Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ticket to Ride

I love days like today. The sun is shinning and I have been enjoying a cuppa and a slice of toast on the patio. I can hear the continuous hum of the Formula 1 cars. At this time in the morning they must be testing / warming up. 

Today is Race Day at the British Grand Prix. 

Helicopters fly back and forth all day and at lunchtime we will see the Red Arrows. The fly right over the village....our house.

Whilst watching all those cars whizz round and round (on the TV) does nothing for me... It is a privilege to be able to hear the races and imagine how fantastic it must be to actually be there and experience it first hand. 

I do have a layout to share today and whilst it's not quite got the thrill of racing, it records the thrill of a roller coaster (or a Roller Cola, as number two son used to call them).

I'm trying to keep the layouts for my holiday album slim..not too much layering or big embellishments, in the hope that I will only have to use one album....
These are the 4x6's to sit in the pocket page protectors

Whatever you are doing today...enjoy yourself...and if you are watching the Grand Prix .....remember I will be listening.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I have been baking. No.2 son was 11 this month and away with the school on his actual birthday. I never thought about how I would feel not having him at home on his birthday and wasn't prepared for the overwhelming relief I felt when he arrived home and stepped off that coach.

What was more of a relief was to hear how the teachers decorated his cabin with banners and balloons and how they all woke him at 6.30am singing happy birthday "very very" loud.  He enjoyed his day where he got to demonstrate the activities and later on in the dinner hall he was presented with a birthday cake and the whole year group sang happy birthday to him. 

Here he is, tired and dirty after enjoying a fun packed week of activities including abseiling, kayaking, zip wires, low ropes, high ropes and quad biking....

and the baking.
 This was his request. Kit-kats, M&M's, Sprinkles and Blue Butter Cream. I have tried on numerous occasions to convince this boy that blue butter cream is the same as white/vanilla. I've shown him how the colouring works - but someone just isn't having it! 
Rocky not something I have ever made before and a while back I promised the boys I would make some and we'd see if they liked it. I found a Nigella receipe. I also found that this receipe was so easy to make, tasted divine, so divine that a second batch was made a week later with a suggestion to have a Rocky Road birthday cake next year.

Do any of you make Rocky Road? If so, I wondered if you use condensed milk and dessicated coconut in yours? The ingredients in the receipes I looked at I was thinking of trying the condensed milk one next to see what the difference is, any ideas? 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Jot Magazine

Yesterday Jot Magazine was launched, a free online publication. It's described as a " new paper crafting publication for the modern day memory keeper" 

It is a great read....has tons of inspiration and lots of gorgeous articles. When you settle down for a read, you'll get to Julie Kirk's month in numbers article. There you will find one of my layouts chosen to feature with other month in numbers contributors alongside Julie's feels good!

Enjoy your read and if you are anything like me you'll be looking forward to the next publication already.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

You Sparkle

Recently I have been using my mists for backgrounds. It is a messy process - for me anyway. I end up with the stuff everywhere. I like the masks and have been tempted to buy one or two that I know I would use. However when I added everything to my shopping basket and it went over what I thought was reasonable to spend, something had to go. 

Masks or Papers!! Hmmm what would you choose? 
You'll see from the layout I'm going to share with you today that the new MME Find your Wings and Fly papers won.

so.... with no masks......what is a girl to do?

Make her own? 
Not a bad I did think about cutting out my own template, instead I opted to use washi tape

I love how a little washi tape can transform a layout. I also love how the tape is repositionable...over and over and over. It's not often that we stick something down and are then able to move it effortlessly when we decide we don't want/like it where it is. For me this is the best thing and because of this ((not forgetting that it comes in all different wonderful colours and patterns)) my collection of tape is growing.

So this is how it worked for me......I created a chevron effect slightly off center.
Then misted the page (in the garden!) spraying over the washi taped chevrons with a blue mist and adding droplets of yellow mist.  Ideally you should let your mist, I'm far too impatient and carefully pulled off the tape.

This is what it looked like.
 and this is what I ended up with.
This photo was taken at seaworld late in the afternoon. We were slowly walking across the bridge towards the shamu stadium. A couple were taking photos and I asked if they would like me to take one of them together...(ever the scraper!) In return they took one of us all.

 He made us laugh when he said " we just need mom to smile !!" 
 One last photo to show you the washi taped chevrons up close
It's not very often I share how to do something here- I always feel that if i know everyone else does too. I've had a few comments recently where i've been asked how it was done so this time I remembered to take some photos.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Having a whale of a time

 Recently Sarah owner of SJ Crafts sent me the Carta Bella Beach Boardwalk collection kit to work with, today over on SJ Crafts blog you can find the final two layouts I made using this kit. 

I hope you'll find the time to pop across and have a look

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Simply a moment

It's the middle of the month and time to join Alexa's Simply a Moment   a chance to stop, notice, and  record. If you would like to know more or read some more moments then please hop over to see Alexa
Saturday 15 June, 5pm
My family are visiting today to see Jack for his birthday. We have been eating and drinking all afternoon. The boys are all running around... Stan is pretending to be a zombie, chasing my 2 year old nephew who is belly laughing...I love the real deep laugh of a toddler. 
I am sitting with my two sisters....thinking about them...
Long gone are the carefree days when V was still at school and M used to come and stay over with her boyfriend (now husband) when I brought my first house.
Long gone are the baby days of M living a few roads away and us getting together most days with our boys.
Long gone are the early morning days of V living opposite me and opening the curtains each morning with the boys to wave her off to work. 
Long gone are the school days of meeting M each day in the playground.   
Long gone are the thankful days of V coming in most nights after work - before she had her children - and help me with mine. 
Long gone are the everyday's that I used to see them....the thing I miss the most about moving away.
I home back in on their conversation..... they are talking to each other arranging to come and stay over one weekend so they can both have a drink and help me make the birthday invites. M is saying we'll have a production line...... V you can stick the ribbon on..... Lou you can do the i'll just drink!!  I laugh....we know her too well.
I love these girls, I often hear my best friend from school say she always envied me having sisters.....It probably wasn't until I left home that I really understood and appreciated the meaning of her words. 
Who knows what the future day I hope we will all be living near each other again.
Two of my favourite photos taken yesterday.
My sister M with my husband
  and my brother-in-law J with my husband.

They had to start the BBQ in (typical British style) the rain before V arrived, as all the boys were moaning they were hungry!! It poured with rain on and off all afternoon and I never got the planned photo of the three of us together :(

Jack had a lovely birthday too - more on this another time.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Blue Skies....

.....something we seem to be lacking so far this year!

No I'm not going to be typically British and comment on the weather...not today anyhow. Instead I'm here to let you know that over on SJ Crafts shop blog is a mini-book full of sunshine I made using the

               A little peak at the inside
If you would like to see more, please do pop across and check out the sunshine my mini book.

I still have some more 12x12 layouts to share with you from this collection kit and will be back soon.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Fun Times with You

Featured over at SJ Crafts today are these two layouts I created using the Carta Bella Beach Boardwalk Collection Kit for my DT project this month.

The papers are amazing, everyone should have this collection kit for their holiday photos this year. Yes really :) I always love receiving new papers but this Collection Kit is so perfect that I felt rather sad when I finished it off.

If you would like to know more about these layouts, how the backgrounds were created or simply to have a look at the close ups then please pop across to SJ Crafts. 

In addition to these layouts, are these 12x12 with 4x6 pockets. Inspired by the photo challenge that I have seen some of you joining in with I used the looking up looking down title.

The collection kit is amazing, as well as these layouts there will be further posts this week using the same kit so please pop back to SJ Crafts to have a look.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The Great Big Swap of Very Small Things

Back in April Sian announced a Great Big Swap of Very Small Things, a wonderful idea where we pass on a little something to a fellow crafter.

Today I received my beautifully wrapped packages from the very talented Clair.
  It took me ages to open the little parcels....I didn't want to undo the pretty lace flowered tie. 
In the end I slid it off so I could keep it in one piece. 
Inside I found all this lovely gorgeousness.
 Clair made the tags and banner...I can't wait to use them.
 These little charms are perfect too. The cassette reminds me of my youth when I used to sit and listen to the Top 40 on a Sunday night and try to record the songs I liked. Wasn't it annoying when the DJ started to talk before the song had ended?
 For a long while now I have admired Clair's jewellery making skills and was amazed to find this exquisite pair of earrings in the package.  When I admired these on her blog I never imagined they would be so delicate and dainty. I've had them swinging from my ears since I opened the package - only taking them out briefly to photograph them. I am touched at Clair's kindness and thank her for her generosity.
Sian this was another of your brilliant ideas and because of this we were all able to pass on and receive a little of what makes us happy...thank you!

The arrival of this parcel certainly made me happy today - the arrival of two parcels was overwhelming.

My second parcel came across the ocean from Life in the Slow Lane. 
Alison kindly sent me some happy mail. 
Alison, thank you so much for thinking of me, for your beautiful card and kind words and for all the lovely goodies that I am going to enjoy using.
Today has certainly been a bright one.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Story Telling Sunday - Pick my Precious

 Already we are half way through the year, today is the first Sunday of the month and it's time for Story Telling Sunday and Pick Your Precious hosted by Sian from High in the Sky

If this is new to you then you may wish to hop over and see what Sian has to say about it all.

Each month I have no idea what to share until I am reminded of PYP. Who'd have thought I had so many precious things to share other than the obvious. For example I have lots of things that are precious to me, that I see every day.....some jewellery for instance... an ornament or two. I have things tucked away that I know are there, that are very precious indeed. Today though I'd like to share something that I have had for many many years, most of my working life in fact and it is not something that immediately springs to mind as precious. 

A keyring!

 I'm not like some people who carry a big bunch of keys. I have one keyring which holds three keys. This keyring is ebony and has my name carved in it. It was a present from a lady I once worked with.

When I first started work 26 years ago, this June, fresh faced and straight out of school, it was in an office in London ((for the same people I still work for!! )).  I was given a desk next to a lady who had just returned from Maternity leave.

I'm not sure if it was the following year or the year after when she returned to work after her holiday in Nairobi, Kenya bearing gifts. She had brought us all, on the team, a keyring each.

The keyring is made from ebony. I am sure. I am sure because something in the back on my minds says so and because after all these years of daily use, being thrown in bags, pockets and dropped on the floor,  it has only a few small marks. 

I often wonder how this lady her husband and children are. 
I also wonder if she'd be surprised to know that her gift has been with me everyday, every since she gave it to me.
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