Smash!-ing

I was born a scrap-booker. I didn’t know it but that’s exactly what I was doing when I spent my summer holidays cutting things out of magazines, collecting tickets and postcards and taking photographs galore. I had a separate scrapbook for all things related to my favourite football team Aston Villa, my holidays in Germany with my sister and the Olympics. I would pretend I was a magazine editor and put together a “publication” every week made up of my favourite cuttings and stories and sometimes I illustrated them myself.

When I went on holiday I’d collect everything and stick it in a scrapbook. Receipts, tickets, paper bags, they are all kept for posterity. In those days the scrapbook was a cheap affair consisting of thick, recycled grey paper which was very absorbent and very dull. Scrapbooking today of course is a multi-million pound (or Dollar) industry and I love saving my memories with lovely papers, flowers, embellishments, ribbons, buttons etc etc.

However, anyone who is a serious Scrapbooker knows that it takes time. Lots of time. Each page is a work of art and is meticulously put together. I find that if I focus on a scrapbook, I don’t have time to record daily memories so when I discovered Smash! booking I couldn’t wait to start! This is what SMASH-ing is all about;

“SMASH from scrapbooking specialists K & Company is for moments and musings that stick. If you love to journal, collect sketches, tickets, old photos, cards, snippets, lists, dreams, recipes… then a SMASH folio is the perfect way to bring together your story and create a wonderful piece of art that goes wherever you do. A brilliant collection of matching stationery includes sticky notes, mini pads for jotting, calendar accessories, decorative tapes, bookmarks, dividers, handy 2-in-1 sticks that are both a pen and glue, and more. SMASH books and accessories are ideal for ongoing projects and events , journaling your travels, a customised daily planner and diary, or simply recording and reflecting on your everyday inspirations. See it, love it, stick it…SMASH it! Part journal, part sketchbook, part scrapbook – SMASH is irresistible!”

When it came to deciding what theme to have for my first SMASH book I got stuck! After all that. There is so much I want to do but it was all jumbled up in my head until I thought that my first attempt would be a book of inspiration. It will be something I can look at when I need a laugh, a smile, a bit of encouragement and endorsement and to help me carry on regardless.

So, I am in the process of sorting out all my inspirational quotes, pictures, poems etc for my first book. I can do this around my neice’s wedding scrapbook and other projects and refer to it periodically for support.

I will let you know how I get on but if anyone has done a SMASH book already please let me know how you got on (pictures very welcome!).

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Nowruz Mubarak! (Happy Iranian New Year)

Haft sin

Haft sin

For those not familiar with Haft-Sin and it’s significance, Haft -Sin (seven “S’s”) symbolise important features celebrated at Iranian New Year and has its roots in Zoroastrianism. [Good thoughts, good words, good deeds]. I have included the following in my tableau this year;

Sonbol (hyacinths)- the coming of spring, Sir (garlic)- medicine, Sabzeh (green shoots)-new life and growth, Serkeh (vinegar)- old age and patience, Sib (apple)-beauty and health, Sekkeh (coins)- prosperity,  Somaq (dried)- colour of sunrise and just for good measure, Sekanjabin, a sweet mint syrup. All these are displayed against the backdrop of a mirror symbolizing the sky, truth and reflection and illuminated by lit candles representing enlightenment and happiness.

Happy New Year!

Knick-knacks

A £1.50 natural wood printer tray, a can of black paint (in the garage) and some olde-worlde vintage paper and I now have a funky new set of shelves to keep my little diddly bits in :)

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Gesso grunge Saturday

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My latest crafty must-do is using Gesso and modelling paste on blank canvas to create backgrounds with tons of texture and interest. The effect is quite subtle and therefore you may not distinguish the relief work straightaway but it is distinctive if you look closely. What the additional texture does however is add depth to any 3-dimensional artwork and it’s also fun to use.

I do get a bit messy, but lots of newspaper to protect the work surface soon looks after that. The best thing about using the paste is that you can apply it through/over stencils and if you don’t like the effect, it wipes off very easily to leave a blank space for you to start over.

This picture started life as a 99p blank canvas, 8″ x 8″ and I transformed it by using lots of items I had lying around. Anything goes with this sort of craftiness and I am about to dismantle an old watch which no longer works so I can use the different-shaped clock works inside. I’m always on the look out for old keys, clocks and watches, and chains to include in pictures and I am so glad that the car boot sale season is almost upon us. I love rummaging around other people’s junk to find my treasures and it’s usually a very economical way of increasing my stash.

I have just prepared a larger canvas with Gesso and modelling paste and it is outside drying in the gorgeous sunshine. I am hoping it dries enough to start the artwork soon, but if not it will have to wait until next weekend.

In the meantime, I need to finish off my baby quilt that I made last Saturday whilst I wait for the sun to do it’s work.

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Can I make it a hat-trick?

After so long I can’t remember when, I have had two “good days” in a row. Two days when I haven’t been so tired that I need to hide in the ladies toilet for 10 minutes in the afternoon for a power nap; two days when I haven’t felt threatened or insecure; no panic or anxiety; I’ve even found myself laughing at some of the ridiculous things going on around me. I have spoken to some of my clients without the usual stomach-churning fear and stress, although I still experienced some anxiety and thought about postponing the afternoon call. I refused to give in to my scaredy-cat urges and triumphed by conducting the call successfully and with a satisfied client who wants me to quote for some additional work! :)

I am starting to believe that I can do this.

Happy-Days