Monday 11 February 2013

NAS week 252 - Christmas '12

This weeks sketch over at Nuts About Sketches, is a great 2 pager with lots of photos - perfect for a Christmas round-up layout!

I used photos from all of December, not just Christmas Day, as long as they had a Christmas theme.  We had fun with a set of chocolates that spelled out Merry Christmas - trying to find as many anagrams as we could. We didn't in fact eat the chocolates, as they had been completely man-handled!!! I included the teacher's gifts, some mince pies I made, and the contents of our fridge, as well as photos from Christmas Day - the presents and our dinner ;)

I suppose it just goes to show, that wherever in the world we are, Christmas is always a great celebration!


Sarah x

Thursday 7 February 2013

Today, this blog is brought to you by the colour teal...

Once upon a time, my favourite colour was purple. Then I went through a brown phase. As I neared 40, I had a green fetish - even my kids told me not to buy another green top...  But just recently, it has been all about teal. And turquoise. And aqua. And still a bit of green.

My iPhone Otterbox case is turquoise and teal. I was elated to find out that the Jacksonville Jaguars colour was teal - Go Team Teal!! Even if the team isn't that great, their uniforms are ;) The plethora of goodness inside the large craft shops here have lured me away from paper, and enticed me into dabbling into other crafts - knitting, crochet and even sewing. And a lot of it has included the colour teal.... Erika, I hope you are ready for this....

It all started with this knitted throw. I bought the beautifully soft wool just before Christmas, and knit up a storm over the festive period. It is so soft and warm. And soft. And goes perfectly with the cushions I brought over from the UK - my finds of the century in TK Maxx ;) The wool is Caron Simply Soft (see I told you it was soft) and the pattern is from their website and is FREE!!!

So, I had some wool left over. Not one to waste my scraps, I found a pattern on Ravelry to make a wee coffee cozy...

My wee owl coffee cozy :) Although I did do a double take when I saw this photo, as I thought the button eyes resembled, erm, cough cough, breasts.... Buswams, as my Nan used to call them... But I think that was just me, and to make sure that I don't make the mistake again, I bought some buttons with 4 holes ;)

Continuing with the knitting theme, I found a really pretty felted bag pattern, again via Ravelry.  I made some felted bags a few years ago, using a pattern I found on Cathy Zielske's blog, but I couldn't find where I have saved it, and it is no longer available.  So, I went out and bought a couple of balls of Patons Classic Wool, in teal (of course) and made this gorgeous specimen...

I crocheted a flower using this pattern, and a couple of spirals from this pattern to add to the flap, as I didn't fancy doing embroidery on it.
Next on my to-do list was a tartan sash for the Burn's Night Supper the VP-30 Brits arranged in the Officer's Club at NAS Jacksonville for the Squadron. I ordered a couple of yards of US Navy tartan material from Atlanta Kilts, and they were kind enough to over night it to me so I had plenty of time to run up my sash. Imagine, if you will, the squeals of delight when I opened the box to find the tartan was navy and TEAL!!! Um, yeah. I was pretty much like a kid on Christmas Day, opening the best present ever....
And it was perfect with my bargain Calvin Klein dress I found at Ross....
So after hemming up a sash, I had the realisation that I didn't have a brooch to pin my sash. I had saved this tutorial for making a flower out of felt, and thought I would try using the tartan fabric to make a flower brooch. I fused 2 layers of material together, to make it thicker like felt, and used a glue gun to stick the petals in place.
And I was pretty darned chuffed with the result! The centre of the flower is an old button that came from a denim shirt I adored when I was at college. I found it in the small collection of buttons I brought across with me. Kinda makes the brooch more unique ;)
Knowing that my sewing machine was working well with the transformer, my crafty fingers were itching to do some more sewing. I picked up some fabric remnants in Walmart, along with some bias binding and thread, and a Simplicity sewing pattern, and managed to produce this....
A cute apron. In aqua and teal.  It probably looks better on that chair than it does on me, and both my husband and my son both asked why it had so many pockets.... But I think it looks cute. I have plans to make one for a friend who has just started up a little baking business... It'll definitely look super cute on her ;)
So, that's my teal-tastic crafting spree! This week has mainly been about the colour red, but that's another blog entry...
Sarah x

Sunday 3 February 2013

NAS weeks 247, 248 and 249

Back again, with more Design Team layouts from Nuts about Sketches
Week 247 - The Capitol
This is about as closse as we got to the Capitol building when we were in DC. We tried to keep to our plan, and not get sidetracked to going places we hadn't planned. So we just took photos instead lol. I have really enjoyed doing these photos, but I am finding I revert to red, white and blue for alot of them hahaha...
Week 248 - Family captured

These are more photos from our family photoshoot in May.  And I used one of my favourite collections - Echo Park, For the Record 2 - Documented. I am having a love affair with all things teal/aqua/turquoise...

Week 249 - Jax

This is the view from Hooters (yeah, don't judge ;) ) at Jacksonville Landing, looking across the St John's River to Downtown Jacksonville. The thundery skies made the light amazing, and when the bridge lit up it looked almost surreal. Jacksonville, although a sprawling metropolis (it is the largest city in the USA in area) also can be hauntingly beautiful.
I used the Echo Park Everyday Eclectic collection on this layout, and added a few brads to finish it off ;)

I think that is me all caught up with DT layouts ;)


Sarah x

Saturday 2 February 2013

NAS 243, 245 and 246

As promised, I am doing a catch up with my Nuts About Sketches Design Team layouts. I decided not to re-apply for my place on the team, purely because I felt I wasn't giving it the dedication it deserves, which is really unfair to Shawn and the rest of the team. Life is good, but life is also busy - we have a much more active social life over here, which is great, but it also means I am finding that I need to juggle more. I am making the memories, but not always finding the time to record them, which is not a bad thing I suppose, but when you have obligations - yeah, not so good. I am also delving back into crafts I haven't worked on in ages - my sewing machine got an outing this week, and also I am knitting up a storm lol...

So, without further ado, here are some of my layouts

Week 243 - Snow and Shorts

Another Hogwarts layout. It was very odd walking around a theme park, in shorts, when there appeared to be snow on the rooftops. 

Week 245 - Not so super dry

Another Island of Adventure layout.  We went on back to back water rides - Dudley Doo right, and then Popeye and Bluto. We got slightly damp on the first one, but absolutely drenched on the second ride. We were even wringing out our socks we were that wet!! Jemma was dripping, and I took a photo of her to stick onto FaceBook.... It wasn't until after I had got the photos printed, that I realised she was wearing her SuperDry T-shirt - and the irony hit me... So that is where the title came from :)
I enjoyed pulling out my Autumn Leaves journalling stamps again, to make the journalling spots for the bottom of the layout. Sometimes I forget what things I actually own...

Week 246 - Iwo Jima

One of the places I really wanted to visit in Washington, DC was Arlington Cemetery.  I wanted to go and see the Kennedy plot and the Eternal flame. I wanted to see all the monuments celebrating the sacrifices the US Armed Forces have made for their country. I thought it would be a good introduction to the whole ethos the US has about its treatment of it's military personnel - whether they be active duty, retired or a veteran. It had to be one of the most humbling experiences of my life. I have photos of the rows and rows and rows of white headstones. Of the flames at the Kennedy plot. But the most awe inspiring sight, is the Marines memorial - otherwise known as the Iwo Jima memorial. The statue is a copy of the iconic photograph taken on Iwo Jima, when the Marines capture the island and raised the Stars and Stripes. It was amazing. And the cloudless blue skies behind it made it even more outstanding.


Sarah x

Friday 1 February 2013

Hey, where did January go?

Um, yeah, and December too...

So here we are, February 2013. Happy New Year! A bit belated I know, but sincere all the same :)

Christmas and New Year are just a blur now, we had a blast! We were invited to several parties, some of which will become new traditions for us. And we hosted a small gathering for fellow Brits on Boxing Day - we need to keep our traditions alive too!!!

Anyhow, I am planning on doing a bit of a catch up with my Nuts About Sketches Design Team layouts, but I will start with the latest one which went live on the blog this past Monday...

These photos were taken on the last day we were in the UK before we flew out to start our Florida Adventure... 

My daughter looks so pale, and her hair looks so red hahahaha. Tom was still slightly co-operative with the whole picture taking thing. Um, yeah, the boy has become camera shy. Or if he does let me take a photo, then he has forgotten how to smile. He had another Picture Day at school this week, and I am praying that the photos are better than the sullen faced pre-teen that we got last time...

Anyway, the papers I used here are from Echo Park - Everyday Eclectic collection. I love the hot air balloons, and the sentiment is so perfect for how we were feeling. Although we only had 4 months between being told and actually leaving, it felt like a lifetime, and to actually be flying out was a bit surreal...

But it is a distant memory now (well it was 8 months ago!!!) and we are thoroughly enjoying this great opportunity in a wonderful state with so much to offer :)


Sarah x