Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Scrapbooking - 2012 ,2013 & 2014


I LOVE looking at photos and keeping all of my memories in albums but since going to University and getting into blogging I have discovered the art of scrapbooking. I'm not talking about simply sticking in photos and writing a little date next to it. Oh no. With the likes of Amy Tangerine and Project life making scrapbooking not only accessible but fashionable, I, Like many others have become a tad obsessed.

So, if you have followed my blog at all then you might remember my post about finishing my University scrapbook once and for all back in March which you can see here. Then I didn't do any scrapbooking for ages and I started to think ' Why did I document my life at University but stop as soon as it was over?!' There have been so many great things happen since I left University that I felt they needed documenting too so I'm going to show you some pages and details of my 3 year scrapbook that I've just finished!


Sometimes I wanted to document a day or evening where there weren't many photos. I used some carnival tickets which I had left over from another DIY project to add extra detail to the backgroun.
For each title page I wanted them to be quite eclectic and just reflect keeping memories. I love this journaling card which was from a Carta Bella 12x12 page which I got from a seller called craftie-charlie of eBay.
I really like adding little details to each page. This little sticker was from an Echo Park sticker sheet which was called 'Capture Life''. I think it sums up weekends like this perfectly!
I used to be quite a neat freak when it came to scrapbooking and if you look at my pages from years ago and now you will see that I add so many more textures and patterns on top of each other. The page above I actually combined two different trips onto one page because the photos looked good together!
I LOVE project life journaling cards at the moment but I don't like the price! I think they RPR at about £29.99 n Hobbycraft for a brand new full set of journaling cards. I would love to do project life but I can't justify the costs so instead I buy part packs of cards off of eBay. I bought these black and white cards from a random seller who had quite a lot left over from a project but I have since found (and ordered from) Little Scraps on eBay. They provide great service and have lots of part packs so you can mix and match.
Again here I have used  a project life card as the main focus but I have other details such as the date stickers and even the ruler at the top has the month of my birthday in it. 



I hope you checked out the links of the places where I bought the lovely stickers and journaling cards from. I am going to be doing a post on how to get into scrapbooking and the essentials you really need so check back for that very soon!

Whee do you get your scrapbooking supplies from?

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Photobooks Review


I love photo albums and scrapbooks but over the last few years I have enjoyed making my photos into printed photobooks. I like everything to be really neat and organised so these are ideal for me to document my holiday snaps if I don't have time to put together a scrapbook. They are also some great offers on photo websites which often makes it cheaper than printing off 50 photos and buying a new album. 

I have got 3 books which I have done through different websites and I'm going to give a little review on what I thought of the books and the service.



Size: 20cm x 20cm
Cover: Soft
Price: Under £10 (I think I just paid for delivery and a few extras)

I got this book made in 2011 after our trip to Paris for my 21st Birthday to try it out! I didn't have any empty scrapbooks, I was lacking time and motivation and knowing me there was probably a good offer on when I signed up.

The process of uploading and making the album was really easy from what I remember, simply a case of selecting your files and then what type of theme you want. As you can see I went with a travel theme which out of the 3 books I'm going to review, was the best theme I have found (when I talk about a theme I mean backgrounds and little extra pictures you can add in.) I don't really like backgrounds that are too jazzy as my photos are nice as they are and often quite detailed.

Overall I was really happy with the book and the quality. My favourite thing about using Photobox was the variety of themes on offer for backgrounds and the little extras you could add on like stamps or travel themed pictures. 

Review:

Overall quality of book: 8/10
Picture printing quality: 8/10 (I have a high quality camera though!)
Making process and delivery: 9/10
Extra details available to add: 8/10
Value for money: 6/10 (High delivery cost and extras cost more)

Tesco 


Size: 15.5cm x 15.5cm
Cover: Hardback
Price: £6.00

This is my most recent book which I made as a Christmas present for my parents. First, lets talk about the making process. Generally it was quite simple however the website itself and your account wasn't so easy to navigate. I took a break from making it and when I logged back in it took me ages to find it and how to start working on it again. I actually ended up making several books for Christmas this year back in October when everything was half price but the current offer is that you can add as many extra pages to your book for free  (usually I think it's 20p a page?!)

The book itself is really nice quality and the pictures turned out great. I designed the front cover myself with no text as I wanted it to just be photos but again I had to make every photo black and white individually, there was no option to edit the whole page in one go. Another thing I liked about the Tesco books is that you can clone the book and slightly change it. So for example I had about 7 other Photobooks going to different family members and I just clicked clone and I could change the name on the front of it.

A couple of little things I didn't like. There were no 'extras' to add that I liked. It was great if you had a baby or wedding book as there were little illustrations you could add but even they were a little bit cheesy. Another thing was that I ended up using only about 5 of the backgrounds as the others were all really busy and bright or just not very nice! 

Review:

Overall quality of book: 8/10
Picture printing quality: 9/10 (I have a high quality camera though!)
Making process and delivery: 7/10
Extra details available to add: 4/10
Value for money: 9/10 (You can get it deliver to your local store for free!)
 




Size: 20cm x 20cm
Cover: Soft
Price: £8.00 - £9.00

So I had never really thought about using Jessops photo services because I assumed they would be expensive compared to other 'cheap' photo sites. I was pretty much true in this thinking as the books are a couple of pounds more expensive that their competitors. However, they were doing two great offers during August. The first being that you get 100 free prints when you sign up and the second that you get £10 off your first photo book.

Similar to Paris, I came home from Gran Canaria and realised that my holiday scrapbook was almost full and my OCD couldn't bear the thought of starting the holiday photos and having to finish them in another book (what is the world coming to you may ask?) so I looked around for a photobook deal.

Overall, I was very happy with the making process. You actually had to download their software in order to make your book but the process was very in depth and you really could customise everything. As you can see I added a map to the back of mine which cost a little bit extra but I like that I can look at it and remember where I've been.

What I also really liked were the layouts of the photos. You had so many different pre-made layouts that it made putting your photos together a little bit more 'scrapbooky' than other websites. There were a few extra icons and illustrations you could add but as you can see in the last photo the backgrounds were really interesting so you didn't need extras. It's a really excellent quality book too which is shown by the double page spread of me stood against a beautifully painted wall.

Review:

Overall quality of book: 10/10
Picture printing quality: 10/10 (I have a high quality camera though!)
Making process and delivery: 9/10
Extra details available to add: 6/10
Value for money: 7/10 (Only with an offer - otherwise it's a little bit pricey)
 So there you have it! My review of different photobook websites and services based on my experiences and the products I have had. I have not been disappointed by any of the books I have bought in the past and would definitely recommend any of the services to people. Photobooks are a great way of displaying your photos in an album if you are not very crafty or are short on time but still want to show them off.

All of the products featured in this article have not been sponsored and have been bought by myself.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Stationery Lovers Giveaway!


Back in November Claire, from Claireabellemakes, contacted me and asked me to be part of the Stationery Lovers Xmas Swap that she and Emma from Mab is Mab organised. The mail swap was a success and because a lot of people missed the deadlines who wanted to be involved, Claire and Emma have organised a lovely giveaway!

As you can see in the picture there are lots of lovely things that you could win that have been provided by Caren Barry , Yellowstone Ar Boutique  and from my own shop Sally Makes Art.

All you need to do to enter is visit Claireabellemakes or Mab is Mab and enter via the widgit at the bottom of either of their posts. The giveaway is open worldwide and will close on 30 January 2015. Good Luck Stationery lovers!

Friday, 9 January 2015

Happy 2015....How did I do with last years resolutions?!

 
Photo credit Tracey Clark


First of all, a very belated Happy New Year! I hope 2015 is already going swimmingly for you and the post Christmas blues haven't set in.  Secondly, where have I been?! For the most part I have been without a laptop and have only had phone access to the Internet (blogger just wasn't happening let alone posting) and for the other little bits I'm afraid to say that work just took over.

I haven't made any resolutions this year as there's nothing major I want to change ( Other than to blog more!) but for now, everything is where I want it to be. So I thought I would check over how well I did on last years resolutions!


1. Fill 4 scrapbooks

I filled 2 and made a photo book....nearly!
2. Write more letters
3. Blog more - at least once a week
 I did try! It's sometimes so hard when you are working all of the time and by the time you come home it's dark and you are ready for bed!

4. Read at least 6 books (my reading has taken a back seat lately to my computer!)

5. Sell something in my Etsy Shop (Coming soon!)


6. Do a craft fair

Never enough time in the days!

7. Worry less - a constant problem of mine that is unhealthy!

Yes and No - I have my moments (sometimes prolongued moments) but I have tried to be more logical and rational about my worries.

8. See more of my friends, at home or around the country

9. Visit somewhere new in England

10. Learn some new recipes from scratch

11. Making something on my new sewing machine
It's still in it's box......oh dear!

12. Go abroad

13. Host a giveaway

14. Be grateful for what I have. I spent a lot of 2013 looking at other peoples lives and wishing for better things but when I look back, I have a lot to be thankful for and need to put things in perspective more.
Again, partly achieved but usually as an after thought. Social media and a strong desire to achieve doesn't help this though.


10 out of 14 is not bad at all! Most of those have made my life in 2014 happier and mentally healthier which is something I am always trying to do.

What are your new years resolutions?