Why I do it

07:38 Karen 12 Comments

What a thought provoking blog post from my blog friend Amy today!

I don't come from the chronological group of scrapbookers I scrap a photo just because I like it. I can scrap the same photo twice in a month



or some photos I love so much I wait until I really 'have my scrap on', or I know I am taking a class that will do them justice, because I want to make a page I really love with it on.

 Class thaught by the very talanted Denise Holmes at the recent ATDML retreat.

I scrap for the artistic/crafting buzz it gives me - it is not a want but a need, I truly have to do something creative every day to feel fulfilled and satisfied.


I scrap because looking at and working with photos of Gracia makes me feel closer to her when she is far away.


 I scrap with friends because it feels good to do something you love in with people who are close to you.


If I am honest I couldn't perceive a time when I wouldn't scrap in some form or other I loved the immediacy of digi scrapping when I dabbled in it 

and am now dipping my toe in the pool of mixed media.

As long as it gives me pleasure I will continue, I would like to say it doesn't matter what other people think of my work but that wouldn't be true or I wouldn't put it on my blog or be part of a design team or teach scrap classes but if I like it then that's all that matters!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Blog friends who make you think.

2. That I have the opportunity to scrap, almost whenever I choose to

3. My many, many craft related friends.



I can't believe what I have done!

20:18 Karen 11 Comments

Taking into account that I have a severe aversion to anything messy and as I have said before,when taking a class that involves any sort of ink, paint or misting my colours are chosen by the bottles which are the cleanest not by the colours I like best. AND that although I own lots of stamps I don't do stamping - I have absolutely amazed myself! 

Katherine posted this video onto the ATDML # Create Facebook Page and I was so in awe of the technique that I just had to try it.

So last night when David was out, as he also has an aversion to messy play, I played along with the video.

I don't have gesso and don't even know what it is, so I painted with white acrylic and sprayed and splashed

and stamped

and dribbled ink down my page.

I layered and layered and layered some more and

some layers have 4 pieces of foam tape under them

I loved it and cannot believe how enjoyable it was to do some messy scrapbooking.  I know I could have done more inking and dribbling and painting but you have to start with small steps.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Katherine for pointing out this video.

2. That David goes out on Thursdays (and Fridays for that matter) so I could make a mess in peace.

3.  It's the weekend and I hope yours is as creative as I intend mine to be. 




If Music Be The Food Of Love ........

08:37 Karen 15 Comments

I spent some time this week wondering what would be my precious for November. I thought while I was driving to work, while I was scrapping, while I was preparing dinner and all the time couldn't think what I would choose. I knew what I would use for December - something I had decided on many months ago and was saving especially for my last precious but what to use for November?

It then came to me - all the while I had been wondering what to choose it was there with me - my iPod.  I play it in the car, play it while I am cooking dinner, listen to it (on my cupcake shaped earphones, of course) while I am scrapping. In fact, if I needed to leave the house quickly I wouldn't have to look far to find it.

This is my second iPod nano.  My first was much larger and black, was a Christmas present from David.  He had had the back engraved (something you can do if you buy direct from Apple ) with 'Karen's iPod - both small and beautiful.'  

In the summer Apple ran a promotion where you could trade in old iPods for the iPod Nano 5.  I suspect that this model didn't sell as it is much smaller than the regular Nano and they now have later models.  Gracia sorted out the exchange and I am now in possession of this small but beautifully put together little number (David would still say - just like me, I  hope).  

So yes, I would be lost without it and it is very precious to me.

This post was brought to you in conjunction with Sian's Storytelling Sunday - I would suggest that it may be a lovely way to while away some Sunday time by popping over to her blog and investigating other people's precious things.

Hope your Sunday is a good one x

Reasons to be Cheerful:-

1. The sun is shining with the promise of a glorious day.

2. I am quite bizarrly looking forward to cleaning the house today.

3. My beautiful lilies that David bought me are now at their most magnificent and their scent fills the dining room x



A Rather Late Post About My Weekend

23:07 Karen 4 Comments

I spent last weekend with some fabulous ladies at the ATDML retreat. There was lovely company, stunning classes and scrumptious food. I enjoyed myself so much that I forgot to take any photos of any of the above but will try to redeem myself with some retrospective photos.

Whilst I was there I taught two classes. The first was a 6 x 6 Christmas decor box frame using absolutely gorgeous Teresa Collins Santa's List.

Although I took six classes I only managed to finish two

This magnificently beautiful page designed by Denise - love everything about it - the colours, the stamped flower (what a good friend Denise is - she knows I hate stamping so gave me a piece of paper with the flowers stamped on already).


I love the way she has used the papers, I don't think there is anything about this page that I don't absolutely love.

The second page I finished was designed by the very talented Katherine using Flea Market.  Katherine is the queen of distressing and paint flicking.  As I am known to be obsessively adverse to getting my hands inky/painty(one class teacher even mentioned that it was a good job I wasn't in their class as I would have hated to get messy. I once took a class and chose the colours of the alcohol inks I used by the fact that they were in the cleanest bottles!) 


 I didn't do any paint flicking or dressing but loved the basic layout of the page and was delighted that the photo I had chosen perfectly matched the papers and theme of the page.

The second class I taught was a mini album.  

Now this is where you may like to join in.  The album is made from Webster's Pages, New Year New You range.  The title of the range gave me the idea that I could make a mini album with pockets 


 and journaling cards in the pockets.  

I hope that everyone who took the class will do something new each month, starting in January, and then photograph and journal about it.  I then plan to have a link up party on the second Saturday of the following month to show what we have all been doing.  If you would like to join in please do - a whole year of discovering new things!  I will put a reminder out at the beginning of January and we will see just where 2014 takes us. 

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Crafting weekends with crafting friends.

2. Spending this evening making my page for Storytelling Sunday.

3. A husband who understands that sometimes, in truth most times, I put crafting before housework.



Belle for Debs

07:33 Karen 5 Comments

When I saw the photo of Carrie dressed as Belle on Debs blog a little while ago I remembered that I had a photo of Gracia dressed in a Belle outfit that I had made also. I promised to email Deb the photo and promptly forgot. 

Yesterday I remembered but alas I can't find the original photo and as it was taken before I had a digital camera I have (puts fingers in ears waiting for the screeches of protest) ripped this one off an old layout and scanned it! 

I was talking at a recent retreat - more about that in a later post, about how I pull my old layouts apart and sometimes save the embellishments and photos but throw out the remains. Most ladies were appalled! Do you do that or do you keep all your layouts. I have over 20 albums and some of the pages are no longer to my taste - I know it shows the evolution process of my scrapping but to me it is just taking up space. 

 Reasons to be cheerful:- 

1. Digital photography

2. Being reminded of happy memories by other blogs - Thanks Deb, I also scanned a couple of other photos I found to send to Gracia to make her giggle.

3. Planning another blog post in my head.  May even make it 2 today and with Story Telling Sunday tomorrow could make it three in two days!



Missing my Geordie Lass

22:40 Karen 5 Comments

Having skyped her this evening I am really missing my 'Geordie Lass' but she is home for a flying visit next weekend - the weekend I am away at ATDML retreat! Not very good planning, but it is David's mum's 80th birthday and she is coming home for the family meal.

Reasons to be cheerful: 

1.  She is happy and loving her course.

2. She never complains about the 5 hour+ train journey home and then the same back.

3. We will get to spend Saturday evening together with the rest of the family at the meal and she promises to come and see me at the hotel before she goes home on Sunday.  



Hello - I'm back!

15:53 Karen 5 Comments

Hello old friend. Welcome home. I've missed you xxx

Reasons to be cheerful :-

1.  Simon the PC doctor

2.  Being able to catch up on my blog reading.

3.  Pledging to blog a little and often - we will have to see how that goes :0D


Everyday Memories

08:06 Karen 19 Comments

I know that most scrapbookers have a camera or two as it is one of the essential 'tools of the trade'.  I have my Fuji bridge camera, my phone and my little Lumix.  This is the story of my Lumix which I have saved until this month to tell.

You see my dad passed away four years ago on Tuesday and my Lumix belonged to him.  He and Mum had planned a holiday in the Italian Lakes - something they had wanted to do for a long time and he bought a new camera to record their adventure.  They had the most wonderful time and although Mum thought he seemed more tired than usual, they did all they had planned to do.  They returned home early on a Thursday morning and he decided to play golf later in the day, and as luck would have it his best friend was also free to join him. They played 18 holes (something he had not felt like doing for a long time), he came home and had his favourite meal for supper (lovingly cooked by Mum as a thank you for the fabulous holiday) and fell asleep in the chair whilst eagerly waiting for Strictly Come Dancing's - It Takes Two, a must see in his opinion.  Sadly, he never woke up but what a way to go, having spent the previous week on your dream holiday and spending the afternoon playing the sport you love, with you tummy full of good food and the anticipation of one of your favourite tv programmes! 

Now, don't get me wrong, I am sad my Dad died but am so glad it was the way it was, having seen the anguish and suffering that long and drawn out illnesses cause for those who have to witness them.  Mum gave me his camera the following Christmas and after I had taken a few photos, I reviewed them only to find that all the ones from their holiday were on the camera too. A bonus Christmas present from my Dad.  So my 'little' camera was a present that gave me pleasure on that Christmas Day and continues to give me immense pleasure, almost every day.

This post was brought to you in conjunction with Sian's Story Telling Sunday.  Why don't you grab a cup of tea and a biscuit or two and pop over to her blog to see what other contributors have to say.



LSNED Sept 19

06:43 Karen 1 Comments

Today I came home to a pile of Gracia's packing in the lounge. Something we all knew was due to happen but something we all were hating the thought of. Tomorrow she goes back to Newcastle :0(

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. We have had a fantastic summer together, having adventures and doing lots of family things.

2.  Gracia is looking forward to seeing her friends from uni.

3.  She will be home again at the end of October.



LSNED Sept 16, Sept 17 & Sept 18

07:43 Karen 0 Comments

I realised how much I love working with my Rainbow pack after 8 weeks holiday. We now have 20 with 5 new ones joining this week. We spent most of the meeting learning the new Rainbow Promise. 

I have made a point of having a proper cooked breakfast every day for the last month. It has really made a difference to my snacking habits and I can easily manage until lunch time now without any biscuits or chocolate. 

We have always Skyped Gracia when she is in Newcastle but now it is one of the ways Eileen and I communicate. We still miss each other but this makes it almost like having her across the table. We make cups of tea and drink them together just like old times


Reasons to be cheerful:-

1.  That I am privileged to work with the Rainbows and that all the new girls are so lovely, well in fact all my girls are lovely.

2.  Returning to work after a break without too much of a backlog.

3.  A lovely cup of tea and chat with Eileen.



LSNED Sept 15

07:30 Karen 5 Comments

I can think of no better way to spend a Sunday than baking with Gracia.

Sun Dried Tomato and Mozzarella bread, Grape and Stilton flat breads, Goats Cheese and Red Pepper Muffins, Cheese and Plain Scones, Bakewell Tarts, Lime and Lemon Meringue Pies, Mini Victoria Sandwiches and Rose and Blueberry Cupcakes.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1.  Spending a delightful day with David and Gracia.

2.  Spending a delightful evening with Josh and his family.

3.  Looking forward to Rainbows.



LSNED Sept 14

22:54 Karen 2 Comments

Sometimes when you are looking 
for a birthday card you find the perfect one.
The card for Josh's 21st Birthday.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1.  That I was able to totally blitz my house and it now looks nice and tidy.

2.  Finding time to do a little scrapbooking.

3.  Buying the perfect card and being reminded that I need to strive to live the life that I imagined.



Hello, hello, hello - I'm back!

20:36 Karen 5 Comments

Well, I am back after a few days away with my lovely family at Centerparcs Eleveden! We had a fabulous time and all agreed that it was even better (something we didn't think possible) this time!

LSNED Sept 9

No matter how old you are, 
a giant swing and someone to play on it with 
is just too much to resist!

LSNED Sept 10

Trying something new is good. 
I wanted to do a Zumba class and Gracia 
wanted to try Hoolahoop-a-cise.  Even though I was convinced I wouldn't be able to do it.  I was proved wrong and had a wonderful time.

LSNED Sept 11

 When the four of us are together our sole aim is to have as much fun as possible and to make each other laugh - hamming it up for the camera!

 LSNED Sept 12
 It really is irrelevant where they are sleeping - their bedroom always ends up with a floordrobe and looks such a mess!

 LSNED Sept 13
 Josh is the nearest thing to a son that David has 
and the time they have spent together this week 
has cemented their friendship.  
They are both united in their unfailing love for Gracia.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1.  I love my family of four (plus Kiera).

2. Despite the wet weather we had such a good time and all got on so well.

3.  Making plans for our next family holiday!



LSNED Sept 8

07:30 Karen 6 Comments

I should look when I come down the stairs and not rely on counting them in my head as sometimes I get distracted and miss count and end up tumbling as I think I have reached the bottom when I have one more to go

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1.  I have only bruised myself in several places (quite bizarrely I have a very bruised stomach - perhaps it sticks out so far it hit the ground first)! 

2. I had a Dr in training to assess the damage and diagnose me as fit enough to go and do the ASDA shop.

3.  Gracia and I were able to laugh at the fact that she described the noise I made when I fell sounding like the noise from one of Kiera's squeaky toys.