Ladies Camera Club

31 May 2009


Aaaah! Muchas scorchio in Lancashire these past few days.
Hot hot hot!
Saturday took us to Uppermill (again!) which is on the way back to Leeds from ours as MB was going home (cry cry cry). We took the dog, a bucket load of factor 15 sun cream and a picnic and roamed aimlessly down the canal path to enjoy the sun. What I loved most about today was actually watching the barges change levels at the locks...I have NEVER even seen this happen in real life, like EVER. I was so so excited for Belle and for me and even for MB. Mark of course has seen everything including Elvis on the Moon, nuclear explosions in Manchester and Michael Jackson wearing high heels and a bra. Its true - Mark has seen everything, you just can't get him excited about anything new, cos it isn't new because he has seen it. Even things that haven't been invented yet. But I don't mean to be so hard on him, really. He got made redundant on Friday, again, from the firm he has been with almost a year. Nice, don't you think? We like to think so. He is not unemployable though, Im certain he will find something around the corner. either that or I get the dog to dance on street corners for coppers.

MB watching a Barge come into a lock.
The barge had now lowered but I rather like the dandelion weed in the foreground!The pooch gives Marko some lovinAnd here is the smug little sod - all regal and refinedBelle takes respite amongst the buttercupsI love fernThis is my favourite shot of the day **to achieve the blue of the sky being so blue, invest in a polariser for your camera**Obv the polariser not on for this shot but I love love love this series of arches going onbelle is forever picking daisiesI love this little girl so much. She doesnt normally venture outdoors in bare arms (purely because of the FILTHY looks we get from passers by). Today we ignored the stares and got on with tanning them ;)MB and the dog overlooking the edge of the canal. Mark was down there trying to find a hideously placed geocache. We reckon its been muggled.Uppermill certainly has its charmWe enjoyed a picnic in a beautiful sunny spot where the dog fought for shade and crumbs. The walk didnt last for miles and miles but it was just a beautiful place to enjoy the sun on the way back over the Pennines. We loved it! On the way back to the car we stopped for ices and the ice cream vendor made an ice cream foe Eddy and put a dog chew in it instead of a flakey choc. I was so excited I even forgot to take a piccy.

Today we went for a BBQ (I bet 40 million of those buggers were lit today) over at Marks cousins house. Its was such a great afternoon catching up with them and their lovely little girl, Sienna. I took my camera but didn't use it...sometimes I just need a day off. But I tell you, I haven't stopped burping sausage juice all afternoon and night! When we got home we took the poor dog out for a walk as we had left him for 6 lonely hours (cry cry cry). The little love forgave us immediately. When we got in we watched the most crappest film I have ever seen in my life. It even won four Oscars (clearly picked by the blind and deaf Oscar committee members) and I ought to have known that being directed by the Coen brothers; it would have flown right over my head. I mean, it didnt have any shops or high heels in it or anything pretty and spangly. When it ended like it did, i wanted to put my foot through the TV; what a waste of two hours! Im not letting mark forget about that- EVER. poo poo poo film.

Finally here are some layouts I did for this months Studes kit - the best one so far and I really mean that. It sold out real quick but April and scarlet are getting more in; fear not kit revellers.

Oh, check me out with a double. A DOUBLE!
Gotta go veg out and cool down :)

29 May 2009

a trip to the seaside

We only live a good half hour away from the coast and yest afternoon was earmarked for a trip to Blackpool. Its not the most picturesque of places, in fact its looking a bit rough at the moment. But that would never stop us going there for all the variety of things you can do. You can skim over the cosmetics when you are out to while away the day with two over excited teens.

MB has never been to Blackpool before and she couldn't believe how big a resort it was. It stretches for a good mile with amusement arcades, attractions, donut stalls, piers, hamburger stands, pubs and all sorts of other kiddy activities you might expect at a seaside. We got there mid afternoon and did a little Primark shopping. The girls had pocket money to spend and pocket money prices can only mean a bargacious trip to Primark. Ive never seen Ellie so interested in clothes before; she barely gives a damn about fashion but in she went like a whirlwind picking up brightly coloured little tee's to jazz up her love of wearing jeans. MB picked out two tops for herself whilst I stood there watching them enjoying being the crazy teenagers they are.

Eventually we moved by the toddlers section on the way to the changing room and Ellie saw a beautiful little skirt and tee ensemble and blurted out "This would look so cute on Harper". Well I was floored, I didn't think she even really cared about another kids wardrobe so much and besides she had never met Harper. Let me explain. Harper is my friends Stephs little girl. I have a ton of scrapbook friends with kids and Ellie reads blogs with me, picking out pictures and gasping at layouts etc. But what has struck Ellie recently is how those pictures of kids come alive when people share videos of them. And Ellie seems to have fallen for little Harper. It must have stuck in her mind until yesterday when she picked out the outfit for her. So of course I had to buy it as I, too, agree it would look rather deeeeelish on her. And Harper has a sister so I got Ellie to help me pick out a dress for her too. Im so excited about Ellies new found fashionista styling!

We pretty much mooched about the shops after that until we decided to hit the North pier. The north pier was erected in 1863 and has some beautiful features to it that echoes some pretty cool art deco. The girls were fascinated by peeking through the cracks on the pier looking down to the incoming tide below. MB was eating an ice cream and thought it would be cool to eat through the bottom of the cone to which she regretted as her ice cream fell through and into the sea as she leaned over the side of the pier. This made my Belle scream with delight as they both watched seagulls fight over banana ice cream in the surf below. My flaming camera not to hand at that moment - typical! Shortly after they took a ride on a very old and very traditional carousel. I don't think you are ever too old to go on them! My favourite carousel, though, is the one at Mon Matre, just below Sacre Couer and features in some scenes in the film Amelie.

At the end of the pier lay complimentry deck chairs of which the girls took a moments respite and Belle offered me an unsolicited pout.On the way back up the pier we spied this little fella taking a rest on the decking

We then took a walk down the loooooooooong promenade and into the amusements where the girls delighted in the slots and two'penny shovers. Between them they racked up sizable ticket wins to turn in for prizes to take home as a memento of their day. On the way home we were going to stop off for traditional fish and chips but to double treat them I thought we would fore go on the expense and go the the cinema to watch Night at the Musuem 2 thus opting for a burger tea instead. this went down a storm with them both and by the time it had finished it was 11pm. we were home 3o minutes later catching up with Britains Got talent (Hasn't it been obvious which contestants would get through on each round so far?) and then bed for them as I stayed up to watch Greys. **sigh, I love Greys**

During the night I was burning hot and yes, yes, yes.... I now have a stinking cold which I have no time to deal with. So Im in a bit of a bad mood about it because today (friday) is lovely outside and Im too hot and bothered to enjoy it. **cough, sniff, cry, cry**

To ease my pain, Im munching on this discovery of Greenand Blacks with Gingerbread....erm, hello?!!!byeeeeeeeeeee xx

27 May 2009

An extremely eventful day

I said we wouldn't lie in again in yesterdays post.
Erm, tum ti tum ti tum..........
We watched Juno until 2 am and then I worked for a bit because Im such a worky worksvilles and bills ain't going to get paid if I don't. The girls went to bed at 2 and I went to bed at 3 and Mark got up at 6 and went to work at 7 and I didn't move a muscle nor was aware of the time until 11.47am. Even the dog was in a tight and neat slumber with his nose attached to my feet (poor little bugger but he must like it down there......vom).
When I woke up I almost died when I realised the time. The girls were fast asleep too; please feel free to report me to the feds for being such a bad momma. Although thankfully I woke up to some lovely emails which staved off the guilt, at least.
First off, my article and project for the UK Fiskarettes blog (27th may entries) went live. I think I am the first Uk guest designer for the Uk Fiskarette blog which is a sweet honour. Fiskars sent me a lot of product to work with and you can't deny they have a very successful scissor phenomena! I got punches and papers and set to work immeeeeeeed. I love this layout I made, especially using the ribbon slot border punch.
I used their Christmas line of papers to make the project (which you can see full over on their blog) even though its not a Christmas layout. Ive got another 3 weeks of projects to make for them; Im so happy about that and have a fun project coming up next Wednesday.

Then I got my official order from Personal Impressions/QVC today. I was that surprised (even though I kinda knew it was coming) that I went into the lounge to see the girls, I looked at them to gain their attention and without warning I stood there and screamed.
They didn't like it.
I was wetting myself laughing at their shocked faces; I want to bottle that moment forever!

I also want to share this card with papers I made from this site HERE and to which I will be making cards weekly as part of their challenge team. I love making cards, they are so much quicker and easier than scrapbook pages and also I get to build up a bank of cards for those last minute emergencies for birthdays and notes to accompany parcels etc. Niks (who owns the blog) well, her stuff is going on Create and Craft; I mean come shopping wars or what?!!

As for the rest of today? Guess what? I organised myself. I mean, shut up! I really did. I got my diary and mapped out my life between now and whenever....slowly filling my time in hopes for if I get my dream job. Still a long way to go on that front and my time has to be spent wisely. I have more workshops coming up in Leeds, Harrogate and Burnley if you are interested but will give you dates in due course :) I just need to de-clutter some more to ease the pressure and re-energise my mojo, which sometimes I feel likes to bugger off and leave me from time to time.

And my dream front cover came true this week in the form of Crafts Beautiful. This mag was one of the first ones I bought in 2002 and was like my bible just as cardmaking was exploding way back then. I made a mini using BG Urban Prairie with quotes about love inside. Its filled with my absolute favourite quotes about dealing with Love. When it comes back from the Mag, Ill share the photos in full. Its for Ellie of course; lord knows she is going to go through what I went through in those crazy teenage years. I would have dearly loved something like this for me.Also I made the free papers attached to the magazine and made the projects in the first few pages PLUS I have a feature on a stand alone Polaroid printer that is an amazing little tyke which prints via bluetooth and also I have my monthly page article on there as well. **I don't normally have that much stuff in there, I think it was just a one off but hey, its gives Ellie some excuse to take it to school and share in her circle group**
I have had front cover projects before on The Scrapbook Mag, 12x12 mag (do you remember that from years ago?) and Simply cards and Papercrafts plus the front cover of a Scrapbooking book of which I have saved for Ellie for her "Im proud of mummy " moments. She loves that she sees herself in print at times and after all the scrapbooking is for her to keep when I have given up the ghost and finally decided to take a long rest, six feet under. But for now, my proj being on the front of Crafts Beautiful is my most favourite front cover, ever. EVER.

Right, thats my day crammed with goodness. just watch something crap happen tomorrow to steal all the glory from my heart. Like the saying goes, where there is pleasure.............

26 May 2009

Me and my cous

Today we didn't do much.
After getting up at a reeeeee-dick you las time this morning the rest of the day was off balance.
By 6.30pm one lady was suffering with cabin fever whilst Belle was happy to stay up in her room to try and conquer Animal Crossing on her DS. Although to be fair, belle was out of it after giggling her curls off on the trampoline tonight with MB and I. My poor bladder and chest anatomy are both weak and sore. I laughed so hard too that i dont know whether the stomach pains are a hernia or stretched!
After that both Mb and I set sail for the Three Sisters country park with the pooch and camera. It was a glorious evening even though we were watching one fat, juicy cloud hovver over our heads for an hour whilst the sun tightened its grip over the blue sky just for our walk.I didn't want Mb to pose so much for the pictures; i much prefer her doing her own thing. And as the meadows are pretty much strewn with gorgeous wild flowers, I couldn't resist just a few shots to help me get used the frikkin nightmare weight of the 24-70mm lens.
MB likes butter, I have the evidence!
Forget me nots. **sigh, so pretty**
The meadows are bursting with curious adventures; I love this shot of MB in a world of her own.I love how Eddy adapts to our friends and family. My whole heart belongs to him throughout the day when we are alone and I dont mind sharing him with MB.
I saved this shot until last. I purposely reduced the saturation of this shot which intensifies MB's piercing blue eyes. She is such a natural in front of the camera.

MB and I chatted a LOT on the walk, she has such a sweet spirit plus a wicked sense of humour.
I can't wait to see what other adventures we will all be enjoying together this week including our mad old dawg.

Here come the girls

Unusually I have my Belle home with me for the school hollies. She usually goes to my Mums but this term Belle wanted to spend it with Marybeth (MB for short). MB is my super cute cousin but is exactly the same age as Ellie so I see them two more as cousins to each other.We love having MB here even though she eats a whole bottle of Ketchup with every meal and has 3 sugars in her tea. That girls uses it as rocket fuel for her jet propelled energy! Before we took MB away from home I wanted to update my pictures of my gorgeous cousin Emily too (MB's sister) and whom happens to be my god-daughter. Aren't these two girls beautiful? And so grown up and oh, it just makes me want to cry that they are not babies anymore.Many adventures we shall have this week including a day drip to Blackpool and a day trip to the Lakes (I LOVE THE LAKES). Marybeth has been to neither so its going to be a cool adventure all round. Now I love Ambleside for its famous little housey bridgey thing and I also love Windemere. Can anyone recommend any wheelchair friendly things to do up there? I want to get up early and catch a sunrise over Grasmere but with my girl Ellie loving her pit so much there is fat chance of that.

The school holidays in this house are going to be action packed at least......

24 May 2009


I go away a LOT.
I love working away, I love seeing friends and family and I love meeting new people and doing the things I love such as photography and teaching.
But this weekend I missed home so much I felt completely choked by it.
That's not to say I didn't have a good time though but being 220 miles from the ones you love sure is heavy on the old heart.
I shot a wedding this weekend up at Chatelherault which is next to Hamilton (Glasgow-ish) which is a stunning venue for a civil ceremony. The Bride wanted seriously traditional photos which I managed to deliver plus we were at the mercy of the heavens almost bursting open. Couple that with little flower girls who hated having a camera in their mush and high heels digging in the grass and yes, you have lots of erm, fun.
Ive only processed a few of the bride shots. And by processing I mean empty from the camera and onto the mac. If you want to see a larger image, click on the picture to see :) The difference with my new lens means I have very little editing to do; the least editing I need to do the better. I'm getting seriously annoyed with photoshopped pictures that really don't need to be. I very much prefer natural looking shots which I want to become my niche but that's not to say that post processing can be fun; they just don't need to be, you know?
It was also my friends Roz's fortieth birthday bash where a ton of her friends piled into a lovely and private part of a good food pub. I met a number of Roz's friends of whom I have not met before but one of them I was completely charmed and enamoured by. Her name is Dawn and she is totally off her rocker. She has a way out dress sense but I love that; I love individuality. i love that she see's the beauty in expression and creativity. I also loved that she was the best fun. I also sat next to Elin, a girl I met some years back though scrapping and whose children were my first official photoshoot. Elin is a gentle soul and I was nestled right in between the two. The variety of personalities was like nectar for the soul; I wish I got out a lot more!
I travelled to and from Scotland with Janet (one of roz's oldest freinds from years gone by) and boy did we have so much to talk about the whole way up. Almost 4 hours travel time in a car on a hot day is enough to drive anyone bonkers but we managed to stay sane. Roz had planned a lovely chicken salad for tea where I got to completely adore avocado in the mix. Avocado is my new fave salad ingredient next to pomegranate which I always try and include (when the bugger is in season). I have some pictures of the party to empty from my camera but seeing as its almost 2am, I shall leave that for tomorrow.
Finally, did you watch the semis of BGT? I thought Susan Boyle was dreadful; the woman has peaked too soon. I desperately adore all that she stands for but sadly she was overshadowed by Diversity tonight. SEE THEM HERE. They were the best thing I have ever ever seen, dancewise :) Also, that poor little girl, Natalie, was given the wrong song to sing too and the violinist was outdone by the loud backing orchestra. Mark and I quite liked the two fellas who danced with masks on. But Im over the Susan Boyle thing, really. I think she should let other people in the competition have their moments to shine. Just sayin'.
Night xx
**also big cheers for Hull City (my dads football team) who managed to cling onto the premiership today and also a HUGE happy birthday to my brother who is 33 today (25th))**

22 May 2009

Studes Sneaks

Its that time again and this month I am in creative heaven. Imagine a cleverly put together kit with an impressive collection of collage press, cosmo cricket and Studio Calico's own line of loveliness. My fave kit so far, far outweighing Garment District which I loved from 2 months ago.

Love love love.