Saturday, 31 December 2011

New Year's Resolutions!

Happy New Year!

Did anyone see where this year went?  And in particular this December?  I wish the first 24 days of December went by so quickly as a child!  It is the last night of the year and I can honestly say this has been one of the most frenetic and topsy turvy years of my life.  Christmas was wonderful but difficult too with various family issues, some old and some new.  In the main though, both of the children and also myself were thoroughly spoiled.  We ate so much and I put on more weight that I knew was physically possible in one week and we just spent time as a family which was wonderful.  Management had to work a few days and is working tomorrow as he doesn't drink so he always does the New Year's Day shift.  We'll be heading over to have lunch with him and get some much needed fresh air, even if it is raining!  I swear I could be abducted by aliens, dropped back to earth and have absolutely no idea which time of the year it is - it seems to have been mild and wet for the entire year.

Getting some fresh air is one of my main resolutions for the coming year.  I have many plans, some big and some small, but there are a lot of things that need to change.  Like many people, the New Year will see me getting back to my Slimming World plan (I've still been going to the weigh ins), heading back to the gym (with my new kit, water bottle and my new iPhone!!) and generally looking after myself a bit more.  B starts pre-school next week so it will be a little extra breathing time for me to achieve some of the things I plan to.  I would really like to be able to run outside and one of my aims for the year is to do the 5km Eastleigh Park Run.

As well as looking after myself physically, of course I need to REALLY look after myself mentally.  I have really struggled over Christmas, possible virally induced, probably exacerbated by too much of the wrong food etc but I am hopeful that a return to normal routine will help.

I read Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project over the Summer and so much of a struck a cord with me so I will be revisiting that book and using some of the advice to see if I can have me my very own happiness project.  I know crafting will be right up there of course and I have great plans to finish off some half completed projects.  I've done more scrapbooking in the last year than in the whole time since I started (I started collecting bits and being interested about 6 years ago but only actually started in earnest about 3 years ago).  Both Management and I also want to find some time for reading though too.  We used to devour books and we've both been given some new ones for Christmas but its finding the time.  I am going to try getting up earlier in the mornings as I only doze once the children are up anyway.  Who knows, it might even help me sleep!

Well that's an awful lot of changes for one person and I won't pretend it will be easy or that I will get all of it done but if I make an effort, that will be a start.

So raise a glass with me to toast the New Year, the year of the Olympics and the Golden Jubilee, and most importantly, the year when I achieve at least some of my goals.  What are your resolutions or do you not make them?  What would you like to achieve this year?  If you fancy some company on the journey, let me know.


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

WOYWW 133 - A cold space

Despite my best intentions, I have not managed to blog at all since the last WOYWW.  With bugs and busyness abounding, I have merely shuffled a few papers on my desk and made mess all over the house.  I haven't felt festive or felt like I could concentrate for long so really haven't felt like tackling my Christmas Journal (JYC) asit has become a bit out of hand.  It needs a good concentrated session to get it in some sort of order.  I did want to put something on the inside front cover though and it was bare so I decided to paint it.  4 coats later and it is still streaky but most of it will be covered by the journalling anyway.

It would have been finished earlier but I do my painting in my children's art room which despite having a radiator in it, is always really cold.  I need to spend some time there today to have a good sort out and get some Christmas crafting ready for them - I feel a need to let them loose with glitter and glue.  We have so much stuff available for them but it never feels like the right time or a good enough reason to use it all.  Well hang it all I say, what better reason is there than enjoying art and experimenting?  I must stop needing a "good" reason to use these special stickers or that special paper, much like I do with my own stuff.  I don't want the children to be put off art because of some externally suggested rules, like I was at school.  Of course by this time next week, I may have gone slightly insane with the overuse of foam shapes, an excess of PVA, and glitter in my knickers.

Of course there is no better time to glitter than right now, the final Wednesday before Christmas.  I am oh so ready for it, aside from a certain coca-cola situation which I will reveal next week.  And on that note, I must share this fabulous bunting that was very kindly sent to me by the lovely Lunch Lady Jan a few weeks ago.  I have put it up in the hallway where it can be seen by everyone who visits, even if I don't let them in ;-)  Thank you Jan for your kindness and for your most excellent advice.

The gorgeous heart shaped wreath is scented with cinnamon and orange and was an early present from my MIL - she knows me so well!

I'm off to Julia's for a mince pie and a tot of something festive.  Why don't you join us?

In the meantime, have a very Merry Christmas!

Bye for now

Wednesday, 14 December 2011


Huzzah!  I have my space back!  Yes indeedy, there may be the odd present or three to titivate but I can craft at my table once more.  I am about a gazillion days behind with JYC but I have some pages part prepped, some designs in my notebook, some photos ready to go, its just all in bits and pieces and so this is the main detritus on my desk this week.  I am ever hopeful that I will get some time in the next few days as my wonderful MIL is visiting and in the time honoured tradition of Grandma-ness means that the children may just be entertained for a bit!

Well I would get some things done, except that a week and half after my boy first got sick, he is off school again today.  He seems to have a bug for about 5 hours and then be right as rain for 3-4 days and then have it again.  I had so much planned for today including nails being done for a big night out, cleaning the house from top and bottom in readiness for MIL's visit, and of course a lovely peruse around lots of other desks.  But now I seem to have the bug too and so it will be snuggling on the sofa with my boy watching CBeebies and me on the laptop.  Oh well, hopefully it will be all over before Christmas.

I'm off to Julia's blog now to see who is joining us for WOYWW, being careful not to pass the bug on of course!

Bye for now

Monday, 12 December 2011

Paper presents

I've been working on a couple of gifts for L's teacher and teaching assistants.  I wanted to give them something personal and a bit different to the chocolates, smellies and wine that school staff get inundated with at Christmas (not that this is a bad thing though!)  I had a few of the bare boxes from Papermania and some cheap notebooks from the supermarket to cover and then I decided to make a nail file cover to match too (this can be a bookmark as well).  I used some of the wonderful K & Co Abrianna papers that I won in a giveaway over at S J Papercrafts and the matching dimensional stickers.  I'm not 100% happy with the way they have come out as there are untidy areas but I hope they will like them and appreciate the handmade-ness (and that IS a word, cos I said so ;-))

I did emboss the white card for the nail file in the set above but I found that the bumpy surface reduced the stickability (that's another word that definitely IS a word, or if not, it so should be).

They are all slightly different  but the basic design is the same.  I used both sides of the papers together and used a co-ordinating ribbon around the lid of the box as well as on the other bits.  In the photo below you can just see the pattern I used around the box which was a doily punch with the waste part reversed and used around the top edge.  I truly love this punch and the pretty bit of waste it gives and I like using them together, partly because I like to stretch my supplies and it gives 2 matching pretty designs for the price of one.

They took a lot longer than I anticipated so I hope they appreciate that they are made with love even if they are not perfect!

Bye for now.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Journal your Christmas 1 - Manifesto

Journal Your Christmas traditionally begins with setting your manifesto for the season.  It helps to cement what your aims are for doing the project and is a gentle nudge towards remembering the importance of the season.  I think I need a manifesto for the year! 

I used the manifesto from Shimelle as she always puts thing so well but I added the tag for my own journalling too.  I'm thinking that there will be a lot of pockets for journalling this year!  I basically wrote a note to myself about not stressing over the little things that are only important to ME.  I get grumpy trying to do everything the way I want it but failing which then impacts on other people.  I need to plan my time wisely and remember why I'm trying to do all this - its to make people happy after all!  I still need to add my tiny numbers onto the tree but I can't lay my hands on the sticker sheet right now - typical!  I added one of the rosette embellishments that I pre-made and added the Joy charm as it sums up, for me, what the whole season should be about.

I'm still behind of course, but getting that one day under my belt has made me feel a bit better and reminded me to do the fun stuff too :-)

How about you?  I love hearing about people's different Christmas preparations and it is part of why I love JYC so much because you really do get a worldwide perspective.

Bye for now

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

WOYWW 131 - no space!

Last week I shared my normal crafting table, covered in Christmas presents about to be wrapped, and the arm of my chair.  This week, it is just the table and it is STILL covered in stuff to be wrapped.  Seriously I don't mind it but I wish I could just pull down another table on top so I can carry on crafting for a bit!  I am going to finish it all tonight, absolutely, because I am now 7 days behind on Journal Your Christmas and I HATE that.  It is supposed to be about finding little slots of time to relish the season and that is what I should be doing.  Instead I have been mopping up sick (my little man), distributing inhalers (my baby girl), attending solicitors appointments (my Dad and the probate saga), soothing worries (my brother), soothing worries (my niece but not in relation to her Father), and spending a LOT of wasted time at the parcel depot.  I made 4 attempts, the final one took 45 minutes and I refused to leave without my precious parcel.  It was a Santa Sack from October Afternoon and it was worth the wait.  You can just see some of the fabulous contents on the table there, calling my name, saying use me now!

Of course, while I was out getting that parcel, my Christmas present to myself another pizza box, choc full of sale stuff) was attempting to be delivered so guess where I am going on the way home from the school run later.... *sigh* I hate wasting time more than anything, especially when I hear of people for whom time has run out suddenly, like dear Sarah Lawrence, a fellow blogger and crafter, who never got to share all her many ideas and skills as she wanted.  I feel proud to be part of the blogging community with the kindness and compassion and the sharing of ideas that goes on around the world and I love being part of WOYWW.  Why don't you join in too?  Share your space, wherever it may be, whatever it is that you do, and link up with other like minded people on Julia's Blog.

17 sleeps till Christmas... how are your preparations coming along?

Bye for now