Ladies Camera Club

31 Jul 2006

Dental Phobia

Im absolutely cacking my pantaloons. I truly am. I took a trip to the Dental Phobia Hospital in Liverpool today - ON MY OWN! Sarah was supposed to be coming with me but I had a high panic drama prior to picking her up (yep, thats me).
Please sit down - its a long story.
I was just about to go out to the car when I realised the bin men had put my bin across the drive. So, I put the door on the latch and set my keys on the radiator. I moved the bin and came back in. Went to grab my keys and accidentally knocked them down the back. Our radiator in the hallway is so close up against the wall, its not true (remember smelly radiator incident from christmas time?) I couldnt fish them out for love nor money nor time. I tried a ruler, I tried a hammer but nothing would lift them out. Then I had to hack through my wardrobe to find a metal coathanger. I found one, untwisted it and used it as a hook top retrieve said keys. After 15 minutes I had them and a massive sweat on. Then I couldn't ring Sarah to let her know I was going to be late as her BT phone line is down and her mobile number is not on mine. The computer was off cos I was going to be out all day. SCREAM. So thats why I went on me tod, becuase picking Sarah up would have meant a 20 miler detour. I HATE LIFE.
I got to the hospital and I was quite composed. The dental nurse called out my name and I stood up too quick. I was swaying and beads of sweat appeared on my forehead. As I ventured nearer the consultation room I could smell the smells of dentistry. Plaque, spit, pink water gargle thingy and cleaning fluids. I turned the corner to the room and saw a dentist chair staring right at me. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGH. By now cold sweat was dripping from my fingers and this really nice dentist smiled me his bright white hollywood dazzle of a smile and said "I know what you are thinking. It says here that you would rather have a baby than have an injection in your mouth!". The dentist who had referred me had used my quote to try and convince these killers/murderers/ivory stealers that i was literally that scared. He got me to sit down and asked if I had brought anyone with me. I said no and he said "oh, we could have completed the treatment today as we have had 3 cancellations" (but he said it was rather expected becuase it is, afterall, a phobia clinic and lots of patients feign near death illnesses on the very same day they are required to have treatment!). Im so glad that I was dumb with those knobby keys and that Sarah didn't actually come with me. I let him inspect my mouth and he said I was doing good, some people dont even let them do that. I kid you not, Im not scared of inspections. Just injections in the mouth. I give blood, I take innoculations and vaccinations - hell, I even pick my scabs. But no injections in ones gob, thank you very much.
So there you go. Im weak and pathetic and have to go back in September for an extraction, two replacement fillings, a scale and polish. But you want me to tell you a little secret? It actually pays to be dentally phobic becuase I just found out that its all paid for by the NHS as its a training facility..
The moral?
Its free to get your gob butchered if you are crap scared of dentists.
Hurrah. Now Im going to buy something rather special with the money I have saved. Like a coffin, a headstone and some rather nice lillies after he has hacked me to death.
Peace.

30 Jul 2006

yawn, more pics.......

Here is the courtyard picture that wouldn't upload last night. I hate blogger. I know its free and all that but I'd be willing to pay to have more pics on my daily bore. I would you know.
It was in this courtyard that lead to the tasting room. We had two types of Chianti - both the Classico and the Reserve. I loved the Reserve. Then we had a sweet, kind of fortified wine that you dipped these almond biscuits in. To be honest, it tasted like Harveys Bristol Cream which totally reminds me of old ladies and boring conversation about "In my day we used to .....". You know the kinds of drink I mean - like a sherry. Bluergh. We met a traveller from Quebec called Nicole. She had been backpacking round Berlin, Paris and then Florence. I hated her immediately (only for her freedom, mind!) The porr girl loved the experience but did find it lonely. I talked the hind legs off the girl, I bet she desperately wanted to be back being on her own again after I bored her to death with my yorkshire accent and sqeals of delight everytime I took a sip of wine.
And here is a picture of a bike. Isn't it just so painfully ordinary? Thats what I like ..... abandoned ordinaryness. Every man and his dog travels around Florence on these babies and of course, Mopeds. They wizz by like little hairdryers on wheels, they do. I think if I stepped out onto the road and once crashed into me, Id still be standing. They only go at about 2mph but it sure beats hot buses and walking, for that matter.
Aaaaw man, blogger won't let me upload anymore. The swines (with a view to being parma ham on my plate). I was going to bore you with another door knocker and my meal that I made us last night. Needless to say we absolutely stink of garlic.
And sleep.

29 Jul 2006

Here they are

....well, some of them anyway. This is a masso combination of my favourites but I just couldn't possibly upload the whole lot. Some things I have to keep for myself and my travel journal.

This is Florence at sunset down by the river - just in front of Ponte Veccio. Click on the picture to see it in its full glory. Taken on a manual setting with a slow shutter speed Im grateful that I caught the sun and its magical shades of reds as it dipped below the horizon to light up the morning on the other side of the world.

this picture below is one of many door knockers that I sawe and snapped. In Florence you don't have such plasticness of uPVC doors. All of their doors are wooden and have wither brass studs or knockers. So ornate and proud and beautiful. It truly is a place of wonder and these door knockers add granduer to hungry sight seer's.

The picture below is one Sarah took of me with a reflection of the Duomo. I took one of her just before this one not realising that I'd captured the reflection and of course I wanted one to remember for myself. I could stare for days at it - there are so many inscriptions, marble art and figures to pore over. I wanna go back :( - somebody magic me there and in return I shall give you herma!
I would have loved to have uploaded a picture of a Tuscan courtyard but blogger will not let me (so I'll dron on anyway). Its here we took a trip to sample wine and check out the valleys absolutely dripping with vineyards and olive groves. Sadly, the bus wizzed past all opportunistic shots (hence me wanting to go back to stop on the roadsides and actually take a proper vineyard shot!) It was so peaceful here in Chianti. We learned a lot about the wine and how it tested for quality and believe me - it tasted beautiful. For those who appreciate red wine, Chianti is characterised by a black rooster on all of its labelling which acts as an original Chianti region produced red wine. Check me out!! I was paying attention to the guide!

Messages for my freinds as I can't get into hotmail neither :( - grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Roz, your stuff will be with you when I post out on Monday and Doolie? Ill ring you first thing in the morning. Ive had a bit of a hectic day. And Elin, I will get back to you Monday morning... just checking something out for you xx

Ariva Deci, Italia

Sob. Its gone. The tastes and the smells and the feeling of being in another century. The colours, the people, that fabulous Fongole (pasta with clams) and the ice cream. Bwaaaaaaaah :(

We check into the airport and have a lovely 2 hour delay sitting in sweat so sweaty you think you are going to just die. But Im home now after 6 hours sleep, with 3 deadlines and CJ's up to my eyeballs to plough through. The fact thyat Im surrounded by bottles of Balsamic vinegar, Chianti, Parma ham in preparation of forcing Mark to enjoy an Italian night at home fills me with motivations. I will admit, however, that I'm dreading - YES DREADING the hours it will take to download all of my pictures. I'll upload them later but I just wanted to say Bonjourno. And, with that, actually, I have sworn to learn Italian. I think its dog rotten that us Brits learn a basic second language in school and give up the moment we leave. The Italians spoke a little of french and german and english but do our waiters in London know any european languages?. NO! Im so ashamed so Im booking a course to learn Italian and I cannot wait one moment longer. Nor can I wait to book our next flight to Florence. Ive begged Mark to take a few days off in October and with flights (and trains) being so flipping cheap its stupid not to.

Ill upload some pic-a-roo's tonight...... Ciao xx

26 Jul 2006

Bonjourno!

Bella Bella Bella! Yummoness is a little city called Florence. Non yummoness is the travel agent telling you that it is 6km from Pisa airport to your hotel. It was infact 80km - I was mortified, especially as the taxi fare was 130 euros. How I will laugh about it in 10 years time but lordy lawks, it did come as a bit of a shock. We touched down last night 15 minutes ahead of skedge with our bags literally the first on the carousel. We took the hideous taxi journey to Florence and booked in and then set out to discover Florence by night. I loved it already. Teeny and quaint backstreets littered with culture. As we were too late to eat in a restaurant guess what our first meal was?. Im hanging my head in shame but on equal footing the food was rather delish. Yep - you didn't guess it... we had a Kebab. Oh for the love of scrapping these memories.
Today was earmarked for discovering daylight in the city and touching and absorbing all that it shone on. Im now taking a siesta in an internet cafe but our first port of call this morning was the Duomo. I was stunned, just stunned. Almost to the point of crying. As I just love old world culture, Ive relented to the fact that one must hug it with open arms and this will become evident when I show you my pics (unfortch, internet cafes here will not me download). Sarah and I have walked for miles in a blistering heat. My fascination for brass door knockers has spurred me on from passing out and old finials and iron fretwork has kept me awake. My camera has been so busy. I love my camera. I really do.
Tomorrow we have booked a Chianti tour which will take us through Tuscany and its Romanesque churches and villages, vineyards (and a wine tasting session - yum!) and olive groves (to sample some of those juicy little babies!). Im sure Im destined to die because that sure sounds like heaven we are going to. Im completely bursting with happiness and tomorrow just cannot come quick enough. The, as if that wasn't enough, on Friday we leave to come back but we will spend all day in Pisa. Im so in love with Italy. I want to come back and I will. I will, you know. I JUST WILL.

Ciao xx

25 Jul 2006

Home - for like, 3 seconds

Im home - all alone.
Well, thats a big fat juicy lie because I'm surrounded by one hundred thousand summer bugs. Moths, mozzies and these hideous lime green big flies with a wingspan as wide as my hips. And that's pretty wide my freinds. Ive just unpacked from my mums to wash in preparation for Florence. On the way back I went shopping in the Trafford centre and bought some fabbo bargains. I love the summer sales, I bought far more than I planned for less.
Belle is back at mums for two weeks which is why Im going on a short break. Did you really think I'd leave her at home playing with matches, open bottles of bleach and encouraging posters of how to stick wet fingers into plug sockets?
Im just about packed for Florence with regards to "scrap supplies". Sarah and I have decided to cover paper bag pages (which take hours) so all we have to do when we get back is slot photo's in. Im doing a 5 bagger which is pretty huge by normal standards. I have no idea when we plan to do this becuase during the day I want to see EVERYTHING and at night its possible I will be getting wasted at the bar!
I must go to bed my sweet bloggers. I'll leave youwith a picture of Belle asleep on our sofa which was taken a few weeks back. Im sure gonna miss that wee kiddo xx

23 Jul 2006

Fun times

We have had a fabulous and wonderful weekend at my parents house. My mum celebrated her birthday with us and my bro FINALLY propsed to Kerry. Im so happy to share this time to mark the end of what has been a difficult few weeks. I've taken over 400 photos that mean nothing and yet everything. We have laughed so hard that our guts have fallen out, we have eaten somuch that our guts have doubled in size and we have talked and chatted and moaned and put the world to rights.
Belle has had an amazing little break too. We have walked for miles taking in the briney air on Bridlington promenade. We have been to the arcades and the parks and junk food shops to give this wee lassy a wonderful and memorable weekend. Here we are sharing a squidge under the shelters on the promenade.
And here's the wubbly couple! You can't see her ring but Leigh had it specially made out in Qatar (with a matching wedding ring!). He has offered to take one of my designs back to have a pendant made in white gold for my necklace. Im so excited because this service in the UK costs the earth.
Kerry formally asked Ellie to be a bridesmaid (this will be her 3rd time!) and Ellie was far more interested in her gameboy at the time of asking. To cushion the blow, I offered to do their wedding photos and save them a few bob. Oooooooh Im just beside myself with the fun times we have had. I rarely get to see my parents and having Leigh home on leave was an added bonus. Sadly my sister did not stop by but sometime soon we will all get together again.
I'll leave you with a scrummy picture of my mum. Ive not got a great deal of pictures of her and this is just how I like to remember her when Im back home.
Good times everyone. Good times.
ooooooooh and........ Ive had a laylout published on Cherry Artes gallery. **Blush**

21 Jul 2006

Angels and Speshals

I mentioned earlier this week about a fabulous and luxurious scrappin' retreat in the heart of the scottish glens run by Angela of Angel Crafts. There are a few places left and we would love to see you there. As part of the retreat build up, Angela sent all the teachers a picture of this scrummy little angel to make a page. Admittedly, Angela sent the picture in colour but the angels pink frilly knickies didnt match these papers (sent to me a while back by Anna). Plus Ive chopped half her wings off but replaced them with a hand doodled swirly delight. I hope she likes it as much as I did making it xx
Also the speshals are up. This weeks title was "hero". It would have been too hard to choose between Mark (a true gulf war hero) and my father who saves lives every day. So I selfishly opted for myself. This layout is entitled "I am my own hero". Its quite therapeutic facing your demons and overcoming your shortcomings. This has been a mad year for me so far and this layout reflects my feelings, triumphs and emotions.
Now where is my red cape and pants?

Im at my Morma's

Im here in my mormy's office sat next to harry the flying spider with 8 inch legs and you are there - in your usual surfing spot next to your favourite beverage and your usual surroundings. I love coming to my mums. I love her scent, I love her cuddles and I love how she is with Belle. Marks joined me up here too and we are here celebrating her birthday and my brothers impending marriage proposal to his yummo girlfreind, Kerry (or kezza, as Ellie likes to put it!). Thats my bro in the layout you see here. When I first did that layout (about 14 months ago) I think I got more comments about my Bro than I did the actual composition and style. I personally like the black spidery flower but then again Im hardly going to wax lyrical on sibling rivalry neither!
My papa is on nights tonight so Ill get to see him inthe morning. He retires from his Job in 30 days time. My father has always worked in communications starting in the Royal Navy at 16, then working in Saudi for Phillips Communications, then as a control officer in the Police and then for HM Coastguard. He has had an affinity with the sea forever and when he retires, he is bagging himself a harbour masters job for the summer season here in Bridlington. He was Live on TV the other night and Mum showed me a recording of it. I just sat bleary eyed thinking - wow dad... you is a super duper hero saving lives everyday. I just didnt really think hard about it before until now.
Til tomorrow my dear sweet friends, adios xx

20 Jul 2006

Too hot - even to eat!

I know we all keep moaning about the weather but this is obscene. We go to Menorca in August and whilst I cannot wait I truly think we would have been better off staying here and getting a tan! Belle and I practically strolled around the house starkers - all day. When it came for me to visit Marks' nan in hozzy at 2.30pm, I opened the front door to what felt like a greenhouse. As much as it was hot in the house, it was even more hotter outside. I was dripping with sweat in almost 5 minutes. I put a very floaty summer dress on Ellie to try and keep her cool and I wore a skirt which allowed a little "circulation" shall we say.
As marks nan has Tuberculosis, its advised that children dont visit so I bobbed along with my MIL, Pat. She is a very gentle and kind soul who is just dying inside seeing her mother so helpless in hospital. We went to raise Nans spirits and for a woman of 84 - she takes all the needles and cuts like a brick. She is so strong hearted and spirited - I truly think she is meant to live forever. My dear friend Anna is also suffering as her father is ill in hospital too - not a good time for both of us right now :(
I came home to get ready for Michelle Grants (see picture!) leaving do. We went to an Indian just shy of Manchester airport and it was far too hot to eat. Im only hoping that I will lose at least 4 lbs from not eating and sweating into the bargain. A-hem. And then I came home and stuffed myself stupid with Vanilla ice cream and mini meringues. A girls gotta keep cool huh?

19 Jul 2006

More wedding pics

Thanks to Natalie for some editing tips to help my wedding pics fizz. This is Caitlin - the bridesmaid wearing her mums shoes. Jane took them off around the park during the shoot, so Caitlin decided to clippy clop in these clacking slingbacks. I adore this shot.

I tried the editing tricks on a couple of more shots below. LOVE EM!



Somehow, a little flower girl running away looks far more an interesting shot than a full on "front" shot. This little minx stole the day as it was. I wanted to scoop her up in my camera bag and take her home.
I shall upload more later today. Fun editing to do xx

18 Jul 2006

Angel Retreat - are you coming or what?

Come looky here. An extremely luxurious retreat is to be held on behalf of Angel Crafts at Lockerbie Manor on 27/28/29th October. Angela has kindly asked myself, roz, and anna to teach in a rather sumptious affair where guests will be met with bonkers bonus bags, lots of yummo food and luxury surroundings plus an album and goody bag to go home. Please come and play with us - I'll be fronting the pidgy parade in my gold satin numbers complete with heidi swapp flowers xx
I promised to show you this scrummio RAK which I received from Lianne. Everyone wubs Lianne. her shop is to die for and her little bag lady of a daughter is truly adorable. So when she made me this in recognition of a layout that I made for her, I was almost in tears. She had decorated a wee tin and inside was this yummo bag charm. All hand made. Wubs her lots and forever.
As if that was not enough, Doolie boughted me a fabbio wee book from Muji. Man, I love that store. I gots a spiral note book, a fab mini box of staples and some natural type playing cards. In return for that I made her a little coaster at the crop becuase she just "bought" them for no reason other than to make me smile. Isnt that scrum?
I had a lovely call from my friend Sam Currie of Quick and Crafty maggo fame. I met sam at a crop last week and she is bonkers as a brush on crack. I only have to hear that womans voice and I crease up laughing. Im hoping to do some work for them so fingers crossed on that score. You see, my business going means I have more time for artwork so I shouldnt really be sad, huh? I also had a sad call from Jo - Anitas sister. Jo hasnt been well. Some of you will know her from UKS. She has fibroids and as a result they are so enlarged that they have caused her DVT. The poor woman - I just hate to see such lovely and caring people so ill. I want you to get better Jo so we can cwop all day in my poky kitchen and eat crap xx
I would love to upload more images but blogger are so tight that two is just about all they can let me do. The miserable toe rags

17 Jul 2006

Its gone :(

Since March 2003 I have run a small but successful business selling die cuts for cardmakers. I didnt have the latest and greatest range of products but what I did sell, regulars came back for more. Today it was sold and taken over by Tracy - one of my longest and bestest returning customers and as I watched each item being placed into the van today, it wrenched at my heart strings immensely. But now, onto greener pastures, to concentrate on my piccy taking and more time for my freinds now that the hard work of selling it has gone.
Im going to celebrate by showing you this picture of a double layout I did at the crop (title says "Meg"). Its 8.5x11 - do you normally have double layouts of this size? I loved doing it and check out all the space. I keep putting wee things in the space to try and fill it but Ellie thinks I should leave it well alone. Bossy little stink pants !!

16 Jul 2006

Click click click

Oh my wee cam-ay-rouge! Its been on since Saturday morning and its been taking some fabbo pics. Had a fabulous morning with my publishing editor, Michelle Grant who asked me to do some promo shots of her. She is looking rather minxy with her fab sleek hair and ultra cool boho look. I'll post a picture when she has chosen which ones she likes and which ones she feels may look better in the recycling bin!
On top of that I did a wedding - a full wedding on my own and I also did the make up (I can do that too, you know!) My SIL's best bud got wed and needed a photog fast. In jumps Kirsty with her trusty steed (a Fuji S2 Pro) and here are some pcitures which I will run in a series this week. Jane wanted lots of fun photos, some official and lots of candid and I think I got the balance just right. You wanna see the wee cherubby dinky doo of a flower girl (her daughter Maddison). Oh she captured my heart and I wept when i saw how cute she was behaving. I ran from 5pm til 1030pm taking snaps of anything that moved. Jane and Phil will certainly be getting more than they bargained for becuase everyone was so relaxed about having their shots taken during and after a very emotionally charged blessing.
I went to yet ANOTHER crop today in Urmston. You have to check this venue out if you live near by. Sam does us proud with a lovely use of space and a hall which is clean. 3 shops were there today and although I didnt buy a great deal, its always handy to have stuff on stand by. I managed to do1 coaster as a gift for my wee friend Doolie Julie, one double layout (8.5x11 double - I may add!) and Im half way through another.
Lianne of Little Silver Hat fame made me a fabbo bag charm (ill show you it tomorrow) and she made this funko wee flowers from cutting suede from sizzix! I wubs it and her very lots. But not half as much as her bag lady daughter who is cute for words.
Man - have you seen the time. I neeeeeeeeeeed sleep.
Catch y'all xx

14 Jul 2006

The Speshals are up - #11

Loved this one - I think I got my mojo back. Hated this green at first and now I'm in love.
I personally call it "Ming" green.
The dares this week was titled "once upon....." and I finished with ".......a scrapbooker. She fell in love. And scrapped happily ever after. The end."
My crown is courtesey of "Framedangoes chipboard fabulousness" which you can find on my friend Jo's fabulous findings site HERE
Let's see your take on the challenge. To see the rest go HERE
Goodnight xx
ps: Annie, I deleted your message with your phone number by accident darling. Please please get back to me xx

One year, 5 countries, no sleep

By the time October comes and goes I'll have been to 5 countries this year. Mark and I have have just come back from the holiday shop with a 2 week holiday for us and Ellie in Minorca. We *heart* Minorca becuase its such a good destination for kids. They look after the children during meals because they fuss over them and offer tempting dishes other than spanish cuisine (good for Ellie, not for me .... I love Tapas and Paella!) and there are always lots of activities for them be it parks, amusements and pool activities. Ellie is besides herself as the last time we went, she didn't want to leave. This picture here was taken in Minorca in 2002. Ellies two top front teeth are missing. Its also here I took this infamous shot of Ellie in her swimmy cozzy.
I can't believe how much Ellie has grwon. Ive so many photo's to scrap of her and looking back at these makes me appreciate my hobby more. Her curls, her eyes and her skin are just as peachy now but that cherub like innocence is starting to wain as she matures into a little lady with an attitude!
So 5 countries huh? Ok, I went to California in April, Holland in May, Italy next week, Spain in August and France in October. Then I go to Holland again in November. Don't think for for one minute that I lead such a jet set lifestyle becuase most of this is funded out of my moth eaten pocket! My only smugness is that I get to photograph these beautiful places and sample their culture.

Talking of cultures - watch this space. Anita and I are up to something!

13 Jul 2006

Cwop, Scwap and Fwo'ence

No - I have not lost my ability to use letters R and L. Ive been to a crop tonight where I went to scrap (I had a fabulous time!) and I also booked tickets to go to Florence today. Ive dreamt for years to do a cultural visit to Italy (although Im dying to go to Barcelona, Austria and Prague too). I am venturing off on a 3 day mini break. I love that saying, "mini break". Its so cheese on toast. I can't begin to tell you how excited I am, infact I keep having to have giggle to myself like a silly child who feels mischievous and daring. Sarah and I go on the 25th July from Liverpool's John Lennon Airport. Have you ever flown from there? I love their ode to Lennon in all of their aiport signs - "above us only sky", taken from the song "Imagine". Sweet. Whilst in Florence and Pisa I need to do the "push the tower up" kind of photo's, Be rude around the statue of David, be sensible around the Duomo (Yeeeeks, that will be hard!) scoff copious amounts of pasta, ice cream and Rioja and pass out by some historic building to soak up its oldness.

We just won't mention Zidane whilst we are there - huh?

12 Jul 2006

Peace and Tranquility

Belle and I ventured out to Parbold last night on a photography assignment. She was not best pleased. I promised her a "junk" tea if she didn't have a face like a wet kipper and although bribing is not good to some - to me its a god send. When we got to Parbold, I picked out my subjects and snapped away. Down by the end of the church yard we spied a stunning canal - one we had never seen before. Its not often we go to Parbold but if we ever won the lottery, its where we would choose to live. Converted barns, listed buildings and wee cottages bedeck the hillside like a scattering of gorgousness. It truly is heavne. I took these pictures to let you share with us the wonders of Lancashire life xx
Today, I caught up on some tail ended admin which is humbling for the soul and I also found out that my business is set to change hands this very monday. Once the deal had been struck I kind of winced and wondered had I made the right choice? I know its what I want but its been my baby for 3 years. In light of the photography going banana's its wise to free up my time to do the editing which I find is no picnic. Not becuase I don't enjoy it but converting from Raw to Jpeg take flippin hours. Still, its my choice and I just happen to love it, love it very muchly.
I spent some time conversing with Anita today. This girls stuff is amazing and Im going to steal all of her ideas and take the scrapworld into my evil clutches and rule the universe.
And then I wake up!

Extra post in addition to below!! How unusual!

I have further thanks to give to Anita fro sharing some inside info on editing today. But can you believe she traded-off one of my pre-loads for this one? I know I got the better deal, sorry Anita! (but then she might prefer mine!) I love the effect and I will soooo use it for an idea I had for this weeks Dare . Im not so sure about the high red tones in my skin but lord knows how funky the effects look. My eyes look a bit sore, like Ive been crying... perhaps its a great tool to incorporate that in some moody gothic shots. Or perhaps a teenage grunge look (coming up in some of my next shots) should make this effect work its full magic.

Infact on closer inspection - those red tones really need to go ... yeeks. And I swear Im not wearing lippy, thats how its turned out.
Ive more pictures to upload today. Ive so much to share!

11 Jul 2006

Thank you a bazillion times!

My friend Julie came over last night to drop off payment for the photo's I took of Mike last week and came armed with goodies for both Ellie and I. I love presents but I only expect them at Crimbo and Birthdays so you can imagine I was delighted with these babies. Wrapped in a brown kraft bag and tied with a wooden primitive heart and handmade primitive tag I found a gingham tissue wrapped bundle tied with gingham ribbon. That alone was enough to make me happy. Inside was a pink tin heart, a book with yummy hearts on and a pack of patterend tissues. For people that do not know - I LOVE PRIMITIVE FINGS (and patterned tissues!). Anything with Gingham, angels, hearts, stars, tins, birdhouses - the lot. I was over the moon. Julie truly (lol at the rhyme!!) knows how to make a girl smile. Im indebted to her generosity.
Then came more gifts. I took some pictures of Suzannes family the other week and she had sent me along some beautiful clothes and shoes for Ellenor. Ellie is very hard to buy for because her frame is so small, so it's hard for her to look "trendy" as a 10 year old when you have to wear 6-7 year old clothing. We absolutely adore these shoes. Ellenor looked at them long and hard before she owuld try them on. As a kid who has to live in trainers and lightweight shoes - she takes footwear very seriously. But she loves them and left them by her bedside so that they would be the first thing she saw when she woke up (boo hoo, I want to be the first thing she see's!!). She also got sent some gorgous tops and I would supply pictures but Blogger is being mean to me on uploads. Suzanne sent shades of clothes I would have never picked but they truly are scrummy xx
Isnt this hoody the best thing ever and its Diesel!!!. My child will be a posh criminal in this baby! Im off to go and lose weight and hopefully try and squeeze into them.
Catch ya'll laterz xx

10 Jul 2006

Random weekend piccies

Aside from taking pictures of the nations children and families - here are some ones of us from the weekend. Mark is looking his gorgous self, I look a minger (naturally) and the pouty, moody windswept number below will have Yves St Laurent dashing for his jewel encrusted phone trying to grab me for the Paris fashion show in September. But, Im way to slim to be a model. Mwahahahahahahahahaha !
What else can I bore you with? Ahhhhhhh, yes - Ellenora (as I have decided to call her today) is going through a growth spurt and was not a well beany this morning. This meant I had to put the gym on hold until this evening and boy am I suffering with my knees grating. "Cod liver oil!" I hear you all exclaim. No way matey peeps. Im going to use WD-40 on my joints from now on. And whence I came back from the gym, my lovely freind Julie came to collect Mikes prints on disc. We went out for a meal and further to payment for the photography she also provided me with a scrummy bag of delights. I will furnish you with a picture of this bags' content in the morning. Im just admiring the wunnerful things now. She kindly bought Ellenora a bag of scrummy girly things and best of all there was a bar of "Dove" soap in there. Julie and I think that it would be jollly fabulous to bring out a "Dove" flavoured candle. Who is in agreeance?
Im off to bed, im flamin knackered - if I must be so bold, brash and brazen about it xx

9 Jul 2006

Cutie Patooties

Meet Heather and Andrew - Elins kiddies, all the way from Scotland. I just could of swooped them up in my arms and carried them to my attic with all the other cute kiddies I have locked up in there. Oooooh! I just wanted to eat them. Andrew was not posing for me at all, we had to really bribe him and ended up having to play daft ringtones from his mobile phone to make him laugh. It was a bit blustery outside in my garden today hence hair flick shots but I think it adds to his character and I managed to get some good shots of im. He is such a good looking boy.
But wee Heather? Well, she was just a darling but did let me know when a certain pose or two was making her neck ache. I did one shot where I said "pretend to be sad" and she practically burst into tears! Plus it was her 4th Birthday today so she was on tip top form.

Asides from a fun photo shoot we went Boots shopping. Not Boots as in your "feet" but you know, the chemist. i don't know what it is about Boots but I love the big stores. I am fascinated with grooming products, make up, camera equipment, clothes for kids, remedies, perfumes - the lot! We went in for some clippers for marks hair and ended up spending another £72 on stuff I really didnt need but will come in handy anyway. I got home and though "£72?". I could have got a new tote for that or perhaps a gazillion new papers or some chipboard or some alpha stamps.

Still, Ill be clean and smelling fresh for the next few weeks. Talking of which has anyone had a sniff of Lacoste "femme" perfume. Oh lawks - its gorgous. That and Dior's Accent. Yummyliscious. Well my Belle and I wear perfume everyday. She goes to school smelling like Debenhams. The wee thing also insists on having just Dove products. deodorant, bubble bath, shampoo and soap. She even has bars of soap in her knicky knacky drawer.

I think the Boots thing maybe inherited, don't you?

8 Jul 2006

Speshal Dare #10

This is my layout for speshal dare #10. The title was "If it wasn't for...." and Ive finished it off with my interpretation. Ive been dying to scrap Ellie's scan for many moons and that teamed with my fake-o birth card (7 Gypsies), Wild Asparagus Papers and some new sizzix flower shapes made me happy. Oh and of course, the token HS flower features on there too (Heidi, please bring out some black flowers. I neeeeeeeeeeeeeed them).
Ive got a photoshoot in the morning and its pee-ing it down with rain, so Im sat here praying to the heavens for it to hold off so I can get some scrummy shots of Elin and her family.
Who knows what the proper rain dance technique is? Answers on a Tim Holtz ink or a piece of your prized pattreend paper to the usual address (or just reply to this post!).
catch ya later, weekend bloggers xx

7 Jul 2006

School Fete

Darn, i never took cam-ay-rouge (my name for the camera) but the school fete was fab. Ellie had a ball just buying crap - you know old toys, toiletries that people have had stashed in the airing cupboards since 1981 and even more crappo 2nd hand teddies that need a good rinse in the washing machine. kids love crap. Its their in-built "wind your mother up" mechanism. I had a stall there promoting my photography and lets say there is potential. It was nice watching people admiring my stuff especially as Im one of these mums who goes into school and out without chitter chatter and gossip. People assume Im just as regular as the rest of them and I totally am. Its just that I like taking pictures too!
Ellie brought home her school report too. We are just as proud as we were last year. Ellie is the bottom in everything!!! And guess what - we don't care!! We love the fact that for every subject they marked her on, the quote stating that "she always tries her best" is good enough for us. I aint going to be a mum who gushes over her triumphs and tribulations cos basically it will never happen. But that does not stop us discouraging her neither. I will not mould me child into my ideals. Ellie will be Ellie and she will live such a wonderful life because she has air in her lungs, sight in her eyes and a wonderful heart that pumps fun, love and happiness into our daily lives xx

6 Jul 2006

just one of those days....

where some things are planned but unplanned things happen too and even better - belly laughs to boot. I went to the gym as usual this morning with Sazzle and the plan was to go to Costco to get prints developed. But in my haste I ended up driving to Wigan to my lock up to get something for her shop and when I opened the lock up and guess what? Everything I needed was at the back. So we had to oyk everything out in like 100 degrees centigrade, grab the grid wall and put everything back. It was way better than a work out but I tell you what, all that hard work was nothing compared to stupid girly laughing. I was so pathetic. I couldn't lift a thing and in my weakness all I could do was laugh ... but not ha ha ha. I mean heee heee heeee. Like mutley from Catch the Pigeon. It was that hot that no sound came from my lungs other than a weezing cackle and the vessels in my neck were so stressed, I thought I was going to bust them.
Eventually we ended up in Costco to get some promo prints developed. I had massive 12x8 prints done of my latest shoots and I wanted to cry! Im used to seeing these shots on a flat screen but on printed photopaper .. in largeness .. sheeeesh, it was exhilerating.
The moral of the story? For every 20 bad days it only takes one good one to completely forget that you were ever in a crap mood.
Oh and random picture of a snail is because.... (you have to finish the sentence)

5 Jul 2006

hot hot hot

It's so darn hot. Hot I can deal with on holiday but hot I cannot in the UK. Its so muggy and although we have had the most hideous thunder tonight .. guess what? It's still hot. My fingers have gone chubby, Im sat here almost butt naked (ok, TMI!) and I have a fan on which is blowing hot air. Ive just put the finishing touches to my speshal dare and as soon as the glue dries, Im out of here and into a hot bed.

Something fun better happen in the morrow. Today has been just horrible (and hot). Can somebody make it happen - like...... erm Something fun. Nothing heavy, something pleasant .... A bit of rain might be good.
Plus Im sick to death of frowning - have you ever had that? Your head starts to ache, your eyes squidge to the furrows of your brows and you look like you have been slapped with a wet kipper. I think some of you will agree thats my everyday look but the more I feel like this - I will turn into a cod, let alone a kipper. Mwahahahahahahahhahaha

My camera never stops

It's so true! This time the photography mission was aimed at my Belle and my niece and nephew in aid of lighting up the dark days of their Great Nan. Nanna Bet has ...get this...Tuberculosis (and not Pneumonia after all). What is that all about? One had thought it had been eradicated in the 60's but no. Thanks to illegal immigrants the disease is back and preying on the elderly. So off we went to my local park to take pics of the kids in this blistering heat (and that was at 1900hrs!). Daniel was loving it and asking me if I preferred "this pose" or "shall I climb this tree, auntie Kirsty?". I loved his keen eye for composition - the kid is a natural.
Even Belle was up for climbing little trees..... bonkers or what? The kids really wanted to delight their great nan and were so good for me but I think the main attraction was, of course, the park. Im absolutely overjoyed that both photo sessions this week have been good fun plus it was so good to get out of the house - its stifling with the heat and there is not a drop of breezy breeziness.
As well as a good night shooting, it was Belle's sports afternoon today. She didn't compete as this year all the heats were running races - egg and spoon, backwards race, hopping, skipping etc. There was no way I was letting Ellie be humiliated and although the teachers knew that they had to include her I bit the bullet and asked for her to be involved somehow (my heart was breaking inside) So they gave her the first aid job with Mrs Atherton and Ellie truly thought she was a nurse. She attended to 8 injuries but still swears that she will be a massuese when she is older. She so delicately puts that nurses are are Doctors slaves!
I hope you give your mother freebie indian head massages Ellie or else!

3 Jul 2006

Shooting Mike

Isnt he one moody little cutie dude? This is my lovely friend's son - Mike (*waves to Julie*). What's great about Mike, Julie and I is that we like rock music and I knew as soon as I discovered that ntoion that he wanted the moody "album cover" look to compliment this. So we shot like billy-o and he was my first moody boy shoot and Im over the moon. Julie, his mum, told me prior to the booking that he was up for posing and I was worried that I'd have a guy checking out his every look in mirrors and windows. But no - he was so darn cool and although we got lots of moody shots he also has a terrific smile. Im so pleased with myself, I really do have to keep pinching my arms. Surreal day, all in all. I had such a great time that I spent lunch with them and found that Mike actually is in a band. So I can see myself as their roady photographer in future. Don't forget the little people when you are raking in your platinum album sales, ok?

Also - Im so excited about this - Im awaiting the approval of a piece of music to use on my photography site. Having this piece of music will fill me with so much happiness and in turn, send shivers down your spines too. I love music. It conveys as much emotion combined with photography as it does through sound alone. Initially I was plumming for "For once in my life" by Steve Wonder until I re-discovered a piece of music from one of my all time favvo films. Im not going to tempt fete by telling you just incase I dont get permission.
Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me, will ya?
btw - Julie and Mike... click on the pictures to make them bigger! I chose two of my fave shots for you to sneak a peek before I convert the rest before Friday xx

2 Jul 2006

Tears of joy, tears of sadness

Ive cried buckets this weekend. Lots of reasons, some of them too personal to share but let me share this one terrific joy! Ellenor sat for me! She really did - look at these pictures. Her photophobia will probably be with her for life but she was brave yesterday plus she wanted to show off her hair. I, personally love her rose bud lips the most and let me tell you - they are so kissy wissy!
Out of ... wait for it....... over 200 shots, these are the best. This is such good news. I love digi cameras. Hell knows what I would have done if we had only 35mm. All I know is that we would have reels of film with Ellie blinking or squinting. Long live the digi camera. And hey - Nikon. I really would like a D200. I have a brand new sigma 24mm 1.8 lens ready to fit to you.
So, the tears if sadness? Well it doesn't take a blind man on a galloping horse to work that baby out. England bowed out of the World cup on penalties. I personally think they played a bloody marvellous game (defensively, anyway) even though were down to 10 men cos bad boy Rooney got sent off. There is a masso debate as to whether he was provoked and perhaps he was but one fact remains. He is one hell of a diva on a hissy fit. Its like watching Gazza all over again. Curb your temper Rooney or take up Rugby or boxing.
Mark wasn't home this weekend so Belle and I watched it together. I kept ringing my mum who said she couldnt watch. We both felt sick but I had to peep through my fingers becuase had we of won, I wanted to be able to tell my grandchildren the minute by minute blow of the game. I was supposed to be going to round to Sarahs at 5pm but had to stay and watch extra time and the shoot out and I used my trusty camera to record the event in the hope of a win. Bella and I savoured the moments and here a just a few out of the 60 shots I took. I refused to take any pics of the cheating portuguese bullies so its just my boys and us: **Damn - blogger won't let me upload any more pictures. Perhaps the system is Portuguese based and is offended by my hateful remarks**. I think I'll upload them tomorrow. Night y'all.