Project Life revelation

Falling a bit behind on projects again as I've been a bit ill.  Trying to get back on track though.

Made a decision about PL for 2012, the kits are not going to be available until February and quite honestly I can't wait that long, if I don't start straight away and make it part of my routine it won't get done, this year is going to be even more important than ever as it will document our first new families new year.  

Because PL didn't come out here in the UK until May/June I did months Jan - June as monthly layouts using making memories 3 x 3 dividers, this means that I have 6 months worth of BH dividers, so when Amazon UK finally have them in stock in January I think that I'll just buy enough to last me the rest of the year and I'll buy a regular folder.  I have been debating whether to buy a kit for 2012 as I'm really not keen about having to buy everything separately and think it will work out more expensive.  

I have got about 3 weeks behind on PL and this weekend whilst trying to catch-up I realised that I am getting a little bored with the journalling cards and kit stuff, so inspired by Ali Edwards, Jenni Hufford, Lisa Truesdell and Marcy Penner whose PL I really admire I made the decision to just buy the digi kit from Jessica Sprague and mix that with other seasonal or themed items.  For December I am going to make my own journalling cards etc with the K & Co Peppermint twist papers that I'm using for PL.

Going to make a start on my December elements now will post a few of them when I've finished.  I also need to complete my DD cover.

Things we still need to get for the baby list


Not long to go now and so we've been working on a list of things that we need to get for the baby, we have most of the small stuff, the nursery is decorated and if the baby arrives now we have enough, but by the end of November we do want the nursery complete and ready so that once he baby is born we can spend time as a family rather than getting it ready for when the baby goes into it's own room.  We are well on the way to this goal.

I have 2 files on my yahoo groups page, one which is my list of things still to get and another is a blank .pdf version that you can download and use for your own purposes.

A quick list of the things we need is:-
Footmuff for carseat
Brown parasol
Baby monitor - Tomy
Cost - East Coast Angelina
Wardrobe - Aspelund
Changing unit - East Coast Hampton
Nursing chair
Swaddling blankets
Bath Thermometer - Avent
Pram Thermometer
Shelf to go over changing unit
Travel cot
Safety mirror for car
Infant carrier

I'll be updating my files as we get things.

2011 Christmas cards sneak peek!

A sneak peak of the origami components of my 2011 'special' Christmas cards.

Pleased with the photo and my attempt at 'styling'!  

I've got an extra couple of these cards so will be posting these on Etsy!

Special note: Remembering Taz today, it's 1 year since we lost our wonderful dog, miss him every day x

Expecting You Album update

Got up-to-date with the expecting you album, I'll be working on some checklists over the next few days for this album and will be posting them at some point.  I am really pleased at how this album has worked out, especially as I didn't buy any special supplies for it, I just used what I had on hand.

I've been researching Etsy and making plans for a few little items this Christmas, this preparation has involved a re-think on photo's, listings, packaging and costing.  One thing I have seriously realised is that I need to style my products better, starting with the quality of my photo's, something that I need to get sorted asap.

Link to the Expecting you album so far is here.

Business Update

I appreciate that I have missed the opportunity for my etsy store this christmas, but I do plan on posting a few items and then more into spring when the baby and I would have settled down a bit.

Therefore, I need to get started on my business plans and research.

Some of the things I need to do in the upcoming weeks are:

Create blog plans
Make trial items for etsy and list them
Create paperwork for businesses
Research & price items correctly
Research photographing items
Work out shipping & delivery costs
Consider 'brand'
Design & order business cards, ribbon and stationery
Consider & develop packaging 'style'
Understand etsy
Put together a business folder
Keep up interesting blog updates
Start advertising blog

Kelsey & Haydens Room

One of our aims is to get the baby's nursery all ready for the end of November, we realise that the baby will not be in it until it's at least 3 months old, but we figured that a. it's not good to have paint fumes around a newborn and b. we'd rather spend time with the baby than doing the nursery.

The first step was to get Hayden's old room decorated and cleared to enable us to move Kelsey in there with him (as they are only here 1 or 2 nights every other week we didn't see this as a major problem - neither did they thankfully!)

Karl spent a weekend preparing and decorating the room, then the wardrobe and beds were delivered, K put these up on his own as I was only allowed to read out the instructions and count the screws to make sure everything was there!!!!

The room is now 99.9% finished (just waiting to install a new light fitting).  Here are a few photo's:-

Christmas and Lists

Logged on to leave a post to start me off on regular posting and really disappointed that it's been over a month since I last posted and looking at our project life for October, there's not much content there either.  Although feeling a bit tired and doing a lot of decorating and getting the house ready I don't really have an excuse  Anyway, no point in dwelling, another new start and all that!!!

Have made a decision about December Journalling this year and decided that I'm going to do Ali Edwards December Daily for 2011 rather than Shimelle Laine's Journal Your Christmas.  Back in 2008 the first year I signed up for JYC I managed to keep completely up-to-date and loved the experience, however, in 2009 & 2010 I lost motivation after the first few days as rather than journalling about what we did that year, I felt as though I was just repeating on the things we do every year for Christmas and recalling the same traditions and events.   Hence my decision to try the December daily instead, although I am going to try and carry it on throughout new year to the twelfth night, which could be quite a challenge given that during this period I will at some point give birth to Baby B.  Over the next week or so I will be creating my album using the K & Co's Peppermint Twist
I love this design so much!

I also have some transparencies that I brought a while ago (not sure of the make) so seeing AE's DD pages over the last week I'm really motivated that she's using transparencies for her album this year.  For my Autumn 11 in 2011 album (and Winter 11 in 2011 - more later in the week) I experimented with using my sewing machine and clear transparencies, seeing AE's DD pages I think I am going to try and incorporate that into my DD too.

Moving on...  lots and lots of lists to post, lots of ideas for my etsy to post and time is ticking away I really need to get some  items onto etsy although I do fear that I'm going to miss out on Christmas this year although as well as the DD I will also be completing one of my Christmas Journals to use as an example next year.  My DD, PL and CJ will all contain similar information but in a different style.  If I get 'stuck' I do intend to pick out some items from SL's JYC as 'fillers' but I just don't want to record the same old stuff each year.

And now for a little Nursery craft project picture, a before and after of the mobile I adapted for Baby B's room.
 Before, with elephants and giraffes.
And after, with the beach huts and lighthouses I made by cutting the designs from the maritime material from Dunelm Mill and stuffing.

And to end...
A list of craft projects I need to complete by 18 November for the Nursery.
2 Cushion covers
Pram Blanket

A list of craft projects I need to complete by 31 November for Christmas.
4 Cushion covers
Special Christmas cards
DD album
Christmas Journal

First sewing project complete

I can't believe that I haven't blogged for so long.  I am also really behind on all my scrapbook projects, I've just been to tired to do anything really I'm ashamed to say.  

Today I left work on time for a change, and K has started to play football on a Thursday as well as a Tuesday, today I called into Hobbycraft as I needed a few things for the baby's mobile that I'm making.  I don't know if it was that or anything else but when I got home I felt really motivated and decided to finish the cushion for our bed that I started on Saturday, I'm so pleased that I did!  I did have a little problem with the patchwork squares as some of them were pre-cut from ebay, of course I didn't measure (LSNED: Don't trust other peoples measuring!) and so a couple of my squares are either too small or too large - a mistake I won't make again.  I'm really pleased with the results though, got the whole thing complete in about 4 1/2 hours which I don't think is bad for my first attempt.  Just 2 more cushions to make now, one I'm going to make with the word 'Love' appliqued on the front but I'm not sure about the other one.

I've been thinking about my 'Mr Postman' project, but to be honest, I really need to completly re-evaluate  this project as I don't think it will  work.  The album will be 'Home makeover' and contain pictures of our home progress over the next couple of months.

I'll post more about this next week.

Project for October

Starting to plan for Octobers scrapbooking project, to be honest, I'm not feeling very motivated at the moment and I feel as though I need to think about something fresh in the hope that it kick starts me into pulling together the other project's I'm working on.

I did get Karl's 'You at...' album complete last night which I'm really pleased about as that's been hanging about since January!  I'm really not feeling motivated by LSNED not sure why, I think because I feel that my learning's are a bit contrived, although I will persevere.  Because of this, I'm not up to date with project life as I'm now a week out of date on that.  The reason for that is because I have had so little to put in it.  Work has just been so stressful that I'm finding I'm completely beat in the evenings, in fact on Thursday I fell asleep at 7.30 and didn't wake up until 3am!

I bought some wadding for the patchwork cushions and some calico to start the rabbit for the baby, I know that I have a lot of projects on the go, but I really do get more done when I'm juggling many balls, without so many projects on the go I don't think I'd achieve anything.

The project for October is going to be 'Wait a minute Mr Postman' this is going to be an album created from things I've received in the post or things I would have thrown away, I will try to use things as they come up every day but I am not going to stick to that rigidly.  This album is going to be an Art Journal, something that I've wanted to do for a long time but is just so far out of my comfort zone. I'm far more straight lines and symmetry although I love the look of Art journaling, it's not something that comes at all naturally to me so this will be a real challenge.  Each day I will give myself a prompt for the journaling and I'll create the pages from the recycled papers I keep each day, I will create my backgrounds from different techniques I find online.

I shall of course continue with my other projects.

Scarecrows and Gardening

This weekend has been spent at the scarecrow festival yesterday and then today mostly gardening.  This afternoon, I've been organising my scrapbook projects and trying to get up to date with them.

Cuba 2008 album - finish off and sort project file
You at 40 - put together album and sort project file
Project life - get current
LSNED - get current
Baby B - journal entries, complete forms
Autumn 11 in 2011 - make embellishments and put album together

Some photo's from this weekend:

Garden before

Garden After


Halloween Planning

I love Halloween!  After Christmas it's my most favourite holiday, this year one of my 'master plan' projects was to celebrate each season with home decor, cooking and celebration.  So far I have managed to achieve all that I set out to do (maybe more on 2010 another time!)

For the last few years I have decorated the house make special spooky food and arranged for games and activities for the children.  This year I plan to go all out with the baby on the way and Jack and Molly Halloween is just going to get better and better each year.  In our village very few children trick or treat and usually because they are so young and it's gets so dark if Halloween night is a work night, I'm usually not home so I generally leave a plastic pumpkin filled with sweets on the doorstep with a battery operated ghost light and a sign saying help yourself to one or two.  There are usually a few left by the time I get home, the children round here are so good, they wouldn't dream of taking everything.  This year I will do the same, although as part of my Autumn 11 in 2011 achievements I plan to hold an evening BBQ, I thought that I'd have a Halloween theme for that and invite the family when we have Kelsey and Hayden although it won't be Halloween as it's Kelsey's birthday that weekend so that will be the main focus.

I've started adapting my Christmas planner into an entertaining planner so that I can make all the preparations, I plan to include some of those pages in my Autumn 11 in 2011 journal although not sure how yet.  Once that's done I'll post a link to it.

I have ordered an Anders Ruff Halloween kit which I can't wait to get started on.

And one of the Halloween activities I plan to do with K&H before November is to create some of these Martha Stewart gravestones.  Just got to find some polystyrene now!

Thought I'd keep the food simple - just jacket potatoes on the fire pit and sausages and beans or boston beans, as I'll be quite heavily pregnant by then, I'm hoping that the little extra's I can do now like the Anders Ruff printables will help make it really special.

Autumn 11 in 2011

As each season passes I realise that there are a number of seasonal things that I had intended to do but never got round to.  Therefore, I've devised my Seasonal Album workshop.  This is based around a mixed media album to record my Autumn 11 in 2011.  This is a list of 11 things I'd like to do before the end of the Autumn (see bottom for my definition of Autumn).

In this album I plan to keep my list of things to do and also keep a log on the plans and progress of each of my objectives.

Next year (or maybe next season) I plan to expand this project into a family one, but for now I've created a list of things I think we should do during the Autumn months.

1. Carve a pumpkin
2. Hold an evening BBQ
3. Attend a bonfire display
4. Pick sloes and make sloe gin for christmas gifts
5. Rake leaves and turn into compost
6. Make pumpkin pie
7. Take a photo of haybales
8. Go for a dusk walk and listen to evening birdsong
9. Plan bulbs/seeds for spring
10. Make an autumn swag from felt
11. Harvest lavender

Autumn 2011 - September, October, November
Winter 2012 - December, January, February
Spring 2012 - March, April, May
Summer 2012 - June, July, August

Happy Days

Very productive day so far and it's not even 5pm!

Ink came for the printer so finally I've been able to print off my own photo's rather than wait for photobox to deliver.  Printed off all photo's for PL and for the first few days of LSNED. These are now all in the album and all up-to-date except for K to do a few journaling cards for last week when he was out and about with the children.  Feels great to be all current!

Business Planning To-Do List for the rest of the weekend
- source personalised ribbons
- create overlay for autumn album
- make button badges for autumn album
- make journaling spots for autumn album

Personal Planning To-Do for the rest of the weekend
- create projects list
- plan Halloween party

Went to the Yardley Gobion farmers market today, it was very small but I still managed to get a few bits and pieces.

Even though it was small, I'm pleased that I went and will definitely try and go again.

Planning on going to the Harpole scarecrows next weekend, we usually always miss it as we're usually on holiday when it's on so I'm really glad I remembered in time and looked up when it was!  

Off to prepare fajita's for tonight and then tackle the ironing mountain.

Keeping going...

Work is really busy so it's taking quite a lot of focus to switch off from that to concentrate on personal projects when I walk out the door!  I'm also not having the time to do any of the research at work that I plan to do in my lunch hour or the hour I stay at work waiting for Karl.  Got into work for 7 this morning because Karl was in London and left early for work.  I managed to print off some bits for Jack and Molly's christmas cards so I can get them done asap in plenty of time for christmas.

However, tonight after dinner (luckily Karl brought home Fish & Chips as a treat) I got straight to work on my sewing project, I started to make a pin cushion, got the basics done, then I realised that I didn't have any filling (stuffing) for it so it's just a cushion cover at present!  I also need to get some sand from Jack's sandpit so that I can make a small pin sharpener, I'm going to make a small yo yo and fill that with sand... if it works!  Because I couldn't finish the pin cushion I thought I'd make a needle book too, which is also finished now.

Completed my first 2 day's worth of LSNED and I've updated PL.

No progress really on the business other than updating this blog.  I really need to start research about blog content and start to plan my entries better to make them more informative and with greater content.  For now though, I'll just use for general chat and journalling - something that I'm not particularly good at either in my journal or in scrapbooks.

Kickstart plan

1 September for me represents a new start.  We are expecting our first baby, who is due in December.  I've had the realisation that I really need to get our lives in order so when the baby arrives we can use any non-working time to enjoy family life.  For the first few months of course I'll be at home and this will be easier as there are household things that I can do whilst I'm at home (baby co-operating of course!)

I also want to keep up with my scrapbooks as I find that so relaxing.  I've got so many scrapbooking projects on the go at the moment and I really want to keep on top of those as well as getting the house/family life in order.

Current scrapbook projects:
- Learn something new every day (1-30 September)
- Project life (ongoing)
- Expecting you Baby B album (ongoing until the baby is born)
- Autumn 11 in 2011 album (1 September - 30 November)

I also want to start my etsy business finally and launch Larabee properly, blogging will be a big part of that.

Karl bought me a lovely new laptop on Saturday so that I could make a start on my business, already I have made good progress although my to-do list is still a mile long!

I found the greatest website ever on Tuesday -, it's wonderful, she has the life I dream of and seems to make the most of every minute, home cooking, clean and tidy house, handmade crafts, beautiful garden, always manages to look stunning & fulfilled family life.

Can't wait to get started!!!!!