Retreat - take two

I woke up with a terrible headache on Friday morning-typical isn't it? Just the very time when I needed to be bright and organised and on the ball I get a headache. I was due to leave home at 11 o'clock in order to get to the hotel by 12-12.30 so I could check in,drop my stuff off in the cropping room and then get to the first class for 1.30.
After stressing because I knew I couldn't drive until it had eased off a bit-I resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to be late and maybe miss a class. After I'd done that- In my head - got a freezing flannel and had a lie down for a couple of hours it started to ease off. I eventually left home at ten to 12 and made it to the hotel by 1.15 - just in time for the first class.By this time my head was feeling a tad better so all was well.

One of the classes on Friday was Jane Hewitt's gorgeous envelope book.

there were two options- either an album for photographs or a journal. I decided to make mine into a kind of journal to keep reminders of the weekend in .We made all the envelopes using Graphic45 papers and an enveloper and then bound it with the bind it all. I loved this class - I love anything Graphic45 anyway so it started the weekend off well.
I did another class too but haven't quite finished the layout yet.
Next - Saturday was Debbie Jewell's gorgeous layout using Sassafrass Sweetly Smitten papers and the new 'foldies' - dimensional flowers..

Then it was on to Mel's class which was using My Mind's Eye papers. It involved lots of stamping,embossing and inking.
I've had  two photos of my brother and have wanted to use them for a while.I've actually only got about three photos of him myself.They are very special to me as sadly he died when I was a child. I really loved the vintagey feel to this  layout and thought it would be ideal to use the photos - so I did! and I'm really happy with the way it turned out.
Next,we were given a lovely page  kit which was left on our cropping space and I decided to use a Michael Flatley photo for mine.So that was Saturday,lots of lovely company,great classes,and lovely food.
Such a nice escape for a couple of days....more tomorrow..


Back from scrappy heaven- and goals and aims

I have had the most lovely weekend at the retreat,and not only that,today's prompt from Shimelle is SO apt after a letter I received from a very special place  in the post this morning.
Some of you may know that my Dad has a vintage car and he has  for the last 30 years taken Father Christmas around the village where he lives in it  at Christmas who gives out sweeties to the children.

Without boring you all to tears and not dwelling on sad things,when my mum passed two years ago,he did the usual drive around but it was tinged with sadness and emotion on both our sides..anyway - he was told that he had been put forward for a Queen's award for this and was obviuosly very touched.

A short while ago he received a letter inviting him to 'The Palace' for tea. When he told me I was very excited for him but sad that mum wasn't here to see it- anyway the official date has now been set and the letter of confirmation has arrived for him and me to accompany him..it looks like this is the year for me and  posh teas !!
So.... my goal now is to try  (emphasis on try) to lose  some weight so I can get a nice outfit and hat. I don't do posh outings very often so it should be a day to remember. Sadly no cameras are allowed - what a shame.
Now on to retreaty things.. I haven't managed to photograph many of the class layouts yet,but I did enter the scraplift challenge and whoop whoop I won it !

 this is my lift..I decided to go a bit grungey...
with a couple of close ups..
and  this is the original layout

Here is another one I managed to finish and photograph.
It was designed by Ann Freeman and used the gorgeous new Prima papers..
This was right up my street as there was lots of cutting out of flowers. We used some really unusual rub ons that were 'flocked'- very nice they were too.


Boring and mundane ?

I've been sitting here pondering over Shimelle's prompt for today. it's about making something interesting out of something we normally consider to be boring and mundane.

Hmmmmmm- well,what on earth has happened to me today that could possibly be interesting?
Nope,nothing, zilch,no exciting arguments with the self service till in Tescos,that was yesterday..does anyone else find themselves talking to the silly recorded lady who tells you 'unexpected item in bagging area'?
No unusual car park spot,no interesting groceries.....absolutley nothing!
Got up - had toast- went to work-   aha! I AM going to be interesting but not today.

 Tonight I'll be rushing around preparing kits for myself, loading the tote, (a feat in itself! )- making sure I've got ink,adhesive,stamps,scissors,making corned beef hash ( as I am leaving himself  ALL WEEKEND) could I please make him some of his favourites. He will have the dog and middle son at home - so he won't be totally alone......then I shall be checking the route,filling up with petrol, trying to schedule a blog post ( oh the saga last time I tried !)  Give me a Sage accounts programme  or Exel and I'm okay- try to schedule a blog post and I'm useless.
This will be my view tomorrow -or one of them....

with some of this

might sneak one of these in
and there will be  lots of these

So I suppose that my normal quiet day today will soon be frantic and busy and very interesting. If only this blog prompt could have been tomorrrow's when I shall be blissfully scrapping to my heart's content with other like minded ladies - can't wait.

A few of my favourite things...


and last but not least-: I couldn't find one that had blogging friends as well   ♥
courtesy of Google images


A memorable day indeed

Wise words in Shimelle's prompt about being careful about how much we divulge whilst blogging....also thinking about one of my very memorable days - how do you choose ? there are a few I could think of but at a risk of being boring,let my indulge myself and tell you.
One of my favourite memorable days ( and I've no doubt told you about this before) was when I met the Osmonds - this is an old layout that  I did a couple of years ago after the event. I met all of them -gave them all a hug and a peck on the cheek, then sat in on a 'question and answer' session.After that we watched the sound check/rehearsal which was great and then had seats in the 2nd row for the concert in the evening. What made it really special was that it was their 50th Anniversary year and also my 50th so it was a truly memorable day for me. Ever since being a teenager I used to sit and wish I could meet them so it was brilliant to finally achieve that ambition...


Blogging for Scrapbookers

I really enjoyed this class from Shimelle first time - and I'm sure there will be bits I pick up this time round that I missed first time. So I'll follow along - I might not blog every day,but It will give me some inspiraton and remind me of all the good things out there for us bloggers..

Webcam natter

I had a really nice time yesterday afternoon. Not only did I have a visit from my good friend Deb- but I also had the pleasure of chatting away for 2 hours with lovely ladies from blogland with her via Skype.
We got ourselves ready, put some lippy on and did our hair (a girl has to look her best)- then I put the kettle on and before we knew it Deb from USA was bleeping us to say Hi. Then as if by magic other lovely ladies popped up on the screen.

I've  met Ruth before at a weekend retreat we both went to where we sat opposite each other,and the lovely Karen is one of the organisers of the monthly crop we go to.
 I hadn't met Rhona before but I have already visited her blog and feel I know her already.Carrie  was alongside her mum Deb in USA  and It was amazing to think we were all talking from a room in our house thousands of miles apart as if we had met loads of times. Mel - well I feel as the though we have known each other for ages- we chatted after we both went to Tim Holtz's class and have tweeted each other on various occasions.The time seemed to fly past as we all took turns to show and tell and generally catch up.
Ha- We look like we're posing for a brochure or something here !!
So - Shimelle's class Blogging for Scrapbookers is re-running again from today and It was very apt that we all got together for a chat near to a Shimelle class as that is how a lot of us met in Blogland.I bet Shimelle would be very pleased at the friendships we have made..


One o'clock this morning....

 In the garden....it was very cold !

It seemed a lot brighter than normal but I didn't notice that much difference ..but then I s'pose I don't stare at the moon that much....


Isn't it lovely

To see a bit of sunshine ?

and we all have to get our telescopes out tonight to see the Supermoon- full moon - it's the closest it's been to earth for 18 or so years - bet I won't be able to get  a good photo !
This one courtesy of Google images.
Have a lovely Saturday whatever you are up to.


Checking Blogger stats...

I''ve just been over to Sian's blog,it's ridiculously late and I am wide awake so decided to do a bit of blog hopping.
Sian has recommended some fab sites regarding blogging,but the main thing that caught my imagination, was what her most popular blog post was-taken from the 'blogger stats' which Mel had talked about a while ago,and key words and phrases that have been typed into google which lead to your blog.

 I had to go and have a look and here's some of the keywords people have typed into google and found me ....

" and he wasn't in the local "

" and a few odd things to do "

" ashes to ashes"

" and donny osmond"

Well,one thing I gleaned from that is that I obviously say 'and' a lot in my blog posts - the first one's a bit strange I thought.

On to the next thing, my all time most popular post ( I think I got this from the right place) was

"Christmas club-Ghostbusters"

fascinating stuff- thanks Sian and Mel for that - I shall be monitoring with interest from now on.!

I received my monthly Gottacraft kit this week and had a play...

I'd be very interested to know if anyone out there has checked their blog stats and what your most popular blog post was.
Best get to bed now or the dawn chorus will be next....


A special day

Yesterday it would have been my mum's 82nd birthday and I wanted to do a  layout in her favourite colours to mark the day. She loved her purple clematis and her dog  'Benson'-he was very spoilt (like a certain pooch in our house).....


Sunny moments

It was so lovely to come home from work for lunch today ( as I do every day) and be able to fling the patio door open- leave it open and actually wander around the garden The sun was beaming away in the sky - and at the very same time the news was on telling of the terrible things that are currently going on in Japan...the power of nature eh? It really does make you feel a bit melancholy ( think that's the right word)..
Anyway - I grabbed the camera and just took  a couple of photos of the little hyacinths popping their heads up and the Christmas rose...

  I did a Pergamano class on Saturday - we did a really lovely fan - as usual I didn't quite finish mine but here's the class sample that the lovely Liz had made. I get totally engrossed when I'm doing this - lots of gridwork and different tools -but oh my eyes ! - must be getting old !

Well, that's another Monday nearly over, last episode of Bedlam tonight...am looking forward to that.
I hope you've all had a good Monday.


4 x 6 Photo Love

I downloaded the instructions for the first of Shimelle's free class - '4 x 6 Photo Love last month but didn't get round to doing a layout.
So when I received the reminder for the second one- as I'm on my own at home I decided to settle myself down and make a page.
I've had the Basic Grey Curio papers sitting on my desk so  decided to use them.
When we went Harrogate for that famous class with Mr Holtz,we arrived the day before the class and went to Betty's famous Tea Rooms for afternoon tea- and I thought it would be nice to scrap some of the photos.
I always think that unless there are people in photos they are boring but I promised myself I would 'document' life this year and try to capture all aspects of my life.
So here's the page, I used the Basic Grey and my favourite stamp of the moment, a flower by 'Hero Arts'.
I'm amazed at the amount of green I'm using lately, not my colour at all but there are a few shades around at the moment that I actually like!

Anyone else  watch this on Sky Alibi ? I love it ...


Today I ....

taught my first ever class!... at the monthly Eclectic Keepsakes crop.It was a bit of a special day because it was the first anniversary of the crop starting. That year has gone so quickly.
 I was chuffed to be asked by the two Karens and I have to admit to being a tad nervous - but I needn't have been 'cos Deb brought along some moral support

It was agreed that he would be held up high if I gabbled too quickly, held low if I was too slow and .....thankfully he stayed put!
We had a nice morning doing our own thing and all too soon it was time for class....I used papers and a die cut sheet from  My Mind's Eye Lost and Found range  - and a Fancy Pants journalling sheet,and stamped a title

It was lovely to see some of the takes on the layout ...

 and a great  atmosphere as always...good to be surrounded by friends


and always nice to introduce a new friend from work.to the world of scrapbooking.

 and the two Karens had a yummy cake to celebrate their first year.
Thanks ladies, long may it continue :-0)