Breakfast

I've never really eaten breakfast. I like to begin my day with a drink first before I think about eating. For years I was a tea girl but recently I've taken to coffee for my early morning cuppa.

So there I was sitting at my desk as I do every morning with my first coffee sorting through my personal emails and exploring my blog friends' posts with Google Reader and I looked up to see this beautiful blue sky and pink vapour trail.



I wasn't sure that the photo would look good taken through glass so I rushed outside.



Isn't that beautiful?

But I actually prefer the sky framed by the window panes. What is so interesting is that the window frames are not turquoise but white. So where did that pretty colour come from?

Which shot do you prefer?

Wishing you lots of happiness.....Beverly

Playing on Sunday

Having some fun with paper, scissors and glue...







My favourite play activity when I was a child was Paper Dolls...cutting them out and dressing them up...not much has changed!

Journal Journey

In 2009 I started keeping a bit of a journal - random posts at infrequent intervals. So in 2010 I was determined to stick at it and created this month to a view, just writing one sentence each day. By the year end I had done it....every day and I was immensely pleased with that acheivement. Each day was one little square plus the top page for photos.



This year I decided to incorporate a bit of art and collage as well, creating my own version of the newly popular Smash Book. So far I have completed 3 of these journals. They are such fun to do and a great source of relaxation for me.



This weekend I prepared my next journal, using up some scraps of material for a wrap around patchwork cover. When I made the first ones earlier this year I punched the Bind-it machine through the fabric which it did not like at all. This time I attached firm paper to the fabric using zigzag stitch and then used the Bind-it machine. Much more successful. So here it is ...one brand new journal ready to be played with.





Wishing you lots of happiness
Beverly

Gordon the Star

When I signed up on Swap-bot for an ATC featuring a photo of your cat I had a particular photo in mind of my beloved cat Itsy Bitsy half way up the stairs in our home in New Zealand. In between sign up date and start date I lost all my backup on my external hard drive, yes all my photos. Now we won't go into how I ruined the hard drive, as that is embarassing, but what photo to use now since we don't have a cat in the UK.

I took a photo of our concrete Meercats in the garden but then remembered Vanessa's cat Gordon. He comes to stay for short breaks. He's such a lovely poser!

Back to London and I'm a Winner

Friday night and we're back in London to celebrate Rebecca's birthday. We got a bit muddled with the underground and went in a bit of a circle but eventually we met everyone at the Restaurant for a super pasta meal, wine and lots of laughter. We do laugh a lot, our family. I managed the spaghetti with the spoon and fork technique quite well without slopping it down my front.

Here's Rebecca on what seems like the "blue" side of the table...the boys side for those of you who don't know about blue jobs and pink jobs.



And here's the "pink" side. I am so proud of all my family. They are wonderful young people and make me so happy.



I love my top. It's called the funeral top and will remind us always of Mum. I bought the top in New Zealand because I wanted something cheerful to wear to Mum's funeral. She would not have wanted me in black - she always called black outfits "widow's weeds" and hence never wore black herself. On reflection, I think I was not myself when I purchased the top....what was I thinking of? Might have caused all the lovely old ladies from the home who came to the funeral, to die of shock. Wisely, my girls would not let me wear it and I chose a blue number instead. However we all love my multicoloured top when I wear it now.

Today I found out I had won this twine in a craft giveaway. I'm going to have lots of fun making things with it. Too good to use to wrap parcels. Thank you Julie from http://notesonpaper.blogspot.com


London

Some things are just incomprehensible. We spent Sunday in London, riverboat cruising on the Thames. Lovely scenery. Peaceful, relaxing day.



Not knowing that Sunday evening would turn to this....



Then this...



It is ridiculous. There is no reason, no cause.....just thugs. It makes me so sad, angry, sad, angry......

Back to the cruise. We went as far as Windsor Castle and by this stage of the day it was raining so we were all inside the boat....(and there are a couple of good stories to tell about that!)

This is Windsor Castle....well you can't see anything can you? But I love the photo. Beautiful droplets of water.



Keep safe.

Weekend Play

Playing around with circles as embellishments



And the latest Vintage ATC - A Gentleman from Leeds

I've done the cover



I used up lettering I've had for an age. I plan to use my Bindit machine when I've finished the playbook so it just has a temporary ring - that way I can reorganise the pages or add more later.

Coincidence or not?

About four months ago I received a bunting as a gift in a swap. It had the letters of the word EXPLORE on it so I hung it on the mirror in my office to admire and remind me that life is a journey.

Yesterday we received the first prompt for Shimelle's latest on-line course named "Explore". We were to create a little play book and take a self-portrait in a mirror.



Is that a coincidence or not?

I have all my pages cut to size and tonight I'll create the cover and post it here tomorrow. Shimelle's classes are always fun, I learn something new each time and excellent value for money.

More Collage

Another example of the Vignette - The Smoker



The final lesson was about the Grid. I've used this a lot in scrapbooking so it was fun to try it with something else - The Fisher Girl.



I'm spending today making ATCs where most have the vintage theme. Strange how things change as a year ago I did not like old things. Of course this has nothing to do with me getting older. I'm not vintage yet. LOL

Busy on Collage

The 3rd lesson was about Vignette, grouping images together in the middle of the page. My first effort was "The Man in Brown". I admire so much artists who can group random objects together and it all looks great but when I do it, it doesn't gel together in my eyes. I do like to tell a little story in all my work. But, although this has a story I don't think it's quite right as a vignette - it looks like a page within a page. If I was to do it again I would tear the text background into a random shape instead of the square.



Here's the second effort titled "My Style" The whole thing amuses me but I'm still not happy that its a vignette composition.



Third time lucky? Yes. Here's "Brilliant Style" which I am pleased with.



In the other collage course I made background papers using various text papers and a bit of stamping on top.



Lots of fun and a bit of a break through.....I got messy fingers with the glue and it wasn't as bad as I thought!

The Artist is emerging

OK so its been awhile...I think I'm now confident to show a little of my artwork. Firstly I've been doing an on-line course "Composition for Collage"

First lesson all about Asymmetric design



Second lesson is about Horizons...never thought about either of these before and now I notice them everywhere....


And finally today some ATCs or Artist Trading Cards...miniature works of art. I love making these. So interesting to fit a story or message onto a 2.5in by 3.5in piece of card.

Time - stamping technique



Everyday is a Journey....collage composition



Empty-handed .....water colour background

Morning Beauty

Just love the sun rising first thing in the morning


And I'm pleased with this photo...love the shadows

...and of course the walk is good for me too!

Crazy for Art Journals

How did a logical left brain chemistry teacher start to create?
Was the desire always there or has it "matured" with the body?




Anyway I'm having fun!

Run for your Life

Very proud of these two girls. They completed the Milton Keynes Half Marathon on Sunday. Louise was a little miffed that she missed out on beating her previous time by only 8 seconds. But really..... it was a great effort.

Early One Morning as the Sun was Rising.....

Such a lovely time of day. Yes its a struggle getting out of bed but so worth it. The peace and quiet.


"Just the Two of Us..."


Somewhere up there is a very noisey woodpecker but well disguised.


Sun rising. Earlier in the week it was a bright orange ball...but I forgot the camera that day. We're also on the lookout for a strange animal that crossed the path in front of us another day ....also when I forgot the camera. It had the head of a fox, a bulkier body and a fluffy tail with white on the underside of the tail.


And here's a glimpse of the inside of my journal. It might not be that artistic but it's so much fun.

Decision made...I'm back

Firstly a word about grief. What I have experienced these past 3 months. It takes it's own time to work through and you can't hurry the process. So if any of my readers are grieving, its OK. We never forget, but life does eventually return to normal.

I am feeling so much better now ....I feel like continuing my blog so here I am....back again.

This is my latest craft activity - Art Journals. This one has a soft cover that wraps around and ties with a ribbon. The pages inside can be as bulky as I like. I'm using it for jotting down things that happen, ideas I get and pasting in ideas from magazines. The odd bit of my own art work. Loving it!



Every page is different. There are pockets and flaps and all kinds of bits and pieces.


I'm still enjoying swapping crafts on swap-bot but I have been doing less of late. I joined an ATC one to make all the stops on a Monopoly Board. The first was the 4 corners. Go, Go to Jail, Free Parking & In Jail. All was fine. The next swap was the first 6 properties and boy did I learn something.

You see I always thought Monopoly was an English Board Game, well that was the version I had played but I discovered in my research that the game originated in USA so contains streets I had never heard of. When the game was introduced to the UK a group of people got together at The Angel Tea House in Islington to decide on UK streets which would make the game sell better in the UK. Hence the London version.



It's been fun and educational to research each road as to why its famous and therefore on the board. And I've learnt more about London as I try to find each road on the map. Wikipedea says that Vine Street's only claim to fame is that it is a street on the Monopoly Board. The things you can learn.....

What shall I do?

I've been hopeless at blogging on a regular basis. When I first started it was so that my Mum in New Zealand could see all the things I was doing and making. She passed away unexpectedly on November 27th. We all miss her very much.

Now I have the dilemma of whether to continue with this blog. Does anybody read it? Does that matter? Shall I use it to show my crafting endeavours? Mmmm I'll think on it. If anybody is out there it would be great to get your opinion.