Happy New Year 2023 Friends!

It still feels a little like Christmas as our lights and decorations always stay up till Twelfth Night, ie January 5th, so I can enjoy the lights a little longer,even though a lot of people have already taken theirs down.  I am a little late in getting started today because I stayed up very late last night (or very early) watching 1883 till 5am. I have a free 7 day trial to Paramount and this is a Paramount show.  Yesterday and today are also public holidays in Scotland so it was fine to stay up.  I might need a nap later though! I was so captivated by this show that I just forgot what time it was.  Have you seen it yet?  Do you know what I’m talking about?  If not, it’s a prequel to the Yellowstone series about ranchers in Montana, sixth generation farmers.  This prequel is about their ancestors and their journey west in, you guessed it, 1883. If ever there was a chance to time travel to another time and place, this is where I would chose to go.  So after I finished watching Star Trek Strange New Worlds (part of the reason I took the trial), I started on this about 11pm, which was a bad idea as then I just didn’t want to stop watching, and it all got a bit late.  There is another prequel set in 1923 but I don’t imagine that will be as exciting as this one.

Today’s Art . . .

There is no art from me today as I am cleaning the craft room as I’m sick of falling over piles of stuff on the floor and I have mislaid something in all the mess, so no art till that’s done.  Instead, today’s art is actually by other people as I am sharing the handmade cards that I received at Christmas, including a lovely card from Jo, bottom right, and a lovely card from Erika, top left – thank you both!  Christmas cards have been thin on the ground this year, I think mainly to do with the mail strike rather than less people sending them.  I think some things are still en route, including a present from a friend that I know has been sent weeks ago.  A card that I sent my friend in the same country as me, took over two weeks to arrive!  It would have taken me three hours to drive there and deliver it in person lol.  And I know that some cards that I sent have still not been received!  Maybe they can be considered early for Christmas 2023?

I will also mention that Erika is the Guest Designer of the month over on More Than Words, and you can see her project and interview in the Artful Pages magazine and her blog post will appear on the 12th January.  So I’m including this under my “art by other people” section today as the magazine is full of inspiration from the design team and Erika’s interview can found starting on page 32.  Just use the controls to switch to full screen and flick through.

T Stands for Currently Reading . . .

book cover of Winterkill

I’m currently reading this book, which is book 6 in the Dark Iceland series that I started last year.  I think something must have got lost in the translation of these books as I think they have been published out of order and that book 2 and book 5 should be swapped around.  It’s a series about an Icelandic policeman, so as far as the crime solving and mystery is concerned, it doesn’t really matter, but in his personal life, the events are all out of order.  So if you are planning on reading this, remember to read book 5 before book 2.

In December, I managed to get through 31 books, most of them audiobooks, and that gave me an overall total of 105 books for the year.  That is a bumper year of good books for me!  To put this in perspective, I read 52 last year and only 3 in 2020, due to various reasons, and well, 2020 was a horrible year for trying to concentrate on anything.  This year I discovered three, new to me, series that I loved and just ate them up!

31 books
TOTAL for 2022
105 books

T Stands for Kitties

First the good news about the kitties, both are doing well.  Unfortunately Mr G has taken to bullying his sister, Miss Lily and she is getting stressed.  I will have to work out what is causing this as it has unfortunate side effects and no one wants to be bullied.

T Stands for Christmas gifts

I didn’t get many presents this year, and that was partly because I explained to everyone that I normally exchange gifts with that I really didn’t need anything and maybe to make a donation to the food bank or the toy bank or something, for people who have much less than I do.  I may not have heating or hot water, but I do have a roof over my head and a house full of crap stuff which is a whole lot more than some people.  Anyway, some people had already bought gifts and some people I didn’t get a chance to tell in time, so there was some gift exchanging went on and I am very grateful for everything I received including the following.
Kate Humble’s book about living a simple life is perfect as my word for this year is SIMPLIFY, I love Kate, and all her shows.  A glass making kit where you make the thing, and then send it back to the company who will fire in it a kiln and return it to you, some vegan chocolate from York chocolate factory and more vegan chocolate elves which are full of salted caramel. A blind date with a book from Notting Hill bookshop (the bookshop where Hugh Grant met Julia Roberts in the movie Notting Hill).

The wrapper gives some clues about the type of book it might be inside.  As soon as I saw 1940s noir set in LA, I guessed it was going to be a Raymond Chandler book but not which one.

I also received the latest issue of Daphne’s Diary magazine, which is always a treat to open, but I have to show you what else is inside this magazine.  A cut out and assemble rocking horse!  How pretty is that! I thought Elizabeth would appreciate seeing this photo.

T Stands for Avian Flu

Sadly we have been told that we are in an area that has avian flu, we received a letter from the government detailing everything that needs to be done or not done, and a form to complete if you keep any kind of birds (pigeons, poultry etc) or if you find dead wild birds in your garden, which you should not touch and report to the authorities who will come and remove them. This makes me sad and worried, as I don’t want our bird population to be decimated by this.  It can also be a danger to cats if they happen to eat an infected bird, they can catch it and it can be fatal. Try telling a cat not to catch a bird or only to catch one that doesn’t have bird flu!

T Stands for Baked Oats and Tea
Not to end on that miserable note, here is today’s breakfast of baked oats/porridge with blueberries, raisins and walnuts. It was delicious. I make enough for several days so I will be eating this all week.

And I am still enjoying these teas, especially the Winter Warmer and Night Time Berry (not only at night!).

T Stands for Junk Journal January

Also in case you are interested, Junk Journal January is underway. It’s a challenge with daily prompts which you can join in on Instagram or Youtube, or if you just want to watch the videos, there will be daily videos on Youtube from the Host @megjournals, as well as collaboration videos from 31 other people, including the hosts from #Dephemerember and some of the people from Get Messy Art.I can feel my late night catching up with me so I might need to have a nap.  Oh before I forget, I am having some problems with google, Elizabeth’s blog is taking forever to load, I couldn’t comment on Iris’s blog yesterday for some time, and it’s not only a blogger issue as I couldn’t get google.com to load at all!

Let’s see what today brings!  Let me know what you think in the comments.   As always, thanks for reading and wishing you all the best for 2023!


recycled stuff, junk, collage etc


Altered Book Lover – T Stands for

22 Awesome Comments (btw comment moderation is on)
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Jo - Let's Art Journal
January 15, 2023 9:14 pm

Sorry I’m late and happy belated T Day! I loved seeing all your happy mail Christmas cards and thanks for the shout out ?. The teas look wonderful and I love those baked oats – yum! Take care and I hope you’ve had a lovely week and weekend! Hugs Jo x

Bleubeard and Elizabeth
January 8, 2023 1:22 pm

YES, I am extremely late visiting,. Slower than my blog loading, even! I also spent time reading the More Than Words article and seeing Erika in her new studio. It was fun to see the various artists, several of whom also visit AJJ.

I am in awe of that rocking horse. Now I want one, too (grin).

You got some beautiful cards for Christmas. You are SO blessed. You also got a lot more gifts than I, but I don’t have any family (no living relatives).

Good and not so good news about the kitties. Too bad Mr. G is being a bully all of a sudden. My two ignore each other until it’s time to sleep. They still ignore each other, but they both sleep on the same bed.

You have read or listened to an impressive number of books in 2022. As for the Avian flu, my two do not go outside. Bleubeard used to go out and sit on t he front porch, but once Squiggles came along, he no longer has a desire to be outside. Squiggles has only been out in a carrier. He has what I call Virgin Paws!

Nice you are getting such good use out of that tea. Your breakfast porridge looks good, too. Thanks for sharing with us for T this week, dear Elle.

January 5, 2023 11:32 pm

It’s easy to forget time when you’re watching something good. We see that Paramount have some good things on but haven’t signed up! A free trial would have been great! I have started my junk journal but need to take photos! Happy New Year, hugs, Chrisx

Peppylady (Dora)
January 5, 2023 12:10 am

I just check out a book from library, Anne Frank’s Tales From The Secret Annex . It actually first book of 2023.
I’ve never been on a blind date with a book.
Coffee is on and stay safe

January 4, 2023 3:28 pm

Hi Elle. It’s a lovely post for sure. Sorry about the avian flu part. Yes, cleaning the art room is an everyday thing for me. I am a very messy artist. However, it’s how I love to create. Have a wonderful day today.

January 4, 2023 2:47 pm

I loved seeing the art by others, and you’ve inspired me to tidy the studio as I’m tripping over piles of stuff. I haven’t seen the shows you described as we don’t subscribe to that service. I was going to give up Netflix, but I got hooked on the Crown. I also watched an interesting version of Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates by Mary Mapes Dodge. The Netflix version takes place in Russia. It was an okay story, but I prefer the original. Also on Netflix is Bridgerton a sort of tongue and cheek Downton Abbey. Himself and I watched part of the Glass Onion a Knives Out mystery with Daniel Craig. So far very enjoyable. I’m glad the kitties are doing better and hope you can figure out why Mr. is picking on his sister. Quill sometimes does that, but it’s because he wants to play and he plays rough. Sometimes Calli just doesn’t want to play. Happy T Day

Divers and Sundry
January 4, 2023 2:46 pm

We observe Christmas through 12th night, too, and then Epiphany. I haven’t seen Yellowstone or any of the related shows, but people who have are enthusiastic. So many books! I’m glad the cats are well and I’m sure you’ll figure out the bullying situation. Too many cars around here for one thing, and loose dogs, to let cats outside. That and my bird-watching suffers if cats are around. Looks like you got some fun presents. Nice! Happy T Day!

Sharon Madson
Sharon Madson
January 4, 2023 2:09 am

105 books are awesome! Wow! I saw I had email from the megaournal prompts but haven’t looked at it yet. I just am involved in so many different things! Not enough hours in the day for everything I want to do. Love the baked oatmeal, blueberries & walnuts. Happy New Year and Happy T Day.

Erika N
January 4, 2023 12:44 am

Hi Elle. I am very impressed you made it to 100 books. I didn’t (as you asked the other day). I only made it to 86. I think David Copperfield was just too long, but it was definitely worth it. And thank you for posting the magazine for More than Words and my Christmas card. You definitely received some nice ones. And thank you for the wonderful spread with my art and me. I stopped by the website this morning and left a comment for everyone. I am also watching Yellowstone’s prequel 1883. Isn’t it good? I’m on episode 6 right now. I have to wait for the hubby otherwise I would be done. That book wrapped in brown paper sounds like a fun idea. I also finally watched Notting Hill last week too so I can relate to where you mean. Anyhow, enough chatting. Hope you had a great T day and start to 2023. hugs-Erika

January 3, 2023 11:17 pm

I need to explore some of the art challenges and events going on. Even if I don’t join a challenge I always seem to find some inspiration.

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