Sunday 27 April 2014

Ten questions to a newbie blogger

My blog friend Lizzy Hill is encouraging people to look at some new blogs. And mine is among them! Thank you Lizzy! (

So if you are here via Lizzy's blog, you are very welcome. Have a look at some previous posts too.

She asked me to answer 10 questions, so here they are: 
1.    What is your favorite book/TV show or movie?

I love reading. The book I would take with me on my ‘desert island’ would undoubtedly be the Bible. As a Christian I couldn’t  imagine life without it. As well as the gospel it has stories, and poetry and wise words. 
But I love my Kindle (electronic book) and read loads of fiction too. I like books for young adults and devoured ‘The Hunger Games’! I have recently read (and enjoyed) Richard Phillips The Rho Agenda trilogy. We don't watch tv at all but occasionally we'll watch a DVD. When we go back to the UK (once a year) we treat ourselves to a few cinema visits. That's a real treat for us as here in Spain all films are dubbed and our Spanish isn't good enough to enjoy a film. My all time fav film was Avatar, which we saw in 3D. Awesome!

2-Where would you travel to if you had an open end budget?

I’d love to go to a country with volcanic phenomena like geysers and lava flows etc. Iceland or Yoshemite Park or even Hawai!

3. What was your favorite thing to do as a child?

I was, and still am an avid reader (here is a layout I made about my old childhood book I found in a box). I also loved my paper cut out dolls and between my sister and I we had more than 100! We would put them against the piano in a row and dress them up and invent stories about them.

4. Most hated housework job? 

Most definitely the vacuum cleaning. I just hate the noise and when we lived in the UK (they have wall to wall carpets in the UK) my husband did the hoovering. (Yes, I know, he’s a treasure!) We now have tiles everywhere, so I just sweep and mop, no problem.

5. Share a photo from your life now - doesn't have to be of you.

This is a lake nearby. It's called Negratin and it's a reservoir really, but the water is such a deep turquoise colour! Beautiful! I love it!  There is one small beach which the locals use otherwise there are no tourists and I wanted to keep this place a secret.... I guess the secret is out now!

6. Why do you scrap?

I remember the time (and I’m only in my early 60s) when we spent hours looking through photo albums, the older the better. That is how we learnt as children about our family history and it was a prompt for grandparents to talk about their own  youth and the war and for us children to ask questions that would otherwise have never occurred. Children nowadays miss that sort of information as all our photos are on the computer or on a mobile phone. I hope I will give pleasure to whoever looks through my albums at some future time. 

7. Favourite pet? 

We’ve never had pets, not even as children. But a few years ago we stayed with friends when our house was sold and we hadn’t moved on yet. We stayed with them for a few months and they had the most gorgeous Labrador dogs. We fell in love with them and if I ever have a pet it would have to be a Labrador dog.

8. What was your dream job as a kid? 

I wanted to be a librarian. When I was a teenager I did work experience in the city archive and found it fascinating. But as I grew up I was discouraged to do these ‘dull’ jobs. I regret that now. I’m too old to retrain but I would have made a good librarian or archivist.

9. Who would you like to meet in real life? 

I’m inclined to say Jesus, but I believe I will meet him face to face when I die.  I think blogging is a great way to make friends and it would be my wish to meet one of my blogging friends (from the other side of the world even) in person one day. So you are all very welcome to come and see me (us).

10. What´s on your bucket list? 

Mmm, we are actually living our dream at the moment. I got breast cancer in 2011, and as soon as my treatment finished we moved to a sunny country, which had been our dream. We have lived here in Andalucia, Spain ever since. We had a cave house as a holiday home out in the ‘sticks’ far from any village. Not very practical now we are getting older, so we bought another property in a small nearby town, which we are renovating. I'm loving my life. (Being retired helps of course...)

(Sunset from our front door)

I hope you enjoyed having a peek into my life. Thanks for stopping by.
God bless and.... keep scrapping!

Thursday 24 April 2014

"Rotterdam" scrapbook page

Hello everyone!
As you know, I like doing the CSI challenges. They are such a friendly lot. Have a look at their website: ( 

This is my solution to case file 119: It’s a photo of me & my sister and mum in 1956. (I’m the one on the right with the lollipop). By the way, mum is still going strong. She will be 90 in June. 
Rotterdam (in Holland) is the place I grew up in. It was completely bombed during WW2, so in 1956 it was in full swing rebuilding itself. Nowadays it is known for its modern architecture, as they dared try new concepts at the time.
I really enjoyed doing this layout! Again I was inspired by Heather Jacobs as you can probably tell... (
The colour palette was beautiful but not easy to do I thought. All the colours are there, the kiwi green is in the flowers and the background paper. The teal is in the butterfly and the others are in and on the background paper.

Evidence: leather (under the butterfly), metal (embellishment on the butterfly) and leaves.

Testimony: I have written 7 interesting (debatable) things about Rotterdam. It reads: 1-Hard working, 2-My home town, 3-Busy port, 4-Multicultural, 5-Vibrant, 6-Modern, 7-Architecture.

Thanks for looking.

God bless and.... keep scrapping!

Tuesday 22 April 2014

More about our cave house

Hi everybody,

I want to show you a few photos of our cave house in Andalucía. It's built in an embankment of sorts, as you can see in this photo. The roof used to be a sloping landscape, but we wanted to have a patio on the top. 
So we built it up (it's hollow underneath so that the cave can breathe) and have made a lovely patio now.
This is what the patio looks like. We've since had a balustrade made.(Please excuse the awful dressing gown!).  We like having breakfast up there. The view is amazing!

But we were left with ugly brickwork on the front. So now my DH Graham is in the process of rendering the facade. It was tricky to get scaffolding up as the tiles are sloping but he managed it.
It's not finished yet, but when it is, I shall blog about it and show you a picture.

That's it for tonight.
God bless and....Keep scrapping!

Saturday 19 April 2014

Honeymoon with mother!

Hi everybody! Thanks for stopping to look at my page. Today it's another scrapbook layout. This time with the interesting title of "Honeymoon with mother".
My page is made in response to the CSI ( challenge:

I really loved the sketch so I followed it quite closely, but I’m afraid I forgot to put the journaling in a pocket as I intended. I’m away from home while writing this so I can’t do anything about it. Sorry. It’s done now so I’m going to upload this nevertheless.
But.. the colours are all there. The red is a door in the background of one of the photos, and the pale green is in the two pieces of PP.
And the Evidence: white background and penwork. (Stitching, although some of it is rub-ons).
The speech bubbles read: “Oh dear! We can’t get our visas for St Petersburg in time for our honeymoon. What are we going to do?” “Why don’t we go back to Spain with mama after the wedding. We can then see where she lives and it will be a cheap holiday for us”.

The journaling that was supposed to go in a pocket behind the photos:

In 2012 my son Costantino finally got married to his long standing girl friend/fiancée Marianna after being together for 17 years! (I’m sure that must be a record!) She is an art lover and their dream was to spend their honeymoon in St Petersburg, Russia. They didn’t realise that by not joining a tour group the visa requirements  were more complicated. They were not able to organise their dream holiday in time for the wedding. My husband Graham and I travelled to Italy for the wedding and the newlyweds came back with us and stayed 10 days at our cave house in Spain. Costantino and Marianna had never been to our Spanish abode and I think they enjoyed themselves in spite of the fact that it was a ‘Honeymoon With Mother!’

Thank you for looking. I'll be back soon with some more photos about our life here in Spain.

God bless and.... keep scrapping!

Tuesday 15 April 2014



Hi everybody, thanks for stopping by once again. Today I bring you another little glimpse of our life here in Spain.
Yesterday we celebrated our church pastor's birthday  (Pedro). In southern Spain when it's party time we typically cook a paella, a rice dish cooked in a wide shallow pan. 
Paella is ideal party food as it is easy to cook. When we cook for a gathering, a large paella pan is brought in with a burner and the paella is cooked outside.
First the meat (or fish) goes in with the peppers, then water and spices are added and then you get what you see in the photo here:
 When the meat (in this case chicken) is cooked the rice is added. I think I saw 7 packs of rice go in (7 kilos):
Our church is in a large warehouse, and while the paella is cooking we all hang around and chat, our mouths watering with the lovely smell of food. This lot of paella fed 40 people abundantly plus a few dogs as well afterwards.
Here is the birthday boy Pedro with his wife Erika and a helper:
Now the rice is nearly cooked. A few more minutes and Erica will start serving. We all walk past with a plate and she just heaps it on! Yummy!

Eating paella with a large gathering of friends is definitely one of the great things about living in Spain!
Thanks for looking,
God bless and.... keep scrapping!

Saturday 12 April 2014

CSI lay out "Ineke"

Hi everybody! 

Today I’d like to show you the scrapbook page I made this week. I follow CSI (Color, Stories, Inspiration) and the challenge this week was this:
I loved the colours as well as the quirky 'scene'.

I chose a photo of me and my best friend Ineke. Because the yellow of my cardigan and the grey in her blouse it matched the colour scheme perfectly.
The colours are all there. I had difficulty with the khaki, but I found it in the arrow and in the heart of the white flower.
The evidence are circles and flowers and an arrow. I didn’t know what ‘ransom lettering’ was, but looking at other people’s work I guess it means un-matching, individually cut letters. I’ve got those too.
My testimony lies in the stamped journaling spot, and is about the lifelong friendship with my friend Ineke and on the back I wrote how we met and what’s been happening in her life. It could qualify under mind-boggling too I suppose....A friendship that lasts that long is in itself mind-boggling.

On the page I wrote: “Let me tell you about my lifelong friend Ineke. Her story is on the back of this page.”  By the name ‘Ineke’ I added “Ineke pronounce ee-nuh-kuh”
The journaling on the back goes:
Ineke is my oldest and best friend. She is the type of friend with whom it doesn’t matter if you haven’t been in touch for a while. We just continue where we left off and it seems we were never apart.
We went to college together. When we were students we would go out together and one night at a bar we met two handsome dark-haired foreigners. The guy she was talking to spoke German and I was talking to the other in French. Now my French is abominable and my German is passable. Ineke speaks reasonable French but hardly any German so you can imagine we sort of swapped naturally. The German speaking one turned out to be an Italian and became my husband (later ex-husband, and even later deceased ex-husband). Ineke never married.
Ineke qualified as a physiotherapist and I never finished the course. I bummed around with my Italian and back-packed around the world before qualifying as a nurse.
Ineke had a mental breakdown at some stage and had a lot of time to think about her life and where it was heading. She went back to college and qualified as a psychologist some years later. She then lead a sort of double life: for two days a week she worked as a physiotherapist and the other three days she worked as a psychologist, until she retired quite recently.
Nowadays we only meet up about once a year and I’m looking forward to welcoming her here in Spain now she is retired. We have plenty to reminisce about.

That's it for today. 
God bless and.... keep on scrapping!


Wednesday 9 April 2014

Wednesday: What's on my desk...

It’s Wednesday! And if you were hoping to see my desk and what I’m working on, you’ll be disappointed. Because I’m not working on anything at the moment.  Tomorrow I plan to make a scrapbook page for the CSI challenge, and I will show you that when it’s done.

But there are a lot of goodies on my desk. I found a British supplier with very reasonable shipping charges, so I went a bit mad and bought four stencils and 10 ink sprays and some Perfect Pens (which I don’t quite know what to do with yet). I was given some money for my birthday and I’m spending it on scrap supplies. Great! 
Then the other day I was in town and went to the local Chinese bazaar. (Every town in Spain has a Chinese shop that sells household goods, nicknacks, toys, clothes, tools and yarns. You name it, they sell it. All imported from China. Cheap and cheerful, although not such good quality of course). I bought 4 heat glue guns and some glue sticks to go with those. They are for the craft workshop I now do every Monday afternoon in the village. (see previous blog). 

I still haven’t found a Sakura white gelly roll pen, so I’ve bought a pen with correction fluid. It does the same thing, although it’s not so fine and most probably not acid free. But hey, I have to work with what I’ve got...
I’ve taken photos of my goodies and have since then tidied my desk. It’s now ready for tomorrow when I will have time to do some scrapping! The household chores will be rushed through no doubt so I can get into my scrap room and ‘play’! (I can’t wait).

That it for today, thanks for looking.
God bless and .... keep scrapping!


Tuesday 8 April 2014

My first craft workshop in the village

Hello again! It’s Monday, and although I’m retired it was a super busy day for me. Doctor’s appointment, go to the bank,  church prayer meeting, grocery shopping and a workshop late afternoon.  In between all that, cooking meals had to fit in somewhere..... (and eating them of course).

So today I have started a weekly craft workshop in the village. The idea is to get the ladies here interested in scrapbooking, for which there is no Spanish word as far as I know (Elaine might put me right here). They are all part of a group of mothers who have children with epilepsy. This way I’m doing my bit for the charity too.

It all went very well. I showed them my scrapbook albums and explained about scrapbooking. They definitely want to do that. Great! But today they were going to make paper flowers as arranged. They have a fundraiser in May and want the venue to look pretty so we are concentrating on that for the moment.
Here I am explaining in my best Spanish how to fold the paper to make the petals. 


And this was the result: 12 happy ladies with the flowers they have made. I think they had fun. I certainly did!
Bye for now! God bless and..... keep scrapping!


Saturday 5 April 2014

In My LIfe (Beatles)

Hi everybody! Thanks for stopping by again at my blog. This time it's about scrapbooking.

Depending on where in the world you live, you may or may not have seen a man in a kilt. Although my husband Graham was born in Guernsey, he is of Scottish descent and is allowed to wear a MacKay kilt.(The one in the photo has the hunting tartan).  He used to wear it a lot on stage when he was front man of a ceilidh (pron. kay-ley) band (folk band) but nowadays it's only for special occasions. I think he looks very smart in his kilt. I have this photo from a family wedding and have been wanting to make a scrapbook page of it for a while.  

I've used the lyrics of 'In My LIfe' by the Beatles. I love this old song. It’s from Rubber Soul, the album I have many sweet memories from.... I heard it the other day and thought the lyrics are so appropriate for me. 

So I’ve had some fun over the last few days making this layout from the CSI (Colors, stories, inspiration) challenge. This was their ‘Case File’:
 I used all the colours in their palette.
Then from the ‘Evidence’ I used a solid black background, a circle, and used a sewing machine and a heat glue gun (Using electricity). I thought that the song lyrics would count as a music element. I only needed to choose two pieces of evidence but I got more....
The ‘Testimony’ I used (only one is needed)of course was using song lyrics to inspire my page.
Here are the lyrics, written by John Lennon:

There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
 All these places have their moments
 With lovers and friends I still can recall
 Some are dead and some are living
 In my life I've loved them all
But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
 And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
 For people and things that went before
 I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
In my life I love you more

In My Life is a song from 1965. For those who weren’t around then and for those who can’t remember, here is the link to listen to the song:

I hope you enjoyed that song. 

That's it for today. Thank you for looking.

God bless and keep scrapping!


Wednesday 2 April 2014

What's on my desk?

Happy Wednesday everybody! Only two days to go to the weekend ! (but not if you’re a nurse...sorry).

In the vein of ‘Workspace Wednesday’, I would like to show you what’s on my desk:

I'm still practicing making paper flowers.  I'll be doing my first craft workshop on Monday which I’m very excited about. There will be 12 ladies. They want to learn to make paper flowers. I’m still struggling with paper flowers. Because I haven’t been able to make a flower without using a heat gun. I only have two heat guns. (and there are 12 ladies) I could buy some more of course but I don’t know if the venue has a decent power supply....  If I’m going to invest in contact glue, what should I get? Any suggestions? I’ll have to order them in the UK which would take a while to get here, but that might be the answer. 
I received a few more birthday cards (belated as the Spanish postal system isn’t that fast). And a mother's day card (lovely aren't they?). One of them came in a pretty polka dot envelope which will definitely be recycled  for crafting of course. My daughter-in-law also sent me a packet of Marimekko napkins (Marimekko is a famous design company from Finland) and a drawing from DGS (nearly two).

As you can see I’ll be busy this week. Next Wednesday I’ll tell you how it went (the workshop) and I hope I’ll have had time to work on a lay-out for CSI too, which I will up load over the weekend.
Take care, God bless and .....keep scrapping!

Tuesday 1 April 2014

Cave house bathroom

Hello again.
It’s the first of April: April Fool’s Day! But I’m not going to play a joke on you. I’m going to tell you about my life living in a cave house in Andalucia (Spain).

The good thing about living in a cave house is that if you need more room, you can just hack out some more space out of the rock (within reason). 
Of course we have a bathroom in our cave house, but I always thought that an en-suite bathroom would be the ultimate luxury.  I’ve never had one and dreamt that one day I would. My lovely husband Graham promised he would do me one (Yes I am so blessed to have a handy hubby). 

  Last year he began digging into the bedroom wall and drilling to get all the services in (water, drainage etc). We moved the bed to another room of course.
 Then one day he got his Kango hammer out and started digging in earnest. A little bit every day, bless him! It took him months!

 But eventually I got the space. I chose the tiles (They are a typical Andalucian design) and not long after that I had my bathroom. Hey ho good ol’ Graham! Beautiful it is too. I’m very pleased. (And that’s a very British understatement!)

As yet we had no door in it. As a married couple we are not too fussed about having a door in the bathroom, but when we have guests, I guess they would certainly appreciate a door. Not long ago we picked up an antique door and I bought some chalk paint (Annie Sloan). Last week I painted it a duck egg colour and the next day I waxed it. It’s now up to Graham to make a frame and put the door in. I’ve done my bit. (lol) I’ll show you all the result when the door is in.
Thank you so much for looking. I’ll be back on Wednesday to share with you what’s on my craft desk....
Until then good bye and God Bless!