Thursday, 28 February 2013

Travel Journals

I blame Deb.
If she hadn't posted recently about her travel journal for her up and coming trip to the UK, I wouldn't have been thinking about them.
Travel journals, I mean.
Many years ago, before I knew that scrapbooking had been invented, I made travel journals.
My, doesn't that sound grand?
In reality, I can remember making two.  Only I didn't really make them; they were cheap and cheerful rice-paper scrapbooks, found in all good stationers.  One following a school trip to France in my last year at Middle School (round about 1979 or 80).  I shared a room with Gillian, Denise and Nicola.  I didn't like Nicola and she didn't like me.  She accused me of stealing her glasses.  Which was all very well, but she was wearing them at the time.  Whoops, side tracked there a bit.  The second album was when we went on a family holiday to Antwerp in Belgium in the summer of 1981.
Neither journal survives.
Which is a pity, because I've decided that travel journals are actually pretty cool things to make and have.  Ali Edwards refers to hers as Scrapbooks on the Road.  And in the best tradition of memory-keeping, they're easy to prep before you travel and complete as you go along.
In the last 18 months, I have made three and have one currently as a work in progress.
~ makings of a travel journal: I sent my sister the same supplies and issued a challenge ~
Two for when Auntie and I went on our family history research weekend in May 2011, one each, one for when I went to New York solo last May and one in the works for our upcoming family holiday to Florida later this year.
 ~ note taking, New York City style ~
Yet when I went to Washington, D.C. with my mum in July 2010, I didn't make one, (although I did complete two albums once we were home) and the one I started for our trip to Cartagena last September was abandoned half-way through.
Why is that?  What makes one trip so much easier to record than others?

Monday, 25 February 2013

Hello Monday

Hello to the first anniversary of my FiL's death.  As it happens, The Brainy One and my SiL are meeting up with lots of relatives this week for lunch.
Hello to resumption of routine after half-term.
Hello to continual perusal of property websites.
Hello to the car's MOT.  Fingers crossed all is well.
Hello to picking up scrapbooking again: Telling Tales, Project Life and my summer project.
Hello to picking up my camera more.  Daily life has gone unrecorded of late.
Hello to stopping by your blogs.  Blog reading has been very thin on the ground recently and I hope to rectify that this week.
Hello March.  March?

How's your week looking?

Friday, 22 February 2013

That Was The Week That Was

We're back home.
We're back home after an action-packed four days.
There was a motorway or two.
There was time spent with cousins.
And I even appeared in one family group.
There were houses that weren't right for us.
There were houses that weren't on the market, but looked as though they could be right for us.
There were houses that we leafleted, requesting they call us if they think of selling in the next month or two.
There was time for a spot of through-the-car-window-at-dusk photography.
Now we are home, there's time for a house viewing, dog walking, a family swim session or two, holiday homework and out-of-normal-hours work for The Brainy One.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Hello Monday

Hello half-term.
Hello to travelling to mum's for four nights.
Hello to viewing three houses.  Fingers crossed.

Hello to cups of tea, chat and laughter with family.
Hello to feeling better.  All of us have been under the weather recently.
Hello to going to the cinema.  Wreck-it Ralph for The Boy Child and maybe Lincoln, Hitchcock or Flight for us.

How is your week looking?

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Scrapbook Saturday | Telling Tales

It's worth repeating what I said in last week's Scrapbook Saturday post: Miss Smith's Telling Tales is continuing apace and her suggestions for a different take on a page, combined with telling the story are consistently thought provoking and inspiring.
Prompt 5 was about making use of a banner.  Not as a mere embellishment but as the focus of the page.  I chose to create a banner for the opening page of our 2013 album.  I was able to add a few things, with space to add more as the year progresses.  Once I'd written on a tag, I used a foam pad to hold it in place.  
Prompt 6 was to make a journaling card for a page.  This is a page for my nephew's album and even though it is very simple, it gave me no end of trouble.  It's interesting to see how ribbon, washi tape and a corner rounder can totally change the look of a piece of lined journaling paper.  
Prompt 7 was to make use of a divided page protector, which is something I've done before.  Nice and simple and topical.  This page protector has gone in the middle of this week's Project Life.
And that's it for this week. 
What are you working on?

Friday, 15 February 2013

Simply a Moment

We are all in the living room.  The curtains are drawn.  Both lamps and wall lights are lit. The Brainy One is sitting at the end of the three-seater brown leather sofa, with one eye on The One Show on BBC1 (where Professor Lord Robert Winston is rabbiting on about his childhood home) and one hand on the dog.  The dog settles himself across The Brainy One's feet, his favourite spot.
The Boy Child is sitting on the carpet, just along from The Brainy One.  (We never did get around to replacing that carpet, which is green and over twenty years old.)  He is watching Lego City videos on YouTube on the iPad.  He is smiling and bouncing in his excitement.
I am sitting on the two-seater brown leather sofa watching them.  On the mantelpiece are our 4 Valentine's Day cards.  In front of the fireplace is a vase which holds the beautiful bouquet The Brainy One gave me yesterday.
There are cream roses, lilies and some things that look like stock but aren't.  They don't smell, sadly.  The triptych mock silver photo frame next to the vase is still waiting for a photo of me to join those of The Brainy One and The Boy Child.  Nobody seems to have noticed the irony in the family photographer not having a recent photo to display.  The bowl of pot pourri, I realise, is still the one from Christmas and probably wouldn't stand up to close scrutiny.
The room is warm and pleasingly clean and tidy.  Trying to sell our house has done wonders for my housekeeping skills.  That and the weekly visit of our lovely Ukrainian cleaning ladies.  I notice that The Brainy One is beginning to nod off.  I glance at the clock; it is 7.15 pm.  It's time for The Boy Child's bedtime milk.  I get up off the sofa.

Alexa, of Trimming the Sails, invites people to share a moment with her around this date of each month. Nothing fancy, just a few well chosen words, or a photo, or a scrapbook page.
What's your moment?

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Monday, 11 February 2013

Hello Monday

Hello to more snow falling.
Hello to feeling physically sick when realising that our War Memorial has been vandalised.  Poor command of the English language somehow only adds insult to injury.
Hello to a large supermarket shop.  The kitchen cupboards look as though they belong to Old Mother Hubbard.
Hello to the possibility of house viewings.  We didn't have any last week.
Hello to fresh flowers. £15 has been spent since the house went up for sale.
Hello to The Brainy One attending a Maths evening at The Boy Child's school.  Never too early to hear about the curriculum.
Hello to yet more phone calls regarding The Boy Child's Statement and funding.  The ineptitude of clerical staff makes me so cross.
Hello to The Boy Child undergoing an in-school assessment from the Speech Therapist on Thursday.
Hello to Valentine's Day.
Hello to making a plan for a Scrapbook on the Road type project.  I have plenty of ideas for a big summer project, but I just need to marshall my thoughts in to some sort of coherent form.
Hello to more Telling Tales.

How is your week looking?

Sunday, 10 February 2013

10 Things

Regular readers know that we have made the decision to sell our house and move back to the area where I grew up.
With that in mind, here's my top ten of things to know when it comes to selling a house (to be taken tongue-in-cheek).
1) Do tidy up and de-clutter before you ask the agents around.
2) Do make sure your house is clean.  We've been surprised by the number of houses we have viewed that were in dire need of a duster and mop.
3) Don't be disparaging about someone's house during a viewing.  You never know who is listening.
4) Check that potential viewers are okay with being met at the front door by your dog.  
5) Be realistic about how much your house might sell for.
6) Be realistic about how much you will have to spend on your next house.
7) Become very familiar with the A-Z of your chosen area.
8) Try to look past furniture and decoration in order to get a true feel for a house.
9) Do your homework in regard to schools and local amenities.
10)  Try to keep your expectations at a manageable level in regard to how long the whole process will take.

10 Things is the brain child of Shimelle.  Hop on over to her blog and you're bound to find a link to plenty of others who are sharing 10 Things this month.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Scrapbook Saturday | Telling Tales

Miss Smith's Telling Tales is continuing apace and her suggestions for a different take on a page, combined with telling the story are consistently thought provoking and inspiring.
Prompt 2 was making use of hidden journaling, especially when part of the story you're telling is not for public consumption.
The tag behind the photo holds the extra part of the story about our move from London ~ house prices, ours and what we are looking at, and details of the school The Boy Child will hopefully be going to.  Hidden journaling is such an easy thing to achieve.  What's surprising is how often I think about adding it once I've stuck everything down.
Prompt 3 was about telling a story with a sequence of related photos.  I ended up making two pages.  One about my nephew being willing to pose for a professional photographer and one about a set of visits to family during the Christmas holidays.
These family photos suit being on a page together like this, with The Boy Child acting as the link.  I feel that it wouldn't work so well if they'd been separated in to three different layouts.
Prompt 4 was about making a page that both tells the story and contains a mini-book. When I first read the prompt, I thought it was a great idea, but probably not one that I would ever have cause to make use of.  However, after a call to an estate agent this week and a tally up of houses already viewed, I realised that I had the perfect use for such a page.
The mini-book's cover is actually the card that came with a Paperchase gift voucher.  I used washi tape to cover up the logo.  The page inserts are a mixture of Project Life journaling cards, some lined card I found in my embellishments' box and a postcard (included because the family of hedgehogs makes me think of the three of us looking for a new roof over our heads).
I felt that the quotation about houses being for living in and not for looking at for the page's title was perfect; a reminder not to stress over the number of houses we have already viewed.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

What Are You Reading?

Right now, I'm rereading a book that is like an old friend; I've lost count how many times I've read To Serve Them All My Days.
I first came across it in 1980, when the BBC dramatised it.  I think it must have been shown on either a Tuesday or Friday evening, because I remember that only mum and I were at home to watch it.  Dad and my brother would have been at Air Cadets and my sister would have been at Sea Cadets.
The crux of the story is how Bamfylde, a boarding school for boys in Devon, saves a young teacher, David Powlett-Jones, a man who has been invalided out of the Army after three years on the Western Front.  It has everything a good story needs ~ love, loss, humour, redemption.  My favourite character is that of Boyer, a boy who starts out as a joker and ends up as a young man anyone would be proud of.
Have you read it?  I know that Abi has recently.
What are you reading now?

Monday, 4 February 2013

Hello Monday

Hello to a For Sale sign appearing outside our house in the last 30 minutes.
Hello to the prospect of more viewings.  We've already had three since last Wednesday.
Hello to living in a show home.  Something we are not used to; our house is very much a family's home.
Hello to supporting my American friend.  Her elderly mother passed away over the weekend and due to a number of reasons, she is unable to get back to the States for the funeral.
Hello to sending off three parcels of stamps.  Still time to let me know if you'd like some (see here).
Hello to receiving the final statement of The Boy Child's special educational needs.
Hello to liaising with school over the funding for the above-mentioned statement.
Hello to collecting inspiration for an attempt a my first-ever mood board.  I am not confident.
Hello to more Telling Tales.  This class is fabulous!
Hello to lunch at Wagamama later this week with three friends.  Each of whom, in their own way, is in need to a little TLC.

How is your week looking?

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Scrapbook Saturday | Telling Tales

A definite plus to a tidy craft space is the desire to create.
A simple page documenting The Boy Child's 6th birthday.  I went back to Cathy Zielske's Design Your Life class for inspiration.
For a page about The Boy Child's school photo, I used some stickers that had been on his blazer (I stuck them on to kraft and inked the edges) to make the banner.  The small embellie on the bottom left is my very first attempt at trying out Miss Smith's Pretty Polaroid Project.  And as first attempts go, I didn't think it turned out too badly.
I also made a slightly indulgent page about those who love my son based purely on the premise that they love me. It was while I was looking at these photos that the thought struck me; that unconditional love is truly an amazing and wonderful thing.
This final page features blocking and is from Miss Smith's Telling Tales class.  I cannot begin to tell you just how much I love the look of this layout.  Note how it combines the Pretty Polaroid Project (I like to think that I've got better at those ...) and home-made journaling cards.  She's a clever one, that Miss Smith.
I've also almost caught up with Project Life; I'm now only two weeks behind.

Friday, 1 February 2013

One Little Word 2013: Blog Hop

Welcome to the first blog hop of 2013 for One Little Word.  One Little Word is the brainchild of Ali Edwards and you can find out more here.  This year the hop is organised by Lee of The Linar Studio blog fame.  As this is the first hop of the year, there's a high number of participants.  Do try to get around to as many as you can ~ you'll be amazed by the the number of different words chosen.
And so to my word for 2013.  Change.
My word chose itself.
This year we plan to move house.  To leave London and return to my roots.
This year The Boy Child finally receives the help at school we have fought for.
With those two things in mind, on the cover page, I went for single words that encompassed what I want my word to be/do.
The alphas were sent to me out of the blue (if that was you, give me a nudge so that I can give you due credit) and unfortunately, they have no manufacturer's markings at all.
The back of each card has been marked up with the relevant month, but I've left it at that.  I can't decide if I should continue adding words or wait until the end of June to review.  I might want to add something completely different by then.

Thanks so much for stopping by.
Have you chosen a word for 2013?  Being nosy, I'd love to know what it is.

Missus Wookie:
Ruth:  ** you are here**

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