 10 November 2011

10 things on the 10th (November 2011)

It was July when I last posted 10 things on 10th, despite thinking that I'd like to do this regularly.  So I'm pleased to be part of Shimelle's monthly group this time round and to share some random ramblings:

1.  Nearby there is a tearoom at the top of a granary, high in the sky.  It overlooks the watermill and river and it is a tranquil spot where I like to sit and linger over a cup of tea and slice of cake.  Which is what I did today, because I decided this was the perfect place to leave a couple of books that I hope someone might find by chance, and enjoy. 

2.  A week ago you see, I joined BookCrossing.  So I hope that whoever finds the books will record them and that I can follow their travels.  If you have not heard about BookCrossing I have briefly explained it here. I love the sense of surprise so am quite excited about leaving books for others to find in unexpected places.  And I hope I might find the occasional book too!

3. I recently discovered 'Simple Stories', a beautiful collection of papers & elements that are ideal for quick pages or mini albums.  And there are some free digital downloads here that are perfect for the 'starting school books' I plan to make.  Shimelle has been suggesting in her 'Pretty Paper Party' class that you can combine bought and digital papers or elements.  I have done this for a long time and I love being able to mix and match and to expand my materials.

4. While downloading new digital papers and kits I realised just how many I have saved on my computer.  Mmmm.....  along with my boxes of 12x12 and other papers, I cannot possibly work my way through this collection but it does not stop me buying more on a weekly basis!  Jessica Sprauge offers some wonderful bargains on One Buck Wednesday.  Note to self: do NOT buy any more Christmas papers!!

5. A friend has just been given a new camera and she is very excited and keen to use it.  What's more, she has asked if we can get together for some photoshooting fun.  I would love to use manual settings rather than rely on automatic but I am lazy and short of time, so I go for the easy option.  But now I might be inspired to use some of the ecourses I have bought and saved on my computer.  This will give me a basic idea, and then I just need to put it into practice.  I was much inspired by Margie's clever shot where she added two images of each family member in one photo.  I love creative ideas using photos.

6. That's probably why I love programmes such as Picasa, Befunky and Fotosketcher.  All are free downloads with lots of creative ideas that are quick and easy to do.  I have Photoshop but  this takes time and effort to use, so like manual controls on my camera, I often resort to quicker ways of achieving what I want. 
Hopefully one day there will be more time to experiment and play!

7.  I am woefully behind in organising my photos and Project 365. I keep telling myself I should spend time doing this, instead of browsing blogs.  But another hour or two passed this morning as I enjoyed reading different takes on 10 things on the 10th.

8. I have received and sent Mail Art.  I was lucky enough to be the recipient of Sian's Pass the Book and I did not anticipate the envelope to be so thoughtfuly decorated by Deb.  I especially liked the Google map she printed on the back showing her home and mine.  What a brilliant idea!! 
And I loved reading Ginger's post about the Mail Art she has received.  I have decorated envelopes for as long as I can remember, as I have always used opportunities to create and use my imagination.  It is only recently that I discovered it is an art form in its own right and it is lovely to see a focus on sending happy mail as I'm sure I'm not the only one who misses handwritten letters and interesting post arriving through my letter box.  I plan to connect with other Mail Artists and it has been interesting reading the book that Deb sent me.  I have picked up tips and ideas, and I'd love to send out mail to people who appreciate what it is about.  So drop me an email with your address & blog if you would like some post to come your way. 

9.  As much as I love good paper mail, an occasional email brings much joy too.  Over the years I have dipped in and out of tracing my family history but one connection left me completely stuck.  Recently I put a message on and a wonderful woman has done some research for me and untangled the thread!  I need to follow up her leads now but I am very excited.  At least I know some answers and more questions will follow. Perhaps there will be a story there to tell?

10. Another reason for being excited is that my workspace has made more progress.  It finally has electricity and heating, and I have bought new tables and chairs.  It will remain work in progress as I like to live in space and allow it to naturally evolve, but it is comfortable enough to finally invite friends for a celebration and creative day later this month.  And I hope to start preparing pages for Journal Your Christmas.  I learnt a lot last year about how not to do it, so I hope I can make it less complicated and time consuming this time round.  Only sometimes, I have discovered, I need more than one lesson!!

Now, I am off to look at more '10 things on the 10th' blogs before I snuggle infront of the log burner.  I so love a real fire these dark nights.... 
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