28 December 2014

Project Life- looking ahead

I have a confession to make.
Project Life is becoming more of a chore for me. I don't know whether this is because we are rounding up the year or because I have been doing this project for two years now.

I am aware after two years that project life won't be a creative buzz every week. I know that it really does ebb and flow.
It's got me thinking though. Do I want to keep this project going?

The short answer is yes.

The long answer is this:

I have nearly two years of my university life documented now. It feels right to continue documenting my third year of university in this way. Whether that means I stop at graduation I don't know. My gut instinct is that I want to make an album for all of 2015.

I take a huge number of photos. Like hundreds per month. I don't have a great deal of disposable income or wall space to print these and display them and it makes me sad to think that they will just sit on my hardrive. PL has ensured that two years worth of photos (the big events and the every day moments) get displayed in a physical format. I like that.

The big picture of this project is rad. Yesterday I sat down and started to plug all my finished layouts into blurb. When I see all of those layouts coming together to make up a year it is exciting. I am thankful I took the time to record that conversation, thankful that that photo of a cup of coffee is included.
There is no way that those things would ever be remembered if I hadn't made that page.

For now, PL is my creative outlet. I don't have time or space at uni to do paper craft or sew. I don't have to clear up PL on my computer, I can save when I want and I can craft on the go.

Where do I see this project going in 2015?

I toyed for a long time with going monthly on project life. After a lot of thought though I am going to keep to the weekly layouts. They tie in with the last two years and I am conscious that saving all my photos to the end of the month will just make for a very very long task.
I like that doing PL weekly ensures that the little moments have their place.

I am changing up template design again this year and going for three different options, all using the same sized squares.

I really love how my style has developed this year and plan on keeping it super simple using phrases, pretty paper and journalling.

Again, i'm setting a no pressure mentality. If there aren't enough photos for a double page spread, it's just going to be one page. I'm also not too worried about falling 'behind' with this project. Some weeks are busier than others and I plan to take it as it comes.

At the end of this year I started setting aside a morning a week to specifically work on PL. It has worked well so far and I plan on continuing that.

So let's chat. Are you doing project life this year? Are you starting for the first time? What craft's are you taking up or putting down?

24 December 2014

Merry Christmas

Wishing you and yours a joyful and peaceful Christmas. 
"For unto us a child is born, Unto us a son is given." Isaiah 9:6

22 December 2014

The Christmas club- Christmas in the Falklands

Christmas in our house is marked by familiarity. Certain things happen at certain points in advent.
Particular decorations always go up, we always have an advent candle on the table, the chocolates on the tree can't be eaten until christmas evening. etc.

There was one year though that stands out because everything was very different.
When I was eight we moved to the Falkland Islands for a year. I remember it as a huge adventure and Christmas was right at the centre of that.

Christmas that year happened in Summer. It was Falkland Island's summer so it wasn't particularly warm, however it did cause the chocolate snowmen to melt.

Christmas that year was spent in t-shirts with church friends rather than family, owing to how far away we were.

That was the christmas our two wild Falkland Island kittens decided to literally bathe in the Turkey fat and had to be washed over the sink that evening.

That was the Christmas of the dolls house. Looking back, I think Santa must have been very very organised that year to get presents shipped over in time. But he was and we were thankful. On Christmas morning we opened our stockings and then we were told there was one more present waiting in the conservatory.
There it was. A playmobil dolls house, all ready to be played with. Which Santa seemed to have had great fun setting up for us!

That was the Christmas where we headed to the military base to meet Santa and he sat in a khaki tent waiting to greet us.

Every Christmas of my childhood was magical, but the Christmas we spent on the other side of the world was something else...

I'm joining in (a day late!) with Sian's lovely meme, The Christmas Club. Do pop on over to her blog to indulge in the festive stories of bloggers around the world. I suggest heading there with a cup of tea and a big mince pie as I assure you you will be there awhile! 

18 December 2014

Around here- End of term

The end of first term always comes in a flurry of parties, events, carol services and work. I love looking back on those photos though because it documents what a fun and manic time it was.
This was what December at uni looked like for me:

Drinking plenty of tea and eating too much chocolate to aid dissertation writing and chatting over cake in one of our favourite coffee shops.

A secret santa evening with our extended friendship group. We have been doing this now for three years and it is always filled with so much fun and happiness as we watch each other open presents.

I received a lovely Gift from the sweet children at Creche and possibly the best ribbon I have come across. 
Lots of face timing with the boy. I'm so so grateful I can see him every day using my phone. Technology is amazing. 

Durham put on such a show in the last week of term. This was the sunset on my last evening there.
I was accompanied by santa on my four hour train journey home.

The comfort of getting home and curling up in front of the fire. December at its best.

What has the start of this month looked like for you?

14 December 2014

The Christmas Club- Choosing a tree

It's the same every year.
We get in the car, just me and him, making sure the back seats are down and there is room for the tree.

We talk about the trees we have bought in previous years.  The year we lived pretty close to London and the tree prices reflected it. The only way to get a slightly cheaper tree was for Dad to join the Gardeners Club. He was plagued with promotional letters for the rest of the year!

We arrive and jump out of the car, making our way to the Norwegian Spruces.

I'm the fussy one when it comes to trees. It has to be bushy enough, has to be around about the right height and fairly even all over.

We have a system Dad and me. I point at a tree, he lifts it out and we both admire it, chatting over the pros and cons.

This year we had gone through a few trees before the man who owned the place, pointed us towards a lovely specimen we had missed.
It was just the right shape to suit both of us and, I know this sounds silly but it looked Christmassy tree ish.

We hand it over to be wrapped it in that stringy stuff and we bundle it into the car with me trying to avoid the branches on the ride home.

Dad carries it into the house where the base is waiting and we umm and ahh as he screws it in and I try and work out if its straight or not.

For now our tree is waiting. Waiting till the middle brother gets home to help decorate with us.

It's a tradition choosing the tree. Just me and my Daddy.

Do you buy a tree each year?

I am joining in the lovely 'Christmas Club' meme with Sian. Do pop on over to read some other christmassy tales. 

9 December 2014

One photo & twenty words

After applying, praying, waiting, interviewing and more waiting, I found out I am doing my PGCE in Durham! Praise God!

Obviously there is a lot more to this story and I am excited to share it in the next week or so. For now, I am just relieved and full of gratitude to know where I will be heading next year. 

My challenge for you today. Find one photo and choose up to twenty words to tell its story. Jot it down and link back here. The link will stay open for a week so you have plenty of time to join in! 

7 December 2014

The Christmas club- Board games

As soon as I heard Sian was resurrecting the Christmas Club, my mind started mulling over the stories. There are so many to tell. Stories about our traditions, about the funny moments and stories about what we eat.

One of the first things that sprung to mind was "At Christmas we"...play board games.

If you know me at all, you will know that we are into board games. My middle brother takes his board gaming seriously. Most of his christmas list comprises board games and at the last count the cupboard was overflowing with around 92 of them! 
We play games throughout the year so to play games at Christmas goes without saying. 

Christmas afternoon have been characterised by games for as long as I can remember...

There was the time when my Granny (my mum's mum) paired up with my Grandad (My dad's dad) to play a hard fought game of Totopoly. Totopoly is the cousin of Monopoly and involves buying, training and racing horses. It often involves sacrificing a horse or two to let the rest of your stables have a chance. This was when my Granny gave forth one of her most famous lines. She turned to my Grandad and said, in sonourous tones into the silence,
 "Dennis....Kill him." Dramatic and amusing in equal measure!

Or there was the time when we played Charades and My Grandad came up with what he thought was a real corker of a film. It was only after 20 minutes fruitlessly guessing that he informed us his charade was "The ship that died of shame". A film that came out in the 1950's. Before most of the party were born.
Still, it has become a great charade in subsequent years. We weren't likely to forget it in a hurry!

There was the time we played Pictionary and one member of the party got very confused by what the letters on the board meant. Every second go she would ask"what does AP stand for?" to which everyone would shout "all play!" This was followed by her having to draw 'poverty' for us to guess on her next turn. Pictionary did not go well that year....

Or there was the time towards the end of the evening when we were playing 'stick up and shout'. Each player has around 6 letters of the alphabet in their hands and the question master has to present a category. For instance the category could be "countries in Africa" and if you had an "E" in your hand you could shout "Egypt."
On this occasion the question master asked for "garden implements" and my Grandad (who is a gardner) looked triumphant and shouted "Dagger" whilst waving a "D" in the air.
We were concerned.

And there is the time, every year when my Nana, swears outright that she has never played 'this game' before, despite the fact we have played it for the last ten years.
I think we'd all be quite disappointed if she remembered it now!

Christmas games always bring out the best stories! Thank you for allowing me to reminisce Sian!
Sian is running this Christmas meme for the next few weeks. Do stop by and read some other christmassy tales.

Do you enjoy playing games at Christmas?

3 December 2014

Speaking on the Paperclipping Roundtable

A few months back I had the great pleasure of being invited onto the paperclipping roundtable to talk about how I scrapbook uni. I obviously did something right because Noell and Izzy invited me back to chat about scrapping my social life.

I had such a blast recording the episode last night. It was pretty surreal to be guest panelist with Ali Edwards too. She was lovely by the way!

If you fancy stopping by and hearing me bleat away about project life this is the link!

1 December 2014

Project Life weeks 43 & 44

The weeks are merrily rolling by and I am playing catch up with this project. As is always the way with PL, weeks with lots of photos seem to come together really easily, although I do enjoy the challenge of making a page out of not a lot! 

Things I am loving this week: I found a lovely collection of new and free journaling cards to use on week forty three. I particularly loved that 'makers gonna make' wood veneer card. The sentiment was just perfect for the photos I wanted to use. I got the cards from this site. There are lots of wonderful freebies to choose from.

Techniques I have tried: I experimented a lot with opacity on week forty four. I really like how the 'you' turned out on the photo of the boy and me. I also experimented with using a smaller photo on a journalling card space. I did this with the photo of us having tea on the right hand spread of week forty four. I love how that turned our with the white matt on the flowery background.

Photos Documented:
Two weeks with quite a few photos. Week forty three documents the everyday stuff of that week which included a sewing bee with a sweet friend, gifts in the post and a birthday party. Week forty four basically documents two events. A day trip with the boy and a walk with friends. I love this about project life. The weeks can look so different but all those big moments and mundane things sit side by side.

Thoughts on the project:
I am really enjoying seeing my style develop this year. I think I have gone for a cleaner approach and I like it. I am ready to wrap this year up though. 2014 you have been great, but let's bring on the third project life album!