Saturday, 30 January 2010

Winter Wonderland

I am a bit (!) of a weather person. I love the weather. I love the fact that we get LOTS of weather here in northern Europe. I talk about the weather. I scrap about the weather. I take LOTS of photos about the weather. And now I even blog about the weather.

And I am loving the fact that we are getting a real winter this year.

It's cold - really cold!

We have had some fabulous frosty mornings. Full of icy mist. Makes everything look sort of ethereal. So pretty.

And very often, blue skies with a weak, pale sun doing its very best to bring a bit of sunshine to a dark time of the year.

And we've had snow. Lots of snow.

This kind of weather makes me smile!

I'm not saying that I won't be ready for spring when it arrives but right now, I am enjoying this period of old-fashioned snow-filled winter.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010


Did you hear the news? It made me so sad yesterday when I read the inevitable. The news I'd been hoping would not actually come to fruition.

British Cadbury is no more. Kraft has finally won the battle to buy it. Yet another British institution bites the dust. What a shame.

I am a Cadbury chocoholic. We don't have it here in Germany and I miss it like crazy. I know there is a trend these days for fine chocolate, for connoisseur chocolate, for expensive, dark individual bites of heaven with chilli or rose petals or herbs and spices, but give me a bar of chunky dairy milk ANY day! None of that fancy stuff for me. I like ordinary Cadbury's milk chocolate (sometimes with crunchie or turkish delight bits in it even). Plain and simple and down to earth.

And I love Bournville where the factory is. It's a little piece of history. Last year when I spent a week back home, I made sure that one of my stops was the village green where I took some photos of the village and the factory for a future scrapbook page.

I am afraid the place will change forever.

As a child, it was always such a thrill to drive past the factory and know that all that chocolate was being produced just inside. On Sunday afternoons, you'd see the cricket team playing on the playing field in front of the factory. And I was always so jealous of those friends who had family working there because they could buy VAST quantities of cheap chocolates in the staff shop. *Sigh*

Monday, 18 January 2010

Getting ahead

One of my objectives related to "ahead" is the push to finish projects that have been lying around for, oh I don't know, let's say months..... Such as my Yukon Sep 2007 travel journal, my 2007 year in review album (an online class I even paid for), my Photo A Day project (since Jan 2007), the Bellaboo music mini-album designed by Cleo from back in Sep 2008...  You get the picture??? 

So many things started and not seen through to completion. So many projects that are sitting collecting dust rather than being out for me to flip through and enjoy.


As part of my Photo A Day, I started putting together a simple (or rather two because of the number of photos) album to showcase them. Hours were spent planning it and putting it together, only to run out of paper, steam and enthusiasm.

Well, yesterday I finished it/them!

A simple concept: two slip in albums. A monthly header, dated photos, a few pockets of pp here and there. A cover title and a label on the outside. 

It took HOURS to do but the next one will be even simpler. I learnt a few lessons along the way. 

AND I found time to go through all my photos and pick out my Photo A Day for all of 2008 and 2009. I even have them all printed out. Those albums are already in the planning. 

Most of my daily photos are just for me - not really suitable for "showing" or for use on scrapbook pages but I love the fact that I can now look through this album and really remember my 2007. There are loads of nature photos which highlight the seasons; there is a month of Recklinghausen photos, which captures a lot of the places I love in my *hometown*; there are close ups and landscapes; events and even a few people thrown in; a few of my favourite Yukon memories and lots of experimenting with my camera shots. 


Just trying to decide what is next on the list...

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Yes, I can do this...

Scrapping, that is.

After many, many weeks of creative still stand, I seem to have it back. My creative mojo. Missing for such a long time.

Inspired by lovely new papers, time spent with Libby, time spent with other creative peeps, the determination to make the time and to push myself.

I am very much a stop-start sort of scrapper. Sometimes, I am driven to be an über-achiever, pushing myself to churn out the pages. Use up my stash. Fill up my albums. Make myself feel better for all this stash I surround myself with. Give myself goals. And then it's like I just hibernate for a time. At those times, I try to do this 15 minute at a time rule. You know, just work for 15 minutes and it's amazing how much you can achieve. I do this for all other types of work. But it doesn't work for my scrapping. I read again and again: spend 15 minutes choosing a story, another 15 minutes picking out the photo, 15 minutes selecting the products, and then put it all together. Nice theory, just not for me.

Anyway, to cut a long story short. I am in a "making things" phase right now. I am creating pages, finishing projects, using up stash. And I feel goooood!

This is what I have achieved recently. Stories told. Photos used. Memories preserved. Job done!

(sketch provided by Deb at Libby's Bromsgrove crop)

(sketch used from Page Maps)

Saturday, 16 January 2010

12 on 12

Are you 12 on 12'ing yet?

I'm still managing to get this done each and every month. Although to be honest, it's a miracle most months as I am so forgetful. And most months, the 12th just jumps up and bites me. It's just another reminder of how fast time is flying and I was honestly shocked rigid this month when I got my reminder from Susan on Monday evening. Surely it couldn't be the 12th already?

Then it's a matter of actually remembering all through the day - this week for example, I seem to have just stopped early evening. The camera was there on the table, but it didn't register with my brain. But it made it easier somehow to pick out only 12 photos for the day.

When I put the layout together this morning, it struck me how colourless all the photos are. Grey and dreary and quite frankly, a bit boring. And then I thought about how that sums up January completely (and that is exactly what this project is all about). My least favourite month of the year. I was thankful for the beautiful pink flowers that my very dear school friend Geraldine had sent me so at least there was the tiniest splash of pale pink there.

These layouts are by no means wonderful and beautiful. But that is not really why I am doing it.

I take photos and use them to document a day in the life...

When I first started, I spent ages creating elaborate double page spreads and getting all "designy" with it. Since last year, I take my photos, print them out 2x2 and then just lay them out on a single spread. Add some journalling and be done with it.

I now have 22 months documented and have just spent 10 mins flipping through my album - so interesting to see how things have changed (and not changed) over those 22 months.

Here are my catch up layouts:

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

Friday, 8 January 2010

Remember this?



Well, I am well-known for not seeing through projects I start. But this one is one of the exceptions.

Each month throughout last year I spent time looking at the pretty picture I had picked out from the year before. Then when the month was over, I chose three photos to sum up what had happened and wrote a few notes about what had gone on including memorable dates (weekends away, celebrations etc). Hey presto! 12 months later, I have a mini reminder of what happened in 2009 including highlight photos. Add a book ring, some ribbons and a label and I have a completed project. 2009 remembered.

Will I make a more complete review of the year? Maybe but probably not.

I might just move on to yet another unfinished project: my goals box....

Thursday, 7 January 2010

2010 Playlist

I was blog hopping the other night and came across an entry from Gretchen S here about creating a playlist for 2010 and what her selections were. So, I popped over to her inspiration on Stephenie's blog here, where she posted about creating a playlist for life (here) and instantly fell in love with the idea!

An inspirational group of tracks that will make e smile every time I hear it and help me along in achieving my goals? Sounds pretty cool, huh?

To quote Stephenie "Pick your favorite inspiring songs, songs that make you smile, sing, and embrace life. You want songs that make you feel good – no lost love, sad, sappy stuff here. This is all about feeling good and being the leading man or woman of your own story with the kickin’ music to go with it…"

Go on, give it a go. You will be amazed at what you come up with from your collection of music.

I realised that there were one or two tracks missing from my collection which I would have added if I'd had them and which I have since added to my iTunes wishlist. But my 2 CD collection (couldn't get it down to less than 34 tracks!) is entirely chosen from what I have on my iTunes today. There are some golden oldies there picking up my love of the 80's music from when I was a teenager coupled with a few even older than that. And the one track that epitomises it all for me? It has to be Place Your Hands by Reef. It is my go-to feel-good song and it lifts me each and every time I hear it! There is a scrapbook layout there about that song and the reason for it, but that is for another time.

My Playlist for 2010

1. All Summer Long - Kid Rock

2. It's Oh So Quiet - Björk

3. Firestarter - The Prodigy

4. Happy - Leona Lewis

5. Evacuate the Dancefloor - Cascada

6. Place Your Hands - Reef ** track of the year

7. Are You Gonna Go My Way - Lenny Kravitz

8. Your Song - Elton John

9. If a Song Could Get Me You - Marit Larsen

10. Feeling Good - Michael Bublé

11. The Riverboat Song - Ocean Colour Scene

12. Wire to Wire - Razorlight

13. The Changingman - Paul Weller

14. You're The First, The Last, My Everything - Barry White

15. When Love Takes Over - David Guetta (feat. Kelly Rowland)

16. I'm Alive - Tom Jones

17. It Takes Two - Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston

18. Don't Cha - The Pussycat Dolls

19. Let's Get Retarded - Black Eyed Peas

20. Fashion - David Bowie

21. Bulletproof - La Roux

22. Hey Sexy Lady - Shaggy

23. The Man Who Can't Be Moved - The Script

24. 1, 2, 3, 4 - Plain White T's

25. (I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be) Free/One - Lighthouse Family

26. Angel - Sarah McLachlan

27. Rock Your Body - Justin Timberlake

28. Sparrow - Laura Hughes

29. Monday, Monday - The Mamas And The Papas

30. Here I Come - Fergie

31. Planet Earth - Duran Duran

32. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson

33. Be OK - Ingrid Michaelson

34. Feel - Robbie Williams

What's on your playlist?

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

One Little Word

Next up on my list of updates: my one little word for the year.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, you can find my posts from the last years here and here. And the original idea came from Ali Edwards on her blog. You can find this year's update here where she also links to previous years.

In a nutshell, one little word is an idea to have a single word representing what you want to work on, improve, start, continue or even just remember throughout the year to come. It should be something that sums up what you want to achieve. It struck such a chord with me that I jumped right on the bandwagon back in 2007 and have worked on it ever since. My words so far have fitted right into the larger picture that I wanted for myself over the year - sort of a giant resolution.

I cannot say that I have fully achieved any of them, but improvement is definitely there. Ali E suggests some sort of daily/weekly reminder for yourself but I just repeated the word to myself on a regular basis. I asked R if he thought that I had achieved what I had set out to do and he told me that there was real progress in each of the last years which is lovely to hear. Last year's "calm" certainly helped in the organisation of R's big party and all the run up to Christmas even though there were times when I was anything but calm!

So after these words...

2007 - Positive

2008 - Consolidate

2009 - Calm

... comes this year's word


I am in a constant state of feeling behind and disorganised and disappointed to have forgotten things or left stuff to the last minute so this is summing all that up.

I made my one little word layout on Saturday and I feel ready to go for it. Of course, starting the new year with a stinky cold that has me working half speed is not exactly the best way to kick off, but it's a start.

And *waves* to Sarah who has also chosen her word here. Focus - what a brilliant word. I might have pinched that for myself if I hadn't already committed to mine.

What will your word be?

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Happy New Year!

It's a good job blogging is silent - I have totally lost my voice since last night, which may or may not be a good thing!

So much to update but first of all, Happy New Year or even Frohes Neues Jahr! 

Wow, 2010. A new decade. That just kind of slipped in, didn't it? I hadn't even thought about the fact that it was the turn of a decade until Ralph mentioned it to me at about 11.58pm. I was prepared for tears. None came. It was a good year end and a great year beginning - we celebrated with family but more of that later.

I have much to report but will start with my sort of December daily. My photo a day which I started in 2007 took quite a bashing in 2009 with lots of gaps and loss of mojo, but December saw fresh enthusiasm and I made an effort to take photos every day up till Christmas. 

And while I was at the Bromsgrove crop on Saturday, I put a little mini album together to showcase them. No journalling at the moment - though I may add some text on page 1. I made it über-simple and am pleased with the outcome.

And here are the 25 photos that made it into the book (out of a total of 354 taken!)

1st December

2nd December

3rd December

4th December

5th December

6th December

7th December

8th December

9th December

10th December

11th December

12th December

13th December

14th December

15th December

16th December

17th December

18th December

19th December

20th December

21st December

22nd December

23rd December

24th December

25th December


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