Friday, 30 November 2012


So here we are on the last Friday of November, the word gulp as December looms large tomorrow!   Time to find the silver linings, the sparkles, the positives and the gratefuls of the last 7 days
Last Friday we ventured down to the local theatre for a pre-Christmas treat - A Christmas Carol performed by a local theatre group, thoroughly enjoyable and much fun.  There were a few elements that added to the play overall, the well to do Victorian lady knocking over her wine glass and swearing had most of us tittering, as did the ghost of Christmas future arriving on stage dressed as death which led to Craig chortling his way through the 'Bottom' sketch - anyone who is a Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson fan will know what I'm talking about and the rationale for putting a man over six feet tall into a knee length nightgown and then expecting him to get on and off the raised bed platform without flashing underwear escapes me, but nevertheless we had a great evening!  I want to read the book now but don't own a copy so will have to get it picked up.

Saturday brought kitchen cupboard cleaning and I can hear you groan now - why is this on my list?  Because the last time I did this little task I pulled my back, this time my hubby helped and did the awkward cupboards which meant I was still upright at the end of this - a win win - clean cupboard and my back still working!

A warm bath on Saturday afternoon to warm my bones, second one in as many weeks and my backs still working, I could get used to this!

Hubby making roasted squash soup again - honestly it's beautiful, so tasty and zero points!

Writing the round robin newsletter from beginning to end on Saturday, every year I do a round robin type newsletter to go with cards to people that live far and wide despite the fact many say it's not the 'done thing' it always feels like hard work to do but I still insist on it every year and it is nice to look at the year that we've had, this years newsletter came together quite quickly, it's not as funny as previous ones or as sarcastic (a tone I struggle to omit with most written words if I'm honest - can you tell) but it is complete and approved by hubby and said 12 year old - just need to fathom out how to copy it now!

Sunday brought us to a Christmas Craft and Gift Fayre, am I the only person who stands saying "I could make that..." and not buying the item whilst not arriving home and making it either!  It was a lovely mix of stalls at this particular one and little bit of everything, we got to admire some great photographs, some beautiful Christmas wreaths, some gorgeous knitted items (although I'm no good with wool so not for me), oggle at the cupcakes for sale, lots and lots of lovely items.  The haul for the day has to go to said 12 year old who managed - a slice of rainbow cake and let me tell you that in itself was a mighty fine haul for the outing - it took him two days to eat!
he also managed, a DVD film for a £1, some old coins and a copy of a book signed by the author himself, and a chocolate orange stirring stick.  Whilst dear hubby caught himself a 1 kilogram - yes that's 2.2 pound pork pie!  And me, well hubby bought for me two chocolate orange stirring sticks with cinnamon (these were the Christmassy ones) together with a fur muff for my hands, I'm always complaining of being cold and this particular one is in grey leopard print, with a wheat lavender bag inside which means - it can be warmed in the microwave - simply genius!

Sunday night brought a Chinese take away because we couldn't be bothered to cook, naughty us but it was lovely!

Monday morning came around too quickly but in a simple summary this week I've
  • Enjoyed the gorgeous night sky (even at 6am Thursday morning) 
  • Watchihng - I'm a Celebrity - Ant and Dec are fantastic, so much fun to watch!
  • Watching - Elementary - wow what a TV series.
  • Hubby finding Whitechapel on catch up - provided we can watch it earlier I might be able to cope.
  • Said 12 year old being honest with us one evening about an issue at school, he was relieved to have a chat about it and think he was surprised with our reaction - which was laid back and matter of fact. 
  • Cleaning the house by stealth, I'm trying to sneak in cleaning tasks without it being a mass cleaning session - up to now it seems to be working! 
  • Making some in roads into the massive amount of Christmas cards I need to make - I hate Christmas card making and usually do it in January, didn't manage it this year, but believe you and me the same won't be said of next year! 
  • Lovely evening meals cooked by hubby! 
  • A warm house (goodness knows what it will cost us with the gas bill but I refuse to be cold!). 
  • Ovaltine
  • Wii console keeping my hubby and son happy! 
  • Catch up with my sister. 
  • Secret Santa gifts finally completed and sent
  • Circle journals completed and sent (the sense of achievement is always a positive). 
  • A day off work on Thursday even if by default due to the by-election in the town meaning we couldn't use our normal office base. 
And that my lovely people will have to do you this week. 

These are two circle journal entries I've done recently on the Desert Island Disks Circle Journal on Collaborart. 

And a layout that I did as part of the UK Scrappers cyber crop recently!  This one documenting chemistry experiments in the summer. 
If you fancy joining in, pop yourself a post together and head over here to link up so we can come and visit and share your positives.  Don't think anything positive has happened this week - really?  Go on have a think, you'll be surprised at what positives you can find when you set your mind to it! 

Friday, 23 November 2012


Yes - stop groaning - I know it's Friday again, I blinked and a whole week has whizzed by at lightening speed, I really do wonder where life disappears to sometimes.  But when you are busy busy busy then the hours turn into minutes and a week turns into a day - but we're back again for Rocking Your World Friday
Oh let's see how many we can manage this week

  1.  Douwe Egberts Caramel flavoured coffee, it's not cheap and comes in a tiny jar - but it's lovely and feels a bit naughty, hubby says it smells Christmassy, not sure I'm feeling that one but tasty it is, I may have to try the hazlenut one next.  
  2. A bath last week, I know that sounds mad and yes I do shower regularly but I have such a 'dodgy' back that I honestly struggle to have a bath, there is nothing so nice as a relaxing bath, a cup of coffee and a magazine read whilst I'm in there and it warmed my bones - now that I can cope with!
  3. Making a few bits for Christmas, nothing major but makes me feel productive and positive
  4. Listening to hubby and said 12 year old playing on the play station 2 the other night, they'd got hold of a second hand game recently and were playing on that - howls of laughter coming from the TV room had me smiling from ear to ear.
  5. Butternut squash soup made my hubby - he made this at the weekend, knowing I sometimes don't like 'orange' vegetables (I hate carrots with a passion - they have to be hidden in taste for me to cope with them) but the squash soup was delicious - so big thank you to hubby for that!  
  6. Positive blog comments, it's always lovely to come along and find that people not only took the time to read your blog, but also took the time to comment - makes me very happy - so if you were one of those people and you know who you are a big thank you! 
  7. Donna - for the first entry into my Desert Island Disk CJ - see it here she managed to link the story behind the song (the track was Santana's Smooth and it was the track hubby played over and over whilst I was pregnant, bump (who later became known as said 12 year old) used to enjoy partying inside me when he could hear the track - albeit muffled!
  8. Lots of lovely blogs out there at the moment, including some lovely Christmassy ones!  In particular the fabulous items on the Shabby Art Boutique, from a Christmas planner to 'homemade' wrapping paper - check it out here
  9. An Autumn walk - there is nothing so nice than a bright blue, crisp day, with Autumn colours, walking through crunchy leaves, it always reminds me of when I was young and used to walk through a graveyard with my Mum on the way to school, I used to love walking through the piles of autumn leaves that had fallen!
This is Wentworth Castle - and yes before you say I know it's not a Castle, it's actually a house which is now actually a college, but you can walk around the gardens which have been restored back to their original design over time
 Enjoying that winter sunshine
 The dragon at the top of the staircase in the tower
 Isn't he gorgeous!
 And his tail at the bottom of the staircase.
Now this is part of the castle within the grounds, (it's known as Stainborough Castle) was built by the original owners of the house as a miniature castle, it had a 'great' hall, with four towers, ramparts and towers running around the outside curtain wall
You can see said 12 year old running around the central piece - and why you may ask did the owner of the house build a scaled down version of a castle?  As a playground for his four children - must be nice mustn't it!
 Me and hubby
 Said 12 year old sneaking piccies we didn't even know about
 Including gorgeous close-ups of miniature cyclamen!
10.  Making good progress on Christmas shopping
11.  Identifying things to do through December to make my 'journal your Christmas' that bit more interesting! 
12.  Getting tickets for the theatre for this Friday.
13.  Crafting time! 
14.  A coffee with my sister on Thursday for a brief catch up which was nice. 

I think my lovely people that that will do nicely for this week, fancy joining in, have a think, do a blog post, head over here and link up so we can come and visit and enjoy your gratefuls as well.  If you don't have time to write a post or you don't have a blog, promise yourself that you'll look back over the last 7 days to spot the positives, it's a worthwhile thing to do and sets you up with a positive outlook ready for the weekend.

Before I go - I'll share a layout, this one documenting a rather dark piccie but a piccie nonetheless that I didn't think we'd got but discovered on hubbies phone!  Said 12 year old at primary school enjoying an archery lesson!  

Thursday, 22 November 2012


Blink and it's Thursday - well that's how my week has gone, I kid you not and so before I start to consider my gratefuls for last 7 days for my Friday Rocking post, I thought I've got time to squeeze in a quick craft related post.

So here I go, photo of said 12 year old discovering the 'dangers' of magnifying glass and sunshine this summer on wood.  What he actually discovered was that he could burn his name in the wood as he went, I now have a garden full of 'graffitti-ed' wood!  I like this layout, it's pleasing on the eye, and vibrant with my signature stitching!
Thanks for looking and may your Thursday be full of positives!

Monday, 19 November 2012


Big waves to everyone, well it's been a mighty busy day at work and at home, but it's kick back time so before I attack the thing called my craft-space which is lacking seriously on the 'space' front at the moment I thought I'd put together a quick post for the beautiful book that Annette (Voodoo Vixen) created for the UK Scrappers Cyber crop recently.

I've had to wait a while to post on here as one of the two I created during the cyber crop was a gift and I wanted the recipient to actually get their paws on it before it appeared on my blog.
I created two books at the same time, the one on the left a gift for Carmen and the one on the right to be filled by yours truly with appropriate photos at some point in the future.
I loved the tissue paper design for the book as per Annette' instructions
The book unfolded
 It has a mini book as part of it's main design
 Which you can see a bit better here
 It has lots of little pockets and spaces for tags
 And more
 From the side you can see the two giant matchboxes, painted to colour co-ordinate with the rest of the book.  I thought Carmen might want to put Logan's hospital bracelet and any other small mementos in here.
 Up close my book in red
 I added lots of ribbons and threads
 And a giant key!
Inside the book is a mix of papers including some hand stamped and masked as the papers I used for this one were not double sided.
 I made a slip when making this and attached the double sided a different way so there's no ability to add tags - so this will be a photo based mini book
 Used some lovely DCWV papers I've had for a while
 Again the side shot with the matchboxes

I'm so pleased with both books, I love how tactile they are and how easy they were to put together, so much so I've now bought four more matchboxes and got hubby to cut me some grey board ready so get ready to see some more of these books very soon!   Just not sure what to do with all the matches if I'm honest!

If you fancy having a go yourself!  It can be found as a PDF download on this page  here it's the third one down called it's a mystery, but all the classes were great, so feel free to explore the page!

If you fancy seeing more of what Annette creates check out her blog here 

Friday, 16 November 2012


Morning all - tis Friday and a time to reflect and enjoy the moments that have lightened our previous week, my week has been tough with a capital 'T' but never once did I think about not posting, why?  Because in amongst the crap and there's been plenty have I had elements that have made me happy and made me smile
A weekend off, spending time with my hubby and my son, always fabulous company.  Last Friday evening saw us venturing down to the local shopping centre, now at this time of year you'd think I was crazy - would you believe me that it was quiet?  I'd already spent most of the day shopping and having a mooch around and then continued in the evening.  So why the 'rocking' moment - the decorations - now if you are still in bah humbug mode look away now - but look how pretty the new decorations are.
This one sings and moves and I think from here looks like a giant snowman or is it just me?  And look something you don't see very often my 12 year old smiling whilst in a shopping centre!
It might have something to do with his tea LOL!
Saturday was a day wandering around the local town and buying a bit of fabric for some new festive tablecloths not that I've done anything with it yet!

Sunday brought a day out - I didn't want to go - I really didn't - just didn't fancy it but we'd promised and I don't break a promise so off we went to...
we had a clear journey there and back for which I'm ultimately grateful for I hate travelling on motorways so I was immensely grateful for a clear run. We got to look in giant fish tanks and have our photo taken by my crazy hubby!
We got photobombed by a fish twice!

You want to see?


Well let me see what I can do?  This one

 and then this one!
we all had a giggle when we saw the photos.  Hubby also managed a couple of really great scrapbooking shots - now this I like!  So expect to see on a scrapbook page really soon.
The rest of the week has been something of an emotional rollercoaster with a huge amount of work thrown in for good measure, however I can be grateful for

Hubby's cooking - he knows I've not been in the mood this week and has just got on with it

Mass at school on Wednesday night was great and thoroughly enjoyed the songs that the Y7 sang actions and all!  It was a very light hearted positive mass, including a power point chart and I got to meet up with one of the Mum's that I haven't seen since they left primary school and we've promised to meet up for a coffee!

Son's homework for history being a success he did a power point presentation on our family history and selected things about both his Granddads and a distant Aunt within the presentation - apparently it had the kids giggling!   Apparently there weren't many who did it that way so he was quite happy with himself.

Amazon orders arriving.

Ideas for Christmas

A couple of bargains in amongst the purchases.

Finishing a few peoples gifts.

A gift reaching its destination and it being liked - I'll do a separate post on that, I've already got some board cut for some other mini books as we speak, I love mini books I'd forgotten how much.

A warm home, a roof over my head, food in my tummy and the fact I'm alive and get to see this beautiful world with my own eyes each and every day.

I'll leave you with a pre-crop layout from the UK Scrappers cyber crop, completely out of my comfort zone it has white space on it, I need to look away quick because I just feel the need to fill in the white space even now!
So that my lovely people is it for this week, I hope you've had a good, positive and upbeat week, if its been a toughy, dig deep and find those silver linings pop a post together and pop back here.  It's always good to share others positives and I'm always humbled by those that take the time out to follow this idea and share - so a thank you to you all!

Here's Mr Linky

Friday, 9 November 2012


Tis Friday - I honestly have no idea where this week has gone - blink and you'd have missed it!

But we are here again to celebrate the positives that exist in these last 7 days - if you want more info - look right there's a bit of blurb there.  We're a tiny group that celebrate our positives - don't be shy - join in if you fancy!
First up on my list of gratefuls this week - fresh air courtesy of our first visit to
Apparently the furthest place north you could go during the Ice Age - otherwise you'd have been dealing with ice 1 mile deep - can't even begin to get my head around this!

This hyena was an example of the types of creatures who frequented the place, apparently back then they were about a third bigger and I'll be honest - he was big enough!
 Hunting for archaeology
 And about as close to a woolly mammoth as we were going to get!
 Had  a fabulous walk along the gorge!
We also got to go in one of the caves - and our eagle eyed 12 year old spotted cave spiders - shudder -
I won't scare you with pictures!  Apparently they are quite slow moving due to the extreme temperatures which is good because I really didn't fancy getting up close and personal with them!

Saturday a whole week after the car driving experience for said 12 year old we found him in this - you'll be pleased to know that he stayed on the ground - but it did make me giggle thinking one week on he's in yet another vehicle's driving seat!
And another - helicopter anyone?
 And Mischief One and Mischief Two here, Craig insisted on opening the window and when I asked why he said it was so he could signal with his arm when he wanted to turn left - honestly!
Sunday saw a jaunt to the cinema to see Skyfall and all I can say is ooh my - definitely the best Daniel Craig - Bond film we've seen - it's a great film and a few twists and turns and unexpected elements along the way!

Then we headed over to my Mum's for a Bonfire party which was fabulous, meat and potato pie and mushy peas with swedey mash and gravy - she had a fire up the garden, got rid of loads of branches and a good catch up with family!

Monday night brought bonfire night, we managed a few fireworks that said 12 year old demanded and then some sparklers.  I enjoyed  playing with the cameras firework setting and getting a few sparkler shots - said 12 year old managed a message to me!
 And hubby managed a star - genius!
Winning the raffle on the cybercrop - gorgeous prizes on their way including a Big Shot - I'm still struggling to get my head around this LOL!

The rest of the week has trundled along at a fair rate of knots, lots of work meaning that I've been shattered which in turn has meant a few evenings cuddled up on the sofa.

Other gratefuls - hubby and said 12 year old always Rock my world - amazing - they are such good company!

The Wednesday Whine group - as always

Collabor-art for the commencement of it's first circle journal - I sent mine and received Pat's in turn this week, I can't wait to get started!  Mine was looking mighty plain as it left my hands but was heading over to Donna's so I'm sure she'll have much fun adding to it.  This is how it looked as it left,
 and the other side
 And the outside box
We are currently looking for some new members to join the fold on Collaborart - so if you fancy joining us - head over and take a look, there's no stress to do 'everything' you can dip into things as and when it suits the key element is that when you commit to a project that you follow through and keep everyone in the know.  That way we get to share some fabulous projects together without the worry of people going AWOL!  There are things running all the time (pairs journal and mail art) and then other projects that you can sign up to and I know Sarah has sooooooooooooooooo many fantastic ideas up her sleeve at the moment - you wouldn't want to miss out!

Hot chocolate at night (post 9 o'clock) when I'm chilling.

The laptop allowing me to sit on the sofa and watch TV whilst browsing the internet.

Royal Mail for getting Christmas pressies to me without a hassle!

Carmen's Secret Santa Swap even though its proving something of a headache at the moment.

And my lovely people I think that will have to do you - in essence, my week has been busy and full and fun.  I've enjoyed time with people I love (whether in person or on line).  I've been out and about, enjoyed a film, family time, time at home - you name it I've been done and it makes me feel happy.

I'll leave you with a layout from the fabulous UK Scrappers recent cyber crop, this was a pre-crop challenge of using a class from a previous cyber crop.  This particular one based on the Love Life Class  (click the class name if you fancy having a go yourself!)
If you fancy joining in - just pop yourself a post together and pop back here to link up!