Ladies Camera Club

30 Nov 2006

Greys Anatomy

In our house - this programme rules. I have never been so engrossed in anything in all of my life. Mcdreamy v Mcsteamy is a tough choice but given the chance id have... erm... both and equal snoggage to them both. No tongues though. TMI.
Projays de art.
In my language that means projects of art.
I have made so much today for this weekends classes. A spanking new trash book for the Bristol retreat, another exploding box (my 5 millionth one this year - love them) and 2 suprise projects for Tracies retreat, 1 lagging behind CJ, a mess, more mess, crumbs and the bed! Mwahahahahahhaha.
Thats on top of keeping up with bookings for the Creative Photography workshop in February. There are only 2 places left you know, so go and check out yesterdays blog entry to find out more. It's been such a suprise to see a large response that Natalie is going to run one down south (darn sarf is that gals?) which I will bob along to and assist her with. These taster courses will give you enough knowledge to take your settings from automatic to a systematic wowness. The apperture settings alone are the key with my subjects but unlocking the hidden internal extras will sure bring a crisp, sharp finish to your future shoots. You will become so dangerous afterwards that the kids will scream blue murder when you ask for "just one more". I get that alot. I get the hand up infront of the face as I slink away like a naughty, snooping member of the paparazzi.
Aaah well.
Im skimping off to bed - my cold has come back. Such a sod really as Im going to be away from home and I don't feel comfortable about wiping my nose at 3am on someone elses bed sheets. Don't you just hate that early morning runny nose and your tissue/hanky has mysteriously gone to tissue heaven leaving you to use either:
a. your nighty
b. the sheets
c. your hubbies pyjama trouser leg.
mwahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha (that was my most evil mwahahahahaha ever!). Please, please, please send your healing vibes and get well gifts in the form of Basic Grey's new Blush collection pack to my house here: No 1 Snot Lane, Bogeyville, Sniffledom.
**As this went to press I sold the last two places on the course - hurrah!** (little do they know that they actually signed up to be on my new show - Im a photographer, get me out of here. This is where we plant them in a ditch off the M42 and using their manual settings, they have to work out how to set the ISO, WB and shutter speed in a time span of 2 minutes before a runaway truck hurtles into them. Failure to complete the task will have them set in traction eating live cockroaches mixed with ground compact flash cards in an effort to be directed back to the ditch to learn fierce teaching techniques from natalie o'shea... remember Im the good guy)

29 Nov 2006

Creative Photography Day - 24th February 2007 **edited**

Get yer DSLR's and yer cute booty down to Northwich, Cheshire on 24th February for a few lessons on creative photography. Aimed at scrapbookers who want to take their "Automatic" button beyond the realms of repetitive strain injury we will show you how to achieve that depth of field we love so much and how to capture things in motion with motion blur/trail.
There are 40 places (actually 22 booked within a few hours of announcing on UKS) which means there are 18 places as I write. If you want to come - check this link here. You can pay by instalments of £20 now, £20 after Xmas and £25 in Feb which helps ease the christmas ruin of financial affairs. I should know ;)
The course benefits those with Manual setting cameras and DSLR's. We will show you how to get those scrapbook style shots we all crave but cannot often achieve with a point and shoot. Then to top it all - there are two scrapbook classes in the afternoon with a shop, raffle and great prizes. Lunch will be provided with drinks and tray bake cake on tap.
Natalie O'Shea will help with the photography side of stuff. Natalie, like me, is a keen photographer. She will help rotate the classes as we show you how to create the perfect shot in the right lighting using the best controls. You will never want to use your automatic setting again after this day!
Debbie Nicholas will teach a 6x6 BOM mini book of which you will use a photo that you took that morning and I will teach another class using eyelets and floss. I know that you, like me, have thousands of these babies in your storage tins right now. They are doing nothing cos nobody is using them anymore. Well you will from February. I'll make them the new black of scrapping. Oh yes I will!! Drag that hammer and eyelet setter out of your bottom drawer and polish it up for good use.
So you gonna come? Huh?
And check this little lady out (who is much better - thank you for your concerns ladies xx). She is holding almost the equivalent of her height in jaffas. Heather (Cutnpaste from UKS) bought me that massive packet of Jaffas whichs hold 60 lil cakes. Big love to the jaffa cake buyer... always. Ellie is holding it plus another wee packet of jaffas which would tell me that my darling is almost the same height as 72 jaffa cakes. That means I could quite easily eat her in a week. Maybe might have a spare arm left over... who wants that?
In addition, whilst Im marathon blogging tonight, Ellie wanted to make her own sandwiches at tea time. She is the biggest hamble samble consumer in the UK. Tesco owe us big time on their profit margins with their crumbed ham for this girls Hamble Samble Ensemble. Here she is trying to butter the bread. Not bad considering this childs co-ordination is a little bit lax. I actually think she is a left handed right hander. Does that make sense? And check out the size of these monster pretzels. Another favourite of Ellie and mine. She eats pretzels for britain - infact we can match jaffa to pretzel quite easily on ratio. Oink oink.
Until tomorrow.
**ok 4 places left on the course - hurry hurry hurry - there is a stampede**

28 Nov 2006

Sharing a great photo

This is a photo I took on Sunday.
These two are brother and sister and the bond in the picture is as close as the bond they share in real life. That's what good about taking photos - is capturing the true life in people. His eyes are like dark chocolate and hers are like moon beams ...... incredible.

look at her - poor lamb **edited**

My belle is just such a poorly bean. She woke up at 11 am this morning and I gave her a bath. 5 minutes after drying off she was back asleep until 2pm. That was when she had something to drink. I couldn't rouse her during these sleep times. Oh I do worry :( My emotional stability has only been further enhanced after receiving some incredibly sad news this morning. Life is so cruel. Why do horrible things happen to such wonderful people?
Anyway, she has perked up a bit now but she is just nibbling on dry bread but slurping milk like its going out of fashion. I gave her this to cheer her up. Eleanor from Southport (Snipper from UKS - have you seen her gallery... OMG!!!) sent Belle this wee wash mit and flannel. Ellie loves it and Im quite taken too. Thank you from one Ellie to another xx
She also, quite naughtily, sent me some of these printed scissiors. How freaking cool are these? I saw Ells at the retreat this weekend. As a teacher you get to nosey at what everyone has on their workspace and it gives me ideas on what to buy! But when I saw these I knew I had to have them. Sadly the shop where she buys them don't have a chain in our area and I cried my eyes out. Well actually I didn't cry my eyes out but I think she saw the sorrow in my dark eyes. She may well have took it as a hint (secretly Im quite glad) but I feel rotten now because that wasn't my intention (or was it??!! Mwahahahahhahaha) Well anyway - she sent me TWO sets - its making me itch to get scrapping again.
Whilst I was at the retreat Carol (Hysteri-Cal) from UKS brought me this adorable teapot and cup set. Now I do LOVES me tea and Earl Grey you know but for these women to go out of their way to make such special gestures is beyond me. I sit here in wonder at their kindness ... I truly do. Ive used it 3 times now and in it is enough for two cups of slurpable tea
And finally for Petre.. the canvas. I didnt paint the ink on - I splattered it on top of the distress inks and it looks little like blood. I did the same with the black. Here is a close up for you!!!

**Edited about the scissors. They are from a range of shops called Dunelm Mills. the store locator link is just here. I bet the rush will cause a sell out. Thank Ellie, girls!!**

27 Nov 2006

Sick, sick and having fun

Both Belle and I are sick with a cold a piece. Snotty rivers, sneezing showers, coughing fits and little naps have been our making today. We also had fun snuggling up in the duvet as I edited photos on the laptop and she watched DVD's, ate crap and snoozled. Duvet days are best and Im still in my pidgies. Hurrah for colds.
Love this little joke here, snigger xx

26 Nov 2006

Time out

is required - Im beat. My body is saying take a break but my heart is saying "go, go, go!"
Woke up this morning with a thumping strain in my neck, sore throat, tired, groggy and in no mood to take photos. But up I rose from my cosy bed, got ready and headed off for Stafford. As I listen to James Morrison all the way down I perk up and by the time I arrive Im feeling a lot better. 3 lively boys, one demure teenage and a 12 week old baby were the order of the day. I loved them and I loved their family immediately.

So many personalities to capture in one day but we had a great time. Louise wants me to go back in March for more shots so I will be looking forward to it as Finlay (the baby) will be sitting up by then. I can't wait.
On my way back I popped into Karen and Nicks for a load more coffee (no wonder Im buzzing but I actually think its supressing my cold!) and then back home to dine with my elusive brother and his fabbo fiance Kezza. So much to talk about and my throat is now double killing me!!!!
Im now sat sniffling and rubbing my neck better. Its time for an early night, me thinks xx

Birthday Girl

Oh my sweet Belle turned 11 today. I had to force her out of her pit at 8am as I was away teaching all day. I was in a poor state this morning as my throat was on fire ...... I was within two inches of picking up the phone and cancelling the retreat but suffered a salt gargle (steady) to ease the soreness. Ellie said she needed a few minutes to "come round" but I knew she was way to excited to get up. Funny girl. She came trotting into our room some 5 minutes later with a grin as wide as the river Mersey and we gave her some cards and presents. She too ne look at the iPod shuffle and grunted. perhaps the sheer size of it was a bit of a let down (have you seen how tiny the new ones are?) but I put it down to the fact that she wanted chocolate for breakfast. This is an annual treat and we let her. Happy Birthday darling!
Off I trot to Sarahs Cards retreat where the whole room was set in a really comfy layout with tonnes of prizes, free raffle novelty ideas, 3 fabulous projects, amazing homecooked food, tea and homemade cake on tap and lots of laughs and giggles. I had a great day mooching with the students and teaching the exploding bow. Julie made a canvas book which is yummy and Jan produced a really sweet christmas star book. Although i don't know it yet but from what I saw it was a superb event and location with many special touches to make it that little bit more wow. I'd love to hold my one day workshop there is February - so watch this space for details.
I got home at 5,45 to be met by birthday girl belle. Not long after Glenn and Lauren arrived before we picked up Olivia for our other annual tradition - thats eating at Frankie and Benny's. Ellie loves this place and they sure make a fuss of you when it comes to delivering cake with the whole restaurant going quiet and virtually everyone singing happy birthday. Ellie's wee face was so darling. I love that kid so much that she really does make me want to cry about it!!!
Here are a couple of pictures of us all having a great time - Ellie sure had the best fun with a little card making party when we got back home along with DVD quizzes, games, Eye Toy challenges and larking about for photo's. I took Loz and Glen home where Glen, in his bad boy styleee wanted to show off his paint gun to me. He said "follow me into the back garden and watch this". He took aim at the next door neighbours window and shot paint onto it. He asked if I wanted a go and I said "too damn right". So I took aim at said window and fire a shot. Bullseye - right on the window pain and we ran back into the house. Only I tripped over the decking and landed on terra firma with a thud and a crack (am convinced Ive broken my shoulder blade, wrists and ego!). That surely was god's punishment for being a kid but Lord almighty - it was FUN! Ps: The paint is wipeable and does not stain. Im not generally a thug. I have a photojob in the morning and have doubts as to whether my body will regain its previous stature. Im a crumpled mess and YES.... Im moaning. My age is playing against me and it won't before long before Im house bound. tra la la la laaaaaaaaaaa. Anywa, In sum I had a great day, Belle had a great day - did you?
Let me leave you with this adorable lady who would not have a picture taken on her own. She cried buckets until the last safe moment when hebe decided to play peek-a-boo with teddies behind my back.

Her face is priceless.
And we have a winner - at last. All will be revealed tomorrow xx

24 Nov 2006

Back on Track

It really has been a busy two weeks. So much that I didnt have time to do the dares last week so this week I thought Id be extra creative and jazz up a canvas. All I used to decorate it was a little slap of worn lipstick and picth black distress inks, splatters of cranberry and picth black alcohol inks, daubs of pitch black dabber paints. Im so chuffed with how versatile Mr Holtz signature mediums can be. I made this for my new studio/office that mark has made for me inside the garage. The carpet gets laid tomorrow and our house will not be a dump anymore!
Today I finish snapping lil nippers at the Nursery in Liverpool. My back is killing me, my throat is on fire but my heart is all schnoozley from kiddy overload. There were barely any tears today and lots of willing volunteers to come and sit on the studio floor for a quick pose and a giggle. I shall upload some more of these photos tomorrow.
Talking of tomorrow, Im away teaching. I made this for Sarahs Cards Ltd retreat. Sadly its the same day as Ellie's birthday :(. I talked with Belle about it and she is just fine as she is off to Nannies to bake cakes. We will be going out tomorrow evening though to Frankie and Benny's (this is Ellies favourite eatery) where the fun of being with Glen, Lauren, Olivia, Mark and I will be enough fun to make a mockery of circus clowns and hopefully make up for working. She is happy, Im happy - are you?
The camera gets another battering on Sunday is Stafford where 5 kids are the order of the day. I have so many photo jobs nowadays that scrapping is a little on the back burner but still there in my heart ... saving it for a rainy day xx
toodle pip dudes... and nobody got the number yet either :)

23 Nov 2006

Lawks - almost killed by toddlers

I was you know - through just plain snot gutterage.

As you know its "cold" season. Snot, sneezes and sniffles (great name for a toddler group I think!) were the order of the day plus countless tears. I guess we went through a ton of tissues, anti depressants and lots of fun. Its hard work and I mean back breaking but I totally enjoyed it - epsesh when faced with cuties as scrummy as these monsters:

Even when a child refused to have his or her phototaken, the fact that Im in a room full of little lives is just so snuggly a feeling. And nope - not broody. Just getting my fix whilst I can xx

22 Nov 2006

Im a photographer - get me out of here

I love kids - I really do. I DO, I DO, I DO.
My camera and I are best buds and always will be but man!!!! Fill a nursery with 50 odd little nippers and the whole photogaphy world is a different story!
Tears, tantrums and stony faced silences (in some cases) were not on the happy-yippeeeeee menu. Ive yelled, waved, jangled bells, pulled silly faces, peek-a-boo'ed, sang songs and tra-la-laaaaa'd for a solid 3 hours today and guess what? I do it all again tomorrow. Hurrah!
These are some of the tots I snapped today. I got possibly only 3 willing smiles - the rest were just fraught with despair. Mwahahahahahahahaha. Hilarious.

So I need to practice more with my studio work but this is as good as it gets. It does help if you are completely in a dark room with no other interferring light. Hebe's nursery has just that plus a million feisty tots ;)

PS: Nobody guessed the number yet!

21 Nov 2006

erm - knackered again

for the last few weeks I have been overly tired. :(
I get a good 6-8 hours of sleep every night. :)
I sometimes have to get up with Ellie although its never a chore. But nowadays I just come in from taking Ellie to school and falling asleep for 2 if not 3 hours. Really deep sleeps too as I have never heard the phone ring but always find a message waiting. I guess its down to menopause and yet I can't help think that its something else. So Im off to get it checked. I do love sleep though..... all cosy and tucked up in yummy fresh linen, especially at this time of year. Any pointers? One girlfirend said it could be this time of year - but why this year and not the past 34??!!
Tomorrow Im off to Liverpool,to take pictures of children at nursery. Hebe Ambler who runs Sticky Fingers has asked me to go and shoot (not literally!) 200 families over the next 3 days. Ive gone and bought some props to help add a little christmas sparkle so tomorrow I will show you a pick of them. Im so excited about it and I dont think I'll fall asleep at the tripod but there is always a first time ;)
And thanks to Corinne Delis - my scrap life is functioning normally again. She found my missing chipboard "E" from this weekend. I made a really pretty layout of Ellie entitled "Enjoy". well the "E" went missing and could we find it? NO. I was stressed out beyond belief and if you look on her blog - she found it. Anita did say that I could have spelt it N-Joy which, yes, would have sufficed but I was rather attached to that "E". And now he is coming back home. Hurrah. (I nicked the photo from Corinne again (mwah... dank u wel!!)
Finally some great news. My friend Sarah has had her 8 week scan on thursday past. This is crucial considering its been her 2nd attempt IVF.


Wait for it

Congratulations my dear :)

20 Nov 2006

Not Knackered

Boy did I need some sleep this afternoon - but now am totally refreshed, raring to go and a little time to share these pictures of my new, shiney and happy freinds.

Meet Flo - calm, quiet, Princess Caroline of Monanco, bloody fast scrapper
Meet Corinne - amazing cheek bones, full lips, happy eyes, full of life
Meet Daaniella - Dutch Dare Co-ordinator, beautiful smile, drinker of the weakest tea!
Meet Birgit - those amazing eyes, beautiful children, so happy
Meet Anita - the bluest eyes, practical, organised, funny, wonderful
Meet Jo-Anne - sensitive, fragile, GORGOUS, smiley and happy
Meet Bonnetta - my roomy, GREAT fun, fab handwriter, funnyand me!
Love this picture that Corinne took of me with my camera. This is the first picture of me with my Nikon. I think my camera is kind to me!!!

Each one of these girls personalities were the exact and precise ingredients to a perfect weekend in Ees (near the Dutch border). I came away with 4 layouts, 4 cards and a mini book but Flo did about 3 gazillion mini books and 15 thousand layouts. Seriously - that girl can scrap! I feel such a kid having to go over and over this weekend but truly it was the best. Sharing and caring and scrapping and laughing and eating and drinking and moaning and whining and laughing again (note the lack of the word sleeping!). Im booked again for next November but thats too far away. At least I have my memories until then. Sadly I have no letter "E". One of you girls better not be holding it to ransom


No -
I am double that.
Im fatigued.
Im well nourished ;).
Im scrapped out.
Upon my return, I discovered that Mark had gutted to garage to make a studio for me. Kitchen is an absolute tip, the lounge is crammed with garage stuff, there are bags to unpack, Im dead thirsty, really busy, deadlines to do by tomorrow but most of all.... I'M HAPPY.
Dutch scrappers certainly know their stuff - they are a breed of fabulous designers and I got to mingle in their wisdom. I soaked it up and Im buzzing with enthusiasm.
Im so tired right now that I can't muster the energy to upload a photo but here's one that I nicked off Corinne's blog (Mwah, dank u wel).
I have a tonne of photos from this weekend to share with you so tune in later to see the winner of the kit and some fun shots of these fab girls.

16 Nov 2006

Hope Our Love Lasts And Never Dies

Read the capital letter of each word above and that's where I am going. I used to write that on the back of silly love letters when I was a kid along with S.W.A.L. (sealed with a lick).
I leave today for 5 days and have 1 and a half hours to try and pack what I need. Its so hard packing from crops - it drives me up the wall. Im a scrapper that never plans a layout because they just happen. And when things happen I know I have supplies to grab when I need them. But I can't take my whole room on a 20KG limit and I do have clothes as well. POO.
Anita - make way for a suitcase full of random objects and if needs be, Im sure you ACE scrappers can fashion me some underwear out of BG should I have forgotten itxx
**I have a kit here for grabs - a trash book kit ... the only one of its kind as the papers are diffenrent to my initial kits in September. Belle has written a number between 1 and 200. You know you want it and I know I can post it anywhere in the world. Just guess the number**

15 Nov 2006

When 2 year olds drive you nuts

you learn to be patient and capture their true spirit in the midst of minxdom. This birthday girl (happy birthday Sophie) is a real spritely and typical 2 year old. I loved her even when she fell over and when she she cried and when she giggled and when she ate the bread meant for the ducks!! Look at this story board and tell me you don't see the devil in her but instead the halo above her head. And also be sure to look into those amazing eyes and and fall in love with her charm.
Thanks to Lianne and Rob I got to steal this girls attention - all for me and my camera. It was a struggle but oh so fun. I hope she continues being exactly as she was today - there is so much character in little miss mischiefs. See you soon Sophie and bring thos fabbo leg warmers again so I can try them on.