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

Friday, 12 November 2010

Thoughts on a Friday night...

Yesterday was Remembrance Day - at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, everything and everybody pauses for two minutes while we pay respect to those who fought in the wars that shaped history and our lives as we know them today. I bought my poppy and wear it proudly, but for me there was one particular veteran I miss dearly and that's my Granpa. He was always so proud of his British heritage and the time that he served his country as an army man - he would never talk about his time at war with us, but the small hints that he let slip about where he spent his time while he was in the army allowed us to put together some ideas about what he must have gone through. His funeral was very emotional for me and everything that was said only compounded the respect and the love I had for him. I remembered that yesterday when I remembered the sacrifices of the many.

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

I have some beautiful scrapbook embellishments with poppies that will be perfect for scrapping some of my memories of my Granpa, but not quite yet :)

Another great cause that played a part in my week was World Pneumonia Day which happened today! The charity encouraged everyone to wear blue today with the aim of raising awareness, and at The Scrappy Tree we tackled this in our own way as crafters and invited everyone to make something blue! The challenge closed yesterday and the overall winner was Joanna with this fantastic piece:

You can visit Joanna's blog here to see more of her wonderful work, she will have some blue scrappy goodies on their way to her soon, plus a $10 donation to World Pneumonia Day. Nine other entrants to the challenge also won a $10 donation in their name and you can enjoy some of the amazing talent that came forward and did their bit for World Pneumonia Day at this post at The Scrappy Tree.

This weekend I am hoping to go to a Zumba party, wish me luck :)
Gayle xx

Monday, 8 November 2010

I love Christmas...

Christmas is my favourite holiday of all :) I love how everything stops for Christmas, even though it's hustle and bustle right up until the very last minute. I always work on the morning of Christmas Eve, in my job you only have to work until midday. I love coming into work (I always book in a client that I have fun with on that morning!), going to do the normal stuff, having one last Christmas Starbucks and looking at the last of the Christmas craft supplies, and then home to spend a lovely afternoon getting things ready waiting for Christmas to come. We love the evening before Christmas too because we get to open our Christmas Eve present (yes my Mum did this for years to keep us quiet, and still does!).

Why am I blogging about Christmas? Because at Starbucks, the red cups are out :) last Friday my coffee of choice was a toffee nut latte, this week it will be a gingerbread one - lovely! Have to say that as much as I love them, they're not a patch on the Pumpkin Spice Latte, which they don't do in the UK *sob* now that really is heaven in a cup! Mmmmm!!

Scrappy projects this week - I have been working mostly in BLUE...

The blue challenge is still running all this week at The Scrappy Tree and the prize is a good one; 10 chances to win a $10 donation to World Pneumonia Day in your name, plus the top prize entry wins some blue scrappy goodies! I've been taking the opportunity to play with some grungepaper (my flowers REALLY need some work!) and a fair amount of Distress Ink, plus some items I had that were just begging to be altered :)

If you can make something blue this week for World Pneumonia Day, come share it at The Scrappy Tree and you might make a difference to someone's life :) click here for more details.

Looking forward to Hump Day tomorrow! Got Run 1 of 3 out of the way this week; one down, two to go! Thanks Bridge to 10k, so far so good :)

Gayle xx

Saturday, 6 November 2010

I want to be a runner...

I noticed on facebook today that November 7th is World Run Day. I have always wanted to be a runner, one of those people who 'goes for a run', makes it look effortless and just bounds along for miles without stopping. Now I know it's not likely that's going to happen, but I'm still trying!

First of all I started out with the Couch to 5k program. If you don't run at all, and you want to, start here. It's amazing how you can go from running for one minute without stopping to running thirty. It's really amazing. I'd also say that if you have an mp3 player, download the podcasts which tell you when to run and when to walk, because clock-watching as every second ticks past does not do you any favours!

So at the end of Couch to 5k, what do you do? The next program is called Bridge to 10k, and bit by bit you increase your time (while your speed decreases, a necessity if you want to reach the end!). I've finished Week 2 of Bridge to 10k, and it's killing me! I'm not sure how I'm going to increase my minutes again in Week 3, but when I first began I never believed I could have run for as far as I now have... so I'm going to give it a go.

One day I'd love to run a marathon. I don't know if that can happen, but it's certainly on my bucket list :)

Look out for a plodder in your area, it might just be someone like me :)

Gayle xx

The BLUE challenge

The Scrappy Tree is running The BLUE challenge for World Pneumonia Day on November 12th. You can get more information about this and how to support such a great cause by visiting The Scrappy Tree here! The aim of the challenge is to create a project in blue for Save The Children and World Pneumonia Day - the winner will receive some blue scrappy supplies, and the top ten entries will get a donation of $10 each made to the cause in their name. As well as having a chance to win some goodies, this is a really good cause and you could be winning the chance to help save the life of a child with pneumonia if you take part, so please get out your scrappy supplies and show us what you can do :)

I'm hoping to have the chance to make a few projects for this challenge, but this is what I've been working on so far:-
I used a clear acrylic tag and dripped Stream Alcohol Ink onto it along with some Alcohol Blending Solution to get the interesting blue effect. I stamped some Inkadinkado flourishes onto the front of the tag with Jet Black StazOn ink, and attached a Tim Holtz keychain. This is my first attempt at a grungepaper flower! Have decided I need a more uniform flower stamp when I try this again! But managed to put it together using grungepaper, Faded Jeans Distress Ink, Glossy Accents to stick it together, and embellished with Icicles Stickles and a small blue metallic brad by Papermania.
If you'd like to have a go at this challenge, please visit The Scrappy Tree for more information and instructions on where to upload your project or how to give to the cause in other ways. Thanks for looking!
Gayle xx