Month: February 2018

What I’ve Been Reading – February 2018

I started off reading another Jack Reacher novel The Visitor by Lee Child. I finished this in a couple of days right before I started the new job. You can see in the picture above that I was indulging. Coffee, treats and an afternoon or three of reading before my afternoons were not all free ones!

The book was another on the edge of your seat thriller and the twist at the end was excellent.

I finished this one yesterday. Maise Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear. It had been on the go since mid January. A gentle-ish detective story, the first in a series of novels about a lady detective in the 1920’s + era. It was well written and interesting and I will definitely read more of these.

Still on track of two books a month!

Layout Share – Here I Stand

Let me tell another one………

Here I Stand

Sometimes you have a bunch of pictures you really want to include in your album but there isn’t a story to go with them. Or is there?

Here is what I had to say –

Here is a story told in the images of my feet. It is true to say that I love to take pictures of my feet and even better to capture different surfaces, different shoes and clothes. Usually it’s just jeans. But in Portugal I pushed the boat out and went for the whole lot. Give me a surface to stand on and I’ll snap away.  

My thought processes for this page…… I had about eight photos of my feet from our holiday in Portugal and really wanted to scrap them. Mainly because I love photos of my feet as I said above. After pondering what to say I just plonked them on the page and wrote about what I saw. Basically a simple story about how I love to snap my feet.

As I came to write out this post what also struck me was that in a few years it won’t only be that story but also a nod to the person I was then. Quirky, funny and wanting to capture the physical presence I made on the landscape. Oh, deep! HA……..

I think I’ll leave it there!

Bloom 2018 – Planning and Pondering

It is that time of year again. How many years have I been sharing my endeavours to grow flowers for the house here on the blog? Quite a few now and I still love every part of this experience.

I have talked many times before about how I want to push my flower arranging skills and that I stalk florists on Instagram and feel downhearted sometimes when all of theirs are so amazing and mine are not! But that is part of it all. And I’m ok with it. I keep trying and like I say love the whole experience from selecting seed, sowing seed, pricking out seedlings, planting out and then picking and arranging.

I feel that it’s part of who I am now and that feels great!

I placed my seed order a week or so ago. I had a good look at my Pinterest board which has many of my arrangements from years past in the hope to change it up a little. So all the usual suspects are in the mix, Calendula, Cerinthie, Cosmos, Helianthus, Salvia, Scabious. But I also added a couple of different flowers too just to try and vary my arrangements. Linaria, which is delicate and elongated to add height and Malope, which I hope will create that saucer shape which you see in all the trendy instagrammers bunches. We will see.

Right now I should stop typing and get out there preparing. Here is to another lovely floriferous year!

Photo a Day – Week Fifty

Loving lighter nights around here. It’s only a few minutes I know but makes all the difference.

It’s still been cold and here you can see the days worth of ice from the birds water dish.

More wandering around the village during my lunch break and I found this beauty! It was sited in the wall of what was an out building but now a barn conversion so basically in the wall of a house! It is an unusual post box in my opinion. I have seen VR wall boxes before but not this style. This one originally had a hood covering the slot and has a little hinged flap still in situ. Also the boxes I’ve seen previously had flat tops and this one is angled. I was really happy to have found it!

A little snow and a silly pooch running crazy.

A birthday gathering. How did she grow up so fast?

Mooching round the garden with the macro lens again and managed to stay sill enough to grab this photo of a lady Blackbird.

Ice crystals on pansy leaves.

Coffee and a sticky bun with my BFF.

And that was another week.

Layout Share – The Return of Vinyl

Oh vinyl! I was smiling like a Cheshire cat just typing this up because I am in love with the vinyl still. But then I looked at the photos of my layouts and realised I haven’t actually written the story on the page! Oops.

Although it’s an oops moment I can now type up the story here and transcribe it onto the page! So it’s all ok in the end.

Here is what I want to say –

Let a new quest begin! Not only has the record player provided a new appreciation of music and of the music I listened to as a child but it has also given us the excuse to scour charity shops and seek out vinyl selling establishments wherever we happen to be. I loved doing the research for both our trips to the US last year, noting the locations of some record shops to visit. And of course we loved the actual visiting, and purchasing. We adore a quest! So bring on the vinyl please, yes bring it on.

All in all I’m now glad I forgot to write on the layout because it has reminded me that I must draft out the story before I put pen to page. I know that the story has changed. It has become more reflective and more focussed on the enjoyment of seeking out vinyl not simply of visiting record shops in NYC and New Orleans. It has turned into more of a ‘this is how I want to live’ story, an example of embracing the experience of listening to and enjoying the process of finding records not just buying more stuff!

Really happy to have this story in my albums.

Photo a Day – Week Forty Nine

This little watering can features often in my photos and I love it. I’m not bothered about repeating types of pictures. It’s good to see a similar image that reflects the changes in the garden, light and weather.

A new adventure began when I found myself another job! Yay and boo all at once! One day a week I work in a village and in my quest for the 10K steps I set off to explore at lunchtime. Very old church and pretty stone buildings greeted me on that wander.

Trying the macro lens again and not getting it quite in focus but I loved light and shadows in this one and the texture of the plant added a lovely quality too.

Burts Bees has been my lip balm of choice for several years. I thought the peppermint was unavailable but my sister found some. It gives your lips a gentle tingle and smells so lovely.

Got a lift to the other place I work and caught this sunrise.

Very cold morning, hence my hood up as well as a hat. I was going to straighten this photo up in photo shop but resisted. Sometimes unedited is the way to go.

And here is another less than perfect photo. I wanted it here in the mix of my 365 photos because it captures one of those moments. We had the Olympic curling on the T.V and Buddy was chewing a toy. A lovely Sunday all round.

And there we go.

Week In The Life™ 2017 – Completed Album

Yes you read that right. This is my 2017 album…. from April! Last April. Let’s not wonder how it has taken me so long to share but focus on the completed pages instead. Lot’s of photos ahead……

This was my fifth time of making an album based on an in depth look at one week and the first time using the kit offered by Ali.

There were lots of great products in the kit and I really liked the album. It was good quality and deep so it easily held all the weeks stories.

The kit came with page protectors, alphas, those great transparent numbers you can see above, 4 x 6 and 3 x 4 cards and lots more. I love the look of the numbers in the 2 x 2 pocket page as an opener for the week and the circle that I cut from the packaging of the kit.

And my favourite photo from the week enlarged to 8 x 6.

I followed a similar format for each day starting with an enlarged photo and a chip board square on the left and on the right the enlarged day of the week slotted in somehow, that was also acetate and from the kit.

As you’ll see the photo numbers dwindle as the week progresses and I adjusted my pages to fit that as I went along.

I also used a wonderful rolling stamp that shows the time. Ali stamped times on her photos and I loved the idea. The stamp is also from Ali’s shop.

I wasn’t bothered that my photos ran in non chronological time order I just fitted them in dependant on size.

Below you can see a pre-printed card with the days of the week at the top. This originally also had ‘morning’ afternoon’ and ‘evening’ printed on as well. There was one for each day and I typed up a different set of topics to record and adhered them over the top.

As well as the card giving an overview of those topics I typed up a timed sheet with lots of our day on too. And added the wooden day of the week to the top.

Some days ended with more enlarged photos too.

And Tuesday.

Really love the look of that stamped time on the photos.

As you can see below I had lots to say on Tuesday so the writing went over the page.

And sometimes I added a flip up page to add extra photos.

Wednesday.

And Thursday. If I didn’t have a chipboard square that fit the sentiment of the photo I used one of the rubber circles instead, also from the kit.

Friday. It may be months and months ago now but looking back at these photos is a treat.

This kind of documenting is harder work sometimes and clearly it has taken a while to share here although the album has been finished since last autumn but whatever the challenges it is a worthwhile project.

And Saturday.

And finally Sunday.

Another absolute favourite photo is that one above of us working on the middle border and Buddy sat overseeing the work!

There we go Week In The Life™ 2017 in the books.

Layout Share – Icecream vs 90 degrees

Here’s another story from our big trip last year. To recap we flew to Washington D.C then drove south to see the Eclipse in Tennessee. South again to New Orleans and our last stop was Disney World. Phew! It was a crazy drive but if you have read here for any length of time you know that’s how do our USA road trips.

Here is a layout from the Washington leg of the trip.

Ice cream vs 90 degrees

Here’s the story –

We had been walking for ages….. and found that little sculpture garden with the fountain. There was a cafe, surely they had ice cream? Off B, D and H went. But no ice cream in the cafe. They did come back with some though from the ice cream van which was a walk away. Ran back I should say. It was a race to eat it before it melted. Messy but yummy.

Fun and funny story captured and in the album.

Photo a Day – Week Forty Eight

Another year in photos is nearly over! If you recall I don’t start this project in January but around my birthday instead. Anyway, a few more weeks to go yet….

Who needs a blanket?

Lots of sunny days and I embraced the practice of using the macro lens for a few garden photos. Not on full macro mode in this shot but 100mm. I loved the contrast of alive and not so much alive in this picture. And the light of course…. always the light.

Got lucky the following day with icy Hellebores. I used the full macro here but admit I did zoom in a bit more in Photoshop. Not quite in focus I know but still not bad for someone who refuses to embrace a tripod! You really do need a tripod with a macro lens.

Again same lens not on full macro and not as bright a day either but love this Iris and the little droplets of water.

What was I saying about ‘Jack Reacher’ books?! Looks like I read another one eh? Plus treats….

And after writing about my adventures in quilting I actually felt inspired to try to finish one. So basting here we go. I do not like basting at all. Bad for my old knees and I never seem to put enough pins in to hold the quilt sandwich together and get puckering… But at least it’s almost finished.

Lovely sunset from my craft room window.

Okay there we go.

December Daily® 2017 – Day Sixteen to Twenty Five

At last, I have completed last years December album. The delay was partly due to waiting for the photographs now that I have no reliable printer and partly due to lack of motivation. I know myself and I know that I need to try and complete this album as I go because I lose enthusiasm if time ticks on. I’ll have to get a strategy sorted out before this December!

But never mind that here are the last few days.

Used a flip up page to get two little stories into the album on the 16th. I also used a 9 pocket page (moved from earlier in the album) to add photos of all our festive mugs. I adore a festive cup so it was a nice visual story to add in.

I used both sides of the nine pocket page.

As you will notice I have a few places to add in words but I know I’ll get there. Here is day seventeen and the story of the trip north for our anniversary. I used a wooden deer stapled inside the far right pocket and positioned it so you can see the ’18’ through.

Some of these photos are the last few I tried to print at home. I started to get fancy with a fold out page for our break away but the quality of the photos was making me so cross…… I did finish it and although the photos are not good I’ll live with it!

Using washi tape to adhere the two pages together. I also added in an index tab.

The photos sort of merge together for these couple of days but I’m fine with that.

Did manage to add a few words to that ’19’ card.

Not much happened on the twentieth so I simply filled the pockets with pretty cards added a little ‘thankful’ story and left it at that.

H came over on the 21st and I used my typewriter to jot down a few highlights. That photo of us wrapping tells it all really though. Such a helpful girl trying to get me organised! And of course we had our festive headgear on!

On the right of that page above is day twenty two and a story about going to spend time with my other niece and our newest addition.

I ordered a large photos of the mantle and below one of Gav in the kitchen love how they look in the album.

Some word stickers were added to the photo on the right and I popped a piece of gold star transparency into the pocket above that photo.

And then the big day. I kept many of the tags and bits and bobs attached to gifts this year. My sister went all out and there were little wooden shapes and glittery stars.

My older niece, nephew and baby elf! Had to get all the elves together right?

So there we go. I’ll add my writing then tuck this away with all the others for ten months…….

Although I found getting this album finished a bit of hard work still love this project so much and am really glad I have these stories all together.

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