30 Nov 2007
NO FREAKIN WAY.
After receiving a ton of emails from Doctors and Nurses from Scotland, Singapore, Australia and good old Blighty, our minds are at rest over Heart Murmurs. We even got mail from UKscrappers with the condition, scrappers from the US whose children and grandchildren have such a condition - you are so very thoughtful. I love that people just leap out and offer their help and advice. I often email people myself when someone asks for advice because I know how much it means that someone took the time and trouble to write to me on occasions. Spread the happiness and halve the problems - perhaps you should try it some time!
We take a trip to Ikea for more storage solutions (my office is so getting a pre-xmas overhaul) and we put the tree up tonight. Our day was incredibly chilled and happy - such a stark contrast to yesterday. We get the christmas classics on (mine and Belles fave is "Let it snow" which has to be crooned by Dean Martin), a few treats, the baubles, the lights and of course the boogie on - not to mention Bangers and mash for tea, SLURP! I love decorating the tree, Belle has the honour of hanging the chocolates and mark has the delight of our special "lights on the tree" system. Basically he lays on the floor twisting the bottom as I feed 400 flamin lights between the branches. Not that we could possibly patent this idea but believe me - its a reet time saver. I want reports on who uses this idea in full detail and tell me it doesn't make you laugh when you do it. Mark hung the plug from the bottom branch and for every full spin of the tree, he got the pleasure of a three pronged plug smacking the side of his head!
I'm going to buy a new angel as Ive decided I really don't like her - she is far too big but then would my tree ever look the same? My mum keeps threatening to get rid of the choir boy she has a-top of her tree every year and she must have had it 30 years. My Bro, My sis and I BEG her not to get rid of him - even when his head started to fall off some years ago. Luckily my mum is a dab hand at crafting so she made him a new outfit but I can vouch for his original head which makes crimbo that little but more exciting and nostalgic.
So now Im off to bed to recoup for a full days crimbo shopping tomorrow in Manchester. Im off to check out Bravissimo (in light of my hideous encounter at M&S a few weeks back) upon the advice of my freind Pam, wait in long queues to pay for our purchases, probably get pushed over in 3 shops, fret over the in-laws presents, lose my temper with Mark as I ask "Does my bum look big in this?" (of course it does but he has to lie, right?) and then we miss the train home ( we love to get the train into manchester for shopping, Belle thinks a real treat and a half).
Im sorry we havent got pics of the tree yet, but my angel is casing me some concern right now. Will post pics in the morrow
29 Nov 2007
28 Nov 2007
26 Nov 2007
I then open a box posted from Idaho. I only learned that Idaho was at the top regions of the US last week from Jessica Sheppa, one of the Maya Road designers last week. Well anyway, I had a package delivered with the most luscious mini albums made from plasma in the shape of crowns, arrows and stars amongst the most fabtabulous chipboard shapes. I will use them, I will, I will, I will. Im so very grateful for such deliveries and feel a new spark of inspo to get cracking with them. This week is assignment week for various comoanies and magazines so Maya Road is the star attraction product .... Im in love.
So now Im going to enjoy the rest of this GREAT day before someone comes along and swipes the happy rug from under my feet xx
25 Nov 2007
12 years of joy as she smiles a sweet smile with her darling rosebud lips, toothy grin and overflowing heart.
Isn't she so funny in this picture?
Our favourite place for a fun night out is Frankie and Benny's and it has been for the her past 3 birthdays. It was her choice to go and do anything she liked on her B'day and although the food is "set menu, fried and run-of-the-mill" she chose this restaurant for her treat. We love the atmosphere and the fact the restaurant stop the music to bring out a cake
for the birthday girl, play Happy Birthday full blast followed by Cliff Richards "Congratulations" as Belle secretly loves the moment but pretends to be embarrassed.
Belle and I - complete with shades but you can make out crinkled laughter eyes underneath - sweet.
I love her cursl so much (and check out the fact I didnt rotate the picture - duh). When the midwide handed Ellie over to me 12 years ago, at 9.31pm I noticed she had tight, wet curls and dreamed she would have spiralled numbers like this. The doesn't even know how lucky she is to have such fabulous hair.
Belle and Pappi - love this pic.
She had so many lovely gifts ranging from bubble bath to Wii games to money and it was such a lovely surprise to receive a gift from SuzyB who also celebrates her birthday today - thank you so much Suzy and we hope you had a superliscious day. Our thanks go out to all our family and friends xx
Happy Birthday darling Ellie - you are loved more than you could ever hope to realise xx
I got back this afternoon after eating this amazing breakfast treat from Louise
to join in with the rest of Ellies day after teaching down in Chepstow. It was a full day of teaching, yesterday, where I taught 2 layout and 1 advent calender class. When I mentioned to Louise, the host of the event, that I was planning to teach an advent calender class she really wasn't that keen. Suffice to say the class loved it dearly (pictures to come tomorrow, I ran out of daylight!). Katie, Louise's daughter made glases with leftover scrap paper. I had 4 young girls at the crop who were so very very adept scrappers. Katie, the teeniest and most cutest is also the most minxiest.
I also taught a class with a lift the flap house (inspired by a Jane Dean and The Freestyle Book layout but with a Kirsty twist) and a layout using die cut buttons from Cosmo Cricket. I was very proud of myself before the event as the layouts were carefully planned just for classes and are some of my favourite this year. I am always made to feel very welcome down at Chepstow, it is a superb gathering of very friendly scrappers and Louise always makes me feel like a princess as a guest at her house. Later in the evening (after the classes) she made the perfect hostess, feeding us crimbly type nibblies and serving cava with orange juice (YUM!).The best was yet to come as she laid her table like Christmas day spread and served a lamb and caramelised onion pie with cheesy, garlic potatoes and red cabbage and apple.
I died with every mouthful. Thats woman can not only cook but she graces every moment with a laugh and giggle. I really love that crazy Kiwi! I got to spend time with Pam, Ailsa, Helen and Maz and collectively there was enough energy from chatter to feed a section of the national grid. I love great company and I love great food.
The birthday girl is tucked in bed, the Wii is slowly cooling after taking a beating and Im off to finish the final digi class. For the last 5 weeks I have sent out classes to many wanna be digi scrappers and have been mesmerised by the quick learning of them all. I have seen, just in the first two weeks, many layouts created by ex paper scrappers that mimic the confidence of digi scrapers who have been at it for months. I have taught students how to not only digi scrap but also make their own embellishments, make their own brushes, use brushes to make digi patterned paper, how to make blog headers and banners etc. The final class is neat tricks, shortcuts and wee extras to help perfect digi skills. It is here I want to thank Crystal Blake for converting my photoshop lessons into Elements. Thanks Crystal and get well soon (she fell down the stairs last week and sustained injuries that resulted in .... stitches.. YUK :(...)
Additionally I was so pleased with this lady's quick learning and self made papers for this gorgeous layout here.
The full six lesson course will be available to buy on Wednesday (currently the download option is on pay receipt mode - you can buy it now but not as a full package until then). It will always be available to buy and is a 6 lesson crash course to digi scrapping. I explain in basic terms with lots of pictures to guide you into making a page within 20 minutes. After that, its plain sailing.
Lastly I want to thank all of you who made comments with regards to Enid Blyton books. She did have a certain magic and although politically her books in modern times are somewhat viewed as wrong, I will always live through my childhood memories with affection as she contributed to my
24 Nov 2007
22 Nov 2007
Im very very lucky.
Lucky lucky lucky.
Tra la la la laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
When it gets to the middle of the month I receive this amazing box in stylized packaging that I won't open until I have a cup of tea in my hand and a knife in the other. This month was no different except I had ordered an add on to the DT kit which I receive. I have enough in there to make a gazillion layouts and I'm blown away with product mix and choice.
The full revelation of the kit goes live on the 28th where women from around the globe pin their hopes on bagging one of these limited collections. Until then, here are some sneaks that might tempt you into thinking about going for a kit yourself. I might even make some more layouts, should time allow.
Its a wonderful kit - I promise you that much
I just want to point out that I neither have coeliac or have an intolerance to lactose etc etc. I just feel by cutting out over processed foods and refined flours and sugars, I will feel a lot better for it. Whilst at the doctors the other day he told me something interesting. Chinese food and Mono-sodium Glutamate. NOT GOOD. Apparently offenders of eating take out chinese (which we do, one to two times a month) can stimulate feelings of a heart attack. Ok, I haven't had these feelings but I know after eating a chinese meal I feel so bloated and ick. You compensate that for eaten something really tasty but its isn't really tasty is it? Mark can make a mean homemade chinese with less additives and more taste for less. He recommended eating pure foods to help lift this chest problem I have had since Christmas day last year. Im so glad I documented how Ill I have felt over the year, I was able to tell him the exact times I was at my worst so that it helped him in his assumptions. Hooray for blogging.
I know it might seem boring for most of you talking about food and cutting back but take a long hard look at yourself (for those feeling bloated and sluggish) and ask yourself, like I did, why you feel and look that way. We have only ourselves to blame... sure hurts doesn't it? So after getting the party season dealt with, I will endeavour to cut out the stuff that is full of crap and hope I can whip myself into a diet of proper, non enhanced/processed/over sugared/over salted food. My father is testament to it. He eats lots of good old meat and two veg style meals and is as fit as a fiddle. He wont eat chinese or pasta and ok - whilst he enjoys the odd white bread sandwich and little snack a roo's - the fact he doesn't eat processed foods so much counts for something.
Ok, off my soap box and into the craft room to tie up stuff that's been drying overnight.
21 Nov 2007
Ive been aware that white bread is just a bad old staple so Im going to have to eat wheat free/gluten free alternatives. Whilst in Sainsburys tonight I tried to think of the foods I actually can eat and I cant think of much other than rice and pulses. I can live with those - Ive got a soft spot for lentils right now but not sure about mung beans. The word alone paints a picture of puke, if Im honest.
Im going to totally wipe out jarred sauces and opt for sauces made from scratch, eat a little more veg (yuk - not a veg lover at all), wipe out most meats minus chicken and fish, learn to love soya milk (unsweetened type). Ive seen corn pasta as an aletrnative to wheat pasta, scrummy little bickies that will keep my sugar pangs at bay.
So Im putting out this post in hope you can lead me to some sites that can give me more advice, what I can eat, good replacement ideas and some support
19 Nov 2007
(Loving my walnut theme - its better than Holy cow or Holy guacamole in the current sitch-you-ation. My walnut not so good, going to get the bugger sorted tomorrow).
When Jane Dean calls you to ask if you are still alive, you know its time to update your blog.
I had planned to update tonight and I still am (look, you can see me doing it now) but Ive only got back today from my annual trip to the Dutch Alliance scrap escape. As Easy Jet's amazing priced flights means I can take a trip to Holland the same as a trip to see my Momma on the east coast (basically £40), it is a world away being in the company of such amazing girls (as well as talent and inspiration). Dutch scrappers such as Anita Mundt (ok, not strictly Dutch but married to a Dutch guy)....look at her lubbly necklace **note to self: must steal it next time I go in December**
Corinne Delis - I had just called her a toilet brain to make her laugh out loud. As her understanding of the english language is better than even my own, she totally got that I was trying to make her laugh (rawr rawr ;)) Birgit Koopsen - wistful birgit who is looking one hot momma right now. Danielle Slingerland - Owns a fabbo shop in Holland (thats why she is my new best freind.... wink wink)and BonnetteAalder **NO PICTURE - GUTTED. Sorry Bonette but for you guys... imagine an angel with a good heart**
These girls are published internationally so you can see that I was not short of inspiration. They are all excellent photographers as well so I managed to get a couple of portrait photo's of myself which makes such a breath of fresh air from being behind the lens. I wasn't feeling particularly beautiful as some of my own personal concerns of late has made me look grey, tired and drawn. Corinne took this of me with my camera. I love the lighting on this - it was sunset. Thanks Corinne.And I have to say that even through the camera never lies, clever angles can work wonders for the broken hearted!
So my friend Anita?
Anita lives in the Friesland area of Holland which is calm, tranquil and pretty. Her house, a converted church school, is so quaint with a split level access and has a ton of dual aspect lighting. Its a place where I felt totally at rest and I was made to feel so welcome. A place where you can just breathe with no mad energy, you know the kind of place - right? We took a trip to her local town to do a little Blokker shopping. That shop is the best! Let me tell you that you cannot go in there without parting with a little pocket money on yummy little trinkets like this. £3.60 buys you this yummylish cake stand - just in time for Belles 12th Birthday on Sunday. It was so interesting to go supermarket shopping in Holland too. They are so into fresh produce as opposed to the junk you get on our shelves (I mean the ready made type of foods). I experienced my first Falaffel (oh yes - amazing) with salad, yoghurt and mint sauce all wrapped in tortilla. I know its not a Dutch delicacy (where the hell does it come from?) but as all the food is fresh, it made a change from a toasty for lunch at home. The rest of our pre-alliance scrap time was spent helping Anita out on a couple of personal projects which took us into the wee hours of the morning and without cava and chocolate oranges, we would have given up way earlier. Hurrah for Terry's that's all I can say.
So Friday we take a trip to Ees near the German border to meet the rest of the girls. I travelled remarkably light (two 12x12 RUB boxes and no more!) in stark contrast to Ms Danielle Slingerland who brought everything and for that I was grateful. I really can't go on to describe the rest of the weekend as it consisted, mainly, of: scrapping, rude cakes, drinking, laughing, crying (but only like, a bit!), photos, Abba, curry, laughing, sleeping (but only like, a bit!), scrapping, sharing and everything you would expect from a wonderful group of friends. It was here that I made some of my most proudest layouts, I think I was sponging the energy from the others to be honest. My mojo flowed so easy but I cannot share them as they are for Studio Calico (although Im allowed to share sneaks tomorrow, I think). This is my best ever kit to date, I dont want it to end to be honest but then again I want to use it because its all so usable. As I talk of Kits, Mandy finally announced she is giving up her beloved club in favour of spending more time with her family and friends. Im so proud of Mandy, I think she left on a high. The best time to hang up your herma, I reckon.
I left the weekend to go back to Daan's to stay before my flight this morning. As Schipol airport is around the corner it was so nice of her hubby to drop me off this morning after spending time with her two adorable children. Not a word of English they did speak nor I any Dutch, Daan kindly translated wee conversations as the boys entertained me with mischief. I was absolutely knackered on the flight home surrounded by young lads with stinking hangovers (as is the norm with Brits on a bender to Amsterdam for the weekend). I came home and slept and woke up feeling more rough but ready to meet my angel from school. Oh how her face lit up and suddenly my tiredness drained. We chatted for ages and cuddled forever as I tried to catch up with 177 emails (NOT FUNNY!) with 4 of them (and two bloggers) worried of where I had gone. Thats 6 people who missed me as well as Ellie!!! So funny! My little girl (who I MUST stop calling little as she is 12 in 6 days. Can't help it though, she is little in size.... does that count for my excuse?) would not let go of me tonight. Ive been away every weekend this month and am again this coming weekend. Im working down at Chepstow at their amazing club for a days teaching. I have 3 lovely classes for them of which I am so proud of (whats all this scrap proudness going on??!!). Im waiting for a delivery from Holland to finalise the classes and then Im set to go again on my last teaching event this year. I love going away but as the wind down to Christmas tots up, Im looking forward to getting really christmassy before we hack the lounge to its crappy death in order to make way for our dream sitting room.
Additionally I have an overlay to share. I haven't done one of these from ages and it felt good to get wizzy with the wacom. Feel free to drag her from her sleepy bed he
Also want to add that Im starting an online class after christmas that will appeal to most scrappers, photographers and artisans alike. I have had a number of people ask me to do this and thought "why not?". Simply entitled PRINCIPLES, I will explain more about it next week when I have caught up with myself :)
PS - Been to the Doctors today and finally have the walnut jiggles narrowed down to two problems. One maybe a freaking heart condition (fingers crossed its not but explains palpitations of late) and Two maybe something called Costcochondritis. Nice. Real nice. At least I know you can't potentially die from the second one. Phew!
Gotta go, been scraing myself to death reading up on this stupid Costco thingy and strangely enough you can actually get it from laughing too hard. Im being serious!
13 Nov 2007
OK - these girls crack me up:Cal cut all her limbs with scissors, knives and my wit (wink wink). Don't you just love her seriously hoody demeanour:Rock on you two crazy nut jobs:And sparklers caught on a slow shutter speed. We got a bit rude with some shapes but here are the more gentler shapes:And finally.
I forgot to post these pictures of the night Suzy and I swapped out cricut and craft robo. If you pardon the pun on die cutting, Im sure you can see that this chance meeting was one of true love.