Wednesday 29 August 2007

Taking photos with film

I am starting to change my mind about the digital slr. Some of you may know that I have been dreaming of owning a dslr for some time now -about two years. Omar has always insisted on traditional film cameras but he didn't changed my mind. Although he owns a Nikon FM2, I have never had a real go with it. Until two days ago.
A friend of ours gave Omar an old Yashica SLR, with a medium quality lens as a present. Of course Omar decided that the camera needed a good lens and so it was his first priority in Toronto to get a fitting lens for it -something I really hate about slr: lenses only fit certain cameras, so all the nikon lenses that we have do not fit the Yashica, erhh!
Anyway we got to a Camera Outlet place where you can buy second hand lenses that cost anything from $50CAN, which translates into around 25GBP, a bargain. And Omar found this total cool lens a Carl Zeiss 50mm 1.4, I mean that is a real piece of glass! So even I got excited and couldn't wait to try. And here is the first photo I took with it. My hadnsome husband in a ally downtown Toronto.

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Friday 24 August 2007

Going on Holiday

finally we are going for holiday. We really need it (my husband more than I do). We are off tomorrow afternoon to Canada to stay two weeks with Omar parents. I may be able to upload photos and blog, but no promises!

Take care

Tuesday 21 August 2007


Morroco is one of those countries that you either love or hate, and sometimes all in one day. I personally think that is one of the most beautiful countries I have ever been to, after of course, Italy, Spain and Japan, in no relevant order. This photo was taken in my second trip while we were wearing kind of traditional clothes in one of the valleys around Marrakesh. I used some of the Rusty Pickle Cap'n Jack range including papers, stickers and stamps. You can see all the products here.
By the way, the photo was taken in May 1999, the layout done in April 2007.
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Monday 20 August 2007

Launching Crafty Storage Blog

I have had this idea for a while that it would be great to have a blog dedicated to all the craft storage ideas that we all have. Last week while I was with Julie, she encourage me to do it.
So finally I have decided to do it. It will be at As a trial I have upload some photos of my studio today as well as a couple send by Chrissie.

My idea is to be an open space with a team, but for now if you want to post any photos just pm or email me the photos and wording that explain them.
The labels will be applied for the different ways of storing items, like Buttons, Ribbon and so on..

Any links to wonderful sites with studios/shops will be great and I'll put them as links on the bar.

Everyone is invited to participate and all suggestions are welcome!

Friday 17 August 2007

Mallorca is beautiful

This is my parents swimming pool. Nice.
Every time I go back I have the same feeling. Mallorca is beautiful, but it is not for me. Too hot and humid.

My visit was short planned and very quick, just to see the family and because of that I couldn't see my old university friends, which I miss terribly. But I guess that is life.

I am tireeeed. Thursday (I arrived from Mallorca the night before at 2:30 am!) I had to finish off an article and send it, Friday I met with the fabulous Julie Hickey, her mum and friends for a fun crafty day, and yesterday, Saturday, I taught at the Glitter Pot for the first time. I had a lovely time, but a full class and doing 5 cards in 2 hours both morning and afternoon, is tiring.

And for now that is it. A few things that I need to do this week and then Canada awaits, where we will spend our two weeks of Holiday in my in-laws house, Toronto. (I am already dreaming of all the cheap stash I will be able to buy, but don't tell my husband!)

Ah, and this photo bellow is the view from my old bedroom in my parents house. As my parents rebuilt the house my sister and I were given the choice of big window+ big table or a balcony. Duh! Of course I took the balcony offer and spent many, many, many happy hours looking out and counting the stars from it. The views are just beautiful, no sea, but the most beautiful green valley, village on the top of a hill and as backdrop a gorgeous chain of mountains (highest peak around the 1,500 metres, sorry no feet measurements in my brain) known as the Serra de Tramuntana.

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Wednesday 15 August 2007

I don´t do heat

I mean, it is really hot down here, in Mallorc, and because of that I am really missing the gentle English summer that allows you to enjoy the sunshine. Anyway, I am coming back tonight.
Hopefully I will have some photos to post later on/tomorrow.

Saturday 11 August 2007

Just so you know...

... my family.
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A tiny break

I am going to visit my family in Mallorca for a couple of days, actually four days. So, although I may be able to update my blog during my stay there I don't really thinks it is going to happen.
Have a lovely weekend!

Friday 10 August 2007

An insiders view of Dawn Bibbys world {Part Two}

Yesterday was Craft Day at QVC (UK's leading shopping channel) so it was 24 hours of crafting Dawn kindly ask me to assist her, Amy and Leonie. As always it is hard work, but I really enjoyed myself yesterday. Some of the kits were right up my style although NOT all of them, I assure you. The TSV (Today's Special Value) was a cardmaking set from DO Crafts. I thought it was good value for someone who wants to make all the Christmas cards in a go specially with Upsell (kit that combines with the TSV, but that is a separate purchase) although I would not use all the items.
Working with Dawn at QVC has made me understand loads of things about this shopping channel and how its run. Because of certain rules of the company I can't explain how it works, however I can tell that from the point of view of a scrapbooker it has been an eye opener. I, as many others crafters, didn't quite comprehend certain ways. Now I have a much better understanding of the business and that most decisions are taken outside by non crafting people. Also, they are a big business, they are here to sell and although it may not make sense to us, it does to them.

And a couple of photos from last weekend at Topaz Crafts:

Sunday, around 2pm, Dawn Bibby smiles for the camera. Many people say that she doesn't make an effort to recognize people. Well, I can tell you that she does, but she meets hundreds of people at every event she goes to, I mean I have done demos at few feet from her and seen her talking to tons of people, more than any other demonstrator I have ever seen, all day long and smiling for their cameras and showing what she is doing. Yet this people expect her to remember them when they go to another event months later when they are surrounded by hundreds again. Get real! I don't even meet one fourth of who she meets and already have difficulties to remember names and now even faces, my memory is ok, not great, not bad either!

Another critique that many crafters say about her is that she is a diva. I am not saying that she doesn't come across this way, although others may disagree, but she is very kind and once that you get in her world she is not at all like diva-like. She certainly knows her place in the craft business and she uses it, but it would be silly and unprofessional not to. I always smile to myself when certain people criticize her because of that are themselves what I call a fake-down-to-earth person, that is someone who goes on like "Oh, I am so humble, but you know everyone knows me". Dawn Bibby is arguably the best know face of crafting and of course that implies been in the center of discussion. I find that the two most known crafters that I have come across in this country Julie Hickey and Dawn Bibby both are very straight forward and humble in a real way but they are not apologetic for their success and sometimes that is taken in the wrong way. Well I have to say: Good for them that they have been able to build a solid career in something as nice as crafts.

The photo abode is of Amy, Dawn niece. Some of you may recognize her from QVC, where from time to time she does some presenting. She is lovely, bright and cheerful and right now very pregnant.

Lindsey was demonstrating Oriental cards, using some of Paper Nations decoupage sheets and other bits and pieces. It amazes me how many different fashions seem to coexist in the craft industry. Card making for instance has loads of different ones and depending in which area/group you are some are more predominant than others.

Wednesday 8 August 2007

An insiders view of Dawn Bibbys world {Part One}

So many of you, I am guessing here, have seen or heard of the QVC Craft expert: Dawn Bibby. You may know her also because appears regularly in many cardmaking magazines. Because of her regular appearances on TV she is probably the most know face in the UK craft industry, I mean everybody knows of her and many people have an mental image of how is she. Well, I was no different and I had in my mind an idea.
When I met Dawn for the first time we were in Holland. As exotic as this may sound, it was not exotic at all, more like craft business and fun. Kars, one of the wholesale companies I work for, every year host a demonstrating and buying event at their warehouse in Holland. Kars demonstrators including myself were invited to this event last year, September 2006. There I met Dawn and Leonie, her lovely yet spirited assistant. A few months later Dawn needed another assistant at QVC for a few weeks and she remembered me and offer me the job. Let me tell you that maybe on the screen the whole thing looks really glamorous and fancy, in real life, it is a bit more down to earth. Long, long hours, and when I get there Dawn ussually is already there. She works really hard, so much so that when everyone else is exhausted and cranky, she still has stregh to go in front of the camera and sell you craft stuff.
Going up to Lancashire to demonstrate for the weekend was a first in my crafting life. The demo was Saturday and Sunday, so I drove up on Friday, and thanks to the advice I left fairly early, at least by my standards. My trusted Sat Nav took me via M1: BIG mistake. All in all it took me about six hours when it should had taken me around four and half. But I do enjoy driving and I had plenty of time so it wasn't a major set back.
Got to the Mill (Topaz is within a restored mill converted in to a shopping area), I set up my demo area and helped merchandising a little bit.
As I was staying with Dawn and JJ at their beautiful and comfortable house (it sounds kind of clishe but it is true, honestly) Dawn and I spent the evening making samples, pricing things up and so on until really late (even for my standards). I went to sleep before Dawn did and she kept working for awhile. Oh, boy, I really don't know where she gets the strength to go on.
This two photos, top and bottom, were taken on Saturday night, which means that already an exhausting day of demos all day long had passed by and yet, here we were making cards almost all night. Yes, there is love of the craft, but it is also work!

This photo taken by JJ shows his height, not a short man! also the photo shows how tired we were after 15 hours of work.
I think what it shows is that yes, Dawn Bibby is successful but she works really hard for it.

On the Sunday I did loads of ATC's, a recent love of mine to be honest, but that I really enjoy. It is instant and very fun to swap. This ones were mostly Christmas themed. Yes I know, it is only early August, but for cardmakers this is when everything Christmassy starts.

On the Saturday I concentrated mostly on scrapbooking doing and chatting people on how to start, a few basics and so on. One of the layouts I did at Topaz Crafts using Phoebe collection from Basic Grey, Maya Road tinted clear plasma and American Crafts Chipboard alphabet. This is not the first layout I have done with this photo, but because I like it so much I tend to reuse it. Also it helps the fact that I have quite a few copies, thanks to the perfectionist husband of mine who doesn't stop till he gets the perfect print.

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Tuesday 7 August 2007

Back Home

I am back from a very busy weekend at Topaz crafts. For those who don't watch QVC and don't read any UK craft magazines, Topaz Craft is Dawn Bibby's craft shop located near Accrington. I will try to post later on some photos and an Insiders view of Dawn Bibby's world.

Thursday 2 August 2007

I need a good camera!

And a new computer, and a... well so many things that I would like to have but don't. In the mean time, bad photos will have to do the job of illustrating this entry.
Today I had some friends over and did a scrapping session. I really enjoy this sessions, we enjoy each others company and ideas. Also, everyone can use my tools. Sometimes I really do a lot, sometimes I am just helping. Today was quite productive and I did this two layouts.
The first layout is using a photo that Omar took with hi 1938 Rolleiflex while I was interviewed in the town where I was born, Zaragoza. The white background is 11 inches wide so that the patterned papers that go over edge make up the 12".
The second Layout features the cutest baby, Omar when he was one month old.
Tomorrow I am off to Lancashire to demonstrate at the Topaz Crafts demonstration weekend, where I will be doing some scrapbooking. Don't look forward to the drive, but I have never work up North (if you don't count Scotland!).
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Wednesday 1 August 2007

Shimelle's class

Yesterday I treat myself to an all day class at Creative Pastimes. The teacher: Shimelle Laine, another of my big scrapbooking idols. I had been wanting to go a class of hers for ever and finally I could do it. The theme was Journalling and, she is good! she makes it quite simple to actually sit and think and then write. Of course, for the morning project, a layout, I had to use a photo fo Wasabi. (Sorry about the refection of the flash, as some of you may know I take the photos using my camera phone!)
I look forward to the 24th of August when Shimelle is back at Creative Pastimes to teach about embellishments. By the way, Shimelle's famous cupcakes are as scrummy in real life as they look in the photos.

Sometimes, other scrapbookers/crafters ask me why I go to classes. Although I don't go as often as I would like, because of time and money, I think that everytime that I go to class I learn a lot, not only about a technique or composition but about how to teach. Yes, I did have some proper (although brief) training on how to teach (spanish as a foreign language) but seing someone else as a teacher helps to see how to improve myself and become a better instructor.

So if you have chance, go to a class, you never know what you will learn. Be open minded and think of what you can learn and not what you thought you were going to learn.
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