Ladies That Lunch

19:23 Karen 2 Comments

Hoooooraaaaaaay - I have finally finished the year end accounts! It has taken me quite a while over the past week and now I feel that I can reward myself with a little scrapping (or maybe a lot - I will just have to see how I feel). I am feeling quite giddy with the relief of getting it done.

Today, I had two of my friends over for lunch, Eileen an old friend (not in years as she is much younger than me) and Karen who is quite a new friend but both very good company and I am very fond of both of them. I made this for lunch

mmmmmmm delicious sundried tomato and smoked cheese flan.

We spent several hours chatting and putting the world to rights and finalising a little plan we have for the new year.

Karen also talked about digi scrapping - something I have been thinking about but a little too daunted to try. After listening to her I decided to have a go and am really pleased with the results. A lo which only took about 45minutes to complete - a first for me as my pages usually take ages because I 'faff' about so much. I used this template as the basis of my lo.

I am going now as I am doing the soup run today (sandwiches and hot drinks for the local homeless). I am quite excited about it as I have never done it on New Year's Eve before and am looking forward to seeing all the people in town dressed up for parties and clubbing.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. A good lunch with good friends gives you a warm fuzzy feeling.

2. Doing the soup run makes you grateful for having a home, no matter how rough it is sometimes, at least I only have to stand in the cold, rain or snow for an hour - those poor folks have to sleep out in it.

3. This reason I am especially pleased about - I am one of the runner's up in the Scrapbooker of the Year competition in The Scrapbook Magazine.

Have a very happy and safe new yearxxx



A Little More Making and Baking

15:54 Karen 2 Comments

Well in the mania I call life at the moment, I have managed to do a little more making and baking.

First the baking - I made 10 stained glass Christmas tree biscuits for Gracia to give to her friend Josh and a few spare for her other friends. Now this is where it gets complicated as one of her best friends is called Josh and her b/f is also called Josh so we call the friend Joshie Josh and the b/f is just Josh. The biscuits were for Joshie Josh! They had decided that due to the lack of funds they would make each other's Christmas presents this year and so true to form I ended up making them on the morning they were required!

Also, I made 60 candy cane Reindeer

and a Crunchie bar reindeer (for the little girl who is gluten intolerant!

Unfortunately, they are still in a herd on my dresser because on the last day of term school was closed due to adverse weather conditions - still a nice little surprise for the children when we return in the New Year.

Finally, a little album documenting a walk we went on in the snow on Sunday. I made the album using 6 different snowflakes from this digi kit and the seasonal words are from this kit.

Well, I have had my allotted 15 minutes sanctuary on the computer and must return to the mayhem that awaits me in the kitchen!

I will wish you all a Very Merry Christmas now as I may not get a chance to later on in the week.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. I have finally managed to wrap all the presents.

2. Things can't get any more manic.

3. At this time of year the most important thing to be cheerful about is

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son Catholic Gospels - Matthew, Luke, Mark, John - Inspirations of the Holy Spirit John 3:16-18



A Funny Thing Happened To Me On The Way To The Restaurant!

17:57 Karen 3 Comments

What a funny day, in a strange sort of way, yesterday was. It all started with getting up to discover that there had been 5 inches of snow in the night and that we only had half power on our electricity - I never knew that could happen I thought you either had electricity or a power cut. There was not enough power for the boiler to ignite - no heating or hot water, not enough power for the radio to work, not enough power for the computer to turn on but luckily enough power for the lights to work dimly!

School was cancelled but the meal at the restaurant, later in the evening, was due to go ahead. Gracia and I decided to walk into town through the woods - what an absolutely fabulous site they were.

She said "When did we walk through the wardrobe into Narnia?" and it really did look like we had. I can't remember ever seeing the trees and fields looking so magically white.

After returning from shopping it was time to get ready to go out for the meal - well what a funny old do that was! I couldn't have a bath because the boiler wasn't working, couldn't have a shower because it is an electric power shower an that wouldn't work so decided to boil the kettle and have a good wash and wash my hair in the bathroom sink. I checked my hair dryer would work first though! As soon as I had poured a jug of water over my hair the power completely failed - leaving me in the dark with dripping wet hair. David had to come to the rescue with a torch while I tried drying it over the AGA hotplate. He did say he was trying to think of something that would dry my hair but that wouldn't require electricity - funnily enough I declined the offer of him drying my hair with the blow torch on the basis that going out with wet hair was better than going out without any hair at all! So to end this story I had to phone the person I was giving a lift to the restaurant to and say we had to leave early as I had to sort out my hair and put on my make up once we got there. He only lives a couple of hundred mtrs away but he had electricity!

When I go up this morning the electricity had been restored and I was greeted with this beautiful set of icicles hanging from a pipe in the garden.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. The snowy walk was really brilliant - good company, beautiful scenery and fabulous photo opportunities.

2. The meal was fabulous and we chatted and danced until way too late for a woman of my age.

3. I laugh in the face of adversity!



Making and Baking

18:58 Karen 3 Comments

What a busy weekend I have had, but a very productive one.

On Friday, I endured a 4 hour Christmas shop around our local town and managed to get all but 2 presents (not including the ones for David and Gracia - I haven't even given that a thought yet). I am really pleased with my purchases as I took great care in choosing things I thought people would really like - I hope they do.

On Saturday I went to our local crop and had such a lovely relaxing time. I managed to finish one page and get another one started. When I got home Gracia had her b/f round so I was justified in spending the evening in the dining room, well it would be rude to sit in the lounge and play gooseberry wouldn't it? So while I was in the dining room I finished the page I had started and made 3 pages for my JYC album. I am putting off the one for yesterday as I want to journal about how Christmas will be so different this year without dad but need to have time to compose myself properly before I do.

Another hybrid page - I am so loving doing hybrid, I really enjoy the mix of digi and touchie feelie scraping. I find the cutting out of the elements really relaxing. For this page I used this kit and this kit for the digi elements.

Don't you just love those felt flowers? BOGOF at Tesco and so two packs were only £2.20 - what a bargin! These photos are from the pieces Gracia was in on Wednesday at College. I used a Pencil Lines sketch as the inspiration. The digi kits I used are this one and this one.

JYC pages

Today, I was taking the pre preschoolers for Sunday School and we were learning about the Christmas story. They were so funny - we had to have a discussion about Christmas trees, Disneyland Paris and what they had for breakfast today before they were prepared to get onto the story! This is one of my favourite stories to teach them as they always love it and usually can remember it from their playschool nativity. We usually do some cooking with them as 1hour 15 minutes is a long time to find things for them to do. So today we made sheep cupcakes to remind them of the Shepherds visiting Baby Jesus (well that was my excuse and I am sticking to it). I just like to find any excuse to cook with them as they enjoy it so much.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. I have almost finished my 'other people' Christmas shopping.

2. I have finished my cards that have to be posted and will write them tonight while I am watching the X Factor final.

3. Just thinking about the fun times I had yesterday with the girls is making me smile. a big THANK YOU to all of you.



It's Beginning To Feel A Lot Like Christmas

16:13 Karen 2 Comments

Christmas is beginning to slowly infiltrate me (sorry that sounds a bit rude) and work its magic. I was privileged enough to watch the KS1 Nativity play again, this afternoon, and am amazed at how those little snips of people have learnt so many lines and songs. It was word perfect and the behaviour was exemplary. So a great big WELL DONE to all those little stars.

Also I have managed to complete my pages for days 7 and 8 of my Christmas journal. As I have now done so many pages without photos I feel that the whole journal will have to be photoless and am treating it as a fancy diary type project for the month! Making the decision to eliminate photos from the project has made it so much easier and I now think that it is achievable.

Very fuzzy photos as evidence for the things mentioned on my page 8 (there was virtually no natural light when I left for work this morning and even less when I got home this evening):-

Decorated Acro Jack disappearing through the hole in the ceiling!

Beam with decorations - I love that mirror ball so much.

Snow scene, complete with skating couple.

Advent calendar, with pockets filled so the Christmas fairies don't forget again.

Little drummer boy, who has hung from our front door frame for the past two years.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. I have finally gotten around to sorting out my Christmas present list.

2. It hasn't rained today - a rarity over the past few months.

3. Out with David tonight to see Gracia's show and I am going to suggest we have 'chip shop chips' and egg for tea on our return - yum!



Playing 'Catch Up' With A Little Success

16:26 Karen 2 Comments

After a very busy few days I am beginning to get my Christmas in order. Yesterday David and Gracia put up the decorations, I have made some of my Christmas cards and have even bought my first Christmas present.

Also, I am catching up with my entries for my Journal Your Christmas album. Yesterday, I managed to get my page for the 6th finished, today I hope to get my 7th and 8th completed and some more cards made. I am still not getting the 'Christmas' buzz yet but live in hope that it will burst upon me sometime soon!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Science day at school - going on an imaginary expedition to Antarctica - was very informative and exciting for both me and the children.

2. Paying a surprise visit to David after work today made my afternoon - boy do I love that man!

3. I am so looking forward to Gracia's piece in the 6th Form College show tomorrow.



Happy Days

07:15 Karen 1 Comments

I am really enjoying making the pages for my Journal Your Christmas book and have managed to keep up so far - I am determined not to give myself too much grief if, or should I say when, I fall behind.

I was up to a very silly time getting things ready for a craft fair I am at on Saturday, my first and I hope I have pitched my goods and prices right. To say I am a bit nervous about it would be an understatement.

The Christmas fairy keeps forgetting to come and put things in Gracia's Advent Calendar and then has to put extra things in to make up for it. The Christmas fairies have always come to our house to leave little gifts on the days running up to Christmas. In fact we used to have 'fairies' in the garden, who with the Christmas Fairies, would leave Gracia little notes and letters telling her about their day to day lives and asking her questions which required letters from her in response - a great way to get a reluctant writer to start writing. I still have some of the letters and her replies in my 'special box'.

My pages 2 and 3 from Journal Your Christmas.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. I am going to watch the KS1 nativity play today and those 4, 5 and 6 year olds are just so cute.

2. Someone invented Red Bull - a staple in my lunch box this time of year!

3. Out to lunch - you may say that I am out to lunch most of the time (note: - 'out to lunch' is a phrase to describe someone who is crazy), with a girlfriend today, last time we went for lunch we were still there over 4 hours later!



Ops I Did It Again!

07:16 Karen 4 Comments

In the chaos that I call normal life I have yet again lost another week somewhere - if you see it please tell it to come back home as at this time of year it will be welcomed back with open arms! I always intend to blog more regularly and now the discipline of Shimelle's class has gone I have failed yet again :)

So amongst all the mania that is Christmas I signed up to do Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas class. On Sunday I was asking myself why when I looked at my diary and realised how much I have committed to over the next few weeks. I haven't bought one Christmas present, written a single card or even thought about Christmas preparations so why did I sign up for this madness?

Yesterday when I made my first page I knew exactly why - making a little something each day will be an oasis of calm in a month of madness. I am just so glad I made the decision to carry on. So here is my first page and the front cover of my album. It is 7 x 5 which is a good size to put a photo on if I want (not sure if I am going to include photos) but small enough not to be too daunting. I admire the ladies who are doing 37 12 x 12 pages this year! I have called my album 'Christmas Wishes' because that is exactly what it is going to be.

5 Random Facts About Me
(for the Putting Smiles On Faces Award)

1. I used to be a Morris Dancer
2. My absolutely favourite sandwich is Cheese and Marmalade.
3. I am convinced I am a child trapped in an adults body - that would explain so much!
4. I get up at 6.00am every day - even at weekends (and this is out of choice)!
5. I used to be an underwear designer making and selling my own range of silk undies!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. I have made the decision to cancel 2 events I had committed to and now feel much better, having freed up a couple of Saturday afternoons.

2. At school, you now have to wade through a sea of glitter, tinsel and sequins - I love it as the children are getting so excited.

3. Egg on toast of breakfast - what a fantastic start to the day.

Hope you have a lovely day.



Just A Little Show and Tell

07:57 Karen 6 Comments

A quick post, before I shoot off to work (and oh boy am I glad to be back) to show what I made with Shimelle's Polka Dot Papers and Autumn Apples Embellishments last week.

Place setting for Thanksgiving.

For this page I also used this digi kit too.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. I am glad to be back at work.

2. The three young girls who offered to help at Rainbows yesterday turned out to be far more helpful than I had anticipated - note to self - don't judge on appearances!

3. I live in hope that it will stop raining some time soon!



Blog Hopping Love xxx

19:47 Karen 4 Comments

I originally started blogging as a way of keeping my parents updated of our day to day lives. They live almost 200 miles away, you may not feel that that is a great distance if you live in the states. Gracia is their only grandchild and so by blogging I was able to keep them informed of any exciting events that happened, complete with photographs which my dad would 'snaffle' off my blog and on our too infrequent visits we would find them on the walls in his office.

I than discovered the blogging community and was amazed when my blog hit 1,000 views in September, this year. I was surprised that people would be interested is our daily life!

I now blog more frequently than I used to and find it therapeutic to write down my thoughts and recollections of the day but I also, through Shimelle's class, have discovered a whole new world of bloggers that I follow for various reasons to add to the ones I had cyberstalked previously.

The blogs I follow most frequently are:-

Kirsty Wiseman - because there have been times when, whilst drinking a cup of tea and blog hopping, I have come across her blog, read it and snorted with laughter and tea has escaped through my nose! Not a pleasant sight but it happened!

Papermaze's blog - because of the awesome designs and brilliant instructions.

Pencil Lines - how can one sketch be transformed so differently by such inspiring designers?

Karen Cole
- you have to go and look at this girl's work and you will be blown away!

Allison Kimball - a woman who is an inspiration to me, a wonderful mother, devout follower of God and an brilliant scrapper too!

SJ - just because she is one of the funniest people I know and she has such a way with words.

And a few new ones I have discovered over the past three weeks:-

Amy - love her scrapping and journaling style.

Sian - this woman is simply a genius at writing things down in a unique way - so funny.

Angela - another very funny lady (can you see a theme running through here - to get on my blog list you have to make me laugh)

Eileen - just because she is my bud and I like to know what is going on that she hasn't told me about (I am very nosey really perhaps that's why I love blog hopping)!

There are so many more blogs out there waiting to be discovered I just can't wait!

But I will leave you with a couple of peeps of a project I made this week.

AND yes looking at this you can see I hand cut 48 leaves for my tree!

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. There is a whole world out there waiting to be discovered.

2. The heating is on - the water is hot and as soon as I pick Gracia up from her ballet lesson I will be in that hot bath I have promised myself all day.

3. Clean sheets on the bed to snuggle into after my bath - bliss.