Monday, November 29, 2010

365 Challenge...

I think two posts in two days is a first for me!

I had an appointment with my GP and a hospital appointment to attend today, but didn't I say yesterday that snow can't half scupper your plans - and you know what they say about speaking too and my big mouth... I couldn't get the car off the drive this morning and I had to ring in to cancel the appointments. Of course I took the opportunity to...... PLAY in my adopted room!

I've outgrown the little bedroom I used to work in, so when Dad gave me this larger table after we had moved half of our belongings up to Durham, (including the bed from this room) I decided to stake a claim on it! I put the table in front of the large window for lots of lovely natural light, you can see that boxes of things are starting to creep in, but for now I am walking between the two rooms to get what I need, then I take it back (or not as you can see!) I'm even using a linen basket as a side table!
It would be nice if Ann's husband Maurice took pity on me and made me a side table cum storage area like the one he made for Ann! Or if I had Shelley's THREE massive IKEA expedit storage units....In my dreams.

This is the street view now outside my door, and I feel frustrated that I haven't been able to keep my appointments - if they had been afternoon one's I would have gone, but it was really snowing at 8 o clock this morning when I had to make the decision to go or not - Andy had just 'phoned me (he's in Durham) to say it was snowing like a blizzard and lightening at the same time up there! Crazy weather.
Now I've got to wait for more appointments AND make the trip back down here to attend them. GRRRR.

Ok, moan over, I did have a happy couple of hours playing... preparing the December page for Kate's 365 Calendar Challenge

I decided a blue background would suit the chilly weather... I used the Dylusions tree stamp (above) and lovely holly images from collage anonymous (below)

I'm using old bits of 7Gypsies 'sushi' papers and also Blonde Moments 'Suet Pudding' range for the journal blocks

I used a Magenta alphabet font for the 'December' title. Nothing is stuck down yet but I'm happy with how its coming along so far....

Oh... and here is my lovely tree - complete with lights but no baubles - note to my girls...are the memories calling you? "Come home to help Mum..." (The prickly boring bit is done!) hehehe!

If I keep this up, I might see you tomorrow....

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Have you got your thermals out? I never used to feel the cold but since I was told I'm anaemic I quiver like a jelly on a plate at the slightest temperature drop... slight exaggeration but I'm sure you understand. Anyway, when the first snow fell last week I snapped this view from the window (in Durham) Although the snow is pretty, doesn't it scupper your plans!

Its a good job Mum, Dad and my sister's came to visit the previous week or my plans would certainly have been scuppered! There's a funny story to these shopmobility scooters... Mum and Dad were so worn out after I trekked them up hill and down again (and believe me, Durham has hills upon hills)

We had visited the Cathedral and Dad suddenly said "I'm not walking any further" He suffers terrible pain if he does too much walking and he knows his limits, so Andy and I had to go find them a ride - courtesy of shopmobility scooters...

You might be having a chuckle at me (or Andy) here, but if you had seen my Dad run his scooter 'aground' you would have howled! The Bailey (the street from the Cathedral down to the town centre) was being re-paved, so there were those rubber protector things laid over the jigger pick cables so people didn't trip - you may see where I'm heading here - Dad tried to drive over it and 'grounded' his scooter! He tried to go forward and then to reverse back but no... he was well and truly stuck! There were a few strange looks from passers by... Dad was concentrating hard at trying to get free and was oblivious to anyone else... I couldn't do anything for laughing!!! The workmen came to our rescue and lifted the scooter over... Dad just got back on and set off un deterred. I'm still chuckling away to myself every time I think about it!

You know I'm living two lives - one in Durham and another (tougher) one down in West Yorkshire, well I don't get too much time to get creative and play, in fact I feel like I'm only half hearted about it when I do get the chance, even though I'm longing to let go and push all the other crazy, messy, work related worries out of my mind. I sometimes make backgrounds in my journals and go back to them at another time, or add images - as in this case...

I did manage to spend a carefree day at Art from the Heart regular journalers day last Sunday. Dyan challenged us to use a background from a magazine and also to cut out random words to use as our journaling.. I enjoyed the exercise, this is my first attempt - I've done a couple of others which I may show you later...

These two were made using Dylusions paints, inks, stamps and downloads...

It was a day of fun in my busy schedule!

Now I have a confession to make...we put our Christmas tree up on Saturday (in Yorkshire) listen to my reasoning before you judge me! We have a BIG tree, it lives in the loft and it takes two people to get it down. We were down here for Andy's routine appointment at the transplant clinic in Leeds so we decided to take the opportunity to make a few Christmas preparations while we were both here (he won't be back until 18th December) It will save us much time as when we get back there will be a gazillion other things to do. I have put the lights on but no baubles. That's a tradition I will keep for the 14th December as I shall be home on that day - my last night at College for this year! It is our son's birthday and we made a tradition that we always put the Christmas tree up together as part of his birthday celebration - I shall be doing it alone this year - well the bauble bit, the tree is up now! Unless my girls decide to take pity on me and come home to give me a hand ... although it would probably take twice as long - they always dig through the box that holds 'everything they ever made' when they were at school - but I love those "Oh can you remember the year we made this Mum?" moments - part of what makes my Christmas magical!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And Breathe.....

Oh yes people, I am feeling mighty relieved after handing in unit 005 (fifth essay of eight) for my teaching course... I'm more than half way there, on the home run, so I thought I would give myself a little treat and splash a little paint around...and I LOVE LOVE LOVE these fabulous paints by Dyan Reaveley

This is my new desk - purchased from IKEA, for the house in Durham - it has shelves above, very handy storage space, although it's casting a shadow here. Andy bought me a couple of spotlights that fasten on so it gives plenty of light for that late night journaling - although the only late night journaling I've done for the past few weeks has been on 'reflective practice and continuing personal and professional development'... such fun! My next assignment (should I choose to accept it!) is about Curriculum building - you can see I've already got a book out. More fun! (Do you detect a hint of sarcasm there?)

First I'll show you some pictures of the ladies at our regular scrapbook class at the Craft Box having their first experience of spray inking... we were making 'serendipity leaves' don't ask me how Janice managed to stay so clean

..because Karen certainly didn't!

We randomly stamped leaves and embossed them, then we collaged and stamped again, then cut out leaves using Tim's tattered leaves die...they turned out beautifully.
I'll show the pages at a later date because something is in the offing with this scrapbook this space...

On to a few journal pages - and these pictures aren't brilliant - I could do with a few lessons from Jill - go and check out her blog, not only is she an amazing artist but she takes some wonderfully creative photgraphs.

This page was a challenge that Dyan gave us at the Regular Art Journaling session - we were given a piece of wrapping paper with these fun munsters on and we could use Tim's halloween stamps... this is what I came up with... the idea came from a Jack Savoretti song Dr Frankenstein. I LOVE his 'Between the minds' CD.
You can see there is a hidden pocket - that contains my secrets - the 'monsters' in my mind!

This page was one I made the night before we moved to Durham - I was over tired and couldn't sleep, so I went into my little, soon to be vacated, room and scribbled a few thoughts.

I like to have a few pages 'ready to go' for that very reason - one night I might need to scribble some thoughts down, this is one of those 'ready to go' pages...

This one too...

The Chilean miners story was close to my heart...I added the Octopode images later.

These last two also use those kooky eyed Octopode images too...

I love being inspired by other creative, like minded people and being a blogger has certainly exposed me to lots of different arty styles, so I think I will always be that pilgrim on an art journey, experimenting with different styles and new images as the mood takes THAT is what I call fun!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Things 'afoot'!

I'm still finding my feet since we moved to Durham in September...I'm sure things will settle down soon - at least I hope they will - I thought I might have found a routine by now but nope - I'm still frazzled!

And our youngest daughter had an operation on her foot last Friday - the Consultant gave her photographs of the procedure... I'm not posting them here because they are a bit gruesome! She had an ankle arthroscopy - they cleared out (lots) of bone debris from an injury she had five years ago - we're hoping it will give her more movement and less pain. She is a nurse and very obviously needs to be on her feet a lot.

Steph and Alastair marry next May so we're relieved the operation is done and out of the way - you know what waiting lists are like and we didn't want her to be hobbling down the aisle! We had a lovely day together recently, shopping for her wedding dress and next Saturday we are going bridesmaid dress shopping! Fun!

Right, here is my October page for Kate's 365 Challenge...

...I had fun with Tim's tattered leaf die, I will tweak this at some point... I quite like adding to things when I look back at them.

And November is ready to go...

I decided to add this photograph of Andy outside St John's College (he is an Ordinand at Cranmer Hall) it was lying on my desk as I was wondering what I could fill the space with!

My nose is dripping and my chest feels tight - but I can feel my body valiantly fighting off this I decided I need a quiet afternoon messing about - and indeed I did - I had great fun doodling a 'barbed wire effect' around the edges of the journal blocks... mindless but satisfying!