Sunday, 30 October 2011

Saturday, 29 October 2011


Nowadays, a visit to my mum's house means meeting up with Mel.  And yesterday was the day.
I could wax lyrically about how fab Mel is, but I think you all know that.
Suffice to say, I'm very happy to call her my friend.

Friday, 28 October 2011


Sometimes, this is the best you can get. Sometimes, getting three boys to sit still at the same time is just too much. Sometimes, it doesn't matter. Sometimes, getting the shot is actually what counts.
And I know that Sian agrees.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

A Quiet Day

Yesterday, we stayed close to home.  Granny had an appointment for her flu jab. There was a delivery expected (new printer for Granny, set up by yours truly). There was a dog to be walked, twice.  There was dry cleaning to be collected.  There was helping Granny with late bulb planting and re-potting her patio garden.
The minutiae of my life.  The everyday.  My Project Life.
And today?  More laughing and the drinking of tea with more cousins.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Bouncing Boy

Yesterday saw us (ie. me, because mum doesn't drive and I only don't drive in London) drive out 40 minutes to visit my cousin J and her two gorgeous children.  Sadly, we didn't get to see J's husband, as he was out at work.
The older children were keen to have DS try out their huge trampoline, something he wasn't too keen on initially.  So we didn't push it and went back to laughing and drinking tea.  Cousin J suddenly saw movement out of the corner of her eye and realised that DS had been on the trampoline with Miss A. 
No fuss, just got on with it. 
Miss A didn't see why we wanted to know if DS had indeed been actually bouncing on the trampoline. 
"Did DS just go on the trampoline?"
"Er, yeah.  Is it time for lunch?"
 And here the three of them are; the only shot they were willing to give me.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Northern Soul

Although I no longer live in my home town and haven't done so for over 20 years, I always enjoy visiting our nearby city.  There was a time in the 80s when it was in the news frequently for all the wrong reasons.  Now, in the 21st Century, it's making headlines for the right reasons ~ it's been a European City of Culture, part of it has been listed as a World Heritage Site and today I learned that a particularly famous landmark actually came into being in 1671.  
1671.  Hard to imagine. 

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Half Term Holidays

DS has completed his first half-term of full time school ~ he has been a school boy for six weeks and three days.  He now has two weeks off; two weeks for the pair of us to kick back and relax a little.  With that in mind, he and I are now at Granny's house and will be for a whole week.  There'll be bus rides aplenty.  There'll be a visit to a brand new museum that is newly opened in a nearby city.  There'll be visits galore to family and friends.  There'll be a visit to an aquarium.  There will hopefully be time to catch up with this lady.
~ waiting for Mummy to get the coffee from Starbucks, Warwick Services ~
It's going to be great.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Project Life: Week 29

The week DS had Happy Mail from his cousin. The week we celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary with lunch at Pizza Express (and a new Smartphone for me, but not one from here). The week where the weather was unseasonal again and we were able to spend a lot of time in the park.
The week of Season of Mists, the week where DS was constantly looking through the Project Life album.  The week DS was engrossed in his 'reading' and the week with a PTA Meeting (I got to use a gift from this lady for the 1st time and it generated lots of positive remarks).   

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Project Life: Weeks 27 & 28

Week 27: The week DH turned 50.  We invited our Chelsea Pensioner friend for supper on DH's actual birthday and were able to eat outside.  BF and her family came over on the Saturday and the three children had a blast in the paddling pool all afternoon.  Sunday saw us go to a BBQ at the InLaws ~ gorgeous weather again.
Still able to eat supper outside on Monday evening.  Autumn is making its presence felt in the garden.  DS had another Speech Therapy session and I probably over dressed our Harvest Festival box.
Week 28: Harvest Festival at DS's school ~ just perfect.  My weekend away at the 48 hour crop.  Saturday supper from a mobile fish & chip van.  Packed train home on Sunday evening.
This week has a 6x12 divided pocket insert: Village views from the weekend crop on one side and inside the village hall on the other.
More Speech Therapy for DS and my flying visit to The Power of Making at the V&A.

Thankful Thought: #7

I'm thankful that DS shows an huge interest in the albums I put together and I'm hopeful that one day soon, he'll make a start on an album of his own.
** This post is brought to you in association with Ali Edwards and her semi-regular Thankful Thought series. **

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Me: The Abridged Version ~ Revisited

Yesterday, Cathy Zielske talked about withdrawing her Me: The Abridged Version class from BPC and offering it up for sale via Designer Digitals.
This was the first CZ class I did and it was superb.  It's absolutely in the top 3 of all the online classes I have done in the last few years.
And I had a lightbulb moment ~ ta dah!  Why not make one for DS?  He loves to look through my albums and it would be a cool project for this stage in his life right now and then to review in 5 years time or so.
The tag book is covered with paper from Echo Park's Little Boy range, found here.  I hope to complete the album's foundation pages during half-term and then get the A-Z of DS's life typed up in the following weeks.
J is for Jolly Phonics.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Happy Mail

Happy Mail.  We all like to receive post that doesn't come in a brown envelope or have a window in it, don't we?  Thing is, as much as I love receiving Happy Mail, I actually get a bigger kick out of sending it.
This morning, in between waving DH off to work (proper client-facing work, as opposed to working from home), taking DS to school (French this morning and PE this afternoon), walking the dog and sorting through five loads of laundry, I sat down at the kitchen table, armed with a cuppa and a Custard Cream to help the thought process, and wrote six cards/postcards to send off around the world.  England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Eastern seaboard of the US and Australia ~ gotta love the Royal Mail.
And I wrapped an (early) birthday present for mum, as I'm seeing her next week.
Now it's back to the remaining chores and lunch ...

Monday, 17 October 2011

One Little Word: August & September

I've been quietly keeping on top of my OLW and remembering to write things down as I think of them.  My thoughts for September were actually written while waiting for a train recently.
August was to update the self-portrait I'd taken in January, and you know how I hate those ...
September was to revisit thoughts from May and then to give some thought to battles: battles I'm choosing to fight and battles I'm choosing to let go of, or put on the back burner.
October is a photographic one again, similar to February.  Capturing my word with my camera.  And so far under the category of making October better, I have little people in the paddling pool on the 1st, Harvest Festival on the 7th, weekend crop with my BF over 7th-9th and the visit to the V&A on the 13th.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

52 In Black & White: Week 41

~ Consumer madness ~
Can you see that huge queue of people?  They're waiting to gain access to the Apple store, which you can just about see on the right of the picture.
The iPhone 4, retailing at around £500, I believe.

Friday, 14 October 2011

On Being British

Tomorrow morning, UK time, Wales will pay France in the semi-finals of the Rugby World Cup.  For rugby fans across the UK, we will be, for 80 minutes at any rate, Welsh.
And that got me thinking.  I am British.  That is what I tell people when asked my nationality.  I am a British citizen.  I hold a British passport, albeit in the colour of the European Union and not the much loved dark blue of yesteryear.  But looking at my family tree tells me I'm hybrid British ~ a good mix of Irish and Welsh thanks to grandparents and great grandparents, along side my English parents.  My nephew says he's Scottish.
Rydyn ni gyd Gymry nawr*

What about you?  If you live in the UK, how do you describe yourself?  If you live elsewhere, why not share your views on nationality.
(* We are all Welsh now)


Happy anniversary to DH.  Six years today. xx

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The Power Of Making At The V&A

You may have heard about this exhibition at the V&A from Shimelle's blog back in early September.
Some judicious planning from me this week enabled me to find a free morning to hot-foot it up town.  Despite being full of noisy youngsters with worksheets, it was well worth a visit.  However, no photography was allowed, so you'll have to check out Shimelle's post for the details.  I have presumed that as Shimelle went to a preview, no camera restrictions were in force then.  Lucky girl.
I always forget that within 30 minutes of entering the V&A, the forced-air environment gives me a terrible headache.  Which probably explains why I don't go that often.
Stopping for a cuppa in a vaulted space like this helps ...
 ... as does the opportunity to break up the sensory overload by stepping out in to this ...
I plan to revisit this exhibition before it closes at the end of January; I'm sure there's loads that I missed.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Weekend Crop ~ Classes Five & Six

Class 5 on Sunday morning was another from Elaine, although much less fiddly cutting out.  The papers used were really strident in colour and design, something I never would have chosen myself, but I think the end result looks fab!
The final class of the weekend was offered up by Sandie.  The perfect selection of papers for me to use just now.
Things I learned ...
  • Travelling to the venue by train really makes you think about what you need to take with you, as opposed to what you want to take with you.
  • Scrappers are an extremely friendly bunch of people.
  • Liquid ink can go an awfully long way.
  • Poking a needle down your thumb nail really, really hurts.
  • A paper piercer will be a good investment.
  • April Showers & Storybook Cricut cartridges are going on my Christmas list.  
  • Pleating cardstock is much easier if you scrunch it up first and then fold over and under.
  • I can do it all over again in late February.  

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Weekend Crop ~ Classes Three & Four

Saturday afternoon's class was by Elaine Rolfe and involved distressing, pleating and cutting.  Elaine is a very thrifty scrapper and likes to make full use of her paper and cardstock.  The card for the pleat is cut from the middle of the backing cardstock ...
Sandie Vincent was back with Saturday evening's class and it was a whole new ball game for me ~ canvas, paint daubers (Ranger?), and stamping with bleach ...
That's my dad in the blazer ~ DS is so like him!  The other photo is my dad the summer before he died and it's my favourite.
Instructions available for both classes.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Weekend Crop ~ First Two Classes

The first class of the weekend was taught by a lady called Penny on Friday evening (she's on the DT at Crafty Pastimes) and it was all about doilies, sewing machines and pleating.
My layout differs from Penny's because I used butterflies (Martha Stewart punch ~ want) and Penny had added striped paper and cross stitch.  I have the instructions if any of you would like to try this layout.
First up Saturday morning was a class by Sandie Vincent and involved lots of shimmer mist and sewing.
Poor BF had a major product malfunction during the spraying part of the class, but least said about that, the better.  I love this layout!  Again, instructions are available.

Wit Or Wisdom: #29

* I no longer walk past this sign on a daily basis, but will try to catch enough comments to get us to the end of the year.

Sunday, 9 October 2011


I've been away on a 48-hour weekend crop with my BF. 
I went out to The Shires ...
... to a village where the houses looked like this ...

... more to follow over the coming week.

Friday, 7 October 2011

4x6 Photo Love: Nine

A whopping number of photos to attempt to get on to a 12x12 layout.  Shimelle, as ever, has kept it simple and come up with the ides of a see-through pocket.  One photo attached to the front of the layout, the other eight on two cards, four photos on each card and placed in the pocket.
 A really great way to record all the trips DS and I did during the summer holidays.
You can find .pdf instructions of all 4x6 Photo Love layouts on the TwoPeas website.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Things He Says

"I'm so happy I had French today!" 
Said to Mummy at collection time, Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

We Plough The Fields

Autumn, when it arrives, is my favourite season.  I have great memories from school days and at my mum's church of Harvest Festival and singing soul-stirring hymns, of which We Plough the Fields & Scatter was my all time favourite.
Friday is Harvest Festival at DS's school; our first one as pupil and parent.  (Last year, the primary school attached to DS's Nursery didn't include the little ones for Harvest Festival, but took my donation happily enough.)
And on the subject of a Harvest donation, I'll come to the point.  The school has requested donations in a shoebox ...
What do you think? 
DH said that I've gone into competitive mum mode ~ gulp. 
Too much?

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