February 28, 2013

30 days of lists / March 2013

And so another challenge begins! 30 days of lists is a simple way of scrapbooking/journaling, an excuse to make something easy everyday, easy as a simple list. I only discovered #30lists last Sunday, almost accidentally on twitter, and signed up for it straight away. I was intrigued, I never thought you could use some creativity in making lists. I'm not very good at writing, in general, but making lists? everyone can make a list, from grocery shopping lists to 'to-do' lists. And so here I am.
The actual challenge starts tomorrow; Amy and Kam, the creators of #30lists, will publish a daily list prompt, starting 1st March. Everyday I will have a list to make,  which I will be writing down in my  personalised little notebook.
I spent this week prepping for it. I used a small A6 sketchbook. The recycled cover was ideal for  adding the title. I used this L letterpress printing plates and this dark green ink to stamp '30 days of'. The idea was to use the Epic tool to letterpress part of the title, but the sketchbook was too thick to go trough the press, so I ended up with a partially letterpressed, mostly stamped title. I added the word 'lists' using a simple black felted tip pen, after practicing at least 10 times on some scrap paper. I added a strip of washi tape at the bottom of the sketchbook (from cover to cover) to cover up my failed attempt of stamping the date. I then used some stencils and a red felted tip pen to write down 'march 2013'. 
The sketchbook contains 32 blank pages, each page was embellished with a strip of washi tape at the top. I used a total of 6 different tapes, mainly green shades, and I alternated them through the sketchbook.
As there will be 30 lists, one for each day, I created 30 numbers, one for each page (I know there will be two spare pages, but I haven't decided what to do with them, yet!). I die-cut 30 circles from some scrap paper with a dark grey beehive motif and stencilled the numbers using three different shades of greens from this set.
(I blurred some of the chevron patterns to cover the list prompts)
I decided to print out the list prompts in advance, as I won't be able to do it every day, and didn't feel like handwriting it. I couldn't decide on a specific colour for the background, so I used a chevron pattern in green, yellow and grey and different shades of grey for the font (which is Arial bold).
I'm quite happy with the overall results so far, considering the very short amount of time I had to plan it, resource it and actually make it. 
Due to the almost exact number of pages needed, I'm not planning to add any photo, but it would have actually been a good idea, if not a bit too time consuming for me...I will keep this thought for the next 30 days of lists.
I feel like I did play safe with it, it doesn't really stand out compared with what I've seen here, but it's very me and I might improve it as I go along with the challenge.
My plan is to post the daily list at the end of each day, starting tomorrow. All the completed 30 lists will be under the '30 days of lists' image on the right side (under 'PROJECTS').
Happy listing!

February 26, 2013

Pick of the month: February / Lemon Yellow & Grey

White Cut Out Footbed Sandals from Mothercare/ 2. Shorts from H&M Kids/ 3. Knit Cardigan with Pockets from Zara Kids/ 4. Grey Matter 60 Seconds Nail Polish from Rimmel London/ 5. Ester Hero purse from White Stuff/ 6. Black Striped Dress by Billabong from Two Seasons/ 7. New Age T-Shirt by Billabong from Two Seasons/ 8. Large Butterfly Print Scarf from White Stuff/ 9. Light Yellow Flip Flops by Oneill from Two Seasons.

Let’s start this new monthly favourite activity of mine just saying that YELLOW is my favourite colour, ever! It is so powerful, so full of energy, so bright and so happy that helps me go through the grey winter months reminding me that summer is just a few stops away. 
This year February has been a revelation to me. Since always, February has been the least favourite month of the year; Christmas has passed by too long, the weather is always miserable and cold, there are no public holidays. And yet this year I noticed something that made me smile and gave me a positive attitude…by the end of this month, the days get noticeably longer; the sky is still light when I leave work in the evening.
To celebrate this month, I pulled together a few favourite items for me and little Miss O that well describe this month, the start of a new friendship between the still grey weather and the increasing lookout of the sun. 
February, I'm starting to like you!

February 24, 2013

The 52 project: week 8

Oh this project! So glad I'm still keeping up with it. This week I'm posting a video and a collage of little Miss O.
The video is because we were lucky enough to record her first word and the collage because she has so many facial expressions, it's funny to see them all together.

This week you:

Said your first proper word, but we are still trying to pretend we didn't hear it. You said 'cacca', which is the italian word for 'poo'!

Asked to open the blinds as soon as you wake up in the morning, every morning.

Learned to shake your head when saying 'no' and nod your head when saying 'yes'.

Got your first set of crayons and loved it.

Have been a bit poorly for the past few days and made us worried.

February 21, 2013

Hazelnut and raisin bread

Lately, I have been looking for recipes to use all those Christmas leftover nuts that have been lingering around my kitchen for too long now.
There are plenty of appetizing dishes over the internet and I couldn’t really decide if I wanted to use them to add flavor and texture to a main course or add some protein in a dessert type of dish.
I came across an interesting recipeto make bread packed with raisins and hazelnut. The ingredients were readily available (apart from the walnut oil, which I replaced with extra virgin olive oil), but the instructions were a bit fiddly, so I made some changes to make the recipe quick and easy to do, which is more to my taste. That’s what you need.
 The bread turned out to be great for our morning breakfast. Mr G is not a big fan of raisins and wasn’t overly excited about it, but Olivia and I loved it. We ate it as it is, but it should be delicious toasted and very lightly buttered, that’s for tomorrow to try!

February 20, 2013


Today my thoughts are written down on paper, as a reminder. Have a nice and productive day!

February 18, 2013

The 52 project: week 7

We spent the week in Italy, visiting my in-laws. It was cold and snowy for most part, but we had some sunshine and a clear sky towards the end. Little Miss O had a great time playing with her grandparents, the dog and her little cousin. As we spent a lot of time together, we took lots of pictures, both with the camera and the phones, and it was difficult to choose just one that would represent the week. Here is a bunch of  this week photos.

Reading time

Out for a walk

Painting with mama

On the snow with papa

This week you:

Insisted on brushing your teeth every time we went in the bathroom.

Refused to dress up for the Carnival parade. And fell asleep as soon as the parade started.

Had a temperature one night and made us watch two episodes of 'In the night garden' at 1am.

Asked to go and play with the dog, hundreds of times during the day.

Note: I'm publishing this post on Monday this week as we flew back to England on Sunday.

February 13, 2013

Improving my handwriting

Handwriting: the way a person writes

When I was little, probably around 10 years old, I was obsessed with handwriting. I remember filling pages over pages during the summer break, practicing the alphabet. If I look back at my school notebooks, sometimes I can't recognise my own handwriting.....I had so many different styles, and I would change it at the start of each school year. Even my signature has changed considerably over the years. I remember once, the clerk at the bank ask me to 'copy' one of my old signatures, because the way I was signing now was different from the way I had signed only few months back. My handwriting kept changing over the years, and despite the obsession, I couldn't find a nice set of letters to stick to that would satisfy me entirely.
I stopped caring about my handwriting up until last year, before I started writing down my daughter's record book. I wanted it to be perfectly written, so I started practising a bit again!
First thing I did, was to have a look at other people’s handwriting. I always admire people who can write neatly and elegantly even if they are compiling a shopping list. One of these person is my mum; she was a primary school teacher so she had a lot of practice! 
I also love people who can complement their drawings with nice handwritten notes. Love Cathy Johnson sketches and the way she collects info and thoughts about the subject. 
And what about the botanical sketchbooks of Mary Ann Scott…it’s my dream to create one of those! 
Or Kal Bartesky writing art 
And while browsing to find some inspiration I came across Austin Kleon’s blog and his article on how to improve your handwriting
What a relief knowing that I’m not the only one obsessed with handwriting.
So pen in hand I started practicing….
And practicing…
I tried different pens, different papers, different ways of holding a pen and different ways of holding the paper (try writing on a vertical board using your arm and shoulder rather than your fingers or wrist, you’ll be amazed at how the strokes can become smoother)…
And I began writing down the alphabet again…
The picture above was my first attempt to make my own font using this online tool...it was kinda cool to have a preview of how my own handwriting would look like in the digital world.
I’m still not 100% happy with my writing, but it’s getting better and, most of all, I’m enjoying the overall process. It brings back some happy memories and it helps me to release the tension.
I'm always on the lookout for pretty handwriting and thinking of taking a calligraphy course and maybe this BRUSH SCRIPT workshop.
Note: All the pictures above were taken with my phone, with the exclusion of those linked to the web.

February 10, 2013

The 52 project: week 6

It's week 6 and I'm still enjoying this project. This week was a quiet one, little Miss O well had fun with her papa during the day, skyped with her grandparents and uncles during the evening, slept through every night. This week I'm including some pictures of little Miss O with us, as well as a proper portrait of her. I know the host of this project is doing "A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013", but I'd like to think of it as "A portrait of my child's life, once a week, every week, in 2013". It seems more complete to me capture not only my daughter's face, but also her surroundings, what she's up to, what she enjoys or not.
This is her (and us!) this week.


 With mama

With papa

This week you:

Turned 14 months (already baby girls..stop growing so fast!!).

Made us clink our glasses together everytime you had a sip from your water cup.

Welcomed a penguin into your close circle of puppets friends.

Took ownership of papa's Ipad (and it looks like there is no going back).

Enjoyed riding the escalator.

Shook your head to say no!

Note: I've been trying to be consistent with the formatting of these posts. These are my simple rules: some generic text about the week to begin with, some photos (not necessarily portraits) with a brief description, a list of the main events of the week. I'm currently publishing the post on Sunday morning each week, so that I can inlcude some Saturdays' me and her time. 
I'm also trying to use my camera rather than my phone; it won't always be possible, but I'll do my best.
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