December has been particulary stressful in these parts and I have really not felt like blogging. At times I really thought the to do list would never come to an end. However we are now here - its Christmas Eve - the sacks have been laid out, the Santa plate is laden with a glass of sherry, mince pie and carrot for Rudolf. Santa has been tracked via the app and its too late to worry now about what hasn't been done.
Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas, may it be filled with blessing and joy!
We have lived in our house for just over 18 years and to celebrate our first Christmas here we bought ourselves an artificial tree from B&Q. It was the year before we got married, so money was fairly tight but we decided to splash out - I think we paid nearly £100 - which back in 1994 seemed like a fortune. However I'm happy to report it was money well spent as it is still the same Christmas tree we bring out each year and it looks as good now as it did back then.
Christmas 2005 - waiting patiently to open their presents
Obviously over the years, decorations have changed and the children have grown up, but one thing that is constant in the back of many photos is "Our Christmas Tree".
Getting ready for Santa 2007
Last year we did have some debate about getting a new, taller tree which comes pre-lit but somehow I don't think we will be able to give up our old favourite.
If you havn't already done so please pop over to Sian's to read some more stories.
I had almost decided to not even attempt JCY this year as looking at all that is currently going on in my life, I thought why add another thing to the list! However when the odd post started to pop up here and there and then Shimelle announced the class had had a revamp, I began to think perhaps I would. My track record of completing my album is not great - I joined the class in 2009 and managed 4 pages! 2010 saw no attempt made but 2011 saw an album created. So what was the difference last year? Well firstly I treated myself to Shimelle's Christmas in the box and only used those supplies and I pre-made all the base pages. Whilst I couldn't manage a page a day, it was fairly straightforward to catch up.
The problem to be solved was could I find a manageable way to do it this year? Far too late to pre-make some base pages. However I did dig out a 5-7 paperchase album I have been saving and I ordered some basic supplies. These are all now gathered together in a box.
Hopefully using my new phone, I will manage some photos each day, maybe a tweet or a blog post, gather some thoughts along the way and eventually get them down on paper? Who knows but I'm going to give it a try. Let the Christmas countdown begin!
This was taken earlier today on the River Thames at Bisham. It is where the family business is located. As you can see it has not reached the building and hopefully it won't. However many people across the country have not been so fortunate. Keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers.
hello blog, I'm sorry I neglected you for so long. hello blog friends, I'm hoping we can become reacquainted again. hello twitter, just dipping my toe in but I think it's going to be fun. hello journal your Christmas, a plan is beginning to formulate. hello Mum and Dad, we are glad to have you back. hello storytelling Sunday, what tales will be told? What are you saying hello to this Monday?
You may recall last month I won some lovely Portobello Road goodies - you can read about it here.
So here's a layout I created using the lovely goodies;
It tells the story of how on a day out in London last year, we discovered a line of pink telephone boxes. The girls of course wanted photos and being of the mobile phone generation a little explanation was required as to why such things could be useful!
I still have loads left which will be great for the photos taken during this years jubilee celebrations!
That's whats been happening today - catching up with all manner of things. May was manic, even by my standards mainly as I was working an extra day a week. Having just about survived I then entered half term with all manner of Jubilee celebrations, followed by more working and also the girls taking part in a dance show. Today seems like the first day I've had to draw breath for a long time. So apologies blog friends for my lack of commenting - I have been visiting whilst commuting but find commenting on my iphone too much for my little fat fingers!
Anyway I thought you might like to see some photos from our little trip to London to see the Queen!
First we saw some marching bands!
And some soldiers on horses.
We also did a fair amount of waiting and picnicking on the pavement.
And finally we saw the Queen!
And after all that flag waving and cheering we went home to enjoy a jubilee tea!
I hope to be back later in the week with my May numbers.
Arriving fashionably late to the party, I bring you a tale from a previous Jubilee celebration. Back in 1977 when the Queen celebrated her Silver Jubilee I was 7. My school celebrated with a summer fete that was Jubilee themed, including a children's fancy dress competition. I don't remember who came up with the idea but it was decided that I would go as a Jubilee bag! I suspect it may have been to do with the fact that my Dad worked in a factory that produced cardboard boxes so had access to large quantities of paper and card.
Apparently I came 2nd! I don't recall much but do remember it was quite difficult to walk in.
My younger brother also entered but he refused to play along with the Jubilee theme and so went as Robin (side-kick of Batman)
Dad created the card from a large cardboard box, built around my brothers trike!
So its May and I've scrapped my first photo of 2012. You may recognise the photo - it got a mention in my January month in numbers post here.
It tells the story of how the youngest decided one Sunday morning that her farm animals needed to have plaster casts applied. This involved tearing up tissues, spraying with water and slapping on the animal! You gotta love her style!
I have been pondering for a while whether to do 2012 album along the same lines as 2011. I was reluctant to commit to a format until the 2011 album was complete. Whilst pondering I have been taking Shimelle's Cover to Cover" online class which has given me lots of food for thought in terms of album organisation. As I wrote the other day, the 2011 album did become a chore towards the end.
So after all this deliberating I have decided to let my 2012 album run without any set format. It will probably contain a whole mix of page formats etc but will run chronologically. Because I have now organised my photos by month and am going to print them each month, I will not "worry" that I am going to miss anything - it may take me a few(?) years to get all the stories down but that doesn't phase me like it used to. It makes me happy to know where I am going, however long it takes.
Yes my 2011 album is complete! It was my aim for May and I glad its done. I must admit it became a bit of a chore these last few months, however when I look through its great to see the year unfold.
Here are the final pages;
Now I do have one slight challenge - as you know the format of the album has been a single page followed by divided protectors and another single page. To keep some sort of continuity I have used the same background paper for each individual month and either the same PP or from same range. However I have also done further 2011 pages throughout the year that do not follow such "rules". Do I have a separate album or do I combine? Because I have recently sorted my layouts into albums by years, they are now all living together but when you move through you do loose the flow - however if I move them out, the album that is single layouts has big gaps.
For the moment I am leaving them all together and will continue to mull!
They always say be careful for what you wish for - we asked for the sun and now our cup runneth over! As you read this I will be craming myself into a smelly train with many other fed up commuters! Deep Friday joy.
Some of you may have taken part in the blog giveaway over at Notes on Paper and you may have seen that I was the lucky winner. Well the parcel of lovely goodies arrived on Tuesday. Do want to see?
I know I am a lucky girl - many thanks to Julie and the people at docrafts who donated the prize. I already have a few ideas up my sleeve and of course it will be perfect for Jubilee and Olympic scrapping!
I've not only been organising my photos and albums, I have been scrapping too. Organising my albums by year has enabled me to identify any gaps, so when I feel the urge to scrap I can pick up an album flick through and decide what to scrap.
So with that in mind, I decided to scrap this photo from 2010. Its one of my favourite and was taken on my hubbys birthday. We had been away for the weekend without the children and arrived back on his birthday - lots of smiles all around.
This is based on the May sketch on 'The Studio' challenges blog here. Hexagons are very much a current trend and seem to pop up everwhere at the moment. I cut mine using my slice. I also managed to use some letters by using three different sets to do my title. And don't worry I have journalled - its on the tag thats tucked behind the photo!
So since my last post, I have been busy organising all my photos - they were filed away in a box but not in any such order. It took some doing and trawling through my computer files (which are well organised!). So here they are;
My 2012 photos arrived and I filed them straight in - month order - all ready to scrap when the moment takes me.
I have also decided to have a file to plan and note ideas.
This is divided by month and has pages for each year. I have started to note down the photos I want to scrap and ideas etc.
I have to say I'm loving find a system that works and really think it will help me scrap more!
Did you have sunshine at the weekend - we did! How lovely to feel the warmth on your back and the instant energy boost it seems to provide.
On Sunday we visited "Carters Steam Fair" - which was just up the road from us on the local green. The Carters are a local family and tour their steam fair around - mainly in the south east. We have been a number of times and it is always great fun.
On the Saturday morning they have a parade from the town centre upto the green - which goes right past the end of our road!
This year the girls went on the horses - always a favourite whatever your age.
The swing boat - which goes almost vertical. It caused the youngest to scream loudly but she assures me she was enjoying herself.
They also enjoyed dodgems.
and an icecream.
All in all a great way to spend a sunny afternoon - we even hauled the b-b-q out of hibernation when we got home!
Now I know how Noah felt - every morning he must have looked out of the Ark window and said "rain again". But looking on the bright side, I love how it has made the grass so very green!
I'm taking part in Shimelles latest class "Cover to Cover" and I have to say I'm loving it! Now I am an organised kinda gal - I like to know what I'm doing and when and where everything is I need to do these things! However I haven't really translated this into my scrapping life - I was under the belief that to be creative, you needed to go with the flow, allowing inspiration to take you! Now I know that's how many of you work but I've had a eureka moment. I am most productive when I am organised and have a plan! My 2011 album is a good example - although its not quite there yet it will get completed because from the outset I had a plan!
I am enjoying the prompts and creating my own process. So far I have;
- re-organised all my layouts. Now I'm a good girl and file my layouts away as soon as I have photographed them for blogging. However I was not happy with my current system of Albums. I had one chronological album dating from 2007 to present day, one album for each of the girls and of course the 2011 album. So I pulled them all out and sorted by years then month. 2008, 2009 and 2010 now have their own album. Firstly it made me realise I had scrapped more than I thought and also where the gaps are!
- working on the gaps. Alot of my earlier layouts contain very little or no journalling! I am going to go back and rectify this. Most of them have space.
- 2010 - I have gone through my computer files and listed for each month what has taken place. I am now sorting through my printed photos - which are fairly well organised. I am going to put photos I want to scrap into page protectors with notes etc and then file in the 2010 album. That way when I want to scrap, I can go to the album, pick the ones that take my fancy. Simples!
- 2012 - Up until last night I had not ordered any 2012 photos - sorted that last night and they should arrive soon. Again I think I will put them into PP in order in the album - may also add some supplies!
Sorry I have waffled on a bit! However I am excited to be able to devlop a system that I know will help my work flow and hopefully get me scrapping more. May is going to be a really full on month for me - I am working 4 days a week (usually 3), have two meetings to prepare for and also two services at church that I help run. Not sure how much actual scrapping I will get to but will hopefully be able to snatch some time here and then to make this all pull together.
It seems that you hardly blink an eye and another month goes by. Yes we are back again with the numbers that matter. To find out what its all about do check out Julies blog - our chief number cruncher.
So here is how April adds up;
4 - bikes transported on the back of our car for our holiday at centre parcs. It took an amount of planning but it worked!
12 - approx the amount of hours spent in the pool (over the course of 5 days) which probably included at least 40 goes down the rapids in total. I must admit by the end of the week I did feel a certain sympathy for clothes in a washing machine!
6 - children in the hot tub in one go when friends came over for afternoon tea. They certainly had fun splashing around.
3 adults, 8 children and 1 dog who spent a very pleasent afternoon at Cliveden our local national trust haunt. We walked through the woods and discovered the bluebells were out - just beautiful.
110 squares of fabric sewn together on the weekend as I stared another quilt. I'm now awaiting further supplies to carry on.
So those are my numbers - how about yours? Do check out the Pinterest board to view more monthly numbers and also see the clever ways people choose to display their numbers.
A few weeks ago I purchased some "interesting bits" from Julie Kirk - you can read about them here and find them in her etsy shop here. Mine were on a yellow and green theme. So anyway the other day I pulled them out and decided to make a layout.
The only things on the layout that are not from the kit are the alpha's on the title, the tag to the right of the photo, the stamped grid and ink splashes! The photo has been in the "to scrap" pile for some time. It is from a visit my children made with my brother in law and partner to the Roald Dahl museum, which I have blogged about before.
There are still loads of the kit left for me to create some more "interesting bits"
Well not quite but we did visit Buckingham Palace last September and this page forms part of my 2011 album.
I went with my parents and the oldest one and we had a great day. We thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend a visit. You get a great audio which is very informative without being boring and my daughter enjoyed the children's one too. Although you are given a timed slot, once you are inside you can go at your own pace and are not rushed along. You are not able to take photos inside, but are free to take shots outside. Kate's Wedding dress was also on display - one of the reasons we wanted to visit - which was simply beautiful. However we could not get over how tiny her waist was! All in all it was a great day out and afterwards we met up with my brother-in-law and his partner for a late lunch.
My other September page was completed some time ago, and records the start of new schools for three members of the household. You can read about that here.
I'm currently working on my November pages - just the divided protector pages to do. Then December and then I'm finished!
They always say if you need something doing, ask a busy person! Well that's me at the moment and I'd rather you didn't ask, as I not sure I could possibly squeeze anything else in. Fortunately it has not all been work and I have managed to include playing with paper!
This is one of my favourite photos of my youngest, taken in 2010 on her sisters birthday. This layout was inspired by the layout on the front of the latest issue of Scrap365;
I'm considering putting this in a box frame - very brave of me as I usually don't like displaying my own work. Next time we go to ikea I'm going to look at their frames to see if any are suitable. I have a very similar photo of the oldest one so I could put them together.
This layout came together very quickly as last week I had a major sort out of all my stash. All my paper and cardstock is now sorted by colour and everthing else has been sorted by type and labelled. I realised that although I had very good storage, I was not using it effectively! So now when I scrap, I can select everything very easily, meaning I am actually creating rather than trying to find something! It has certainly worked as over the two days I created four layouts which is a world record for me!
How's your week going? Mine - not quite entirely as planned. Friday whilst out enjoying my day off with friends, my computer at work decided to give up the ghost. Totally! Not to be left out, my computer at home I use for work also decided to join in. Fortunately both have been to computer A&E and now are working but it has meant I have had to swop all my work days around and venture up to London twice this week instead of the normal once. In the great scheme of things not a great disaster but I am a little creature of habit and feel all about when my normal routine is not followed.
However on Sunday I did manage a little creativty and pushed on with my 2011 album - is she still not finished I hear you cry! Well almost. Here are my October pages;
The final page is based on one of Shimelle's page sketches - here