Sunday 30 January 2022

December Scrapbook Layout - No. 25

Hello Everyone,

Happy Sunday to you all. I'm still, when I'm not working on something else, trying to finish up my December album. Yesterday I managed to make this page recording our Christmas lunch 2021.

There was just the three of us for lunch on the day, thanks to the pandemic, and, as you can see, the boys enjoyed the meal. The papers used are from a Crate Paper collection, 'Hey Santa' (purchased from Ella Bonella). The huge 25 Peartree Designs cut-file is backed from scraps leftover from the kit I put together for the Scrap Backwards challenge. I'll continue participating in this challenge throughout this year because it has made using up old stash fun. Once again, the layout is based on one of Lisa Sikorski's sketches (No.8). Needless to say, I have, yet again, tweaked the sketch to suit the photos and the title. I'm just rebel!

Just a few more layouts to make and December's album will be complete. At the same time as working on these, I've been making pages from the kit I put together for January's Scrap Backwards and keeping up with the Monday challenges so, as you can imagine, it will be a relief to say that's December finished! Especially, as we'll be moving on to a new month soon with another homemade kit to work from.

In the meantime, I hope you are well and enjoying plenty of crafting time.

Friday 28 January 2022

Friday Smiles

Hello Everyone,

Fridays have a way of sneaking up on me these days. I love Fridays. Always have. When I was at school it was, with a bit of luck, the day we got off early. When I worked, Fridays were to be celebrated - the last day of my working week and the day before the weekend. What was not to like! Nowadays, there's a new cause for celebration. It's the day we join in with Annie, the host of Friday Smiles over on a Stitch In Time

Once again, I've been nowhere, done nothing, and only had two very brief visits from family. Still, brief is better than the nothing we had to endure during the lockdowns. We're both having to deal with the various symptoms of Long-Covid which means, often as not, one or other of us, and sometimes both of us if we're really unlucky, is not up to having visitors. Today, unfortunately, it's Alan who is poorly, has been for the last couple of days, with terrible fatigue and lacking in energy. Very frustrating for him as he is such a get-up-and-go kind of man normally. So now that the days are getting longer we've been yearning for Spring and I've had these seats moved to a better position for watching the birds at the feeder. And catching the sun too. The border is a weedy mess at the moment but I'm hoping to sort that out once the weather is a bit warmer. 

One of our visitors was grandson, William. All the family were up in Inverurie, near Aberdeen, to celebrate my SIL's father's 80th birthday at the weekend. While he was there, William took the opportunity to do a bit of hill walking and stopped off on his way to snap a few photos of Craigevar Castle in all it's pink glory. It's reputed to be the inspiration for Disney's Cinderella castle. It's also my favourite because the rooms are small, by castle standards, and so it feels cosier than most. William was pleased to bag his 43rd Munro - he has a way to go because there's 282 in Scotland alone. 
I've been persuaded to put together a scrapbook album about me - something we scrappers so rarely do! So I thought I'd start with places that mean something to me and that had me starting at the beginning - where I was born. I was born in The Royal Victoria Hospital, in the village of Netley near Southampton. Prior to 1947, when I was born, Netley, as it was then known, had a reputation among the military as a mental hospital. Family history has it that I was the first baby to be born in the newly opened Maternity unit there. My one claim to fame you would think. Not for my father who was a sapper in the Royal Engineers at Marchwood at the time. It was his duty to register my birth so, given the hospitals reputation, he made a point of registering my birth as in the district of Eastleigh, another town near Southampton. There's no mention of the hospital or of Netley village on my birth certificate! It still makes me smile to know that every time I see my certificate. 
And this is where my parents took me to live after I was born. It was then, and I think it still is now, three cottages. We lived in the one in the middle. I remember it well even though we left when I was around five years old. The single window you can see in the thatch was my parents bedroom. My brother Douglas was born there ... no Netley hospital for him! I remember the cottage, the garden and the neighbouring playing field, Lloyds Recreation Ground, all so well. 
This is the church where we were baptised.
This is the shop where we got our sweetie rations.
And these are the New Forest ponies. I vividly remember them coming into the village in winter. It was a very cold winter, freezing and snowy conditions. They would have been hungry but I remember people putting food out for them too. My mother wrapped me up warm and carried me out to see them.

All photos of Netley and Marchwood were found on the Internet.  

Apologies, once again, for what might be to some a boring post  I hope, at least, that you like the photos and, perhaps, what I remember from my very early childhood. 

I hope, too, that you've had equally good reasons to smile this week. If you have, why not join Annie over at A Stitch In Time and make us smile too.

Wednesday 26 January 2022

What's On Your Workdesk - Week 660

Hello Everyone,

My, but these Wednesday's do seem to come round faster then ever these days. A sign, I suppose, that I've had a busy week, but I'm blessed if I can recall what I was so busy doing! 

Anyway, it's time to share what's on my desk and link over on the Stamping Ground where Julia, as ever, is hosting WOYWW again today. 

There's not a lot to say about what you can see this week. There's another scrap layout in the planning. This one is based on the half and half formula and I'm planning to use the cutfile for the title ... once, that is, it's been decided how to treat it. I'm not sure whether to back it with another patterned paper or simply colour the letters to make them stand out. Decisions, decisions. 

What was on my desk.

When I was bragging about all the lovely crafty goodies I'd spent birthday/Christmas money on, I forgot that this fuse tool was still to come. Often seen on YouTube demos being used to create shaker pockets, the fuse tool looked one that I could use for attaching extra photos to a page. I can feel some experimenting coming on. And that's the February edition of my favourite magazine arrived already. It's a struggle to keep it until February before reading it.

The kitten bit.
Silver's undecided. Should she stay in and eat dinner or should she go out to play with the neighbour's cat, Harper, for a while. Decisions, decisions. She opted this time to stay and eat. 

The book bit.
If you've been following this blog for a few years you may recall me mentioning at sometime that I was, when young, a member of the Women's Royal Army Corp. What I might not have mentioned was that I opted to work in the Intelligence Corps which led to my being  attached to the Signals Corps. And that is a rather long-winded way of explaining my interest in the highly secret work at Bletchley Park during the WWII, and it also explains why I chose this book by Margaret Dickinson, 'Secrets at Bletchley Park'. The book, although a good read, is not what I expected from the title, mainly because about two-thirds of it take place before the war and before Bletchley Park. That said, I enjoyed the stories of two highly intelligent girls, Mattie and Victoria, from very different and difficult backgrounds but who are eventually thrown together as adults in a job they could never have foreseen for themselves. There's a lot of emphasis throughout of keeping secrets, perhaps a little too much, but I had hoped there would, all these years later, be more of the work that went on at Bletchley Park. So, I'd say good story but not what I was expecting. 

The funny bit.

I'm absolutely sure that that Silver attended that class and learned the lesson well!

That's it from me today. I am off to see to the soup that's bubbling away in the slow cooker. Today it's cauliflower cheese soup. Never tried it before but I've become quite adventurous with my food in my old age! 

I hope you've had a wonderful WOYWW and that you will have a fabulous week ahead.

Take care and stay safe.

Sunday 23 January 2022

Christmas Card Club Challenge - Cards 4-6/2022 - Anything Goes

 Hello Everyone,

Happy Sunday to you all. I hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

I'm back for the second Christmas Card Club Challenge of the year. Christine has chosen 'the true meaning of Christmas' as her theme and, as always, there's the alternative of 'anything goes'. Because I've been recycling some of the beautiful cards received for Christmasses past again, I've chosen to go with the second option today.

Apologies for the poor quality of the photos - the lighting here is dire today. To make the cards I just dug into my boxes of cardstock and paper scraps and chose pieces that matched the toppers. The shape and size of each card was dictated by how big or small the toppers were when they were cut from the original cards. Two dies from a rectangle set was used to cut out the topper and silver mat on the third card. I wish I could claim ownership of the very pretty die used to cut the vellum topper on the second card but sadly not - it belongs to the sender of the original card! 

That's it for today. I hope you will pop over to see what my teammates have created this week. You'll find a list of their names and links on my right sidebar - as always they are so much more creative than I will ever be

Saturday 22 January 2022

December Scrapbook Layouts - No's. 22, 23 & 24

Hello Everyone

Happy Saturday to you all. 

We're nearing the end of the pages made for my Christmas/Winter Album now and the following three pages take us up to Christmas Eve! 

Ready for the Xmas Ceilidh Show

Christmas 1998 in Fort William where they certainly know how to party. The photos were taken in our hotel room before being transported to the venue where the ceilidh was being held. There were bagpipers, a fiddle group, Highland dancers - the whole tartan experience. It was Alan's first time at a ceilidh and he loved it. For this layout, I printed out the journaling, then cut it into strips before sticking them under the title. I usually just write my journaling in pen but I quite like this method and might do it more often in the future.

Those Eyes
Two of the prompts for this layout, from Adam at Dotty About Flair, was to use both gold and silver together - not easy - and to use one or more rosettes - easier. I had to search for both my Hougie Board and the Hougie Crafts book which contained the vital instructions on how to make rosettes. Silver, as ever, was more than happy to pose for the camera. Initially, I intended using a gold pen to draw the lines around the edge but none worked. I suspect those I have are just too old so I dug out a box of long forgotten peel-offs to use instead. I can't remember when I last decorated as much as a card with peel-offs but they did the job incredibly well.  

A Crafty Xmas Eve
The two children in the photo are Alan's great niece and nephew. They spent Christmas Eve occupied with making the puppets - their mum's clever way of distracting them, and calming them down, before the much anticipated visit from Father Christmas. Weaving the strips on the background could have been tricky had I not stuck the top edges of the vertical strips of paper in place. After that it was a dawdle to weave in the horizontal strips. It was particularly pleasing to get the last of the puffy deer stickers out of stash and onto a page at last ... Alan bought the sticker sheet from a shop in town which has been closed for quite a few years! 

As I mentioned at the top of this post, we're near the end. Just one more week of layouts to make and December's pages will be all done and dusted. I've been working on my kit made for January's Scrap Backwards and keeping up with the Monday challenges so, as you can imagine, it will be a relief to say that's December finished!

In the meantime, I hope you are well and enjoying plenty of crafting time. 

Friday 21 January 2022

Friday Smiles

 Hello Everyone,

Rightly or wrongly I've decided to join in with Annie and her Friday Smiles this week. I say 'rightly or wrongly' because, given that I go nowhere and do very little outside the domestic sphere, to most people I must have little to smile about. Not true. I smile a lot and then, because I'm so old, promptly forget what made me smile. Anyway, here's a few photos that have gladdened this old lady's heart recently.

First up is this one of my dear husband doing something he shouldn't but having fun all the same. He really shouldn't be doing-it-himself in his state of health. He did overdo it and had to spend the following two days recovering, but he won't listen and doesn't learn. Oh, and I did help because that was definitely a two-person job.
I'm a great fan of the TV crime series 'Shetland' and never miss an episode, so I was delighted to discover that some scenes for the latest episodes were shot here in Ayr. We are very lucky to live on the coast and luckier still to have a beach that is made up of the promenade, with easy access, and the dunes, not so easy to access but well worth the effort. I'll be watching future episodes of 'Shetland' much more closely. 
We've been very lucky with the weather recently. It's been cold, -2 degrees yesterday, but the sun has been shining and skies have been this heavenly shade of blue. Even if I can't stay out long, I've enjoyed going out and just rambling around the garden while the sun was out. 
And when it's got too cold I've been watching these cheeky gulls from the window while they are taking in the air on our neighbour's chimney pots. 
And finally, what would life after Covid be if it wasn't for this cheeky little charmer. She never ceases to amuse me and put a smile on my face. 

Apologies for what might be to some a boring post - nothing exotic, no cute pics from my adorable family - they've all had Covid too - and no trips out either. Just normal everyday shots from a fairly normal everyday life but I'm sure you'll agree all good reasons to smile. 

Hope you've had equally good reasons to smile too this week. If you have, why not join Annie over at A Stitch In Time and make us smile too. 

Wednesday 19 January 2022

What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday - Week 659

Hello Everyone

I hope you are all keeping well and finding time to craft. Of course, I'm here for Julia's WOYWW over on the Stamping Ground. I would have been there last week, was intending to, but that's not how things turned out. 
Unfortunately, I wasn't very well and, so, this was my desk a week ago. However, I'm absolutely fine this week, back to normal and even managed to get some scrapping done. Such small successes are worth celebrating!
Back to my workdesk and this is how it looks this morning. I cut into these lovely new papers (from my January kit from Mind The Scrap) to make a page yesterday. I did have to search for the circle cutter - that's the problem with decluttering, reorganising and tidying stuff away ... where stuff is stashed is easily forgotten! The little bottle of yellow watercolour was used to create spatters - spatters are so good at breaking up too much white space. But now it's done with and it all has to be tidied away again. 

New Stash:
Over the last couple of weeks I've been keeping my postie busy. Not my fault really, honest! Generous gifts of  birthday and Christmas money are to blame. The only advantage I can think of to having a birthday late in the year is that I get to have an almighty spending splash just when the days are short and the weather grim.  
Being an insatiable bookworm, there was no way I could resist Photoplay's Notting Hill Book Store, by Becky Moore, paper pack. Sadly Hugh Grant isn't included. Sigh. The coloured card packs are there to replace dwindling stocks.
After all the winter pages made last month, I've run out of seasonal patterned paper so this Winter Market collection from Carta Bella was another essential purchase. I've discovered that I particularly like layouts made in shades of blue. The intention is to continue scrapping photos from winters past occasionally throughout the year, if only to pare away at what is an enormous stack of photos still waiting to be scrapped.
And, of course, this month's kit from Mind The Scrap. I should say kits because my subscription includes the mixed media kit with the paper pack. MTS kit subscriptions and birthday/Christmas gift splurges notwithstanding, I'm still on a (probably lifelong) spending freeze. It would be wrong of me to do otherwise given the amount of patterned paper I have amassed - but there's still a few exceptions, essentials such as adhesives, plain white/black/coloured cardstock, etc. - the stuff without which no scrap pages could be made. 

The kitten bit:
Not the best shot but I thought you'd like to see Silver, our nature watcher, enjoying WinterWatch with Alan. She was totally into watching the skeins of geese fly past. 

The book bit:
I first read Jane Austen's 'Emma' when I was a teenager, some sixty years ago! And since then, when asked, I've always said it is my favourite Austen and Emma Woodhouse my favourite character. However, it's come to my notice that not all readers agree with me. Even Ms Austen said of Emma that she was 'going to make a heroine whom no one but myself will much like.'  Puzzled, and having no memory as  to why I enjoyed the book as much as I clearly did then, I downloaded an unabridged audiobook to listen to. And I'm so glad I did. I enjoyed the book as much again. Emma is, indeed, a vain, snobbish, selfish and meddlesome young woman, intent on not marrying herself but equally intent, rightly or wrongly, in matchmaking others. Mostly wrongly as it turns out. She's quite the antihero, and I'm a sucker for an antihero, especially one that finally sees the error of her ways. 

The funnies bit:

For all of you who have resolved to get fitter this year :) 

Silver has taken to guarding the bathroom door!

That's me done for today and so late again too. Life just gets in the way - I'd bore you with a list of interruptions but that would only make me even later.  

I hope you've had a wonderful WOYWW and that you will have a fabulous week ahead.

Take care and stay safe.

Thursday 13 January 2022

Christmas Card Club Challenge - Cards 1-3/2022 - Black & Gold

Hello Everyone,

Happy New Year to all the Christmas Card Club members. I hope I find you well. I've been poorly, nothing very dramatic, but I woke up feeling better today. Well enough, in fact, to spend the afternoon making cards for the first Christmas Card Club Challenge of the year. Black and gold is Kate's challenge and I really enjoyed searching through my boxes of scraps and dies to make the following three three cards. 

The background on the first card is one of my experiments with the gelli plate and a chevron patterned stencil on a scrap piece of white card. I don't know why I kept it because I wasn't altogether happy with the result then but I'm glad I did now. 

The other two cards have embossed gold card backgrounds. It's been a while, a couple of years actually, but whenever I got a new folder I'd always try them out on some bits from my leftover box. That box can come in very handy for cardmaking.

The greetings in the first and second cards are actually gold peel-offs on black card. 

Stencil, Embossing Folders and Dies used:

Chevrons stencil - Creative Expressions That Special Touch

Kassie's Brocade folder - Cuttlebug

Sun Rays folder - Craft Concepts

Poinsettia - Spellbinders

Trailing Ivy & Rectangle die set - sources forgotten

Merry Christmas Wreath - Sara Davies Signature Collection

That's it for today - it's my bedtime. I hope you will pop over to see what my teammates have created this week. You'll find a list of their names and links on my right sidebar - as always they are so much more creative than I will ever be

Monday 10 January 2022

December Scrapbook Layouts No's 19, 20 & 21

"Scrapbooks remind us
 that life has been good."

I came across the above quote when Googling scrapbooking recently and remembered it when thinking about all the scrap pages I made in December. 

Because the photos I've chosen to scrap have been from not just 2021 but from years past, I've been reminded of all the happy December's, not just this last one just gone.

Here's three more of such reminders. 

Santa's In Town
The photo that this page features is quite possibly one of the occasions most photographed of any Christmas period. These are my two youngest grandchildren and I remember that although her brother took it all in his stride, four year old Shari-Anne was just a bit unsure and you can see it in the expression on her face. Happily she relaxed fairly quickly and went on to enjoy the experience. I think the sticker Santa looks the double of the real Santa. Incidentally, he didn't rely on his sleigh and reindeer to get him to our far flung corner of Scotland, he came by helicopter instead?

With Friends In Girvan
Not strictly December photos but these have made it into the album because the challenge was to make a non-Christmas  page with Christmas themed papers. And I didn't need a better excuse to remember this very happy day spent with two dear friends, Annie (A Stitch In Time) and her husband, Dod. Often the 'B' side of themed papers, as on those I used on this page, are fairly neutral and perfect to use in non-Christmassy pages. 

Twinkling Lights
There's nothing neutral about this page and yet the Vicki Boutin stencil used for the background is definitely not a Christmas themed one. Change the colour of ink, papers and embellishments used and the look would be quite different. Sadly, the Bhaille bakery and cafe where the photo was taken has since closed down. 

I've been a bit under the weather these last couple of days. Nothing to be overly concerned about but it does mean I've been lying on the sofa and resting up. Which means this post has been composed from the prone position! 

I hope you are all well and enjoying lots of creatively crafty time.

Bye for now