I remember in past years being so busy with design team work, I felt as though I was missing out on all the fun of challenges because I just didn't have the time to do them. Well in recent-ish months (since wrapping up my last design team job because we were finishing building, and then moving into, our new home and were super busy [understatement of the year]) I've certainly been making up for it; and it turns out that I'm loving challenges ... sketches, colours, inspiration, whatever. You name the type of challenge and I'll pretty much give it a go. Back in 2008 before we started building our house I used to run a monthly challenge at ScrapChat and had a blast. Maybe in 2012 (trust me its really not that far away!!) I'll start one up again or perhaps just set them for myself each month. In any event, I love challenges and at ScrapChat we are never short of a challenge or two or twelve LOL!!! Here are a couple to share ...
So my buddy Jen (heh Jen!) likes to throw out these random challenges at ScrapChat from time to time. Back in December Jen challenged us to create a layout inspired by the following poem Warning by Jenny Joseph, a poem which (from memory) saw the founding of a social group called The Red Hat Society which has now spread worldwide ...
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall got out in my slippers in the rain
And pick flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes.
But we now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
~ Jenny Joseph
This was my resulting layout ...
What a wonderful opportunity to really go to town with some gorgeous, 'glamourous' products like SEI and Chatterbox artsy.licious flocked patterned paper, American Crafts rose ribbon, Pink Paislee Parisian Anthology ruffled darlings, a Tim Holtz Rosette die; and to have fun with the Scrap FX chipboard handbag and shoe and some paints, glossy accents and Viva Decor Croco in white. A million thanks to my friend Susan (heh Susan!) for the perfect finishing touch ... a handmade, red, satin ribbon, rose.
The next random challenge Jen threw out was in response to the devastating floods we saw strike Queensland in (at that time) early January. Little were we to know of the future devastation to come not only to Queensland, but to all of Australia's eastern states. Jen challenged us to create a layout inspired by the floods and by the Australian classic My Country by Dorothea Mackellar ...
The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes,
Of ordered woods and gardens,
Is running in your veins.
Strong love of grey-blue distance,
Brown streams and soft, dim skies --
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains,
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror --
The wide brown land for me!
The stark white ring-barked forests,
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountain,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.
Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die --
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.
Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back three-fold.
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze ...
An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land --
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand --
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.
~ Dorothea Mackellar
Here is my layout ...
At the time I created my layout I desperately hoped no-one would feel I was trivialising what was happening in Queensland by scrapping about our experiences with 'freak weather' whilst building our new home. Interestingly since scrapping this layout, our new home was again flooded, although far more extensively, during more 'freak storms' in Melbourne and we are currently waiting to have the carpet, bamboo flooring, plasterboard, etc all replaced in the main section of our home. Isn't it ironic ... don't you think ...
BTW I kept this layout very simple as I wanted the photos and the journaling to be the primary focus. The Fancy Pants Kraft KutsDerwent watercolour pencils though were the perfect embellishments to add a little lightness to what was otherwise a very dark hour for all Australians.
That's it for the random challenges from Jen. In fact someone at ScrapChat might need to give her a nudge to let her know we haven't had one in a while ...