Saturday, December 24, 2011

Gingerbread House

Something else we "weren't going to be able to manage" this year ...

...but when we went to Ikea during the week and they still had 
gingerbread houses
and our stairs were going in ...
... we decided we could manage it, after all!

Lots of Christmas Eve fun here.

And now am off to cook my first turkey!
(a gift with the fridge!)

A Day of Christmas Baking

Yesterday we girls enjoyed a day of baking.

Something we didn't take for granted this year.

But we enjoyed it to the full.

Bing Crosby in the background
singing "Let it Snow"

Cosy un-summery weather

Christmas cookies, same as every year.

Only this year the girls practically did it all themselves!
A big change from the stressful old days,
when my helpers were little.

We also made Christmas Cake and Crackle Cookies
and Gluten-free/Dairy-free cookies for me.

And let's zoom out a bit on the scene, shall we?

A new fridge, an unexpected necessity last week, 
as if the ceiling being cut out and Laura finishing Yr 6 wasn't enough for one day ....

... and the staircase.

Hopefully by next Christmas this season of building chaos
will be forgotten!

It's the simple things

It truly is the simple things in life that make a difference.

Things like ....

... leaving things out on the kitchen bench 

without them being covered in building dust.

... going to bed without covering every surface 

with a dropsheet first.

... sleeping in past 6.15am 

because the builders aren't coming today.

... being able to prepare for Christmas in peace.

And even when a builder does turn up, after all, at 7.20am
and you are still in your pyjamas
and he puts in a missing piece of stair directly above 
your pretty Christmassy teatowels and greenery arrangement
(thus creating more dust)
you can still cope
because the sense of peace 
and 'everything going to be ok for a few weeks'
has already sunk in.

* * *

But really, I can't complain about the last 6 weeks

or even the crazy last week.

Because it was self-inflicted and definitely worth the mess.

Last weekend:

a gaping hole over the living room, toilet and kitchen.

By Monday night:

And on Tuesday morning, when the glue had dried,







After months of waiting

and looking at the plans,

we could see the rooms in real life,

just as we had imagined them.

Enjoying the view
(although the windows are coated in 
that gunk they put on them before painting)

Yep, definitely all worth it!

And guess who will be painting all next week??

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Christmas Card a Day no.7

Not sure if I have showed you this card in the past,
but it is also one of my favourites!

Using retired stamps from Loads of Love and Window Dressing
I created a little scene
added some snowflakes from Short and Sweet
(plus a little sparkle!)
and some quick shading using a baby blue marker
Cute and easy.

If only we could have a white Christmas here!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Christmas Card a Day no. 6

This is a card I designed for a workshop in October,
using one of my favourite Christmas sets
Welcome Christmas.

Once again loving the embossing.

I used the edge of the wreath stamp to add some interest around the main image, 
using Sahara Sand ink.

The greeting is from the Four the Holidays set.

This was one of my favourite cards this year,
with the leftovers from the workshop I made quite a few to send out.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Christmas Card a Day No.5

I love the elegance of the layered flowers
with the embossed background on this card.

Not a Christmas stamp, but with Cherry Cobbler & Old Olive
and a Christmas greeting, it does the job!

I love how the Stampin' Up! stamps, punches and dies all work together ....

Friday, December 16, 2011

Last Day of Primary School

Laura's last day of primary school.

Mufti, walking to the movies, and pizza in the park,

and then a farewell tunnel back at school.

. . .

And a last day for me, too.

I just dropped Laura off to school for the last time.

The last time I will stand at the corner 

and watch a daughter run into school.

. . .

The last time I will stand in the street 

and wait while the whole school walks by 

before Laura eventually wanders out,

swinging her hat,

giving me a little smile.

After nine years of being at school every weekday

at 9.00am and 3.00pm



have to


. . .

And meanwhile a crazy, crazy day around here, kitchen, living room and bathroom ceilings being cut into
a new fridge being delivered, (meaning everything goes into eskies)  gyprocking finished off ....

A Christmas Card a Day no. 4

Today's card features one of my older stamps, a lovely PSX bauble design,
and the (sadly retired) Peaceful Wishes pine needles.

I added the appearance of dimension by daubing some brown ink
onto the underside of the bauble.

I used the designer label punch under the greeting, and also to make the top of the bauble.
I made a "loop" by punching two ovals, one inside the other.
Which is hidden by the ribbon, unfortunately!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Christmas Card a Day no. 3

Using a non-Christmas stamp set

I made it Christmassy with red and green
and a Christmas greeting.

Things I love about this card:

The greenery (punched)

and the stamped texture background on the chocolate chip card.

And on another note, the gyprockers arrived bright and early this morning.
Four days late!
But better late than never.
Stairs next week now, hopefully in before Christmas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Please Do Enter

Dear Mr Gyprock-er,

Please come.
Or tomorrow.

We've been waiting for you for two days now,
and we're tired of you not showing up.

We just want our building to be finished.

If you don't come soon, 
our stairs can't go in before Christmas
and we can't paint the interior upstairs during the Christmas break,
which will put everything back about a month.

So, please please come.

Yours sincerely,

A Christmas Card a Day no. 2

I like the clean look of this card

... with a bit of punched lace on the side ...

All products by Stampin' Up!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Christmas Card a Day no. 1

I have finally finished writing my Christmas cards for this year.

They will hopefully be in the post this afternoon.

I thought you might like to see some of my favourites for this year,

I try to post one a day.

Love the texture on this one.

All products: Stampin' Up!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Chocolate Party for Emily

The end of November and beginning of December are always crazy.

But I think we are over the worst of it, now!

In the midst of that craziness,

and in the midst of renovations

we held an afternoon tea party for Emily.

Emily's birthday is in January, but it's hard to gather friends in January,

so sometimes we have a party in December, instead.

Emily is old enough to do some of the planning and organising herself,

so she took care of the games and the chocolate truffles,

I made the cake, tidied the house and planned the craft.

The table was set with a purple cloth and chocolate-themed serviettes.

(I was setting the table at the very last minute, throwing the streamers over the fan ...
it was a crazy day - on top of the mess of everything stacked up around the place,
I'd had an electrician in spreading dust ...

just as well 
I'm used to moving boxes and furniture daily now 
... running on not-enough sleep and adrenaline....)

We had a chocolate fountain with fruit, marshmallows and savoiardi,
 a chocolate birthday cake (with cream and jam!)
chocolate truffles, 
and chocolate biscuits.
Plus a few types of chips for something savoury.
All Emily's choices.

The girls played the chocolate game

and made dresses for Polly Pockets with lolly wrappers, 

which they did really well at.

The girls voted for their favourite to choose a winner.

We made necklaces and the girls also took home lolly bags.

Emily's friends were lovely 
and I think a good time was had by all.

And I leave you with this evidence of Emily's dedication to chocolate.
Her morning Milo
protected with a little dropsheet of its own.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Almost grown up


off to her (end of) Year 6 dinner

in a lovely dress of soft blue/purple/green

with sparkly grown-up shoes

and a pretty necklace

lovely hair

and smiles and sillies that won't stop.
(so she's not really grown up!)

We love you, Laura!!