Thursday, November 26, 2009

Digital Layouts

I have done a couple of digital layouts, both of which are scraplifted from January's Scrapbook Trends. I really like this magazine because it is much smaller so consequently easier to use. You get just one layout on the page and sufficient details if you want to do one yourself with the exact same materials.
Christmas Tree

Just a boy at bath time

Freebie Digi Kit

It's Thursday so I am putting another kit here for you to download

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Yellow Lines

I think I must have a weird sense of humour. I was in the bank today and they have an escalator, at the top of the escalator there is a notice on the wall saying stay clear of the yellow lines. What is so strange about that, well on the floor under the notice is an area marked out with diagonal yellow and black lines.No way of avoiding the yellow lines if you want to use the escalator. I do wish I could have taken a photo of it but they couldn't give me permission.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Christmas Baking

Today I made my Christmas Puddings, as a family we have always had home made puddings, my mother in law used to make them and they were so much moister than any bought in the shops. So when we started doing our own Christmases I took over the making of them.
When the family was all here everyone had to have a stir and a Christmas wish, I still have a Christmas wish but now it is more in line with a prayer. I usually pray that everyone in my family and friends will have a joyous Christmas, that they will remember who's birthday we are celebrating and give thanks to God for Jesus.

I am a bit miffed because I forgot to take a photo of the mixture before it was cooked, it looked so scrumptious but I do have a photo of my cooked pudding all ready for Christmas Day

This year for the first time I have made my own mincemeat I had to buy the fruit for the puddings and there was so much of it over I thought that home made mincemeat would be a brilliant idea, hope it taste as good as it smells. I didn't have any brandy but I did have Calvados which is an apple brandy so used that instead. It is now sitting in my fridge maturing for a few days before I use it.

 I also made my Christmas Eve Cornish Pasties, another tradition in our family ever since we lived in Cornwall back in the 70's.These I have frozen uncooked because they are much nicer cooked on the day we eat them.
Here is my recipe
8oz shortcrust pastry
8oz Beef skirt
1 medium size potato
1 average sized onion
salt & pepper to taste

I make my own pastry but you can used ready made. If you make it yourself bag it and chill it for a while in the fridge before using.
While the pastry is chilling prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Cut the skirt into small chunks approx size of a fingernail (not if you have long well shaped ones though lol) and add seasoning
Chop the potato into small chunks and put them into a saucepan with water to cover and bring to the boil. (you only need to do this if you are going to freeze the pasties before they are cooked)
Finely chop the onion.
Cut the pastry into 4 equal portions and roll each portion out into a circle approx 7" in diameter, you could cut this with a saucepan lid but I don't bother as it is fairly easy to get into shape as you fold it and crimp the edge.
place a quarter of the meat across one half of the pastry circle add a good handful of potato and finally onion.
Wet the edge of the pastry all round and bring the edges together over the mixture, slightly lifting the back half so that the seam will be up a little not flat with the surface.
Wet the edge again and start to fold in the seam to make a twist effect.
Cut into the front of the pasty to let steam escape. I usually cut an initial so everyone has their own special pasty. This is very useful for me nowadays as my daughter in law is a vegetarian and I do her a cheese, potato and onion pasty.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

At the poetry workshop

Oh I am enjoying this but must learn to listen as well as spout out. No easy for me when I get excited. I think I have annoyed one of the lovely, lovely ladies, which I really didn't mean to do at all I do hope she will forgive me.

I am an individual,
I'm loathed to follow form.
I can get very excited,
and speaking out of turn
I tread on peoples toes, I think;
this I do not mean to do,
please help me overcome this trait,
I really do like you

I love to hear your poems,
to see what give you joy;
what emphasis you use,
what words you thus employ.
How punctuation makes it
something I will comprehend.
Oh gentle folk forgive me
for my bombastic trend.

This one I have just done for fun. I love to record in my blog these verses that I pen just for me to help get things off my chest or just because I can

I never learnt about poetry,
in fact quite the reverse.
When ever I did a poem
I’d get a mark so terse.
'Write an essay now'
would be scribed across my book.
I don’t believe the teach
even had a look
At what I spent, enjoyably,
putting down in rhyme.
I don’t believe she cared at all,
'twas a waste of time. 

So I’d take back my paper
and oh how I toiled;
I was no good at essays,
so again, my work was spoiled
By red pencilled in remarks.
'To short' this time was writ
'take it back and try again'.
So back it came, oh *****.
but I’d only write it bigger
so that it would appear
that I had put more words in;
it must have been quite clear. 

Maybe she shrugged her shoulders,
then gave up the fight.
She was never going to teach
this obstinate child to write.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Iambic Pentameter - Ten syllable per line

I'm on a short fun poetry workshop, just six week and we are halfway through them.
Our homework this week is to write a sonnet. We were given a handout and the teacher began by saying  "Iambic Pentameter - Ten Syllables per Line" - for anyone who has never had it taught to them - me included - I immediately piped up with "EH!!!!!!!!" oh dear why can I never wait for the teacher to finish before butting in with my quips
A sonnet (as I understand from the lesson)
  • usually a love song/poem but not necessarily nowadays.
  • 14 lines long
  • written in 4 strata (verses) of 4,4,4 and 2 lines per strata
  • the lines could be labelled (in your mind) a b a b  c d c d  e f e f  g g
  • the 'a's should rhyme the b's should rhyme and so on
  • each line must have ten syllables in it
I know I have lost half of you now but perhaps this will be easier to understand

My Sonnet (tongue in cheek) My homework

Write a verse, a sonnet in fourteen lines;
label them a b, a b and so on,
where all the a's and the b's must rhyme;
each one should be just ten syllables long.

Can I do it or will I fail this course?
flitting across the page a butterfly,
disintegrate as line on line is false
and does not go and does not satisfy?

Dear pen, dear note book, dear computer page
will you allow me access to this way
of writing easily, and not with rage,
of so expressing what I need to say?

I have done it, but do I like it thus?
An exercise of given taste, a must

I struggled with that for ages in bed last night so had to get it down on the computer as quickly as possible this morning, to get it off my mind so that hopefully tonight I will be able to fall asleep when I go to bed.

I do love certain phrases that trip off the tongue with delight. One such phrase is the line I wrote back at the beginning and the title of this post
Iambic Pentameter - Ten syllable per line
How grand that sounds, how wonderfully sublime
Inspiring me to want to write in rhyme
But not conform to beating out the time


 I have been reading Mel's blog among others and found this questionnaire. 
Now normally I hate this sort of thing, I hate filling in forms that ask you to answer questions or tick the appropriate box, there never is an appropriate box, I always want to add my own words, tell them that the form is wrong and usually end up scribbling all over it.
But this one looks so much fun to do. I have to answer the questions with just one word mmmm can I do that? we will see, so here goes. 

1. Where is your cell/mobile phone? waist
2. Your hair? Red
3. Your mother? dead
4. Your father? dead
5. Your favo(u)rite food? Chocolate
6. Your dream last night? disappeared
7. Your favo(u)rite drink? Whisky
8. Your dream/goal? stay healthy
9. What room are you in? craftroom
10. Your hobby? Scrapbooking
11. Your fear? loneliness
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? healthy
13. Where were you last night? home
14. Something that you aren’t? Tidy
15. Muffins? marmaladed
16. Wish list item? granddaughter
17. Where did you grow up?  Essex
18. Last thing you did? wrote prose
19. What are you wearing? clothes
20. Your TV? off
21. Your pet? cats
22. Friends? Widows
23. Your life? crafty
24. Your mood? happy
25. Missing someone? Husband
26. Vehicle? bicycle
27. Something you’re not wearing? tights
28. Your favo(u)rite store? craftshop
29. Your favo(u)rite colo(u)r? Purple
30. When was the last time you laughed? just now
31. Last time you cried? Last week
32. Your best friend? Ann
33. One place that you go to over and over? Church
34. One person who emails you regularly?   Son in Law
35. Favo(u)rite place to eat? Restaurant 

If you see this and like the idea copy and paste to your own blog and link me to it please I'd love to see your answers  

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Blustery day

Clouds scurrying across the sky,
tumbling after each other,
caught up in the expectation of something special.
Blue patches following on behind,
until the next bank of cloud appears.

Where are they all going in such a hurry,
what excitement awaits their arrival?
What will they miss out on if
they are not first in the queue?

As I walk along, watching the urgency in the antics,
I realise the futility of it all
because they are on a journey to ....


What is this place called Nowhere
that so many of us seek?

Wait -

I think it is written incorrectly -
split it up-
what do we get?

Now Here

We have arrived.

Digi Kit

Here is another digi kit for you to download if you like
Thought I would do a nice bright cheery one as the weather is so dull and dismal, hope you like it and it brightens your day.Terracotta kit

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

As the clock struck Midnight

I have not been able to blog for the past few days, I think I have been trying to do too much, but I did want to put my lastest piece of work on here because I am rather pleased with it.
It is a canvas to hang on the wall, the photo was taken many years ago as the clock struck midnight one new year's eve. Unfortunately it was before digital cameras so I have no idea exactly which year but probably in the late 1980s or early 90s
Canvas plus extra pearls
I don't have nearly enough photos of my dearly departed husband but those I do have I treasure as you can well imagine. I am delighted that someone took this photo of us

Sunday, November 15, 2009

CyberCrop fever

We have a cyber crop over at UKScrappers this weekend and I have been scrapping since 7.00 Friday  evening.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Night Owls

I went into town the other day, just to mooch really as I was fed up with my own company. I needed a new notebook:
  • it must be small to fit in my bag:
  • it must be plain pages because I design my scrapbook pages from things I see on my wanderings:
  • it must have a plastic cover as I pull it in and out of my bag so much that paper covered books just get all dog eared
  • and most of all I wanted something that I loved the look of
guess what I found....................................

  • not only the notebook small and neat: 
  • but a little wallet of sticky notes, these will be so useful to mark the pages of layouts I want to scraplift: 
  • a pack of owl stickers: 
  • a lovely spiral mini scrapbook:
  • and a cloth bag to put them all in. The bag comes with its own little wallet with a clip to fit it to your handbag or belt how brilliant was that. 
Thank you Paperchase

Has anyone else had a lovely find? I would love to hear about it if you have. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Digi Kit

Hi Friends
I thought I would like to share with you one of my digi kits created by myself using Serif Page Plus my favourite programme for doing my scrapbook pages.
Do hope you enjoy it download a zipped file here Mary's Vintage

Vintage kit

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Just a little ah moment

Things that tickle my sense of humour

While walking through town I keep my eyes peeled for things that amuse and send my thought off in funny direction. I saw this sign and

could immediately see how useful this would be especially in this financial clime and coming up to Christmas
mind you the queue would be miles and miles long

this one is for all cat lovers everywhere

In reflective mood

He would have been sixty eight this year,
I am sixty nine.
We would still be so in love,
Though far more inclined
to sit in different rooms,
to do our separate things,
but knowing we are together
under one roof.
We would still hold hands
as we watch a sloppy film,
munching too many chocolates,
and kiss before we sleep.
If he was still alive.

When we go out together
he would need his stick,
still troubled by his hip,
but we would still shop.
he would still say yes,
that looks good on you,
buy it and this one too.
and we would have some lunch
in the café on the corner.
Then we would go home
and I'd cook some tea
for John and me.
If he was still alive

Breakfast with Mary

What could be more delicious than crumpets on my plate
A little pile of Mushrooms
And a pot of Marmalade with Scrumpy

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Meow Meow Meow

Mum your scrapping the plate
 you must be nearly finished
come on put it down for me to lick around
please leave me something
your food tastes better than mine.

and so on and so on until I finish my dinner and plonk the tray on the floor, at which point Sammy gives a lick and then walks away, unless it is something she really likes, then the plate is spotless when she has finished with it. Good job I have a dishwasher. (I mean a real one, not Sammy)

Then it's Rudi's turn to start on me. He never licks the plate, no he either sits and stares at me or puts his paws out to tell me "Look mum you have eaten we haven't not for years and years and we are starving"
Oh well better go and feed them then.

People Watching

Do you love people watching? I do and get so much enjoyment from it. It amazes me the different thing people do. For instance I saw someone using a mirror in a shop window to tidy up her hair, out came the comb and a quick flick made her feel so much happier with her appearance.
I wonder how often I have done something of a similar nature that has amused or brightened someone's day. I do hope I have.

I don't often have the courage to take a photo of the quirky things people do, it might offend, but when it is a back view, therefore probably unidentifiable maybe just a quick click of the camera lens will be OK. That was the case with this photo.
I was following this person down the road when I noticed her very unusual hair adornment, so putting my camera on zoom, click, captured on disc for future reference.
I haven't as yet done a layout using it but maybe today is the day to do so.

It is certainly the day to write about it in prose, because I have an assignment for a poetry workshop to complete. I have to select an image of something that really interests me and write, in prose, about it. To imagine what happened immediately before or after the photo was taken.

Thank goodness for computers I am hopeless when it comes to paper and pencil work as I never am satisfied with the first draft I would be accused of causing the collapse of the rain forest with the amount of paper I would get through. After much writing and re-writing and re-re-writing here is my, I think, final draft.

A pen in her hair

Why did she wear
a pen in her hair?
To keep it tidy,
Or because it was handy?
I wonder what it means,
do I dare to ask her?
Would it offend her
If I made a comment?

“ I keep it right there
In the thick of my hair
There’s no need to search
And its easy to reach,
On top of my band
It’s always to hand,
And that is the reason
For the pen in my hair”

Oh yes for me people watching is such a great hobby and I know it is one that so many people share

Monday, November 09, 2009

Decembers Past layout

Here is the layout I have done for my asperations for my 70th birthday.Decembers Past I loved Nancy's page so much I have scraplifted it. Thank you Nancy for this lovely idea

My Big Birthday Plans

Today Shimelle is encouraging us to think ahead and that gave me an idea.
I was born in Dec 1940 so next year will be .............................................................................................
wait for it
a big ZERO year

and my dream/wish/hope will be to spend it in a very special way with my immediate family. My darling Daughter, my Super Son-in-Law, my wonderful Son, my delightful Daughter-in-Law and of course my, by then, 3 super duper Grandsons.
I have a whole year to plan it and save for what ever we decide to do.
I have already began by emailing them all  to see what ideas they can come up with.(well the adults that is, not the grandchildren as they are far to young, though I think Daniel may have his own ideas knowing how much a chatterbox he is).
My initial thoughts are The Lakes, but it may be toooooooooooo cold at that time of the year, my second though is Edinburgh, a really lovely place to be with Christmas just around the corner, I know the city will be in festive mode

these photo's were taken back in 2002 when my daughter and son-in-law lived in Edinburgh

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Sunday Sunday

It is Sunday, a day of rest? well it is supposed to be, but I woke at 6.55 needing the loo.(hope that is not too much info). Too late to go back to sleep so I got up and made a cuppa and switch on my laptop. I went first to UKScrapper then to the blog train for yesterday on Shimelle's Blogging for Scrapbookers class. This has become my normal practice first thing of a morning.
As usual Sammy, my she cat, jumps onto my lap and pushes my hands so that it becomes difficult to write until I stroke her and she can settles down.

One of the things that Shimelle encouraged us to do, and I didn't do it on the day, is to list our favourite things. I have just read Rachels list and thought perhaps this morning is the time to do mine. So here it is

First and foremost, of course, are my Grandsons, Daniel aged 2yrs 4months, who I don't see all that often unfortunately because he lives with his mum and dad a 5 hour train journey away from me. So when I do go up I have to get as many photos as I can to tide me over till the next time.
Then there is my Grandson No.2 just 2 months old and a little darling and living only 5 minutes away so I can see him often, but I have to try and restrict how often as I don't want to be a dreaded mother-in-law.

Favourite thing No.2 is Scrapping, especially digital scrapping, which is how I started on the hobby. I have been scrapping now for 5 plus years

No.3 is chatting on UKScrappers and now here as well as I am learning to use my blog more and more.

No.4 Chocolate, though I shouldn't because I want to keep my weight, that I have fought hard to loose, at a sensible level. But who can resist a bar of chocolate or better still a box of them.

No 5 I love to go shopping for clothes. I find something I like the look of, take it to the fitting room to try on, get out my camera and take photos of myself in them. Most of the time I will buy the item I snap but just occasionally I regrettably decided I really don't need it and put it back on the rail.

And one more thing I love, but I don't know where abouts on the list it should come, is Photographing everything I see that interests me, or catches my attention, is quirky or cute. I have my camera everywhere I go I pick it up as I pick up my handbag, I just don't leave the house without it.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

An Ordinary Day

Late at night or very early in the morning

It is now nearly half passed midnight, I don't seem to be able to get off the computer today, but I did say I would have a 'me' day didn't I.
I have done a double layout with  all the photos I took in the lane today, sorry I couldn't do them without journalling just wouldn't work for me.

Friday, November 06, 2009

10 Minutes

I have just read on Kai's blog Enjoy the Ride Today that you should get at least 10 minutes sunshine a day. Well I am afraid there is not much hope of sunshine here but never-the-less I grabbed my camera and stuck my nose outside - drizzle - so going back indoors and grabbing my coat and putting on shoes - didn't want to get my slippers soaking now did I? - I went out again.

I am very lucky as my back gate opens out into a lane and there is always something to photograph.

I noticed that one of my neighbours had a passiflora still in flower and with fruit on. The fruit is obviously tasty to some animal or bird because there was only the outer shell left of it.

Just a bit further down the lane, as I was trying to capture on camera the sparrows who were twittering and flittering between the hedgerows, I saw this little fellow eyeing me and posing as if to say I am much better camera fodder than those noisy pesky birds. Well who could refuse to take his portrait? certainly not me.

Isn't it marvellous how plants move, now you would think that rooted in one spot that they didn't and couldn't move, but they most certainly do.In the garden of my previous property I had raspberries - I hadn't planted them, and neither had the owner before me - no they had wandered into my garden from next door.
Today in the lane I found a bamboo shoot standing about 6ft tall, it had not only come out of the garden the other side of the fence but must have pole vaulted using itself as the pole

A 'Me' Day

Good morning friends I hope you are having a good day, me yes I am having a 'ME' day today, felt I needed it after what happened to me yesterday as I do ache a bit. 
I'm not even dressed yet as you can see

  But I haven't been idle I've been digital scrapping again and used the photos from yesterday to good advantage Thanks to Shimelle's Scrap like you mean it challenge on UKScrappers which this week was to remember remember

So here it is my version of Remember Remember using the word Art that Shimelle gave us

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Oh dear oh deary dear

Oh dear oh deary dear!!, I decided, this morning when up at the church for the weekly sale, to find out at very close quarters what the ground outside looked like. I tripped on the doorstep at church at 9.00 O'clock this morning; no I wasn't drunk, not that early, and I fell flat on my nose and chin. Which landed me up in a pool of blood, only a nose bleed, thankfully, I don't seem to have broken anything but I now have a very swollen nose and could well be taken for a proboscis monkey except the nose is fat not flat. Gradually as the day has progressed the bruising has come out and I do feel very heavy around the nasal area.
Being a scrapbooker I couldn't let this event go by without photos now could ? I am sure that there will be a page dedicated to my bruising and fat nose sometime soon

can you see the similarity?

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Who's work do I follow

Who's work do I follow with avid expectation?
Who gives me inspiration
Who brightens up my day.
Where I go and wander in my exploration?
To find that composition
That will pave the way
To finishing my pages with that satisfaction
That pleases my reflection
Upon my work today

Well where do I go, who's work do I admire and want to emulate? I do love the things that Ruth aka Altered Geisha produces they are so special and really stand out from the norm. She has the knack of taking something and making it a piece or art that I would love to be able to do. I think I would so enjoy seeing her at work putting together her layouts and I for one would love to see them all in an exhibition framed in 3D frames and hung on a wall. 
I also get a lot of inspiration from sketches and Pencil Line is my all time favourite site for this. I have been downloading their sketches for three years now since the beginning and have used them a great deal.
Just recently I have discovered another sketch site that seem very promising Twisted Sketches. They bring out a sketch by Anam Stubbington each week but put a twist to it by adding something that has to be used i.e. chipboard, or monochrome, etc.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Yada Yada

I have been introduced to a really good series of books, well I  think it is anyway.
The Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Jackson, its about a group of Ladies at a Christian conference who are put into the same pray group for the duration of the event. They have nothing in common one being an ex con another a former drug addict, a head teacher, a mother of two, and others all from different cultures and different ethnic backgrounds.
They are drawn together into a much tighter bond by the sudden telephone call one of them gets that her 14 year old son has been shot. They decide to continue together praying for each other after the conference and they gradually become a powerful prayer vessel
The first book is the only one I have read so far. But it is the first book I have read for quite a while that I have found difficulty in putting down.
I look forward to reading more

This photo was taken last year so it isn't the Yada Yada book but my bible I am reading

A wet and windy night

We had a very wet and windy night last night, but when I awoke properly at 8 the sun was shining, but I am afraid it didn't last long before the rain was back.
Still I felt like going into town and mooching a bit, so with camera slung over my shoulder as usual I travel into town.
The wind had certainly stripped most of the leaves from the trees which encourage me to write a poem in my head as I was walking along.
Reaching Starbucks and ordering my Extra Shot Mocha and Cinnamon Swirl I sat at the low table on a comfy seat and began to write what I could remember of my mentally written poem.

Fierce blew the storm, the wind, the rain
On this November night.

Bright autumn leaves now stripped away,
Trees naked in their plight

Now shines the sun with watery glow,
On this November day,
Wet pavements glistening in the light
Leaves carpeting the way

Long gone the days of summer warmth
And autumn's colours fade
Now wrap we up in coat and gloves

Umbrella's on parade

I hope to do a scrapbook page using this poem and the photos sometime hopefully soon but it is good to record them on the day.

A place for me to put the pictures of layouts I have done that I am pleased with, to put in the poems I write and to add snippets of things that have caught my eye