Friday, 29 June 2007

Natural light

I’ve finished my Florida album and I think it looks great – it has lots of wonderful memories in it, as well as mementoes and lovely photos. I am well pleased with it and look forward to showing it off – I will even endeavour to take some pictures of it to post here and show it off! I am waiting for the rain to stop, you see, so that I can use nice natural light to take the photos.

What’s the big deal with all this rain, by the way? I thought this summer was supposedly going to be the warmest ever, blah, blah, blah but so far nothing. It’s not even been that warm – just soggy, cloudy and miserable. It’s nearly July and so far I have barely used my summer clothes. If it wasn’t for our trip to Florida, I wouldn’t have seen the sun at all this year!

People always ask me if I’m getting used to the UK weather and the answer is never simple. I am used to the fact that it will nearly always be unpleasant but that doesn’t mean I don’t suffer. I don’t mind the cold in the winter (after all, that is the point of winter) but I do very much mind it when it’s still winter in June. I still don’t get the fact that Brits like going for long walks regardless of the weather: if you have to dress head-to-toe in plastic, why are you out in the first place? I also don’t subscribe to the turn-the-heating-off-because-it’s-April mentality: if it’s cold in June, the heating goes on, end of story.

I guess I’m a sunny and warm person and so I need to be in sunny and warm climates. I often tease my husband that he’s got a desert flower and as so, she should be kept in suitable circumstances or she’ll wilt.

The worst part of these wet and dark days is that it’s difficult to take good photos! The natural light isn’t very good and I don’t like using my flash if I don’t have to so my photo taking has gone down quite a bit, mainly because of the weather.

Come on sunshine, make us a visit here in England and chase all this rain away!

Thursday, 21 June 2007

What does "deserving" mean?

I’ve recently had a good old clearout of stash that I know I won’t use. A lot of it has come to me in kits and magazines (as freebies) and while it looked great when I first got it, on second look I admitted to myself that it isn’t my style and I won’t be using it.

As I hate having useless things lying around, I gathered all these things together in one big bag and decided to give it to whoever most deserves it. So I posted a message on a UK scrapping forum and told people to write to me and tell me why they deserve this stash. The messages soon flooded in!

I have now a very difficult task – choosing a winner. I decided that the kit isn’t worth splitting (it is large but not quite THAT large) so there can only be one winner, or else there would be several slightly disappointed people rather than one very delighted one. This of course makes my job harder as I have to decide which of these people deserve it the most.

I have received the most heart warming stories from different people: stories of teachers that struggle to get money to fund their crafty projects yet the kids love them, of women that run craft clubs for underprivileged people and could do with some help, of scrappers that generously nominated not themselves but a needy friend or family member. How on EARTH can I choose? I feel like going on a massive shopping spree now and giving something to everyone!

But I can’t really do that – the point of the exercise was to get rid of the “dead weight” in my stash and give it to someone that really deserves it for whatever reason. I now have a list of candidates longer than I expected and need to start the painful process of ranking them – but how can I meaningfully rank people’s needs? How can I arbitrarily decide that a needy child is more “deserving” than a needy adult?

I’ve got myself into a right pickle, haven’t I?!

I need to somehow pick the one message that touched me more than most and decide that this person is the “winner”. That sounds like a relatively easy part – the hardest part is to then have to let the others know that they didn’t “win”. I have to do it in a way that doesn’t belittle their needs or problems… THAT is the bit I am not sure how to do.

I am starting to feel like a small-scale Oprah – I have the power to change someone’s life (if only a little bit) and this power should not be used lightly. I feel like I have a huge responsibility and it’s making me the tiniest bit nervous. I hope that a greater power will take over and guide my heart into making the right choice.

All I wanted was some more room in my stash cupboard and ended up with a moral debate with myself!!

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Chronological scrapping or stand-alone projects? Hmmmm... I don't know!

Last night my husband was out with some friends (he went to see Derren Brown, which those of you in the UK will recognize as the famous magician-mentalist-psychologist-illusionist. It was a fab show, apparently). I took the chance and sat down and scrapped and scrapped and scrapped: for 3 hours! I had fallen behind, not only in my Florida album, but in my ER episodes so last night I caught up with both: I scrapped while I watched all the goings-on in this TV show.

I can’t believe how much has happened in ER! I’m sure the season finale will be an explosive one…

But anyway, I got on with the scrapping really well too. I completed 9 layouts (NINE) and some were simple while others were very simple. I am absolutely adoring those PDQ Bisous papers – and I’m sure I’ve said that before. They have allowed me to progress with this album very quickly as I don’t have to make so many design decisions and giving me more time to journal and embellish (or not). As the papers are double-sided and I’m using both sides – not easy – it also keeps the overall weight of my album down.

Anyway, I am very pleased with how the album is turning out and is a big difference from the other Florida album I did late last year which was harder work, although I do love the finished article. Thing is, I have SO many photos still left over, not scrapped! I would normally just keep the 200 best ones in a normal photo album and get rid of the rest but when I was in Florida I *did* buy a summer 8x8 album which would be ideal for the leftover photos… but that would bring me back to my earlier issue with smaller formats which seem to take a lot longer. However, as I have already scrapped the MAIN memories in the 12x12, maybe using the 8x8 for the rest of the photos would be relatively quick… OH, I don’t know what to do!

I guess I will first of all finish the large album, catch up with a few other projects that I still have to complete (like the All about me album from Scrap-a-ganza which I MUST finish as I pinkie-promised Lisa I would) and then decide.

What makes the decision harder is that I am a die-hard chronological scrapper and having so many stand-alone projects sort of breaks that “rule”. I know that the magazines always say it’s okay to scrap non-chronologically but I actually find it difficult to DO. It is after all the way I organize myself and when I’m not organized I feel a bit weird.

I’m sure that when the time comes I will figure something out. At least I can rest assured that my extremely simple style comes up trumps when I have to quickly catch up. After all, I did manage to complete NINE layouts last night!

PS. Last weekend I unexpectedly came across some tickets which meant we could go see George Michael opening Wembley stadium on Sunday. It took some logistics and coordination but we managed to find a babysitter and go to see George. WHAT A MAN! I loved the concert, I love all his songs and loved the fact that I can now say I’ve seen him live. First concert at the new Wembley as well, so it’s all a part of history. Needless to say I took a few photos and kept the tickets ready for scrapbooking!

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