Friday, 29 November 2013

December Calendar

Can you believe it?  Another month has rushed past and it's time to make our December calendar.  If you want to know more about the idea behind the monthly calendar please look on Kate Crane's blog as the whole thing is her idea.

I was inspired by a calendar I saw on Facebook, by Annika Eikenaar, for my December calendar.

I sprayed my pages with 2 colours of red inks and one gold mica spray.  I stamped along the top and down the sides with some Dylusions stamps.   I cut 1 cm. strips from Christmas scrapbook paper and stuck them down.  I stamped the baubles and coloured them with a gold pen.

Here is a close up of the baubles.

 I look forward to seeing what you do for your December calendar.  Don't forget to share your calendar using the linky below.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

November Art Challenge

What media do you own that you haven't used in a while?

For example:
Watercolour crayons?
Wax crayons?
Pan Pastels?
Acrylic Paints?
Scrapbook papers?

Or do you have lots of stamps that you haven't used in a while? Or haven't used at all?

Chose one or both of the above and make a page in your journal.

Don't forget to share what you do using the linky below.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

December - a little bit early.

Do you record the month of December?

I have just found this Debbie Hodge class: Your December Story.  I don't know what it is like but it may interest you.

The two most famous December diaries are Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas and Ali Edwards' December Daily.

And this is the one that I might do: Reverb 2013.  Each day there's a question to answer that is related to events, thoughts and feelings during 2013 rather than a record of December & Christmas activities.

Whatever you choose to do I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Hospitality: Family Reunion

This season Judy is sharing with us her idea for a family party.  For those of you that celebrate Thanksgiving maybe this will give you some ideas. 

We love to get together with family and friends during the fall – the weather here in the south is usually JUST RIGHT – cooler, but not too cool to enjoy being outside in God’s creation.  Back in the summer I began to plan a fall gathering – knowing I wanted to host it in an outdoor setting – some of my extended family [cousins] had been talking for months about getting together, but no one was taking the lead, so I decided, why not? – We reserved a cabin in a nearby town [many of us have moved away from ‘home’ anyway] and sent out the invitation:

I knew a cabin would work if the weather didn’t cooperate – We have a BIG family – my mom had NINE sisters – so we didn’t know how many of the cousins might be able to attend… This cabin provided plenty of indoor and outdoor space. You can see we planned a weekend of it for those who wanted to visit and be together a bit more.

 As the time I got closer I began to make my list to be sure everything was covered – You can see a bit of how my crazy mind works and how I break down the tasks by days, chores, etc.

I set up a nice little welcome spot [thanks to my SWEET  hubs who helps me make my ideas happen] with a hay bale, old suitcase, chalkboard [hint: I did not write on this chalkboard – instead, created the ‘welcome’ on the computer, saved it as a jpeg and had Staples print it as an engineer print, then stuck it on my chalkboard  -- much easier], mums, pumpkins, and a favorite photo of the sisters in a little wooden frame I got at Michaels [for 80% off.]

 I wanted the main table to reflect our family so I scanned some old photos of ‘the sisters’ as we’ve always called them, had them enlarged at Staples [so inexpensive] and put them in frames from the Dollar Tree – I kept the glass in with clear tape, but wanted them to have sort of ‘floating’ look – LOVE that we had beautiful view of the river!

Of course it looked much different once everyone brought their pot-luck dishes to share – We had SO MANY delicious dishes -  chicken and dumplings, pinto beans and cornbread, sausage dressing, collard greens, corn casserole, and of course, bbq pork, and fried chicken – all the southern favorites!

 We also had a little area for coffee / hot chocolate [thanks to my brother and sister-in-law], and tables set up for the deserts and drinks –

Some of us opted to sit around the fire pit while we visited and ate –

And others sat at the picnic tables provided –inside and outside the screened in porch. [It really WAS a great cabin!]

I had a thankful tree [something we’ve always done in one form or another within our immediate family] where everyone was encouraged to write things they were grateful for on leaves [provided] and tape them to the tree – You can see it to the left, on the edge of the porch – It was pretty full by the end of the day – oh, and that’s cotton that I ‘gleaned’ from a harvested field on the way over. [Mama and her sisters often share about how they picked cotton for spending money when they were

I also had a craft for those who wanted to do it – I printed out family quotes and provided wooden slates [re-purposed from old blinds] and modpodge to glue them on.  I think they turned out cute – This one is hanging in one of my cousin’s home already –

Oh, and of course we had had a photo op – LOVE how my sweetie made the frame appear to be floating in the air [the magic of fishing line thrown over a VERY tall tree limb!] And we LOVE technology that allowed relatives vacationing far away to still visit a bit and be a part!

This is a frame that I picked up at a thrift store years ago – I use it often for fun photos – for this gathering I printed out a little sign and taped it in the corner –

We tried to get individual photos of all who attended – but I’m sure we missed a few –

And a note – this was planned months ago [I had to reserve the cabin that far in advance to be sure we had it in the fall] with no thought that our mother wouldn’t be here with us. But my sister, brother, and I decided we wanted to go ahead with it and loved visiting with family and hearing stories about our mother who’d passed away just a few weeks prior. We had a pretty good attendance and realized we don’t do it often enough. – Back in the day many of us gathered almost every Sunday afternoon out at my Mama Moland’s house and we all have sweet memories…

With the holidays coming up – I encourage you to take the time to gather together with family and friends. Do a pot luck and let them share in the preparation - and cherish the moment.

Thank you so much Judy for sharing your ideas and the precious time you spent with your family.

Do share your family parties - Thanksgiving or Christmas - with us by using the linky below.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Creative Date for November

Julia Cameron in The Artists Way suggested the idea of making time for a regular creative date.   This idea is also picked up by Matt Tommey in Unlocking the Heart of the Artist.   You can also find inspiration here: 101 Artist's Date Ideas.

I am suggesting that we should each make time for a creative date each month.  Ideally we will go out.  Go to a local museum, a local art gallery, go for a walk!  Whatever idea you have that will feed your creativity.

However sometimes it's not possible to physically visit those places.  So here's my idea for November.  Visit an online museum.

Do let us know what your favourite parts of the museum are using the linky below.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Technique Challenge

This month's challenge is to play with stencils.  Here's a video to inspire you from Carolyn Dube.

I love Carolyn Dube's style of teaching and if you want to find out more about ways to use your stencils then sign up for Stencil Play.  Visit Carolyn's blog: A Colorful Journey.

Don't forget to link you work using the linky below.

Monday, 11 November 2013


On the 11th hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month
We will remember them

For the Fallen

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

• For The Fallen was first published in the Times on September 21 1914. Laurence Binyon (1869-1943) wrote it while working at the British Museum, and did not go to the western front until 1916, as a Red Cross orderly. The poem's fourth verse is now used all over the world during services of remembrance, and is inscribed on countless war monuments.

Find out more here: For the Fallen


Saturday, 9 November 2013

November Zine

Each quarter we are making a seasonal Zine.  The information for the Autumn Zine is here.

Here is the page for October.

And so onto the last page in this season's Zine.  Here's the starting point.

I used Rusty Hinge Distress Ink through a stencil to get the image of bare branches.

As before I cut up the quote and inked the pieces with Barn Door Distress Ink, stuck them down and stamped the month using Sepia Archival Ink.

Our Autumn Zine is finished.  If you are making this as a standalone zine then you will need to finish your cover.  If like me you are making all four seasons into one book then you need do nothing more except put it in a safe place!   And of course, remember where that is!

Don't forget to add your work via the linky.  Looking foward to seeing your finished page.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Photo Challenge

In March I introduced this monthly challenge.  Each month we take a photograph on the same day, at the same time, of the same place.  How are you getting on with this challenge?

You choose a day or date and a place to suit you.  It could be taken from your front door, your back door, a particular place on your journey to work or on the school run.  It could be where you walk the dog.  Wherever it is, it needs to be a place you are at or near regularly.

Each month we take a photo and over the year we will build up a picture of the changes in the seasons.   If you haven't already, I suggest you have a folder on your hard drive where you keep these photos so you can find them at the end of our 12 months together.

If you upload them to the Facebook group please add the photo to your album or if you are new please make an album with your name and a suitable title.  Thanks.

There's also a Flickr group if you don't have a blog or a Facebook account.

I've added a linky for you to add your photo or blog.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Flower of the Month

Thank you to Susan for yet again providing us with an interesting article about our flower of the month.

Field Poppy – Papaver rhoeas
The cadmium red Field Poppy, also known as Corn, Flanders or Red Poppy (Papaver rhoeas) is a hardy annual plant that grows wild in fields in parts of Europe such as Great Britain, France and Brussels.  It is also cultivated in gardens and wild flower meadows.

The field poppy has been a popular flower throughout history. Dried field poppies have been found in the tombs of ancient Egyptian princesses.  Their fleeting beauty has been immortalized in paintings by Claude Monet, Robert William Vonnoh and other Impressionists, Odilon Redon, Vincent van Gogh, and Georgia O’Keefe among many others. (I created a board on Pinterest to gather copies of these paintings together into one location.)

The Field Poppy became a symbol of remembrance in 1918 for the soldiers who fought and died in World War I. Inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields”, American Moina Michael began wearing a red silk poppy to honor those fallen soldiers. She campaigned to have it adopted as a national symbol of remembrance and in 1920 the American Legion did just that. This symbol was also adopted by the Commonwealth Nations of Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Red paper poppy flowers are sold and worn on Memorial and Veteran’s Days in the United States and on Poppy and Remembrance Days in Great Britain.

As their common name might suggest, Field Poppies are easy to grow. Select a sunny location with well drained soil. Loosen the ground and scatter the seeds evenly over it. This is best accomplished by mixing the miniscule seeds with sand. The seeds can be purchased from some suppliers with a coating that makes them larger and easier to sow.  Water regularly and remove any competing weeds. Sow the seeds in late autumn or early spring as they are cold hardy and sprout as soon as the soil warms up. Remove the flowers and stems as they fade to encourage new flower buds. This will extend the bloom time from late June into August. At that time allow the flowers to go to seed and scatter onto the ground. Follow this routine and you will have poppies year after year.

Besides the brilliant shades of red – from cadmium to scarlet to crimson – hybrids such as the Shirley Poppies will provide a range of colors from pale to deep pinks, apricots, creams, mauves and whites that do not have the characteristic black centers.

The Field Poppy, like all poppies, produces a milky white sap, called latex. Unlike its relative, Opium Poppy (P. somniferum), this sap does not contain opium. It does contain rhoeadine which has been used as a sedative. The seeds are sometimes used in baking as a substitute for bread poppy. The flower petals have also been used as a wrinkle preventer as well as a dye for wines, medicines and inks. The oil from the seeds is used as a medium for oil painting.

Though the flowers last a few short days, it is a joy to watch these plants grow. First putting forth nodding buds on thin, wiry stems that open to brilliant color, they eventually transform into ornamental seedpods. These can be cut and used in dried floral arrangements and wreaths along with the seed heads of other wildflowers. A perfect autumn centerpiece.

Thank you so much Susan.

Please link any work you do on the Flower of the Month using the linky below.

Friday, 1 November 2013

The month of November

Welcome to November.  Here in the UK the weather can often be quite dismal.  However to cheer us up have a look at the bizarre celebrations listed for this month.

How about Marooned without a compass day?   Or Chaos never dies day?

In the UK on November 5th we celebrate the failure of someone to blow up The Houses of Parliament.
Remember, remember!
The fifth of November,
Gunpowder treason and plot.

And on November 11th we remember those that died in two World Wars and  conflicts since then.  Here are some links related to this.

In Flanders Fields  

The Remembrance Poppy

Pages to download to colour in
Oriental Poppy                      Poppy            Lest we forget

Here's the poem November by Thomas Hood.

No sun - no moon!
No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! -