Friday, 30 November 2012

Thankfulness 4

And so we reach the end of November.... Where did the last 8 weeks go?! I feel like I 'lost' them in a way, so it's been great to have this project to focus on for the last month :) Here's the last Share-a-Page Friday - and oh my, I seem to actually be sharing it on a Friday for once!!

I could have written about The Doctor every single day :)

Another thankful quotation to fill in a spare page.

How I love books! I've just finished re-reading The Lord of the Rings and looking forward to my December tradition of reading The Christmas Mystery through Advent, plus starting a couple of new books :)

Amazing how often shopping has appeared in my little project!! Definitely thankful for the chance to save some money...

And, um, yes.... More shopping! This time I was being thankful for the excellent customer service shown to me by Julie - what a lovely surprise to find all the extra bits and pieces in my parcel!

Hooray!! The day I finally felt that my foot was making progress!

I am so thankful to all the lovely people who have helped us out with lifts since my accident - getting The Tomboy to and from school each day, taking me to work and to my appointments, and so on. I can't even put into words how grateful I am for their cheerful and willing help.

To think that The Children nearly didn't appear! Here they are at last - yes, of course I'm thankful for them; particularly so though because of their maturity and helpfulness while I've been out of action. They've looked after me so well, and done so much round the house, making their own packed lunches, helping to cook dinner, etc, and been so patient and understanding when we haven't been able to do things because of my foot. Love my kiddies :)

With a couple of spare pages at the end of the notebook I added a final quotation...

...and then jotted down some closing thoughts about how thankful I was for this project of thankfulness :)

Here they are, my two cute little notebooks :) I was going to add some decoration to the front but actually I think they're so lovely just like this that I won't bother - perhaps instead I'll make a little slip cover to keep them together, and decorate that? Or maybe I'll leave them as is and move onto Journal Your Christmas, which starts tomorrow - yay!! That's something to be thankful for :)

This post was brought to you by Cathy Zielske's 30 Days of Thankful

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

One step at a time...

I have good news, my friends! :) I had an appointment at the fracture clinic this morning, and I'm delighted to report that they are pleased with my progress, that although the fracture is still visible on the x-rays it is also clearly healing, and that they have discharged me :) I'm now under the care of my local physiotherapist, whose job it is to get me safely putting weight through the foot again so I can lose the crutches. Yay!!!

I am slightly nervous about this since discovering last week that 'physiotherapist' is another word for 'torturer' (oh boy, did I have a bad couple of days after that appointment!!) but I do trust my physio so I'm cautiously looking forward to my appointment tomorrow morning when I will, literally, be taking the next steps in my recovery :)

*big sigh of relief!*

And I now feel more able to look forward to December - in a literal way, and also in that I can start getting excited now! Just in time, of course, as we only have a couple of days to go....

I'm excited for the 1st on Saturday because it's The Doctor's birthday, and while I can't spoil him as I would usually by baking him a cake and cooking him a nice meal or taking him out to a restaurant, The Tomboy's going to bake the cake under my direction and we'll go out for a family meal with The Doctor driving :)

And I'm also excited for the 1st on Saturday because it's the start of Journal Your Christmas, one of my favourites of Shimelle's classes! I've had my supplies ready since last December and I had an idea of how I wanted to shape this year's project, but I've completely changed my mind at the last minute :) I had planned to use divided page protectors and take a photograph for each day's theme plus make a 4x6" 'mini page' to go with the photo, placing them side by side in the protectors and putting the whole project in with my Project Life. Well, Project Life never quite happened this year, not least because the supplies didn't arrive in the UK till February.... At first I thought I might catch up, but eventually decided that wouldn't work and I'm the kind of person who needs to start at the beginning of the year so I'll be going for it from 1st January 2013 instead.

I could still have used the divided page protector idea, but I was relying on the prompts being pretty much the same as previous years so I could make a list of the themes and take the photos as I found them, before or after the day the prompt came out. Then Shimelle announced that she'd revamped the prompts and I'm not yet clear how much the themes might have changed, but those OCD tendencies of mine mean that I can't cope with not having my advance list!! So for this reason too I've abandoned Plan A - or deferred it, at any rate, as I may do it next year instead :)

Plan B? I came across a Paperchase binder I bought some time ago. It contains 20 plastic pockets (page protectors), ie enough for 40 layouts, which is ample for this project; it also contains a generous wodge of kraft paper, which I can use for journaling and notes, with as many extra pages between layouts as seem necessary. The pockets seem to be a tiny bit less than 6" wide by a tiny bit more than 10" tall, which is an unusual size for me but I'll make it work! The cover is plain kraft too, so plenty of scope for decorating it, though I'm leaving that for now - I've got some ideas, but I want to see how the pages start coming together first :)

The supplies I carefully set aside last December include lots of lovely Echo Park Season's Greetings papers with coordinating stickers and alphas. I've added a couple of sheets of brightly coloured cardstock that match, plus plenty of kraft cardstock, to make the base pages. I've also thrown in some additional alphas and a sheet of seasonal word stickers, and a few sheets of Echo Park from a different Christmas collection (Times and Seasons) that I may or may not use (they do go with the original collection, but they're a bit darker in tone, and I may have more than enough paper anyway!) And then I've got some cute Elle's Studio cards and numbers, and a couple of random bits and pieces for good measure (not all pictured):

I've sorted the numbers into pockets in readiness, and as I'll be likely to go into January with this project I also found some suitable stickers and cards to give me additional numbers for those extra few days:

That's all I've done so far, though I did consider cutting some cardstock to size to create some base pages. I think I'll wait till we're a few days into the class though to see how the first few prompts go, and then I might have an idea of how many plain bases I want and how many might be from the patterned paper, etc. And while I've put all the above mentioned supplies together in one place with the basic tools, I'm not declaring any of my other supplies off limits, so I may well be working in other items such as ribbons or washi tape or twine or stamps or....! But if I can't manage to get at those things while my foot is still recovering - I don't want to run before I can walk, after all, in a quite literal sense - at least I know I have enough to hand to make a start :)

The other thing I need to decide about is photographs. I'm quite happy to scrap this project with or without pics, but if I do use them, I probably won't get them printed till January. This might leave me in the interesting position of trying to create the pages with a space allocated for the photo and then slot it in later, which is something I very rarely do! Might have to see how that goes....

Phew - mammoth post!! But that's where I'm up to right now, my friends :) How are you all? I've been neglecting your blogs again, I'm sorry - I've been so tired lately, which I think is down to the pain, the pain relief, and the extra effort I need to put into even the simplest of tasks. I've had whole days where I haven't even switched the computer on.... *gasp!* ;) But I'm hoping to catch up with you all soon, and to see many of you in class. Bring on the JYC!! I think I am at last ready for December :)

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Thankfulness 4

Forever late to the thankfulness party, that's me!! Here's my contribution to yesterday's Share-a-Page Friday....

Friends have been very good to us since I hurt my foot. On the 17th a friend dropped off a meal for us, and this was one of several meals that have been provided for us over the last 7 weeks :)

We had such an uplifting, encouraging yet challenging sermon on the 18th :)

Another thankful quotation page!

Oh, dear... I struggled rather at work on the 19th! :( I was tired and teary and fragile - not when I was with the pupils, but whenever anyone asked how I was that was enough to set me off! But I was well looked after, and provided with tea, sympathy and tissues, thanks to my lovely colleagues :)

Yum! The mini Malteser treats are my favourites, so it was such a delight to find one buried near the bottom of the tin!

Blue skies can really lift my spirits, especially when we've been having grey, overcast and wet weather...

I saw the physiotherapist again on the 22nd, and I really, really needed to hear that I was making some progress, because I was feeling pretty frustrated after 7 weeks!! And that's just what happened, my ankle's flexibility had improved and I'd met my target of managing to get to a 90 degree ankle with my foot :)

If we weren't able to shop online and get our groceries delivered each week I don't know how we'd have managed. There's no way The Doctor would have fit in a trip to Asda each week! So I've been thankful for that delivery service each week since the accident. Sometimes, though, the delivery person is cheery and chatty and goes out of their way to be helpful; sometimes the delivery person is - um - quieter and more focused on getting on with his/her round, shall we say?! This week The Doctor had to pop out briefly and the shopping arrived while he was out, so I was very thankful to open the door to one of the helpful delivery drivers, who immediately offered to bring all the bags through to the kitchen :)

Another week full of reasons to be thankful: big reasons, small reasons, in between reasons, but so very many reasons, only a few of which I've documented! I wonder what the final week of the project will bring?

This post was brought to you by Cathy Zielske's 30 Days of Thankful

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A Wordle for Wednesday

Gosh, it's been a while since I did a Blog Wordle! I'm not sure what made me think of them but something did, so here's one now:

I didn't intend to change any of the settings but when it appeared with all the words in a vertical orientation I quickly realised I couldn't cope with that! I changed it to half and half instead. But I kept the font and colour scheme, both of which somehow seemed appropriate for the time of year, and (helpfully) neither of which I made a note of. (Seriously, I don't know what's up with my memory and attention span - perhaps it's the pain relief I'm still taking? - but they're both shot to pieces at the moment!)

As always, a few things that caught my eye:

Prison hop is clearly a reference to The Newer Hamster's escape bid... He is now back inside cage!
Frosty cellophane and Jennifer's Christmas must be talking about the Frosty Festivities blog hop :)
One chance little moment is a lovely way of referring to Alexa's project!
And I'm really not dropping hints to anyone, despite want post and just get card both appearing....

Did you spot any happy combinations that I missed? :)

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Thankfulness 3

This week, Friday falls on Saturday.... In terms of joining in with Cathy's Share-a-Page Fridays, that is! Yesterday I already had a post for Alexa's 'Simply A Moment' series plus my contribution to Jennifer's Frosty Festivities blog hop, so I figured I should hold this post back a day :) Here we go:

We went to see Skyfall on the 10th - me, The Doctor and The Children, meeting up with friends, one of whom was celebrating her birthday. The four of us then went for a meal afterwards. It felt so good to be able to go out and do something together as a family for the first time in weeks!

A reflective one on the 11th. (Sorry about that dark shadow, by the way - lighting here is atrocious...)

On Monday I went back to work, and regained another little bit of 'normal' :)

Time for another quotation! And having felt dark and frowning all too often this last few weeks, this quotation felt particularly appropriate...

A big shout out for online shopping! Another couple of Christmas presents arrived on Tuesday :)

Hmm, let's pretend I was deliberately aiming for a 'shadow stamping' effect, shall we?! On Wednesday I managed to get to a real actual shop - wow!! I only needed a couple of things but they weren't really possible to pick up online, so with The Mother's help I went to a local Tesco Homeplus (ie a Tesco store that doesn't sell groceries, but has all the clothes, books, toys etc). I got what I needed, and then got the lift upstairs to the Costa outlet - bliss! :)

At this point I ran out of space in Volume 1 (partly because I'd removed a couple of double pages - long story...) so sent out my minions to find another notebook from the same range. Isn't it cute?! Possibly even cuter than Volume 1!

Look at these little guys on a branch on the back of the book! Aww....

Anyway, back to the actual pages: on the 16th I wrote about voting for our local police commissioner. I'd actually voted by post already, but as Thursday was polling day, that was the day I was thinking about being thankful that we're able to vote freely, and I wanted to jot down some of those thoughts.

And after doing so many busy things - and, if I'm honest with myself, probably overdoing it a bit - yesterday I was so thankful that I could rest and relax and put my feet up!

This post was brought to you by Cathy Zielske's 30 Days of Thankful

Friday, 16 November 2012

Some Wintry Cards for the Frosty Festivities!

Hello, hello! Welcome to the Melsh contribution to this weekend's Frosty Festivities blog hop :) Come on in, it's cold out there...

First up, many thanks to Jennifer for organising this, and for providing a wonderful prize opportunity (details at the bottom of this post) - and for inviting me to take part! I'm excited to see everyone's inspirational takes on this topic, enjoy some interesting and fun posts, and pick up lots of tips and ideas for projects I want to try :) If you just stumbled across the hop here by accident then you might want to pop over to Jennifer to get all the introductory info - but feel free to stay here and read my post first! ;)

So, me? I'm going to show you a couple of cards. I've had an idea for a glittery, wintry card for some time, and a chance encounter with some pretty printed cellophane last week inspired me to think of a variation of the idea and to get on with trying both of them!

Apologies for the lack of beautifully staged photos, by the way - I shall blame my broken foot for that. Obviously if I was fully mobile I would have been able to set up much clearer and more technically brilliant shots ;) I would certainly have been able to make better use of natural light...

Anyway, the first step each time is to create 3 square apertures. A square punch makes this easier! Of course, you'd get a much neater result if you carefully measured the card and marked where you were going to punch. If you're lazy you prefer a more organic look then you can just judge it all by eye. If the borders end up uneven then you can make a feature of that by adding the greeting to the wider border (or around the whole of that particular square) - or you can just shrug and decide it doesn't matter enough ;)

I punched 3 squares because that worked with the size of the card and punch, but obviously you can vary that. Make a feature of just one square, or create a grid using the whole card if you prefer. Just make sure you leave enough cardstock to give strength to the finished card.

Now to fill those apertures with some decoration! For the first card I used this pretty cellophane:

I just added double sided tape to frame the back of each square, then added a strip of cellophane right across all three windows. Here it is after one strip:

Now that's quite pretty in itself, but I really liked how the wrap looked on the roll, where you can glimpse more and more dots through the layers, so I repeated the first step a few times till I was happy with the look:


I stopped at 4 layers in the end. Here it is from the inside:

It actually looks OK, but if it's too messy for you then you can add strips of spare cardstock to hide the edges of the cellophane and the bits of tape that are still visible. It depends really how lazy neat a worker you are!

From the front the card looks like this, but it's actually really pretty closed, too, as you get cute shadows cast by the little dots:

This makes such a lovely snowy card, ideal for Christmas or a winter birthday :) If you can't get cellophane like this another one would also work, just giving a different look; if it's the snowy effect you want to replicate then you could use dabs of white acrylic paint on acetate. Or maybe try blobs of Stickles if you want some sparkle!

Or if LOTS of sparkle is your thing, maybe this second design would suit you better? Start by punching or cutting 3 squares (or however many you want), just as before. This time though, use ordinary (not double-sided) sticky tape to completely line the inside of the card behind the apertures. If you have tape that's wider than the squares this is ideal, but if not then just use a few strips, overlapping them. The important thing is to make sure that the sticky part of the tape is showing through to the front of the card. Oh, and to not accidentally stick the card to your work surface at the same time....! ;)

So now you have some nice sticky windows :) Turn the card over so the sticky side is showing:

Cover them generously with glitter. I've used silver because it looks frosty:

Tip the excess onto a sheet of scrap paper, then turn the card over and press it face down into the pile of glitter to ensure good coverage.

And there you have your pretty, sparkly card :)

The tape will allow a bit of light through so again you get a slightly different look when the card's closed:

If you're concerned about the glitter rubbing off over time then you can seal it with Glossy Accents or a similar clear-drying glue. Personally I'm too lazy I'm not too worried about it; a little tiny bit might come away but it'll last long enough for me to give the card to someone and for them to display it! This design can also be easily adapted by using different colours of glitter or different shaped apertures, such as a small star covered with gold glitter in the corner of a super simple card, for example.
So there you have my frosty idea! You can find plenty of others by visiting the following blogs:
And if you'd like a chance of winning this fabulous prize of over £25-worth of Basic Grey Aspen Frost and Carta Bella Winter Fun goodies, make sure you leave a comment on each of the blogs along the hop, and finish up with a comment at Jennifer's to let her know you've done so. While you're there, be sure to check out her other Frosty Festivities posts (see this one for a hint of what you might find!) The deadline for the giveaway is 10.59pm (GMT) on Monday 19th November, so you have the weekend to enjoy browsing all the lovely ideas :)

Thanks for visiting :) Next up it's Rinda over at Gallo Organico. See you there!