Saturday, 31 December 2011

Things I Loved... December

Ha ha! I'm determined to stay ahead of the game this year on my monthly photo reviews and I'm seriously considering making each one into a scrap page. I figure if I did that as well as my 12 on 12 (woefully behind) then I have the whole review based stuff covered and I can just dabble in whatever I like then. Still working things out in my mind but two spreads per month seems do'able. Anyway, I totally stole this idea of a monthly review from the wonderfully talented Deb *waves* and have so enjoyed looking back and seeing details to the months that might have got missed otherwise.

I participated in a 12 Days of Christmas Embellishment Exchange with the Master Forger girls over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge and it was a blast. I was teamed up with Heavenly Helen and it proved a perfect match. I loved all the little things that she sent to me. I was so excited every day to see what goodies lay in store for me. We had agreed to mix up bought, made and from-our-stash embellies and I was delighted to receive several of Helen's famous (well they are now!) layered hand-made flowers. *sigh*:

In return, I sent her these 12 parcels full of my goodies and both sides were happy and content!

I had visitors the weekend before Christmas and it was lovely to have the chance to catch up and spend a few quiet hours together. A market visit complete with Glühwein was of course, a must:

I managed to sneak in a few of these before the end of the TNL season:

I completed the last of my Jingle Belles cards and was delighted to find that I'd completed 60. It was so great to have them all ready to be written:

There were English lessons at the Christmas Market as well as lots of fun indoor lessons too:

Not as much as last year, but snow was sighted in my neck of the woods the week before Christmas!

And even though the tree stood there au naturel for several days, it finally got its face lift and I was tickled pink (pun intended) with the result:

There were fancy dinners, a perfect turkey and silly party hats:

Completed by all round prettiness:

2012 can come and do its best. I'm ready for it. ;-)

Friday, 30 December 2011

After Christmas is before Christmas

I'm not sure the translation into English and the move to another event works with the title above, but really when you think about it, with a yearly event like Christmas you can really start the countdown directly after the 25th!

(For those interested, the original quote is by famous German football coach Sepp Herberger "Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel (After the game is before the game)" and is very on the lips of everyone for all sorts of different events.

So back to my post. Christmas is well and truly over and the new year is knocking at the door which will feature in some future blog posts. But today we are already starting to think about NEXT Christmas with an early start to the Jingle Belles prompts for 2012 and I'm one of the lucky girls they asked to guest design this week!

"No time like the present(s)" is the theme and we were invited to use our gift wrap as a background or as an accent or cut out motifs from the paper, or we could make a card featuring images of presents.

I was very lucky to have received some gifts this year even though we were on a no present kick again so I was able to get crafty with the papers.

I made this card using the brown paper that wrapped each of my 12 embellishment parcels from Helen as part of our Counterfeit Kit Challenge Master Forger DT exchange (and I will be posting about those lovelies soon!). I cut some landscape strips and edged it with glitter after crinkling it up to give it some dimension. I glued down some confetti snowflakes that arrived in one of my Christmas cards and cut out some trees from an older KI sheet of paper.

And this one was using some of the kraft wrapping paper from the little Chance's presents to both of us. It was a lovely design so I decided to make it into a gift on its own and lift myself from one of last year's cards.

Jingle Belles have changed up the format a little for the new year and will be issuing a challenge every two weeks which means that I need to make at least two cards for each one if I'm going to have any chance of having enough at the beginning of December. So I started as I wish to continue.

I know it sounds crazy but it's never too early to start. Why not come on over to Jingle Belles and join in the fun?

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Bad blogger catch up #2

Ha ha! Bet you are surprised to see me back here again aren't you? Well, I did say that I would try to get back here with my November round up (just in time for me to do a December round up!) and then maybe tomorrow or Friday, I'm planning to share some scrapping that I've been doing over at Whimsical Musings.

November is a birthday month in our house but we were both struck down with a horrible winter cold and  our special days ended up like a damp squib. A total write off :-( But I did manage to find some photos to represent the better side of the month...

November 2011 was the best November, weather-wise, that I can ever remember. And I'm including my November spent in the South of France back in 1986 and Manila in 1997. It was glorious with blue skies most days and not a single day of rain. Mornings were filled with dew covered spider webs and low, late, colourful sunrises. I was in heaven.


It was warm, sunny and like the most perfect autumn of my imagination, even on my birthday. I had the most perfect weather birthday in history:

I got beautiful, bright, happy flowers for my birthday which helped compensate for the fact that I was as sick as a parrot:

The Christmas Markets opened and I enjoyed my first Poffertjes of the season:

We all stopped for a moment on 11.11.11 and I made sure I recorded the moment:

And I made sure there was a bit of time for scrapping and my current banner obsession:

Last but not least, my personal bar keeper kept the cocktails flowing to help chase away the runny nose blues:

And that was November. Now that I'm caught up, maybe I can keep this going from here on.

Thanks Deb for this great idea - perhaps I should lift the photos and journalling for monthly layouts to support my 12 on 12s. Now there's a thought... ;-)

Monday, 19 December 2011

Bad blogger catch up #1

December is crazy isn't it? I know it's not only me! I know there are many many of you out there who feel a little out of control and behind on your "to do" list. Please let me know that I'm not alone ;-)

Anyway, AGES ago, I jumped on board to Deb's monthly review and then ran late and now I see that I haven't yet done my October nor my November reviews.

So let me start with October and we will see if I can catch up with November and also some scrap sharing later in the week.

October was a very quiet month with very little going on but it's autumn and my favourite time of year so there were at least a few photos.

There was a lot of blue skies, mild weather and fantastic colours:

Incredible sunrises and gentle sunsets:

I sat out on the balcony soaking up the last rays of warm sunshine:

I celebrated 5 years of blogging with a giveaway and 13 years since I met the love of my life (not necessarily in that order!):

I started working in an office two days a week and recognised that I have to my wear glasses for computer work - no way out of that anymore:

I completed my fourth LOAD of the year:

There was a very cool Mail Art Exchange:

And last but not least there were very dodgy self-portraits along with some rather cute ones (in that order!):

Oh yes, and then Pam and I decided to turn out little weekly inspirational endeavour into something a bit *more* by opening a challenge blog, Whimsical Musings which is proving so inspiring.

So maybe my October wasn't as quiet as I thought :-)

Watch this space for November's review and pop over to Whimsical Musings and join in the fun. It would be great to see you there!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

It's the details that count

I'm guest blogging over at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge again and today I'm talking about the details that make up Christmas or this time of year, depending on what and how you celebrate the season.

I also used this idea for Challenge #18 over at the Whimsical Musings blog and Pam has already posted her wonderful layout with several, until now, unrecorded details of Christmas - such a wonderful layout.

I'm hoping to get to mine later today.

For the CKC blog post I made one of my favourite layouts of recent months. All credit goes to October Afternoon as it's a pretty straight direct lift but I still adore the details and it was such fun to make.

Today I’d like to talk to you a little about scrapping all the small things that make up this time of year. And I’m not talking about the little scamps that many of you have running around getting hyper-excited at the thought of all those presents, though.

Yes, today I’m talking about non-kiddie scrapping! In fact, let’s try scrapping even without people.

Just a few of the things that I see right now that make me get into the jolly feeling are:

·       The arrival of the Toffee Nut Latte at Starbucks

·      The opening of the Christmas markets here in Germany

·      The Advent wreath and the lighting of the first candle
·      The tree (oh how I love my tree!)
·      Cookies, or rather Plätzen in German, preferably home baked if I have time

·      The food and drink that’s only available at the Christmas markets – Poffertjes and Glühwien
·      Sparkly fairy lights on the balcony
·      My sometimes un-traditional coloured decorations

I find that my Christmas scrapping mostly involves these details rather than the main events – the dinner, the presents and the people – because these are the things that add the sparkle to Christmas for me. I’m not going to forget the dinners we have or the members of my family but I might forget how excited I was when I tasted my first Toffee Nut Latte, or how beautiful my pink baubles were.

So this year, I decided it was time to record the first Poffertjes of the season. Never heard of them? Nor had I before my first Christmas Market. They are a Dutch speciality and are sort of tiny, mini, puffy pancakes that are served with butter and icing sugar. They are simply divine! You can read about them here. I was inspired by a layout from the October Afternoon blog featuring an over-laden banner and pretty much lifted it completely!

This layout makes me smile and is another piece in the puzzle of what makes Christmas for me. I had such fun using up all those bits and pieces on my layout - sprinkles of sequins, buttons, bling, labels and twine. It came together really quickly and makes me want to do the same over and over again!

What details are missing from your scrapbook pages? Try to identify one little thing that is part of Christmas for you and record it. No kids allowed!

If you do join in, make sure you let us know at the Counterfeit Kit Challenge blog and also over there at Whimsical Musings! It's never too late to join in and we love to see new faces and challenge creations!


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