Layout Share – Day Two Review

Here is another page that is going into the big 2017 Holiday album. I have made these ‘review’ type pages before and after looking at all the photos I wanted to include from our Washington leg of the trip I decided that this style was the best option. I also made a ‘day three’ page that I’ll share next week.

Day Two Review

Here’s the story –

Cosi for breakfast – caught the metro to Smithsonian – walked down the mall into natural history museum saw hope diamond – American flag, first lady clothes and china, bert and ernie and that DNA – melting ice-creams – sculpture garden – national archives. Gav – air and space, us – a walk past capitol and a tour of botanic garden. Back at hotel – a swim – that thunderstorm – chipotle – discussion of tomorrows plan – baseball and light out.

A few photos and a few key words was really all I felt this story needed. Our day is documented in a concise way, which I’ll need to work on other wise this trip will go into two albums, and all the facts in there. Sometimes less is more!

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Currently – Spring 2018

Yesterday we had the hottest day of the year. When the weather turns I always feel the same. I may have felt lethargic and festered all winter but then one day when the breeze is warm and the light is right I am ready. This is one of the reasons I love living in a country with definite seasons. I’m sure I’ve said it many times before but I love the seasons.

So with my new found energy what am I up to in this year of 2018?

  • Sowing lots of flower and vegetable seeds.
  • Waiting for a trip to the World Snooker Championships next week!
  • Anticipating a visit to Harrogate flower show again.
  • Watching Baseball.
  • Hoping to cross at least four things of my list this year. What will they be??
  • Practicing yoga and One Little Word®.
  • Trying to eat more healthily.
  • Walking more. I really slipped this winter with my 10k steps to getting back on that feels good.
  • Making a list of vinyl to look out for at charity shops.
  • Planning a family trip to see the Terracotta Warriors.

That should keep me busy this summer!

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Photo a Day – Week Five

Here we go again.

And here we go with trying to eat healthily.

Can’t resist a flower covered in raindrops….

More Daffodils, this time on our walk in the garden of a local Church.

SO now we see why I was trying to be healthy earlier in the week. Out for tea with Gav and H and Buddy came too. He may have found a chip on the floor! This pub does the most fattening unhealthy but delicious vegetarian ‘fish’ and chips ever! Deep fried Halloumi cheese!

His lifes work.

Getting the over-wintered Dahlia tubers into pots.

Master of all he surveys.

And that was that!

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Layout Share – The Breakfast Spot

Back with more tales from last summer.

The Breakfast Spot

Here is the story –

Amazingly we had not pinned down the place we were going to eat breakfast but luckily Bev and David went on a very early morning wander and found Cosi just round the corner. Quiet and lots and lots to choose from as there always is on a USA menu. It was so good we went back the next two mornings as well. Breakfast sandwiches, oatmeal, bagels, pancakes, ice tea and coffee we tried the lot.

Here is an example of one of those layouts I mentioned before where I have photos I want to put in an album but don’t want to make a double page spread. I used a 6 pocket page to include a few more photos from our breakfast cafe. I know it takes up the same space as a double page spread but I prefer this method of adding more photos. Somewhere in my head I have negative memories of making two page layouts! It is a big canvas and takes more time to get right. I used to do it occasionally way back when it was more popular to do them and I don’t dislike the handful I have in my albums but these days it is very rare indeed that I choose that option.

The story is all about our three mornings eating breakfast at Cosi. Apart from the food and the location, right around the corner from the hotel, I think we loved it because it was so quiet. We assumed it was like this because it was the weekend and our hotel was a business-y part of Arlington. Whatever the reason we liked that it we had the place almost to ourselves.

Lovely story and happy I have it documented.

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Photo a Day – Week Four

Here we go with a few more photos.

Trying to eat my ‘5 a day‘ I know you would think that as a vegetarian it would be easy but some days it simply is not because we make the bad choices. So trying to rectify that.

The perennials are coming to life. This is Centaurea montana.

Playing the hat game………

First day with the patio doors open has to be documented! Plus that pooch.

A very quick getaway with some family to the seaside.

Scarborough beach and that girl.

Gav walking Buddy and my nephews pooch.

And there we go.

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Bloom 2018 – The Hellebores

I love a first. I also love when it’s time to start sharing flower arrangements here again.

We seem to have had a harder winter than usual but you know me I’m not going to complain about the snow….. okay maybe a little bit but that’s only because we are not geared up for snow in the UK so everything grinds to a halt. But I digress. The first in question is the subject matter of this arrangement.

Helleborus. We have four clumps of these beauties and plans for a couple more plants to go in the ground soon. They are a big favourite of mine but cutting them hasn’t been an option because we didn’t have large enough plants. However, when I headed out on Easter Sunday morning looking for a few flowers to bring indoors these were the only thing flowering. So I cut two stems from one plant and two from another. I could only bring myself to cut those four stems!

I arranged them with some viburnum flowers, catkins and some pretty glaucous evergreen foliage. I loved how it turned out but about half an hour after this photo was taken the purple flowers had completely drooped. Oh yes, I should have mentioned that I seared the stems in just boiled water for about 20 seconds before putting them in the arrangement so I didn’t understand why they had flopped.

Here they are, cut down a little.

The internet to the rescue!  I found this article really helpful and discovered that the trick is to wait to pick until there are no stamens left and the flowers have started to produce seed. So next year when I pick some more I’ll remember that tip.

I seared the stem ends of these again just to see what would happen…

A couple of the flowers perked up but sadly not all. It is pretty incredible what plunging the stems of some blooms into boiling water will do!

A day or so later I snapped this photo of the flowers that were still left in the vase.

And sure enough you can see that all the hellebores have the seeds already forming in the centres of the flowers. Even the one at the top that has a few stamens left still has seed pods too.

Looking forward to sharing more floral stories this year as well as pretty arrangements!

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Layout Share – We Made It

I got a few more pages made a couple of weeks ago for the USA trip album and here is one of them from our first day.

Here’s the story –

I feel like we are all taking an enormous breath and realising that we are here after all that planning. Maybe it was just me? They were certainly sizing it up, not just the vast museum but the adventure to come. We’d done battle with AVIS, the heat when we got out of the car and Gav and I were preparing to see the last Shuttle. We rang Nana and wandered. Gav on his own, me with H and Bev with David. Yes, we’d made it!

I have mentioned it many times before but I’ll say it again here, this is one of those photos that pulled me towards putting it on a page. The idea of telling the story about us finally arriving on this holiday popped up as I thought about just why I wanted to scrap this picture. The feeling I got from it was that moment of breathing, relaxing so the story came together. I could have said much more but was running out of room on the page. Overall I think it captures more or less what I wanted to say and I’m happy it in the album.

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Photo a Day – Week Three

And some more….

Out with family for breakfast and this cutie came along.

A lesson in where not to put the camera when taking selfies…..

The light, the moon, the beautifully restored clock  at Oakwood in Leeds.

Things are growing.

Why sit on the blanket?

Making chocolate mini egg crispy buns.

Delicious pancakes and berries and banana for breakfast.

And that was Easter week!

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What I’ve been Reading – March 2018 and a Few Thoughts

I’ve been pondering the big pile of ‘to be read’ books ever since I mentioned them in January. Lot’s of those book have been on that pile since 2015!

Anyway those thoughts got a jump start at the beginning of March as I found myself falling down a rabbit hole……. I’ve haven’t read Alice in Wonderland yet but it’s on the pile!

It was the 6th and I know this because the catalyst for my foray into a warren of my past reading history was the google doodle for that day. It was Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 91st birthday doodle. Which got me thinking that somewhere down the line I’d read one of his books. So off I tumbled……..

I hopped (sorry!) to his wiki page and pinpointed the name of the book I’d read. It was actually a novella and called Chronicle of a Death Foretold.

Then I jumped (tee hee!) back to my blog to search for a review of that book. Hmm…. after searching and searching (which made me want a web site with a search facility….GAVIN!….) and not finding any mention of it I discovered that I read it before I started the blog! Eventually I located of this book included on a list I’d used for a scrapbook page made in 2009! Here is the blog post that introduced my intention to share the books I’d read and the layout that references the Marquez novella.

I have to say that I loved going back and reading both that scrapbook page and the post about my reading quirks. It also made me realise I have become very boring in my choice of books over the last few years. I think that the reason some of the books are still on the pile is because they were added when I was trying to be more adventurous and reading less in my comfort zone. So by actually reading some of those I’ll be broadening my literary horizons and reducing the pile. Win, win.

In the meantime here are the two I managed to remove from the pile in March.

This is the fifth of the Campbell and Carter mysteries from the author. Easy to read detective stories that usually keep me guessing as to who did it and set in lovely Cotswold countryside.

I think I’ve read about eight of the Inspector Montalbano novels by this author now. And again they are easy to read crime fiction. It’s good to read about Sicily and have that different perspective, always enjoyable.

Here’s to a slightly more adventurous April and lowering that ol’ pile of books.

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Adventures in Quilt Making – The Purple One

Hooray! I’ve finished it and I think this is the fastest quilt I’ve made so far. Under a year, now that progress.

Little photo bomber……..

I mentioned it over here in January.

I bought the fabric last year at Jo-ann in Florida with the intention of making a quilt for our living room and even though I say so myself I think it goes perfectly.

I also feel like I employed some of my previously learnt skills on this one too. I measured correctly this time and I trimmed all the edges as I sewed. Being precise does not come naturally to me but I have learnt that it’s vital when piecing your quilt tops. I also used a technique I saw on one of the Creative Bug tutorials about how to secure your quilting stitches. By turning the size of the stitches down to very very very small you can start the line off, trim your threads and the quilted stitches stay secure. A great tip which saved so much time for me because previously I sewed all my loose threads into the quilt.

I’m still no expert and it isn’t perfect but I’m fine with that. Do a little, learn a little.

I wanted to get this finished before spring and before the 100 day project as I know I won’t be doing much crafty stuff other than making hearts on fabric till July.

Glad it’s finished and ready for the autumn, or right now as it’s been snowing again today!

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