28 Oct 2013

Mini Memory Mondays: Titles

Hi I am glad that you have all braved the storm to join me for the fourth installment in my mini series - Mini Memory Mondays. We have so far covered ways to incorporate journalling (or project life) cards into mini layouts, ways to use tags for journalling and ways to customise tags. Today I thought that we would focus on ready made titles.
When I have given scrapbooking workshops for beginners in the past one thing that they always struggle with is coming up with titles. They say that they struggle not to think of cheesy titles. I often use song titles, a phrase from the journalling, puns or popular sayings. However, since we have taken so many pictures of The Baby it can be difficult to think of lots of different titles - especially since sometimes we can take lots of pictures of the same day/ event and you can run out of inspiration.
This is when ready made titles on stickers or journalling cards can really come into their own. Below are some of the layouts that I have created with 'just because' photos:-

Good old Dear Lizzie range provided this cute little journalling card which worked perfectly with this layout about his first smile.

The sentiment on this frame worked perfectly with these photos of his adoring daddy and journalling about what a natural he is.

This plaque was part of a set and worked well with the photo of my sister and The Baby. I completed this layout with some misting and sequins.

These were two just because pictures taken a few days after he was out of hospital and so the 'Hello there little man we have been waiting for you...' sticker was perfect (especially since we had been waiting!)

Now I did use letter stickers and glitter thickers for this title, but the subtitle was a sticker and seemed to work well with this photo of us before we left the hospital. Our one regret was that we did not get a photo of our baby with the midwives who helped to deliver him and so if you're pregnant I would definitely recommend that you get a photo of them.

Do you struggle to think of titles?
If so how do you overcome it?

26 Oct 2013

Saturday scrapping from the Soul: Belgian and proud of it

So as mentioned in yesterday's post my husband is a very proud Belgian.
In fact it is a bit of a joke in our circle of friends and so at my baby shower when one of the activities was to make personalised onesies for the baby she made one saying 'Belgium like dad' with a mustache. 
I did a little photo shoot of him in it and instagrammed it for all to enjoy.
Then I decided that it was definitely worth making a layout about it.

I have been influenced by Jill Sprott's Scrapbooking from the soul and the idea of making sure that all of your embellishments help to tell the story of the photos and of the layout.
In fact when I think about it I do often sub-consciously do this (must be the English teacher in me!) so I used luggage tag washi tape and washi tape with foreign languages written on it to convey the idea of travel and that my husband speaks many languages and hopes that The Baby will follow in his footsteps.
I also used Belgian stamps (thanks Julie Kirk and the Going Postal series - I never would have hoarded these babies from my birthday card without your inspiration) to add authenticity to the layout. 

The border at the bottom was created by stamping on post-it-notes. Each of the stamps from Amy Tangerine are linked to the theme of identity and heritage with footprints, a house with a heart, the word 'love' and a globe.  Then the handwritten journalling ties it all together.
I chose for the 'proud' to be in glitter thickers so that it really stood out and emphasised that he is really proud of his heritage and hopes that The Baby will be too.

The colours in the layout also subtlety reflect the colours of the Belgian flag, but they also work with the blues, yellows and greens of his other 'baby book' pages. All in all I was thoroughly satisfied with this layout and feel that it really portrays an important part of our life and our shared interests.

Hope that you all have a lovely weekend!

25 Oct 2013

Foodie Friday: Halfway homemade apple turnovers

As the night's grow darker, leaves turn crisp and golden and you start to dig out your winter woolies.
There is no denying that autumn is in the air...
and Christmas is just around the corner.
So my American friends go crazy for pumpkin and pinterest is just brimming with recipes...
and us Brits hanker for wholesome recipes using a fresh harvest of apples.

Now many of you know that I am married to a Belgian.
He is very patriotic to his country and for a while there was some debate over where we would end up.
Guess I won that one...for now!
So I am always secretly pleased when he actually likes a British dish.
So far on his list are...
1) Fish and chips (he's not a mushy peas fan though)
2) Pork pies
3) Yorkshire puddings (although his first time trying them he did put golden syrup on them!)
4) Tea
5) Apple crumble and custard

So with the last one in mind I wondered what other apple flavoured dish I could make him and came upon a great recipe for very easy apple turnovers.
He now requests them often on lazy Saturday mornings or stressful Sunday nights when he experiences back to school blues.

Apple Turnovers 
2 medium apples - peeled, cored, and diced (try using two different varieties)
2 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon cornflour
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla (I like to use the good quality vanilla bean stuff)
1 egg white
1 Tablespoon water
1 (17.3 ounce) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
1) Heat oven to 180 degrees. Grease a baking tray.
2) Melt butter in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add apples and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
3) Add brown sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, ginger, nutmeg, and lemon juice. Cook and stir for three minutes until the apples are tender and sauce is thickened. 
4) Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Cool slightly. 
5) Meanwhile, unfold pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Pinch together seams if necessary. With a sharp knife, cut each sheet into four squares. 
6) Mix the egg white and water in a small bowl and brush the edges of the pasty squares with egg wash. Spoon 1/8 of the mixture into the center of the 1 pastry square. Fold pastry in half diagonally and pinch the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with remaining squares. 
7) Bake at 180 degrees for 14-16 minutes until the top is puffed and nicely browned. Remove turnovers from the pan to a wire rack and cool for ten minutes.
Vanilla Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar 
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a small bowl, combine powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Mix to a smooth, thick consistency. Add more milk to thin, if necessary. Drizzle glaze over warm turnovers and serve. 
*Apple Turnovers are best served the same day as baking. They can be reheated in a 180 degree oven for 5 minutes to bring back that fresh out of the oven taste!

(adapted from a recipe from Sumo's Sweet Stuff)

They are really easy - so try them and let me know what you think!
Whether or not they compare to pain au chocolat or frites I shall leave that up to you...

21 Oct 2013

Mini Memory Mondays: Customising tags

Hi, hi, hi on this dry and autumnal Monday (in Yorkshire at least) this is the third installment of my mini series Mini Memory Mondays and this week we will be focusing on how to customise tags to use them as embellishments, titles or for journalling.

First technique: washi tape. This is such an easy way to make the tag co-ordinate with your layout as if you are anything like me you have a range of different coloured washi tapes to use. This can also be a cheap option as you can use tags from your clothes and use the washi tape to cover up any slogans or prices. I always keep pretty tags to use in projects. This photo is really precious as it is of my mother when she was really young and it is rare and very cute. I love the pop that the gold glitter thickers gives to the mainly monochrome and pink layout. I just layered scraps of paper to form a photo mat, punched out some hearts, hand cut the 'mom' from patterned paper, inked all the edges and then fixed a paperclip to hold all the layers together. The washi tag adds a bit of interest.

Second technique: stamp on your tags to form a title or caption for your photo. This photo is back to my newborn little man and is all about how snuggly he was in hospital in the hand knitted cardigan from my friend's mother. Tips for stamping would be to practice first on scrap paper and to make sure that the edges don't come out on the layout.

Similarly this small page from his mini book is a repurposed tag that i got from the lovely Amy Tangerine, when I ordered one of her grab bags, I coloured the stamped image in with water colour pencils and then made the title 'SNOOZE' in alternate blue and red ink to co-ordinate with the backing paper.

  Similarly I have stamped the whole word 'Hello' for this mini page:-

A tag also makes a great photo mat - especially when placed at an angle:-

Last technique:- use stickers to personalise a tag. I used letter stickers and a sentiment sticker to create this long title all about how The Baby will follow in The Belgian's footsteps with his footy obsession.

Similarly the 'my biggest fan' sticker made the perfect caption/title for this mini page picture on my mom asleep with The Baby. She hates this picture and made me promise not to post in on Facebook and so I put in on instagram instead as she doesn't have it! Sneaky huh? And now I am featuring it on my blog...she'll be so proud!

How do you like to use tags on your pages? 

18 Oct 2013

Foodie Friday: Katie and Kim's Kitchen at Trinity Kitchen Leeds

So as I mentioned yesterday I had been invited to the press launch of the new Trinity Kitchens and so it is only fitting that I drip feed you some of the treats they have in store for all you Northern foodie fans.
Firstly though, it seems that taking your baby to a press launch is not the done thing, who knew? As I weaved my bright green pram between clusters of champagne quaffing media moguls - I couldn't help but notice the sidelong glances and raised eyebrows and it reminded me of this moment in Sweet Home Alabama (excuse the poor quality)...

Except it wasn't a bar.
It was just an upmarket version of a food court. In a shopping centre. So get over yourselves.
So maybe I I wasn't offered the goodie bag that everyone else was clutching smugly and the snobby waiters and waitresses with trays full of yummy samples seemed to sweep by me before I could grab a tiny morsel. But you know I'm over it - can't you tell? Ha!
I had heard that the world discriminated against 'housewives' but this was my first time discovering this. Apparently I am a lot less interesting now that I have a baby. Here is what Ellis thought to the outing (along with some other snaps)...

 I do have to put out a disclaimer and say that the guy from The Chicago Rib Shack (on the left) was super friendly and chatted with me for ages. He seemed really passionate about their food and the future for their company. In the words of Arnie I'll be back...

Some of the 'stalls' are actually permanent restaurants such as Pho Vietnamese Cafe, Pizza Luxe (does what it says on the tin but incidentally some of the tastiest samples), Tortilla Mexican outlet selling burritos and the like, Chicago Rib Shak selling ribs smothered in BBQ sauce and thick and creamy milkshakes, Chip & Fish offering a posh take on the British favourite and Note offering hot drinks and cake.

However I was more interested in trying one of the specially shipped in food trucks - which are going to change on a monthly basis. They all looked quite exciting but I opted for Katie and Kim's Kitchen as I fancied something healthier and the soup sounded like just the thing for my winter sniffles. They were the winner of the British Street Food Awards and so I was expecting big things.
And boy did their spicy carrot and toasted coconut soup deliver. It had great texture and many levels of different flavours which worked so well together. The real star of the show was the melt in the mouth homemade scone lavished in butter which you could dip in your soup or just enjoy on its own - I mixed it up and did a bit of both.

I was so proud at how well behaved my precious little boy was all morning. His favourite part of the journey by far was getting to ride on the train for the first time. Whilst we were waiting in the train station his little head was just looking for left to right taking it all in. So many lights. So many people. So many lights... 

What is your opinion on street food? Is it the future? What is your favourite type of cuisine?  

16 Oct 2013

Things I'm loving Thursday...

1) How gorgeous is this purple floral print sweater from Uniglo? An Autumn must have for sure...

2) And an autumn fleece for him from baby Uniglo. Isn't this just the cutest? So snuggly and warm.

3) Since 'mini scrapping' is how I roll these days, I have pinned all of these pages by Jen Jockisch. Love the layers, the cute prints (especially the camera print - need this!) and that middle pun.

4) Love the pretty colours of the autumn leaves and plenty of walks with the family in the brisk autumn air. I, of course, wear boots rather than bare feet.

5) Since joining in with Julie Kirk's Going Postal I have been hyper aware of using traditional office supplies in my scrapbooking. I found this tutorial on pinterest for printing onto post-it notes and love, love, love this idea! Expect to see it used around here soon.

6) In the same thread I also loved this stamp...

7) Baby and I are loving baby sensory. It is giving me ideas for ways to play with him and that it is never too young to start reading - score!

8) Lastly I am loving my friend Steve's homemade chilli - he uses dark chocolate in it and even makes the pita bread from scratch. Yummy! An action shot of him in the kitchen...


9) Lastly looking forward to this event tomorrow...launch of Trinity Kitchen Northern Street Foods. I love the street food and food truck trend and have always felt that Leeds was missing a treat - now Leeds will be a more complete day out in my opinion.

  What are you loving at the moment?
Come on lurkers - reveal yourselves!
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