Me on Monday - 16th November (where has this year flown too?)

06:53 Karen 6 Comments

Sometimes I  think I will do a me on Monday and then realise that not much has  happened and it will only be interesting to me.  Although a lot of the weekend was spent constantly checking our phones for updates about Paris we did have a lovely weekend -  after reading mine why don't you pop over to Sian's blog to see what other people have been up to!

On Friday, we drove to Newcastle to stay with Gracia and Josh in their new flat.  Although, they have lived in the same house for the past five years there has always been other people living their too and this is the first time they have had a flat all to themselves.  It was such a joy to see the little bits and pieces that Gracia had made for their home and it makes my little heart sing for two reasons.  1.  She is making time in her very demanding study schedule to do something for herself and 2. she likes making stuff!

On Saturday we went out for a huge breakfast, went to see The Lady In The Van at the cinema - I loved this film but I do love most Alan Bennet plays, Gracia and Josh enjoyed it and David said 'I wouldn't buy the DVD but would watch it again if it came on tv.

We then went to Olive and Bean for an afternoon tea - a very late Birthday treat for David, one that had been planned for August but we had to cut our Newcastle trip short at the time so we had it on Saturday.

Then back to the flat for a bit of a chill 


and off to the main even of the weekend - The Durham Lumiaire.  

 Gracia has been to the last two of these and so wanted us to go this year.  It was fabulous, with so much to see and the highlight was the illusion of a whale leaping and splashing in the river - photo taken from internet as mine were not as good.

Sunday saw us going for a walk in the morning, lunch and then traveling home with heavy hearts.  


It doesn't hurt any less leaving Gracia after five years of her living in Newcastle than it did the first time we left her.

So Monday sees me gearing up for the sound and lighting for the GCSE Drama devised pieces and getting ready for a weekend away with the lovely Thornham girls.

Hope your week is a very good one.
Reasons to be cheerful:

1.  A lovely weekend with the three people I love most in the world.
2. Seeing Josh and Gracia so happy and proud in their new home.
3. Looking forward to Gracia coming home at Christmas and our next visit to Newcastle.

Sparing a thought and lighting a candle for those who have lost loved ones in Paris.


What A Weekend

17:00 Karen 6 Comments

So, at the ATDML retreat,  I was up first with a class on Friday and I am closed the retreat with my Graphic 45 class today.  What a fabulous weekend it has been with fine food, fabulous friends and absolutely sumptuous classes.  ATDML really know how to throw a retreat, just looking at all the happy faces and listening the the comments from the lovely attendees is a testament to the Fab Five who put in all the hard work to make it happen.

I have, for some time, wanted to to teach a layout class that was opulant and festooned with sparkle and flowers but, other than cutting all the flowers out on the Silhouette - a mammoth task for a class of 30+, I couldn't see how I could mange it. 

Then the fabulous Denise gave me her Big Shot and a whole new world of crafting was opened up to me - die cutting.  

 Having retreat selfie fun with The Fabulous Denise

So I was able to buy the necessary dies, add some punches and the class was manageable, with everyone cutting out their own elements.  

The resulting page was one featuring lots of flowers, lace, gold and sparkle and a photo of my very lovely 3 year old Gracia.  I am going to put it into a box frame and bring it out each Christmas as a piece of home decor .

I had more than enough papers left over to make a second layout featuring our 'mad as a hatter' family in our prefered Christmas headgear.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1.  David is well on the mend.

2.  A weekend with good friends, eating lovely food and playing with paper, glue and sparkles.

3. Having gone into work for two days last week I can start this week without a huge list of jobs on my desk.


Doing A Happy Dance!

16:30 Karen 4 Comments

Hello, Hello I am doing a happy dance as the long awaited, much anticipated ATDML Autumn Retreat weekend is here.  Doing an even wilder happy dance than usual as at the beginning of the week I thought I wouldn't be able to go but it turns out that a few days can settle things down and begin to get things back to normal.

I taught the first class which was three layouts using Simple Stories - We Are Family.    If you follow the link to the shop site you will see that this range has many more gorgeous items than I have used on my pages.  I feel a little spend coming on! 

The aim of this class was to get the most out of 'Project Life' style cut-a-part papers and to demonstrate, with the second page, how a 'Project Life' style page can be achieved without actually using divided page protectors.

The first two are designed to go side by side in a album and I have used the same format as I use in my 'Month in Five' album (an idea inspired by Jo's idea to scrap 5 photos from each month) - 1 large photo on the left and 4 smaller ones on the right.  Look at that gorgeous wood-grain cardstock!

The third page uses up most of the remains of the kit (Jill & Mel are so generous with their kit content - such good value for money, three layouts from one class) for a page that celebrates almost 30 years of marriage.

Hope your day is as fantastic as I know mine will be - fabulous company, cutting and sticking, learning new stuff and a plentiful supply of cupcakes - what more could you ask for?

Reasons to be cheerful:

1.  David is much better than we had anticipated at the beginning of the week and even talking about going out for a little drive today.

2.  A day of anticipated happiness and creativity.

3.  Almost 30 years of marriage and over 32 years of living with my man.


Me on Monday - 19th Oct 2015

17:15 Karen 7 Comments

Joining in with Sian's - Me on Monday

As I have returned to the land of blogging, after an absence of way too long, I thought ahead and planned this post by taking appropriate photos over the weekend.

This is actually a me on Sunday night as I know that come Monday morning I will be too busy to write anything.  So Monday will see me returning to work for the last week before half term.  It will be a week of updating the displays with art work, I am stunned by some of the pieces the girls have produced, will show in another blog post.  

The weekend saw me food shopping on Saturday but not too much as I have another order from Hello Fresh arriving on Tuesday.

I also went to visit my uncle who is in a home receiving end of life care.  

Photo taken a few weeks ago before he went into the home.

Today I have been a domestic goddess and cooked chocolate chip buns (nice view of my puppy slippers in this one)

and pizza.  

This is a deceptive photo because the pizza is actually covers the whole of my Aga baking sheet - massive, and David has managed to demolish more than half.

Also, after bragging to my aunt that David was such a clean worker, he used the grinder on the new chimney in the lounge and managed to cover every surface, both upstairs and down, with dust so I had a mammoth dusting session this afternoon.  

Well it's time for bed and I only have to link to Sian's post tomorrow and I have another blog post under my belt - three in as many days - go me!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1.  Uncle Ron is looking better than I have seen him for a long time.  The decision to transfer him to a care home was the right one.

2.  Looking forward to this weeks Hello Fresh meals.

3. Forward thinking!


From This to That - The Bo Bunny Edition

00:43 Karen 3 Comments

This month the ATDML DT are all designing with various ranges from Bo Bunny.
I was fortunate enough to be sent two of the new ranges Juilet and Genevieve.

This was my Juliet kit

and this is what I have made with it so far.

I used the playing card paper as the basis for a quick layout by trimming the edges and just adding a photo and some stickers and cutting up a couple of the cut-aparts.   

Look at those gorgeous Bo Bunny die cut tags!

Page using a photo from six years ago and the remains of my stickers and cut-a-part sheet. 

Now I have to use the loveliness that is Genevieve to make some more pages with- what a hard life the ATDML DT members have!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1.  Spending a lovely Sunday cutting and sticking.
2.  Finally getting the old photo from 2009 scrapped.
3.  Looking forward to making pages with the Genevieve papers and stickers. 



00:28 Karen 3 Comments

Hello, hello I have been MIA for far too long and decided to dip my toe back into the pond of blogging with a post about my virtual crop class for ATDML.

This month I worked with papers from the Simple Stories Homespun range and used the kit I was sent to make a layout and a 6in x 12 in midi album.

I used the wood effect paper and the 3 in x 4in cut-a-part sheet and three sparkly arrows as accents to the page.It was a quick and simple layout to make and, as always, features my lovely family.

I also made a book, which again features David, Gracia and Josh. I  utalised the different sized sections on the papers to create a variety of page sizes and used a pizza box to make the covers.

If you are interested the instructions for the projects above can be found here.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1.  My first blog post for several months.
2.  Being a member of the ATDML DT and the wonderful products I get to work with.
3.  That my love of scrapbooking sometimes wanders but never wanes! 


1 Photo 20 Words - August edition - Bomber Moss!

09:12 Karen 7 Comments

These ladies have nicknamed me Bomber Moss .
I like to take every available opportunity to live up to the name

I intended to put this up last month but totally forgot about it once I had drafted it but is still applies this month and my reason for being cheerful remain the same. 

Joining in with Abi's 1 photo 20 words.

Reason to be cheerful:-

Spending another weekend with these wonderful ladies and planning another one in the Autumn!


Counting my Blessings

08:57 Karen 8 Comments

I know I am very fortunate to have the job I have and although there can be weeks that are really, really busy there is always something exciting like lighting for a show or recording students music pieces to compensate for the rest of the hectic week.  Recently it was one of those weeks but as part of that very busy time I was fortunate enough to go on a school trip to The Globe in London.  I have to admit I am not a huge fan of Shakespeare but I thought it would be an unmissable experience - I was right!

As always I had my scrapbooking head on and spied, in the shop, some teal and white badges with quotes from A Midsummer Night's Dream on.  When my DT kit, from ATDML, arrived there was the perfect teal paper to go with the badges and the memorabilia I had saved from the day.   There was even a little globe on the sticker sheet - how serendipitous my good friend Eileen would say!

I loved the building, loved the play and the museum is well worth a second visit.  So if you get the chance I would thoroughly recommend it.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. My best girl is coming home for a couple of days tomorrow.

2. She has passed the exam she was most worried about.

3. A job which puts a smile on my face every day.


May & June - My Month in 5 Photos

18:17 Karen 5 Comments

Hello, hello, hello lovely blog readers.  I am hanging my head in shame at the marked lack of blog posts of late and will endeavor to rectify this.

As I was about to post my June in 5 Photos I realised that I hadn't posted May's one yet!  

So without further ado here is May in 5 Photos. 

For May I used Simple Stories 'I AM' to celebrate lovely spring walks filled with the scent of bluebells.

 Fabulous selfies that Gracia takes, Josh visiting her in Newcastle, making a skirt and starting to sew a dress - me not Josh - (hopefully finishing it in the next couple of weeks) and Gracia and Josh staying with us for a fabulous weekend of fun and frivolity.

For my June pages I used the papers from the gloriously colourful Kaisercraft 'Fly Free' collection and the two sketches from the June scrapbook challenge at Crafters@Play.

The paper with the bird on was perfect for the sketch incorporating a bird cage and this page celebrated the second weekend retreat to Thornham with this bunch of crazy ladies.  Because of this photo I am now known as 'Bomber Moss'!

This page features Kiera on an early morning walk.  Norwich Cathedral where we went on a school trip in June, we also visited the Castle which is well worth another visit.  I spent quite a number of hours painting scenery for the Y7 Shakespeare performances (two castles, two caves, two bushes and a caldron).  Finally, Josh was offered a job with Victim Support in Newcastle.  So this signified the end of an era - Gracia and Josh now officially live in Newcastle.  How ironic that for her first three years at University I was working during the long summer holidays and the year I get a job with the whole of the summer off she isn't coming home for all the holiday!

 Reasons to be cheerful:-

1.  Looking at the photo of the girls at Thornham gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling in my chest.

2.  Gracia and Josh are starting on a new phase of their lives and I wish them every happiness.

3.  Planning adventures in Newcastle and Colchester for when she comes home for a week but what really makes me happy is Gracia and I are going to see The Proclaimers together!


1 Photo 20 Words - The Christmas Present

23:26 Karen 5 Comments

I wanted one as an ornament – David found one in ‘mint condition’.   
Love using it more than my electric one. 

Joining in with Abi's 1 photo, 20 words.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1.  That David took the time to source this beautiful machine from Holland.

2.  Re-discovering a love of sewing.

3.  When not in use it looks beautiful on my Welsh Dresser. 


Me on Monday - 25th May 15

09:21 Karen 6 Comments

Joining in with Sian's - Me on Monday.

Hoooo-raaaay it's half term and today finds me relaxing after three days of hanging an art exhibition last week.  I love my job as it is so varied.  One day I'm designing a new website and the next I'm hanging beautiful art.

So this weekend has been a very indulgent one - I had the excuse that there was no point in doing any housework as David was using a grinder in the lounge and all the dust was getting everywhere.  Can't use that excuse tomorrow when he's back at work.

After doing the mundane jobs like food shopping I had a weekend of varied pleasures.

I walked Kiera several times

Kiera says 'Hello'

Finished/made 4 scrapbook pages on Saturday

IRL this one isn't as 'wonky donkey' as it looks

Tided and sorted out my Pinterest boards on Sunday - took much longer than I had anticipated but now more organised.

Started making a dress - not convinced I haven't cut the fabric out upside down - still looks pretty though.

and baked cakes for tea - without any icing as David likes his buns plain and simple, he would say 'how he likes his women!'  He lucked out on that one I'm afraid.

An absolutely splendid weekend, don't you agree?

Hope your week is as good as I intend mine to be.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1.  Our girl is coming home for the weekend on Friday.

2.  Am loving making things on the Singer hand machine (my Christmas present from David last year).

3. The prospect of a lovely long, early morning, walk with David and Kiera.