Festive Greetings to one and all!
We haven't seen any of this white stuff this year down here (yet).
Despite no snow- it's been a fab Xmas season here.
All children present and accounted for. Millie and Ella were hoping to go to NZ this year, but due to GCSE exam commitments that was a no go, I think they have enjoyed snuggling up with Ma and Pa bear and siblings this year.
This is our new gingerbread PaperArtsy HQ for the festive season!
The house is full of Christmas baking aromas. It all started pre-Xmas with the gingerbread house. Miss Millie designed the plan, we found a recipe, and the rest was just a matter of gluing together and decorating with royal icing. Our piping skills are not so great, but we had a lot of fun doing it. We have decided that dismantling will commence on New Year's Eve. Might need a hammer -that icing has dried rock hard!
In mid November I had kids home unwell, so I distracted them from headaches and runny noses by getting them a busy making tags to go on a few presents to match the gold wrapping papers under the tree. Manila tags, fresco paints and archival black ink was all it took. The stamps were all from Ink & the Dog Noel Plate 4
We all headed up to the stunning Cambridge just before Xmas. Mark recently found this snapseed app that does a wicked blurry effect, so now we have a bunch of blurry pics.
My sister Emma, has recently moved from NZ with her boyfriend Nic to Cambridge to do some post grad study. I booked an apartment at the end of their street for us to stay in.
Kids were a bit gob smacked with the decor- as were we!
Very rich colours. We loved it, seemed very opulent.
Check out the red and gold lounge - Hugo didn't take long to settle in, chuck his coat about and find a remote or some other device.
This was the other bedroom in rich blues.
Courtney choreographed this picture of the munchkins in the phone boxes just off the central town square L-R:Hugo (11), Millie (13), Ella (15), Courtney (17)
Emma organised for us all to go to see the local panto. With the flat in such a central location within 5 min walk of everything it was fantastic to be able to access everything so easily. Cambridge really is a beautiful place to be and there are lots of interesting quirky independent retailers.
And while we're doing family pics,who can forget the day the awesome All Blacks won the rugby world cup! Just thought I'd drop that in there - lest we forget... This was Mr PaperArtsy and moi on the morning of the big final. Nervously trying to eat breakfast at the autumn ArtsyCrafts event in our AB supporter strips. Course we are thrilled to finally be world rugby champs!!
Millie and I (on our baking mission) tackled macaroons yesterday. Pistachio green and flavoured. Something she has been wanting to do since Ed Kimber won the first Great British Bake Off. They taste great. I think she would have entered the GB junior bake off, but just as the auditions was announced she turned 13 and the max age is 12. Never mind, we are constantly on the receiving end of her experiments...usually all good.
Here's a sight you don't expect to see in London in December
On the first 3 days of Christmas week, Ella and I went up to London to a method acting drama course she had booked for. This meant I took a different buddie with me days 1 and 2 (Millie and Mark), and boy did we walk all over London.
We walked miles and miles and miles and miles....But it was so lovely to have a good look around with no fixed agenda. Loved borough market, in fact got our Xmas dinner there - a chicken stuffed with a pheasant with almond/apricot stuffing ... It was perfect on the day too.Enjoyed a glass of mulled wine from the south bank Xmas market, and the antiques at Coventry garden, and Camden Passage were interesting as ever.
I've also had a few days over the last few weeks to plan some classes that I'll be teaching at Version Scrap. It is a wonderful show in Paris in Spring. Lots of classes and scrummy exhibitors that are so different to anything you see in England. Last year the attendees were keen to see more about using metal, and as it's a scrapbooking show, I have reflected that in this particular project. I'll be teaching 2 classes, this is one of them, a layout framed by a metal niche. Papers, paints, embellishments new, made and found. Lots to learn in this 3 hour class.
The other is a re-vamped ArtsyCrafts class with layered grungeboard letters and die cut shapes, over-painted and wiped back with our gorgeous Fresco Chalk finish paints - and I mean lots of layers and layers of acrylic paints I loved that class this year, one of my faves. We embellish with ideology and found objects. This looks wonderful on the wall in my lounge - it gets loads of comments.
I think booking goes live in the New Year. The show is the first weekend in April (March 30th - April 1st, 2012)
The PaperArtsy stand got pretty busy last year! Here you can see Mark and (stamp) Sally almost finished the set up
And this was how it looked later in the show.
And I managed to get a pic of Lin chatting and demoing too. The ladies were fascinated with what we demo.
So that's my news update. Always guaranteed to be an epic tale. And so much I left out!
Wishing you all a safe and celebratory end to 2011. Thank you so much for your friendship, custom, shared laughs and your presence at shows and ArtsyCrafts events this year. We love to get out and about to see you in person, online or passing through the online shop. I'll be back in the New Year to keep you in the loop. If you fancy a chat, then see you on twitter, I usually check in late in the evenings.
Leandra & Mark