Tuesday, 27 September 2016

~ It's been a while! ~

Well I'm sorry to say in recent months I have neglected my blog in favour of quick posting social media apps like Instagram and Facebook. However, I miss looking back at these posts so with an exciting October coming up I'm hoping to resurrect my craftiness featured here!

I'm currently enjoying playing with some mixed media especially mists and stencils. This layout was made using a recent Like For Ever kit which included the yellow mist and Heidi Swapp heart stencil.

As we head quickly in to winter I am planning to spend my days off tucked up in my pyjamas, playing with paper and watching my fill of YouTube videos. I have just come back from an amazing trip to Uzbekistan and am eager to document this fabulous trip so aim to be back soon!

Happy Crafting!


Sunday, 26 June 2016

~ Scraplifting ~

Happy Sunday! Its a lovely sunny day here so I'm taking the opportunity to photograph some of my recent layouts.

Now I'm not one to normally scrap lift other peoples layouts but I saw two striking pages created by ladies over on the Like For Ever Subscribers Facebook group and I knew their designs would fit my photos perfectly.

First up I used this page by Natalie Gibbons as my inspiration for a Vietnamese layout.

(Natalie's original page)

My page uses much brighter colours and I chose to use three black and white photos.

What I have enjoyed about this process is seeing how different a page can be because it has used different products and photos. I've used the June Like For Ever Kit 'In Bloom' for both my layouts and tried to embrace the bold colours. I've used this method of putting 3 6x4 portrait photos together across the page before but what struck me about Natalie's was the use of the cluster of frames in the bottom left corner.

I'm trying desperately to finish scrapbooking my Vietnam/Cambodia 2012 trip before heading off on our next adventure to Uzbekistan in September. I very much doubt I will get it finished but I will at least be closer.

The next layout I took inspiration from was this layered page by Christina Howard.
(Christina's Original Page)

I chose to use three photos instead of the single one on my page as I wanted to capture the different aspects of the story.

I already love layering paper & embellishments behind my photos but this took it to another level as there is just one area of decoration and a lot of white space. I love the concept and the final page but for me there needs to be a few more elements outside of the single cluster.

Again I used the Like For Ever 'In bloom' kit but I also added in the Ali Edwards 'Reading' story stamp set. It was also the stamp set that was the original inspiration for telling this story about how I decided to lay on the floor of our conservatory (before we had furniture) and read because the weather was so nice.

Thanks for reading.

Happy Crafting!


Sunday, 19 June 2016

~ In to the woods ~

I'm back again with another Latvia layout from the Ligatnes Nature Trails in Latvia. This time we were on the look out for Brown Bears.

To tie it in with the previous layout I have used the same Jillibean Soup 'Mushroom Medley' papers and the same large alpha and stickers as the pages will be side by side in the album. They almost look like a double page spread but they aren't.

I didn't mention on the previous post but I have added in some Ali Edwards stamps from the 'Wild' story stamp set as they worked perfectly with the theme. I am loving getting these every month along with the process videos and educational content.

We had already walked round the whole trail and the bears were no where to be seen but just as we were sat having an ice cream nearby they decided to come out of their house and explore. It was great to see the animals native to Latvia spread round a 5 km wooded trail, although some were rather elusive.

Happy Crafting!


Friday, 17 June 2016

~ Like For Ever Sunday Challenge ~

Today I'm over on the Like For Ever Blog with their Sunday Challenge to use the phrase 'Let me tell you about...' Please head over to see the completed layout using this month's 'In Bloom' Kit. It is a fantastic brightly coloured kit which I am loving using.

This is my cover page for my Latvia layouts. I am trying to use some kraft cardstock on each layout to try and make them look cohesive. Lets see if that happens!

Happy Crafting!


~ Adventure Awaits ~

Good morning from a dull and grey UK. Unfortunately  our few days of sunshine the other week have let to a period of cloud and heavy rainfall. Not ideal for spending time in our new conservatory.

So for my scrapbooking I'm looking back to sunnier times and creating pages of our trip to Latvia for my travel album. I usually put my short trips in my year album but I suspect I will create too many layouts this year for it all to go in one album.

I've printed off a few 9x12 photos from this trip as there are some that I really would like to showcase and this is one of them. It's quite a simple photo but really love how the trees stand out against the bright blue sky.

I bought these Jillibean Soup papers and stickers from Hey Little Magpie especially for the layouts from this day as their 'Mushroom Medley' collection.

I'm desperately trying to use up some of my older stash and mix it in with my newer stuff so on this layout the large alphabet stickers spelling 'awaits' are left over from a class I did at GoGoGetaway at least 2 years ago. The orange speech bubble journaling card was also from my older stash and I'm not sure who it was made by.

I added some decoration to the top left corner of he photo to try and tie it in with the busy cluster at the bottom right. I used a few stickers from different collections and some enamel dots.

Happy Crafting!


Saturday, 4 June 2016

~ Cafe Parunasim ~

Life has run away with me since documenting 'Week in the Life' and I haven't even started my album for it yet. With work, conservatory, trips away, booking our next adventure and buying a new car its been crazy here!

I've had a go at using a double page sketch recently for a layout featuring photos from my holiday to Latvia. I found the sketch over on the Stick It Down challenge blog. I'm not usually a fan of double pages but I had too many nice photos from this café that I wanted to use.

I've been taking Shimelle's Scrapbook Process Class (although I am mega behind!) so I've decided that for my Latvia layouts I'm going to use kraft cardstock as an element to tie the pages together similar to what she did for her backpacking albums.

I used the beautiful Cocoa Vanilla Studio 'Free Spirit' collection mostly but I am now left with very little patterned paper left. There is quite a lot of 'white' space on the page above which I really wasn't sure about until I put both pages together in my album.

I flipped this page of the sketch so it fitted the photos I had. My photos are different sizes to the sketch so I used one less to allow me to add my journaling. 

The two small photos are raised up with foam dots to make them stand out and add some more dimension to the page.

We actually visited this café twice in one day it was that good. We first stopped for a hot chocolate in the morning but went back in the afternoon for coffee and cake as they looked so nice. We certainly were not disappointed.

Thanks for reading.

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

~ Week in the Life - Sunday ~

Finally at the last day of 'Week in the Life'. I can't believe I have managed to stick with it and I am so pleased I have done. So much so that I'm hoping to be able to do December daily as December is one of my favourite times of year.

Back to Sunday, today is a little light on photos in view of the 12 hour shift I have worked. It's not a place I can really take many photos due to patient confidentiality but I have given it a go.

I forgot to take photos of my lunch but here is my favourite snack at the moment. These fried lentil salted snacks are lovely and reasonably low in calories when compared with things like nuts. I first had these whilst on holiday in India. You can buy small packets of these from many street side stalls for 5 rupees (100 to the £1).

When at work I spend a lot of time washing my hands. This is the first defence against infection spread in hospital and a fundamental nursing skill. 

Home from a busy day at work and I enjoyed a little tipple of my favourite spirit on the rocks.

Excitingly we are starting to plan our next trip. We are thinking of travelling to Uzbekistan in September and the tour we were looking at has 15% off which is good.

Cups of Tea = 5, Total = 31

Thanks for reading, I'm off now to order my photo prints ready to put together my album of this week.


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

~ Week in the Life - Saturday ~

Hello Weekend! Although I am working a 12 hour shift tomorrow so only really get one day and this week it isn't really any different to others in my week except we have no builders on site. The plaster should have been here but is behind on jobs. To be honest its a nice break from all the banging and mess.

This morning started off the way most mornings do. It's a rubbish photo but I was half asleep and wanted to show where the cats were on the bed. Right between the boy and I.

It was an early weekend get up for me as I had to go to my Girlguiding First Response refresher course in town. This is a first aid course that should be kept up to date every 3 years. It was a mix of practical and theory. There were only 5 of us and it was nice to see some other leaders that I haven't seen in a while.

Breakfast was a no go for me this morning as my injury from last night (head back to Friday to see what I did!) had swollen up and was too painful to eat. I grabbed a cup of tea in my travel mug and off I went.

By 12 I was starving and I had some errands to run. I decided to have a little treat as my lip was less painful and McDonalds is in the supermarket carpark and has Wi-Fi. It means I can eat and sort emails. If this meal is not my main meal of the day I usually opt for a kids meal so I get smaller portions. 

A quick trip round the supermarket to get essentials (plus pretty flowers). There were some discounted overripe bananas so I grabbed them and some chocolate buttons to make a cake for work tomorrow. I'm desperately searching for Peking Duck flavoured Kettle crisps. Amanda (@thenicethingsfairy) over on my Instagram feed showed them last week but I am yet to find them.

The boy is off playing cricket today as he will be doing most Saturdays from now until the autumn. Sometimes its nice to have time to myself but on weeks like this one where we have hardly spent time together it would have been nice to have the afternoon to go out for a walk in the spontaneous sunshine (it wasn't forecast).

 Back home it's time to crack on with the cake. This is such a simple recipe that one of my student nurses gave me. It's light and moist and keeps well for a few days (not that it will last that long at work!).

Time to relax whilst the cake is in the oven. It takes about 1 hour to cook so its not quick to bake. I've just started watching 'Lucifer' on Amazon Prime Video. I like to watch my iPad whilst I'm crafting but this time I'm enjoying it with a cup of tea.

A few chores and getting dinner ready for tonight.

Tonight we had a night in watching the Eurovision Song Contest so I've made chilli topped nachos for tea. I made the chilli ahead of time and double the quantity. I often make double the amount so we can eat it later in the week. It is ideal for when I'm working so I can heat up a 'proper' meal at lunch time and snack in the evening when I get home late.

We love watching the Eurovision! Some of the acts are bizarre and the commentary we have here which used to be by Sir Terry Wogan and now by Graham Norton is just hilarious. They don't take it too seriously, are very sceptical of certain countries scoring and make it all very light hearted (although secretly we do REALLY want to win!)

Cups of Tea = 4 , Total = 26

Thanks for reading!


Saturday, 14 May 2016

~ Week in the Life - Friday ~

Whilst most people get that 'Friday Feeling' at this time of the week I never really manage to due to working shifts. I am unfortunately working on Sunday but can't complain because I work my full time hours over 3 days.

Today started they way most of my early mornings do, with a trip to the toilet. This is a routine that I wouldn't normally document or discuss really. Since being diagnosed at 16 with Crohn's Disease I usually get up to use the toilet at least once in the night. Sometimes I hardly wake up and other times it means I'm awake from then on for the rest of the day. I am often accompanied to the toilet by Oscar, who has taken it upon himself to jump on my lap whilst I'm there.

I did manage to go back to sleep and when the alarm went off at 7.30am I really didn't want to get up. But unfortunately at 8.30am the doorbell rang and the plumber had called to sort my dishwasher. He had kinked the hose when moving the outside tap so easily fixed. Happy me!

It was colder here today than it has been which meant I needed my dressing gown on whilst I ate my breakfast and caught up some TV.

I haven't been to the gym in ages! I really enjoy some of the classes but often lack the motivation to go and I have had a good excuse this week with all the work men around. But today I bit the bullet and off I went to Zumba.

Today was about time that I put my face on. I don't wear make up that often, I simply can't be bothered most of the time. I would rather have 15 minutes extra in bed on work days. I generally wear it if I'm going out to meet friends or with the boy. I do like getting dressed up nicely, it always makes me feel better about myself.

I met my friend Helen and her daughter at a local garden centre for a quick coffee and catch up. She doesn't like having her photo taken so I quickly snapped this with my phone whilst she was taking a sip of coffee.

The garden centre has a pet shop which has some super cute rodents like these Dumbo Rats. I couldn't help but take a pic of this sleeping beauty.

On return from the garden centre I was faced with an almost finished conservatory. There is just the inside to be finished off next week. Plastering, plumbing and electrics next.

It is lovely and bright inside.

The cats and I enjoyed a nap on the sofa whilst catching up with Castle. They have loved to get curled up with me on the sofa ever since they were kittens and I had an extended period of time off work post-surgery.

I had initially wanted to go out for tea tonight but as we are away next weekend and at the theatre the week after we decided to stay in and have a Chinese takeaway. I suspect going out might have been safer!

As I collected the food I managed to smack myself in the face with the car door cutting both the inside and outside of my lip/chin. It bled quite a bit and was extremely painful. It made eating dinner rather difficult and uncomfortable.

We spent the night cuddled up on the sofa, me feeling sorry for myself and catching up with Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders and Madam Secretary before having an early night.

Cups of Tea = 4 , Total = 22

Thanks for reading!


Friday, 13 May 2016

~ Week in the Life - Thursday ~

Hello Thursday!

The next few days are likely to be a bit hit and miss around here as I have the builders in doing the conservatory still. They arrive promptly at 8.30am so no lie ins for me.

We woke up to find that the dishwasher had not worked over night and the code meant it hadn't filled with water. I'm blaming the plumber from yesterday who had to pull it out to move our outside tap. This unfortunately meant that before breakfast I had a whole days worth of washing up to do. One of my least favourite chores.

Although last night I missed my Ranger Unit meeting due to falling asleep on the sofa post night shift, Guiding is a large part of my life and I have roles within County which mean I often have emails to read/send and meetings to go to. So this morning's aim was to catch up whilst watching some trash TV that doesn't require concentration. I'm this case it was the new series of Teen Mom 2. I can't help but love it!

My parents called round for a coffee and to see how the conservatory is progressing. Mum needed to go out and get some new shoes so we had an hours retail therapy which resulted in me buying 3 new tops in Next (oops!). But she did manage to pick up some flip flops. Only one of these I bought but I forgot to snap a pic of me trying them on.

My dad loves to take photos and always has his camera attached to his belt and today I go this lovely photo of him as he tried to take a photo of me when we were talking about 'week in the life' and I was taking photos of him with Oscar on his lap. I wonder if this is where I get my love of documenting life from and then the crafty side from my mum.

I'm a bit of a nightmare when it comes to eating at lunchtime as I'm not really a cold sandwich person. I often just have snacky bits at lunch but today I made myself a bacon sandwich with tomato ketchup. Yum! I don't know what it is about cold sandwiches that I'm not keen on, maybe its because I don't really like cold meats except cured ones and that I can't stand mayonnaise. I'm really not a fussy eater, there's just something about sandwiches for me. But saying that if someone made me one for lunch I would eat it.

Today the flooring and the roof went on the conservatory which means we are on the home stretch and is really just the finishing touches left to do (electrics, plumbing, plastering etc...). I'm so excited. The cats keep staring through the kitchen windows wondering what is going on. I'm sure they are going to love being in there.

The afternoon went pretty quickly by. I scrapbooked and had an unexpected nap whilst I waited for my Canon Selphy to print some photos. I desperately want to get started on my 'Week in the Life' album but am holding out to print them all online at the end of the week along with my holiday photos. I love spending time in my craft room, it is my little haven at the top of the house.

When it came to tea time I wasn't hungry so had a healthy humus and veg plate whilst catching up on The Scrapbook Process class by Shimelle. I'm really enjoying this class and the mix of PDFs and Video. It's really making me think about how I put my albums together.

So this is pretty much how my evening continues. Lots of Oscar snuggles, catching up with my social media and other people's WITL posts. I finished the night off by booking tickets for Disney on Ice - Frozen with an early bird offer for December. I am a bit of a planner and love to have things lined up to look forward to. Milk and cookies as a treat for supper as I had a light dinner.

I'm on my own this evening as the Boy is out with his family at a rugby league match. He doesn't go every week now that we have Sky sports as it is a good hours drive away. Some weeks are like this where we barely see each other but then others are very quiet and we spend more time together. I don't mind these weeks as long as we make time on a specific day to have some us time and we chat/text throughout the day. 

Cups of Tea = 4, Total = 18

Happy Crafting!