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 🙂


WOWW 131 – needles and pins

My workdesk has been in a different place for the past week  the remains of the backwards Christmas cards are still on my main desk.  The reason is simple – one special little girl’s 7th birthday and a grandmother who likes to indulge and as usual, totally overestimate my capabilities.

Many months ago I promised my granddaughter a doll for her birthday.  Not just any doll but a doll that looked like her.  I had seen the American Girl dolls and was totally taken by them helped by the fact that most of the gorgeous sewing patterns for dolls clothes were for 18″ dolls which I could only find one of in the UK and I didn’t like it.  Since then of course Argos now do a lovely 18″ doll at a really good price, just my luck.  To get back to the original story I duly bought an AG doll (the shipping and tax were horrendous!) and although it was expensive I don’t regret it.  This was swiftly followed by loads of knitting and crochet and the cutting out of sewing patterns and fabric.

Note that I haven’t yet mentioned the sewing of fabric.  In my typical fashion i left that till the last minute so I have spent almost every waking minute for the past week sewing elastic into knickers and trousers or making clothes or sewing on press studs or velcro and I am almost finished.  This is a good thing because her birthday is today!  I need to rush home form work later today, hastily wrap up boxes and then see if all my efforts have been worth it.  No, I take that back, I know all my efforts have been worth it as I have enjoyed almost every minute and I have no doubts that I will continue to enjoy making clothes for the doll for many years to come.  I did worry when I found myself awake in the wee hours of Sunday morning stressing about whether I had made pyjamas for the doll 🙂  This is a particular worry as the said little girl has a few dolls but one very special one called Baby Carrot, from whom she has been inseparable for 4 years now and who is a part of the family.  My granddaughter insists that my daughter is her granny, much to my daughter’s displeasure.  In fact BC has been the feature of several scrapbook pages including this one I made for a challenge at a recent crop.

The challenge called for lace which i didn’t have in the right colours so I crocheted some which meant the page was a bit rushed to get it finished in the time allotted.  I added some beads into the lace as I went and I like how it turned out so I will probably do something similar again at some point.  For now, I am away to sew buttons to a dolls jacket though i promise to share some photos of the finished items over the next few days.

If you want to see many more inspirational blogs, pop over to Julia’s blog.


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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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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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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Out of chaos comes …..

….. even more chaos!  Now I have never pretended to be a naturally tidy person.  Although I hate mess and clutter I am someone who seems to create it wherever they are, especially at home.  This is partly because I have too much stuff – in this house there are way too many books, too much stash of the wool, fabric and paper crafting kind, and simply too much.  I am not alone as himself is a really bad hoarder and has been known to ‘rescue’ things that other people have thrown out to make into something else.  Somehow though, when there is too much stuff evident, it is my fault.  I have yet to find the truth in that but himself is sticking to his carefully constructed theory, regardless.

Over the years I have found that too much is not always a good thing, sometimes it can even be the worst thing.  I am sure I am not alone in sitting down to create some (wonderful?) masterpiece and finding that making a decision about what to actually use and what to do with it defeats me and I wander off having created nothing but more mess.  Please tell me that I’m not.  Anyway, this issue of stuff came to a head at the weekend for 2 reasons.  1 was because of the class I take on Thursday and Friday mornings and the teacher who normally has them for the Thursday afternoon being off sick and the other was because of this class over at BPS.

At Golden time, which is a 30 minute treat time that all children get, poor behaviour results in minutes lost from the original 30, I had a small group of girls who wanted to use one of the school sizzix machines to make some things.  We don’t have many dies or nice paper but they started making a fairy garden with what they could find.  I told them I would bring in some different dies and maybe some nice paper for this week’s Golden Time.  Karen’s BPS class is about finding your own authentic scrapbooking style.  What do they have in common I hear you ask?

Well, one of the main tasks in the initial class lesson is to sort your scrapbook stash so that those things you use most frequently are closest to hand.  I have almost managed this but I had to restructure a few things, not least my rub ons and stickers and my stamps.  Now these 2 categories sort of amount to more than a few things and it took me many hours to get them reorganised.  The next hurdle was a file box I had of 12×12 sheets of alphas and die cuts and journalling cards and various other ‘bits’ that didn’t fit anywhere else.  I have been meaning to sort this box for months now but I kept putting it off.  I started this on Saturday and I managed to get it finished about half an hour ago having slogged away at it for most of my ‘at home and awake time’ since then.  All I have to do now is see if it works with my creative process and I am all set.  If it doesn’t …. I think I may just give up, lol.  I did manage to purge a fair bit of paper along to way for the kids at school so tomorrows’ Golden Time may be happier but I think I may be spreading the chaos!

Most of the rub ons and stickers waiting to be sorted.

3 boxes of stamps

Rub ons and stickers in their new home

Most of the bits and bobs box waiting to be sorted

Please excuse the god awful wallpaper.  I have been meaning to redecorate this room for months now but I never seem to have the energy and time at a similar point.  Hopefully in the forthcoming Easter holiday, though the thought of relocating all of my stuff to do it fills me with dread.

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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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