Transition Complete!

Around a week ago I made the call to combine my blogs once and for all. I thought it might be nice to update my theme a bit given this blog was branded to match my business rather than reflect what it now is; a blog about home life and hobbies. This layout feels more ‘me’ than my previous layout. 

I stumbled on my archived web banners yesterday and thought I might post them here for a bit of nostalgia and my own reference should I get any silly ideas about splitting again!

Hollyhock Hollow – my original craft, house and garden blog. Built on wordpress. Self hosted. Circa 2008 – 2010

hollyhockhollowbannerhhh2 copyhhhhollyhockhollowbanner

Red Wren Designs, then The Red Wren’s adventures in craft land were early craft blogs which I had on Blogger as there was a really big craft community happening there at the time. Circa 2008-2009redwrenbanner5redwren9redwrenbanner8redwren11

Then I bought a red-wren domain and set up my own wordpress, combining Hollyhock Hollow at the same time. 2009 – now


Then I missed having a house and garden blog, so My Renvironment was born and I split all my content up again. 2010 – 2014



For a very brief period of time I also had Sew Renae! Which was for garment sewing, but my garment sewing has been so sparse that it seemed a bit silly to have a blog for it. 2012-2013


So there we go!

As your reward for sticking with me through the changes; I’ll have some new Project Life freebies up later in the week.

This entry was posted in Update.

Photo organisation

FSfilesI’m always interested in how other people organise their photos when it comes to weekly scrapbooking. Today I’m sharing my process.

I’ve been using a program called Faststone Image Viewer (FS) for many years to manage photos and images. This program is really rich in features, yet it’s completely free.

I import all photos into a folder called ‘sort me’. Once my photos are imported I add them to the appropriate week folder. I downloaded Caylee Grey’s file structure which saved a lot of time.

Once I’ve added all the photos to a given week, I create a new folder within that week called ‘For PL’ and proceed to move all the photos I want to use into that folder. After I’ve finished editing, I save the photo with the weeks’ prefix in front into the ‘Print Me’ folder. I then move all the photos out of For PL back into their week folder and delete the For PL folder. This acts as a visual for where I am up to. As you can see I’m currently quite a few weeks behind.

I then upload photos for printing from the Print Me folder, which contains a sub-folder called ‘Printed’. Once I’ve picked photos up and put them into my album, I move them to Printed.

Aside from using Faststone to manage my photos, it has some really good features of it’s own. Double clicking a photo will open it full screen with a range of tools available; you can crop, resize, auto fix, adjust lighting, curves, levels and sharpness, clone, and fix red eye to name a few. There’s a draw board that allows you to add text to your photos, as well as shapes, speech bubbles, and watermarks. You can also open the photo in other programs from there, and often I’ll do basic edits in FS before sending it to Photoshop (PS) as some things are just faster to do in FS. menu

Many of the tools available in the full screen edit mode.

Another convenient feature is being able to drag and drop images from FS straight onto whatever I’m working on in PS. When I’m digi scrapping I’ll have FS open with my supplies, then when I need something I look for it in FS, then drag it to PS. You can drop it onto your existing canvas or onto a blank space which opens it. I find this process less time consuming that looking for and opening images in Photoshop. FS will also give you thumbnails of PSD’s which is something PS no longer does making it hard to identify templates. This process would be even more enhanced if I had two monitors as I could have on program per monitor instead of flitting back and forth.


Digital scrapbooking supplies in Faststone; I then drag and drop whatever I wish to use into Photoshop

Lastly, I use the batch processing tools a lot. I use batch processing for two main things; after I’ve edited all my photos I add 3% to the canvas to prevent borders and things being chopped off during printing, and to change the size and dpi for my web images.

So that’s how I sort my photos out. You might have a much easier way, but this works for me! Do you have any tips you would like to share? If you want to look at Faststone, their page is here. I am not affiliated with them, and do not benefit in any way if you choose to download the program.

Stashbusting 2014


I cleaned up my sewing room this week, and while organising my fabric stash I felt a real sense of sadness that I’ve done so little with so much of it. The piles of  Christmas fabrics, the sweet children’s prints, the repro feedsacks… all purchased so enthusiastically with big and little plans in mind, yet relegated to a plastic container for 2+ years.

After allowing myself to wallow for a minute in perceived failure, I pulled myself together and decided that I can change this, I can change it right now, and thus Stashbusting 2014 was born.

The aim? Simple; to use as much fabric by the end of the year as I can. I’ve been collecting some sewing ideas and patterns on a Pinterest board to refer to, as well as pulling together various patterns I have here. I’ll report back weekly on how I’m doing.

What about you? Do you need to do some serious stashbusting, or are you more of a buy and use kind of person?

Change is in the wind…

I’m in the process of consolidating my ‘My Renvironment’ blog with this blog. At present things are really messy, and I probably shouldn’t be moving everything around while the blog is live, but I am because it’s a while since I’ve posted here so not many people are visiting at present.

My blog is no longer going to be for all things sewing and craft related, instead I’m bringing all home related things across, as well as my newest passion, which is rediscovering scrapbooking, but in the form of Project Life. There will still be lots of sewing though, as I set myself a bit of a sewing challenge yesterday to get stuck into my stash.. more on that shortly!

Anyway, please stick with me through all the changes, and regular posting will happen soon!

This entry was posted in Update.

New look…

A few months ago I gave my blog a facelift, but if truth be told; I kind of hate it. I stepped out of my usual style and just haven’t been happy with it to the detriment of blogging.  I hastily popped a new header up a while ago while playing with some ideas and have essentially created a mess.

This is my long winded way of saying; stick with me! My blog looks abandoned, but it really isn’t. A new layout is coming along with lots more freebies, posts about Project Life as I slowly catch up, and digital scrapping which I’ve recently given a go. I may even have a recipe or two to share.


This entry was posted in Update.