Challenge Four – Monochrome and an older photograph

So I groaned when I saw this title. I just threw away hundreds of old photos that I felt I would never scrap. I have a new life and I’ve scrapped that old part of my life already and I have no desire to keep revisiting it. So out they all went (I did keep the digital versions on a hard drive – I’m not completely heartless, I just don’t need them taking up physical space).

So the oldest photos I have printed are from January 2012. So that’s my “old”. My monochrome colour for this one is blue. I have no idea where the paper came from and I’m enjoying discovering my paper supplies again. The waves were apt because the photos were taken down by Liverpool’s waterfront and the scraps of material were near the top of my sewing box and caught my eye.

The journalling talks about how I love having a willing model – Pete will stand in front of anything so I can take a photo!

ShimelleWeekend - 1 (3)

Challenge Three – Colour Blocking

So I wasn’t really sure what this was but I think this layout meets the brief. It feels like a lot of my layouts – maybe I’ve been channeling early Creative Memories techniques without realising it!

The photos are of three of my favourite Liverpool based singers. Paul Dunbar, Robert Vincent and Gary Edward Jones. All three are amazingly talented and you can’t go wrong seeing any of them perform. Check them out if you’re in Liverpool. ShimelleWeekend - 1 (2)

Shimelle’s challenge is here.

Challenge Two – What do you value

So the next challenge today was to scrap something that has value to you. Well, it was a no brainer really – the most important, valuable thing in my life is my came… no wait, my husband, it’s my husband 😉

And my home town. The two are intrinsically linked and between them they ground me and keep me sane. And I love them both more than words can say.

 

Read the challenge from Shimelle here.

Challenge One – Return to Scrapbooking

I was once an avid scrapbooker. I took photos purely for scrapbooking purposes. I spent vast amounts of time and money on paper and glue and ribbon. A couple of house moves left me without a permanent crafting space – my desk was always covered with hairdryers, make up, clothes etc. I just moved house again and once more I have a dedicated crafting space. And fortuitously this weekend one of my scrapbook heroes is having an online weekend of scrapping loveliness.  So here I am. Ready to join in with Shimelle and her army of scrapbook fans. First up – monochrome – not just black and white but scrapping with one colour. So predictably I picked green. A colour I love more than any other. And it has a very special meaning to me. Here’s my first layout for over a year.

My first layout - monochrome colour.
My first layout – monochrome colour.

Know your audience

Day Four is about understanding your audience and writing a post specifically aimed at your target audience. Well first off, I never actually thought about having an “audience”. I write and ramble away here and I’m sure a couple of my friends look in from time to time but generally the stats would suggest I’m not exactly going to fill Wembley stadium with my followers.

So to have to write something that is deliberately designed to engage with this until now imaginary audience is a little daunting.

Who do I want my words to be read by? I guess if you look at the blog overall I talk about music and photography a great deal. They are the two overriding passions in my life and I’m nearly always engaged in one or both of those things. Unless I’m in work and even then I get to work with other people’s photos so it’s still there!

So I guess a pre-requisite for being a member of my audience is you must love music and photography.

Also this audience thing isn’t a one way street – show me your photographs for me to fall in love with and need to know how/why/where. If you’re in a band send me a song to sing along to and if you live in Liverpool and you’re a musician ask me to come and take your photograph at a gig. In return I will share my photographs with you, I will sing along to your songs and tell my friends how wonderful you are. That’s how the audience thing works here! Two way street.

So now we’re getting a little bit closer to understanding who you, my audience, are.

I’m obviously also a writer. I’ve always been a writer but sometimes it was just in my head, that book I was always going to write stayed firmly in my head for many years. This time last year it emerged into a 26,000 word draft as part of NaNoWriMo but has subsequently retreated and just teases me from time to time with a fleeting idea. It is something I am desperate to finish so I can get someone to read it and tell me either it’s a pile of tosh or it’s going to make the bestsellers list with a little work.

So maybe my audience is also that – part frustrated writer. Struggling to make their voice heard, struggling to find the discipline. Give me a little digital High Five if you’re struggling too. Hopefully you understand and are nodding along as you’re reading this paragraph. And I appreciate the irony that while I’m taking the time to write about not being able to write my novel, I could be writing my novel.

I consider myself to be a generally creative person – sewing, crochet, scrapbooking, writing, photography. Creativity comes in many forms and is something I’m so grateful I have the freedom, time and money to explore. Sure I’d like more time and money to be creative, who wouldn’t? But I’m also blessed above all to have the freedom – my life is not a constant struggle for food, shelter, warmth or any of the other things that stifle creativity. So in my little way sharing the fruits of this freedom is my way of saying thank you to the universe for putting me in the position to be able to.

Time to share a little bit of myself with you by pointing you in the direction of my Pinterest page.

I’m not prolific here – I forget about Pinterest on a regular basis then someone shares one of my pins and I go back and play with it for a while. So feel free to share and give me a virtual dig in the ribs to add some new content. I think my boards are pretty much a reflection of everything I’ve been talking about here. Oh and this counts as a new piece of content for my blog as I’ve never shared Pinterest here before.

Instagram is another of those sharing experience type apps I forget to use. It’s invariably coffee or food so if you’re not into either of those I’d give my Instagram account a miss! If you love your coffee come and follow me and we can share coffee moments.

So I think that’s it – I think I’ve worked out who you are, dear reader. You’re creative, you love music and photography and you want to share those blessings with the world. Hey, you’re just like me so we’re going to get along just fine.

Tags and Blogs

Just catching up on some of the things I’ve been doing this week following along with Blogging101. So we had to add new tags to our Reader and follow some new blogs.  So here’s what I added:

  • Bruce Springsteen – I’m a newcomer very late in life to the wonder of this man’s music. I am currently, under the tutelage of a very good friend and long time Springsteen admirer, working my way through the back catalogue. I’m starting with the acoustic stuff as that fits in with my general taste in music – Devils and Dust is a revelation. It’s truly sublime and I urge you to try it out if you’re not already acquainted with The Boss.
  • Crochet – I struggle with my love of crochet – I find it equally frustrating and satisfying depending on how well a project is going.
  • Liverpool. My home town. Where I live. This tag however seems to lean very heavily towards non English blogs about my football team. Not what I was looking for so I may have to refine this tag.
  • Photography. This tag will be a slippery slope into many, many hours looking at other people’s photos.
  • Running. I have a love hate relationship with running. When I’m doing it I love it – I love the sense of freedom, of control over my body. When I’m lying in bed at 5:30am contemplating going to the gym I hate it. Maybe this tag will help me reduce the hate.

So these are the new tags I’m going to be keeping an eye on and I think they sum up my life pretty well right now.

So on to the new blogs I’m following.

  1. Edge of Humanity – I love this already – photo journalism at its best I think. Feels like I’m going to spend a lot of time here.
  2. Nerdy Book Club – Haven’t really visited this site yet but I know I’m going to love it. I’m a nerd. I’m writing a book. I read books. What’s not to love.
  3. Wandering Cows – I was attracted to this site because of the most recent post. Another Place is one of my favourite places. I worked on the local newspaper (before it closed) for this area and one of my great pleasures was curating the Flickr group which was always full of images from Crosby Beach.
  4. Speaking as a child of the nineties – this is a blog by a fellow Blogging101 member and I liked the layout and the writing style – I hope this is the start of a beautiful reader/blogger relationship!
  5. Digiphile – in a former life I was a web designer/editor and I’m currently a proof reader/content editor (this isn’t my job title but Community Content Curator tells you nothing about what I do!) so I like to keep up with what’s happening in the digital world.

Taglines and Titles

Today’s task was to create a tagline for my blog but I already have one – Messing About With WordPress. I don’t really want to change it because it sums up what I use my blog for. I never really set out to do anything other than learn how to use WordPress but somewhere along the way I stopped playing with WordPress on a regular basis.

Originally I thought about being a self employed web designer. I worked for one of the big four banks in the UK in IT and when i was made redundant that’s what I planned to do so I thought being a whizz with WordPress would be a help. I spent a few months trying to get some customers, failed, panicked and took a full time job.

I dabbled in WordPress on and off, the odd post, some photos but then a few days ago I decided to take a Blogging course so I’m back – Messing About With WordPress.