Tuesday 27 December 2011

Where Have I Been?

I know I have been AWOL for a while and this is why.  I have a skill, one that I have mastered to a fine art, this skill is called procrastination! Back in April or May I decided to knit my friend a cardigan for Christmas, I'd already knitted her the matching hat and she loved it so this year I was going for the biggy, the cardigan.  I was very organised and bought the wool in July and then finally got my needles out two weeks before Christmas, yes TWO WEEKS!!!  I was doing a full day at work and coming home and knitting until 2 or 3 in the morning to get it done, hence why I've been so quiet on here.
 Was the midnight knitting worth it? Yes it was because she loved it:
I was also busy baking because we decided to have a Christmas bake off at work, this is a cake from Gemma which looked absolutely fantastic:
 Alison made these unusual meringue topped cupcakes:
 I made coffee cupcakes and came second in the competition!
Alfie enjoyed trying to guess what was in my crop advent swap, I really was spoilt with some beautiful stash that I can't wait to use.
 This year was the first year that there was only me and Maddie for Christmas morning, lucky Paul is away in Austria.  We had a lovely, quiet morning before sound levels rose to epic proportions when we went to my 'beautiful' sister, Jemma's, for Christmas dinner:
 Isn't she a knock out?!?! I even managed to appear in some photos this year and here I am with my sisters Jessica and Jemma:
 And with one of my brothers, Jon - my other brother Jamie is in Thailand.
 Maddie joined in with the fun at Jon's playing on the Wii Just Dance Abba with one of my nephews, Archie:
 And then she found time for a picture with her old mum:
 My nephew Jack had had far too much excitement for the day and crashed on the sofa, amidst all the noise and chaos:
 And finally my sister in law, Lisa, the real dancing queen of the night.  All she kept saying as she was dancing the night away was that these pictures better not appear anywhere!  Well we won't tell her will we?!?! :)
The only downside is that my 90 year old grandad got taken to hospital with chest pains on the Friday before Christmas (I promise you he's not the Duke of Edinburgh) I did mention how he was trying to keep up with the Royals though!  Thankfully he is doing ok at the moment and further tests on Wednesday will hopefully tell us what the problem was.

I hope that you all had an amazing Christmas, ate lots, smiled lots and spent time with the people you loved. 

Right now I'm only 27 days behind on my Journal Your Christmas and I have about 4000 blog posts to read so I guess that's what I'll be doing for the rest of the year :)

Thanks for stopping by, can't wait to blog hop and see what you've all been doing.
Jo xx

Sunday 4 December 2011

Story Telling Sunday: A New Word for Christmas!

I had a eureka moment the other day.  I heard a song that reminded me of something and I thought, at last, I have an apt story for Sian's Story Telling Sunday!

This is part of the song I heard:
When Santa got stuck up the chimney
he began to shout
"You girls and boy won't get any toys
until you let me out"
And here's my story:

When Maddie was in nursery she was taught lots of different songs. One Christmas she came home singing a new song she'd learnt, all about Santa getting stuck up a chimney.  She sang it for me but she used a word I'd never heard before, a word that she had created, and I think it's a perfect word for Christmas.  Here is Maddie's version of the song:
When Santa got stuck up the chimney
he began to shout
"You girls and boys won't get any toys
untince you let me out"

How fantastic and very festive is her made up word?!? I could do nothing to convince her that the word she was meant to say was 'until' and, even now at the age of seventeen, she tells me that it is a word that exists!

Yes Maddie, it is a word that exists, a very special word in OUR Christmas vocabulary and I love it.

I hope you like my tale, I hope that your December has got off to a good start and I hope you'll pop over to Sian's and see the other stories and even tell one of your own.

Thanks for stopping by
Jo xx

Thursday 1 December 2011

December's Here

And so are my advent presents!

This year I've finally decided to join in the advent swap with the girls at my crop. A present a day for 25 days, can't be bad!

As I'm still stuck in my sick bed Santa's Little Helper delivered my parcel today because I missed the little get together they had the other evening. It looks gorgeous:

How cute is that and how cute is this?:

It's full of lovely gifts:

And, when I feel better and can really enjoy it, I shall start opening them :) thank you Santa.

It's nearly the weekend and, if I'm well enough, I shall be putting up the tree.

Hope your week is going well
Jo xx

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday 30 November 2011

What a Difference....

.....a year makes!!!!

30th November 2010 - snowed in!
30th November 2011 - sunny and dry!

I am not getting any better and it's getting me down now, like a trooper, I'll be back at work tomorrow.

Thanks for dropping by
Jo xx

Tuesday 29 November 2011

I Have Returned!

I can't believe it's been over two weeks since I last blogged, the time has flown by.

I have been busy:

Knitting a hat for Paul - because it's getting cold and I want to make sure he keeps warm :)
Baking Christmas cookies - yes I'm aware I'll get through a few more batches before Christmas is here :)
Baking coffee cupcakes - because we're having a "Bake Off" at work and I want to practise :)
Spending time with my nephew, Gorgeous George
Having more ink added to me - Paul is so talented, didn't sketch it out just inked it straight on :)
Cuddling up with Alfie
And I even managed to squeeze in a layout
I love the look on Maddie's face when she realised she was sitting right behind the horse's rear end when we went on a horse and cart ride in Weymouth.
I used papers and embellishments from Cosmo Cricket's Odds & Ends range that I got in one of my Gotta Craft kits.
And some very old flowers!

Today I am off work ill, Maddie was ill yesterday and, on top of the cold I already have, I've picked up her lurgy!

I hope you're all having a great week. I'm sorry the post is photo heavy I won't leave it so long next time :)
Jo xx

Monday 14 November 2011


I was telling a friend the other day about a little superstition I have, well it's not really a little one, it's a MASSIVE one.  To cut a long story short because of heartbreak in the past I have a very silly superstition and it's to do with photos.  I have about two photos of me and Paul together, just TWO in the four years we've been together.  I'm scared that if I have lots of photos of him then I could be tempting fate for the relationship to end.  I know that it's stupid but even as I type this I'm wondering if I should post it!

Anyway, my friend knew I was going to see him this weekend and demanded suggested that I take a photo of the two of us, so I did and it's here:
Me and Paul together, looking happy after a great weekend together.

There, I did it :)

Hope your week has kicked off to a great start.
Jo x

Saturday 12 November 2011

It's Been a Hell of a Week

This week has been really awful and I haven't had a chance to be creative or blog.  Firstly I noticed a really bad smell of gas at work, then the boiler blew up! So we've been sitting chillin (literally) in the office.  Then the computer system went down closely followed by the phones.  Then yesterday, to top it all, my iPhone stopped working, it seems that if you don't sync or upgrade the software for 2 years then it will do that.  After 8 hours of it being hooked up to a life support machine, AKA iTunes, I managed to revive it. Whew.

Anyhoo, my last blog post talked of me having to do a layout for a deadline that had just whooshed past.  I did that layout and I did it in 45 minutes, not bad eh?
It tied in nicely with the spots and stripes prompt for the Pretty Paper Party and it's Maddie panning for gold, by the look on her face I'd say she was successful :) Terrible photo of the layout I know, it's the only thing I hate about winter - no good light to photo layouts.

Another trip down the motorway for me to see Paul later, can't wait because he's been in Bruges today and rumour has it that there's some chocolate heading its way back to me.

Hope you have a great weekend.
Jo xx

Wednesday 2 November 2011

Another Weekend Fast Approaching!

I can't believe how quickly this week is going, I have a million things to do though so would appreciate it if my free time didn't go quite so quickly - I guess that's something we all wish for!

I have another layout I did at the weekend to share.  It was inspired by either prompt 2 or 3 from Shimelle's Pretty Paper Party - I've got a bit behind on the prompts but I am hoping to catch up soon.

I love this picture of Maddie, taken at a picnic in Windsor.  Every time my friend Lynne arranged a picnic we always seemed to get bad weather!
On this occasion Maddie was so cold that she wrapped the picnic blanket round her so we had nothing to sit on apart from damp grass, wouldn't be any good for my poor old bones nowadays :)
I had fun cutting the trees out of the Jillibean Soup, Apple Cheddar Soup range and although I wanted to screw the papers up and throw them away when I first started this layout over a week ago, I'm quite pleased with the end result now.

I now have to dash and try and get two layouts done that have a deadline of....erm......yesterday!

Thanks for stopping by
Jo xx

Monday 31 October 2011

Home Again

I had a lovely few days with Paul and didn't want to come home :( We had a couple of nice days out, did some baking (well I did the baking and Paul did the eating!) and even managed to get some layouts done!  The time just went too quickly and I can't wait to go back and see him again.

This week I set the challenge over on UKS.  The challenge is to use at least 90% patterned paper as the background, to either use an embellishment associated with time, how you like to spend your time or the word time in the title and lots of bling for Bonfire Night! :)  Here's is my example:
I have always loved this picture of me and Maddie taken one evening in Weymouth all the way back in 2004!
I had bling on my ribbon and on my flutterby :)
Glittery Thickers and a lovely swirl, in fact I think I went to town with the bling on this layout!  If you have a go at my little challenge then don't forget to give me the link to your layout.

Now that I'm home I'm loving that the clocks have changed, that the evenings are drawing in and that I don't feel guilty when I climb in to my PJs as soon as I get in from work :) Obviously missing Paul though :(

Tonight I plan to catch up on the Pretty, Paper Party prompts and all of my blog ready.

Happy Monday and thanks for stopping by
Jo xx

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Warm Again

I'm off to see Paul later this week but was a bit worried about Maddie getting cold so I thought I best test out the heating.  Tried it on Sunday and it did not fire on all cylinders, only one radiator became lukewarm, the others were cold :(  Today I came in and, on advice from Paul, gave the water pump an ickle tap with the hammer........it worked and I am so pleased :)

I managed to only do one more layout at the weekend because, for some reason, my mojo stomped off slamming the door behind it :(  Before it departed I did managed to get the weekly challenge over on UKS done.  We had to scrap ONE different size photo to normal, use Halloween colours and a stamp we'd never used before:
Maddie becoming a Rainbow many moons ago.  I thought the picture would be great for the Halloween coloured papers that all came from my scrap box.
I think she lasted all of two weeks in the Rainbows before deciding she didn't want to go back!

Right, I'm off to pack for my little holiday and I am so excited.

Hope you have a fabby week.
Jo xx

Saturday 22 October 2011

A Great Start to the Weekend

My Saturday has been a good one so far.  I woke up late for once, sorted lots of paper, re-read the Pretty Paper Party prompts, scrapped and even baked a cake and some cookies :) whew!

Here's where I'm at with the class so far:
I used a sketch from prompt one and some leftover Kaisercraft - Peechy Keen papers, die cut elements and Cosmo Cricket alphas.  How cute are the lamb and the calf having a little cuddle down at Brocketts Farm?!?!
The next layout I did was using old, old (almost antique because I bought them so long ago) papers.  I loved sorting through them all and there were many I'd forgotten I even had.
Maddie being cute on the beach at Weymouth in 2003.  I used a mixture of manufacturers on this page and really did some stash busting!
And I'm still loving making little embellishments.

I have to say that this class is one of the most inspirational I've ever taken and I've taken a few, I can tell you.

Now I'm off to play with more paper, glue, punches and paint.

I hope your weekend is off to a good start.
Jo xx

Tuesday 18 October 2011

The Party Has Started!

Shimelle's Pretty Paper Party that is! I have to confess that I am a little bit torn.  Yes I am a Scrap Sorter, as you know, I love to use up every last bit of paper and I'm always dipping into my scrap box. But then again I am a Pattern Contender because I always worry that a better photo or embellishment might come along for that special piece of paper I have.  Whatever I am though I know I'm looking forward to using the papers that I have.

I did manage to get some paper used at the weekend, I got a few more layouts under my belt!  The first one was for the weekly challenge over on UKScrappers.  The challenge was to scrap a mum, tell the story, use three different shapes and a bit of bling.
The story behind this layout is here and the title is down to the fact that Maddie's friends say she is lucky because she has such a crazy mum!
I used Crate Paper's Farmhouse Collection again and I love this little die cut because, although it's actually apples, it reminds me of cherries :)

The second layout I did was for the house challenge over on UKS.  We had a sketch and had to use orange.
I love this picture of Maddie and was lucky to find it again.  When I first decided to dip my toe into scrapping I was very organised.  I went through albums and bags and boxes and found all of the photos I wanted to scrap.  I put the pictures in envelopes with a note on the front saying what they were and then put the little envelopes in bigger ones with the dates on.  I was off to a great start even if I do say so myself.  That was 7 years ago and I have only just turned to those envelopes of photos and actually started getting them stuck on patterned paper!
I've also been trying to build up my embellishments with a few layers and love how this turned out on the page.

Now it's time to return to my craft desk and see if I can muster up some energy and mojo in the hope of getting another photo scrapped.

Have a good evening
Jo xx

Sunday 16 October 2011

Another Week Raced By

I don't know where the time has gone this week.  I do recall a couple of trips to the pub, snuggling on the sofa with Maddie, meeting up with family and a crop so it was a good week.

I thought it was about time I showed you the two other layouts I did last week at Paul's.  The first one was using more of my lovely stash from S J Crafts:
I really love this picture of Maddie, she really got the giggles that day.  I used lots of the Crate Paper Random Collection chipboard, layered the co-ordinating papers and even cut one of the flowers from the Vintage paper.
The second layout is of my lovely boy, Alfie:
I used the gorgeous Crate Paper Farmhouse collection, I really love these papers.
 I am loving my Nestabilities at the moment and I can't imagine that I'll ever stop hand cutting things out of patterned paper :)

I have managed three layouts so far this weekend and I'm hoping to get some more done this afternoon.  Tomorrow I am looking forward to the start of the party over at Shimelle's, the Pretty Paper Party :)

I hope you're all enjoying the weekend and the winter sunshine :)

Thanks for stopping by
Jo xx

Monday 10 October 2011

It Worked!

Crossing those fingers sure paid off and I got to spend a lovely weekend with Paul, thank you :)

He did have to work for a few hours and in that time I managed three whole layouts! I am so pleased with myself and with the layouts I did.

The first one was for the weekly challenge over at UKScrappers. We had to use three of three things, blue not pink and a household item:
I used three gorgeous photos of my nephews, Jack and George, 3 alphabet stickers and three bits of bunting.
The household item was a piece of string I found lying around at Paul's :) Papers and embellishments were from the Sarah's Cards September kit which was Fancy Pants - It's The Little Things.

Today I have been a bit like a zombie, had a late night and a long day so no bingo for me tonight. Instead I have plans for a soak in the tub, blog reading and a bit of knitting. I shall be back to share the other two layouts shortly.

I hope you had a great weekend.
Jo xx