Monday 3 December 2012

NAS - week 242 : Hogwarts

Happy December everyone!!

I'm back today with my layout for week 242 at Nuts About Sketches.  I am slowly making my way through the photos from our first trip to Orlando - very slowly...!!!

I was blown away by Hogwarts Castle. Especially with the bright blue Orlando sky behind it. It didn't seem quite as forboding as it looks in the films....

I chose a monochrome scheme, and the papers I used were all from Halloween collections. And I finally got to use my Martha Stewart cobweb border punch!

Again, quite a simple layout, with the holidays and holiday preparations, I am really liking simple these days...!!!

Friday 30 November 2012

NAS - week 241 :Cheers!

You know, I really don't know where the time is just now. It feels like I blink, and another week has passed by...
So, I'm late in posting my layout using sketch 241 over at Nuts About Sketches. This weeks sketch was a 2 pager, but I decided to just use one side of the sketch - the right hand side.

This is Mark enjoying the frozen ButterBeer we bought on our visit to Harry Potter world at Universal Islands of Adventure.  I must admit, it was very tasty, but I am glad we decided to share a glass as it was very sickly after a couple of mouthfuls.

I went clean and simple with this layout, with lots of white space. But I got in the essentials - title, photos and journalling :)

This weekend we are heading back to Orlando again. We have an extra day's ticket to use up at Universal, and then we are going to Sea World on Sunday with a free Hero's pass :) So it's a freebie weekend apart from a night in a motel and food. And possibly another glass of ButterBeer.....

Saturday 24 November 2012

Monumental fun

Happy weekend!

Carrying on with my Nuts About Sketches layout catch-up...this is my layout for week 235. You can find the original sketch here along with other examples from the rest of the Design Team :)

Ugh, I'd forgotten what a pain scanning in a layout with a white background was... It looks better on the Nuts About Sketches blog, I promise ;)

Anyway, this photo is from the first weekend we stayed in the USA. We went to Arlington Cemetary on the Sunday, and then walked from their to the Marines memorial - a.k.a the Iwo Jima memorial. On our way, we stopped to look at the view over Washington, D.C, and Mark thought it would be fun to play about with perspective and the scenery. Hence Jemma appearing to be holding the Washington Memorial by it's point...

I used papers from a 6x6 PaperMania pad - Portobello Road. I bought this before we left the UK, as I knew I would want some Union Jack and British-ness type papers, and with the Jubilee and Olympics, there was British pride bursting out all over the place!!! On this layout, I used more of the subtle papers in the pack - I just wanted to pick up the colours on Jemma's t-shirt :)  I coloured the Thickers in the title with a ProMarker, and added some clear glitter glue for a bit of sparkle.
I changed my layout size to 8.5 x 11, so the photo took centre stage on the page, but there was still enough room for some white space.

Friday 23 November 2012

Bunny Girl

Back again with another of my layouts for Nuts About Sketches. This was my layout for week 234, and you can find the original sketch here along with layouts from the other DT members.
For her 13th birthday, Jemma was very specific about what she wanted for presents - a purple and pink Superdry t-shirt, and a onesie...  Now the t-shirt was relatively simple to order online, but the onesie....well that was another matter. We couldn't find anything online, and being spring time, all the winter clothing in stores was being replaced by summer stuff. Even though it felt far from summery in the far north of Scotland, but that is another thing....
Mark and I took one last look, and went to Primark - or Primarni as my dear sister-in-law calls it - and *ta-daaaaaaaaa* there was a rack of onesies. And they had the right size. And it was a pink bunny. Perfect.
Jemma loved it. In fact she wore it everyday. If she could have gone to school in it, she would. So, there she is, on her birthday - a teenager in a bunny onesie...

I went monochrome on this layout, and used My Mind's Eye's papers. I fussy cut a few flowers and added them with brads, and also made some lollipop flowers for embellishments. A clean and simple layout :)

Thursday 22 November 2012

2 of a kind

First of all, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! This will be our first ever Thanksgiving holiday, as we don't celebrate it in the UK. Although we have no links to the origin of the holiday, being here during the preparations and build up has made me pause to think about the whole idea of being thankful.
I am thankful for the opportunity we have been given - both us as a family, and Mark professionally - by the military, and being allowed to live in the USA for 3 years. It bears no thinking what the alternative may have been - most likely redundancy and uncertainty.
I am thankful that the family has settled into the US systems - school for the kids, and the US Navy for Mark. Things are so very different over here, and the way that the kids have transitioned has made me a very proud mama :) They have worked so very hard, and are determined to continue to do so.
I am thankful for our friends - new and old. Old friends keeping in touch. New friends welcoming us into their homes and into the community. Showing us around, helping us out in times of need.
I am thankful for so many other things - our home, our family and our health. And Skype. And Facebook. And our SatNav (especially when she pronounces things wrong..)  And technology in general.
Thankful for so much, so many blessings. Sigh. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside....
And thankful for being given the opportunity to work with amazing sketches on the Nuts About Sketches blog :) This was my layout for week 233 - you can find the original sketch and the other DT members layouts here

These were photos taken by the nauseatingly uber-talented Mandy Hunter at a family photo shoot we had done before we left Scotland. She took some great shots of the kiddos, and when I saw the sketch, I knew I wanted to use some of them.
I used up more of the BoBunny "Winter Joy" collection. I do love purple, aqua and lime together...  I used green stickles on my Thickers title to link it into the colour scheme. A few buttons, and a bit of soppy journalling, and the layout was complete...
So, I leave you now to experience the eat-a-thon that is Thanksgiving... Happy Turkey Day - Gobble Gobble Gobble!!!!!

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Mulberry Cove

I thought I would do a catch up over the next fews days, with the layouts I have done recently for Nuts About Sketches. This layout is from week 231, and you can find the sketch and the rest of the DT's pages here

These are photos from an afternoon's kayaking at the Naval Air Station's marina - Mulberry Cove. On a Thursday, kayak rental is free to all service personnel and their dependants, and an opportunity too good to pass up!

I used up some scraps on this 2 pager - mainly My Mind's Eye - plus some Studio Calico thrown in. I used my "dripping goo" border punch from Martha Stewart - one of my bargain finds at TJ Maxx - as I thought it looked like dripping water.... A smattering of buttons finished it all off :)

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Winter is coming...

.... even to Florida. (BTW love the Game of Thrones, although prefer the books to the TV series...)

I knew I would acclimatise to the North Florida weather, but I didn't think I would do it so quickly! The experience of living in the Mediterranean for 4 years put me in good stead for this move, as I'd done the whole living in a tropical climate thing before. I think my body has gone back into Gibraltar mode, I quickly adjusted to the heat when we arrived, and now I am starting to feel the chill of November... My Scottish buddies will scoff at me, when I say it has only been 20 degrees C today - and I am sat here in jeans and a hoodie and socks.... One of the other families who moved across with us has not brought any winter clothing with them at all, thinking they would not need it. Eh? Now, I know I can be a bit daft sometimes, but even I know that when your body gets used to 35 - 40 degree C in the summer, when it drops by 20 degrees it feels cold.... Unless you are my husband, who is determined to wear shorts all year round regardless of the temperature. And I am totally justified for buying those 3 pairs of boots in the Target summer sale back in July....

Anyhow, when we moved, I didn't pack any of my knitting stuff, thinking I wouldn't want to do any. Now, you can guess what happened, can't you. Yep, I got the urge to pick up some needles and yarn and make stuff lol. So this is what I made....

...fingerless gloves. Lovely long gloves, that come up to my elbows lol. And they have cable on them. I love, love, love doing cable.

The pattern is a free pattern that you can get here. There are lots and lots of other free patterns for both knitting and crochet, and I now have a collection printed out for future projects....

And it also helped that Michael's had a sale on all their yarn last week....

Current project - legwarmers. Yep. Kids from Fame, eat your heart out....

Monday 19 November 2012

NAS sketch 240 - Oct '12

This is my layout using this week's sketch over at Nuts About Sketches.

We finally made it down to Orlando in October - when it started to cool down a bit. We spent the weekend at the Universal theme parks - Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios. We had a blast. The kids are both tall enough to ride the big rollercoasters now, so we did the lot. Well, they did the lot. I sat a few out.... This is us beside the huge revolving globe outside Universal Studios.

I used Echo Park Everday Eclectic for this layout. I love the muted colours of it. The title is American Craft Thickers (which have once again become an obsession). I layered a couple of buttons and tied them with baker's twine as a small embellishment.

I will be back soon!!!!

Friday 16 November 2012

Ummm, yeah.

Sorta fell off the face of the Earth again, didn't I?

How can it be November already? It was just my birthday last week, right? It is scary how fast time is going this year. And before we know it, it'll be December 2015 and time for us to return to the UK. I am trying so hard to enjoy the new experiences, but they are whizzing past me at a million miles an hour, sometimes I forget.  Now the initial excitement has worn off, and we are into the school routines and after school clubs, it feels like we have been here forever. I still have pangs of homesickness, and flashes of "OMG we live here", but I am more settled than I thought I would be. The weather has cooled down - it has dropped in temperature over 20 degrees C since we arrived. Yes, it is still in the high teens and low 20's which is positively tropical for the UK, but it feels cold to us now.  I am happy to be able to wear my jeans and jumpers again, and I have justified my "crazy" boot purchases in the summer by wearing all 3 pairs!

I started the Couch to 5K running program at the beginning of September, and can now proudly say that I can run 3 miles non stop without collapsing :) It has been hard work, but well worth it, I feel so much better for it, and the visits to IHOP are less of a guilt trip ;)

I am going to try really hard to keep up to date.  I have a few DT layouts I want to share, and a few other crafty projects that I have been working on too.  I have a nice list of Christmas crafts I want to make, starting with a wreath for the front door.... I am thinking of doing a December Daily of sorts too - my local Target has 8x8 We R Memory Keeper albums and divided page protectors... I have plenty of Christmas papers in my stash, and now with my trusty iPhone, I am never short of a photo or twenty....

Speaking of which, I'll leave you with a shot from our recent trip to Orlando.

Life is good :)

Monday 10 September 2012

Nuts About Sketches 230 - Life begins

There is a great new sketch up at Nuts About Sketches today, I really enjoyed working with this one!

This past Friday (7th) was my birthday. My 40th birthday. The saying goes "Life begins at 40", and for me right now that is very true. A whole new life, in a new country, meeting new people, doing new things and having new adventures. I have started to exercise more - I started the Couch to 5K program, and although the first couple of days almost killed me, I am starting to get into it.

The photographs were taken at a photoshoot I was given as a Mother's Day present, by the extremely talented Mandy Hunter.  She has mad PhotoShop skills too ;). I usually hate any photo of me, but these ones, I kinda like lol. The purple one is just so cool - I actually have this framed on the wall lol.

I took the purple colours from the main photo as a starter for my colour scheme, and I found some Bo Bunny papers to match - they are actually a Christmas collection called "Winter Joy". But the purple was perfect and the shade of green is one of my favourite colours just now. So I went with it :)

The day of my birthday I was taken to a Bosnian coffee shop for cake and coffee by some friends, and then in the evening we went for a family meal out at Chili's - their Sparkling Pomegranate Margarita is to die for ;) The kids got me a huge cookie and ice-cream cake from Publix, and spoiled me with some chocolate, flowers and some new workout clothes :) I don't like a big fuss, so my day was just about perfect for me. Age is only a number after all....

Tuesday 4 September 2012

Nuts About Sketches 229 - Abe by night

I am so excited to be back on the Nuts About Sketches Design Team! Shawn designs the most fantastic sketches, and I love working with them. I have missed them so much!

So, this weeks sketch is a two-pager. The original sketch called for three 5x7 inch photos, but I had way more photos, so I got a little creative...

So, this is the layout. All about our night-time visit to see Abraham Lincoln when we were in Washington, D.C in June. Tom said the one thing he would like to see on our trip was the man that sat in the big chair. Anyone who has seen "Night at the Museum 2" will remember President Lincoln coming to life at night, but if he was the night we went, he was sitting very, very still lol.

It was an amazing experience. The Lincoln memorial is truly one of the most reverent places I have ever been to. The atmosphere inside was undescribable - the respect the US has for this man is enormous. The night we went, there were plenty of other visitors. I even saw girls in prom dresses, posing on the steps with their dates.

I made little mini foldout books and added my extra photos. I wanted to add the photos of the engraved speeches, especially as Tom sat down and read every single word of them. He was sat, cross legged on the floor with people swarming about him, and he didn't move until he had finished reading all of it.

I also had more journalling than I had space for, so I made that into a mini book too :)

I used the scraps I had left over from my Scrapbook Generation kit - Echo Park 4th July papers - and added some Basic grey (red) and Chatterbox (blue) for the circles. The title I cut using my Cricut, and added some Frosted Lace Stickles for a bit of dimension. The red, white and blue dots are from Craftwork Cards.

The rest of the team have done a great job with the sketch, head on over to the blog, and have a look!

Monday 27 August 2012

Let Freedom Ring

We were pleased that we were going to be in the US for 4th July. It is obviously a big thing for them, being Independence Day and all. The neighbourhood turned into a wash of red, white and blue, with the Stars and Stripes proudly flying outside many homes. We were interested to see how the day was celebrated.
Being the "enemy" in the whole Independence thing, we tried to fit in as much as we could. The theme of the day was red, white and blue, but we made sure we didn't go out in anything Union Jack, as that really wouldn't be a good thing to do, ya think? Jemma and I donned our red, white and blue and headed down to Eagle Harbor Parkway - the main thoroughfare of the neighbourhood - to watch the annual parade. There were fire trucks, and other emergency vehicles, with sirens and lights blaring. There were also floats, with Girl Scouts on, throwing bead necklaces and candy to the spectators. There were also members of the community - in cars, in golf carts, in boats (on trailers) and on bikes. All decorated with the stars and stripes and all things red, white and blue. It was a great little parade. And they threw candy. Lots of candy. We didn't go prepared, unlike some other kids who had huge bags to collect candy in, so any bits Jemma picked up ended up in my camera bag! We then went home, to share it with Tom, who was feeling a bit under the weather.

Later, we went to the community pool and had BBQ - pulled pork sandwiches, yum! - and enjoyed the sunny afternoon hopping in and out of the water. We were invited to an evening BBQ too, at Jorge's house. Jorge is a Chilean exchange pilot at NAS Jax. He invited other exchange families - from Chile, Equador and Argentina - and his neighbours who are American and Canadian. There was definitely an International flavour to the evening. There was also a bit of a British element to the evening, as just as Jorge was ready to start cooking on the BBQ, the heavens opened. So he cooked with an umbrella in one hand. We told him that was how we always BBQ'd back in the UK... Later on, when the rain had stopped the men got a large box of fireworks out and let them off in the front yard. They had great fun. After a while, some of us ladies went inside to watch the huge firework display that happened downtown on the TV lol.

This is my layout for the 4th :) I used another layout kit from my Scrapbook Generation Super Saver Club Kit - the Echo Park papers were just perfect!!! This was a Debbie Sanders sketch.

I loved the banners on this sketch. I know I will use the sketch again. And again. LOL. I love, love, LOVE the gals at SG :)

Sunday 26 August 2012

You are my Sunshine

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey.... I remember the Muppets singing this song, and now I am going to have it stuck in my head for the rest of the day hahaha.
The title is from a Scrapbook Generation Super Sketch Club layout. I have been a fan of Allison Davis sketches for ages, and was a little disappointed when the Sketch Support site ceased to be. I had looked into joining the SSC, but couldn't justify the international shipping costs, but now I am in the US, the shipping rates are much lower, so I signed up to get the kit - to kick start my scrapping again, and to get my Allison Davis fix LOL. But, in her family it is not only Allison who is a talented sketch designer and scrapbooker - her Mum Debbie does some fantastic sketches too! And this is one of her layouts from the kit. This is the Super Saver bit of the kit - Debbie shows you how to make 3 double layouts using minimal supplies, and provides a cutting guide to get the most out of your stash. This layout uses the Simple Stories Summer Fresh collection, and I love it's vintage, country feel.
I decided to use some heritage photos. I'm not too sure that you could describe my baby photos as being "heritage" - although in a few weeks they will be 40 years old (eek), so I suppose in a way they are LOL. But they are delightfully 70s, and they seemed to fit with the paper.

The photos show me (in the pushchair) with my parents on a leisurely stroll. I'm guessing around 1973 (I was born Sept 72, so I think I look about 6 months or so in the photos). And we are... I know, a bit pants. But I love the design, and I love the papers, and I love the expression on my Dad's face... I was the original Daddy's girl, before my little sister came and stole the title from me.... And I think the title fits in with that too :)

Saturday 25 August 2012

A sweet birthday card

Today, we are going out to celebrate another friend's birthday - talk about being party people LOL.

This card I did using the latest sketch from the Sugar Bowl :)

I used one of my favourite Sugar Nellie Stamps from the Gorjuss girls range. An oldie, but a goodie :) I coloured the image with ProMarkers.
Papers are from My Mind's Eye - Darling Dear - another bargain 6x6 pad.... The sentiment is a Paula Pascual stamp from Personal Impressions. I went to town again with the distressing tool - I am a bit obsessed with things distressed just

And as a gift for this friend, we went and bought Birthday cake flavoured Vodka - yep, that's right. And it tastes just like cake too, with a bit of an after shock of course, if you catch my drift...

I foresee a few sore heads in the morning....

Friday 24 August 2012

Beads and cards

Very unoriginal title I'm afraid lol.

Tomorrow we are off to dinner, to celebrate with our friends Monica and Chris on the occasion of their daughter's birthday. Leslie is now a Senior at High School, so I wanted to give her something a bit different for her birthday. I am not sure whether she will like it or not, but nothing ventured, nothing gained...

I got the beads from my local Michael's - gotta love that store. And even better, it is 5 minutes drive from my house. Maybe my husband doesn't agree that it is quite so appealing to our bank balance though...

And here is the card I made.

I used a sketch from the Sugar Bowl , and the image is a Lili of the Valley stamp, coloured in with ProMarkers. The papers are from My Mind's Eye - a bargain I found at a Home Goods store, as the 6x6 paper pad only cost me $2.00...   The sentiment is from Craftwork Cards, and I used my Spellbinders to make a lollipop flower. I went to town with my distressing tool, distressing all the edges - I looked like I had a bad case of dandruff afterwards lol.

I must go and make the dessert I am taking round for dinner - my Gran's pineapple cheesecake. I even found proper digestive biscuits at Publix for the base - no Graham crackers for MY cheesecake....

Thursday 23 August 2012


Back in February, I decided not to reapply for my spot on the Nuts About Sketches Design Team, as I knew we were going to be moving and that my scrapbooking stuff was going to leave before I did! I loved the sketches that Shawn produced every week, and I really did miss working with them. Fast forward to August, where I am in my new house, in a new country, and I have all my supplies to hand. I saw the NAS Design Team call, applied, and was delighted to be chosen to go back on the team :)

This is the layout I did for the call.

I really, really should have called this layout "Squirls" - as that is what we now call squirrels. When the kids were smaller, they were always "squiggles" - hence the title. My doggie "nephew" Eddie has a thing for chasing squirrels, in fact my brother and sister-in-law refer to them as "SQs" as he goes mad if you even say the word squirrel. I posted one of these photos onto his FaceBook page (yes, the dog has a FB page lol) and he said how much he would love to chase them...
These are squirrels that were bounding about under the trees at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. We didn't expect to see anything like this at all, seeing as it is right in the middle of D.C. But we are finding that expecting the unexpected is pretty much the norm around here LOL.
We have quite a few squirrels living here in Eagle Harbor, so maybe there will be another installment - "SQs of Fleming Island" anyone???

Monday 6 August 2012

The wanderer returns...

Life has finally started to get back to normal after the mammoth move, and we are settling down nicely in Jacksonville. I am liking North East Florida so far, although it is taking some time to get used to the heat and humidity of the summer. And the thunderstorms. Wow, the electricity in the air after a storm makes your hairs stand on end, I can feel the prickles!!

The kids start at their new schools next week, so the longest ever summer holiday for them is coming to a close (thank goodness). Jemma has spent most of her time in the community pool...

We are all unpacked, and all our furniture has finally been delivered. I have set up my craft things in our guest room, there is plenty of closet space to fill!

This is the view from my workspace - excuse the grainy look, it is actually the window screens...

We have turtles and fish in our little pond, and a group of ducks, with the odd heron stopping by. No sign of any alligators yet... We have lovely little lizards that eat the bitey bugs, and tiny green frogs that fill the evening with the most incredible racket - I have never heard anything like it, and it certainly doesn't sound like a frog, ribbit ribbit...

I am getting used to the enormity of Jacksonville, it is the largest city in area in the whole of the US. I am so grateful for Mr Garmin, even if the lady inside the box has difficulty in pronouncing the street names... (which aren't hard at all)
I have finally seen the wonders that are Michael's and Joann. And I have an amazing scrapbooking store 5 minutes from my house. I haven't really ventured to the other side of the river yet, where Hobby Lobby and another LSS are - that is an adventure for when the kids are back in school!

We are slowly making our way through all the major food groups - Hooters, Wendy's, Outback, Chili's, Firehouse Subs, Panera Bread, Chick-Fil-A, S'barro, PapaJohns Pizza, Hurricane Wings, TGI's....  I will come back the size of a small house if I am not careful ;)

I am starting to get back to creating again, and have a ton of photos to scrap. We had a weekend in Washington, DC before we flew down to Florida, and it was a whirlwind of sightseeing.

I loved all the architecture in and around the National mall. Although we did not climb up to the Capitol, we did admire it's splendour.

As a Military family, it would have been wrong not to go to Arlington Cemetary. It was a beautiful day for it, and the cemetary was so peaceful even though there were quite a few visitors.

We walked along to the Marine Corps memorial, with the famous statue of the US marines hoisting the flag at Iwo Jima. It really is a stunning memorial. And the breeze made the Stars and Stripes dance at the top of it's flagpole, against the beautiful blue sky. Stirring stuff.

I love the history of this place, and I am determined to soak up as much atmosphere and culture as I possibly can. And collect alot of craft supplies. Obviously.

So, as my American neighbours would say...

Y'all have a nice day now...

Saturday 24 March 2012

Una tarjeta de cumpleaƱos para Monica

.... otherwise known as - A birthday card for Monica.

Mark is off to Jacksonville on Monday, for work purposes and also to have a good nose round our new city. He is going to check out schools and areas to live, and meet his new colleagues in the US Navy.
A British colleague put him in contact with an American family who live in the area we want to, and whose children go to the schools we are interested in. They got in touch, and invited him to a birthday meal while he is here, so I thought I would make a card for him to take with him. Monica comes from Chile originally, so I got my Google out (!!!) and found a couple of Spanish phrases to put inside her card...

I used the sketch from The Sugar Bowl, and would like to enter this for their latest challenge. I decided when I saw the sketch, that I would do something a bit different, and made the front part of the card a triangle.

Here is the inside of the card. A quick translation - "Dear Monica, Happy birthday, Hope you have a great day". Unfortunately without Google, my Spanish is limited to Dora the Explorer...

I used Bella Bunting on my card, coloured in with ProMarkers. The papers come from the PaperMania Summer Bloom set.

Now I hope that a) Mark remembers to pack the card, b) he remembers to take it to the meal, and c) that she likes it!!

Off to work now, TTFN


Thursday 22 March 2012

Epic catch up...

I cannot believe it has been nearly 3 months since I last posted! To be fair, we have had a lot going on - a huge amount actually lol.

The big news, is that Mark finally got his posting notice. The even bigger news is that it is a posting to Florida! OMG, even now I still can't believe we are going! We fly out on the 1st of June - only 70 days away. Our passports and visas are back, our flights are booked, and our shipping removal has been booked as well. That goes on the 17th April, and in it will be all my crafting stuff :( But, I know I will have plenty of  places to go shopping when I get there ;)

I have a few layouts to share today, to add to the catch up. I started taking 12 photos on the 12th of each month this year, as I thought that it would be a good idea to document our final months in the UK and the first few months in our new home in Florida. Compare and contrast, in a way.

So here is January. I have been using sketches that have been posted on the Facebook group I am in, and you know how I love sketches! The "twentytwelve" border is a SVG cut file from Kerri Bradford, as it the 12 in a circle and the title. I am really getting to grips with using SCAL and have even downloaded the Inkscape program to help with dividing and adapting files. I found a whole set of Karen Foster calendar papers in my stash, so this is a great way of using it all up! I love the colourways of them too, which helps cut down the colours I use. I am trying to make it more about the photos and the journalling than the design ;)

I have kept the same elements to do my February page.

And the same for March. Makes it all easier ;)

I am frantically trying to make all the cards I will need before June in the next few weeks before my stuff goes. In fact I need to make one tonight... Mark is going out to Jacksonville next week with work, and he has been invited to a birthday party! So, I am going to make a card for him to take with him.

I promise I will be back. I want to share some of the cards I have made, and also share the last few layouts I did for Nuts About Sketches as part of their Design Team :)



Sunday 1 January 2012

Looking backwards, looking forwards...

December is always a busy month for me - working in retail means I am usually working more hours which leaves less time for everything else. And the blogging really fell off the radar this year. Big style. But I did have a good December. I spent a week in Dundee helping to set up a new store, which was a great experience, but exhausting. It hasn't done me any harm with the company either ;) I then worked the night shift the week running up to Christmas, sorting and counting all the customer food orders. I don't think anyone was left without a turkey this year ;)

So now the turkey leftovers have been eaten, and the bells have rung in the New Year, I thought I would come here to share my 2011 and my thoughts on 2012.

2011 wasn't a bad year really. Amidst all the uncertainty of what was happening with Mark's job, we carried on with the everyday life, trying to keep some control over something we really had no control over at all. As friends found out their futures in September, we still were no further on to finding out what the RAF has in mind for Mark. We still don't. So, for now, we carry on as normal.

Craft wise, I had a very good 2011. I was picked for 2 design teams - Sassy Lil' Sketches and Nuts About Sketches - both sketch blogs. Unfortunately Sassy Lil' Sketches closed in October :( but I am still on the NAS design team. I was lucky to have projects published on the online magazines of and ScrapStreet, ticking off another of my "to do's". But I think the highlight of my scrapping year was to be asked to do a sample layout for the PageMaps blog and newsletter in November. I have been a long time fan of Becky Fleck and her sketches, and this for me was akin to meeting royalty!!! I was really proud of the layout I produced as well.

So, on to 2012.  With the view that sometime this year we will be moving, I am trying to get more organised. Purge and de-clutter are the new watch words for my year. I really want to make the whole house moving thing a bit easier by being prepared. Wish me luck!! So I am trying to be more organised by using planners and calendars and post it notes. We shall see how long it lasts, eh?

Something else I have been trying to incorporate into my routines, is some kind of exercise. I am very anti exercise LOL. To be honest, I have been blessed with a very low maintenance body LOL. But I do know that I need to change my attitude to exercise, especially after the year I've had regarding my health. Some weird and wonderful symptoms reared their head in 2011, and after several consultants appointments and an MRI scan, I have been told that essentially all my systems are normal. However, I am still having symptoms. I was put on medication before Christmas which has seemed to help with my ability to cope with the symptoms I am getting, so I am actually more positive for 2012. But I do realise my body is not as young as it used to be, and with me reaching the big 4-0 this year I think that I will need to start taking care of myself a bit more. So that means some sort of exercise...

Craft wise, this year I just plan to continue as I did last year. I am keen not to take on too many commitments, and I have a nice pile of UFO's (Un Finished Objects) that I really want to either complete or let go of this year. I am still working on my craft room, trying to pare down my supplies so I have only what I use and not what I think I will use ;)

So in essence, this year is going to be all about organising and simplifying. I am also hoping that by doing this, we also curb our spending a bit. I am planning to do a wee bit of shopping in the sales - I have some vouchers from Christmas to spend, and I would like to treat myself to some new essentials with the extra wages I earned in December. But no scrapping supplies LOL. Now THAT is going to be a challenge...