Month: December 2016

Saying goodbye, saying hello

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At this time of year the internet is awash with goodbye old year hello new year. It is the way of things. I’m not ready yet to say farewell but I guess I have little choice so as a nod to the oncoming new year here are a few favourite photos from the last twelve months.

I made cinnamon rolls for the first time.

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Bud got a new Christmas jumper.

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It snowed in February.

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I made bun and butter pudding in March.

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And had a lovely birthday dinner where Buddy had a spot in the restaurant all to himself.

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I started to make a quilt with material I bought in 2015 from the US…..still to be finished!

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And we formed a monthly ritual of going out for dinner with Hannah.

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May saw the patio awash with spring flowers.

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And I made antipasto kebabs.

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June was the month of the iphone!

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And the garden sprang to life.

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July was the month of the selfie.

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And I found a rare post box right on our doorstep!

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In August we took Hannah to see the Lion King.

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And harvested peas and beans.

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In September I arranged flowers.

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And we went to Portugal.

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October was the month of the tomato.

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And I caught these three on camera.

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November was a walk in the park.

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And a walk on a beach.

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December was filled with fun.

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And a surprise gift (more on this soon!)

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That was my 2016 in 24 photos!

Happy New Year and wishing you all an amazing 2017.

Take five gingerbread houses……

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For a couple of years I have had this pin on my Pinterest board. I mentioned the idea of doing something similar as a family gathering to my sister, next thing you know she’d bought a great cutter set. Looked like I was doing the crazy idea this year.

I set about making the house’s – six in all – and used this recipe x 4. After baking the first batch and dragging Gav into the kitchen to help me we decided to cut the houses about a 1/4 inch smaller than the template. They spread so much during the baking process that the sides of the pieces were no longer straight so after baking and when the pieces had just come out of the oven we carefully, as the gingerbread was hot of course, cut the baked dough again with the template. That way we had uniform pieces to stick together. Gingerbread firms up quite quickly when it comes out of the oven so speed was key.

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We stored the pieces in airtight tins with some baking parchment in between each piece. When it came time to assemble them Gav helped again. It would have been impossible with just one person especially as we were doing so many. I used ‘royal icing’ icing sugar to which you added water and then piped the icing on the edges while Gav set the pieces together on the cake boards. It was quite the production line. As you can see we used a variety of tin cans, cups and anything we could to hold the pieces in place.

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The came the fun bit. We set out a variety of sweets and candy canes and chocolate fingers.

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And let them go……

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Gav and I were blown away by their creativity, focus and I guess a little competitiveness as there were prizes! But really who knew they had this in them?!

My Mum and Hannah’s creation. Cute Gingerbread man!

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My older niece Holly’s house – she was decorating on her own, everyone else was in two’s so go Hol!

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My nephew Josh and Sammy’s house –  they used a shimmer spray on those white chocolate buttons!

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My other nephew Adam and Natalie’s house. (Their’s is the top photo of this post too.)

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And finally my sister Bev and her husband David’s house.

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And this photo made my heart sing.

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I think they were kinda proud of themselves eh?

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Truly a magical afternoon of Christmas fun. Thanks you guys for joining in!

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December Daily® – Day nine, ten, eleven, twelve and thirteen

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Sharing a few more days of this album.

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Above you can see that day eight is yet to be finished. Waiting for a story from Gav about his Christmas cheese buying. Day nine has a photo of our Christmas cups and tells the story of an evening with friends.

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For day ten I have a two pocket 4 x 6 page which also isn’t quite finished and then a 6 x 6 page protector that was cut to size and sealed with washi tape.

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That day tells of our annual girls crafting at my sister’s house. I added the word ‘HO’ and a Tim Holtz metal number to the outside of the page protector.

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Another photo from that day on the reverse and an enamel dot to cover the ten.

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Day eleven was all about the mammoth gingerbread baking and I used another of the phrases from the stamp set to stamp ‘not my favorite’ and a lovely metal arrow clip. I also wrote directly onto the photo around the edge of the bowl.

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Day 12 was the story of wrapping some gifts and also a reminder to me about giving support and love.

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And day thirteen was the tree trimming. Again I typed my journaling directly onto the photo above before printing.

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And there we go a few more days.

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

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December Daily® – Day six and seven

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The month is slipping away, just like it always does and I am playing catch up with this album. Here are a cople more days.

Met up with my older niece for lunch and we did a self timer shot.

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So adore this stamp set from Ali Edwards. It is sold out at the moment but worth getting as there are so many perfect little phrases that work all year and are perfect for this project.

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A rare trip to the hairdressers together had to be documented. I may do something with that chipboard snowflake, it does look like it’s not dressed for the season.

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I added a velum page in between day six and seven. Just love those stars and the ‘believe’ card is from Simple Stories. I used the wood veneer people in last years album and like the addition of them here too.

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On the back of the card I added a stamped and embossed house.

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A full page photo for day seven and the story of taking my younger niece into Leeds to see the Christmas lights. Adore that full page photo. I wrote my story on the photo before printing in photoshop.

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Okay so we are getting there and I’ll be back to share more soon.

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

Photo a Day – week forty

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The month of December is one of my favourites. But I have to remember to breathe and be calm and not worry if this space is quieter than usual. It’s the way of the month isn’t it. But I have got a few photos ready from last week.

Frosty start to the week and someone wasn’t concerned about that at all.

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Met my older niece for lunch. I was first to arrive and the only person in the restaurant. I loved the calm emptiness of the place.

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Took my other niece into Leeds for a wander and to see the Christmas lights.

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Decided to spray the Hydrangea wreath silver….

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Treats and a good book always make a bus journey to work 100% more bearable.

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It was family, family all week. The girls met up for Christmas crafting and it’s fair to say we like our antlers.

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Cobwebs on Pieris flowers.

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And that was that. Hope to get up to date with December Daily® soon.

December Daily® 2016 – Day three and four

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Catching up a little. Day three looked like this. Pretty simple as I’d only attached a tag to the rings and added a three.

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I became a little stuck trying to make that tag work and decided I couldn’t so I too it out and added a cut down page protector, a silver three and my story.

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Love the little index tabs that I stamped a phrase on from the stamp set I mentioned previously.

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On the back of that page I added a tag stamped with ‘Christmas Movies’ and popped a kraft paper list inside so I can jot down the films I watch this December. The photo on the right is added without a page protector and is the photograph of a little Instagram fun I am having.

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And a reminder of what I had in place for day four.

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On the back of that photo I adhered another one this time of our advent chocolates and poor old Buddy being left out. A printed label and a funny quote made up that page.

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The three pocket page was swapped for a two pocket page with a photo of my niece and I trimming our little tree in the bottom pocket and a journal card at the top. I added a punched strip of paper to the left and stamped a phrase from that same stamp set over and over and wrote my story in between. It’s a technique Ali used a couple of years ago.

Loving it so far!

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

Photo a Day – week thirty eight and thirty nine

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Some more catching up with these photos and as we get into December some of my images will be popping up in the December Daily® posts too.

We had some fine bright weather so I have been snapping garden photos when I can. Moved the pots full of Hellebores onto the patio so we can enjoy whatever beauty they care to give us in these dark days.

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One of my favourite plants. Hydrangea macrophylla.

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We got started early on her Christmas cards.

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Although I am not a fan of yellow I couldn’t resist the yellow leaves and blue sky combo.

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Oh! More yellow leaves. Walked past these a few days in a row before I could not stop myself snapping a photos. I loved how they were like little fireworks on the gloomy grey path.

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Matching tootsies.

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Getting ready.

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And last week…

That dog in amongst the mess. I tell you he makes me laugh.

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Yum.

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Out for lunch with some work and ex-work friends.

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The advent candle calendar.

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Playing along on Instagram with Makelight Advent.

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I was thrilled to discover that our local Starbuck lets well behaved dogs in! He wasn’t too keen on the noise the milk steaming made but he liked wagging his tail at all the early morning customers…

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Traditions. She helped me trim our little tree.

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Okay then, there we have it.

December Daily® 2016 – Day One and Two

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Hello December. Hello December Daily® we are so happy to be embarking on this project once more. Today I’d like to share the 1st and 2nd.

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A reminder of what I’d put together in advance. A two pocket page with a Tim Holtz metal number and some fantastic star paper that I bought at a local craft shop.

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I moved the paper up to the top pocket and added a punched glittered paper circle behind the tag. That red glitter paper has shown up in these albums for years. I adore it.

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The story is about giving my Mum an advent calendar with tea light candles inside each door. The gift of light as I say on the card. I was pretty pleased with this gift and hope to cheer her December a little. It also reminded me, as I wrote the story out, that I too need to look for the light so I added that on the journal card as well. I love that I have that photo of her hands close up. She’d hate it but I find it quite lovely. Her rings and the way she holds her hands. Love it!

And the second of December. A stamped 2 and some patterned paper.

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This was one of those funny little stories and the fact that the big stamped title rhymes is a bonus. Ali has used this look on some of her past pages and I like it a lot.

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I added a coffee sleeve that I got earlier on in the season (they’ve run out of these now) and wrote the story above and below the sleeve. A wooden star and label with the word ‘traditions’ stamped from this set finished off the page.

So we are off!

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December Daily® is a memory keeping seasonal album project developed by Ali Edwards. Read all about it over here.

52 Stories – Week Forty One – Go Learn

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Hello and welcome to another story.

Go learn

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Here is the story from this page –

Whether you like it or not our goal is to take you places. This was the Bradford Media Museum. A great day out was had. I was thrilled to be able to play on Pacman. Love me some Pacman. I’m rubbish and panic but still love it. Gav loved showing you the history of games consoles plus tons of other stuff too.

The takeaways from this layout/would I add anything more?

Last time I shared a page I was saying that I seemed to have this cracked……. So much for that! Although I do love the photos on this page and the idea of Gav and I taking my niece to wonderful places that grow her knowledge is captured a little bit here but overall there isn’t enough writing to get point that I was trying to make across. I ran out of room…… I love the paragraph style but if I’m going to use that I need to write my story out first then add the other elements so I know I can fit all the words in.

Okay onwards into December and the most wonderful month.

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52 stories is a series (or adventure) in my story telling. Can I get the whole story onto a layout? Am I telling the stories I want to tell? Read the inspiration post here.

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