Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Poorly sick :(

My cold from Sunday turned into a full-blown monster illness that has wiped me out and kept me off work for the last two days. I haven't even been able to scrap or knit, which totally sucks. I am bored stiff here!

Oh well, it has given me time to surf the web and look for inspiration for Christmas crafts and gifts. This year, as well as making some of my Christmas cards (see picture below) and gifts, I want to take part in Instagram Your Christmas (#iyc) which is something me and a few friends in the photo iPhone app Instagram are taking part in. Each day in December we will take and choose a photo, print it off and include it in an album along with a small amount of embellishment, journaling, etc. I don't ever scrap Christmas, maybe because my photos are usually sub-standard, or I've never liked Christmas patterned papers or I'm always too busy. But the boys are old enough now to really enjoy the festive season and I think I'd like to put in the extra effort and record this lovely time as a family.

So my lovely Kraft ring binder album has arrived from Paperchase, I have page protectors to match and I have already prepared numbers 1 to 31 to go with each photo using my Cuttlebug and punches. I also have bought snd set aside some Christmas-themed papers and embelishments ready to go. Each photo will be printed 4x4 inches and used either on a 4x6 space with a blank strip for embellishing or journalling and the feature photos will go on A5 pages with more room to include more pics, journalling etc. I'm not going to pre-prepare my pages as although it would save time later I want to match what I have to the photo after it's taken and also I want to decide after whether to use a smaller or larger page for it. I'm hoping to do a bit each day, or most likely a few every few days. I'm hoping as I have all the bits I need ready in their own box it will be a nice quick project and not an over-commitment in an already hectic month! I'll pop by regularly to keep you updated.

If you're on Instagram, why not give this a go? I'd love to see links to your feed or album pages. Or, if you'd like to take it further, Shimelle hosts an amazing class every year called Journal Your Christmas (#jyc) that gives you a whole load of prompts, inspiration and help to create a Christmas scrapbook album to treasure - see www.shimelle.com for more info :)


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Two more

I have only managed two more layouts since yesterday - probably due to the fact I wasn't feeling creative yesterday and today I have the most painful sore throat and stonking cold. :(

Saying that I'm particularly pleased with the Kraft layout. I had been struggling with how to do this photo justice and this lovely paper I bought very recently turned out to be a perfect match to show colour but still allow the bright photo to be the focal point. I really like the result. The other layout was a struggle, but I'm happy now it's finished and it's another picture done for the albums (if they arrive, don't ask!)

Despite me feeling rubbish today, I am having a good day. The lovely Laura arrived with her hubby and their beautiful new baby daughter, who is just adorable. Shame I can't have a cuddle, but I do not want to pass on my illness to a defenceless little one.

And we also got to open our Secret Santa gifts, squeal! I totally adore mine, I absolutely love, love, love it! I'm a lucky girl! I think my recipient liked hers too (we are remaining secret), so job done!

And now for the ridiculous drive back home, which should be all kinds of awesome while feeling this rubbish.

Hopefully be back with more weekend photos once I'm home.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Crafty at the Cottage

Well kinda. I have managed 3 layouts since arriving last night - after a mammoth 7-hour drive. Bah.

We (9 other fabulous scrappy girls and I) are staying here...

Well that's the view from my bedroom window, I haven't been out yet today lol!

So here's what I've mustered so far...

I must admit I'm struggling somewhat. Maybe my scrapping juices may flow better after our meal out tonight, including, hopefully, my own body weight in wine lol!

I did get to take part in a little something exciting - but more on that later ;)


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Knit Night - Special Edition

Just back from a lovely evening with the knitting gals - and this week we were lucky to be hostessed by the lovely Hannah at her very nice city centre apartment (oooh the view!)

It looked a bit like this...

That's Hannah using Steph's yarn winder and swift to transform her new skein of yarn goodness into a neat little yarn cake ready for knitting with.

And everyone else got busy clicking away, chatting and nibbling on the much-too-tempting nibbles (thank you Hannah, I had a great evening).

Right, bed time. I haven't slept very well the last two nights (I blame Christmas crafts taking over my every thought - but more on that later). And with a long day at work tomorrow (including trimming up for Christmas - the place looks like tat central, don't ask!) and a packed scrappy travel away weekend with the girls planned (squeal, I so can't wait!!!) I really could use a good, full night's sleep tonight. Here's hoping anyway.


Friday, November 11, 2011

WIP Friday - and a happy birthday too

Just popping on to share a FO from a couple of weeks ago, that I finally got round to taking photos of and sharing.

This is a quick soft toy knit from the 'getting started/progressing' guide included in the fabulous first issue of Let's Knit magazine. This mag is fab, not only bursting at the seams with patterns in the main magazine, but it also came with another smaller supplement full of patterns and a free circular needle. Plus a feature on my local yarn shop Baa Ram Ewe. So far I am very impressed and have taken advantage of their special offer subscription (I have a feeling I'll be keeping this one!)

I don't where or for whom she is destined yet, I was just itching to take a break from Lauriel to knit something fast and cute. This only took a couple of short evenings and I love the fact it involved not only knitting, but hand stitching and pom-pom making to finish off its cute little features!

Talking of Lauriel (ssssshhhhhhh! *whispers*), I have finished! Finally! One cuff is slightly slimmer than the other, but as it's not noticeable to the eye (and you can barely tell to wear it) I'm leaving it. I just need to block it and I'll hopefully share it with you next FO Friday. :)

And in the meantime, don't forget to check out all the other FOs at Tami's Amis.


P.S. A very happy birthday to my youngest son Alex for today! I can't believe he is three! Eeeeeeeeek! He hasn't been very well this week, but hopefully he'll still enjoy his special day. And to commemorate the occasion here are a couple of pics, then and now.

Love you baby boy!

Monday, November 07, 2011

Last, but not least!

Oooops. I forgot to post one final layout from the Sarah's Card retreat, and given the class teacher this is not acceptable! Apologies!

This was a class called Flying the Flag by my good friend Rachel (often better known as reward - check out her blog at http://rewardingmemories.blogspot.com ) and I just totally love the finished result!

Rachel's class was easy and quick, but looks amazing. Despite not having taught a class before, she was confident and explained everything so well, and was excellent at continuing to walk round with her layout to use as a guide as well as help with our questions.

Big congrats to you Rachel, you were fab and I really enjoyed your class - well done and thank you :)


Sunday, November 06, 2011

Scrap til you drop!

That was certainly the motto at this weekend's Sarah's Cards retreat in Warrington.

And what a fabulous weekend it was! Not only did I get to catch up with some wonderful friends (Rachel, Sally, Ali & Trina) but I also finally got to meet some long-time online friends (Nat & Carla), which was brilliant.

I'm also so chuffed that as well as coming home with so many yummy goodies (man were we spoilt!) but with six amazing classes and two very late nights scrapping I completed a grand total of 11 layouts. Wow. Think that's a new record for me (not like you Sally, you scrapbooking ninja you! Lol!)

And here some are...

Sketch challenge

Awesome class by Jen

Another class

One of my own

Another class (I will add more details as I unpack!)

One of mine

Fab vintage class

One of my own

Fab class by Natalie

My own again

Last minute make and take

I had a brilliant time, I'm still literally in fits of giggles thinking about some of our conversations and antics!

And the food, well all I can say is droooooollllll!

Massive well done and thank you to Sarah, Lianne and the DT team for an awesome weekend.

Sadly I can't make the March retreat and there may not be one next autumn (sob!), but I won't be too sad as I'll be doing it all again in 3 weeks time with another bunch of fabulous ladies. And I can't wait!


Thursday, November 03, 2011

Too excited!

Just a quick post to show you a picture of my little monkeys on Halloween as promised:

Aaaaaahhhh too cute!

I'm supposed to be asleep because tomorrow I have a very long, very tight to-do list of stuff I need to do before I head off for the Sarah's Cards retreat in Warrington. I can't wait! This will be my first SC retreat (though not my last I'm sure!) and the sneaky glimpses I've had of the hotel and the shop (oh my, the shop!!!) are just too tantalisingly amazing.

And I'm very much looking forward to arriving, chilling out, scrapping, and mostly, of course, catching up with the girlies (Sally, Rachel, Jen, Ali) and finally meeting some I have known very well for very long online.

I'm so excited! I know it will be over in the blink of an eye, but hey, that's ok, I'm doing it all again in 3 weeks time and again in January with the knitters. Lucky girl, aren't I?!

Will report back once on location! :D


Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Just wanted to stop by and share our Halloween prep photos.

First it started with pumpkin gathering, as explained in more detail in my last post...

And then on Saturday we got busy carving designs into them...

Five pumpkins and some free online templates later it looked like this...

Yes I know there are only four there, the fifth was done later as my hands hurt so bad!

And today our fireplace looks like this...

The skeleton garland was a bargain 89p at a local home bargain-type store, the sign too.

Sadly I'm working til 9pm tonight, so hubby is taking the boys Trick or Treating. Hope he takes some photos of their outfits for me!


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Pumpkin patch picking

Today hubby and his brother (visiting from Bath) decide to take a hike (quite literally) up to Bolton Abbey, leaving my sister-in-law, my two boys, her two girls and I to our own devices. So we went pumpkin picking!

We went to a place called Copleys Farm, near Featherstone, West Yorkshire, and it was fab! Apparently this is the first time they have had a pumpkin patch, which didn't surprise me as I have been trying to find one locally for the last few years and always failed. Then this autumn, this place finally turned up during a Google search. 

The rule was, if you could lift and carry it, you could take it home - hence the six pumpkins we bought not being too huge lol! But still big and heavy enough to need to borrow a wheelbarrow!

We wandered around the amazing farm shop, and had lunch in the Moo Cafe first, and then after picking our pumpkins stopped by the cafe again for coffee and cake- and free bambinocinos for the kids. It's basically a mini cup of the warm frothy milk they put in adult hot drinks, and they definitely went down a treat!

We also stopped by the farm...

and the indoor children's play area...

... and met up with the men folk at Junction 32 shopping outlet on the way home for a playground trip, new shoes for my niece Nancy and a new PS3 for hubby (groan!).

Oh, and how rude of me, I have not introduced you to this lovely little lady yet...

This is sweet baby Iris. And she is totally gorgeous! Today was the first time I met her, because of the distance between us and my stupid work shifts, but she was worth the wait.

So, if anyone is bored this weekend, or next week during half term, and the weather is reasonable, I would highly recommend a visit to Copleys - click here for the website. It has a corn maze too (I think that would require a day to visit in itself knowing my sense of direction lol!)

Oh, and if anyone has any good pumpkin recipes, let me know, because I'm gonna have a whole load of pumpkin insides to use up!