Blethers and blahs

Random ramblings from a chaotic life

Project 365

First of all there is some possible good news with regards to getting the Becky Higgins Project Life kits here in the UK at a reasonable cost on this blog.  I really hope it all works out as I still would really like to get my hands on this kit for myself and my daughter.

My own pages are up to date, just.  It hasn’t been easy over the past 10 days as there have been some days when getting out of bed has taken all that I have.  Yesterday was a good day but today is about the worst ever with a lot of numbness in my leg as well, which is a worry.  I am hoping to get back to work tomorrow but I will have to see what the morning brings.

I am still happily working my way through the Finding Your Way class and making some changes and I am also noticing some significant changes in my style and the way I do things.  Some pages I am liking more than others but I will explain the ins and outs in the next post.  For now here are my updated pages.  Wish me luck for tomorrow.  Take care x x x

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Project 365

It’s funny, because I sort of jumped into the whole project 365 thing on a whim, without giving it too much thought but I am really enjoying it.  I had seen the new Becky Higgins Project Life kits on Ali Edwards blog but the cost of having them shipped to the UK was extortionate so then I saw some digi page templates on Kate Hadfield’s blog and that was that.  I bought a kit, which I love, from Owl Tree Studios and off I went.  At the start it was tricky remembering to take a photo every day and I often spent one day recreating photos to take of several things that had occurred over the week.  However as time passes I am much more aware of my quest to take one photo every day and I am managing it about 98% of the time, which I think is pretty good.

Here are my pages for the last 2 weeks and this week’s page is almost complete.  I have no doubts that there will be points in the year when my great intentions don’t work out or I get fed up but I am hoping to keep up and see the finished book at the end of the year. One of my long term goals is to convince my daughter how great it would be for her children to have something similar, but that may be a battle I don’t win just yet.

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Digi Delights

It is only Tuesday and I have managed two pages.  Go me!  They are both digi pages, which are a little quicker, but I am pleased to have 2 more stories told.  I had decided to try and complete this week’s challenge over on UKS so I set about making a page that fitted the requirements.  The trouble is my memory is not what it was and I forgot that the challenge said not to use pink or flowers.  This is the page and, as you can see, it certainly didn’t fit the criteria.

As I went to upload it I realised that it didn’t fit but I really liked it so didn’t want to change it in any way so I tried again.  This time the page I made did fit the criteria and records Callan’s current fascination with pushing buttons, especially when they are on something that requires electricity to work.  This has caused some damage to a few things but nothing irreparable, so far anyway.

I am also quite impressed with the fact that I am managing to keep up with my walking, though being back at school will mean I will have to be better organised to ensure I can fit everything in.  I am feeling a lot healthier than I have previously though and I seem to have more energy than before. The walking is fine, I can manage a brisk walk for an hour without any real problems, as long as it’s not too hilly.  I thought I would challenge myself and went swimming yesterday.  I have to confess to thinking that now my fitness had improved a bit it would be fairly straightforward.  The only person that I was fooling was myself!  After 15 minutes I was shattered and after 25 I gave up and left the pool.  I was reallysurprised that Iwasn’t sore today but my lack of stamina was an eye opener so I am going to try and fit swimming in a few times a week, it’s just finding a pool that isn’t full of children at the times I would be using it.  Not an easy thing to do round here but I have a new determination towards getting fitter so I am not going to give up easily.  For now though I am taking my weary body off to lie down with a good book.  Good night.


One small step

One small step along the road I go ……. I think I have finally lost the plot completely.  I have signed up to walk 13 miles at night in September this year in aid of Cancer research.  I was aware of the Glasgow Shine walk last year but I was in no way able to take part.  This year will be different though.  I have been trying to move more and eat less al la Cathy Zeilske since the turn of the year and  I have been moderately successful at sticking to both, despite having been ill for a good part of the month.

I have thought about this for a few weeks now and finally decided that I needed to make a decision.  The fact that it isn’t until September means I have plenty of time to get fit enough to finish it.  It is also thanks to Gordon’s support in helping to clear out our spare room so I have somewhere to use the wii whenever he wants to watch tv.  I have my knitting and sewing machines in there and the rest of the room had just become a dumping ground.  It took many hours of work to get it sorted and nearly finished the two of us off as neither of us were fully recovered from the lurgy.

Part of the spare room

Some of the junk that needed rehoused

My new 'fitness' room

The table in front of the tv is for my sewing machine and is light enough to get moved around to suit.  I just need to find the time and energy to get using it more often, that and my knitting machine.  I have to say that the exercise is helping as I am sleeping better than I usually do and although I am really tired a lot of the time I am putting that down to having been so ill recently and trying to work through it as I just cannot justify taking time off work when many of my colleagues are suffering in the same way.

Needless to say my Project 365 page is all about my fitness endeavours and my shiny bright new trainers which, at only 2 days old, haven’t yet seen the outside world lol.  Tomorrow my baby brother is coming for a visit before he heads back off to China to work again.  He has been home for about a year and is now itching to get back over there.  He leaves later this week and it will be good to see him as I will miss him when he is far away.  Thank goodness for the internet which really has made the world a smaller place.

I still haven’t managed a page as yet but I do have photos prepared and the beginnings of a story in my head, which is progress.  I am not pushing it but I am trying to let it come to me slowly, so as not to premept things or put myself off even more.  Maybe the exercise will help increase my energy levels and bring me a greater sense of calm which will allow me to be creative again.

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My mojo is missing – official.  I sooo want to scrap but I just can’t seem to, no matter how I try.  I have tried digi and paper but nothing, nada, zip.  It is extremely frustrating.  I managed 2 digi pages last week though it was a struggle but since then nothing I have tried has worked.  I have photos ready and a story in my head but I just can’t seem to fit them together.  Today I read Cathy Zeilske‘s blog and something clicked.  I think I need to go back to basics and focus on just the photo and the story and then see what happens.  It won’t be tomorrow as I have to work late but hopefully over the weekend.  I just hope that I manage to find the time and still have the notion.

I have found that in the years I have been scrapbooking my preferred style has changed often, sometimes depending on what is popular at the time, sometimes depending on a new technique or product on the market.  Even with digi my style has changed over time from clean and simple to multi layered and maybe back towards clean and simple.  I don’t have a definitive, consistent style apart from the fact I always use photos and include journalling.  I read on Karen Grunberg‘s blog that she found her style by creating a layout each day for a month.  Now that is something I will probably never have time for, well not unless I give up either eating or sleeping, but I am keeping it in mind.  Hopefully I will find my missing mojo and my own style somewhere down the road.  In the meantime I am still taking photos and recording my stories and for now that will have to be enough.  I do miss the calmness that creating a scrapbook page brings me, and work is so stressful that I really need that feeling of calmness at the moment.  If you have any possible solutions please let me know what they are, I would be very grateful.

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Darth Vader has finally left the building ….

Oh my what a week it has been and certainly not the best week to have been ill.  I have woken myself up so often this past week with my heavy breathing, Darth has my deepest sympathies 🙂  Seriously though I am finally on the mend and couldn’t have picked a worse week to have been ill.  In fact on one of the days I wasn’t fit enough to go to school I managed to get some work brought home to do as it couldn’t be left due to deadlines.

Unfortunately this time I seem to have passed the bug onto Gordon who is suffering mightily as I type.  I am being sympathetic though as I know how awful he is feeling.  I just hope that our quota of sickness has been completed for a good few months anyway.

Crafting wise I haven’t got a huge amount done though I have managed to keep my project 365 up to date.  I am ever hopeful for some extra time in each day and sometimes I am lucky.  I just have to accept that I cannot do everything, though it isn’t always easy.

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This and that

I am so far managing to remember to take a photo a day for my project 365.  I think this will highlight what a pretty boring life I lead but I am hoping that it will encourage me to get out and about  a bit more with my camera, work permitting.

I have to say here that I absolutely love Alexa‘s fortnightly round up and I may try something similar myself next year.

My December Daily is progressing well and I have made myself a list of things I want to include so I feel that the end is finally in sight.  Apart from that life is pretty hectic between a rescheduled Lego Challenge, a new timetable with totally different groups, teaching a very challenging, class 2 mornings a week and all the other little bits life is throwing at me at the start of a new year I am struggling to find a balance at the moment.  I know it will come but there is a fair amount of work to be put in beforehand.  The funny thing is life is good at the moment, challenging but good and for that I am grateful.

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I had a plan

I really did but like some of the best plans, it didn’t quite work the way I had hoped.  I am used to plans as my hole working life is planned in advance.  We complete long term plans and weekly plans, individual plans and group plans, even our holidays are planned in advance for us.  My plan was to work on my December Daily digitally but to scrap some of my many Christmas photos with paper and embellies as I was yearning for the tactileness that I could see on other people’s pages.  I used the box from last years December Daily to store all my Christmas themed papers and embellies  so they were to hand, I gathered all my unscrapped Christmas photos from my binders and my category drawers and all I needed to find was some time.

Now I am a great little bits of life and little stories scrapbooker but I am a rubbish event scrapbooker.  When I first started going to crops and the people talked about having to finish one album before starting another I used to smile as I had no idea about scrapbooking like that.  I had always scrapped those photos that took my fancy and in very random order and although i take loads of photos at events such as birthdays and Christmas I seldom get round to doing anything with them other than an occasional multi photo digi page, so there were a fair few photos.

I have managed to make some small dent in my Christmas photos but not near as many I would have liked to have done.  Now I am fed up with moving the box of stuff from one spot to another to get room for anything else so I have put it away for now.  I am looking forward to scrapping something other than Christmas photos.  I am almost fed up with my December Daily now but I am determined to finish it and get it printed and bound and put away safe.

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Slow progress

I am making slow progress with a few things just now.  I am on the mend after the horrible flu type virus but it is painfully slow, and boy the cough and my throat are still very painful.  I am making slow progress through the pages for my December Daily, I am about to start on 9th December, and I am also making slow progress with my new toy, a LK 150 knitting machine.

I have wanted a knitting machine for many years now and following a conversation with my children on Boxing Day I finally bit the bullet and bought one.  Unfortunatley due to the holidays a lot of the extra bits I need such as the DVD, a yarn winder and some cones of yarn have only just arrived so I have only really had a little play and have not actually made anything as yet.  I am so amazed at how fast a piece of knitted fabric is produced though, I can see the demand for knitted garments from my family being even greater than before, but at least I might have half a chance at keeping up now.

The only times I have been out of the house this past week have been with my grandaughters.  On Wednesday Iwent with my daughter and Katy to see Hairspray in Edinburgh.  It was Katy’s treat to make up for her birthday party having to be cancelled because of the snow.  I have to say it was an absolutely amazing show, one of the best I have seen and so much fun.  Today it was my oldest gradaughter Beth’s turn.  We were having a girly shopping day so she could spend her Christmas money.  It was great fun and she did really well but I am so tired tonight, way more than I would have thought possible.  The plan is for a lazy weekend so that I am fighting fit for Monday, well as close as I am likely to be anyway.  Hopefully I will be a bit more proficient with my knitting machine, a bit more up to date with my DD and I am hoping to get a chance to scrap with paper too, though that might be pushing my luck a bit.  We’ll see.

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I knew it wouldn’t last

The daily posting that is, but I do have a very good excuse.  Yesterday was my youngest granddaughter’s birthday party.  She will be 6 on Tuesday and this was to be her first proper party, in a hall with a special children’s DJ and all of her cousins, classmates and friends.  Until it snowed, that is.  On Thursday we got the news that there was no safe access to the venue, so it might have to be cancelled, on Friday the cancellation was confirmed.  To say she was disappointed was an understatement.  Still we pulled out all the stops and made it as fun a day as possible.  It was the have a Glee theme but many of the decorations were trapped in snowbound post offices so I spent Thursday and Friday printing as many Glee pics as I could and making badges and cake toppers, not to mention cakes, to try and make it special for her.

Luckily quite a few of her classmates managed to make it, as did al of her cousins and most other family members.  By the end of it I was completely exhausted but I did manage to get my December Daily pages made before I passed out late last night with exhaustion.  I am not totally happy with the Dec 4th one so that will probably get a revamp at some point when I have a bit of time to think, but for now it is done.

The other thing that has been keeping me busy is the Scrappy Little Christmas Cybercrop over on UKS this weekend.  It’s not that I have had time to actually create anything, though I am hoping to change that today, but I have been busy leaving feedback for people who have taken the class I was invited to produce.  I have been stunned by some of the results – they have made me laugh and cry and I would like to say a great big THANK YOU to everyone who has done the class.  I have to say that when i was first asked I was very close to saying no for various reasons.  I was delighted to be asked but I was wary of the way it would be received, with a careful eye on the UK Smack Blog where I have had my share of clouts over time, and also on UKS itself, which is a forum I enjoy being part of.  Luckily the reception so far has been positive and from the pages made so far, I am really pleased that I did do it.  It was mainly thanks to Angela, who I was meeting the day I got the invite and who helped me to work out what I wanted to do and kindly provided the papers I used.  Part of my worry was the step by step instructions, something I had never done before but having taken many online classes I knew that what seemed obvious to one person was not necessarily so for another.  Thankfully the process seems to be hitch free and I can now share the pages.

We were asked to produce a class with a technique and also a card, as it is that time of year.  I had less than a week to get it all done and sent away, which felt very pressured.  For me the technique was obvious – journalling – as it is something that is second only to the photos for me and sometimes it is first.  Putting it all together was a bit more difficult as it is out of some people’s comfort zone but still needed to appeal to a very wide audience.  In the end I went with a letter to Santa, which had a bit of poetic licence applied to make it more appealing, and a list.  The letter page is something that I will be making another, if not several, more versions of based on the inspiration of those who have done the class already, so thanks again to those who have shared their pages.  For now, enough of me, I am off to spend my last day before the stress of school tomorrow and Lego on Wednesday hits me.  Take care x x x