Thursday, 30 June 2011

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20th June: The Children performed in a show at school :) The Tomboy played a piece on the piano, and The Boy played 'Blackadder' on his tenor horn and also played in the orchestra (and had several solo parts in their tunes, too!) It was very much a proud mother time :)

Detail: Published

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

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19th June: Father's Day :) The Children gave The Doctor a beautifully framed page from a medieval book and a DVD of The Office, which he was so pleased with!

Detail: Prepare

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Wish List

This post was brought to you by 52 Lists In 52 Weeks

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18th June: A big day in Project Declutter! I managed to get rid of a LOT of stuff - all this has now gone to the charity shop, the bin, the recycle bin or in one case a blog friend :)

Detail: Navigate

Monday, 27 June 2011

Happy Mail and Happy Mel

I sent some happy mail last week - to a lovely and talented artistic blogger who was one of my earliest blog friends (we came across each other during Blogtoberfest 2009 - I was lucky enough to win the most *amazing* prize from her with my Joyful Mel doll). My Creative Beast friend put out a plea - a call for help to get her through a difficult last few weeks at work. I was glad to help, of course :)

Now, the reason I'm telling you all this is that I was a bit rubbish and didn't manage to send my mail till Wednesday last week..... And I'm in the UK, and The Creative Beast is in the US - and the West Coast, at that! So imagine my surprise when she emailed me to let me know that it had arrived on Friday?! That's amazing service, I'm very impressed! (I also sent a few bits and pieces to people who live a bit closer than that, but I suspect not many of them arrived so quickly!)

(I'd hoped to show you a pic of what I'd made for her, but unfortunately I can't remember which folder I put that particular photo into, *doh!*)

And then on Saturday, I was fortunate enough to receive some happy mail of my own :) Many thanks to Jacky, who sent me this rather lovely memory booklet:

And look at how beautifully it was packaged!

Jacky, thank you so much :) It was a lovely surprise, and really made me smile :) And I already have plans for the memory keeper! xx

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17th June: I needed to pick up a few supplies for my papercrafts class, so popped to my local craft shop. I managed to find what I needed - and a few things that I didn't.... ;)

Detail: Licence*

* As in, renewing the photocard part of my driving licence :)

Sunday, 26 June 2011

One little word/art journaling check in

I suddenly realised today that it's the last weekend of June! Gosh, that month flew by - and it hasn't really felt like summer.... Even today's higher temperatures were accompanied by grey clouds and a few spots of rain!

Anyway, to fit in with how I've been doing this so far, the last weekend of each month is my chance to share with you the previous month's art journal calendar pages, and any other 'details' of the month itself :)

(Another beautiful photo from Amy!)

I decided to make a page for Project Declutter, and as you can see I've made it a 3-month project now. (Believe me, I'm not going to run out of stuff to sort!!) I wanted a very busy border to my page and a clear, clean centre, which I sort of achieved but not quite as I'd visualised - but I'm finding art journaling very liberating in that I can experiment and try ideas out and play and not worry about whether I love the result or not because I love the process :)

On which note, here are two other art journal pages I made this month, though not as part of my one little word! I wanted to try out a couple of ideas with Glossy Accents. Here are the results:

(I used Glossy Accents here to create a 'liquid' effect inside the glass.)

(Here, each raindrop is a drop of Glossy Accents, then I drew the teardrop outline to make them stand out more.)

So the playing continues - this week I'm taking an online class with Kirsty Wiseman; my kit arrived yesterday and I had fun cutting up all the prompts on strips of card - it gave me a few ideas of what to expect but there are a lot of surprises to come too, apparently! Can't wait :) Do you want a peek at the kit? Here you are then:

And that's sidetracked me a bit lol, but one other detail to update - I managed to meet my target of completing the first half of the E100 readings before the end of June, yay! I've made a start on the second half already too, so I'm well on track for completing all 100 by the end of the year :)

This post was brought to you as part of Rinda's One Little Word/Art Journal updates

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Imagine photo here!

16th June: I accompanied The Boy's class on a trip to the local park to take part in a bug hunt. It was my last chance to go on a trip with his class (*sob!*) After they'd hunted bugs, they had a lovely time playing on the swings, slide and roundabout, and I got some great photos of them :) The one I've chosen and can't share is of the whole class (including their teacher and TA) gathered on the climbing frame, and will be a lovely keepsake for The Boy as well as a nice addition to my Project 365 :)

Detail: Bugged

Saturday, 25 June 2011

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15th June: The Tomboy's class led the assembly :) It was linked to Eco Week, and her part was 'Michael Recycle', who convinced the inhabitants of a town to recycle their rubbish. She did so well, speaking her lines clearly and with great expression - I was a very proud The Mother! :)

Detail: Already

Friday, 24 June 2011

My new favourite thing :)

Have you seen this site? It shows what you can do with just a newspaper and a marker - and there are some *fabulous* examples! As soon as I saw them (via Pinterest) I wanted to have a go; here's what I came up with:

For a first attempt, and using an article about gardening(!), I rather like it! This is definitely something I shall play with more :) It would be great for art journaling, and could be used on a layout for journaling with a particular feel. And it's just a lot of fun to play with the idea!

Anyone else had a go? Or inspired to try it - by the website, if not by my example lol?! Do tell, I'd love to see your work xx

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14th June: As part of Eco Week at school, The Children were encouraged to walk to and from school each day, to bring in a waste-free packed lunch, to recycle as much rubbish as possible, and to turn off lights and appliances that weren't being used (hence yesterday's detail photo! We filled in a diary each day of how many of the above they'd achieved to earn points for their team at school). We live at a distance from school which is walkable but only just, especially when The Children were younger, so we are in the habit of driving more than we should. Especially as 'only just' is relative.... On the days that I'm working I have too much to carry to be able to leave the car at home, but we made much more of an effort over this week to walk to and fro instead. It also made me really think about the amount of waste a packed lunch can generate, and to make some long-lasting changes to that! Anyway, this photo was taken as I walked through the park on my way home after taking The Children to school :)

PS The Children's team won :) And The Boy got the most points of anyone in his class, too!

Detail: Ours*

* The Parents-In-Law had been visiting over the weekend, so The Doctor and I slept on the sofas downstairs so they could have our bedroom. Lovely as it was to see them, it was nice to have our bed back again! Please ignore the creases, I never have seen the point in ironing bedding - or indeed anything else..... ;)

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Blog of the Week

This week, I'd like to introduce you another very talented and creative blogger :) I suspect that, once again, many of you will know her already - but if not, I recommend that you take a look at her beautiful handmade books and fun sock pets, and enjoy her snippets of home life, joy in teaching workshops, and lovely scrapbook pages too - it is, of course, Lizzie Made:

While you're there, be sure to look at Lizzie's sock monkey tutorial (amongst others!) Lizzie writes great tutorials and I mention this one in particular because a couple of weeks ago The Tomboy and I tried it out :) Here are our new friends:

I made the one on the left, The Tomboy made the one on the right, with help from me at certain points. Mine's quite soft and floppy and cuddle-able, mainly because The Tomboy took most of the stuffing!! She also insisted we make long tails for them, so the arms ended up shorter (though still long enough for a hug, as you can see!) We're really pleased with them - mine's on his way to a new home at the moment, while The Tomboy's is on her bed with the 50 million other soft toys...

Thanks Lizzie, we had a lot of fun making our sock monkeys! :)

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13th June: The Boy had an appointment at the allergy clinic, partly as a regular check-up and partly to discuss the transition to secondary school, where he'll be taking more responsibility for managing his medication himself (scary!) He also needed a blood test, which was a horrible experience :( Poor lad has not only inherited my nut allergy, he's also inherited my rubbish veins - right down to having a 'fake' vein that people think they'll be able to get blood from but actually they can't so they end up having to try the other arm as well and you're already traumatised by the first attempt so having to go through it again on the other arm is even worse and the anaesthetic cream hasn't actually numbed the area properly somehow (maybe you're resistant to it?) so the whole experience is HORRIBLE! :(

And breathe....

Detail: Eco

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

A secret list

The new topic for the 52 lists project didn't appear till Monday, and then when it did I wasn't sure what (if anything) I could do with it - you see, it was a list of things learnt from my father and that isn't a straightforward one for me! But after I let the idea settle in my mind for a while, I produced this:

It may look like a blank page other than the title (and the 'splodges' that are actually shadows, not marks on the paper!!) but in fact I've written my list in white gel pen. It's almost impossible to read now, but that's how I want it! Once I'd filled the page I added the title over the top. I'm liking art journaling :)

PS Blogger was messing me around AGAIN yesterday :( I left lots of comments in a mammoth blog catch up but after some of them I got an error message and wasn't able to leave a comment at all :( Blogger it!!

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12th June: After a couple of terms off, The Doctor and I agreed that we were refreshed and ready to start helping with Sunday Club again. This was my first 'proper' session (I'd stayed one week when we had an unexpectedly large turn-out, but wasn't attached to any particular group). It was fun to be back, but I'm glad to be a helper rather than a leader for the time being, and most relieved not to be coordinating the whole thing any more!

Detail: Carve

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Some winners :)

Winners of my decluttering giveaway are as follows:

Book 1 goes to... K!

Book 2 goes to... Lizzie!

Book 3 goes to... Kirsty!

Book 4 goes to... Ladkyis!

And book 5 goes to... Genevieve aka "Paws"!

Congratulations to you all :) I know I have several of your addresses already, but to be on the safe side please could you drop me a quick email (ispeakmelsh {at} hotmail {dot} com) and remind me? And I'll get these in the post asap :) Thanks for helping me to declutter! xx

The Big Wheel

I'm so loving the new Simple Aussie Girls blog :) I like to experiment with different styles in my own scrapbooking, sometimes piling on more details and sometimes keeping it very simple - and I can appreciate both styles in other's scrapping, too. It's true though that certain styles can be represented more than others, so it's lovely that somebody's spotted - and filled! - this gap :) And, of course, it's particularly lovely that my good friend Amy is involved in the project - go Amy and friends! xx

Yesterday they posted their first challenge, with a free template for digi scrappers which could be used as a sketch for paper scrapping. Here's my version:
Not sure the journaling is too clear here, but my computer hasn't gotten over its recent hissy fit it seems, so it didn't want to save the image in the way I asked it to so I had to take a screen grab instead! *sigh*

Thanks, Simple Aussie Girls - looking forward to seeing everyone else's takes :)

PS There's still time to enter for one of the craft books I'm giving away - entries close at 5pm GMT tonight. See this post for more details and to enter :)

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11th June: The Parents-In-Law were visiting for the weekend; we all went out for the day with The Mother and visited some beautiful gardens. I loved that this tree looked rusty! And I'm thrilled with the depth of field and bokeh in the shot :)

Detail: Ginger

Monday, 20 June 2011

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10th June: The second meeting of our new Connect group :) This month we had an informal chat about parenting issues, ranging from dealing with tantrums, when to wean, post-natal depression, coping with family far away (or near but uninterested), coping with family wanting to be too involved, etc, etc!

Detail: Collection

Sunday, 19 June 2011

On Father's Day...

The Children send their love to The Doctor :)

I send my love to The Father :)

I wish all fathers out there a very happy day :)

And I want to share this, shown in church this morning :)

(See also this site! xx)

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9th June: In my day of ups and downs, I decided to go for the shot of teaching Year 3 how to use a compass.

Detail: Tease

Saturday, 18 June 2011

The decluttering continues - a giveaway :)

Yesterday I did a bit of sorting in one of my craft cupboards, and found these books that I don't really want any more, being in a ruthless frame of mind! They're all used but in great condition on the whole (a couple are pretty much as new!) So, would anybody like them? If so, take a look at the titles then check out the details at the end of this post :)

Book 1: Eyelets for Scrapbooks by Sarah McKenna

Book 2: Making Christmas Cards by Judy Balchin

Book 3: Making Christmas Scrapbooks by Joy Aitman

Book 4: Punched Greetings Cards by Julie Hickey

Book 5: Quick and Easy Handmade Cards by Petra Boase

Any of those catch your eye? OK, here's what you need to do: Just leave a comment for me letting me know which title(s) you're interested in - you can write the title in full or just tell me the number of the book as I've given it here. Yes, you can express an interest in more than one! I'll pick a random name for each book on Tuesday evening after 5pm GMT and announce the winners as soon as possible after that time. I'm happy to send them overseas so anyone's welcome to put their name down. Good luck! :)