Words are not enough xxx

07:52 Karen 9 Comments

I have gone a little off piste with my Just One Sketch and skipped No 10 and gone onto No 11. I think that No 10 - to use lots of layers, will be right up my street but decided to do No 11 - a page without photos because it fitted in so nicely with what I was doing at the time. Unless you have been living in a cave in darkest Siberia you will know that Gracia, after months of hard work, has been offered a place at Med School. I wanted to tell her how proud of her we are and so wrote her a very long letter to that effect. I then thought - perfect I can copy it and put it into an envelope and use it on my 'layout without photos'.

It was easier than I had thought because I started by placing all my pieces of paper and kind of pretended that the envelope was a photo. Embellished the page and then embellished the envelope.

What a result! I really didn't think that a page without any photos would mean anything but in fact this one means more to me than any other.

It is unashamedly girly and the letter is unashamedly sentimental but it is, as Amy would say, in the moment journaling. So I just have two more layouts from Just One Sketch to make. I am so sad that this challenge has ended as it is the first class that I have completed for a very long time and I really do hope that there will be a Just one Sketch II !

Reasons to be Cheerful.

1. The inspiration that Miss Smith has given to all of the Just One Sketch participants.

2. That I have made a page that incorporates such an important stage of Gracia's life journey.

3. I have booked next Friday off work and hope that I can get my 'jumble sale, of a house whipped into some sort of order before my friend comes for lunch!



Introducing ...................................................

22:57 Karen 13 Comments

................................................................ the future Dr Moss. 

 After all her hard work she has been offered a place at Med School and made us the proudest parents on the planet. 

Reason to be cheerful:

We are privileged to be able to call this wonderful, bright, beautiful, talented and compassionate young woman our daughter  xxxxx



Round and Round

00:30 Karen 10 Comments

Well its onto version 9 of my sketch for Take One Sketch - only 3 more left to do  :0(   This time we used circles on our layouts. 

I replaced the large background square piece of paper with a circle and used three photographs to replace the wide horizontal block of paper.  I then used circles to form a line top and bottom of the photos and mounted the journaling onto circles.

When I was making my page I decided to mount the title onto circles too and I did have some flowers in the bottom left corner and was going to make some for the top right but pulled them off and liked it better.  Thank goodness for my glue rubber as it removed every trace of very stick foam pads that were sticking the flowers down.  I also added a doily (cut in half) to  further enhance the circular feel of this page.

Out of all of my pages so far this is the one that is least like the original sketch and not as bumpy as my usual pages.  I do like it and the colours were driven by the yellow and green Making Memories circular paper.  I usually find papers to suit a particular photo and not the other way round so yet again I have done something out of my comfort zone.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. VAT is 75% done and Accounts are 90% done so if I work on them tomorrow evening they will be finished.

2. A weekend that has been relaxing and a mixture of doing things that were necessary and things that I really enjoyed.

3.  Off to bed for an early night and to read the trashy novel I am enjoying at the moment - pure mental chewing gum but what I need at the moment.



Honey I shrunk the sketch!

10:52 Karen 10 Comments

On to challenge No8 - to make it smaller. I still wanted a largish photo relative to the paper strips so decided to make the photo the focus of this sketch. 

I cannot remember making a page with as much white space and totally, totally love it.  I decided not to add any journaling as I didn't want to spoil all that empty space!

That's the thing about Just One Sketch, it pushes you to try things that you would not normally do and as you have the 'safety net' of your sketch to fall back on, you don't really mind.

 Reasons to be Cheerful:

1. We managed to go out to lunch yesterday and I spent a blissful hour mooching around Woodbridge, while David went to pick up his cello from the shop that services it and purchase a new bow.

2. The discovery of M&S pizza's.  Expensive but worth remembering for a special treat.

3. The sun is shining and I am hoping to go for a long walk with Kiera this afternoon.

Hope your week is a fabulous one.



Supersize Me

08:18 Karen 6 Comments

Well not actually me, I hope, because I'm supersized enough and trying to do something about it but the page for challenge No 7 from the Just One Sketch series.

 I quite liked giving it large but yesterday made the going smaller version and in fact liked that one even more. I have to say Miss Smith is a genius - this is my 7th version of the sketch and they all look so different. 

Reasons to be cheerful:

 1. Although I have the VAT return and the Tax return to do this weekend, I have planned my next page for JOS and will most certainly be doing a little cutting and sticking later! 

2. Having gotten up at 2:30 this morning (for some obscure reason I was unable to go back to sleep) I have used the time wisely and tided up the mess I made creating the large and small layouts over the last couple of days. 

 3. It is the weekend and my boy has promised me lunch out in Woodbridge - if his migraine diminishes enough by lunchtime :0(



I carry your heart with me.

07:22 Karen 7 Comments

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in] 
By E. E. Cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in 
my heart) i am never without it(anywhere 
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling) 
                                             i fear 
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want 
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true) 
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and 
whatever a sun will always sing is you 

here is the deepest secret nobody knows (here is the root of the root and the bud 
of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows 
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide) 
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
 i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart) 

 Happy Anniversary xxxxx 

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. This man is my savior.

2. This man is my rock.

3. This man makes my life whole.



It's The Simple Things.

21:12 Karen 9 Comments

I always find that it's the simple things that make me most happy and this weekend has been one very happy one. 
  • Our girl came home for the weekend

  • I went to the little crop. Although, it was the last little crop we treated it as a celebration rather than a wake and had a bring and share lunch and a little bit of scrapping.

  • I took Gracia for a  'treats only' shop at Sainsburys and we filled the basket with cakes, biscuits and chocolate and all sorts of goodies for her to take home.
  • My best girl and I sat by the Aga and watched Burlesque together, I have watched it twice in the last couple of weeks but it was so much more enjoyable watching it with my girl.
  • David bought us Pizza Hut pizza and we watched a Harry Potter DVD together.
  • This morning we had egg muffins and hash browns for breakfast (we had promised Gracia a McDonald's breakfast on Saturday as she had left Newcastle at 4:15am to get home for the weekend and the train ended up being 90 minutes late so we had missed the time McDonald's serve breakfast.
  • We went for a lovely walk at Marks Hall and then had lunch there.

  • Then unfortunately, and way too soon, it was time to take her back to the station to get the 3:30 train back to Newcastle.
So, a weekend of not very exciting activities just the simple things that make us all happy.
When we got back from taking Gracia to the station I decided to make the next layout for the Just One Sketch challenge and as luck would have it, it was to go simple. I altered my sketch and took out all the strips of paper.

Buy when it came to making the page I added one back and used a horizontal photo.  I am a girl who likes a lot on her pages, with my layouts the more you can get on a page the better.  I joke that  a layout is not finished if 
a) you can pick it up with one hand or
b) you can get more than one layout in a page protector! So to strip the sketch back to basics and then stick to it was very difficult.  I think that this layout is a simple as I can ever do.

I chose a photo from Gracia's visit in the autumn when we also went to Marks Hall.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. My girl and the lovely weekend we spent with just the three of us (plus Kiera of course).

2. The little crop and the friends it has given me.

3. The hot bath that is waiting for me.



I am not a grey girl!

13:59 Karen 7 Comments

I am not a grey girl, I am a bright, in your face, colour girl. Unlike Kirsty (Just One Sketch) who always uses muted tones, I only use bright colours. So the challenge to use colours you don't usually use was a real challenge. I pulled out a grey piece of cardstock and some pieces of eons old paper and tried and tried to make a page. 

I mirrored my sketch and then turned it 90 degrees but really struggled to make a page using the stash I had pulled out. 

 I don't do grey and I definitely don't do vintage so after many, many hours (longer than I care to admit) I have a page that I am fairly happy with. 

The back of the cardstock is testomany to the fact that I made the layout once and than pulled it apart again, also I used wet glue to make the page - a sure sign I wasn't taking much care or pride in the project! 

So my page is now done. I do like it but not enough to make another muted page in the near future. 

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Only 19 1/2 hours until my girl is home for the weekend.

2.  Going to the last little crop tomorrow.  I have so loved this crop and the opportunity it has given me to make new friends and watch the babies grow.  I really hope that I will get the chance to see the Devine Miss E grow up some more.

3. An evening of baking all sorts of goodies for my girl to take back to Uni.



She misses us as much as we miss her!

00:00 Karen 8 Comments

My beautiful bright star is coming home next weekend.  Earlier in the week she text to say that she was sad that Josh's lectures had been cancelled and he was coming home on Wednesday and staying until Sunday.  She was not sad he was going just sad she couldn't come home too.

After he had left she decided that she really wanted to come home next weekend - a real labour of love as she gets to our local station at 9:30am on Saturday (catching a train in Newcastle at 5am) and goes back at 3:30pm on Sunday - the journey usually takes her at least 4 hours, each way,  if the trains are running on time! 

Yesterday, after I had got home from the crop, there was a knock on the front door.  When I opened it Josh was there with a letter and box of chocolates that Gracia had given to him for us - before she had decided to come home. 

 How I miss my lovely sweet and generous girl and cannot wait to gather her in my arms next Saturday.


The next challenge from Kirsty for Just One Sketch was to use monochrome. I snaffled this photo from  Gracia's Facebook account so have no information as to where they were or what they were doing.  

I decided that, that was ok as not all pages have to have copious amounts of journaling telling stories in great detail.  A page without any journaling and only a very small title made from journaling blocks!  I chose to make my page in various shades of green as the tree colour was so vibrant.  I never, ever make monochrome pages but after this one that is going to change. 

I love the harmony created by only having one tone of colour.  So only two pages behind (unless Kirsty has posted today's challenge already which will then make it three)!  Off to sort out some paper and card in colours I don't usually use for Challenge no 5!

Post written on Sunday and scheduled to go live on Monday.
Reasons to be Cheerful:

1. That our girl loves us as much as we love her.

2. Being introduced to monocrome scrapping.

3. Loving that I am finally allowed to be Gracia's Facebook Friend and so have access to a whole new plethora of photos.



I'm looking in the mirror.

17:24 Karen 4 Comments

Can you believe it - two posts in one day (three if you count the EK post)!

While at the crop on Saturday I managed to make three pages! What has happened I hear you cry, but I was on a roll as I had 4 pages for Just One Sketch to catch up on and then decided to use up the scraps from my ATDML DT kit to make one final page.  I only had tiny bits and pieces left but enough to place either side of a very large photo so that they looked as though the spanned the page.  

The final remains of these papers have been consigned to the rubbish bin as even I, the most frugal scrapper in existence, could not make anything else out of what was left!

A little sneak peek of my page.

Ok - the 3rd challenge from Kirsty's Just One Sketch was to make a mirror image of your page.  Now my problem is that I like symmetry and my sketch is quite similar when it is turned or mirrored.  

I worried that all my pages are going to look the same but no - I made a mirror image 

  - added a little extra embellishment at the bottom of the photo 

and I had a new and unique looking page.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1.  Being pushed creatively by the Just One Sketch challenges.

2.  That my girl is such a cheeky madam (the photo was several years old as her teeth are beautifully straight now).

3. Manufacturers who make sparkly, bright, cheerful scrapbook papers.



08:02 Karen 4 Comments

Well it's jolly cold here - the first snow of the winter and I have to say we are so, so cold.  I really must get David chivvied on to sort out the heating in the house.

On a much happier note, it was the EK crop yesterday and although it wasn't maxed out we had a fair few ladies and, as always, a great time was had by all.  It was lovely to see all the ladies, especially Denise.

It was my turn to teach this month and the project was a back to back book with the title 'A Few of my Favourite Things'. It was interactive and had tags and lift the flap pages along with photos that pulled out.  I really enjoyed designing the project and I think the ladies really enjoyed making it. 

 Details of the project can be seen here.

Reasons to be Cheerful:

1. A surprise visit from Josh bearing chocolates and a letter from my Golden Girl!

2. Spending time with my girl friends crafting, chatting and eating cupcakes.

3. A husband who makes me hot water bottles and then warms my side of the bed up before I come to bed.