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...