Saturday, 31 October 2009

Trick or Treat

Hi you.
If you're looking for the party .....we're having it at home today.
Kirsty lives here and Julie lives here. [There may be a sneaky link to a treat for you if you look around carefully.]
Please note: if you're wearing a scary costume when you knock on our doors we're both likely to scream and run away!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Glad Tidings We Bring

Hello! Remember we had a little something extra for you? It looks like this.

We’re very excited to announce (and invite you to take part in) a special online workshop - 12 Days :: A Copy+Paste Christmas - running between 5th and 20th November. With twelve full projects, plus a whole bunch of bonus ideas, downloads and tutorials, it’s designed to help you make the most of your creative supplies in the run up to Christmas. What's even better is that we’ve designed each of the main projects, and many of the additional ones, to be adaptable, which means that, instead of turning into giant crafty pumpkins the minute Boxing Day arrives, they’re just as relevant at other times of year.


:: Twelve full projects, including step-by-step instructions and photographs, plus alternative versions and suggestions for customising the project to suit your style and skills. The projects cover papercrafting, gift-making, lifestyle and decorating, and each one is available as a downloadable PDF, so you can print and refer to it whenever you want.

:: Four bonus days, packed with extra projects, downloads and giveaways.

:: An additional bonus project, including printable elements, with instructions for making a folder-book to hold your print-outs, patterns and ideas from the workshop.

:: Project options include gifts for men, women and children, as well as simplified, speedy and eco alternatives, where appropriate.

:: The workshop will be hosted on a password-protected blog, where you can view and download each of the projects as they’re posted, as well as asking us questions and interacting with other students.


:: You don’t need any particular skills or experience to join the class and start making projects. Our tutorials are detailed enough for beginners to follow, but also allow plenty of scope for more experienced crafters.

:: We’ve deliberately tried to create projects which utilise materials you’re already likely to have at home, so any additional outlay is minimal. Both of us are very keen on the theory of ‘use what you have’, and realise budgets can be particularly tight in the weeks before Christmas. Product and supplier links are included where relevant, but each of the projects also includes variations so if you don’t have something, you can work around it. Our hope is that by making more of your Christmas gifts, decorations and accessories, you’ll both save money and enjoy the season a little more!

:: There’s no need to worry about keeping up with projects, or completing things by a particular date. The downloads are available for you to use whenever you’re ready, and we’ll be keeping the blog open for students to log-in indefinitely. The only thing which will be time-sensitive are the giveaways and a few weekend activities we have planned, although you’ll still be able to go back and read those after the event. We’ll both be happy to answer any questions you have throughout the class term, and will aim to do so for a while afterwards, too.

:: The cost is £20 and payment is via PayPal (you don’t need an account to pay this way – just a credit or debit card), or we can alternatively arrange to accept cheques. Please email for more details if you require this option. Once you’ve purchased your class pass, we’ll send you an email with details of the private 12Days blog. You’ll then be able to log in, have a look around, say hello to your fellow students and keep an eye out for a few pre-class surprises.

If you’ve got any questions at all, please feel free to ask them in the comments below or send us an email ( We hope you’re as excited as we are, and look forward to seeing you in class!

Julie and Kirsty


PS. Want to find out a bit more about us to help you make up your mind? Check out Julie's personal blog here and Kirsty's here, or visit us on Flickr (Julie/nabview and Kirsty/planetcoco).

6. The Twelve Days of Christmas (part 2)

For me, Christmas generally starts some time in early July. It's one of the perils of working in publishing and has, in the past, seen me visit mocked-up winter wonderlands in the middle of summer. Tinsel-trimmed houses, roaring log fires, piped Christmas carols and Santa hats all inspire a distinct lack of either comfort or joy when it's 30-degrees outside. So, it was maybe no surprise when I ended up becoming a little bit jaded and (ssshh!) Scrooge-like about the whole affair. What came as more of a surprise - to me at least - was the thing which saved me sinking into full on humbug-ishness, namely the wonderful online community of bloggers and makers embracing the idea of a homemade Christmas. It's a no-brainer, really. Spending time at home creating presents and decorations from your favourite supplies vs. stressing your way through a mall-full of heaving shops buying over-packaged, overpriced and, in the end, often unwanted gifts. Which probably makes me sound, well...pretty Scrooge-like!

What I'm trying to say is that if your heart sinks at the very idea of Christmas when it's still only October, maybe it doesn't need to. Ignore the supermarket aisles already stacked with cards, gift baskets and stodgy festive puddings, and instead, start dreaming up some super-creative ideas for handmade presents, decorations and paper periphery. By way of (hopefully) a little inspiration, here you go with my take on the Twelve Days Of Christmas challenge.

*Paste* : Kirsty's project =
I'm very keen on the idea of changing the details in a room according to the time of year, and slipping festive prints into picture frames fits the bill perfectly. Replacing a few of your regular wall-hangings with Christmas alternatives makes things instantly more seasonal, and without the need to bang in a single extra nail.

For my Twelve Days print, I took inspiration from the words of the song and set them out in a graduated and, ok - fairly predictable, holiday shape. But not wanting to make things quite that obvious, the real challenge of the thing was in picking out the fonts. Each one in some way relates to the day it's representing.

The font for the first day, for instance, is called Partridge, while the three French hens are set out in Parisian and the ten lords-a-leaping represented by Little Lord Fontleroy.

Just in case your fancy is taken by any of the typefaces, here you go with the full list: Partridge, Two Turtle Doves, Parisian, Bird, Ringbearer, Goose Neck, Ronda Seven, Milk Run, Lady Ice, Little Lord Fontleroy, Piper Pie, Boss Drum.

With each one downloaded, installed and set at a suitable size, all that was left to do was to print onto a sheet of linen-textured cardstock and frame. I'm also thinking a smaller version might make for some fun Christmas cards when the time comes.

So, whether you're inspired to try something equally word-y, a more picture-ish project like Julie's below, or just to make an early start on your Christmas plans, we'd love to see what you're up to. Link us up in the comments, or post your projects in the Flickr group.

Meanwhile, I'm going to be just as cryptic as the lovely Miss J and tell you that there might still be a little bit more to come from this particular prompt. Keep your eyes peeled and your diaries open.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

6. The Twelve Days of Christmas

I know, I know, I know.

It's only October and already we're mentioning the 'C' word but bear with us ... there is a good reason ... which we'll tell you all about soon. Until then here's a little early festivity.


The Twelve Days of Christmas

The slight preoccupation with Christmas we're having at chez Copy + Paste may explain how, last week, I mislaid November. After being given a November deadline I couldn't remember precisely when that was. My first response was to wonder why on earth they were giving me a whole year to hand something in ... I mean ...I'm really not that slow a worker.

I've since learned that there's a November sooner than that. Apparently there's one next month. Good to know!

So now I've got that straight in my head ...back to the Twelve Days of Christmas.

*Paste*: Julie's project =
I thought that I'd take the opportunity to share some random [and some very random] photographs from my albums which kind of, mostly, almost-ish fit in with the lyrics of The Twelve Days of Christmas. And so ...

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me:
My true love really did give me the gifts surrounding me here .... but for some reason my expression suggests that I've just been caught looting! [Christmas morning 2008]

Twelve drummers drumming: for the life of me I can't find a single photo in my archives which even vaguely suggest drummers drumming. Please accept this photo of sheep in the road as an alternative:
In a car. Behind some sheep. [July 08]

Eleven pipers piping:They may well be trombone / trumpety things rather than pipes but hey ...whatever .... they're Disney counts. [Disney World Florida 1988]

Ten lords-a-leaping: To be more precise, it's my other half [June 2008] on a kids' trampoline ... but that doesn't sound quite as grand as leaping lords.

Nine ladies dancing:
There may only be five of us but hey ....we've got the moves of all nine!! However it's quite possible that four of those ladies will never speak to me again after showing you this. Appropriately enough I'm the one covering my face. [New Year 1997]

Eight maids-a-milking:Perhaps I won't bother with the whole milking thing. If I looked this startled making it's acquaintance from the front ... can imagine me introducing myself to it's udders???? [Farm open-day, April 09].

Seven swans-a-swimming:

I know there aren't any swans swimming in there but we don't get too many swans in the North Sea . What did you expect? [Aug 09]

Six geese-a-laying:

Some geese are larger than others. [Egg-shaped things on hearth, Oct 09]

Five gold rings:Yes, there's only one ... but it is a rather nice one. [Newby Hall Sculpture Trail, June 09]

Four calling birds:

[Mantlepiece, Oct 09]

Three French hens:OK, so I fully accept that they're not hens, they're cats and they're probably not French either but ...there are three of them and they make me smile. [Newby Hall, June 09].

Two turtle doves:
Me and my big sis. [2007]

And a partridge in a pear tree:

Partridge / dodo. Pear tree / TV table. It's all the same to me. [Living room, July 09] .


Well then, there you have it my friends, a 12-stop sleigh ride through my photo albums old and new. Are you feeling Christmassy yet?

If not, I blame myself ... maybe pot birds, sheep and trampolines aren't the most festive of images. Maybe Kirsty's take on the Twelve Days of Christmas, coming very soon, will help you kick start the merriment and if that doesn't work ....

.... keep dropping in on us as we've got 12 truly festive things on the way which I promise will get you in the mood.

Until then feel free to share any of your Twelve Days related photos, art works etc old and new.

See you very soon,

Julie :)

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