Grateful for…

I’m very late for Deb’s Listmania this week – but on the basis that it’s better to be late than not to do it at all, here’s my gratitude list:

Life – it may seem trite to say how grateful I am to be alive, but it is true nonetheless. I’ve had at least three close brushes with death and I’ve learned the lesson:¬† life is good and it’s to be grasped with both hands. I am so grateful to be alive.

just around the cornerMy immediate environment – I get to live on an olive grove, near a pretty town in a beautiful part of one of the loveliest countries on earth. How lucky am I? I am thankful for this every day.

in the groveMy family – my immediate family of DH and DS, DS’s lovely girlfriend, my sister and her family, our Dad,¬† DH’s family – and they’re all no further than a 2-hour drive away. Your family have to put up with you because you’re related to them – thank goodness for that!

usDH – we’ve been together for nearly 29 years (I think we should do something special next year, for our 30th anniversary). I am grateful to be in a long-standing partnership (although it did freak me out when I realised we have been together for more than half my life!).

on  my bikeHealth – although I have a chronic health condition, I’m managing it OK. I am grateful to live in this century, with on-going advances in medical knowledge. I am grateful to be as well as I am.

There are many, many other things I am grateful for, but those are the ‘big 5’. What tops your list?


Recent creativity

I’m doing a Studio Calico on-line class called Pop Off the Page #2 and I’m learning a lot. The community at Studio Calico seems nice too – it’s always good to get supportive comments and the general scrapbooking forum is full of ideas.

Here are two pages I have just posted in the Studio Calico Gallery:

Fly BoyThis page features a few photos of DS helping to sweep up some of the dreaded Cluster Flies that plague us during March and April if there’s been a damp summer. I loathe the little horrors and the daily ‘sweep up’ of the buzzing hordes of dying insects really gets me down. It was so nice to have the job done for me in my scrapping space one weekend when DS was home. Although the drought this year has been hard on many, at least it’s meant we have been almost Cluster-Fly-free!

A Mother's LoveThis page is about my dear friend Mary’s last sewing project – a quilt she made for her daughter’s 21st birthday. She poured her love into every stitch, so the result was very special indeed. The photos are from 2010 and Mary died at the very beginning of the following year; it’s taken me a while to be able to write what I wanted to say about working with her to create this extra-special gift.

The background to the layout was inspired by one of the POTP#2 videos. It is fabric – first painted with gesso, then misted, stencilled, stamped and stitched. It is very pretty with a shimmer from some of the mists I used, and I think it almost does justice to the quilt.

Favourite Quotes

Deb at Homelife Simplified’s Listmania challenge for this week is favourite quotes. I didn’t think I had very many, but I noticed quite a few stuck to my filing cabinet when I was sitting at my old ‘work from home’ desk today (no longer that, as I don’t work from home any more). The quotes have been collected from a few sources and are either handwritten on memo-cube paper and stuck up there, or they’re on magnets or postcards. Here they are:

Important daily advice:
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
(William James)

Words that are always appropriate, no matter what the circumstances:
Smile, breathe and go slowly.
(Thich Nhat Hanh)

The next two are from magnets I purchased because I really appreciated the sentiments:
If you asked me what I came into this world to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud.
(Emile Zola)

here’s to opening and upward… and to yourself and up with joy and up with laughing
(e.e. cummings)

This one was a gift from Big Picture Classes – I just love it!
I plan on living forever. So far, so good.
(Dan Zadra)

And finally, words of wisdom to guide all of us who take far too many photographs to ever scrapbook them all:
There’s exactly enough time to scrapbook your most important memories.
(Stacy Julian)

What are your favourite quotes?

I want to make…

I-want-to-make-postThis is a quilt I have been working on for years. The four-patch and half-square blocks were part of a block-swap from 2011, and I have been sewing them together in infrequent batches ever since. I am SO glad to be nearing the end of this project. I need another 28 4-patch blocks to complete the outer border, and by posting this I am hoping to motivate myself to get them made and sewn together.

I have another quilting project I want to get onto. DS’s 21st birthday quilt is calling to me (it is currently only an idea and a pile of fabric); it’s just as well he’s not really expecting to get it before he’s 25!

Scrap in pink

As well as being Star Wars Day, last Saturday (4 May) was (Inter)national Scrapbooking Day. All over the internet there were challenges, tutorials, videos, layouts and giveaways. It was fun! I made a couple of layouts over the weekend, and the one I am sharing today is the first NSD challenge from Shimelle’s blog: scrap in pink.

As the mother of a son I haven’t had too many opportunities to use pink in our family scrapbooks, but there are a few pink pages in our ‘People we Love’ albums about my great niece, and this layout will be joining those. The papers and embellishments¬† come from a kit supplied by Nic Howard – lots of lovely Teresa Collins papers and associated stickers – with some Stampin’ Up papers thrown in.

pink-pageI think this meets the requirement to ‘scrap in pink’, don’t you?!

Project 365 (aka Project Life; Photo-A-Day)

I’m still doing it – taking a photograph every day.


On the left – January’s collage; on the right, the first page of photos

For 2013 I’ve abandoned the Project Life albums and weekly spreads, and gone back to the system I used in 2010, making a monthly series of pages. To begin, a collage made from the month’s collection of bits and pieces (did you know the word for that is “ephemera”? Isn’t that a lovely word?).

The next two pages with photos from January

The next two pages with photos from January

Then most of the photos for the month, with the date and a brief annotation if required, simply slotted into divided page protectors. For 2013 I want to display every photo, so I am using two sheets (that’s 24 photos, with 6 to a side).

On the left the final page of photos; on the right the first of two layouts made celebrating a January theme.

On the left the final page of photos; on the right the first of two layouts made celebrating a January theme.

Finally, a layout (or two) using the remaining photos.

My second layout for January, and on the right the collage to begin February's pages.

My second layout for January, and on the right the collage to begin February’s pages.

The first of the layouts I made for January celebrates my rediscovery of cycling:

Blog7May-LO1I used a technique from Shimelle Lane, and took an artsy photo of that detail:

Blog7May-LO1-detailThe second layout was inspired by the captions I wrote on three of the photos – they all ended with the words “at the library”:

Blog7May-LO2The background was inspired by this post from Big Picture Classes; I had a lot of fun making it and it was just right for the library layout.