Month: March 2014

Even little things can make you smile


I’m having one of those Mondays. You know the ones where you don’t fit right in your own skin? It could be any day of the week but the fact that it is Monday makes it just a little bit more ugh.

I went through my usual routine. Took Buddy out for a walk. Got back. Fed him. Put the kettle on. Made my first cup of coffee. I leaned up against the sink and looked out into the garden hoping to see something that would make me smile.

About three weeks ago one of our neighbors removed a big old Sycamore tree from their garden. I really don’t like trees being cut down, even though we have a log burning stove and therefore obviously need wood, maybe it’s the noise that gets me through to my bones. Anyway apart from chuntering to Gav about the cutting down of trees generally I also kept saying where will the Magpie’s nest? They have nested in that tree ever since we have lived here, that’s over ten years.  (Just as a side note Magpies, I know are not everyone’s favourite, they aren’t mine either but still I was worried they’d have nowhere to live!)

So back to this morning and me searching for something good out there in the garden and guess what? Yep, I spotted a Magpie flying along, beak full of twigs making her way up to another tree which already had nest shaped ball growing in amongst the branches.

And I smiled.

Books in 2014 – Mud, Muck and Dead Things by Ann Granger


Back in January when I was struggling with Whimsey I asked my sister if she had any easy interesting reads. She brought me a pile of books. There were three Ann Granger books in amongst them so I took one with me to the cottage the other week.

I loved it. It was easy to read, very enjoyable and not too much gory stuff (as long as you don’t count the various murders of course….) and it had a quirky little story line running through it too.

I’ll definitely be reading another of this authors soon.

Layout share


About three months ago I had some white paint left over from another project so I grabbed a sheet of pattered paper and used up the paint. I thought it would give me a place to write on this busy background. And that sheet of paper sat there just waiting for the perfect project.

These doughnuts cried out for bright pink and orange so this was the layout for that paper!


Not much embellishing but lots of space for this story all about ‘Dunkin’s’. And I even managed to use a couple of z’s instead of n’s. Hoorah!

Photo a Day – week two


Oh it is lovely to be doing this again! Here we go with week two.

I climbed the wooden steps to the top of the dunes to grab this photo. Almost the whole of Embleton Bay is in this shot. And of course wonderful Dunstanburgh Castle on the horizon and Gav and Buddy down there on the beach.


Salad is growing away in the greenhouse.


Bud catching some rays.


Bud and his ‘George’ ball. We bought that ball when we were last in San Francisco from this amazing little shop and it has been lost for quite a while. He’s glad we found it again!


This display of Skimmia Japonica was alive with busy bees when I popped to the garden centre. Managed to miss all the bees with my photo, yu can just see one at the top left of the shot.


Office still life!


Those pansy’s are just getting better and better.


Have a lovely week everyone and I’ll be back with more.

Project Life® – weeks one and two


Here we go with another year of Project Life®. I am happy to be doing this again although I have needed a push to get photos printed and layouts made. I am sure I’ll get into the groove again.

Just a quick reminder about my Project Life® process. Generally I am doing one page per week. That worked well last year although there were several weeks where I either made a spread for the week or added a 6 x 12 page, I still only had one album for the whole year. That is my aim. One album only. I’m using the American Crafts three-ring 12 x 12 binder again in ‘Cardinal’.

There’s a note at the bottom of this post which sets out the core kits I have on hand and I will use up any other embellishments from my stash as I go along.

Okay here are the first two weeks.


I combined the two weeks together under one ‘date’ as I had hardly any pictures! I think I was all December-ed out. You can see that the left side 3 x 4 spots are blank. I haven’t finished the title page yet but I’m pretty sure they are going to be clear with maybe the year spread over the four pockets like you see here.

Little details – I added a border of silver star washi tape to the edge of one 3 x 4 journal card and stamped some arrows on the other journal card which I also typed onto using my wonderful old-fashioned typewriter.  ( I really don’t mind the uneven leading on the typing it all adds to the real-ness.)

I am also going to try to put together the two weeks pages at the same time and make them as cohesive as possible, colour wise anyway.

And there we go.


Project Life® is a memory keeping system developed by Becky Higgins. I am using the Honey and the Fifth and Frolic ‘Dear Lizzie’ Core Kits and the Seasons Mini kit in my pages.

Go here to find out more from Becky.

Layout share – Spot the State


I made quite a few layouts while we were away last week and I used a few of my scrapbook pins as jumping off points.

This layout is a take on this one.


It is always a struggle for me to make one photo pages. I feel like all that space is a waste! But some stories only have one photo so I do it when I need to. I really liked the original it’s not often that I put almost all of the content onto one side of a layout but I just liked this design. And I used up all those number plates from a sheet of patterned paper I have had for years!

And this is a great little story about how I printed two sheets of this before we set off for Florida last year. I didn’t think anyone would be interested so didn’t get it out of my bag until the fourth day we were there. But everyone loved it and we all had so much fun along with a healthy dose of competition, as there were two cars in our party, trying to tick all the state plates off the list. I definitely think our car should have won, I mean look at the colouring in………


Now you may not have noticed but I have a soft spot for the moon. Oh you had.

Well when we were away last week I knew that the moon was due to rise at around 6pm on the Sunday and that the weather was supposed to be fine. I had noticed on the Friday evening, from my favourite seat in the cottage, that it looked like it was currently rising  above the sea. It is about 17 years since I have seen the moonrise over the sea so I really wanted to try to see it again. Since seeing the sunrise last year it would be nice to see the moon too.

We planned to go down to the beach that evening and see what we could see. But then the clouds rolled in and I thought we were scuppered. So we wandered along the dunes path taking photos and chatting. I kept checking ‘Google sky’ until the time when the moon was supposed to rise but nothing. Then all of a sudden….


Yes, he snapped the most unflattering picture ever but that was the moment I spotted it. (Buddy really thought I’d lost it.)

The clouds had given us a break and there it was. It was quite wonderful just watching it rise out of the sea.



Amazing and beautiful.


And about three minutes later it was gone into that cloud. But for those few moments it was amazing to watch.

What fun!


We all know that crazy dog like to run around the garden. He likes it even more when he has a pal to join in the fun.



‘Where’d she go?’


‘I see her.’


Who caught who?


Photo a Day – it’s back!


I decided that I should bring this back. I really did miss taking a photo a day so from my birthday, for a year I am doing it again.

Fat Rascals and Fruit loaf for breakfast.


Sat in his, and my, favourite spot at the cottage we always got to at this time of year.


Lovely cards and twinkle lights. (We took the ‘summer’ lights with us.)


A beautiful morning on the beach.


Lunch at our favourite pub/hotel.


Gotta love the county!


Dunes and a moody sky.


Well there we go seven more snapshots of life our life.

Got myself a glove!


My husband thinks he is so funny. He’s trained Buds to ‘steal’ his gloves.


The cry of ‘Oh! Mel , he’s got my glove….’ is wearing thin. But the two of them seem to enjoy it so where’s the harm.


After all Gav has to wear the soggy glove, when he finally gets it back, not me!