Welcome to my creative online journal

Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year

 (Taken from the TV)

Hope you had a great Christmas, we did and I'm feeling really optimistic and excited about starting a new creative year afresh.  I can't wait to be even more adventurous in my creative endeavours and taking you along with me for the ride.  I've got myself signed up to a few free (yay!) online courses and am itching to get started on them in the next few days.  I do like doing my own crafts but I also like being given prompts to 'jumpstart' my own ideas ( ♥ Pinterest!)


I got a few books for Christmas (admitedly, I chose them on my Amazon wishlist) and they are so me!   I practically squealed when I was reading this first one:

(Amazon image)
 The Art of iPhonegraphy by Stephanie C Roberts (£9.99, Waterstones)

As regular blog readers will know, I love photography and this book is packed with creative themes for subjects to take with lots of tips and suggestions for apps for the iPhone. 

The second book I have got to show you is this:

(Google image)

Print Workshop by Christine Schmidt
(Amazon £8.84 at time of writing)

I haven't had chance to go through this book yet but it looks to have some great printing projects (image transfer, tshirt printing ideas..) that I can get started on in the New Year. 


The last book isn't a craft/art/photography book!!.. but I love it!  It came recommended by the ever cheerful, Yorkshire based, colourful crochet blogger, Lucy from Attic 24 and its about "How to cope with the mental and emotional challenge of keeping a home"

(Google Image)

'Housework Blues A Survival Guide' by Danielle Raine

I SO needed this! And my husband has said it was the best £7.99 he's ever spent, lol.  It's even getting me, an eternal couch potato, happily reaching out for the vacuum cleaner and tackling my ironing mountain.   It's part of the reason I haven't been online recently, I've been attending to housework! Gasp!  Even I'm amazed at the change its already done to me - for the better!

* * * * *

Finally today,
I would like to wish
A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR
TO ALL MY READERS

See you next year,
Nicky

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

I would like to wish everyone who has come by today (stop, have a good creative look around ☺) and to all my followers (that celebrate) a very..
MERRY CHRISTMAS!

See you back here very soon! 

Nicky
xxx

Friday, 23 December 2011

A Simple Last Minute Decoration

I made a version of this easy-to-make decoration last year and enjoyed making it so much that I decided to make another one this year.

Detail:

You just need a small display unit - this one is a thimble case (£2, charity shop) and assorted small christmassy items that you simply place into each of the boxes.

For a more permanent arrangement you could paint the case and stick all the items down 

..which is what I did last year:
 ...or you can just lean it on a dresser, mantlepiece or shelf  (like the top one).  Simples!

Thanks for looking and for any comments,
qwiksave

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

December Daily Days 14 and 17

Apologies for my mini absence in bloging world, we have had a family bereavement, my husband's grandmother, who you may remember I made a 90th birthday scrapbook for a couple of years ago.

Christmas preparations have also eaten into my crafting time and made me behind on my December Daily, which is why my pages are a bit out of synch. 

Today I made this page:

 
Which is about the party my husband and I went to on Saturday night.   And no, those shoes aren't mine!  I didn't take my camera with me so I found and used this picture from google.  The theme of the party was glitter and we did dress up, but there are no pics of that, sorry!


I also made a page about the collage that I made in my last post:

My December Daily is coming together quite well now and I have got pictures that I can use for the missing pages so will be playing 'catch up' now, but meanwhile here is a shot of the completed pages that I have made so far:

Hope your christmas preparations are going well.

Thanks for looking and for any comments,
qwiksave

Friday, 16 December 2011

Christmas Collage

Last year I made this collage using old cards, wrapping paper, stickers and my own handmade christmas embellishments:

 (must get round to getting a frame for it!...)

So this year I thought I'd make another one:
(which does have a frame)

It's not quite so busy though and I kind of like it like this - but am also thinking whether it needs more? 

 ..or maybe not....?

Thanks for looking and for any comments,
qwiksave

Thursday, 15 December 2011

December Daily Day 13 - Christmas Past

Aww, what a cute little girl, absolutely delighted at getting her christmas presents:

Yes, that is me, third from the left with that big beam on my face, I loved getting presents (still do, lol!).  For Day 13 I went back in time to look at pictures from my parent's old photo album.

Daily page:
and detail:
I haven't stuck the photo down yet, I plan to use some traditional photo corners when I can find them in my messy craft room!

Thanks for looking and for any comments,
qwiksave

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

December Daily Day 12 - Tree Topper

Have you got your tree up yet?  If so, what have you got on the top?  Betcha you haven't got the same as us!

My eldest boy at 11 decided that this year we were not having a fairy!  This is what he chose instead:

 
Yep! It's a soft toy turkey!

He even climbed up and put it on himself.  I'm not convinced it's going to stay there but just for now...!

So, it is the subject of yesterday's December Daily:
...which is another shabby chic/grungy look page. 

Detail:
Thanks for looking and for any comments,
qwiksave

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

December Daily Pages 10 and 11

I do believe I owe you a look at some more of my recent pages of my December Daily Album.

This one was to document the decorations we made at the recycling centre:
I made it using recycled/reused items too -  the backing cardboard was from a packet of german chocolate decorations.  It had a cut out tree with a piece of cellophane so I used that to frame the photo of my son's snowman decoration (I won't forget my husband's clever stuff, just seeing this page will remind me!)  The rest of the materials were found objects that fitted with the theme.

Detail picture:
..including a milk bottle top!

For yesterday's page, we went into the attic and got our tree decorations down:
I took some photos of the decorations in their boxes as they weren't on the tree then - we put them on today - so that will be the subject of tomorrow's page.

Detail:
I wasn't liking this page until I added a bit lot of washi tape - it is fabulous stuff.  I love the way that you can still see what is underneath.  

Thanks for looking today and for any comments,
qwiksave

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Abstract Recycled Christmas Decorations

My husband showed me up today - by being more creative than me! Humpf!!  We went on our first visit to a local community recycling scheme that was having a 'Make Christmas Decorations from Recycled/Reused Objects' Day and my mojo had gone walkabout, unlike his!

This was what I eventually came up with:
Bearing in mind we had no glue or glittery tinsel bits & bobs, this is what I did with some plastic tubing, red lids and elastic bands.  I was wishing I had some of my bits from home to add but that would be considered 'cheating!' 

This was my husband's:
I couldnt get a good shot of it in this light but in real life the organisers were so impressed that they are going to use it on their website! (jealous, moi?)

Not content with that, he made this very impressive engineering thing with some plastic boxes:
video
They were really cooing at that! 

We took our boys with us and the younger one made this:
Thanks for looking and for any comments,
qwiksave

Easy Christmas Decoration

You may remember the other day I had a secret decoration that I couldn't show you until it had dried?  Well, today's the day!

It's dead simple, and its a 'no shake' snow globe:
You just use a small round glass (this one was £1.29 from Hobbycraft) - and this is the bit that takes ages to dry - you squeeze some cheap acrylic white paint from a bottle like this into the glass:
You should find, as you squeeze, that it will splash all around the sides creating the 'It's snowing' effect.

The paint takes about 3-4 days to dry and just before it sets you sprinkle glitter onto it and then add mini christmas decorations.  For my decorations I added a bit of snowtex, sequins and glitter to a toy wooden tree and cake decoration snowman before placing them onto the paint.

Really easy and no need to shake! ☺

(NOTE: Not suitable around very young children as it is made of glass)

* * * *
For my December Daily today I documented the fact that tonight our family went to my eldest son's school's musical play, 'Little Shop of Horrors'.  The red blood paint was still wet when I took this: 
It's a black comedy about a plant that lives on human blood.  The additional images & description I got from a copy of the cover from the DVD of the film, it has absolutely amazing singing in it.

I also went to our local health centre's community christmas meal at lunchtime today but I haven't got any pictures of that.  When doing a daily, you need to decide which events are most important to you and those are the ones that you will document for that day.


Thanks for looking and for any comments.
Have a great weekend,
qwiksave

Friday, 9 December 2011

December Daily Day 8 - Shhh! Secret Santa

I went with a couple of friends to a charity shop this morning and when one of the friends and I caught sight of one item on display we had the fits of giggles.  Then the other friend who was looking at something else at the time came over and saw it and decided to buy it as a 'Secret Santa' present!!

Here it is!:
It's quite big, about 20" tall and it is a jug.
(The other naughty friend and I persuaded her to get it when she was waivering, lol!)
So this is the subject of my December Daily page today, Secret Santa:

I've also being sorting out my own 'Secret Santa' today.  I've been putting my final touches to a present blog swop that I'm involved in but I can't show you the details of that until we've done our swopping! 

Hope you are enjoying my December Daily.
Thanks for stopping by and for any comments,
qwiksave

Thursday, 8 December 2011

December Daily Day 7 - It's Frosty!

 
For friends & relatives I haven't seen for a while I do like to include photos of my boys in my christmas cards so they can see 'how they've grown'.  And because its Christmas I do like to 'christmasify' my pictures and for that I usually use the editing facilities of Picnik  (I should be on their marketing team, they would owe me a fortune in commission!)

For this year's pictures I (appropriately - its freezing out there!) used their frosty frame:

Before:
..and After:
.
Which I then also used to make my Daily Page which you can see above (top picture).  It ended up being a scrapbooking page again, I don't mean to do it but I 'just add this' and 'just add that' and before I know it.... (Some of the 'this and that' in this case are clip art pictures of snowflakes that I got from Word 2010)

**STOP PRESS**  NEW ITEM JUST ADDED!
My husband has made a rather clever video of himself reading 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' to our boys.  Do take a look (and comment please) as children of all ages can enjoy the story!:



Thanks for looking and for any comments,
qwiksave

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

December Daily Day 6 - Christmas Card Designing


These designs I made for my Christmas cards this year aren't quite right - I need to 'tweak' a few of the letters (M-A-S) before I commit them to card.  I made them in my craft group today by just laying out the message using some old swirly patterned grungeboard letters on to some red paper and then photographing them.

I used a bit of photo trickery using picnik when I got home.

They are easy enough to do so I will just give the letters a shufty and photograph them again tomorrow.

And this was my activity for today's December Daily page:

Thanks for looking and for any comments,
qwiksave

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

December Daily - Day 5 - A Choice

I went to college today in Coventry (I'm doing a one day a week refresher computer course) and after I finished I popped into Hobbycraft and TKMaxx.  TKMaxx was a bit disapointing for me as it didn't have its usual scrapbooking bits and pieces - but it did have its rather fun but garish and bright christmas decorations - that I took photos of with my iPhone.
So I thought that would be today's theme for my December Daily:

Unfortunately the middle photo came out a bit out of focus but never mind, the page is just a reminder for me of what happened on this date.

But then I had a dilema.  I got back home and my youngest son had been given a christmas card at school and its the first one any of us have had this year yet.  How could I not document it?
...And cut it all up to show all of its details?

Thanks for looking and for any comments,
qwiksave

Sunday, 4 December 2011

December Daily Day 4 - Craft Fair

Believe it or not, I like the minimal style of scrapbooking! (lol)   You know the type, lots of white space around the photos and titles.  You wouldn't think that that was anything like the case when you get to see my December Daily page for today:

White space? What's that? 

My excuse, if I had to give one, is that I went to a craft fayre/fair today and there were quite a few fun exhibits to show you.  The paper is only 6x6 and so I had to cram it all in fit what I could in the space available.  ☺

I went with a friend and their 8 year old daughter, rather than my family of boys.  They would have grumbled the whole time and no doubt caused mischief.  It was better that they were left at home, so I could shop in peace and their dad took them off swimming for the afternoon.

I'm enjoying doing this December Daily, but there's no planning involved (eek!)  I'm just doing a page on whatever Christmassy thing happens on that day, wonder what it is going to be tomorrow?...

Thanks for looking and for any comments,
qwiksave

Saturday, 3 December 2011

December Daily Day 3 - No Peaking!

That photo top right of this December Daily page is a photo of the Christmas Room Decoration that I made today but as you can see in the small print, its secret - well, until its dry that is!   The Dymo type labels you see were added digitally to the photo using a fun app on my iPhone called 'Labelbox'.  When the decoration is dry (its very, very wet, might take a couple of days or so...) I'll put on a tutorial on how to make whatever it is! ☺

I got a bit carried away with my page today and ended up making it like a scrapbook page:


But I will be replacing the 'secret photo' with one of the completed decoration.

I'm loving this 'shabby chic' style but I know its not to everyone's taste.  You can see more of my taste in detail on my Pinterest 'artistic inspiration' board, the link to it is in my sidebar. 

Thanks for looking and for any comments,
qwiksave

Friday, 2 December 2011

December Daily Pages Days 1 and 2

There are a few variants on the 'daily journal your December' theme to be found on the web but as I've just completed a course for November I thought I'd save my pennies and do it in my own way this year.

I thought I'd just document whatever was on my mind on that particular day, relating to the build up to Christmas.  My mini scrapbook has clear plastic sleeves for my pages and has space for 24 days so I will do another mini album to document Christmas and the New Year.

These were my Days 1 and 2:

I NEED this reminder, I am always posting at the last possible minute! 

 This is my sense of humour, I know there's not a hope...! 

I also continued with the journal that we were doing with Julie:
..using festive colours.

* * *
Thanks for stopping by and for any comments.
Have a great weekend,
qwiksave

Thursday, 1 December 2011

December Daily Journal Scrapbook

Well yesterday was the last day of the '30 days in your Journal' course and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Julie Fei-Fan Balzer is a great teacher and I will probably be getting first in line for any future courses!  I'll show you my last finished journal pages at the end of this post but before that I have started on a mini-scrapbook type journal for December:

 (Apologies for picture quality, it was taken very late at night under not very good lighting)

It's not very big, only 6x6 so just big enough to put the equivalent of one photo on each page.  I'm thinking I might stick on some small photos and add a bit of a description.

I started this project at my craft group on Tuesday but it was quite different looking then, all neat and tidy.  Maybe I didn't think the knitters would appreciate me making lots of mess but when I looked at it today I decided it wasn't me at all so out came the gesso, and lots of it!  I've done some other pages too but I'll be showing you those throughout the month. 

Before I nip off to bed, here are my last two finished journal spreads:


I'm such a messy worker, its no wonder I prefer the 'shabby chic' style! lol

Thanks for looking and for any comments,
qwiksave



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