Saturday, 8 December 2012

Oh ChristmasTree - -

- - thank you Prince Albert - for bringing this tradition from Germany to the UK when you married our Queen Victoria. You will ever know how much pleasure you have given me over the years of my life. There are no truer words than "in the eyes of children every Christmas Tree is 30 feet tall" and we are always children at heart - however old the outer skin becomes!
Thanks to for this image

Once upon a time - there was a small girl called L- - - - -, who was perhaps a little what they would nowadays call "hyperactive" and a very great chatterbox. She could always find something to talk about - so much so, that to her loving mummy - felt that the only time she stopped talking was when she was asleep - and she didn't seem to do a great deal of that!!
She was soon to be 4 years old - a small loving, dark-haired little girl - excitable, not very good at concentrating and completely unable NOT to talk!! This particular December - her birthday month,  the Royal Ballet were dancing The Nutcracker in the big theatre in the city just 12 miles from her home - and as her mummy loved to go to the ballet - tickets were purchased for a Matinee performance when L- - - -  celebrated her own special day the day before Christmas Eve.
Mummy - with Granny to accompany her took L- - - - off to the city for the day. A trip to the best Department store in town was planned for a visit to the Man in Red in his magical grotto - then lunch before the theatre outing. The slightly apprehensive adults found their seats as the small girl chattered incessantly - asking questions, exclaiming at the numbers of people in the seats ( did I mention the theatre was almost full - very few seats empty!!), bouncing about on her seat, excitement - always very close to the surface with L - - - - making her giddy; so that mummy and granny began to wonder if they had made a huge mistake bringing this excitable little girl to such an event!
But mummy wanted her to see not only the magic to be found in a theatre, at the ballet - but in this particular story - to mummy's mind one of the most magical Christmas tales. Slowly the house lights darkened - the theatre quietened and children everywher settled into their seats - all except L - - - -. who of course was bobbing up and down like a yo-yo - softly the dark space was filled with music as the orchestra's playing swelled into the opening notes of the overture.
L - - - -sat down abrubtly - silenced by the swelling music and the lights playing across the curtains on the stage as they slowly opened to reveal the beautiful, fantastical set that was everyone arriving at Clara's party. She sat transfixed as this delightful ballet played out in front of her - telling her the wonderful story of the enchanted Prince - Nutcracker - and Dr Drosselmeyer, and Clara and the Mouse King and Sugar Plum Fairy - - particularly the Christmas Tree scene - it silenced her completely - - when it grew before her eyes to disappear into the top of the Proscenium arch.
Mummy was stunned - marvelling that this performance had lit "candle eyes"in her small daughter - the child sat totally still and completely silent up to the interval - when of course ice cream was enjoyed by all 3 - and also by the fact that L - - - - was waiting excited - but QUIET - and expectantly for the lights to go down again - to be silenced again and transported once more into the magical world of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet.

We were never able to re create the magic of that afternoon - as the Ballet Company didn't return - but oh I am so glad they came that once - it is one of my most wonderful Christmas memories - and I never, ever hear any snippet of the Nutcracker Suite without being transported back in time to that afternoon - 30 years ago this year. I know if I lived anywhere near a place that performed that ballet every Christmas I would want to go - and make it a family outing Christmas tradition - if only to try to re capture the magic of that day - and I have never been able to forget her small face as the Christmas tree grew, and grew, and grew on that stage!

Thanks for dropping in
'til later

Bannaghtyn J xx

Thursday, 6 December 2012

December Days - December 6th - Christmas Cosiness - -

- -
Flickering flames and candlelight,
Cold nose and a bright red cheek.
Tingling fingers, frosty night,
Spicy baking's all we seek.

Crackling coals and scented pine,
Carols and mince pies.
Steaming chocolate, sweet mulled wine,
Shining, starbright eyes.

Hot baths, bright berries red,
New pyjamas, snuggle rugs.
Favourite stories, time for bed!
Love & laughter, big bear hugs

Thanks for stopping by,

'til later
bannaghtyn, J xx

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

December Days - December 5th - Written down -

- - Shimelle's prompt today is about written communication - usually I have a Christmas letter written to go in all the cards I send to close friends and family who live across the water from us - sadly - I have no heart for that kind of letter - this year there will not be one. I am not sure I can even contemplate cards! So - what to write about? It was this line in Shimelle's prompt that spoke loudest to me - Write to - - - - - or someone you know you will miss dearly this Christmas - - - and so it shall be. I suspect what I write will not be for general consumption - even in my album - it will be hidden away. I know it will be written with tears in my eyes - - -

Thanks for stopping by

Bannaghtyn, J xx

Monday, 3 December 2012

December days - 3rd December Starting a new tradition - - -

- - - for the festive season? As you may know dear reader - this year for me and my family is not going to be the easiest of festive seasons to get through - but I am really trying to find as many ways to find some pleasure - however small, in what was always a favourite time of year for me - as I can, and tidying a book shelf yesterday I came across my replacement copy of this novel. Norah Lofts has always been a writer whose books I have enjoyed but this particular book has long been favourite with me, as this time it is her take on the most wonderful story of all - The Nativity. This year I am going to re read it through Advent - and perhaps hopefully, make it a new tradition - to be re read at this time each year - so if you too like to read something appropriate to either the place you are in or the time of the year - - - then for this season might I tempt you to ask - like me, and Norah Lofts , "How Far to Bethlehem?"
Thanks for stopping by
'til later
Bannaghtyn J xx

Sunday, 2 December 2012

December Days - 2nd December - Storytelling Sunday - -

- - with the lovely Sian at High in the Sky. The last one of the year Sian tells me - I have been very remiss in participating, being absent from blogworld a large part of this year - but as I am trying my very hardest to find some small pleasures as I fumble my way through this December I think a short story will not go amiss, and I can always add it to my December Days album, can't I? - shall we step back in time?
22nd November 19- - the night was very cold - in the hearth the fire glows warmly and flames lick the back of the chimney. The two little girls knelt on the hearthrug  - eyes lit like candles in anticipation. Neither of them was quite sure what mummy had in mind - but the air of expectation was dancing round the room so powerfully you could almost see it. On top of the sewing table at the side of mummy's chair is a tray with an old tea towel covering it's contents and a newspaper.
"Let's see what we have shall we? " smiled the young woman at the two excited little girls and she lifting the cloth to reveal an old tarnished mirror, a roll of cotton wool, silver glass glitter in a small tube, a tube of Bostik, and a small collection of  Christmas cake decorations - a small Plaster of Paris snowman, a pair of skaters, few sprigs of holly - (plastic of course), a Santa, 3 or 4 miniature Christmas Trees, a tiny plaster cottage, a small "Rudolph" and a miniature sleigh.
"Ooooh - mummy!" said the older child - "we can make a snowy scene!"
And so they did - much fun was had making that pond for the skaters, surrounded by a cotton wool snow lanscape - whilst the glitter got EVERYWHERE!!!  It would have been so much less mess with the glitter glue available today - but nowhere near as much fun!!

Thanks for stopping by
'til later
Bannaghtyn J xx

Saturday, 1 December 2012

December Days - - 1st December

- - -an unexpectedly lovely start to the December I was/am dreading. As is usual on Saturday - the Artisan and I took flowers to Ben - and both of us - (also as usual) left with tears in our eyes and to combat that - we decided a drive into town and maybe wander a little might prove a good enough distraction. A gentle amble up the main street led us to M&S - where we not only found the perfect wreath for Ben - but my very dear friends C------- & S----- browsing the festive section - and shopping! Since the plan was for the Artisan to go off to the Climbing Wall and leave me to wander at will - I joined C & S for "kaffee und kuchen" and to share memories of our several previous Xmas trips to Bruges & Munich Markets and such! 
It has turned out to be delightful day for me - we have shopped til we dropped! each managing to find something we genuinely were looking for and also the odd unexpected treasure that really couldn't be left on the shelf! I so appreciate these dear ladies - both such very good friends to us in what has not been a happy year for our family. So I do have something really nice to remember to start this years December Album - and for that I am truly grateful.
It gave me the boost I needed to pluck up my courage and get out my previous years' Christmas Albums since I first joined in with Journal Your Christmas class with Shimelle. I cannot deny that I found it very emotional - and there were more albums than I realised - so that I was surprised when I put them all together on the chest to take this photo. They aren't all JYC - but my mix of the class and December Daily and special trips. But along with the occasionally damp eyes I have found myself also smiling as I flipped through the pages - so maybe I can regain some of my pleasure in the festive season - I know I have to try anyway - otherwise I am lost.
For those of my readers who have given me such kind words in comments - I really do appreciate them all - far, far more than you realise - you are amazing - so thank you!
Thanks for dropping in
'til later

Bannaghtyn J x

Thursday, 29 November 2012

A Journal for Christmas? - - - -

- - - and once again December creeps up on me unawares - though to be fair - this year I am in denial I know. I am not sure I know how to deal with this - it has always been a favourite time of year with me - ever since I was a small girl - but this year there is such a huge hole in my life and heart - which seems as if it will never mend - that I cannot imagine how I will get by. These poor eyes well up even just thinking about the Season this year - and half of me just wants cancel it, deny its existence, make it go away --- anything so it doesn't impinge on my life, making my very hard-won equilibrium disintegrate in splinters once again, I miss Ben so much it is a physical pain and I cannot think rationally about Christmas without him this year - I am very aware of this - however - I have discovered these last few months that the actual act of creation -the MAKING of anything "crafty" absorbs my mind totally, in fact it is the only thing which has done so - and there is no room for other more distressing thoughts in my head - so because of this I have decided that I must "screw my courage to the sticking place" - with apologies to (Will Shakespeare for tweaking his words!) and see if the making of a 2012 journal might help me get through the month.
And of course the delightful Shimelle runs her "Journal Your Christmas" class - of which I am a long-serving Alumni - and reading her reasons for starting her very first journal made me think I should try to participate. I know from experience how amazing and supportive class members are - so perhaps they may help me to regain some of my previous joy in this most magical time of the year.  Wish me luck dear reader.
Thanks for stopping by.

'til later and bannghtyn, J x

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Remember - -

- - remember - the 5th of November, Gunpwder, treason and plot. I see no reason why gunpowder treason, should ever be forgot.

I was reading a few blog entries from the other side of the pond this last couple of days - all filled with memories of Haloween Trick or Treat stories - and charming they all are too I must add. However it did make me look back at my own childhood - because of course in those days we didn't celebrate Halloween at all - but Bonfire Night!
And what excitement it generated in us as children - the anticipation of it being dark enough to light the fire - the scrubbing of the spuds to be thrown into the embers of the fire to be baked in their skins, the smell of the treacle toffee and the hunting out of the toffee hammer!! The mixed aromas pouring from every house on the street as each housewife prepared her contribution to the communal supper - Hash with dumplings, Bacon hotpot, Black peas - Parkin, Toffee Apples, and the wonderful smell of molasses for the treacle toffee!!
Dads were all busy collecting the fireworks together, hot drinks were bubbling away in every kitchen and how the mums managed with all us little ones getting in the way I don't know!! And the magic of Sparklers!! Absolutely wonderful - and the scent of gunpowder in the air when the finally fizzled out leaving you feeling bereft. I hope todays little ones look back at their Trick or Treat nights with as much fondness - -
'Til later

Thanks for stopping bye

Bannaghtyn, J x

Friday, 21 September 2012

Still on a Learning curve - - -

- - though I am still participating in Shimelle's class this year  I have discovered that this years learning is a little too sensitive to share this time. All my thoughts have gone into a very personal notebook which will probably never be shared with anyone. I am truly grateful for the prompts - but this year much of what I have written is too heartfelt to be anywhere in the public domain, and so stays only in my notebook.
I can say I am moving forward and not back - though the movement is infantismal at times - (is that the right word??) very tiny movements forward anyway - almost un-noticeable to anyone other than me perhaps.
Grief is proving to be a strange bedfellow as they say - - and I have come to the conclusion that the Victorians had an understanding of loss that modern society seems to have forgotten - grief cannot be hurried, I understand the need they had to wear black ( it is an armour, a protection almost) and to me feels like I am putting on my courage to face the world - and so I can cope with many things in my working life that, at present, seem trivial and of little importance. Yet I know life goes on - and as a family we are really trying to learn to live with our loss. I keep hoping that Time will really prove to be the Great Healer it is promised to be - not for myself particularly - but for my daughters- they are so young to have to deal with this emptiness in their lives - yet I know they are doing their best to keep moving forward.

So - todays lesson seems to be -- Use the things that help, even if they do seem outdated.

Thank you so much for stopping by - I am very aware if all those positive thoughts, prayers and love you send - and they have a value that is priceless - and means so very much to me.

Til later

Bannaghtyn, J xx

Monday, 3 September 2012

Moving forward - -

- - a particularly significant prompt for me today - and also a very difficult one. I am not sure sometimes just HOW to keep moving forward but know that I must or this loss I am living with will destroy not only the rest of my life - but that of my dearest and our girls. I returned to work today - so that was a step forward I guess. Sadly I felt as if I was in a parallel world - there - but not involved - and  I find I no longer care very much about all the waffle and twaddle that seems so important to management - it felt all rather meaningless for me - - and as a result my hard won equilibrium is very fragile tonight, yet I know I must go back again tomorrow.
Maybe it will get easier - I hope it does - at least enough to get me through until half term anyway. Only one way for me to find out though - isn't there? I have tried hard to be strong - and not fall apart around colleagues - and in that I think I suceeded, even though I felt as if I was on automatic pilot - however I have only managed half a day as I left at noon.
So - what have I learned today?  I think that todays learning for me comes down to this -

"Baby steps are all I can manage - and that is good enough"

Thanks for dropping in,
'Til later

Bannaghtyn J x

Saturday, 1 September 2012

September 1st - -

- - and that means the start of Shimelle's Learn Something New Every Day class is just about to begin. I have participated in this class since the beginning - but suspect that this year's Learning might be slightly different to previous years. I know I will be looking forward to the prompts - I wonder if any of you are also going to be my classmates?

Saturday, 25 August 2012

More creativity - -

- - thanks to Clare Charvill of the Graphic 45 Design Team 2012. I have been working on this project for a couple of months now - and it has been so amazingly helpful as I deal with the tremendous loss in my life. It has given me sometimes hours of respite from my thoughts - which circle endlessly - with no answers - and has been a lovely project to make. Clare offered this on her blog as an online class - and I signed up to it, to give me something else to think about - not every day - or even part of a day - but it has really helped me.
It is my version of the Reflections on Past Times Album by Clare Charvill, as my thought was to try to make a dent in the huge stash mountain I have aquired over the last 8 years. It is totally inspired by Clare's design and videos - it would never have got made as my own ideas seem to have deserted me along with my boy. My book is slightly smaller than the original I think - and my pages are made from black 6 &1/4 x 9 envelopes, most of which are sealed, though I have left a couple open and used them as pockets. I have used many of Clare's suggestions on my pages - just adapted them to suit my page size and my own paper choices.
It has been real therapy for me - so thank you Clare, you will never know how much help it has been.
Here are some photos of my pages - I hope you like it.

Thanks for stopping by -

til later,
Bannaghtyn, J x

Friday, 10 August 2012

Flip-Flop Wallet mini album - -

- - inspired by Clare Charvill of the Graphic 45 Design Team 2012. Clare made this as a Christmas album - (and her name will take you to her You Tube channel) but I really wanted to work with Graphic 45 Old Curiosity Shoppe papers so this is my version of her wallet album. Clare takes no take no credit for the original design - as she posted a link to a lady in Australia she had found on You Tube - but Clare did tweak it slightly herself, and I myself have worked from Clare's design. With the circumstances in my life at present I have found crafting to be one of the few activities that totally occupies my mind - so is therefore good therapy I think - it gives my mind a rest from the endless questions I have going around in it. Here are a few photos of my version of the wallet album.

It gave me a lot of pleasure to make - and I find Clare's videos are very inspiring - in my opinion she is up there with Laura - of Following the Paper Trail, Kathryn - of The Scrap Beach, Shimelle - of, Jim - The Gentlemen Crafter and indeed anyone who shares their talents and skills via the web. Graphic 45 have an excellent eye indeed for picking up on new talent in their Design team.

Thanks for stopping by -

Bannaghtyn, J x

Sunday, 29 July 2012

One day - - -

- - - at a time - it is the only way to cope - some days are good - some are very bad  - but I can now at least be creative again. It takes my mind off my loss and that can only be a good thing surely? Planning our next project for Craft club has been surprisingly helpful - so I do hope I am up to going to next meeting.
Thanks for stopping by - your visits are appreciated even though - at present anyway - sitting in front of a computer screen means tears are very close to the surface, so I am not blog hopping much, to return your visits.
Bannaghtyn - J xx

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Ben - -

- - my darling boy


Remember me in sunlight, remember me in rain
Remember me with laughter - please forget the pain,
For though I am not with you – please think of me with joy
A blue eyed mischief maker – a smiling happy boy.
Think BMX, and skateboards, Heavy metal and head gear
Remember those beach parties, and Jonny’s basement beer.
Remember me with kindness, remember how to smile
Remember though I’ve gone away, for a little while,
I might be watching Countdown, or maybe, Babylon 5
Or maybe I’m crowd surfing with Black Orchid playing “live”,
Remember Raging Speedhorn , festivals or “dirty south”
Remember that I’ll be there – from those days of our youth,
Think Star Trek, well, how could you not? Or System of a Down
So smile when you remember me – from when I played the clown.
Jennie Hall
June 26th 2012

Sunday, 17 June 2012

A knock - -

- - at the door - a few words from a stranger - - my world splinters into millions of shards of glass -- all sticking in my heart - - my darling beautiful boy. I love you my beloved son - I always will. I pray you now Rest in Peace my darling.

Friday, 25 May 2012

A little break - -

- - from blogland - got a few things to see to in "real" life. Back soon!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The Sound of - -

- - my life. I was so sad to hear last night that Robin Gibb has lost his battle with cancer, and as I watched that snippet on the news I realised that the music of the Bee Gees has been there in the background almost all of my life -  I can't call them my favourite band - but they have always been there - well their music has - right from the very first hit Massachusetts when I was about 12/13. through the Saturday Night Fever era - (oh happy days! ) to Islands in the Stream and later songs - in the background and you know - I can't think of a single song of theirs that I dislike? I hadn't realised just quite prolific song writers they were - or how talented in their field yet I don't think  I possess one of their albums or singles.
They spent their formative years here on my island home and have been back to visit and play in local music festivals  - and so I would like to thank them for the pleasure they have given me all this time, even though they didn't know it and without me really knowing it either!  - -  Rest in Peace, Robin - you and your brothers will be missed.
 Image from GettyImages.
I have thought about their songs rather a  lot today - and would find it really hard to choose just one as a favourite I have found the lyrics running throuhg my head as I work - and have even been tempted to burst into song (NOT to be recommended I can tell you!!)- but amongst those on my shortlist would be Words, To Love Somebody, Heartbreaker, Islands in the Stream, New York Mining Disaster and Jive Talkin'..
Which of their songs might be on your shortlist I wonder?

 Thanks for stopping by.
'til later
Bannaghtyn J xx

Saturday, 19 May 2012

I finished - -

- - little album I made at our last craft club day - no photos yet admittedly - but it is all decorated and all the tags and photo mats are made ready for pictures to be added. As I am planning on adding photos of my niece's "Prom" I won't be able to share it once the photos are included, I thought I would post a couple of pics now.
It was made using Laura Denison's (of Following the Paper Trail) "Stack the Deck" binding - check out her You Tube from December 2011 for instructions. I love it - it is such a neat binding system - and the little albums look so "professionally finished" - even when I have made them!!

There are six pages - and as each page is a pocket there are two tags in each one, so I can get plenty of photos in the album and have room for journalling. I used Prima paper and embellies - from the Nature Garden collection - and I think the soft neutrals in the colours scheme will make the photos of the jewel like prom dresses really "pop".

Today we have been "up the mountain" - on the Electric Railway - just for a change. It was a reasonable day - though still a little cold, and we did get something of a view before watching the drifting fingers of mist of Manannan's Cloak spread over the mountain top and hide everything from us! The cafe was warm and pleasant though and we enjoyed coffee and cake before we headed back down to Bungalow Tram Station. In the waiting room I found several of this year's "World Book Night" donations - all from different "givers" - to be part of an initiative called Ride & Read - and I quote " Enjoy browsing a book and then return it to your nearest ---- -- --- Railways waiting room for another traveller to pick up and enjoy". We liked this idea - a kind of mini "book crossing" so chose to borrow Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson - as neither of us has read it. I will return it to the Steam Train station when we have read it - but am going to keep a note of its number - to check its travels on the World Book Night site.

Thanks for stopping by -
'til later

Bannaghtyn J xx

Monday, 14 May 2012

Good Mail Day - -

- - got home today to find this on the mat! Such a wonderful introduction to the world of Mail Art. - thank you so very much to Sarah - who was the lovely lady who popped this amazing piece of art in the mail for me. I have to also say a huge "Thank you" to Ginger - because I only received this as a result of her MAIL ART EXCHANGE 2012. I am now the lucky owner of a fantastic piece of art - how cool is that?
I can only hope that my offering gives as much pleasure as this has given me. Mine was travelling across the "pond" - and I have no idea how long it may take - as I can wait up to 30 days for packets and letters to get to me coming in the other direction. I just hope it doesn't take too long!

Thanks for stopping by - I do appreciate your visits.

'til later -

Jen x

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Keepers - - - -

I thought I would share ten of my favourite books - those that in my head I call "Keepers".
 I read avidly as a child, teenager and young adult. The birth of my first child put a stop to my gallup somewhat - - - and when 2 more joined our family -- my reading slowed to a fullstop!! Well - at least for just me - I did lots of reading aloud of a variety of children's stories!! It recovered slightly when I was  able to read for pleasure for me alone by reading on holiday. But that was the sum total of my reading for many years.
However as you probably already know dear reader - I love words - so reading has been something I have made a conscious effort to get back into - and initially I found myself going back to old favourite "re-reads".  - -  and re-read I did - - - many books not read for years - and to my delight - still the old magic was there , transporting me to another time, another place, other scents and other sounds - - almost I have forgotton a books' ability to take me completely out of myself - - so that I often have to shake myself to return to my real, mundane world of 2012 and the present day. Do all readers experience this feeling I wonder? I know I do - and for me it is how I judge a book - am I there in the story - or on the outside looking in?
Anyway - I have chosen books for this list from my recent "re reading" - and trust me - it wasn't easy - based on that rather simple premise - am I there or looking in? These are all books I think of as "keepers" -those I don't want  to pass on to other readers. (selfish of me ? - probably yes!!)
So here they are - in no particular order - just 10 books I have read more than once -  and very likely will re read again. -
1] Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
2] The Luteplayer - Norah Lofts
3] Green Darkness - Anya Seton
4] Thomasina - Paul Gallico
5] How Far to Bethlehem? - Norah Lofts
6] The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
7] Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie
8] The Dean's Watch - Elizabeth Goudge
9] A City of Bells - Elizabeth Goudge
10] Frenchman's Creek - Daphne du Maurier

Do you have favourite books you re read ?  Or favourite authors - looking at my list I can see I have I would love to know if you have.

I am sure there will be many more interesting posts on than this, today in blogland - find them with Shimelle.
As always its lovely to have you stop by
'til later

'til later,
Bannaghtyn J x

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Mail Art Exchange - -

- - - I have had a productive weekend - been a very busy little bee indeed. I am taking part in Ginger's Mail Art Exchange for the first time this year - and have my very first envelope all ready in the post - I am a complete beginner at this - so hope it is OK for my partner in the group.
As a beginner I had to do some research to find out as much as I could - and was delighted to find so much information out there on "ye olde world wide web". I have ordered a copy of the book that started  this journey I am now setting out on - it was one of Sian's "Pass the Book" - and I really fancied having a good look at it.. Ginger is a star for setting up this group:)
Here is a photo of my envelope - before addresses were added - so thanks for looking. I am not going to post the contents ------ as I do firmly believe that the first person to know the contents of a parcel or envelope should be the person it is addressed to. Can't share as I forgot to take a pic - !! Ooops!
Last week my eldest daughter was staying with us for the week so I didn't get much crafting done - too busy spending time with her - very important to me as it was Christmas last time we were able to be together. We had a good week all round - starting with our visit to Northern Ireland - and already I am missing her company. However - daughter number 2 is home for a week before she starts her final exams for her degree course - so she has filled the "space" if you follow me! She is a little stressed - the final element/project/module (not quite sure what to call it) of her course has not been easy for her and she has got herself worked up about it. I am doing supportive mum as well as I can.

Thanks for dropping in.
'til later

Bannaghtyn J x

Sunday, 6 May 2012

The Maypole - Storytelling Sunday

Today is Storytelling Sunday at Sian's - so today I share with you a memory -  and for lots more stories drop in on From High in the Sky.

- Granny opened up the big table in the room at the back of the shop and mummy tipped out her shopping bag - a myriad of soft colours cascaded across its surface - pale blue, soft rosy pink, lemon yellow, and white  - rolls of crepe paper, followed by yards and yards of wide ribbons in similar colours, and cheap and cheerful artificial flowers. "Here dad" said mummy to grandad - scooping up the ribbons and thrusting them into his hands - "should be long enough, I think, can you nail them to the top of the pole?" "Aye" he answered, "I can do that" before disappearing out to the yard.
Mummy tuned and looked at her small daughter - dancing with excitement at all this prettiness - "Is it my dress mummy? Is it my dress? Can I be pink? Can I, Can I??" Mummy laughed - "How about pink and white?" she asked " I need to make enough for all of you". - - -
- - so there we were, one sunny May Saturday afternoon - many years ago - dressed in crepe paper frocks - made by my mummy - dancing around a Maypole adorned with ribbons fixed on by my grandad and trimmed with flowers by granny, and yes , we did weave in and out to make a pretty pattern down the pole with the ribbons - - - followed by high tea, that as I remember it - - seemed like a street party. Happy days!!
Chilldren dancing around the Maypole at a summer fair in Dulwich park London. Photograph: Alamy

Hindsight makes me think that it was probably just we children who "picnicked" outside for our tea - but there were a good number of us - K-------, E-----, D----, W-------, K------, J--- , some whose names escape me and little old me. But when I do look back down those years - I only see smiling faces, and sunshine - and it always brings a smile to my face.

Image from The Graphics Fairy
This is brought to you as part of Sian's Storytelling Sunday - and more stories can be found here

Thanks for dropping in
'til later
Bannaghtyn, J x

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Oh what a - -

- - brilliant weekend we had! Even the weather - and as you may know dear readers - British weather can be very unpredictable - was kind. Blue skies and sunshine greeted me as I woke - and although there was a chill wind - it remained with us all weekend. Our hotel was central - and so comfortable, the shopping was only 5 minutes away - and the new Titanic, Belfast only  a 20 minute walk along the waterfront.
We had booked out time slot for the Titanic building - good job we did - tickets were sold out for the weekend we were there.  It was PACKED - there were even monitored queues to get into the souvenir shop!!!It is a fabulous experience - in spite of the queueing - and we were there 3 hours - and I am certain there was so much else I missed! We did get in almost on our timeslot - only a couple of minutes late - so it is well organised even with its obvious, huge popularity - and I am sure it will calm down when the novelty wears off. It really is a "must see" exhibition/experience - and the building itself is - in my opinion anyway - beautiful. Very, very modern - and each of its 4 "points"really does look and feel like the prow of the "Olympic Class" liners. I really am glad we went - and I intend to go back again.
 Belfast is a great city - everyone was very friendly and welcoming, and we did take advantage of the City Tours to see the murals and other buildings of interest- as well as a trip to the Giant's Causeway, so we feel we managed to pack quite a lot into our weekend. Our hotel was one of the Malmaison group of "boutique" hotels and was in an old warehouse building, now converted into a luxury venue. It really was a great place to stay and the staff were lovely - at all times. The food was excellent too! I have added links but I am not receiving any commission or anything - and opinions are my own - Just thought you might like a little "nosy round".
Our Causeway trip was also very good value - and  on a very comfortable coach. We got to see some of Northern Ireland's beautiful scenery with an excellent driver as our guide - and once again the weather was kind - blue skies and sunshine! 

All in all we had a  really great weekend, and I am looking forward to adding my photos and thoughts to my "Week in the Life" mini album. Though it looks like I will also have to do a "Weekend in Belfast" one as well - for daughter number 1!! No crafty pictures yet - but will post when my album has a few photos in it!
Thanks for stopping by.
'til later -
Bannaghtyn - J x

Friday, 27 April 2012

A visit to Belfast - -

- - just for a weekend break - but am hoping to take in the new Titanic Exhibition. I am looking for ward to going for a "girly weekend" with my eldest daughter - just the two of us - which hasn't happened since she was a little girl - before her siblings were born.I think. I am very excited - as I will be at the airport in an hour - waiting - slightly apprehensively admittedly - to board the tiny plane that hops across the Irish sea between me and Ireland. They are so small - 20 seats at most I think - and the pilot is also the steward!! And he and the cockpit can be seen whenever the curtain he is behind swings open slightly! Wish me luck!
Would they think I was mad if I took some photos? Or would they arrest me?? LOL - trying to think of the best way to incorporate the experience in my Week in the Life!!
Thanks for stopping by.
'til later.
Bannaghtyn J x

Thursday, 26 April 2012

The little album - - -

- - -I intend to use for "A Week in the Life"- it is one I have made myself - and has 6x6 covers and a 2 inch spine. There are 8 pocket pages - with tags - so plenty of room for each day for both photos and journalling. I used Prima's Nature Garden collection to make it and love the softness of the colours - it feels really neutral - so I am hoping it will work with any and all photos I have taken and have yet to take this week. The little pictures from the Pogo/Digi Camera (Polaroid) are a nice size - though I am a little disappointed with some of them - but I think it is my lack of skill rather  than the camera - as I have some rather better shots with my point and shoot compact camera that I am so much more familiar with.
Here is the album I intend to use anyway - -

Thanks for dropping in.
'til later

Bannaghtyn J x

Monday, 23 April 2012

A Week in the Life - - -

- - -A la Ali Edwards - - I have seen this  and often thought I should participate - so have decided to give it a go this year - and see how I get on. I am starting my week today though - rather than Sunday and my target for this week is to take photos!! And make some notes! I have a lovely little mini album - with 8 pocket pages in it - so I am going to use that and have decided to use my Polaroid Instant Digi camera to take pics - it's new - and hope the pictures will be OK as I am not really familiar with it yet.I will go back to my other camera if they don't print out well.Will test tonight and see how they are.
And of course - today is not only St George's Day, Shakespeare's Birthday - but World Book Night - and this morning our Head of English gave away 24 copies of Small Island by Andrea Levy to some of our 6th Formers. All recipients were chosen by their peers who are studying English at A Level - I think its wonderful - to be able to give away books - and this years list of chosen books has some excellent titles included - when I was a child a book or a book token was a favourite gift to receive - and I love that mum always said - "A book is a gift you can open again and again" . Check here for information on World Book Night.- actually one of this years list is one of my all time top 10 novels - but I might save that for 10 on the Tenth!
Are any on this years list in your top ten? I'd love to know.

Thanks for stopping by.
'til later

Bannaghtyn, J x

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Thursday thoughts - - -

- - I have managed to find that little "extra" time to play a little over the last couple of weeks - and am now trying to find a way of still having that "extra" time now I am back at work full time.I also want to get my blogging back to a regular part of my days so I got my thinking cap on - and went back to Shimelle's Blogging classes - so using tips from those 
  • I will try to make at least one crafty item to share - and will remember to take a photo
  • I would like to resurrect my Wednesday Words - I love words - as perhaps you already know, dear reader
  • I am going to try to get a bit ahead and schedule a few crafty posts
  • I aim to blog at  least once a week and build up gradually
So there it is - my initial plan - not too much - and achievable I hope. I can but try anyway - thank you to those of you who have stopped by since I rejoined blogworld - I promise to return the favour and leave a comment for you. Here are a couple more tags for my Craft Club swap - on our Vintage theme - I have only a few left to make now - 3 I think - so am very pleased with myself for managing to keep on track.The calligraphy stamps are by  Suzanne of Quietfire Design, image and background stamps are Crafty Individuals and the images mainly from French Kissed.

Thanks for stopping by -

Bannaghtyn J xx

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Getting back into the swing of it - -

- - blogging that is - though it will have to be slowly.

Anyway - I have made a first step to being a part of blogland again as I have signed up for Ginger's Mail Art Exchange. I didn't sign up last year as that was just when life started to throw curve balls my way - and I didn't want to let anyone down.It did appeal to me though - so when I saw her post on her blog that she was doing it again - and saw the theme - I just couldn't resist!! There is a link on my sidebar for details and you can always visit Ginger's blog at the link above if it appeals to you too.
We had our Spring Allday Craft session at our Craft Club on Sunday - which was again a success - we had a lot of fun and made a decorated frame and a mini album. Here is my frame - I will post pictures of the album another day, as I still want to work on it.
It is funny - our monthly meeting night is always horrible weather - and our all day meeting - always beautiful weather - so very frustrating!! It was a good day - good company, fresh - and yummy home made Lemon Drizzle Muffins ( thank you R--- , We love you!!) and a kit that suited all our tastes - who could ask for more?
Thanks for stopping by.

Bannaghtyn, J xx

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

And even more play time! - -

- - I love holiday time at school - it means I get a bit more time to do things just for fun! Just one photo this time - of my other set of tags form the international swap - there are my interpretation of the  "French Country" version. Both sets are now well on their way to the other side of the "pond"- - well I hope they are, I sent them airmail at the weekend.(When did postage get to be so expensive - that really has crept up on me unawares I can tell you!!) I seem to have to wait for ever to get US mail to reach me  - I am still awaiting parcels sent to me in March! - I got one yesterday -  so hope it doesn't take so long going in the other direction!
Anyway - thanks for stopping by - and hope you like the tags.

Bannaghtyn J x.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Titanic - -

- - 100 years ago today RMS Titanic left Southampton Dock to set sail on her maiden - and only - voyage. The White Star Line believed her to be "unsinkable" - - though sadly not in the way that was envisaged in 1912 - because in truth - she does seem to be unsinkable in the way that she has held us in thrall for 100 years. And today - I find myself wondering why she has such a hold on our imaginations - other ships have foundered - yet their names do not live on the way the RMS Titanic does. I am as guilty as anyone of finding myself fascinated by the story - and indeed am off to Belfast at the end of the month to visit the new Titanic Building and exhibition centre and am so excited at the thought!
There must have been such an air of excitement dockside that day - don't you just wish stones could talk - if only to tell us what it was really like? We can only guess - hustle and bustle - tears - laughter - dreams - perhaps she was the ship of dreams and that is why her fascination still hold sway.
I would liked to have sailed on the Anniversary Voyage - but it was not to be, that is an unfulfilled dream - but at least on that sailing there are enough seats in the lifeboats.
I'm not sure what has made me think of Titanic today - unless it was noticing the date on an appointment card!!
I do have a little bit of craftiness to share - I did tell you I was really trying to make time for a little play didn't I? I managed it - so here are my "Shabby Chic" tags for the international swap.

Thanks for stopping by.
Bannaghtyn J x


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