Thursday 30 December 2010

A time to reflect

As the year comes to a close, all thoughts tend to be on the year that has just passed - the good, the bad and the ugly.

This year has been a strange one for us.
It began with me being offered a permanent contract after working as a Christmas Temp at Marks and Spencer. It ended with the uncertainty that surrounds Mark's role in the RAF, and whether he will be made redundant or not.

The kids have continued to progress through the coloured belts of their Martial Art - Tang Soo Do - with them both achieving their Brown tag belt, and Jemma got 2 3rd places in the Scottish Championships held in June.

Mark's Dad retired in June, and my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in October. My Nana is finally being cared for in a Residential Care Home, her Dementia finally making it impossible for her to look after herself at home any longer. Although, her future is in doubt, with her home being closed sometime in the New Year. Worrying times for my Mum, who is desperately trying to find her a place somewhere else.

We spent a week in October touring the country. Visiting friends and family. Riding the London Eye, and visiting Madame Tussaud's. Fulfilling Tom's dream of spending a day at Legoland. Meeting the newest member of the family, baby Evie.

Crafting wise, I have been extremely fortunate to have an article and layout published in an online scrapbooking magazine, and had a layout showcased on Allison Davis's blog. I have created 55 layouts so far this year, although I would have liked to have made a few more cards. I'm sure that 2011 will be a good year for me, craft wise, but then you'll have to pop back and see!!

So to end the year in style, I will share my 55th layout with you! It is based on the December 21st sketch from Sassy Lil Sketches.

These photos are of Jemma and her 2 best pals. Definitely a terrible trio when they get together! They are stood on rocks just round the coast from our village, on a windy day when the waves were crashing high against the shore. Mark tried to capture the waves splashing up behind the girls. The noise they made when the waves hit!!

Papers - BasicGrey, My Minds Eye

Cardstock - Bazzill Basics

Ribbon, alpha stickers - American Crafts

Flowers - Auntie Sarah's Bloomers

Swirl overlay - My Minds Eye

Stickles - Ranger

All that's left is for me to wish you all a happy and healthy 2011. See you all next year...



Tuesday 14 December 2010

The art of being organised...

...when it comes to Teacher's gifts at Christmas. Especially when you work in retail. Last year, I was super organised, and made mini Christmas cakes (very boozy Christmas cakes, hic!)
This year, not quite to organised, but enough to make sure I got them done this week, as next week I am out of action due to working nights....

On the lookout for something easy and different to do, I found a recipe here for Hot Chocolate on a stick. So this week I gave it a go. I found my ice cube tray only yeilded 1/2 oz cubes, so I packaged the sticks in pairs, so that you get enough for a good mug of hot choc (using about 1/2 pint/ 1 cup of hot milk) I used dark chocolate for the main flavour, and dipped them in some white chocolate for a festive touch!

I put two lots of Hot choc sticks and a package of my ever faithful Snowman Soup into a pretty mug I found in Tesco's. I also stuck a couple of Time Out chocolate bars in there for good measure.

The labels I made up a few years ago, using images from PC Crafter, and just adding text to the centres. I resized these labels for the Hot Choc Sticks this year. I sellophaned the whole lot up and added some ribbon, and they are now ready to go!

I'm quite pleased with how they have turned out, and will certainly do them again, maybe even experiment with flavours and moulds too. I did make sure I have some spares, so I can get to taste test them. Oops, best do that before the kids take them to school really...!!!



Sunday 12 December 2010


The snow has all gone - thank goodness! It's nice to see the world in colour again, instead of monochrome!! I'm sure it's not the last of it, there could be more on the way this week, but it's good to have a rest from battling the elements just to go to work!

Always on the look out for new sketch sites, I found a lovely one called Sassy Lil' Sketches. I used their November 28th sketch to do this page.

This page, for me, is not just about what you see in these photos. The story I tell on this page is only a tiny part of it.

When we went on our jaunt around the country, we headed out to Coalville, not far from Mark's parents, to visit the Snibston Discovery Museum. It is housed on the site of what was one of the largest coal mines in the Leicestershire Coalfield, right in the centre of Coalville. It was an emotional journey for me, as Coalville is where my Mum's family come from. I am sure there are miners in my past, although my great grandmother was adamant that her son (my Grandad) was never going down the pit. He ended working at Palitoy, Coalville's other main employer, a huge toy factory that made Action Man and Sindy dolls! The Museum had lots of exhibits depicting life in the town, and a mock up of a fish and chip shop that was in Whitwick, the village where my Grandad lived - I am sure that he must have visited it!

We took a guided tour of the disused pit buildings, with Chris, a former miner. He was brilliant. He gave real insight as to what life working down the pit would have been like. He showed us the main offices, the pit head, the wheel house, the control room, the infirmary, and even took us into the explosives store. He got the kids to try on his Grandfather's pit helmet. These are the photos that are on the page. Chris is the man dressed in orange at the back. The man's passion and pride in being a miner was obvious. As a history nut, I loved all aspects of the tour and the museum, and the fact that some of it related to my own family made it even more relevant somehow.

So when I see this page, I don't just see the kids wearing a old hat. I also see the collection of toys, the fish and chip shop, the old vehicles. I see my family heritage.

Cardstock - Bazzill basics
Patterned paper - American Crafts, Scenic Route, October Afternoon
Punch - Martha Stewart
Alphabet stickers - American Crafts
Thread - DMC



Tuesday 7 December 2010

A right pair of posers...

...just look at these silly boys LOL.

I went back to my trusty PageMaps for this page. It's been a while since I have looked at my PageMap folder. I almost felt as if I had been "cheating on" Becky with Allison. How silly am I?

I used a sketch from November 2009. The photo is one I have wanted to scrap for ages. The face of the boy is priceless, that is his Thinking Face. Mark was doing his "Man at C&A" pose, his general male-model-looking-thoughtful-and-off-into-the-distance-pose. When I looked at this photo I thought "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree", and then remembered I had a set of Hambly Studio rub ons of trees. Perfect. I handcut the leaves from different paper textures, and found a couple of chipboard apples to complete the theme. I inked raw chipboard alphas for the title, and then added a coat of Glossy accents to finish.

The journalling reads: Mark's "Man @ C&A" pose. Tom's "Thinking Face". Once again, evidence that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree... 10/2007

Cardstock - Bazzill Basics
Rub on - Hambly Studios
Patterned paper - 7 Gypsies, Crate Paper
Journalling page - Making Memories
Chipboard - Basic Grey, PaperMania, apples unknown
Stamps - Studio G

I am just about over a nasty cold that has plagued me all weekend - add to the mix a full weekend at work, complete with a compliment of hoards of Christmas shoppers, and you can't imagine the relief I am feeling about having 2 days off work LOL. And it's only going to get worse...

I made a list of jobs to do this morning, and am quite pleased to say I have accomplished about 80% of it. I even made soup. Stewpack and Guinea Pig greens soup. Not as weird as it sounds I promise!

I am also up to date with my December album. Long may it continue LOL. I may share it, although to be honest, it is a little rough and ready in places. But I am documenting December in a stress free way, so unpolished it will stay!



Thursday 2 December 2010

As promised....

... my second post of the day!

This is my December album. After doing Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas class a few years now, I have really exhausted the prompts. So this December I am going more towards the Ali Edward's December Daily route... More of a month in the life type of thing. Sort of. Ish. Fingers crossed...

Anyway, I decorated my album at the crop-that-wasn't-a-crop on Sunday, using a Fancy Pants acrylic tabbed album and that wonderful gorgeousness that is Crate Paper "Snow Day". I really do love this paper collection!
I used a Spellbinder Nestabilities die for the scalloped squares, and then cut plain squares to mat on top. I then positioned them back to back on the acrylic dividers so you couldn't see the adhesive. I then divided 30 5" x 3" record cards between the dividers. These will be my pages. I have decided that one side will have a photo or emphemera on it, and the reverse side will have some journalling. That is the plan. The 2nd of December, and I am keeping to the plan LOL.

Next I have some layouts to share. Last month, Allison Davis and the rest of the Scrapbook Generation Publishing Team put a call out for a Creative Team. As a lover of sketches, I thought that I would have a stab at this. So I made 2 layouts and a card following the sketches she provided.
I didn't get on the team, but I thought I would share them anyway. The new Creative Team is full of really talented girls, and I can't wait to see what sketchy goodness they share with us in January!
First off, a single layout sketch.
Some photos of Jemma and her Uncle Dave, at a family wedding. These two do not see each other very often, and Uncle Dave is always good for a spot of fun, so Jemma clings to him like a limpet. I busted out some inks for this one, and did a bit of sponging round the edges of the paper. The stitching is done by hand.
Next up, a card. I used up a few of my scraps for this one. And of course one of my favourite Sugar Nellie stamps - A Little Birdie Told Me Gorjuss Girl. The image is coloured in with ProMarkers. The sentiment is from a Personal Impressions set.

And finally, I did a 2 pager. More photos of my family hanging about in trees. My Library of Memories section for this is filling up fast LOL. And there are plenty more to scrap yet...

I just love, love, LOVE this sketch, I love that I can get loads of photos on it and still have plenty of room for a good chunk of journalling, and there is still white space.
I'm away to the warmth of my craft room now, the sunroom where the computer lives is a bit on the cool side - but what do you expect when it is already -11 outside??? If the icicles get any bigger on the front porch, we will need a hard hat to get out the front door tomorrow... Mind you, they certainly made a door-to-door double glazing salesman's visit a quick one this afternoon - I told him I had a button to release the icicles on unsuspecting door salesmen... He gave me a leaflet and scarpered quick...LOL.
Hope you are all staying warm and safe out there....

Toot toot!!

Happy December! The Big Freeze continues, although the kids are now back at school after having an extra long weekend! I managed to get into work on Tuesday, but it nearly ended in disaster - when I got to the car, the locks were frozen up! I must have looked a right sight, as at one point I was crouched down trying to defrost the lock by blowing into it.... Good job it wasn't that cold that my lips got stuck to the car door, now that would have been embarrassing...

Anyhoo, I am just popping by to blow my trumpet!

A bit of background - October was a grim month, what with the government announcements on defence cuts, and all the uncertainty that came with it regarding Mark's job and our future. I came back from our trip around the country in 8 days feeling tired, dejected and a little bit low. I couldn't even face going in to my craft room, let alone be creative. But, being the message board junkie that I am, I still checked out UKS and 2 Peas to catch up with online friends, and see what was going on. Imagine my surprise when I got a message in my inbox at 2 Peas. I NEVER get PeaMail LOL. I was even more surprised to see that I was being asked if I'd like to submit a layout of mine for publishing at Magazine! The shock! I could not believe it. But I said yes, and wrote a short article to go with the layout.
And yesterday I got an email from Jami, saying that my project was online.

You can find it here.

So that's something struck off my bucket list - to be published LOL.

I'll be back later to share some layouts, and my December album...



Sunday 28 November 2010

One snowman and his dog...

... went to mow a meadow? Hardly, in this winter wonderland LOL. The first snowfall of the winter, and for us on the coast to get enough to make a snowman means that there is alot of snow about! Now, I don't exactly hate snow, but I am not a lover of the stuff either - snow is pretty to look at, and fun to play in, but if you need to get anywhere, then it is a nightmare. Not being able to walk to work means I get really uptight when it snows, as I hate driving in it. It's not that I don't have the confidence, it's more like I have little confidence in other drivers, especially 4x4 drivers who think they can drive normally in horrendous conditions.

But luckily, this weekend, we haven't had to drive anywhere - and with it being my weekend off I haven't had the stress of worrying about driving into work either. So I have embraced the snow, and had some fun with the kids.

Yesterday we built our first snowman of the season - an Arthur lookalike - with his faithful companion, who has no name, although Tom was thinking of something suitable.

This weekend was supposed to be the Hopeman Crop, but seeing as the weather is so bad, it was cancelled. It was going to be our Christmas Crop, so Erika set us the challenge to make something Christmassy - either a layout, card or anything else as long as it was paper LOL.

So I made this.

I had an empty tin which originally was a candle, and I covered it with Crate Paper "Snow Day", and added some flowers and diecuts to the lid. Then I cut out the "joy" from a Sizzlits set, the reindeer which is Quickutz, and a couple of punched snowflakes. I stuck them to some wire, then spiralled the wire round a pencil to make like springs, and then stuck them into the lid. I added some ribbon round the centre of the tin, and I put some chocolates inside the tin. I think it'll make a nice ornament this Christmas!

Although the crop is cancelled, Erika has some homebaking that she needs some "help" with, so I am going along the road to enjoy a couple of hours of crafting and muffins LOL. I just need to snowproof my craft supplies and stick my winter gear on...



Thursday 25 November 2010

Not the same

I finally managed to use Allison Davis's November Sketch week sketch as a whole.

I was looking through my storage albums, and found a handful of photos from Christmas 2005. This was the Christmas that Mark spent out in Iraq, and was the first time he had spent Christmas away from the kids. We had the in-laws visit, but even so, it just wasn't the same without him. I took few photos, and sent them to him via e-mail, so this is what he saw of our Christmas.

I used the new Crate Paper "Snow Day" - I just love Crate Paper!
Cardstock - Bazzill Basics
Patterned Paper - Crate Paper "Snow Day"
Die cuts - Crate Paper
Alphabet stickers - American Crafts Thickers
Embroidery thread - DMC
It's absolutely baltic outside today, and although we don't have snow, we have certainly had wintry showers...

Tuesday 23 November 2010

Slip sliding away

... Slip sliding awaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy... My father has a lot to answer for, force feeding us Paul Simon..... Anyhoo, on to the layout! For something that looks so simple, this has taken me the best part of a week to do. Probably due more to a lack of time rather than complicated creativity!

A bit of background to this - whenever we have visited a play park, Mark always comments on how un-slippy the slides are. His sense of duty took over (both to his kids enjoyment, and to the greater community LOL) and he started to take a can of furniture polish and a tea towel to the park, so he could polish the slide and therefore enhance his kids experience at the park - by making the slide slippy.

Fast forward to this week. Jemma went to a Council run sports day on one of the extra In-service days. As it was only open to P5-7's Tom couldn't go, so Mark asked him what he wanted to do with me that day.

After dissuading him from spending all day on the sofa with his DS, it was decided (by Tom) that we were to go to Cooper Park in Elgin and make the slide slippy, and then go to Jimmy Chung's for the all you can eat Chinese buffet. Sounded like fun to me. So we dropped Jemma off at Lossiemouth, and headed into Elgin.

I also took some bread, so we fed the ducks (or tried to, whilst trying not to feed the seagulls) at the boating lake, before heading to the play park to polish the slide. Then we walked around the park, taking the time to play in some leaves, before the man from the council decided to hoover them up... A warm up in the library, and a new supply of reading material, and then we went for our lunch. A great day all round.

So, this 2 pager is based on another of Allison Davis's sketches - the June Sketch Week sketch. I added captions to the photos, to describe the process Tom followed. Tom is such a perfectionist, I wonder where he gets that from...? The photos are not that great, the light wasn't good at all, and I am a complete cameraphobe. Point and shoot is my maximum skill level. But, I am all for telling a story, and naff photos are better than no photos.

Cardstock - Bazzill Basics

Diecut paper - Creative Imaginations

Alphabet stickers - American Crafts Thickers

Ribbon and buttons - unknown, just in my stash!

Talking about photos, Mark and I were involved in an interesting conversation with friends the other night. It was alcohol fuelled (although I was stone cold sober, due to being the designated driver) and someone asked the question "Do you have any regrets?" One of our friends said "Yes, that I didn't take more photos". He was referring to his time in the forces, and that he has only a few photos of his 22 year career. Yes, he had the stories and the memories, but nothing that he could "show" his grandkids. The debate began on the pros and cons of photographs, how they could be seen as the killer of storytelling, and how the present generation are so reliant on visual media.

I had to put my tuppence worth in, and said that as a scrapbooker, I was taking photos and then adding the stories, so taking the best of both worlds so to speak - taking a visual media, and then using storytelling to create a page for the future generation.

This discussion just fuelled my desire to carry on scrapbooking, and record as many memories as I can. And to also go backwards, and find out stories to go with the old photos I have, and try to find things to help illustrate the stories I have - my Papa's war stories for instance. A good a reason as any to be a scrapbooker, I think...



Thursday 18 November 2010

Dinosaurs and inky hands

The kids are back at school again after their extremely long weekend off. In-service days. Ugh.

Anyway, I took advantage of the silence, and got busy in the craft room. I even got a bit adventurous and played about with ink, hence the inky hands...

A walk with dinosaurs. When we were down at the inlaws in October, they took us for a walk around Watermead Country Park. We always called it Wanlip, seeing as it was near there LOL. We walked the Jurassic trail around King Lear's Lake, which had lots of dinosaur and fossil themed sculptures dotted about. The kids loved climbing on them, and generally had a ball.

I used the left hand side of the November Sketch week sketch from Allison Davis, I do like it when a sketch for a double page can be split into singles. I got the needle and thread out for this page too, and did a spot of chain stitch around the edge of the dino paper, which made a change from normal straight stitch.

Cardstock - Bazzill

Patterned paper - BasicGrey (Archaic)

Cardstock stickers - BasicGrey (Archaic)

Border sticker - BasicGrey (Archaic)

Alphabet stickers - BasicGrey, American Crafts

Embroidery thread - DMC

Button - BasicGrey

Tag - Making Memories

Lace - from my ribbon box

Glitter - Stickles

Don't... Yes, I have yet another set of photos of me looking particularly grumpy and disgruntled whilst trying to conquer my fear of heights... Mark takes a lot of pleasure recording my discomfort whilst doing these kinds of things.

I had a lot of fun making this layout - lots of inking and distressing going on! I wanted to use a KI Memories die cut sheet, but the problem was that it was fushia pink, so I turned it over and inked the back of the sheet with 3 different shades of green ink. Lots of mess, and lovely green inky hands after! I then tore up a cardboard box to make a sort of tree trunk on the left hand side of the page. I took the right hand side of the November Sketch week sketch as inspiration for this page. Maybe at some point I will use the 2 sides together and make a double layout LOL.

Journalling reads - Don't... ... keep pointing that camera at me. You know I am scared being this high off the ground. You know I don't like having my photo taken. I am not photogenic. And do we really need to see my Paddington hard stare? So, please put the camera back in its pouch. Please? Pretty please? With a cherry on top???


Die cut paper - KI Memories

Patterned Paper - BoBunny Press

Inks - Colorbox

Chipboard elements - Scenic Route (circle), leaves from unknown source

Flowers - Prima Marketing

Brad - American Crafts

Alphabet stickers - American Crafts Thickers

Other - cardboard from a packaging box



Tuesday 16 November 2010

2 little birdies

Two-wit, two-woo!

When I was about 12 or 13, I was taught how to do Macrame at school. I did the obligatory hanging pot holder, and the large owl wall hanging, but my teacher also taught me how to make these tiny owl brooches. I used to churn these out like clockwork - I think everyone in my family received one as a gift one Christmas, and I even sold some at the Church fair. My bedroom floor was littered with the little blighters.

Fast forward to this past weekend. I decided that Sunday afternoon was a good time to indoctrinate Jemma into the owl making tradition. However, although I knew exactly what the finished owl looked like, the how to bit was buried somewhere deep in the old grey matter, and needed a bit of a helping hand to find its way out. Thank goodness for Google.... Or in this house, the phrase frequently used is "Google is your friend". So after refreshing my memory, we bust out the boxes of embroidery thread, some beads, a couple of safety pins and a bamboo skewer and toiled away all afternoon until we had both finished. My effort is on the left, and I think you will agree, the 11 year old's owl on the right is considerably better. Another case of the student outdoing the teacher methinks! Now she has caught the bug, and is already making them for friends.... What have I started..???

If you fancy having a go, I found a nice set of instructions here by Gretchen H. Brierly. My owl turns out a bit different to hers, but I think you get the idea...



Thursday 11 November 2010

Yes, I know...'s been a while. You must have thought that I'd got lost on our trip around the country in 8 days... Alas, we did not. I thought I would bring you up to speed on whats been going on around here, but first...

Today is Remembrance Day in the UK and Veteran's Day in the US. As a proud wife of a RAF serviceman, I wear my poppy with pride. We will all be marching in the village Remembrance Parade on Sunday. Also as a Granddaughter of a RAMC Burma Star recipient and the Great- granddaughter of a RGA Gunner who saw action in Ypres and Gallipoli I feel very proud of all the sacrifices my family has made over the decades to ensure we enjoy our freedom today.
We will remember them.

So, back to the recap of the past few weeks in the house of Yoo...

Our trip.
15 - 25 October. We had a great time, catching up with family and friends, exploring London, and seeing the boy's face when he walked through the gates at Legoland. It was so worth the travelling, the getting stuck on the M25, the 2 nights in a dubious hotel in central Watford and the having to sleep on a blow up matress on the lounge floor.
What wasn't so great was the announcement in Parliament on the 19th October. An announcement which sent our little family and the local community into a stae of shock and disbelief. Uncertain of what the future holds, but coping as best we can, even though we have no definitive answers. When we know what we are dealing with, I can get my head around it and carry on. It's what Military families do. Whether we like it or not...

Hopeman Crop.
31st October. Another great afternoon with a lovely bunch of girls - some old and some new. It was so therapeutic to sit down and craft, something I hadn't managed to do since returning from our holiday. I managed to complete most of a double layout and a single layout. I never seem to finish things off completely at a crop - usually due to me forgetting an important element (this time it was foam sticky pads) - and I always go home to add the finishing touches! Thanks to Erika for the delicious Halloween themed orange muffins. Nom nom nom!

Tang Soo Do belt grading.
6th November. The kids did really really well, both achieving their brown tag belts - which look like a huge long Oreo cookie, brown with a white stripe down the middle! And thankfully, no new trim to sew on the suits this time around!

Finally, I have some layouts to share. The first 2 are the pages I was working on at the crop.

Drivin' me Crazy. This page is based on a PageMaps sketch from January 2010. It is my Mum and Dad on their wedding day - my Dad held only a Motorbike license when they got married, but my Mum had passed her full driving license, so it was up to her to drive them away on their honeymoon.

Patterned paper - My Minds Eye, Prima Marketing
Cardstock - Bazzill
Punches - EK Success
Alphabet stickers - American Crafts
Buttons - Paper Mania
Stamp - Close to my Heart
Flower - Prima Marketing

Ribbon - from my ribbon box

Temple. These photographs were taken on our holiday to Turkey in 2008. We visited the Temple of Apollo at Didyma, the ruins are spectacular, and the remaining standing pillars are just breath taking.
I used an Allison Davis sketch from her August Sketch week.

Cardstock - Bazzill

Patterned paper - Making Memories, Fancy Pants Designs, Prima Marketing, K&Co

Alphabet stickers - American Crafts

Embossing plates - Cuttlebug

Buttons - Paper Mania, my button box

Gorge walk. These photos were taken during our "adventure week" in July, when we went gorge walking just outside Aviemore. The photos were taken by one of our guides with his waterproof camera, and then e-mailed to us after. They aren't the best quality, but they convey the whole experience we had that day! Again, I have used an Allison Davis sketch, this time from the January Sketch week.

Cardstock - Bazzill

Patterned papers - October Afternoon, Doodlebug, Prima Marketing

Stamp - Close to my Heart

Buttons - Paper Mania

Alphabet stickers - American Crafts

Kleines Fraulein. This page uses photos of our youngest German cousin, Eva Lotte. Mark has a German side to his family, as both his mother and his Aunt both spent time in Germany in the 60s as nurses. Doreen met a German guy, married and has lived in Germany ever since. Mark has 3 German cousins, and now there is a second generation of cousins. At cousin Sara's wedding in 2008, we got to meet them all for the first time. Eva Lotte was a complete darling, and everyone was besotted with her. I took these photos of her after the wedding. I converted them to sepia as the colour photographs I had were not fitting in to what I was planning! I used an Allison Davis sketch again, this is the latest Sketch week sketch - it's happening this week! I took the right hand page of the sketch, and just made a single layout. The flowers I made by punching 2" circles out of tissue paper, stamping some of them and then scrunching them all up and inking them, before fastening a button to the centre with embroidery floss.

Cardstock - Bazzill

Lace cardstock - KI Memories

Stamp - Prima Marketing

Ribbon - from my ribbon box

Alphabet stickers - American Crafts

Buttons - from my button box!

Embroidery thread - DMC

I have also been working on a couple of projects - things that I don't want to jinx by mentioning them here... But don't worry, I'll spill the beans soon enough, whether they come to fruition or not.

I hope you like the look of the place - I thought I would redecorate, although getting to grips with a new blog header is driving my nuts....



Thursday 14 October 2010

Sugar bowl challenge 45

As well as it being my parent's wedding anniversary this weekend, it also happens to be my Dad's birthday. I thought I would play along in the Sugar Bowl this week, especially as it had a great sketch by Tiets.

I used the Sugar Nellie Rock Star Manga stamp - my Dad loves music, and every now and again busts out his 12 string acoustic guitar for an airing... I stamped it with Memento Black Tuxedo ink, and coloured it in with the 5 Cool Grey shades of Promarkers.
I used up a load of scraps too, mainly Doodlebug papers. The stars are Maya Road chipboard, and the button on top is from Paper Mania. The sentiment is an Elzybells one. I added some stickles for a bit of glam.

Colouring is not my strong point, but I am pleased with how this has turned out, and I know Dad will love it too.

So we are off on our "Around the Country in 8 days" trip tomorrow... Should be lots of fun. See you on the other side...!



Friday 8 October 2010

40 years ago...

.... next week my parents got married.

Next weekend we are having a modest family get together in a restaurant near their home to celebrate their Ruby wedding anniversary.

Here are all the finished projects I have made for them as a gift.

This is the mini album I made for them. After a mad dash to WHSmith's to get some more double sided tape, I was able to finish this off quite quickly. It is a really simple design, but one I love, and I can see me making more of these in the future.

I used Bazzill cardstock, and the embossing on the kraft card is done with Cuttlebug embossing folders. The paper is a mixture of My Minds Eye, October afternoon and an unknown source. I used my Cricut to cut the label shapes. I used a wedding set of stamprs from Papertrey Ink, and finished off with a Prima flower on the front and some Papermania buttons on the inside pages.
All the photos are from their wedding day. I scanned in the originals and reprinted them at home.
I ended up going to see Tom's friend by myself today, as by the time the doctors had done their rounds yesterday it was too late to visit. I made a card, but then forgot to photograph it... The wee man is hopefully on his way home today.
Well its the start of 4 days at work for me, and the start of the 2 week October holidays for the kids. Not a lot of peace around here for a while then ....

Thursday 7 October 2010

Wonderful Wednesdays

Wednesday are usually OK - a day off from work, shopping day, and my turn to take the kids to Tang Soo classes. Rarely can they be described as "wonderful", but I think yesterday was an exception. It was a pretty good day.

Reason 1
I managed to work out how to use the air machine at the garage to pump up the front tyres of the car. All by myself. And I didn't swear...much.

Reason 2
I was called "gorgeous" by a shop assistant in Halfords. And he didn't have a white stick and a dog, or even a pair of glasses on. And he was hot.

Reason 3
Got to spend the afternoon catching up, drinking tea and eating cake with my friend Erika.

Reason 4
I finally knuckled down and finished off the shadow box frame for my parent's Ruby wedding.

I didn't faff about too much, I am a clean and simple girl after all! I based this loosely on a PageMaps sketch from March 2009. I used My Minds Eye paper, and the script background is a Prima stamp on bazzill card using Memento ink. The flowers are also Prima. I got the frame from Arrowfile, and used watered down emulsion to white wash the frame.

Reason 5
One of my layouts was showcased on Allison Davis's blog yesterday! I'd emailed her last week attaching my "Open Water" layout, never thinking that she would ever want to use it. Thank you Allison, and thanks for your sketches too!

So you can see why I thought that this Wednesday was particularly wonderful!

Finally, I'd thought I'd share the card I have made for my parents to go with the frame.

Based on the September Mini book a Month Album class from 2 Peas designed by Jen Gallacher. I am making the mini book too, but started off by making a card.
I used Bazzill card, and My Minds Eye paper. The kraft card is embossed using a Cuttlebug folder, and then I swiped some pearlescent chalk over it to give it a shine. The 40 is cut out from Bazzill Bling card with my Nouveau Sizzlit alpha dies. I added a bit of lace from my ribbon box, and a Prima flower. The butterfly is a Martha Stewart punch. I did a bit of machine stitching to finish it off.

I am in the process of making the mini book, but have found that I have run out of double sided tape... But I think me and the boy are off to town later, his partner in crime at Tang Soo has been in hospital all week fighting a nasty chest infection, and Tom wants to go visit him. I was going to make a wee card for him too, will have to rummage around my craft room for alternative adhesive....



P.S. I'm thinking that my Plain Jane blog needs a bit of a facelift. I am a complete technophone, so any hints, tips, pointers, links would be gratefully received. Ta x

Thursday 30 September 2010


The sun is out for the last day of September, a lovely end to the month. Obviously, I will be at work for most of it - extra hours again.

I found some more time this week to do some crafting, and I was itching to make a layout with Allison Davis's Sketch week sketch. I took some of the photos from when we went to Millbuies Loch. We'd never been there before, considering that it is not too far from us, and we enjoyed a leisurely walk around the loch, trying out the slingshot (safely and responsibly of course) and also following a family of ducks.

I used bazzill card stock, and papers from the Basic Grey Archaic collection. The trees are handcut, and I used a Papertrey Ink stamp for the trunk/branches. The title is done with American Crafts "Lullaby" foam Thickers.

I really enjoy using these sketches, it's nice to do some 2 pagers every now and again.

When the kids saw this layout, they asked where the photos of Dad's bottom was.... Erm... The highlight of the visit for them, was shoving pine cones down Mark's shorts, and at one point, he had to take his shorts down to get rid of all the pine cones... So of course, being papparazzi, I took some shots... Photos are not really suitable for those with a gentle constitution, but Tom said "But Mum, you could have made a flap on the page and hidden them underneath..." Maybe next time, Son...



Monday 27 September 2010

Holidays and heritage

I finally managed to find some time to do some scrapping at the end of last week, and managed a double and a single layout, using sketches - an Allison Davis one, and a PageMaps one.

The double uses an Allison Davis sketch - the same one I used for the last double I did! I love the circle elements on this one.

The photos are from a boat trip we took in Turkey, 2008. I love the ones of the kids, as Tom is hamming it up for the camera! I used Bazzill cardstock, Heidi Grace paper and some paper from Tescos. The title is chipboard Thickers from American Crafts.

The next layout I did is a heritage one. I used a PageMap sketch from the September 2010 releases.
This photo is of my Great Grandfather. I *think* it's my Gran sat on the hedge next to him. I used Bazzill cardstock, My Minds Eye, Bo Bunny and Making Memories papers, Prima flowers, and American Crafts foam Thickers. The buttons are from my Gran's button box.
I was considering going back and doing some machine stitching on it, but have left it for now.
It's good to get the creative juices flowing a bit now and again!
The weekend was busy with Tang Soo Do competitions and long shifts at work. The kids competed in the Scottish Championships on Saturday, Jemma won 2 bronze medals, but Tom came away empty handed. Unfortunately he has just moved up a category, so he is now one of the youngest in his group, so he found the sparring hard going :( He was fourth in his forms, which was a good result, but you don't get a medal for fourth place...
Saturday night was stock take at work - counting small bags of sweets at 1 am is not my idea of fun, but at least it's done for another few months. The store is having a lot of upheaval just now - as well the new shelving and brands, we are getting a new Store Manager next week, and the Section Managers are having a move round too. So, expecting some more drama at work in the next few weeks...

Tuesday 21 September 2010


.... from the, erm, chicken's bottom??? Doesn't really have the same ring to it, does it?

This is a bacon flan I made the other night, using fresh eggs from next door's chickens.

They were given to us as a thank you. Let me tell you a stooooooory....

I was cleaning out the guinea pigs, and I put them in their run on the patio, so Jemma went round the far side of the house, to get some long grass and dandelion leaves for them to munch on, from the "wild bit". Then she comes running back in the house saying "Mum, we have chickens down the side of our house". I'm like "really??" and off I go to see that indeed we had 2 beautiful brown hens pecking and scratching in the "wild bit" up the side of the house. Now, our elderly neighbour Rosie has a couple of chickens, so I went to the house to ask if hers had escaped.
The old couple across the street came out and said "Oh, Rosie is away for a couple of months". Great. So I checked the garden, and saw the chicken run, and saw it was empty. So I asked if the neighbours had a contact number for someone in Rosie's family. Within 5 minutes, a couple of her grandkids came along the street, and indeed they were Rosie's chickens. By this time, the hens had made it into our back garden, and Mark was pacifying them with Guinea Pig muesli! In fact the chickens were quite friendly, and had no problems with being picked up. So as a thank you, they gave us the 2 eggs the hens had laid that day. And I made them into tea. And they were delicious. I am secretly hoping that the chickens make another escape bid...



Sunday 19 September 2010

Fallen off the wagon....

...completely and utterly.

The past 10 days have been a bit of a blur - preparing for night shifts, doing nights shifts and then recovering from night shifts. Plus then having to do catch up with everything - a particularly grouchy clean freak husband doesn't help - as the "housework fairy" hadn't visited that week.

I have tried to keep up with LSNED, almost fanatically at first, jotting things down in a notebook. But as the time has gone on, I have well and truly fallen behind. Here are a few lessons from this week....

  • eye masks really do help you to sleep during the day - I didn't think they would, but I managed a good 6 hours sleep before my first night shift, a lot more than my fellow night shifters ;)
  • leaving work at day break can be really quite surreal - I took a photo of the town at dawn as I walked back to my car to drive home. I was alone, apart from a paperboy!
  • afternoon naps can hinder as well as help - Saturday was my "transition" day, and I fell asleep for a few hours in the afternoon. Didn't help me at all come bedtime...
  • I have to learn to draw the line somewhere, 1 am is a good a time as any... - I had an extra long shift on Sunday. 2.30 pm to midnight. But I was still there at 1am. I left at 1.15 am. I really can't leave until I am happy with my work. Even if that is only filling shelves.
  • sometimes it's OK to read a book in a day - I am hooked on the Vampire Academy books at the moment, and Monday I managed to read a whole book in a day. Probably another reason why Mark was miffed, as Monday is usually cleaning day...
  • I really have a hard time saying "no" to people - my manager at work phoned me at home to ask if I could work extra hours again on Friday. And I just couldn't say no. I ended up going in 2 hours earlier than usual. I hate letting people down, but sometimes I should see that people do take advantage of me.
  • retail therapy is good for the soul - a good crafty bargain from TK Maxx always cheers me up!
  • that having complete trust in your hairdresser is always a good thing - I have no clue when it comes to my hair, I just leave it to the professionals. Luckily my hairdresser is amazing, and I now have even more blonde highlights, and hair that is 3 inches shorter than it was before....
  • that people really do notice if you are having a bad day - I had a mini wobble at work. Nothing major, I just wasn't quite my happy little self. I felt unappreciated. Not alot of smiling going on. People noticed. Made me feel a bit more appreciated.
  • Lunch dates with friends can be bittersweet - catching up with friends and having a bowl of the most amazing soup and a Mars Bar crispie slice doesn't make up for the fact that I said goodbye to one of the sweetest friends I have ever known. Sometimes I really hate Forces life...
  • needing to fetch a blanket to keep warm whilst watching tv on an evening really means that the heating needs to be turned back on - and voila the heating is now on :)

The main lesson I have learned over the past week or so, is that I shouldn't bite off more than I can chew. In all aspects of my life. Not just the creative side, but the domestic and the work sides of my life too. To not take on too much, or to expect too much of myself. I have fallen behind with so much again. No creativity going on. Leaving things to the last minute. Feeling bad as I haven't prepared for events - there is a wedding anniversary and a birthday that I am going to be late for this week :( And also putting things off. Getting wrapped up in fiction and other distractions when I really should be doing something more constructive.

Ah, me. Lots of life lessons going on. Not enough hours in the day should be another one....



Thursday 9 September 2010

Talking telephone numbers...

Last year I did an entry in my LSNED book with a photo of this phone. Once more, I have learned a lesson regarding the very same object.

This week, Jemma has been away on a school residential trip, to a watersports centre. They were told no mobile phones were allowed to be taken. Last night, about 9ish, the phone rang. We have caller display, and it said Pay Phone on it. I answered it, and there was Jemma on the other end, calling to say what she had been up to, and chattering 10 to the dozen about her week. It struck me afterwards that she knew our home phone number. I didn't think she did. It's not something we've drilled into the kids heads, maybe we should have.

I remember as a child, when you picked up the phone you automatically said the phone number. My childhood phone number is imprinted in my brain permanently, complete with the old area code. I can still tell you my grandparents phone numbers, Mark's parents phone number, all learned back in the day when we didn't have speed dial. My parents moved 8 years ago, and I couldn't tell you their new number, as I just pick their names from the phone's address book! Mobile numbers have me stumped too. Every number I dial now, I have to look up. The only one I try to remember these days is Mark's work number.

Technology has made me lazy, maybe I should endeavour to remember more numbers, to make the old grey matter work at bit more. Or maybe I'll just stick to the address book and phone directory...



Wednesday 8 September 2010

Age is just a number... ever increasing number, but a number all the same.

Yesterday was my birthday. My 38th birthday. I remember when it was all about the presents, the parties, the candles on the cake. Nowadays, it's more about the fact I've made it to another birthday, the gratitude, and the excitement of the kids - oh, and it's still about the presents!
I didn't get cake this year, I was at work, and also Jemma left for a school trip, and it wouldn't have been the same. Didn't seem worth sticking a candle in a muffin. Although, if truth be told, I was upset that no-one sang "happy birthday" to me...

I had a quiet day to myself - had a lovely long soak in the bath, and then did a bit of crafting in the afternoon before going to work. Felt odd having to work on my birthday, although whilst doing the date checks at least I didn't need to ask anyone what the date was!

I felt quite retrospective yesterday, LSNED is making me more thoughtful this year. Maybe it's because I don't have to just find a caption for a photo I have taken, I need to explain my lessons more fully in a blog post. So, during my craftiness, I made this layout. And it even has a photo of me on it. Not a great photo - now for Mark that is unusual, the camera appears to have focussed on the trees rather than me! - but then that sums me up. Not perfect by any means, and sometimes unfocussed and a bit fuzzy round the edges! I hate photos of me, I see all the things I hate about myself magnified a thousandfold. But this one, it captures me at this point in my life.

Journalling reads - Life is good. I have blonde streaks. I don't feel any older. I'm regaining my confidence. I'm working on my weaknesses. I'm still smiling.

I used a PageMap sketch from August 2010, the cardstock is Bazzill and the papers are K&Co and October Afternoon. The flowers are Prima, and the alphas are American Crafts raw chipboard Thickers, coloured with brown ink and topped with Glossy Accents. I'm not sure where the journalling page came from, and the buttons, ribbon and lace are from my stash.

Oh, and please check out Erika's blog post from yesterday, she made me the most Gorjuss birthday card, it is a stunning card!

Proud of my boy today as well - he was presented with the Chief Scout's Bronze award at Beavers. Pity the Chief Scout wasn't presenting it - Bear Grylls....phwoar. This is the top award for Beaver Scouts, showing that they are creative, fit, making friends, starting to learn about the world, exploring the outdoors and have understood the Promise. Tom has 7 challenge badges, he needed 6 to qualify for the award.

Tom "swims up" to Cubs next week. Another step in his life. But he is more than ready for it. And his Dad will be there with him, as Mark is an assistant Cub leader in the Hopeman pack. Tom has thoroughly enjoyed his scouting experience so far. I'm just waiting to see how many badges need to be transferred from his Beavers sweatshirt to his new Cubs one - sewing on badges is not one of my favourite jobs!
Oh, and talking of badges... After yesterday's post of my disappearing name badges, I went into work and there was one of my name badges in the Commercial Food Office, looking a bit battered and scratched. Bit like it's onwer! No idea where it was found, or what it went through to make it look like that. But at least I have it back again...

Tuesday 7 September 2010

Where DO all the lost things go.....?

In my house, I am always the person people go to when they have lost something - I have an uncanny knack of finding stuff... until it's my stuff that goes missing. Yesterday it was one of my name badges for my work uniform. I did have 3 of them, but managed to lose one in the store at work last night, but can I find my spare one? Can I hell. I need one for my shirt, and one for my jacket - the store manager insists on everyone wearing a name badge at all times, company policy, although I have the sneaking suspicion that it's more because he is rubbish at remembering names than anything else...

I really hate losing things. I managed to lose my swipe card for work a couple of weeks ago, and I felt like I had lost my right arm! The black hole that is Elgin Simply Foods swallowed it up - I managed to lose it within 2 metres of where I last used it...
But sometimes, it's my own absent mindedness. I had to change my camera batteries whilst down the beach and I keep a spare set in my camera bag, but they have a habit of falling out of the pocket. Many times I have passed some batteries lying on the floor and thought - "oh, look someones dropped their Eneloops" only to find they are mine! So this time, I put the old batteries in my coat pocket for safe keeping. Only to find a few days later that I couldn't find them. I looked in the pockets of the coat. Nada. So I went on Amazon and ordered another set.
This morning, as it was windy out, I put my winter coat on to take the kids to school and wave Jemma off on her school trip. I put my hands in the pockets, and yep, found the batteries. I'd checked the wrong coat. Duh. So now I have an extra set of Eneloops. But one can never have too many batteries...

So lessons learned today - I hate losing things. And try to remember where you put things, as its annoying when you can't find them. And maybe the coat you thought you were wearing to the beach was in fact a different one... I could go on and on.....

I did actually manage to do something scrappy yesterday. It's taken me all week, but I got there in the end LOL.

I found a new source of sketches - Allison Davis. I'd heard about her books via the 2 Peas forum, but was dismayed that they were only available in the US, and ordering would mean high shipping and import duties, not really making them a good buy. But then I found her blog. Every month she does a week of posts called Sketch Week, where she takes one of her sketches and makes 5 different layouts, showing how you can adapt a sketch and use it multiple times. I love her sketches - 2 pagers, with room for lots of photos, and easy to use 4 x 6 photos on. The sketch I used was her July Sketch week sketch.

The photos were taken on our holiday in Turkey, 2008. We did a boat trip, and the boat stopped in various locations during the day, and you could swim in the sea by the boat. The kids had never been swimming in deep sea before. The captain gave them both a woggle float for safety, but they didn't really need it.
I used up alot of scraps on this layout, mainly Scenic Route and Bo Bunny, with some Creative Imaginations in there too. I used circle punches and Nestabilities to get all the circles, and drew round my bin to get the big circle. The flowers are Prima, the buttons are from my button box, and the title is raw Papermania chipboard alphas painted white, and then stickled to death.

Sunday 5 September 2010

An afternoon at the park...

Today's prompt from Shimelle was asking us about lessons that we continue to learn. For me, a couple sprang to mind today....

....that I really need to learn to conquer my fears regarding heights...

...and that my husband is a much better operator of my camera, and takes much better photos than I do!
After the kids came back from their sleepovers, we headed to Lossiemouth with the kids and their roller blades, so they could have a skate around the park next to the harbour. There are lots of paths, with hills, and areas that the kids can skate. But also there is a play park and a huge net climbing frame, which the 3 of them (the 2 little kids, and the Big Kid) raced each other up.
Mark had control of the camera, and took some photos from the top of the frame - something that I would just be too scared to do. I do try and join in, I always do the rope course at Landmark once, just to say I have done it, although I am completely petrified the whole way round. In my mind it shows the kids that it's OK to be scared, but that you can't let your fears completely stop you from doing stuff. Although I am still petrified ...!
As for my camera skills, I must admit I am a bit of a point and click girl, I do try to apply the rule of thirds, and try my best to compose shots so that heads aren't missing etc. But, Mark is so much better at it than me, but then he moans that if he took the photos all the time, then he'd never be in any. He is more photogenic than me! It doesn't bother me if I am not in a photo, so it's easier if I'm the one behind the camera. He took some of me today. They're not too bad....
I suppose that's another lesson I still need to learn - how to be more comfortable with looking at myself, and to be happy with what I see. But that is a whole other can of worms, and a good few sessions in therapy, so we'll not go there today, OK?

Rugby and date nights

Tom came home all excited last week, with a letter asking for permission for him to attend an afterschool club - now he is in Primary 4, he gets to join clubs! - and it was for Rugby. Jemma goes to these sessions too, but she is a Sport Billy and loves any sport, Tom isn't that interested in sport apart from his Tang Soo Do. So I was a bit surprised, but signed the form anyway, as he was really keen. The first session was Friday, and it became apparent very quickly that Tom's ball skills are decidedly lacking, so I went out on Saturday and bought a cheap rugby ball so he could practice with Mark in the garden.

Mark knows next to nothing about rugby, but he ended up going along to the session as a parent helper. As I sat watching him and Tom throw this ball back and forth in the garden, and listen to Mark as he explained to Tom what he had to do, I realised that Mark can teach just about anything. He is a qualified swimming teacher, he is an instructor at work, so he has the skills to teach in any situation. He helps the kids with their martial arts practice at home, and a number of other things. The kids are extremely fortunate to have Mark for their Dad, as their life is full of learning from him - even the not so desirable lessons, like how to do armpit farting - and he always seems to make it fun.
Watching Tom, I see how he puts 110% into everything, and how he is willing to try anything, and is always smiling whilst he does it. His martial arts instructor always comments on how cheerful Tom is, even if he is doing a large number of press-ups or other not very nice exercises!
Today was certainly a day of learning lessons from my boys.
It was a coincidence that we managed to get both the kids on sleepovers on Saturday night, so Mark and I took the chance to have a night out by ourselves - a date night! We ummed and aahed over what to do, and in the end decided to go out for a meal and then go for a few drinks after. We had a lovely meal at a local tandoori restaurant, and then headed off round the watering holes. I bumped into a few people from work, and a friend I haven't seen in ages, and we had a great night. It was odd just being us two, but nice too. And the added bonus -no kids to wake us up this morning!
So yesterday was a day of many lessons, from the enthusiasm of Tom, to the teaching skills of Mark and the enjoyment of a night out. This is what I love about doing this class - seeing things that maybe I take for granted or that maybe get missed in the hustle and bustle of daily life, and learning to appreciate them.

Friday 3 September 2010

Best foot forward...

Shimelle's prompt this morning asked us to look at lessons learned concerning feet. Determined not to waste another glorious day sat on my backside, I decided the best thing to do was to take the prompt literally and get out and use my feet! I grabbed my camera and headed out for a walk around the village and on to the beach.

I have been wanting to make a mini book about the village where I live ever since we moved here. My friend and team mate on UKS, Monica, sent me a lovely kit for my birthday last year that she had made up, with the view that I could make a mini book about our new house. It's taken me nearly a year, but I got started on it at the beginning of the summer, but I didn't have all the photos that I needed to finish it. But those photos, although simple to take, I kept putting off. Goodness knows why. But this morning, as I walked, I snapped away, getting the photos I needed in minutes.

With that job done, I headed down to East beach, for a wander along the sand. The beach was almost deserted, apart from a young family having a picnic and a man with a dog and metal detector, I saw no one. I had a quick paddle in the sea - which was it's usual freezing temperature - and then headed to a sheltered dune to sit and contemplate the world whilst looking at the sea. Bliss.

I find the sea so relaxing, if I feel down I always take a walk down and sit and watch the waves, listening to the sounds of the sea. I love a "good blow" (as my Mum would say) - a walk in which coastal breezes blow all the cobwebs away, especially the ones in my brain! It didn't surprise me when my Dad's family history research uncovered that his Paternal ancestors were fishermen in Lincoln. It probably explains why I love swimming, and why I feel so at home by the sea. Although I am not a particularly good sailor - cross channel ferries and I do not mix well - I'd still like to go out on a fishing boat (in calm seas of course!) just to see if the fishing gene has been passed down too.

So, I learned a few things today...
  • that I have a habit of putting things off, and then when I get round to doing them I wonder why it took so long
  • that a walk along a deserted beach is possibly the best thing to do on a Friday morning
  • and that I really should get off my lazy backside more often and just go for a walk.



Thursday 2 September 2010

Learning to let go...

... a little at a time. I had to smile at Shimelle's prompt this morning, to find todays lesson inside your house. It seems that I am spending alot of time inside my house at the moment, which I love - I am a potterer at heart, and a total home bird, so nothing gives me greater pleasure than being in my house! - but it's more than I used to, as I used to do the school run twice a day. The kids have been back at school 3 weeks now, and Tom has decided that being in Primary 4 means that he can walk to school without Mummy :(
I snapped the pair of them walking to school down the alley way this morning.
I must admit, I do like having a few more minutes in the day to myself, but I also miss the gossip on the playground and chatting with the other Mum's. I can't believe how much the kids are growing up, especially Tom, as I still see him as my "baby" - what do you mean he is 8???? Jemma starts High school next year, which will mean a bus ride for her - more independence, and more letting out of that leash... As long as it happens slowly and in small stages, I'll be OK - won't I?

Oh, and another lesson learned - Photoshop is not as easy to use as you think... I spent ages trying to import a photo onto a template, I think I managed it, but I can't see me taking the digital scrapbooking world by storm just yet. I think I'll just keep to the blogging for now...



Wednesday 1 September 2010

September? Already???

Crumbs, surely it can't be September AGAIN? It was only 5 minutes since the last one, right?

September for me means 2 things - getting older, and Learning Something New Every Day!
For the past 3 years I have signed up for Shimelle's class, the first year I started with all good intentions, but fell by the wayside - primarily due to a tragedy that happened in our community the first week of September 2007. But for the past 2 years I have produced an album - a 4x4, and a 6x6.
This year, I think I am going to try something new. Things have changed for me over the past year, we bought a house and I now go out to work - so I am looking for a quicker way to record this September. So I thought I would blog it. I am also quite interested to see how easy the digital templates Shimelle is providing this year are to use, as I could quite happily do a little digital album. It's all about learning after all!
How far I get is another matter, September is going to be busy - especially at work, where the store is getting a new re-fit, which means night shifts for me... So without further ado, here is my lesson for the 1st September...

Today I learned that you can make more than ratatouille with courgettes...

I have been growing vegetables for the first time in the garden this year, and the 2 courgette plants have gone mental and produced a endless crop of courgettes. Now I am not a fan of the courgette, but Mark loves a bit of ratatouille, so I grew some to see what would happen. They like it here in Hopeman, it seems.
So, seeing as the freezer has a years supply of ratatouille in it, I looked for something different.... and found a recipe for Chocolate Courgette cake on the BBC Good Food website. I made it, and wow, it is really yummy! Waiting to see if the kids will try it - although I will probably drop the courgette bit, and just call it chocolate cake....
If you look closely at the photo, you may even spot me....

Crafting and creating have been scarce this past week, but I did make a birthday card last week to send to my UKS team mate Margaret. I used a Sugar Nellie stamp and coloured it with ProMarkers. The patterned paper is Chatterbox, and I used Bazzill card stock. The script paper is actually a Prima stamp, stamped onto My Minds Eye paper. The sentiment is an Elzybells stamp, and the flowers were in a Sarah's Cards bargain box that I ordered last week. I was inspired by Marlene. Her cards are just beautiful, and this is a lift of a card from a couple of years ago.
Well, that's all from me for now, hopefully I'll be back tomorrow with another lesson learned. Maybe I should be more positive and say I WILL be back tomorrow with another lesson :)

P.S. A shout out to my friend Jo, whose album cover made it into the first prompt of the month!