Monday, 31 December 2012

My Month in Numbers 2012: December

Hello, hello.

I know you know, but just in case ...
  • around this time every month I blog a summary of the events and everyday moments of the previous 4 weeks using a numerical thread to gently draw the randomness of it all together and ... 
  • I do it month in and month out. 
  • Next month will mark the start of my 4th year of Month in Numbers-ing. [It's one of the very few good habits I've actually committed myself to!]
  • Every month I throw down the measuring gauntlet to one and all to join me in doing the same...
  • ... and I'm happy to report that every month someone does! A regular dozen or so someones with others dropping in from time to time in fact!
  • And I'm aways glad to watch your links coming in and getting to glimpse into how your 4 weeks added up too.  
Now, I know some months some of you write about how you forgot all about it ... but I think we might be OK this month as December is particualrly unique in its 'hey the month's ending, let's celebrate' style of festivities! In fact they're throwing My Month in Numbers parties all over the world tonight - and there's a countdown live on TV too - so hopefully that will jog your memory this time round. [OK, OK, so they may not all be Month in Numbers parties ...]

But in case December 31st really has crept up on you please remember that - while I blog mine at the end of the month - the invitation is open to you anytime throughout the following month ... indeed for months afterwards and the majority of you do blog and/or scrap your numbers for the previous month in the new one.

And, in my eyes, they all still count.

[Get it? Count? Numbers? ... Apologies, but it's neither the first nor last time I'll use that pun, so best just embrace it.]

Anyway ... here's my December 2012:

12.12.12 = the unusually repetitive date which occurred.

Its uniqueness made me want to capture a moment with a self-portrait - which turned out to be a pretty poor shot - but I couldn't really delete it as that kind of date doesn't happen very often:
Actually ... to push the point, it's the kind of date which I'm not likely to see again in my lifetime.

The next one's not until 01.01.01 - the 1st of January 2101 ...

... which is 88 years away ...

... when I'll be 124.

But hey, before we all get morose, I'm no defeatist ... I might just manage it if I eat and drink wisely... which brings me to ...

3 = the number of Christmas Lunches eaten. Here's the first, consumed on December 1st with 6 friends:
There were actually 3 courses to this meal but by the time the starter arrived my human appetite for food overcame my blogger's appetite for photos ... and I ate it before I had chance to document it!

Having a Christmas meal on the first day of December was a great way to kick of the festive season, so much so that our table was congratulated by the waiting staff for being the only group so far to have worn our paper party hats right throughout lunch! Plus is was far enough away to give me time to work up an appetite for the other 2 Christmas lunches I had on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

2 = the number of rabbits which went into James's first ever rabbit pie which he made for Christmas Eve:
It was the first time I'd ever tried rabbit and I can report that ... in the tradition of all newly-tried meats it duly tasted like ... wait for it ... yes, you guessed it ... chicken!

But really lovely chicken at that - James is a much better recipe-follower than me. However, I did offer a helping hand in its construction including an all-important detail ...

2 = the number of bunny ears I made to decorate the top:
I know.

They kind of lost something of their character in the baking coming out  rather less bunny-ear-looking than when they went in.

In fact, in the first photo I took of them I accidentally had the pie the other way up, sort of spun round 180 degrees ... and, in that position, they actually looked more like ... well, I'm too polite to say ... just turn your head ... and use your imagination ... or maybe don't.

It might be for the best.

3 = the surprisingly low number of alcoholic drinks indulged in over Christmas due to having a cold which left me fit for nothing but drinking cough mixture.

[And, yes thank you, I did have a cough! What do you take me for?]

And on a further non-alcoholic note ...

24 =  the number of cans of Root Beer I received for Christmas after dropping a hint or two:
I also got a subscription to one of my favourite puzzle books so, at this rate I've worked out that during 2013 I'll be able to enjoy:
  •  2 cans of root beer and
  • a whole puzzle book to myself each and every month of the year.
Imagine such a thing if you can.

It's almost like I'm rock and roll to my very core ... isn't it?


OK, those were mine. How about yours?

If you're thinking of joining me here's a quick re-cap of ...

... the Month in Numbers 'etiquette':If you write a post and want to leave a link for myself and others to visit and/or pin to the Pinterest board  please bear in mind it has a shared aspect to it.
  • When you swing by my blog to drop off a link to your Month in Numbers post - please leave a comment for me while you're there. Not because I'm needy ... but because it feels fair. Reciprocal.
  • Please link to my blog in your post. As much as I'd like to think that everyone who reads your blog already knows what 'My Month in Numbers' means... the truth is, they don't. So unless you explain where the idea comes from and how your readers can join you in doing the same next month, they are none the wiser.
  • Please take time at some point in the month to visit and comment on a few of the other posts too. [This part's really easy to do by just dropping by the Pinterest board - even if you're NOT a member - and clicking the image to read the original blog posts behind them].
And, if you're not joining in ... thank you for making it to the end of another of my statistical oddities just the same.

Right then ... there's a really big number breathing down my neck so I'm going to get out of the way until 2013 has nudged its way in!

See you on the other side.

Julie :-)

Monday, 24 December 2012

One final card ... and my wishes for you

Hello, hello.

I won't keep you long, I know you're still trying to wedge the rest of the food into the fridge and remember where you put that present you put in a 'safe place' back in August [have you tried the back of that drawer under your bed?] ... but I just wanted to wish you a happy time over the coming week:
I know that not each and every moment will be filled with unfettered joy ... but I'm hoping there'll be just enough to keep us all jingling along.
So, my lovely, warm, wonderful blog readers and friends ...
  • May all your tensions, sadnesses, and stressful moments be fleeting but ....
  • May your hugs last a little longer.
  • May all your batteries be fully charged .. except those for the karaoke machine. 
  • May your new tights be ladder proof ...
  •  ... and may you find the single remaining chocolate in a box of empty wrappers.

And when it's all done ... swing back here and we'll carry on into 2013 together. Shall we?

Warm wishes.

Julie x

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Cardmaking: with a punning puffin

Hello, hello.

Today's my turn to share a Design Team project on the 3DJean blog ... but I thought I'd share what I made over here too. If only to give you a respite from all the Christmas cards I've been blogging lately.

So, how do feel about a Get Well card featuring one of the stamps from the brand new 'Alice Palace' range available at 3DJean?
I think he looked quite splendid with his glittery bits twinkling in a rare ray of sunshine yesterday:
I've tried fairly hard not to mention how nice his Distress Stickles looked in the sunlight... because it sounds rather risque ...

[Yes, evidently I didn't try hard enough, because I've just said it, but really, if you will insist on calling a product 'Distress Stickles' ... you must expect people to misconstrue it occasionally. And don't get me started on Distress Stains ... ]

Moving on ...

As I often do, I stamped this design on to a patterned paper as I really struggle so stamp on to a completely blank background. I love pattern too much! Then, after stamping, I just coloured him in using colours to match my papers.

The puffin comes with the speech bubble attached - but I cut it free so I could use it in any position I fancied.  And as for the sentiment ...
... I stamped it using the huge alphabet roller I mentioned in this post, and I know it's an awful pun but I just couldn't resist!

If you like stamping - you can go look at the other Alice Palace designs here, and I'll see you soon.

Julie :-)

Products available from 3DJean:
Alice Palace puffin stamp

Friday, 14 December 2012

Christmas cards: in black & white

Hello. Ahoy.

How's the dark days before Christmas treating you? [It's 11.40am now and I'm till waiting for the sun to realise it's daytime here!]

If I hadn't had to go out this morning I don't think I'd have bothered venturing beyond my doorstep. But I had a box of papercrafting supplies waiting for me at the sorting office ... and it would've been heartless to leave them there in a cold storeroom feeling unloved ... so I braved the chill.

And, now I'm back I thought I'd share what probably ought to be [although I can't promise it actually is] my final post sharing my handmade Christmas cards. And today's offering is brought to you by the colours black, white and sepia:
As with all the Christmas cards I've shared so far, the images are from a 12x12 sheet by Pion Design [these were available here from 3DJean, but this particular sheet has now sold out]. And I think the sepia of the photos works nicely with the kraft base card.

Although, really, what doesn't go with kraft? Not much. As I've said before: kraft is the denim of the paper world!

[One day someone will beg me to combine all thesecrafty philosophies into a 'Little Book of Papercrafting Wisdom' ... I'm sure of it ... any day now]. [Actually I shouldn't really make out that that's a joke ... it's seriously on my ever expanding 'Things to do one day' list!]. Anyway ... back to the cards.

Here I had fun mixing textures combining the wooden snowflake with a glittery sticker and button, mini pompom trimming, a length of black German Scrap and a snippet of gingham ribbon:
And I repeated the trimming details on this next one too this time with a tiny feminine touch:
And I think that of all the cards on which I've used the 'Naughty or Nice' sentiment ... perhaps this image fits it best:

She certainly looks like she's having to think back about which category she falls into this year!


Thank you for not only putting up with my Christmas card 'show + tell over the last few weeks but for also being kind enough to leave encouraging comments and emails.

Consider yourself firmly written down on my 'Nice' list! In pen!

Right, I'm off to turn the heating up. Even my animal print M&S thermals are struggling today!

Julie :-)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Christmas Cards: in turquoise + kraft

Hello again.

Yes ... I really am going to talk about Christmas cards  ... again. For the fourth time this month.

But hey, if I can't talk about them now, you're never going to let me do it after Christmas when all the twinkle is less ... twinkly and the warm festive glow is not quite as... glowy. So I'm going to take advantage of your good will to all cardmakers for a couple more posts. Starting now:
Believe it or not I found this card in the bottom of my crafting tote in what was almost like a crafter's equivalent of an archaeological dig!

I was scrabbling round looking for blank square kraft cards when I came across a handful of half finished general greeting cards I'd started over a year ago!

Some just had the first background layer stuck down while others, like this one, came complete with journaling block and bunting. So rather than put them to one side and keep on hunting for blank cards ... I just chose the best colour-matching Santa and tucked him in beneath the pre-existing layers:
And, while there's nothing especially festive about the background, journaling card or bunting ... I think that sticking a Santa on something along with the words 'Season's Greetings' is probably enough to fool anyone!
This is another one which I found with a pre-made background, but the sepia images I used meant I didn't have any colour-co-ordinating to do here:
I just added lots of pretty layers of embellishments, lace, leaves, pins, a button and I love the look of the tiny peg on the twine [I think I'll be plagiarising myself at a later date with that idea!]:

If you missed any of the posts in my 'I-was-so-surprised-to-have-willingly-made-lots-of-Christmas-cards-that-I-blogged-them-all' series you can catch up on the rainbow here:
Thanks for stopping by today. If your weather's anything like ours then, if you do have to go out, make sure you're either wearing non-slip soles ... or lots of bubble-wrap.

Or both.

Julie x

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Christmas cards: in green + peach

Hello hello.

Just swooping in with a quick pre-Elementary post tonight. Because in my world everything stops for Elementary. Sometimes even breathing ... oh ... my ...

Nw look what you've made me do. Who mentioned Johnny Lee Miller? And his eyes. I'm sure I came here to say something el... oh yes Christmas cards.

For those of you who left comments on my previous post then I should just say [a] thanks and [b] no, I didn't really make 156 Christmas cards. I was exaggerating. Wildly. Although by the time I finish blogging the ones I did make ... we may all feel like there were at least 156 of them. If not more.]

So, I'd best move straight on to them!

 Last time I shared cards in red and white and now we're moving on to splashes of red with shades of green:
On this card I used one of the techniques I return to again and again but more often in my scrapping and art journaling: using up the leftover surrounds from a sheet of label stickers. Here I have them poking out behind the vintage-style Santa image as I liked the way the colours matched!
This next one's probaby the most traditionally Christmassy of them all:
And now we're back to some smaller cards with the 'lets-skew-everything-and-push-the-layers-slightly-beoynd-the-edge-of-the-base-card' design I'm currently favouring:
And another:
As with all of my Santa image cards, I've used the printed image as the inspiration for the colours across the rest of the card:
And, because each of the 15 Santas on the sheet was different ... each card naturally turned out differently
  And the final few [for now!] are just peachy. No, really, look:
And finally, does anyone know why Santa's on the phone in this next one? Or, for that matter, why the phone's on a tree?
OK, I'm going to leave you t ponder that one while I go ponder Johnny Lee Miller ...

Julie :-)

Vintage-style Santa images by Pion available here from 3DJean.
Lots of trimmings + pins from my friends at The Ribbon Girl

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Christmas cards: in red & white

Hello you.

If you've witnessed the tomatoes on my windowsill [in my November Month in Numbers post] you'll be aware of how much I like to arrange things in colour-order!

So now, following on from the pink Christmas card I shared last week, here's a couple more in the same style ... but in red this time:
As much as I love the vintage Pion images I didn't really want to do a full on vintage look with them so tried to incorporate bright reds and fun touches with the embellishments:
Now, here's quick question for any cardmakers amongst you:
  • do you use alphabet stickers on your cards?
  • Or do you prefer to use a stamp or a pre-preinted greeting?
I only ask as I think alpha-stickers are more often found associated with scrapbooking and yet I find them just as useful for customising and personalising cards:
Obviously success with using alpha stickers on cards depends on a combination of:
  • the size the card
  • the size of your stickers ...
  • and the length of the word you want to spell out!
But there are lots of small alphas available ... so you should be able to fit even really looooonnnnnggg greetings on there with a bit of creative kerning!
The only thing I found difficult while using these particular images ... 
... is sticking to the 'these-are-actually-Christmas-cards' plan and stopping myself from thinking up funny captions to go underneath them!

[However I didn't bother to restrain myself earlier in the year, when I made this card and this one using the romantic images from the same range.]

As a younger sibling I look at this particular one and wonder about that as-if-butter-wouldn't-melt look the older girl is giving the camera. I reckon that the very moment the shot was taken the little one ended up unceremoniously shoved through that door on the left!

 If you're not already too bored of these cards, I'll share some more ... the next in the rainbow of colours I've made ... next week. See you then.

Happy December to you!

Julie :-)

[p.s: Let's face it ... chances are I'm going to be sharing the rest of the cards whether or not you're bored of them... it's not that I don't respect your feelings or anything ... but, y'know, I'm just fond of the cards ... and I've already photographed them. All 156 of them.]

[p.p.s there aren't really 156 of them. Yet].

Some of the supplies used:
Vintage images: from the 'Grandma's Attic' range by Pion [they were from 3DJean but are not in stock at the moment]
Leaf pins + seam binding: The Ribbon Girl
Heart pins + cabochon: 3DJean
Black + white paper; kraft ticket: by Collections Elements [from 3DJean]
Paper flower + leaf: Prima