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. 

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Storytelling Sunday: ...and i'm not looking forward to the journey home neither.

It's that time again, Sian is hosting Storytelling Sunday here.
Do you remember that advert? It was for Carling Black Label, an old fisherman staggered into a bar from a storm and said he ‘wasn’t looking forward to the journey home neither’ in a broad west country accent. When he had had his pint he went back out and rowed across a boating lake.
Our family loved that advert, my Dad drank Carling, and yes he did use to say “I’ll have a Carling darling” at the bar. So sophisticated :)

The worst storm I was in was very wierd, it was during the 1994 World Cup. I worked at sea for P&O and we wanted to watch a game so we were in the crew mess. Obviously this was in the dark ages of satellite and it was intermittent once we got halfway across the channel. So we knew that we would probably lose the signal but suddenly the lights went out as well. There were howls of frustration, but once we saw that not only the signal had gone but the power as well we were intrigued. The power going out was a big deal. We poured out onto B deck to look at the sea, the generator kicked in with it’s lurid greeny-yellow light. Now there were very few people working at sea that were not obsessed with the sea, the way it changed every hour or so was magical and we always felt the need to get out on deck to feel it, not just watch through the portholes or windows. Even though we were used to unusual sea scenes we were amazed at what we saw. We could see the storm riding across the sea and it was green, a beautiful spooky green and flashed through with electric lightning, the salty smell was muted as there were no waves, it is so difficult to describe but it was eerie. 

Sadly I do not have a photo of this so I will leave you of one with my Dad. This was a night he came over on the ferry to see me. It was known as a round-trip when a passenger would go out one-way, go shopping in the turnaround time and come straight back. My Dad was a huge sea traveller, he went around the world twice as a merchant seaman and he was proud of me becoming an officer, I was the accommodation officer, they didn’t let me steer :D I got on well with the Captain, ‘JW’ and so he got a Bridge visit as well and this was us having a drink in the bar afterwards.

This layout is ancient, I have just dug it out of an album in the wardrobe and smiled to see some of my old layouts.

I do miss him. 

Carling, Darling. Really?

Friday, 2 November 2012

Simply A Moment: same as it ever was.

Alexa has started hosting Simply A Moment, a lovely idea to record a moment in time each month and then of course you can scrap it if you so wish. The moment I wanted to record came on a walk with the family on Monday.

I can share the start of the moment, but then it is Louis' moment.

Monday 29th October 2012.
Walking along the railway line, chitter-chattering with Mum and the boys.
The sun is shining weakly through the trees, the trees are dark-barked and damp, the branches are showing their shape as the leaves are mostly gone. Some of the leaves are drifting down but most of them are already on the path. They are a small bank at the edge of the path, why do they not settle everywhere? They are soggy and feel hazardous to walk on. 
The dogs are ‘bellowing’, after seven years of walks they still don’t get that if they pull on their leads their throats hurt, I wonder how old they will be when they trot alongside rather than pull. I look forward to it and of course I don’t.
Louis and I stop to look at the mossy bank, it is so steep and so high, like the cliffs just a mile or two away. It is covered in ferns, small shrubs and young trees, below them is the most amazing array of mosses. I love the texture of them, I remark this to Louis and he stops to look and agrees with me, he points out the vibrant lurid green of one of them and we muse on the variety of greens that there are. Mum points out how many things we don’t know about the natural world that carries on not a mile from where we live and we have a conversation about the amount of things about this world that there must be to know and how very, very little any one person, however clever, would ever learn.  
As we turned around at the tunnel Louis looked a little pensive and thoughtful so I slowed down with him and let Mum and Ali get ahead. I asked Louis if I could take his photo as there was great light. He looked a little annoyed and so I told him that I had been scrapbooking and it made me sad that I hadn’t any recent photos of him to scrap. He agreed and I took a few shots. Right at the end he put his head in his hands and said “It’s just too hard”, I said “What? Having your photo taken?”, “No, growing-up”.
I stopped sharp and took a breath. I kept my face calm and then gently smiled whilst I braced myself. 
“It’s going to be hard, the next bit, is that what you are worried about?”...
...sometime when you are in your twenties you will turn round and think, I know, i’ll go and see Mum, and you will and we will be fine.”
“I love you Mum.”
“I love you too, more than anything.”
And we walked the last few steps to the end of the path with our arms around each other, same as it ever was, (Ali is a hand holder, Louis and I have always hugged as we walked) apart from how far up my side he reaches and how bittersweet my feelings are about how time is running out for us for this stage of his life. Boyhood; every day of babyhood feels like a minute and a day, every day of toddlerhood feels like a lifetime and then it just starts to speed away......until it is very much a memory.  

Good grief, I just want to stop time, rewind and enjoy him all over again, he is the sweetest kid ever, has never given me any trouble, literally since he was born. I love it that he is worried about being an awful teenager which makes me think it will be fine. Famous Last Words.