The lovely Sian is running a Christmas Club over on her blog From High In The Sky, where she is sharing her memories and family stories from Christmases past. Apparently, the Christmas Club was something Sian subjected her family to for the 4 weeks prior to big day itself: look on Sian's blog under Christmas Club for the complete story.
As for me, I thought I'd re-share the story of our family's Christmas tree fairy.
This beautiful lady, seen above, is our family's Christmas Fairy, and I've been lucky enough to inherit the care of her from mum. She sits at the top of the tree, with a fairy light positioned just so, near the hem of her tutu. Our trees were never considered 'done' until she was in situ. I can't remember a Christmas without her, so by my reckoning she must be knocking on the door of 40 years old. Mum bought her at an RAF Wives' Club Christmas Fair in the early 1970s, and I believe she came with a 'sister' dressed like Santa (my Auntie may have her, but I'm not sure). In 2003 and 2008, when we decamped to Scotland for Christmas, she came with us and graced the top of my sister's tree. Well, we could hardly leave her behind, could we?
This post also ties in with Rachel's Christmas Past post.
I promise that this is the last you will hear on the subject Me: The Abridged Version. With December Daily starting next week, I didn't want to begin December with this project still in need of a closing page.
I can truthfully say that this is one project I'm sorry to reach the end of. If Cathy Zielske runs the class again, I strongly urge you to take it. You'll love it, I promise.
... but how gorgeous is my son?
DS came out of Nursery this morning clutching a proof sheet from a recent dress-up day, where the pupils themselves took the photos. Here's what we have: on the left ~ a self-portrait, apparently; in the middle ~ taken by another pupil, I think; on the right ~ taken by a member of staff.
My own Washington album is a work in progress and currently on hold, as I spent any spare time over the last few weeks putting together a Washington album for mum.
I've used Pink Paislee's Parisian Anthology album and refill pages (the same pages as my December Daily album) ~ I'm very impressed with the design of the refill pages and can see that they may well become a staple item in future projects.
This 8.5x11 LO was the album's starting point, completed in response to a challenge seen on Amy's blog.
Very few pages are scrapped in the traditional sense but, this way, I've been able to include many more photos than I would have done ordinarily.
The pages with folded pockets are brilliant; perfect for safely storing all the ephemera collected when on holiday.
Mind you, I have left mum the journaling to do ...
The original winner of my Just Because GiveAway has not been in touch during the last 3 weeks, so I have re-drawn it and the new winner is .... Amy, from Over At Our Place. As I already have Amy's address, it'll be in the post tomorrow. Happy scribbling!
I made up these lard balls for our local bird population. They take about 5 minutes: melt a packet of lard (I used Tesco's Value lard) and stir in RSPB-approved nuts and sunflower seeds. Form in to ball shapes and place on greaseproof paper to set. Your garden's birds will love them.
I spotted this mirror on an exterior wall as we were leaving DS's speech therapy session this morning. I'm sure they weren't there last time we went. There are three mirror shapes ~ octopus, fish and starfish.
This year, I'm tackling December Daily, run by Ali Edwards, as my Christmas scrapping project. Last year I completed Shimelle's Learn Something New Every Day, which I'd held over from September, and the year before, I completed the marathon that is Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas.
Ali very sensibly advocates plenty of forward planning, in order to complete the album in December with the minimum amount of fuss. Here's how mine is looking:
An 8.5x11 cord-covered album by American Crafts, purchased here. I've added a Santa tree decoration as an embellishment, purchased here.
The opening title page is 8.5x11. I used cream Bazzill Bling cardstock, Basic Grey's Eskimo Kisses patterned paper (the 6x6 size, as I preferred a smaller actual pattern) and Ali's December Daily logo (which she kindly offered up for free via her blog). The font is Impact and last line reads: A record of the minutiae of life for the XXX family in the run up to Christmas.
Once past the opening title page, I've opted for a variety in page sizes: divided pockets with folds (pocket is 5x5 and fold is 2x5), 7x5 and whole page divided pockets (nine 2x3).
I'm using Pink Paislee's Parisian Anthology refill pages and I purchased them here. I found this online shop by posting a question about Parisian Anthology on UKScrappers.
I haven't prepped every single page yet, but I still have time. I'm loving how the feel of the album is taking shape when viewed from above.
Cardstock colour will be red, green or cream. Embellishments will be kept to the minimum; mainly Christmas-themed brads and co-ordinating ribbon.
You can join in the fun and link your December Daily project directly to Ali's blog here. I hope some of you will join in with me during December. Scrapping projects are always much more fun when shared with friends.
I couldn't end the day without a comment about the news that Prince William is to marry Kate Middleton. From a personal view, I think it's terrific news. She seems to be lovely and he is turning into a future king we can be very proud of. In fact, I said as much about him on Sunday when we learnt that he was in Afghanistan with the troops for Remembrance Sunday.
I think that between now and their wedding, I shall keep an eye out for tasteless wedding memorabilia tat and then hopefully amuse you with tales about how hideous something is.
Oh, and I reckon someone did Kate's hair, because I've never seen it looking so sleek and as gorgeous before!
Here they are ... at last! The final two pages of this absolutely brilliant project/class. I am now a HUGE fan of Cathy Zielske. She, apparently, likes to think of me chatting away in my "British accent"...
Y is for Year I Was Born and Youth. Z is for The Letter Z ~ Zed, Zielske, Cathy, Zumba and Zzzzz.
Year I Was Born:
• The Olympic Games were held in Grenoble and Mexico City
• Harold Wilson was the British Prime Minister
• The films The Graduate and Oliver! were released
• Virginia Wade won the US Open Ladies Singles
• The Royal Mail introduced first class post
• Scientists devised Epidural to ease the pain of childbirth
• Ford Escort car was introduced
• Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy were assassinated
• Dock of the Bay by Otis Redding was released
• Britain’s 1st set of sextuplets were born in Birmingham
The year was 1968. See also: Youth.
What is it with age? There is a saying that youth is wasted on the young and now that I am in my early 40s, I think I have to agree. Half my lifetime ago, when I was 21, I thought I was invincible and so did all my friends. We were young, but old enough to count as grown up, we worked hard and we played hard. We fell in love, we had our hearts broken, we drank too much and we didn’t worry about pensions or life-savings. That was for old people.
I can recall thinking that reaching 21-years-old seemed to have taken forever, so how is it that the subsequent 21 years have passed by in a blur, almost as though I didn’t notice them happening?
I need to remember that life is not measured by the number of breaths I take, but by the moments that take my breath away. See also: Quotations & Year I Was Born.
The Letter Z ~Zed:
The 26th and final letter of the alphabet is an under-used letter in my opinion. There are some really cool sounding words which begin with Z and some of my favourites include zany, zealous, zip, zenith and zonk. Could I make a sentence using all these words, do you think?
I am so pleased to have discovered Cathy Zielske’s blog and online Scrapbooking classes. Her scrapping style is very similar to mine, if I may be so bold to compare and I love that her classes are clear, informative, and humorous; participants are actively encouraged to produce a finished project without the added pressure of deadlines. The hilarious video casts recorded by Cathy are inspired and you really do feel that she is speaking directly to you. See also: Scrapbooking.
Zumba is an exercise dance class where hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy-to-follow moves create a one-of-a-kind fitness program. And it all happens on Friday evenings in my local church hall. I may not have cracked the art of dancing yet, but I am now headed in the right direction! See also: Tango.
Oh, how I love our bed! Oh, how I love climbing into bed when there is clean linen on it. But, oh, I love it best when I have it all to myself. I never fully understood just how tiring motherhood would be and how sleeping for eight hours straight would become a dim and distant memory. See also: X-Hausted.
This is a game we play with DS in order to encourage him in his attention and listening skills. It was suggested by his Speech Therapist and, thankfully, it's a game he loves. All the toys are sensory in some way and the idea is to get DS to say what he sees. He has to stay seated throughout the session and is rewarded with fun play at the end.
Over on the Scrap Weekly 2010 blog, the weekly challenge appears to be ignored by the person required to set it, including the host. However, today is my turn to set my final Scrap Weekly 2010 challenge. Given that today is Remembrance Sunday, the challenge is to scrap something you want to particularly remember.
Edwin 'Ted' Tomlinson was the brother of my former neighbour. He was killed in action in April 1945, just weeks away from the end of the war. Ted was just 24 years old when he died; in letters home, he described himself as the "Grandad of his Squadron".
I headed out to Westfield this morning, in order to book tickets to see Santa. The Westfield website stated that the booking office opened this morning, but when I got there, I discovered that it wasn't open until 12 noon. A very nice man took my name and number and said that someone would call me this afternoon to confirm my required booking. DS and I got back from a playdate just before 4pm to find that no-one had called (DH working from home today, so no chance of missing the call). I then checked the website, which initially crashed, and then it eventually told me that all the slots for the day I wanted were gone. I have been able to make a booking ~ for a weekday afternoon, in very early December ~ and had to pay £4.50 for booking online. There is no charge if you book your tickets at Westfield in person.
We had the tree surgeons around today for some long overdue work. Gone are the 4 trees from our front bed and next door's hideous Leylandii has been drastically pruned. We now have so much more light ~ yay!
My friend's CD was released today ~ Men in Scarlet ~ stardom beckons! It'll make a perfect Christmas present for an older relative who remembers the war. The likes of Dame Vera Lynn and Katherine Jenkins can also be heard singing with the Chelsea Pensioners ~ terrific stuff!