Monday, 31 May 2010

BLOG AWARD TEE HEE

1 Express gratitude to the blogger who bestowed the award unto you... Copious,grovelling …I am not worthy… gratitudes  - ok, here goes. Kay thank you so much for sending me this blog award - I love your beautiful art work - I love the metal work and wall hangings and well everything that you make and I love your craft space - so much going on!

2 Display the picture on your blog proudly.


3 Be nice and provide a link to the person who gave it to you.
Ok, http://makingthingsfromstuff.blogspot.com/ is the blog by Kay

4 Tell at least six outrageous lies about yourself, and at least one outrageous truth, or switch it around and tell at least six outrageous truths and one outrageous lie. I'm not telling which is which :)

So here are my lies and/or truths:

  1. I made a quilt for a single bed whilst studying my GCSE needlework that was patchworked on the back and a view out into a garden on the front using all the techniques I learnt and I still have it!
  2. I learnt to touch type at the age of 10 and took my first typing exam at 14
  3. I have ghost written four best selling novels
  4. I learnt that I was going to have a baby sister during a conversation with my Mum about how embarrassing it would be to get your toe stuck up a bathroom tap and have to have the fire brigade come and remove it for you!
  5. My Dad named me after a librarian he had a crush on when he was in secondary school and never told my Mum!
  6. I declared at the age of 17 that I'd had enough of men and didn't want to have anything to do with them ever again and met my future husband later that night - we've been together twenty years this year.
  7. Today we went geo-caching and after not finding any of them I sat under a tree and ate a pork pie!
  8. When I was younger the house we lived in was so cold that we'd go to the greenhouse with its little stove for a warm!
5 Nominate seven creative writers who might be into doing this.

6 Post links to the seven blogs you nominate (see above) and let the owners of those blogs know.

Now can you spot the truths and can you tell the lies?  MMMMMmmmmm

Saturday, 29 May 2010

JUDE I TOOK YOUR ADVICE! GRAB A CUPPA - YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!

OK, so Friday dawned and with it brought a beautiful day, the house was tidy (past tense now but hey) the sky was blue, the washing was washed - I was running out of things to distract myself with if I'm honest.  I've had so many good comments and messages to me over the last week, from bloggy friends to family in person or on facebook and I feel very blessed to have had such an outpouring of love!

In amongst this I've also had a few beautiful e-mails that have allowed me to share more than I'm able to on here and in doing so I've been going through a little 'therapy' to help me on my way, one of these e-mails was from Jude - who is an amazing person and at the end of her e-mail she offered a little advice which I'm sure she won't mind me sharing she said 

"Go and play, don't over think it, don't plan it, just play, create backgrounds, mess around with paint and water and ink and spray and enjoy the feeling of not thinking too much.  Art is good for the soul and yours needs a little TLC sweetie"

So I took your advice Jude and taking what I learnt last weekend with Dyan added to the online course I've done with Alisa I produced this and yes that is me and yes I am smiling!!
Yes I know you'll think I'm mad but it only took a few hours to do, and now that I've followed Jude's advice my soul feels a little lighter.

Believe it or not this canvas started life as a bargain buy at a home furnishing shop because it was so damaged and was bought for the grand old price of £3.74 and originally looked like this
then I did the following
Notice the gravity defying dribbles LOL!  Then words - yes they are words and no you can't read them but they are words I promise!  Mainly song lyrics - I was listening to some absolute tunes whilst doing this!
Then onwards - you probably can't tell the difference but there was some serious wash effects going off!
Close up of stencil at bottom right, it's a female form sat down if you can't make it out!  I love her she's beautiful!
Then tramlines all over it (went a little mad - but it was such fun)
then adding the focal point - winged hearts
In amongst all this I ended up with two bored children on my hands - my son and my neice - so I offered them the opportunity to do some art!  Once they'd seen what I was up to they had to join in - although I limited the size of their canvas
It was so lovely to spend time with them both!  Work in progress
progressing
whilst they were waiting for the paint to dry - they worked on bigger sheets of paper
then their finished items - absolutely happy - can you tell, as my lovely niece didn't know what she was going to do with the giant piece of paper, we tore up the art work and turned it into a book! - see the second photo below, so she gets a canvas for her bedroom wall and an art journal into the bargain!
then little man's canvas
and he kept his art work giant - turning it into a giant face and making us laugh to boot!
then the three of us with our art
this has subsequently led to further paper crafting on the part of said son - to be honest when I sometime mention crafting he's seen running in the opposite direction - probably because he's surrounded by it!  However last night he set to and made this paper tardis (no help from anyone)
Then he continued on copying something he'd seen his cousin make which was a 'laptop' from card for role play purposes!
So he did the same and then some more - green laptop in centre - it's even got a snooze button, a USB stick on the floor next to the laptop - the long white thing on the left is the wires for it - the small item on the floor is the mouse and the large thing next to it is the scanner! Genius!
Close ups, he's now made a battery pack for the back and a laptop case!
Loving those painty fingers
and the scanner!
Back to my art work when I came in last night I kept thinking it wasn't quite finished, so I set too with a black pen just outlining little bits, then I thought - this art work came about because of all the amazing people in my life that told me to just be me and go easy on myself and so I went through all my bloggy comments and facebook comments and e-mails and personal conversations and noted down each and every person who has supported me in what has been a the most difficult of difficult weeks and I added each and every person to it  and some of the little comments that people had said, so if you have been there for me this week leaving me comments along the way - you've now been immortalised into my artwork
all your names appear in the stars on the piece
And will serve to be a reminder of how truly blessed I am
Then I put Jude's kind words on the winged hearts!
and here it is finished and I love it
So thank you to you all - you're all awesome!   

PS Guess what - when we bought said canvas months ago - we bought two others - dear hubby said this morning 

"Well you've got two more pieces of therapy downstairs to have a go at" 
Mmmm - now there's a thought!

Friday, 28 May 2010

ROCKING MY WORLD FRIDAY!

Well here we are again on Friday - I can't believe it honestly, this time last week I was sat being giddy about going off to Dyan's new place to have the most fun on art journaling two and then in a blink of an eye it's the following Friday.

As anyone whose been following my blog knows I've had a roller coaster of a week quite literally, which has resulted in me being signed off for a couple of weeks until I get me back - if you find me - the real me can you send me back apparently my body is missing me at the moment and isn't quite sure what to do without the real me.  My body is confused with all this crafting stuff and thinks the real me might have a clue what to do with it, think my hubby and son wouldn't mind me back either, this person with the vacant expression whose lost the ability to multi task and on some occasions not even string a sentence together isn't great in the grand scheme of things! 

Anyway - Rocking my world this Friday 

Number one has got to be my bloggy friends, your kind words and thoughts this week have really helped, even though most of them made me cry due to your kindness, so to each and every one of you thank you.

Number one (the second (ha ha)) is my family from my husband who is my rock to my son, my brother whose towering hugs (he's six foot plus) reminded me of the hugs my dad used to give me, to my sister whose just as mad as ever but who has shown such utter compassion and understanding, to my Mum who quite literally took me at my word and didn't mention me one bit - you know what I mean Mum but it still made me giggle.

To my son whose just done a forward roll off the sofa looking for a pen that was in his pen box next to him - made me giggle - small things I tell you!

To people who always believed in me! 

To those extra special gifts from the ones given face to face to the ones that dropped through the door

So it's another grateful posting this week primarily about people!

Take the time this week to accept who you are, don't alter yourself to please others, just be you.  I went back to my angry teenage self this week on two counts - firstly I hit the music (well you have to - it's important that it be as loud as possible and sometimes the angry stuff let's you vent faster) 
secondly I hit the films and in particular


PUMP UP THE VOLUME


Christian Slater at his finest - such a funny film but with a great message - true feel good films

And well let's be honest I couldn't leave you without any crafting but I'm really nearly at the bottom of the barrel as to what to show you because my creativity has left the building - I'm hoping it's going to return very soon and very quickly! 


If you follow in - don't forget to add yourself to the linky so we can come and visit!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

AN ODE TO DYAN ON ART JOURNALING TWO!

OK this is me trying to pick myself up and dust myself off 
and maybe even turn the page - not convinced how long it will last but lets celebrate it whilst it's here!
Yesterday was a day that I found impossible to craft given with what I was dealing with - but I could actually write so this is my ode to Dyan for the weekend we just had

At half past six we set out on our heels 
To find Dy’s new home where we would all squeal 
With happiness blessings and friends of old 
The weekend in front ready to unfold 
The studio was filled with tissues galore 
 And packets of chocolate who would want more 
We dumped all our bags on said chairs and seats 
And off to the shop we all took a peak 
From papers and blank clocks and stamps by Sir Tim 
We could all spend a fortune it would be a sin 
Eventually our group was raring to go 
Introductions were squandered along everyone’s row 
First it was Sandra and it was like pulling teeth 
Not sure what to say had to think on her feet 
Then Anne-Marie who praised doodling class
Dyan was confused until she amassed 
That the wonderful teacher Anne Marie referred to 
Was in fact her good self which she eventually knew 
Then Ronni a new friend who promised to take 
At least the Yorkshire accent back with her in haste 
Then Carole confirmed her art journaling fears 
That rules and regulations had her in tears
Jude with her addiction to the shop Paperchase 
But we had to admire the new journals base 
For Melanie she admitted it was fear of yellow 
But splurged with a bit of black it wasn’t the foe 
Virginia (that’s me) was left til very last 
Apparently with one minute I’d have to be fast 
Then Valencia did show off her journaling books 
From old diary entries she proved she was hooked 
To Vanessa whose weekend was planned to be fun
With plenty of time spent with yours truly’s Mum 
Then onto dear Steph who soon did confess 
That since art journaling one she hadn’t been blessed 
With time on her hands or even with paint 
But with gentle encouragement plans she did make 
Then lovely Anne who we all met in Feb 
Did say large books messed with her head 
But the weekend was promised with plenty in store 
To get over our phobias, hiccups and more 
Then Happy Birthday we did all sing to our Bee 
She shared her art work and we all got to see 
Then Emma declared this time no more tears 
And Dyan she did promise that we all need not fear 
For the difficult questions and soul searching rhymes 
Were sectioned in part one and therefore last time 
Janet declared stamping was her journaling look 
But she did find issues with trying to put it in books 
Michelle did agree that the image led base 
Did not always leave her happy in face 
But with gentle encouragement Dyan did declare 
That whatever we liked that would be fair 
For art journaling is a creative way 
To jot down some art and words for the day
But however it turns out is quite simply ours 
to enjoy the said process and use up the hours. 
Then Liz a new friend said a year had now passed 
Since she’d started on one of Dy’s journaling blasts. 
And soon we were back to our art journaling goddess 
And we all knew that our weekend was bound to be blessed 
We started to play with paper and needles 
And out came pizza and wine to feed us 
It was Jay who abandoned her date for the night 
because of Dyan’s back it wasn’t quite right! 
Jude did declare to Mel it were “squint” 
And we all did look puzzled and asked for a hint 
With puzzled expressions and frowns all around 
Wonky’s what she meant that we had found 
Soon it was ten and time to toddle off 
Full of pizza and wine that we all had all troughed 
A wonderful weekend to look forward too 
 Down at Dyan’s on art journaling two 
Saturday morning soon did appear 
The sky was quite bright and the studio near 
We arrived all in good time but were slow off the blocks 
It was well past nine on the wind up clock 

This morning we were greeted with an added friend 
Christine hadn't been around for she was on the mend
First thing was alphas from strange shapes and dots
We all agreed shortly that we had learnt lots
Then onto those borders made with our fine hands 
Then onto Dy’s downloads we all became fans 
Brunch did arrive and soon it all went 
Then onto scotch tablet we did hardly dent 
Soon we did progress to the magazine base
We all loved our pages actually they were quite ace 
Pam she did make the most wonderful lunch 
We were all very quiet as we set too and munched 
The afternoon flew in the blink of an eye 
And those three-d balls at first made us sigh 
But a little time was spent on the page 
Dyan she did teach us all stage by stage 
And soon we were happy – and all did so gaze 
At our pages completed with all Dyan’s praise
We did all disappear when five o’clock chimed 
Off to the pub quite aptly timed
Jude did offer a lift in her generous van 
But Paul raised and eyebrow and said no to her plan 
Don’t you remember on the journey here 
That you simply had to have all that garden furniture gear 
So the van is quite full he said with a grin 
But if we are quick we can get the beers in 
So we met up at pub and chatted for hours 
It was lovely outside near the beautiful flowers 
Eventually Jude and Paul left for their date
And we did settle down and enjoyed life til quite late 
Sunday morning did arrive in the blink of an eye 
We couldn’t believe soon we’d all say good bye 
But Dyan had saved up a treat for all of us 
We were giddy with excitement and all made a fuss
Of the beautiful book she had planned for our day 
We soon were all busy as we did all play 
Then spritz, colour wash, inks and those magic pearls 
We loved all the colours – well we were all girls 
Lunch soon was served in the stifling heat 
Many did go outside to take up a seat 
Then back to our pages we all did return 
It was fun for us all as we love to learn 
With stencils mopped off on random pages in book 
Dyan did declare we all could learn a new look 
Soon onto distress inks and water galore 
Stood splatting that bleach look we all did want more 
The afternoon meandered at a very nice pace
Then off to the till we all did take our place 
Dyan did have fun chatting as she rung up the till 
That was until she passed Valencia’s bill 
No idea how it happened the card was declined 
Mind you £14,000 plus was quite a grind 
Dy didn’t know what she had done 
But we all did agree that it was quite fun 
The correct amount eventually clocked up 
Then gather our bags and clean up our cups 
We started to drift off one by one
Some quietly going out into the sun 
The rest of us noisy as we went on our way
Thank you Dyan for a fantastic few days
I'll put an old art journal page that I've not put on before because i can't imagine doing a posting without a picture LOL
 Hope everyone is having a good day!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

I THINK I MIGHT BE FALLING APART

So it's Wednesday morning and I've managed to take son to school and drop him off and get back in car before i started crying - drat, was hoping they'd have dried up by now.

I've been exceptionally blessed with some beautiful comments on my last posting, each and every single one of them meant a huge amount - so thank you from the bottom of my heart.
I know some people are trying to live their year with a word, but I haven't had one that really ticked all the boxes if I'm honest, I mean really ticked the boxes but I've had one thing said to me over the last week by different people and although I don't feel it at the moment, I'm trying to cling on to it because I'm not sure what will happen if I let it go, this word is 

RESILIANT
I don't feel very resiliant, vulnerable, sad and deflated yes but resiliant no - so why do other people think I am?  I am utterly confused with this, but I'd like to think that I can be resiliant in amongst this as life is feeling pretty tough!  

And Janet just so you know hun I think this one is a super king sized duvet cover at the minute!  I'm hoping it might shrink down to a sock eventually - just not now.
So I'm off to do something now, I've managed to make a cuppa, I'm not liking these trembling hands - not had that before and I'm tired of blowing my nose following the tears - it's getting a little tiresome.

Off to craft I'll probably post this later when hopefully I have something more positive to say - sorry if it's dark on here at the minute in fact as Mellymoo would say it's black black and a bit more black!  Promise I'll try and get happy soon

OK so it's heading up school run time - what has my day brought - well tears but I know I've mentioned those blessed things already, it also brought a card making session - one single card and it took three hours and it's not that sparkling if I'm absolutely honest - so I abandoned the crafting and headed for the hoover and I've had a clean through, not a deep clean just the surface stuff but the house feels a little more tidy for it.  I really want to do some crafting but my focus is all off at the minute so I'm going to give it a rest for now and pick it up in a bit - yes I know that's how ill I am no crafting WTF!

Just to show you how bad it is - this is what took me three hours - honestly  what on earth is that all about?
Anyway going to try again later! 

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

SOMETIMES IT'S GOOD TO SAY THANK YOU TO SOOOO MANY PEOPLE

OK here's the warning before you start this one is a heavy going posting so if you fancy a read I suggest a cuppa and please accept my apologies for not being my usual bubbly self - sometimes it's best to embrace life when it's proving difficult - don't you think?

OK so it's past the weekend and what a weekend, if you didn't know I was at Art from the Heart with Dyan for the weekend doing the intermediate art journaling course - so was it good? - actually it was brilliant - I loved every single minute.  We caught up with friends from the last course, we met new friends, we laughed and giggled and chatted, drank wine, ate cupcakes, muffins, scotch tablet, the most decadent fudge I've ever tasted courtesy of Jude's Mum, we had awesome food prepared by Pam who worked tirelessly!
We had the delights of Dyan even with her poorly back (which was helped by a night out dancing to a bit of Northern Soul - I kid you not).  We saw the new studio which is divine, played in the new teaching space which is gorgeous (even if a little hot given the weekend we've had but you can't blame anyone for that!) learnt so much and had a pretty splendiferous time! 
I feel very blessed today because I'm having a tough time of it at the moment with situations outside of my control and that is quite demoralising, but it's in amongst these dark days that I see the glimmers of what I really have, from an amazing family, to blog friends and personal friends and art journal friends and art from the heart friends and in amongst it people who truly believe in me and that's special because when you are in this dark period it's hard to lift your head up and see what is actually around you, what I've found in the last few days is that i'm surrounded by people who believe in me and for that I feel truly blessed.  

When you are little, you believe that despite difficult times and adversity that truth will always win through, the hardest part of being an adult is learning actually that this isn't always the case and that sometimes no matter what you do - that life can throw you a curve ball and you basically get smacked in the face - that's where I'm at at the minute, down on my knees and not sure I can actually get up again bruised and battered, not sure if I'll be able to dust myself off and smile again, the tears have flowed considerably, in fact I should get shares in kleenex because I'm sure their share price will have gone up with my considerable over usage over the last few days, I didn't let it spoil my weekend but what I did do was put down the worries I had even if for a little while and immerse myself in creativity - pure therapy for the soul, but back to reality and life keeps knocking me down and so it's been hard and tough couple of days.
I took steps today to protect myself and give me some space, I intend on taking what I've learnt this weekend and using it to put down things on paper, my anger - well my anger is turning to sadness - I never thought parts of my life would end this way but I'm starting to see that they might, there is still a glimmer of hope -  but it's just that - a little fraction of light left at the very end.

So here I am reflecting and thinking, I'm sorry if this seems heavy and sad and desperate and well actually not very me - but sometimes you have to accept that you are just there in that moment and well you just try and drag yourself along and let your mind deal with things for the time being

On a more positive note - look at this beautiful gift from the equally beautiful Jude!
And this gift that Janet had for all of us - something she picked up from free cycle and brought for us all to share!
then this beautiful gift from Suzy which brought a smile to me today - that I hadn't thought possible, Suzy is partaking in a circle journal that I'm doing and I post on to her and I've been sending her a card when I pass the journals on, so she's gathering quite a collection - this was her awesome way of saying thank you!
So how lucky am I?
Really lucky - beautiful gifts from beautiful friends, thank you 
Jude, Janet and Suzy - I feel so blessed. 

So back to the weekend fun - this is just one of the items I made - and I love it - from making the book to all the fantastic techniques - if you fancy a go at something similar head over to Dyan's website and check out the Stampotique class she's running or better still start art journaling - it's utter fun!
then the gorgeous 3-d balls - the reason I kid you not - the absolute reason that my sister had to do the second weekend - because she loves these!  The page isn't finished - but they are fun aren't they!
Then there was the fun of constructing pages - such an assorted variety from this - which is better in real life than my pictures gives it credit for!
To this - does my mask suit me?
But my absolute favourites are these!
I can't stop stroking these pages - absolutely completely and utterly the most fun - ever!  Thank you Dyan!  Thank you so much!!!!!

Then on with the scrapbook class taught by the beautiful Sandra a couple of weeks ago at my local scrapbook store!
It was originally a single page layout but there was a sheet of damaged paper which she offered up - never one to turn down a sheet of pretty paper - even a damaged one - I've managed to push the layout to two pages!
then just to confirm that I haven't forgotten the inevitable alterables box - this is next for the treatment - a chocolate box given to me by my Mum minus the chocolates!
And finally - my reason to smile today - my son - isn't he awesome!  
Don't be surprised if many of these appear on my friday
"What's Rocking Your World" 
but sometimes you need to take a breath and do a midweek grateful posting don't you! 
I spent a little time today with my siblings and Mum and in amongst my sadness and distraught self we did have some funny conversations so I thank them for that - particularly the one that concluded that you 

"couldn't spend chihuahua's in Primark!"

Nope we decided that 38 chihuahua's would be random apart from anything else you'd end up with many empty dog leads and more to the point if you needed change what would you receive?

Yes the rest of my family is barking (literally in this conversation LMAO!)

What we were actually saying was that we couldn't spend two hours in Primark but it sounded like chihuahua's so do we sound completely mad?  You bet you but I wouldn't change any of us for the world!

Friday, 21 May 2010

WHAT'S ROCKING MY WORLD FRIDAY

Friday, rocking my world this week

Geo-caching - finding Rudolph's pasture on Sunday was awesome and by the time we did we were completely lost - thankfully dear hubby had an idea of where we were!! 
Slimming world - another 2lb lost 8lb gone in total - got my half stone certificate (still many many pounds to go but hey let's celebrate where I'm at at the minute!)
Mullerlight Yogurts with a Cherry Underlayer - these things should be illegal I tell you!
Challenging yourself to sort out your 'alterables' box is not only fun but also challenging particularly when you paint the two KP nut tins the same and then insist on them looking different once done!!
Scrapbook Classes are the best! 
Tim Holtz's new papers are divine - will I ever be able to open the pack and actually use them or will I be stroking them forever?
Appreciating people who believe in you - these people are amazing, even when life is tough and there is little you can do about it! 
So if you're joining in - let me know so I can check out what is rocking your world this Friday! 
And Finally Music - forgot how it can rescue the soul even when you're in a deep dark place - it's here singing out loud (very loud in our case) and you can sing along and not care - awesome stuff - so what were we listening to - well started out with Bad Medicine by Bon Jovi - so old and so long since i heard it but sang along like I was 14 again LMAO!   Had a bit of Stone Cold Crazy - Queen and Metallica version, Staind's It's Been a While and For You, Little bit of Mr Tyler's Livin on the Edge - seen most of these in concerts over the years - so quite a trip down memory lane - remember how tiny Mr Tyler was (Aerosmith front man if I've completely lost you by now) - mind you we need binoculars to see him so maybe he was just very very far away!  Ooh for a starscreen back then! 


Onwards with crafting - here's a page from my permission art journal - I've used multiple images on this one from various sources, then the inevitable tattoos and this time a little bit of black lipstick! 
The 12 x 12 layout below is from the 'National Scrapbook Day' layout that we were challenged by Sandra to create a couple of weeks ago, we could chose three sheets of patterned paper and one of cardstock plus ribbons, buttons etc to choose from.  I was late getting there and was feeling vulnerable and emotional, Sandra had organised a fun evening challenging us with a 'bingo' card to use different techniques.  I chose my papers started cutting them up and then decided I didn't like my background paper (it started out a citrus yellow with polka dots on it) - it clashed with the checked blue and the floral paper I'd picked (I know you're now wondering why on earth I'd pick that - but i was late arriving and not in the right mental zone) anyway acrylic dabbers and babywipes resolved the back ground issues - painted, painted again, stamped with white stazon and handdrawn hearts!  That was just the background paper, I cut, ripped, punched, glued, used buttons, metal work, flowers, photos, created a tag, cut a title by hand, used chipboard.  All in about 100 minutes - it's was good fun, I didn't win any of the challenges but came home with this layout that was definitely my prize! 
Just to show that I do do 12 x 12 layouts as well at home - well actually this is a double page layout that I did of one of the Treasure Hunts that we've recently completed.  I've already created a mini book on the event - but really wanted to be able to capture the day in my 12 x 12 albums!
If you pop by say hi - if you're joining in Rocking Your World Friday - leave a link and I'll come and visit you!  Hope you have a wonderful weekend! 

Sunday, 16 May 2010

REVENGE OF THE KP NUT TIN!

So mission accomplished I conquered the second KP nut tin with vigour - YES!!!
It was a struggle and it almost had me heading down duplicate of first tin but I persevered (yet again) to conquer it and hopefully create a second tin which looks different from the first (please tell me it looks different!)
It started out basically the same colour as the original when it came to the painted background, but then I had to take it off in a different direction!  So out came scraps (yes literally) of papers I've used in a mini book previously, a little bit of hand cutting of the snowmen and the statements on the brown paper at the bottom, I've threaded some ribbon through the lids (with the help of hubby who didn't mind the good old fashioned hammer and setter because my cropadile wouldn't deal with the lip on the lid) and then used up (yes using up old stuff again!) some beads I've had foreverrrrrrrr - that came from a certain children's toy store - that my 9 year old wouldn't be seen in now if I paid him!  The word spelling out the contents of the tin - being gingerbread houses - just in case you don't want to tilt your head sideways! Looky - how pretty does that ribbon look through the top!
 Then the contents - please excuse the circle of white paper in the picture didn't realise it was there!
 The book itself has been threaded with ribbon this time rather than a book ring! 

I've used photos from our gingerbread houses at Christmas last year, for any of those who've followed my blog for a while you'll know that for the last two Christmases we've had a gingerbread house challenge where we build a giant gingerbread building (it was a Church 2008 and a Castle in 2009) with houses for all the family to decorate between main course and dessert on Christmas day!  This last year was no different and we had some great fun doing them so this captures some of the close ups from the day!
Isn't he cute - jelly baby on a sledge outside the castle walls!
Then the marshmallow snowman outside the castle walls
Bates Motel - generated by my Little Brother John - he said the building lent itself to this!
Including an icing massacre! 
Then Bate's Motel in all it's glory
and the jelly baby soldier guarding the draw bridge on the castle
and the jelly baby army guarding the top of the castle
and then there's dear hubby - who puts up with my crazy ideas even when I up the goal every year and he really doesn't mind cooking gingerbread until the late hours in early December and then putting the buildings together! 
I've had a great weekend, bits done around the house, ironing pile conquered!  Time with family, crafting time, blogging time, a bit of geo-caching time and stuck to my slimming world plan it doesn't get much better than this!  I've read my stars for this week and it's indicating disruption - I don't normally read such trivia but the ones in the Times newspaper have been spot on recently - so I'm a little apprehensive as to what this week might bring me!  We'll have to see, I'll let you know if they were a load of non-sense or whether they had a point!