Thursday, 30 December 2010

Here Comes 2011

Here we are again about to enter into a new year and a new decade.  Yes, 2011 is almost upon us and as we say farewell to 2010, what are your thoughts on that year?  Was it a good year for you, did you achieve any of the things you wanted to?  This time of year certainly makes me look back at the good bits, I prefer not to give the low points any consideration at all.  They are gone, done and dusted and nothing can change that.

As for me I did achieve two of my goals for 2010.  I decorated the lounge and our bedroom and although I was exhausted by the time I finished I was also jubilant that they were no longer on my long decorating 'To Do List'.  Other highlights included visiting the Al Hambra in Spain and at work successfully, I think, coping with the change of staff in my department.

As for the new year, I never make resolutions because they inevitably fall by the wayside.  Instead I make a mental note of one or two things I would like to achieve or succeed in for the coming months.  If I manage these I am pleased.  If I manage these and go on to achieve more then I'm elated.

Whatever your thoughts at the moment, I wish you and yours a wonderful New Year.  See you in 2011 and may it be a good one for us all.
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Monday, 27 December 2010

Was Santa Good To You?

Well.  Was he?  I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas. All the hard work for a couple of days but I still think it's worth it.  Even though we woke on Christmas Day morning to find one of the toilets blocked and leaking.  It's sorted now thanks to Keith but it's a mystery as to why it happened.  Maybe a certain man in a red suit had something to do with it or perhaps a house-trained reindeer!!

Enjoy a few relaxing days before the hype of New Year's Eve sets in.  What do you do to celebrate the new year?  Will you be crafting some decorations or banners?

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Thursday, 23 December 2010

Only 2 More Sleeps Till Christmas!

Yes folks,  only 1 more day after this so hopefully you have all you need, including loved ones and can settle down for a wonderful Christmas.  So....

With a raised glass to those who have passed,
enjoy laughter and good cheer with those still here.
May your Christmas be all you wish for yourself,
with a New Year that brings prosperity and good health.

CHEERS AND MERRY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL

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Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Christmas Comes But Once A Year

Nearly there.  The turkey and bacon joint are defrosting, the gifts are under the tree, just the vegetables and ice cream to buy.  Phew!  Just time to make a nice card to hand to a friend.

I stamped white card with the Crafty Individuals Script stamp
C1-017 in StazOn bronze, repeating the stamp across the card.  Then I die cut the word panel from it and mounted this onto green card stock.  A few small stick on bronze gems gave just enough bling to finish it off.

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Sunday, 19 December 2010

Journal Your Christmas - My Christmas Wish Page

Here's another page from my album for Shimelle Laine's online class.  It is all about my perfect Christmas Day and what it would be like.  I chose to write a letter to the Christmas Fairy stating what my perfect day would be and popped it into the pocket on the right-hand fold-out page.  This pocket was a pre-cut element from a Carol Wilson kit as were the papers used. 

The photo of us was taken earlier this year when Louise wanted a family portrait.  So out came the digi and the tripod and after several false starts this one was acceptable.



I layered the cut out photo with chipboard elements inside the frame to give a cartoon-like background. Then I added  little felt Christmas hats to stick on our heads and added the chipboard stockings, parcels and candy canes with foam squares.  A length of tinsel, some stamped parcels and a few buttons finished the page.

I don't usually leave so much white space on a page in fact this is the first one but somehow it didn't anything else.  I'll certainly try and leave more space on future pages although I'm not sure how I'll like it on a larger 12" x 12" page as these are 8" x 8" and 8" x 4"

Well as I finish typing this post, we have had another day of snow.  The roads around about are not great and in fact we abandoned a trip out of town this morning because of the road conditions.  I hope this is the last of it now as we still need to get shopping., bring family home and go to work.

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Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Journal Your Christmas - Online class

First of all a big Thank You to Max at Allblogtools.com for reinstating the signature on my blog.

Secondly I thought it was time to post some of the pages in the JYC class.  This is the class run by Shimelle Laine (click the link on the sidebar to go to her site) and what an enjoyable class it is.  Each day from 1st December to 6th January there is a prompt sent to your email box with pictures, suggestions and guidance on putting together a scrapbook page for the theme that day.  None of these have been onerous but each one has made me think, remember and create. 

I am posting just four pages from my Journal.  I made an 8" x 8" album and decided to add 4" x 8" flaps to each page to give me enough separate scrapbook pages for each day. 

I would highly recommend this class to you for next year because at the end you have a unique, of-the-moment memory or your Christmas.


The theme for 6th December was A Tale of Two Christmases so this page tells of a Christmas from my childhood.


This is the second page, which recalls a more recent Christmas memory.


This picture shows two pages for the 8th and 9th December which were looking at something new this year and a Christmas tradition.

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Sunday, 12 December 2010

A Christmas Keepsake

Remember the run of  projects using CD cases?  Well here's one more and no, I still have loads left!

This is a nice little gift that the kids can make for elderly relatives coming for Christmas.  You know what it's like, you take lots of pictures of the children opening their presents and Granny and Grandad having fun.  Well how about taking five minutes out of a busy day to print a couple of the pictures out and pop them  inside this keepsake wallet.  You don't have to matt the pictures but if you prepared them in advance it would be quick to do.  Then the children can give their relatives a momento to take home straight away.  A nice way to remember a lovely family day.





For instructions on how to make this using a cardboard CD case scroll down to Blog Archive and click on July, then scroll down to 'Sick of those free CDs' or you could make one from card stock.  Once made you can embellish to your hearts content.  I kept mine fairly plain, using a pre-cut frame on the front to write the recipients name and year.

Ho, ho,ho!!  Still no signature but I'm working on it with help from Max at Allblogtools.com.
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Thursday, 9 December 2010

ATCs for Christmas

Here are the ATCs for November. The theme, obviously from the cards, was Christmas.


The next theme for December and January is Hangover Cures, stupidly suggested by me as a joke but Brenda who runs the swap over on Crafts on the Net decided to use the idea.  I'm sure the other 'swappers' are calling me all sorts of names.

By the way, I seems to have lost my signature on the posts yet the code is still pasted on my dashboard.  I'm hoping it will reappear but in case it doesn't has anyone else had that problem and if so any suggestions about how to rectify it?


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Sunday, 5 December 2010

New Challenge Blog with Candy!


Ooh! Thanks to Jacki over at Cards by Jacki I've just found out about a new challenge blog Do It With Digis.  They three prizes to give away so pop over,  sign up and look forward to something different in the New Year.  Just click the link on the sidebar, it couldn't be easier and good luck.


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Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

YIPPEE!!!!!  It's Christmas and in case you hadn't realised already, I love Christmas and so do my family, especially Louise.  She came home for a couple of days at the end of last week and whilst home we put the decorations up including of course the tree.  She goes mad with tinsel and every picture is adorned with it in various colours as are the banister rails.  If the cat sat still long enough I think she find a shiny addition to her tail! 

The tree is our main focus and it takes a good couple of hours to decorate it between us, with four sets of lights, more tinsel and so many decorations that we are beginning to run out of branches.  Our tree is full of memories for us which is another tradition which seems to have evolved over the years and it's a particularly joyous one because every year we remember people through the decorations. 

I'm not going to waffle on anymore but here is the tree together with close ups of some of those memories.



A former Primary 1 pupil made this in class as part of our art and craft lessons.  It was for the children to take home but she wanted me to have it.  


This was a gift from my daughter's Reception Class Teacher, Miss Holden at Maple Infants School in Surrey.  







We have several of these handmade tags which came from presents received from various relatives over the years.  Naturally their names are on the back so we know who gave them.







We have two of these.  They were cut from the centres of Christmas cards sent by relatives of Keith who live in wales.  We wrote their names on the back and the year we received them.  The cards were handmade and the centres just begged to be kept.





Last but not least this is a very delicate ornament which I used to hang on the tree with my Dad when I was little.  I only have a couple left, together with some lovely 1950's tree lights which no longer work but I can't bear to throw them out.  I also have 6 paper lanterns of assorted colours, slightly faded and marked with 'Product of the British Empire', again from the 50's.  These I try and hang up somewhere from a picture rail.





There are many other assorted 'memories' on our tree.  Two silver bell ornaments which were from my eldest sister's wedding back in the early 60's and some hanging pine cones which I remember Mum hanging from wall lights when I was a child.

How many memories are on your tree? 

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Friday, 3 December 2010

Bags More Christmas Ideas

Here's the other festive gift bag I mentioned.  Originally it had a free gift in it with the store logo which adorned the front and back of the bag.  I kept it because it was black and when I found it the other day I decided to revamp it for Christmas.


I covered the logo on the front and back with a scalloped circle cut using a Nestabilities Die and red card and using Glossy Accents, glued this over the writing to hide it.  Then I decided to make a Poinsettia for the front of the bag. 

I cut 5 large petal shapes and 5 smaller petal shapes from matt red card stock and using a pencil, rolled each petal from the middle to the end to give some dimension.  Using Glossy Accents, I glued the 5 larger petals around a point to form the outer leaves and did the same with the 5 smaller petals to form the inner leaves.  A line of Stickles Xmas Red along the centre of each petal finished the leaves and I added a contrasting metal and ribbon flower to the centre.

Remember I promised stamped ribbons.  Well you can see that I've added some to the Poinsettia.  I experimented by stamping onto different kinds of ribbon but found that satin worked best.  Matt or cotton finish and organza ribbons left the image very pale and almost unrecognisable.  I found the best results were from using black StazOn stamped onto red satin and gold StazOn stamped onto green satin.

To adhere the ribbon to the bag I used Herma Transfer Adhesive Sheets.  These are A5 sized sheets with a peel off backing which reveals a sticky surface underneath.  You rub the ribbon onto the sticky surface, wrong side down and it coats the back of the ribbon with an adhesive. 

TOP TIP

Be careful how you peel the ribbon off as the edges may pull and begin to fray.

Once the ribbon was in place I edged it with dots of the red stickles to complement the flower.  Then I made a gift tag by layering three different sized Nestabilities Scalloped Circles two red and one black, although in the photo it only looks like two circles, adding another metal and fabric flower to match the Poinsettia.  

I hope you like this idea and if you find any gift bags laying around the cupboard give it a go and customise one for a gift this Christmas.

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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Journal Your Christmas with Shimelle Laine

This is the first prompt from Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas Class and just captures the spirit of Christmas. 

ENJOY!


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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

A Christmas Page - Part 2

Here is the second Christmas scrapbook page which makes the double layout.  As you can see I used the same colours to tie the pages together, making the ric-rac style background paper as previously and using Christmas Tree chipboard shapes.

Most of the embellishments, including the frames are from a Carol Wilson Kit I bought about 3 years.  There was so much in the kit that I still have loads left over and will use some more this year.


This page followed on with the theme of Christmas Traditions and the top photograph shows my daughter and me baking on Christmas Eve.  I baked mince pies and sausage rolls with my Mum and have carried that tradition on.  We put on Christmas music, have a festive drink and sing along to the music as we bake.  The heavenly smell wafts through the house and inevitably my husband appears at regular intervals to 'sample' each batch as it comes out of the oven.  That's definitely a man tradition as my Dad did the same. 

Tucked inside the pocket at the bottom is a list of all the family traditions we have at Christmas together with my Mum's recipe for a tasty treat she called 'Cheese Fiddles'  which she only made at Christmas.  I don't know why, but my Dad loved them and now I make them as well, mainly because they use up any leftover pastry.  Naturally there was no recipe written down for this and luckily I've remembered it over the years but decided to commit it to paper just in case.

If you haven't documented your family's Christmas traditions then you should.  Everytime I look at these pages, memories of my childhood Christmases come flooding back together with those of my own family. 

 I am feeling quite festive already and looking forward to my daughter coming home from university to decorate the tree and the house and then to Christmas Eve and that wonderful family tradition of festive baking. 

 If I can take a good enough photo of the tree this year I'll post it in a few weeks.  Although I say it myself, it's a beautiful tree adorned on every branch and is in fact a store of memories in itself.  I'll tell you more later.

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Monday, 29 November 2010

Winter Wonderland or (to coin another song) Somewhere Out There ...

This morning looked promising with a bright blue sky and some sunshine but it didn't last and by lunchtime the snow was back.  This is the view from my craft table at 3.10 this afternoon.  Not exactly picturesque but gives you an idea of how bad it is. 



Still can't get the car out. In fact when I ventured across the road this morning, my feet sank into the snow and kept on sinking until I was almost up to my knees trying to get back onto the pavement. 

More snowmen, that's what we need, along with gritters and snow ploughs and a break in the weather please.

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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Let It Snow! But Not For Much Longer

We've had it all today.  Hail, snow, thunder and lightening.  It's currently blowing a blizzard outside and the snow is now so deep around the cars that mine will have to dug out tomorow, if the snow lets up. 

I wonder if Louise and Ross made it into Kitty Krafts today as they live in the same town as me.  Hopefully tomorrow there will be a break in the weather. I know it looks pretty and the kids love it but trying to drive or walk around is not so much fun especially when you have to traverse country roads to get to work!

What's it like where you are?  I know Jacki at Cards by Jacki has had snow where she is.

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Saturday, 27 November 2010

It's in the Bag

I found a small plain white paper carrier bag amongst my stash the other day and decided to decorate it for a Christmas gift.  You can buy these from craft shops or online in white or brown and with a little creative thinking and some left-over bits and pieces, you can produce the ideal gift bag in the recipient's favourite colours or to co-ordinate with the gift.



I decorated this one for a gift for my daughter who likes shades of purple.  First I cut a strip of patterned paper from Bo-Bunny's Back to Backs paper Peacock Lane Flowers, then edged the top using a Fiskars lace punch.  I used a wooden template to cut the Christmas Tree from a co-ordinating piece of paper and finished off with some foam snowflakes and purple gems.  The bag originally had string handles so I replaced these with lilac ribbon and made a gift tag to complement the bag.  The finished bag has a new lease of life and a modern twist on traditional designs. 
Since completing this one I found another gift bag which I'm working on and will post this in a few days too.  The current bag had a shop logo on it but by carefully placing an embellishment over this it can be re-used,  so you don't even have to buy new gift bags.  What more could you ask for; creative fun and  money-saving ideas at the same time.

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