Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Spring has definitely started

I have said it before but I really love Daffodils and they really brighten my day and fill me with joy that winter is going and the spring is arriving!
For 83/365 I finally took a picture of the daffodils in my garden
they had been blooming for several days and I kept forgetting to go outside and snap them, but I wanted to remember when they 'came out' in 2010 as we have nearly always missed the best of the daff's when we have been away in Florida in February. This year the cold weather seems to have slowed everything right down in the garden but they are finally out!

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

BY 2010 March sketch

This is the sketch for March BY 2010 and was set by Sam 0ver on her blog. I have been so busy during the last month that I completely left my design to the last minute. I am away now, so quickly had to put the sketch to good use!
Last weekend I had a look through some old pics and came across one that DS had taken in 2006 age 4 on a disposable camera and I made my first 8x8 layout as shown in a previous post. I found a similar snap taken on the same day by DD age 7 so decided to scrap her pic too and try and make it to compliment the previous layout.

I am not that keen on the end result but it is ok. Not generally a fan of bright colours but it was a sunny day in Florida so I think it might work. It is also very simple but I think that sums me up! I am always keen to read your posts so any hints, tips or advice for a newbie scrapper (this is my 3rd 8x8 and my 6th completed layout) are very much appreciated.
I have tried to use some of the tips from the fabulous Shimelle class I am doing, so have used 3 flowers, ribbon, card and even a sticker! If you get a chance to take a Shimelle class go for it! The regular prompts are full of amazing ideas and the forum is the best place to meet talented scrappers and get totally inspired (or just look on in awe, in my case!!). I really hope I have the opportunity to join in again with such a great class, with the best teacher and most fabby classmates a pupil could wish for!
I assume that we are blog hopping at 11am 31st March so I am setting this to auto post for that time. The others taking part in BY 2010 this month are
but I am not sure of the order we are following so hope you manage to navigate your way around and I will be checking back tomorrow to see what everyone has made with this fabby sketch. Thanks Sam xxx

Monday, 29 March 2010

Time flies

The time just seems to fly by and I am rapidly becoming a 'bad blogger'. With this in mind I am going to blog today, then schedule some posts to appear throughout the coming week, so as I get busy with the holiday there will still be inane ramblings from me on a regular basis..... well I can but try!

I am actually on leave today and 'home alone' as the kids are both still at school and hubby is travelling all the way to Worcester for an interview. In some ways I hope he doesn't get it as it will mean he has to live away during the week but as we enter the 5th month of him not working I think 'beggars can't be choosers'! I hasten to add, although we are watching the pennies I haven't quite reverted to begging but watch this space who knows what I might stoop to!

Back to project 365 and the next photograph to share is 82/365
I know it seems an odd choice of subject but this is what keeps me vaguely organised! Occasionally someone else will write on it but generally it's all my scribbles with the whole family's plans. I took it with me to book club on Monday night and when I pulled it out of my (obviously large) handbag the rest of the group were very amused! So I thought I would share it with you!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

A couple of cards

Totally forgot to blog the fact that I made a whole 2 cards last week too!

I made this one for my online chum Choccy aka Oonie the Loonie, as she celebrated a special birthday. I actually got the idea of this card from Create and Craft of all places!! Never buy from there but I do enjoy some of the demo's. I tried to make it really 'blingy' and fun.

It's really easy (as most of my cards are) and is all about the folding.

This card was sent to Jennie for a Spring card swop over on the Crafty Place
the one she sent me in return is stunning and soooo Spring like. I love all the daffodils at this time of year they are probably my favourite flower and I love yellow flowers in general so this card is totally perfect ... thanks Jennie.
I was also lucky to get this cute card from Oonie just because she knows I like pigs and the paper made her think of me, bless thanks Chocster xxx

Something from (almost) nothing weekend challenges

Although I have been following the class I haven't been very creative, but I am learning and will use many of the prompts in the future. On Sunday I had a chill day, we were all soooo tired after trying to get out of the O2 it was a real squash and pretty scarey so we all got home late and all went to bed early!
So on Sunday I caught up with the latest on the Shimelle forum and discovered the weekend challenges... these are my 80/365 pics
Friday use metal, cardstock, patterned paper and ribbon on the same project
So I made my first ever 8x8 layout. I have pattern in the background, metal in the form of brads on my cardstock title and cardstock flower (plus one to form the dot on the i how cute is that?) and I just managed to use a little bit of ribbon on my hidden journalling tag that is attached with a metal staple!! My favourite thing about this photograph is that it was taken on a disposable camera by DS then aged just 4!!
Saturday take a photograph of an item/items in your stash you want to use then creaet a LO with them (and anything else from your stash)
I have several unused items including the cardstock, ribbon stickers and rub ons that I eventually used here.I made a 12 x 12 page with a favourite photo of my dad with DS from last year, in fact the shell embellishments were also unused until this point. I am not 100% happy with this but so love the pic that I wanted to use it.
Sunday Whatever item of your stash you choose, create a layout or project that uses no fewer than ten of that item: ten brads, ten pieces of ribbon, ten patterned paper scraps, ten buttons or so on. At least ten -- bonus points for lots more!
So for this I finally gave the 'brads as a frame' idea from the first prompt on pages with metals. This is an 8x8 again with 48 brads in total! I used scraps of cardstock for the dolphin punches and ultimately I am going to stick more mini dolphins on the bottom of the page and place some journalling on once I have checked the date out (so that odd looking silver rectangle with dolphin shapes will be going!!)! I did begin to go off the dolphins as I used 10 different types of cardstock and it was quite time consuming, but I love the overall effect!

Catch Up!

Wednesday last week past in a blur of work, school runs, cub drop off/ collection, post school tea pick up, parents evening and relax! The highlight of my day was receiving my fab stash swop from Dragonllew so many wonderful things to play with
On Thursday I was in London at a study day in a great venue in Westminster. So I played the tourist as I walked from Waterloo station across Westminster Bridge to the conference venue.
Fat club in the evening and I had put on 2lbs, well I knew I had been bad so it wasn't much of a surprise!

I spent Friday in Brighton at a meeting with other Clinical Nurse Specialists, the weather was awful so it was a horrible 100+ mile round trip, though it was good to see colleagues. This trough of flowers was a beautiful rainbow of colour in an otherwise dull grey day.
We had a great Friday night at a school quiz, I ate lots, drank a bit and laughed a lot! We came 3rd which was pretty good especially as the winners were only 4 points ahead of us.

On Christmas Day I received 4 tickets to be used on Saturday 20th March. Guess what for...???
The four of us went to the O2
and had great seats with amazing views
We had a blast seeing all our favourite finalists form the 2009 show. Ollie, Daniel and Jamie were the best performers of the night though I enjoyed the beautiful tones of Stacey, Joe and Lucy. Jedward sadly were even worse live but the stage sets for them were great
can you see them suspended from the sealing spinning towards the stage? LOL! DH has some much better pics!

The Blind Side

On Tuesday last week DH and I went to the cinema for a free screening of the film 'The Blind Side'. I was so pleased that I was able to get free tickets as we rarely go to the cinema so it was a great treat.
Initially I wasn't sure if I would like the film as it is a true story about an NFL player, Michael 'big Mike' Oher. A sports film is not my ideal, but thought it was just up Hubby's street. Sandra Bullock won an oscar for her role as the woman who takes an interest in the young Michael and eventually adopts him as part of the family, so I knew there would be some great acting.

I actually really enjoyed the film and I didn't need to understand or even like American football to follow the storyline. There were moments when I laughed out loud, my favourite was when Sandra Bullock's character shows Michael his bedroom and he says he has never had one of his own, she thinks he means the room but he replies 'no, a bed!' I also found certain bits made me think or touched me so much I could feel myself getting a bit teary! For me that is the ideal film, keeping me interested and affecting my emotions in equal parts. Do go and see it as it is an enjoyable and quite remarkable story of the journey the homeless Michael goes on along with his loving, adopted family, to become one of the greatest players in the NFL!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Crazy Busy!

It's been a week since I last blogged and it has been all go! I worked each day last week, I went to London twice (work once then for pleasure!), visited Brighton (work again!) watched a film at the cinema, attended parents evening, made 2 cards, and amazingly completed 3 scrapbook layouts as I am part of Shimelle's latest fab online class!! Phew!

I feel exhausted just writing about it all! I will catch up with all your blogs and update mine with pics of all the adventures during the past week when I have time... I am off out to Book Club in a few minutes! Sorry that I have been negligent but you are not forgotten and I will be back leaving comments and boring you all with the everyday exploits of a crafty/chatty pig! xxx

Monday, 15 March 2010

Belated Mother's Day and a Bargain!

Belated Happy Mothers' (or is it Mother's???) Day! My morning started in bed with a cuppa tea and a hand made/decorated paper/card photo' frame from DS brought in with a big bunch of Daffs! This was followed a bit later by DD's beautifully crafted felt leaf card, another cup of tea and more Daffodils (my favourite flower!!)
I had a great day which included Cub parade at church, which was a lovely service and I got a cute posy of flowers. Then after a delicious roast we went on a walk together and I asked DH to try and get a photo of me and the kids as a special momento of Mother's Day. I am so fussy about pics of me and delete nearly all of them but decided this one wasn't too bad (I think he took about 100 bless him!)Today I popped into my local Sainsburys for 3 items (milk, arborio rice and frozen peas) but I got a bit sidetracked and got a few other things! As I have said before I cannot resist a bargain so I spent some time perusing the store. Look what I came across...
74/365 A fab multi frame that is recessed so it can be filled with lotsa 3D items like mini scrapbook pages and a real bargain originally £15 and I paid £1.50 go check out your store!
Lastly a quickie 'spring' photo to brighten your day
72/365 this is Willow one of our 3 bunnies!

Friday, 12 March 2010

Mother's Day Card and Shimelle

I recently came across an issue of Papercraft Inspirations and they had an article on making cards with flowers. One was a hyacinth made from brads and this tied in very nicely with the first prompt from Shimelle's class, to use up some metal embellishments.
I am not really a 'pink' person, though I often seem to end up making pink cards, but I have had these flower brads unused for ages in my stash supplies, along with several others! So I took inspiration from the mag' and made this card
It also uses up lots of scraps of card from my scraps box so I feel even better about using things up from the stash pile!
I would also like to enter it if possible into the challenge at Creative Craft World for the Mother's Day Challenge. My friend has just become part of the DT over there, so big Congrats to Oonie. Pop over to the blog to see the stamps you could winfor this competition and what they are all up to.

I have spent ages browsing the forum for the 'something out of almost nothing class' with Shimelle. There are so many talented scrapbookers out there and the hints/tips and designs from my fellow classmates are just as inspirational as the PDF's that the 'teacher' sends in prompts. Although the focus is on scrapbooking and layouts it is relevant for making cards too as I have shown today. It is hard for me to do any layouts at the moment as we are still out of ink! There are scrapbookers from around the world and it is just brilliant to share with so many talented people, I feel very lucky!

Another Project 365 Update

Last weekend we visited friends in North London where we used to live and we had a blast! We all went bowling (not my forte, but great fun anyway!)
I love finding bargains when out shopping and come up with great ideas to use/alter/adapt them but sadly in reality these ideas do not always amount to much! A while ago I stumbled across these plastic containers in Sainsburys for 20p each and thought I might use them for keeping some stash in. Needless to say they remain unused so I am trying to shame myself into actively finding a good use for them...... any ideas?
ps I have more than two!
Look what I found in my bed on Tuesday night? A cute smiling boy! He likes nothing more than snuggling up in bed with me and will climb in at any opportunity! A few minutes later he was fast asleep!
Wednesday is usually my day off work and I have to do my chores, which this week included buying a birthday present for DS to take to her sleepover party. I went into Woking and parked at the top of the carpark and snapped the view.....
69/365Thursday night is 'fat Club' and I don't think I posted that I lost 2 lbs last week, this week was no change, which is better than gaining! We always have a treat, this week I brought these chocolates 70/365
we also shared some wine and some crisps, so much for the diet LOL.

Today DD made these wonderful hedgehog rolls at school and they not only looked good but tasted good too, yummy! 71/365

Monday, 8 March 2010

Shimelle's class

Well I have taken the scrapping bull by the horns and signed up for my first online class with Shimelle. I was lucky enough to have some funds in my Paypal account so I am now part of 'Something from almost nothing' it cost £10 and is all about ideas for using up existing stash, see Shimelle's blog for more info.

Stash that will be used includes:-
Patterned paper
Metals (brads, eyelets, label frames - that sort of thing)
Stickers (both letters and designs)
Page protectors
..........................................all of which I have!!!

As part of our pre class prep (it starts on Wednesday by the way!) we had to take photographs of some of our stash (or all of it!!??!!). I am still working on my crafting corner so I have been trying to reorganise everything so I previously blogged pics of my buttons and 12x12 collection. Yesterday I took these:- (these will be my 66/365)
6 x 6 papers/card with some packets of embellishmentsStickers (mostly untouched K & Co as far too nice to use!) peeloffs + rub onsscrapbooks (mostly gifts and all unused!)

and 3 draws of embellishmentsthere is more of course, much of which is unorganised chaos, so no pics of that!
Some of my stash I really don't like very much, it is from those bargainous packs or mystery boxes from a couple of years ago. Some I absolutely love, the beautiful K & Co Papers with the matching embellishments so lush, mmm can you salivate over stash?? Yep I think you can and therefore it is really hard to actually cut into them or even open the packaging LOL!!!
I did manage to use up some stash yesterday by making 3 really quick and easy cards, I forgot to take any snaps of the first 2 and here is the third, a simple New Home card.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Happy World Book Day!

Yes it's that time of year when our children get those 'vouchers' (that I put in a special place then forget where the special place is and have to buy another book to placate DS and DD!). Or get asked to dress up as a book character (there is only so many years that the Harry Potter costume is gonna fit!). But I actually think that reading a book is not as popular with children as it used to be. Actually it might not even be as popular with adults currently either. A lot of time is spent with multimedia games and wireless devices, where portabililty is no longer a problem. Who is reading out there? I am but I have to make a concerted effort to pick up a book regularly and I find it is easy to get out of the habit. I love reading and really enjoy it, but often find I accomplish and enjoy reading more when on holiday away from the distractions of life (ie the computer, work, cooking, housework etc etc). So I am celebrating World Book Day and sharing the current novel I am reading....
photo 64/365 the Purple Hibiscus
Yesterday I had some fun, I got this marvelous Stash Swop from Laura, via the great forum Craftyplace. There is such a plentiful supply of crafty fabbiness and is so generous, I can't wait to start playing and making!

In fact there is more as I forgot to include the pile of stamped images that I was sent in the photo!!! Thank you so much Laura xxx

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Signs of Spring

Having Hubby at home is so great at times, yesterday was one of those times. I came home from work, he came home from an interview and we spent time together! Then we decided to walk to DS's school to collect him as it was such a bright and sunny day. We even managed to spot some signs of spring in our garden......
a solitary snow drop
and 61/365 a couple of purple crocus's (or is that crocci??!!)
Today I am chilling out as that's what I need to do! I am pottering at home, I have finished another book
house of spirits by Isabelle Allende
and I got a beautiful gift/card through the post which absolutely brightened my day.

Again I was very touched by a surprise from a thoughtful virtual friend thank you xxx

Documenting the lows

I recently read Ruth's blog posts regarding some of the difficulties and lows she has been through recently. I was so grateful to her for sharing not just because it made me feel better about my life, or even that it made me think. Overwhelmingly it made me realise I AM NOT ALONE!
I know I am not the only one who has low points, sometimes bursting into tears... that was Monday afternoon! Sometimes my tummy is so squirmy and my mind so unfocused I cannot concentrate on the activities of daily living (had to escape work yesterday!) let alone do something amazing and creative like crafting!!! Note the lack of MOJO today!!! (Set myself the job of making 3 cards today but have made ZERO!!)

So I decided it was a really important thing personally, to blog about some of the more difficult times for me too. I find writing here so helpful and it may just help me to write some other stuff down too! Last March when my husband's contract finished and he was looking for more work, I didn't really talk about it much, just a few people knew. After 4 months he started another contract but this only lasted 4 months and now it has been 3 months again and we are still hoping for another job. He is really sensible and saves for periods like this but this financial year has been tough and some days are worse than others.
Sometimes it is the silly things isn't it??
At work on Monday everyone was stressed there was yet more talk about the PCT being over budget and the clinic needing to make yet more cuts. I feel my job may be threatened as I am a specialist and therefore on one of the higher pay bands (though I am only part time and it is still only a nurse's salary!) It really made me worry and I got rather overwrought and cried and couldn't sleep properly and felt just as miserable at work on Tuesday (so glad that I have a day off today!) Too many politics at the moment!
I really do appreciate that there are so many other things going on in the world and others are suffering in the aftermath of disasters that I cannot even imangine. I have a wonderful family and a really happy and healthy life with them BUT I also have low times, we all do, I am not alone and neither are you either.

Thanks for reading my blog your comments make me smile and I read them all, other things make me smile and this year I hope to capture some of them to remember them. Like this photo 59/365
another Jammy day for DS with the cat
the last piece of cake... it didn't last long! thank goodness for cake! I have really enjoyed this cake this week, but I am slightly nervous re tomorrows weigh in as I was not in the mood for healthy eating this week. Also I have to confess that I put 1lb on last week as I had eaten out courtesy of my parents and a work meeting (plus some chocolate during half term!!!). But that is another story!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Hubby's birthday

It was DH's birthday at the weekend, so as a rare and special treat the 2 of us went alone to the movies to see a film that was not animated/Pixar/Disney. We saw Avatar in 3D complete with the very glam glasses! I did take a piccy of DH wearing said glasses in the cinema with my mobile, but being a very non-techy person I have no idea how to upload it to my blog (or anywhere else for that matter!!).
So I have had to chose an alternative for Friday's photo and so unable to pick one I chose all these Foodie Friday shots....
before and after Carrot Cake
before and still before Cassata
(I forgot to take a pic of the completed Cassata it looked great and tasted fantastic!) Both of these wonderful recipes were taken from the the fabulous Debbie's blog where she does a new and tasty dish each week. These two were super easy and mega yummy!
The cake turned into a fabby frosted birthday cake, complete with candles for the birthday boy!
and despite being terribly unorganised I just managed to make a birthday card in a very similar design to the Valentine card. I really like the affect of the doilies (bought in America a couple of years ago) and I did some inking of card and letters and used one of my Heidi Swapp acetate hearts (I really love these!). This was my first easel card and they are very easy and fairly quick to put together, which is just as well as I made it while Hubby was at footie training with DS!

We had friends over in the evening and I made 'Coq au Vin' (no photo but have an easy slow cooker recipe if anyone wants it?). DS was hilarious when he asked what it was and we made him try and figure it out... I think anyone with an 8 year old boy (or who knows one) can probably guess what he said (put your guess in the comments section LOL!!!) It was a really pleasant evening with lots of fab food, fine wine and fantastic company.