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December Daily® 2019 – Day One to Seven

It is always the same story. December is flying by. But I’ve done a few pages of this years album and am here to share.

Some of the pages have altered from their original foundation and some are just the same.

My story for the 1st was the welcoming of a new family member. She actually arrived on the 30th November but I wanted to start my album off with this great news. Here she is with my sister.

For day 2 I added a photo of Gav doing a jigsaw puzzle and typed up the story adhering it to the side of the photo. Don’t mind that it has that orientation.

Day 3 is a photo of my Mum with the baby and my niece.

I added the story to the back of the half circle that page you can just see that in the day 4 photo below.

Day 4 was about wrapping gifts. I added a few words directly onto the photo.

Day 5 is a photo of me and Buddy trimming our little tree. I love this photo. I like getting myself in the story and love that I managed to catch him in it too. About 5 seconds after the timer snapped he moved and ended up out of the shot.

I used the back of the 5 card to add the journalling for the day with a bulleted list. Sometimes it’s good to get lots of the little details down rather than just one story. I find that when I look back it gives me a better idea of how December days are usually packed with many different things not just about Christmas.

Day 6 above is a photo of the hall all trimmed up. The photos are not great in this post, apologies for that!

I’d snapped this photo of Bud earlier in the day and decided to include on the back of the day 6 page.

Love the index tabs and that pooch living it up on the bed!

Remember my day 7 foundation page with that wire full of punched Christmas trees?

Well I decided to add photos to the page under the trees. I cut a slit into the sides of the photo and slid them into place. I re-adhered the 7.

It was a fun packed day which began with buying trees and went on to icing cookies with the girls.

We try to have a get together for crafting of some kind in December and its always a good day.

We wear silly head gear and Christmas jumpers!

And there we go. A few stories told. Hope your December is going well.

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December Daily® is an album project developed by Ali Edwards. Read all about it over here.

Bloom 2019 – The Autumn One

Couldn’t resist sharing this very autumn looking arrangement I made the other day. Think I’ll wait to share the rest of the summer ones until after Christmas when we’ll all need a bit of cheering up!

I love looking at all the autumn flower arrangements on Instagram. I tried to make an autumn wreath a few years back and although it didn’t turn out very well I liked using the brown ‘dead’ stuff to give a different effect.

Here we have a few greens – garrya eliptica with those amazing tassels, cotinus (not green but still alive) and jasmine. I added crocosmia seed heads, beech leaves, spirea flower heads and some of those seed pods that I dried, scabious stelata.

Really glad I tried something different and used what was available from my garden. Next up a wreath! Love, love Christmas arranging.

December Daily® 2019 – Cover and Foundation Pages

Thought I better share the foundation pages of my December Daily® album this year before the month arrives!

As usual I have made the cover pages from scratch and this year was inspired by Ali’s day 24/25 page from her 2019 foundation pages.

I adore this one! I know I always say that……

I’ve gone small again this year too. My album covers are about 5 1/2 inches by 6. For the foundation pages I used some trimmed down to size page protectors, some transparencies and some card stock.

A sweet book page tree that I found in my stash (made a couple of years ago) slipped into a page protector for day 1. Day 2 is on the back of the tree.

My hope is that I’ll complete this album before the end of the year…… So I’m going for simple. On day 1 and 2 I can slip a photo into the page and call it done if I want to go down that route.

Similarly with day 3 I can add a photo behind this half circle and journal on the back of the half circle. I stamped ‘counting down the days’ along the edge of the card by bending the stamp slightly to achieve a gentle curve. The stamp is from an old December Daily set.

I haven’t got photos of every day because I was struggling with light and this was my second attempt at photographing so I went with the decent-ish images I had.

I found this card front in my stash too. Some of the first Christmas cards I made were these punched trees twisted onto wire. I loved being able to add this left over one into my album this year.

More trees for day 9. I sewed hand cut vellum and paper trees to a piece of card and added a few dabs of glitter glue. Not sure how I’ll used this one, maybe journalling at the bottom of the card, but I really enjoyed playing.

A 4 x 6 card stamped with pine tree branches from a Tim Holtz set.

One of the ways to get more into these small albums is by using flip up or flip out pages. Here is one of those for day 11.

I used a card from an Ali Story Kit and attached the white card with washi tape along the top so it flips up.

A large tag is the base for day 12. I popped that adorable felt reindeer alongside to remind me to use it.

An old tag (I saved it from when we bought the chairs for the garden!) became the base of day 13. I’ll punch holes in the side to add it into the album.

Another page protector for day 14 with a card from a previous years December Daily mini kit.

Anyone who follows me here will know I like transparent elements in my albums (just the Ali does!) For day 15 I used another trimmed page protector and gold foam letters and numbers.

I will probably leave the pocket with the 15 empty but may add a photo under the twinkle.

ANother card from a story kit for day 18 along with a tag. Again I added that star circle, found among my stash, to remind me to use it. Think it goes really well with pattern on the card base.

When I begin to construct the foundation pages I always have a pile of things I want to use, like the embelishments I have added above. I also have treasured pieces of card, vellum and transparencies that I leave handy and try to incorporate. This satin sheen red card is one of those. I also wanted to use a circle again as a base. I added another old Ali stamp around the edge.

The card underneath is inspired by another page Ali has in her album this year. I used chipboard numbers from a her and added that ‘loving’ stamp from the December Daily stamp set.

A transparent flip up for day 21.

Believe it or not that transparency is an old Hambly screen print. I have about three sheets of different designs stashed away.

A simple beginning for day 22.

And one of my favourite pages to make for day 23.

I stitched the pockets and then added some tiny embellishments. That snowman is another find from my stash. He was stamped onto shrink plastic (remember that?!) and coloured in. So cute!

Always love to include and envelope.

And last of course day 25.

You saw the little tree at the beginning of the post. I tucked that into a cut down page protector which will be the first page of this day. in the image above you can see a pile of white and patterned card. I have made a concertina style pull out page and added a tab along the top.

I just need to punch holes and pop them all together in the album ready for day 1.

I love the nod to my previous crafty endeavours included here. I’m feeling all the feelings already. Thank goodness there’s only three days to go!

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December Daily® is an album project developed by Ali Edwards. Read all about it over here.

Disney World Thoughts – The Food We Ate

Oh hello strawberry shortcake! Yum. The photo above is from one of our very favourite places to eat in Disney World. The Garden Grill, Epcot.

I thought I’d pop in with a few food thoughts from our recent trip. I wrote a huge post back in 2017 about this and all of this still stands true although I am no expert on this subject. While I was planning this years trip I discovered a couple of great You Tube channels (All Ears and The Disney Food Blog) and they both have an amazing amount of information about all things Disney including lots of food related details. I picked up several tips from them.

This time around we again had upgraded our ‘free’ dining plan to the one where you get one quick serve, one table serve and two snacks each day. I also made our table service reservations 180 days in advance. Yep 180 days before you go, if you are staying on Disney property, you can book your table service meals. I said it back in 2017 and it’s worth repeating, having a framework of meals to work your days around is a great way to plan these trips. Knowing you have food all sorted helps smooth any other wrinkles that are bound to pop up with this type of holiday.

Not the best photo but I don’t care about that. All I’m thinking about is how delicious that ‘bread pudding’ was. And of course Mickey waffles have to be on chosen too.

We ate at four character breakfast buffets. Breakfast buffets are the star in the dining plan crown. You meet characters and have a huge array of great food to choose from. And the value for money is good. I just happened to notice the cost of Chef Mickeys.for breakfast…. $50! For breakfast! They are not all as expensive as this one and you meet the big five guys/gal here so I get why it’s expensive but $50….. It isn’t the best food but a great way to eat and meet but only if you are on the dining plan or rich!

As well as Chef Mickeys we also did Cape May Cafe at the Beach Club Resort (Minnie, Pluto Donald and Daisy), 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian (Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Mary Poppins, Alice and the Mad Hatter) and The Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom (Winnie, Tigger, Piglet and Eyeore).

At Cape May it was upscale food. Very well presented food in a lovely setting. They had a cooked to order omelette station and build your own breakfast burrito as well as all the other delicious breakfast goodness.

1900 Park Fare had the signature strawberry soup which was like a strawberry smoothie but more liquid. It was delish but oh so sweet. They also had a made to order omelette station. Definitely Gav’s favourite thing.

The Crystal Palace had a good range too and an ice cream self serve station. Oh yes I ate chocolate soft serve for breakfast.

Gav was interested to find as many non alcoholic speciality beverages as possible and had done his own research online before we arrived. The first we found was Le Frou’s Brew at Gastons Tavern in Magic Kingdom.

It’s frozen apple juice with a foam ‘head’ of passion fruit and mango. Oh my gosh. It was sooooo sweet. Way too sweet for us. And that’s saying something.

We also found the strawberry dole whip float (there was a photo of that a week or two back in a photo a day post) and our very, very favourite was the frozen mint julep lemonade from Casey’s corner. No photos of that one but truly it was very good and we are trying to recreate it here at home.

Above is the Cheshire cat tail from the Cheshire Cafe in Magic Kingdom. Basically a chocolate french pastry like a croissant but with that colourful icing to resemble the Cheshire Cat! It was very good and a great use of a snack credit.

Something we did not plan to do at all was eat at the International Food and Wine Festival. This goes on in Epcot from September to late November. After wandering around Epcot one afternoon and seeing all the amazing food choices we decided to alter our plans and make eating ‘around the world’ one of our evening meals. We used a combination of snack and quick serve credits (you need to check that they are willing to do this) to sample around ten different cuisines. Such an unexpected treat.

Here is a warm Irish stout dip with brown bread from Ireland.

A trio of dips with naan bread and a mango lassi from India.

A black pepper boursin souffle from the Cheese Studio. This was really delish!

A trio of artisan cheese and butternut squash ravioli from the Wine and Dine Studio.

And perhaps out favourite was from Earth Eats.

The Impossible Burger and Impossible Cottage pie. Really tasty and all plant based!

I would definitely include this festival in any plans. It was such good food, beautifully laid out with large planters full of vegetables, herbs and flowers. My only grumble would be all the disposable single use plates etc. Many were recyclable and they had separate places to dispose of them but most folks were dumping all their used plates in the same bins.

On to another delicious burger at De Luxe Burger in Disney Springs. This was a fav last time we came and is still one of our top choices. We even used the mobile ordering on the Disney App! I impressed myself with that one.

I went all gourmet and had cornflake encrusted French toast at the Wolfgang Pucks quick serve venue, also in Disney Springs.

And of course we had to try the Mickey shaped Biegnets from our neighbour hotel Port Orleans, French Quarter. These were A-MAZ-ING!

And finally because this post is going on and on! We shared a classic dole whip on our last morning. So. so good.

All in all the food in Disney is good. There is a vast range of choices to suit all tastes and you can find healthier food too. We just didn’t. Ha, ha, ha!

Photo a Day – Week Thirty Three, Thirty Four and Thirty Five

Here we go with some more everyday photos.

Celebrating this patio and the autumn leaves.

Holding onto the last of the Dahlias.

Enjoying homegrown salad.

Loving seeing her take photos, balance smoothies and not bringing a coat!

Watching this lovely fella.

Planting bulbs.

Anticipating winter foliage.

Welcoming the season change out in the garden.

Capturing the low sun.

Walking on fallen leaves.

Looking up.

Ripening the last tomatoes.

Documenting the trees at the park.

Eating cheesecake!

Embracing textures.

Preparing for December Daily.

Starting a new project….

Relaxing with advent fat rascals.

Photographing all the leaves all the time.

Keeping the donuts safe from him….

Scrambling eggs.

And that was that.

Bloom 2019 – Sunset and Sunrise

I have been sorting through photos from the last few months for Project Life® and our recent holiday and I have come across another six flower arrangements I’d forgotten about! Life eh? I guess when you take as many photos as I do and love to make arrangements some are going to get lost.

Well thank goodness I found them. Here are a couple.

A feel that the vase above is a totally different colour scheme with its zingy orange calendulas and purple/blue cornflowers. Larkspur also features and a few yellow sunflowers. It’s great to ring the changes.

More pinks below.

Ammi and phlox, antirrhinum and scabious seed heads mix in with deep and light pink cosmos and white and pink salvias. And right there at the front is another dahlia crazy love.

I’ll keep sharing these summer scenes it will cheer us up as the winter begins to loom!

December Daily® 2018 – Day Fifteen to Day Twenty Five

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Yes you read it right. 2018! I spent Saturday in the (virtual) company of Ali and the community of December Daily scrapbookers and it was great. It was a December Daily Prep Day where Ali popped into your computer for 12 instalments worth of ideas, inspiration and page layouts over a 12 hour period.

It got me excited for this years album but also reminded me that I didn’t share my finished 2018 one. So here is it. As I recall we’d made it up to day 14.

Day 15 saw Gav and I head off to London for the weekend. I used that glorious gold star transparency to hold the number 15.

There is a card from a past December Daily® kit and a cut down page protector with two pockets.

Used the diagonal lines to write my story. You can just see the photo I took of the sign that lives in St Martins Theatre showing the number of performances of The Mousetrap. 27,614…… It’s been going a long time. I went to see it with my friend (it isn’t Gav’s thing!)

Perhaps I should have added that not only was I thrilled to see it performed in London but that Mum and Dad also came to see it here many years ago. As an Agatha Christie fan it was lovely to be there in that theatre.

Day 16 and I wandered to Covent Garden while Gav went to a museum. I spotted the very Instagrammed green mini so snapped a photo too and paired it with a sweet card I made. Really love that embellishment tree!

We met up again and went along to a service at St Pauls Cathedral. This was a truly lovely hour. I kept the programme and simply folded it up to pop in the album.

Day 17 and a red envelope paired with a photo of the mantle.

I seem to have merged the story for day 18 and 19 together.

All about making little fabric bags that I used instead of crackers. I added photo of Buddy too as he was looking cute.

As I finished this album months afterwards I was running out of words but I was ok with that. I added the photos and called it good.

The Chewbacca stamp from a Christmas card envelope had to go in.

The photo below of me preparing got my words flowing again!

Day 24 and our usual trip to the cemetery followed by coffee.

I made my sis a Christmas tree quilt. She loved it.

Scenes of present opening and around the table completed my album for 2018.

Looking back I really enjoy the smaller format, fold out pages, clear pages. All my usual favourites and it’s good to see as I can get ideas of where to go this year. Yes indeed I am ready to get going the 2019 foundation pages!

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December Daily® is an album project developed by Ali Edwards. Read all about it over here.

Read 2019 – The Holiday Books

Ah yes. Holiday reading. One of the best times to relax and read book after book…….. Um, no.

We planned on reading several books each on our trip but that simply didn’t happen. We were so busy or so tired we only managed two each! It just wasn’t that kind of holiday and that’s okay. No really Gav it’s okay…….

I only actually took three with me and one on the kindle. He insisted on six! All proper books too. Good job we had plenty of kilo allowance for the cases.

I went back to my old favourite Stephanie Plum for my first read. Hardcore 24 by Janet Evanovich. It was the usual easy read with a few laugh out loud moments. Even though these stories are virtually the same over and over I can’t seem to stop reading them. Like I say easy reading and sometimes that’s exactly what you want.

The second book was something a little different. I’d seen it previously but not bought it then I saw it mentioned on a blog I follow and decided to try it. At it’s core it’s a murder mystery but the author has given it a twist. In his words it’s a ‘time-travel, body-hopping murder mystery’. It is clever, mind boggling at times and absorbing. I took a few tries to get into it but then I was hooked. It also stayed with me for days afterwards as I unravelled things I’d missed and I had a few lightbulb moments. As I say it was complicated! Or maybe it was just me that couldn’t keep track. Just like The Song of Achilles it made me want to be in a book club so I could ramble on about it and check I’d got all my facts right!

And that was all I managed to read. Such a ‘bad’ year for reading but it is what it is.

The Click Tick List – Go Disneybounding

First of all for anyone who does not know what Disneybounding is I better explain. You use everyday, normal clothes to create outfits inspired by a particular Disney character. Usually you’d pick a colour, style of top, dress, skirt etc. It’s a creative way to join in the Disney fun without looking like you’ve gone all fancy-dress. Of course you could do it every single day. Or like me focus on that trip to Disney to try it out.

Above is my nod to Nemo. Orange, black and white. You can’t really see it clearly from the photo but that top has a fine black stripe running through it. I found it in a charity shop and knew that it would work for this character and then as a great warm winter top!

I must admit that since I learned about Disneybounding I have thought about it a lot. Maybe too much for an alleged sane person………. How I could use clothes I already owned to play along during our trip. What could I find in charity shops. Which characters to pick? I think I drove Gav crazy. I even had a Pinterest board going with ideas. I was throwing myself wholeheartedly into this idea.

Anyway for all my thinking about it all the ‘bound’ above was a complete accident. Here I am at 1900 Park Fare, Grand Floridian resort during a character breakfast. And who comes along but Mary Poppins all dressed up in her ‘Jolly Holiday’ outfit. When I looked at the photo afterwards I couldn’t believe how I matched! Even down to the lacy-ness of my t-shirt. Win!

This orange skirt was always going to be Tigger. Add a black t-shirt and there you have it.

One film that I watched and loved from my childhood was The Rescuers.  Evinrude, the dragonfly and Orville, the albatross. So cute. I even had a mirror in my room with a transfer of Orville on it. And then of course Bernard.  Above is my take on his cute jumper, the grey skirt forming his lower body and my sun hat his cap. Such fun!

Alice.

And Moana. It was sheer luck that I’m stood in front of a sea like background and that my hand mirrors hers.

Chip!

Chip and Dale were perhaps my most favourite characters when I was little.

And last was Minnie. She isn’t in her traditional costume here as this was at Chef Mickeys breakfast buffet. Where she dresses as a chef of course!

I found that red and white polka dot material in the sale and thought a simple tube style skirt would be easy to make. It was my first time sewing stretchy material possibly my last! But it worked and was so comfortable.

Something I realised during this adventure was that I have rather boring clothes! I mentioned that I found a top in the charity shop which made up an outfit and obviously I did come up with several of these fun ‘bounds’ but I’d have loved to try out some of the princess’s outfits I just don’t own items in those colours. I will definitely look out for pastel colours in my charity shop trips and who knows I could be headed for a whole disneybound wardrobe…… Not really but it was so much fun doing this and anything that brings a smile to your face is worth it!

Bloom 2019 – Pink Mix and Tiny Tangerine

Only a few more of these to share now. Just writing that got me thinking about how to bridge the long gap between summer flowers and spring flowers. I have a half formed plan to at least make Christmassy arrangements in the form of a wreath or two (using some of the flowers pods I have dried) but I also think the garden still has gifts to give I think I need to look harder!

Anyway on to the flowers I have arranged.

Dreamy and romantic. I love that I managed to convey a mood with this one. All thanks to the flowers. Cosmos in white and pink, nicotiana, antirrhinum, salvia and that gorgeous consolida that elongated the shape perfectly for me.

And from dreamy pink…

To teeny tangerine (and white!)

Perfect for that old yeast tin, this was a delicate yet punchy addition to the mantle. Calendula with white cosmos, scabious and salvia. Those white salvia were just amazing. I’ve grown the pink and purple before but this was my first packet of white ones. Will definitely be sowing those again!

Okay, I am going to wander down the garden and look for autumn things…..wish me luck!