Don't say I didn't warn you!

14:11 Karen 6 Comments

So here we are then - I did warn you. A paper version of the digi page from the last post.

I mixed it up a little, used different papers, made it 8.5 x 11 and used my craft robo to cut out a little suitcase and camera, made some fancy paper clips by glue dotting a couple of these flowers onto two paper clips, added the obligatory bling in the form of Prima pearls and there we go a finished page that I have to admit I really like it but it took considerably longer to make then the digi one. Also, this one has confident spelled correctly!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. The travellers have reached Greece and are staying put for a week of sunning themselves.

2. David going to work this morning which meant that I could play, with paper and glue, in guiltless peace.

3. The King's Speech is loaded in the DVD player and waiting for me to press play, once I have made my cup of tea.

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A little trip to the dark side.

13:06 Karen 13 Comments

It seems ages since I last dabbled in a little digi - so last night, whilst watching Shurlock Holmes (the beauty of doing a digi lo) and after a quick phone call from the kids, who had phoned up to ask us to look up directions on Google Maps, I decided to have a bash at Jessica Sprague's Template Tuesday.

So a pleasant 30 minutes later I had made the page.

You just know what is going to happen now don't you? Yep - I will have to make a paper version.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Out for supper with 3 friends from work.

2. Off for a walk with my best 4 legged girlie.

3. A few more pages of my Explore book finished today.



Awards and Catching Up

12:22 Karen 9 Comments

First of all a big thank you to Alison for awarding me this blog award.

In return I have to tell you 7 things about me .........................................

1. I have lived with my husband for 27 years and in those 27 years have only lived in a finished house for 7 months, all the rest of the time the houses have been works in progress and the one that I have lived in for the past 19 years is still a work in progress.

2. I got married on my birthday and everyone in the church sang happy birthday to me before the ceremony began.

3. I have been a vegetarian for over 20 years but there are so many vegetables that I don't like.

4. I get up very early every day (including Sundays) normally about 6am. Once I am awake I have to get up.

5. I am under 5 foot tall and my husband is 6 foot tall.

6. When Gracia was born the doctors told me she was a boy and I believed them. Instead of thinking 'is he healthy' I thought ' Oh no - I have to go through this again to get my girl'. Fortunately, their joke didn't last long!

7. For over 10 years I was a member of an all ladies morris dancing troupe and we danced all over the country.

I am going to send the award off to

Sue - She makes the most awesome cards.
Eileen - just because she is my best bud.
Karen - A cornucopia of crafting loveliness.
Lizzie - Such a lovely storyteller and talented bookbinder.
Deb - Because she has the most quirkiest sense of humor and her and penguin together are so funny.
Denise - You only have to take a peep at her blog to be filled with awe at the lovely creations she makes.
Alexa - a very talented, inspirational and generous digital scrapper.

Now onto more craft orientated things. After purloining the map and making it into embellishments I then had to use them on a page.

I wanted to revisit my word for this year 'Believe' as it was languishing in a corner and feeling very lonely and unloved! Not enough self belief been going on recently. Others may disagree but I am good a putting on a front! So I downloaded a cutting file for the title, chose 4 photographs taken at a very scarey outing to Go Ape, found a quote and made my page.

I am now almost ready to start on this week's prompts.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Only 21 more days (I am even more excited now because I thought it was 28 and when I checked it is only 21).

2. My really painful back caused through lifting a heavy box incorrectly, is now much better and I think I will be ok to start exercising again on Monday.

3. My printer is now fixed. It said that it needed maintenance and would not work but after serious googling I found a man who for the princely sum of £2.99 sent me a cd which fixed the problem. Apparently Epsons have a counter that stops the printer working after so many prints and they have to be sent back to get it reset!



Is he going to miss the Outer Hebrides?

07:48 Karen 13 Comments

What is a girl to do when she is behind with her Explore prompts and it calls for embellishments made using maps? What alternative does she have when her colour printer is awaiting repair? How can she hope to catch up? The answer is to sneak out to the car, grab his road atlas and rip out the map for the Outer Hebrides with the hope that he never goes there!

Mission accomplished - 10 embellishments made using map paper, nine for a page and one for the playbook.

Catching up but I haven't even allowed myself to look at this week's prompts until I have caught up with last week's ones!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Necessity is the mother of invention!

2. Planning a little solo adventure for next week.

3. A secret stash of Galaxy counters :o)



A little hidden surprise!

13:48 Karen 8 Comments

Does hoping to study Biomedical Science mean that you have to start experimenting by growing your own bacteria in your bedroom? A little hidden surprise found this morning! Now that could be a alcohol ink pattern that Tim Holtz would be proud of!

I also am living in hope that I can catch up with my Explore class this weekend.
Reasons to be cheerful:

1. A long telephone conversation, this morning, with my intrepid explorers.

2. Today is the start of the 6 week holiday.

3. Brie on toast for lunch.



An Adventurous Moment

16:00 Karen 5 Comments

I am on to day 2 of the Explore class (most people are on day 3 but as we all know I like to be different). So what has Shimelle in store for us today?

A bit of a tricky one this - "What moment in your life felt your most adventurous?" I immediately knew the moment but was unsure if I could share the reasons why I was unsure but then decided that on the whole, only nice people read and write blogs and so I ought to be brave.

Ok. I think one of the bravest and most adventurous things I have ever done is abseil down the town hall. I am really afraid of heights, cannot climb a ladder if it is too high and once had to be hauled in through a window because I had climbed up a ladder and was too afraid to climb back down. But saying that, about 10 years ago when we only had a tarpaulin on the roof and David was away, the wind blew the tarpaulin off and I went up on the roof to retie it. I only got the shakes afterwards when I thought about what I had done. I had Gracia standing in the garden with Grandma's number on speed dial in case anything untoward happened. But I digress, as usual, I had signed up to do the abseil for a charity event on an impulse and as the day drew nearer I worried that I would not be able to do it.

On the actual day I just drew a big breath and pushed myself to go over the edge. The worse thing was that, because of a ledge sticking out from the building, the rope didn't allow my feet to touch the wall properly and so I just dangled to the bottom with only my toes occasionally touching the wall.

Why, didn't I want to share this with you? Well because the abseil was on a Sunday and the Thursday before I got a phone call from my Mum to say that my Dad had suddenly died.

I drove the 200 mile journey to Shropshire in a daze and on the way made the decision that I would return on the Saturday, abseil on the Sunday and drive back to Mum on the Monday. Whenever I think about the abseiling it was my leap of faith in more ways than one.

Next question from Shimelle "When did you last write a post card? Have you received any lately?" Well I cannot remember the last time I sent a postcard but today we have to send one to ourselves with our greatest adventure on - maybe I will write something else, something personal that is happening this week and I want to remember but not share. AND finally, the 'have you received any postcards lately' question. I have to say - NOT A SINGLE ONE from our little intrepid explorer and that had better be rectified soon!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. The sun is shining and it is a glorious summer day outside.

2. The lounge has been hoovered and tidied, a load of washing done and hung out and I have found the memory stick with the children's 'Wizard of Oz' literacy work that we have been working on for the past 7 weeks - what a result for this time in the morning. (post written at 7:30am and scheduled to post at 4:00pm)

3. Only 28 more days!



It's not just The Girl who is off exploring!

21:05 Karen 10 Comments

With my lovely girl off exploring Europe I thought it was time for me to do some exploring of my own! I gave in at the last moment - pressed the paypal button and spent a miserly £10.00 on Shimelle's latest class. This was as a bit of a treat to myself to compensate for the fact The Girl is away and also something to look forward to doing in the summer hols.

The opening paragraph says 'Over the next four weeks, we’ll set out on a personal adventure, exploring the world around us and taking note of those surroundings in a new way. It’s about seeing those little details in a new light, changing some definitions and giving new things a try' well I'm certainly up for that and say "Bring it on Shimelle!"

So prompt one was to take a self portrait - Eeeeek, make a 'playbook' and then write a few lines about whether you have felt creative lately, if you look outside your window, do you see potential - as it is dark outside I freestyled on this answer and why you are taking the class.

I decided to make my book from 6 x 4 filing cards as they already had lines for writing on and grabbed a bunch that I had waiting to be filled, cut two pieces of card and covered them in some scrap pieces of paper, stuck my hand into my sticker draw and used the first ones that I picked up, found a parcel label and some letter stickers .

In no time at all I have my 'playbook' complete with its first entry.

How simple and easy has it been so far? (This doesn't include the trauma of taking a self portrait).

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. After a few complications, The Girl and her beau are safe and well and have reached Interlaken.

2. Looking forward to bowling with the Y6 leavers tomorrow.

3. Deciding to go exploring.



Gracia & Josh's Big Adventure - Part 1

07:30 Karen 10 Comments

Well, today's the day, having gotten up at 2am and dropped the kids off at St Pancras International to catch the 5:25am train to Paris, I am back home and feeling more than a little lost. Gracia text-ed me within five minutes of David and I leaving the station to say that she was missing us already and when I switched on my laptop there was an email from her to say she will miss us loads and can't wait to see us again!

A very quick, snatched photo as I wasn't supposed to take one and got told off! Look at her backpack - it weighs almost as much as she does and contains essentials such as hair straighteners!

I am so glad that she is going to have the opportunities that we have always wanted for her. In fact - in 2009, I made a layout saying that I wanted her to travel, go to music festivals and do all the things we never had a chance to do!

So for the next 5+ weeks they are going to
Benicassim (Spain) for a 4 day music festival
Greece for a week-long beach holiday with Josh's family.
xxx HOME xxx

Only another 38 days and they will be home (not that I'm counting or anything)!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. That we have brought up a daughter who is confident enough to go backpacking around Europe at just 18.

2. That both kids are sensible and will look after each other and stay safe at all times.

3. That we can let her go and not let her know how much it hurts to do so.

Stay safe my baby.



Did you miss me?

19:08 Karen 15 Comments

We have been for a whirlwind visit to Mum's in Shropshire. Driving down on Friday afternoon the journey took 5 hours and coming back today it only took 3!

Gracia really wanted to go and see grandma before she goes travelling and this was the only opportunity we had so we took it. We all had an absolutely fabulous time, it was good to spend quality time with mum and Gracia. Gracia is mum's only grandchild so was in for just a little spoiling, as you can imagine.

Whilst there I did a little lounge scrapping, not something I do very often as I prefer to scrap on a table and not on the floor but in order to maximise on the time with mum and get a bit of crafting done it was a good solution.

First on Friday evening I finished a page I had started at the last crop but had put away and forgotten.

On Saturday evening and this morning, before we left, I made a page using this sketch for this challenge.

I love the Once upon a Sketch blog but haven't had the time to have a go at the last two challenges.

So this is our last week before the big travel adventure begins - we will make the most of the time Gracie is at home. I have to get the class sorted for the crop on Saturday and finish the costumes that I am making for the school's performance of The Wizard of Oz. Not much to do then :)

Also I apologise for not commenting on blogs - I came back to 115 to read and I am leaving that little task until later!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Safe journeys both to and from mums - over 420 safe miles in total.

2. A lovely weekend with 3 generations of our family all acting like children!

3. Coming back home to David.