I seem to have lost a week somewhere!!! Time is going by so fast these days, I cannot believe that it is June already. JUNE!!!! Only 4 more weeks left of school for the kids, but we have lots of activities planned for the holidays. Hopefully the weather will co-operate, and we can make the most of what will probably be our last summer in this area :(
Onto the layouts I have to share today. First off is a layout using Sketch #163 at Nuts About Sketches.
These are some of the first photos I took of our trip to New Zealand. This is Muriwai beach, north of Auckland. A black sand beach, with volcanic rocks to climb on. In the winter sun it looked a-maz-ing! The kids had a great time, burning off all the excess energy they had from a 26 hour flight, and I just enjoyed the sight of them being with their Dad again (Mark had been in NZ for 2 months prior to our visit). Living their whole lives next to the sea, the kids love exploring beaches - it never gets old to them. I only hope that we can continue our relationship with the coast at our next home - wherever that may be. I know that I shall be sad if I have to live inland - I think the water has always been in my blood, and a 5 minute walk along a beach always soothes a worried brow...
I took the chance to use up some of the Fancy Pants "My Family" scraps I have accumulated, and found that a Prima felt leaf sprig did a very good job of representing a fern - the national emblem of New Zealand ;) The title uses American Craft Thickers, and I used a Heidi Swapp stamp and a stamp from Greener Pastures as a kind of sub title.
Next up is the layout for today's reveal of Sketch #164. It is a double page sketch this week, but I did something a little different... It may look like a 12x12 double, but it is infact a 12x6 layout. I just reduced all the sizes on the sketch .
This layout leaves a lump in my throat. The photos bring tears to my eyes. These pictures are from the Freedom of Forres Parade on May 24th 2011. This is the last time that personnel from RAF Kinloss exercised their right to march through the town with rifles and bayonets. RAF Kinloss came into being in 1939, and has always had close links with the local community. The Strategic Defence Review in October 2010 signalled the closure of the base, when the Nimrod fleet was axed, and has caused a devastating effect to the whole area. With RAF Lossiemouth also in danger of closing, the whole of Moray is under threat - losing income and jobs from the bases, and also with families and personnel leaving - losing communities and the revenue they produce. It seems like the area is just holding it's breath, to see if Lossie will be saved or not.
Forres did the guys and gals proud - the turnout was amazing. I took the kids out of school and we went to watch the parade - Mark was proudly marching, and had spent weeks practising his rifle drills. The town clapped and cheered the parade all the way up the High Street, up to Grant Park, where a couple of speeches took place before the parade disbanded.
Tom and I stood at one end of the parade when it stopped at Grant Park, but we couldn't see Mark as he was further down. I told Jemma to head down a bit, as she had her i-pod touch with her, and wanted to get a few photos and maybe a video of her Dad. Little did I know at that point that she had managed to find her way into the press enclosure... My own little Papparazzi LOL. She got great video footage of the guys doing their drills, and a photo of Mark stood to attention. She was a little bit inconspicuous, as she was wearing a bright orange coat! But I was proud of the images she captured that day. I wanted to use one of her shots on a layout, but the quality of her i-pod camera is not great, so I had to print them out quite small, which gave me the idea of shrinking the sketch to fit on a 12x6 page.
The star patterned paper is from Creative Imaginations, and I used Bazzill cardstock for the rest of the layout. I had to make sure there was a RAF roundel on there too - so I used a mixture of circle punches and Nestabilities to get the right look. I added a few tiny buttons and some flat backed pearls to finish off the page.
I will always have a soft spot for this base, this town, this area. It's where Mark has spent the majority of his 20 years in the RAF. Jemma was born here. So many memories have been made here. Nimrods were his livelihood - the aircraft he was trained to fly on, and without them, now he is left with skills and expertise that are no longer required. Fortunately for us, he knows his future is safe - many of his colleagues are facing redundancy, as the government demanded personnel cuts across the 3 forces. But with that safety is also uncertainty, as we don't know where he will be posted to next. It does mean that we will have to move from our house - which we only bought 2 years ago - and leave the area we have called home for the past 7 years. We know we have been spoilt, by not having to move about like many military families do, but we are ready for the next chapter of our lives, and the challenges that we will face. All I need to know now is where, and when. Bring it on......
P.S. I'll be back tomorrow, with a layout for the 7th June reveal at Sassy Lil' Sketches ;)