Thursday, 1 December 2011

JYC Time! Christmas Starts Here...!

Just a quick post to say Happy December everyone! My tree is up and I am well on the way to getting the rest of the decs up already as I have a few busy evenings and weekend coming up and wanted to get a jump start on it! I love the excuse to cover the house in pretties and lights! I really can't wait for Christmas as I think Miss Hannah is going to be really into it this year :)

I will be joining in with Shimelles Journal Your Christmas again as I had such fun last year and I want somewhere to record all the little moments of this year too.
I have been flipping through my 2010 album for the last few days as I started thinking about Christmas and I have really enjoyed reading and looking at what I included. I am definitely going to try and prepare a page every day and will probably follow most of the prompts too. We have planned a couple of dedicated JYC Sunday crops during December so I am hoping I won't fall too far behind on the creating front.

I have already decided that I won't even try and blog everyday but I will aim for a once a week roundup and If I managed more it will be a bonus!

Hope you have all had a fabulous 1st of December, whatever you have been up to! X
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Sunday, 20 November 2011

Annual Stash Shopping!

We have a bit of a tradition going now... over the last couple of years, sometime around the end of November, Vicki, Rachel and I get together and head off to a local garden centre to coo over the pretty Christmas decorations and also visit a craft shop (or two) and top up our Christmas stash in anticipation of JYC starting (as Vicki and I joined in last year and will be playing along again this year)

So.. this morning, I started with a fortifying breakfast - a cup of coffee and a couple of Breakfast Muffins.  The breakfast muffin is a new recipe for me - made the first time this weekend - but I can see these being a new favourite.  The recipe has come to me in a roudabout way and has been adjusted a bit, but I believe originates from the Hummingbird Bakery's Ham and Mushroom Muffins - it is relatively simple and quick to whip up once the prep is done (always a winner for me!) 
We ended the day with a snack stop, including a slice of cake (as you do!)...
and in between we saw this lovely lot...
... took the obligatory silly pics of Christmas hats etc... even Emily got involved.. (Vicki managed to get the hat that danced around by itself on top of your head - very odd!)...

saw this gorgeous fella...
and even managed to look round some craft places too...
We were a bit diappointed in our finds.. or actually our lack of finds this year - both shops we visited have recently changed hands and are still finding their feet and settling in (hopefully settling in!) so not up to the usual standards.  Luckily we had visited a lovely craft shop at the end of October and had failed to resist buying Christmas stash so we were not heartbroken that none of us struggled to keep to our budgets, but it just did not seem right (even if it is good for the pocket!).  We did have one good find though - I am now the proud owner of the first issue of Scrap365, so I know what I will be doing on my lunch break tomorrow...

Today was a bit different, weather-wise from last year!  Lots of autumn colours around, leaves still falling from trees etc 
Last years photo had snow on the ground and we were huddled in winter woolies but this year not a hint of a coat in sight and we struggled to get a good picture as the sun was too bright...! But we managed one nice one...

 Still with me...? Well Done!

Well I am off to admire my nice pile of Christmas stash and plan what I am going to be doing at our JYC Prep crop day next weeekend...

C x

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Decisions Decisions...

One of which has (finally) been made!  I have ordered my album for JYC 2011!

I have been pondering and debating which size album to do this year for quite a while now but Shimelle's Christmas Preparation weekend finally gave me the nudge (well, more of a shove - I am very indecisive sometimes!) I needed to make my choice and choose an album.

I am at work full time this year, where last year I only returned to work on 13th December and even that was only 4 day weeks, so I did not want to commit to anything too big that I would then struggle with each day, but I also knew that a smaller album or minibook would not work for all the days prompts as I like to include photos, most of which I print at 4 x 6!

In the end I decided that I enjoyed the 8x8 size of last year and so I would stick with that, pre-cut my pages and keep a kit together and then just try my best to keep up... and there is always the 2 week break over Christmas and New Year to catch up if I fall behind with my creating!

So here it is, it was delivered yesterday and was waiting for me when I got home last night ...

It is an 8x8 American Crafts Modern Album - I usually use postbound albums but I found last year that JYC tends to end up quite a thick album and the postbound becomes a bit of a pain when the albums get big so I am trying out a D ring style to see if it copes better!

You may notice I have even made a start on getting together at least the patterned paper in 8 x 8.  Vicki, Rachel and I have a stash shop planned for Sunday where I will choose (hopefully) some co-ordinating plain papers to add to the stack.. so exciting!!

C x

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Previous Christmas Project Challenge

I'm not sure how much time I will get this weekend to take part in Shimelle's Online Christmas Preparation Weekend but I thought one of the first challenges was relatively easy - link up to a project you have previously created... I figure I can do that relatively easy, but when I looked I don't actually seem to have blogged anything individually! 

Oh well.. a kind of is where I blogged about several "Christmas crafts" I created with my daughter Hannah last year and then Day 3 of JYC 2010 is my entry as it shows both JYC which is definitely a previous Christmas project that I love and at the same time it includes the Christmas card inserts I made last year using little Miss's footprints, which I really enjoyed.. so much so that I have started getting together materials to make a different insert this year :-)

Are you planning any special Christmas projects this year?

 Carrie x

christmas crafting weekend

Friday, 11 November 2011

*~The Most Important Things Can Be Said In Silence~*

I think it is amazing how heartwarming silence can be!

Working in a busy office, although we always observe the 2 minute silence, it is usually disturbed at some point - either the switchboard gets calls coming in, or a client will be in that doesn't realise/doesn't observe it, or even someone shouting outside the window.  This year however, the totality of the silence was truly magnificent! 

Many people that I have spoken with in the last few days have found it abhorrent that there are those out there who would seek to ruin, through protests and disruption, a moment that is so important to those of us who wish to observe this mark of respect to the fallen and I think this was shown today by the complete lack of interruptions - a true Silent Protest to show that there are still so, so many of us that are proud to wear a poppy, acknowledge that our lives could easily have been so different without the sacrifice made by these people, and be proud to say "We Will Remember Them"...

...They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them....

              ~ Laurence Binyon

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields....

               ~ John McCrae

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

LSNED ~ The Final Instalment!

Back as promised... with the last few pages!

I have struggled to get this project completed, however it went much better once I got back from holiday in the middle of the month, as I managed to put together a mini kit bag with stacks of 4x6 journalling cards, all my small alphas etc and actually started taking it to work and getting a lesson completed during my lunchbreak (much more productive than browsing Facebook for an hour!).  I will definitely need to be more organised if I intend to keep up with JYC this year - I think finishing a month late will probably be a bit more noticeable!

So here are the last days of my lessons learnt in September 2011... 

Day 22 -

Day 23 -

Day 24 -

Day 25 -

Day 26 -

Day 27 -

Day 28 -

Day 29 -

Day 30 -

and the finished book...

I am really pleased with my first ever mini-book - it has definitely been a bit different from my usual 12 x 12 pages!

I am off for a scrappy weekend away this Friday with VJ and Rachel and I am so so excited!!  No hubbies or babies to distract us from pure creativity (and cupcakes of course!) and I am hopeful that in amongst the chatting and cupcake eating I might actually work through some of my "To Scrap" lists and have some more layouts to share when we get back!

C x

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

LSNED ~ Weeks 2 & 3

It's finished!!!    Well, to be fair, it was finished a while ago but I have now finally got round to taking pictures and blogging about it - My first year of Learn Something New Everyday is now done - not quite a month late!  I have actually really enjoyed keeping daily notes, but even though I kept the pages small (4x6) I still struggled with completing 30 of them.  I think if I do take part next year I may have to prep my pages in advance (plus I may actually stick to a theme then!)

I read all the prompts from Shimelle but I did not necessarily follow them in any order, they were just really good to fall back on when I got to the end of the day and thought "did I actually learn anything today?!"

So, a quick round up of weeks 2 and 3... please excuse the rubbish pictures.. it would appear that there was a small person's fingerprint in the middle of my lens which I only noticed when I uploaded all these pictures (taken in the same session, typically!).  Oh well.. the page is still visible, it just has a bit of a funny colour in places!

Day 8 -

Day 9 -

Day 10 -

Day 11 -

Day 12 -

Day 13 -

Day 14 -

Day 15 -

Day 16 -

Day 17 -

Day 18 -

Day 19 -

Day 20 -

Day 21 -

Thank you for sticking with me- a lot of pictures for one post!!

Back soon with the last week (and a bit)

C x

Sunday, 25 September 2011

LSNED - Week One

*~*~  Where did September go..?  ~*~*
{perhaps that can be my lesson for today - September is almost finished and I have no idea how that happened!}

I am finally catching up on creating (and now blogging) my lessons for Shimelle's Learn Something New Every Day class.  I have been carrying a little notebook round with me everywhere and I have been recording my thoughts and making notes of what I want to include on my page and am slowly getting pages started and photos printed. 
I decided not to go with a colour scheme or anything that requires me to have the earlier pages with me to co-ordinate and am managing to take a mini scrapping bag to work with me and get pages started during my lunch break at work :)

So... Week One
Cover and title / intro page





 (my little stroppy page..I was feeling a bit cross and upset when I wrote down my lesson - it turned out ok in the end but I thought I would preserve my feeling at the time anyway!)

I am part way through getting week two scrapped so hopefully back soon with some more!

C x

Thursday, 1 September 2011

September is here... are you ready to Learn?

* Accountability Post! :-) *

Hi All,

This is just a quick post about a new class I am taking which starts today.. Shimelle's Learn Something New Every Day.  I am hoping that by posting early on that I am joining the class then hopefully I will be more likely to remember to come back every couple of days and post my progress! 
I had such fun with the online crop hosted by Shimelle last month and got loads of layouts done during the week so I have high hopes that I will be able to complete a daily lesson page (although I am on hols for a long weekend next week so it may be a case of "Have Notebook, Will Travel" for a few lessons until I can get back home to scrap!)

I had already decided that if I intended to complete a page each day it would need to be manageable and so I chose 4x6 as I thought it would be relatively simple to prepare the page or use a journalling card (I seem to have acquired most of the range of Pebbles Share and Tell cards over the last few months!) I intend to attach a 4x6 photo to the back if I need a bigger photo than would fit into my "page" but I was starting to worry that it would be too small. 
However, having read Shimelle's Getting Ready prompt I was pleased to realise she would also be preparing a 4x6 page each day so I won't be alone and am feeling much happier about my start now.  I also like the idea of envelopes so I may mix and match my pages, or even use the journalling card and photo back-to-back and make envelopes when I have something extra to include... I am hoping to just let this mini-album "flow" and just bind it all up with ribbons at the end when I see what I have managed to achieve!

Thank you for stopping by and if you are also playing along, hopefully see you in class!

Carrie x

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

More Challenge Layouts!

Wow... three posts in a week for various challenges!
I have had a great week and am feeling really inspired by the challenges from Shimelle! I'm also enjoying seeing what so many others have done for these challenges as well - it always amazes me how the same suggestion is taken in so many directions by different people!

This layout again meets two challenges - I can't seem to help combining these though.. it is the Half Page challenge - where Shimelle encouraged us to leave at least half of the paper blank(!) and also the "Signature" challenge - butterflies seem to be a permanent fixture on my layouts recently, regardless of the topic of the page!!  I can't seem to leave them alone... made worse by the fact that my Uncle has just come over for a visit fromTexas and brought the gorgeous Martha Stewart Punch All Over The Page Butterfly punch with him - I have been waiting (im)patiently for weeks for this so I see a lot of butterflies in my future!

The half page challenge was difficult for me to get started as I feel the urge to add more things if I see white space and I truly admire the brave people using plain white cardstock for this one - I just can't do it though - so I used this gorgeous patterned paper that I have had for several months instead! 

I think that I will be using this half page idea a lot now too as I love seeing so much of the pretty paper and I may actually get through some of my older stash this way as I have lots of papers that I can't bring myself to use as backing papers as it covers too much of it and I can't decide how to cut them up!

C x

Monday, 15 August 2011

Scrapping Old(er) Photos!

Another challenge from Shimelle's Proud to be a Scrapbooker online crop... this one was to scrap an old photo and was just the nudge I needed to make a page that has been sitting in my To Scrap box for a long time... my graduation pictures!
Again, please excuse the poor quality picture - I will find some natural light soon!

I bought the paper a couple of years ago and had been trying to work out how to use it as I didn't want to cover up all the lovely phrases and I couldn't bring myself to hack it up either so I have just left it.  However, I have been learning new styles over the last couple of years, including hidden journalling and learning that a simple page is also acceptable, so when I was flicking through my box looking for an older picture I decided that it was time this paper had its day! 

The hidden journalling also let me tell the full story of the day, where I have previously struggled to scrap this sort of photo as I do not like my handwriting when I write more than a couple of (visible) lines, so overall I am really pleased with this layout, despite it being very simple.

C x