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