Monday, 31 March 2014

The One about the iPad Cover

When a friend bought an iPad Mini cover in the shape of a Minion for The Boy Child, I knew that the story would end up on a scrapbook page.
I used a layout called Like This by Lisa Saunders as my jumping off point.  (See p12 of the current edition of Scrap365 magazine.)
I used washi tape behind the photo to form a frame and added gold ink spatter (which hasn't shown up very well).
Between you and me, I'll be glad when the Minion phase is over.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Mother's Day

I'm not one for a lot of fuss on Mother's Day.
This year, however, I was spoilt with a number of cards.
And enough flowers to start my own florist shop.  The result of hosting Afternoon Tea the day before Mother's Day.
Daffodils and orchids, with enough daffs to fill two vases.
And tulips.
Gorgeous roses.
Scrumptious sunflowers and bamboo.
And if they weren't blessings enough, my beautiful Goddaughter and her family stayed overnight.
And, of course, we had the obligatory team photo before they went home.
 My heart feels full to over-flowing.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Afternoon Tea

We hosted Afternoon Tea today for 22 people today ...
... and it was amazing.
Entertaining at home and with child-friendly timings is definitely working for us.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Five on Friday

Five things about my Friday:
1) School-related Coffee Mornings have been a lot more fun of late.
2) We went shopping for tomorrow's Afternoon Tea/Drinks Party.  We bought the store's own brand of Champagne in the end, which is half the price of my favourite brand and just as delicious.  
3) Shoe/boot shopping with The Boy Child was successful.  We were looking for sturdy footwear that will cope with the mean streets of New York City.
4) I'm having to wash The Boy Child's dry-clean-only blazer again.  I wonder what he does in it.
5) I received a Mother's Day card from a new-ish friend and it made me cry.
Sadly, the day has not ended well.
There has been shouting and there has been crying.
How was your day?

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Sharing a Cuppa

Hi, hi, c'mon in out of the cold.  Don't be fooled by the weak sunshine, the wind has a nasty nip to it!  How are you?  Well, I trust?
I'm ready for a cuppa and a spot of lunch.  How about you?  I'm just in the middle of putting a engagement/wedding scrapbook together for one of The Boy Child's teachers. It's nothing fancy, I can assure you.  I bought a mini-album from the Becky Higgins range and I'm adding Project Life cards from the Love range.  I'm also adding post-it notes with suggestions of what to include.  I'm keeping it extremely simple in the hope that she will believe me when I tell her that anyone can scrapbook.
What projects have you been working on this month?  I do love to see what my friends have been up to, but the downside is that I spend too much time reading about their crafting activities than actually working on my own!  Do you find that?
Shall I tell you something funny?  That having settled on being more in 2014, the first quarter of the year has been amazing!  Taking charge has been liberating.  The Brainy One and I used to lament the lack of a social life; we solved that by inviting our friends and their children round at child-friendly times.  And we are now receiving invitations in a similar vein.  It certainly solves the problem of a babysitter.
Do you have plans for Easter?  We're less than three weeks away now from our trip to New York and are becoming quite excited.  The highlight for me will be when my mum meets her cousin for the very first time.
It's also going to be pretty cool introducing The Boy Child to the Statue of Liberty, the High Line and the Staten Island Ferry.
Would you like some more tea?  You know, we're still waiting for an answer to The Boy Child's Statement review.  The Panel sat a fortnight ago and raised questions about the provision of Speech and Language therapy.  I understand they looked at our application again this Tuesday.  But still we wait.
Gosh, I've been at it again, haven't I?  Monopolising the conversation again.  You really should tell me to be quiet!
Same time next month?  Lovely.

This post has been brought to you in association with Abi's invitation to share a cup of tea.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Zoom In | Zoom Out

The lockers at the gym are identical.
A large percentage of us have the same type of padlock.
In true scrapbookers style, I recognise mine by the piece of ribbon hanging from it.
Helena hosts Zoom In | Zoom Out every Wednesday; why not stop by?

Tuesday, 25 March 2014


It wasn't anything out of the ordinary.
I sat down at my PC after lunch for a quick 20 minutes of blog reading.
This is what I happened.  
I nobly recreated the scene, just for you, dear readers.
Generous to a fault, that's me.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Home Sweet Home?

Do you love where you live?
I don't.
I hear myself say that and know that it sounds ungrateful.
I live in a house not of my choosing, but it is a very nice house.
It's just not my home.
My recent post about home being in the details, coupled with Becky's post last year about stories of home, has had me thinking.
So I'm going to do what I do best.
Print out a stack of house-related photos.
Write out a load of info on Project Life cards.
And then, maybe, just maybe, the details of all those things I've included will make where I live feel like home.
Do you love where you live?

Book Winner

The winner of my book is ...
... the lovely Deb at Paper Turtle.
#3: I would love to win a copy of your book, Ruth!

The thought of writing a WHOLE book is so overwhelming to me. I do much better on a small scale with short stories posted on my blog. :o)

~ Deb and The Boy Child: T3, Heathrow, March 2013 ~

Deb, I already have your address.

Thanks to all who expressed an interest.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Snapshot of a Sunday

It's been a busy weekend, for The Boy Child in particular.
Yesterday there was a swimming date with his friends.
We've had cousins visiting.
This morning, he had a bowling party.
And this time, we were prepared and he was happy.
Which left me feeling a little less stressed and able to enjoy a cuppa with another mum.
There's just one last spelling sentence to endure.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Five on Friday

I looked up this morning and discovered it was Friday.
It's been a busy week.
It's been a good week.  Mostly.
1) Hot buttered bagels are a perfect pick-me-up after walking around the park for an hour with the pooch.  In the cold Spring wind.
2) Unexpected Happy Mail is always a joy to receive.  I haven't seen my friend in New Zealand since January 2006.  Communication has been sporadic and Facebook has not been the answer.  Cue pen to paper.
3) Enforced down-time is turning out to be a pleasure.  Around an hour, just sitting and reading?  Perfection.
4) Seeing the pile of my books dwindle is also a joy, knowing that they are heading off around the globe.  To that friend in New Zealand and to the ex-boyfriend who drove across Italy so that I could visit my great-uncle's grave.
5) Completing the relevant paperwork for our trip to New York City has been straight forward. Amendments for me and The Boy Child.  New application for Granny.
How does your Friday look?
** the draw to win a copy of my book is still open.  See here.**

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Win My Book

Sounds grand that, doesn't it?  My book.
If you'd like a chance to see what's inside the cover, simply leave a comment.
You could make it fun by telling me what you would write about if you were to write a book.
Or maybe you have written a book, so tell me about that.
Winners will be selected randomly on Sunday evening, 23 March, GMT.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Zoom In | Zoom Out

Helena is the brainchild behind Zoom In | Zoom Out; you'll find lots to view over on her blog here.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Always Time for Cake

I was invited to my Dutch friend's house this morning for tea and cake to celebrate her birthday.  It felt very decadent to be eating cake at 9am.
 ~ apple crumble cake ~
 ~ strawberries and cream ~
~ super cute cake forks ~
Who says that birthday tea parties are for children only?
Not me.

Monday, 17 March 2014

A Ta-Dah Moment

For more than ten years, I have been photographing war graves around West London, the UK, Europe and the wider world.
I did so because I was a volunteer with Canada's Maple Leaf Legacy Project and the UK's War Graves Photographic Project.
I did so because I believe strongly in remembering and acknowledging the sacrifice made by my country's servicemen and women.
The problem was what to do with all the images I have collected over the years.
I know, I thought, I'll publish a coffee-table style book of words and photos.
The downside of self-publishing is that single copies work out quite expensive, especially if you have 104 pages of A4 and full colour photos.  The Brainy One has very kindly paid for 20 copies to be printed so that I can give them to family and friends.
Maybe even give away one or two on here, if I thought there was enough interest.
I'm not pretending that this is a great piece of literary work.
It is what it is.
Twenty fourteen is our year of being more.
Twenty fourteen is the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War.
Twenty fourteen sees me realise the idea of being print.
And that's enough.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Homework and the Realisation

Having said yesterday that the only thing predictable about autism was the unpredictability, I've given a lot of thought since to what might be the cause of The Boy Child's regular weekend meltdown.
And I had a lightbulb moment.
A real slap of the palm on the forehead moment.
A doh-how-did-you-not-connect-the-two moment.
The answer was there all along.
Specifically, spelling sentences.
The Boy Child loathes them.
And by extension, so do I.
Now I know the trigger, I'm better placed to find a solution.
One being, as my SiL suggested today, ask that he can do them in school time when he has one-to-one support.  It's an avenue worth investigating.
And on the plus side, The Boy Child's handwriting really is coming along nicely.

Saturday, 15 March 2014


I am often asked what are the triggers for The Boy Child's autism.
I always answer the same: the only thing predictable about autism is the unpredictability.
We had a good start to the day.
I took him and The Dutch Friend to see Escape from Planet Earth at the cinema.
 There was even time for a spot of gaming on the iPad.
And then, bam!
The rest of the day descended into Autism Hell.
I cannot even begin to describe just how awful it was.
I am in need of a stiff drink.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Scrapping with Project Life Cards

There's a class running over at Big Picture Classes just now called Scrapbooking Outside the Pocket.  It does exactly what it says on the tin.
I had a funny conversation between me and The Boy Child that I wanted to record, but didn't have a photo to go with it.
I made a double page about The Boy Child and his best friend.  Complete with interactive bits.
I've written about The Boy Child's friend before.  I love him to bits.
The third page I made this week told the story of the free Lego.
Do you scrapbook with cards designed to go into pockets?
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