Happy New Year Friends!

New Year Update

I’m a bit late posting today due to not even realising that it was Tuesday again, just like last week lol – actually I thought it was Wednesday and had to go look at a computer to check the day and date!  This is mostly due to Christmas/New Year holidays of course, and the fact that yesterday and today are official Public Holidays, giving us another four day weekend, so all those days just seem to blend together.  So what is happening with us, well I have ongoing foot problems and have been trying to stay off my foot as it is excruciating to walk on it and it’s getting worse instead of better.  It’s not a new problem but this current flare up is not good and is taking too long to heal.

Also Mr G is also having a flare up of his problem so we had another urgent unplanned visit to the vet on New Year’s Eve and he is currently on steroids.  Mr G does not like going to the vet and so I have a 3 inch scratch up my arm that will probably scar, he really is quite ungrateful considering I am trying to help him.  The steroids seem to help but I don’t want him on them long term as they cause other problems, so we are taking this day by day.  So today we are all in bed, as the weather has turned cold again after a week of being mild, we are back to minus temperatures and ice and frost.  It’s cold, we still have no heating, and I have to keep my foot elevated as much as possible, so staying in the warmest place in the house seemed like a good idea!  It reminds me a lot of the grandparents in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where all four of them stayed in the bed together to keep warm lol.

Oh before I forget, the kitties got a new toy for Christmas, it’s a little plastic device that you can attach to desks, tables or cat trees and it rotates randomly, flashing a red LED light.  It also has a feather toy that can be attached and also rotates but that part is a complete bust as Mr G pulled it off and ran off with it the first time I switched it on, so that’s never going to work as they just pull it off lol.  However, they are both very excited by this red LED and as you can see in the photo above, Miss Lily is scaling the bookcase again to reach it as it travels along the ceiling.  It was after this that I realised I had attached it UPSIDE DOWN to the table, and it is supposed to travel along the floor, not the ceiling, but actually they find it more exciting to follow it along the ceiling.

Sugar – free

This is of course the traditional time for making resolutions, changing habits, going on diets etc, and so not to disappoint but I have made a few, let’s call them “decisions” for this year+.  The really big announcement that I have is that I have given up SUGAR!  Yes it’s goodbye to evil sugar, I have literally thrown it all out of the house.  I have successfully given up other foodstuffs before, alcohol three years ago, caffeine and coffee 9 months ago, and I have “given up” sugar before, but it didn’t take and I ended up back where I started, but this time, there is no going back!  It’s gone from the house and I won’t be buying any more. Everything that is sealed and still in date is off to the local food bank, people can decide whether they want to eat it or not.  Unfortunately several friends and family gave me lovely chocolate for Christmas which I didn’t eat at the time and now will not be eating (kicks self for not eating it immediately on Christmas day lol) so that will have to be donated too or given away.  I did get some really nice Hotel Chocolat gifts so if you live in the UK and you want some, comment below and I will happily send some really high quality expensive chocolate to you. Sorry but I can’t do overseas postage at the moment. [edit:  all chocolate has left the building]

Buy nothing

On that note, one of my other “decisions” is not to buy anything this year that I don’t need, so there will be no unnecessary purchases this year and the only things that will be purchased are necessities like food etc and renewing or replacing things that we have run out of things that have broken.  I also only have one online class year and that’s because I purchased it last August, otherwise I would be doing none at all.  I have not signed up for any other classes in the final/last chance days like I did last year.  I have PLENTY of classes leftover and undone from last year. I will be spending money on essentials only.

Giving it away

And finally a very important “decision” is to give stuff away.  I gave a lot of stuff away last year but I swear it must have been multiplying in a dark room by itself because giving so much away last year doesn’t seem to have resulted in more space in the house!  So I am toying with the idea of giving away 365 items or something for each of the 365 days of this year, whatever that looks like.  Technically I have already started by clearing out the kitchen pantry and donating multiple items to the food bank but there are several areas that need to be tackled, not least the craft stash, but also clothing, books, household stuff, even mugs – yes we have a cupboard literally full of mugs and yet use the same ones every day – madness! Of course people tend to gift you a lot of mugs too, so quite a lot of them came from well-meaning friends.  I’m thinking that with some of the craft stuff it will be donated to the same charity craft group I donated to last year, but I might also put together some kind of giveaway so other people can benefit from what I am giving away and add it to their own, probably quite substantial stash lol.

Top 9 for 2021

Top 9 is one of those Instagram things that works better if you use an app for it that goes through your IG posts and pulls out the most popular. I don’t want to use an app, so although I posted this on Instagram, the Top 9 most popular posts featured are actually the most commented on from my blog not least because I do in general, get more comments on my blog. So thank you all for your comments over the last year and these are the most popular posts/projects based on the number of comments.  If you like stats, you might also like my December Wrap-up post which in addition to the usual monthly stats, also has yearly stats including how many books I read last year (way less than usual!) and various health-related achievements, and the usual number of blog posts, number of art journal pages created and so on.


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today’s art . . .

Today’s art is a page from my Advent Junk Journal that I was supposed to be doing last month but didn’t finish and so I did this one last night using minimal supplies and trying to work quickly ie not thinking about it for hours and drawing very carefully like I usually do.  The prompt as you can see, was for Day 13 and it was PRICELESS.  I chose time spent with cats is never wasted as my interpretation of the Priceless prompt.

The page is some packaging paper from inside an amazon box, the cats are drawn with a black pen and a black stabilo, and are supposed to represent my own cats, two of which are black and the third is a tuxedo, so I used a white paint pen to add on her white bits – it looks very rough lol.  Another green paint pen for their eyes and a couple of strips of leftover origami paper finished off the page.

As they all have faces, I am linking up to Erika’s theme over on Art Journal Journey which is Let’s Face It.

t stands for . . .

My ticket to tea this week is this bottle of NoZeco which is an alcohol-free version of Prosecco. We drank it on New Year’s eve which is just as well because although it contains no alcohol and therefore a lot less calories, it does have some sugar in it, so it will be a big no from now on!

Accidentally included in the same photo is a new mug haha yes after me saying how many mugs we have, look now we have even more as we got two new wintery ones for Christmas!

Since January 1st all I have been drinking is herbal tea (mostly mint) and water.  Still successfully avoiding all forms of coffee including decaf. So that’s it from me, remember if you want some Hotel Chocolat chocolate or some Vegan Chocolate and you are in the UK, contact me below and I will make that happen.

Let me know what you think in the comments.   As always, thanks for reading!Ingredients
my homemade journal, watercolour paper, stamps by Paperartsy and Katzelkraft, Fresco paints, stazon ink, white acrylic ink, Pitt artist pens,


Art Journal JourneyLet’s Face It – January challenge
Altered Book Lover – T Stands for – see above

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26 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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Bleubeard and Elizabeth
January 12, 2022 12:06 am

Your T Tuesday host is very sorry to be this late. You may have read I had no internet or phone for five days. That means I am still playing catch up. I admire all your decisions and I hope your legs are better soon. At least I had heat. I’ll keep this short, since I can do a better job of commenting on your current T Tuesday post, dear Elle.

January 10, 2022 10:59 am

Goodness me Elle, you really will be a new you for 2022! I must confess that although I have Diabetes type 2 I still do have some foods containing sugar but never add sugar or sugar substitutes if I can either do without or add cinnamon. We too are giving things away – and haven’t been buying much so have no idea where the space goes!!!
I love your cats, I do so miss having a cat around, your page says it all and is great for Erika’s AJJ theme.
Nozeco sounds good. I hope your legs feel better soon

Mary Anne
January 10, 2022 8:12 am

Interesting to pop round on a NOT-woyww day LOL! Love your cat page for the AJJ challenge. and admire your rules for 2022. I am already mostly sugar free (but they sneak it in to so many things, and some stores are worse than others for this with their own brands) so def. with you on that. I suggest delaying the no-buy one till after the January sales….
Mary Anne

Wendy K
January 6, 2022 10:01 am

Gosh, you could have written all the above for me. I don’t use sugar apart from the odd cooking recipe, so that is not a problem. All the rest is, good on you to do what you are doing, I will be interested to see if you manage it all. Lovely cat page and I was tempted to buy the led toy, but resisted the temptation. We lost our lovely gentle Leo last year to cancer. His sister is now the biggest attention seeker and just won’t leave us alone, she really misses him. Happy New Year to you, I hope your foot gets better soon. I know how you feel, I have a trapped nerve in my back which gives me constant pain in my left leg and foot, the doctor just keeps upping the pain killers.

January 6, 2022 9:26 am

Elle I have enjoyed reading your post, so many positive things oh think about. I hope Mt G is getting well and that you all have a good New Year. Thank you for linking the fabulous page with Erika’s theme at AJJ.
Yvonne xx

January 5, 2022 12:08 pm

I hope you and Mr. G are both feeling better. I’m not sure I’d have the fortitude to give up sugar. Good for you! Love the kitty tag. Happy T Day

Nancy Williams
January 5, 2022 10:57 am

Elle, I applaud you on your decisions – all of the are great ideas! I wish you luck on all of them and I need to copy a few of them…

Love your kitty art – I agree on the words and the cats are darling. Love your picture of your kitty trying to get the red light too. Fun!

Your drink looks interesting. Will be fun to see what you pick next year to drink!

Mugs multiply here too – and disappear as well. I have a daughter with a mug addiction (dangerous when combined with her Thrift Store addiction) and since she lives next door there is no telling what mugs will show up or disappear….lol.

Happy New Year and Happy T-day a bit late on both. Hugz

Iris Flavia
January 5, 2022 6:52 am

You made me laugh! Floor, ceiling, maybe that makes no difference to cats?
I now every working day hear of Elli, my customer´s black cat. She always wants to be part of the party. To me it´s too sweet and funny.

My respect to your sugar free! (I don´t like sweets, but could never go without cheese).
Buy nothing. I do, but the Hubby… And same here. I give away but don´t get more space (might be because many give away and sometimes I take!).
Love the pic of your three cats.

To a great 2022 xx

Erika N
January 4, 2022 11:31 pm

You must have a strong disposition to give up sugar and not buy anything not needed all year. I am trying to cut my sugar consumption way down from what it is now, but I don’t know about not buying anything I don’t need. I think I would talk myself out of needing too many things, but I do agree that it is easy to waste money buying trivial things that you just need to give away. I hope you let us know how this goes. I do want to say happy T day (although it is now a day late) and thanks for fun kitty page for AJJ. I Iike those kitty faces. Glad they like their light toy. Stay warm. Hugs-Erika

Kate Yetter
January 4, 2022 9:33 pm

You have a lot going on in the area of goals. I love the idea of giving 365 items. As for sugar, it is really hard to give up but totally worth it. I gave it up 2 years ago and instead eat coconut palm sugar since it has a low glycemic index. It tastes delicious and is 1:1 substitute in recipes in place of sugar. I like my sweets. I wish you sucess!
Your journal pages are always fabulous and I loved seeing your top 9 from your blog.
Happy Tea Day,

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