SIPIDI - May with a little left over from April

21:37 Karen 6 Comments

Ok this month you get two for the price of one!

I pinned and made this quilt square in April but couldn't show it as it was destined for DebTurtle in the US and when I did my last SIPIDI post she hadn't received it yet.  
 Two half triangles, check. One centered square with one corner triangle of the same fabric, check.  Butterfly block! 
I simplified the pattern as I was so out of the habit of sewing I wanted to make it as easy for myself as possible. 

 I also used Debs idea of a piece of knotted fabric as an accent on the and used a lenght of knotted velvet ribbon for the butterfly body.

For May I pinned this card and then made a layout using it as inspiration. 

Create with Connie & Mary #304 color challenge. Papillon Potpourri by Debbie Henderson, Debbie's Designs.
This is the second version and the first one had absolutely loads of butterflies at the bottom of the page and was on white card - I hated it!  I carefully cut around the strips and remounted them onto the blue card, dramatically reduced the number of butterflies and I do like it better but it is not one of my favourite pages but hey-ho you live and learn.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1.  Because I am joining in with a lot more monthly memes I am getting back into the blogging vibe.

2.  I enjoyed making the quilt square as I was unsure if I would regret not joining the friendship quilt group when I saw all the lovely swaps that were going on but after making this one know that I wouldn't have had the time or the inclination to make more than just the one!

3. Lessons learned that things don't always turn out as you think and taking the sensible decision about what you want to spend your spare time doing and what you would resent spending your spare time doing - more on this when I join in with Abi's 1 photo 20 words! 



TBT - The Greatest Gift

07:06 Karen 6 Comments

A layout from May 2013 using Vintage Bliss - I have to confess that when I was pregnant all I wanted was a little girl, the thought of having a boy didn't come into my plans.  It was before you had the option of being told what sex your baby was so I just hoped and prayed that my baby would be the girl I so wanted.  In fact we hadn't even decided on a boy's name when I was taken down to the delivery suite.  

I do believe that our girl is the best gift we have given ourselves and she is our proudest moments and our greatest joys. 

So the dreaded exams are over and what a C**k up the university made of them!  Her first written exam, on Tuesday, was delayed because there were not enough papers for everyone so they had to wait for 20 more to be printed and then it was discovered half way into the exam that the 20 that had been printed were in fact the exam paper for the next exam on Wednesday. They then didn't have a paper for that exam.  The solution was to use an old exam paper for the Wednesday exam as there wasn't enough time to prepare a new one and this one had questions on subjects that the students hadn't covered in their lectures - as I said what a C**k up.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1. Exams are over for a while.

2. At least Gracia wasn't one of the students who left the exam in tears.

3. Josh has an exam today and and another next week and then the kids are free for a few days R&R.


A Special Moment

14:33 Karen 8 Comments

I have always loved Kaisercraft and some of my favourite pages have been made using it.  When I got the opportunity to choose some Kaisercraft Kaleidoscope to design with I jumped at the chance.  What's not to love about a range that has bright colours, music paper, and stickers but more than that it had butterfly stickers!

For my first page I chose a photo taken just before we went out for Gracia's birthday dinner.  I love how healthy and beautiful she looks. I was amazed at how much taller than me she is but I have to point out that she does have extremely high heels on.

Then I made this page - possibly my most favourite one ever!

Quite a simple layout but with an abundance of blossoms, bling and butterflies.

Don't forget to comment on this post to be in with a chance to win some new Simple Stories goodies.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1.  I have had the day off today and it has been absolutely sublime.

2. A family celebration tomorrow.

3. A Bank Holiday on Monday.



TBT - Just Believe

06:00 Karen 7 Comments

It's that time of year again. 
Gracia is taking her exams and yet again is doubting her abilities! 
Throw Back Thursday layout from last year posted with a certain feeling of Déjà vu! 

I really wish I could make her have more faith in her abilities.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1.  Next Tuesday should be her last exam for over a year as next year she is working in a hospital.

2. In a few weeks she will be home - really can't wait.

3.  One day she will realise how bright she is. 



TBT - Can't Help Loving That Man of Mine

10:30 Karen 5 Comments

This week's TBT features a page I made for the ATDML cybercrop in 2011.  The photo was from a walk/picnic we took along the river for Gracia's 18th Birthday - where did those three years go then?

Kiera is a dog who loves anyone and everyone - David always says that if you opened our gate she would go home with you and not give a backward glance.  I like to think otherwise but wouldn't like to risk it.  Out of the three dogs we have had she is the one who has spent most time with me and the one who I kid myself is my dog but in reality she is only my dog when David is out and even then I come second choice to Gracia!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1.  That we have had the privilage of owning three Golden Retrievers - all very different personality but all gorgeous in their own way.

2.  Kiera was the only puppy in her litter left when we went to choose and so there was no choice to be made and I am so pleased that the decision was taken out of our hands.

3.  She is such a funny and compliant dog only ever wanting to please us and makes our family complete.


April DT Part 1

19:08 Karen 4 Comments

For the ATDML April DT kit we were allowed to choose the ranges we wanted from the supplies at the ATDML retreat.  This is always such a treat and there is such an excited buzz as we all choose and compare the loveliness that will be our kit of choice.

This time I chose from two ranges - Simple Stories DIY and Kaisercraft Kaleidoscope.

First I used the DIY to make a couple of pages I loved the idea of using this range to build up layers (how out of character I hear you say).


 The idea of the page was to illustrate that Gracia had a 9 day birthday celebration (this doesn't include going out to dinner with her Newcastle friends last week) all recorded on Instagram!  


 This range was absolutely perfect for a fun and quirky page about Kiera and her panache for dressing up - ok we dress her up and she tolerates it!


Two bright and funky pages which are in stark contrast to the others made using the Kaisercraft.  I will be back, later in the month, with a little more 'show and tell' featuring those ones.  

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. A whole lot of celebration for our Girl's 21st.

2. A dog who is so compliant she will even wear a tea cosy for a hat!

3. That Gracia put photos on instagram of the highlights of her day but also of all of us together saying that she is missing us - not as much as we are missing her I hope.



New Year New You - The April Edition

08:41 Karen 5 Comments

Well, have you picked yourself up off the floor? Four posts in as many days - perhaps my resolve of blogging more has gotten the better of me!

Last month, on my New Year New You post,  I said I was embarking on another little get fit project.  I wanted to 'up the anti' a little and so decided to embark on a C25K (Couch to 5K)  regime. For those who are unfamiliar with this - it's a nine week program where you exercise 3 times a week and build up from not being able to run to being able to run (in my case jog) 5K or for 30 minutes.

I tried three different apps on my phone - the first was too boring,  although the second had good music my phone didn't like it and it kept restarting half way through or suddenly deciding I was doing so well perhaps I should be on week six or seven - at first I hadn't realised what had happened and when I thought it was going to say 'Now is the time for your 60 second run', it said 'Now is the time to start your 8 minute run!'  I nearly tripped over my own feet - not a difficult feat as I am very clumsy anyway and because I take Kiera with me and she is on the lead when we are on the road part of the run, I am apt to do the odd pirouette because she will spot something - run for it and I will find myself suddenly spinning round mid stride!  The third and the one I stuck with is called RunDouble - no music but really good stats after every interval of walking/jogging.  I am only on week two as I have had several restarts, a trip to Mum's and the Easter weekend to contend with.

But as my inspirational quote on this month's page says 'Perseverance - Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success!'

Reasons to be Cheerful:-

1. Loving my early morning exercise.

2. Even though I struggle to complete each of the running/jogging section what keeps me going is the knowledge that even if I am only plodding along - I am doing more than I would if I had stayed in bed.

3.  My little exercise companion who, when I get up now, is waiting at the door with a wagging tail and a look that says 'Come on Mum - let's get going'.



Not long enough.

18:39 Karen 15 Comments

Sometimes four weeks is a long time, sometimes it's not long enough - counting the days until you are home again.

Joining in with Abbi's - 1 photo 20 words.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1.  The four weeks Gracia was home for Easter was so lovely.

2.  We all delight in spending time together.

3.  Gracia will be back home for the summer in a few weeks time. 



March DT -- Webster's Pages

07:14 Karen 7 Comments

For our March DT kits the ATDML girls were given papers from a verity of Websters Pages ranges. 

This was my little pile of lovliness.

The first item I was smitten by was the little wooden journaling blocks 

- perfect for mini-album covers I thought and so got to work constructing a little mini using those and some of the Composition and Colour journal blocks.


The Sprinkled with Love range was perfect for a layout documenting a spent walking on the beach and eating out.

I also used it for a very layered page using one of Gracia's 'selfies' as the photo focus.

The three of us had had a 'What's App' conversation earlier in the month and I combined the text and photos from this with some Composition and Colour to create my next page.  As the conversation centered around Josh and his Spider Man onsie, I tried to make the page look like a comic strip. 


For my last page, I again used Composition and Colour to document Gracia's livelong love of dancing.

Finally, I used the scraps to make a few cards.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1   It's nearly the weekend.

2.  I am going to Ann's crop tomorrow.

3. Cheesy chips for tea!



Throw Back or Throwback Thursday - Just 17

07:00 Karen 3 Comments

Now I never know if it should be Throw Back or Throwback Thursday - some people say it one way and some the other.

My TBT (see what I did there to be sneaky) this week is from 2013. When we are at the ATDML retreat Mel and Jill usually say we can choose our own dt kit for May and last year I chose some Bo Bunny Prairie Chic and some Simple Stories Vintage Bliss, even though I had used this range for a class at the retreat!  Funnily enough, I chose some Simple Stories DIY this time - I feel there is a theme running through my paper choices.

This page features a photo of my Mum when she was 17, it is a photo I had had for a long time but never felt I had the papers that were right for it until I put it with the Vintage Bliss papers and they were perfect. 

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1.   Taking Gracia to spend a couple of days, last month, staying at Mum's.

2.  Planning of raiding Mum's box of photos next time I visit.

3. We found mum in much better health than we expected to.



Love You

22:30 Karen 5 Comments

The class I taught at my crop on Saturday. 

I do love Teresa Collins papers they are so versatile and I especially love the Daily Stories range I used for this layout. 

Reasons to be cheerful: 

1. Skyping our girl this evening.

 2. Loving that when we Skype her Josh usually pops into her room to have a chat with us too. 

 3. Watching the two of them together and feeling so grateful that they have such a happy relationship. 



Throw Back Thursday - Cards

07:30 Karen 3 Comments

I never think of myself as a cardmaker but I secretly am.  I enjoy the process of making little projects that can be finished in half an hour and after recently taking a card class with the ultra talented Nicola went on to purchase some stamps and a punch and also a Sizzex Texture Boutique for embossing bits on my cards!

This Throw Back Thursday is some cards I made in May 2012. 

These cards were all made using Bella Blvd papers from the Flirty and Plastino ranges. 

Reasons to be cheerful:

1.  Pinterest for it's endless source of card ideas.

2.  Ladies like Nicola who have talent dripping out of their fingertips.

3.  Little projects that can be fitted into a spare half an hour.