Monday, 15 September 2014

Card making: Relaxing with scraps and leftovers

Hi hi.

I've just launched my first ever pop-up market stall on my 'With Julie Kirk' Facebook page this morning. So if there's anyone on your list - and that includes yourself - who you think would like a new crafty kit, vintage apron, brooch, or maybe some vintage haberdashery - then do head over there to kick-start your Christmas shopping!  As for me ... well ...

... while I await the outcome of the sale and prepare myself to pack all the parcels like the good Christmas Elf I am  ... [although I bet Santa's helpers don't have to send out Paypal invoices and plot orders on a spread-sheet!] ... I thought I'd do something calming, like sharing a nice and relaxed card I made from scraps and leftovers: 
Because when it comes to please-don't-make-me-use-my-brain-I'd-rather-not-have-to-choose-any-supplies-or-think-too-hard-about-what-I'm-making style crafting then you simply can't working with the contents of your scrap bag! Which is what I did here.

The base is simply a few strips of patterned paper, including the inside of a security envelope [the red + white herringbone]from which I'd punched out a few circles at some point .. and then eventually used up the surround!

The simple colour scheme was inspired by the floral chipboard shape I used as a focal point, mounted on to a scalloped circle, and my embellishments, a few buttons and bows helped pull it all together
It's one of those easy breezy for-no-particular-reason cards that I simply keep in a box on my shelf ... just in case. And those are often my favourites. 'Bits' are best!
Maybe I'll see you over at the market stall today [or tomorrow, or Wednesday even!], but if not, I'll see you back here soon.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt 2014: A garden, a photobomb and an obliging relative

Hello, hello.

I can feel the seasons shifting; Summer's clinging on in there ... but Autumn's gradually prising her away one finger at a time. 

I've worn boots several times already, next week I have a meeting about the new term on campus and I'm hosting a pre-Christmas sale on my Facebook page and there's a mist outside as I speak ... we just need some 'mellow fruitfulness' ... and we've arrived.

All of which has spurred me on to complete the 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt [hosted by Rinda] and I'm almost there ...

Here are 3 of the remaining 4 I need to cross off my list:

No.19: A Public Garden
I had intended to visit a grand stately home garden, maybe Newby Hall again, but it never quite happened. And so, while James and I were in Redcar last weekend - doing all the things you might expect tourists to do, rather than people who've been visiting that seaside town all their lives - after having a lunch of fish+chips and ice-cream by the sea, we strolled along the prom, prom, prom to the garden by the boating lake:
The mosaic in the foreground is a memorial to the late Mo Mowlam who was our local MP for many years.

Also in Redcar I unknowingly captured ...

No.10: A Photo Bomb
Earlier in the summer I had a 2-for-1 photo, where I captured the 'rack of postcards' along with a shop assistant who was looking right down my lens, which I counted as my photobomb.  But as I was looking at this photo I taken of a Frankenstein's Monster dangling from the side of the cinema-on-the-pier  [Naturally. What else would you expect to find at the seaside...?] ...
... I noticed that ^^^ there, in the bottom corner, a man on a mobility scooter had gracefully glided into my shot. So I'm considering this my 'official' photo bomb now.

And finally for today ... when I first saw the list I knew that, if all else failed me, I'd be able to grab this one at some point ...

No.8: A tattoo on a person:
This lovely example belongs to my brother-in-law who, in turn, belongs to my sister who negotiated this shot for me! On this particular day she had made sure he was wearing a short sleeved top so that I would have easy access to the photo I needed.  Because it's one thing to ask someone to share a part of their body with you ... and your blog readers ...

... but it's quite another to ask them to strip off in your parents' living room after Sunday lunch in order to reveal that said body part!


So that's my scavenger hunting almost over ... there's just one elusive item remaining: a sunrise. And I've got a few contingency plans in place in the likely event that I don't manage to capture a glorious, early, start to the day between now and the 23rd.

Next week might be a bit quiet here as I'll be working on my pop-up market stall on my Facebook page ... so do come and see me there if you fancy it.

Julie :-)

Thursday, 11 September 2014

My Facebook 'pop-up' Market Stall: the easy way to start your Christmas shopping!

Hello hello.

I'm trying something a little different next week on my 'With Julie Kirk' Facebook page and I hope you'll be able to set aside a little pocket of time [with a cuppa ... or maybe even an egg-nog ...] to join me:
So far I have collected together over 100 items for the sale ... with more to come!  Included in that is:
  •  a mix of all different packs I've sold in my Etsy shop over the years - eg. Blank Looks, Plundered Pages. Interesting Bits and many will be on offer at half-price or less!
There'll also be:
  • some lovely vintage aprons,
  • vintage-inspired collages and magnets
  • plus notebooks, ribbons and postage stamps.
Prices will start at £1 making them perfect for stocking fillers!

Here's how it'll work:
The sale begins on Monday morning [15th September 2014]... just as soon as I can upload all the photos of the items for sale and add all the details [which may take some time!].

[*My Etsy shop will remain open for sales of more recent / non-sale products].

You can browse at any point during the 3 day sale and while you're there you will be:
  • snapping up some vintage / vintage-inspired creative bargains
  • supporting a [very] small independent UK creative business ...
  • and really making a dent in that Christmas list! [Or stocking up on some new creative supplies for yourself .. whichever ... I won't judge!].
If you can make it; great, I'll see you there!

If you can't ... send a friend or loved one [instructing them on what you'd like!] or ...

... even just spread the word for me. [The images above are on my Facebook page too - 'With Julie Kirk' - so you could share them from there]. Thanks in advance!

So ... I'll best go back to my preparations and you can begin making a list .. and checking it twice ...

See you at the market!

Julie :-)

Friday, 5 September 2014

Mixed Media Collage: 'As in gleam'

Hello there.

Around this time last year someone, whose work has regularly appeared on my 'Top 5' type lists, contacted me, out of the blue, to commission a little something from me.
One year on I still can't quite find the words to explain how I felt when that email landed.

[Nope, nothing coherent is springing to mind even now. Try mingling excited with slightly dizzy then add a good dose of 'OK so who's tricking me?' paranoia; and you still won't be close.]

Rather embarrassingly, as I couldn't quite reconcile their request with ... well, with the kind of things that you expect to happen in 'real' life ... I did ask for assurance that I wasn't being tricked and that this was a genuine request. And I'm still cringing from that.

But hey, you know me, happy to have you laugh at me if it makes for a good story ...

So anyway ... once I'd decided that it wasn't a trick ... I got to work on the commission which was to create a collage based around a particular quote, from the novel Ingenious Pain by Andrew Miller:
It was a quote that I'd used on a journal page I blogged a while ago, which is where they'd seen it, and they wanted something similar. But rather than simply replicate that earlier page I really wanted to create something lighter, brighter, something more delicate ... something to  reflect the wording of the quote:

Which all led me to using lots of white on white layers, with hints of pearlised paint, combined with stars and tiny touches of neon and glitter:
Meanwhile the wording itself was created - in true Snipped Tales style - by my scouring the pages of my books-to-be-chopped-up collection and quite literally finding the right words to say [something which this entire situation has rendered me unable to do!]
Mixed media collage with a literary quote
Appropriately I can't even decide how to conclude this post ... I want to say lots of things; things like ...
  • how the collage now hangs on the person's office wall;
  • how rather than taking payment we did a swap of works [which is worth more than anything I would have charged!]
  • how I still occasionally say to James 'Remember when I made X a collage?' and then I laugh with sheer incredulity! 
  • how it's a lesson in putting yourself 'out there'; if I didn't have a blog ... this couldn't have happened.
And, finally, it taught me that while there are some events in life you can definitely plan for, things you can actively pursue to bring success and satisfaction into your life, things you can decide to work on to help achieve your goals ... the thing is ...

... some of the most glittering moments that will come your way will be those that you simply don't have the imagination to have ever even contemplated!  

And you realise that Life's a far more creative story-teller than you are ... and, my goodness, has it got plot twists down to a fine art! 

Julie :-)

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

It's a Sign: Maybe s/he's just big-boned

Hi again.

If you saw my August 2014 Month in Numbers post you'll have seen some photos of the livestock I encountered at the Egton country show. But, while the animals, local colour and scenery were all worth photographing ... me being me ... I was on the look out, as always, for something to make me laugh.

And I found it in the shape of this sign attached to one of the tents:
Everyone's a critic eh?  I don't know about you but I wouldn't want my body-type mentioned on my office door sign.

['Little squidgy-bellied blogger' would just feel harsh ...].

And, it's like my sister said: maybe they secretary is just big-boned?