28 Jun 2012

DT call for Fantastic Ribbons

If you want to try out for the call, come see the details here - I encourage all papercrafters and sewers/crochet crafters to give it their best shot!  Don't hesitate...GO FOR IT!

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a sneak of some of my new stationary/decor for my photography business.  Things are afoot and will be revealed on the 3rd or maybe the 7th now as there has been some **cough, cough** teething problems....... rolls eyes.

Reminds of a little buzzy bee.  Im in love with the colours.

27 Jun 2012

Cheat bows - gotta love some cheatin'

I help Fantastic Ribbons out with a few odds and ends and they generously give me ribbon to play with.  It feels like I am Imelda Marcos rolling around in Shoes.  Or even Howard Hughes lying so lovingly on a massive bed of tissues.  I am THAT obsessed with ribbon.  So when Keith and Ben asked me "Can you make some videos using our wares?", they had me at "Can.............".

Here is the bow that I made.
Usually a wide ribbon, like this one, would create a mahooosive knot.  So I figured out a way to make a cleaner looking bow which will always turn out neat and easy to primp.


Here is a link to the blog which will take you to the video tutorial.
 

 Have fun!

26 Jun 2012

Trailblazin' and DSLR Training

The past seven days has been a whirlwind.  They really have.  Its been such a lovely time to host Sara during some changing scenery over here, at the Wiseman household.  She has helped me remain grounded although since she left (yest), Ive been hitting the floor whilst channelling that Jamaican dude, Usain Bolt.

Before she left for sunnier shores in Nice, I took her to London.  3.5 hours on the road with no car stereo creates a LOT of conversation.  My Sat Nav took us down the M1 which neatly takes you past Abbey Road.  As Sara is massive Beatles fan, it would have been rude not to have pictures of her on that fateful zebra crossing.  I stole this image from her facebook, tee hee.

We parked in London (unbeknown to me, initially, that parking in Westminster is totes free on a Sunday - yay!) and tubed our way to Picadilly, then Leicester Squaee, then Trafalgar Square, then Pall mall and then Buck House.  Then we walked the length of Hyde park looking at all sorts of pretties.  Ive never seen the Diana memorial water sculpture, so we took a look there, too.  Then it was on to Harrods for Lunch.  Oh my, we ate the most most amazing Paul Hollywood breads before trekking onto Tower bridge with a final stop at Covent Garden.  We were knackered.  If that wasn't tiring enough, I had to drive 3.5 hours back home.  But all Kirsty needs for that kind of trip is a strong Costa and before we knew it, we were home.  We went straight to bed but I don't even remember getting into it - I must have sleep walked there.

Yesterday (Monday), it was time for Sara to depart.  I wanted to take more pictures of her as a gift and she kindly posed for this shot here.  Only my in house studio is the most teeniest, tiniest of spaces so it was a case of squishing Sarah into a ball and hoping she would fit the minuscule backdrop.  Oh for a proper studio of my own, right?


Then I dropped her off at Liverpool airport.  Our little house is so bare without her but here are two fun memories for my blog:

Ellie is majorly in love with her.  Im not kidding you but she did NOT stop jibber-jabbering the whole time.   For Ellie to connect with someone this way must mean that they are special.

In the US, they don't have these footy fishy thingies (YET!).  Sara sampled these in Leeds on Saturday and loved the "after" effect.  Maybe not the "during" effect!


After the airport run, I took a trip into Wallasey to see my friend Jaime where plans were hatched after a dynamic shift in my work pattern came to a head.  If you strike whilst the iron is hot or, in my case, feed on the fire in your soul....... you can achieve so much in the space of 3 hours.  All will be revealed on the 3rd July.  Seriously, just you wait and see what has/is happening in the space of 10 days.

**DSLR Training**
Also just a last minute post on DSLR teaching in Hitchin this weekend (1st July). 
I have spaces on my Wigan group training on 8th July. 
Plus a few more spaces in Reading on the 21st July.
I have some spaces left if you care to join us, see here 


 PS:  Check out this little goldmine that I found recently: TRULY SCRUMPTIOUS is a shop I'd dream of owning including the name!


23 Jun 2012

We. Love. Her.

We have a visitor all the way from Las Vegas.
Her name is Sara and she is the daughter of Ruth and Scott who invited Ellie out to Nevada for investigative tests in 2008.  Sara is the reason why I haven't blogged for a few days (having too much fun) but the main reason I do so tonight.  Sara has been travelling during her break from Law school in San Diego and we are all but the last people she will see before she jets off to Nice (France) for the final leg and some sunshine (she ain't had much of that here!).  We have had so much fun looking after her and showing her the local area.  She is such a belly laugh and we adore her.

We couldn't wait to show her off to our family and friends either.  We dropped Ellie off in Leeds today as she is away at my parents for a few weeks and at the same time I picked up some Bowen lights which I got for an absolute song.  And of course I couldn't wait to treat Sara to some nice pictures using/practising with them.

Here she is, in both colour and black and white (I just love them in both colourways, so I'm doubling my image share)







I completely and utterly LOVE these pictures below - just the best way to sum Sara up


If you don't fall in love with Sara from these pictures then I must have interpreted her wrong.  But we all know the camera never lies.

20 Jun 2012

Last day ever in school

Today, Ellie took her final exam at 9am and left school at precisely 10.19am.  She will never have to wear her brilliant royal blue blazer ever again.  I don't think Ellie has any conception of the enormity of it all.  She see's the fact that leaving school means she just has no more school and not as the huge chapter that has been closed forever.  I am pretty relieved that this part of her life is done, though, because I have so many mixed feelings about the way she was (mis)managed.  For the past few years I had to live with the fact that they do what they do and I do what I do ...........and never the twain shall meet.  Never forget that Mums of special needs kids are a hindrance and clearly have no idea what they are entitled to/talking about.

I took a picture of her today to mark the last day and set it next to the picture I took on her first day of secondary school.
In this time she has grown 8 inches in height, put on 14lbs, frown out her fringe, developed scoliosis, diagnosed with a heart problem and a kind of tick (a non verbal form of tourettes - THANKFULLY! tee hee) and has a colour dyslexia.  Her muscle strength has not improved and where she has grown taller, she is looking so much thinner - despite the weight gain.  The second photo truly illustrates the scoliosis.  I hope the NHS will do something about it as nobody with this condition deserves to live with a twisty spine.

The best thing that these past 5 years have shown is that despite the odds, Ellie is unaffected by the way kids and society treat her.  I try to learn from that but as a mummy sponge, you just absorb all these things of your children's plights.  But still.  She is a wonderful girl.  And so loving and gentle.  She is trusting, forgiving and so full of wisdom.  I truly believe she has roamed this planet many times before she was born to me. I just love her so much and would die for her.

I'll leave you with this little number here.
It's a box (pizza box style) you can make from one sheet of card.  It has no separate top or bottom - its all in one!!


Its simply decorated and measures 4x4", its so cute for handkerchiefs, jewellery, note cards to give as a gift.


The instructions can be downloaded from here......have fun

PS:  This post is #2012 in 2012.  I wont ever see this correlation again!

19 Jun 2012

Studio Lights and Lens for sale

I used to have a set of studio lights years ago but they were utter garbage for what I needed professionally.  They were only 150w each which is pretty bad especially if you need a good exposure on groups of 2 or more people.  They were ok for single portraits though but just not beefy, if that makes sense?  On Saturday I will be in possession of some Bowens lighting equipment which were practically given to me (broadly, in terms of the price I got them for) which means I can do on-location shoots with a travel pack.  I'm so interested in making flash photog look like natural daylight, especially when dark days ruin an outdoor shoot.

In the meantime, I know someone who is selling a similar kit to the Bowens I just bought.  He is based in Yorkshire so I thought I'd pass on this knowledge to you.  If you use either Bowens or Elinchrom, you know you are onto a serious bit of kit so consider how much of a bargain this sale is:

1 x Rolling Kit Case (portable!)
1 x Sync Lead
2 x 90cm Umbrella - converts to White shoot through Brolly
2 x Flash Tube
2 x Gemini 400
2 x Lighting Support Stand
2 x Modelling Lamp
2 x Power Cord
2 x Wide-Angle Reflector


Its in an immaculate condition and has been used 2 times.  The price he wants is £380.  If you are seriously considering buying the best quality in studio lighting, I'd rip these out of his hands immediately!


Email me HERE if you are keen to snap this deal up


Im also still trying to sell this little baby here.  Its a beautiful lens but I don't need it for the kind of shoots I excel in.  If you are a performance photog who would love to get AMAZING shots from a mid range distance, this is the lens for you (plus its a proper pap style Canon - the white lenses are considered the BEST.  Its also in the L range too).

Full spec is 70-200mm F4 IS USM (top of the range for this aperture).  There is one tiny cosmetic paint chip on the barrel but other than that, its MINT.  It come boxed with lens hood and pouch plus manual and hoya UV filter.  If you, like me, google the price on this and find it cheaper than my spec (remember to include IS USM on the search - big difference), I might try and match it (except ebay - hello?!  I won't list on ebay due to their hideous charges and fees coupled with paypal on top).

Open to offers and I will accept paypal :)

MIA

I don't like to not blog.  I find that emptying my head before going to bed so exhilerating (hence blogging) but the past few days I have gone to bed too tired to even switch on the Mac.  Now looking back, I now hate that I have three days that are blog-less and that's a shame.

Sunday was a treat for us as it was both Fathers Day and our 17th Wedding anniversary.  SEVENTEEN years is a long time to think about if you look ahead but looking back, wow.....so so fast.  I've blogged this pic before but nevertheless, here we are - so youthful and wrinkle free.

I'm back on it though.  Ive got projects to share.  Ive also got news but I'm loathe to tell all until details have been finalised.

Right then, kids.  I'm outta here.  The sun is being drenched in a bright, hot light and I'm off to bathe in it.


15 Jun 2012

Card Classes St Helens

2 weeks ago I taught a class at Crafts 4 U 2 Do in St Helens.  The focus was Petals Pairs from Tonic Studios.  They are more than just flat little flowers because you can shape them to be quite realistic.  I thought I'd share a couple of the cards I made so you can see how they look in 3D form.

This card was inspired by a card Ruth produced in February, I couldn't pass the entire idea as my own.  **Thanks Ruth**


This card really makes me feel cheery

and that, folks, is the shortest yet sweetest post in a long time.

14 Jun 2012

Pop up/Lift up Roller banners

As part of my extended hours in graphic design, I have now teamed up with a manufacturer to bring YOU a fab deal .  Some of you crafty types/Photographers like to show at events but finding suitable advertising that is both highly visual and portable can be tricky.

Cue the Pop up Banner.  You will have seen these in shopping malls, events, exhibitions, shows, fairs and venues EVERYWHERE.  They roll down to a small holdall which makes them so brilliantly portable and less of a bulk, unlike their nemesis - the folding display panels.


The price of my pop up banner is £65 including free delivery and design work with your graphics or you can apply for a discount if you use your own artwork.  The package breakdown includes:


FREE delivery (exceptions for NI and some scottish PC's, sorry)
a padded carry case
a tear and water resistant canvas display banner
Full CMYK colour choice with any colour background
Measures 850mm x 2000mm
4 day turnaround

You can order one HERE.

Ribbonville

If I could estimate just how much ribbon I have in this here studio, I'd reckon up on about hoarding 5 miles of it.  Partly because I do some freelance work for Fantastic Ribbons but hugely partly down to the fact that I am OBSESSED with it.  99% of my cards feature it and because I love it so much, I have decided that when I die, I want to be bound in polka dot gros grain ribbon of every colour imaginable.

Here is a project I have been working on for a Top Secret client.  This has been a labour of love and I'm talking proper eye watering, fiddlesome knickety-knacketyville.  I don't think I can bear to part with it tomorrow.

And finally I'll leave you with a card fit for a boy or a girl using 3 paper scrap strips.  It's simple yet does what it says on the tin........and one that salutate's Happy Birthday.

Belles has a day off from exams tomorrow and a late start for one solitary Science Lesson so I am going to spoil her rotten and reward her for applying herself so enthusiastically of late.

12 Jun 2012

Wedding season is upon us

I may or may not taken a bit if inspiration from Jenny's dress for this card.  The thought of a touch of pink on a dress really adds a touch of something special and girly.

I was also inspired by a thick width of lace to make this dress - I mean, come on....how pips is it to gather a fake waist on a fat bit of lace and turn it into a dress that could sell for hundreds of pounds?  I knew I should have continued with fashion design ;)

Excuse the wilted flower on the dress!



I even made slippers to match  **lamenting the days of fashion design with a huge sigh**



A little fresh air

Up here, in the grime of the north, the sun came out and the pooch got his walk - at last!  This strange phenomenon occurred in the morning whereby a ball of yellow, hot light appeared from the horizon and lifted the gloom of the town.  It made everyone smile and feel alive!  And so I took my camera to record such a happy occasion.  Care to walk with me?

Mark took me down to the new Marina at Lowton.  It was hardly for me or the poochy's benefit.  He wanted to go Geocaching.  It was his mission 2045 to date.  I was more concerned about receiving a Horse Fly bite....those little buggers hurt like hell, so I was swatting like mad.

Mark had wandered off at this point, I was taking pictures of the trees framing this serene scene.


As soon as poochy had lost Marks scent, he looked up to find Mark wandering across a field.  Eddy was most perplexed.


Im not a big geocache fan, so I stood and admired light falling through the leaves.


And the horsey through the gate bars


Mark was making his way back at this time and I was going to photograph him but the buttercups were too delicious.  You can make him out in the bokeh, to the top left of the picture though!


I love this juxtapose of bloom and grow

Then we arrived at the marina.  I say marina, its just a barge hook up area but still.  Its quite pleasant and somewhere different.


Im thinking of escaping here for lunch in the summer as the calm water is enough to stare out over and just dream a little


The boys had a cache to retrieve at the other end whilst I sat and pondered.  I love the way Eddy is looking at me here as if to say "Will you put that bleeding camera down for one god damn cotton picking minute?"


On the way back to the car, I passed through a sweet little meadow of wild flowers and a smattering of busy bugs


This bee was feasting on clover


And the clover was my final piece of happiness to mark the end of a sunny walk in Lowton

10 Jun 2012

Mojo busting


I think Im out of my own personal fog of misery.  Ive decided that if I am down on my luck or not receiving any good vibes then, rather than accepting them and allowing it all to crush my airways, I shall use my shield of positivity to reflect the little buggers in future.  Since Friday a few good things have happened that I wasn't expecting.  They have really lifted my spirits.
See? ---------------------------> :)

Anyway.  Back to business.  I saw these in Sainbury's last week.  They had been reduced and I knew immediately what I was going to do with them.  They are acrylic plates, shot "glasses" and dishes.


So, with a bit of glossy accents, I turned them into these


As space is of a premium in my work room the only way I can reclaim more room is to go UP!  Lol.
And once filled, they become the most useful trinket stashers ever!


Top section for my pretties


And it lifts off to reveal a dish of more pretties

Its for all my handy bits and bats that I keep to hand for quick embellishment fixes.  Plus, with it being a clear acrylic, it will go with anyone's decor.  All in all, I think it works out to be 75p per plate, shot glass and bowl ensemble and £1.50 (obvs) for the double stand style.  HELLO?

They are also great for parties, to present your yummy snacks and nibbles. This one would be great for cruditess and a dip in the top pot.
 

Go on, get your crafty butts down to Sainsbury's immediately.  There is enough is make 8 of these for approx £6 or go halvies with your friends.

Sooooooooooooooo.....
Last week I was invited to a baby shower but I couldn't go because I was supposed to be going to London.  Then that fell through (sorry, Roobs :( xx) so Beth double invited me to go on Saturday night.  As I had an only an hour to get ready, I had to make a card toot sharp.  As I've never made a baby shower card before (or even been to a baby shower), I didn't know how or what I was supposed to make - these style parties are all so new to me!  I took a scoot around Pinterest and found a million ideas and so made this for Beth from my discoveries.

I found myself in love with my teeny star punch again and put it to good use on here



Beth's shower included a cake decorating session with our mutual friend, Sharon.  I learned how to (sort of) create ribbon bows, a rose and a baby under a blanket as well as (trying my damned hardest) icing some buns (ok, cupcakes, seeing as we all stateside with the baby shower thing!).  I think I will leave cake decorating to the experts as my attempts were pretty lame.
Just look at how unceremoniously I have plonked that sugar paste rose on a teeny bun!


I had nibbled lots of sugar paste leftovers and was on a sugar rush until about 2am!  It was a lovely turn of events to end a very busy day.

Today, I eventually finished that layout that I had half done since MARCH!  Ellies word for a cuddle is either Cuggy Snug or just snug.  I thought it was fitting for this layout.


And whilst having a tidy up my craft space, I made another Baby shower card with some Stampin Up paper scraps (if anyone is going to a baby shower in the next few weeks and the baby is expected to be a girl, email me and you can have this card.  First come, first served, though!)


And finally, a Fathers day/Dad's Birthday style card using some packaging I had from a birthday present in February .


Its a Maths exam for Ellie tomorrow, so Im getting an early night to get her up ready and prepared for this huge event xx


9 Jun 2012

And the rain continues

Well I might as well as live in my galoshers and wellies.  In fact, Im even costing how much 4x1 I need to build an arc.  WILL YOU STOP RAINING, PURLEEEEEEASE?  We want to take the poochy for a walk.  Instead he is laying on his blanket, wrapped up in either mine or hubbies arms looking totally deflated.  Look at those eyes.  They are willing "walking" thoughts into my head.

In time, little man.....in time.


That didn't stop Belles and I venturing out for a little breather from revising.  Our Gateway person failed to turn up which put more of a dampener on things.  This week I have had it hard with spanners in the works, its time our luck should change.  So going out for eats and coffee really (and I mean REALLY) was such a thrill.  Belles tucked into her favourite treat and I sat and read this fab mag

I think its the first time I've wanted to smile in a week.  I know that isn't encouraging or inspiring from me of late but I can't hide the truth from anyone, I truly do wear my heart on my sleeve.  A total open book.  BUT I do feel the tides are changing a little so expect a lot more up turns than down turns.

And of course, what prettier way to end the day than to pour out some creative juices on a pwitty little number like this?


Lets have a bet on what the weather is doing tomorrow.......... tee hee