A slight obsession with books

Crafts, cats and books


Baltic scrapping #03

I’ve finished scrapping the second day of our cruise, which was the first full day and was spent at sea. There are six layouts starting with the intro for the day.Once again, it has a square photo with a ‘just the facts’ journaling block.

Next is a layout about our lovely cabin. It won’t be the only cabin layout, but it’s a start 😉

Next is about the restaurant where we had breakfast, plus what we had. Then I did a layout about the maps by the central lifts and how useful we found them while we were finding our way around the ship. Some of the layouts are going to be very plain and simple, as otherwise I’ll still be scrapping this holiday in ten years time. I will embellish some a bit more, but I’m comfortable with a simple style and the main thing is to get the journalling on there.

The next one is about me getting dressed for dinner again, and waffles about how I even got a mani-pedi before travelling. (my first ever!)Finally, there’s a layout about our evening. The journalling is about where we had dinner, and what we had, and about the evening show in the Broadway Lounge. I recently added to my stash of travel-themed papers and embellishments with a pack of Basic Grey Second City. The theme and colours were perfect for this layout. Next up is one of our port days – Sweden!



Baltic scrapping #02

The first day of our cruise is finished. I’ve only done four pages for it though. This and the sea days are quite light on photos, but once I get to the port days, there are loads. Great fun!

I’m starting each day with an intro page and they’ll look similar. They’ll all have a square photo and a ‘just the facts’ journaling block. This is the intro page for day one. I did a layout with details of how our morning went and the embarkation process plus what we did once we got aboard. There’s more journaling on this than in whole albums that I’ve done before! Photos are of the sail away.

Next is a layout of me, all dressed up. The journaling is about how I never get dressed up these days and that this is very dressy for me.Finally is a layout of our first dinner on board – what we had and what we thought of it.  As you can see, the layouts are quite heavy on the journaling so far. Some won’t have much, as they’ll just be to showcase some photos that I love, and others will have lots. I want to tell the story of our adventure so in future years I can look back and easily remember all the details. I guess that’s the main reason that I scrap.


Still clearing my desk

I’m still working my way through Shimelle’s Clear the desk class. I was struggling with the set of papers that I’d put together so grabbed an old Basic Grey collection pack, or rather the little bit of it that was left, and tried to use it all up. I didn’t do too badly. The hardest part was finding some photos to go with it so I ended up with some Disney pics from 2010, after getting distracted for a few hours organising my photo boxes 🙄

The pack that I used was Lucky with all the lovely purples and reds. I only had a few sheets of paper left and no embellishments, tags or alphas. I did have quite a few Halloween embellishments though so I used up some of those.


I’ve also got a few photos of the cats in their Hop-in so I used one of those to use up the very last bits.
And that was the end of BG Lucky. I can’t believe that I’ve finally finished off one of the BG collections. One down, thirty-three to go LOL


Baltic scrapping #01

I’ve finally made a start on scrapping our latest holiday – the Baltic cruise. I usually spend some time getting organised before doing a large album but this time I really went to town. I think it may even border on the obsessive but we’ll keep that to ourselves, ok?

We took a lot of photos, even by our usual standards. I think there were still well over 2000 after I’d deleted all the blurry, badly composed, and duplicate ones. There were about 750 in Russia alone. Once I’d finished deleting, I used Photoshop Elements to tag them. Once I’d got them thoroughly tagged, it was much easier to see what I’d got as I could look at just the ones taken in the Hermitage museum or at the Little Mermaid. It was much less intimidating then.

I went though them in order to pick out the ones that I wanted to use to tell the story of our adventure. I  then  tweaked and sized them. I’m using mostly 6×4 with a few 5×5 and the occasional 3×4. I ended up printing just over 600 photos, via Photobox. I’ve had problems with them in the past, with larger prints, but they’re pretty good for standard sizes. I waited until there were some good offers and probably got them for about half price in the end.

Once they were printed, I put the photos for each layout into poly pockets, in ring binders, and put a post it note on each pocket with layout details or notes. The post its were, of course, colour-coded 😉 

I then used those to go through the albums and work out how many page protectors I’d need. Then I labeled them with more post its to indicate which layout would go where.

I’d printed way more photos than I intended to scrap. I knew I wanted to include lots of photos but didn’t want to end up with twenty albums and still be scrapping them into my retirement. The solution was to get lots of divided page protectors. I can slip the photos into those, which is why I printed mostly 6x4s, and if I want to I can do a 6×4 journaling card to slip into one of the pockets too. I’ve already got the photos in the divided page protectors and I’m really pleased with them. 

I’d already bought three identical albums as I knew this was going to be a big project but having got all the page protectors organised, I realised that I was going to need a fourth one. What can I say? We did so much and saw so many amazing things and I want to record it all. I love looking back on our holidays. The albums bring back so many memories.

Here are all the albums and photos on the shelves, ready for me to dive in.Everything is all labeled up with my dymo printer thingy. It makes me happy to see everything so organised 🙂

And, I’ve already started scrapping. I’ve bought some lovely travel-themed papers and embellishments this year and I’m really going to enjoy using them.

This is the first intro page with a photo of our lovely ship and journalling about how a Baltic cruise was on my bucket list.

While we were away, I knew we’d have limited internet access so didn’t want to upload hundreds of photos to Facebook. We thought it’d be fun to do a selfie of the day and upload that to let friends and family see where we were each day. We had a laugh with it and did some funny poses or faces on some. Obviously this had to be documented. This is really busy compared to how I’ve been scrapping lately but I’m chuffed with how it turned out. I got to play with my dymo printer again. I’m thinking that’ll come in handy for labelling anything in the divided PPs.This layout is the day we drove up to Newcastle for an overnight stay before going to the port. You know you’re nearly there when you see the Angel of the North. Photos of our lovely hotel room and more of that yummy travel-themed stash.


Baltic cruise – Norway

A few weeks ago we went on a Baltic adventure. I’m going to do a few posts of our days ashore, along with lots of photos. Our eighth and final port was Oslo.

I was wide awake at 6am so I opened the curtains and sat in bed, alternately reading and looking at the sail in to Oslo. We didn’t dock until 11am and I’d taken quite a lot of photos by then as the scenery was lovely.

We had breakfast in Islands just before we docked, and then left the ship. We waited for the Hop-on Hop-off bus and set off for our first stop. We wanted to see the Vigeland statue park as I’d read about it and it sounded really interesting. It was definitely worth the visit. It was a lovely sunny day again and perfect weather for walking in a park. The statues were amazing and there were so many of them. These are a few of my favourite photos from the park.

We really loved it there. It was an amazing place to visit, and we didn’t even explore further into the park. I’d definitely go there again if we found ourselves back in Oslo.

After we’d finished walking round, we stopped for a sit down and an ice cream. We picked a couple of iceys at random and they were delicious. They were chocolate coated ice cream, and the ice cream had a liquorice flavour swirled through it. Yum.

We got back on the HoHo and went to the Viking museum next. There wasn’t a great deal there but there were two huge Viking ships as well as several smaller exhibits. We didn’t stay too long as their air con wasn’t working and it was really hot and stuffy in there.

From there we walked to the folk museum and spent a couple of hours exploring. They have loads to look at, including a beautiful stave church. There was a 1950s farm laid out with the old tractor, the buildings, some animals and a farmhouse. Inside there was the farmer’s wife who gave us a glass of delicious, refreshing cordial. We really enjoyed our visit there as it was great to be out in the open air, in the beautiful sunshine, and seeing Norwegian houses through the ages.

Back on the HoHo and we got off in the city centre. We still had a couple of hours before we needed to be onboard so we had a late lunch. Stephen still wasn’t that hungry as he’d had a massive breakfast but I was starving so I had a delicious open sandwich in a little café, while Stephen just had a cake. He had a Scolebrod which was very nice. My sandwich was huge with tons of prawns on it.

We walked back to the ship from there. It only took about 20 minutes as we were docked really close to the centre.

I did a bit of shopping on the way back. We found the Hard Rock Café so I bought a bear and some pins. Practically next door was Pandora. As I’d had some charms in Copenhagen, I wasn’t going to look, but Stephen insisted so I got the Norwegian set of three to go with my Danish ones. Both stores told us about claiming our tax back and gave us the forms. Back on board we saw the chap from blue global and got a nice bit of cash back. Brilliant.

We took coffee for me and beer for Stephen back to the cabin and prepared to watch the sail out, which was amazing. We saw lots of people enjoying the sun and some gorgeous scenery.

We didn’t do much more that evening. We popped to Islands for dinner and didn’t bother with the show. We’d had two days with a lot of walking and exploring and needed to just chill. I’m not sure where everyone else on that ship got their energy!

So, that was our last port. We had one more day, which was spent sailing back across the North sea. We hit a storm for a few hours and the ship got a bit bouncy underfoot. The captain told us that we’d reached gale force 11, which would explain why everyone was walking around as if they were drunk. It still felt safe though and everyone was laughing and having fun.

We had the most incredible holiday. We saw some amazing and beautiful places, which I’ll never forget. I’d do it all over again, given the chance.

Thanks for reading!



Baltic cruise – Denmark

A few weeks ago we went on a Baltic adventure. I’m going to do a few posts of our days ashore, along with lots of photos. Our seventh port was Copenhagen.

We watched some of the sail in from our balcony again. I really loved being able to do that. We saw lots more wind turbines.

We were out of our cabin by 8.30 and heading to Islands for breakfast. I loved the selection in there. You could easily have something different for breakfast every day. I had porridge with dried cranberries, and some mixed fresh fruit with some yoghurt, topped with flaked almonds. Healthy, huh?

We were ready to leave the ship by 9am, but we were slightly late docking again so we had to wait an extra 10 mins. When we got off the ship, it was really hot already. I think it was 20°. We’d planned to do a lot of walking too.

We were docked at Langelinie, which is close to the city centre. We only had to walk for ten minutes from the ship and we were at the Little Mermaid. We took some photos along the way, of course.

The mermaid was mobbed, even at that early hour, but we managed to get some photos although we didn’t bother trying to get down to her.

I’d always wanted to see the mermaid so I was really chuffed to have finally made it. After we’d admired her for a while, we carried on walking and went into a park where we saw some lovely features.

From there we walked along the harbour front for a while. The harbour front was lovely. We really enjoyed our stroll.

Eventually we came to the Amalie garden. It was small but very pretty with a couple of water features.

After we’d walked through there we were at Amalienborg Palace. We had a look round the outside and then carried on towards Town Hall Square.

It turned out to be a longer walk than we’d expected, partly because we couldn’t figure out which way we were going, even with two guide books and a map, and partly because it was so hot. We got there eventually though, via the Pandora shop, where I got a set of three charms exclusive to Denmark, and the Hard Rock café, where I got a bear for my collection along with three pins.

After taking a few photos round the Town Hall, we went into Tivoli gardens where we had lunch and spent a couple of hours looking round. It was lovely in there, even with the rides and all the people, it was still peaceful and pleasant in the gardens.

We then headed back allowing ourselves plenty of time for the return walk. We were getting quite tired in the heat but made it back by 4pm, ready for our 6pm sail away. After dropping the backpack in our cabin, we went to the coffee port and got iced coffees and some rather lush cakes. We took them back to our cabin and enjoyed them on our balcony.

I sat out there for ages, enjoying the breeze and reading my Kindle. It was heaven.

By 7pm we were getting peckish so ordered room service as neither of us really wanted to get changed and go out. We had steak sandwiches and they were delicious.

I carried on reading for the rest of the evening while Stephen watched tv and did puzzles. There was loads we could have been doing around the ship, but we just wanted to quietly relax and recharge ready for Norway the next day.



Baltic cruise – Germany

A few weeks ago we went on a Baltic adventure. I’m going to do a few posts of our days ashore, along with lots of photos. Our sixth port was in Germany.

We had the choice of exploring the local area or taking a tour to go a bit further afield. I’d always wanted to go to Berlin as I’ve read a lot of novels set in Berlin, mostly spy or war themed, and I wanted to see the places that I’d read about. It was a long coach drive there but we decided it’d be worth it.

Our alarms were set for 5.30am as we needed to be on the dock for 7.15 to get the coach. Unfortunately Stephen’s alarm on his phone went off at 4.30 as despite me reminding him multiple times the day before, he hadn’t changed the time zone on it. Sigh.

My alarm went off at 5.30 and we got up, got ready and headed for the buffet for a quick breakfast. We were back in our cabin and watching the ship dock from our balcony by 7am. The ship was quite late docking as it was getting on for 7.15 and we were only just tieing up. We were lined up by the gangway with lots of other people and we waited and waited. There was a problem with the gangway. The German port authorities couldn’t get one to fit our doorway and it was gone 8am when we finally got off the ship and 8.15 before our coach left. We should have departed at 7.30 so we were a bit worried that we’d have to miss something out. As it happened, it was fine and we had plenty of time to see everything that we wanted.

We had a long drive to Berlin, about three hours, and it was mostly through a flat, uninteresting landscape. Jens talked to us quite a lot during the journey, telling us of his life in East Germany before the wall came down, which was fascinating.

Along the way we saw a lot of wind turbines.I know a lot of people think they’re ugly and spoil the landscape, but I really like them. I think they look graceful.

We had a rest stop on the way, just before we reached the outskirts of Berlin. We had time for a comfort break and to visit the shop for snacks, if wanted. Our driver had a stash of bottled water and beer in a cooler that we could buy.

We carried on into Berlin and drove around for a while, seeing the various sights with a commentary from Jens. Our first photo stop was Charlottenburg palace, which was lovely. We just had a look round the courtyard, while Jens told us a bit about it, then it was back on the coach.Next we drove past the Freedom column and managed to get a quick photo from the coach as we stopped in traffic.

We drove a bit further and got off the coach at the Reichstag.After Jens had talked about that for a while we walked to the Brandenburg Gate. It’s a shame that it was partly blocked off but we saw the Quadriga at the top.

From there we walked across Pariser Platz and round past the US and British embassies. We ended up at the Holocaust monument which was lovely, but quite sobering. Jens talked to us about it for a while and explained that the small car park that we could see to the side was the site of Hitler’s bunker. The local authorities had filled it in and made it into a car park. He told us there are no signs installed as there is nothing worth commemorating.

Back on the coach and then we went for lunch. We went to a place called Maximillians and had a traditional Bavarian lunch of Pigs knuckle with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. It was really nice, and filling, and was followed by a lovely apfelstrudel. We had the choice of beer or water with it and we had plenty of time to enjoy it before getting back on the coach.

We had another short drive before being dropped at the wall with instructions on how to walk to Checkpoint Charlie and what time to meet up with the coach. We had about an hour to ourselves so had plenty of time to have a good look at the wall, which was what I’d really wanted to see, and read all the information there. It was quite a long stretch of wall and there was a lot to read and to look at. It was brilliant to see it, but also very emotional.

After lots of photos we walked down a block to see Checkpoint Charlie. There wasn’t much to see there but it was good to see the place that features in so many of the spy novels that I’ve read. We had time to pick up a few souvenirs before getting back on the coach for the drive back to the ship. We had another comfort stop on the way back, and most of us got ice creams to eat in the lovely sunshine before we carried on with our journey.

I think Jens had got the time wrong that we were meant to be back as he said a couple of times that we’d be back in plenty of time. In fact we got back just a few minutes before 7pm and we should have been back for 6.30 for a 7pm sail away. We were the last ones on board and went straight up to our balcony to watch them packing everything away prior to sailing off. Our neighbours were out on their balcony too and we had a good natter while we were watching. We stayed there for a while, watching the sail out from Rostock.

We went up to Islands for dinner and just had a small meal. It’d been really hot, in the 30s at one point, and we were a bit drained, especially after the long drive back. We had a lovely chat with the couple at the next table. She’d just had her 82ndbirthday. I want to be cruising and exploring at that age too 🙂

Back to the cabin where Stephen watched the England match while I typed up some notes on the laptop. If I didn’t make notes of what we did each day, I’d forget as all the days would blur into one.

Next is Copenhagen.