Friday, 31 December 2010

Goodbye goodbye 2010...

You know, I can't wait until I can write here about what's going to be so great about 2011... and I've moaned more than enough about 2010(!), so for now, just take my word for it and know that a great year is on its way :) celebrate my friends!

If you want to join in Art Journal Friday this weekend and let out how you feel about the New Year (and the old!), I've posted this month's over on The Scrappy Tree :) have fun!

Love, light and good health to you and yours in the New Year :)

Gayle xx

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Happy Birthday my darling :)

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas! Only now am I starting to resurface ;) Thank you again to everybody who took part in our Christmas Eve party (see this post if you want to see what we got up to!), I really enjoyed visiting everyone and hope we can do it again soon!

The 28th December is my fiance's 25th birthday (he's catching me up slowly, honestly!) - I did make him a card but didn't put his age on it; even though he hasn't said anything about getting older, this time he seems to have mentioned his age more than on previous birthdays! FINALLY not just me sensing the unstoppable march of time ;)

I find it so difficult not to put flowers on things, but managed to refrain this time around ;)

Well, we had more falls and injuries here this week if you believe it, poor Df fell a few times on the ice right onto his knees a few days ago, and now that the ice has melted and supposedly the peril has diminished(!) my poor Nan fell over the dog bed and cut her leg just today! We are a disaster area, my brother's windscreen shattered as he got to the end of the driveway going to work on Christmas Day! You really do have to laugh ;) nevertheless I am looking forward to turning a new page for the next year in just a few short days :)

I can't tell you how excited I am for this New Year to come :) I quietly feel that 2011 is going to be a really good year... let's see shall we? )

Gayle xx

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Welcome to the Christmas Eve blog party!!

It's here it's here!! Welcome to the Christmas Eve blog party!! The snow is still here...

...the tree is up and the presents are out...
...the Christmas village is all lit up...

...the homemade mince pies have been tasted...

...and we've even got Christmas milk!!!

Between us we've had our fair share of falls on the ice over the past week, and some came off better than others (isn't this pitiful?? :-D) ...

...but my Nan has just arrived, we've all finished work and we are ready for Christmas! My Christmas Eve has taken a similar path for past couple of years and I always look forward to it :) I usually have a fun morning at work followed by an early finish, and then home to get the final bits and pieces all together while we wait for Nan to arrive from the other side of the country, and then we spend some time together followed by some wine and some scrapping - life is good! I just love the change of pace and being able to enter that little bubble of Christmas with my family :)
There are going to be a lot of changes over the next year in our home life; among other things, this time next year I will be a married woman! I am super excited to get our wedding date confirmed in the New Year (we have been engaged for over 3 years so it's been a long time coming!) and am looking forward to the time away with our families and friends :) there is more to come so watch this space!
I don't know about you but I feel like Christmas has really crept up on me this year - I blinked and all of a sudden here it is! I don't really feel like I've had the time to enjoy the run-up to Christmas, but I really wanted to make time to enjoy today, so welcome to our blog party! Nine of us wanted to celebrate this final day where everything comes together before the big event tomorrow, so let me introduce the eight to follow :)

Each of these ladies has something to share about their experience of the festive season, so hop on over for a visit! Your next visit will take you across the pond to Minnesota and the lovely Julie, who I believe is experiencing some serious snow ;)
I'm going to settle in with my family and some Christmas movies, but before I go I wish you and yours a very merry Christmas - hope that Santa brings you all you wish for :) Gayle xx

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Christmas is on its way...

All quiet on the blogging front this week... but we're gearing up for the Christmas Eve blog party on Friday! It will start here at 6pm (GMT), when I'll be posting the list of blogs to send you on your journey and to get those festive feelings going for the weekend! Have fun and don't work too hard this week! :)

Gayle xx

Friday, 17 December 2010

Snow day!

When I went to bed last night, there was no snow, no frost, maybe a little sleet that came down as I was driving home from work. This morning? This is what was outside! Do you remember my post from a week ago with Bill and Ben? This was them this morning :)

I can imagine they were less than impressed! From the same post last week, I put up a photo of the sun shining when I walked out of the front door in the morning; well this is that same view today:-
The photo below is our usual way out to the main road in the morning; around that corner and up a steep hill lies the main road, but I didn't get up there today...
What really fascinated me was that yesterday there was nothing, no snow at all, and overnight there was a good 10cm of snow on everything - look at the poor plants! And the table! We sat there for barbeques in the summer!

The cars had a lovely layer of snow on them :) when we went out to get things from the car it was dark inside because of the snow :)

The photo below shows the view from my bedroom window; across the bridge and to the right is where my stepdad fell on the ice just over a week ago - none of us went down there today! The dogs loved the snow on the walkway at the back of the house today, and had great fun with breaststroke through the snow on the driveway at the front :) Millie, our black Scottie dog had a great white beard!

My favourite thing about the photo below is the amazing colour of the sky; I just couldn't believe how beautiful it was :)

This last photo with the sun shining through the trees was my absolute favourite of the day :) the sun shining through the snowy branches was just beautiful :)

I don't know if it's the snow or the impromptu day off work but I was feeling really festive today :) on Christmas Eve we are going to have a little blog party talking about anything to do with the beginning of the holidays :) me personally, I will be finishing work on that day, maybe posting a project I've worked on, and talking about how I'm feeling about Christmas this year :) if you have a blog and would like to share your post with us on Christmas Eve, send me an e-mail at gtillyer (at) hotmail (dot) com or leave me a comment on this post by midday GMT on Sunday and you can join our blog party! Look forward to having you with us :)
Happy weekend everybody :) stay warm!
Gayle xx

Monday, 13 December 2010

Christmas Eve Blog Party!

An invitation to all the arts and crafts bloggers! I want to invite you all to take part in a blog party this Christmas Eve! Myself and the lovely Kel at Journal Journeys decided that finishing work/school/whatever usually occupies you during the week ready for the holidays is definitely worth celebrating! Lots of happy dancing (a la Snoopy) going on over here :)

Come and celebrate the beginning of the holidays with us!! Share a project, a recipe, a Christmas thought, host a giveaway - you choose!

If you have a blog and you'd like to take part, all you have to do is e-mail me at gtillyer (at) hotmail (dot) com with the address of your blog by midday GMT Sunday (19th December 2010) so we can get our blog list together, and be ready with your post on Christmas Eve! The theme will be 'The Holidays Start Here!!"

Looking forward to hearing from you :) season's greetings!

Friday, 10 December 2010

December Daily

Just thought I would share some of the photos I want to use for my December Daily from one of our frostier mornings this week :) as you can see, Bill and Ben are feeling the chill...

Defrosting the car has become a daily necessity...
...but at least the extreme cold means the sun is shining :) I love this view up the street when you step outside my parents' house in the morning and look right :)

...and even though it's cold, I like the feeling of being hidden away while sitting in the car with the engine running waiting for the windows to thaw :)

Happy Friday everybody :) xx

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Happy Birthday! (and stepdad update!)

Happy Birthday to my Nan! This is her card on the left, I got this gorgeous stamp in the sale recently and wanted an excuse to use it :) I can post it here because she doesn't read blogs ;) she should have had it with her today, but unfortunately the weather is affecting the postal service as well as everybody else so hopefully it will arrive tomorrow! She's coming to visit us at Christmas so looking forward to Christmas Eve!

Also need to say a BIG happy birthday to my dear friend Kristin (whose card I won't post here because she DOES visit my blog and she also hasn't seen her card!) - please go visit her blog and wish her a wonderful birthday! Kristin, wishing you all the best for today and a fantastic year ahead :)

I also need to say thank you to the well wishers :) my stepdad had the op yesterday and we think it went ok! Waiting for them to put a plaster cast on his leg and do an occupational therapy doo-dah to make sure he's ok to come home and mobilise in the house, and then we will have him back where he belongs :) it's so sweet to see my parents missing each other, oh bless! They are a bit lost without each other, even when it's only 15 minutes down the road ;)

Wishing you happy hump day :)
Gayle xx

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Look out!

Only a few days into December and disaster is striking already! I went out to a Christmas do on the weekend and saw 5 people fall over! Admittedly two of them had drunk a little too much and tumbled on some steps (ouch!) but the other three all became victims of the icy conditions :/

Yesterday morning my poor stepdad became the next victim; he was out walking the dogs and slipped, breaking a bone in his knee and tearing the quad muscle from the bone - OUCH! That's his x-ray in the picture above. Thank goodness he had his mobile phone with him (which he NEVER takes anywhere) and was able to phone home - poor soul couldn't get up off the floor :/ we went to get him up, dropped the dogs off at home and then went straight to the hospital... and then waited 14 hours for scans, doctors and an available bed! Phew! Accident & Emergency was a seriously busy place yesterday, can you believe so many people can fall over at the same time?
The sign above should say 'Ystafell Blaster' which is 'Plaster Room' in Welsh - my stepdad had to have a brace put on overnight to keep his knee immobilised until they operated today.

He's in surgery right now to put his knee back together :) we've got everything crossed for a good result :)

Gayle xx

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Meet some of my friends :)

I want to say a big welcome to the newest member of The Scrappy Tree design team - Diana!
Diana is a fab scrapper and absolute queen of cards, layouts, mini books, and everything else she turns her hand to!
I love how she has such a definite style and you can always tell that a piece is hers just by looking at it :)

She's going to be a wonderful addition to the team, I know I always feel inspired looking at her work :)

You can read some more about Diana by clicking here to go to The Scrappy Tree, and if you click on the picture of her face at The Scrappy Tree blog you can see some more samples of her amazing work in her gallery.

Talking of inspiring, can I also invite you to support another talented scrapper and friend called Michelle - she's been shortlisted by Little Yellow Bicycle for a beautiful LO using photos of her gorgeous son and she deserves your vote! You can vote on their Facebook page here or on their blog here - thanks for your support! Michelle has a blog called Happenings On This Side Of The River where she shares her fantastic pictures and wonderful layouts :) go visit and say hello! Have to mention that Michelle makes some great cookies :) (this will make more sense if you visit her latest blog post!) and even though we're miles apart across the pond, Michelle has not only shared some of her recipes with me but even sent me some to taste last Christmas! Now there's a scrappy friend indeed ;) xx

Last but not least I'll share a little something of mine :) today is December 1st, and so begins my first December Daily! I love the idea of documenting your December (of course these wonderful girls like Ali Edwards and Shimelle always make such amazing looking projects that you simply have to want one for yourself!) and intend to give it my best shot this year :)

I'm following Ali Edwards' December Daily this year - I admit to being a little intimidated last year because her album was just TOO amazing ;) but she went with a simpler design this year and I thought I could give it a bash :) This is my album ready to go; I finished the front cover and the basic pages inside, and I'll probably share a few pages here as I complete them throughout the month :)

I know what I want for page one, but have yet to get some good photos! Watch this space :)
Happy Hump Day everybody :) Gayle xxx

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Art Journal Friday - November

Had some fun this weekend with red and white paint for the Christmas-related prompt for Art Journal Friday :) kept it really simple and based it on what for me means Christmas is coming - the red cups at Starbucks! I included a few little things in the circles that make me feel a little bit excited about Christmas being on the way :) I find that before these things happen, anything Christmasy just gets on my nerves because it's too early!!

I enjoyed 'recycling' my Starbucks cup immensely :) I bet they didn't know that they make flowers as well as coffee!

I am trying to get more excited about Christmas this year and have my December album all ready to go starting Wednesday :) this year is going to finish well, I am determined!
Have to say I have spent a lot of time daydreaming over the different December/Christmas classes that are available this year - I am going to drop a lot of hints to Df next year that I would REALLY like Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas :) there is a giveaway for this class over at Paislee Press so if you'd like to try your luck head over there and enter! :)
Hope you've had a great weekend :) Gayle xx

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Sunday morning... absolutely one of my favourite songs of all time! If you haven't heard it, it's by a band called Maroon 5, and is so beautiful and chilled out you can't help but love it :)

Seems appropriate for Wales - 'Sunday morning, rain is falling'

It happens a lot!!

Last night I was working on the first of my Christmas cards; I'm not sure how many handmade ones I will get around to sending out this year, but I have started at least :) if you get one of them, I'm sorry in advance! ;) I picked up some Christmas stamps from Papermania that reminded me a little of Timmy's line (loving those reindeer!) and made a few very simple cards to get things going ;)

My Mum thinks I am over-complicating and that I will never get a decent amount of cards done if I spend this amount of time doing one! lol!! I always spend forever on the first card, just takes me a while to get happy with it :)

I've been watching some old episodes of a program called 'The Family' online - jeez, it is hard to watch those kids be just like I was towards my parents! And the scraps between the older sister and younger brother? Ouch!! Reliving some tension and conflict, but grateful every day that all that resulted in such a great relationship with my family :) me and my bro are the Beavis and Butthead of the family, we just sit there and snicker at whatever 'in-joke' we might have laughed at since birth LOL
It is really touching to see how the family come together when they least expect it; it is beautiful to see that even though you feel your family is utterly rare(!), it's not all that different from everyone elses.

Happy weekend everybody :) Gayle xx

Friday, 26 November 2010

A quickie Friday halloo!!

Hello and good Friday to you all :) here's hoping that my friends across the pond are enjoying their holiday weekend, and that my friends in the UK aren't having too much trouble with the snow! It landed here in South Wales today, and as you can see it isn't all that much, but enough in the UK to start to cause a few problems (what can I say, we aren't used to it!!)
This is the view out of the office window this afternoon - even though a nap at home would have been nice, they didn't close the office (oh well, after all it is only November!). I used to be really excited about the snow but after having to fight my way to work last winter through the unusually heavy snow, I'm now slightly apprehensive about the winter yet to come...

On the plus side... this weekend is Art Journal Friday! I've posted a prompt at The Scrappy Tree which will hopefully cater to all tastes; working in mental health services makes me aware that Christmas isn't fun for everyone so let's offer art journaling regardless of preference ;)

Happy Friday :) Gayle xx

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Dear 2010, thank you for...

Happy Thanksgiving! Even though we don't have Thanksgiving here in the UK, I still love the idea of taking the opportunity to take stock and look at your life and all the good things in it :) I was lucky enough to receive a Thanksgiving pressie of a tin of pumpkin puree (thank you Toni!!) so I can see a pumpkin pie in my near future ;)

For Thanksgiving last year, I did a LO for the Scrappy Tree thankfulness challenge - it just so happened that I was working on this page just after Df lost his job and we had to give up our flat! My thankfulness at that time was that Df and I were able to stay together, and had wonderful family that were able to help us out with somewhere to stay.

A year later things have changed (thankfully!) and although it hasn't always been easy we have also had some great things happen to us this year! I wanted to do a LO again for this year's Scrappy Tree thankfulness challenge, and came across a great prompt from Shimelle's True Stories class which I found really useful in helping me write some journaling on the subject. As you may be able to see on the tags in the picture, I journalled using letters of the alphabet and although it didn't cover everything that happened this year, it was a lovely way of thinking about
different things (and really shoe-horning a few things in for X,Y and Z!)
Whatever the photo may suggest, I am thankful to 2010 for more than white wine ;)

It has been really crisp here this week and we are expecting snow any day now, but at the moment it is nice to have the cold sunshine instead of the rain :) we used to live near the sea before we moved to the valleys and I still miss it! I was lucky enough this week to have a training course in Swansea and really loved being able to see the sea from the carpark (small pleasures!) - I wish I had been able to get closer, but was trying for a sneaky pic without arousing the interest of the other people on the course!
Although I really should be studying at the moment (!) I have been plugging away at my December Daily album ready for the 1st December next Wednesday :) I was dubious that I would be able to get the foundation pages done in time, but it is beginning to come together now and once I have cut out two more pages and added some embellishments it will be fighting fit and ready for December to come! With all the best will in the world there was a little shadow over December for us last year, so this year I want to document and really treasure my Christmas - there will be so many changes in the New Year I know that I will be glad that I did :)
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who reads this post, but especially to my wonderful scrappy friends (you know who you are - love ya!) Gayle xx

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Sunday morning on the beach

We went to Rhossili beach on the Gower peninsula in South Wales this morning; I used to live right by the beach before we moved to the area we live in now, and loved it! It was a little chilly, but then it is November :) the dogs didn't seem to mind too much!

Me and my brother walking along; I love this part of the beach, it reminds me of the cave in Harry Potter where Voldemort hid the Horcrux!

I need to get a new memory card as we filled this one up today - I took a few photos to begin with but Df soon decided he wanted to take some too! Maybe he needs a camera for Christmas :) perhaps next year, I have this year all planned out already :)

Gayle xx

Friday, 19 November 2010

Thank you and pay it forward...

Aw, I have to say thank you to my good friend Michelle for this lovely blog award! I was so flattered to receive this, it's my first! Cherry in more ways than one ;) j/k!!

The conditions of the award are:-

1. Thank the person who gave it to you - thank you so much Michelle!
2. Put the award on your blog - done!
3. Share three things about yourself that you enjoy doing.
4. Pass the award onto 5 fellow bloggers.

So firstly, the three things that I enjoy doing...

1. I would be truly lost without my internet. My friends are here, Mr Google who knows the answers the everything I might possibly need to know, I can find out information about anything I would ever dream about doing or possibly ever need to buy. Enough said.

2. Family time! It's important to me to spend time with my family, including my darling Kitty who is keeping me company this evening:- How could you not enjoy spending time with that little face??

3. I love learning (and sometimes creating!) new things - I love novelty and working on something I've never done before. I am an eternal student at the age of 30; as a crafter I started with scrapbooking but soon discovered that I needed to try as many other things as I could lay my hands on as well :)

And now to nominate these five special bloggers (only five??) :-

1. Kristin

2. Julie

3. Erica

4. Lisa

5. Jaime

I've found inspiration from each of these blogs since first following them, and made some great friends as well! Michelle, I wish I could nominate you again too :) adore your pages and pictures always :)

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend :)

Gayle xx

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Happy 1st Birthday to The Scrappy Tree

Aw, I can't believe it's been a year since we began The Scrappy Tree!! We're coming up to Thanksgiving and I am working on a thankfulness project, which is really meaningful when I look back at the project I did last year...

Gav and I had just found out that he was being made redundant, so last year around this time we were pretty thankful just to have each other and to have family that could take us in. This year I'm hoping for a more positive project (!) although this LO is probably the favourite of all the ones I've made.

This week is Jules' inspiration challenge at The Scrappy Tree; she's posted this beautiful image of cupcakes, I love the colours :)

If you want to play along, you can upload your image to The Scrappy Tree Ning site. There will be more posts over the days between now and Thanksgiving, I know Kristin, Jules and I would love it if you can join us to celebrate our anniversary :)
Gayle xx