Wednesday, 30 December 2009

My favourite decoration photograph of the Christmas season

I love how this photograph turned out, much better than I thought it would. So had to include a page using it for my Christmas journal
30th Candle Glow

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

All good things come to an end

Oh what a dreary day rain, rain, rain and more rain. I should have gone food shopping as I forgot to bring anything back with me from the Christmas fare at Neil's, but really couldn't face getting soaking wet so rummaged in the freezer and found some sausages.
Sausage and mash with lashings of gravy that will do for my dinner tonight.
Hopefully tomorrow will not be so wet, but at least it made for some good raindrop photos for today's entry.

29th All good things come to an end

Monday, 28 December 2009

Retail Therapy

I have done some retail therapy today. I have been struggling all through Christmas because John is no longer here and he always made so much effort to get me all the things I had mentioned during the year. He would store up the information, sometimes quite casually giving, and go on a spending spree in November/December. I would get some on my birthday and the rest for Christmas.
I never managed to get him presents in quite the same way as he often came home with gifts for himself too.
So today I hit the sales and searched for a red dressing gown. Not quite the same colour as the one I had seen earlier in the month but a lovely one none the less and I am classing it as a gift from John along with the hand held dictaphone that I ordered on line. The only thing I forgot to get was a new bag, but as some of the shops were closed I will go back into town another day and hopefully get one I like.

28th The Gift

I know that Christmas is not so much about the gifts as the giver and I miss him so much especially at this time of the year.
I know that I have been with my family and that was lovely, but I am beginning to realise how my Mum and Mum in Law must have felt each Christmas after their husbands had died.

Another day of Family fun

Today I should have gone to church but decided not to do so as I wanted to print off lots of pages to make an album for my Daughter in Law. I made one for her mother as a Christmas present, but thought Gemma wouldn't want one, Wrong she loved it so I just had to make her one as well. Luckily I had an album I could use, found enough protectors to go in it and printed off 28 digital & copies of paper layouts that I had made of my Grandson since his birth in September.
Then I went round to join the rest of the family for another day of fun.
27th Another day of Family Fun

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Boxing Day Lazy Day

A day to laze around
a day to do nothing
a day to just be
a day for just me
I haven't got dressed
I haven't done much
just scrapped a few pages
which didn't take ages
watched a film
watched some TV
had a little dinner
and Christmas pud to finish

26th Boxing Day Lazy Day

Christmas day

Christmas day and lots of fun with friends and family
Midnight service at Christchurch
Mid morning service at RCBC
Rest of the day with my Son, Daughter in Law, grandson and his other Nanny
25th Church Bells Ringing

25th Our Church Family

25th This Little Family

25th Exchanging Gifts

Friday, 25 December 2009

Snippets of Christmas Eve

Well it was nearly two O'clock on Christmas Morning when I decided that I was just not sleepy and so decided to do my Christmas Eve layout.

24th Snippets of Christmas Eve DLO

at eight O'clock I realised that I needed to tidy it up and add the little touches that give it body.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Santa your hat's too small

Most babies are made to wear santa hats at Christmas time either for real or digitally placed. most babies' hats are too big, not so my little grandson he has outgrown all his Christmas outfits before Christmas, so now my daughter in law is frantically looking for a new one for him. It is a shame because he has a lovely snowman outfit and also a reindeer one that he hasn't been able to wear. Still I do love the small Santa hat perched on his head

Above all have fun

What have we left to do today?
before we see Old Santa's sleigh
speed across the twinkling sky,
bringing gifts to you and I.

There is one thing upon my list
one thing that really can't be missed
It's there on every day to do
Have fun, the wish from me to you

Monday, 21 December 2009

Oh What a Glorious Mess

What state is your home this near to Christmas? are you all straight with decorations all in place and cooking preparation all done? or are you up to your armpits in wrapping paper, still not got all the presents? or panicking because of all the cooking that still has to be done.

Me why I am all ready of course ..................not

My living room, although decorated is covered with presents and wrapping paper all over the floor, there are decorations and empty Christmas card envelopes jostling for space. but I love the chaos, I have never been a tidy person so it is almost impossible for me at this time of the year to be anywhere near tidy.

21st Oh What a Glorious Mess DLO

the poem reads:-
Wrapping presents on the floor;
Postman knocking at the door..
Decorations in every space,
Every room a special place.
Snowflakes glistening in the sun;
 Fire bright to warm each one.
Delicious smells from cooking pot,
Minced pies, puddings and the lot.
Sweets and fruit and nuts and nibbles,
Favourite drinks, what’s your tipple?
Chaos reigns, but do I care?
No, Christmas day is almost here.

Candle Light Sunday

Yesterday I did this layout very late and forgot to put it on my blog so here it is.
I love the last Sunday in Advent in our church, for although nowadays we don't use real candles we have lots of Christmas light around.
Why don't we use real candles?
I'll tell you why
One year I decided that we would have a real candlelight service and prepared candles in every available place, what a nightmare. I was constantly checking for candles getting too low and at one stage I managed to spill a lot of wax on the new carpet, luckily it did come out with brown paper and an iron. I didn't really manage to worship that evening because of being aware that I was responsible if any accidents happened because I was the one that made the decision to go ahead with it. No accidents luckily but I was told that I had probable violated the fire insurance rules.
so now we have electric candles except for the short time that the children's Christingles were alight and the advent candles each Sunday in December.

20th Candle Light Sunday

Saturday, 19 December 2009

A letter to Father

Today we are to post a letter to Father Christmas, but he is a legend, someone who lived hundreds of years ago not someone alive and present from the dawn of time till the present day. My Father God is and I would much rather send a letter to Him, thanking Him for loving me and watching over me, guiding and directing my paths.

So here is my page.
19th A letter to Father

Friday, 18 December 2009

Christmas Fare

Where are we eating? = Neil & Gemma's
What will we have? = most of us will be eating Turkey and ham and all the trimmings
Who won't be? = Gemma she is a vegetarian but she will have all the trimmings
Who will cook it? = Neil & Gemma
What will I be doing? = entertaining Rufus along with his other grandparent
Who will have the most fun? = Myself and Gill of course, we love to baby worship.
Who is buying the food? = ALL OF US

18th Christmas Fare

Thursday, 17 December 2009

The Perfect Present

This is the tale of the perfect present, not easy to find as a rule, but this time I knew I had it. It didn't cost much but what satisfaction it brought both the giver and receiver.

What is it? you may ask.
Something quite simple
not particularly pretty,
in fact very plain.
It can be appreciated by all age groups except the very young,
I wonder how much of it Santa uses each year?
Have you guessed yet?
Well I'll show you

17th The Perfect Present

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Coconut Crisps

This layout shows one of my family's musts or at least with my son. He still loves to keep to the traditions that he grew up with although he and his partner are making their own traditions too. But certain things must happen. like these coconut crisps, pasties on Christmas eve and of course home made Christmas Puddings, which I have done since about 1977 the year I bought this little Christmas recipe book
Christmas recipe book cover Christmas recipe book

16th Coconut Crisps

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Open House in Cricklade

I have gone for an old tradition that we had when we lived in Cricklade, a small close knit town in Wiltshire.
We always had open house on Christmas Eve which ended with midnight service at the Anglican, Church St Sampsons. We would all walk up to the church greeting everyone else as we went along, what a wonderful memory to record.
I still go to a midnight service somewhere as I really enjoy this one. Last year it was Christchurch in Swindon, it may be again this year if Neil decides to drive there, if not, I think I may find out if St.John's has one as that church is quite near to me. This year I will be able to go to Christmas morning service at my own church, something I haven't been able to do for some years as I haven't been at home.
15th Open House in Cricklade

Monday, 14 December 2009

Gifts Galore

I have gone for a DLO today as I wanted to record the photos taken from the first Christmas after John died and the gift tags I have made for the gifts this year.

14th Gifts Galore LHS
14th Gifts Galore RHS

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Deck the halls

Several years ago I decided to embroider some Christmas decoration. My favourite of which are two bell pulls. I made up the patterns for them using existing snippets of other projects. Each year I carefully unpack them and hang them up somewhere. Even the year I was half packed up ready to move I still had to have these two and one or two other special decoration out, and as usual my brother laughed at me, especially as I was not even spending Christmas at home that year but with him and his family.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Carol Singing

For several years now a small group of us, from my church, have gathered on a Monday evening in mid December to go around the streets locally and sing carols. We don't collect money just try to bring the Christmas message. In the past we have had a good response, with people drawing back their curtains or coming to their front doors. Last year no one seemed interested so this year we decided to gather outside the church this morning. It was great to see people waving as they passed, winding down their car windows to hear us better. People in the bus shelter joining in as they waited for the bus and even the bus drivers waved as he collected his passenger.
We also had a much bigger turnout ourselves with twenty of us giving good voice to the old familiar carols.

Friday, 11 December 2009

John's Tree

Some things are very precious as this little tree is. It is a link to the past for me, but not the distant past. About 9 years ago John was determined to have a fibre optic Christmas tree, I didn't really think we needed a new tree as the old one was still OK but I let John have his way and I am now so glad I did as this is the last decoration that he bought.

Well it has survived another year

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Christmas Traditions

When I was a child we used to have one of my fathers big socks which we hung on the end of our beds. I could never understand why, when it was full of presents in the morning, that it was laid on the bed. Why did Father Christmas take it down before he put the presents in?
Anyway the presents were the important part. Always there were sweets, nuts and fruit in the toe and the rest of the presents added afterwards, none of these were wrapped.
I slept with a night light so was allowed to take my stocking into my brother's room to open it with him. What fun that was and so exciting.
Our main presents from family and friends were left under the tree until after dinner, after the washing up was done and the grandparents had rested. We didn't really mind that at all as we still had lots to play with from Father Christmas.
As my brother was nearly 3 years younger than me I was allowed to keep the Father Christmas tradition longer than usual. Though these days even the adults have a stocking full of goodies.
This tradition I carried on for my children and they are carrying it on for theirs. Isn't it great when a tradition goes back several generation. I wish I knew for sure that my mum and her sisters did the same when they were little, but I suspect they did

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Daniel's Tuesday

Today has not been particularly Christmasy so no Christmas pictures but lots of photos of Daniel taken at Messy Hands having lots of fun.

Decorating the Tree 7th December

Today was tree day time to decorate and start the Christmas excitement. Daniel really enjoyed being able to help decorate it this year for the first time.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Laughter and Tears

So many Christmases, so many memories, so much I could say, so little I have said.
Remembering Christmases from my childhood, I have no photos to use but the memory is clear in parts and very fuzzy in others.
Remembering Christmases of my children's childhood, I have only one photos but the memories are so vivid that words convey better than photos
Remembering Christmases of recent past so many photos but I would rather use the words just to paint a small window into these times, just enough to trigger the memory. Perhaps one day I will write in more depth.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Memories of Christmas Past

Just a layout of my memories from childhood

Advent parcels

When I was a child I can't remember anything about a build up to Christmas day, except seeing father Christmas in the shops and usually going up to London to Hamley's toy shop, the biggest and best toy shop in the world as far as I was concerned. It was spread over several floors with moving staircases to each one. What was so good too I was allowed to wander around on my own as long as I stayed on the floor my parents were on.

When my children were young I used to have such fun making little things to go in match boxes one each for the first 24 days of December
When they were both at university, I bought and made 24 little presents each and wrapped them up as a pass the parcel type present. They both thought it was such a great way to start each day and all the students in there building would want to know what they had each day. Some of the things were very small and I usually found a bible verse that was appropriate. I believe that the verse was just as important to them as the present itself.
Last year and the year before I did a similar thing but with a daughter and son-in-law, then a daughter-in-law and son it has got extremely difficult to find things that are appropriate, and I think I have run out of energy for it, much to my son's disappointment. Perhaps I will revive it for next year, I will certainly try and do something for my grandsons.

Friday, 4 December 2009

My perfect day My Birthday

I love the fact that my birthday is exactly 3 weeks before Christmas, near enough to the celebration to have all the decorations in the high streets, and special events everywhere, but far enough away to celebrate both events separately.
Today, although it is cold the sun has shone and we have had a great day. I've taken lots of photo both of my family and of the countryside around. We have walked, all be it very slowly because Daniel has only got little legs. We have enjoyed to scenery and had lunch out.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Christmas Greetings

Christmas cards, love them, hate them. I love being able to put them up as part of my decorations, hate all the bluetac that gets left behind when I remove the cards. Love receiving them, hate sending them. Feel guilty if I don't make them, never find the time or energy to do so.
Oh dear think I am a hopeless case. Mind you it hasn't always been like that, I used to love to make them, and make the list of people to receive them. Loved doing this together with John somehow it seemed so much better when he was here.
Still not made any yet this year though I do have a couple of layouts from earlier in the year that would make perfect Christmas cards, but I can't do them while I am away as my daughter hasn't got a decent printer, (good excuse eh! lol).

Today we went shopping in Leeds, lots of lovely shops and lots to see and photograph. I enjoy window shopping as much as buying things so was delighted to see and photo this window display because I felt it was perfect when talking and deliberating about Christmas cards.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Christmas Snowman

Here is my Christmas weather wish, I really love the snow well at least when it nice and crisp and white, not when it turns to slush. Unfortunately it very seldom snows on Christmas day, I think I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the White Christmases we have had since I was born 69 years ago.

We'll Weather the Weather whatever the Weather

We'll weather the weather whatever the weather whether we like it or not.
I am not sure where that comes from but I know that my Dad used to say that to me.

 I would love to have snow on Christmas Day
O wouldn't that be great
To look out of my window to a white white world
where bird prints show up and the cat paws have trod
I'll place my own mark beside them
making fresh virgin snow my own
and go on my way so merrily
because it is Christmas day
But we seldom get it on the 25th of December
down here in the south of England
We find the snow white days
in the dreary months
at the beginning of the year

Today the temperature is
here where I live in the south of the country.

I am travelling up to North Yorkshire today to be with my daughter and her family for a week, so that I can spend my birthday with them this year for a change.

Up there the temperature is
( I just love these little icons)
The sun is shining at the moment so hopefully I will have an uneventful journey. I travel by train and it takes about 5 hours.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Advent Preparation layout

What does Advent mean to me. A time to prepare for the celebration, a time set aside by God to prepare His people for the greatest event in history so far. God coming into the world as a baby to grow and experience all that we experience in our lifetime. So that he is fully able to understand where we are, our fraility our humanity. So that through him we can be reconciled to God. For though he knew our fraility and humanity he was without sin.
God called on his people the Jews to celebrate with thanksgiving several times a year, they were to prepare a feast and give him thanks. So I believe it is right to celebrate Christmas in the way that we do. as long as we remember who's birthday we are celebrating.
Here is my first day of December's layout two pages as I am doing it 7.75 x 6 so this way I can get enough details on

Advent Preparation
Advent Preparation 2

December 1st making a start

What will today bring, anything Christmasy? well for a start, I have already wrapped the presents for my family in Skipton because I am going up there tomorrow.

My two cats eating side by side, wow is this the start of The Night Before Christmas? for this is something they very seldom do.

The weather today is rather Christmasy too, no snow but cold and bright

I can't get the back gate open it has dropped as usual but I can't remove the screw that hold the catch at the moment so had to take the photo through the trellis at the top of the fence.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Experimenting with backgrounds

I have been experimenting with the background and think I am quite pleased with this.

Friday, 6 November 2009

About Me

My photo
On UKS I'm Mary Buttons