Friday, 29 September 2006

Sometimes it feels like part of another life I had, in a dream, long ago...

Tomorrow is my best friend’s birthday. The date also reminds me of High School (HS) as this is where we met and his birthday was only a few months after we’d started our first term in 1987 so this means that we’ve known each other for nearly 20 years! Did I really start HS nearly TWENTY years ago? But it seems so long ago... and surely I don’t look that old, right?

But seriously – I loved HS and would do it all over again if I could – but of course it would never be the same. Other than loving it because that’s the place I met lots of my best friends (including Jose whose birthday is tomorrow. For the record: Happy Birthday!) I really loved the whole learning experience in those two years.

Previously my educational experience was of course Primary and Secondary school, which I also loved – I guess I just love learning. But we mainly stayed in one classroom, had very strict rules about everything and the school day was tightly regimented. HS changed all that – we had different classrooms for different subjects, there were free periods during the day, I sometimes had to stay and have lunch there, I had more independence. I loved having bigger papers to work on with longer deadlines, which meant that I had to be more organized and responsible (and has turned me into the responsible and organized adult I am now).

Since moving to the UK I have newfound respect for my HS education – it all works very differently here and I think that I like my way best. Kids here in the UK specialize quite early on and take only a few subjects whereas HS education is more global. For example, I had to take biology, chemistry and physics – subjects that I would definitely NOT have chosen but I actually enjoyed and learned quite a bit from. The same goes for subjects like ethics, enterprise, advanced math and computer science.

My favourite subject, however, is no surprise if you’ve read this blog before: English Literature. Oh how I loved reading all those books, having intelligent discussions and writing my daily journal! I loved it SO much that once I actually wrote a paper for Jose, who then presented it as his own. He got caught but the teacher never knew that it was I, star student, who had written the paper! I didn’t mind doing it for him as I quite enjoyed the process and was not-so-secretly infatuated with him (he never felt the same for me, I’m sorry to say) but of course it was for nothing as he got caught.

Anyway, HS holds a very special place in my heart and I have many happy memories of it all. I made most of my dearest friends there, had lots of new and exciting experiences and gained a well-rounded education. The best thing, though, is that if I ever want to remember what I was thinking and feeling at the time, all I have to do is read my old journals. Or call my old friend and wish him a happy birthday and reminisce about the good old days!

Wednesday, 27 September 2006

The land of the rising sun

Just over four years ago I went on the best holiday I have ever had. It has long been a dream of mine (and, curiously enough, of my husband’s too) to travel to Japan and after a few years of thinking about it, we just went ahead and booked it. It was just after 9/11, airfares were cheap and we shamelessly took advantage of this to get on a plane to the Far East.

I have been fascinated with Japan for as long as I can remember. My great aunt is a fan and her house is totally decorated in Japanese style and I always loved looking at all those beautiful things. Also, I love the food – and in Mexico it’s been available far, far longer than it has here in the UK – and sometime in the late 90s I read “Memoirs of a Geisha” which actually fuelled my desire to see this amazing country.

We are very lucky in that we have Japanese friends living in Japan, so they were very helpful in organizing our itinerary and also as a place to stay. We were there just under 3 weeks and we saw so much, a lot of it thanks to our local friends. Not many tourists get to stay in a Tokyo family home, a city center mini-apartment or a sprawling traditional style home in the foot of Mt Fuji!

The whole trip was one amazing experience after another: the food, the people, the architecture, the history, the landscape, the shopping, the music, the cities, the service, the technology, the language, the vending machines, the menus, the public transport... there was nothing that I wasn’t amazed by and even something so mundane as visiting a public restroom in McDonalds was worth of note (three words: heated toilet seat!).

The country is a land of contrasts: extremely high tech gadgets living alongside traditional rituals, cutting edge architecture next to ancient buildings (and looking good!), the newest gadgets along with the most old-fashioned manners. I had some of the best meals of my life here, some of the most impressive service and without a doubt, the best souvenirs I’ve ever brought back from anywhere. I saw places of extreme beauty and museums that showed the raw horror of the Atomic bomb. I met some of the most polite and friendly people I know and rode on the most punctual trains in the world. I saw ancient temples built entirely out of wood with no nails and some of the most modern skyscrapers designed to withstand earthquakes.

And yes – we even saw Tokyo Disneyland! We ran out of time to visit the Hello Kitty theme park, though. I was truly gutted.

I always hate coming home from a vacation but this time I was really, really sorry to leave. I knew that there was so much more to see and felt sorry that I couldn’t. I then got home and spent about 6 months working on the scrapbook album I’m most proud of and which gives me great pleasure when I look at it again.

Whenever conversations turn to “where would you go if you won the lottery”, others say a world cruise, the Caribbean, Australia or South America. Not me – I would definitely go back to Japan and immerse myself in this most fascinating and amazing of places again.

Tuesday, 26 September 2006

What is it about brads?

When I first started my stash accumulation (which actually came many years after the start of my actual scrapbooking!) I wanted to get a good selection of embellishments that I could use time and time again and quickly got hooked on brads. They look really cute when sorted in boxes, come in many colors and sizes and don’t require specialist tools to set – so they seemed ideal.

For the record I also got lots of eyelets at the time but because they require hammering, I don’t use them too often at crops. But I do have a lot of eyelets too, although not as many as brads.

Anyway, back to the story. I really loved brads and started buying them any chance I got. Thankfully I never got into “shaped” brads and concentrated on round and square ones (a few stars and flowers too) in mainly metallic colors. This has proved to be a good decision as I can always find a use for them – reindeer shaped red brads don’t have that versatility, I find. ; )

The thing about brads is that they come in huuuuuuge packs – and as much as I love my round copper brads, I don’t think I’ll use 100 of them in a hurry. But I get to the store, see packs of square silver brads and think, “Hmm, those are nice” and end up buying another 100. And so it goes on: huge golden brads, tiny pewter flowers, small round ones in bright colors... So my brad collection is a bit enormous!

I am always happy to share and I can happily report that my pack of 100 pastel colored round brads is nearly gone. Yet I have thousands of the little blighters and I never seem to have the one that is just perfect for whatever it is I’m doing right now. So I set out to buy more and more and end up with tons of brads and not one is right. ARGH! Or I buy a different brand and find that they are nearly impossible to split, or that the prongs are too long or too short or too stiff...

But I love them. They are perfect for sticking vellum or transparencies, great grouped together as accents, unsurpassable as flower centers. They don’t take that much room in my stash, are easy to use and transport and add a little bit of texture to my otherwise flat layouts. They come in lots of colors and sizes – from itsy bitsy to those huge brads which look ever so funky. So I will keep buying them, keep using them and keep loving them. If you haven’t already discovered brads, go and buy some today!

Friday, 22 September 2006

It's only a little thing but it really annoys me!

Something that really, really irritates me is the way clerks here in the UK throw all your change, receipt, cards and anything else back to you in one disorganized pile which they place in one of your hands. I then have to spend a few seconds checking the change myself (because they never ever count it back!!), placing the receipt in the bag with the shopping, the plastic card in its place in my wallet and the change in a separate place. It’s particularly irritating when they hang on to the card even when they don’t need it anymore, just to make sure that it all is returned to you in one huge, messy pile. ARGH!

I love the way Americans do it: count the change back, place the receipt in the bag for you and give you back the plastic cards separately, making sure you have enough time to put it all back away. This means that I actually spend less time at their desk because I have time to sort it all out before I walk away.

Is it THAT difficult for UK businesses to implement this? It is SO ANNOYING!!!!

Thursday, 21 September 2006

If my life was a movie, it would have wall-to-wall music

I hate silence. As I sit here in my office writing this, I am really aware of how quiet it all seems – just the soft sounds of keyboards tapping, a few quiet conversations, footsteps along the corridor... and it is distracting. I just can’t concentrate on anything when there is no music on!

Let me go and grab my MP3 player... ah that’s better!

Now with my head full of music (Barry Manilow, since you asked) I can concentrate better, focus and feel the creative juices flowing for this entry. Silence, for me, is loud and really distracts me. Music, on the other hand, has the opposite effect.

So whenever I can, I scrap to music. I find that I actually produce better work when I do it to music. It isn’t always possible as it isn’t very sociable at crops to wear my earplugs and sometimes at home I’m in the dinning room scrapping and my husband might be watching TV or something, so we keep that on instead. But scrapping to music, in the words of Mr Manilow, could be magic.

As I have said before, my music tastes ARE quite cheesy, just in case you hadn’t noticed. I just love anything pop, anything commercial and anything that’s on the radio. I also just adore 80s pop and grew up on a steady diet of Duran Duran, Wham, Miami Sound Machine, The Police, Michael Jackson and a few Latin groups like Timbiriche, Mecano and Nacha Pop. I love music I can dance to and music I can sing to – even if I’m actually quite a bad singer (really. No, really)

I also like really embarrassing stuff like the ubiquitous Mr Manilow, S Club 7, and my top favourite: music from Disney movies. All of that eclectic mix is what lives in my MP3 player and it is quite a good job that no one else can listen in as it is quite shameful sometimes the stuff I listen to!

I do also seriously like classical music and movie scores, I have a real soft spot for R&B and grew up listening to Opera which I also love. I guess I just love music, but music that feels “musical” not just random noises (a bit like House or Garage which I really don’t get, perhaps I’m showing my age). One of my first “dates” with my now-husband revolved around us listening to the entire Michael Jackson “History” album: all 2 CDs of it. Twice. We sat and chatted and listened to the music... and that whole album has great memories for us since.

I’ve been having quite a busy week and it’s not until Friday evening when I will have the chance to sit down and scrap. I’m looking forward to it already: an evening of playing with my lovely stash, getting a few pages done and singing along to Copacabana: bliss!

Wednesday, 13 September 2006

I'm no evangelist, more like an altar girl!

Have you ever tried to explain scrapbooking to someone that doesn’t? It always ends up sounding like quite a strange thing to do: stick photos and bits of paper in an album, along with some writing... or perhaps I don’t describe it very well.

In any case, I don’t often talk about scrapbooking with non-scrappers – maybe because I have such a hard time trying to make it sound not-lame, maybe because I just like to keep some things to myself, maybe because I don’t need to. Also, I’m not a scrapbook evangelist at all. My work colleagues, for example, love looking through all the mini books and cards I make and somehow telling them how it all came together feels like I’m telling them all the secret tricks and it won’t seem so amazing any more. Besides, there are a lot of people out there that don’t get it and it is quite heartbreaking when they just can’t understand. So perhaps my biggest reason to keep quiet is the good ol’ fear of rejection.

BUT, occasionally someone will come and ask me a question about paper crafts: perhaps they are thinking about making their own wedding cards or whatnot. Thing is, somehow I get a person that is interested, asking me questions and I’m AWAY!! I gladly share all about adhesives, trimmers, different materials, and die cutters, whatever. I guess that in this case I have someone that is already interested and needs advice – and I love to give it.

I do not set out to actively convert people but I do really like to encourage newbies into the hobby. I think the whole industry is now so complex and people are faced with almost impossible choices, so it’s nice to give a helping hand. I know that I do like to get help when I’m stuck so it’s do unto others...

I do love showing my scrapbooks to anyone that doesn’t scrapbook, though. In this case the results speak for themselves and inevitably I find that people are impressed and say “now how did you do that? Where did you get these things?” and so on. I love it! I also make lots of books for my family because they are ideal presents for those that don’t live near me and they are always very well received.

It was these books that may have led to my one and only creation of a new scrapper: my sister in law. She is good at all crafts and, when she saw my mini books, went ahead and copied them and made her own. She has no idea that she is now a scrapper though! She just likes what she sees and is good at recreating it. I have now sent her lots of mags and materials and she is amazed to find that scrapbooking is an actual industry – there is nothing like that available back in Mexico where she lives.

So I’m not very good at explaining the hobby, certainly rubbish at bringing new members but I do like to think that I am great at supporting the newcomers and helping them learn the ropes. I don’t know everything but if I can ever help – just ask!

Monday, 11 September 2006

Pollyanna? Well, yes, maybe I am!

“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. “(Carlos Castaneda)

I found this quote a few years ago, can’t remember how, and it immediately stuck a chord with me. I think that this aptly describes how I go about with my life and what I think of myself.

I am always the person saying, “What is the worst that could happen?” whenever things get stressful at work or at home. I also like to remind myself and others that I do not work for an emergency service so, if the customers get their renewal letters a few days late, it really isn’t the end of the world! Stress should only be saved for truly stressful moments, not for every day “minor crises”!

At the moment I am facing unemployment but, instead of being miserable about it all, I am using this as an opportunity to maybe get on to something new or to take some time off to think about it all and decide what direction to follow. I’m almost excited about this opportunity I’ve been given! Other people have taken this harder (and some do have personal reasons to be worried) but I look at it all as a chance to change. After all, I have my health and my family, so it really isn’t “the end of the world.”

I haven’t been sitting down to scrap for a little while now, other priorities have taken it’s place but, instead of moaning about it, I hope to make a little time for scrapping tonight. I have so many layout plans in my head at the moment I’m sure I can work on at least two very quickly! So, instead of wasting my energy wishing I had more time to scrap, I’m thinking about it whenever I can so that when I get a moment, whoosh! It all comes together!

Call me an optimist but I find life is easier to live if you don’t spend all of it complaining about how miserable you are.

Friday, 8 September 2006

My elements of style

Last weekend my little boy was a bit restless to go out and we had to entertain him for a few minutes while my DH was getting ready, so I grabbed one of my 12x12 albums and sat down with him while we looked through the photos. This kept him amused enough and gave me a chance to see one of my old albums again (I don’t do this often enough!). This particular album is nearly 3 years old and I had been scrapping “properly” for about 2 years at this point. Supplies were a little harder to get a hold of here in the UK at that point and all of that showed in my album: pages were simple, clean and using mainly stickers as embellishments.

Later that evening, my curiosity aroused, I took out ALL my albums and looked at them again: as I scrap my photos in order, the pages were also in the order they were scrapped and besides providing a linear story of my family, they also do a very good job of showing what embellishments I was using at the time! For example, I found the first layout I did using eyelets and after that followed another 10 or 12 pages that had eyelets somewhere. Slowly these got replaced with brads. Then I moved on to buttons, then ribbon, then flowers, then all three. I discovered my stapler somewhere about now, and you can tell. All along stickers feature on a lot of my layouts, especially word and letter ones. And so on.

Not only could I tell what embellishments I was excited about at the time, but also what techniques I was trying out. I started out very basically but quickly moved on to color-blocked layouts. Then I used a lot of transparencies (that I printed myself!), which then gave way to pre-printed vellum quotes on layers of patterned paper, to hide the adhesive. I quickly realized that I quite liked the layered paper so I began to use that a lot, along with rounded corners and inking. I tried chalking but quickly moved on, as I didn’t like it. I also tried collage style layouts and wasn’t impressed with my results. I tried sanding and distressing and liked it quite a lot, so there are a few pages with these techniques. These days I have been trying patterned papers as accents, with a few successful pages but mainly I haven’t’ quite got it.

All in all, though, my style has remained fairly consistent: I like clean pages with lots of photos and handwritten journaling. I still use color blocking a lot along with corner rounders and inked edges. I don’t use eyelets as often as I used to, mainly because I like hammering but others in crops don’t always enjoy the banging. I still use stickers and I love them. I also make conscious efforts in using ribbons and flowers, because I have so many of them.

Generally I think that anyone that knows my work would be able to spot one of my layouts straight away. Does this mean that my layouts are all the same? I don’t think so but, just like my wardrobe, certain colors and accessories always feature, mixed in various ways, and these are the elements of my style. I feel comfortable in my style and, while I sometimes wish I could change it a bit more, I like having a “style”.

Thursday, 7 September 2006

It's time now to talk about all that is good about scrapbooking!

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about scrapbooking and how that has made my life better. For one, it means that I spend evenings now actually “doing” something as opposed to just sitting on my butt and watching TV. I mean, I still sit on my butt but there is something tangible at the end of the session (and not just a bigger butt, for those clever people out there!) It also gives me the creative outlet that I’d been missing from my life: even though I work in marketing, I rarely get the chance to create anything so this is a lovely change from my day-to-day life.

Scrapbooking has also helped me meet many wonderful people: from the ladies I crop with to the ladies I chat to online both here and in the rest of the world, I have made some great friendships. When I moved to the UK I didn’t really know anyone apart from my husband and his friends, so getting my own has certainly helped make my life better. Life with no friends is not worth living, in my book!

Earlier in the year I travelled to Holland for Scrap-a-ganza and it was the ultimate indulgence: an entire weekend of scrapbooking and chatting and workshops and with no family to intrude, it was bliss! I had such a great time that I’m already planning to go next year. There is another event later this year but sadly I can’t make it as I’m on vacation at the time... otherwise I would SO be there! So I have scrapbooking to thank for this wonderful trip.

In a very small way, this hobby has helped me out in my professional work. Although my job is not at all about ads and pitches, I have certainly made use of design principles that come from scrapbooking in my work. I also find that as my scrapbook journaling gets better, so do the briefs I produce for work. I am also hoping that this hobby helps me get a new job – I have an interview for a job that requires more creative skills than I use now and I feel confident that I can do it, all thanks to scrapbooking.

Last but not least, scrapbooking has helped me make lots of people happy: from my parents who get a steady stream of mini-albums with their grandson on them, to all those people that have received a mini-book or album as a gift from me, to my own family as we have all these wonderful memories that will forever be kept. Most of all, it makes ME happy and that certainly makes my life better.

Wednesday, 6 September 2006

Come and share my dream...

Most kids here in the UK went back to school this week, the trees are turning orange and I need the heating on in the house: must be the fall. While I really do like those fall days when the sky is blue and the air is brisk, there is always a part of me that knows that I won’t really be feeling any warmth for the next 9 or 10 months and it makes me sad. I am a heat-loving, sun freak and have found it hard to cope with these never-ending UK winters.

I guess the main reason is that I’m not used to this: back in Monterrey we have 4 seasons: the warm one, the hot one, the changeable one and the cool one. Sure, it does get cold in the winter (and can even get snow in the higher areas) but this only lasts a couple of months, max. By march at the latest we’re all back in t-shirts. I really, really miss the hot days, those endless days when the sun shines all the time, when you really feel like you’re melting in the 40-plus degree heat and when I can just sit and soak it all in.

It goes without saying that UK weather just isn’t the same as what I’m used to and this is the number one reason I’d leave the country: I hate the long, cold, dark, damp, miserable winters. Some years we seem to skip fall altogether and head straight into winter, which then seems to last for ages! I end up hating all my winter clothes, the way my skin is so dry, my hair frizzy, my hands numb and my legs white. I hate having to spend about 10 minutes wrapping up before I head outside. I hate being wet all the time. I hate it all.

So, if I had a fairy godmother and she asked me for one wish, that would be to move away from this cold and damp and back to where the sun shines: Florida. AH, I bet you didn’t see that one coming! Sure, I love Mexico but I would definitely want magical help to move back to the USA – and that would be the only way, I’m sure, what with all their immigration red tape and the fact that Mexican citizens aren’t that high on the wanted scale. I can always move back to Mexico quite easily if I wanted (perhaps to retire?)

Yes, I would love to live in Florida again – but preferably not where all the tourists are but somewhere full of real people. I always joke with my husband that my ideal job would be pushing an ice-cream cart around some quiet but pretty beach: this way I would be both out in the sun and making people happy, what more could I want? But my other ideal job is working in a scrapbook shop, somewhere small enough where everyone would know each other, where the customers are loyal and lovely and where we would all nip out to get ice-cream in the afternoons... ah! What a dream!

I know the reality would be tougher, much tougher, but that doesn’t stop me: after all, I’ve lived and worked there so know what it’s like! But I would much rather work 6 days a week and have only 2 weeks holiday a year than live here and feel like I’m living in Tupperware for 10 months of the year because I don’t see the sun. I would of course miss all my UK friends, my Smart car and Indian food but it would be a small price to pay for wall-to-wall sunshine in my life once again. That, as they say, is priceless.

Tuesday, 5 September 2006

If I won the lottery, these 10 manufacturers would certainly benefit!

I love lists and I have them everywhere – on the fridge, on my desk at work, in my wallet, in my diary... basically, I don’t feel that I’m organized until I write a list! So when I saw a thread on UKS about doing a book of me filled with lists, I immediately pounced on the idea and will certainly be using it on my BOM.

One list, however, seemed fun but not quite suitable for what I want in my BOM; but it was too good an idea to pass up so I decided to include it here in my blog for all to see. So, ladies and gentlemen, here is my list of 10 favorite scrapbook manufacturers!

1. SEI
Not at all surprising if you’ve seen my gallery –it’s SEI-dominated. I really, really like their older, color blocked papers but I also quite like the newer things. When I started out in this hobby, the SEI Simple Sets were my lifesaver and, I believe, have in a way influenced my scrapping style with their simple lines and modern look.

2. Die Cuts With a View (DCWV)
Again, shouldn’t be surprising if you know me at all – I love this stuff. I discovered this brand relatively recently, after my SIL sent me one of the huge 12x12 paper packs from the USA and I was almost immediately hooked. The papers are so usable, excellent value for money and come in so many different sizes and designs that there is always something for me. I have also used other products from them: mainly the alphabet sticker packs, the vellum quotes, the cardstock packs (I absolutely love this cardstock: textured and white cored so what more could you ask for?) and so many collections that I think I may have it all!

3. Chatterbox
This is another one I’ve come to recently. I’d heard of the paper long before I bought any, but one look at the lovely textured sheets and I knew it was love. A very good friend then gave me a mountain of Chatterbox and the fling turned into something serious! I have since bought quite a few of the embellishments as I love the colors and are always suitable for more boyish pages – the journaling prompts are second to none, too.

4. Doodlebug
I didn’t realize that I liked this so much until I noticed that I had quite a few items from them in my stash! The bright, happy colors really suit my style and their embellishments are pretty cool too.

5. Me and My Big Ideas
I have so much affection for this brand: it’s my first love, really. When I started out scrapbooking so many years ago, MAMBI was out there with cute stuff that I just adored – and one of the few manufacturers of “word” embellishments, way back then. I must admit that some of the later products were not quite my style (I do love the MAMBI kids and still use them on pages!) and I was never a huge fan of their papers but the latest range is totally fabulous and I’ve already bought (and used!) some of these flowery beauties.

6. Heidi Swapp
This one is a strange one. I have tons of HS in my stash but mainly because I have received so much in kits and also bought an enormous embellishment collection recently. I completely love the ghost shapes and letters but find myself keeping them for “special” occasions, which means I don’t use them much (or ever!). Besides, the range is a bit girly for my “manly” layouts. But I’ve started to plan my BOM and it will be made using only HS items – can’t wait to start!

7. Scenic Route
When I went to Scrap-a-ganza in Holland earlier in the year, I met a new manufacturer: Scenic Route. I’d heard of it but not enough, obviously, because as soon as I saw their products I knew they would be perfect for me. The colors are so suitable for my work; I find myself stockpiling SR papers whenever I find them! I also really, really love the chipboard letters and need to get some more as I’m nearly out!

8. Making Memories
Without a doubt, this is the best manufacturer of tools for me. I love the packaging, the ease of use and the versatility of the tools. I am now waiting with bated breath for the new 12x12 trimmer to be available, as I really, really want one of these. The rubons are the best I’ve ever used and I have never used any other albums other than MM. I also really like the embellishments, as they are so neutral and work with a variety of themes. I consider MM to be like the Chanel of the scrapbooking world: very elegant and timeless.

9. Pebbles Inc
I have a lot of Pebbles in my stash but I must admit not being a great fan of the latest stuff. I really liked their older, vintagey stickers and of course a lot of the I-kandee embellishments. The latest batch of products somehow lacks some WOW factor from me, but I will definitely keep an eye out.

10. American Crafts
I’ve come across these products very recently and it was almost love at first sight. I’d heard about how wonderful the ribbon was – and I agreed – but why had no one told me about how amazing their patterned papers are? I have bought a few already and I can tell that this is going to be a lasting relationship as I am really, really impressed with the quality and the clean, stylish look to their range.

So, there you have it – my top 10 manufacturers. Notice any obvious omissions? No, I didn't forget Basic Grey - it's just that I have never really loved it like everyone else in the scrapping world does!

Friday, 1 September 2006

All about color!

It was red and yellow and green and brown and scarlet and black and ochre and peach and ruby and olive and violet and fawn and lilac and gold and chocolate and mauve and cream and crimson and silver and rose and azure and lemon and russet and grey and purple and white and pink and orange and red and …

Recognize it? Of course – it’s from “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” and one of my favourite musicals. I remember watching it for the first time and wishing I could also have a coat of many colors! I have always loved color – full on, in your face, wow that’s bright, colors. I normally dress in shades of blue and pink (like I said on previous blog) but I don’t just wear the pastels and I absolutely LOVE bright, hot pink!

When I was about 15 my then-boyfriend’s grandma died and I had to go to the funeral. This was the first one I went to and had a mad panic as I didn’t have anything black to wear – not a thing. This is when I realized that I am quite happy with color and rarely, if ever, wear black. Well, except for black pants (trousers for you brits) on those fat days or the occasional outing of my LBD when I want to look a bit more, ehem, sophisticated.

So it’s no wonder that my layouts are the same – full of color. I do find that I tend to use shades of blues and browns quite a bit, mainly because I do a lot of “boy” stuff and also these two colors together are quite neutral without being boring (if I had the time and money, my house would be decorated almost completely in shades of these two, for example). Occasionally I indulge my passion for pink but mainly in CJs or my BOM.

I do use more color on my layouts than I do on my clothes though – and I find that green and red and purple (my fave, by the way) and orange are used liberally throughout my pages. One color I really don’t like to wear is yellow: there is a well-known Spanish saying that more or less says that those who wear yellow have to make sure they are worth looking at, so I was never confident enough to wear it. I also don’t think it suits me, so I could say that is my least favourite. I don’t use it enough on layouts, either – perhaps it still makes me uncomfortable.

Color has also made me think one of those deep thoughts that I sometimes get: does everyone see color the same? I mean, I know blue is blue but how can I be sure that what I call blue is perhaps what you call red? How would you know otherwise, if you’ve never known any different? I would love to be able to “see” through others’ eyes and perhaps confirm or deny the theory! I sometimes find myself wondering what the world would look like to others if this was true: perhaps other see the sky in what I call pink and the sand in what I call blue and the grass in what I call red… how cool is that?

Color is a big part of my life and I like it that way. You can say I live my life in shades of red and yellow and green and brown and scarlet and black and ochre and peach and ruby and olive and violet and fawn and lilac and gold and chocolate…

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