Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year's Eve!

Well, tomorrow will be the start of a new year and I have to admit to being happy to see the back of 2010. Not a good year overall. Close the door and say goodbye to all that and hope for better times in 2011.

There have been so many cool blog posts I read this week with reviews of the year that has been (current 4 list, top ten this and that lists, favourite blogs/pages/blog posts, Christmas in review etc) that I have loved reading and so wanted to do a few of my own but the time is now too tight and I just wanted a short post to finish off the year. So I will just post a few of my favourite decoration photos and call it a day! I will try harder in the new year and already have a three part entry lined up to post.

We had a very pink Christmas (yes, I have total control over the main decorations in our home and can dictate very girlie, pretty colours!!!).

I was thrilled with how my tree turned out - even if it's as dry as a bone and will no doubt be completely bald by the time I have de-decorated it!

We had a pink Advent wreath - stunning

And plenty of pretty, mostly pink touches around the living room.

I will be sad (but also so ready) to take everything down tomorrow and Sunday. Mostly I miss the twinkly lights everywhere...

And what about New Year ("Silvester" in German)?

We are off out tonight to celebrate the new year with family and I will be taking these little piggies with me.

Pigs are traditional for new year in Germany as a symbol of good luck (along with 4 leaf clover and chimney sweeps) and over the years I have received many collected many pink piggy cuddly toys! But it's very traditional to eat these little marzipan cuties to so I have bought one each for us (R will be delighted to get two as I am not a big marzipan fan) and I prettied them up with some labels that I downloaded here.

I will have a full basket of goodies with me as I have made two desserts: Crème Brûlée and Chocolate Mousse which have also been decorated with the cute tags. Christmas and New Year is not a time to count calories in the Hausmann household!!

And I have a whole pile of crackers which are always fun as my German family were not familiar with the British obsession with the crappy present, crappy joke and crappy paper hat filled packages of fun until they met me! And BTW, the crappier the present and joke, the better the cracker in my book!

So there you have it. 2010 is at an end and all that remains is for me to wish you all a very happy, fun celebration tonight and I wish you all the best for 2011!

As we say here in Germany, "Ein gutes Rutsch ins neue Jahre!
(literally: a good slide into the new year)

Friday, 24 December 2010

Merry Christmas!

Just to say a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Here's to health, wealth, happiness and the love of family and friends for 2011!

Thanks for dropping by during 2010. I look forward to seeing you again next year!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Making me smile this week

Three wonderful, scrappy friends have brought huge smiles to my face this week. All three times were unexpected and all the more lovely for that.

I want to take the chance here to say THANK YOU to all of them - each of you made my day!

First off, I received this

in the mail from Deb! I had ogled coveted admired it on her blog (here) last week and was just in love with it. It was inspired by the Elvis song Blue Christmas (one of my Christmas faves) and features sparkle and snowflakes - what could be better? When I realised what was in the envelope, a huge grin appeared and it totally made my day. Deb - thanks for being such a sweetie and for thinking of me. I am still thrilled - the card is here next to my computer and I keep looking at it. It's gorgeous.

Recently, I received blog contact from one of my LOAD friends, Danielle and her blog (here) was duly put onto my "follow" list. You have to check out her blog - she has loads of scrapping and creative goodness on there and is currently posting some simple tutorials for very sweet projects. She was celebrating her 100th post - CONGRATS Danielle! - and had a giveaway. And I won! I was so pleased and can't wait to see my prize in the mail - MemoryWorks Simple Stories Life Documented Scrapbook Kit. A compact kit to document a whole year of memories! How cool is that?!? 

Thanks so much to Danielle (and to MemoryWorks) for such a lovely giveaway

Today, there was just one card in my mailbox - all the way from sunny California! Another LOADster but originally, we "met" through the 12 on 12 challenge and Cathy is also very active in BPC classes, so we often find ourselves on the same course. I love her scrapbook style - she has such a wonderful eye for product combinations and her layouts are always so lovely to look at and her subjects are so interesting too. We are both participating in a Christmas card swap as part of the Nic H class "Colour! or is it Color?" and she sent me a card too! Thanks Cathy if you are reading this! I absolutely adore my card. So pretty and using BG - how could I resist?

I feel very grateful for the friends I have made over the last couple of years through scrapbooking. They really keep me going when I am feeling a bit down. And they never fail to bring on a smile. 

Thanks girls!

Monday, 6 December 2010

St Nicholaus Day Monday musings...

Happy St Nicholaus!

Whilst most of Germany was waking up to boots or boxes full of chocolate and gifts outside their front door this morning, I woke up to the alarm screaming at me to get up and get going at some unearthly time of the morning! When I don't have my 8am Monday class for a few weeks, it's always a bit of a shock to the system when it kicks back in again. And this morning was exactly one of those mornings! Going down the communal stairs, I noticed that one of our neighbours had left out St Nick presents for four other neighbours and it made me a little sad that I wasn't one of them! I bought myself a small chocolate St Nick for myself but not being a huge fan of German chocolate, it's not exactly the best present I ever bought myself! So as a treat for myself, as soon as I get home tonight, I am going to do some scrapping. Sounds like an ideal present, doesn't it?

I have plenty to keep me busy. I have three layouts to do for The Scrapbook Magazine and my December album to update and photograph and I am woefully behind on my BPC class by Nic H. I'd love to do the main layouts before class end at least.

You might have noticed that I have given my blog a bit of a facelift. Thought it was about time having had the same layout and blog banner for the last two years and my intention is to change it up each month with a few photos to represent the month to come - thanks to Danielle for the tutorial about creating such a blog banner that gave me the push to stop thinking about it and finally do it.

And I'm thinking about being a bit more consistent with my posting. Something like a theme for each day of the week (even if I don't post every day) so that I would have some structure to follow when I do want to post. Maybe something like Monday Musings, Tuesday Tips, Layout Wednesday and so on. But I'm not sure - what do you think? Or is this too restrictive? I'm not really sure. Maybe I need to think about it a bit more! Am I perhaps just thinking about this too much?!? Sounds like me though, doesn't it? It's all about the control.


So, after spending a total of 3.5 hours travelling, 1.5 hours window shopping and more than 3 hours in Starbucks (nursing one single coffee!) for only 4 lessons, I am back home and have managed to catch up a little. I have completed today's December page and photographed them all.

Several things to note that tell me that I should have planned this out a bit more than I did before I launched in:

  1. It's enormously thick already and it's only day 6! I can only imagine how huge it will be by the 25th. Mmmm... 
  2. The 6x4 format is limiting my journalling and photos so if I have more to say/show, I need to add more pages. And here comes point one into play. Mmmm....
  3. I have put the day number on the left which means that when the pages are together like a book, all I can see is the back of the labels. If I had put them on the right, the edges would have been visible from the front of the mini-book. Mmmm....
  4. I haven't really decided if I am just winging it and recording the everyday or if I am following Shimelle's prompts. Hope it doesn't turn into a mish mash. Mmmm....
  5. I have not decided on a title for the book/album nor have I thought about a cover. At the moment, this part of it looks über-ugly. I really need to decide what is I am making here. Mmmm....
On the positive side, I am chopping up papers and throwing down bits and pieces of Christmas goodness with abandon. It feels good to see these pretty things (and to be honest, some not so pretty things - must sort out and get rid) used up. I have a couple of blank or more blank pages that I will go back to at the end to embellish up. And I have a bag of embellishments to pretty up the whole album at the end (if the binder rings will stand the thickness that is!) The main products I am using here is the Shimelle Christmas kit 2009 which of course, I had to have, but never touched. I have it all in a drawer and am just opening and grabbing. And then all my other Christmas stuff is in another drawer so it has really turned into a bit of a lucky dip. Go me!

Here are the pages so far (apologies for the poor photos - it's late and even though I sorted out extra light and adjusted the white balance, they are pretty groggy) :


Saturday, 4 December 2010

Just a little silly to brighten up your day

This is hilarious. Watch it all the way to the end - just a happy, feel good couple of minutes! So creative!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Blog Award

How lovely! I've been awarded the following blog award...

... from my lovely LOAD friend Debbie (check out her creative blog here). I am thrilled that she thought of me and it certainly made a grey day a little brighter! Thanks Debbie!

This award comes with a few rules:

  1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this. 
  2. Share 8 things about yourself.
  3. Pay it forward to 8 bloggers that you have recently discovered (see below).
  4. Contact those bloggers and tell them about their awards.
8 things about myself:
  1. I am always tired - I mean ALWAYS! Have been all my life. No excuses, I just am!
  2. I can't curl my tongue much to my family's amusement - all of whom can. 
  3. I love this time of year - the colder the better.
  4. I think that even though I have a British passport, I must really have been born German - Gemany just suits me SO well!
  5. I am a total control freak - go figure!
  6. I am a Scorpio - can you see a theme here?
  7. I think I am addicted to the internet and email. I can't imagine my life without either of them.
  8. I am a total Christmas film freak - all the way from the Muppets' Christmas Carol through to my all time fave, Holiday Inn
8 blogs that I enjoy -  in random order:
  1. Libby - A Lifetime of Chances
  2. Debbie - A World of Imagination
  3. Sarah - Sarah's Pigeonhole
  4. S - Snaps & Snippets
  5. Nic H - It's Been One of Those Days
  6. Margie - Xnomad's Blog
  7. The Gutsy Mom
  8. Paper View
They may not all be recent discoveries, but they are all very creative and fill me with inspiration every time I read them. As I have talked about before here on my blog, living away from friends and family, as well as being a "bit" of a Billy No Mates (!), my blog friends are really important to me and helps me to feel connected. I love this virtual world of ours - don't you?

Looking forward to the start of December - I really want to attempt some sort of a daily album à la December Daily or Journal Your Christmas. Any similar plans your way?

Monday, 29 November 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like....


I love this time of year and today brought on our first real snow which always makes me feel like a child again, pressing my nose against the window and wishing that I could go outside and make snow angels without the neighbours thinking I am completely mad!

So, what has been going on round here the last weeks?

Well, there were two of these in the last week...

And I was spoilt with lots of...

And plenty of these, all of which were so carefully chosen and were totally perfect...

Can you see the Prima flowers? And the ribbon flowers? And the shadow, display box that I had so admired on Libby's blog? Yep, all mine!

My mum was over to visit for the weekend and we had a lot of fun.

Christmas market season is officially open so first stop: Dortmund for a Glühwien

A wander round to admire the lights

Dinner at the newly modernised Duisburg Innenhafen (harbour) at Mongo's which is our new favouirte place to go - Mongolian BBQ. Scrummy!

And then we rounded the weekend off by baking cookies! A good German tradition but something I haven't done with my mum for more years than either of us care to remember! I don't think I had even hit my teens the last time ;-)

Of course, all this means no scrapping for several weeks. I think the last thing I created was way back at the beginning of November for my BPC class - Colour! or is it Color? by Nic H which is just wonderful but I am way behind. I did manage the first and second week and was rather pleased with myself for my yellow week:

I think that I'm caught up now. Is it me or has somebody stolen the last few weeks? How prepared are you for Christmas (gulp!)?

Saturday, 13 November 2010

A bit of Chance scrapping

It's been quiet on the scrapping front this week. Somehow, while I was in my room a lot, I didn't manage to actually stick any photos to paper. 

But I have attempted to tidy up a bit (lot!) and have discovered that my room does have a floor, that the shelves are naturally white and not dust grey, and that my desk top is not naturally sticky! And of course, I discovered a pile of paper that I hadn't exactly forgotten about, but I had sort of ignored it since I bought it! But all good stuff. And the room now looks and feels a lot cleaner and clearer. I have one or two small projects to finish off and my pile of kits is still way too high, but when I look at the pile of layouts I created last month, I feel good that so much stash has been used up. And now the room is tidy enough that I can start cutting and sticking again.

But last weekend, I was busy using up another kit (May), just picking up some randomly gorgeous Chance kiddie photos and using them to make pretty pages. 

** This photo has been hanging around for way too long and I knew that I wanted to use it on a page that wasn't necessarily about the day itself (Isabella's Christening) but rather about the joy I feel whenever I look at these giggling friends. Such a lovely photo.

** Don't need to say too much here - Just a gorgeous girl in a gorgeous photo. (can you tell I was already struggling with letters left on the alpha here?!)

** Using a Page Maps sketch for inspiration here. Not brilliant photos, but I love them all the same. Just a fun use of papers and product.

** I was preparing to put away the leftovers from the May kit when I came across this orange paper which was getting damaged in my paper storage. My eye then fell upon the leftover pink cardstock from the kit that I was putting away and thought that they looked pretty together. So I decided to use up a couple of the last flowers from the kit and write a few words of love to Maddie. This girl is so special to me. We love her so much.

Not much else here. Can you believe that November is already halfway through? Yesterday was the 12th so I was busy taking photos, using a new toy app on my iPhone so watch this space for that!

Thinking about making some Christmas cards. Thinking about some new decorations. Are you? If so, do you want to share your ideas?

Saturday, 6 November 2010

A quiet week

This always happens after LOAD.

After manically scrapping every day for a whole month, I suddenly stop. And that usually means a total STOP. No scrapping of any sort for weeks and weeks and weeks!

So this week, I woke up on Monday morning and thought, "Oh, no layout today." And went on to enjoy our day. The same happened on Tuesday and most of Wednesday.

And then I decided to pick up the paper trimmer again and see if I could be creative!

I had a commission for The Scrapbook Magazine to do and spent some time pulling it together. I think it's so pretty, full of a lot of gorgeous product. Of course, I can't share the whole thing with you, but how about a little sneak peek?

Surprisingly for me, this appears to have given my another small kick-start and I've done another two layouts  trying to use up some of the numerous kits I have lying around. My new kit arrived this week and I still have 8 unfinished ones that ought to be used up before I start the new one. Now I know that won't happen but I grabbed one and have done two cute Chance kids layouts. The light is too bad to photograph them but will upload them next week sometime.

The only other exciting thing to happen round here was Halloween last Sunday night. I've written before about how this is something new and unknown here in Germany and we like to celebrate it, but to the "delight" of my Germany family - well, at least I like to believe that it's to their delight :-) !

I won't upload all the photos I took but I have to share a few.

I am especially proud of my very special carved pumpkin. I'm not known for anything fancy and usually just do the standard lopsided face so I decided to step up to the mark and find out on the internet how the fantastic carved pumpkins you see on the internet from USA are done. I downloaded a template and read up on what I should be doing. I didn't have the right tools but I think I managed quite well! I used my paper piercer (scrapbooking to the rescue!) to highlight the shape to cut out and then I scraped off the skin to give the two tone effect. 

Ta laaaa:

We made sure that our communal staircase was Halloweened up and apparently, the orange light shone out into the night and could be seen from far and wide! (I think all our neighbours think we are ever so slightly mad!)

The mantlepiece looked just as lovely as I had hoped and the atmosphere was wonderful with all the candles and the eerie pumpkins peeking through the window.

And me? I spent a bit of time on my costume and made myself into Frankenstein's Monster's Bride using lots and lots of black tulle which was a lot of fun although a bit of a fire hazard! I got the idea of the makeup on the Martha Stewart website and it was done using the theatrical white makeup we have and a doily. I thought the effect was really interesting!


Thursday, 4 November 2010

31 layouts in 31 days? Mission accomplished!

Another successful LOAD! 31 layouts in 31 days. 

There were really a couple of days back there when I thought I wouldn't make it. It was late, I was tired, I was neglecting a certain someone, I was a bit uninspired. But somehow, I managed to pull myself together every day and come up with something new and different and really something I am very proud of. 

Personally, I think I am making my most favourite pages at the moment. Pages that make me sigh with happiness when I look at them. And pages that tell the stories I have been meaning to tell for some time. Of course, some were much better than others and through them, I can see the days when I was struggling more than others. But it's ok. I'm satisfied and thrilled to have completed it again.

Roll on February when the next LOAD will be.

Some statistics:

  • 28 single page layouts
  • 3 double page layouts
  • 127 photos
  • Uncountable pages cut into or even completely used up
  • At least 7 collections or kits broken into which had not been touched before 
  • 2 kits used up to the point of considering them "finished"

October 24th
** This was better in my imagination than the reality! I couldn't get the lace paper to stick down without making a big mess, then the journalling space was a bit too small, and the colours were so bold that my title doesn't show up enough. But the photos were sitting there, looking at me asking to be scrapped so I went with it. The large, white framed one is downloaded from the website. Slava's Snowshow was really spectacular - so want to see it again when it is next "in town". I recommend it to all of you.

 October 25th
** I had been blog browsing and was looking at the Studio Calico blog where I fell in love with a layout by Maggie Holmes (here) and decided that I needed to use it as inspiration. My fellow LOADsters thought it was funny that I had some white space here. Seems as though I have a reputation as the no white space person. I love this layout. So pleased with it.

 October 26th
** This idea has been going round my mind for some time and the September Scrapagogo kit was perfect for this - the colours, textures, patterns. I haven't got around to doing a mega-album for this trip, but the story and photos are being captured a layout at a time - I might even collect them all together sometime. 

 October 27th
** I've been wanting to use these photos for some time so this was ideal. More clustering and a simple story of mad kids. 

 October 28th
** A layout assignment as part of a (yet another) new BPC class "Colour! or is it Color?" by Nic Howard. Yes, this week was red in case you hadn't guessed already. This was so much fun to do - following instructions and just making pretty things. Using up more of another hardly touched kit which felt good even though I messed up the title incredibly badly! I just cannot get these letters right - they are all askew but glued down so well that there is nothing to be done! But Nic showed a technique of clear embossing paper flowers which was a new idea for me and so I had a go. I really liked how it worked out even though I'm not sure I will be using it all the time. 

 October 29th
** Two of these photos had been hanging around on my desk for a loooong time. I knew pretty much what I wanted to do with them, so another unused kit to the rescue.

 October 30th
** Something I need to practice every day - I'm not known to be the most optimistic of people. This page is again inspired by the Maggie Holmes SC layout mentioned on 25th October.

 October 31st
** Just something pretty showing my huge pile of layouts - the pile seems to be higher than in May which suggests that they are a lot more dimensional than in the past. I loved doing this LOAD and the people I have "met" through the gallery and message board are just the most wonderfully supportive, kind people (hi to any of you who are reading this!) and I can't wait for the next LOAD in February.


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