Ladies Camera Club

30 Nov 2007

Cheering ourselves up

No point sitting with my face on my hands, elbows on the desk and tapping my feet to the beat of my heavy heart is there?
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!
So, today?
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

Being brave

I mentioned in my blog post that Belle was due to be examined today. This is the first step in our fight to get the statement of physical needs at school. She was not well at all and not up for examination but its a very important step that we can ill afford to lose time on. After the Doctor telling us that her height and weight is under the 0.1 centile (normally Ellie has been following the trend of 0.4 centile), I started to panic. We know she has always been underweight and short in stature but the fact she has dropped 3 centiles in a year is freaking me out. And you wouldn't believe the amount of food this kid puts away in her tummy. The examination lead to blood pressure and monitoring. I was puzzled why the doctor was spending such a long time listening to her heart. The doctor turned around and carefully stowed her stethescope into her pocket and barely gave me eye contact as she asked if Ellie had undergone an echo test on her heart. No, but 5 years ago Ellie started to create noises from within her rib cage that sounded like a sqeak in time with her heartbeat. We had begged for help from two heart specialists (after a referral from a Doctor who had heard it - just your average GP) 4 years ago. he thought is was a pre-cardial rub, a condition prevailant in over 50's. Upon referral to one heart specialist and upon entering his office he took one look at Ellie and then at me and told me he refused to examine or indeed treat a child who came to his clinic and did not have blue lips.

You think Im joking that he said that?

You bet your rump steak I am not.

(I tell you what, I could and will consider writing a book on NHS put downs...... like one Doctor almost 10 years ago told us that what we see is what we get with Belle.... Mum - you can vouch for that, you were with me **waves to my Mum and Dad who read this every day**).


The other Heart specialist refused to hear Ellies heart whilst she was under duress. Its either under duress or complete sedation that this noise occurs. The only way we could bring on duress was either cut her finger nails or brush her hair (which, sadly makes her cry). He thought it was inappropriate for us to cause this just so that we could proove that Ellies heart was making this really funny noise. We then figured that if had no concerns then we should have none too but you can imagine I was furious. But I had proof I wasn't going mad as both Mark, the initial GP and my Mum had witnessed such a sound.

So anyway. It turns out belle has a heart murmur which needs to be investigated. BRILLIANT. Just what she needs. That poor little sausage has done bugger all to anyone. She deals with so much and now she has to deal with this. I ask - can we take anymore? I myself have to go fro an ECG as it is on Monday. Its really not fair. So those who know anything about heart murmurs (without me freaking out by looking it up on Wikipedia), please tell me its just nothing. I tried asking today but I was just stunned. Poor Belle spent most of the interview/examination on my lap, asleep. She was hot but her face was pale and eyes really sunken. She really is full of cold right now. Im hoping the cold is just the cause behind this blip thourgh the docs stethescope. Please keep your fingers crossed. Will remain positive until then, just adding this to another piece of life's challenges :)

Breathe in. Exhale.

So anyway.

Who sent me another Enid Blyton book? I don't have a postal code so I have no idea where it is from. No note and thankfully no bomb inside the envelope. And not everyone has my address (just checking google to see if I am traceable). ok, just checked Im not really that traceable. well anyway, whoever sent it will you please own up so I can thank you properly with an Elsie type smoochy xx

And finally I just wanted to scream my head off at the package I got from Charmed Cards and Crafts who have asked me to whip some stuff up with a grand package of all grand packages with stuff I would NEVER buy. But paying close attention to the stuff I got, I will never let my BG snobbery impair my judgement ever again - thanks karen, you have restored my faith in this line of products xx

28 Nov 2007

The dreaded lurgy

Whoa - 24 hours of deathbed existence sure is enough to lose a couple of pounds, gather enough bad breath to out-stink a skunk and collect your thoughts under a snuggly buggly duvet. Pooey icky wick. Cough, splutter and weak cries of "ugh!".

And poor belle is bunged up big style and whilst at the doctors today she also tried on some new shoes that she needs to correct her gait. The poor darling just can't walk in prescribed shoes (imagine a wind up toy soldier who cant bend his legs properly). My heart is too broken to take anymore of the suffering she will experience before the year is out. Luckily the shoes are going back to be tapered on the straps so she gets an extra two weeks grace on the new walking system about to take place. The only saving factor in all of this is that the shoes look normal and not "special". Lord knows that kid doesn't need anymore name calling on top of the usual yarn. She has another round of prodding tomorrow and that's it for this year. Halle-flipping-lujah!


Realising that chicken soup is good for the soul (basically any food is, right?) I treated her to our special menu of Cod in Cornflakes (IM NOT JOKING) with pasta and sweetcorn. Basically you buy fresh boned and skinned cod, dip in flour, dip in egg and coat in crushed cornflakes and then fry on a medium heat for 8 minutes either side. The result? Crispy crumb far better than processed, orangey breadcrumbs of the norm.

She ate a huge piece of fish (isn't it expensive? its more pricey than beef and salmon) and polished her pasta and sweetcorn off in good old fashioned "I need to get better" style. And when did eggs become so expensive too? I paid £1.29 for half a dozen this week. And whilst I'm at it - Caprisun (juice pouches). For a box of 4 it cost £1.85 but for a box of 10 it was £2.29. They were not on offer, apparently this is the normal price for each...... I gather you pay for the sturdy box they come in more than the juice itself. The world has gone freaking bonkers.


What now?

Oh yeah! Studio Calico kit revelation went live at midnight (Kentucky, USA time) and sold out of the add on's in the space of a few hours. You would be an absolute trump beetle to miss out on those kits. They really are the nicest kits this side of the lake.

as promised for the ladies of Chepstow, here is a picture of the advent calender (which I taught at the weekend). One sheet of 12x12 doubles as a perpetual wallet for your 24 pockets of delight. Ive added photos to my tags and gotten belle to write one word on the reverse of the tag so I can look back with fondness. Ive kept the design very traditional and very Figgy Pudding xx

And finally I want to take you to a special place I often visit. Its beautifully preserved, suspended in time and serves as a peaceful remembrance of a wonderful woman who died one year ago today - here. Love to Neets, her family, her fantastic kids and lots of loving thoughts for Joanne xx

26 Nov 2007

Being pampered

I do not get pampered too often unless I get off my huge botty and take a trip over to my local beauticians and grab Crystal Clear facial. But today is different and Mark has an extra day at home. I got to lay in and finalise the last digi class with slurpsville amounts of tea with an equal amount of sweet nibblies. I was happily tapping away on my pc when the mail man came. Bills are usually a Monday morning treat so I left the mail in the porch after I heard it thud through the door. Bills and Christmas don't mix and yes they have to be paid but if I don't open them for an hour or so, its an hour extra my bank account stays healthy :) Who am I kidding? LOL.
So Mark gets back from a mornings expedition of Geocaching and collects the mail on his way past. Fortunately the bills are for him and I get the goodies. First off I have a real nice article in Crafts Business written about myself. Its not often you get to read good things about yourself in light of unsavoury smack blogs on the loose but I read the piece with a feathery fluff in my heart and felt justified that my working life as a freelancer was measured in such a positive light. I do honestly sit here and wonder why such anger is splattered amongst these blogs to only colour other peoples judgement about my life. My only answer to all of this is that people will only push you off a pedestal they they put you on. Seriously, my life isn't this blog. My life is a fragment of this blog, kind of like the cream of my day. Believe me, there are horrible things that happen to us just like everyone else There is more to myself and my family than meets the blog eye!

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.
Talking of chipboard I got a visit from Sarah Greenwood from Bare Necessities. Sarah and I have had a little business relationship via the telephone for weeks but I got to meet her in person only last week. High energy people ought to make you nervous but she (along with my friend Mandy Parr) just make me want to leap into the air with enthusiasm. I have been busy designing some chipboard shapes to help promote this AWESOME UK chipboard manufacturing company. Im all for UK manufacturing, I always have been. I used to be one myself. But its very hard to get people to believe in them because of the marketing aspect ie mega buck advertisements (or lack of such funds to run them). I think a product will sell if it is good and there is enough believability in the price. Boy - this kid's prices are going to blow your mind and have your faith in UK scrapbooking and cardmaking products totally restored.

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

Abba Revival

Bring back this song and make it number one - i love these guys so much.

25 Nov 2007

Birthday Girl

12 amazing years we have spent with this dolly.
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?

(Shades because we had to use flash and she always blinks with the flash!). We love this kid so much.
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.
So anyway.

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

Secret Collection

Ok, its not a great big secret but I have a penchant for collecting Enid Blyton books. My friend Lynda got me hooked on this hobby years ago and I love bringing back that feeling of idle moments of sheer delight by getting lost in her brilliant books. My favourite was The Magic Faraway Tree amongst The Children of Cherry Tree Farm and Teatime Stories. She wrote over 600 books of which I have 300+. I have rare collections with original dust jackets, old specials and although some of them have some "foxing" to their state, I wouldn't part with them for the world. Collectively they are worth a small fortune but I have been collecting for 7 years and mainly from charity shops and Ebay. i think the most I paid for one was £15 for The Secret Seven in original dust jacket and also being a 1st edition. the least? 10p from a car boot sale and its values at £75!

So what brought this up? Well yest I got a package and in it was a book. There was a tag inside but no name and realised I had been rak'd. Ok, i thought... just who had I shared my secret with? Using my powers of deduction I narrowed it down to Roz. I quizzed her on the phone and knew it was her cos even though she was on the phone, I could tell she was fibbing. MISSY! Thank you so much, I don't have the one you sent me :) What a special gift.

I have all the Secret Sevens and the Famous Fives amongst Amelia Janes, a couple of rare magazines, annuals, Noddy stories and this rare and controversial number, The Three Golliwogs. A shop in a nearing town was raided by police recently to remove Golliwog dolls from the shop window and although the shop was selling for antique and collector purposes, it really did frighten the shop owner. I used to have one as a child because of the Robinsons Jam adverts and his arm looked like a microphone to me - I loved that lil dolly :)

So anyway, those who have any nostalgia stemming from her writings, do share them with me.

22 Nov 2007

Studio Calico time

You know how lucky I am?
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


for all the advice about gluten/wheat free diets.
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

Dairy Free, Gluten Free etc etc

After CrimboI want to change the food of which I think is holding me back on my health. Im not ill but I do feel so sluggish and with this horrible condition Ive got - exercise is not an option. Well exercise is ok in teaspoon amounts but I like to all-out push myself to the edge of exasperation.
So anyway.
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

Refreshed, replenished and reasonably scrapped out

Holy walnuts.
(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

Why am I watching...

a programme about autopsy's on real bodies filmed in front of a live audience?

It is neither entertaining or indeed watchable. Although I did watch as they sawed through the legs of a frozen man and was amazed at how much it looked like a joint of beef.

Ah well, it's a little bit of cosy background noise as I pack for Holland.

Country Retreat

A fair few months back, my freinds Angela and Roz got a couple of friends together (online) to organise a personal get away to scrap, laugh, eat cake (most important, you know) and be merry.

We came from near and far to meet at a stunning country manor house letting near Penrith (look it has a turret!)with more stash than Basic Grey's warehouse. We got there to Suzanne having completed three milion layouts in one afternoon. I gathered it was war to the finish! With the energy of the creativity we could have made the roast dinner a lot better than the flamin dodgy cooker in the gaff! My friend Jane, who drove us up, was so kind to allow me a quarter of a table portion so that she could house her entire craft room on her three quarter table space. I didn't mind really because I stole lots of her stuff when she wasn't looking. I have one of her paint brushes being held for ransom - I think its only fair. And anyway, Im used to working in a 4cm square area as it is. Pay up Jane or the paint brush gets it!.

Im not sure if I can relay the entire weekends convo. Some of it will make the air blue, some will make you cry and some will make you burst your blood vessels from laughing. And boy, do we hurt from endless laughter. It got to the stage where I had to snort to be able to get some air into my lungs. I just couldnt breathe for laughing. My walnut is throbbing from excessive laughter. I was in tears and floods and pools of laughter so much that I thought Roz might have to dial 999. Cal decided that the game of Balderdash would be funnier with just the most bonkers of answers to the questions, Suzanne is the biggest bluffing bluffer this side of the lie-dom, Angela is the darkest horse on this planet, Lianne only has to look at me and I die laughing, Roz'z belly laughs echo in my own chest and make me laugh even more, Janet was actually the most behaved out of the lot of us and I appreciated that balance but Jane - jayz! She is SO FUNNY - SHUT UP!

I only managed 4 layouts and a mini book the entire weekend but I didnt mind because we had to fit in little fun photo shoots (and yup - we are pouting!). Who said that acting like Elsie wasn't so much fun?. And we are aged over 30 (even 40 for some, but ssshhhhhh!), completely past it, knackered housewives doing the Elsie - bring it on.

Time for Leanne to betty Boop through some cutesy poses:

Roz has got the sucked lemon pout off to a tee:
Jane purring to the camera.... Remember, I have your paintbrush:Some sedate shots from some truly english roses. This is Leanne from the best ribbon shop everSuzanne is so very photogenic. And she also makes the most beautiful and I MEAN BEATIFUL layouts. She also got through to the final of Making Menories Idol this year.

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.