Seaside surprise

I had a lovely visit to the coast last week to see my mum, sister and her partner. I was well fed (and watered!) and had the chance to walk on the beach and chat to the seagulls. What, just me? Ok then. There is always something going on, something interesting, different or fun to look at or to do there. On the Friday evening we heard cycle bells and we rushed to the window to see a whole straggling string of cyclists, young and not so young, wearing silver foil costumes to resemble a robot or the Wizard of Oz Tin Man, and with their bikes covered in fairy lights. Mad, but brilliant. Apparently it happens every week in September! Then a little while later a laser light show started on the pier. It was a beautiful warm night so we just went out for a walk along the promenade to enjoy it. There is a real holiday atmosphere there and I am so glad my mum has been able to move to such a lively, vibrant place.

When my sister and I get together the talk always turns crafty. In the nice way. I knew she would love the idea of paper bag books/albums, and I was not wrong! Now I will be sending her some bits and pieces to create one herself to showcase her art dolls. But in the chatting about the various ways they can be constructed, my mum produced a gift I made for her a couple of years ago. It hadn’t occurred to me until that minute that it was also a sort of paper bag album. I didn’t have my camera with me so these are taken in my sister’s kitchen on a mobile phone. And some prosecco had been consumed…I think this is why we forgot about December…

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I made this following the instructions below from Clare Charvill at My Creative Spirit. This lady makes the most amazing projects.  It was the first time I had done anything like that, so I stuck pretty close to the tutorial I think. But then again if you are making the same object with the same materials I guess that is likely to happen! The paper pad for the inside is Graphic 45 A Place in Time and the outside sheet is Anna Griffin. I had to find something big enough as I only had a small pad of the G45 papers and this seemed to work nicely. The panel on the front is also Graphic 45 but I can’t remember which range – might be Secret Garden. I didn’t have any of the bags then so made my own pockets from brown parcel paper. Every page has got a top-loading pocket with a pull tab, but as they are filled with names and dates we didn’t think we should photograph them!

It took a while to make, but the instructions were clear and I don’t remember anything going wrong. It was enjoyable, I was pretty darn pleased with the end result and my mum loves it.


Making a list..

No, I haven’t got my seasons wrong. I am a list person. Not in a casual “sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t” way, but a dedicated devotee. In fact, I think I may be a list abuser. Not of shopping lists, they  are still untainted and remain the sensible itemisation of grocery and household requirements carefully listed in the order of the supermarket layout from door to checkout. (If you don’t do this, stop reading now). I mean those lists of domestic tasks you want to achieve over a weekend or holiday break.

These too used to be honest lists of sensible and achievable targets, with a sprinkling of youthful ambition. Things like:

Mow lawn
Clean oven
Steam clean bathroom
Reorganise wardrobe
Paint front door

Then corruption set in. The lists started to change. Gradually, I started adding smaller things that were part of my routine anyway, like ‘do ironing’, to make me feel like I had achieved more. Take control, I thought. So I would set a goal – say if the list had ten tasks, I had to complete five. This worked for a while, but then, I am ashamed to say, I started to cheat my own system and jobs which had already been finished were included, just so I could cross them off and hit target!

But it didn’t stop there. The sheer number or scale of bigger tasks became even more ambitious, and of course to be able to continue with my self-imposed achievement percentage, the smaller tasks had to be something I could and would definitely accomplish. They now look something like this:

Paint front of house
Wash hair
Landscape garden
Eat lunch
Save the world
Stroke the cat

Guess what I have achieved so far?? If only I had put ‘writing a blog post’ on there…

Here’s a notepad I can make use of: