Ladies Camera Club

30 Apr 2008

Look at this loot!

Many prizes have been donated tohelp raise money for Ellies fund and plenty more have arrived since the last showcase of prizes. The raffle closes tomorrow at midday and will be drawn at about 9pm tomorrow night.
Literally hundreds of tickets have been sold. Honestly, mark and I thought we owuld only sell up to 100 - to say we are delighted is not far fromt he truth. Some buyers are trying your luck with one ticket and one lady bought a staggering 20!. I have printed out all the names and dates of tickets and will put them in a bloody large box so that we can pick just one winner. It only takes one ticket to win so good luck to all of you.
So since the last announcement........
First off - Bev at Banana Frog sent in a generous amount of stamps - enough to keep you busy for months on end.
Imagine That sent in a lovely kitCleos Undomesticated kits have donated a superb prize (have you seen her kits - wicked!)Lori sent in two beautiful and I mean beautiful hand decorated tins and hand made jewellery - completely lush.Danielle Slingerland sent in this DVD - its basically a guys view on scrapping is very very funnyCarolynUk (UKS) sent in a lovely piece of jewellery from her party ware range Mandy Parr sent in a bundle of absolutely lishus things (slurp).
And The Scrapbook Shop will send an entire quickutz cutting machine with an alphabet (WOOOOT!)To see some more prizes go and have a looksie at this post here, here and here.


Now the vote debate the other day was like a real taboo subj but my next exhibit has somewhat major controversial issues. I did a swap last week with Jackie who bought her Tilda stamp at a craft fair during the height of a craft hypertension purchase deficit disorder. She made it quite public that it was a mistake but I was tempted to swap it out of her hands for a play-it-safe page kit put together out of my own stash. The beloved Tilda stamp (or Moomin as Jackie so likes to call it). These wee stamps kind of freaked me out because of their curious, expressionless faces. So as I had craft club tonight, I thought Id try playing with one. The girls loved her but did worry about having no smile. Note the word smile and not mouth. I love kids! I did enjoy colouring her in with my watercolour pens and fiddling with the harlequin background not to mention the fab papers from K&Co. Infact, I made another one whilst the kids had thier break during the lesson. Ssssshhhhhh!
So after I had made the card, photographed it and cropped it - I thought I'd try drawing expressions on her face in photoshop. Belle loved her with a mouth and she said she would draw one on her Tilda's a little later.
I know the hype over these Tilda's is somewhat 50/50 in the likability stakes (oooh watch me get smacked for this (as is the fashion these days - yawn)) but weirdly enough, there is something frightfully lovable about that little moomin.
E-bay here I come ;)
And finally - a layout made during extra time tonight (Liverpool match tonight). I couldnt look, I just couldnt. And Benitez says "Torres had a hamstring injury" - which I think is total cacka poo pants. That Rafa guy has togo, he has made a number of crappo decisions this season. And good riddance when he does. Pooey.
Oh, sorry - the layout is called Torres (after our hero)
and you can get the little blighter right ............................................................................................................HERE

29 Apr 2008

I knew this was meant for me

on reading some notes on the web this afternoon:"To assist beginning violinists, some violin teachers use thin strips of colored tape ( e.g. book binding or scrapbook tape), to mark where to place their fingers on the violin fingerboard. Once beginners know where to place their fingers, the tape is removed".

Hooray.

28 Apr 2008

Not blind

but my eyes are very "dry and tired".
Mark and I went to the opticians today and we both needed new specs. The health of my eyes are not good (mmmmm working in a room with no daylight might add to that) and she said go and get your blood pressure checked.
She got that from looking in to my eyes?
Holy crap!
Apparently my vessels are inflamed and wobbly which indicates high blood pressure.
But I put that down to the anxiety of the past few weeks.
Good news is that I am not going blind and that my prescripsh is slightly lesser than last time.
On the other hand......
Mark is blind as a bat in his right eye.
Well, not exactly but when looking through his right eye he cannot see a damn thing and yet with two eyes open he can see me and an outline. So Im wider than I actually am through his eyes. And Im wide enough.
Scarey.
Belle had the orthodontist today too and needs to have a tooth extracted - yeeeeeeeeeks.
Either that or an expensive brace.
Apparently you don't get braces for free these days.
Just an added con to the means testing for dental treatment to go totally private. I think that will happen for sure. Talking of costings, yesterdays quote about costings was misinterpreted. I want to categorically state that although we effectively get all our hospital treatment for **free** in the uk, we are docked a sum from our wages at source. To my overseas readers, this is our national insurance contributions but is not as hefty as some overseas medical insurances. I guess we take for granted the services of the NHS - I double guess we suffer at the mercy of a poorly funded NHS at that. And that's not a hint for Gordon Brown to take more NI from our wages. I know he reads my blog. Laugh out loud.
oooh talking of Gordon - its polling day next week.
Now my next statement is going to really piss some of you off but frankly my lifes choices do not mould my ignorance entirely.
I am uneducated in the world of politics.
I really think that schools should brief children on the activities and consequences of voting and politics as a whole. That way I would feel confident in using my vote.
Me?
I just do not get it.
I maybe moderately educated, I do read an excellent daily (The Telegraph), I am articulate (although my spelling leaves a lot to be desired at times) and I can have a great debate with those who embrace two sides of the coin (basically I wont divulge in one sided opinions... I believe in give and take. I can't stand people who won't listen back).
But I just don't "get" why I should vote and who for. Unless I take years to study every party's referendums, look at their past promises and try to understand what has/had been delivered - I really don't think anyone deserves my vote unless each councillor comes to my door and practically lays his life out on my kitchen table and explains to me in depth what my vote will do for them and ultimately the country. I mean, I'm not going to vote for "Councillor A" just because he has a nice smile and drives a small 5 door hatchback.
For years I have studied elections with amusement as people cram the polling stations with their card in hope that their vote will count only to see so many disappointed faces. If I vote, I would want my vote to win. Its as simple as that - so why take the risk? I know it sounds barking but I have yet to see a Prime Minister deliver his promise. I have yet to feel the absolute urge to use my vote but the way I see it - this government is a farce and had he still been in office I **might** have voted Labour. I warmed to Tony Blair but he blew it the day the gulf war struck again.
Grrrr.
OMG, this is arguably the worst topic I have touched on.
It hurts my head to think about it.
And before ye all fill my comments box with "damn you, bitch", I get stick from my brother in law and husband about the fact I have not yet voted.
And as much as I have to thank Emmeline Pankhurts and the suffragette movement, they didnt take into account that some of us just don't get it.
So there.
Ner.

I'd like to share some Studio Calico work that I completed for May's kit.
Beautiful, Bright and sunny.
Made me feel happy to scrap these colours. I have a boy to scrap for one of the Sc girls but the papers didn't scream "boy" this month (Mable, dear, next months kits is SOOOOO boys colours.). So take a peek at my apparently "loud and garish" layouts. I LOVE THEM!
Lil cards made with leftovers:

A minibook made with one sheet of Collage Press journal cards used for pages. Decorated with the new ATC size hambly overlays and fab black core chipboard.This is one of my new favo layouts. I love the placement and colours so much.Maya Roads chipboard people make me laugh. I couldnt resist making this page for an album that I want to make about Mark and my early days. I say early days like we are 100 years old, dont i?LOVE LOVE LOVE Sassafrass papers (why did they drop the lass?). Im going to buy more of these papers... they are so playful and funky.And lastly - an overlay. She is called Iggledy-Piggledy.and you can get the little tinker HERE.

Have a good nights sleep.

27 Apr 2008

Studio Calico May Kit

Going live tonight at Midnight Kentucky USA time is 5am in the UK. And if you order an add on, you get a free mini kit next month. Wowsers.
I am so late with my sneaks too :(
Having got back from Lar Vegar last week and catching up with work left little time for this months kit. However I did manage 4 layouts, 3 cards, an altered tin and a minibook. And I have so much kit left over for other yummy moments of creativity. I only have 4 sneaks though - the rest Ill post tomorrow as a full picture.
I felt so inspired to finish off all my kit after going out for a meal with Mark and Ellie. Yesterday was, officially, Marks last day in the Army. Twenty Two years is a long stint in the armed forces. Not a lot of people complete a full stint. And at the ripe age of 41 he is no write off neither. He has a number of job interviews in our local region which we are keeping our fingers crossed about. He did spy a job in Indian Springs, Las Vegas which is suited to the trade he carried out in the Army. I mean, how freaking cool would it be to have a chance like that? But then all we have to think about to put us off is medical bills. As Ellie has a load of consultations every single month (4 this month alone at Alderhey) - it just wouldn't compute. We gauged the huge cost of medicals whilst we were out there against the service we receive here and its hard to decide which is best. Expensive efficiency in the US or poor but free service in the UK? I feel too weak to compare.
Whilst we were at the various appointments in Las Vegas I took my camera to journal the tension. I shot Mark and Ellie at a few hospitals and Mark captured this. It pretty much weighs up the anxiety.
Belle waiting in Dr Grimes office. We waited a loooooooooooooong time to see him. He was a great Doctor.
Yep, nerves and anxiety affected us all!
Its hard to convey whats going through our minds
But when you get to meet great Doctors who talk to you through thw whole process and involve you intheir thoughts and suggestions... it makes the world a smilier place.
You see this cream below? In the Uk you get that for FREE when they draw your blood for FREE. In the US, we paid $44 for that. It was excellent becuase Belle didnt even feel the needle go in when they came to draw. WE gave the excess tube to Scott's team so that families in his clinic could also benefit from the magic.
This is her face before the blood session. She was so frightened but when the bloods were over, she was relieved beyond compare. Because not only was that her last appointment but she didnt feel the needle and she still talks about her reliefe now!
Whilst sifting through a number of pictures this afternoon, I smiled as I remembered the Dentons. Both Ruth and Scott made out trip so comfortable. Ruth's house was so welcoming with hot baked yummies every time we came. The dogs (those pesky yet poochyful weiners) were such a joy to have around that we are considering buying a miniature Daschund. Here are a few photos from the Fab Dentons residence.
Apple pie, straight out of the oven. YUM.
Belle snoozling with her beloved Daisy.
Mark and his buddy, Rusty.
Our wonderful new freinds - Scott and Ruth. They will be forever in our hearts.
Ruth and I... love this woman. Funny, creative, loving and kind xx
Im off to go an create a little bit now....am feeling the need to make pretties (despite making 23 layouts this past week alone). Am feeling more geared up after I spent the afternoon here yesterday. I have this urge to make so many little things with this range of papers too, which I bought from their shop. K&Co have come on leaps and bounds from their hey day and with papers this juicy, my archive of Ellie pictures are going to get a good airing tonight.
Dawns studio is a hive of shoppers and fans from all over the country who come to take lessons, be inspired, shop and chat. Ms Bibby rolls up her sleeves and gets stuck in with all the shops goings on top of impromptu time with customers who want photographs or advice on how particular cards are constructed. There are no airs or graces around this cosy studio which made my afternoon so pleasant and indeed fly by. I am going to be teaching scrapbooking classes in May and July so if you live near Church (next to Accrington) and want to take a class with me, check out the itinerary there (might not be updated as yet). Paula Pascual is teaching soon and I'm dying to pop over and meet her. Anyhoo, having spied AC Thickers and every colour Ranger dabbers in store, I might have to pop back for some more shopping too ;)
PS: Did you watch Britain's Got Talent last night? Our favourite was this. Fabulous, hope they win!

Belle got dead bouncy on the sofa and giggled her way through it. Im going to show her this you tube clip later, she will be so excited.

25 Apr 2008

Digi Course for Card Makers

Digi card making is so popular right now (I like to call it hybrid cardmaking, but still).
Do you want to know how to make a card using all those amazingly fabulous digi kits (of which you can also find for free - everyday over here).
One of my favourite designers for little bits that you make for hybrid cardmaking is by Kate Hadfield.
And there are many many more besides.
I made this card below using various digi elements and you can download it here to print and try for yourself (it will fit the front of a 15x15cm card). The trick to hybrid cardmaking is trying to make it as life like as possible and with my course you will be able to achieve realistic looks - plus you will make cardmaking a glue free zone! Obviously you will want to add your own real card making supplies and flourishes to your card (who doesn't love the smell of paper and the rugged feel of a brad?)
If you are interested in doing an online cardmaking workshop in conjunction with Photoshop and Elements, please make your enquiries on this link HERE. The course will start 1st June and run for 4 weeks (4 seperate lessons in bite sized, managable chunks). At the end of which, the course will be available as a full download. So you can either learn weekly (with a forum open for advice) or just download the chunka-malunka in one in July. The course will cost £20 which will include kits to work with, links to the best card kits online plus many other tips and tricks to make your hybrid cards something of a sensation.

And as I have been in a making mood today I thoughts I'd give you these. I love these mini stickers for scrapbooking so I thought I'd replicate into a digi version. I used them on the card above - look ^.
They come on one big sticker sheet - the best way to use them is use your rectangle marquee tool to capture individual letters and then using your move tool, slide onto your layout. You can get them HERE

24 Apr 2008

Tears of laughter

I love those kinds of days where tears of laughter make your belly feel like it couldn't possibly function anymore.
When you feel as if the veins in your head will burst.
When your have no breath to continue.
When you feel like you might have to change your underwear.
And when you think there couldn't be anything more funnier to laugh at - you look at the other persons face and wonder where you will have the energy to find more air to conjure up more snorts.
That was how my photography lessons went on Saturday morning. I popped over to my friend Jane's house to teach her and her hubby Stu plus Gary and Chris (their friends) how to use their DSLR's. Well naturally Saturday morning is traditionally "hangover" day. You can picture it, right? There was also confusion and cold to deal with too(let alone my dodgy stomach). Jane is the most funniest friend I have, I seriously only have to look at her at times and I'm beat. So when it came to practicing close ups - this is what I was met with. Tears.
It didn't help that 20 minutes previous we were eating around Chris table when I said something that didn't come out the way it was planned in my head. Thinking I had committed a serious crime I, instead, set the table alight with laughter. And we just couldn't stop. And I paid for it the next day with a hernia.
I have another session on Sunday, this time with 4 complete strangers. I wonder if I get a repeat performance that I should also charge for my clowning act as well?
Talking of funny moments.
On a day out geocaching in Vegas, Mark happened upon a little drive through wedding chapel. We watched in awe as a couple pulled up at the window and were married in their car. What made me howl the most was the photographer took pictures of them whilst they were still sat in the car. I mean, come on - GET OUT, at least!
Just as we were about to get back into our car - I saw this fella exit the chapel.
I felt compelled to shout "ELVIS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING".
But - you know..... this is Vegas. He could have had a weapon. (yeah right, in that tight suit? At one point I thought he might spontaneously combust with the amount of polyester in conjunction with the heat!).
I mean, we couldn't have timed it more perfectly.
Elvis is alive.
He is no longer on the moon driving the no 52 bus.
He is live and kicking in a drive through Chapel in downtown Vegas.
And although I haven't had my copy yet (Ruth, would you mail me it please??!!), we were charged $5 for the priv of having a picture with him.
I bet he spent that on a burger on the way home. Or perhaps the black hair dye to drown his roots ;)
Thank you very much ;)

22 Apr 2008

Quickutz and Sizzlits for sale

I have been dissecting the stash I don't use so much these days and found a number of dies I just don't use anymore.
They are for sale over HERE should you want to have a gander.
I even found some dies I borrowed almost 18 months ago - they are on their way to their rightful owner (in the post )
- I almost died of embarassment..... if you pardon the pun.
Also - here is a new overlay. She is called Flower Bomb.
You can get her here

21 Apr 2008

Two posts in one day..... how novel

Ive been sifting through a ton of photos today and thought we might share some of our day trip to the Hoover Dam. People might not realise this but its not far from Las Vegas and once you are half way across it - you are in Arizona.
The whole area was rocky, stark, hot and deserted. Nevada only has 2 major cities - Reno and Las Vegas. Its ridiculously hot in jun/july/aug and whilst we were there, it was just right. I loved the journey to the Hoover Dam. Plus the fact I got to strike off Arizona from the States I have visited. Not that I will ever visit them all, of course. But still.

This is mark and Ellie on the Nevada side of the DamIts quite a sight.
Well ok, a body of water looks just like the next but the history that went into building this was awesome. Thousands of men and women worked 24 hours a day for 5 whole years through storm, hail and blazing sunshine to build this baby. Many lives were lost and the height is something to behold.You see all that white rock, below?
That's where the water levels sat for years and years until recently.
If I were an American citizen, I'd send this picture to the Bush administration and show them what the greenhouse effects are doing to the Dam. Its diminishing before your very eyes. The fact that 5,000 people a month move to Vegas doesn't help the falling water levels neither but still - with no hard winters creating eventual running water from the hills, this dam is on its way out to a drought. The greenhouse is affecting our very own country, too.... so shall we wait until there is no water left before we do anything about it?
I don't know why I like this picture below - I guess I like the form and the shadows. This is a bridge over the "once used overflow" of the dam.
Obviously it will NEVER be used again. :(My babies is Arizona! Note the nice background and composition of the photo (MARK!)Because mark sets me up in the most awkward compositions.
So here is my tip. When you want to get a lot of nice scenery in the background, get your subject to stand to the left or right of the view finder so that the landscape sweeps from their side so that you can enjoy the subject and appreciate sweeping landscape. unlike this one where Mark has banged me in the middle, in lots of shade with a brick wall cutting off the scene. man, that guy needs lessons! Give him his due, he managed to capture the new Hoover Dam Bypass-in-progress behind my left shoulder. Go mark.
Ok - he made an effort on this one. I think he is tuned into the rule of thirds that I seem to grab the most of!
We didn't want to stay inside all the time we were in Nevada because the wait between appointments got a little boring. And as much as we loved the Las Vegas Strip, we spent very little time there in comparison to trekking for geo caches at various locations around the bowl. Plus it meant more to us to spend time at the Denton's house playing with this little lady - Daisy. She is one of 3 Daschunds that they own. Ellie is BESOTTED with her. They became firm friends and belle sure does miss this little poochy.
And lastly, before we went to pay our first visit to the Dentons, I made these two necklaces for Ruth and Sarah. Having bought the beads from the Olympia show the week before, I wanted to have a go at making some simple pieces. I have absolutely no patience to do this as a full time hobby but I enjoyed what I made. I have enough to make myself a few more little bits but seriously? It **could** become a pass time if I could deal with the head pin bending thingy.
tha-tha-tha-tha-tha-that's all folks xx