Back down to earth

So where did Christmas go? I am reliably informed that there is snow forecast in the next couple of days - why couldn't it have been on Christmas day!Anyway,back down to earth a bit more now.It has been lovely to have the family all together again.Two of the men in the family have gone off to Spurs (hope they win), one is here still eating and I am now going to go and get myself ready as the two of us have been invited for fish pie round at a friends after the men get back from footie.Hopefully I will have some scrapping time in the next couple of days to catch up.Oh,the cake was yum by the way!Here's a couple of pics including a very rare one of the boys and one girlfriend,normally one hides and won't let me take photos and one will not smile so it's rare indeed to get one of them all together and smiling !


Merry Christmas !

Okay, so the man in the cake shop helped a little bit ! Have a great day all xx


Silly photo time -Happy Christmas! ..

Yahoo- have just finished work until the new year,this will be the first time since the boys were little that I have had time off in between so I am really looking forward to a long(ish) break.In amongst all the chaos and the cooking -just going off to make some mince pies for tomorrow in a mo,I would like to wish all my lovely blogging friends a very Happy Christmas and prosperous 2010.I have found lots of lovely people through blogging and scrapbooking and shall continue to 'hop' around in the future.I shall raise a glass to you all later not forgetting those no longer here (miss you Mum) who stay very much alive in our hearts...Still got pressies to wrap and a few odds and ends to catch up on and cakes to finish,so for now I'll leave you with a silly photo of me ...I will no doubt be back later with some more ..


Let it snow,let it snow, let it snow

Of all the evenings to go Christmas shopping, last night was not such a good one !After going straight from work rushing to get there before they closed we managed to get loads done then decided to have something to eat. We eventually got back to the car park at 9 ish and realised it had been snowing a blizzard! We drove home and at first it was all Christmassy and fun especially as Cliff was on the radio singing 'Mistletoe and Wine', then as we got nearer to home it got really horrible,you couldn't see very far in front of you and couldn't make out where the road ended and where the middle was! Anyway, all was well and we made it home.It has melted a tiny bit during the day but more is forecast this evening,so we wait - maybe we weill have a white Christmas...here's a few pics snowy us...


Christmsas Crop

Yesterday was spent at the Craftystash Christmas crop. We had lots of lovely festive food and two great layouts to complete both designed by Stephanie Garbett - lovely pages. I only managed to finish one but it gave me an opportunity to scrap a photo I had taken the night before on a night out with my cousin and his wife.Made a nice change to get away and scrap as I have been really busy of late and haven't done much scrapping.


Not much crafting going on

So who brought Christmas forward ? I was going to do so much yesterday evening, get my JYC pages up to date,write the cards,make some goodies to take to a crop tomorrow and I ended up ferrying himself over to town to have his 'boys five a side' night out. By the time I'd got back, fed and walked the dog, after watching Strictly and cleared up it was nearly 9.15. Still I have managed to get a deadline job finished in the last two evenings so that's good. Anyway, I haven't done any crafting for a couple of evenings but we have put the tree and deccies up so it's feeling Chritmassy now-and the boys will be home from Uni midweek - yay!


Just a card

Tonight I have been catching up on my JYC class,at the end of the evening I thought I'd use a few of the scraps and make a card. I really love this Basic Grey Eskimo Kisses range, It's got some really lovely designs in it. I especially like the 'housey ' paper. Trouble is, I don't want to cut it up.I'm behind as usual with the old Christmas cards and ought to get my act into gear pretty soon.Am I the only person in the world who has only bought one present so far? Everyone I know and friends at work have nearly all finished their Christmas shopping!..


All crafted out !

Okay so I am a tad behind with JYC and haven't done anymore of Tim's tags but I have had a great weekend of crafting. Saturday was spent in the company of friends and Mr Rusty Pickle Lance Anderson. We did a lovely Christmas album which had a pop up snowman and Christmas tree in the pages. The pop ups were a bit of a fiddle to say the least and took a while to get them to stand up at the right angle without looking drunk but we got there in the end.

Then today was spent at the Craftystash Christmas workshop with the lovely Tracie Hudson. The classes were awesome. We made an altered mirror using metal sheets and did lots of scratching and embossing and cutting. We then made a gorgeous altered book (photo of cover here) more to follow when I've finished. We then started on a wall hanging but time beat us so that will need to be finished at home too. All in all I've had a fab weekend doing some different things that really made a change. What a bad weekend for my youngest son to come home from Uni for a couple of days. Still, he did spend the day travelling to Everton today for the footie match against Spurs so I didn't miss too much of him.


Teddy card

I've had a break from Christmas tags and cards tonight and got one of my fave stamps out to make a birthday card for a friend.I used distress inks to colour the background,stamped teddy with distress inks too .I then watercoloured his bow round his neck with fired brick and stamped a flourish round the edges.I used a Hero Arts tree to go round the edges of the main card and went over a few of the outlines with a glittery glaze pen. This is based on a design that we did at Leonie and Carley's workshop which had the tree in the middle - but I think Teddy looks ok too !


12 Tags of Christmas

As is tradition, Tim Holtz is doing his '12 tags of Christmsas ' again this year. I don't know how he keeps coming up with all these wonderful creations. I have never tried to do one and this year I thought I'd have a go.So this evening I've been playing with inks and stickles and embossing powder. Now, my effort is not anywhere near sir Tim's- I haven't got the snowman stamp and I haven't got the crackle paint that he used so had to improvise with both the stamp ( which I don't think works so well, but it was the only snowman stamp I had), I also don't own one of those Dymo machines but hey ho- I had fun !This was the one he did yesterday as the first one and you can find them here. He's on tag two already so I shall have a go at that one tomorrow.


Where did the year go ?

Blimey ,can you believe we are in December? Nothing very exciting craftwise to post today but I have made a start on my Journal Your Christmas class - which is over on my other blog,link at the top right hand side. Am up really late tonight as I've been catching up so really must get some sleep in a mo. When I left work tonight the high street was looking quite festive as they have been out putting the Xmas lights up, a sure sign Christmas is well on the way. I've been playing at some art journalling that we did with Jane Dean at the retreat recently,so will post some pics when they are dry.Here s my header page for Shimelle's JYC class.


A countdown and an award

Firstly let me say thank you to Deb for an award.
It's always a thrill to know that people are reading your blog and also that they like what I have to say and they like to visit.

So the 5 random things about me are...

I hate hate hate spiders

I was once featured on Magpie chidren's tv (you'd have to be as old as me to know this program!)with a fossil that I found on holiday when I was about 8.

If I'm indoors in the evening and it's dark outside I can't bear the curtains open, I have to close them.

I was put off of ever going to Venice by a film that scared me big time called Don't Look Now - there was a scary lady in a red cloak in it and it frightened the life out of me!
My favourite dinner is probably Coquilles St Jacques (scallops in cheese sauce ) served in the shell with breadcrumbs..followed by fillet steak chips and caulifower cheese...followed by Creme Brulee...yum.

And finally, here is a pic of a Calendar I've made for my shelf in front of my desk to countown the days to Christmas using the gorgeous Graphic 45 papers - love them.


Very proud !

I know we have all heard that phrase 'proud Mummy' but today I was a very proud daughter.For nearly 30 years now my Dad has been taking Santa around our village in his vintage car which the local children call 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'. He has owned the car since I was a child and rebuilt it all himself.He always gets all stressed out worrying that the car will not perform or he will be late but he has always done it and today was no exception.I had arranged to go over and cook lunch while he was out and as I drove to his house I caught the car coming down the high street,Santa sitting in the back waving. He stops along the way at designated points and gives the children bags of sweets. I just came over all proud and emotional when he came down the road and I had to stop the car and take a photo.Here he is driving and then back at home relieved it was all over.


My task for Christmas

Well,one of them anyway!I have decided that as it is a lot calmer and quieter at home these days,the build up to Christmas this year is going to be very slow and unstressful (hmmmm).So as I was walking home from work last night I spotted a really nice Christnas Tree cake in the window of our local party shop.I decided there and then that I need to make one- even if it sits on the side looking pretty and only a couple of peeps eat some of it.I know my eldest and his girlfriend will definitely have some
and my dad-and of course I would have to try it.
Well, I trawled the net tonight looking for a cake tin that is the same shape and came up with one in the UK but it was out of stock.After mentioning it at work,my boss said to me 'all you have to do is make two squares - one larger than the other and cut them into triangles and layer them and voila' Now,why didn't I think of that and is it really that easy? So I set myself the task of making one (might have to do a trial run first,have no idea how much mix to use,so if anyone has any ideas they would be very welcome!)Here is a pic I found of the one I want to attempt to make..



No,I haven't deserted you all, I am having a nightmare at home with internet problems so am posting this from work.Am hoping normal service will resume as soon as possible.Doesn't it make you realise how much you miss it when it's not there at the flick of a mouse? I hate not being able to checkout everyone's blogs in the evening...booo


The Tag

And here is the Christmas tag I made for the challenge. We were given a cardstock tag,I started by stamping the background and inking with distress inks and flicked a bit of water over it.I then decided it needed 'a little something'so drew round a star onto grungeboard,stamped it with a flourish,I then stamped a christmas tree and the wording onto grungeboard,inked them all over and added stickles to the tree and the wording.I stamped a santa that I have had for years - he's a jolly santa and I love him,I painted him with distress inks and then stuck them onto the star and the tag ,then finished off by adding some fibres through the hole and I went round the edges with a gold leafing pen.

Retreat classes

As promised here are some of the pages that we did at the retreat.I still have a few projects that are not finished yet so will post them when they are done, well you wouldn't want to see half finished ones would you? Had a nice day off yesterday and went to a class at the local craft shop which I really enjoyed too.At the beginning of the retreat there were challenges you could enter if you wished. There was one to make a card,one to alter a box,one to use the mystery kit that was provided and one for a Christmas tag. Well,I decided to enter and was lucky enough to win it, how chuffed was I!Anyway,here are the layouts-and my tag...
This was the first class by Mel

Then one designed by Debbie Jewell using lots of die cuts.

Next, a cracker of a page designed by Clare Brown.

Next is Mel's distressed layout,we scrunched and inked lots..

We did other projects including art journalling with Jane Dean,I'll share those when I've done a bit more on them..


Looking back

I've got a tad behind with Shimelle's class so have decided to do today's and go back to the other couple I've missed in the next few days..Hmmm,looking back to this time last year and how things are different to how I thought they would be..Wow,looking at a post I made in November last year when we got our 'new addition'our little sheltie puppy Archie. At the time I was still reeling from losing my mum in October and the family being round me was very very important.I was surrounded by noisy(ish) boys - well men really,and at the time we still had two dogs so life was busy at home and there was always something to do,food to prepare at any time of the day or evening,loads of comings and goings as they were in and out to football,out for the evenings,going to their part time jobs...Looking at my home life now it is so different.It is now just the two of us and Archie, sadly we lost Annie our other dog, and the three boys all left home within about a month of each other.It has been a time of adjustment. One of the positive things to come out of it is the fact that I now have a craft room,the lounge is decorated,and the food bill has halved!On the other hand it is quiet and I miss the cooking for them and the odd things us mums do,but that's life and we move on.So yes I would never have thought this time last year that I would be sitting here with just the dog and himself but life is ok and the boys are all happy,my dad is doing ok,so all is well!
Interesting thing to do though so thanks Shimelle,it's good to look back and good to think about it and I wonder what I will be saying this time next year.Here is the link to my post last year- and here he is now.
On another note, I was due to go to the ATDML retreat last year and sadly couldn't face it as it was a couple of weeks before I was due to go that mum passed away. I've just got back from being at the retreat this year and It was wonderful,a great atmosphere with lots of laughs,good food and most of all scrapping and crafting.The one thing that hasn't changed at all in any way in the last year is my love of scrapbooking,if anything it's growing more each year and the friendships we make too are long lasting.Will be posting pics of the retreat later.


What a weekend

So here I am back home again after an awesome weekend at a retreat with these people here.There were some amazing classes,all so different and I made some more wonderful friends.Amongst some of the classes were a 3d advent calendar taken by Mel.A gorgeous 7 Gypsies class designed by Clare.More fab layouts by Mel,I played at some art journalling with paints and textures and loads of new techniques with the exceedingly talented Jane Dean,a gorgeous layout using glittery die cuts with Debbie Jewell (can't find her blog at the moment for a link).There were challenges,lots of make and takes which were great to just go and sit at as and when you felt inclined.Another class with Jane, a travel journal and all set in a beautiful hotel in the country.I had such a great time - exhausting but fun. I have loads of projects to finish which I can have a go at tomorrow as I have the day off work - woo hoo! Photos to follow tomorrow when I've sorted my case, been through the few (?!) goodies I bought and had a good night's sleep,catch you all tomorrow!


Fun stuff ......

When you get to the- ahem, age I am at, and your youngsters have grown up and left the nest,lots of the fun things like going bowling and activity parks and parties and playimg sillies in the park don't happen so often.
The one thing I always have and still do have fun at is going to music concerts,and at a risk of being boring as I talked about it on my post yesterday,one such time was last night.
My eldest son and me were off to the O2 to catch a 'boyband' who he really liked when he was growing up and so did I.They were huge in the '90 s and when they announced they were coming to the UK we decided we'd go.
We were not disappointed, the show was great and a lot of bopping and singing was done (well, I did!) Anyway,here is a little youtube video which captures some of last night,...

Backstreet's back :-)

No crafty post this evening as I have been to see these guys at the O2.

It was really good, great to hear the old songs again-thoroughly enjoyed it. I went the concert with my eldest son as my other and his other half didn't want to go. It made a really nice change to spend some time with him - even if he did have the mickey taken out of him at work ! Am off to bed now - night all x
Oh - it was the Backstreet Boys in case you hadn't guessed !!


Twiddleybitz memory box and a tag and goals

I bought a little 3d 'naked' box by Twiddleybitz and decided to play around with inks and things the other night. I was reading something Tim Holtz was doing and it gave me the idea to use perfect pearls powder that he had mixed in a mini mister with water. So of course I hadn't got the mini mister so I dropped a bit of the powder onto a craft sheet and sprayed some water on it. It worked ok and I painted the box and insides with it. I then stamped it with a Hero Arts tree stamp which I now seem to use all the time, it was one that Leonie and Carley used at the workshop.Then I did the same with the butterflies and gold perfect pearls and stuck them on. The little blue butterfly was an acrylic stamp which I stamped onto grungeboard and then painted with watered distress ink. I have a lovely photo of my mum when she was young inside and the box is going to sit in front of me on my shelf. I made a tag too with some spritzy perfect pearls again and some stamps (the owl is a Dawn Bibby one ) and the flowers at the top are Wendy Vecchi. Yep, I used the tree stamp again to go round the edges !
The other thing today, in Shimelle's class was to think about goals..hmmmm well I would have said a few months ago that was to have a craft room. I think that mainly now the boys have gone, I would like to have time to cook nice meals again in the evenings instead of always being in a rush as one boy would be going out and one coming in - so it would be nice to get some recipe books out again. Also to try and improve my photography too ...


Spick and span ?

What I love so much about Shimelle is that she has an ability to know exactly what we bloggers like to see when we 'blog hop'and today the prompt is to blog something from around the house - inside the home that makes us smile or feel good. Well,the one place that makes me very happy is my long awaited craft room,my very own escape where I can revel in all the kits and stash and inks and pens and rubber stamps. which are all now in one place.This makes me very happy and I love my mess that is my craft room and I know my mess :-) my desk is just as I left it last night which I know is naughty but what I always wanted was somewhere I could leave a project and go back to it without having to pack it all away every time I got it out.As I work full time the main times when I craft are later on in the evening and as I normally start late It's a pain to have to put it all away at 1 o'clock in the morning when I've got carried away and not realised the time !I realise how lucky I am and that not everyone has the same luxury but I used to read blogs with beautifully organised craft rooms and so wanted one.
When all three of our boys moved out within a few weeks of each other we decided to decorate the lounge,which we are now in the middle of. The walls are papered and where we used to have a big black gas fire we decided to get a just for show electric fire and I have been pleasantly surprised at how cosy it looks..
So it's not really one photo with not many words but two photos of two rooms in my house that make me feel warm inside for different reasons.


Normality and a little project

A change is as good as a rest they say don't they? I've been doing a few different crafty bits lately and have really enjoyed getting the old inks out and doing a bit of stamping.When I was sorting all my stash out in my new craft room I found quite a few chipboard bits and mini books and things I'd had but never done anything with. I was inspired by another project of Wendy Vecchi's again. The stamps I used were hers and the butterfly was a Twiddleybitz one which I inked and stamped and went round with a gold pen.It's a project I'm going to add to as I do some more pages.
So on to 'normality' and Shimelle's class and trying to show how it can actually be something that is very bloggable and there is always an interesting side to what can seem normal and boring to us. So sitting thinking of my day today - what has been on my agenda that is interesting...hmmmm well,did I set the world alight at work today? no..did I have an argument with the self service till at Tesco? no not today - normally it drives me nuts telling me to place the items in the bag, but I was there before it today and managed to keep up AND remove items before it told me instead of fighting trying to get the bag handles off of that silly metal hooky thing before they tear AND the bleeper didn't go off because there was an unsuspected item in the bagging area- result!No deciding what to cook either cos It's five a side night and they have fish and chips afterwards whilst discussing who should have been up front and why they didn't send that ****** off from the other side when he went in for that horrendous tackle ....so my normal hasn't been that normal at all really I suppose !


Five favourites

The prompt today from Shimelle was to list five favourites or the like and link them or post photos or make a layout.
There is nothing I like more after a stressy day at work than to sit down and do a bit of blog hopping and one of my favourite at the moment is this lady , she has a great way of wording her blog posts and really makes me smile when I read them and she does some amazing work too.I really find the hours slip by when I am visiting blogs and one leads to another and then there are links from there to another and you can discover so many different sites- I love it. One of my other faves at the moment which is always on my list of visits is this one .
This may be a tad boring if you are not a dog/sheltie lover, but having had them for the last 30 years (god is it that long !) I love to see pics and speak to other sheltie lovers.Now,after I have had a wander round the blogs, been inspired and gone off to my craft room to start a project or two I absolutley am totally hooked on this ....sad I know but it has to be the dulce de leche one and it is really scrummy.
The other two favourites on my list at the moment are of course crafting and scrapbooking - but that is just my number one all the time. I really love Shimelle's classes and am looking forward already to Journal your Christmas . The final one of my five favourites at the moment is .......yep I am totally addicted to farmville on Facebook, have to have the latest goodies they have to offer and have to get on the laptop to check my crops and make sure my cows are milked ..
One other thing I can't miss at the moment is Dancing with the stars (American version of Strictly come dancing -why, anyone who knows me knows I am a bit of a Donny fan -he's doing well so far....

So all in all quite a weird mix I suppose of my five/six favourites today.No craft projects to blog tonight but I have enjoyed listing my faves and am now off to blog hop and go in my craft room to make something :-)


Blogging day two

Wise words from Shimelle today,just reminding us of being aware of how much information we divulge whilst blogging.I guess it's all too easy to record your thoughts and post pictures of things and people that are normal to us but could give things away that maybe we should think before posting.Hmmm - interesting,I suppose us crafters are such a friendly bunch we forget there may be unscrupulous peeps about.
I haven't done a page today as I've had a busy evening again. I have however got a nice photo of me and one of my dear friends who has been a friend for a long time, since we were young ladies just starting out on the road with our respective partners. We have not been in each other's pockets over the years but have always known that each other are a only a phone call away.Life is far too busy and flashes by far too quickly sometimes,and it's great to be able to share our scrapping stories now as well as lots of others over the years :-)


Blogging for scrapbookers

So today has seen the start of the new class from Shimelle.It's been a hectic day for me today, Monday morning as always back to normal but I was going to a client's today to help with their accounts system so started the day off nervously ( don't know why- just haven't been out of the office for a while !). Anyway,there are varying options today for the class and as it's now 11.20 p.m and I am really tired,I have decided to use the 'quick' option!
Shimelle always has a knack of inspiring me because her classes are always at your own pace and they are for your own benefit.I really want to learn lots anout the techniques that I lack like subscribing to feeds and google reader and I aim to keep blogging as much as is possible - Ina funny way it keeps me sane as it's nice to put your thoughts down sometimes.I love to blog hop and see other peoples posts and photos.Since the boys have all left home we have been sorting and decorating and our lounge is now taking shape. The carpet was fitted today so everything has been piled up in any space available in order to clear the room for the fitter.Our two youngest went back to Uni yesterday but not before they had helped their dad move all the furniture.So we asked our eldest to come and help move it all back tonight and ended up having a nice roast dinner together,which was lovely.Now they have gone and himself is in bed, the clearing up is all done and there is an armchair to sit on I can reflect on a busy day and leave you with a pic of the two youngest as I don't think I've ever seen them here,dressed up and having fun- I do miss them.