Santa Doesn't Rock - He Swings!

08:27 Karen 0 Comments

After a fabulous Boxing Day walk the girls, who did the whole walk in their Santa hats, found a swing in the garden of the family who hoasted the walk and couldn't resist sharing it (as they do with most things)! I am so glad we invited Hannah along as Gracia and Hannah walked the whole 4 miles without a single moan and in fact finished long before we did.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. So far I am keeping up with my photo a day.
2. David seems to be a little better after his 2 day major migrane.
3. We are meeting up with the Webdale family for a walk and back to our house for tea - I anticipate a fun afternoon.


xxxxx A Very Happy Christmas To Us xxxxx

08:42 Karen 1 Comments

What an absolutely fabulous Christmas Day! - It started with midnight Communion.

Then after going to bed at 1.00am I had to wake Gracia up at 8:30 because I could not wait any longer for her to open her stocking - she still climbs into our bed for this :) A cooked breakfast (one of the few times during the year that I make an effort and 'do a fry up') Then, all the things on my Christmas list and more, a long walk with my most favourite walking companions (David, Gracia and Kiera) relaxing, and planning projects from Cath Kidstone's book (a present from Gracia). Dinner at David's sisters house - who, with the help of the fabulous Dot, cooked dinner for 16 people. Wallace and Gromit on the TV and then home to copious amounts of chocolate biscuits and chocolate. What more could you ask from a Christmas day?

Guess what we all had on our Christmas list!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. I am still basking in the glow from an absolutely fabulous Christmas Day spent with family.

2. We are going on a long, organised, Boxing Day dog walk followed by a delicious lunch with friends (hopefully Hannah is going to come to keep Gracia company.

3. I am going to play with my new BIA (thank you KarenC) this afternoon.


Christmas Greetings

18:18 Karen 0 Comments

So far so good with the photo taking! We have just returned from a few days at my parents, in Shropshire, and had a fabulous time (waves to mum and dad xxxx). Gracia was thoroughly spoilt, as usual, being my mum's only grandchild and my little sis was there for a couple of days too so we had an early Christmas celebration.

We also went to Telford to do some last minute shopping and the centre was absolutetely spectactular with its grotto and decorations. Gracia managed to spend nearly £50 on new clothes (what a surprise).

Tonight we are going to the late night service at church, 11.15pm and Gracia is doing one of the readings. The church will be my photo for today, I hope.

I wish anyone who reads my blog a very happy, safe and healthy Christmas and all you would wish yourself for the New Year.

Reasons to be cheerful

1. We have all had a fantastic few days visiting family.

2. For the first time ever I have all my presents wrapped, the house relatively tiday and am ready for the big day.
3. The most important reason to be happy today "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son".


It's A Wrap

21:48 Karen 0 Comments

I am going to try to take a photo everyday over the holidays as a reminder of how we spend our time. This year is different to how we normally spend Christmas as circumstances have dictated that we change things around a little. Today's photo is of all the presents I wrapped today - these are only the ones for friends and family and not the ones I have for David and Gracia!

Yesterday was a slow day (too much partying on Friday night) spent tidying up the lounge and boy did it need it and then I went to Girls Club where Caroline, Helen and I helped the girls from our church make Christmas themed crafts. They made cards, 2 different ones, dolly peg angels, baked cakes, made chocolate Christmas pudding truffles, decorated gingerbread biscuits to name but a few things.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. I have almost finished wrapping presents (the job I hate most at Christmas)
2. I have finished all my Christmas shopping.

3. I am now off for a well deserved early night.


Deck The Halls ...................

22:04 Karen 0 Comments

.......... Sadly, not with boughs of holly as our holly tree has very few berries this year :(

I love this time of year when the frost is really thick first thing in the morning and everything looks so magical. The view from my gate onto the heath was just spectacular this morning.

I especially love the first Sunday in December because that is the day we put up or Christmas decorations. Gracia and I are really big on Christmas – the Christmas fairies still come every night and put a little something into her Advent Calendar!

Note the Acro Jacks (I have two in my lounge) that go from a hole in my lounge floor – through holes in the ceiling – through the room above (which incidentally, does not even have a ceiling) – right up to the roof joists. Well, at least they are somewhere to put some extra tinsel!

Also, at this time of year, I love how excited the children at school get and the fact that our social life goes into orbit (well we do at least go out several times in December). For example, David and I went to a Mozart concert yesterday and then for a pizza after – it is the first time we have been out for a meal with just the two of us for ages. It was such an eye opener though, coming out of the restaurant at 11.30 and seeing the delights of Colchester’s youth, literally rolling out of the pubs and clubs, girls sitting on the kerbs and being sick or fighting in the street and dressed in only tiny shorts and tops and when there was a thick frost on the ground – only another couple of years and Gracia will be old enough to drink – eeeek. I think I am turning into a grumpy old woman as I was so outraged by how they were behaving, without any dignity or self respect.

I have made 25 of the 50+ Christmas cards I need to make this afternoon – a really simple design for speed as I have left it so late! I now only have to get them written and in the post tomorrow. I have cut out the componants for all the others so they should get finished by Friday, I hope!

Finally, a little peek at the page I have made for a class using my January Scrapagogo kit.

I really must get it together and get the pages I made last week at Wyverstone photographed and uploaded.

Reasons to be cheerful:
1. We put up the Christmas decorations today.
2. I am so blessed to be living where I do, even if the house still needs a lot of work.
3. I have made a vast inroad into my Christmas card making!


10 Days Late

19:25 Karen 0 Comments

Tuesday 11th November
Where does the time go? I am sure that it was only a couple of days ago that I posted but Nooooooo it was ages. I love this time of year when the days are crisp and the leaves are such beautiful colours. We went walking locally on Sunday and I managed to snap some autumnal lovlies - yes I do mean David and Gracie. It is not often that I manage to get a photo of them together (David hates being photographed and hates being scrapped even more!) I love that when she walkes with her dad she often still holds his hand - the bond between them is incredable even though he is coming to terms with the rapid speed she is growing up at the moment much better than I am. Don't you just love Gracia's autumn walking outfit - denim shorts and red wellies!

I have been hording all the little scraps of paper from my Scrapagogo kits, because they are always so beautiful, and decided to put them to good use. I drew a 1 inch margin around a piece of white cs and then drew 4 rows of 2.5 inch squares and then used 32 different patterened paper triangles to fill the squares. I machine sewed these all down and used a Bazzill In Stitchz around the edge. I then found a fantastic quote about families being like a quilt stitched together and used my Dymo and some Core D'inations cardstock for the journaling!

I also made a lo using bits and pieces from loads of different Scrapagogo kits and am rather pleased with it, even if I do say so myself :) Don't you just love the face that David pulls when I ask him for a kiss. When he saw this lo he said "Stop scrapping me!" - Yeh like I going to even think about that - he he he he he.

Friday 21st November

This post has been languishing on Blogger waiting to be posted for the last 10 days and I completely forgot about it because when I originally tried to post it Blogger was playing silly beggers and would not let me post.

So now I can post my two los for Scrapagogo's November kit and ...................................

....................... some little peeks of what I have been working on for December!

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. I absolutely love my new short haircut.
2. I am just about to watch 'The Holiday' as our girly night in film with Gracia - fabulous feelgood Christmassy film!


Mamma Mia - Here we go again!

16:55 Karen 0 Comments

And I certainly would if I had the chance. Gracia and I went to see the film yesterday (I know everybody else in the whole world has seen it already, but we are late starters) and if I had the time we would have gone again today, we loved it so much! It was the start of one of our rare 'girly days'. The lyrics from the song 'Slipping Through My Fingers' really struck a cord and made me realise how quickly the next 3 years will go and then Gracia will be off to uni and if I have done my job properly - be completely independant (other than needing financial support).

After going to the cinema we went into Ipswich for an afternoon shopping. Gracia shopped for England and I wisely took a newspaper to read during the lenghy time spent in changing rooms trying on her potential purchases.

The weeks seem to fly by at the moment and I am finding it difficult to find time to do much scrapping BUT I did manage a day at Wyverstone on Saturday and made 2 los and a mini book.

The lo was from a kit and I have been waiting to scrap these photos of Gracia when she was a 10 year old tomboy for ages

A sneaky peek of the star mini book and a lo I made with the latest Scrapagogo kit which is so beautiful - it is almost edible.

Also as a special treat to myself I spent the day at Eileen's on Tuesday and made a patchwork lo out of bits of paper left over from Scrapagogo kits.

Speaking of Scrapagogo their November kit is now on line and available for single kit purchases. Just pop over and have a look but don't blame me for the dribble on your keyboard - it is simply gorgeous.

Other things this week - I have got half way down the body of the cardigan I am knitting - woooo hooooo!

I am off to help at the soup run for the local homeless tonight so am hoping it doesn't get too cold. Even if it does I still have a warm home to come back to which is more than they do - so I really shouldn't complain.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. I though I had to get the VAT done by Friday but it is not due until the end of next month!

2. Gracia and I had a fabulous day yesterday.

3. Although our house is not the warmest it is still warmer and dryer than not having a home at all.


We're All Going On A Summer Holiday .......

17:49 Karen 2 Comments

We went to see Summer Holiday yesterday and what a performance it was! Gracia looked so good with her 60's beehive and false eyelashes (not that I am just a little biased). The eldest in the show is only 24 but what talent they all have. I was especially impressed with Gracia's dancing as she gave it her all and it really showed. Her dance teacher went to see the show on Tuesday and said that out of all the dancers you could tell that Gracia was a trained dancer. I must say that the way she held her body and her dancing was something to be proud of. David and I sat through the performance, lighting up the theatre with our own little glow of pride. Gracia has absolutely loved doing this show and over the past year has been in West Side Story, Aladdin, a Dance show and a show showcasing pieces written by the Saturday Theatre group she has just left. Although she had the female lead in Aladdin she said that she has loved doing Summer Holiday more than any other show EVER!

I had to pick Gracia and three of her friends up at 1.00am this morning from the after show party and then deposit them at Becky's for a sleepover (how much sleep was actually had is debatable) so my alarm went off at 12.40! I learnt my lesson from the West Side Story after show party as David was supposed to pick Gracia and Hannah up but unfortunately fell asleep on the sofa. When he woke up he got ready for bed and only at the last minute did he remember that he had to get the girls. He was an hour late picking them up - not that they complained.

On the knitting front - I am just about to unpick my last 6 rows (the same 6 rows I have unpicked 4 times already) as after googling some of the knitting terms I have been doing it wrong. If nothing else this cardigan is certainly teaching me the meaning of perseverance.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. We have a beautiful talented daughter.
2. I finally know what the blasted knitting pattern means.
3. I have had a feeling of calm wellbeing all day and long may it last.


I feel like a knit!

17:40 Karen 0 Comments

The last thing I knitted was a red and black striped jumper, when Gracia was going through her 'Dennis the Mennis' phase. That was about 7 years ago and I have never been tempted since. One of the blogs I always try to follow is Shimelle's one and in July she mentioned that she was knitting a garment designed by a lady called Ysolda. Being nosey I went onto her website and instantly fell in love with the pattern for Matilda Jane as I knew that Gracia would look lovely in it. I bought the wool on Tuesday and started it that night. It is more complicated that I had anticipated but I will crack on and hopefully complete it by Christmas. I am now looking for some fabric to make the bow at the back and a matching skirt for her.

I have also managed to make a double, yes you read that correctly, a double lo this week (only the second double page I have attempted) and here is a little peep at it.

Oh well I must get going with my knit one, pearl one and undo the bit I did yesterday as I am sure that it is not right!

Reasons to be cheerful:-
1. It has been a beautiful bright sunny day.
2. Gracia is absolutely loving performing in Summer Holiday.
3. I have all evening to myself to do exactly as I please and more importantly eat exactly what I want.


High Tea and High Praise!

18:21 Karen 0 Comments

Woooow, what a weekend. Very busy but very satisfying. Although Gracie decide to give up her Saturday morning theatre group in September, yesterday was the first day she has been at home with nothing to do. She stayed in bed late as she has had rehearsals for Summer Holiday AND Guys and Dolls this week and looks like the walking dead. Today she has had a rehearsal at the practice hall and I have just dropped her off at the Mercury Theatre for the second rehearsal of the day - a technical rehearsal. But I am going off the point, as Gracie was in bed I got an uninterrupted morning to get my house in order - tidied, polished, hovered, washed paint and cleaned windows. At one point David was all for calling up for a second opinion as he was convinced I had completely lost my marbles - he knows that me and housework are never in the same place at the same time! How satisfying to have a tidy house for a few hours, I know that is all it will last for but never mind.

Today I have cut out the components for my Rainbows to make 'running' gingerbread men and made enough real gingerbread men for them to ice and decorate tomorrow. But the best part of today was that in-between her two rehearsals Gracie had 3 friends round, Matilda (who has been her friend since they were 8), Becky (a friend for the past 4 years) and Mim (a new friend). I made them 'high tea', well sort of - it was a modern version with pizza instead of sandwiches.

As I was making gingerbread men for the Rainbows I made 4 gingerbread ladies and iced them for the girls - this is where the high praise bit comes in. Gracie has been a little offhand this week due to tiredness and we have had several little upsets but today she said, upon spying the gingerbread ladies "Mum you are a superstar, you are so good, these are really cool". From a 15 year old girl that is high praise indeed. On that note, and with a smile from ear to ear, I am going to now go and tackle the pile of washing up start the ironing for next week and finish my cold cup of tea.

Reasons to be cheerful:
1. I am a cool mum who makes awesome gingerbread ladies.
2. I remembered to take photos for my blog.
3. I found a tiny slot this morning to do a little scrapping.


OK OWN UP!!!!!

18:28 Karen 1 Comments

OK - own up, who was it who stole half of September? Go on admit it was it you? Someone stealing the last two weeks can be the only reason I have not updated my blog, it couldn't possibly be that I have been sooooooooo busy, or could it?

Well, not much has happened only that I had to miss Wyverstone - the best crop in the universe. I had so many things that I was committed to at the weekend that something had to go and unfortunately, it was Wyverstone - ever the mother and giving the one thing that is solely for me each month up. I think that I shall soon be joining the ranks of other esteemed saints :)

As this has to be a very quick post - I still have David's suppliers to get paid before the end of the month.

I am going to show a couple of pages I have made recently, the first in the summer but not got round to photographing and the second I made the weekend before last, both experimental pieces. I journaled around the boots directly onto the photograph on 'I'm Not Old', a first for me and the shape was inspired by the shape of a piece of Making Memories paper which I drew around and cut the shape from Pop Star paper then was further inspired to cut the corner into the shape by a lo by my good friend Eileen in which she cut a bubble shape out of the corner. The photo is 3 6x4 pictures layered together as I didn't have any bigger photo paper at the time. I like the end result though.

The second one was my first attempt at dry brushing paint and I 'swirled the

blue paint for the sky then I mixed paint, glue and sand and brushed it on for the beach, finally I used shimmery water colour for the 'sea'. My Scrapagogo teamie Nichola showed us how to make a fancy edge, using stamps and punching holes in it, at the last Wyverstone crop - I used a stamp that reminded me of clouds and rolling sea and punched the holes in it and then backed it with blue card - lovely technique Nicola!

Must go as I can hear that cheque book calling and the statements grumbling at being ignored!

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. School and Rainbows have been so much fun today.
2. David said he will help me with paying the suppliers so it won’t take as long as normal.
3. Today I learnt to say 'yes Please' when David offered help instead of saying 'No it's all right and then feeling resentful because I have to do the job on my own!


Some Old & Some New

21:55 Karen 0 Comments


Finding Five Minutes

16:04 Karen 0 Comments

I really wanted to be a regular little blogger but just finding the time to post each day is impossible at the moment so I have given myself permission to post as and when I can find 5 minutes - which is NOW!

The lovely yellow pizza box containing my dt kit from Scrapagogo was waiting for me when I came home for lunch yesterday - Oh deep joy. The contents were so in keeping with my thoughts of Gracia's last year at school,that I had designed and half finished a lo before our Friday night ritual.

This comprises Gracia and I having 'chip shop' chips with something I cook, last night it was fried egg, whilst David goes off for his Chello lesson and then for tea at his Mum's. We really appreciate him giving us the time each Friday for a 'girly' night. Gracia's dance class finishes at 8.30 - just in time for me to get dinner ready and for us to 'veg' on the sofa while we eat and watch Ugly Betty. What a fabulous way to end the week.

I will leave you with a little sneaky peek of the lo I have just finished for Scrapagogo and the two I made with last month's kit.

Reasons to be cheerful:-
1. I can hear the birds singing outside.
2. We are going to a party tonight - I intend to dance my little feet off!
3. I am just about to make a cup of tea and eat a blueberry muffin - without feeling guilty.


First Day Blues

17:38 Karen 0 Comments

The first day of the last year of school for Gracia - a happy day for her but a sad one for me. Oh, where has the time gone, it only seems like a couple of years ago that I was taking her for her first day in reception. I am feeling quite nostalgic for the little girl who used to hold my hand to walk along the road and who thought that her dad and I were the only two people in the world of any importance. How can time pass so quickly without me noticing?

HeyHo, no point looking back - onwards and upwards!

I cannot believe the difference in her first day in Y11 compared to her first day in Y7. I love the fact that she has, like most teenagers, so much confidence and self belief, what a difference from that little 11 year old who was so unsure of what 'big' school had in store for her.

Reasons to be cheerful :-

1. Gracia has grown into a self assured and sensible young woman.
2. I went to lunch with two good friends and we put the world to rights.
3. I solved the ironing pile problem (I decided to put it all away unironed :))