Friday, December 31, 2010

JYC :: Boxing Day

26 december

We had Boxing Day surprise this year as we took a 'leftovers' meal round to Gran's house. Obviously, we didn't have any actual leftovers from Christmas Day, so Mum had deliberately cooked extra on Christmas Eve so that we could still have our Boxing Day lunch. Thanks Mum!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

JYC :: Christmas

24 december

Christmas Eve...nearly done. Just a few things to finish off, but it felt very busy. I went to Mum's for dinner in the evening which was time to sit down and relax. And isn't this fairy pretty? Mindy made her and she adorns the top of Mum's tree. I do love handmade decorations.

25 december

Christmas Day itself was lovely. And who would have thought that I could fit so much on a single 6x6 page?

25 december inside

We went out for Christmas dinner and I'm glad we did. It made a lovely break from past years and meant that none of us were sitting there thinking about things that used to be. And of course, it meant that none of us had to prepare any food, get up early to cook it, or do the washing up afterwards. Afterwards we went back to Gran's to exchange our gifts. I couldn't decide if I was more excited to give or handmade goodies went down well and I received some lovely presents too. Follow that with some Christmas TV and it was pretty much the perfect day. Thanks guys :)

Self portraits at Christmas

21 december

It's only on looking back at these pages that I realised I'd used two self-portraits in a row. The photo on this one is my current Facebook profile picture...sometimes looking at photos like this over a period of time can show just how much things have changed.

My scrapbooking tip for today? Use a dual-ended pen to write your text, using the thicker end for the key phrases. Makes the text look much more interesting than a simple paragraph, especially if you are writing short thoughts rather than a long story.

22 december

This is a less flattering portrait (no-one looks good on a convex surface) but this is the first year I've actually remembered to take a photo of my reflection on a bauble. Except, of course, I only have mini baubles on the tree this year so I had to hold one instead. If you'd like to see some better examples of bauble self-portraits, check out this Flickr group.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

So that was Christmas...catching up with JYC

18 december

The last few days before Christmas were a whirlwind of activity: shopping, singing, preparation and organisation. Suddenly it was far too difficult to keep up with JYC and post pictures online. The darkness didn't help as the days got shorter and shorter.

19 december

I did keep up with my pages, though, and I'm so pleased. My little book is now super-thick (three inches?!) and is a lovely record not only of what happened, but also of how I felt.

20 december

As I sit here in a post-Christmas haze, it all seems so long ago. I can hardly believe that I made that page above just last week. Everyone was so excited for Christmas, and now it's all over.

I had a lovely, lovely Christmas and really enjoyed it. It was quiet and relaxed and full of thoughtfulness and love. And I'm really glad I've been recording it all. I'll share the rest of my pages later.

K x

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

JYC :: 16 :: Thankful

16 december
This one gets a post all of its own.

It is so easy to be thankful this year. 2009/10 has been without a doubt the hardest year of my life. I keep thinking 'this time last year I was'...and it's all negative. I was being told I had cancer. I was starting chemotherapy. I was in hospital. I was having major surgery. I didn't know what the future held except that it wasn't going to be very good for a long time.

I am so thankful to be writing this post from a place of health and contentment. I am so blessed with my family and friends and all their support. In between sickness and surgery, I have still managed to have some really good times this year and I am so thankful for everything. One little page doesn't say it enough.

Monday, December 20, 2010

JYC :: 14 &15

14 december

For some reason the design of this page really pleases feels very balanced, despite the larger amount of writing than normal. Like everything, this year presents are 'different'. We used to get up very early to open everything under the tree. These days we are all a little older and able to sleep in, so the early mornings are out! I am also Gran's Christmas fairy this year and have been buying her presents for everybody else.

15 december

Quickest page ever...and much lighter to balance out the previous page. It'll just be us five for Christmas, as the rest of the family is scattered far and wide. But there'll be lots of phonecalls I am sure.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

JYC :: Memories worth saving

Uploading these has taken a back seat over the last few days, but I am slowly catching up.

11 december

I love, love, LOVE my pink tree. I think unconventional Christmas trees are great anyway (my main artificial tree is a pewter/silver colour) but this one just thrills me. Seriously. It's just about 2 feet high and is currently sitting beside my TV, with co-ordinating miniature baubles in glittery retro brights and white. I couldn't handle a full size tree this year but this is small enough to be manageable, and is just enough 'Christmas' to keep me happy.

12 december

This prompt was never going to be easy - thoughts of Christmas past. 2007 was the last year before everything changed, and of course being without Jonpa is the biggest change of all. But I know that he loved Christmas, and would want us to be happy. It won't be the same without him, but it will be ok.

13 december

On 13th December, the prompt for Christmas music coincided nicely with the MHCC Christmas concert. Carol services and nativity plays used to be such a big part of my Christmas, but since I stopped going to church I haven't had anything like that in my life. Choir has helped me re-discover my love of Christmas music and really makes the season special.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I need an elf

I absolutely need a Christmas elf right now. It feels like I have a million and one things to do and it's only by obsessively writing lists that I can keep track. Hopefully, by the time we get to this point next week I will feel much calmer.

In the meantime...


Rudolph (plus some snowmen friends) has just landed in the shop. I haven't done much crochet for a while so it's been good to get yarn-happy again. He isn't available online, but please email me if you are interested - £9.99 plus postage. We can work something out :)

I am being pretty good at keeping up with JYC but my photography skills deserted me this morning so all I have is some blurry pictures. I'll try again tomorrow. There's always tomorrow, right?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

JYC :: almost on time

9 december

Traditions. Well. I have some wonderful memories of Christmases in the past (that's another page) but right now it doesn't feel like I have any traditions. Things change, families change, people get older. I don't do nativity services any more, or have a Christmas stocking, and we tend to go out for Christmas dinner rather than cook at home. But it's ok. Just because it's different doesn't mean I don't like it. Each Christmas is special.

10 december

A quick page to catch up here. I'm using up wrapping paper from previous Christmases, but really I suppose I ought to have some presents ready to wrap by now! And a little memory from last year...Mum bringing my presents and wrapping paper to the hospital so that I could wrap them for everyone. I'd had major surgery the night before and it was HARD WORK. Despite all the stress, this year is so much easier.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

JYC :: 6,7,8

This week has been the longest and busiest for a long time. I've been back at work, busy with lots of errands, preparing for a concert next week and trying to find somewhere to live. I have definitely been feeling the pressure, and although I have a lot of support from family and friends, it's times like this I can often feel quite alone.

6 december

BUT. It's not all bad. I've made it through the week. Getting back to work (even if it's only part time to start with) feels like a massive achievement. I am slowly working my way through my to-do list and making progress with it. Rehearsals for the concert are sounding good and I think it'll be a success. And most importantly, I am on my way to solving my housing problems.

JYC pages are a few days behind but nothing an evening's crafting won't fix. 6th December was all about the memories. Good and bad. Happy and sad. I'm quite glad this is a hidden journalling page because I really just poured it out on the page. Let it out and let it go.

7 december

A page about to-do lists? Now I know 6x6 definitely wasn't big enough.

I also decided to stop taking photos of my pages against a white background because there's no sense of scale. This way at least you get an idea of the size.

8 december

I haven't taken as many photos as I would like this month, but these pictures sum up life so far. I think all my photos from now on are likely to be of big cardboard boxes. Moving starts here!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

JYC :: Day 5

5 December

Hanging on in there...just a couple of days behind.

Right now:
Worrying about moving house.
Hating agents who don't return my calls.
Stressing about my return to work.
Helping mum and mindy as much as possible.
Singing as much as I can, in preparation for our concert next week.
Trying to keep on top of it all.

It feels like nothing is easy. I cannot remember the last time life was simple and uncomplicated and fun. There is always something in the way.

Hopefully this is just one am-worry-talk. Hopefully in the morning things will look better. Add that to the list above - hoping.

Monday, December 06, 2010

JYC :: day 4

4 december

The challenge for this prompt was to include some drawing. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to include an art-journal style self portrait (even if I did leave the glasses off). I don't want much for Christmas, just a relaxing time with loved ones...why does it always seem to be so hard?

I'm off to view a couple of houses now. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Sunday, December 05, 2010

JYC:: 2 & 3

2 december

We had some pretty heavy snowfall last week and so the prompt for 2nd December was perfectly timed. Morpheus wouldn't go out, and I think he had the right idea. Fortunately my new winter coat had arrived so I was able to wrap up warm and head out to see Gran, and take her some food. I kept thinking of the snow we had earlier this year, when I was having chemo and was unable to go out because cold + chemo = some unpleasant side-effects.
I found myself walking up the road with a smile on my face just because this time, I was fit and healthy and able.

3 december

After such a lovely day, I came down to earth with a bump on the third. Literally - I left the house, slipped on some ice and fell flat on my back in the middle of the road. I hit my head so hard my hat flew off, and I think I may have knocked myself out for a moment. It was pretty traumatic, although to anyone watching it would have probably been a moment of comedy gold. Still, I persevered (at a much slower pace) and made it round the corner to pay my rent...only to be told that my landlady wants to move back into the house so I have two months to find somewhere else to live. By this point I really wished I'd stayed indoors!

My page for 3rd December should have been about Christmas cards, and indeed on the outside it is. But hidden in the envelope is some journalling that explores how I feel about my house move, about returning to work next week, my surgery in January and how I am going to cope. When I wrote it I definitely felt overwhelmed and quite panicky, and I still do to some extent. But I've had some really good support from family, friends and internet forums, and there is a glimmer of hope. I might be able to do this after all.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Journal Your Christmas: underway

the front cover

I'd started decorating the album for my Christmas journal ages ago, and then kind of ran aground with it. Realising that it was now December meant I had to finish it off.


Yes, those are silver peel-off stars on there. They're the same ones I used on the date tags - they fit my star punch exactly. I don't care what you think about peel-offs, I like them so they're staying.

1 December - a manifesto

I like that Shimelle always includes a title page in her ongoing projects. It feels odd to plunge straight into a journal like this, and a manifesto is a good way to kick it off. Also, it helps me set my limits and define what this journal is all about - especially important as my pages are only six inches square. If I try and write everything down I'll be here until next Christmas! I took this picture earlier and the last line of text is really annoying me....I'll have to cover that up and re-do it. Somehow my brain deserted me and I forgot how to spell 'celebrate'.

1 December - a closeup

All my date tags follow a similar format: scalloped circle, ribbon, Christmas tree, contrasting circle, silver star and a number from one of my many half-used sets of alphabets. This one was a white foam number that looked a bit dingy, so I used some Tim Holtz crackle paint to liven it up a bit.

So what is my manifesto for this year, you may ask? Shimelle has designed a lovely one which you can download here, but I really wanted something more personal that reflects what I've been through and what I hope for this Christmas.

RELAX and remember there is no pressure to do anything.
PEOPLE I LOVE are more important than anything else. Spend time with them.
Know that MEMORIES can be bad as well as good. That's ok.
But remember, don't stress. Be HAPPY for everything I have. Celebrate and enjoy.

See you tomorrow for day two!