Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy New Year

I am currently on holiday visiting my son in Dubai. We had visited the City in 2006 and swore we wouldn't be back. But now that our son now lives here, we thought we'd give it another chance.

We cannot believe the changes in that time. In fact it hardly feels like you are in an Arabic country. Before we would walk around deserted shopping malls, that just had Arab men dressed all in white in them. Now the malls are massive and full of every Western shop you could imagine. The majority of the building work has been completed. The sky is not so full of cranes as it was in 2006.

The weather in December, is a lot more forgiving for a British resident. It was 106 every day when we visited in the month of April last time. This time I even need a cardigan.

I must admit this time I feel overweight and old. None of my summery clothes fit me. I have no inclination to attend any of the New Year celebration parties that are going on all over the City and I am hating every photo of myself, captured by others on the trip.

And I am finding it hard to pay the extortionate restaurant prices. I don't consider £80 for the two of us, a great deal. But the restaurants are all fully booked, so obviously all the tax free residents and rich Arabs think it's normal to pay those prices.

So far we have enjoyed the most, catching a metro train down to the old part of Dubai. We then caught an abra ferry boat across the creek to the gold and spice souks. It felt we were truelly in an Arab country, instead of the new polished shiny Dubai that is now everywhere over the creek. We took all the back streets, in the souk enjoying the feeling of being thoroughly lost. That was until I realised my much cherished Chanel sunglasses were no longer with us. I cannot begin to explain the panic we felt trying to retrace our steps. With Indians everywhere trying to get us to go in their shops. Every little alleyway looked the same. I had only been in two shops, but it took quite a few panic ridden minutes to find them again. But my sunglasses were nowhere to be found. We traced our steps over and over again. Returning to each shop three times. We had checked our cameras to pin point the last time I had them on. We even rang the shops today, in case they turned up. Stealing is quite rare here as the penalties are so high, so we hoped they might be found.
So I ended up having to return to the largest shopping Mall in the world to try and find some new ones. A day never goes past when I don't wear my sunglasses. I even wear them driving in fog. I must have tried on over 200 pairs, but I finally near 10pm settled on another pair of Chanels. Of course they were the most expensive pair in the shop. An expense I could have done without and a real downer on what had been a perfect day.
I ended up having a sleepless night, thinking about my sunglasses and retracing all my steps.

Anyway, as hubby said no one died. ( although to me I feel a little of me was lost with my sunglasses) so here's to a better start for 2013.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Merry Christmas

This Christmas and New Year I will partying in Dubai, visting my son.

We are having our Christmas dinner at home early this weekend. My favourite thing to do is the organisation for a big meal and it's cooking. I also love setting the table and always end up doing it days before.

This year I have a new tablecloth from Jaipur, India. It is covered with hand blocked elephants, in the same pink and green the room is decorated in. I thought it was perfect, when I saw it on our recent travels in India.

This year we have invited our daughters fiancé and his family to join us. It will be lovely to cook for a family who appreciate home cooking. Craigs mother is a fantastic cook, so no doubt she will realise all the effort that goes into putting a massive Christmas meal together.

Merry Christmas to all my blog readers, and I hope we all have a fabulous 2013.....

Friday, 14 December 2012

Is scrapbooking dead ?

I've heard the buzz recently on blogs, that scrapbooking is dead.  here

For me it certainly has been dormant for a while. To begin with I had thought it was because of the pain from a spine problem I had for a couple of years. It meant I couldn't sit without pain, so scrapbooking had to stop. But when I think about it, I used to scrap standing up most of the time when I was at home. I also stopped just at the time I finally had the bespoke scrapbook/ study of my dreams.

Then I thought, maybe it was because I had come to realise that no one in my family gave a shit about the pretty 12 x 12 pictures I was regularly putting into albums, that nobody ever looked at.
 But I'm starting to think I have just evolved. It started with the very thing that got me into scrapbooking- photographs. I started to be envious of the amazing captures on the blogs I was visiting more and more. I wanted to be able to take better photographs. So I took a workshop with Karen Russell back in 2010 and then again in 2012.That was it, my life changed.
I spent months doing assignments, reading about photography, experimenting and learning. This then lead me to take a different approach to my scrapbooking. I bought a Project Life kit from Becky Higgins and that changed the way I recorded memories for 2011. It was all about the daily photos and journalling.

It took up so much time and effort, that I didn't really have the extra time for making layouts. It seems to be true of other scrappers I know, that Project Life was the death of their classic 12 x 12 layouts. How weird that the very person asked to talk about the Death of scrapbooking might be the very peron that helped cause it. Now it would seem all the "famous" celebrity scrappers seem to be involved with Project Life somehow. So more and more people are using this as a way to document their lives.

I also found the simplicity of making beautiful, yearly photobooks, didn't help. I used all my favourite and best photos from each year in one massive book. They sit out on the coffee table, where my most recent scrap album used to sit. I had always had a sneaky suspicion that my children would just throw away my scrp albums when I am gone. There are too many for them to find a home for.  But I knew they would be more likely to hang on to the photobooks for future generations.

The Worldwide recession seemed to hit , just at the time my back problems did. So slowly, the scrapbook stores that i loved here became more expensive, and then shut one by one. I am lucky, in that I have a store here in my small market town. But it tends to not get my creative juices flowing. I have never been an Internet shopper, I always had to see and buy in person. So slowly that way of getting me excited creatively, died. The cost of petrol went through the roof and the old days of travelling hours to a scrap store stopped.

I think the rot started to set in when Creative Keepsakes magazine stated to have problems. My much anticipated magazine, didn't always turn up and one by one they got rid of all the great scrappers writing for their magazine. Which of course ended up in them all going on line and starting things up like Project Life !

Scrapbooking is something I still love and I would dearly love to get back into it as much as I used to. I still attend crops regularly, so that I keep my brain tuned to be creative. I have a small pile of scrapbook projects on the go at the moment. My India mini book is nearing completion and I have a fab mini book kit from Ann Freemans Enfield Christmas crop I've just attended.

Are you still scrapbooking ? How do you keep yourself motivated, when all around you no one gives a damn !


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