Monday, 1 September 2014

Me On Monday

It was a looking forward, looking back kind of a weekend.

A desk wrangling, student cookery planning, stationery buying, homework starting, suitcase finding, box packing, market visiting, case of curry procuring, craft book for a small friend buying, mug breaking, Granny visiting kind of weekend

We played "furniture jenga" (layout title, layout title), as The Tall One put it, travelling to Granny's to pick up Grandpa's desk, to shoehorn it into the car ready for the trip to Scotland. When Granny suggested it, I didn't know what he would think. Maybe, I hoped, he'd be won over by its looks - almost fifty now, it has a what's-old-is-new style an aspiring barrister could admire - in the end, turns out the sentiment found him. The desk bought in Ireland by the Welsh coalminer's son will head to Law School in Scotland next weekend. I hope it speeds the essays. I've just realised that in all its years, it will never have seen a laptop before..Pictures? I said it was shoehorned: it's still in the back of the car, so it went to work this morning. We'll get it set up next week and then we'll take a photo. Promise.

Here's to a week of preparation. But it's September. My favourite month. Can't complain. How's yours looking?

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Let's Sit and have a Cup Of Tea

...maybe a day late, but let's spread the treats out. Today's a new cake day! and I'm delighted to have a slice to share with Abi of Creating Paper Dreams, and her Let's Sit And Have A Cup 

It's good timing. I'm glad you're here because...sshh...can you hear it? Thought not. Today is the first day back at school and the peace is...perfect.

Oh, yes, you're right. I just caught the sound of the shed door opening too. So I suppose the lawn mower will be starting in a minute. But I can hardly complain. The (Not So) Small One might have headed off to school, but her brother has another week before he is back to the Law and he's making himself useful until then.

Back to school! She's starting the Sixth Form today - striding out in her new grey skirt and the blazer with the shiny buttons. Years ago we Country Girls used to come up to the city to see a play or go to an Open Day and we'd spot those shiny buttoned blazers (and the nylons and the stilettos) and we'd think..hardly schoolgirls, more supermodels. We didn't do high heels, we did white knee socks. It's strange, watching it from the other side. I hope she's having a good day.

I hope she comes back with a smile on her face, just as she did on her very first morning, twelve years ago now. Twelve years! I spent those hours in Waterstones, that reliable refuge, being calmed by the books, then I went to Gap and bought a jacket I still wear, before going back to collect her. Funny, the things you remember. But you are here today: better than a trip to the bookshop - honestly! What have you been up to?

We've spent the last week trying to pack in all the super-fun, creative, bonding activities we haven't been doing all summer. We've made beery bread, with a bottle of beer as a raising agent and some rosemary from the garden on top. That worked. We've put her bedroom back together again. And that worked. And then there were the pompoms. Which didn't work. Not really. Not in any beautifully decorative, bedroom transforming, life enhancing way. Not my finest paper crafting hour. Look...


I'm going to have another go tonight, see what I can salvage. And then I might try doing them a completely different way. That would be one which doesn't involve overly complicated instructions and two rolls of double sided tape. You need lots of tape to get the honeycomb effect, which is nice, but not two rolls nice...

So that's what we're at here. It's been lovely to chat, but I think I can hear that lawnmower starting up now, so I'll wrap you up a couple of fresh doughnuts for later and wave you off. Same time next month? Thanks Abi!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Me On Monday

..playing with postcards.

It was a new bedlinen buying, raspberry and rhubarb tart scoffing, beery bread baking (or, planning, we haven't actually made it yet), tissue paper choosing (we're making giant pompoms), cricket scoring...

...and exam success celebrating kind of weekend. And that means it was also an out-with-my-friends, buying a sixth form uniform - Mum, we can hem that skirt up, can't we? - kind of Saturday.

But yesterday I got a chance to sit back and reflect as I flipped through (no, wait, flipped sounds too - flip, savoured every one of my Pile Of Postcards. This swap started out on a quick whim. I hoped I would be able to gather up a little group of keen postcarders and have a bit of fun. But it turned out quite nicely big in the end, didn't it? Thank you! Any swap is only as successful as the swappers are keen: it can be organised and organised, but it depends on the participants. And everyone has been brilliant! Spotting all the cards popping up on blogs - worldwide! - throughout July and August has been a high point of what turned into a bit of a strange summer here. Praise the postcards. Everyone wrote fast, it seems, chose well, posted promptly. Again, thank you.

Over the course of the summer I've been sending cards to everyone on the list and I've been blown away by the number I've received in return. You didn't have to do that! (But I'm very glad that you did). Thanks to Barbara, Ruth, Helena, Sheena, Miriam, Lea, Jane, Carole, Julia, Nicola, Susanne, Deb, Julie, Sandra, Rinda, Cheri, Fiona, Laura, Becky, Karen, Deb Turtle, Alexa and Abi. I have cards from Nashville to Nottingham, from Paris to Pennsylvania, seaside cards, tall house shaped cards, vintage cards, crafted cards, a card from the Commonwealth Games Village and one which says Do Small Things With Great Love. It started out as a small thing, but the love and care you have all put into it will last longer than the summer. (How are we going to preserve the postcards? albums? Bind it all? Let's think..)

The Accountant here looked over my shoulder yesterday as I read and he said: you know, if everyone who joined in opens their address book at Christmas and spots even one new address and sends even one extra Christmas card, that would be a good thought, wouldn't it?

I think he's right. The Pile Of Postcards. I think it'll be back. Thank you.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Let's Call It Knit-Let sound like croch-et. You know, that one handed knitting Granny says I've been doing? She can say what she likes, I'm very pleased with the progress I've made this week. Of course, maybe the progress has something to do with the fact this has been GCSE results week..

An hours knit-let in the evening can be very, very calming.

This blanket feels like an adventure for me. All those bright colours, all together, all in one place! I'm doing a Cath Kidston inspired look for our place by the sea, using Stylecraft Double Knitting in Cloud Blue, Meadow, Aster, Silver, Pomegranate, Candy Floss, Fondant, Sherbert, Spring Green and Citron.

Look everybody! I said. It really is turning out Cath!

Don't you need more flowers on it, then? asked The Tall One. To make it really Cath?

And then the colour drained from his face as he realised he had just engaged his mother in a conversation about interior design. I guess that's what happens when you are two weeks away from moving into your own flat. Maybe you start thinking about flowers a bit more.

Lucky, I'm well ahead of him..

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Pre Scrapbook Storytelling

It's very nearly a month since we got back from holiday. Already! I've been editing my photos, sorting them into stories. A few have been set aside for layouts, a clutch of favourites have been blogged. And now I have my eye on the pictures belonging to another..

..for The (Not So) Small One has what I think is a truly inspiring collection of phone photos: vibrant, immediate, in the moment, her own personal holiday stories. She'll tell them in her own way, and that's good. Her way isn't my way, but it works. She has been instagramming a little; and of course she has a big facebook album full of Florida. That's scrapbooking in its own way, isn't it? Is it?

It's certainly storytelling. And now that I think about it, I can see that most of my personal storytelling begins before I scrapbook too

Sian Fair for Get It Scrapped

Simply, I think I tell the story better when the layout isn't even a blank piece of cardstock calling for a title. My story comes with a fresh page in a notebook, a nicely sharpened pencil, a tease of an idea for a blog post which only settles as a story when I begin to scrawl. The layout most often comes much, much later.

Over the three rewardingly wonderful years of Storytelling Sunday I wrote many stories I still need to scrapbook. Or do I? Does it matter? The (Not So) Small One has her instagram, I have my blog. We're marking the bits we want to remember, we're telling the story the way it speaks to us.

Get It Scrapped asked for a page with a photo whose story had already been told. Of course one of those Storytelling Sunday posts was going to fit. This one comes from August a year ago: the tale of a piece of cardboard and how it has stayed on my shelf for - now- over twenty five years.

Pre scrapbook storytelling, scrapbooking, storytelling any way you like it, any order, any day. That's what I like. You can find more ideas for different ways to find your way into the story at Use Apps And Social Media For Pre Scrapbook Storytelling from Get It Scrapped
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