Sunday, 31 January 2010

Shot Of The Month: January

~ The very first shot of 2010 ~
This also ties in with Shimelle's suggestion for today in Blogging For Scrapbookers.


Scrap Weekly 2010:Challenge #4 Winner & Challenge #5

Over on the Scrap Weekly 2010 blog, this week's challenge has been set by Helena and she would like you to scrap using a trio of papers.
The winner of my challenge (scrap with tags, but in a different way from usual) from last week is Lulu ~ congratulations! She wins a mini heart punch (I did say that the prize was small!) That's her concertina tag book above ~ how sweet is that!

31/365

~ Quality time with Grandpa ~

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Finished!

Thanks to Shimelle's suggestion for today in her Blogging For Scrapbookers guide, I have, at last, finished my Lanzarote album from 2008! You may recall that I blogged about it here, and said that I would have it finished by the end of January ~ yay, I have a day to spare!

Splish, Splash

Our trip to the swimming didn't quite go to plan this morning, as the baby pool was closed (because of a flood!?), so everyone had to use the big pool. I don't think the serious swimmers were too impressed at having to share with a whole bunch of little people.
All in all, given that DS hasn't been in a pool since Lanzarote in July 2008, we considered the visit a success. DS was fairly nervous and spent most of his time holding onto DH, but he did actually get wet and, at one point, even laughed!

Quote of the day from DS: You said it would be fun ...

30/365

~ On the penultimate day of January, our local supermarket has Easter Eggs on sale ~

Pink Saturday

Good morning and welcome to the fifth Pink Saturday post of 2010! As ever, we have been organised by the fabulous Beverly over at How Sweet The Sound; do check out her blog for a complete list of participants. My 'pinkies' this week are these gorgeous roses and carnations, which I picked up in my local supermarket. They're really brightening up my kitchen table on these miserable winter days, I can tell you.
This week's GiveAway can be seen here: if you would like a chance to win it, please leave a comment to show that you dropped by; become a follower of this ordinary, run-of-the-mill blog if you'd like a 2nd chance of winning. The random number selector thingy will choose the winner at 12 Noon (GMT) on Tuesday, 2nd February.
If you've the time, stop by Riet's blog at Riet's Photoblog for more pink loveliness. I know that I've recommended this blog before, but you really should check it out, as Riet has some stunning photography on show.

~~ Message for Tricia of Altered Schoolmarm blog ~ you need to send me your address when you can, so that I can put your prize from last week in the post. Thanks. ~~

Friday, 29 January 2010

My Amigo!

DS trying on his swim towel for size; it's brilliantly designed as a poncho with a hood. (Thank you to BF, as she bought it for him.) We are planning a family visit to our local pool tomorrow morning, so I had to go searching in the back of the airing cupboard to find it.
Seeing him wearing it over his clothes made me think of those dreadful 'Spaghetti Westerns' from the 1960s!

29/365

~ Westfield at White City:: overwhelming ~

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Pink Saturday GiveAway


Another sneak peek at this coming Saturday's Pink Saturday GiveAway. Check back then if you'd like to win it.

No Longer Hyperventilating!

My desk at 4pm ~ normal service is resumed!

I Don't Do Mess!

Looking at my craft desk just now is making me hyperventilate! How did it get to be so untidy? There's paperwork waiting to be filled in and filed, there's 5 lots of prep on the go for DS's Godparents end-of-year albums, there's the dreaded Lanzarote album still waiting for journaling, a book of crosswords and jiffy bags waiting to be put away ready for reuse. And, if you look closely, you might just spot this coming Saturday's GiveAway ...
This afternoon's task during DS's nap time is this desk!

28/365

~ Preparation ~

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Banana Loaf

Today I have made my first ever Banana Loaf ~ DH has road tested it and given it the thumbs up! I used a recipe my sister sent me back when DH and I were newly married. I don't suppose she thought it would take me over 4 years to try it out, but I do have a good excuse ~ I don't like bananas and DS is none too keen on them, either.

8 oz self raising flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp mixed spice
4 oz butter or margarine
1lb ripe bananas
6 oz caster sugar
4 oz chopped mixed peel
2 oz walnuts, roughly chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Cooking time: 1 hour 10 minutes ~ 180C/350F/Gas mark 4.
Well grease and flour a 1.5 lb loaf tin. Sieve the flour, salt & mixed spice into a bowl. rub in butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Peel and mash the bananas and add to the flour with the remaining ingredients. Beat until the mixture is well blended
Turn out into prepared loaf tin and bake for 1hour 10 minutes, or until the loaf is well risen and pale golden. Leave in tin for 5 minutes before turning out and cool on a wire rack. When cold, drizzle loaf with a little icing sugar.

Note to self ~ remember to check position of shelf in oven before leaving the house to collect DS from nursery. We got back to find the loaf almost reaching the top of the oven and a little scorched looking!

27/365

~ A new bag can lift the spirits ~

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

How The New Year Looks

Shimelle, in her Blogging for Scrapbookers guide, wants to know today how my 2010 is looking so far. I've thought about this for most of this afternoon and I came to the conclusion that, taken as a whole, it's been pretty pants.
Why's that, you ask? In a nutshell ~ my MIL's Alzheimer's has dramatically and rapidly decreased her quality of life, and, by association, that of my FIL, DH and SIL. Our next step is full-time professional care. My SIL is still in recovery from a 2nd bout of cancer. DH's business is struggling due to the current economic climate (UK out of recession because of a rise in growth of 0.1%? Don't make me laugh). DS isn't yet potty trained (down to me, not him) and he's waiting on a referral to Speech Therapy. Me? I'm doing what it says on the banner of my blog ~ trying to hold it all together.
These are subjects that I would never normally blog about; I try to keep the really personal stuff away the virtual world, which is why I blog so much about scrapping, I suppose! But Shimelle asked, and I feel better just by articulating it.

And The Winner Is ...

This week's Pink Saturday GiveAway winner is Tricia over at Altered Schoolmarm ~ congratulations! I've been by your blog and left a message. There will be another GiveAway this coming Saturday, so do stop by then.

26/365

~ Ever hopeful ~
I can't remember the last time I bought a Lottery ticket, but something prompted me to do so this week. To counter balance the odds of not winning, I've also put a £1 in DS's piggy bank!
(That black & white photo is me in 1972 ~ Sib had used me to play hairdressers and had cut half of my fringe, so mum had to cut the other half to try and even things up! These days, I love this photo because every time I look at it, I see DS.)


Monday, 25 January 2010

A Tiny Sneak Peek

Here's just a taster of what will become next Saturday's Pink Saturday GiveAway. I'm using My Mind's Eye 'Penny Lane' range, which is just lush and eminently strokeable! More later this week ...

It's Complicated ...

Yours truly is off to the cinema this evening (on a school night, as well) to see Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin in It's Complicated. The trailer looks good and there have been some great reviews, so I'm hopeful.
By the way, the Sunday Times (Style section) described Alec Baldwin as 'FOF', which apparently translates as 'fit over 50'! So, there you go!

25/365

~ A present to myself (and my new sewing machine) ~

Sunday, 24 January 2010

24/365

~ Ealing Broadway, 9.45am; a surprising amount of traffic for early Sunday morning~





Scrap Weekly 2010: Challenge #4

Over on the Scrap Weekly 2010 blog, it's my turn this week to set the challenge. Here's what I came up with: scrap with tags, but use them in a different way to how you would do normally. And that's it. On my LO, I used 10 tags in lieu of patterned paper ~ 5 across the top and 5 across the bottom of the cardstock.
I do hope that you'll find the time to play along; don't forget to leave me a comment with details of where to find what you've come up with. I have a very small prize for the creator of the LO DH likes best (not that I've asked him to be judge yet ...)
Funnily enough, this post also ties in with Shimelle's Blogging For Scrapbookers suggestion for yesterday ~ make a crafty project with an unexpected twist and blog it.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

23/365

~ Hurry up, Mummy! ~

Pink Saturday

Good morning and welcome to the fourth Pink Saturday post of 2010! As ever, we have been organised by the fabulous Beverly over at How Sweet The Sound; do check out her blog for a complete list of participants. My 'pinkie' this week is a montage of flowers shown on previous Pink Saturdays. As it's so miserable and grey here in London just now, I thought we could all do with cheering up.
This week's GiveAway can be seen here: if you would like a chance to win it, please leave a comment to show that you dropped by; become a follower of this ordinary, run-of-the-mill blog if you'd like a 2nd chance of winning. The random number selector thingy will choose the winner at 12 Noon (GMT) on Tuesday, 26th January.
If you've the time, stop by Mrs Magpie's blog at The Quintessential Magpie for more pink loveliness. I know that I've recommended this blog before, but you really should check it out. Mrs. M's posts are an art form in their right!

Friday, 22 January 2010

Philadelphia Smoked Salmon Tagliatelle

Shimelle's tip for today in her Blogging For Scrapbookers Guide is to share a recipe. And, as it happens, I had an email chat with my bloggie friend Mel about recipes for salmon and pasta just yesterday afternoon. I can't claim any credit for it, as I discovered in a magazine advert for Philadelphia.

Serves 4 (but only if they have mouse-like appetites)

Ingredients:
400g dried tagliatelle
120g Philly Light with Chives (or plain Philly and add mixed herbs)
125g smoked salmon
juice of 1/4 of a lemon
100ml semi-skimmed milk
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the tagliatelle in a large pan as directed on the pack. Cut the smoked salmon into small strips. Drain the pasta and leave in colander. Add the milk, Philly Light with Chives and lemon juice into the still warm pan, stir to melt. (I found this better if I put the pan back on a very low light.) Add the pasta back to the sauce and stir well. Fold the smoked salmon in gently. Finish with a grind of black pepper.


22/365

~ Daily brain exercise ~

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Packing A Punch

I've had a frustrating hour, sitting at my craft desk, trying to put together something in reply to Shimelle's 'Why I Scrapbook' question. Having failed miserably, I've put that to one side for now. Instead, a quick glance at Shimelle's Blogging For Scrapbookers guide shows that for today she suggests sharing your current favourite crafting supply. This I can do. Of late, I've recently rediscovered my punches ~ the current front runner is Fiskars Running Water punch (pretty much using it on everything possible), closely followed by Creative Memories corner rounder (a stalwart, probably the first punch I bought) and their snowflake punch (very handy on all those winter snow LOs). I must also confess to owning a few punches that have yet to be used ~ anyone else guilty of that?

21/365

~ Time out in Starbucks and a difficult letter finally written ~

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

This Is Me ...

Both Mel at I Speak Melsh and Amy at Over At Our Place have recently discussed the rarity of actually appearing in a photo. (Shimelle's challenge about articulating why we scrapbook seems to have given us all food for thought.) This seems to be a common theme with scrappers ~ we're too busy taking the shots to remember to appear in them. With that in mind, I had a trawl around my photo collection and the above is what I came up with.
You have from top left: Royal Ascot finery, June 2002; Falkland Islands, 1987; ServisAir at Manchester Airport, summer 1996; 35th birthday in Rome, 2003; newly pregnant, 2006. Second row, right hand side: Monaco, Boxing day, 2001; Christmas Day, 2004. Bottom row from left: Germany, 1989; newly married, 2005; Teddington Lock, August 2002, Scrapagogo Retreat, June 2008 (photo taken by Shimelle) ... a photo that is 18 months old is the most recent one of me? Point made.
The text on the photo reads ... a photograph gives us the naked truth, which has to be clothed by the imagination.

Scrap Weekly 2010: Challenge #3

Over on the Scrap Weekly 2010 blog this week, Helen set the challenge to scrap dodgy photo(s). This shot of DS is slightly blurry, his face is hidden and he has the ironing board growing out of the side of his head ... I think that fits the bill for a dodgy photo, wouldn't you say?!
Thing is, now that it's done, I'm not sure I like it. But in it will go, into DS's album and maybe it will grow on me. You know, a bit like mould!

By the way, I am setting the next challenge on the Scrap Weekly 2010 blog this Sunday morning ... would love it if you stopped by and took part. And there may, just may, be a wee prize involved.

20/365

~ Beautiful Lisianthus ~

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

What Do You Do With Yours?

So, you've read them from cover to cover, including the adverts. On more than one occasion. They've been next to your bed, in your bathroom, in your kitchen, on your sofa, in your handbag and finally, in your magazine rack. I am, of course, talking about scrapping magazines (although this post could equally apply to non-scrapping magazines, but I'm not sure such magazines exist anymore!). I have, today, had a cull of more than a year's worth of the American scrapping magazine Creating Keepsakes ~ I tear out pages showing LOs that really speak to me and I tear out whole articles that inspire me. They go into a A4 landscape sized notebook (with scrapbooked front & back covers, naturally) and the remnants go into the recycling, accompanied by a quiet thank you from me. The thank you is said quietly because DH already thinks that I am a "funny little sausage" and I wouldn't want to have him add to that description, if it's all the same to you!

Pink Saturday: Sneak Peek

For my GiveAway on Saturday, I've kept things simple this week. On offer is this scrapping note book, although, of course, you could use it for anything you like! The 4 cute gold pencils are also included. Do pop by this coming Saturday if you'd like to win it.

And The Winner Is ...

This week's Pink Saturday GiveAway winner is Anne from Phamilyblog. Congratulations! I'll be by your blog shortly with the good news. There'll be another GiveAway this coming Saturday, so do stop by then.

19/365

~ That smallest kitchen drawer that ends up as the I'll-keep-this-just-in-case drawer~

Monday, 18 January 2010

Back To School?

This wee book came free with our newspaper this morning and, for once, it might even be looked at! So much better than a free novel by a Russian author you've never heard of, let alone know one whose name you don't know how to pronounce. When we were children, we had a book at home called First Aid For English, which was invaluable during exam revision. I suspect that this new book may just prove invaluable for blog post composition!

18/365

~ A foggy start ~

Sunday, 17 January 2010

17/365

~ En route to my GodDaughter's birthday party ~

Grandad Skipper

You may recall that, at the beginning of the month, I blogged about the death of a true gentleman. A gentleman unrelated to me, but loved by me and mine all the same. Last night, I realised that I should have given you some background information on him. And then I remembered this, and my mum told me about this. A hero and a gentleman.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Candid Camera


We had a friend visit last night and stay over. This morning, DS was fascinated by her pink Ugg-style slippers, and when she wasn't looking, he tried them on for size! He's going to be so embarrassed by these photos when he's older, isn't he?!
I should have kept these images for next week's Pink Saturday post, shouldn't I? Doh!

16/365

~ Our local parakeet ~

Edited to add: okay, it seems a few of you are interested in our parakeets. We have a flock of them just across the river, in the park at Richmond, and every now and again they venture across to say hello. And rather noisily at that! The story goes that the flock originated after a few pet parakeets escaped from their cages, met up in the park and subsequently set up happy families. This parakeet was down the road this morning, in a neighbour's front garden, helping himself to the bird seed.

Pink Saturday

Good morning and welcome to the third Pink Saturday post of 2010! As ever, we have been organised by the fabulous Beverly over at How Sweet The Sound; do check out her blog for a complete list of participants. My 'pinkie' this week is this totally fabulous piece of artwork created by my DS .... me, biased?! I love that just now pink is merely a colour for him, and there's none of that silliness over pink being for girls. (But I know that's lurking just around the corner...)
This week's GiveAway can be seen here: if you would like a chance to win it, please leave a comment to show that you dropped by; become a follower of this ordinary, run-of-the-mill blog if you'd like a 2nd chance of winning. The random number selector thingy will choose the winner at 12 Noon (GMT) on Tuesday, 19 January.
If you've the time, stop by Winona's blog at Scrappychicdiva for more pink loveliness. I must apologise for lack of blog hopping last week. We had a house full for DS's birthday. I hope to do much better today.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Pink Saturday Sneak Peek

I'd been full of plans this week to concoct a wee something for my weekly Pink Saturday GiveAway. Trouble is, time got away from me! So, instead, I am offering a ready-to-go mini kit as my GiveAway.
You will receive: a 6.5x6.5 paper album, 14 double-sided patterned paper, 12 double-sided photo mats, epoxy & title stickers, die-cut designs and a mailing envelope. I should think that the pattern design would suit a teenage boy, a tomboy teenage girl or even a biker husband. The possibilities are probably endless!

15/365

~ Under the parachute ~

Scrap Weekly 2010: Challenge #2

Shimelle's A Year of Blogging suggests taking up a challenge today from a blog or website and posting the results. Easy peasy. Over on the Scrap Weekly 2010 blog, of which yours truly is a part of (in case you missed that plug earlier this month), Lois has set the 2nd challenge ~ Scrap 10 Things.
Simple. 10 things about DS, now that he is 3 years old.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

First LO For 2010's Album

It's lucky that I discovered scrapbooking when I did, on honeymoon in Australia, because we now have a chronological set of albums documenting our married life. And as it's January, it's time to start on album #6. I am so chuffed that I snapped the perfect photo before breakfast on New Year's Day. Perfect as in the image, not necessarily the technical specifications.
The journaling reads: Most days you're not at your best when you get up. Today, however, was magical. Here's hoping there are many more mornings like this one. I think the paper is Sassafrass and I used Fiskar's Running Water punch around the edge.