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I have been published in…

My layout published on pg 67 of the Sept 09 issue
Scrapbook Inspirations Magazine
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Sunlight on a Cloudy Day

I just HAVE to share this rose with you.  I took this photo this evening… it had been raining here and as I thought it might, the rain had settled on this rose in my garden just to enhance it’s beauty!  I’m not into yellow as a colour, I prefer my pinks, but this rose start’s off pale pink and as it opens and matures it changes from pink, to peach and then yellow.

I have been admiring this single bloom for a few days and it has got bigger each day as the petals. And today, with such gloomy skies, it was a glow of sunlight to me. I just felt I wanted to capture the  brief moment in time and share it with someone.

Sunlight Rose 2

Sunlight Rose

Sunlight Rose close up

I don’t know the name of the rose as it was already here when we moved in, but I can tell you it smells as sweet as it looks beautiful!

TIME – Make it, don’t Find it!

Scrapbooking & Crafting Advice from SundayLYes that slippery thing called Time!  Everyone complains of not having enough of it.  Well I say that you have to MAKE TIME for those things you enjoy as a matter of health!

Fellow crafters are often saying that they just don’t get the time to do their crafting.  Some of my scrapbooking group only managed to do any scrapbooking when they were at our crop… once a month, otherwise their stash didn’t see the light of day.

We’ve all been there!

I have been there for a long time, what with setting up the tearooms.

But it’s only after making the decision that Enough was Enough that I finally MADE time for my crafting.

Why now… what pushed me to that decision?

My unhappiness, my frustration, my inability to enjoy anything through exhaustion mostly.  Not just physical, but mental.

There was a pile of ‘things to be done’ but I had to make the decision to pack the To Do list away in a folder with anything else staring at me, and clear my desk.  I found something to put my laptop on, so that I can now slide it easily right to the back of my desk giving me more space.

I deliberately turned off my laptop, put all the office stuff away and got out my Random Mini Album, which is something I started a long while ago now (see this link for the article and videos, etc). 

I looked at the pages already made and read the journalling, the words were very poignant, and I realised that I should be using my scrapbooking FOR myself, for my Sanity!  It doesn’t matter how good it looks, or even if there is a picture or how good it is when printed! 

JUST DO IT!

So I used one of the blank pages already in the album (in this case a tag) for recording a fleeting moment I had enjoyed earlier that day.  I then felt the energy to finish the inside of the covers properly, re-arrange the pages already made into chronological order and then add a simple page to explain why there was a gap in the pages (2009-2011!).

random-moments-album-cover

The marked thing about that is that I also rummaged through the cupboard to unpack my Craft Robo which hadn’t been out of it’s box since my house move 18 months ago!  I kept putting it off.

Ironically it’s a similar idea to a “SmashBook”, currently marketted by K&Co, which I made with my daughter and one for myself (there’s another post about that).

I felt better for my scrapbooking.  Yes I felt guilty regarding the lack of work done that evening, but when I was working in an office elsewhere, I had to pack up my things each day and make notes for the following time I would be in.  “It’s time”, I thought, “to start treating this home based business in the same way”.

There has to be a ‘cut off’ time, a time for something pleasureable.  Guilt or not, if you prevent yourself enjoying the things you like to do, everything else suffers as you get no respite.

Yes I have had to give up things I enjoyed because of work, but I have to MAKE TIME for my sanity now, or else I will be fit for nothing and nobody.

I am in the second year of starting a business, thankfully it is going from strength to strength, but if you are a housewife and mother (or father!), then it just as time-sapping for you as this is for me.

Don’t allow the family to demand your attention at all times, set aside your time, and I mean about 2 hours maybe once a week for doing some crafting. 20 minutes is not enough!  and it HAS to be time that you will feel awake enough!  BOOK IT on the calendar, work the rest of the day/dinner, etc around it, not the other way around.

Of course, your watching television does actaully eat into your ‘Me’ time, so not having time to craft when you spend hours watching the TV is not quite the same!  That’s your choice, spare time = TV as opposed to spare time = craft time.  My point is… don’t think “I’ll do some crafting if I get time” because you rarely do!

Instead think… ” I will do some crafting on such and such afternoon for 3 hours minimum and everyone and everything can work around me for a change!”

Our New Addition

This is the new addition to my household!  1,2,3… Ahhhhh!  A sleeping puppy!  My daughter has named her Rosie and she is a Jack Russell.

Rosie

She is very cute and very small and she will be experiencing her first vet visit this coming week!  I suppose I ought to get scrapbooking some pictures!

Rosie and H

Resting Place for my Beloved Dog

I mentioned in a recent post (An October Walk), where I posted some pictures of an oak tree, that I would post a little story about a special Oak.

Well, not too long ago I lived in a house which we renamed “Badgers Oak” when we moved in.  There was a magnificent Oak tree in the garden, but I named it ‘Badgers Oak’ because I knew it would be the last home of my beloved dog ‘Badger’ as he was 14 when we moved there. 

Scrapbook page-Badger by SundayL

This is a picture of Badger when he was only about 18 months old.

I knew I would have to be burying him in the garden in the not too distant future and therefore it would be his last Resting Place.

That fateful day came on Christmas Eve 2003, two weeks after the birth of my daughter, and poor old Badger was laid to rest in the North West corner of the garden where we planted an Oak sapling from the main tree on top of him.

We made the decision to leave that house after the sudden death of my Dad aged a mere 55, and so in 2006 we had to leave Badger behind.

I don’t know whether the oak sapling has survived it’s new owners, and to be honest I don’t want to go back to find out.  I want to remember my boy Badger as I left him, with an Oak Tree to mark the spot for hundreds of years.

I had a little head stone made, as we have for all our dogs who’ve left us, we keep those with us and find a quiet little spot in each garden in which we live to put them. And Badger’s reads…

Badger
1988-2003
My Shadow, My Friend

He was a dear little man, who everyone loved, and although it’s nearly 7 years now, I still miss him.

Sweet Dreams Badge x

An October Walk

On one of my recent walks with the Dogs I was delighted to witness a beautiful twilight!  My favourite time of day, but so fleeting.  However with the advent of the humble mobile phone camera, I now have a camera with me (most of the time) to be able to capture that fleeting moment in time.

So I share with you here some of those photos.

october_walk_8

Well firstly there are my walking companions of course… Inde (the border collie) and Toffee – who’s getting on a bit now at 12 and half!

october_walk_1

Now I know this photo is a little out of focus, but I include it here because it captures the lovely pinks that were in the sky. This picture is taken with the sun behind me.

october_walk_2

This picture is taken in the same position as the last one, but this time I have turned around and am looking slightly uphill!  The trees silhouetted against the sky with the fluffy clouds softly glowing… is a “view to relax to” in my book.

october_walk_7

This photo is actually taken a few moments earlier, you can see the sun just that little bit more before it dips behind the hill.  With an uplifting sentiment in white lettering on the bottom of this picture I may use it as a card to celebrate the Winter Solstice, even though the leaves are still on the trees!

october_walk_5

I decided to take this picture to show the archetypal Oak Tree, well the acorns anyway!  Lush greenery and ripening acorns.

october_walk_6

A close up of the Oak Leaves.

october_walk_3

The winding, crooked branches in the late Autumn sun.

october_walk_4

And the majestic tree itself, solid, old (although not as old as some) and an English sign of stability. 

I’ll tell you a little story about the name ‘Badgers Oak’ one day.

Simple Question – No answer!

scrapbooking-chit-chat-logoMy daughter (aged 6) asked me a very simple and resonable question last night at the dinner table.  It was a question to which my reply was…
“Actually, I have absolutely no idea, and I’m not sure where, or if, I could find a definite answer!”

Trust a child to come up with a simplicity of life that we have all taken as read, taken for granted, and not questioned ourselves and ask ‘why?’.

I may well do a scrapbook page just about this!… The Question…?

“Who invented Please and Thank You?”

Vintage Cards & Chicks!

Hello All!!Day old chick

I have been recruiting again for the Tearooms, and, as a consequence also having to work in the Rooms themselves along with training, etc… phewee is putting it very politely!!

So, I have been away from the Blogs, etc. 

Anyway, I have posted here, some small cards I made recently which are very quick to make and I sell them as “extra” cards for the Tearooms Gift Certificates.

BUT.. before that take a look at our chicks!  Two of our new Bantam Chickens “went Broody” about two weeks after their arrival and so I bought some fertile eggs and 5 of the 8 hatched.. mothers and babies are all doing well and are actually about 3 and a half weeks old now.

Bantams and chicks

 So on to the cards… click the pictures for a slightly bigger version.

vintage-card-4

vintage-card-1

vintage-card-2

vintage-card-3

A Father’s Day Note

FlowersThis is just a little note… out to the Ether really… A Special Father’s day thought to my Dad, Chris Norman, who sadly, was taken from me back in January 2005 aged only 55.  I just felt I needed to say it permanently somewhere, as I have no grave to visit, no plaque to gaze upon.

This is just to say, I miss you a lot Dad.  It’s been 5 years, and yet the sadness never leaves me.  As you were so young when I was born, I thought you would be around for a long time.  I never had a chance to get to know you properly, and you were never particularly good at showing your feelings, but I hope you are proud of me at what I have achieved and I hope our new business is a little like how you would have created it yourself.

Your granddaughter is growing up fast and you would have made a wonderful grandfather and I hope in some way, you are watching over me and her and helping to guide us to a bright future.

I love you and miss you.

Sunday x

Time for a Change!

Time for a Change… “of what?” you may ask.

Well sometimes you just need a change of scenery!  this was my scenery this afternoon, after deciding that I needed to “get out” and clear my head of numbers!

Poppies in the Field

I decided it was best I took the dogs for a walk before the rain came down… in fact it didn’t in the end, just got very dark at one point!  But I had been looking at this for a number of hours…

Paperwork

Yep… business accounts… VAT returns, blah blah!

Whilst I was on my walk with Inde and Toffee, I thought about this blog… and the others, and my newsletter.  My phylosophy has been to keep things as specific as possible, ie, it’s a scrapbooking/crafting blog, I should keep it as such and not put much up of my personal affairs.

Well don’t panic I am not planning to start writing my diary on here, but I thought I would just share a little more on here of non-crafting things in-between the crafting things, if you know what I mean. 

As I haven’t been able to craft much lately, I have not been able to contribute to this blog and I feel the need to chat to you all!

Anyway, I shall chat a bit later… lol!  I am planning however, to make some random mini pages of random photos from my daily life and “speed scrap” them… let’s see how I do eh!

In the meantime I will leave you with a picture of one of my co-walkees !

14062010802

Saying Goodbye to Oscar

Today was a bit of a sad day for me, as I had to bury one of my Koi.  Oscar just didn’t make it through, what with the move from the old house to the holding tank and then into the new pond, coupled with the very cold weather we have just had. 

He was about 14 years old and was the first koi I bought when I moved from Surrey up here to Suffolk.  He used to feed from my hand in the early days until I bought some more koi a few years later and Tango – my other big koi – muscled him out of my hand feeding, so I lost that contact.  Not to mention the fact that with a child in the house at that point, the likelihood of my staying patiently still with food in my hand in the water was nil!

oscar-koi

So Oscar has gone to that great koi pond in the sky.  This is the most recent picture I have of him, which is not very good as Tango always has to take centre stage, so I don’t have many of Oscar.  But you can see him briefly in a little video I made of my fish last summer.