Sunday, 29 November 2009

The Arrival Of Advent

I normally put the Christmas wreath on our front door on December 1st ... but not this year, because, as Mum correctly pointed out, Advent began today. So here it is.
Don't forget to drop by on Tuesday if you'd like to take part in my Christmas Scrapping Challenge ...

Sunday's Weather

Saturday, 28 November 2009

The Marrakech Muffler!

Lucky me! Today my amazing SIL gave me a present, completely unexpectedly, a JBP. She and BIL are just back from 5 days in Marrakech, Morocco and she bought me this beautiful silk and cotton scarf. (No presents for either DH or DS, so I am feeling completely spoiled.) It is beautifully tactile and warm and snuggly; it's so big I could use it as a runner down the middle of the kitchen table! When I told Mum that I would have to blog about it, quick as a flash she said, "You'll have to call the post The Marrakech Muffler!" So I have!

HSMSHS on Facebook: Wisdom For The Weekend

This weekend's Wisdom For The weekend on the HSMSHS page on Facebook is from the Twilight novel, chapter 9 apparently, and is said by Edward Cullen ~ I followed your scent. (The Twilight series is unknown to me, so I'll take the quote as fact.)
The 4-legged member of our family fits the bill nicely for this. Here you can see him doing what dogs do best, following another dog's scent.

Pink Saturday

Here we are again ~ Pink Saturday! Thanks go again to Beverly at How Sweet The Sound for hosting and organising what is obviously now an enormous task! This week, I'm featuring these beautiful flowers, which were given to me by BF last weekend. My GiveAway this week is the Maze book shown in the post below this one. 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. My Mum (acting as this week's random number selector thingy) will choose the winner at 12 Noon (GMT) on Tuesday, 1 December.

Friday, 27 November 2009

Life Is Easier ...

... if you read the instructions! After the Maze book fiasco the other night, I looked out the instructions on how to make them and followed it step-by-step ... hey presto, a much better book! Look, pretty little pockets and everything! So, this little one is now tomorrow's Pink Saturday's GiveAway.

HSMSHS on Facebook: English

Today's word prompt on the HSMSHS page on Facebook is English: cuppa, anyone?

Thursday, 26 November 2009

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas ...

There's no avoiding it, is there? Mum and I had our 1st Gingerbread Latte in Starbucks this morning (did I tell you that Mum has come to stay for 10 days?), the shops are playing Christmas pop songs, and these 2 wee fellas jumped out at me and begged me to take them home! How could I disappoint them?
Did you spot the tiny minibook, just 3"x3"? Yes, that one snuggling up to Santa. It started life last night as a Maze book, only I wasn't concentrating properly because I was chatting to Mum and also had one eye on the TV, so I ballsed it up. Maze book to minibook in one false move of a craft knife. Ah, well, you can't win 'em all! Turned out all right in the end, I feel!

HSMSHS on Facebook: American

Today's word prompt on the HSMSHS page on Facebook is American: who better than Lady Liberty? This shot was taken on my last visit to NYC in September 2006.
Happy Thanksgiving to all the Americans who drop by this blog.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

So Why Is Granny Wearing Antlers?

HSMSHS on Facebook: Birthday

Today's word prompt from the HSMSHS page on Facebook is birthday: here you can see my 40th birthday cake, with all candles lovingly provided by DH!

Maze Book

A maze book is another brilliant way to create a wee minibook, just 3"x3", from one sheet of 12x12 cardstock. I've decorated this one with Basic Grey's gorgeous Wassail range of papers and added a few embellies, ink for the edges and rikrak as a fastener. In all, it's takes no more than an hour from start to finish. I can't take any credit for the design; I learned how to make them from a tutorial on an American craft website but, if you'd like the instructions, I can email you a .pdf in full glorious technicolour. This one will, maybe, just maybe, be this coming Saturday's Pink Saturday GiveAway ...

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

HSMSHS on Facebook: Scottish

Today's word prompt from the HSMSHS page on Facebook is Scottish: what could be more Scottish than the Pipes & Drums, seen here at the Highland Field Sports Fair on the Moy Estate, near Inverness, in August 2008.

And The Winner Is ...

This week's Pink Saturday GiveAway winner is CC of Lace 'n' Ribbons 'n' Roses! Congratulations, I'll be by your blog shortly with the good news. Another GiveAway this coming Saturday ... plus a Christmas Scrapping Challenge in early December!

Monday, 23 November 2009

SLYMI: Week 47

This week's challenge was to scrap with leaves ~ plenty of inspiration during a British Autumn! I used a photo I took recently of one of the trees in our local park, and I partially scraplifted the LO idea from Kerry Whilden's LO 'Joy', which can be seen on p70 of #60 of Scrapbook Inspirations magazine.

HSMSHS on Facebook: French

I've missed the last week or so of word challenges from the HSMSHS page on Facebook, but I hope to get back into the swing of it this week. Today's word is French: what better than the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. A truly stunningly beautiful piece of architecture.

Sunday, 22 November 2009


In May 2008 Jodie Prenger, an unknown from Blackpool in Lancashire (NW England), won the coveted role of Nancy and her chance to perform in a West End musical. Oliver! is staged in the beautiful Theatre Royal Drury Lane, although the theatre is actually in Catherine Street by Covent Garden, and this is where BF and I went last night. It was magical, especially the young boys playing Oliver and the Artful Dodger. The show is a true ensemble piece, with no one lead character, as Nancy, Fagin, Bill Sykes and the boys are all essential parts of the story. See it if you can.

A Covent Garden Christmas

I've always liked Covent Garden in the West End of London, mainly for its quirky little shops, extremely talented buskers and the Victorian architecture. Here you can see the Christmas decorations and buskers, who were actually performing the Can Can while playing, hence the slightly blurry images.

What A Weekend!

Finally, time to sit down with a cuppa and share with you some snaps from yesterday! BF only went home an hour ago, her lovely InLaws told her there was no need to rush home (they are holding the fort with her little people, as her DH is away with work) and with DH's pizza and last night's recording of Strictly on the menu, she chose to stay!
So there we are, the two of us, now in our early 40s, wives and mothers ... but, still in our hearts, as we were in 1989. BF was thrilled to bits with the main part of her surprise ~ tickets to see the West End show of 'Oliver!' And our champagne afternoon tea wasn't bad, either.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Blog Around The World

Welcome to Blog Around The World, a circle of 40 bloggers bringing you .... the view from our kitchen windows, and maybe a scrapping space or two! Blog Around The World is the brainchild of New Zealander Helena, who can be found at, and was inspired by the wonderful Shimelle and her online class Blogging For Scrapbookers. An extra welcome to any readers who have joined via the blog train's last stop at
As for the view from my kitchen window, it's not very exciting, I know, but that's what happens when you live in suburbia. The gates are open because my DH had just left in the car and I was waiting for our nephew to arrive and park up before heading off to Uni. Those pink sacks that you can just about see by the right hand gate? They are the garden waste recycling bags and are currently full of dead leaves. And please just ignore the raised flower bed, everything needs digging over and some serious pruning.
If you would really like to see what my scrapping space looks like, you can see it here, as I blogged about it on 2 November.
From Suburban London, why don't you pop across to see Deb in Arizona, USA and the view from her window? She loves all sorts of crafting and you should definitely check out her chalk blocks ~ I want some! You can find Deb at the brilliantly named PaperTurtle blog.
Thank you very much for taking part in our Blog Around The World.

Ta-Dah! The Big Reveal ...

So where are we, because you have probably realised that this post has been set to auto-post? I'm not here at all, I'm out there in the real world with my BF. And where is there, precisely? Well, early afternoon saw us take the tube into Knightsbridge for a spot of Christmas and/or window shopping. This was followed by Afternoon Tea (with Champagne) in the 5th Floor Cafe of Harvey Nichols, on the corner of Knightsbridge and Sloane Street. In fact, this is most likely what we are doing right this minute, as you read this post! From there we will be waddling around for a wee bit more shopping, before we take the tube in to the West End for the evening performance of the musical 'Oliver!'. I think I've covered all the bases, BF has an Oyster card for simple and cheaper travel on the tube and my Starbucks card is topped up, ready for spending on 2 Gingerbread Lattes.
And the best bit is that I've managed to keep it all secret! Here's to the next 20 years.

Pink Saturday

Here we are again ~ Pink Saturday! Thanks go again to Beverly at How Sweet The Sound for hosting and organising what is obviously now an enormous task! This week, I'm cheating a little, as I'm featuring a minibook giveaway as my something pink. The minibook is made from one sheet of 12x12 cardstock and the instructions how to make it are here. To be in with a chance of winning 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, 24 November at 12 Noon (GMT).
This week, I'm highlighting Leann's blog again ~The Old Parsonage ~ as one worth a visit.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Blogging For Scrapbookers: Day 15

So, the final prompt from Shimelle today and it was all about the reasons why. Reasons personal to each of us but still the reasons why we choose to blog and scrapbook. For me, it's quite simple. I blog because none of my family live near by and it's a way to share our everyday family life. I scrapbook because I want to leave my son (and grandchildren, maybe, one day!) a living history of our family life. (Here I must thank my lovely friend Karan in Warrnambool, Australia for introducing me to scrapbooking proper.) My sister and I, as children, always collected stuff from days out and holidays and turned them into scrapbooks. We just didn't know that there was an art to it! In fact, if I recall correctly, kleptomania became a big feature on outings ... what could you pinch that was acceptable to do so? Sugar sachets, napkins, headed notepaper ... but I don't recommend wrapped sugar cubes because there is no way on earth you will ever get them to sit in a scrapbook and be able to close it, not without turning them into grains of sugar!
But the bottom line to why I blog and scrapbook is because I enjoy it. If I can entertain someone else along the way, all well and good, but I do it for me.
(The quotation on my mini LO reads: The test of an enjoyment is the remembrance which it leaves behind. ~ Jean Paul Richter.)

BBC Children In Need

Here in the UK, it is Children In Need Day. Hosted by the BBC, events are broadcast throughout the day, beginning on Radio 2 at 6am (the Music Marathon is brilliant) and then moving to BBC1 at 7pm tonight. Sir Terry Wogan, a legend in British broadcasting, is the driving force behind this charitable event and has fronted the TV event for many years without pay. Please dig deep and pledge what you can ~ a truly worthwhile cause.
(The logo for Children In Need is Pudsey Bear, and you can see him on the front of DS's t-shirt.)

It's Becoming Somewhat Embarrassing ...

I'm overwhelmed and embarrassed to receive another award. I love that people are visiting my blog - thank you to all of you who visit, to all who comment, and to those who continually encourage me. This award came from Mel at the very creative and entertaining blog I Speak Melsh, thank you.

In return, I'm supposed to do a few things:
1. thank the person who nominated you for this award ~ yes
2. copy the logo and place it on your blog ~ any minute now
3. link to the person who nominated you for this award ~ yes
4. name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting ~ yes
5. nominate 7 Kreative Bloggers ~ making a list
6. post links to the 7 blogs you nominate ~ will do, when #5 is done
7. leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated ~ will do, when #5 &#6 done.

Seven things that people might find interesting:
I have a pierced belly button
I do a mean Cilla Black impression (which might be wasted on my American readers!)
Sprouts are my favourite veg
The Great Escape is my favourite film
A Town Like Alice is the best book ever published
I have lived in the Falkland Islands
I treated one of the Queen's Grandchildren for head lice!

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Blogging For Scrapbookers: Day 14

Today's prompt was simple: remember your manners, say please and thank you, and behave as you would in real life. That way, as in life, you might just be amazed at how much help and advice you're offered by fellow bloggers, should you ever need it. For most of today I've been pondering the reasoning behind Shimelle's thinking for this post, as in, why does she feel the need to spend a whole prompt reminding us of our blogging manners?
And then I got it: I know of a blog, known as Smack Blog, where its whole reason for being is to slag off scrapbooking and scrapbookers. Before this evening, I'd never even looked at it, but in the interest of research I just have and I won't be returning. It appeared to be a forum intended solely for destroying the good name of UKScrappers, for gloating at the demise of Scrapbook Inspirations magazine and for pulling to pieces the talents of various design team members. I don't mind admitting that I was shocked by some of the comments I read.
Years ago, a friend said to me, "You know what your problem is? You always expect people to behave as you do and you should try to stop thinking that, because you're the one left hurt and upset when they don't."
So the bottom line of this prompt appears to me to be: Play nicely, be kind and generous with your blogging and comments and hopefully you will receive the same back.
(If I've read too much into today's prompt, please feel free to tell me so .... but nicely, of course!)

Celebrating Friendship: Part 2

You may recall that earlier this month I blogged about celebrating 20 years of friendship with my BF : well, Saturday is the day! BF and I are having an afternoon and evening out, just us, no husbands and no children. I have the basic outline in place and all BF knows is that she is to come to our house around lunchtime and that the dress code is smart casual. More details still to be revealed, but in the mean time you can see the 2 of us celebrating our 1st Mother's Day together in 2007.

Minibook Made From Off-Cuts

After I'd made my album for December's LSNED project, I was left with cardstock off-cuts of 5" squares and patterned paper off-cuts of 3" strips. Here's what I did with them. I haven't decided yet what to do with it: I could keep it to record DS's annual visits to see Santa (visit #3 is on the horizon) or I could give it away ...

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Counting My Blessings

As you know, DS has been proper poorly with week. Whenever he is ill, it always reminds me just how little and defenceless he is. A mummy's lot, I suppose. And I don't suppose it gets any easier when your children are older but poorly, either.
This week, however, I have been thankful for the magic that is The Polar Express, both the book, by American writer Chris van Allsberg, and the film, with most of the characters voiced by Tom Hanks. Both are truly magical and DS adores them (as do I!).

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