Thursday, 30 October 2014

Late One Night: A Scrapbook Page For Halloween

It was a dark and stormy night.

What's that? You think I need a more original opening? But it was a dark and stormy night, and it was All Hallows Eve and things were turning a little weird on the Fair family Half Term outing.

Sian Fair late One  Night

It had started out well enough. Those were the days when a trip to Ikea meant two hours on the ferry, three hours in the car, and a borrowed trailer to bring home our treasure. But we liked that. It was an adventure. Story tapes, colouring books, plenty of snacks and we all got there happy. And after our traditional trip to Burger King and a night in the local Travelodge we would get up the next morning full of high anticipation. Flat packs get us that way. What can I say? We took this trip several half terms, bringing back catalogues so friends could place orders for next time round. hey, we had a whole trailer to fill.

And fill it we did. Everyone piled back into the car, furry black bat from Children's Ikea in one hand, sticky spider sweets from the Swedish Shop in the other (it was Halloween, don't forget), and we started the drive back to the boat. We had this thing down to a fine art. We thought. Timed exactly. We knew when to leave Ikea, when to stop for fish and chips on the way, when we would arrive at the ferry terminal to meet the evening sailing. We drove and we drove and we drove on a bit more. And we listened to the story of Meg and Mog's Halloween over and over again. We stopped for tea and we drove and the darkness started to creep in and the suddenly it was black. As we passed through the villages on our route we spotted small Trick Or Treaters slipping in and out of the fog, For there was a swirling mist now, and the rain was coming on. It couldn't have been any darker, out there in the countryside, just us on the road..

Except that, all of a sudden, it was. Much, much darker, inside the car at least. A black blankness ahead of us. The dashboard lights had gone out. We crossed our fingers and waited. I gave the dashboard a little tap. Then I thumped it. We had headlights and wipers, but the dashboard was gone. And that makes quite a difference on a dark night. We could see very little inside the car. But wait - we did have a torch



I turned it on and from the passenger seat I was able to hold it above the steering wheel and once again we could see what speed we were going at. We drove on. And you know, for a little bit it worked. We made progress through that blanket of black. We passed through another little village  "Oh, look, Robbie Burns cottage," I said. "I've never noticed that before". I peered through the fog at the little white house with the thatched roof.

Wait. I really hadn't noticed that before. Never passed it. ever. So now we were on the wrong road, on Halloween night, with no dashboard lights and a torch to show us the way. I'm sure I heard a cackle drifting out from among the trees. An owl hooted.

"Dad, Dad, are we there yet? Are we at the boat?"

Inside the car the torch flickered and the colour drained from Dad's face.

"I don't understand it," he said. "It was six o'clock the last time I checked and it's coming up on seven now. Where's the last hour go? We'll never make the boat in time. We've lost an hour. We're in a twilight zone..."

And then the torch went out.




What else can I tell you? We made it through. We found the right road. Maybe I closed my eyes for a bit. But within minutes, it seemed, the lights of the harbour appeared mirage-like and magical and we drove onto the ferry. By midnight we were carrying two sleeping children up to bed and unloading our trailer. It had been an unusual Halloween Night. But isn't that the way Halloween is supposed to be?

Monday, 27 October 2014

Me On Monday


It was a cold and rainy weekend. But it was also an extra hour in bed weekend; a dark Sunday teatime lit up by sparkling birthday candles weekend; a hurry into the car to go to Granny's and help celebrate her 83rd kind of weekend. Which made it a good one.

When we weren't baking a birthday cake or wrapping up that mantelpiece clock, found late on Saturday afternoon, or beating up another badge of fudge (special order), we were turning out all the wardrobes so that we could fill as many bags as we could to raise "cash for clobber". We bin-bagged up all our old clothes and then we went to Granny's and started on anything she had to donate.

I'm still reorganising what I have left; and because we were talking yesterday about needlework projects from the past, I've been going to the very back of the wardrobe and discovering treasure.


Yesterday Granny talked about her very first knitting project, her first crochet, and today I found two things she made for me when I was a student: a crochet cardigan and a thick Fair Isle sweater. Some things can be moved on, some things are for saving. I don't think I'll be moving these two on because,as my Grandma always used to say, "keep a good thing long enough and you'll be glad of it". Or something like that.

But this lot is going..


And that's Me On Monday. If you'd like to "Monday" too, give me a wave! I'd love to come and wish you a great week. Last week Helena, Deb, Jane, Ruth, Becky, Kirsty, Ladkyis, Karen, Fiona, Alison and Liz all gave us a peep into what they'd been up to and what their week might hold. Thank you!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Five Things I'm Pondering Right Now

Five things I'm pondering right now?


  1. Why you can't eat fudge and do crochet at the same time. Oh, no, wait, I know the answer to that one. TOO MUCH STICKY. And what a shame that is
  2. Why teenagers will never take a coat. "If your Mum had told you to take a coat, would you have done it?" she said. Actually, yes. My Mum could be scary. Or maybe rain in the 80's was wetter?
  3. Why the easiest sounding presents are the hardest to find. You'd think a black clock to go on a mantelpiece would be do-able. But apparently not. I've been to every shop in town, and then some. So now I have to tell my Mum her birthday present will be late. See 2 above.
  4. Why asking people for money is so very hard. All this talk of fund raising is bringing back memories of having to knock on doors when I was a Girl Guide. At least they aren't allowed to do that any more. Last night I had a dream that we ran a pop up curry restaurant in our kitchen and raised lots. Actually, I think it could work, though the chief fundraiser isn't convinced. But then she doesn't like curry, so that could be a stumbling block
  5. How to bring myself to unwrap this beautiful package from the lovely Julie of Notes On Paper



Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Compositional Scrapbooking

....which is a fancy name for a bit of fun. Fun with a point, though. It definitely has a point. Anything you can do which will add to the meaning of what you are trying to convey when you are scrapbooking has to be a good thing, right?

Sian Fair for Get It Scrapped

Sooo if you have a photo which is all about place, the theory is that your story will have more punch if you can grab that place and spread it all over your layout. Put the place in the composition.

That could be by scrapbooking on a map, maybe, or by taking the background elements in your picture and extending them over your page in your embellishment choices, or by replicating the setting of your photos right across your layout. 

So here she is, that girl of ours, at Universal Studios. Did Judy Garland ever pile her suitcases up at a bus stop and sit, ready to leave town? I don't know. And I don't know why I thought of Judy Garland when I asked The (Not So) Small One to pose. I knew she'd get it though, that look I was after. As I snapped, I realised what perfect pictures they were to mark her summer. She's not quite ready to leave us yet; but she's certainly getting ready to consider it. A summer of transition.

And when I printed out the photos and Get It Scrapped asked me to get all compositional, I took the story from the setting. We'd simply been playing about on a film set at the beginning. It was only after I'd taken a few pictures that I realised I'd been telling the story unconsciously. Through her summer of choices she has been writing her own script, doing it her way, and it took a set of fake suitcases and a model bus stop to show me just how well she can do it too.

Suitcases, waiting for a bus to a whole new life? It's a film set, so I edited my photos to get an old film look, layered up old book pages to look like piles of scripts and papers on a director's desk and added a bow in a 1940's print. Because if Judy Garland did sit at a bus stop? she probably wore a frock.


You can find more ideas for Scrapbook Storytelling When Setting Is Key at Get It Scrapped

Monday, 20 October 2014

Me On Monday

Monday...and you've caught me in the act


Too early in the day for another piece? Mmm..maybe not by the time you are reading this.

It was a concert going, Little E cuddling, fudge making weekend.

The fudge making sees the beginning of our fundraising for The (Not So) Small One's trip to Romania. When we're trying to get a few hands in pockets we always start with fudge! It's a secret family recipe; and, honestly, although it's known as "fudge" in the family, it's actually what the Scots call "tablet". Which, as anyone who has ever tried it will tell you, is fudge's more delicious cousin. It's hard, but crumbly, you can bite it, but it melts in the mouth, and it's one of my most favourite foods on the planet. They really shouldn't have left me alone with the rejects. Clearly they need all the love I can give them. The rest has been packaged up, arranged on a tray and taken into work to be sold. We're hoping to do a few more pop-up fudge sales before Christmas. Wish us luck!

We also fitted in a visit from that ruffian nephew of ours, Little E, and a trip to see Elvis Costello in concert.



When Little E arrived, he had one pressing question: does going to a concert, he wanted to know, leave you with hot ears? Then he gave me a present of the nicest enamel mug I've seen in a long time. Funny, every week when I come to "doing Monday" I look for a theme, or something which will connect each photo to the next. I don't suppose Little E, when he chose that mug, realised how nicely it would sit beside Elvis. That was a lucky break.

So, onwards to the rest of the week, then. Fuelled by fudge. Give me a wave if you are "Monday-ing" too. Last week we got a peep into the Monday worlds of Helena, Fiona, Deb, Doris, Ruth, Becky, Karen, Alison and Ladkyis. Very enjoyable!

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