Blethers and blahs

Random ramblings from a chaotic life

Storytelling Sunday

It is so good to be back blogging.  My beloved thought it would be a really good idea to update my operating system but somehow that meant I couldn’t access the disk with all my photos and project life on!  Thankfully it is now sorted, I have missed blogging almost as much as I have missed having access to my photos.  It is my own fault in a way as I feel it is much safer to keep these precious, irreplaceable things seperate from the rest of my computer, just in case anything major goes wrong.

Anyway, to get back to my story.  This story is about a girl who was so conscious of how she looked that even emptying the rubbish required full make up and fashionable clothes.  Nothing was ever too expensive, as long as she had the cash to pay for it, and no amount of time taken to get ready was too long, even for putting out the rubbish. However she hated having her photo taken and would always hide from the camera.  Then she  had children and suddenly things changed.  The children took centre stage and putting the rubbish out no longer required any make up and was sometimes even done while wearing pyjamas, though she still hated the camera and getting her photo taken.  Gradually over time she came to ignore the camera as it helped capture the little, day to day things in her children’s lives that made her heart glad.  Like trying on new swimming goggles before the excitement of going swimming, like joining in with her children’s imaginative play, like being mummy and loving it.

This is also a story about a lady who likes getting messy with her grandchildren, and without them, and had forgotten how much fun it is to blow paint with a straw and mix colours and have fun while recording an everyday moment.

This lady would like to thank you for stopping by and invite you to enjoy some of the other stories that you will find links to from here.  Happy storytelling Sunday everyone.


Edited to add – Blogger isn’t letting me leave comments this morning so I will try again later, my apologies to anyone using Blogger whose story I have read, I am not ignoring you honest 🙂


Storytelling Sunday – Generations of crafters

I love crafts, all kinds of crafts from scrapbooking to knitting, crochet, sewing, baking, cross stitch and a few others that I have been less than successful at.  I think it is genetic.  My mother was a keen needlewoman and sewed, knitted, crocheted and baked.  I am sure she would have been a scrapbooker had she known about it as many of the photo albums she kept had tags with them which told part of the story.  My maternal grandmother did all these things too but that was as much out of neccesity as enjoyment.  In fact the other day I found a lilac dressing table mat that had been crocheted from very fine cotton and was one of the many that I remember gracing my grandmother’s dressing table over the years to stop the top of it being scratched.  I also remember embroidered chair backs and sleeve covers to keep the furniture good.

There were a few down sides to having such a creative parent such as always having hand knitted things when everyone else had – what seemed to me then – prettier shop bought clothes.  Now it is far cheaper to buy than to knit clothes but then it was the opposite. This page shows me about 2 years old, wearing my handknitted togs and my hand sewn tartan trews.  My mother sewed everything by hand and never quite got to grips with a sewing machine.  I cut my teeth on a treadle machine aged about 14.  My grandad had bought it in an auction – a real one where people bid in person, because he thought I would like it.  What an understatement, I made so many clothes on that machine including most of my first working wardrobe, I was heartbroken when it died and I so wish I had kept it.  I had hand sewed things before that though and I still have the certificate I got aged 11 for making a large, red corduroy stuffed cat.

This is all put into perspective by a phone call from my oldest grandaughter earlier in the week looking for wool.  She had been sewing thistles at school and they wanted to make more things but the teacher didn’t have any other colours of wool so could I spare some?  The answer was, of course, yes and off I dashed.  The emergency parcel contained a book on needlecrafts for children, that I had bought for myself as there were some super ideas in it, some embroidery thread, some wool and some felt.  I had bought her a Harumika doll as part of her Christmas and she has hardly put it down since so I knew she would find these things useful.  The next thing I knew she had made herself a dog puppet to play with her younger brother with, which was lovely.

I wonder of my great grandchildren will also have the crafting bug?  I hope I am around to support and guide them if they are, oh and share some stash with them too 🙂


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WOWW 137 – Where does the time go?

I am sure Wednesdays are coming round ever faster these days.  What’s on my workdesk today?  Sadly no zombies as yet, but I have managed to gather all the relevant pieces so hopefully soon.

Time is of the essence just now as I have gone from working 5 mornings and 1-2 afternoons to working 4.5 days during the week and at least one day of my weekend so crafty time is short.  Hence the guddle on my desk as everything gets done in 15 minute bursts or nothing would get done at all!  The photos are for the sketch, which is a UKS challenge.  These is so much going on over on UKS these days I can’t keep up but it is making me take these 15 minutes and do something with them, which is great.  I just haven’t decided which set of pics to go for but I have specific papers in mind so once that decision is made it should come together quite quickly.

The embossing powders are for a tag swap at one of the crops I attend and as they are due for next weekend, I really need to get myself moving with them, but they aren’t calling me quite as strongly as the need to make a scrapbook page, or even a zombie.  I must say no to the next swap, as life is just too busy at the moment.

For heaps more inspiration of various kinds, hop on over to Julia’s blog, where I will be at some point tonight.  Enjoy!


Project Life

Well, I have made a start on my project life album and it has been a lot of fun so far.  I don’t always remember to take a photo a day but I have decided that I am going to work on a sort of weekly overview format for this as it takes the pressure off and lets me include photos that I want to keep and look at rather than filler pics for a day that nothing much happened.  I had initially thought of working Sunday to Sunday but that would mean putting the pages together about a week behind when they happened so I am going with more of a Thursday to Thursday option so I can put it together over the weekend.  I haven’t done a formal title page and I am still pondering about whether I will but I think I will leave that for just now and see how I feel as the weeks progress.

A very kind lady on UKS shared this link, which will help for weeks like this one where I am sending away an online photo order so won’t have my pictures to hand immediately.  It lets me get the journalling done ready to slip the photos in when I get them.  So far I have either printed the digital cards I bought or made my own using the extra digi bits but I am planning on taking some stamps and papers with me on crop days to make up a few more embellished cards.  This will make me happy, use some of my stash and save me carrying bags of stuff that I never open.  Sounds like a plan, but we will see how it goes.

Front page

Page 2

Page 3


Storytelling Sunday 3

Last Sunday the story just sort of came due to the fact that it was New Year and full of memories of that time of year.  I sort of fell into Sian’s Storytelling Sunday link by accident, but what a happy accident it was.  I was so touched by all the lovely comments, which was an unexpected bonus, and the realisation that this was why I scrapbooked, to tell stories.  So I am going to try my best to maintain a story every Sunday.  Some will have photos, some will have scrapbook pages but all will have words from the heart.  I won’t promise that they will always be happy stories, because my life is not always happy, and I doubt anyone else’s is either, but they all add up to making me, me.

This story is about a little girl who loved to dress up.  It didn’t have to be fancy costumes or even fancy clothes, it just had to be things that belonged to someone else, preferably her grandma.  She also liked others to join in and would often coerce her younger brother, her cousins and anyone else she could find into dressing up as well.  Sometimes she would be the artistic director and put on plays with each character being told what to do in a very bossy voice.  Over the years she accumulated a diverse selection of props including the beret that her grandmother had been given when she started work as a postie, the platform shoes that her mother had clung onto since her teenage years in the 1970’s and an old flowered apron that had been an unwanted gift to someone as it had gold thread through it that was very scratchy.  Her favourite thing though was a dress that her mother had made for her Christmas party when she was 6.  It was pink and shiny and she loved it. It no longer fitted her but it did fit her younger brother and her cousins and she often coerced them into wearing it.  Given that they ranged between 3 and 5 years of age they didn’t really object and she was always able to sweet talk them into doing what she wanted eventually.

Fast forward 20 years and the little girl has a girl of her own, and a boy.  They both love to dress up and although they prefer proper costumes, hand made or shop bought, they do still dress up in other people’s clothes from time to time.  Here is a page made with her own little girl in her mum’s music festival sunglasses, her big cousin’s raincoat and her uncle’s slippers.

The Dress made for the Christmas Party

Making this dress was my first experience of working with organza and it was a fraught process.  I still have it though and it isn’t the neatest thing I have ever made but it remains part of our family history and is simply known as – the dress.

The Snow Queen

This is a photo of the original little girl, my daughter, now all grown up, with her little girl who is wearing a snow queen dress that her mummy spent many hours sewing beads onto on the form of snowflakes because that was what she wanted to dress up as.  I wonder if the next generation will enjoy dressing up too.  Happy storytelling Sunday to you, wherever you are.

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Almost ready

Well my crop was a success, though the journey was a bit scary due to the very strong winds and the fact that is was dark and the rain was sheeting down.  Not something I would like to repeat in a hurry.  I managed to get 2 pages completed and another started which I finished yesterday.  I even got my tote mostly unpacked and the bits that I hadn’t bothered putting away for ages put away.  Go me!

The advent tree is now finished and I do love it, I have even started to think about doing one for myself for next year, just as a decoration.

and a wee close up to show the effect of all the glitter.  I doubt I have ever used as much glitter on anything before, not even Christmas at school 🙂

Here is one of the pages I made at Saturday’s crop – I had used an argyle mask to mist the background and then, to my friend Heather’s total horror I simply swiped a red inkpad across the page.  I am not usually so reckless but having had to reprint the photos as I mucked them up once before I had a bit of a devil may care attitude and luckily it worked.  It could so easily have been disastrous.

For now I have some gorgeous hug snug seam binding calling me and waiting to be made into wonderful things, maybe even some Christmas cards that I haven’t managed to think about yet.  I will not let my indecisiveness overtake my mojo again so I am away to make some decisions and write them down so I don’t forget.


Tired and restless

I’m not sure what’s been wrong with me this week as I have been totally out of sorts.  Thankfully it is now the holidays and we even have some very welcome sunshine so hopefully I will be back to normal (well, what passes for it) soon.

I have been very productive on the scrapbooking front recently but even that has been missing this past week.  I did buy some fab stamps and punches from Stampin’ Up! which arrived on Friday so I am hoping to actually find the motivation to use them before today is over.  I hadn’t even seen a Stampin’ Up! catalogue until fairly recently and while their focus is very much on card makers, which I am definitely not, they did have some great bits and I have no doubts I will be looking at what they have to offer more often now I know how good they are and how easy it is to get their stuff.  I bought my stamps and punches from Cal, who also very kindly sent me some of her unwanted ink pads.  I had been finding that many of my ink pads were going dry because of the way I was storing them, which was great when I used to go to regular crops, but less so now I don’t.  I had asked on UKS for advice on which ink pads were the best to buy as I have a mish mash of different types and wanted to stick with one or two types if I was reinvesting.  Gwyneth very kindly sent me an empty Ferrero Rocher box which I great for storing cat’s eye and Brilliant small ink pads, thank you so much Gwyneth for your kindness.  Now my ink pads are better stored but I still have to go through them and weed out the really dry ones.

I use stamps and inks a lot when making pages, especially for journalling but for making embellishments and for adding that little something extra too.  In fact they are amongst my essential go to’s when making pages along with punches and/or sizzix dies, my alphabets and stickers/rub ons.

For this page I used stamps, inks and an edge punch.

For this page I used stamps, ink, stickers and an edge punch

I am slowly working out the things I really like and use as opposed to the things I really like.  Hopefully I will be able to continue making pages I am happy with along with a dent in the scrapbooking supplies I have amassed and not find myself hankering after too many things I won’t actually use, as has happened in the past.  Wish me luck!

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Mixed blessings

I cannot believe how long it has been since I posted here!  I haven’t been in the most positive frame of mind these past few weeks so it’s maybe just as well I was MIA as it wouldn’t have been cheery posts.  The good news is my knee is almost as it was, I still have problems with stairs, especially going up them, but I can walk normally which is a huge improvement.  I need to sort myself out an exercise programme that allows me to strengthen my knees before I go back to the exercise routine I had.  I am amazed at how much I have missed my daily walking, I mean exercise was something other people did and not something I really enjoyed, until fairly recently.  Hopefully in 6 months time I will have surpassed my previous levels of fitness and be enjoying my exercising again.

I am still loving Karen‘s Finding Your way class over at BPS.  I am not how much of my way I have found but I can see a definite increase in awareness of how I put a page together, what I like and don’t like and the sort of style I really, really like.  In fact I have become almost obsessive about scrap-booking again, almost like I was when I first discovered it way back when.  In some ways being stuck at home immobile has been a mixed blessing as it has allowed me the time to experiment and look and think and get myself lost in the process again.  I think I sort of lost that a bit and found making pages really hard at times, though I’m not sure why.

For now I will share a page I like and think is my style, a page I like but I’m not sure if it’s my style and a page I really don’t like, though life is far too short for me to do anything with it apart from put it in an album and consider it a story told.

This took ages to pull together and although it's nothing like I thought it would be, I really like and I do think it is me.

This I love but I am not sure if it is really my style or if it a very heavily influenced by Karen style. I found it quite stressful to pull together but I love the finished result.

This I don't like. I was experimenting with various things and it is one of 2 pages that I have made recently that I actively dislike, though I have no doubts that my granddaughter will love it, and that is important.

For now I will wish you a happy mother’s day as I toddle off back to my craft desk.  It is an early start for school tomorrow and I will be glad to be back properly.

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Down but not out

I can hardly believe it’s been 2 weeks since I last posted on here, my apologies if you have visited waiting for an update.  Last week I managed to tear one of the ligaments on the inside of my left knee which has left me in a lot of pain and majorly hacked off at the impact this is having on my ability to do things.  It is mending but slowly.  In fact the first few days after I did it I ended up in so much pain due to resting that I could barely move at all!  I had sat so long with my leg as comfy as possible that my back siezed up.  Thankfully my back has now loosened and my knee is mending but driving is out, as is working.  In fact on Monday my boss sent me home from work as I was a health and safety hazard, if the school had gone on fire I would not have been able to get out in the allotted time 🙂  The worst of it is I have so much I need to do before the Easter holidays roll around and being stuck at home isn’t helping.  I will just have to work extra hours from next week, when I will be back at work, knee or not.  I have a knee support now so that will help.

As far as my scrapping goes and my Find Your Way class, well that has been an eye opener.  I have made several pages and discovered a few things abut my own process that I wasn’t aware of before.  Size wise I prefer 12×12 though I do sometimes use 8.5×11 and I also realised that although I prefer to use cardstock as my base I always have some patterned paper between my base and my photos.  This was something I wasn’t aware of before but having looked back through my albums it is something I have almost always done.

I also discovered that I have many papers with cute, repeating patterns which I don’t actually like very much.  I will use them though but I certainly won’t be buying any more.  I have found myself using my stamps more often, which makes me happy.

Last week’s lesson was about photos and photo sizes.  I normally get my photos printed 6×4 and these get stored in my photo albums ready for scrapping and once the albums get full I move the photos into category drawers.   This time I decided to get some of my photos printed smaller, particularly those where I wanted to use several photos to tell the story.  I chose 4×3 and 2.5×3.5 dependant on how many photos I wanted to use.  This was a bit scary because I remember when I switched from 5×7 to 6×4 several years ago, the photos seemed to be lost on my page and I was a bit concerned that I would feel the same this time.  I was delighted to find that this wasn’t the case at all, in fact I have really enjoyed using smaller photos as I often have several photos for a story and it is very hard to decide which ones to use.

This was just such a fun page to make.  I used loads of my BamPop frames and 2 photos that wouldn’t usually make it to being printed as the quality isn’t great but they go with the story and the overall page makes me smile.  The next thing I tried was using several copies of the same photo.  I had these printed in error due to the amount I needed to get printed but I like the end result.  I’m not sure I would do this often but I have tried it.

I also discovered that by writing my journalling roughly in my head before deciding on a title, the title will come more easily.  This is a huge relief as I sometimes struggle with titles.  I’m not sure I would be brave enough to commit my journalling to paper first before deciding on a title as I would worry about not having enough room to fit it all in, but that might get easier with time.  Who knows?  For now I am happy creating pages and being more aware of what makes me happy both during the process and with the end result.  Hopefully by my next post my knee will have healed and I will have made even more exciting discoveries about my own scrapping process.  Please feel free to share your own scrapping process with me.  Take care x x x

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Unexpected Delight

If someone had asked me how I would describe my scrapbooking style I would have used the words clean, uncluttered, not messy and varied.  This week I hav surprised myself though.  I had a few photos on my desk that I was determined to use and I had begun to gather bits in a ‘favourite basket’.  This was one of Karen‘s ideas and I have to say I really liked.  I normally am quite uptight about keeping my stash tidy and in the ‘right’ places but as I was reorganising I found a few things that I had forgotten I had but really liked so I decided to adopt it and see how it goes.

So far I really like it and I am using things that would otherwise be lost in the mass of stuff.  I founf myself playing a little bit here and there with stuff I had close to my desk and I am really happy with the result.  It isn’t anything like I would have expected to come up with as I used mists and paint and ink and other messy bits, which is why it was made in short bursts as it needed to dry in between.

It’s a bit squint and not the best photo of it but I still think it’s kind of cute.  I managed another page after this which is totally different but the light was too bad to photograph it tonight.  I am quite enjoying this journey of adventure, for the moment anyway.

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