Sunday, 4 December 2011


Welcome to the last Storytelling Sunday of 2011. Thanks so much to Sian for hosting this, I was quite late to the loveliness but I have so enjoyed joining in.

A few things have collided this week which has resulted in me finding a story…it’s almost a story in itself. I could not envisage any story at all at the beginning of this week as Sian first reminded us so I am quite glad how it has all come together.

The magazine came first, I spent a lovely half-hour in Costa with a hot chocolate a week-ago Friday after I tracked down a copy of Scrap365 (Sian is contributing). The first article I was drawn to was the cover layout and so I was inspired to make a layout which used the ideas of designer Mahlin Wiggur.

Then on Monday my new stash arrived (after having been on a stash diet for two months) so I was excited and inspired by the new papers from BG (Piccadilly). They helped germinate the idea along with the magazine article.


On Friday evening I took a look at the weekly challenge on UKScrappers which inspired the journaling.

I scrapped the layout this evening and as I started to blog the layout I realised that it would make a story for Storytelling Sunday.

I love it when a plan comes together……..actually thinking about it this happened last month that after I had blogged my story, I thought of a layout that would have worked so I am glad it has worked this way round this time.

Ok, so, the story (within the story-are you still with me?)

My middle name is Patricia, my namesake is Patricia Bowles, my Auntie Pat. She is lovely and talented and very special to me and therefore I am honoured to have her name. She is my Mum’s older sister and Mum wanted to name me after her as she was such a help to Mum when I was born.



Mum and Dad lived on Lundy. It is a small island in the Bristol Channel and there are no medical facilities – well I imagine there is a first aider – but no doctor, surgery and certainly no maternity ward, so when Mum was pregnant with me she had to leave and return to the mainland about 6 weeks before my birth and stay there for 6 weeks after I arrived.

My A. Pat and her family, her husband the brilliant, smart, terribly teasing U. Brian and their three cracking children Nick, David & Anne-Marie lived in the most fantastical big house in Station Road, Okehampton with my beloved Granny having her own rooms as well. So I got to live there for a few weeks too, gawd I loved that house.

A. Pat used to take in visitors (as they were called, I never heard them referred to as guests, clients, customers etc it was a family home that had vistors), yes it was that big. I remember excitedly, sleepily coming downstairs when I stayed as an older child and helping her to fill the (homemade) jam pots, butter pots and take the toast racks through, tummy grumbling for my turn. 


I could never decide whether to do this or find a looked-up-to cousin to go out with them on their paper-round, they of course encouraged this and would argue over who was going to get me because I used to deliver the difficult papers, when I say difficult I don’t mean The Daily Mail, I mean they were up lots of steps, or along a long winding path. At the time I thought they were trusting me to do the difficult stuff lol. Of course they were just getting me to do the difficult stuff.

Back at the hearth and dining room we never dressed up in waitressy gear but the visitors were served with kindness, calmness and quietness and by gum it was always top notch food in Denby crockery (My Mum has some of it as A. Pat gave it out when they moved on – I guess she was fairly fed up of looking at it. We collect the Jet range but we love our greeny-blue soup bowls, i’ve a photo somewhere

IMG_0139, yes there it is!),

anyhoo, despite having the visitors and three children of her own she looked after Mum and I so well. I came a couple of days early; Dad had left the island, as I was due, but he didn’t make it to Okehampton in time. So A. Pat held Mum’s hand all through labour and my birth.


She has been there for me for all the major and minor events of my life with a careful word and thought. One of my most treasured possessions is my patchwork quilt that she handmade for me, we went together to the material shop in Tavistock when I was about 20 to choose the patterned material and I was given the quilt on my wedding day aged 26. Sometimes I do wonder if I found a husband just to get my hands on that quilt.

I love My A. Pat and I love that I am named after her.


I also love that the challenges this week have nailed these memories down in words and pictures, which is what we are all about with this scrapbooking thang.


  1. This is lovely, it's great to have story and a connection behind your name. And I love the Scrap365 inspired page :D Fab paintwork!

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Now this is such a great story! My children both have family names and you have reminded me to get those stories down before I forget.

    Wishing you a very Merry Christmas :-)

  3. What a lovely story! Glad you finally felt inspired to get it down on paper!
    Merry Christmas to you :)

  4. How wonderful that you have an aunt that you so admire and how wonderful for her to know how much you admire her - she does know doesn't she?

  5. I love the way you have weaved your story through things related to scrapbooking but really it is about you and your Aunt. Something to treasure!
    Enjoy your Christmas.

  6. Oh I love that you've shared so much about your Aunt Pat with us, and isn't it great to have the layout as well. And how clever of you to show us the layout bit by bit - you storyteller you!

  7. What a fine story this is to finish up the year with! And I couldn't wait to see the layout at the end because the little sneaks were so lovely!

    You have told some powerful stories this year, and I thank you for them. Very much appreciated by us all.

    I hope you and those boys of yours have that Merry Christmas you all need :)

  8. Such a lovely story, thank you for sharing it. I can't begin to imagine living somewhere so remote, are you still there?
    What a lovely relationship you have with the person responsible for you being given your name.

  9. Jen you are a challenge combiner after my own heart - a beautiful page with a real story behind it (and therefore a more inspiring page than the original if truth be told).

    I know this Christmas will be a hard one for you - but hoping that you and your lovely family can raise a glass to happy memories from the past and look forward to making many more.

    Merry Christmas ♥

  10. Debs, no I'm not we came back to the mainland when I was 5, very, very sadly a) as my Granny had an awful stroke and needed looking after and b) we adored it there.

  11. She sounds like a wonderful person to have in your corner!

  12. What a lovely way to remember your aunt....ahe sounds a wonderful person.

  13. What a lovely story and beautiful Lo. I hope you all have a happy and peaceful Christmas together.

  14. How wonderful that you now have this story documented. Sounds like your aunt was a great person, how awesome to be named after her.

    A very Merry Christmas to you!

  15. How wonderful to get this story scrapped and also to share it with us. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas.

  16. Your storytelling is wonderful Jen. We are so honoured that you share these precious memories with us. And the LO is so gorgeous. A truly special addition to your album xxxx

  17. that was a great family story to share, Auntie pat sounds wonderful. I love your LO too all the paint/ink affect and your writing is lovely wishing you and yours a Happy Christmas xxx

  18. What a sweet story and a fitting tribute to someone who has played such an important role in your life!

  19. What a lovely story and wonderful layout to go with it. Thanks so much for sharing them both with us. I hope you have a Merry Christmas.

  20. Lovely story and LO..and howlovely to have such a special bond with your aunt!
    Alison xx

  21. Such a beautiful layout and I love the story behind it all. You look very like your Aunt.

  22. What a lovely tribute to your Aunt, she sounds like a wonderful person. Wishing you a Merry Christmas xx

  23. What a lovely story and what a wonderful layout! I really like your take on it.


Aren't you lovely, you have made me smile =)