Saturday, 29 December 2012

Hopes and Aspirations for 2013

It is nearly the end of 2012 and I can honestly say I am glad the year is over.  Although the year has had some highlights for me such as two lovely holidays and a trip to the Olympics; for the most, it has been a year of unhappiness and disappointment for many reasons that I will not bore you with the details.

As always, I get quite reflective this time of year but also I start to look at my hopes and aspirations for the coming year.  I'm not one for resolutions (as I never really stick to things very easily) but I like to set myself some guidelines as a base line to begin the year with.

In no particular importance to me, they are as follows:

*  That I take the leap and start looking for a new job in the new year.  I believe this will be the catalyst to changing alot of things in my life that I am very unhappy with at the current time

*  Get healthy and more body aware.  I'm not going to say I am going on a diet to loose loads of weight.  I am just going to start eating more sensibly for health reasons.  I am determined to eat alot more fruit and vegetables, drink more water and start exercising, even if it is only more walking to begin with.  I need to do this as I am nearly forty and I am determined not to be fat and frump girl anymore.

*  Be more creative and willing to share what I do more, especially on this blog.  I love scrapbooking, card making and lately art but because of certain cirmunstances, I just don't feel I have dedicated any quality time at all to doing the things I love.  I want this to change in 2013.  I have a craft/art room full of wonderful products and I have been so inspired by so many people this year that I really do need for my own satisfation, create more and not be afraid.

*  Get out more and socialise.  This year I feel I have become quite insular and at times isolated from my friends and family.  Stupid shift patterns and hours have meant that I have been having my days off when my friends are at work and vise versa which means I have hardly seen people this year.  Whether I find a new job that has more sociable shift patterns or not, I am determined that I need to make time more for my friends and family in 2013.

*  Read more.  I love to read and used to devour books but I have found that I don't read half as much as I would like.  I have bookshelves of books that I have gotten over the years but haven't read.  I am determined that I am going to read them this year before I buy or download anymore on my Kindle.  I am not going to set a target of how many books I want to read but I am hoping it will be more that one book a month.

*  Be more positive about life in general.  Nothing serious has happened this year but I have found this year to be very unhappy for lots of reasons and I have concentrated on the negatives rather than looking for the postives.  Even if my circumstances remain the same in 2013, I hope that I will concentrate on the positives.

*  I hope that all my family and friends remain in good health in 2013

*  I am looking foward to meeting my future sister in law soon (she lives in Dubai at the moment and although I haven't met her in person we have skyped and she seems lovely).  I am also looking forward to my brother getting married in 2013 to said sister in law.  I wish them much happiness and that they will be soon able to be together and not living apart

*  Like every year, I want to be more tidy and organised.  I'm not a neat freak but I wish I was.  Maybe this year this will happen and I blitz the house and make it the show home I've always dreamed it could be.  (As I speak I am laughing and saying fat chance of that) but a girl can dream can't she???- ha ha )

we'll see how things go shall we??

Good Evening from Pickle Land

Wishing you much happiness for the New Year and hoping that 2013 is a good year

Love Lesley xx

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Just wishing you a Merry Christmas and hope Santa has bought you all you could ever wish for.

Love Lesley xx

Monday, 10 December 2012

I'm still around

Shock, horror!!!!  Lesley is actually writing a blog post.

I've been off the scene for a few months because to be frankly honest I have been feeling miserable and depressed. Not to go into any real details, but Life hasn't been too good of late and I've really been feeling sorry for myself. 

But I've decided that today is the day I pick myself up and dust myself off and to begin climbing out of the darkness I have been in.

And what better way than 10 on the 10th.

Being as it is Christmas time, I thought I would share 10 of my favourite Christmas things, and in no particular order

1)  My favourite Christmas carol is Carol of the Bells
2)  I love watching Christmas movies and Christmas 24 is my favourite TV channel at the moment.  Over the last few years I have discovered some recent Christmas movies that are becoming my classics to watch time and time again.  However the old classics are great too.  It wouldn't be Christmas without It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street.
3)  The red Christmas Starbucks mugs and the seasonal coffee and chocolate selections
4)  Christmas Turkey Dinner with all the trimmings (with the exception of sprouts which I consider to be the food of the devil - ha ha), Mince pies, chocolate Yuletide log, trifles, prawn rings, Eccefechan tarts, chocolate coins- all the food I consider as being Christmas
5) A new tradition that AJ and I came up with since we have been together is that every Christmas Eve evening I bake some crusty bread and AJ has baked camembert and I have a nice pate (usually from Waitrose or Marks and Spencers), then chocolate fondue with marshmallows
6)  Spending  time with family and friends
7)  The Christmas markets in Birmingham and Nottingham- we try to visit each year.  We have already been to Nottingham this year and are planning to go to Birmingham next week
8)  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens - a must read for the season
9)  Trimming the Christmas tree and putting The Big Fat Robin on the Christmas Tree.  The Big Fat Robin has been in my family for probably 30 years now and instead of a Christmas Fairy or star we put up the Big Fat Robin.  It was always a joke when my dad placed the Robin on the tree he would say " Ooh me bum".  Unfortunately the Big Fat Robin is packed away in my loft and at the moment I do not have any step ladders so this year The Big Fat Robin remains in my loft.  We have had to buy some more decorations and a fake Christmas tree this year and even though it looks lovely, I do miss the Christmas Robin and continuing to say "OOh me bum"
10)  Dr Who Christmas special

I'm not sure if I will blog post again this year or not, so I will say now, Great Tidings to You and wishing you all a very special Christmas and New Year

Good evening from Pickle Land and hope to speak to you soon

Love Lesley xx

Monday, 10 September 2012

10 on the 10th- Holiday to Slovenia and Venice trip

 Hi - It's Me.  It has been ages since I have participated in the lovely Shimelles 10 on the 10th, so for September I thought I would give you a bonus.  This time last year (almost to the day- we were in Venice on my birthday last year- 9th September) AJ and I was on holiday in beautiful Slovenia and we went on a day trip to Venice.  Therefore here is 10 pics of Slovenia AND 10 pics of Venice.

1.   Kransjka Gora - the beautiful village we stayed in
2.   Lake Jana - not far from KG
3.   Bled Cream Cake - from Charlies Cafe in KG
4.   Beautiful scenery of Slovenia (from Tastes of Slovenia day trip)
5.   Slovenias capital Ljubljana
6.   Sculpture in Ljubljana
7.  Vineyard surroundings ( we dinied outdoors in a vineyard surrounded by magnificent views of Slovenia
8.  My wonderful husband AJ
9.  Cafe Culture in Ljubljana
10.  Tired feet - Slovenia


1.  Beautiful carvings in the buildings
2.  St Marks Square
3.  Bridge over the Grand Canal
4.  View from Boat travelling into Venice
5.  The Bascillica
6.  Gondola
7.  Realto Bridge
8.  Sculpture - sogn towards Realto Bridge
9.  St Marks Square
10.  Gondolas

Hope you enjoy and speak to you soon

Love Lesley xxx

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

New toy

Hi from Pickle Land

Just a quick up date.

I am currently suffering from labrythitis (Vertigo) and am off work.  A little blessing as I am really starting to passionaltely detest my job but it is very debilitating being dizzy and feeling sick all the time and I am not up to much.  Even being on the computer can send me dizzy, so hence this is a small update.

AJ and I had a lovely break away to the apartment in Spain.  It was so nice to be together away from the stresses of work and away from the house.  We were able to really talk and think about how we want our lives to be and how we are not enjoying ourselves at the moment. We have made some decisions about key points in our lives and have a sort of plan on how we want things to change over the next few months and years to come.

One of the key decisions we made was that we are both really unhappy in our jobs and instead of just moaning about it, we really need to step up the job searches.  Something may be on the horizon for AJ which we are hoping to come to fruition soon and once I am feeling better I am going to really step up the job search. I have decided that I need a job that allows me more time to do the things I really enjoying in life.  This job at the moment just does not allow that life balance that I hoped it would when I took the job.  Being able to spend time with AJ and family and friends and being able to do craft and arts is more important to me than money and material things. Though obviously I need a wage to help pay bills etc, being in that job is just bad for my health - hence I think the vertigo is a sign that I need to do this SOON.

AJ and I have a new toy.  We have saved up for months and have now an IPAD.  Not the latest version - too expensive, but we are so pleased with it.  We very quickly discovered photo booth and hence a self portrait - Thermal Image.  What great fun Photo Booth will be for me.

Anyway, hopefully I will feel much better soon and that I will be able to start crafting again and updating this blog much more sooner.  I do miss blogging and I have so much inpiration but nothing down on paper so the speak. 

Good evening from Pickle Land

Hope to speak to you very soon

Love Lesley xx

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Hello It's Me

Over a month has gone past since my last post and i can't believe the time has gone so fast.  We are almost half way through the year already.  It will be Christmas time before I know it.

Thought I would do an update on my life this month. 

Firstly, work is still getting me down and I've come to the decision that I am going to start looking for a new job after I come back from my holiday (which is in the next week or so).  The situation I spoke about in my last post hasn't improved, in fact seems to have gotten worse and I am hardly finding any time at all to do the things I love.  I hardly see my friends, I haven't hardly done any art or crafts in months still and most of all I am hardly seeing my husband which upsets me the most.  It has been a hard decision to make as I hate to feel like a failure but I know for my own health and for the sake of my marriage, I MUST look for something else that doesn't effect my wellbeing like this job is doing.

AJ and I went to the practice sessions of the Moto GP at Silverstone on Friday.  It was the first time we had spent a full day on  own in months.  It was so nice to be together and get to really talk to one another away from the house. Spare time like this is so precious to me at the moment.

My brother has finally moved down South to be closer to where he works.  I am glad he is starting a new chapter in his life but I am sad that he is no longer a two minute drive away from me and  I am in mixed emotions about it all.  I've looked after him for so long now and it is time I cut the apron strings.

On the craft front, as mentioned, I have hardly done a thing.  I have ventured into creating 2 small canvases inspired by the art of Christy Tomlinson and Kate Crane and I have also started to do an art journal (only one page so far but it is a start). I have done no scrapbook pages, made no cards and definitely still haven't started the cross stitch the picture I bought for my father in laws birthday in January.  I think it will now have to be his Christmas present.

Talking of Fathers, today is Fathers Day in the UK.  (Not sure if it is Fathers Day elsewhere).

I was unable to visit my Father in Law Nigel today as I had to work, but AJ visited his Dad to take his card and present (a t-shirt from the MotoGP which he loved).   My other FIL (Adam's step-Dad Paul) is away on holiday so we haven't been able to see him today.  So Happy Fathers Day to Nigel and Paul

Fathers Day always makes me feel slightly sad as my Dad is no longer with us, but I always remember my Dad fondly on days like today. I miss him so much especially at the moment when I need his wisdom so much.

AJ and I are looking forward to our visit to Spain soon.  We so need the break.  I am hoping that I can really recharge my batteries and get out of this slump I have been feeling the past couple of months.  I am also looking forward to hopefully getting some hot sun on my back rather than this miserable rain we have been having in the UK

Good Evening from Pickle Land

Hope to speak to you soon

Love Lesley xx 

Friday, 11 May 2012

I haven't gone away - Promise

I know it has nearly been three months since my last post so I thought I would give you a bit of an update.

My new job isn't working out as well as I thought it would be.  The work itself is fine but the shift patterns are just terrible.  Even though I am officially working the same hours as my last job, because of the shift patterns, evenings and weekends I actually have less time because, for example, if I'm on a late shift, I can't really do much in the morning because if I don't want to get too engrossed into anything because I have to leave for work just after 11am, and then I'm not home until nearly 9pm so I virtually get home and go to bed.And I have up to three evenings to work a week  On a day shift, I get home about 6pm (not major late I know) but because I'm on my feet all day I'm physically and mentally spent so I don't feel like doing anything.  I also have to work one of the days of a weekend and I hardly ever have two days off together so basically my days off consist of housework.

And to be honest, I thought I was doing well but I had a review and my boss said I wasn't being effective enough (whatever that means) and a load more of negative comments which was a real blow to me. There are huge areas of the job I know I can't do yet ( knowledge and doing), but he seems to think I should be at a certain point and I'm at this point.  I would get his point if I have been fully trained to do the job fully but I have hardly been trained - due to major staff shortages and my official studies/training doesn't even start until August.

 Coming out of the review - in which I went in with confidence and pride in what I thought I had achieved over the past few months; I left feeling completely dumbfounded and really negative.  To be honest it knocked the stuffing out of me and though I tried to concentrate on the positives of the job and the review, the negatives of the job have crept in  and completely outway the good.  Not good and it has sent me in abit of a spiral of late.

I know I am lucky to have this job in the current job market, but it is now seriously affecting my life.  I feel I have no life balance at the moment.  I feel I have no social life, I have hardly been out of an evening (or weekend for that matter) in the four months since I started the job. I felt so good when I was offered this job in January and so enthusiastic and feeling good about the future, but it has sent me feeling lower than I did when I was made redundant at the end of last year.  I hardly have any ME time anymore.  My craft has taken a back seat to tiredness and total lack of time.  I hardly see any of my friends and family and more importantly my husband who has been amazingly supportive over the last few weeks since my review .  My quandry at the moment is do I stick it out because at least it is a job or do I look elsewhere in a current market where there are very few jobs and try to get a new job????

So that really is my update of the last few months.

  No craft of any sort to show you I'm afraid.

 Though my heart is so willing, I physically and mentally haven't been in the right place to do anything.

There is some light at the end of the very long dark tunnel though which I'm very excited about. 

Though I haven't scrapbooked, or made cards, or cross stitched for the past few months, I have still been scouring some of my fave websites and blogs (though I haven't commented on blogs I have been reading them once a week) and have been looking for inspiration to keep my creative juices flowing. I've really been inspired by many things and especially mixed media art and creative art journalling and with encouragement from my bf Chris have decided to start some art journals and canvasses (something Chris and I can do together) in the next few weeks once I have got a few supplies.  And to try and make more time for scrapbooking which I love in which I have too many supplies ha ha .  

I've gave myself abit of a  talking to and I am determined to get past my tiredness and disappointedness with my life at present and do the things  I love again with no excuses.  Writing this blog post, and acknowledging to the universe (if anyone is out there) I haven't been happy the last few weeks, is my first step into feeling better I know. I am determined to start blogging again on a regular basis and have artwork, scrapbooks and cards to show on this blog.  I so enjoyed blogging before and I know I have abandonded it of late which has been playing on my mind.  This is a little part off the weight that has been on my shoulders.  My goal is to start creating again and thus I am challenging myself to at leat one piece of craft/art a week to begin with, starting from today.  My light at the end of the tunnel.

Thank you for reading this post.  I know it is probably all rambles but it has been therapeutic to get it off my chest.

Good Evening from Pickle Land.  It has been far too long and I promise to come back alot sooner

Love Lesley xx

Friday, 17 February 2012

A quick hello

The past few weeks have gone so quickly and is all a big blur. My new job is going very well BUT I am just so tired at the moment I am just working, eating and sleeping. My brain is so taken up with learning my new job I can not concentrate much on anything else and I am finding it difficult at the moment to unwind properly at the end of the day. The things I love like scrapbooking, cross stitch and reading have been non existant of late and to be truthful it is getting me down. Tiredness is winning at the moment I'm afraid. I am hoping that I will settle down into the work routine soon and things will start getting back to normal again once my brain has taken all it needs to job wise and I can begin to switch off from it more.

I am hoping that the lighter nights and spring time will help me get out of this lull soon. I do miss doing craft but I am just SO Tired.

Good Evening from a down hearted (craft wise) Pickle Land.

Hope to speak to you very soon

Lesley xxx

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

January Update

Just a quick update

I started my new job on Monday 23rd . Yippee!!!!

There is a lot to learn and take in but so far enjoying it. Feels slightly strange going to work somewhere different as I spent the last 13 years going to one part of the town and now I am in another. Also really strange not sitting behind a desk in an office. (For the purposes of this blog I would rather not say where I work and what I do but it is something totally different to what I did before). But good all the same.

On the creating/craft front I haven't done anything for a while. I think once I get my self into the new working routine again my creating juices will return. But until then, I'm OK with that. I'm still looking in blog land and getting inspiration from so many talented people and I am constantly checking out My Craft Channel and 2 Peas which have some fantastic videos at the moment. Also my latest monthly kit from Sarah's Cards is calling me - "" Lesley - scrapbook me, scrapbbok me !!!!!""

In terms of my new goals for 2012, I'm working well on a few aspects but really bad on others. For example I've been making more contact with friends so that is a big tick, but reading and being creative is a big cross. I'm making more time looking after myself -ie looking after my skin, wearing make up etc but feel as if I haven't made much time for this blog.

I'm not going to beat myself up on it yet though as still only the end of the first month of the year. I still feel it is a year of More and starting my new job is a great new start for me.

A very good evening from Pickle Land

Hope to speak to you very soon

Love Lesley xx

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

New Beginnings

Today I had an interview for a new job. A job that will be a total change of career path for me. And guess what? I got the job. I am so pleased after being made redundant. It has only been two months out of work and to be honest this was the only job I have applied for in that time. But I feel myself very fortunate that I have got the job especially in these worrying times. I am so looking forward to starting my new career. I know it will be challenging and I am being totally re-trained along side a training plan. However, I am so excited about this change of direction for me. It has been something I have needed to do for a long time. It ties in with me finding myself again and becoming more of the woman I want to be.

Good times ahead

Good evening from Pickle Land

Speak to you very soon

Lesley xx

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

10 on the 10th - January 2012

Though in my part of the UK, it has been really mild for the time of the year, I am so craving the summer with long light nights and lots of colour all around. For this months 10 on the 10th I thought I would share 10 pictures (out of probably 130) that I took at Kew Gardens last August. I loved Kew and hope to visit again in the near future

Good day from Pickle Land

Hope to speak to you very soon

Love Lesley xx

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Here's to a good year in 2012 and More

Firstly a Happy New Year and hoping that 2012 is a good year.

I am personally hoping that 2012 will be a good year for me on all types of levels.
I am hoping it is a year of More - my word for the year.

1) More time with family and friends
AJ and I have been a little bit insular of late. We haven't made much effort in keeping contact with our friends and family as much as we would have liked. This year my aspiration is to spend more time with my friends and family. I'm not going to wait for us to be invited any where. I'm going to be the one who makes the invites. My goal is to open my house up abit more and have people around more.

2) More quality time with AJ
For the past four years AJ and I have lived together, gone to work together, met for lunch and gone home together. Since being made redundant that has stopped and I truly miss that. It was time where we talked and made plans. We also haven't had that much time together for the last few months (for reasons I can't go into on this blog). We now have come to realise we need more quality time together and make the most of our private time together. My goal here is to start up a date night. Either once a month or every other week and to go out from our house and do something. Even it is to go to a local pub for a couple of drinks or go to the cinema. We have become too comfy just stopping in at night and watching the tv. My aspiration for date night is it gives us an evening to look forward to where we know it will be just the two of us, where we can talk and continue to make plans for our future.

3) Be more creative
In 2011, I feel as if I have come a long way with my scrapbooking. I am finding my own feet and am really enjoying my hobby. I obviously want this to continue, but MORE. I hope I am not sounding too greedy in wanting to be even more creative this year. I want to scrap more, and share my layouts on this blog of mine. I also want to expand my creativity in new ways. I am aspiring to try new mediums. I have been truly inspired Christy Tomlinson and her videos on My Craft Channel and I really want to try mixed media art and my goal is to make my own art for the walls of my house. I want to learn how to use a sewing machine and to sew more. I want to start up my cross stitch again as I haven't done any for ages. My first goal on this front is to cross stitch a Les Paul guitar for my Father in Law's 60th Birthday this month

4) More time for reading

I used to be an avid reader. I used to devour books. This past year I haven't read that much. I can only recall about 10 books read in 2011. This year I am hoping to read a lot more. AJ bought me a Kindle for Christmas and I have already downloaded some books. It is so great that alot of the classics can be downloaded for free. My goal is to read at least a book a week, so in all I want to read at least 52 books this year. On my list for January so far are Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (Kindle), Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran (PB), The Russian Concubine by Kate Furnivall (PB) and Transform your Life by Penny Ferguson (Kindle). I am going to track my progress on this blog on a monthly basis

5) More time for myself

This past year I feel I have neglected myself. I look in the mirror and hardly recognise the person in front of me. It is not about looks, my age or weight (though that is a major area I am going to work on this year). I just don't see the woman I want to be anymore. I feel like I have lost my sparkle. I'm grey whereas a few years ago I was colour. I need to start looking after myself more and put myself first abit more. This doesn't mean I'm only going to think of myself and neglect everyone around me. Far from it, but I feel I owe it to myself to rediscover the me I know I can be. I need to make changes that make me feel better so I can be a better person for all those who know me. I'm looking at little things such as making more effort in my appearance (something I definitely have let slip of late). Even if it to put on a little bit of makeup on and paint my nails. I want to take up exercise (something very lacking of late), eat healthily, look after my skin, sleep better (I am not sleeping particularly well at the moment). I need to do things that make me happy - hence be more creative. I need to start looking in the mirror and recognising myself again

6) More organised

This is something I am constantly aspiring to and my goal this year is to get my house in order. I'm looking at a massive overall. A massive spring clean so to speak. For example My craft room is still in the process of being done and I really need to step that up. Ikea shelves are going to be ordered this week. I'm hoping that in clearing my house out will also get rid of all the clutter in my mind. A cathartic experience.

Yes, I think More is my perfect word for this year. I am looking forward to seeing where More will take me this year.

Again wishing you a Happy New Year and hope to speak to you very soon

Love Lesley xx