Month: December 2010


For the New Year.

Sometimes I’m sad to see another year pass by and sometimes I can’t wait for a new year when I can try to be different achieve more or just have the opportunity to start afresh. Often the starting afresh refers to dieting, and the start of a year is a great time to begin this kind of change.

This time I’m excited for a new year because I need to push myself into action.

A diet, is of course, on the cards but there is more to do than just that.

I have to get a job or realise my dream of working for myself. Even though taking the redundancy had been a risk it really was a no brainer. I needed a change in my life and here was an opportunity for a complete and total change. I didn’t know what I was going to do next but in the back of my pea sized brain hoped to wake up one morning and have a brilliant idea of what to do with my future. I’d taken a massive risk by accepting the redundancy, surely I was owed a brilliant idea?

No. Well not yet anyway.

In reality I know I’m not owed anything although I’ll admit to having a hard time accepting this. So I have to come up with something NOW or try to get a regular job. This is as scary as it sounds and I’m not sure why I’m sat here calmly typing instead of running around in a panic.

So bring on the New Year. Something will have to happen and I’m going to try my best to make it happen rather than waiting for it materialise. Yes! Positive thoughts.

Ready, steady, GO

Here is the table all laid for Christmas dinner for 14.

It took some entertaining moving of furniture – entertaining that is if you weren’t half of the two idiots manoeuvring a glass table, which we couldn’t remember how to take to bits,  down a narrow staircase which was festively trimmed with garland and twinkle lights. And a couple of sulks on Gavs behalf when I vetoed his plans for the table settings.  My amazing sister made and filled the crackers and we were all ready.

I especially love that this picture shows the uneven table and the assortment of borrowed seats. high and low higgeldy piggeldy. Looking at it all set out I had myself convinced that the room was really big enough for 14 and we’d have loads of space for serving on the table and for people to move freely about.

Ah, delusions are good.

I must now apologise for having a real downer on the festivities but I hated nearly every part of us cooking christmas dinner for 14. There I said it.

I loved having family here and I loved that Gavin took total control of the timings for all the food but I found no fun in the stress of getting it all to the table and clearing it all away at the end. I can’t even bring myself to say that maybe practice would make perfect.

I think the best thing is knowing and admitting that I’d rather not do it. I’d rather pay to take everyone out. Yes bah humbug to me.

Maybe when I reach 50 I’ll change my mind but I doubt it.

We did

Yesterday was our third anniversary.

We had lived together for 15 years already when we decided to tie the knot.

For most of those 15 years we have visited a small stretch of coastline in Northumberland running from Bamburgh to Craster. This place has a special place in out hearts. On a recommendation from friends Gav and I went camping there and fell in love with the varied coastline from rugged rocky stretches to swathes of golden beaches. Truly breath-taking. We have holidayed somewhere along that coast nearly every year since.

In fact we loved it so much that we got married in Lindesfarne Castle, a National Trust property on Holy Island. Cut off from the mainland at high tide you reach the island by a long beach road catching glimpses of feeding sea birds along the drive.  

The wedding was a very small affair.

The highest room of the castle was beautiful and freezing and to say there were only four people watching the proceeding including the registrar we were both really nervous. That’s a smile of utter relief on Gav’s face.

Our best man, lucky for us, is a wiz with the camera and he took lots of great pictures.

After seeing some fancy photos on blogs I wanted to try a ‘funny’ shot.

It worked great thanks to fast photo skills by B.  

We all stayed at the Victoria Hotel in Bamburgh a lovely friendly and welcoming hotel in a perfect setting. For the last two years we have returned to the hotel to celebrate our anniversaries. But this year we decided not to go up there partly because of Buddy, not knowing how he behave in a hotel and partly because we haven’t finished the decorating in the dining room now sitting room yet. (side note – we are having 14 for Christmas Lunch!)

So yesterday we had a fairly normal day together. Lazed about, ate a huge breakfast walked Buddy had Starbucks coffee. And it was lovely but not the same. So we must try and get back up there next year. It’s our ‘thing’ and I missed our anniversary trip.

One final romantic picture. Just about sums it up. Thanks Gav for the last 18 years. x

Make an entrance

Made myself a wreath. Okay I didn’t make it from scratch.

I bought a basic foliage wreath; I wanted to do the whole thing myself but couldn’t find a wire shape to cover with greenery. I then set to and added a few bits here and there.

And hung it on the front door.

The berries are fake ones I have hoarded for years. They came from the garland you can just see hung in the hallway. The little pine cones were hunted for in the park. I won’t tell if you don’t. All the additional bits were wired in using thin green craft wire, the bow tied and voila.

It’s the first wreath I’ve hung at this house and I hope to start a new traditions as I love it.

December Daily – day 6 and 7

I know I’m missing day 5. That’s because I took the photo to upload and discovered I’d forgotten the journaling. This blogging needs a good memory! So I decided to get on with posting what I did have.

Day 6. A wonderful memory of a walk in our local park with Buddy.

I changed the layout slightly from the base pages by adding patterned paper to the back of second set of photographs and the journaling was handwritten on the back of the middle page.

The embellishment on these pages is sparse and on looking at the uploaded images I’m thinking about adding some extra details. I liked adding the ribbon text in between the pictures in photoshop, even if I seem to have clipped the edges off. It’s all a learning curve.

Day 7. More tradition.

I used an enlargement photograph and again added my journaling in Photoshop. This is another change from the base page which was a baseball card holder cut down in size. I used one of those on day three and was so excited to see how it turned out in the album. Needless to say I was not that inspired by day three and wanted to make the best use of these baseball holders so changed the look of day 7 leaving the holder for another day.

 Apologies for the typos in the journaling but even with that error I like the full page printed almost completely in photoshop.

I’m loving Ali’s December Daily book and watching it grow. Her style and use of templates to achieve a cohesive look is inspiring and making me think about how I have done my album. I made a decison to stick with the format I used in the past two years where all the pages looked higgledy piggledy, showing glimpses of days to come as you looked through the book. But Ali’s album looks so fantastic I may well change next year or for the next project I do. I also love the whole page photos she is using and will try to get more of those into this year’s album as the month goes on.

Here’s to crafting and learning about what we do by doing it.

December daily – days 1,2,3 and 4

I’m catching up on posting the pages for my December Daily album. So far I’m loving the process and getting to grips with documenting the season. I find that it’s either all or nothing with me though. Some days I have so many stories to tell and others not much is going on.

Anyway here is day 4.

Day 4 was all about the Christmas pudding. I wanted to try something different for the photographs and put them in a stack with the word traditions down the edge. The type was added in photoshop before printing. I hand wrote the journaling – rather messy but that’s my writing!

As my plan for the photo stack didn’t work out with the already prepared pages I needed to add a front to the pictures. I just put a heart tag on a piece of basic Grey cardstock with a bow brad, I think from K and Co.

Day 3.

When I made the album I was really happy with my cut down baseball card holders. Unfortunately my photographs didn’t quite fit into the pockets so that’s something to learn from. I do like the journaling though with is printed onto photo paper.

Day 2.

The kraft card pocket was added to the base page and I hand wrote the journaling card tucked into the pocket. The ‘post card’ is a stamp from Tim Holtz. And the big photo which I love how it turned out is of Buddy enjoying the snow.

Day 1.

More snow photos along with pictures of me and my niece making Christmas cards. The page is under the stamped acetate and adhered onto grey Bazzill card stock.

Viva las Vegas

Oh no, I hear you cry. Surely there is no more to tell about the ‘big trip’. After all it’s been weeks since we heard anything about it!

Well there are only three legs of the journey left to show and let’s start with our stop en route to sin city. The Hoover Dam.

Gav did an amazing job of driving the hire car through the desert and heat and after miles of arid landscape we emerged on a ridge to spot the Dam below us.

We parked on the Arizona side of the dam and walked a few minutes to the wall. It was amazingly hot. Not surprising as we were in the middle of the desert. It was worth the stop though. A staggering feat of engineering holding back the Colorado River.  

Back to the car and a rehydrate with a glug of water and off we went to Las Vegas.

Our hotel was the New York New York. It’s situated towards the end of the strip opposite the MGM Grand. This hotel like them all is vast and the casino floor takes up almost the whole of the ground level. Mercifully air conditioned. I can only describe the heat as you step out onto the strip as like walking into a blast of a million hair dryers.

Oh yeah and the hotel has a roller coaster draped around the outside. Bizare or what.

Here is a glimpse at the bright lights of the city. And all the people! And Barry at the Paris. We should have gone to see him even if it was really expensive. Hey ho.

And Gav on the mini Brooklyn Bridge outside the hotel.

We were there for three days and I feel like some sort of traitor to admit it but Las Vegas was not our thing. However, I am glad we went so I can say  experienced it but if I were ever going to return it would have to be in a group with friends. Us two mooching round looking on at the drinking and gambling wasn’t much fun.

My highlight rather oddly, were the fountains outside the Bellagio hotel. On the final evening we wandered down to see them a second time and for Gav to get some footage.  Each display is set to different music and the music for the sequence that we filmed was Viva Las Vegas by Elvis. Now that was just perfect.