Ladies Camera Club

31 Oct 2006

3rd Post - Halloween Happenings

Ellie got totally dressed up tonight - this kid suprises more each day and the more she suprises me the more my heart grows and fills with fluttery buttery mush. I **heart** this kid so much. This is her looking gruesome and almost dead - thanks to the black lippy and eyeshadow. I would say "mind the artex on my walls" but to be honest I couldnt care less, it gets stripped next year and it added to the horror of this wonderful picture of belle with her EYES OPEN!!
We decorated the porch with spiders, skeletons and bats complete with this pumpkin, which I pumpkin lifted from a girl on Two Peas. Thansk to the pea (I have no idea of her pea-name) I was able to delight Belle upon her return home from school. She couldnt wait to get into those green and black tights. Ok, the wig was a bit of a faff but she took one look in the mirror and freaked herself out. She managed 5 houses before her legs caved in and I carried her home for a rest and a good root around her loot bag. To her luck and suprise she had mainly Maltesers (her fave) plus a handful of erm, tic tacs (tight sods), jellies, toffees and even £3. thats just from 5 houses. Is it me or has Halloween suddenly gone all commercial?!!! lol.
We waited for visitors to our door and as there are only 9 houses on our cul-de-sac and us being the youngest family (the rest all retired) we don't get many kids about All in all we had 4 knocks at the door and ellie wowed them with her scarey spider that she made out of a bog roll and embroidery floss. Mwahahahahahahahahaha. We had scarey hamble sambles for tea between us and then a well earned bath to scrape the black eyeshadow off. We are witch free for another year but suitably tooth decayed until then!
Im sat here catching up on CJ's, 2 dares this week (cos we got something fabbo lined up this Friday) and a mag article for Practical Publishing. There are so many emails in my inbox right now and would like to point out that I am ploughing through them (and thats only from Sunday - who are you emailers?!!!). I will reply to them all, truly I will.
And finally for today I took pictures of the 6x6 pages so far - have you ever seen such an array of colour? This cause, for Joanne Ward, will delight her during the difficult days she has left with us and I cannot thank you enough. Anita, her delish sister will no doubt be just as gobsmacked as I am at your generosity.

**This Friday**

For a few weeks now there has been some plotting and planning. T in NZ and S in Oz plus some other effing group ( ;) ) have something quite exhilarating to share with the Speshals. So united is this feat, I bet Koffi Anan would take us on to tackle world peace through art alone. Becuase, lets face it, nothing is being done though manifests anyway, hey?
Bookmark the Dares page for Friday at 11pm - ish

marvellous mini monlogues - part deux

OMG - this is so funny you know. Not only was the last video played 743 times but I had a lovely woman come up to me at the weeeknd and said that I sounded so posh on that vid compared to my real life voice. As a yorkshire lassy, posh is one thing I am not! We all have a telephone voice, a broadcasting voice and a "having a laugh with the girls" voice. I seriously do not talk like this all the time. And I don't take it all too seriously ... come on, how can anyone take my acting skills that far? Mwahahahahahaha
Anyway this Vid is about making fimo buttons for cards and scraps. I made this at the retreat this weekend but we didn't make them this fast of course! So cute they are, even you could varnish them and customise some clothes. This really only takes seconds to create but the big bore is baking the little sods afterwards. Still, I hope it makes you grab that fimo you bought in 1993 and gets you thinking. You could make fake brads, use mini cooki cutters or cake icing cutters too to make some real fancy embellies for your art work. Have you seen the fimo push moulds too? They are GREAT. (You would actually think Id been sponsored by Fimo but sadly Im not. But if you are watching, Mr Fimo Pants, I'd like some black clay please ;)

30 Oct 2006

Dare 'sup

Yes they were, on Friday, even though I was away. This week was "love is" and of course as I tend to use the speshals as my BOM I completed it with "Autumn". I do rather love this season more than the rest. Its so colourful and the air is crisp. Its nice weather to wear a funky scarf without it making you sweat like a filthy pig (why do we sweat more on a freezing day in winter?) Love, love, love it.

Today, my friends, I have to show you another picture of Gordon. You know, the shy one from yesterdays blog entry. Oh he has me well captivated right now but this is the other pic out of around 20 that I particularly love. Im lucky to get to meet this chappy again when I come to tour Scotland next April. Im taking a week out to travel to a booking in both Glasgow and Stranraer and would like to let you know that Im willing to travel from Wigan to Carlisle/Glasgow/Stranraer and the places between there and Edingburgh. I could push going to Aberdeen too. As you know I much prefer outdoor photography so your local parks, hills and grassy fields would be ideal and the lighting in April is fabulous for me too. So please make use of me when Im there for sessions.

We have just got back from Asda (in our car ;)) where Ellie and I have been out to buy a pumpkin. Now Mark normally scoops out the goop for us so if I don't blog tomorrow night, you will know that I have sliced all of my fingers off whilst carving these little toughies. She is so looking forward to it. Belle doesn't care for dressing up (pooey!!) but a long black coat, a witches hat and cauldron is all she can just about manage. I have bought a ton of cavity inducing sweeties and a spooky torch in readiness for the whole town to invade our street. I was reminiscing halloween with some of the Scottish gals at the retreat this weekend and regaled the times when halloween was just a small event where you were lucky to get one sweety let alone a bag full. I used to scoff and go crazy if anyone put an apple in my bag - I mean come on, lighten up. I want to physically be sick of eating sweeties as opposed to losing weight and being healthy. And I used to scorn at my mother who used to think it was delighfully traditional to put an apple and orange in my christmas stocking too. Im by no means ungrateful but jeeeeeez, where are the toys already? Next to that lump of coal and a few freaking chestnuts? OOOoooooooh, those were t'days, I tell thee. Kids don't know they are born these days. Mwahahahahahaha.
Still, I get to raid her goody bag tomorrow night and discard burnt pumpin skins in the bin for another 365 days. Then comes Christmas. **insert smiley with gun pointing to its head**

Oh and tomorrow sees another marvellous mini monologue. Prepare to die laughing at my crappo broadcasting voice. I can see me getting hate mail from Dawn Bibby. My answer to that would be "get in line, there is a queue forming here!"

29 Oct 2006


oooh thats how I feel. Like Ive been pulled from both ends of my body. Or is it burning candles at both ends? I don't know but what I do know is that I had a GREAT weekend. Lockerbie Manor is tucked away behind an array of autumnal trees and in it, this weekend, was the Luxurious Angels retreat. The moment I was welcomed to the moment I left I knew I was in great company from the girls attending, to the hosts, teachers and to the staff themselves. I loved it immensely and for the late night scrappers - well, you certainly know how to make a girl choke with laughter (Im talking about you, June!!!) The classes were good fun and everyone was willing to try something new and at a pace they could bare (and for me its normally fast but efficient fast, if you know what I mean). There were games, make and takes and fund raising for Muscular Dystrophy (£421.35 to be precise and I wept with a little sadness about how wonderfully generous some people can be - Thank you ladies xx)
The setting couldn't of gotten anymore cosier and I love old places like this and with some original fixtures and fittings, it was so nice to be surrounded by impressive dining areas and a residents lounge with panelled adam green walls. The chandeliers were terribly nice to overlook, too. I don't know what it is that makes me look closer at the more detailed apsects of a place but I can't wait to go back in march to discover other hidden corners of this lovely setting. I got that snap-happy that I must have looked like a right snooper. Even at lunch I had to take a swipe of this lonesome gerbera hanging in a mullioned window setting. Lord help me!
There was never a dull moment and lots of opportunity for me to catch up on some scrapping. I bought the new Dasher line from Angela's shop which is fabulous. I purposely chose it over Fruitcake as I like the flexibility to scrap non christmas layouts with christmas coloured papers that don't feature christmas thingies. Dasher is perfection for this and so far I have managed 4 layouts and a card and still a ton of paper left over. LOVE BG, I do. I can see lots of things being made with this over the next few weeks.
I got home after a hideous amount of stop/starting on the motorway to be greeted by my belle and her newest pets, two hermit crabs. They are so dinky that its impossible to "have words" with Mark over them. She has named them Shelley and Spike. They really are funny wee things and I'll grab pictures of them tomorrow. But the best thing about coming home tonight was this wonderful hug that she gave me and she kept saying she loved me. It stung a little bit because I felt so lonely coming down the motorway tonight so having that sealed with a hug from the most adorable creature is like having a bath in melted chocolate (heaven, in other words).
And finally, I leave you with a picture of Gordon (Angelas little boy). I don't know what it is but I seem to make the guys go shy. Little Jakey does (thats debbies son) and this little fella was awful shy. But he captured my heart as I fell into those amazing eyes and even though I had to bribe him with my prized treacle toffee and a mini pod of jaffa cakes - don't you think this picture was worth it? (ok - Im still stressing about the jaffa cake trade off but I know somehow I will get over this trauma).
see you soon xx

26 Oct 2006

"You take the low road and I'll take the high road...

and I'll be in Scotland before ya. For you and my true love shall never meet again on the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond". Well Lockerbie Manor but its all the same - rolling hills, unspoilt countryside and scrapping. Yeeeeeeeeeee - ha!
This is a snippet of what Im doing. Can't really show you it all cos it will spoil it for the girlies but I have enjoyed doing these so much. I must admit - one of the sets of papers I kind of "irked" at purely because they are colours that I never use but it's so good to test yourself isnt it? So I gets to do the Trash book again, the minilope book that I seem to teach the world (!!), a layout using 3 patterend papers and one sheet of bazzill and a lift of one of my old layouts which is one of my favvo's. Plus some fimo modelling thingy-ma-bobs. I'll share the full pics after the weekend. One is hoping leaves are scattered amongst the grounds for some serious autumn shots else Im straight in the pub, shouting "Rack em up barman, Im in for the duration".
Anyway, Im packed, stacked and intact for the 2.5 hour journey with CD's of Abba, Robbie Williams and the Manics (oh yeah baby). Gonna get busted for speeding during Abba's Waterloo and The Manics' Design for Life. But I dont worry, I have fake plates spelling "Scrap Driver" - Mwahahahahahahaha. Also here is a sneak of my Dare - ssshhhhh, don't tell.


Really - its been one of those days with NTR.
Well actually its a bit of a fib. I have finished off tonnes of odds and ends in the house, tidied the crap off the kitchen table, cleared the studio of unecessary boxes - why am I telling you this? I then had layouts to primp and preen for this weekends retreat plus make a fimo thingy and a keyring thingy (which doubles as an afternoon dare with some of the gals down the pad). I did more odds and ends, surfed a bit, re-arranged appointments, had a cry (whats new there?), chatted with Ellie-pie, Mum, Annie, Sarah (its great to chat after such a long stint away and the good news is "She is Preggo" and I am the special auntie who makes random visist for baby squidges - even at 3am), Mark and Neets. Had a fish supper all on my lonesome, 2 cups of tea, 1 galaxy bar and a partridge in a pear tree. Ta-daaaaaaaaa!
Im away first thing in the morgen spitz-borgen up to Lockerbie Manor where I shall attend the Luxurious Angel retreat in my ball gown and tiara (4 poster beds you know - now they could do with a bit of altering , right?) Ill be offline for 3 days whilst I pretend to teach but secretly sip vodka under the lectern and have midnight feast in my shocking pink pidgies.

So, NTR right?

25 Oct 2006

Ok - the Nikon D200 rocks the socks of the Canon 30D

It sure does. And you can't blame the photographer neither cos I know the diff between a good pic and a bad pic. And this is a GOOD pic. This is Lauren. Who came round today to make a fan for her school project. She came to use all my wares at 1pm and was supposed to stay for a couple of hours. But oh no!!! Some 9 hours later I finally drag her home with a fan, a minilope book and this photo from a set of many taken in the studio. You know - that studio I can't stand but completely LOVE right now. Thats thanks to my Nikon - I love her and she will be adored forever more. The colour shot of Lauren is just fabulous compared to all my other photo studio shots. I mean, I have struggled with them and spent ages achieving the right light at a very time consuming expense but this Nikon was built for every occasion and Im sat here all twitchy from the excitement. Here are the pictures of Lauren working in the project and the finished product too.
Other news today. I got a very disturbing phonecall from my belle at lunchtime who was heart sluffened. In sobbed breaths she cried to me "Mum, I" sob "have" sob "just been" sob "stung by" sob sob "a wasp" sob "I hate" sob "god for making" sob sob sob wail cry sob "nasty bugs that sting" sob "why did he make them" bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah. Well I broke down in tears too . From a child who has never been smacked or punched by bullies or had any physical infliction from anyone and who suffers her own pain from aching muscles - this kid sure doesnt know what its like to have something like this happen to her. Poor wee thing. She did, however gain from the experience by the form of a gameboy game being bought to cushion the blow and all is well, I am happy to report, from a calming call from my mother this evening.
Until tomorrow my sweet friends, hug your littlies tight and pray a big bad wasp doesn't darken Ellie's doorstop ever again! xx

Fiona Fuji S2 Pro meets new sister, Natasha Nikon D200

Wrapped in pink sheets of loveliness, my new bundle arrived today, in time for another shoot this afternoon with the infamous Lauren (Glens sister). The clouds are overhead but never you mind because overcast days in Autumn are PERFECT for photos. You can pretty much keep your shutter speed and apperture the same all through the session, so its click click click. With it came a rather swish 85mm, 1.8 lens which is perfect for portraits that won't mean my camera poking right into my subjects face. It allows a comfortable distance for your subject to roam in their own space which in turn allows them not feel threatened by a wizz and a whir of a lens. Or suffer my hallitosis.
Oooooooooh I can't believe I own one of these and mark says i can get to keep Fiona Fuji too which also means that at shoots, I dont have to interchange the lenses. Hurrah. Im sat here in dreamy photography land, thinking scenery, thinking poses, thinking - erm, how I have to pay mark for the Nikon in instalments. Poo!! always a dream breaker huh?

Neets sent me over a couple of the shots she took of me yesterday, including this one (me, embracing my fave time of year) - she is such a wizz that gal. Grab your girlfreinds and go for a shoot today - you will have such a giggle. Don't worry of there is n o sun, just find a patch of leaves, get the kids to run through them, throw them in the air and make leaf angels.

And don't forget, I wanna see your results xxx

24 Oct 2006

More snappy snaps

Who on earth deserves more pampering than Anita? Who got lucky and played with cameras this afternoon as we laughed and laughed - and I mean to the point of hernia, bursting guts and exploding blood vessels? ME!
Anita and me siting in a tree........... taking pic ka kick kack eeeeee's. Well we were not sat in trees, we were sat under them, stealing their fallen leaves (next to hideous festering and furry dog drops - bluergh. whoops, Im spoiling the scene right?). We were Elsie, we were catwalk queens and we were just pratting but secretly getting some good shots for BOM's, profiles and magazine work. I seriously had too much fun that my mouth went dry and the sun went down so there were no more opportunities left.
Anita needed a break today before going to see her beloved Jo at the nearby hospice (have you seen the pics Neets took of Jo's kids yesterday? Go and look at her blog) Neets plans to decorate Jo's room up with vivacious snaps of her family and hopefully some that I took will adorn those walls too. In addition, your art work for the 6x6 book that Im collating will also give this brave woman something to feel GREAT about. How therapeutic is colour and happiness? Its better than boxes of chocs and flowers that only wilt away. Anway, I got the first 6x6 today - hand delivered by Sharon and I just filled up. Its a beautiful page full of inspiring quotes about not forging your thoughts on the past but seeing how those events could be turned into lessons. I LOVE IT. And I love you for taking part and I love Neets for giving me the best afternoon in ages xx
As Im not one to miss an opportunity with the guys, I took this picture of Harry (sharons little boy) when she came to drop off the artwork. I am in love - we get married when he is 18. He pretended that he didn't like me but thats ok - he is too young to appreciate a good deal when he is offered one. You don't really want to know what he was up to when this picture was taken. Only Sharon and I know and it will be a life long secret until our wedding day - and then I get to show him up in front of all his buddies ;).
Oooh and I have just had this from Neets - didnt she do well?

Aaaah well, til tomorrow my friends.

Blonde Moments get a website - FINALLY!!

go and have a good darn look: HERE

21 Oct 2006

Dare Sup

They are - well they were last night. I think they are a fine array of art this week, based on the title "Friends would/would not". You must go see them and join in when you can. We all lead very busy lives (I should know!!) but if you could just be inspired by one little detail or the title itself, then go and give yourself an hours scrapping time on us xx
I took hunnerds of photos today but did not bring my camera lead so I can't share them. I have got the most tender photos of Ellie and Glen just hanging out, playing cards, watching fireworks and other random shots of total kiddyness. Glen rather fancied his chances of taking pictures of me and i'd love to share those too but the left side of my face is swollen beyond belief - so lets not go there!
Tomorrow sees us kicking up leaves at the zoo and sprawling amongst natures golden carpet to make "Leaf angels", throw conkers at grumpy old men and all sorts of other tomfoolery with the kids.
I'll upload my wares when I get back home - until then my dear freinds - pray for my infected gums to die down. I am actually sueing the dental hospital for precisely 4.2 million pounds for using what seems to be dirty instruments. Hands up wants a share?

20 Oct 2006

you have to wait and see

I know Im such a tease but Im sort of now thinking that its all going to be a mountain of a mole hill at this rate. BUT you know, I am so very fortunate to do the things I do and some things are more exciteable to me than your average joe. It is more luck than management with the opportunities I receive and whilst I am at it I have to just show you the work I did for Scrap Club. I was asked to be a guest DT by my adorable freind, Anita. Who would refuse such a lucky blow using their creatively collated kits? Ive seen the stuff Anita gets to work with every month (so jealous am I) and when I saw my pizza box arrive from the Netherlands - I ripped it open to a light of lushness. So here is what I made:

I am such a lucky lady. Even more luckier because I am at my mums with ellie and her boyf, Glenn. We are going autumn "shooting" tommorrow (if the leaves are not all on the ground, im going to be pulling them all off their branches) and treating the kids to a knicekrbockerglory. I LOVE being at my mums - she treats me to squishes and lovely yummos all the while. I still need a bit of TLC as my jaw is in agony (or perhaps Im just enjoying the pampering too much and Im imagining it?).
Adios my freinds xx

Something is happening

and you are going to freak.

19 Oct 2006

Erm, all is well?

Ok ok ok - you know Im a big dentist wuss right? So I gets there and have the line fed in my hand which wrecked (will photo the bruise to show you, cos I like to share). The sedation and treatment was scheduled to last half an hour. In goes the stuff that makes you wobbly sleep and I did sleep - well awake sleep but unaware what is going on. BUT!! horror almighty. They saved the extraction til last and it woudnt come out and the sedation wobbly stuff was wearing thin! I completely woke up with the dentist tugging and crunching and losing his grip and three breaks to the tooth. My mouth is quite small and its ripped either side as he tried to bludgeon me to death with a pre-molar forcep (I know its called this cause he was having to change forcep sizes because I WAS AWAKE - HELLO? and I heard everything OMG. Im certain I also heard him say "check her bag, cos when she is dead we will make a run for it" but they cant get far on £3.48 so that put paid to that) But I have to say that the assistant held my hand so carefully as I squirmed in my seat feeling and hearing absolutely everything. To say I was cross with the dentist when I "came around" was an understatement. As I am quite calm and avoid controversy, I generally offer my disdain by facial expressions. ie DIRTY LOOKS. But could I pull one? No - cos my face was wobbly as jelly with no muscle control. I couldn't, at least, offer a smile to the sweet assistant (or assailant should this case go to trial - afterall she was aiding in the failed murderous atack).
I came away with no whole tooth (its now in 5 pieces in the river Mersey) and an aching jaw where he had tried not only to extract my tooth but alter my bone structure to scaffolding. But as I was moaning and groaning during my "wakey" bits Im also certain he punched me in the jaw becuase that is now what it feels like. So we left and went to pick ellie up from school and my face was that swollen that Ellie freaked out which made me laugh but only one side of my face was working so I looked even more gruesome. The drama huh?
Anyway - scrapped 3 pages and made 1 card and a paper project for a guest DT based outside of this fabulous countries borders. Ill offer a sneak peak in the morning.

18 Oct 2006

Momma Bear Squiffs **edited**

Hurrah! My momma bear has come to pay a visit. I somehow feel I tricked her into coming but now that she is in my grasp I shall make good squidges of her. As you know, my 5 foot nothing momma has come to calm my nerves before tomorrows extraction, two refill fillings and a scale and polish at the dental hozzy. Im that cack scared that I have broken out in spots and am sick with worry. I know I keep saying this but Id rather have 12 hours labour than this 35 minute operation under sedation. Thats not even fully asleep - thats kind of awake but not knowing what the hell is happening **runs to the loo to chuck up**. Urgh, Im so pathetic. The only amazing grace on the whole event is that when they pull that tooth out, my one structure will be a tad skinnier! Its what they did in the 40's you know - these ultra vain women (and lets face it, I cant be classed as vein with the freckles I have to live with!). They used to have teeth pulled just so that their bone structure in their cheeks were slender. That and corsets to make an 18 inch waist. Good lord, give me cake and a mouth full of teeth anyday!
I have betrothed my stash to Battersea Dogs home should I not make it through my "be awake and see the blood spurting everywhere" sedation. I can just imagine a poor Pekinese trying to set an eyelet - mwahahahahahahahahahaha
**Edited to add: Whoever guesses how many lumps I hurled in my spew tonight, gets a sample of it in a kleenex tissue and a little bg of delights.
And Cal, I need you address hun!

OK - I take this as a sign

You know how much I harped on about the D200 in the past? The Nikon D200. And shockingly I bypassed its gloriousness in favour of Canon-dom? Well, the 5D has a delay from the place where I buy my stuff from and now im toying with going back to Nikon (oooh the shame of even considering Canon, this is now dragging at my guilt strings). I mean I have the goods to fit between the fuji and the nikon - what the frikkin hell was I thinking? I actually think my stroke of wisdom last night has made me come to my senses at last and thinking about it in full, will save me a whopping grand on the bill. Of course, any DSLR is an investment and the D200 is the high end of DSLR entry. But then again - the 5D is rather swish? Decisions, my freinds are so hard for me these days as I cannot completely deal with making the wrong choice (unless its within a 7 days consumer rights thingy-ma-bob.... help me with the word I should place here!)
Well I did a bit of reading up last night and it seems that ok, a high end DSLR body maybe rather handsome but when it comes down to it, its the lenses that make your pictures work. So I have read a review from a completely superb photographer and he says that the difference between the quality of a D70 and a D200 is kind of based upon the lenses. And really, he is right. I saw two photos taken by the same lens on both the Nikons and apart from a slight and I mean SLIGHT magnification - they are both splendiferous. He of course now uses the D200 becuase of the body being made more of metal than plastic and that status as a photographer is key (I disagree, look at the Fuji..... I had some Americans in California thinking it was antique! But then again, they also thought I was Australian, mwahahahahahaha).
So - I go on and on and on, huh? So get yourselves out of here cos Im done. Pretty much. Ive work to do on a very special guest DT, international this time. Ooooh get me, Ill be knocking on Lisa Bearnsons door soon (to buy her out, of course ;)).
And, in the immortal words of Paul Mckenna - SLEEP!

17 Oct 2006

An unexpected epiphany

Have you ever had one? Has a light suddenly pinged in your head? Has something come together all too brilliantly that you wonder how life could have possibly have functioned prior to that point? Clarity in your thoughts, my dears, is more fabulous than a priceless diamond trinket and nothing, from this point on, is as clear as "mud". No sir, uh-uh, no way. NO!
Have I completely gone off my proverbial rocker? You bet your shiney ass I have. Now where are those jaffa's, cos I have a personal celebration to carry out and hell, I might even bang on the bridesmaid tiara I wore to my sisters wedding. Lets hope it doesnt slip down my head and choke me ;)

Out with the poo poo, in with the unknown

OK - the 30D is hot winging its way back to crapdom. And in its place, you wonder? The one and only magnificent Canon 5D. This monster better make the tea as well as take great pictures becuase at almost 3 million quid, its gotta be able to impress. I hear from my freind Nats that the Canon 30D has been a pile of poo poo anyway (camera shake above 60 speed is not a good sign - the clunk the shutter speed made on mine could cause an avalanch let alone blurring). That information came a little late for me, mwahahahahahhaha. So now I can add to its rubbishness and hope the secret service don't kidnap me for defaming Canons rep'tation. I think I would have got the Nikon D2x had I not bought so many new canon lenses (which are in perfect order, mind). With lots of shoots coming and going, this investment is purely to aid me taking better pics. We all need improvement, right?
So anyway, today. What a crap start I had. Im due to go to the dental hospital on Thursday for a much needed extraction and two fillings. I rang the sedation clinic to see if I could come on my own and they said no. I could come away from the hospital and faint/fall over/ never wake up on the train(take your pick). They said I had to bring a freind/family member. Well that was it. FLOODS of tears ensued. I dont have freinds locally, MIL is away and my parents live across the country. I stood there, on the phone, in buckets of tears. I am billy no mates - it took that phone call to confirm it!! As all my freinds live dotted around the country and with it being short notice and midweek - fat chance baby! Anyway, long story short... my sweet 5 foot nothing sized momma bear is coming to my rescue, which is a godsend cause Kirsty needs mummy hugs.
This emotional rollercoaster called life has just got to stop. I want to get on the merry go round next - and stay on there!
PS: Pictures are a continuation of this weekends festivities - family, freinds and belle - not wanting to join in and would much rather play on her game boy. The little minxvilles.

16 Oct 2006

I hate it - my 30D is poo poo *edited*

it is - I just hate it. Its not as good a quality as the Fuji S2. Surely I must be doing something wrong. I mean, its a Canon for crying out loud, its meant to be the mutts nuts. I took my new "baby" to a photo shoot in Darlington at the weekend and snapped about 10 pictures before I decided I really hated it.
Fortch for me, I brought my trusty standby Fuji and took some of these of Caitlin and family at the shoot. I have a whole bunch like these plus many other family pictures that came out so beautifully. I got meet Emma and her husband's family who welcomed me with a really delicious cup of tea. I had to ask what it was and they replied it was Earl Grey. Wooooo, get me drinking Earl Grey. I tried is years ago and thought it was rank - how my tastebuds have changed. Now a packet of Twinings has landed in my Monday shopping trolley and I am in Earl Grey heaven.
This weekend, I also got snaps of my family at my sisters little boy's (Harrison) christening. My cousin Emily and Marybeth are stunningly good looking as well as their mum, Janet (my wubbly auntie) and finally one of me, my sis , my bro and mum and dad. This is a very special photo as we are rarely all together at once but I cant uplaod it becuase my sister needs to give me permish to do so. Plus I have various pictures of the day to share with you. I love family get togethers, even if there are moments where things can go a bit wobbly in the middle. We all know what that is like, right?
I came home last night to watch Prime Suspect - how long have we bloody well waited for this? I was getting really into it when I got a call at about 10pm. Automatically I assume its bad news as we NEVER get calls so late. And it was bad news. Anita asked if I could collect her from the airport as she has had to come over earlier than expected to see Jo ward - who is very very poorly right now. I know some of you know her and if you do, could you jot a few messages down in my comments (below) and Ill print them out in a little thingy that I am making her. I have some messages from the girls on the "Pad" but more would make her feel extra spesh. Cos thats what she is. Spesh xx
So today? Im ringing the Canon boys to try an ascertain why I hate my camera and its going back in favour of a Nikon D200 if they don't make me fall in love it. :(
The firm where I bought it want me to send it back for testing but how do you explain you dont want it cos you think its crap? Are you allowed as a consumer to do that?
Cal - you know - CAL. You win the goodies babes. Your infectious humour has me dying in my pants with laughter. Truly!!
And also. I have a massive prize to give away soon. Who wants to win a free photoshoot (obv in Wigan cos knowing my luck you will win and you will live in Stornaway!!!) Am willing to drive half an hour out of Wigan, anything more than that - im sure we can come to an agreement. And I wont be bringing Bad Boy Canon Stink Pants

13 Oct 2006

Dares up

Have I not told you enough of how much I love the dares? They are up again and this week was "in one day". I did mine about Belle and continued with was a card hater then a cardmaker. You have access to all my stuff but you choose when YOU want to craft. My Belle hates crafting - can you believe it? I did get asked was that becuase I dont have time? I always have time for Belle - but she loves to sit on my knee from time to time and direct me, but woe betide her getting glue on her fingers. She is anal about stickies (dirty hands) so would much rather boss me about. But this card she made was for my MIL and she did a great job. **not that she was sticking the emebllies on the BACK of the card** I love it that most kids do that!
Im away shooting Emma today along with her family. Im trying out my fabbo Canon 20D but will take along my trusty Fuji, just incase I fall back in love with carrying round the breeze block of all cameras. I went out and bought a 70-300mm Sigma for the Canon today with a macro switch. I *heart* it. Have plans with that baby. we all have plans. Whats your plans?
Whilst I am away, I have a copy of the new Parties for Children Book to give away which I helped contribute artwork for and a copy of this months Scrapbook mag. I made a snippet of the front cover with a layout I did of this lady's little ladies. To win, please can you tell me a disgustingly funny joke and the one that makes me laugh out loud, hard, will get the maggos worth £12
Until Sunday night, my sweet bloggers - have a bloody fabulous weekend. Love love love.

Marvellous Mini Monologues

So i gets these questions on how I make stuff or do stuff so I thought Id start a little series of Marvellous Mini Monlogues. I was interviewed by Mandy Anderson the other weeks for the new web tv thingy coming soon. I was Mandys virgin run, the first run was great, the second run I cocked up and it wasnt live - thank the lord. So I remember the VT of Ellie the other week and ran it through photobucket and it was so simple. So now i give a demo of some of the stuff I do be it photography or scrapping (but not cooking because what the hell can you make in a minute?) Tonight I show you how to get the most from chipboard. I know this is not like "new" to some of you but take a look at this lovely piece of chipboard. It breaks my heart to see it leave my embellishment box so to get the most from the shape, watch what I do with it to exact the effect without actually using the chipboard. I buy these embellies from my favvo shop - Box Room Booty - go and see her array of unusual 'bellies.
PS: Ok Ok Ok - I said marvellous mini marvels in the VT - I was kind of bricking it, I crap you not. So much fun and cheese between freinds, right? Tune in next week for more cheese on toast from the wiseman household

12 Oct 2006

New addition to our family

The Canon 30D is my new baby. Ive completely switched tracks from the Fuji/Nikon in favour of this little number which is a massive leap when you take into consideration that my Fuji S2 Pro body took only Nikon Lenses with a Nikon speed light. You will find my old camera doing the rounds on ebay including speedlight and polarisers and 2 magnificent lenses. Am I sad, though? A little. Don't get me wrong, the Fuji S2 is and will always be outrageously fabulous but it weighed an absolute tonne (especially with the battery grip attached). I made my mind up after coming home from gay Pareeeeeeee becuase my arms were killing me from the constant snapping of photos there. Because, in addition to teaching in Paris, I was also the official photographer and carrying that monster of a camera really was the final straw. So now I am a turncoat ...... heading for Canon-dom! Its so light and small and rather frikkin amazing. I bought a 50mm 1.8 lens, an 85mm 1.8 USM lens and a 28-90mm EF lens. All rather superb for what I need. I just need a 70-300mm and then Im set to erm, take photos? Mwahahahahahahahaha.
I could have chosen the Nikon D200 as an alternative and kept the Nikon lenses but after reading so much about Canon and its reviews always pipping the post, this investment should be my last in photography for a good few years. She says. My first Fuji was an A210, then the A510, then the cool lil number S5500. I still have my Fuji S7000 (I love it and it took the picture of the kids on the first page of my website - I cant knock it for portability). I then got the S2 Pro which I think I will always love plus I adore my Sigma/Nikon lenses. Oh I do go on, don't I? I will be taking shots today and post them here later. Im a little nervous to be honest. Infact Im bricking it.
Anyway, Scrap Trap seems to be runing in fine form and I got myself a whole bunch of volunteers ready for next October. These girls are even planning the partying now - cripes! I have a special announcement to make as soon as our extra guest has confirmed her prices and when that is made, I shall make way for online bookings. There is no need to choose classes - you get to do all 4 plus crop within a 9 hour schedule. I just can't sleep thinking about it. Id love for someone to make me a logo - cos Im pantaloons at doing them. Something funky foofala **waves to Maria**
And finally - did you see Donna D's blog? Our magnificent Bev Stephenson bagged a picture on there ..... Bev must be her biggest fan and Donna so was humbled by this that she gave Bev a massive shout out. Im so happy for her **waves to Bev**.

11 Oct 2006

Snapshots and layouts

Some hidden corners in Paris hold a wealth of culture and normalness blended with a splash of colour. I love this building and door way being framed by a fabulous sycamore tree. I want to go back and discover more of Paris, I truly do. I want to walk up the Champs de Lysee instead of passing it by on a crappo bus. I want to sit oustide a bistro again to slurp down crepes with chocko and ice cream. I want! Bwah - Mark, I know you are reading this. Take me there NOW. Via Florence and Barcelona. And perhaps a quick trip to Venice too. Sigh, I want to back pack the world.
I havent uploaded my speshal dares for two weeks now - what is wrong with me? These two are part of my favvo's and I have to say Im pretty obsessed with shades of green again. It comes in waves does this green malarkey so Im enjoying it whilst I can. The "flops" layout came together real quick but the "three" layout took me flippin ages - espesh when I knew I had to get it done to support the fact that Kelli Freakin Crowe had donated her time with us last week. And I had to go to Paree on Wednesday night. I love that picture of us 3. Ive used it a lot in some smaller class projects. Love love love it.
And now Im back to reality, I have almost clinched another fab US scrapper to come over to Scrap Trap next October. She is just meeting at Memory Trends today and my email proposal will spur her decision. The date could be 6th October and will be held here, in the Northwest. The venue holds 150 scrappers plus 5 shops, a large crop and shop room, 2x50 seater classes, lunch, refreshments and whatever exciting things I can find between now and our US scrapper saying "Oui". You gonna come? are ya? huh?
And then just for a more recent challenge I thought I might add this other wee baby. Im obsessed with hambly right now. Nothing is gonna look bad with it - their whole range screams "scrummo". Have you seen their transparencies? Sheesh. After seeing BG Blush today I think this group of babies might hit my number one fave spot (dare I cast aside my sweet chatterbox too?)

Until we meet again, bloggers. Scrap on.

10 Oct 2006

Mange tout Madame, mange tout

Things and emotions are really hard to convey in words on here, it really is. But I laughed so hard this weekend I now need a hernia op. I have been on a high for more than my usual 48 hours on a weekend retreat. This time my fun lasted 5 whole days. The travel, the teaching, the hanging out, the company, the eating and the absorbing of the whole french experience was just ....oooooh, I dunno - FAB! Uh-huh.
Travelling to Paris was just great. The english travel system really isnt to be sniffed at. And then you get to Paris - where everyone hates you. Taxis generally cost 40Euros to our hotel from the Eurostar terminal but couple the fact you are from Angleterre you can add an extra 180Euros on top. Needles to say we got the metro for 1.40Euros ........ with sweat dripping down to your butt cheeks, smelly garlic breath aroma and pits that havent seen a can of Sure deodorant since 1983 (and that was from the passengers and not me - thank you!). Lets just say the Metro is tropical. But at £1 a pop I aint gonna complain too much longer.
Friday was pencilled in for sightseeing with Jane (my companion for the weekend who makes me crease), Jane Dean, Gill Watson and Bev S. We caught a train to central Pareeeee to jump on one of those classy open top tourist numbers. Im glad we did, we saw Paris far quicker than had we gone on foot. Paris is not a one day event. Its a city worthy of a week and then some. I adored the Eiffel tower but I took shots of the beaitiful scenerey around it - so I caught this glimpse of the tower here whilst paying attention to this fab Heron. I loved paris - i truly did but the part I loved the most was Sacre Couer. I practically wept - it was so beautiful. The scenery and the atmosphere was magic and its thanks to my freind Jane that we eneded up there. We all had just a superb day discovering little ribbon shops and boutiques plus Jane Dean managed to fine "Le Scrapbook Inspirations" ... their french mag issue!!
We all parted company so I could get back to the Teachers meeting at Celines house (the host). How the heavens opened up its bowels and spewed its watery contents on our poor souls as we exited the metro. Jane and I were soaked to the bone and no taxi driver would take us back to the hotel. Other hotels turned us away as we asked for help and my heart felt so low. Finally the Ibis hotel managed to get us help plus a free call to england to get a girl to retrieve some emails and in turn get the number for Celine! At last - a french man took pity on us! Eventually we arrived at celines to a house full of total US celeb and french talent. I stood there, still wet, looking like a complete dawk with Jane ..... I think they must have thought we were right ragamuffins.
Jane and I were bricking ourselves knowing that Donna Downey and Rhonna Farrer were looking at us. Id graciously met Elsie and Emily the previous week but OMG... DD and RF? SHIT! But you know, really, they are just like you and I. they are human and they truly are such genuine people so I won't rub it in anymore. Lets say I was humbled if not rather freaking chuffed. The french teachers knew very little english but spoke well - much better than my school french (and even then I learned german!!)
The next day was the registration and stuff. Mania, hysteria and fun. My lessons went well despite a few language barriers on techincal information being lost in translation and I did actually think that some ladies were expecting to walk out of the lesson as professional photographers. The whole point of my lesson was to impart wisdom from the technicality of using a DSLR. Not knowing how to use compensations between all the functions means your overall effect of your proofs will not have that special depth of field or quality of light etc. My lesson tried to simplify that but in the end, my personal selection of potographs seems to do the trick. So composition won the day. And you know what, at the end of the day you can go and learn about your camera but the passion for overall results lays within your soul. You really must have a keen eye and I thinks thats key. So there endeth the lessson!
Lunching with many french and US tutors was a breath of fresh air. Sharing jokes and ideas or perhaps just sitting and listening was a wonderful opportunity to soak up the atmosphere. I enjoyed my first ever Creme Brulee and where better than in France to sample it. Jane said it would be my defining tena lady moment and it soooooo was. Even the red wine was kind of potent yet nice and I normally detest french red. So my cultural palette was in fine tune. When in Rome..... etc etc! I even tried this - Pomme de Terre or in Jane Deans words "Crap with maggots". She gave it to Donna D as gift (how tired am I in this picture with Donna?). Donna referred to it all through a lesson I took with her as "poop". As she was signing autographs for the french ladies I asked her if she gets strange signing requests. She has actually signed breasts before and I asked would she therefore sign my ass. to which she replied only if I ate her poop. Yeah right! That woman rocks!
I'll sign off for now but will announce the winner. Ellenor and I thought of a number before we left and it was "27" and I have trawled through all of the replies and it is Debbie. Can Debbie contact me as I have some kits and Donna's, Elsies and Emilys good luck wishes to send to you.
There are many, many things that happened but my best moments were with the Brit girls. We laughed so hard at the most silliest things. we saw some beautiful sights, learned to tolerate and compensate, how to get along despite the language barrier (often not but we learned) and I want to thank Jane Egan-Cresswell, Jane Dean, Gill, Bev, Hebe, Sam, Karen, Mary-Anne and why, even myself, for their company, humour, wit and sarcasm. Paris 2006 was amazing with mange tout and petit pois.

Au revoir.
Mange tout
Petit Pois
De Ja Vu
and sleep xx