Month: May 2012

25 Books – number 11


This is the fifth book in the Mortal Instruments series. I read all of the others last year. It’s another teenage fiction series about demons and vampires and werewolves. Right up my street then! And yes I do like the overall story and characters she has written but I did wonder how she was going to spin this story out for another two novels.

Hmm… I am allowed to say ‘by waffling’ in a post? Well that’s how I think she’s doing it. It is a feeling of late that everything is being spun out. Films, books…..Instead of coming up with new ideas they are making things longer. 

I still enjoyed this latest book and will buy the last when it hits the bookshelves.

Bloom and the first arrangement

Okay I have to start by admitting that this vase of flowers is not strictly speaking from the ones I am growing for Bloom. The Erisyium (wallflower) were grown by me but were not part of the plan. The other two types of plant are Alchemilla Mollis and Viburnum Macrocephalum.

The Alchemilla is an amazing garden perennial the only downside is that it self seeds like crazy but I don’t think it’s a downside really because since I bought the three plants about ten years ago I have had an ever increasing stock and fresh plant supplies of it. It form a mat of lime green foliage then shoots spires of tight little flowers up and then those flowers open into a bunch on every stem. A really great plant and it catches drops of water in pretty patterns on its hairy leaves. 

The Viburnum is growing in the piece of woodland by our house. The wood is owned by all the adjacent houses so I thought no-one would object to me harvesting a few stems….. 

The Alchemilla is at the top of this post and here are the other two flowers cut and ready.

I seared the stem ends of the Viburnum in just boiled water for 30 seconds. It helps the vase life of shrubby plants like this. I then left them all together in a vase overnight to rest. It is recommended so I try to do it before arranging if time permits.

And the arranged vase of flowers.

Not perfect. A professional flower arranger would pick it to bits but I like it and it’s done with things I had on hand so all the better for that.


A note on the Bloom project.

I wasn’t nearly organised enough to pull this off. I needed to have plants in the ground a month ago protected by fleece if necessary but I should have got going earlier with the plan. So yes, it sounds like I’m expecting to fail and I guess I am but I’m not going to stop the project I just want to be honest about my feelings and thoughts about it.

So far I’ve mentioned planting out the Calendula and the Ammi in the small beds. I also dug over a patch of the allotment in the wood next to Gav’s onions and planted more Calendula and Ammi. And I planted the sweet peas on the edges of the vegetable beds and just waiting for Gav to build a structure to support them – remember I wanted it to look like this.

I can dream!

Yesterday I also planted the three lonely Sunflowers and the Salvia out into the small beds. The Cosmos is outside now hardening off along with the Cleome and the Antirrhinum.

I’ll get there. No really I will.

Weekly layout – week twenty one

Welcome to week twenty one of the scrapbook challenge I have set myself this year. Last week was all creatively wonderful when everything just worked, this week not like that at all.

I leafed through photographs that I have in my storage binder and then went to my category drawers (these are both Stacy Julian’s concepts for scrapbooking) but wasn’t inspired by anything I saw. The I pulled out the little index cards with stories jotted on them. Nothing.

I guess that happens sometimes right? No desire to scrap. I pondered other projects for a few minutes then went back to the photos and pulled out this one of Buddy and his tatty old sock and just got on with it. I used a sketch from a class I took a couple of years ago and also a colour palette from the same class.

The colours were mustard, red, brown and green. I’d never put these together so I thought it might get the creative juices going also using a sketch or some other jumping off point is always good if I feel stuck.

Here’s the palette I picked out initially.

Mustard yellow swiss dot Bazzil, Graphic 45 edge strips and the rosette red and cream, Basic Grey cream and brown stripe and brown solid, an old Anna Griffin green and My Minds Eye journal card.

I cut the swiss dot down to 8 x 11.

I cut the strip off the Graphic 45 paper with the mustard and cream pattern and a piece of ledger paper.

Trying to work in all those colours so I put the cream and brown stripe as a matt.

But didn’t like it. But thought about using it as a narrow strip under the yellow pattern.

I also added that solid Basic Grey as a matt instead. Better but the solid was the wrong colour so I got out the Distress Ink.

And deepened the edges of the paper.

Much better. Now the title.

Amazingly I found a great colour match to the mustard theme. I knew the embellishment was going to minimal. In other words none! But added a stamped circle cut from cream cardstock, inked with the same brushed corduroy Distress Ink.

The wording around the edge is something about Mexico but I ignored that. I love this stamp set from Girls Paperie. I bought it in the US in 2010 and use it loads.

And that was it after adding the journalling.

I know I haven’t got and green or red in there but I like the end result and would not have used that cardstock for ages. Sometimes I wonder why I but things….. 


Weekly Layout is a series of blog posts that I am doing every week in 2012. I am walking through the process of putting the page together with a bit of background to why I picked the design and embellishments for the page. I hope to develop my style and push myself by taking on this challenge. You can see previous weeks here.

Project Life – update

It has been an age since I included any of these pages on the blog. Mostly because of Week in the Life and getting that finished.

So here are the last few weeks. I have only done one page in some weeks.

I love using a 4 x 6 picture in two of the 3 x 4 pockets. Did that twice this week for garden photos. And a close up of the type I put directly onto a photo. I think it’s Mom’s Typewriter font.

And that’s the story so far. Still love this project. And the good news because of the Weekly layout I am still doing ordinary scrapping too. Win, win.

The Garden in May

I said the other day that everything out in our garden was coming together. And it is but after snapping a few photos I felt it still has a long way to go. That’s life I guess. Satisfied not satisfied. Hey ho. But even if there are messy corners or untidy edges to the lawn I still love it out there.

We had a chair from our old table set just cast aside and I convinced Gav that we should make a little area between the borders and the kitchen garden and he did just that the other day. I adore this little spot. Tucked away you just happen upon it. That’s what make a garden magical. Little surprises.


Glad I snapped away even with untidy lawn edges!

Weekly layout – week twenty

Welcome to week twenty.

It’s another photograph of my niece this week but Buddy has got in on the action too. Gav reminded me of a funny line she said when they visited the other week. I used that as my title. Here is the photo I picked to go with the story.

I have had a sheet of Basic Grey stickers hanging around for ever and thought I could try to use them up. I pulled a few other bits out too.

I thought that the yellow accents in the border strips on matched up with the American Crafts thickers I bought the other day. So I went with lavender, mustard and white.

I used a large piece of very old Anna Griffin paper to break up the white cardstock.

The I took the border stickers and placed between the joins of the paper and card.

And adhered the photo.

It needed something so I found a die cut shape that I have had for ages. I love this shape but often struggle to fit it on a page.

But this time I chopped it up and tucked it under the paper.

Next was the title.

Eight year old are sooo funny sometimes. It says “You Take Over My Arm is Aching” in reference to tickling Buds tum. And directed at her Mum.

I added the journalling to the die cut shape.

An extra little embellishment up in the top left to balance the journalling block and that was it.

Sometimes everything just comes together and that’s what happened this week. Either that or I am finally finding or giving in to my style. Either way I like it when it works.


Weekly Layout is a series of blog posts that I am doing every week in 2012. I am walking through the process of putting the page together with a bit of background to why I picked the design and embellishments for the page. I hope to develop my style and push myself by taking on this challenge. You can see previous weeks here.

Inspiration motivation……

My idea of heaven this photo. I took it a couple of weeks ago on one of those scarce sunny days. We are promised more good weather this week and I hope it comes.

Today I need a little boost, a push in a positive direction. I thought looking at this photo might help.

But what I really need to do it get up and get on. With anything just do it. Whatever it is.

I’ve spent the weekend sat not doing anything at all. I hurt my back and although it’s not like a slipped disc or anything serious I didn’t want to make it worse. I am a wuss remember.

So enough wallowing, onwards I say!

In the garden this week

Clematis Montana Rubens. About seven years old.

The garden, in the last few days, has reached one of my favourite times. We have managed to get out there and do some tidying up and weeding and the plants are taking off filling the soil, growing.

I can spend minutes of every day when the garden is like this just staring at it all. Pondering what I like or what looks good or things I want to change. But really what I’m doing most of the time when I stand amongst the border plants just staring at it is just marvelling at the wonder that is Mother Nature.

Wondering how she manages to get plants to grow even though I take little care of them.

And then there are those times when instead of staring I’m taking photographs.

Which is just staring and marvelling by another name.

Weekly layout – week nineteen

Welcome to week nineteen. A fun layout about my niece playing a little football with her Dad. I wanted bright fun and a sense of movement for the layout.

I have been lurking on Pintrest this week (nothing new there!) and was inspired by two different layouts. This one from Studio Calico’s blog and this one which I found on Pintrest but I have linked to Two Peas where it was in their gallery. I liked the square layout of the Studio Calico one and the bright circles from the other so I used those as a jumping off point.

Here are the uncropped photos.

 And them cropped down. I needed to make them as small as I could for the grid style.

 I set them out on white cardstock. And realised one was short so I matted it on some pretty paper.

Then I punched circles in two sizes out of scraps of paper. I love being able to use scraps. I hoard scraps and really need to throw some out but..

I tried a half row on the right of the layout but decided against it. Then I adhered the circles before stitching with the machine. I used a ruler to get them more or less in straight rows.

I added the title from an old white alphabet and my favourite puffy American Crafts pink. I also added that little strip of yellow patterned cardstock on the right of the top photo to balance all that colour on the left and a few buttons. I loved it when I found a dark blue polka dot button which matched her shorts. You can just make the match out in the first photo of the post.

And finally I added my journalling around the top and bottom of the photos.

I liked the matting of just one picture and I liked the sewing although I think I need to make my stitch bigger.

Simple but good. And that was week nineteen.


Weekly Layout is a series of blog posts that I am doing every week in 2012. I am walking through the process of putting the page together with a bit of background to why I picked the design and embellishments for the page. I hope to develop my style and push myself by taking on this challenge. You can see previous weeks here.

Books and tops and facecream

I took the car for a service and got the garage to drop me in town so I could while away the time. I don’t often go into the city centre so I was looking forward to it. If only for the change of pace.

There was something on the news the other day about the decline of city centers. I think it’s been going on for ages but they keep mentioning it. I suppose it was quiet in one way but not at lunchtime. After forty minutes sat listening to the chatter of city center workers on their lunch breaks I was so ready to go home.

But the upside is that I spent an hour wandering in the bookshop. And bought a guide book and a novel. I half promised myself I wouldn’t buy book 5 of The Mortal Instruments for a few months but I just couldn’t resist. I also could have piled about three more novels into my basket but I did more restraining as I should check out a few charity shops first.

I also bought some Liz Earle face cream and a new top.

Oh!  Do I know how to live or what!