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Just a few jottings - - Random ramblings, occasional crafty creations & nature notes included. Trying to "Design a life I love" - succeeding I think -----.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Time for - -

-- collecting together supplies to create the kits for the end of term - today I have been to get the ribbons for making the star books - & at the same time I found some beautiful fabric - for quilting, so hope to do a bit to add to my Christmas Journal. The class properly start on Monday - how exciting is that?

Friday, 28 November 2008

It's beginning to feel a lot - - -

- - -like Christmas - la, la,la - The Christmas trees arrived in school today - the scent in the foyer was wonderful!! I love the scent of conifers - pine and fir are so very evocative of this season of the year I think.
It was funny though - the tree for the main foyer was about 2 feet too tall - so what did these Manxmen do - start sawing through the trunk!! Took 3 of them - including the Headmaster - to cut it to down to size. Me - I would have just clipped off the spindle at the top - no one would have been any the wiser since the tree is such a good shape! The photo of the Head sawing madly is now on our school plasma screen- I'm only sorry I can't share it with you since the whole incident has had us in tucks of laughter all day! I LOVE the Isle of Man!!!!
All for now J x

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Oh so dark - -

- - this morning when the alarm went off - and it didn't get much lighter going into work.Such an ominous sky - - - very, very gloomy - the kind you see in horror movies when the heroine gets abandoned in a spooky house somewhere!
Needless to say - the heavens opened just after I got into work and the rain came down in bucket loads!! Yet now it is a beautiful autumn day - with blue sky and sunshine - a little breezy to be sure - the wind is scooting in across Scarlett and over the playing fields - but I have just really enjoyed my walk into town to get a wee bit of shopping. Managed to get another Christmas present as well - which is a real bonus - at this rate I won't need to go into Douglas to shop at all, just to absorb a bit of Christmas atmosphere - so will avoid the pressure and it will just be fun!
I have been making Christmas tags today for the Craft Club gifts for all our members - and hope to finish them later - need to go an root out my crop o dile from Crafty Corner to punch the holes.
Also made this star book which we are doing with out crafty corner girls on the last day of term. Hope they will like it.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

The Preparation prompt arrives - -

- - for this year's Journal Your Christmas - as you probably know I am playing along again with Shimelle and a host of other great participants from right across the globe. The board has been buzzing with anticipation awaiting this first email from Shimelle - we - grown women - are all like children waiting to see Santa - just bubbling with excitement. I first did this class in 2006 - so this will be my third Journal! I can't thank Shimelle enough for designing and running this class - because it really has made Christmas magical again for me. I have always loved Christmas - as a child I remember spending most of December with a permanent bubble of excitement in my tummy - and felt the same way when my children were little as well, in anticipation of their faces on Christmas morning - but as they all became young adults - it wasn't quite the same, yet I do still love Christmas.
However - thanks to this class my delight in Christmas time has returned to childhood levels - and f0r that I raise my glass (metaphorically speaking - it is only 8.30 am here!!)and say Hooray for Shimelle and Journal Your Christmas.
I am really proud to say that I did manage a finished product - all be it that I missed out a couple of prompts in 2006, and that when I was invited to join in again in 2007 was also able to produce a passable Journal of my season - even though I didn't manage ALL the 37 prompts. I love both of my journals - I think they might be my favourite scrapbooks - as they certainly are looked through more often than any other!
So - - - once again I am Journalling My Christmas -- Why you ask? because I love Christmas - - for all the hustle & bustle, all the preparation, all the shopping for gifts for my loved ones. I really enjoy wrapping my parcels - making them as pretty & special as possible for my own very special people, making mince pies on Christmas Eve - with all the memories it brings of doing the very same thing with mummy as a child to doing the same with my children, planning my menu for Christmas Day, decorating my home with my Christmas Village, putting up the Tree - - candles. school Christmas Fayres, writing my Christmas letter & my cards, travelling home in the dark to see fairy lights appearing in windows and outside homes as other families start their own preparation, listening to Christmas music - going to the special Candlelit Services, being with my family, enjoying foods and drinks that I only have at Christmas time, roasting the turkey & pork, Christmas Crackers, party games, silly hats , walks after Christmas Lunch, High Tea on Christmas Day, Boxing Day presents and so many other small special traditions - - all make this the most magical time of year. My Granny, Grandad,my mum & dad always made Christmas Magic for my sister and I - -I try to do the same with my family - my husband, my daughters & son - I hope I am succeeding - - - that mum and gran would be proud of the way I carry our family Christmas tradition forward before it moves on to the next generation - -and of course I can always dream of a white Christmas - Can't I?
If Christmas means just as much to you - why don't you take a peek here http://www.shimelle.com/classes/389/journal-your-christmas - - play along too?

All for now Jx

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

A Weekend Getaway - -

- - the Dance Festival trip was so much fun! Though it didn't get off to the most auspicious of starts since I misread the flight take off time and we missed the plane!! DOH!!! Do I feel dumb!!It cost so much to change the ticket that we almost didn't go. If the visit hadn't been incorporating the Gallery visit that R needed for her A Level Art course we would have stayed home! In fact if I am totally honest this trip was cursed I think, since we had problems with the hire car as well- it just lost power after we had been driving about 25 miles. It was actually rather scary as we were on the motorway at the time - M55 heading to M62 so there was a fair volume of traffic. I am not a driver - so rarely "feel" the engine etc the way D does - but even I felt this! We did manage to get to Manchester though for the gallery visit - a great exhibition of Pre Raphaelite paintings - so worth a look see if you are around Moseley St.
All for now. J

Thursday, 20 November 2008

A grey morning - -

- - and last night was a black night! I always get a slight sense of shock whenever I go home by bus in the winter from how very dark it is here. Street lights are few and far between once I leave the town - only on the main roads in the very centre of the villages - so the windows of the farms and cottages scattered along my route shine out like beacons as the bus whizzes along the lanes.
There are communities en route of course - small villages with really rather a lot of homes tucked away at the back of the main roads on fairly new housing estates - but they still have very few street lamps - particularly compared to the huge conurbations of North West England - where to be truthful - it is never truly dark!
It makes the Christmas lights all the more spectacular though - so I think I prefer it here!
This morning was pale grey - but not dismal, and the trees were very black against the sky. Quite windy when I got out of the car, which I hadn't expected to be honest - but it was blowing straight off Scarlett.
This morning I have cut a few papers for the Crafty Corner girls tomorrow - as I am off the island for a trip to Blackpool Dance Festival - am so looking forward to it!!
Til later J x

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

JYC 2008 - Stamps for Xmas

Had to pop down to the PO to send some stuff to DD1 in Oz - and when I got there I realised they had the new Christmas stamps in - so I got a whole set ready to add to my Christmas Journal 2008.
Last year a few in the group swapped Christmas stamps - so maybe that will happen again - you never know.Our stamps this year are based around the wonderful book by Janet & Allen Ahlberg - The Jolly Christmas Postman. Any of you who have little ones - their books are truly delightful - full of interaction and beautiful illustrations - having the books from when my children were small I am delighted to have these stamps to add to my Christmas Journal 2008! They can be purchased from here if you are interested.

Another beautiful - -

- - sky as we drove into work today. It was incredibly misty over South Barrule and the Sloc though - their tops were shrouded in Manannan's Cloak. I couldn't decide if they were rain clouds up there or whether it was just cloud which looked grey because it was so early in the day. Over to the east though - the sky was pearly again - like the inside of a shell and the trees stretched bare fingers upwards - their silhouettes so very black against the pale pearly sky. A few gulls soared up over the bay as we passed - sharp silhouettes again - like the birds small children draw in their pictures - then this fleeeting flash of nature's beauty is gone as we round the bend and the scattered farm buildings come into view.
Til later J x

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Getting Ready - -

- - for Journalling my Christmas once again. So to get into the spirit (a little early I know) I created this exploding box of The Twelve Days of Christmas (or A Partridge in a Pear Tree if you prefer) to do with my Crafty Corner Girls as a Christmas project. I am also considering offering them a "Star" book class - so may well let them choose which they prefer. We plan to run the class/session on the last day of term for our regular Crafty Corner members - and I am so looking forward to it

Coming into school this morning the sky was just so beautiful - all mother-of pearl colours - just like the inside of an oyster shell - soft pale grey, the faintest of peachy pinks and the gentlest of blues as we drove towards the rising sun. It gave the whole of the bay a very tranquil feel - which felt odd as it had been and incredibly windy night! I could even feel the wind through the skylight in the bedroom- which was a little draughty to say the least!! Still it must have settled down as I woke to a very calm, pale day - slightly grey skies though not in the dull sense if you follow me. These pale grey days make the sea in the bay look like glass - and the few gulls around were reflected in the water this morning. I do love this drive into work - it isn't far but so very often we are driving towards the most beautiful skies - and it does boost my spirits, especially in the long dark days of winter.
Here are a couple more pictures of the exploding box.

Til later J x

Monday, 17 November 2008

An AllDay Crop

Yesterday my craft club had one of our allday crop/craft days. It was really lovely - very relaxed and I had a great day. For the very first time a few of our members brought their little daughters along - 5 to 7 year olds - and they were so very well behaved and delightful to have with us. Their mums deserve to be very proud of them.
We had a kit of course, with beautiful BoBunny papers - all rich autumn colours and a mini book class as well as some LO ideas and card ideas to use the papers for - I will take some photos tomorrow to upload.

The "littles" had their own kit and made mini books too - but in lovely pinks and turquoise - Abigail (age 6) said their kit was best - which really made me smile!! They worked on a theme of Friends, All About Me- or Favourites - their mums knew which kind of photos to bring and all in all had a wonderful day. I only hope the mums had as good a day - I think so as the "littles" were all sat on their own table and very soon made friends.
I have made a start on my Journal for Christmas - printed out all my numbering as this year I have gone with computer generated numbers, cut a good batch of card stock and covered my journal front cover ready for further decoration - doing a bit more later as -hopefully.
Til later. J xx

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Life has - -

- - got in the way somewhat over these last months - but maybe this is a good time to try to start blogging again since it will soon be time for Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas class. I do intend to join the group again and create another Christmas Journal. Today is my birthday - so this is a promise to myself - and I will keep the blog up to date too!