Wednesday, 17 January 2007

Did it!!!!

I am so chuffed! I actually did the Heidi Swapp "A Year to Remember" week 2 Art Challenge on time. I have uploaded it to two message boards - very scary - and am just thrilled that I managed to get this done within the week it should have been!
We had to set ourselves a goal for the year, describe 5 reasons why we were going to do it, state our daily inspiration & give a deadline. Then we needed to create a page around this using B&W photos, a drawn (or other) target, stacked title, handwriting and to use colours and styles that were not usual for us. I did it all! And while it is really not my usual style at all - bit too "Freestyle" for me - I am very satisfied with it. I have some firsts for me here including minimal patterned paper and some stamping (which got a bit messy but hey ho!)
Photo of the day are taken for the past few days but not uploaded - will try to do that in the next day or so!

Stay with me!

Friday, 12 January 2007

Photo of the Day - 11th & 12th January

And now here are the photos of the day from Thursday 11th and Friday 12th January.

Thursday 11th January - a really horrible, wet stormy day and I was working the whole day - 9 hours of lessons - which is what I always used to do but recently one or two of the classes were missing. So it was a bit of a shock to the system for me but I ploughed my way through. I was on the lookout for photos but somehow inspiration was not there and the light was terrible in the rain! Then I looked down and saw my life-saver iPod along with the new headphones I have treated myself to and thought that this summed up my Thursday. Without the iPod, I am not sure I could get through it. Love it!

Saturday 12th January - we woke up to picturebook skies after such a stormy day yesterday and I knew immediately that this would be my picture. Over the roofs of Recklinghausen, a winter tree is silhouetted against the beautiful sky! What a lovely day.

First things first ...

I said that I had started a layout for the Ali Edwards 2007 challenge - "Can you identify a single word that sums up what you want for yourself in 2007?" - well today I collected the second photo for the layout, cropped it and finished off the page. Once again, maybe not the most exciting page ever, but I am glad to have finished it and that marks a commitment to the challenge and to my word "positive". The tags say how I want to change myself to be a more positive person, that my glass is usually half-empty and that this photo of me is the type of person I want to be all the time - happy, relaxed, comfortable, smiling.

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Our Year In Pictures

Guess what? I completed a whole album today. I thought I had finished it at the weekend, but I thought of something to add and have now finished it off. All I need to do now is take pictures of each of the double spreads and then put it in an album. I have a double spread for each month with journaling covering something that was important to me in that month - the feelings I had or the main issue that was in my head at that time (or looking back). Each double spread also features the highlight photos for each month and some months were really difficult to limit to just a few! But I really think I have managed to pick just those major moments to remember. I added two extra double pages to feature Canada highlights although our Canada trip will eventually (!) have its own album. And then to finish, I added a double page with pockets to hold some of the key memorabilia from the year. Maybe those bits and pieces that will not make it onto a layout on its own but needs to be kept all the same - such as Elton John concert ticket or the calendars that Cam and Maddie made for us last Christmas!

I have to admit to being really proud of it and while it may have not been the most creative thing I have done so far, I think it is really nice. Of course, using BasicGrey Urban Couture range of papers helped! Aren't they just wonderful!

But it really got me thinking about how our year was. I had thought that 2006 was not so special, that nothing spectacular happened (apart from our holiday of course) but now that I see all the photos laid out and featured along with journaling, it shows me that 2006 was a GOOD year! Not the best ever maybe, but filled with love and happy memories. Nothing sad happened that year and for that I am grateful. Life is good.

And just to give you a sneak preview! Other photos of layouts will be done later on...

Photo of the Day - 10th January

Wednesday 10th January

I love my bedroom. It is minimal, peaceful and quiet. Ralph bought be a bunch of cotton for our 2nd wedding anniversary and I have it in a glass vase in the corner of the room. I love seeing it sitting there. Guess that there is something about that reminds me of our anniversary (which of course is lovely), but also (and don't laugh!), Gone With The Wind!

I look at this cotton every day, but taking a photo every day is making me look around and see things in a different way - things that I take for granted. I have taken several photos just of things in the flat that I might come back to from time to time but for now, I think I will just enjoy the cotton!

Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Photo of the Day - 9th January

And here is today's winner -

Tuesday 9th January

I finished work this evening at 5.30 and noticed that it was not quite dark yet. The days really are noticeably longer now, less than a month after Winter Solstice - amazing. The sky was very dramatic and I wanted to capture it. In the process, I took this one and was knocked out by all the different colours from different light sources. The quality of the photo may not be perfect, due to taking it on long exposure in such dark conditions but I love it and think it has come out quite well!

Monday, 8 January 2007

Photo of the Day - 8th January

Here is the photo for

Monday 8th January

I started with a new class this morning and a new group often creates a new routine. This morning I found myself with an hour to kill and guess where I went - hence a photo to represent the change that this class brought. First day back at work after the Christmas break and all is well with the world...

Two things ....

... that I just NEED to write about as soon as I can (as in now!)

1. Guess what?!? R and I booked our 2007 holiday on Saturday! That means that we will be having a holiday two years in a row!!!! Can you believe it? We have been planning this trip since Jan 2002 and now it is finally booked. We will travel down to Frankfurt on Monday 27th August, fly to Whitehorse (Yukon, Canada!!!!!!!! what a surprise!!!!) on the 28th and then travel about 3,000 kilometres through Yukon, British Columbia, Alaska, British Columbia (again), Yukon (again), Alaska (again!), Yukon (yet again!), up to the Arctic Circle and into Northern Territories, then back into the Yukon back to Whitehorse to fly out on Thursday 13th September - which means more than 2 weeks and three Canadian states and a US one - is that not the coolest thing ever???? I am SO excited and cannot wait! Now all we have to do is save the money to pay for it... Updates to follow. (I just tried to download some photos off the web to show the beauty but for some reason they will not upload to the page - just this one of some Aurora Borealis which we have a slim chance of seeing but you never know! For more, you will have to wait for the thousands I am going to take!)
2. Other news that needs to be put in writing so that it is not forgotten is that I have decided to enter the Ali Edwards challenge of creating a word for 2007 - "Can you identify a single word that sums up what you want for yourself in 2007?" Yes, I can. And my word for 2007 is...


Most of those who know me (including myself) would describe me as a negative person, I am a "glass half-empty" type of gal. Well, this is the year to change all that - I want to be a "glass most definitely half-full" person. After all, I live a charmed and happy life, and have SO much to be grateful for. Why be so negative? Part of my nature I suppose although when telling mum about this goal, she said that she thought I was a really positive person. I think this misconception comes from my total pragmatism. I accept things with balance and try to make the best of the situation. But inside I am still pretty cut up about whatever just happened and when I want to do something, I have to battle the negative voices in my head before I can take a step forward. That is NO way to be! I read the Stacey Julian blog where she tells how someone described her as "altogether too happy". No one would ever say that about me - more likely to use some combination of sod, miserable, git and old! I started this last year but was not so successful so I want to try harder. Part of the challenge is to create something to describe and celebrate this word in someway. So... layout to follow when I have managed to get the photos that I have in my head for this one!

So, now it is out in the open (of my private blog!) and now it is written down, it must be followed through.

I have so many ideas of things to do this year, how to record it all, and photos and layouts to portray it all - I really need to make the time for it all.

Watch this space for more to come ...

Sunday, 7 January 2007

Resolutions, goals and targets

Wow, so long since I last wrote anything! However, this is all about to change because one of my goals for the year is to update this blog on a regular basis as a reminder of my year.

I don't really know where to start - I still have to finish my write up of Canada, I ought to write up about Christmas and New Year, and now we are already at 7th January so I ought to write about the here and now.

Perhaps it would be best if I list down some of the things I want to achieve this year which will bring in so other topics:

1. Write my blog at least once a week for the whole year - including photos and thoughts and actions
2. Organise once and for all, all our photos - both the actual ones I have lying around in boxes and also the digital ones that seem to be rather scattered across disks, hard drives and some printed out
3. Continue to lose weight - target is 55 kilos by my birthday (the big 40!!)
4. Be more positive - more of a glass half-full type of person (more later on this topic)
5. Scrap more - try to achieve at least one layout or scrap project of some sort each week, including a highlight album at the end of the year, a Christmas project (left over from this year), a monthly review, the Canada 2006 trip album and more on the BOM (not much then!!!)
6. Organise the flat and us - clear the clutter, keep tidy and be a better housekeeper
7. Keep on top of "A Year to Remember" which is a Big Picture Scrapbooking class for the whole of the year by Heidi Swapp. Usually, I join these classes and download all the stuff but do not actually do much with it. This time, I want to actually do the tasks etc each week and keep up with the class. After all, this will be a Year to Remember on many different levels
8. Take a photo a day - obviously, more than one per day but try to improve my photographs and have a record of the year through taking photos every day
9. Stop spending so much money - with the Canada trip later on in the year and my Birthday party in November, this will be an expensive year
10. Do more - do it now - make the time ....

OK, I think that 10 is around 9 too many but some of them link into each other and I wanted to write it all down while I think about it and maybe over the next month, the list might be amended or re-done. But in the meantime, the photo a day goal only started on January 5th which R thinks is rubbish. He says that I should now wait until next January 1st to start this and of course, if I think about the fact that I really want to record my 39th year, then I am really late. However, the DO IT NOW goal kicks in and at the end of the day, it is better to do it, than to constantly put it off and then regret the lack of action. So, January 5th it is! Although of course, if I look back over the days since my Birthday last year, I am sure that there are not many days without photos completely! Maybe I should do that. I am also thinking about moving the blog over to Typepad because they have the possibility of setting up albums and stuff which would be good.

Anyway, here goes with my first photos of the day (so far, I have not really started editing them or enhancing or anything - just a bit of basic improving and some cropping - that will all come later) - comments/feedback gratefully received:

Friday 5th January
This was the day I took down all the Christmas decorations and reclaimed our flat again. I took photos of all the boxes of decorations, the clear and clean flat and the orchids. The orchids won because they are so beautiful to have around at this dark time of the year.
Saturday 6th January
We booked our Yukon adventure. What better to represent the day than the celebratory glass of bubbles that we shared!

Sunday 7th January
We put the tree outside for collection and it looked so sad and forlorn - all neglected and thrown onto the street. I felt a bit sad seeing the pile of trees, used up and discarded. Until next year...


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