Saturday, 29 December 2012

Love Actually, Actually.

As I watch this film (that in more frivolous years I loved) with one eye, whilst I catch up with a few things online, I couldn't help but think about what Hugh Grant (erm...The Prime Minister) says at the beginning of the film.

That really Love is all around...

My family.

My friend that got married this year and couldn't be more loved up.

My other friend that got married this year and is so happy enjoying her first christmas together with her husband.

Two colleagues that celebrated a year of being together today.

A colleague that has just moved into a really nice house with her children after a difficult year in a bad flat.

A colleague that recently got engaged and three other colleagues that are marrying in 2013.

Two colleagues that happily moved in together.

Friends and family that have celebrated 25, 30, 40 and 50 years of marriage.

So despite all the hard and difficult things that we all face (and those that I love and care for have faced too much of that this year) it is still there if you look for it and I am grateful to still be able to see it. 

image from google images

Come on 2013, what nice things, what lovely things do you have for us?

Friday, 28 December 2012

Project Life: JYC styleee.

Firstly, I would love to take the opportunity to wish all of my lovely readers, subscribers and followers, season's greetings. As we turn into the new year I hope you all have the year that you wish for yourself. I am hoping for a bit of peace on the home and family front and a bit of an adventure on the work front.  

Well it took me forever to suss out how to record December, the season, this year. Through November I was convinced that I would complete project life and a fabulous Journal Your Christmas scrapbook. But by the end of November I realised that if I made a book I would scrape through project life. So I decided to amalgamate.

The first spread.

The second spread.

I have five more spreads completes to take us up to Christmas Eve (and with a bit of light, the camera and the album in the same place in the next couple of days I will share) and I imagine there will be a couple more from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day, I will add in what we do at New Year (supper and a movie is on the cards, I know, steady on gal) and call it done for 2012. 

I cannot believe that I have managed the photo a day challenge and project life. I have struggled but perservered with the photo a day for the last 3 months and there was a couple of times when I got up to 6 weeks behind on project life and basically did a photo and filler job for a few weeks, but the rest of the weeks where I did keep up are great. My favourite scrapping this year. 

So I am definitely carrying on and have a few tips up my sleeve to make it even simpler and a bit different. With children of school age you have similar years, ebbs and flows, around the school timetable and events that they love to celebrate. I have captured that this year so I am going to look for other angles on our lives, more our thoughts rather than what we did.

OK, enjoy the last few days of 2012 and I will be back with the rest of project life. x

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Be Afraid.

Raising money for charidee yesterday.

Watch at your own peril.

Be Afraid. from Jennie Hart on Vimeo.

I did warn you.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Hello, hello, hello...

...and a very merry christmas to you all. 

I was so well intentioned that I would be all bloggy, project lifeyinstagrammey and crafty and I am happy that I have been doing all of it apart from the bloggy bit so I thought I would do a bit of catchy-uppy.

I love being so busy doing Christmassy stuff, usually it feels a bit of a chore after long working days so my manifesto this year (as I am part-time, discussed so many times ;) ) was to make it handmade, to dial it back to having a nice peaceful time and to record it in some fashion. I am so happy that I have. 

I have loved the JYC prompts, it has really helped 'frame' it all, thanks Shimelle. I have loved sharing photos through #JYC2012 on Instagram. 
I have loved baking new recipes, hello orange curd infused christmas brioche. 

I have loved making advent boxes filled with sweets and nuts.

I have loved making snowflakes and other decorations to hang in the window, on the tree and attach to cards as a gift.

I have loved hanging out with my dookie boys, watching movies and cuddling.

I have loved dressing up and serving my colleagues a lovely christmas dinner and then partying with them (although the Jaeger Bombs? Not so much.)

I have loved the little moments, Mr or Mrs Robin visiting us every day and getting braver, (hoping, they will sing soon too),

Cradling a Costa Black Forest Hot Chocolate whilst waiting in the cold.

Helping Mum make the christmas wreath (similar to the one I made for Halloween here from a UKS challenge) and seeing her pleasure that she made it.

Trimming the tree, they are all laughing at me here as I am generally happy with the colour, lights and adornments, but not the size of it. They have all agreed that in addition to the Christmas gift fund, we will have a christmas tree fund to get me a replacement tree for the one I lost two years ago *sigh*. This little creature Minty mainly responsible for it's demise due to her running through the tree to get to her windowsill.

New decorations this year, green glitter baubles and some Dorset Button style ones that are a lovely blog prize I won on Sue's blog for one of Creative Craft World's Christmas Countdown posts

I have loved the big things, seeing people, Chris & Tony (the two most nicest people on the planet) coming to visit for the day, my bestie Sue being near and able to go for the nicest lunch with, going to see a show with Louis, Farm Boy (there is still magic with an older child I am pleased to see), going to see a ballet, Roald Dahl's Little Red Riding Hood (a first for me, mum and Ali), seeing Ali sing at the library christmas fayre

It's all been good, well except the day after (and the day after) the Jaeger Bombs.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Lighting the Lights.

I am joining in with Sian's Storytelling Sunday and this is part of my Christmas journaling massively helped by Shimelle's JYC2012.

My favourite way to start off Christmas round our way. Lighting the lights in our town. Starting with a procession through the town of all the children and their (slightly giddy) parents carrying lanterns. Ali made his in class and brought it home all ready. Mum and I made our own.

The first drama was it slipping out of the string that they had tied it on with and smashing to smithereens on the pavement. Ali took it very well and fortunately he could carry one of ours.

Of course Santa came.

After we reached the War Memorial we had the countdown to switching on the lights, the lights came on and then a lovely fireworks display.

The second drama (and not nearly so bad) was recording the fireworks and being happy that this year I had my lovely phone that could do this and then realising I hadn't pressed play. There is a precedent for this when I failed to press record when Ali took his investiture into the Beavers, lesson not learned then.

Ali wanted to spend his pennies on this bonkers hat, that has mittens on the end of it's very long ears, which is pretty genius or pretty wierd; not sure which yet?

It was pretty nice that we didn't have the torrential rain of last year and was crispy and cold with a bright moon. A lovely natural light.

So the season started there really.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Yay, December.

Is it really? Great, I have been looking forward to it.

For my third year I shall be joining in with Journal Your Christmas, Shimelle's annual class that you will no doubt know about. Should you not, then please have a look here.

So today we are thinking about the season and how we are approaching it, what we are thinking about it. 
I love this part of the season; the anticipation, the slightly-out-of-breath-i've-so-much-to-do feeling. 

I like that we take time to think about it and record it as well as doing it.

  JYC Manifesto

So here is to looking for peacefulness.
What are you looking for this season? Fun, cuddles, laughter, quiet? I'd love to know.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Stir up Sunday.

I just love all that the name evokes.

It comes from the Book of Common Prayer, and the stir-up it beseeches has become associated with a reminder that it is time to get the puddings and cake made.

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people; that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

It falls on the Sunday before Advent begins, and that dear folks is next Sunday, so if you think that it isn't time to get on with it, Christmas I mean, then I am afraid it really is :D

So I have had a day in the kitchen 'warming-up' just some cupcakes and soup. Good job I did have the warm-up; the soup turned out horribly. So hopefully that is the thing that will go wrong today. After dinner I shall get on with the stirring-up of the fruits ready for the cake, everyone will have a wish as they stir it and then I shall let it steep overnight. I won't make a pudding, no-one in our family really loves it and I will get some elsewhere with Christmas dinners I expect.

Mum usually makes the cake and it is a darned fine cake, but it was her and Rich's thing, the cake, and understandably hasn't the heart for it this year, I don't want it to become a 'thing' for her so I will make one and hope that she will enjoy it. 

Oh and she will probably read this as she became a follower last week. Hello Mum :D The cake won't be nearly as good.

I have just the recipe from the stalwart Good Housekeeping Cookery Book. I haven't had a duff recipe from there in 11 years so I am going to try that one.

And, now, I have just the place to add the recipe to if it goes well. 

I made it this morning with some gorgeous papers from Ruby Rock-it called appropriately enough Cook!
Plenty of space in there for our very favourite recipes. As Mum said when she saw the soup, it won't be going in 'The box'.

 I can't leave without showing the incredibly bad shot of our Robin. He has only recently joined our gang here and what a lovely early Christmas present he is.

Have a lovely week everyone and well, stir it up.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Scrapbook Remix No. 2

Another couple of layouts for the class and to satisfy a couple of challenges on UKS.

Using lots of layers, or at least lots for me. Every time I do this I love it so I must remember to do it more. 

I was cross with myself as I had stuck down the first few layers before inking, which had I done in black would have given it better definition.

Love this Echo Park - For The Record 2.

This was for the monthly challenge to use cream, blue and yellow.  Set by my teamie Sue and inspired by my other teamie Susi's buttons.

I also used a sketch from the class which is pretty unbeatable as a sketch I think. One photo of a person or thing with a back-up photo (good detail and uses up space), layers to complement the background, journaling and title. It takes your eye through nicely, you can make it clean and simply, mad amounts of layers as here and messy it up with inks and paints too. Well of course I know you can do that with any sketch of course but this one just sang out to me.

This was Simple Stories - Harvest Lane.  

Now was that The Postie I heard? He is bringing me new types of glue to try. I am inappropriately happy about that. Stalking him for pretty paper is one thing but I think I have reached a whole other level of obsessed when it is for glue.


Thursday, 8 November 2012

Scrapbook Remix.

I am getting so much out of this class, not to mention actually using up some stash. I have been sighing over the old papers that just sit there and so I have set some goals to get it on pages. Shimelle's classes give me so much inspiration to just get on and do it, rather than procrastinating, being online looking at what everyone else is doing.

These pages are a bit different than my normal go to. Usually I get some white 12x12 and stick my favourite pics, papers and embellies to it, but Shimelle is offering us a real chance to explore our individual style and what we like to make scrapping easier for ourselves. So I have been working away at the prompts and workshops, watching the fab videos and making a few 'different' pages.

This was the first (excuse the shadow of the easel through the base paper) following a sketch and for me using up stash, I even used the last of that lovely Crate Random paper. You can just see Louis stretching to reach his cars on the table when he was just a little dot.

Another sketch and a suggestion to use the b-sides and see whether we like that, I did. Aww Ducky Duck, you were fun.

I actually, actively took a photo of me after getting dolled up for the wedding I attended in the summer. Gawd, I have got to shift some weight. We looked at using muted pastels here. It was a bit cleaner until I shook the silver shimmer mist, the top came off, all over the wall, curtains, layout, photo, I have a giant grey freckle on my neck in the photo now.  

One of Louis and his Dad, I didn't over think this one and I am half happy with it. I had a disaster with the thickers. I thought it would be good to use some green beads up but it didn't work out, ho hum. Looking at it now, it needs much more layers I think.

This last one is not my usual thing at all, it made me feel a bit freaky, which is freaky, feeling freaky about scrapbooking.
I also did it as a double to use up the three not so good photos I had left over from another layout. They are made at different times and with different stash but seem to be ok to sit together in an album. The photo is awful, it was a late night job to upload for the monthly challenge at UKS I think :)

So I don't love, love, love the layouts but I am definitely loving the class, I am finding out more about what I like, don't like, will try again etc and i'm using up stash.