30 June 2012

3 double Zero and a giveaway


Today, is my 300th post!
Well.. strictly speaking it's the three hundredth post I have written, unbeknown to me, blogger also records the posts you have drafted not just the ones you have published! Hey, I'm not that far off three hundred published posts!
Yeah, awkward! But still a time for celebration me thinks as I have written that many posts! Wow!

(Hoping my little miss calculation has given you all a giggle!)

To celebrate the big 300 I thought I would share a few things I wish I had known before I started blogging..

Don't be scared of HTML

There have been so many times I have typed bizarre things into google like, "how to get rid of sidebar lines!" Lo and behold all that is required is a piece of coding and it's just a matter of copy and paste. Once you try it, a whole world of customization is opened up to you.

Don't try and be anyone else

When I first blogged I based my posts around ones I had seen others write. I wanted my blog to look like "that" blog. Although I think it is good to get inspiration from others, let your words and blog design be unique. I am far more proud of my blog now that I have done it all myself.

Try something new.

Even if you start a blog with the intention of going down one topic, don't be scared to try new things. Yep, they may flop but they may also work really well. As I grew more confident in blogging I wrote on other subjects. Variety is the spice of life as they say! You may have noticed more creative writing on the blog recently!

Not every post you write has to be published.

Hmm. I know that one! ha ha! I have written some awful stuff which I am glad I didn't press publish on! That said don't be afraid to publish stuff that is different. I wish I had also learnt early on that there is no pressure with blogging. It is your slice of the web therefore you call the shots.

Follow, comment and read other blogs.

I strongly believe that blogging is being part of a community. Read other things, get inspired, make friends.

To celebrate my 300, there is a little giveaway! (cue excited clapping!)

To be in with a chance of winning both these kits I created- one is the materials to make a neat thinking journal, the other is a selection of papers and embellishements-simply tell me:

-One thing you like on the blog as it is.
-One thing you want to see more of/ see in general.

Giveaway closes Tuesday 9.00am BST

Please feel free to take away the graphic I made below- my party gift to you!

Thanks for stopping by


29 June 2012

Organisation Celebration Blog Hop

Hello Friends

Today the lovely Jennifer  has invited me to join in with her organisation themed blog hop! Hopefully you have joined me from Jo but if you haven't welcome anyway!

Jennifer asked me to blog about anything to do with organisation and immediately I knew I would have to tell this story...

It is well known in my family that my Dad and I are the crafty ones.
If I need paint he is the person to turn to and if he needs tape he looks to me. My mum on the other hand is as interested in crafting as she is of watching the football-ie not very.
Anyhow, over half term we decided to take a family shopping trip. Like normal we piled in the car and were soon pulling up outside the mall.

Now for me and my father there is one shop at this particular mall that really excites us...hobbycraft.
Seeing as the rest of our ignorant  family were so uninterested in this shop my Dad and I decided to take a short de-tour..
"see you in forty five minutes" called my mum.
You see Dad and I know the score. We walk over to Hobbycraft together and then split. He downstairs to the paints, me upstairs to the fabric and wool. After twenty minutes or so we meet up and admire our finds.
This time when we met up he was carrying a plastic tray.

"Abi look at this" he said.
"what is it?"
"It's a tray with separate compartments to fit inside the plastic box I already have!"
I look at it.." What, so you just slide it in on top?"
"Yep!" he said gazing proudly at it. " and it's see-through!"
We both gazed at this piece of organisational genius for some moments. Both of us awed by how clever it was.
My father than goes and finds said box that he "already has" and demonstrates said tray.
We then proceed to discuss the merits of good storage boxes and how hard it is to find good ones.

Yeah, that's right. We have discussions about the organisational potential of plastic boxes.
Radical. Right here.

Honestly it genuinely excited us. We aren't particularly neat or super tidy but when it comes to organising craft supplies, my father and I, well we're experts!

On the way out of the shop my Dad looked at me and said "They(the rest of my family) don't understand do they?!"

So.. on with the hop! Each blog has a letter for you to collect. Once you've got them all, and reached the end of the hop, you can email Jennifer the phrase you've collected to be in with a chance of winning this:

All entries must be received by Monday the 2nd of July at 11.59pm BST, and all the correct answers will be put into a draw to win a package of October Afternoon 9 to 5 and Studio Calico Take Note items, worth over £25!

So here my friend is your secret letter....Use it well!


Onwards to Lea

Thanks for stopping by

26 June 2012

Ch-ch-ch changes


So, the observant of you may have noticed a few changes around here.
Namely that the header has changed and my little soundbite underneath has too.

I thought it would be fun to explain a little of my thought process.
From around January time the blog has been going through some big construction work. I have tried to make it cleaner, more open, used bigger pictures and different fonts.

I also made the decision about a month ago to try and unify all the elements on the pages. Therefore, the post title font, the buttons on the sidebar and the blog header are all in the same font.
The colour of the date and the colour of the buttons are the same.

I want my blog to feel neat and simple. I wanted to do away with the clutter I had there and put it back to basics. Words and photos.

That meant making stand alone pages for things like my blog lists, my about page, operation speak out etc.

For me, this look makes me happy and I hope my blog is now more user friendly. Blogs are totally subjective and for me this look works- I know it may not be to everyones taste.

Now the blog header! Wooh there have been some changes over the years!

I have always loved using a photo or two and have played around with this a lot. A few days ago I sat down and thought that I should try a new header with instagram photos. I mean I document most of my day to day through instagram and my blog showcases my day to day in words, so the two go together pretty well!

I had so much fun making it! The beauty of it is that I can change the photos as and when I need to to meet the seasons! Keep you all interested and that!

The real deciding point though in changing my header was that the subtitle was soon going to have to be decomissioned. As of Sepetember I will no longer be a teenager. "Thoughts of a teenage paper addict" therefore didn't really ring true.
After a lot of thought I decided to go with my mantra for the year.
"making the ordinary glorious." .

I am happy with how the blog has come together over the last sixth months. Hopefully this, my friends, will be the final change on here for a while. Maybe...!

24 June 2012

Happy 18th to the not so small brother

Happy 18th Birthday!
I definitely cannot call you my little brother now! Hope you have a special day especially now the exams are all over (silent cheer!)

Much Love

Abi xxx

22 June 2012

Why I blog

A few days/weeks ( I can't remember!) I blogged about HOW I blog.
I thought it would be a fun follow up to do a WHY I blog.

Back here I started to blog because I wanted to share my scrapbooking. That was pretty much my soul reason for blogging.
Ironically I think that is probably the last reason I blog now.

I blog so I can share what I create. I love getting feedback on makes and I love seeing how my ideas have evolved. Blogging is a great cataloguing tool for me.

I blog because I like the community. I enjoy exploring other blogs, trying to make my blog better and more user friendly. I enjoy being so inspired by what you guys create and share. I love comments and commenting- this is partly where operation speak out comes in. I blog because I have connected with so many like minded people.

I blog as a form of diary keeping. Albeit a pruned, revised and more reserved form of writing a diary. BUT it is my way of thinking out loud.

This is my main one though, the biggy. I blog because I am recording memories. Whatever I blog about, be it craft or the boy or my general day to day life, I am recording a sliver of time. I can look back on that post and say "That is where I was at in June 2012".
I HATE some of my first posts but I'm glad I have them because that is me aged seventeen, like it or not. I feel lucky to have my words recorded to look back on.

I started to blog to share scrapbooking. I blog now to share and record memories. I think they are pretty much one and the same thing!

Why do you blog?

Abi xx

20 June 2012

Life right now- according to Instagram


I am loving that with the dawn of instagram I have a comprehensive journal of all those little photographic moments I would otherwise have missed! This makes a "right now" post so easy!

This is what my instagram (and the boys) show at the moment.
Right now I am:

(from left to right)
Enjoying walking with the boy and his dog in absolutely stunning scenery.
Smiling every time I see union jack bunting still hanging up! These were hanging up outside a tiny little station.
Spending quality time with this amazing lady who came and visited me on my day off!
Eating stupendous rocky road.
Drinking copious amounts of tea- honestly my tea levels have rocketed since I started teaching.
Planning something for my 300th blog post. Please please please stick around for a week on saturday!
Trying and Failing to learn guitar from the boy.
Gazing at big beautiful skies
Making new summer bracelets from tutorials on Honestly WTF

What are you up to right now?

Abi xx

18 June 2012

Tutorial- Moustache on a stick!

Yep, sometimes you just have to be a little bit silly!
These are blindingly simple, quick and easy to make.
They also had us rolling around laughing!

1. Find a moustache image online. I just typed it into google. Curly, bushy take your pick. Print it so it fills a landscape A4 sheet. The bigger the better I say.

2. Cut it out.

3. Find some black cardstock or paepr. It needs to be fairly thick-you don't want a floppy moustache!

4. Fold the card in half. Stick the moustache on and cut round. This should get you two shapes for the price of one as it were!

5. Grab a sheet of plain A4 and starting at the bottom corner roll tightly to make a tube.

6. Stick the tube on the back of the moustache with sellotape.

Have fun! I think these would be so much fun as a prop on a photoshoot or with little children!

Thanks for stopping by

16 June 2012

Where I'm at- Inspiration


I don't know if anyone else finds this but I go through periods of being VERY inspired and then periods of having no creativity at all. Sort of creative mood swings!
Thankfully at the moment I am going through an inspired patch to the point where I have so many ideas in my head that I am failing to do a huge amount with them as I don't know where to start!

This is where I'm at at the moment. I am inspired by:

Typography and those colours-swoon!

 Computer fonts on kraft paper.

Geometric Quilts-definitely one to try over the summer.

Graphic Prints

Well designed words

Hopefully some of this inspiration will turn into projets?! Maybe!
Where is your inspiration at?

14 June 2012

A toe in the water


As you probably know I haven't been doing any scrapbooking lately.
As you may also be aware ( due to that wonderful thing called pinterest) I have been pinning more typography and graphic design ideas.

This resulted in a feeling of creativness and after listening to some great music I came up with this...

Nearly entirely lifted from this.

I hasten to add this is a tiny toe in the water of scrapbooking again.
At the moment I am more interested in the photo composition and the text as well as that beautiful grey colour.

BUT, it's got me excited again about coloured paper and photographs. Watch this space.

Text is part of the lyrics to a song called souvenirs by switchfoot.

12 June 2012

This Journey

So we sit in the car,I'm concentrating on the road ahead.
He's fiddling with the chair.
For a brief second we catch each others gaze.
He smiles and we enjoy this time together.
A time to be.
He starts playing music and we laugh as we disagree.
As usual he plays the things I claim I don't like.
He knows though that after a good listen I will grow to love his music.
I catch him watching me.
His hand moves to my knee.
One gesture; I'm here. I love you.
We fill the time with words, with laughter.
We chat about the way things are,
The way things were.
How it feels nice to be on our own, on this journey,

10 June 2012

Ten things on the Tenth


Today I am joining up with Shimelle for her monthly challenge to blog ten things on the tenth.
These are the ten things I have LOVED over the half term break.

1. Family walks.

2. Staying up late, scratching away at ideas in the journal and not feeling guilty about my late night!

3. Plenty of tea on tap.

4. Experimenting with a tiny bit of scrapbooking. (More to come on this later in the week)

5. Spending time with my favourite person.

6. The jubi-lovely (as my mother calls it)

7. The hum of the sewing machine.

8. The boy gettting instagram. I had far too much fun playing with the tilt shift filter on his. (My phone doesn't have this feature.Boo!)

9. Seeing this lovely lady again and simply chatting about everything and anything.

10. Having a family photo. (sneak peek of the dress!)

What have you loved doing this half term?

Thanks for stopping by

9 June 2012

Tutorial- Salt Dough Magnets


The other day I was stuck for gift ideas. Naturally I turned to pinterest and rediscovered a that preschool essential- salt dough.

It was such a quick and easy project I figured you might want a little tutorial!

1. Salt dough recipe here.

2. Roll your dough out to a few cm thick. It is best at this stage to play around with the dough and do a few experiments.

3. Gather a collection of stamps and inks and have a go with them on a spare bit of dough. It takes a bit of trial and error to get a clean impression and some stamps really do work better than others.

4. When you are feeling confident roll your dough out and cut discs to your required size. A small cookie cutter worked well for me. (remember if they are too big they will be too heavy to be held up by a magnet)

5. Ink up your chosen stamp ( dark colours work best) and press firmly into the dough circle.

6. Keep going with different designs until you are happy. I kept mine simple and just spelt out our family names.

7. There are many methods for drying. I used a combination of air drying and an afternoon on a low temperature in the oven.

8. The discs should be rock hard when they are dry. Remember though if it is too thin it will go brittle and break, too thick and it will take an age to dry.

9. I bought simple magnet tape from hobby craft and stuck that onto the back of each disc.

10. Sand off any rough edges.

Sweet little magnets to decorate your kitchen.

7 June 2012

How I blog


The other day Sian started up a discussion on her blog about how often we all blog.
Is it quality or quantity?

It was a really interesting debate. I have no real leanings either way but I thought it may be interesting to share how I blog.

A few months back I had a bit of a blogging drought. There was nothing I wanted to write about and I couldn't find the time to sit down at a computer and type things up let alone be creative.

At the time I was writing more and more in a journal. One day I sat down with it and thought "I am writing so much already in here, why don't I write my blog posts in here?!"

My ideas tend to come quite quickly and I have always found that writing them on paper lets my creativity flow better. The same was true when I started to write my blog posts with pen and paper. My words fell better, I composed sentences better. I could plan posts in advance.

Not only did my journal allow me to write out my posts, I was also filling the surrounding pages with ideas. Quotes, scripture, photos and thoughts. Naturally the more inspired I became the easier it was to write posts. Rather than have a vague idea of what I wanted to blog about, I was documenting the day to day so the posts came from that.

I also found (after a bit of soul searching) that I needed to post more regularly. I felt I couldn't expect a readership if I posted sporadically once or twice a term. My writing also was getting worse rather than better.

I started to post every other day. Writing my posts in my journal means I can carry it everywhere and write any time I have free, rather than find a spare computer. I write my posts several at a time and when I find a minute I type them all up and schedule them for the coming week.

Effectively I am a batch blogger! What do ya know!

I love that I have now found a system that works for me. That said it has taken the best part of two years to get to this stage!

How do you blog? I am fascinated to find out!

 Thanks for stopping by.

Today is Operation Speak Out. Please join me in commenting!

6 June 2012

Operation Speak Out


Yep, it's that time again- doesn't a month fly by!
Tomorrow is Operation Speak Out and I would love you to join me.

If you haven't played along before (or need reminding) the proposal is simple.

On the first Thursday of every month I am going to make it my mission to comment on EVERY BLOG I VISIT. Just for this one day I am going to speak out on these blogs. Blogs big and small. I will write a comment.

One blog, five blogs, twenty blogs. It doesn't matter. That you comment is the essential part.

I am passionate about spreading encouragment and praise to other bloggers.

Tell your friends, talk about it. Let's get the internet overflowing with kind words tomorrow

I have added a page on my blog explaining in more detail how Operation Speak Out came into being. It can be found here or on the sidebar.

5 June 2012

Happy Birthday Little Brother

The littlest one who is definitely not the littlest one any more is turning sixteen today!
Happy Birthday A. Hoping you have a really special day.

Abi xxxx

4 June 2012

Wow,  another month, another list of goals. Doesn't time fly by! I thinking of June as the start of my summer aims and boy am I excited for this month.

In June...

- I want to sew up a new skirt in a striped or chevron pattern.
- Learn to make amazing pasta salads.
- Be brave enough to wear mustard yellow.
- Bake some new types of bread.
- Start filling a new journal.
- Comprehensively document my month in Instagram photos.
- Read a book of the Bible (poss. Hebrews)
- Blog the Glorious.

Have you got goals for June?

3 June 2012

Storytelling Sunday- I blanked the Queen

Hello Friends

Welcome to another Storytelling Sunday over at Sians blog. Do stop by and hear some amazing stories coming from all over blogland.

As it is jubilee weekend over here in good old England, I thought I would share a short story of my brush with royalty.

It is important to know- and it may surprise you- I was a SHY child. As in, I was the child who would cling to my mothers skirt quite literally.
Anyhow at the age of five it just so happened that the Queen was going to pass through our village and all the children in my school would come out and wave their flags.

I still remember lining up with my friends and writing down on the board what colour I thought the Queen would be wearing. I remember being disappointed she wasn't in purple (my favourite colour for many years.) I remember being given a small flag and being told to wave it when we saw her pull up in the car.

So we were all there lined up. I am not a big person and I was quite small as a child so naturally I was right at the front. I was happily waving my flag with the rest of my class as Her Majesty walked along exchanging pleasantries, when she stopped at me.

I was wearing a lovely soft velvet hat ( see photo) with large flowers which I liked a lot. The Queen looked down at me and told me what a nice hat I was wearing. And we have to remember this is a lady who knows a thing or two about head wear!

I stood there saying...NOTHING.
I blanked the Queen
No kidding.

I mean I was a shy child, I did not talk to people I didn't know, the fact that she was the Queen of Britain didn't change anything!

After I blanked her she persevered and asked how old I was.
I simply held up five fingers.

It's funny how this memory sticks with me. It's also funny how moments after our encounter the Queen was being driven away from our village and drove right past my mum pushing my brothers in the pram. They waved to her and she waved back.

I am in awe of the work our Queen does. Her Jubilee is such a special occasion and I am so excited to celebrate it!

Thank you for stopping by

Abi x