Saturday, 31 December 2011

Monday, 19 December 2011

Christmas photography

Thanks to Cheryl Johnson at, I have been experimenting with indoor photography.  I am taking her ‘12 days of Christmas’ workshop, which I thoroughly recommend.  She has sent out 12 photo prompts, one each for the first 12 days of Christmas, and then we have to put together a collage by the end of December.  You’re too late for this year, but take a look at her site for other classes through the year, especially ‘Painting with Light’, and maybe think about signing up for next yearSmile

So with some hints and tips, I tried to capture my family at lunch yesterday, possibly the best photo ever of them!  All I need to do now is ‘stage’ it a bit better and have a better foreground and background.

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And here’s the dining room fireplace:

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I have to tell you that it took me all morning to clear the table from craft stuff!  The room looks fabulous once it’s tidySmileSmile

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Christmas album

I have a pile of Christmas photos from years gone by, that I wanted to scrap in their own album.  I thought I would probably use Shimelle’s Journal Your Christmas prompts, or maybe Ali Edwards December daily, but in the end, I have just done my own thing!

I have a few empty 8.5in x 11in American Craft albums, so I picked a red one for my Christmases past album.  I also had some divided page protectors that I bought for Ali’s One Little Word class that I didn’t do.

So here’s a peek at what I have been doing:

This first one is from a JYC prompt, a title page.  This is my ‘word’ for this season.  I want to feel Peace this year.  The photo is from 1982!  I am always amazed at how good some of our older photos are.  We had Pentax ME Super camera bodies and various lenses.  Maurice thinks he used a filter on this photo, to get the ‘misty’ effect.

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But we did take some really awful photos too!  These taken at our first Christmas together, look how badly they’ve faded, and the shape of the Christmas tree, UGH!!!

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More 1982, and there are lots of photos for 1984!  It’s difficult to remember exactly what we did at these Christmases, so I am going to do a bit of research on the internet and see if I can find out what was on telly, what was the most coveted gadget etc!  What fun!  How we love reminiscing!  Happy timesSmile

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Here’s what the divided page protectors look like. I love this! Lots of work though to make each individual little page!!

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Wednesday, 14 December 2011

A very grown-up tree

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We have a very ‘grown up’ Christmas tree these days.  DD decided we should go ‘colour-coordinated’ several years ago, so we bought gold and bronze ornaments, and ditched the old mis-matched ‘childish’ ornaments.  I have to say it does look fabulous, especially with the lights all twinkling and reflecting in the shiny baubles!

But… this year DD didn’t want to dress the tree with me, so I had to do it all by myself!  Probably for the first time in 20 odd years!!!  All these years we had decorated the tree together and while our Disney CD ‘Mickey Mouse’s Christmas’ played loudly from the stereo.  How I missed that this year!

And now it’s done… well, it looks beautiful, but in a shop window sort of way, not in the handmade red, white and green that I would prefer.  Oh well – maybe if I make enough ornaments during the year, I can decorate it my way next Christmas!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

10 Christmas crafty things on 10th

Ooops!  A day late… but here’s 10 crafty things I have made over the years. 


One of the very first things I made was a stocking for Nicholas for his second Christmas.  Being born just after Christmas he was nearly 2 when he got his presents in this.  I made an identical one for Lucy when she was born, and they still have their presents in them over 20 years later!  (sorry about the blurry picture, I think it’s time to take better photos of these stockings!)


This banner might precede the stockings, I can’t remember exactly when I made it!  It was from a pattern in Country Living magazine, and gets put up on my pine dresser every year.  I love it!

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More recently I have done paper crafting, and made most if not all of my Christmas cards.  Here’s some I made using a photograph I took of the beach huts in snow.  These are from last year, but I made a few more this year for some overseas friends:

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Here’s a sample of a background sheet I made with my friend Burnice a couple of years ago.  It was from the magazine Craft Stamper.  I still have little bits of it left and they will go in this year’s  Christmas album

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One year I joined in with the advent swap over on, and loved it so much, I made advent parcels up for Nicholas and Lucy too!

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Talking of ukscrappers, here’s a Christmas mini book I made for a swap, and a page from a Christmas themed circle journal

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Another sewing project, this time table mats and runner to match.  I went to  class at for this.  They look fabulous on our new Ikea kitchen table!  And these Basic Grey fabrics are just gorgeous

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Another Christmas banner, this time made from paper.  I made this one last year, and it had pride of place in the dining room.  This year it is in the lounge.

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One year I sewed loads of these little Christmas angels, and gave them to everyone!  I sewed everywhere, including on a train trip to London.  Of course, I spilt all my pins on the train, all over the floor!  Luckily the train was quite empty and there was no one to watch me scrabbling about picking them all up!

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And finally there is my Christmas journal!  I am on my 5th this Christmas!!  Last year I used a wonderful kit from, using JYC ( and December Daily ( prompts.  This year, well, I’m way behind, but will let you see it in a day or two.  The whole process of making crafty things at Christmas, especially the journal has helped me recapture some of the magic of Christmas now that the kids have grown up.  Reading through the last 4 journals the other evening made me thankful that I had made the effort to do them (and it is a supreme effort at this busy time of year!)

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Check out Shimelle’s blog for more 10 on the 10th!

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

It’s beginning to look a look a lot like…..

Christmas!  Here’s our town just as it was getting dark yesterday:

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Monday, 5 December 2011

The Nothingness is astonishing!

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exclaimed husband when he came home to find our big cedar tree felled!  It was fairly close to the house and seriously blocked out the light, in fact, the dark green evergreen needles seemed to suck in the light!  The weirdest thing is when you turn to enter the kitchen from the hall and glance up the stairs to the huge landing window.  That’s where the ‘nothingness’ hits you!  Our eyes are used to focussing on the branches of the tree, and now….nothing, except grey sky.


Our tree surgeons Mr Tree, did a fantastic job!  They are just so professional, and very exciting to watch!  Here’s Ross up the tree, roping and chain sawing huge big branches so they didn’t drop onto the summer house roof.

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After the branches were cut off, the top of the tree was felled in 1 go down to about 7 foot.  Brendon the furniture maker wanted the bottom bit of the trunk, all 1 ton of it!  Here they are rolling it out to the front to get it onto his trailer.


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We are left with a huge pile of logs…anyone got an open fire?

And here’s what it looked like last week, taken from the same place as the top picture:

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