Thursday, 30 June 2011

Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 1

Well another week has gone by without a peep from me ... no scrapping, no de-cluttering report, no holiday snaps ... but with good reason ... actually a really bad reason, but I'm still cheerful because ....

Fetching iodine stained beard with 3 extra stitches
due to fainting outside A&E after phoning home to update me!
It could have been SO much worse!!!  No.1 Son managed to break his back while "celebrating" his exam results - but the hairline crack in his vertebra is stable.  He was due to move house this week, but Hubby & I managed to pack up his belongings and move half his stuff into the new student house last weekend thanks to his understanding new landlord.  And best of all he's home today - walking around as he has been since the fall last Saturday - and looking very fetching in a custom made "corset" .... he may not let me share photos of that, especially if I can find the black lace and red ribbons ...

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Shaping Up

This month's challenges at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog have been great fun - and I've been making a dent in my earthy-toned take on the original kit-to-copy from Burlap & Buttercups.  How appropriate that I used some buttercups (or at least yellow flowers) on my page for Challenge#3 which asked for us to scrap with a shape.

I've got a new circle cutter (£1.99 from The Works) and was giving that an airing, so there are several circles/part circles in evidence (including the gutting of the base card behind the patterned papers).  I love this photo of No.1 Son and Child No.3 having a quick hug while posing for my camera on a Sunday afternoon walk in the woods.  They are (mostly) good friends now that they don't live together all year and frequently gang up on me when No.1 Son comes to visit!

The afore-mentioned yellow flowers were cut from the K&Co Wild Garden paper and, rather than layer them for dimension, I simply cut around some of the petals and raised them up instead of sticking them down. Everything is from my June kit apart from the bronze ink and the Basic Grey chipboard monogram "2" and the grungeboard "apostrophe-S".
On a side note: I put two sets of tiny alpha stickers (My Little Shoe Box  & Cosmo Cricket) into my June kit because of their colours - and I thought that was the only difference apart from the font, but it's only the yellow set that has punctuation and numerals - I shall have to take more care when shopping as they are useful to have in the set.

Here's a sneak peek at another page I've made from the kit but can't yet share with you - a whole different colour way of blue, cream and brown.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Why do I do it?

Forgive me readers, for I have lapsed.  It's been 10 days since I last blogged and I have struggled to think of something momentous, or interesting or humorous enough to justify my 100th post.  I should really have made my "Ten on the Tenth" entry my centenary post - 10² is 100 after all!

But having noticed that this post was an important (for me) milestone in my blogging history, it has actually become a hurdle to overcome rather than a celebration of my ability to have posted 99 other random thoughts, stories, photos, paper projects and scrapbook pages.

However, today when I was looking through my photos to see what could go on the "to scrap" pile - I spotted the perfect one to go in this post - to celebrate my hobby - this is (one of the reasons) why I do it:

Or perhaps that should be: three of the reasons why I do it :D

Friday, 10 June 2011

Ten on the Tenth: Scrapbooking & Blogging

Shimelle has issued a little challenge over on her blog - to list 10 things on the 10th of each month and everyone is welcome to join in ... listing 10 songs, photos, foods, views, books, people, traits, films ... anything!!!

So what to do with no daylight for photos, just time to type ... or Google ... or play online ...

Created from my blog feed with
  1. The number of posts to go before I hit my blogging centenary!
  2. The number of teams I am in on UKScrappers (Scrappycats & Scrapadoodledivas)
  3. The number of Shimelle's on-line courses I have done (JYC, LSNED, BFS)
  4. The number of months I have played along with the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog (Feb, Mar, Apr & June)
  5. The number of years that I have been scrapbooking
  6. The number of months I have joined in with Storytelling Sunday this year
  7. The number of categories I use within Google Reader to separate out my 65 blog subscriptions
  8. The number of weeks I have taken part in the UKS Scrap Factor competition (so far?!?!)
  9. The number of 12x12 albums on my shelf that are partially filled with layouts
  10. The number of complete months I have been adding to this blog!
So there you have it - a random list of 10 things to do with my scrapbooking/blogging ... why not pop over to see what other things have been listed here.

    Thursday, 9 June 2011

    Declutter Report #1

    1/6/11 Very dusty, slightly blunt & rickety, but
    trusted kitchen foil/paper towel holder
    Oops - I meant to post this on June 8th to give you my first week's de-cluttering progress as promised here.  But as you know life gets in the way of blogging sometimes :P

    Now with the start of any project you have a choice - begin with baby steps that build up to a grand finale - or - start with a big blitz & risk peaking too soon.  I chose a baby step for Day 1 (as it was also a family celebration day and I had other things to do).  I was saving our tried and trusted kitchen foil/paper towel dispenser just in case I couldn't get on with the new ones hidden inside cupboards in our new kitchen.  I can, so it can go ... 18 months after it was "saved".

    Normally I just shut the door and ignore the state of my kids' bedrooms, but as No.2 Son was about to return from Uni I decided to tackle his room before he could stop me!  Envelopes (empty), Christmas cards, bank flyers, Easter egg boxes, pop bottles all went out without a second thought!

    2/6/11 Worst culprits = permanently bent flexible ruler, cracked & dusty plastic glasses,
    crumbling headphones and sweets that expired in 2008!
    Unfortunately I couldn't de-clutter without doing a major clean so that took care of my afternoon - shame that his room has reverted to its former state of midden after a week of occupation!

    The next day, I made a very small dent in some craft magazines, saving just a few articles for future reference.

    3/6/11 Another baby step - discarding some magazines from 2002!
    "Rescued" from the attic. It may take
    some time to go through them all!

    Day 4 was another baby step - chucking the pile of charity collection bags into the recycling - I know I should be filling them up with donations, but there will be more through the letter box in no time!

    Guilt began to set in after day 4 so I decided to tackle another decent project - the space above one of the cupboards in the dining room - a dumping ground for all sorts of things:

    5/6/11  Before      &       After              
    I consolidated various tins of sewing notions, packaged up some fabrics and threw out broken glass ornaments, a "How to Tell the Time" poster, scraps of fabric, some old biscuit tins and most of the rucksack clips and elastic straps that I keep saving every time a bag wears out - "just in case" I ever need a rucksack clip or an elastic strap.  I haven't ever needed one ... so I certainly don't need a dozen of them!

    5/6/11 Out, out, out!!
    That was another good hour's work - so I had a day off, but having read Stacey's post about her medicine cabinet clear-out I went to tackle ours.  I smugly thought there wouldn't be too much to chuck as I do remember clearing the cupboard out a year (or possibly two) ago ... whoops!

    7/6/11 - Medicine Cabinet clutter
    It would seem nobody bothers to remove empty packets of pills as there were a stack of those.  There wasn't a date on the mosquito repellant, but as it is named from No.1 Son's days in the Boy Scouts I think it may well be a bit past it!  I also didn't realise plasters had a use-by date (although the Jurassic Park themed ones were so old that they no longer had airtight packets - the glue having perished around a decade ago).  No.3 Child looked at me with a withering expression and muttered something about silver and disinfectants and parents today!  The worst offenders?  These two from the beginning of 2003 - so maybe it has been a while since I cleared out that cupboard!

    So there it is - my first week of de-cluttering - nothing remarkable, but a few baby steps in the right direction.  Off to buy new plasters now!!!

    Monday, 6 June 2011

    June Counterfeit Kit

    Burlap & Buttercups June Kit
    It's that time of the month again - when the latest kit-to-copy is announced over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge Blog.  I didn't play along last month as I was due to be away on holiday early in the month, and made an effort to use up left-overs from previous months' kits instead.

    So I'm very happy to be back in the mix today and shopping my stash to make up a kit based on this lovely one from Burlap & Buttercups.  Now, for me at least, there was a little too much pink in this kit - especially after my struggles to use up the pink in my April kit ... so I did what I'd done in February: looked at the essence ofthe original kit, and chose colours that suited me based on that!

    I started with the floral paper and replaced it with a couple of florals from K&Co and then chose a few other papers and card to match.  The original  kit had a lot of ledger-type papers (some on the reverse sides of those shown) so I chose some papers from BG's Recess collection and threw them into the mix.  Finally I needed a shaped piece and found one which toned well with some of the reds in the other papers - I may use it as a template first!!!

    2 blue, cream, watermelon, 1 mustard & 2 brown

    1 Recess Detention by Basic Grey
    1 Bo Bunny Flutter Butter Burst (brown burst circles on reverse)
    1 Scibble Scrabble Prime Times Floral
    1 Recess Standardized, 1 Boxer Wing Tip (both Basic Grey)
    1 Wild Saffron Wild Garden (K & Co)
    1 Recess Erroneous, Scarlet’s Letter Repose (both Basic Grey)
    1 Wild Saffron Wild Flowers, Petite Stripe, Hannah Blue & Ivory Pattern (all K & Co)
    1 Holly-Christmas Vanilla by daisy d’s
    1 Scallop Circle by Making Mmories

    Various flower punches for making my own layered flowers
    Bo Bunny Chunky Charms Brackets in cream
    Chipboard butterflies & butterfly punch
    4 packs of EK Success stickers & rub-ons that I won at a crop in 2006! <<< oldest stash!!!
    Sei Oasis alphabet stickers in brown/cream
    Cosmo Cricket Tiny Type alphabet stickers
    Home made baker’s twine in red/brown plus more ready to colour as required
    Making Memories Harvest medium brads
    Giant cream ric-rac
    2 hat-pins

    Not shown:
    My Little Shoebox Mini alphabet stickers in butter
    Various toning buttons

    During the last two months I have been learning a LOT about printing out my own journalling cards, date stamps etc thanks to being a Hybrid Finalist in UKS's Scrap Factor Competition (still hanging in there, just!).  I will certainly be adding a few hybrid elements in during my month's counterfeiting as I have become rather addicted to home made tickets, personalised bingo cards etc :D

    I am really happy with my kit and have already started creating with it ... hope you have fun with yours!

    Sunday, 5 June 2011

    Summer Time

    It looks like the summer weather is back at last here in the North West of England.  Not that I've been able to enjoy it in the last couple of days.  Friday was spent in a very hot car, with broken air-conditioning, driving to Bangor and back to move No.2 Son home after his first year of university.  And yesterday I was happily cropping with friends while the sun was shining outside; by the time I was back at home and ready to chill with a glass of wine in the garden, it was spitting with rain.

    Maybe today I will get a chance to plant my hanging baskets and then relax in our lovely garden hammock.

    The hammock that started life as a trampoline.

    At least that was what No.3 Child wanted us to buy back in 2007 - a trampoline.  All her friends had one.  She was the only child in the whole universe that didn't have one.  However, we were reluctant to buy one as we felt  a) that she was getting a bit too old for a trampoline and would soon lose interest, b) that a decent sized one would take up too much room in the garden, killing off the grass if it wasn't moved regularly (how?!!) and c) that they're no good for drinking wine on!

    Ever one to compromise, she suggested a hammock as an alternative which was much more acceptable, if less bouncy.  We found the on-line store Hammock Heaven and invested in a "double" hammock that would take several children at once knowing full well what would happen when the children's friends visited!  Of course it arrived during a typically wet week and there was no prospect of it being constructed in the garden for days!  So like good parents, who have already disappointed their daughter once, we built it indoors in the living room!!

    Layout - Hammock in our living room - Jimjams
    Sorry, this page may not be new to UKS readers - made in 2009!

    Child No.3 does still occasionally ask for a trampoline for the garden - but of course now that we have a hammock there's no room!!

    This story was brought to you in conjunction with Siân's Storytelling Sundays - find more June tales here.  Thanks for stopping by :D

    P.S. the Counterfeit Kit for June went live today over on the CKCB - come back tomorrow to see the details of what I shopped my stash for :D

    Wednesday, 1 June 2011

    White Rabbits White Rabbits White Rabbits

    Nijntje & Pals (aka Miffy in the UK)
    That's what I always used to try and say first thing on the first day of the month - before "Good morning" or "Toast please" or whatever it was that first used to leave my lips on a normal day.  I didn't normally manage to get my brain into gear to actually do it though.  It is meant to bring luck I believe - perhaps something to do with white rabbits being witches?

    I did usually manage to join in with the "Pinch and a punch on the first of the month" though - and added the "And no returns!" very quickly or I was likely to get both back in spades from my brothers!

    Anyway - Happy June to you all, may it be lucky!

    I already consider myself pretty lucky - I have reasonable health, a safe and secure home, a family to care for (me), and I have plenty of great life experiences to look back on (and hopefully forward to too).  Not all girls/women are so lucky and it was lovely to read that Shimelle was doing her bit (with scrappers' help) to raise money for Plan UK's Because I Am A Girl campaign.  Unfortunately I was too late to promote this yesterday, but my blog-buddy Mel has put a Shimelle charity class up for grabs on her blog - you have until 5pm today to try for that and arrange a donation in some other way.

    Mel has also been inspiring me with her de-cluttering in May.  That's another side-effect of being fortunate ... we have TOO MUCH STUFF.  It also makes it harder to keep tidy and organised.  So here is my declaration (please help me keep to it): I'm going to copy Mel and try and do a month of de-cluttering; with weekly updates so that I can be held to account!