Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

We're off out later this evening, so I wanted to post one more time in 2010 and wish you all a very Happy New Year.

Christmas has been lovely, time off from work, get together's with the family, eating and drinking far too much, relaxing and playing games with the boys....here's hoping you all had a lovely time too and 2011 brings you health and happiness.

Today has been one of tidying up, finding homes for all the Christmas pressies and a little sort out. Music playing in the background (at the moment it's Tears for Fears....Mad World! lol!), a glass of wine (getting in the mood for tonight!) The boys have pretty much entertained themselves today......this doesn't happen often so I took advantage and tried out my Christmas pressie. I still cannot believe he heard me say I'd love a new sewing machine. It's not very often he takes on board my hints so this was a lovely surprise.... Sylvia, bless her has seen better days and can now retire gracefully.

To get me back into the swing of things I brought a tote kit in the John Lewis sale yesterday....this was just what I needed.....here's how it turned out.



Oooh to buying lots more scrummy fabrics.............

Enjoy this evening, and in the New Year i'll show you some pictures of my Christmas Journal....i've just sent the last lot of photographs off to the printers!

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Grease is the word......is the word.......is the word

We popped into town today and while I was there I wanted to see if the charity shop sold records........my friend Jackie made a lovely holiday album from a double LP and this got me thinking about using a record for a scrapbook project.

So off I go into the charity shop in search of an LP. Col and the boys wait outside and I find a tub with just a few records in it. I had a quick flip through to see if I could find something awful that I wouldn't mind defacing and found this!!! ..........I handed over £1.

Col asked me if I managed to get one and with a big smile of my face I revealed my LP. I thought I'd get a groan instead I was surprised with his response ......."you can't cut that up, that's a classic....I'll find you a rubbish one from the ones in the loft!!" I'm not sure what surprised me the most, the not cutting up a Grease album or admitting that he may have brought a rubbish LP in his youth!!

It's funny how a small thing can bring back so many memories and be the topic of discussion......and singing and dancing.....for the rest of the day. Technology has changed so much, we had to explain to the boys what a record is, how it works and that their late Grandad used to press records for a living. Plus it was the first film I remember seeing at the pictures as a kid. In 1981 my mum agreed to take me to the cimema to see Grease, she told me she didn't think I'd understand the story line............since that day though Grease has been one of my all time favourite movies.....I had the Grease album on Tape and can remember playing it over and over and over.......

Grease is the word
It's got groove it's got meaning
Grease is the time, is the place is the motion
Grease is the way we are feeling


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Light Painting

This weeks photography challenge is light painting. I've never done this before so after a while on You Tube watching video's (what would I do without You Tube!!) I was set to go. I had my trusted helper........which turned into helperrrrrrsssss!! Each one of them thinking they were better than the other *laugh* It was great fun and worth a go.
Harry started off with drawing stick men....

....then Col had to try it using two torches!!!
(typical man!!!)

.....Stanley thought he was auditioning for the Ready Break advert....

There was a little too much light in these photo's still, even though it was pitch black....so after playing around and adjusting my camera settings, the photo's were coming out much better. I imagine that these could be adjusted in photoshop, but it would take me....like forever to try, so they are as they came out of the camera. This one is my favourite.

As this is probably my last post before Christmas.........i'd like to send you all lots of love and wish you all a very Merry Christmas.......now...... where'd he put the Bailey's!!!!

Edited to say...you can find Karen's fabulous Christmas Lights photos from last week here.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Journal

After a morning of playing in the snow with the boys, I managed to take some pictures of my Christmas Journal. Based on Ali Edwards December Daily each photo is 6x8 with journaling directly placed on the photo (you can see some of these in one of my earlier posts).

In between each page is and will be acetate overlays (some brought ones and some home made) or handmade papers.

and the pages will be dressed with lots and lots of tags. Ali uses tags in her journal this year and taking inspiration from Shimelle's garland I've made a few so far. Once I know where they are going in the journal date numbers will be added.
There's not much else to do on these snow days except watch films, play games and scrap. So I'm off to meddle with some Glimmer Mists....If anyone knows any good tutorials using mists would you be kind enough to let me know please, I could do with a little help, I make a terrible mess. Thank you.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Let it Snow....

It's snowing here and has been all day!!!


This weeks photo challenge is Christmas lights, I had planned to go into town and take some pictures of the street lights. I got as far as opening the front door *yikes*.....and took a quick photo of my Christmas wreath in full auto mode. It really was too cold to mess about with settings. Karen, can you see the Christmas lights in the corner of the photo, does that count? *laugh*


Thursday, December 16, 2010

The first few pages....

....of my Christmas Journal. After three years of following Shimelle's Journal your Christmas I thought this year I'd have a change. As I'm trying *very hard* to improve my photographic skills I thought I'd have the photos as my main focus. I've used Ali Edwards overlays and prepared the front cover of the book. My printer isn't too hot so I sent the first batch off to be printed and will show you some pictures of how the book is progressing once the lighting brightens up a little....it's been so dark and miserable here today.

I've journalled directly on the photos and Day 1 refers to my nephew.

On day 2 I went for a wander to take some photos for the photo challenge.

On day 3 I caught Harry at the
advert calendar. That's quite a pout he has there *laugh*

Day four involves some other children so I best not share.......

Day 5 was a visit to see my nephew. A couple of days before he came out of hospital he was allowed home for a few hours so we went to see him. The photo is awful and was taken with a mobile phone......but it marks the occassion....so i'm ok with a blurred photo, and this one really was the best of a bad bunch!!

Harry making chocolates for his school Christmas fare.

Day 7, was the day everything was covered in a white frost and the whole place looked absolutely beautiful.

Claim to Fame....

Have any of you noticed the BBC's Christmas advert yet?!?!?.....Would you believe I used to live in this Close the third house on the right. My sister lived opposite, the third house on the left. We lived there for over 8 years before moving and are still in contact with many of our old neighbours.

It's a small world......

....and this is most definately a page in my Christmas Journal.

....Happy Christmas!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Dec's

This weeks photo challenge was Shallow Depth of Field. I chose Christmas decorations and Karen chose Christmas pressies.........you can see Karen's photos here.

Here are mine
A Black and White version........which I think I prefer to the one above.

.....and here's Mickey. We brought these glass tree decorations back from Euro Disney, some 9-10 years ago. In our old house we used to screw them under the fire surround, so they dangled down. If you're eagle eyed (not like me......I didn't notice it at all when I was taking the photo!!) you'll see the screw hanging over Mickey's head.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Cards

I've yet to write my Christmas cards and finish off my shopping...but the decorations and tree are now up. I've been working on my Christmas Journal and will post some photo's soon. In the meantime here are a couple of Christmas cards I made with the Banana Frog stamps...




Is it just me? Does anyone else prefer creating a layout to making a card.....why do I find making a card so hard!! The idea of making all my cards throughout the year really appeals to me (and it's a great way to use up all those scraps we accumulate)....but after these few cards I think I'll continue to buy mine for a little while longer....or do I make it a New Years Resolution....ummm!!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Why oh Why...

.....am I obsessed with the weather? Every few hours I want to know if the forecast has changed. I have never known it so cold, yesterday the temp was -8 at 6pm and I was freezing. This evening though all I had to do was sit next to my little man to get warm, his temp was 40' bless he wasn't a happy chappy and it's such a worry when they say their head hurts.

This is week 4 of the photography challenge I'm taking part in. Concentrating on buildings and composition. The focus was on good exposure with good tones, and an interesting composition. On a sunny day this is a good challenge, on a snowy day with a white sky, good tones is a hard one. This is what I came up with. Our Village Church.

Karen, will be posting her next lot of fantastic photos soon, so please pop across to check her's out.

I'm also taking part in Journal your Christmas and hope to post a crafty post soon.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

December 1st

Today is the first day of December, it doesn't seem that long ago that we packed the decorations away....

With the 1st of December brings Shimelle's Journal your Christmas..........an annual project which has become something of a tradition now. This is my fourth Christmas journal and my all-time favourite project. Pop across to Shimelle's blog to find out more.....it's not too late to join in.

This year I thought I'd try something new. I purchased Ali Edwards digital overlays for my photos so that this years main focus in my journal is the photographs. Here's day one......not being the best on a PC it took me many an hour to get this overlay on the photo. Now I know how to do it I'll be on a roll *laugh*

Once I have put this photo in place, the opposite page will hold the accompanying journalling. Whilst I do use some of Shimelle's prompts I find that the journal over the last 2 years has become somewhat of a daily diary, recording all the things we do in December. The journalling for today will record the recovery of my 12 year old nephew who has been in hospital for the past 10 days. No-one could have guessed that on the 1 December George would be in hospital recovering from a serious infection in his hip joint. He has been on IV antibiotics every day since being admitted and underwent surgery last Wednesday. It has been a stressful and nerve racking time for all the family and especially for my sister and brother in law. I can't think of a better way to enter December knowing that he is now on the road to recovery and will hopefully be home this weekend. We all love you George.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Failure....

For one reason or another I haven't managed to blog this past week or so.
I failed Week 2 of my photograph challenge. I did attempt the challenge........but the photos really were shocking and certainly not for sharing, unlike Karen's photo's!! If you'd like to see how the professionals do it, then Karen's week 2 amazing water play photos are here.

In fact my water attempt was soooo annoying that I got very frustrated, after an hour or so I had a look around to see what else I could photograph, when these caught my eye.
Week 3 was the moon. The idea was to use the moon as your lighting source as apposed to photos of the moon........you did hear me say in the last post that I was feeling out of my depth *laugh* this was certainly one of them moments!! With a failed week 2 and a *big big swallow* when I read week 3......oh my......is this photo project going to keep me on my toes. If nothing else I hope that after a year of weekly photos, I can see an improvement in my photography.

Again I failed to use the moon as my lighting source but I did get some moon shots. They're not brilliant as I was very very reluctant to brave the elements *shiver* It has been freezing here this week a -5 today.

This is what I came up with....
As you can see I was trying to be a little creative with the old twigs in the shots, although I'm not so sure now looking at them again if I should have done this.

I'd like to redo both week 2 and week 3 of the challenge, but I think it needs to warm up a little first.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Autumn

Last week I was asked by the lovely Karen if i would be interested in taking part in a photo a week challenge with her. The idea is to take a themed photo each week, this not only ensures that we use our camera's every week but by having a theme means that we should cover a variety of photographic aspects.

I am very honoured to have been asked, although I feel a little out of my depth as Karen is a fantastic photographer. Here's my first photo for this week. Autumn.

I took these last week, luckily as the weather this week has been atrocious. After much deliberation i setted on a big holly bush. Using Karen's idea of a collage i put these photos together. I think if you click on them they'll pop up bigger.

Oh what to choose as a theme this week....

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Like a Starfish

A few posts back, I mentioned Harry's comment on a layout of his brother...... this is Harry's starfish layout....no hearts anywhere on it, although I did use the Bazzill Swiss Dot red card again (which I'm loving and thinking of using this as a base colour for my JYC album).



"ummm" was the only response I got from him.....was this a sign of approval I wonder? Those teenage years are soooo looming.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

What a day

It started out with a little Christmas shopping. It really was a little too, I stood in the toy shop and realised that I had no idea what I was looking for. I had the boys Christmas lists with me, but not a clue as to what these toys were, what they done or what they looked like. Zorbits....Armeez.....Big Foot Monster......Jolly Octopus...*huh*.....

....When I got home I found out I'd won some Banana frog stamps *yay*.....this made my day....

..... and then whilst clearing out my emails I noticed I'd sent myself an email!!!
*huh* *huh* *huh*
( I scare myself sometimes with the things I do.... or don't do!)

......This email to me, was meant for Shimelle. Back in the summer I took part in her summer online crop and one of my photos won a challenge. The email was too say that I'd received her parcel and to thank her.....
....only Shimelle, never received my email because I sent it to myself........
How rude am I??

So I just want to say a very big thank you to Shimelle , I look forward to using all those lush papers (as she won't see this I did send another thank you email and apologised for being such a der!!)

The gorgeous papers are Jenny Bowling (perfect for my holiday album) and Cosmo Cricket (perfect for my Christmas journal) oh plus a book voucher for Amazon. I was a very lucky lady!


Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

A very simple, no fuss layout, which i thought looked okay-ish, until Harry (who's 11) came to see what I was up to and his comment was "huh!! looks more like a valentine page than a holiday one" Cheers H!!....don't ya just love em!!

Anyway this is Stanley who'd been trying so hard to be a starfish. *Bless* we'd been telling him remember head back and belly up. Once he's mastered the art, he spent ages floating on his back. I have the same photos of the other two to scrap, so I'll see what Harry he has to say about them!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Watermelon

I don't know about you, but when we go to the beach we don't take much with us....including money. This was our first day on the beach and the boys must have looked very enticing to the beach sellers. They were straight over to us tempting the boys with *very large* pieces of fruit.

Some kids don't like fruit, mine love it, so this was like dangling a large bag if sweets in front of them. They were given samples to taste of melon, pineapple and watermelon.... all the while I'm saying no, no, no thank you....knowing we had only a few euros on us......but the lady is still giving the boys fruit....they were torn between their mum and dad shaking their head at them and this lady telling them to take, take, take...bless em!!

At only two Euros each slice, me thinks this melon was good value, (especially when you consider the small pots in Marks and Spencer).......only we didn't have 6 euros on us, did we!! Eventually the beach seller agreed to take the few euros we had *shame on us* and the boys settled on a slice of watermelon each. Mum reaches for the camera, takes a zillion shots and for once they don't notice.

A trip to the beach is supposed to be relaxing, that 20 minutes was exhausting!!! *laugh*
oooh happy holidays!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

True Stories

...started today over on Shimelle's blog.



I joined the True Stories class last night, in the hope that the prompts will get me to think about how I journal and help me to tell my stories.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

More holiday layouts...

Not much paper has been used on this layout, I used a glimmer mist to get a splatter effect on the card. This technique always looks fantastic on everyone else's layouts....*big sigh* mine looks like two large splodges *laugh* !!...not quite what I was trying to achieve. You can so see that all this arty stuff just doesn't come naturally to me!

These photos were taken at 3.30am....believe me, I wasn't smiling!!
The next layout is a reminder of the view from our apartment window...there's a small photo and journaling on the pull out tag which slides under the two photos.
and I've just noticed, I spelt apartment wrong on this layout...ooops!!


Before I go I'd like to say thank you to all you ladies that left kind comments on the post below..thank you.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fabric covers all....

Earlier this year I visited the NEC for their Hobby Crafts exhibition. The scrapbook trends magazine man was there, selling back issues for £1.00. A fair price...so I brought a few issues including a Simply Handmade issue. In the magazine was a tutorial for a fabric Album cover. Well I fell in love with this and thought maybe I could give it a go......

Sooo, as Sylvia (my trusted sewing machine) could not be trusted with this project.....and nor could I for that matter (my sewing skills stop at hems and buttons) I took all my fabric scraps (thanks to my good friend Gitte) over to my mums and asked her to show me how to make a cover.

......My mum made me measure, press and pin the fabric I wanted to use, I got told off for not keeping/storing all my fabric flat *tut tut* .... after a couple of hours I made something that resembles a cover. Mum was great..... she made me do all the work, when secretly I was hoping she'd do it all for me *laugh* !!!

Now I had no project in mind for this cover, and I still have no idea what I'll use it for.... but I do know that i'd like to have another go, using Muslin which is a little thicker, maybe for this years Christmas Journal.Now don't look too close, or you'll see all the wonky stitching.


The cover still needs a good steam and press to get all those creases out and next time I would like to add some padding for some softness, and try to be a little more adventurous. The cover is 7 x 5 and I based the size on a Zutter Cover-all.
*ta daaaa*
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