Friday, 26 September 2014

Ship Ahoy! - CSI challenge 140

Scrapbook page ‘Ship Ahoy!’

I like to do the CSI challenge (Colors, Stories and Inspiration)
This week’s challenge had a nautical theme and beautiful autumn colours.

I’ve documented my very first adventure as a 4 year old. In 1955 my mum wasn’t well and I went to stay with a lovely friend of the family in England.

In those days there were no regular ferries between Holland and England so I traveled on a ship called the Batavier, which sailed between Rotterdam and Tilbury docks in London. 

My Sunday School teacher Ria, who was going to visit England anyway, agreed to take me. I look a bit bewildered in the photographs but I have very sweet memories of that summer.

I liked the last week’s sketch (by Em Stafrace) so much that I decided to use it here. Last week’s double page layout (Almonds) just wasn’t suitable. The pointy design of the sketch sort of looks like the bow of a ship and the nautical theme fits beautifully.

I had some old patterned papers by Cosmo Cricket: ‘Gretel’ which had just the right colours. The Evidence can be found in the polka dots, the animal accent (dolphins) and the nautical element (image of the ship). The Testimony lies in the documenting of an adventure.

The journaling is hidden behind the two photos and can be pulled out at the arrow. It reads: “In June 1955 a friend of the family, Ria, took me to England to stay with my ‘aunty’ Grace in St Ives, Cornwall. Travelling was an adventure and travelling without my parents at the tender age of 4 was an enormous adventure! In those days there were no ferries between Holland and England and I traveled on a ship called the Batavier. Grace took delivery of me and looked after me for a whole, love filled summer.”

Thank you so much for popping by. 
Bye for now and keep.... scrapping!
God bless.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

WOYWW - Almonds


Hello peeps, it’s that time again to bloghop around the world and look at everybody’s desk. It’s called What’s On Your Workdesk Wednesday (WOYWW). For those not familiar with this ‘snooping fest’ visit Julie at   where everything will be explained.

Last week I told you that we were living in a building site. Of course that has not changed. I am still using the kitchen table to craft on, in the evening when the table is free. This is what it looked like last night. (Tuesday night) 

I’m (trying) to do a layout for CSI (Color, Stories and Inspiration) about an adventure. I’m going to use three little photographs of myself from 1955. More about this next week.

We made a trip to our house earlier this week, 35 miles away and I quickly grabbed what supplies I thought I’d need and that’s it! I’ll have to craft with what I've got! That can be very educational and good for self discipline....  This is the crate I managed to put together. Take a look if you like, but don't fall over the drill!
Last week you will have seen some photos and papers on my desk.  I managed to make a two page lay out with the photos of my blog ‘Almonds’ (29 aug ’14). 
This layout proves that one can scrapbook with a minimum of materials! I had kitchen scissors, my laptop and a printer. I made some white stencilling paste myself. And off I went! The design I scraplifted from Janet Phillips.

The journaling is about the almond harvest which is in full swing here. The photos are all recent except the one of us bagging up, as that hasn't happened yet this year. We'll do that next month.

Here is the journaling on the pages:

"Almonds are an important crop in Andalucia. At the end of February the almond trees start blossoming and it is a beautiful sight to see entire hill sides and valleys full of white (or pink) trees in blossom. After that the almonds slowly grow on the branches and in September they burst their pod and are ready to be harvested. In the old days people would beat the trees with sticks and the almonds would fall to the ground. Nowadays they have machines that shake the tree. Most get exported. Almonds then need to be shelled. Most farmers here have a little machine to do that. I have to crack mine with a hammer! I love roast almonds or I use them when I make cakes. Marzipan is made of almonds too. We buy the shells to burn in our stoves in winter and usually buy a lorry load together with two other families. All we then need to do is sack them up and we’re ready for winter."

And to end this blogpost with a sweet note: I made a Victoria sponge and put my home made fig jam in between. Also I recently bought this presentation dome at Lidls. Even the most modest sponge cuts a nice figure in this glass showcase! Anyway, we have 2 workmen working on our property so the cake is already gone as I'm writing this.

Thank you for popping in, I hope you didn't mind the mess! Sorry, the cake is all gone too.....

Bye for now and God bless,

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Our life here in Spain: Classic Car Sunday

About our life here in Andalucia.

Classic Car meeting

For those who want to know what we are up to in (still warm) Andalucia: Last Sunday there was the yearly Classic Car meet. 70 cars lined up in the municipal park, just yards from our house.

 Many arrived on Saturday night and their owners slept in their cars. We went to the bar for a drink with friends and we looked at the cars and met the owners and tasted the great atmosphere.

I love all those old cars that I actually remember from when I was young. I love that Ford Mustang (who doesn’t). There were lots of old Renaults, Fiats, Seats and Citroens. There was an MG, and a replica Aston Martin. Also an American Cadillac and a Corvette.

Our builder Alfredo, who is not from our village, was talked into registering his old Ford-T for the drive on Sunday. We were invited to come along. There was Alfredo and my hubby Gray in the front and Alfredo’s wife and two small girls and me in the back. 

We drove 60 km and had an extensive meal at the end of it. (the Spanish don’t do meals by halves: it took us 2 hours to work our way through all the delicious courses). Alfredo won a trophee for the oldest car! We enjoyed ourselves immensely and hope that we can be part of it again next year.

Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments.
Bye for now and God bless,

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

WOYWW - Living in a building site

What’s On Your Workdesk? Wednesday 

(In case you're wondering what this is...It's a weekly blog hop to see what others have on their desks. If you're interested, go to

Hi peeps! From this week onwards we’re living in a building site! And this is what my desk looks like at the moment: it’s a fold up table, still packed! Let me explain.

We are a retired couple living out in the middle of nowhere in rural Spain. That’s all nice and idyllic while we are fit and healthy and are able to drive. But there will come a time when we will want to live amongst folk in a community. So we have bought a site in a village, 35 miles away, which has a skeleton building on it. The previous owner started to build something but never finished the project. Building regulations have changed since and we have to practically start again. Start building is what we have done on Monday morning. We haven’t got a lot of savings, but we can pay two builders and their equipment for three months. My husband can do a lot to help and we’ll see how far we get. We hope to have the building weather proof before the (Northern hemisphere) winter, i.e. roof on and windows and doors in etc. Hopefully get even more done so that we can live at least in part of it.
We are ‘camping’ here in the meantime and as far as crafting is concerned I got as far as getting the table out of storage, so there is nothing to see on my desk.

Last week I had photos of about almonds on my desk. I’ve started to get some papers and materials together for a two page layout, and I hope to have that finished by the weekend. Here they are on the kitchen table.

You also saw photos of my wedding last week, and I have since done a scrapbook page of those. Here is the photo of the finished layout. The description will be at the end of this blog (as it's getting a bit long and well done those who have gotten this far...) 

It’s going to be an exciting few months. And next week I will hopefully have a desk to show you.

Bye for now and God bless


I like the CSI (Color, Stories and Inspiration) challenge and their brief this week was this:
These photos of my wedding all those years ago have been lying there waiting to be put in a scrapbook. The colours matched those of this week’s palette, so here they are!

I’ve called it True Companion because that is what my husband is amongst other things. Simon (the vicar in the picture) in one of his ‘pre-wedding’ talks asked me why I wanted to marry this man. He expected something like ‘Because I love him’, but I said: “This is the man I want to grow old with”.  Now we are retired and officially ‘old’, he is still my best friend, my confidant, my rock, the person I most like to be with: my true companion.

We both like the song True Companion by Marc Cohn so I have copied the last verse and put it in the envelope. (I’ll copy the words at the end).

The fluttering hearts I had seen somewhere on the internet and I honestly don't know who it was. I'd love to acknowledge the idea, but I copied it and suffice to say the idea wasn't mine.

So have I resolved the case? The colours certainly are all there. The evidence is found in the envelope (hidden behind the large photo), the paint (back ground with white acrylic paint) and buttons. The testimony is the journaling in the envelope. 

MY TRUE COMPANION (the last verse)
When the years have done irreparable harm
I can see us walking arm in arm
Just like the couple on the corner do
‘Cause boy I will always be in love with you
When I look in your eyes I still see that spark
Until the shadows fall, until the room grows dark
Then when I leave this earth
I’ll be with the angels standing
I’ll be out there waiting for my true companion
My true companion
                                          Marc Cohn

Friday, 12 September 2014

Our life here in Spain: Figs

Hi peeps,
Here is some more about our life here in southern Spain.
It’s harvest time for a lot of stuff. I’ve already written about almonds. Today it is about figs. 

We picked quite a bag full of figs yesterday. Figs don’t keep very well and however nice they are, one can’t eat too many of them because they make one’s bowels loose. So, I make fig jam! 
This is a photo of a large fig tree:

This morning I made a happy sticky mess in the kitchen. I washed and chopped, sterilised jars, weighed and calculated amounts of sugar and lemon juice etc. And here they are: eight and a bit  jars of fig jam. Yumm!

Fig trees are very recognisable by their enormous leaves. (Hence Eve was able to hide her ‘bits’). Look at the size of these leaves!

I think fig trees only grow in warmer climates, but I have seen small ones grow in the UK on a south facing wall.
The flowers on the fig tree are very nondescript but the fruit is glorious! Some figs are purple and some are green. We have green ones here. (Sorry I didn't quite get the focus right in this photo).

I’ve opened a fig fruit here for the benefit of those who have never seen fresh figs and only know the dried variety at Christmas. Inside is a red mass of gooey sweetness. Sooo good!

Thanks for stopping to read this and thank you for your comments.
Bye for now and God bless,


Wednesday, 10 September 2014

WOYWW. (an untidy desk)

Hello again everybody! Thank you all so much for all your kind comments on my first ever WOYWW last week! What a friendly bunch you all are!
Thank you for looking over my shoulder again this week. Oh what an untidy desk I have! 

I did a blog last week about 'Almonds' and I now want to do a scrapbook page with the photos, so I've printed them out. I have a nice idea for a double page layout. (Watch this space)
 Some more goodies that I bought at Lidls (European supermarket): Some fineliner markerpens, a stamp set and some primary colour marker pens that have tiny stamps on one end (a heart, lips, thumbs up, a star etc). Just some fun things. 
That tag on a string I must really tidy away! It must not get lost as it is my DH's dad's military tag. He died recently at the age of 98 and I plan to use the tag on a scrapbook page (I love heritage stuff).

I've been playing with my new Spellbinder die that makes little roses. Really cute. The Sissix filmstrip is something I bought on Ebay a while ago and forgot about it. I had fallen behind a shelf and I only found it yesterday...

The photos are from 1992 (my wedding), again they are there in preparation of making a page and I've got as far as collecting pretty papers for it. So nothing completed yet I can show you. And we're going to be away the rest of the week so I won't get much done this week.

Never mind. Thanks for looking and I shall look forward to  having a peep at your desks too. 

Bye for now and God bless.


Wednesday, 3 September 2014

WOYWW (officially linked for the first time)

WOYWW (officially linked for the first time)

Hi peeps, Thank you for popping by. 
It's Wednesday and I’m doing WOYWW through the official link for the first time. I’ve read the instructions, and they seem pretty straightforward... (famous last words!)
This is what's on my desk:

An exciting little parcel arrived the other day. I’d ordered some cutting dies and embossing folders and they have arrived! The one I immediately wanted to play with is the Docrafts Xcut large dies. I got some that will make Christmas decorations. (Yes, I know I shouldn't mention the C-word). I lead a little craft workshop every Monday in the village and I'd like to do these decorations with my ladies.

I picked up the first piece of paper I could find just to try it out and here are the two I did. The green one is cardstock. I had tried paper first but that was too floppy and fiddly. 

The red one I managed to do with paper but next time I will use cardstock too for the same reasons. I really like them and already have some ideas how I could make them really pretty. Has anyone else got these? Please show us some pictures of what you did with them. That would be great.

The embossing folders are Christmassy as well and because they are not clearly visible I have quickly run them through the machine and inked them so you can see. 

Sorry, it’s not a clear photo. I would love to buy some Cordination cardstock but I haven’t been able to find any here in Spain yet, and having it sent over from UK costs more in postage than the price of the paper (because of the weight). I’ll keep on looking though.

Then last week I went shopping at Lidl (European supermarket) and they had this set of acrylic effects pastes for sale. That is another thing I find difficult to obtain in this country especially as I live in a rural area in the middle of nowhere! So I had to try them out on some stencils I have and I like them a lot so the other day I begged my DH to drive me back into town and I bought two more sets. I’m not sure whether I would use the gold a lot, but they say it’s coming back into fashion.....

I haven’t got a project on the go, as I’m doing a digital photo book at the moment which is taking up all my time.

I plan to use the photos from my previous blog (‘Almonds’) on a double page scrapbook layout next week. Let’s hope the CSI colour palette fits with the green of the trees as I love their challenges. (

That’s it for today.

Thanks for looking.

God bless and.... keep scrapping!