March Favourites and Round up

Hello everyone,

I say this pretty much every month, but I can’t believe it’s April already! With the months, and seasons, changing, I thought I’d have a go at the usual blogger thing and write a monthly round-up/favourites post.

BOOKS


At the moment I’m trying to make a dent in my (physical) TBR, so I started my March reading with ‘The Haunting of Hiram’ by Eva Ibbotson. Yes it is a kids book, and an older one, but it was fun and I got through it quite quickly (for me). Would recommend for fans of the ‘How to Train your Dragon’ series; it’s quite a similar style of humour.

The highlight however was ‘If Cats Disappeared from the World’ by Genki Kawamura. Oh. My. Gosh. This had me in tears multiple times. I won’t say too much here as I’m hoping to write a review, but it’s a great one for anyone who likes contemplating the meaning/value of modern life definitely going on my ‘keep’ shelf.

Despite my book acquisition ban that I kept telling myself was in place, I also bought four new (to me) books at work this month; what can I say, it’s rude not to when they’re so discounted! When I’ll get around to them, who knows, but I’m loving that I’m finally reading a bit more.

MOVIES

Lex and I have Odeon Limitless cards (Β£17.99 a month for all the movies we want), so we always see quite a few films.
This month alone we’ve seen:

  • The Lego Movie 2
  • Alita: Battle Angel
  • Green Book
  • Fighting with My Family

They were all enjoyable, but definitely preferred the latter two. ‘Green Book’ won several Oscars for it’s portrayal of a working-class Italian-American man and an accomplished black pianist he is hired to drive, and bodyguard for, during a tour of the Deep South in 1962. ‘Fighting with My Family’ tells the story of the rise of Norfolk-born professional wrestler Paige. They are both based on true stories and both made me laugh and cry.

Netflix

Our latest Netflix obsession/binging material has been ‘The Last Kingdom’, and we’re now up to date. The characters are so well written and the acting is very strong, it’s kept me hooked the whole way through. Beocca is my favourite character by far, because it always feels like he’s right on the edge of being done with everyone’s nonsense. Ian Hart (aka Prof. Quirrell!) plays him extremely well and probably deserves a Netflix Oscar. I really want to read the ‘The Saxon Stories’ books that the show is based on, but Im adding them to a long list!

SCRAPBOOKING

As always, most of the supplies I used this month came from the current Mind the Scrap Kit. I made quite a few layouts this month, but this one is definitely my favourite:

This layout documents my little reading corner, using bits from Mind the Scrap

Hop over to my crafty instagram, @small_and_scrappy if you’d like to see details and everything else I’ve made recently!

EVERYTHING ELSE

March was a pretty good month overall, with Pancake Day, a couple of fun nights out, and family birthdays – including the big 6-0 for Lex’s Dad, which was lovely to be a part of.

We finally tried the second of two new-ish sushi/Japanese restaurants in our town, Yamazaki, and it was really good! Sushi hasn’t been the same since we went to Japan last year, and had some of the freshest and best sushi in the world at Tsukiji Market, so it’s nice to have two good options close-by.

So that about wraps it up. What did you get up to in March? What are you looking forward to in April? For me it’s Easter, warmer weather, and a week off work!

Travel Bucket List

With the weather now warming up in the UK, I’ve started to get that itch for a Summer holiday and Lex and I have been discussing where we might want to go this year.

We were extremely lucky last year to have gone to Japan for two weeks with his family, as well as having a few days in Iceland together. For that reason, amongst others, anywhere we go this year will probably be relatively inexpensive – but that doesn’t stop me ogling deals on our dream holidays!

On that note, I thought I’d do a quick, fun rundown of some of my top travel bucket list destinations.

Photo by Caroline Cagnin on Pexels.com

1. Orlando, Florida – I’ve wanted to do Orlando for years. I’m not going to lie, being the Potterhead I am, this is mainly because of Harry Potter world! Disney definitely helps though, and I know there’s lots to Florida besides. I’d want to do it properly though, so we’ll be saving for a little while yet!

2. Italy – So I have been to Italy before, but only to Rimini on a uni sports tour (that’s code for three days of partying!). It was fun for what it was was, but I didn’t get to see any of the cultural or historical side of the country. Give my ancient history connection, Rome is definitely top of the list! I’d also love to see Venice, and Sicily and Sardinia look beautiful.

Photo by Ibrahim Asad on Pexels.com

3. The Maldives – Did someone say paradise on Earth?! As its in the middle of the Indian Ocean, there are lots of opportunities for snorkeling and so forth, which I wouldn’t mind trying. But I also can’t think of many nicer places to sit and read for a week or two than one of the gorgeous water-bungalows or perfect white beaches. It’s another one that can be expensive though, so it might have to wait until we’re ready to plan something special like a honeymoon.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

4. Billund, Denmark – Lex and I had a short break in Copenhagen a few years ago, and we’ve always said we’d go back to Denmark one day. Us being total nerds, where better than the home of Lego!


5. Lapland – What can I say, I’m a Christmas person! I’d love to experience the magic in full, maybe take a husky sled ride, and get another chance to see the Northern Lights (sadly we missed out in them in Iceland last year).

So those are a few places that I’d like to go – not all of them by far, and most of them probably not happening anytime soon!

Are any of these places you’d like to go? Or, have you already been (and have any tips!)? Where else is on your bucket list?

Let me know and thanks for reading!

Charissa

xx

This is me

Hi all,

As I’m starting afresh, I thought I may as well go back to basics and tell you a little bit about me! So here’s 10 facts that will hopefully give you an insight into who I am, what I like, and what you might expect to see popping up on this blog going forward.

  1. I love scrapbooking! That’s something you’ll know if you followed me here last year. I will occasionally share creations on here but feel free to look at my crafty Instagram @small_and_scrappy if you want to see more.
  2. Reading is another hobby of mine. I’m a slow reader but love it. I’m very much part of the Harry Potter generation and usually read fantasy of some kind, but I’m also working my way through the classics (and a never-ending TBR).
  3. On a related note, I’m a Hufflepuff! I like to think my Hogwarts house reflects who I am quite well, and I love finding out whicΒ  house others are in.
  4. I grew up in Edinburgh until I was 10, although I’ve lived in England for over half my life now.
  5. My boyfriend Lex and I have been together for over 4 years; he’s alright I guess πŸ˜‰
  6. I love animals, but don’t currently have any pets – we sadly said goodbye to to our cat Socks earlier this year πŸ˜₯ it’s not the right time for a number of reasons, but one day we’d love corgis – yes, like the Queen!
  7. I have a BA degree in History and Politics and an MA in Ancient History. I’m thinking of writing a few posts reflecting on uni and whether it was ‘worth it’, so keep an eye out if that’s something that would interest you!
  8. Travelling is one of my favourite things; oh the places I’d go if money and real life weren’t objects! Greece is probably my favourite place (not just because of the ancient history connection!), and most recently we went to Iceland. I’ll definitely be talking about my bucket list on here, and any progress I make on it.
  9. I’m quite small, at just 4ft 11in. Sadly, at 25 I’ve definitely finished growing!
  10. I have dyspraxia. Not the worst, but it does affect me, and it’s something I want to talk about on here.

So those are just a few things about me.Β Do we have anything in common? Let me know, and give me a follow if you like the sound of blog posts on any of these topics!

Bye for now,

Charissa

Xx

Revamp

So, I’m starting again.

The blog I mean. I’ve very much neglected it since last summer, and I want to have another go. But it is going to be different this time, because I’ve decided not to focus solely on scrapbooking.

It isn’t that I’ve stopped scrapbooking or anything, far from it; if anything I’m creating more than ever! But I’ve been thinking about this for a while, and I’ve decided I want my blog to be more ‘general’; a space to share thoughts and musings, all my hobbies including scrapbooking, as well as travel and other fun things I get up to. I also realised that I actually have a lot to say on some life experiences which somebody might find useful or at least interesting. The change gives me more to write about, so there’ll be more frequent but varied posts.

I will still talk about scrapping, and I’ve left my old posts up for now, but other that that it’s a fresh start; I hope you find something that interests you!

Bye for now, and watch this space!

Charissa

xx

Mind the Scrap Summer Challenge: Week 1

Hello again!

So, if you saw my last post, you’ll know that the Mind the Scrap summer challenge is in full swing over on the Facebook group. Today I’m sharing my layouts from the first properly scored week. The criteria this time around, as set by team one, were to include:

  • Only black, white and one other colour
  • Washi tape
  • Stars
  • More than one photo
  • A one-word only title.

I’m pretty please with what I did for this week overall.

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For my first layout, I thought this set of photos from a black tie charity dinner earlier in the year were perfect to pair with a black, white and gold colour scheme. The big star on the background was just done using a Heidi Swap stencil and a gold inkpad (I just use a hobbycraft own brand one). I think the rest of it is pretty self-explanatory; the monochromatic criterion helped to keep it simple, and it ticked all the other challenge boxes too πŸ™‚

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My second layout for this challenge documents another part of our holiday to Japan earlier in the year, when we had a go at the famous Shibuya scramble crossing in Tokyo (which I actually found a little smaller and less scary than I was expecting!). I started with some simple white Heidi shine splatters on a black background to add some interest to what would become blank space. I then chose a monochrome patternedpaper as a sort of grounding strip for the photos to sit on. The washi in this one is subtle and sits under the curled-up edges of this strip. I chose blue as my colour to pick out some of the lights in the photos, and used it for the photo matting and other details. I still need to print one of the photos, but this one came to 25 points too.

Another one using blue as my third colour, though a different shade this time. Considering I did this layout in a hurry using a partly made background, just to try and get some more points for the team before the challenge rolled over, it turned out quite nice! I love the texture paste background, put gosh it was a pain to get anything to stick to. As I’ve only used one photo, this one was just 20 points.

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Lastly for week one was this, documenting my obession with anything green tea/matcha flavoured whilst I was in Japan. Gotta be honest, I don’t love this one! It was only 10 points in the challenge and the colours make me feel a bit ill… I think I went a overboard on the pink, I’d only wanted to pick out the tiny pink details in the photos. But, I was pleased to use the ‘Oh joy!’ chipboard thicker, which is from a pack that’s been in my stash for years.

So that was week one of the Mind the Scrap summer challenge! Weeks two and three have in fact already passed, so I’ll be posting about those soon too.

Take care and thanks for reading,

Charissa

Xx

Mind the Scrap Summer Challenge: Warm up week!

So this post is a few weeks overdue, but I’m feeling freshly motivated and inspired after attending my first crop (keep your your eyes out for another post on that soon!). I wanted to share the layouts I have been creating recently as part of the Mind the Scrap Summer challenge, starting with the warm up week. How it works is that we’ve all been split into 6 teams, and each week a different team takes it in turn to set 5 challenge criteria for layouts that week. These are each worth 5 points and at the end of the week the team with the most points (not necessarily the most layouts!) wins. The winning team overall will be the one with the most points at the end of the 6 weeks. There aren’t any prizes, it’s just for fun, inspiration and bragging rights!

I am on team 4, ‘To Scrapfinity and Beyond!’, and I love that name! There are some wonderful creative ladies on my team and it’s been great chatting and getting to know each other.

The criteria for this week were

  • Doodling on the page
  • Use 3 or more embellishment types
  • Use a photo with 3 or more people/ animals in it
  • Use a movie quote or song lyric
  • Add journalling

So without further ado, here are my layouts for the warm up week (this didn’t count towards final points, but was a practice to make sure we all had the hang of the rules).

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This layout was quite fun , as was the night out that it documents! I never thought I’d use those pom poms up in a million years, but that’s most of the pack, and together with the die-cut ephemera and enamel dots makes up my 3 embellishment types. I also have doodling around the photo and outlining the title, which is a very famous song (I’d originally wanted to use “Last Friday Night”, but the photo was taken on a Saturday!). Obviously there are several of us in the photo, and I’ve done some journalling on the little unicorn tag.

With this next one, I started with the blue and green chevron paper I’ve used as a photo matt. This had been in my stash for months, (already cut into that shape, because at some point I’d fussycut a bunch of individual chevrons out for another layout idea that didn’t work out) but the colours match this photo of my boyfriend really well. This layout wasn’t specifically intended for the challenge, but was still worth 15 points for warm up week – doodling around the title and other elements on the page, 3 embellishment types (stickers, tag and chipboard camera), and journalling. I’ve used up quite a bit of stash and it’s also an 8×12 inch (or thereabouts) layout, which isn’t my usual, but I like to change things up now and then!

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My last warm up week contribution was actually a double layout, something else I don’t do very often. The photos are various shots featuring or taken from Tokyo Skytree, during our holiday to Japan early this year. Honestly, the colours and patterns aren’t really my cup of tea, but they work with the night-time photos and again, it’s used up some trickier stash. It was worth another 20 points in the challenge, for journalling, 3 or more people in a photo, using a song title (Tokyo nights by The Bee Gees. I found the song through Google after I couldn’t really think of any Tokyo related songs!) , and 3 or more embellishment types (tags, frame, vellum envelope, enamel/jewel dots, stickers).

The glass floor photo actually flips out to reveal some tickets in the vellum envelope; I was pretty pleased with that part!

So those were all the layouts I completed for/during the Mind the Scrap summer challenege warm up week! As I write this, we’re now on week 4 πŸ˜… But I’m hoping to get posts written up and scheduled for the other weeks this weekend, and also have a few videos waiting to be filmed and edited.

Watch this space if you’d like to see what the other challenges have been and what I’ve been creating recently!

Bye for now,

Charissa

Xx

Scrappy slumps and simple sketches

I shared this photo on Instagram a few weeks ago, and mentioned how I was going through ‘peaks and troughs’ with my scrappy mojo (as I’m sure everyone does), and I wanted to talk a bit more about that here.

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My desk mid-layout

I do sometimes find it easy to make (often legitimate) excuses for not scrapping – a 9-5 job does take up a significant chunk of your time, I also do a lot for my Gran, and I’m mainly responsible for taking care of the house. Until September I was also completing an MA alongside working, and it is kind of fair enough that that took up most of my free time. I have other hobbies too; I enjoy running and going to the gym, sometimes I just want a lazy evening on my playstation, and I want to go out and see my friends when I can. Reading is also in the mix, but has long fallen by the wayside, even more so than creative pursuits! I want to put more time into learning another language, and eventually gain a qualification, probably in Greek.

With all those conflicting interests going on it makes it all the more frustrating when I find the time to sit down and scrap and the ideas just. don’t. come. It’s not like I’m short of inspiration either, my scrappy pinterest board is extensive, I follow some amazing creators on social media and I’m in a number of scrapbooking groups on facebook. But sometimes even the photos i’ve wanted to scrap for a while and paired up with papers or whatever suddenly don’t work, and I sit at my desk for hours staring at a blank page, not letting myself do anything because I convince myself “I don’t like that bit there” or “those colours don’t work together”.

To that end, I have found that some of the very simplest sketches and scraplifts have been brilliant for pulling me out of the slump. Yes, of they end up not being my best, or they don’t really showcase the photo(s), so I might not use them for super-special memories, but it makes me be quite strict with myself and get. things. stuck. down. The memory is documented, I’ve used up some stash, and ‘unplugged’ my creative juices. Often It means I’m back to normal and ready to be a bit more adventurous with my next layout!

So yeah, I thought I’d ‘bulk-share’ a few of the simple layouts I’ve completed recently and the sketches/lifts that Inspired them, starting with the one I’m working on in the first photo:

The last layout is actually the subject of my first scrapbooking process video on my YouTube, eek! I’d really appreciate it if you went and had a look: Scrapbooking Process Video: Work and Play

Thank you for having a read of this rambly chatty blog, it was good to get this off my chest! How do you deal with creative block and other demands on your time? Let me know!

Bye for now,

Charissa xx