Saturday, 10 December 2011

JYC 2011

Although I'm not managing to blog much, I am managing to keep up with the JYC prompts.  Having the pages already pre-made has definately helped.  I play catch up every few days, when I can squeeze in a crafty moment.  I had originally thought I would just journal this year, but looking back over Christmas photos gone by, I have decided to add them in between.  Some from this year and some from prior years - they may reflect the subject of the prompt or they may just be because I like the photo.  This will probably happen when I have a few days off between Christmas and New Year when I have time to locate all the photos etc!

Here are my pages so far. Hopefully by the time you read this I wil have caught up again and done 7,8 and 9!

Excuse the rubbish photos due to lack of daylight but if I don't take them when I can grab a moment, I'll never take them.

The whole process is helping me enjoy the month of December, instead of getting stressed about how much I have to do. 

Have a Christmassy weekend whatever you are doing!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Look what I won!

Everytime I think I have found time to blog something else crowds in and demands my attention.   The to do list appears to be getting longer but the time to get it done shorter. No different to most of us I suspect at this busy time of year.  However I did want to stop by to tell you about lovely parcel of goodies that arrived in the post last week. 

Ruth hosted a blog Christmas giveaway and I was one of the lucky winners!  I was so thrilled when I read about it on my way home from work last week, especially as I had such an awful day!  However I was even more thrilled when the parcel arrived.  Just look at all this Christmas loveliness.

All I can say is "wow" and thank you so much Ruth for such a lovely prize!

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Let the Countdown begin

So we are all set.

The girls advent calenders are ready with chocolates popped into the pockets. 

I made these for the girls a few years ago and they come out each year.

Even Honey and Bunny are ready!

And completed this morning a "brownie" advent calender with a good turn in each match box!

Are you counting down?

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Tis all prepared!

Yes folks I have some how managed to prepare my JYC album this year.  I can't quite believe it myself.  I signed up for JYC in 2009, but did not make it past day 8.  Last year I didn't even attempt it but this year I really wanted to give it another go.  I fell in love with the Christmas kit on Shimelle's blog and ordered it. So after spending the money I really wanted to do something with it. By squeezing in a few crafty moments here and there I have got it done.

I have never pre-made pages in an album before, but I'm hoping by getting these done I can simply add the journalling, a few replenishments and it will get done.  I have a note book at the ready, and plan to scribble my notes each day and then work on the pages as and when I can fit them in. 

 I've gone for 6x6 this time and hope this will be a manageable size.  I'm also only going to go up to New Years Day - a page for most days with Christmas Day etc maybe will be two pages.  Sometimes there will be photos - sometimes not.  So that's the plan - watch this space as I hope I will be able to manage to blog a few completed pages here and there!

I can hardly comprehend we are nearly at the 1st!  Since my last post, I'm feeling a lot better.  I managed to get on top of most Christmas things and have all my lists and plans in place which always helps me feel better.

Bring on the Christmas madness!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Fading energy

Some weeks you feel full of get of and go and others you just seem to fade.  This week my energy cells are low and my to do list seems never ending.  Christmas now seems to be hurtling towards me and yet I have little enthusiasm  to engage with its reality.  I do have periods like this and I know that I can get through them - yet whilst in it, I do feel like I'm wading through very sludgy mud. The low light levels at this time of year play havoc with my mood, so please bear with me!

I did feel a spark of Christmas cheer whilst in convent garden this weekend and admired their decorations.

I don't think I have ever seem baubles of this size!

My plan in the next few days is to start my JYC album - I have the paper and album - just need the energy.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

The sound of silence?

There is a strange sound in our house this weekend - silence!  Both the girls are away.  The oldest has gone on a PGL (outdoor activities) weekend with the school and the youngest is on her first brownie weekend.  Not sure I would enjoy it every weekend but it does make a pleasant change to able to be conduct a conversation with hubby and actually finish it in one go!  We are away to London later today to meet brother in law and partner and some of partners french family(who speak little English and we speak little French!) for dinner and then theatre which should be fun.

Anyway I dropped in to share a layout I did the other evening.  When I first started my blog you may remember that I used to post my "Monday memories" - it was the photo from the calender that sits on my desk which changes every Monday.  Whilst I haven't posted a "Monday memory" for a while, I obviously still turn the calendar every week. So when these photos turned up, I decided that I wanted to scrap them.  So I did.

This is my hubby and youngest taking a step back in time. We took a trip to the national trust village of Laycock, which has been used some of the Harry Potter films and also where Cranford is filmed.  In the house, one of the rooms was set up as a little studio with clothes and props.  So they both dressed up and Frederick my brother in laws super talented partner took the photos.

I really like this page - its the first one I've done for a long time not using a sketch as inspiration.  I also did it really quickly.  Once I had decided the placement of the patterned paper and photos, I just stuck them down and then let the rest evolve.  Normally I place everything and then take a long time to commit to actually sticking - sometimes even leaving for a couple of days.  However more recently, I have being better at just sticking it down - its only patterned paper after all.  What is important is getting the memory recorded.

Hope you all have a great weekend whatever you are doing!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Am I allowed to mention the C word yet?

As it is now November, I think I can post about Christmas?  Well anyway if you can't bear to consider it until at least the first of December please look away now.

Some years I make my Christmas cards, some years I don't.  As always it depends on time. I don't stress and am quite happy to buy if I don't manage to get them done. This year I hadn't really given them much thought and then the very talented Mary Anne posted some Christmas printables on her blog - here and here.  Anyway I thought why not and over the weekend I produced these;

As they are simple in design and construction, I managed to make nearly 30 in only a few hours. 

If you not ever visited Mary Anne's blog do take a look as there is a lot to inspire you and she is very generous with her ideas. 

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Firework Fantastic!

For the last few years we have spent Bonfire night with my brother-in-law and his partner Fred.  They live opposite a park which puts on a fantastic display to music and this year was no exception.  Having not taken any photos at previous years, I thought that I would try out the firework setting on my camera.  Well I say I, but in the end hubby took the photos as he is taller than me.  Anyway its a sort of point and hope process but here are a few of my favourites;

I love fireworks so I'm glad I now got these photos to scrap.

Perhaps I'll some find inspiration in here; 

I did a little happy dance when this popped through the letterbox on Monday. It is packed full of layouts - all different styles - lots to get the mojo moving.  Well done to all those involved.  Having now seen the first one in the flesh, I think a subscription is in order.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Game On!

After enjoying a lovely Sunday lunch at Simon and Fred's (my brother in law and partner), Louisa decided we should play checkers. However rather than use a traditional game board, she decided that bigger was better.  Much more fun to use the checked rug for the board and cocktail umbrellas for the pieces! (you gotta love her style) It was Daddy against Louisa but we all gathered round to watch and give advice when needed.  Good old fashioned Sunday afternoon fun!

This story was bought to you as part of "Story Telling Sunday".  Click here to enjoy some more stories.

Have a lovely Sunday!

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Using paper bags

A few weeks ago Sian From High in the Sky kindly offered her readers some paper bags and I look advantage of her offer. She also gave instructions for how to construct an album from said paper bags.  So over the half term I gathered my supplies and photos and created my own album.  Its of our holiday in Devon that my youngest and I (along with my Mum and Dad) took at the beginning of the summer holidays.

I made the covers from some chipboard and used 6 bags in total.

I left the paper bags open and added pages which can be pulled out - as you can see below.

This is the first mini book I have made for ages and really enjoyed it - the process of making and then filling up the pages.  So a big thank you Sian for the paper bags.

PS just a quick update on the phone situation - it did arrive on Tuesday as promised however I did not get a phone call to explain what had gone wrong.  You win some, you lose some!  And the oldest is very pleased with her new phone, so someone is happy.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

A litte rant and some more 2011 album pages

Sorry but I need to indulge in a little rant today - not something I normally do here but some things need to be said.  Yesterday I was expecting a delivery of a new mobile phone for my eldest daughter.  I waited and waited and then at 4.20 got a text to say they had called but there was no-one in!!  Well as you can imagine I was a little surprised at such news as I had been in all day!  Anyway then ensued many conversations with many people, who could not help me until 5.30 I eventually got someone who did! Sadly by this time it was too late to get my phone delivered so it should arrive today.  What makes me so cross about the whole episode is that at every turn, no-one wanted to take responsibility for the problem - "oh its not my job/department".  To me good customer service is about someone listening to my issue and then doing everything they can do to sort it out - not passing me from pillar to post having to explain the problem yet again.  In fairness the final man I spoke to did just that but by this time I had steam coming out of my ears!!  Too often these days when you phone a call centre, they have not been trained to deal with problems that are not on their "script"!   In my book if you take a call from a customer with a problem you should take ownership and sort it out.  Anyway rant over now.  I am sat here waiting for the phone and also a call from the delivery company to explain what went wrong yesterday - call me cynical but I don't hold out much hope for either!  I'll keep you posted.

So lets move from the negative to the positive.  I had a great time at the crop on Saturday.  Thank you for those that offered advice - you were right - everyone was lovely and friendly and very willing to lend out anything I'd forgotten.  It was fantastic to meet people that love scrapping like I do and totally "get" it!  There were two ladies new to scrapping - a mother and daughter and I think by the end of the day they were totally hooked.   

Anyway in between the chatting I managed to complete my February pages from my 2011 album, so I was pleased.  I think what I enjoyed the most was not being interrupted to have to feed children/find things/empty washing machines - you know the normal stuff that goes on at home!

Its going to be a monthly affair and whilst I can't make the November date, I will be able to go in January. I can't wait.

Friday, 28 October 2011

A big thank you

First a big thank you from me to you dear blogger friends for all your lovely comments about my 2011 album pages I showed you in my last post.  Your encouragement really does mean a lot and I am determined to see this album through and complete it.

The end of half term approaches and we have had a lovely time - it has great having no deadlines - it has been the rest we all really needed before the silly season starts.  On Wednesday we enjoyed a lovely day at Cliveden with friends - the rain held off and the sun shone.   Just a perfect day!

In other news, I am off to my first ever crop tomorrow - I'm excited to be meeting some "real life"  scrappers but nervous as I won't know anyone.  I'm also panicking about what to take - any suggestions will be gratefully received!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

2011 Album - April Pages

So far this half term we have enjoyed making dens, loft sorting,  a scrummy sunday lunch, a little shopping and today spending time with friends. Phew so much already and still loads more planned. I've realised that this is the first holiday this year that I have spent at home and I'm loving it.  Just be able to take our time and not follow any schedules is great - I am definitely going to have more holidays at home it 2012!  

Anyway I thought I would show you some more pages from my 2011 album that I worked on last week.   April was a very busy month for us, and I had loads of photos to choose from!  So  much so that I put in two lots of divided page protectors.

Here is the first page, showing our family celebration at Easter;

Then will follow the two divided pages - I'm just showing you one - but both sides;

Then the final page giving a glimpse of our Euro Disney Adventure.

Again to tie the two 12x12 layouts together, I've used the same backing sheet and  same patterned paper.

So thats Jan, March and April completed.  Next on the agenda is February.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Hurray its Half Term!

And I am off work for the week.  So I'm looking foward to kicking back, chilling out and;

Also on the agenda is some crafting with paper bags, printed faces and fabric squares.  There also may be some contemplating of "Chri***mas.  But there will definitely be catching up with friends and lots of fun.

Hopefully I will be back during the week with further updates.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Discovering Scrapbooking.

When did you discover scrapbooking? 

Do you remember - was there a single defined moment in time.  Probably not.  I don't really know how I came to be knee deep in patterned paper but at some point whilst lurking among the craft magazines at WH Smith I picked up Scrapbook Inspirations (RIP) and from then on was hooked.  I do remember I bought the magazine for many months, before actually completing a page!!  I just didn't know where to start.  But obviously I did start, and now a few years on I can't imagine stopping.  

Would you like to see my first ever page?  Well actually it is two pages - yes a double layout!  (Since then I've only ever done one other DLO)

There are many things on these pages that I simply don't do now or don't like. However I do see the beginnings of my style - ie clustering the embellishments around the photos - I still tend to do this now.  I have read that some people go back and redo their old layouts which is not something I would choose to do mostly because I have hardly got enough hours to scrap the photos I want to let alone re do old ones!!  But mainly because, when my daughters look through these albums, they are not interested in the style, the choice of paper and the design. No they want to see the photos, read the details and talk about their memories. After all that is for me the reason for all the pretty paper.

So do you remember when you started scrapbooking?  Are you brave enough to show your first layout?  

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Inspired by.....

On my latest wanderings around the internet, I have been very taken with the all the embroidery hoop art I have seen. 

These are so simple yet effective - swatches of Liberty prints hooped up - taken from the Purl bee blog.

Or how about this one;

Love the cute applique hearts - it is a wedding present and the couples name and date of the wedding have been stamped on the fabric - the details can be seen here.

Or perhaps a something more seasonal;

If you search Pinterest or Etsy you will find many more examples.  

Anyway it got me thinking that maybe I could make one myself.  So yesterday I searched around my crafty stash and dug out an embroidery hoop and some fabric came up with this;

I used a house template found here.

I enjoyed doing this and will definitely have a go at making some more. This is destined for some friends who have recently moved house - I hope they like it.

So what about you - what is inspiring you at the moment?

Thursday, 13 October 2011

2011 Album - progress made!

Back here I posted about my 2011 album and showed off my March pages.  Since then I've done nothing more.  But as we approach the end of the year, I am in finishing mood and I do want to complete the album.  Over the weekend I managed to do my January pages, which document our New Year in Okehampton.

Whilst I'm not coordinating all the way through the album, I am doing so for each month.  Both full page layouts use the same background paper and I used the same paper range for the patterned paper. Between these two pages will be a divided page protector - this is not quite done as I need to get some more photos printed off.

Whilst I had the album out, I organised the photos for the February and April pages - I just need to add the journalling to the divided pages and complete the actual pages.  I've also started to compile a photo box order for May/June/July and August.  There seems like a lot to do but I am determined to complete it.

What about you - as we approach the final few months of the year are you finishing off!

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

M&M World

During the Summer Holidays, we spent a day in London to celebrate my brother in laws birthday.  As we strolled near Leicester Square, we happened upon M&M world.  Yes believe it or not a whole shop with several floors dedicated to M&M's!  Yes I thought the same - how could you possible fill a whole shop with M&M merchandise.  Well apparently you can, and they have.  
Anyway the oldest wanted to go inside the shop - something we all found slightly strange as she has a severe peanut allergy and we don't allow M&M's in the house.  Fortunately the peanuts have to be eaten to cause the reaction, so we were quite safe!   Anyway the shop was very busy, very colourful and and very, very loud.  Something I tried to reflect in my layout.

As you can see from the photo, whilst the oldest loved it, I don't think the youngest was quite so sure.

The M&M man to the left of the layout belongs to my husband.  He was a present from his best friend, during the time we shared a flat.  As I'm not a lover of red plastic items it was banished to the loft for many years, but recently escaped and now seems to live in our TV room.  As you can imagine my husband thought it was highly amusing that I used it as a prop in the photo, considering I have threatened to throw it out on many occasion.  It probably deserves a layout of its own!

Monday, 10 October 2011

10 things

10 random facts about me!

1.  I am addicted to chocolate - Dairy Milk is my fave.
2. I cannot drive.
3. I went to teacher training college but work as an accounts administrator.
4. I sing in a Choir.
5. I'm clerk to the governing body at a local infant school.
6. My favourite TV programmes include Spooks, House, Holby City and Lewis. (do you spot a theme!)
7. I have been married 16 years.
8. I love musicals - "Joseph and his Technicolour dream coat" is my all time fave - "My Fair Lady" a close second.
9. My favourite colour is Blue.
10. I have a younger brother.

To enjoy more "10 things" pop over to Shimelles.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Starting to Explore again.

Back at the beginning of the holidays I signed up for Shimelles Explore Class.  I started well, making the "playbook" and completing the first two prompts. And then I was not so good as summer madness took over.

Anyway bearing in mind that Shimelles no stress mantra, I have dragged it back out and I'm determined to complete it, but am not going to worry about how long it takes me.

Prompt 3, involved maps and making establishments using circles.  Below is my page from my playbook;

Back before we had children, hubby and I did alot of walking and have accumulated many OS maps, which I photographed.  I enjoyed using the maps in my crafting and will definitely use this idea again.  On the back I journalled about my eldest daughters transition to secondary school and how I need to remember to take a step back and let her "find her own way"!

Whilst I'm here I like to thank you all for your lovely comments  - I'm so glad to be back in the swing of blogging again.  I have been trying to comment myself but at times blogger is not behaving and I can't work out why.  

Enjoy your Saturday what ever you are doing.


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