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Well Winter is well and truly here and Autumn is a distant memory now all the trees are bare. If you missed it last time, at the end of Summer I posted a summary of where I went and what I did that season and I intend to do one each season over the next few years to keep a record of my wonderful life as it is right now. So here goes….

Travelled to:

Hamerton Zoo

You may have thought I went on safari judging by these photos but actually, I just went to Hamerton. It was a wildlife photography course I did as part of my job…and it was absolutely incredible to get that close to these gorgeous animals.


Japan

OK, I didn’t physically travel to Japan but I went to the Japanese Festival in Spitalfields, London so metaphorically I kinda did (and to be honest getting from one side of London to the other on the weekend is a trip in itself). I ate lots of gyoza. It was good :)

Liverpool

We are both huge Beatles fans, so we caught the train up to Liverpool for the weekend. We had such a blast checking out the Beatles Experience, the Magical Mystery Tour, the Cavern Club and we stayed at a Beatles-themed hotel. So touristy but so much fun!

Marrakech

We popped down to Marrakech for a long weekend in October to check out wedding venues. We had a lovely, relaxing time and ate the most amazing food but we’re still undecided on our wedding plans (Las Vegas is starting to sound like a good idea to be honest!)

Edinburgh

In November I travelled up north to watch the All Blacks play Scotland (for those outside the Commonwealth, the All Blacks are the NZ rugby team!) Watching the AB’s play over in Europe is something I definitely wanted to do when I moved over here and it was so much fun….oh and we won…by a lot.

Amsterdam

Another trip in November and just a quick hop across the water to lovely Amsterdam. I’ve been there a few times before but this was the first time I’d been in Autumn (well it was practically Winter by this stage!) Spent our time wandering the most amazing shopping district across numerous canals and I stumbled across a gorgeous little paper boutique (I’m planning a separate post all about this place, it was amazing!) Then the afternoon was spent in a cosy local bar drinking Amstel and snacking on olives and Dutch cheese – to me, an absolutely perfect day’s traveling!

I listened to:

….so much Arcade Fire. We got the new album (The Suburbs) about the beginning of Autumn so it was pretty much my soundtrack for the season along with their 2 earlier albums (Funeral & Neon Bible). We actually had tickets to their concert which we went to on the 1st of December, but that story can wait for Winter 2010/11!

I watched:

…after about a year of watching it, we finally finished the Sopranos and I’m still convinced it’s the best TV series I’ve ever seen. Now that’s over we’ve moved on to Six Feet Under & Mad Men, both which I’m absolutely loving.

I wore:

…these super-cute shoes from Primark that cost me £8 and lasted me all Autumn, once the Winter rain and snow arrived they completely fell apart – but I wasn’t expecting anything less at that price!

I scrapped:

…in a new style with this Liverpool mini album – I’m a big fan of scrapping in a smaller size and with this one I took a slightly different approach. I shared a simple but sweet Autumn layout and I worked on my Learn Something New Everyday album, which I’ll be sharing in the new year!

I planned:

…our Christmas travels! All I can say is it will be absolutely freezing but charming and very European :)

I dreamed:

…of Christmas and now it’s nearly here! I know that it always sneaks up on me but this year it’s just been insane – I’m in complete denial Christmas is next week, although we’ll be celebrating it this weekend with my sister since we won’t be in London on the 25th.

Autumn 2010 in numbers:

turned 1 year older

1 new lens in my camera bag

1 shot of Scottish whiskey

2 film premieres attended (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows & The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

2 batches of cupcakes baked (including my first batch of Red Velvet cupcakes!)

visited all 4 childhood homes of the Beatles

6 30th birthdays attended (at least!)

10 hours in the air

100+ cups of coffee (out of nowhere, suddenly I’m addicted)

How was your Autumn?

N x

I had some very exciting news this week (this kind of thing never happens to me!).

I was going to tell you all the back story to how we got to this point but I think i’ll just cut to the chase…

Matt and I are finalists (1 of 3 couples!) in a fantastic competition to win our wedding photography by an amazing photographer called Annamarie Stepney! And we desperately need your help as we need people to vote for us to win!

So I would be forever grateful to you if you pop over to Annamarie’s blog, read the competition instructions in the first post, and then pop down to the second post where you can read all about our wedding (and engagement story!) and then vote by commenting on the post about us on her blog – it will only take you a minute, I promise! Just remember you can only vote once and  you need to say “I vote for these lovely people” somewhere in your comment.

This is probably a good time to reveal something else I’ve been keeping quiet for a little while until the right time (now seems pretty good!) – Matt and I are planning on having our wedding in Marrakech!

That’s a photo of me in Marrakech last year and you can see a collage of my favourite photos I took here – we loved the city: bustling, colourful and a bit gritty on the outside, but once you step inside the buildings they’re absolutely beautiful, peaceful places.

We love it.

Thank you guys so much for voting!! It would absolutely make my big day if I was able to have such an incredible photographer document it (and imagine the awesome scrapbooking I could do with such great photos!)

Nat x

This weekend I took part in Shimelle’s online crop, which was my first time doing something like this. I didn’t get to complete as many of the layouts or take as many of the photos that I wanted to, as I had a full day photography workshop on Saturday (and had to work on Friday unfortunately!). However, Sunday was my designated scrapbooking time and I got a few layouts done that I’m very happy with so it was a success.

And here they are…

1. The First Sketch

The photo in this layout was taken during my recent trip to Greece. Taken in Thira, Santorini just before sunset while we sat out on a terrace drinking cocktails, it was such a dream come true!

Surprisingly, this is actually the first sketch I’ve ever done and it’s my favourite layout from the weekend. I’m loving the navy blue, pale pink and white ribbon combo – I think I’ll have to do a whole layout in these colours soon.

2. Scrapbooking with Quadrants

The photo in this layout was taken in the Souks in Marrakech during our holiday to Morocco last year. I don’t think any description I write would do this place justice, it’s like nowhere I’ve ever been before. So much colour, intricate patterns, a mix of scents and flavours and a crazy yet perfect clash of cultures. A truly beautiful and exciting place!

The Basic Grey Marrakech papers were an obvious choice and it was perfect for this challenge which was to use a quadrant of papers.

3. Second Sketch and A Little Pink

I’m not sure if this is in the ‘rules’ or not but I combined two challenges here. I interpreted the second sketch and used a fair amount of pink at the same time. Oh well!

A little about the photos: the one on the left was taken in Barcelona at Park Guell, the photo in the middle was taken in the local park near by old flat where I spent a lot of time in the first 18 months I moved to London, and lastly the photo on the right was taken in Greenwich Park during a snappy outing with Shimelle and a few other girls last Autumn.

I hadn’t scrapped in ages before this weekend so it was fun to get back into it and get inspired again.

N x

Hope you’re having a great weekend so far! This week I want to post a layout I made using my first developed photos from my Diana+ camera that my fiance gave me for Christmas last year. I’d had my heart set on it for awhile so it was the perfect present.

In case you haven’t heard about this adorable camera by now, it’s a recreation of (and homage to) the popular 1960’s Diana camera. It takes 120mm film and has the very technical aperture settings of sunny, partly cloudy and cloudy (represented by cute sun and cloud pictures). The photos they produce have been described as “dreamy, color-drenched, sometimes-blurry, and often-mindblowing” and above all unpredictable.

But that’s the beauty of it.

You never really know how they’re going to turn out and the best part is waiting to open up your packet of developed photos and seeing what you got. As much as I love my digital camera, there is something awesome about having to wait and see :p

This is the first layout I’ve done with photos from this camera, and the pics were taken during our trip to Morocco at Christmas time…

Supplies:

Bazzill Basics cardstock

Basic Grey Marrakech Vanilla Chai paper

American Crafts Shoe Box Thickers (I love this colour and I chose it because it’s similar to the aqua colour of the camera)

Making Memories Tiny Alphas

Sunday night already! Why oh why do the weekends go so fast?

Mine’s been pretty relaxing so far, here’s what I’ve been up to:

Baking vanilla cupcakes with chardonnay frosting, recipe courtesy of Enjoy Cupcakes via Style Me Pretty (so yummy!)…

Doing wedding research and being inspired by lots of pretty dresses – not sure how I’m ever going to choose!

Working on my Moroccan travel journal…

Getting very excited for Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland & browsing Alice-themed pics (I wish I knew where to get this mug!!!)

Wishing you a wonderful week,

N x

{photos: 1,2,4: We Heart It, 3: by Me}

One of the things I loved the most about Morocco was the abundance of colour and pattern everywhere. The beautiful mosiac art decorating the inside of every place we stayed, intricate patterns on ceilings of simple hotel rooms, swirly blue patterns painted on a lonely set of stairs at a small roadside store in the Atlas Mountains and even the signs written in Arabic look like an elegant work of art.

I imagined I would see a lot of bright colours of reds, oranges and bold blues but I was surprised to discover another palette of colours altogether once we left Marrakech. The orange of the desert sand against the bright blue sky and the breathtaking pinks and purples in the Saharan sunset were definite highlights.

Driving across the Atlas Mountains and through more rural towns I saw the most beautiful colours and unexpected colour combinations – the clay that many of the houses are made from is a gorgeous dark dusky pink colour and many of the doors and window grates on the buildings are painted mint green or bright blue with striking white borders. I especially love the mint green/pink colour combination and I was constantly trying to snap the perfect picture from the moving car – which wasn’t easy!

Here’s a photo collage of my favourite pictures that feature colour or pattern that I saw in Morocco that I wanted to share – I think it sums up the beauty of the country and I think it will be great to look back on when I come to scrapping my photos from this trip to remind me of how inspiring it all was when I was there.

Hopefully someone out there finds a little inspiration too.

N x

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

It’s always exciting and motivating to begin a new year and I can’t wait to see what 2010 has in store.

2009 was an incredible year for me, and my fiance and I ended it on a high with an 8 day trip to Morocco – here’s a peek at how we spent boxing day:

Sunset in the Sahara

Morocco is such a beautiful country, with an incredibly rich and colourful culture. Can’t wait to share some more photos with you soon! I’m working on a travel diary/album of this trip so will keep you posted on how it’s going.

Where did you spend Christmas this year?

N x

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