Sunday 25 November 2012

Jennifer's Frosty Festivities

Just rushing onto blogger to share the 2 layouts I made for Jennifer's fantastic weekend.  These are both winter LO's made with non winter papers

Sunday 11 November 2012

11th Month 11th day 11th hour

My workmate is ex Army and he posted this today on facebook and I share it with you here ......

Remember the Unknown Warrior

On September 7th 1920, in strictest secrecy four unidentified British bodies were exhumed from temporary battlefield cemeteries at Ypres, Arras, the Asine and the Somme. None of the soldiers who did the digging were told why. The bodies were taken by field ambulance to GHQ at St-Pol-sur-Ternoise. 

There the bodies were draped with the Union Flag. Sentries were posted and Brigadier-General Wyatt and a Colonel Gell selected one body at Random. A French honour guard was selected, who stood by the coffin overnight. In the morning of the 8th a specially designed coffin made of oak from the grounds of Hampton Court was brought and the Unknown Warrior placed inside. 

On top was placed a Crusaders Sword and a shield on which was inscribed 'A British Warrior who fell in the Great War 1914-1918 For King and Country'. On the 9th of November the Unknown Warrior was taken by horse drawn carriage through Guards of Honour and the sound of tolling bells and bugle calls to the Quayside. There it was saluted by Marechal Foche and loaded onto HMS Verdun bound for Dover.

The coffin stood on the deck covered in wreaths and surrounded by the French Honour Guard. On arrival at Dover the Unknown Warrior was greeted with a 19 gun salute, normally only reserved for field marshals. He then travelled by special train to Victoria station London.

He stayed there overnight and on the morning of the 11th of November he was taken to Westminster Abbey. The Idea of the Unknown Soldier was thought of by a Padre called David Railton who had served at the front during the Great War and it was the Union Flag he used as an altar cloth at the front, which had been draped over the coffin.

The intention was that all relatives of the 517,773 combatants whose bodies had not been identified could believe that the Unknown Warrior could very well be their lost Husband, Father, Brother or Son.

Every year on the 11th of November remember the Unknown Warrior....

Monday 5 November 2012

Family 12x12 blog hop November

Wow I cannot believe this is the 11th blog hop and the 10th family photo I have taken this year!  Where has 2012 gone???

Anyway I think this month it is just the host Margie and myself sharing our family snaps, you can find Margie in Beijing and on her blog here. So hop on over to check out her family snaps, which I believe include everyone in Halloween costumes.  I can't wait to see that one!

So I have 2 photos this month, neither is very good quality but both capture a fun night out on my birthday this month.

So do you love my balloon hat??? It was a fab night and we laughed and laughed. I was so embarrassed as the restaurant staff sang Happy Birthday in front of everyone but when they asked my name I said it was Grace (not sure why as it not my name and why did I pick that one???) the children thought it was really funny!  We certainly made some good memories that night!

I think I may end up posting this post before Margie posts hers as last month I was very late so I have decided to go early this time!!!  Please go and check out Margie's pics too

Sunday 4 November 2012

Story telling Sunday November 2012

On a dark but not very stormy night, after several attempts the bonfire was finally lit.

My Dad loves his garden and spends as much time as possible looking after the trees, bushes, flowers and shrubs.  Then once a year on Bonfire Night he burns as much woody rubbish as possible and I have shared a picture of him from last year on the post here. This year was much quieter with fewer people coming over to my parents but we still stirred the Christmas pudding as per family tradition.

I really appreciated the opportunity to spend time alone with Dad at the bottom of the garden, keeping warm as the flames roared with burning garden detritus. We had the opportunity to chat, mostly about my work in the NHS, he always listens, gives an opinion and indulges my mad ideas! Spending time with my Dad is more important than ever,

This time last year he was 3 cycles in to his chemotherapy, at Christmas he developed arterial blood clots and almost had his leg amputated. The chemo had to stop and he was left with damage to the leg and has to wear a supportive splint.  Sadly we got the news that the cancer has now spread to his liver and lungs.  He is the bravest person and his faith in God really gives him strength.  The prognosis is poor, just months maybe longer with chemo, so yes he has decided to try again with those evil drugs and has completed his first cycle, the second has been delayed due to a low white blood count.

Last year Deb shared on her blog about her Mum Marti and her cancer diagnosis.  Through her honesty many of us learnt about the signs and symptoms of Ovarian cancer and it raised awareness as we became part of Team Teal supporting Marti with thoughts, prayers, cards and letters.  When my dad was first diagnosed I wanted to 'talk' to Deb as she was the one person who knew what I was going through.  Marti lost her battle with cancer only a few weeks ago, since then I have been thinking long and hard about my Dad.  So I want to honour Marti's memory by continuing to bring cancer to the attention of anyone who might read this blog so I will share more of my Dad's journey with you.

I would like to repeat this quote from Deb's last blog post

 "Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but the ability to turn it into glory." ~ William Barclay

For more Story telling Sunday bloggers head over to Sians.

Sunday 7 October 2012

The mummy game......

Halloween 2011

Halloween 2008
Halloween 2006

Have you ever played the Mummy Game???? It is a traditional part of our Halloween party as you can see!
In each of the above photos is one of my children can you spot them?!  It can be tricky when they are all dressed up. We always do something for Halloween and usually end up hosting a party for the children and their friends followed by trick or treating. I was discouraged from celebrating Halloween growing up so it makes me a little bit OTT about it now as a grown up, decorating the house inside and out!

Today's brief tale (mostly told in pictures!) was brought to you as part of Sian's story telling Sunday please visit her blog here to read more.

Saturday 6 October 2012

family 12 x 12 blog hop (running late!) October

Firstly apologies for running late I completely got my dates and days muddled up so sorry if I confused you all!  I have had my photo ready to go from an adventure we had in September can you guess where we are????

This is outside the Harry Potter Studios in Leavesden.  We had the most fantastic day there, well it should have been about 3 hours but I think I stretched it out to about 6 and we took literally hundreds of photos (I have over 500 and haven't looked at my daughters pics yet!)

If you like Harry Potter then this is an amazing experience, if you love Harry Potter then this is absolutely mind blowingly over the top fan-bloomin-tastic!!! You must go and leave plenty of time as there is so much to see and do you will not regret it!

Todays photos were brought to you as part of Margie's regular family photo series where she encourages us to take monthly pics and share them together check out her blog for more details.  There is only one other person on the blog hop this month Jo so pop over to check out her photo too.

Sunday 16 September 2012

UKS challenges

I didn't enter any of the challenges in August as I had too much going on especially as I was away for 2 weeks in sunny Cyprus! I did manage to quickly view a few blogs whilst away so check your country stats and see if Cyprus comes up...... it was me!

Anyway today is the deadline for both the weekly and monthly challenges on UKS and I have managed to do both.

The weekly challenge was to use the sketch provided, washi tape, chipboard and add real or faux sewing. This was my page......

Although it is difficult to see, I added tiny faux stitches in white pen to the edges of both the rec checked papers, I used a chipboard heart and covered it in washi tape and based my page on the sketch though opted for just one photograph (not a great one but a good reminder of a fun night!)

The monthly house challenge was very simple, it was work, rest or play. I opted for play and used ideas/sketch taken from a weekly challenge a while ago that I was unable to complete at the time.....

The photographs are pretty awful as they were taken with a disposable, waterproof camera whilst swimming in the sea from a boat but cut down from 6x4 and put into this grid they don't seem too bad and I have another Antigua page completed.

Wierd that these pictures were taken almost exactly a year apart but scrapped on the same day!

Wednesday 12 September 2012

The final scavenger photos

The final photos were all found here and there..........

Number 10 a horse and his friend at the Olympic park

Number 3 a border, a great view across the Olympic park demonstrating some of the wonderful landscaping of the grounds including the flower borders.

Number 19 an outdoor stairway, I found several of these during the summer but decided to use another Olympic photo as the Olympics were such a highlight for me. I think the above photo and this are probably interchangeable as there are staircases and flower borders in both of them!

When we arrived at Waterloo en route to the Olympics it was raining then but brightened up for us later in the day but it was a perfect shot for number 5 a train

Finally number 1 a picture of a pier, taken near Weymouth in Dorset.

I have totally loved this scavenger photo hunt, it has been excellent fun. I also found the 2 substitute items. I picked up a beautiful heart shaped stone on the beach in Cyprus as I thought I would never find a bride or fountain and I found a four leaf clover ..... sticker, but I didn't take any pictures as I had completed my hunt for 21 Summer Photos (I did keep the heart shaped stone though!!)

thank you thank you thank you Rinda xxx

Tuesday 11 September 2012

More scavenger photos

These photos were all collected locally................

Number 13 inside my local library

Number 4 featuring me in a roadside stall 'tuck shop' fundraising for scouts

this is the Golden Angel on top of Guildford Cathedral for number 8. It is fifteen feet high and weighs over a ton and was given in memory of a young soldier killed in 1944

Number 18 a movie poster for the latest Spiderman film that DS and I watched in 3D

Number 15 shows several people dancing including DS at his year 6 leavers disco

Number 2 a clothesline in my garden one of the first days of our summer when we could hang washing out (although we are having great weather now)

Monday 10 September 2012

Family 12 x 12 blog hop August and September

Hi everyone and welcome to the monthly blog hop where a small group of us share photographs of our families once a month. Please visit the marvellous Margie's blog to find out more.

There wasn't a blog hop in August so I am sharing my August photo and my September one with you today.

On July 31st I was aware that I hadn't taken a photo for the month but luckily we were all off to the Olympic park together. A Gamesmaker offered to take a picture for me as I was struggling with the self timer. Yet again my family opted for a 'back of the head' shot! Focussing on the Olympic Stadium in the background.

In August we had a holiday to Cyprus and for one week we had friends in the same resort so they took a photo of us on our last night with them,

Please continue on this months blog hop by visiting Monica's blog

Sunday 9 September 2012

Scavenging for photos

I have been meaning to blog more of my photographs from Rinda,s Summer Scavenger Hunt
these are the ones I found whilst on holiday in Cyprus.................

Number 17 there were so many churches in Cyprus and I really loved them, but I finally settled on this one as it also had the flag flying outside

Number 16 A bride, I am hoping that this photo will be accepted as a nun is a bride of Christ and this one made me smile as she sat texting.

Number 12 A trail that I tried to follow as far as I could down to the salt lake but it was so hot and the rest of the family were waiting in the air conditioned car so I turned round and headed back!

Finally a fountain for Number 9, found in the mountain town of Platres that resembled an alpine resort in temperatures of 33 degrees hard to believe that people really ski here in the winter!

Number 11 A shadow photo of the family that includes one of Elliot's crutches

Number 6 a historical landmark. This is a view of Aphrodite's Rock, where legend has it that Aphrodite emerged from sea foam, it is known as her birthplace and is probably the most famous 'historical' landmark on the whole Island.

Sunday 2 September 2012

Story telling Sunday September 2012

it is September, time to return to school, return to learning.

I hope to Learn Something New Every Day with Shimelle

Some of these new things may include:-
  • learning a new routine as DS moves from Primary to Seconday school
  • learning how to be an organised housewife in 20 days (I suspect it might take me a whole lot longer!!!)
  • learning what some of the changes will be at work and how they will affect my job
  • learning to cope with my Dad's latest diagnosis and prognosis
I think September might be the start of a steep learning curve in the roller-coaster of life!!

Today I have joined in with Story Telling Sunday brought to you by the letter S ...... Sian From High in the Sky

Sunday 5 August 2012

Story Telling Sunday August 2012

''Summer lovin' had me a blast, Summer lovin' happened so fast......... tell me more, tell me more!''

This year, this summer I have fallen in love, head over heels quite unexpectedly. I think about my new love every day, several times a day.  I search twitter, the internet, newspapers, the television in the hope of seeing a photo or to learn something more about my consuming obsession.

I finish work and hurry home, I stay up late, spending precious moments together, often just the 2 of us, alone.  I had the opportunity to travel to see my new love, with careful planning I arrived in plenty of time and my stomach was churning with excitement, it was meant to be yet it felt unreal somehow like being on holiday or as if I was at Disneyland it felt magical!

This was my first glimpse .....

Yep, I have fallen for the Olympics and was lucky enough to go to the Olympic Park at Stratford, East London, like many first dates there were flowers

  I loved all the areas of wild flowers throughout the park, so beautiful

This is photograph number 21 in Rinda's Photo scavenger hunt, I think this is definitely a picture of me with something that symbolises my nation it is the Olympic Stadium (not actually open the day we visited)

We watched women's hockey, which was great fun especially as we got to see Team GB in action ( we won 5 - 3, this was a goal shot and fits in very nicely with item 14 on the scavenger hunt, a person playing with a ball)

During the GB game there was a band playing encouraging chants and patriotic songs (item 7 a person playing an instrument!)

Friday night I went to an Olympics party with my book club chums, we all brought a dish that represented a country (or at least we were meant to!!) I made Key Lime Pie which was a request.  It was a great evening , drinking champagne, watching the Olympics, enjoying good company.

I am actually going back to the Olympic park today to see the women's basketball, so hope to get a few more photographs and memories, there will definitely be a few scrapbook pages from London 2012.

Are you enjoying the Olympics?  Have you also fallen in love??  
Today's post has been brought to you care of Story Telling Sunday hosted as always by the wonderful Queen of story telling Sian from high in the sky.

Saturday 4 August 2012

Rinda's photo scavenger link up party

Last year Rinda set a fantastic Summer Photographic Scavenger hunt and I managed to find and snap several of the required images.  Sadly I never got round to sharing any of my finds and missed out!

2012 brings another Scavenger hunt and I have been seeking out the items.  I have temporarily misplaced some of my photographs, probably because the laptop was out of action for a time.  Today Rinda has organised a party for us all to join in and celebrate by blogging about the scavenger hunt, check it out here.

I am just going to share one shot, of item number 20, a swing hanging from a tree

When I saw this prompt I immediately thought of this fabulous swing that hangs from a huge tree in my friend's garden.  

There will be more photos, in fact I am planning on posting a couple tomorrow of my Summer Love for Story Telling Sunday.

Sunday 8 July 2012

Organisation Celebration at Jennifer's Jumbles

Over at Jennifer's Jumbles last weekend Organisation Celebration was happening.  Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to view most of the posts until this week and I even got the answer to the blog hop wrong as I did it too quickly lol!
There were so many interesting posts and I picked up lots of cool ideas including these:-

  • cooking 
    • I need to use my slow cooker more
    • I must think about quick go to meals for when I am short of time
    • there is nothing wrong with a take away!
  • blogging
    • I need to plan (say no more!)
  • positive planning
    • I answered all the questions and have a few areas to look at
  • how to use
    • I have a Fiskars shape cutter and templates unused and unloved how do I use it???
  • use more scraps
    • This brings me nicely to Jennifer's sketch

I am a huge sketch fan as you probably already know, so I had to use this one as well as using my scraps and I completed another page from the pile of Antigua photos

the picture isn't great as it has been so dark here but everything on the LO is from my scraps pile.  The little green piece that says Love it is from the edge border that gets cut from co-ordinations card stock and the green journalling is from the same source.  Nothing wasted here!

Thanks Jennifer for all the hard work you put into last weekend.  I am looking forward to the next one already.

Thursday 5 July 2012

Family x 12 July Blog Hop

Wow where did the time go???  July already, 2012 is just whizzing by and there are still so many things to come....
so today I am part of Margie's family photo blog hop where a bunch of us try and take a pic of our 'family' each month and share on our blogs.  I love the fact that it reminds me to capture the 4 of us together on a monthly basis as I am rarely in photos and we are rarely in photos together.  Think about joining in as it is really simple yet really worthwhile and it is open to anyone and everyone.

This month I took the photo really early on Sunday June 3rd, which was the day the wider family gathered together to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.  This month was a lot of fun with the props.  This month the kids weren't as fussy about posing ....

You can see why... they were hiding behind the masks!  We were dressed in red, white and blue and I had bought these mad masks and it was such brilliant fun getting everyone to pose as a different Royal.  The only downside was the weather so all the photos were taken inside on a wet, grey day and there wasn't quite enough room for a group mask photo!  I hope this brings a smile to your face!

Today you should have come form our host Margie's blog and your next stop is Monica's blog here is the full list of participants in case you get lost:


Sunday 1 July 2012

story telling Sunday June 2012

At this time of year my mind begins to think about holidays,  Past, present or future holidays with all the memories or all the plans!  We have recently booked our break abroad for this summer hoping to find some Sunshine.

My husband often reminisces whilst watching television, his favourite phrase is 'I've been there'.  We could be watching a news report form London, a wildlife documentary in Mull, a holiday programme set in New Zealand and frequently, all the wonderful shows we watch set in numerous cities in the USA, it doesn't matter if 'I've been there'!

A few years ago Hubby and I were lucky enough to spend a long weekend in New York to celebrate my birthday.  Our hotel was literally round the corner from the Empire State building and we loved exploring the city recognising so many familiar landmarks as seen in magazines, films or tv.

We took one of the guided bus tours and came across a film crew in action on the bridge just outside Grand Central Station

I know it is really difficult to see but there is a group of people fighting and Will Smith the star of the film is there.  The film is I am Legend and my husband and I have seen the film and really can say 'I've been there'!!

'I've been there' is now a joke between our family and I keep making to make a scrap book page or even a mini album about this phrase and the places it may respond to so this post is the start and hopefully it will motivate me to craft about it.

This post has been brought to you courtesy of Sian's story telling Sunday please visit her blog here to read many more tales.

ATDML Challenge 2

Challenge 2 at ATDML was all about jubilee bunting.  Although I made a layout about my son celebrating his birthday with a jubilee party I didn't add any bunting,  I was inspired however to make some jubilee cards with bunting

The bunting was actually made using a triangle punch and left over jubilee paper chains in red, white and blue. Another piece of bunting was attached to a cocktail stick to make the flag used on most of the cards.  I used some Portobello Road papers, some freebie ones and some colour appropriate ones from my stash. A stamped and embossed gold crown on gold paper completed the card.

 I decided to send these cards as 'Happy Mail inspired by the wonderful Ginger and her Mail Art Exchange  so they have been sent out mostly to America, one to Spain and one to the UK (which I know has arrived!) So watch your mail boxes ladies as there could be a little package arriving any day now!

Saturday 30 June 2012

ATDML challenge 5

This challenge at ATDML was  an olympic themed Medal winners podium of 1-2-3. and they asked  that you create a scrapbook page featuring

  1. ONE sheet of cardstock
  2. TWO sheets of patterned paper
  3. THREE photographs

 I used Shimelles latest ANFSD page as my inspiration with 3 photographs of the 4 of us snorkelling in Antigua last year

I put together a kit of patterned papers for my Antigua photographs  with a turquoisey blue colour theme as I had so many sea and pool pics.  It has lasted really well and I am getting down to the last few scraps so using just 2 thin strips of patterned paper on the left was perfect.  I had all the tags, stickers and embellishments sitting around unused so was pleased to finally get them all on a page although I am not convinced that I would use them in this way again!