Tuesday, 31 December 2013

A Time for Reflection

This time of year is always one for reflection, for a looking back before looking forward. To check over the past year to see what was good and not so good, and then to step over into the new, to start afresh with a new page, a new year.

My word for 2013 was Embrace and I listed several intentions for the year -

to complete the course Write Now - I never got round to that
to complete Gratitude Album - well I did some more and added some of this years as well
weight loss and exercise plan - lost some then put it on again!!!
reading - I have been attending the Book Club regularly and enjoying it
knitting - have completed some items and bought some more wool - oops!

I did Embrace some aspects of my new life here in Edinburgh - we moved into our new house,  I started work, started attending the Book Club, attending and helped with the running of several events and groups in Church, went to some museums and art galleries. So not a bad start.

Of course life took a bit of an unexpected turn health wise, but is getting back on course now.

If you choose a word for 2013 how did you get on with it?

Come back later this week to find out my word for 2014.

Christmas Fun

A few photos from Christmas Day, which was a good day with the family.

The last week has gone in quickly. We have played games together as a family, went a walk and done lots of relaxing.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas

For unto us a child is born.

Wishing you all a Happy and Blessed Christmas!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Little Details

For the next couple of weeks as it is Christmas time I thought I would try and share some little details about our Christmas. This is the Poinsetta plant which my husband bought for me this year. Every year since we have been married he has bought me one.

You can find more photos for Little Details over at Carolyns Blog.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Home and Joy

I have been doing a couple more pages for my Gratitude Album following Bernice's prompts.

The first one is Home, for me home is always where the family is and not a place. For this page I used gesso through a stencil, then applied some paint and then outlined round the shapes.

For Joy I embossed through a stencil, then used Distress Inks to put colour onto the page and then embossed the word Joy.

I really like these techniques and am glad to have found some good ways of using my stencils.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Pause in Advent 3

As this is our first Christmas in our new house there has been more thought put into decorations again. We have had to decide where to put things and some things that had a place and looked good  in our old house don't quite look right in the new one. We have also bought some new ones - this is a photo of one of our new decorations for this year. I got to thinking that although things may change from year to year and Christmas becomes different as the children grow up the reason for the celebration remains the same from year to year. We are celebrating the birth of our Lord and Saviour. Jesus remains the same and Christmas will continue to happen every year despite where we are, or how we are feeling. We should be thankful for that.

Let us remember the words of one of my favourite carols

Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus:
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.

You can check out some more Pause for Advent posts over at Floss's blog

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Little Details

My photo for this week's Little Details was taken on a recent holiday. This is actually a glass topped table made with shaped bits of wood. It was very unusual.

You can see other photos for Little details over at Carolyn's blog.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

A Pause in Advent

I am joining in again with A Pause in Advent over on Floss's blog, and coming a bit late to the party! But better late than never. This post will really be one and two combined and hopefully I will pick up again on Sunday with number 3.

I have been doing a Growth in Prayer and Reflective Living Course which is based on Ignatian Spirituality and am really enjoying it. It is making me reflect more and try out different ways of praying and of simply being with God. I wanted to share this song with you today as it really spoke to me when I heard it.

Come as you are, that's how I want you.
Come as your are, feel quite at home.
Close to my heart, loved and forgiven;
Come as you are, why stand alone?

No need to fear, love sets no limits.
No need to fear, love never ends.
Don't run away shamed and disheartened
Rest in my love, trust me again.

I came to call sinners, not just the virtuous.
I came to bring peace, not to condemn.
Each time you fail to live by my promise,
why do you think I'd love you the less?

Come as you are, that's how I love you.
Come as your are, trust me again.
Nothing can change the love that I bear you.
All will be well, just come as you are.

As we prepare this Advent season for the coming of Jesus let us also remember that He wants us to come to Him simply and plainly as we are, with no pretence. Let Christmas be a coming together of both us and Him.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

LIttle Details

On Thursdays Carolyn has a meme called Little Details. I haven't been out and about much recently so have looked out some photos taken sometime over the summer for the next few weeks. This one was taken at Crail harbour in Fife.

Why not go and check out some of the other photos.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Time for Tea

Abi over at creating paper dreams has a montly meme called Time for Tea - I have joined in some months, but not since August.

Would you like to join me for coffee and cake this month?

This is the cake that I made at the weekend for Dr Who's 50th Anniversary Episode, which we thought was great. I can't actually offer you a piece of this as it is all finished, but we would discuss the episode and which doctor we liked the best!

I would tell you that I am feeling better after my "heart event", but that I still get tired very easily. I would tell you about the Cardio Rehab I have been going to, where we do some exercises and some relaxation and that I have started going to Tai Chi classes, which I hope will help with my relaxation. We would discuss different ways we have found to manage our stress, which is inevitable in life. I am having to do some thinking and some re-evaluation of what I do in various things I am involved in and see if any changes need to be made. I suppose some introspection is normal at this time of year anyway and we talk about whether we had words for the year and what they might be for next year.

We would talk about Christmas as how fast it is approaching! I have yet to start my Christmas shopping this year and I wonder how you are getting on with yours. This will be our first Christmas in our new house so I do feel a bit excited about where to put decorations etc. Christmas dinner will be here at our house, and all the family will be coming, which is nice. I ask you about what your plans for Christmas? We talk about how commercial Christmas seems to get every year and I tell you about the Pause for Advent that I am joining in again with this year, hosted by Floss.

We talk about our crafting and I tell you that I have been knitting a bit more and getting back into crafting gradually. I did start a Christmas Journal last year, but didn't finish it so think I will do some more in it this December. Are you doing a Christmas Journal?

All too quickly it is time to leave and we wish each other a lovely time at Christmas and the New Year.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013


This page is for my Attitude of Gratitude Journal run by Bernice. The theme was Fun and it certainly was fun to do this technique. First you put a thick layer of Gesso over the page, then heat it with a heat gun until it bubbles, then you can add more gesso and repeat the process. I then used chalks to add colour and also some spray mists. I really enjoyed this technique.

I have finally blocked this shawl I made many months ago. It is knitted in Noro sock wool and I loved watching the colours change.

I am feeling better, although still tire easily. I have started at Cardio Rehab which is good and tomorrow I start back at work.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

LIttle Details

My photo for this weeks Little Details was taken in the Tea Room at Durham Cathedral, where we needed to go after buying some books. I just liked the colour of the carnation.

Why not go check out Carolyns blog for some more little details photos.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

More Gratitude Pages

I have managed to do another three pages in my Gratitude Journal, this is a project that Bernice is running over at Attitude of Gratitude

This page is Community and talks about all the different communities in our lives. I am certainly very grateful for all the online communities I am part of, I have got to know some lovely people through them and have joined in with some lovely projects. I did the background for this page by putting some paint (I used paint dabbers) onto a craft sheet then dragged the page through them. I then stamped the circles on it.


Declaration - I thought I would just put two important declarations on this page, that I am a child of God and that I am creative. As our God is a creative God and we are made in His image then I believe that everyone can be creative. I used Distress Inks on the background for this page and then used stencils with the inks for the dots and the squares down the side.

 Experience - this page was made using Distress Inks swept across the page and then some details added with a sponge, then stamped on. I liked the effect of this one, although I really to get some Distress Inks in different colours.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

LIttle Details

It's Thursday so it must be time for Little Details again. A weekly meme hosted by Carolyn. I took this photo while at Durham Cathedral. I thought it looked a bit incongruous to have a modern light bulb in an old lamp.

Why not pop over to Carolyn's blog and see what other little details other people have found.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Passport to Art

In July Bernice ran a project called Passport to Art, in which you altered a book, she again gave prompts, quotes, Bible verses and techniques for you to copy. Well I knew I was never going to do it in July as that is when we were on holiday, but I had hoped to get started before now. Anyway at last I have started and I am going to continue this project, but not to a deadline.

First I got a book in a charity shop
 then I removed some pages

 then I folded pages

and finally I did the first days page. I painted the backgrounds with acrylic paint. The left hand page I used images from napkins for the birds, butterflies and flowers, then did some stamping. On the right hand page I punched out little feet to indicate going on a journey.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Back to backing

Over the past few days I have been getting back into baking and cooking, which I enjoy but haven't time for recently. This is something I am going to do more often as I find it relaxing - my family are rather happy about this as well.

I make pumpkin soup

and chocolate cake, especially for Andrew!

I also made pumpkin bread and muffins but forgot to take a photo of them!

What is your favourite recipe?

Monday, 4 November 2013

Gratitude Journal

This year Bernice is again running An Attitude of Gratitude project for the month of November, you can find details of it here. I joined in a little last year, so have decided to add some pages for this year in the same book. I might not do a page for every day, but will do some. I am also recording three things to be grateful for each day on an app on my Ipad, this I am doing every day and will probably keep on doing after the end of the month, aiming to be more positive in my life.

Anyway I have done pages for the first three days. These first pages all use different techniques with Distress Inks.

Day 1 was Permission - this is something which is important for me at the moment, as I need to give myself permission to spend time on creative pursuits. I created the page using Distress Inks applied direct to the page then spritzed with water then used my brayer over the page.

Day 2: was Attitude. The TED talk also talked about awareness and authentic, I liked these words and thought they were also very relevant to me at the moment as my attitude to lots of things needs to change a bit and I am trying to always be positive. The background was created using Distress Inks and the block technique.

 Day 3 was Acceptance. To create this page I used Distress Inks directly onto the page, then spritzed them with water to make the inks run. I then doodled round some of the shapes that I saw in the background.

Bernice has again put a lot of effort into this free project, there is a quote, a Bible verse, an Inspiration and a technique and some journalling prompts each day. Why not go and check it out.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Little Details

When we were in Durham I took several photos that I will post over the next few Thursday's for Carolyns Little Details. This is the door knocker on Durham Cathedral.

Why not pop over to Carolyns blog and join in the fun.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Some books

I have been reading more than usual lately as I have been getting better. So I thought I would share with you a couple  of the books I have read.

This was our Book Group choice and I really enjoyed it. I have never read any Anne Tyler books before, but I would again. The story is about Rebecca, a 53 year old who starts to reflect on her life and what might have been had she taken a different route. She contacts her first love and meets up with him again but I won't spoil it too much in case you decide to read it. Maybe it is just the reflective mood I am in at the moment but I enjoyed the book, although there was some mixed response to it from the rest of the Book Group.

The next book is by another author I have not read before, Adele Parks, Whatever it takes.
This book tells the story of Eloise and her family as they make a move from London to Dartmouth. Eloise is not sure about moving and leaving London but her husband, Mark, wants to move back to where he grew up and where his mother and father still live. Several things happen to them which turn their whole life upside down and it is interesting to see how they deal with them all. There is an interesting twist near the end of the book, which I did not see coming. I enjoyed reading this book and would read more of her books.

Monday, 28 October 2013

A visit to Durham

The week before I took not well Gordon and I had a few days away together for his birthday, we visited Durham. We had a lovely time and visited the Cathedral and the shops (of course).

 This is the Bowes Museum, which is the home of this lovely silver swan automoton, unfortunately we arrived about half an hour too late to see it in action!

Thanks for your kind comments and wishes on my last post. I am beginning to feel a bit better and am gradually starting to do things again, although I still get tired very easily.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

The Unexpected!

Life sometimes throws you a curve ball at you, something totally unexpected that stops you in your tracks. Well that happened to me just over a week ago. I had had a busy day, nothing unusual there, we went to an Information evening at the school about the new qualifications and then on the way home I got sudden and severe chest pains and breathlessness.  We got home, phoned NHS24, who duly dispatched an ambulance. Paramedics arrived, took ECG reading, then said looks like a possible heart attack! The next couple of readings said no and by this time I was feeling a bit better, but obviously had to go into A&E, where they took blood tests. We waited but as I was beginning to feel better just tired by this time we were not unduly worried - then the doctor came back with results. The blood tests showed a mild heart attack, so I was admitted and hooked up to monitors.

I was feeling rather stunned at this point as you can imagine. To cut a long story short as it was the weekend I had to wait till Monday to get an angiogram to find out the cause - I do not fit into any if the usual triggers for heart attacks.

Monday arrives and the angiogram test, which was rather painful actually. Thankfully the results were good and there is no sign of coronary heart disease and no blockage in the arteries. So what caused it? They are fairly sure it is TakoTsubo cardiomyopathy, which is stress related. There is a good explanation of it here. The stress builds up and causes your heart to be stunned and the effect is the same as that of a heart attack. The good news is that, after the initial period, there should be no lasting damage to the heart. I just need to work on my stress management!

So I am resting, off work for several weeks, no driving for a couple of weeks, taking it easy although starting to take short walks every day and doing my relaxation exercises.

Longer term I shall need to take stock and see what signs I have ignored re stress build up and do something about them.

The moral of this tale is - look after your octopus! (If you haven't already you really need to look up the link and read right down to the end of the page to understand the octopus)

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Scavenger Hunt Finale

The Scavenger Hunt finishes this weekend so here are my final photos.

12. A cloud in the shape of something - after spending all summer looking at the clouds and not coming up with much, I have given in a bit and think this looks a bit like a rocket.

16. A windmill - this little windmill is on a thermometer that we brought back from our trip to Amsterdam.

4. An airplane - cheating a bit but took this photo of a book on how to make paper airplanes.

Bonus - a Sundial
 15. A police car

21. And finally - a photo of myself with a craft tool - my Big Shot

I am really pleased this year as I have managed to get all 21 items and the two bonus items. Roll on next year.

Thanks to Rinda for hosting this again this summer, it has been great fun!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

A Birthday Celebration

At the weekend it was someone's special birthday - Gordon was ... can you guess! We had the family round for a meal on the Saturday, which was lovely. Some photos from the day.

I'm sure you've guessed by now - he was 50. The bonsai tree is a family joke as several years ago he got given a present of a bonsai (by someone who shall remain nameless!) and it was almost dead before he got it, and didn't last long, so we got him another one to see how long this one lasts.

As part of his birthday we are going away at the end of this week for a couple of nights to Durham.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Gone Girl

This was the second book I had to read over the summer for my Book Group. There has been a lot of hype about this book, but for me it did not meet its expectations. Nick's wife Amy disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary and what follows is a tale of deception, cheating and lies. I like neither of the main character and for me the ending was disappointing. This book would not encourage me to read any others by Gillian Flynn.

Have you read this one and what did you think of it?

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Little Details

Its Thursday so it must be time for Little Details again with Carolyn. This week I wanted to share a photo I too at the zoo of some antlers.

Why not pop over to Carolyn's blog and see some more Little Details.

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