Month: November 2010

I’m dreaming

Of a Christmas full of crafty things that I have made. This year there is no excuse not to get on with it and make things as there is all the time in the world to do it – no job remember. In order to try and kick start the process I’m documenting every idea I have as a record of my great aspirations. I can see how far I get……. 

A wreath for the front door

Felt tags/shapes to hang from the tree or round and about

Labels for gifts – looking forward to Tim’s 12 days

Cards – I do usually make these anyway

Gingerbread house (now there something ambitious)

Apron for my niece

Jar of memory prompts for my mum, sister, parents in law and my uncle

Hanging garland wreath for above the Christmas Day dinner table

Little foliage/bell adornments for backs of chairs on Christmas Day

That ought do do it for now oh, and by the way it came. That snow they promised.

Anticipating snow

The weather forcasters have been going on about the prospect of snow for Scotland and northern England for a few days now. I have climbed out of bed eagerly and peeked out of the window to see if by any chance they got it right.

So far nothing except frost. Scotland and other northern parts of the country have had some and bad in places but not here, yet.

I love love love the snow. I may be 43 but I still adore the beauty and stillness of freshly fallen snow. Last year however, here in Leeds – like most of the UK we had prolonged snow fall and it lasted on the ground for weeks. Here are a couple of photos from January showing the increase in the depths of the white stuff.

The above shot was on 3 January 2010 and the one below on 6 January.

I adore the winter sky how it seems to absorb the reflection of the snow on the ground making it seem more opaque.

But even I was fed up it sticking around for so long. The downside to snow in general is that the pristine beauty only lasts a few days then it either turns sludgy or icy and neither of those conjure up images of Santa and his elves, hot chocolate and a roaring fire.

Even though I was glad to see it all disappear in February I’m giddy again in the anticipation of snowfall this winter. I’m waiting I know it will come.

It will.

At last

The cover for the December Daily album is finished.

Back when I started thinking about this years little book and I had the idea for incorporating more reindeer on the pages I knew I wanted to stamp the cover with this Tim Holtz reindeer. I had the 5 x  7 covers from the Las Vegas shopping trip. The brad, handle and tag were all in my stash.

The chipboard cover is painted in acrylic paint about three coats. It’s still patchy but that’s fine. I put rock candy crackle glaze over the paint. I adore crackle glaze.

Leaving an area free of glaze in the middle I then stamped the snowflakes and reindeer and embossed in white. The addition of the numbers and the tag, stamped with the month and year and it was done.

I added the ribbon as an afterthought as it needed something extra.

It’s not my most favourite December Daily cover but it is a realization of what I had in mind and that a good thing.

Not long to go now till I can start filling it up. So exciting. I have been thinking about the format I want this to take. Ali has done a great post about using her Designer Digitals templates. And that has sparked my imagination although I’m not sure about doing the same format every day. Part of my love of this project is the way the album is quirky with odd shapes and sizes.  

I will be putting the last two years books out on display this year too. So wonderful to look back on them. It being just the two of us we tend to do the same old things each year and I’m looking forward to putting these traditions in the 2010 book but also looking out for new things that I can record about December and the run up to Christmas Day.

Get ready to jingle those bells.

The last week – a review

Just catching up on what’s been going on around here in the week or so I have neglected to blog.

I have to say that part of it was the computer re-build but most of it was just my fault. Need to work harder at this blogging malarkey.

I’ve been walking the Budster. Long ones too. To tire the little tinker out. On Saturday Gav and I went together and happened upon Starbucks for Peppermint Mocha. Well I had a peppermint mocha Gav says its one way to ruin a good cup of coffee. Bore.

Felt a little need to sew something so I’m making this lovely reading glasses case from a Cath Kidston pattern in her book, Sew. It’s for my sister as part of her Christmas presents. All I need to do is attach the button. Cute or what.

Playing with stripy fabric. I cut the word using a large set of metal alphas I have stashed away for scrapbook stuff. They are adhered with wonda web. Would like to make a cushion with this idea but my zig zag stitch is a bit hit and miss and I hate practicing I just want to do it.

On Saturday morning before the pepermint mocha I needed some retail therapy so went to the craft shop. Oops. £36 later I found these wonderful hearts and also caved and bought the Tim Holtz ornaments fragments. I have the squares set and love them. So many possibilities for Christmassy things as they look like tree baubles. I embossed one after sanding it – a la Tim and just embossed the red one. The sparkly embossing powder that’s in the background of this shot was picked it up in the shop and I couldn’t put it back. Sooooo pretty, so glittery. Mmmm.

Apart from those things I have also started to decorate the dining room which we are making the sitting room.  Confidently I told Gav that it’s only slapping a bit of emulsion on the walls but I’ve only done one coat and am bored rigid. Never mind though I’ll press on. And then it will be all done ready for the sofas to arrive although they are not due till 20 December!

Anyway, enough catch up, I have sparkly embossing powder to play with.

Technology often sucks

I feel decadent. I’m sitting in front of the log burning stove on this windy Friday afternoon. I lit the fire to prove that I could do it without firelighters. I’m sure they are not a good thing for the environment and am trying to prove to Gav that we can manage without them. And I did it. Go me.

So now its toasty warm in here and I’m about to nod off. I was up with Buddy Boo at 6.13am so wouldn’t feel bad about a little nap. Buddy has been barking at about 6.30 every morning this week so in an attempt to break the cycle I got up first. Personally I think it’s going too far but we have to try. If we’re not careful I’ll move my 10pm bedtime to 9pm to make up for the earlier get up time. And all for the Budster.

Along with feeling decadent I’m also feeling cross and grumpy I know the two don’t really go together but that’s the way I’m feeling. And I’m cross because the computer network which we have set up here at home is not letting my lap top access the photo library. Which means I can’t post any photos or print any photos to scrapbook with. Which means I’m cross patch and having a go at Gav. And while I’m having a moan I don’t know why we have to have a network rather than some simpler computer set up but Gav will do what he will do with the computer stuff.

So because I’m moaning and he has tried to fix the problem and been unsuccessful the only solution he says that’s left is to REBUILD my lap top. Now perhaps I’m overreacting but this has happened several, yes several times before and every time he takes my little computer to bits and sticks it back together again it takes weeks to get all my settings and programmes back to normal. So I’m not happy.

However, looking on the bright side, which I’m trying to do, inspite of the computer troubles and the no job thing and the mad dog thing, it’s Friday. I have a box of chocolates in the kitchen along with a bottle of red wine and let’s not forget the roaring fire. And we have the Hurt Locker to watch from Gav’s DVD club and tomorrow I’m looking after my adorable niece and then it’s Strictly.

So in the great scheme of things all is alright then.

Socks really are absorbent

It was 6.10pm. I was cooking dinner and had shut Buddy out of the kitchen as his constant truffling round my feet for food that missed the pan drives me CRAZY. I was waiting for the potatoes to finish roasting and I wandered from the kitchen to the dining room to see what the boys were doing. Buddy naturally took the opportunity to sneak past me and check out any debris from my cooking and Gav asked me what time he last went out for a pee.

‘Cos you know what he’ll be doing any minute now…..’ He said and pulled a face. It was a smiling tortoise like look not quite smug but getting there. (I wanted to take a picture of him pulling the face but he wouldn’t let me – misery)   

Anyway this comical face was Gav’s representation of Buddy’s face when he pee’s. I have yet to witness an indoor pee and to be fair he’s only done it a few times since we brought him home. But according to Gav he accompanies the pee with the little face. So I’m laughing about Gav’s funny face pulling as he goes off to the kitchen to get Buddy’s lead and take him out.

You can guess next part can’t you. Oh yeah. While the Buddy impression was going on in the dining room, the Bud was actually doing it in the hall. And Gav walked in it. And it soaked rapidly into his socks. Nice.

As Gav decided to throw his pee soaked socks onto the floor next to the puddle in a tantrum like moment, Buddy thought oooo socks and proceeded to pick one up and run off into the dining room shaking it vigorously like it was his rope toy.  

The lesson to learn? Don’t mock your dog. There will be payback.

Scrapbooking December – part 3

Here’s the final part of the prepared pages for the December Daily.

Day 13 is some fancy cardstock with the circle punch and the Making Memories Noel numbers.

Day 14 is more of the Basic Grey basics paper a circle tag and one of the fancy brads in the shape of a parcel. So cute with its little bow. The reverse, which you can see on the photo below is more Basic Grey snowflake cardstock.  

Day 15 is another narrow page with the paper centered and a little piece of the swirly red cardstock attached just above the stamped 15. This page again shows how by using smaller pages now and again you can sneek the days to come. I love that.

Day 16 repeats the Basic Grey ledger paper and numbers from Making Memories.

Day 17 is another plain sheet of acetate that I cut to size and stamped with ‘believe’ from Tim Holtz’s mini christmas set. I used Stazon red ink and added the star tag in the center. Another page I’m pleased with.

Day 18 is more of the fancy edged cardstock. The back, shown below, is Basic Grey with another sweet bow brad as an accent.

And Day 19 is a narrow page of the Basic Grey again. Another cute little brad I found lurking in the christmas supplies is attached to the top middle of the page.

You can see from the image of the back of page 19 that I haven’t backed all the pages and that’s okay for now as photographs may cover these.

Day 20, more Basic Grey – love Basic Grey can you tell? And a scalloped tag. I did put a strip of beautiful spotty dotty paper I found on the back of day 20. Also love spots.

Day 21 is a narrow page covered with the reindeer paper and the Making Memories numbers again.

Day 22 is another homemade acetate stamped with the snowflake stamp again. Day 23 is the last of the cut down baseball card pages with a metal reindeer attached to a tag. I’ll get a better shot of it in December.

You can also just see Day 24 which it more red flocked acetate.

And finally Day 25 is a stamped acetate. I used the TIm Holtz background mini stamp to represent snow. It’s not perfect but I still like how it turned out. A snowflake brad completes the number tag.

So there it is. All the base pages done. I need to finish the cover – I usually do covers last especially if I have loads of ideas but not sure I can pull them off. And then all I need to do is wait until the 1st December to start the documenting.

Unemployed – day 3

It’s a double edge sword. This no job business. As Gav left for work this morning he looked wistful and said he wished he were in my position as he had loads of films to watch and computers to programme and I thought how he was right and I should be jumping for joy. I have no job and I’m okay for a while before I have to get one. A dream come true – no? Well no. Like I said a double edge sword.

On the one hand I can spend my days pottering about, reading, crafting, cleaning! cooking. Generally pleasing myself. On the other hand it’s a bit boring and I’m only up to day three. It is a bit trickier at the moment because of the pooch and the fact that I can’t just nip upstairs to my crafty room whenever I feel like it or out to the shops for a browse, as we are working on the separation thing to hopefully keep him calm when we leave him.

He’s busy chewing something he shouldn’t be but your not suppose to tell them off are you? Just affirm his positive behaviour. Oh, it’s his blanket and he’s brought it into the dining room to show me just what he’s chewing and is doing his best to shred it. I’m trying not to laugh. I’m working on the ignoring him tack but it’s hard especially when he’s very funny.

Anyway back to my ponderings about finding the point to my life. That sounds so melodramatic. Maybe it will just feel good to get it off my chest. It’s all very new and will take time to adjust. So I’ll work on adjusting and see what happens.

And as it’s blog law to always post a photo here I am in Williams, Arizon enjoying a coffee and not even thinking about a new pooch or being jobless. What a difference 6 weeks can make.

Williams, Arizona

Some more pictures from the big trip. This time is the town of Williams about 60 miles from the Grand Canyon Park and where we laid our heads while visiting. It is a quintessential American small town complete with flat roof buildings, picturesque shop fronts and good breakfasts.

And the famous Route 66 passes right through the town.

And the Pine Country Restaurant makes great pancakes for breakfast. And the desserts were amazing.

Here I am in my pretty dress. I don’t do dresses but loved this one and it was hot so you needed a dress. I’m on my way to the jewellery shop where I broke the bank on beautiful Zuni silver and turquoise pieces.

We said our farewell to Williams and Arizona, which I loved and would love to come back and really explore. Next stop Sin City.