Tuesday, 7 April 2015

A sunny and sugar-fuelled Easter

Hello Blogland from France
I know I'm a sporadic blogger now, but I thought I'd share a few photos from our Easter weekend here in Normandy.
Good Friday is not a holiday here, surprisingly, and the weather was poor so we stayed in and played board games.
On Saturday we had a dinner party for our local friends. We only have 2 weeks so we killed 4 families with one chilli (so to speak!) I love the fact that we have the space here to host 14 people. But watch this space because while we are out here we are having a brand new kitchen fitted at home. I am beyond excited!
Easter Sunday started late (the kids having gone to bed after 11.30 the night before) I set up an egg  hunt in the garden.

Then we went out for lunch at a local restaurant. Very good. And incredible value at 55Euros for the 4 of us.
In the late afternoon, the village commune organised another egg hunt - a very generous one which included a post-event 'gouter' of wine and cakes!

Not surprisingly, none of us was very hungry by dinner time!
Unfortunately the lovely day was slightly marred at bedtime by a sugar/sleep induced tantrum, but that's life. And it's my right as the family scrapper to include it, or not, in my album!

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Eclipse washout

Oh how disappointing!

As soon as I heard about the partial eclipse I started researching and ordered a black polymer filter for my camera and eclipse glasses for us all. We were very excited. M built a pinhole projector & I was all geared up to photograph this amazing phenomenon. I even rearranged my classes so I would be free.

However, on the day the sky was totally overcast and remained so all morning. We couldn’t see anything at all. Instead, the kids went to school and I watched the sight unfold on BBC Stargazing Live.

It did go dark and I had the presence of mind to take pictures of that, but it was not at all the sequence I had hoped to capture. I heard the birds reawaken as the moon moved away from the sun.

I was very sad, but we learned a lot from the preparations. The BBC coverage with Dara O’Briain and Professor Brian Cox was excellent.
We will have to wait until 2016 for our next opportunity!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

December done and dusted!

I've finished my December 2014 album! Hurrah!
I followed the Journal Your Christmas Prompts throughout December - I love it. It's my version of an Advent Calendar and makes me feel really Christmassy but I kept a December Daily in my PL album this year. This meant I didn't have a separate Journal Your Christmas / December Daily book. I have made a Christmas book every year since 2008 and I really didn't like the thought of not having 2014

I am fairly strict with myself in PL and rarely use loads of photos of the same event, so I had plenty of extra photos I hadn't included. I decided to put all my favourite pictures together in a pictorial 2014 album. Simple, easy, cheap and not a great deal of journaling, but I like how it turned out. I have used up pretty much all my Christmas papers and embellishments too, which makes me happy. (It means I can go shopping this year!!)

These are my steps to creating a no-hassle album with scraps. It would be perfect  for a holiday album as well as Christmas.

1. Choose an album. I went for 8x8 as I think it's a very forgiving size. Big enough to showcase full size pictures but less demanding than a 12x12.
2. Print all the pictures you want. Almost all of them are 6x4, although there are a couple of collages or larger formats.  I printed them with white borders  and just inked the edges so I didn't need to mat them.
 3. Put them in the page protectors in order.
4. Choose backgrounds. I used both sides of the white inserts which came with the album. Much cheaper! I inked every edge with brown Distress Ink and then went through my Christmas stash cutting patterned papers to approx. 7x7.
5. Most of the pictures spoke for themselves but what little journaling I did I either handwrote straight onto the white background or on white paper strips and put into the page protectors with the photo and papers.

6. Now I had all the decision making done, it was easy to create a page or 2 whenever I felt like it. I still had all my Christmas stash in one place from December Daily so all I had to do was arrange the elements and search for some embellishments.
7. Do a few double pagers for variety
Here are the rest:



Saturday, 14 February 2015

Happy Valentines Day/Happy Half Term

I know I haven't been here much recently but I had to stop by and say thank you to Missus Wookie, Susanna @ Snaps and Snippets, Sue Eyley, Melissa Gross form the US, Alexa and Linda from Brisbane, Australia for the Happy Mail I received courtesy if Sian's Postcard Exchange.
So cute. It really made my day every time one arrived.
I also posted off 6 postcards of the church I attend, which also happens to be very pretty and historical. It is recorded in the Domesday book and has the 3rd oldest surviving door in the UK and thus also represents my interest in local history.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Stamp Set
As a bonus, when I went to get stamps they had these lovely Alice in Wonderland ones. Perfect! I am a big reader and Lewis Carroll lived in Guildford, very near me.

Did you celebrate Valentines? P and I never make a big deal if it but we will have a nice meal tonight. I received this from 7yr-old M.
Poor Freddie! She must have had second thoughts! Soon enough Freddie or some other boy will certainly come ahead of Mummy in affections so I'll make the most of it while I can.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Bye Bye Blogland

I've been a rubbish Blogger for the past few months.
There are lots of excuses I can make:
          I'm teaching more classes at work this year than I have since have children.
          We are really busy at home during term time as the kids do so many activities.
          R uses my laptop for work and play so I can't get round to even reading blogs until after 9.30pm, by which time I'm ready to drop. I can read your blogs on my tablet, but it's a pain to comment or post.
This is all true. But, really I think I might be a teeny tiny bit bored with the whole blogging thing. I still love scrapbooking and Project Life but the extra step of photographing my work (especially at this time of year when there's so little natural light), uploading it and explaining my process is getting old.
So, to all my lovely and loyal followers I would like to say, don't expect to see so much of me this year. I want to save this time for more useful things.
Perhaps I'll be back when work slackens off. Perhaps I'll miss blogging.
Whatever,  have a wonderful 2015. I'll keep reading your blogs and comment when I can.
Bye for now

Saturday, 27 December 2014

A lovely Boxing Day in pictures

I bucked the trend this year and invited my Mum's family to mine for Boxing Day.
This day has been in the same way for as long as I can remember: my nanny and all of my maternal aunts and cousins (no uncles for many years) squeezed around Mum's dining room table on a variety of chairs, stools and garden benches; cold turkey and bubble & squeak followed by trifle or Christmas pudding; no TV but compulsory board games in the afternoon then (as if anyone needed or wanted it) tea.
However, my brother lives with Mum & Dad at the moment and he has a very large (though perfectly well-trained and friendly) dog which scares my aunts so much that they boycotted Boxing Day last year. So I decided to do it slightly differently.

 The kids were not forced to sit at the table, although the adults chose to.

 There was turkey and Mum's Bubble & Squeak ( I decided too much change might scare the oldies) My nanny was there looking as glamorous as every. No-one would have known she'd been in hospital 3 days earlier.
There were yet more presents and, after most guests had left, we played a new board game - just us, my brother and parents.
Not so very different then, but I enjoyed being allowed to host this most important of occasions.

Friday, 26 December 2014

A lovely Christmas Day in pictures

They weren't disappointed - I knew they wouldn't be.
The day started in an unusually civilised way - no one woke up until 6.45. I think this is the first year since I became a mummy that I haven't been woken at least once in the small hours on Christmas Eve.

So we were happy to start opening stockings straight away.

I hate sitting in my pyjamas, especially when there are cameras around, so I insist on getting dressed before we exchange presents under the tree. I knew the 2 big-ticket items I'd bought were right so I was ready with my camera to capture their happy faces.

At lunchtime we drove over to my sister-in-law's, only 15 minutes away, for a slap-up, 3-hour,  feast. She's a fantastic cook. Mother-in-law arrived with a huge cooked turkey. My various puddings were appreciated and father-in-law made us all try Stinking Bishop, which he had discovered for the cheese board. Yes it is stinking, but quite a mild flavour.

More presents were given, games were played and we headed home tired but happy when M started to flag.