Wednesday, 30 December 2009

A quieter time

Since Christmas things have been much quieter around here. On Boxing Day we stayed at home, caught up on a few things that needed to be done and generally relaxed. The weekend just disappeared and before I knew it it was Monday again. Mum and I did our shopping and had a coffee at Starbucks (where I embarrassed myself by knocking my coffee into the rubbish bin and spraying milk all over the place :os - fortunately they know us quite well and I don't usually do things like that ;o) They were very sweet about it, cleared up after me and gave me another coffee without charging me!) The rest of the day was spent unpacking, cooking and doing some much needed housework. Yesterday saw me doing at least 4 hours worth of ironing :o( - I couldn't believe I had left it so long! A huge thank you to Ruth, who had sent me the first series of ER a while ago as I'd never seen a single episode. I started watching it yesterday while ironing and then didn't want to stop watching! I'm thoroughly enjoying the programme and look forward to watching a few more episodes in the next couple of days.
This afternoon we've had a visit from my nephew, Kyle and his girlfriend, Emma. Kyle is my sister Norma's eldest son and seeing as she lives in South Africa, I know she'll enjoy seeing a photo of Kyle and Emma. We had a lovely time catching up (and eating some of the biscuits/shortbread/sweets that Jon's Dad sent down to us for Christmas!) and this year we'll have to make sure we see more of them.
Kyle and Emma
My Mum and Dad were also here this afternoon but the colour in the photos I took of them isn't right and gives Mum rather brassy blonde hair rather than her natural colour so I thought I'd better not post them.
I took a few photos of Emily (because I could). I told her we'd use them as her "before" haircuts tonight photos I like this photo
And this one, she tells me, is what a true "before" haircuts photo should look like ;o)
And just to show I have actually be working on some of my JYC pages and should hopefully be able to post them in the next couple of days - a photo of my desk this afternoon.
I'm still playing around with Photoshop Elements 8 and getting used to it. I have just received Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage and am hoping this might answer some of the questions I still haven't worked out myself.
I'm now off to get ready to pick up Claire from work and shoot over to our hairdressers to have a trim. Are you also taking things easier now or are you now gearing up for New Year's Eve? We don't have any plans for NYE and I'm quite happy to stay home and watch movies with Emily. I think Hugh and Claire will be out with their respective partners and I have a feeling Jon may last to the SA New Year - which is 10pm our time - then head off to bed! ;o)

Sunday, 27 December 2009

4 Quilts for Christmas

I can now share the four quilts I made for Christmas The first one is one my sister in law, Deb asked me to make for her husband, Dave (so they wouldn't fight over the one quilt they already have).
The second one was for my great nephew, Tyler. Tyler is 2 (3 in January) and had a new sister come in to his family in October. I had been going to make her a quilt and wanted to make one for Tyler as well.
Tyler's little sister, Alyssa's quilt. I loved the colours in this one and hopefully she'll like it as she gets older too.
And finally, Mum's quilt again. I was pleased with how all four quilts turned out and hope the recipients get lots of use out of them.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Boxing Day

Boxing Day is when we have a quiet day and relax after Christmas day. My nephew, Max is over playing games with Hugh
and Emily is enjoying reading, uploading her new CDs to her iPod and watching DVDs she's received. Claire has gone to Craig's grandparents for the day but, if I remember correctly, is working again tomorrow.
I have spent today catching up on some washing (though not very well) and trying to get to grips with Photoshop Elements 8. There are a few features that have changed that I used to use regularly so I am having to work out how things are done now. I've edited my photos (as you can probably tell by the number of posts up today) and printed a few photos out already. I'm thinking of scrapbook pages that could be made but first of all I have to think about catching up with my JYC layouts.
I hope your Christmas was as enjoyable as ours and I look forward to reading about some of them on the blogs I read. Enjoy your evening.

Christmas morning

This year is probably the latest we've been up on Christmas morning for a number of years :o). Emily woke at 4.30am but then didn't wake Claire until 5.25am and then after that woke Hugh and Sarah. I woke up at 5.50am and had to listen carefully to hear if anyone was up yet. I was supposed to be picking Mum up at 6am so I was up and dressed in a fairly short space of time ;o). I think Mum has been coming round at 6am to watch the children open presents since they came back to the UK. Dad used to come as well but has decided going out at 6am is a bit early these days!
Everyone gathered and ready to start
Mum looking remarkably cheerful so early in the morning!
Hugh played Father Christmas again this year and handed out all the presents
Hugh's girlfriend, Sarah, was with us for Christmas morning this year before going home to her family for Christmas dinner.
Starting to open presents
Sarah and Hugh
Wallace and Emily (Wallace loves Christmas morning and likes to see what everyone is opening
Sarah made Hugh's knees more festive ;o)
Watching Grandma open her present
Not sure why Claire was wearing her new scarf on her head!
Emily knows where it's meant to go!
Time to relax again
Mum went home for a while after the presents were opened but I picked both her and Dad up again at 1pm to come round for the afternoon. Jon had picked up his brother, Mike after Church. Hugh played Santa once again and handed Mike and Grandpa their presents

Christmas Afternoon

This year Jon decided that after the presents had all been opened we would sing a few carols. He'd been practicing on his guitar for a number of weeks and had printed out the words for us. We sang Holy, Holy, Holy; Silent Night and Joy to the World. Mum kept us all more or less in tune with Emily a close second
Jon's brother Mike joined in
Hugh, not so much! ;o)
and I didn't hear Claire very much
After singing and before eating, I decided I would like a couple of group photos. Taking part with Journal Your Christmas this year had made me realise that I tend to take photos of present opening and then forget the rest of the day. This year I decided it would be different.
Emily, me, Hugh, Jon and Claire
Mum and Dad with the "children"
and a snap of Mum with Hugh and Emily (Claire was doing her hair at the time)
The table was brought into the lounge for Christmas because the area that the previous people used as a dining area is now my craft area/dog area. We all managed to get round the table, which was the main thing.
I stood on the stairs to take this photo ;o)
Somehow we ended up with a mens side
and a ladies side (with Jon and me at either end).
Lunch was delicious and, yes, the turkey was cooked outside on the Weber again this year. Again, by the end of the meal everyone was almost too full for pudding but we did manage to eat a little bit.
It was a fun meal with lots of chat and banter. Hugh was in top form and had us all laughing. Even the jokes in the crackers were amusing this year (and different to the ones we've normally had!).
After the meal I took Mike home and dropped Claire off at her boyfriend's house before going back to pick up Mum, Dad and Emily to go to my brother Iain's house. We had coffee and exchanged presents once again but I forgot to take my camera!

Mum's Christmas Surprise

As those of you who have read my blog for a while will know, for Dad's 80th birthday, in September, I made a lap quilt. I told Mum at the time that she had another couple of years before it was her turn to receive one ;o). However, while making the quilts for Christmas, I decided it would be the ideal time to make one for Mum too. I knew she wouldn't be expecting one and she has always loved the ones I have made. On Christmas morning I was looking forward to seeing her reaction.
Opening the present " Is this what I think it is?"
Finally getting a look at it.
Mum has always liked pastel shades so that was what I used for her quilt
Closer up
I was glad that Mum liked it and am glad I don't have to keep it a secret any more :o)

Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Just popping in really quickly to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. I hope you have all enjoyed a wonderful day with family and/or friends. We have had a really lovely day but I'm ready to collapse and watch a movie (Last Chance Harvey) with Emily and eat some chocolates :o).
I hope to catch up with my JYC layouts tomorrow and come back to let you know about our Christmas. Enjoy Christmas night

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

3 days to go

It's been another busy/productive day today but before I say more, here's today's JYC layouts. I'm hoping my To Do List is a true reflection of what I have left to do - it doesn't look awfully long which is why I'm wondering what I may have forgotten ;o)
Emily and I were supposed to be going to my friend Alison's for a Christmas get together this afternoon. Carol and her son, Elliott were also going. Emily, Elliott and Jake (Alison's son) have been friends since they started school just over 8 years ago but now that the children are at Senior School they don't meet up as much out of school. Unfortunately, Jake was up half of last night with severe ear ache and the doctor sent him to Royal Kent & Sussex Hospital in Tunbridge Wells today to see the ENT Dept and have his ears syringed. The good news is that it seems to have helped and Ali says he's feeling a bit better now and we're now meeting up tomorrow. So what does this have to do with anything? Well, I had said that I would take some cupcakes today and I started making them fairly early this morning. After Alison's call, I decided to carry on with the baking and get some of our gifts made while I was at it. A number of batches of cupcakes later, I had more cakes than I knew what to do with (though not all successful!), so I decided to box up the ones we were giving away and Emily and I went on a delivery round. I was also able to pop my last couple of cards through letter boxes.
Yummy cupcakes!
With all the activity going on today, I think Charlie thought no one would notice if he got behind the tree to have a "closer look" at the ornaments ;o). He was so funny when we caught him - he look ever so innocent .... but we know what you were up to Charlie!
I'm hoping to get the presents wrapped tomorrow (possibly in the morning before we go out), which will help me make sure I haven't forgotten anything. I still have some more cupcakes to bake but not sure when that'll be. I'm looking forward to having most things ticked off my list by Thursday morning so that I can enjoy the Church service in the afternoon and then relax and watch the movie in the evening (with our Chinese take away). I can't believe how quickly Christmas is coming!
Are you all ready? Are your presents wrapped? Are you looking forward to Christmas Day? I hope so!

Monday, 21 December 2009

JYC Day 21

I wasn't sure I was going to get this done tonight but I have. I'm only showing today's layout because yesterday's layout would give away a surprise, which I don't want to do :o)
A quick layout using a photo collage made in PSE7, mounted on card then mounted on the background paper. Super simple but still a day done.