Category Archives: Halloween

Bucket Lists and Dreams – Just Do It

Just recently I looked back at the things I’ve been doing for fun,
and it made me search out the Bucket List I made a few years ago!
What have I done since writing it?

Bucket Lists and Dreams - Just Do It - The Last Krystallos

Eleven years ago, back in 2005, I wrote a list. I realised as I came out of a long period of depression that I just wasn’t happy, we weren’t having fun – and I wanted that to change! The list included some easy, simple ideas, and some bigger, more out of reach dreams. Some of the simple things: meal out with the family, go swimming, paddle along the shore, swim in the sea, kick autumn leaves, play football on the beach, build a sandcastle, have a barbeque, write a poem, build a snowman, do a big jigsaw and more… The bigger things included: fly in a helicopter, romantic evening with Vince, night away with Vince, learn Welsh, paint a dragon, take a family holiday, outline a new story, take a maths GCSE, fly in an aeroplane, do Vertigo, buy a Suburu with rally decals…

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Family Portraits © Lisa Shambrook

We did some – as you, and your family, get older there is often a little more money available and we managed a surprise trip to Edinburgh on an aeroplane. We bundled the children into the car at 4am and took them on a mystery tour ending up at Cardiff airport and spending the day in Scotland! We went up in a helicopter for Bekah’s 16th birthday as Vince had a client who flew a helicopter and he was paid in kind with a ride up in the sky! Beaches were easy and we had barbeques, including getting pushed off the beach by the rising tide and finishing the barbeque at home in the back yard, in the rain! I swam in the Blue Lagoon at Aberieddy, a 90’ deep lagoon, loved it! Vince and I have had some nights away. Ice skating on the Isle of Wight, bought a real Christmas tree, family holidays to Butlins, got a dog, I passed my motorbike test, decorated some amazing cakes, took some awesome family portraits. I began a whole new career as an author and published three books. Vince flew a plane, and I got air sick.

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Helicopter, motorbike, planes, Blue Lagoon and Vertigo © Lisa Shambrook

I even did some things not on the list: I started a business – Amaranth Alchemy. I got my first high heels, got my first Dr Martens too. I didn’t paint, but I did create art and many stories.  I went to the ballet and saw Giselle. We went to Harry Potter Studios, saw Les Miserables in the West End, wrote a book in 30 days doing NaNoWriMo – twice, and I’ve dived from a 10ft diving board and lots more!

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Bucket List and Boots © Lisa Shambrook

Some things will be crossed off the list because they are no longer important to me: I have lost the desire to skydive but my daughter did a couple of weeks ago – and it wasn’t as big a thrill as she’d hoped! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to afford piano lessons or a piano, I don’t want a rally car anymore, and I don’t feel the need to complete a maths GCSE, I’m at peace with my F grade!

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Theatre, Bekah’s Skydive, wild camping, London © Lisa Shambrook

So what is there now? I’ve flown in that helicopter, I’ve done Vertigo at Oakwood Park, I passed my bike test, and taken the kids on a surprise holiday, and we even slept out in the wild in a tent on Dartmoor when we went wild camping, and began a pottery class.

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Cosplay © Lisa Shambrook

There’s a lot more to come!

My new/current Bucket List contains more dreams
and some I haven’t ticked off my last list.

Build a big, old fashioned sandcastle on the beach.
Go to a Spa.
Visit the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland.
Ride a gondola in Venice.
Climb the Eiffel Tower.
Go up in a hot air balloon.
Climb mount Snowdon.
Ride a long zip wire.
Rewrite my dragon books and publish.
Paint a dragon!
Stand out in heavy rain and get soaked.
Swim in a tidal swimming pool.
Learn sign language – I did once, but have forgotten it.
Travel with Vince on our motorbikes.
Get a professional massage.
Go on a Norwegian Fjord Cruise.
Drive a rally car – but not own one!
Do NaNoWriMo again.
Have a gardener fix my wild garden so I can redesign it.
Achieve consistent book sales.
Write a best seller.
Visit Canada.
Visit Iceland.
Bathe in hot springs in Iceland.
Walk on a glacier.

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Decorating Cakes © Lisa Shambrook

In my debut novel Beneath the Rainbow, Freya leaves a list behind and her family vow to do the things she’d wanted to do… One of her dreams is one I share – to build a big sandcastle, on the beach complete with turrets and a moat! 

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Author, art and Amaranth Alchemy © Lisa Shambrook

What about you, what’s at the top of your Bucket List?

What have you already ticked off your list?

Get out there and have fun!

The Best Bits of Autumn

Autumn shows us the beauty of letting go and cosying up together…

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Warm Blankets and Snug Sweaters…
Don’t you just love cosying up?

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© Lisa Shambrook

Revitalising Hot Chocolate…
Nothing better than a delicious hot chocolate to warm up an autumn day!

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© Lisa Shambrook

Back to Boots…
I love my boots, Dr Martens and anything I can kick leaves in!

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© Lisa Shambrook

Pumpkins, Halloween, Fire and Fireworks…
Dressing up is definitely our thing, light up the dark nights!

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© Lisa Shambrook

Homecooked Soup and Comfort Food…
Coming home on a frosty day to a beautiful hot meal!

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© Lisa Shambrook

Falling Leaves…
I’m a child at heart, kicking through crunchy leaves and loving the colours!

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© Lisa Shambrook

Woodland Walks and Strolls…
Early sunsets, turning leaves and that freshness keep me on my toes!

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© Lisa Shambrook

Scarves, Hats and Gloves…
Stay warm, snuggle up in your favourite coat and accessories!

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© Lisa Shambrook

Acorns and Conkers…
Yep, I am a squirrel… 

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© Lisa Shambrook

Jack Frost’s Chill…
The thrill of the chill and the delight of breathing dragon smoke is mine! 

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© Lisa Shambrook

How is your Autumn and what’s your favourite bit so far?

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© Lisa Shambrook

Autumn Days Are Here…

Autumn is the time of year when we realise that change is good.
When the cool breeze refreshes and revitalises our senses.
When mortality is evident in the air as leaves fall,
and living becomes full of urgency and passion…

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© Lisa Shambrook

After a very difficult summer and slipping into the grip of depression, autumn is very welcome in my life. It’s the month that recharges my worn batteries and lifts me from doldrums and anxiety.

I dig out my soft, cosy jumpers and relish a hot chocolate on a cold day. Scented candles offer autumn fragrance and leaves fall in red, gold, orange and brown ready for me to kick through! I pull out my favourite hat and scarf, both stolen from my daughter, and delight in the bliss of my beloved leather jacket. Apples, fresh from the tree, and rich purple plums, and pumpkins ready to be carved fill my Halloween, and nothing beats homemade soups and bread to fill the autumn belly.

Tell me – what are you looking forward to most this autumn?

Pumpkins and All Black for Halloween…

We don’t shy away when it comes to dressing up – you’ve probably noticed, but pumpkins are another thing all together!

© Lisa Shambrook

© Lisa Shambrook

We’d never carved pumpkins before and trying to decide what to carve took more time than sculpting them!

Pumpkins and ghost cakes © Lisa Shambrook

Pumpkins and ghost cakes © Lisa Shambrook

I also made ghost fairy cakes…to take for the treat table.

carving pumpkins, the last krystallos,

Pokemon Pikachu, pumpkin inside a pumpkin and a lone wolf howling © Lisa Shambrook

Bekah opted for Pikachu from Pokemon, and the following day Caitlin spent a long time choosing to carve a howling wolf and I, with no idea, finally decided to carve a pumpkin inside a pumpkin!

halloween outfits, the last krystallos, the grim reaper, gothic china doll, steampunk cat, hybrid bat,

The Grim Reaper, Hybrid Bat, Steampunk Cat and Gothic China Doll © Lisa Shambrook

Outfits, of course, were well-planned and fun, and we were ready to party, or at least hang out as socially as those with social anxieties do.
Note: we don’t all have socialising issues, hubby can be quite the extrovert, especially when disguised as Death!   

2000 and 2015 © Lisa Shambrook

2000 and 2015 © Lisa Shambrook

We missed Dan, and we wonder kind of Halloween celebrations go on in Canada? So if you miss Dan too, like us, here’s a throwback to the Year 2000…and a contrast with now!

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© Lisa Shambrook

…and lastly, my pumpkin won me bubbles and ballons! Yay!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN, EVERYONE!

How are you celebrating?

Halloween – No Tricks just Treats at Amaranth Alchemy…

With Halloween just around the corner,
we’ve recently restocked our Etsy shop and it’s all good!

amaranth alchemy etsy shop, bookpage gifts, bookmarks, scrabble style necklaces, bookspine bookmarks,So pop over and have a look and see if anything catches your eye…at Amaranth Alchemy

amaranth alchemy, etsy shop, halloween gifts, sherlock holmes, the hobbit quote,

We’ve got necklaces, and boookmarks and quotes… Think Dictionary, Sherlock and The Hobbit

amaranth alchemy, etsy shop, bram stoker's dracula, mary shelley's frankenstein, bookmarks, bookpage bookmarks,

Dracula and Frankenstein…bookpage bookmarks…

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Ravens…black as night…on our Dictionary Scrabble style necklace…

welsh language, peg magnets, fridge magnets, peg fridge magnets,

Welsh peg magnets to hold your precious secret recipes and potions…

scrabble style necklaces, halloween, smaug the hobbit, the moon jewellery,

The moon on a dark Halloween night, and Smaug…dancing with fire before it…

Wizardry with Harry Potter, Cheshire Cat's smile, boookpage bookmarks, halloween,

Wizardry with Harry Potter and the Cheshire Cat’s smile…creepy…

the hobbit jewellery, dragon jewellery, scrabble style necklace,

Dragons flying across the full moon…on our Scrabble style necklaces…

We’re gearing up for Halloween and then there’ll be, dare I say it, Christmas…

Like our Amaranth Alchemy Facebook Page and you’ll be the first to know when our Giveaway starts and you’ll always know when we put out our special offers!

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Find us on Etsy

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