Tuesday, 9 February 2016

My reading habits

A while back I read a post on Sian's blog about her reading habits and I've had it in my mind for a while to answer the same questions.  I have always been a big reader but the last year I think I managed a disappointing total of two books!  That is shocking and I so want to get back into it and enjoy getting lost in the fantasy world between the covers or delve into someone else's life via a good biography. We've recently set up a book club too so I've got a commitment to read a book by a certain date which has made me pull my socks up!

So here are the same set of questions with my own thoughts...

Do you have a certain place at home to read?

Generally I read in bed of an evening.  It's time to wind down, no interruptions and my pile of books are piled right next to my bed.  I have also been known to read in the garden on a summers day and sit in the conservatory in the spring-time with the doors open at the weekend if I have a quiet moment (ha! what's one of those?).  

A bookmark or a random piece of paper?

Always a bookmark! I used to have one from Austria that my Grandma gave me but I had to retire it as it started to fall apart.  It's now stored away safely for sentimental reasons.  I have a lace one from Brugge, given to me by my mum, a bead and elastic one from a craft market in Belfast and a Mr Bump magnet "borrowed" from Josh.  I generally have a few books on the go (see further down) so they all get used!

Can you stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or number of pages?

Without fail I HAVE to stop at the end of a chapter every time.  I get a bit twitchy if I'm reading while waiting for an appointment or to pick up A or J and find I have to stop part way through.  As soon as I'm home I have to get to the end of the chapter so I can put the book to one side.  Maybe it's because I think the author has spent a lot of time planning the book so that the chapter ends are perfectly placed or maybe it's the OCD in me!

Do you eat or drink while reading?

I usually have a cup of tea while in bed reading.  In the garden I've been known to have a glass of wine or a nice cold beer!  Generally I don't eat a meal while I'm reading but I might snack on something sweet or savoury.

Do you watch TV or listen to music while reading?

I couldn't concentrate if I did that!  I like relative quiet while reading although a little background music while in the garden, filtering out from the kitchen window has been known!  

One book at a time or several at once?

I used to be a one book at a time girl.  But in recent years my reading habits have broadened to read more educational books and so I will usually ave one of those on the go.  Plus I have also recently started subscribing to "audible" in order to listen to a book in my car when I do a long drive or if I want to listen late at night when hubby has gone to bed early (he works away and gets up at some ungodly hour when he has to set off for work!).  The two I have listened to so far have both been read by excellent actors and really brought the books to life.  Currently I am listening to "Head over Heel", reading Danny Baker's "Going to sea in a sieve" and re- reading "The five love languages of teenagers".  So that's a fiction, fact and self-help book on the go all at once.

Reading at home or everywhere?

I always have a book in my bag.  Usually the educational one so I can dip in and out of it but sometimes a good story.  I also have the audible app on my phone so can listen in my car anytime.  I love to read on holiday; around the pool, on the beach and on the balcony and especially on the plane to make the flight go quick.

Reading aloud or silently in your head?

In my head!  I think people would lock me up if I started reading out loud!

Do you ever read ahead or skip pages?

No!  If I'm inclined to skip pages then that tells me the book is not for me and it's time to call it a day.  That's only happened a couple of times.  And I don't read ahead - that would just spoil a good story.

Do you ever write in books?

Puzzle books maybe but never a reading book.  I do have the Scribble Diary that I write in every so often and capture a random day. But writing in a book? That would be so wrong.  The only time that has been allowed in this house is when annotations have been added to GCSE Literature books!  

So what are your reading habits?  I'd love to know and read about them.  Just tag me in your post and I'll come and have a look :)

Saturday, 6 February 2016

The Angel of the North

This is the final page for my Northumbria album.  I came across this old Sarah's Cards page kit (now Hey Little Magpie) from the days when I used to go to their monthly crops.  I was having a good sort out of my stash over Christmas while I was off and re-organised my papers.

I decided to use this kit up, even thought the style is not really me anymore and is a little dated.  The colours went with my photo of the Angel and it was great to just follow a set of instructions and get this scrapped.

I added my own prima flower as one of my furry friends ran off with the small cream one I had left on my desk!  But at least that's more old stash used up :)

It feels so good to finally have one album completed.  I don't have many albums for one event or holiday but we packed a lot in this week so it just evolved that way.  Most of my albums are just the year and I file my pages chronologically (but I definitely don't scrap that way!).  I just need to crack on with the other 15 or so I have on the go now!!!

Thursday, 4 February 2016

16 memories to make in 2016

I've followed Becky's blog for a while now and the other day she happened to share a list of 15 things she is going to do to celebrate her 50th birthday this year.

After a quick exchange of comments we found out that our birthdays are only a few days apart as I too am celebrating my 50th in June.  I already had a few things rattling around my brain of how to mark the occasion but Becky's post has inspired me to get them into print and make them happen!

So without further ado, here are my plans...

1. A family meal down south with my parents, brother, neice and nephews (not easy to organise when I live up north!)
2. Afternoon tea with friends at the Richmond Tea Rooms, Manchester
3. A weekend in Krakow with the girls
4. Climb at least two more Wainwrights (A cottage in the Lakes is already booked for May half term)
5. A meal out with "the gang" at the Rope and Anchor in the beautiful outdoor barn

6. Outdoor concert and picnic at Delamere Forest (Already booked for the Sunday after my birthday, Kaiser Chiefs here we come!)
7. Afternoon tea at "Downton Abbey" with Alex and my parents (booked for Easter)
8. A gorge walk
9. Climb Rivington Pike

10. A weekend away with Tony at The Manor Haus, Llangollen
11. Celebrate with my crafty friends at our retreat in March
12. Go to the classical concert at Tatton Park

13. Complete the Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Challenge
14. Visit the Shard with Tony, Alex and Josh
15. Go to a drumming workshop
16. Visit Oxford Universty

The last one is a long time desire of mine.  I have been a Morse, Lewis and now an Endeavour fan since watching it as a young girl with my mum.  I was born about 30 miles from Oxford so know it well but the colleges seen in the TV series are not open to the public...except for University open days.  Cue one 17 year old looking to study Chemistry at Uni, an open day the week of my birthday and free b&b accommodation just up the road at my parents' house and it would be rude not to go and take a look!  Alex also loves to watch Lewis and Endeavour with me now so we can indulge ourselves for the day and you never know, she might even get a place - it's worth a shot!

I should add that this list is not exhaustive!  I am in the frame of mind these days to say yes to the opening of an envelope so there may yet be some more things to add to the list.  This year is all about making memories and one things for sure a lot of them will be made with these gorgeous girls...we've been through so much together and have become so close.

My  plan is to do more pocket pages this year to capture the fun and I will include them in one album along with my 12x12 pages.  My Gossamer Blue Life Pages kit is just the thing to help with that!

I am actually really looking forward to turning 50; I have so much to be grateful for and growing old is a privilege denied to many so I'm making the most of it.  I'll update you on my list through the year but for now I say bring it on!

Thanks again to Becky for the encouragement to share this post.  Go and take a look at her blog - it's full of lovely scrapbook pages and inspiration.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Northumbria pocket pages

Way back when on National Scrapbooking Day Weekend I made these project life style cards.  They have been sat on my desk ever since so over Christmas, with some time off work, I set to work to use them and finish off our holiday album from a week we spent in Northumbria in 2008!

There were still a few gaps in the album with things we'd seen or stories to tell and I decided that pocket pages would mean I could it all documented a lot quicker.  It was back in 2008 after all and there's plenty more photos still to scrap both before and after that!

The first page below is now the cover page for the album.  The Angel of the North was the first place we stopped before we'd even reached the cottage.  It was so magnificent rising out of almost nowhere.  It's such a shame it's right by the busy A1!

Next up were some pages of our visit to Alnwick Gardens.  I had already scrapped some 12x12 pages but had a load more photos of the gorgeous water features, fountains and the poison garden that I wanted in the album.

I did make a couple of extra pocket cards to match the others and I used up a ton of old embellishments in my "use it up pile".  Having them all co-ordinate gives a cohesive look I really like and with the addition of modern things like enamel dots and punched hearts I don't think anything looks very dated.

Next it was a quick page to record our visit to Souter lighthouse.  I used some very old papers for this and left a lot of the pockets quite plain but I like the finished result.

Finally some photos from a day on Keilder water and Josh as a budding "twitcher" at our cottage.  Again I pulled out some really old papers for these pockets and added some old rub ons, vellum quotes and chipboard speech bubbles (but cut off the pointy bit!)

That left just one page to complete the album which I will share later this week.  

It felt good to get so many photos and stories scrapped and I'm really looking forward to doing more pocket pages this year.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Memorandum Monday

Firstly, my apologies I'm a little late with this.  I'm battling a tooth infection and the pain that comes with it but hopefully a second round of anti-biotics will take care of it!  

So this weekend was a very chilled one having been rushing around non stop for most of January. We watched films, played games, caught up on a mound of paperwork and cooked two lovely meals from James Martin's cook book.  

So I'm joining in with Sian's meme of Memorandum Monday to share a couple of things.  Firstly what did I learn this weekend? Well, one of our movies of choice was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (we are so high brow in this house, lol!) and my own little teenage ninja educated me during the evening.  I'm sorry to say I am old enough to remember the first Turtle movie back in the 90's but I never knew that each Turtle represents a different side of a teenagers personality.  Now I think about it, it's bloomin' obvious! Anyway, this was the little pearl of wisdom that Josh imparted.  So which one is which?

Leonardo is the the do-gooder, Michelangelo is the free-spirited one who just likes to have fun (and fancies the girls!), Donatello is the geeky one and Raphael is the aggressive one with a heavy dose of sarcasm.  I can safely say that Josh is going through all four of these sides on a regular basis!

Sunday dawned, grey and rainy so we pulled out a game that Josh got for Christmas and I played Risk for the first time...

Now, I am aware that this game can go on for hours, in fact sometimes days, so we played the basic version to get the idea and get through it in one afternoon!  We have always been big game players in this house but I'm not convinced this is one I will rush to play.  But, Josh was happy and I can see him having a few mates round in the holidays to play it - which will keep him off the Playstation and the laptop so that works for me!

Sadly with all the downtime I didn't have any mojo to scrap but I am determined to get some done this week and use some of my new kits that have been arriving.  So if you've stopped by for some scrapbooking inspiration I promise there will be some here soon!

A big wave to all the other Memorandom Mondayers and pop over to Sian's to take a peek at other's blogs and learn something new.