Ladies Camera Club

30 Apr 2011

Oh Wow!

I loved every single second of the wedding (ok - some of the hymm bits were boring but only because I wanted to watch THEM all the time). I had tears in my eyes as I revelled in a truly British day.

My fave bits? Well, the crowd cheering outside the church as they made their vows, all of Kate walking down the aisle, when William grabbed Kate's hand under the arches at Horse Guards Parade Square), little Grace holding her ears on the balcony and the kisses (TWO JUICY SMACKERS!).

Id heard a leak at 8am that the dress was a McQueen design (well, Sarah Burton at McQueen) so I knew there would be a great addition to the day. The only thing I was disappointed with was her dress had a gathered waist. I personally would have not designed that aspect (opting for no gather nor empire line) but I was super impressed by the boxed pleating on the train. She did look absolutely beautiful. I also loved that her bouquet had sweet william as well as traditional myrtle.

I felt a little uneasy on Eugenie's choice of Vivienne Westwoods apparel. I know Westwood is a wildcard (she is on my current Module of "ten of my favourite Fashion designers" on my diploma course). But come on Eugenie - it was a tad garish, next to your Aunty Ann whose frightful ensemble made me wish the wedding was in black and white.

I loved Victoria Beckhams outfit (well, more the hat) only wishing the woman would bloody smile. I also ADORED Tara Palmer Tompkinsons outfit too, her hat was magnificent. And as for the Queen? Bless her, all that yellow made her look like a little cute chick.

After the ceremony, my mum, Ellie and I had a tea party in my mums garden. We made bunting,as well as dainty finger sammiches (some with crusts - I like crusts!), cakes and cream scones.
I can't forget the Pimms nor the pink lemonade neither.

I noticed, that on my plate, a nut had landed on Kates hand. Therefore I shall call her engagement ring the "cashew nut" ring from now on. Wills will be called Egg Sammich head too. I hope the Queen doesn't read my blog, she will have me off to the tower for a proper beheading otherwise.

My girl and her dachsie cuddly which she had bound his ears with ceremonial ribbon

My Momma, in her tiara

It was a wonderful day and one that I hope Belles will NOT forget for years to come.

What did YOU do?

28 Apr 2011

So? Last nights sketch......

This is how my sketch came together (see two posts below for sketch)

Dont ask me why these are dark - perhaps Im all mysterious today!

If you want to see more interpretations of the sketch - go HERE

I Love Mario

Those who know me know that I love everything that Mario Testino does and this photo is, without question, another one of his best. What I do love about it is the natural smiles on their faces. When Charles and Di had their official pre-wedding pictures taken, their faces were so stunted, it was untrue. But here? Well, you just can't beat natural laughter.

Congratulations Wills and Kate - I'll be waving my flag like crazy tomorrow morning.

I am so so excited! Can't you tell?

27 Apr 2011

I want to tell you something

I saw this sign the other day on a friends facebook wall. I looked at it and immediately it summed up everything about my life

This may be the reason why I am tormented from relationships with friends (and indeed family) I have had in the past. Everyone has a standard or expectation and when it not fulfilled or its over compensated, this is when we start to think we have either failed them and indeed, ourselves.

Recently I have learned to surround myself with like minded people. People who have the same beliefs without hidden agenda. People with the same tolerances and understanding. But it has taken me many years to come to terms with it and enjoy my lot in life.

There ought to be no shame from walking away from a fight. I see no need for endless, gut wrenching arguments when both parties are so resolute that there can be no persuasion or empathy for each others grief. That aside (and in my ideal world) - bygones really should be bygones. But who says it first without the other party breaking into a tirade again? I got tired of all that years ago.

I wanted to share this with you today because this weekend I was reunited with a lovely friend from years back and has reconnected with me without any clue to the form of person I am now. What I felt compelled to do what to email her and explain what kind of person I have become over the last 15 years and how situations have shaped my level of thinking. How I deal with turbulent friendship's and how I use those incidents to reevaluate how I move on from the choices I make. I don't think I have been so open and honest in my life.

And if it wasn't for the quote I saw above, I don't think I would have had the nerve to write such a lengthy email but by god, did it make me feel good when I had poured my heart and soul into that email. It took 4 hours to write an account of my life (with many many things omitted, perhaps just touching on the basics but definitely no papering over the cracks - if you get my drift).

I don't think it was a life defining moment but suddenly coming to the age of forty, you start to look back at the things that have made you, shaped you and tormented you and you bunch them up together, twist them, squeeze out the bad things and sift out the good things. And from that point on you are smarter, wiser and perhaps a little braver.

Have you come across any quotes that suddenly made you "Ping?".

Tonights Sketch

If you don't already know, two wednesdays a month I host a live Ustream crop. I provide a sketch, a link to the Ustream live video and there is an opportunity to chat to other crafters (and boy do they chat?!)
The facebook page can be found here with all the details on it and tonights sketch is below.

Happy Scrapping!

26 Apr 2011

Life in snapshots

I love my iPhone but the big niggle I have about it is the crappy camera. I swear if it wasn't for instagram, Id chuck the bugger in the bin.

Here are some pics from the last few days, I thought I'd share them with you

Ellie, from my passenger seat sun visor mirror. I love that the sunset is glowing next to her head.

Dead dandelions - a whole graveyard of them about right now. This one wasn't the blowy kind, though.

Ellie and I on Easter Sunday. I'm obsessed with this kid.

Mark and the pooch on one of our many country walks

And Belles, today - practicing her Royal wedding hat wear-age. WE are going to re-invest our Union Jack stuff for the Diamond Jubilee, next year. I'm super super super excited about hat. Good old Liz, ey? ;)
Finally, I have a video over here to share with basic Aquamarker techniques for you to see

25 Apr 2011

I am royally excited!

I am a pure Royalist so you can imagine that this weeks coming proceedings will be the highlight of the year for me and Belles (but not Mark, he is not interested at all!). We have planned an afternoon tea with bunting and flags with cake stands rammed with delicious bites as well. I don't apologise for such actions - I'm all for pomp and ceremony.

I cannot understand the minority of people who say we should get rid of them. But why should we? Their history formed the backbone of this country with great kings and queens leading battles and conquesting glory for CENTURIES. The modern man who poo-poo's their existence clearly hasn't grasped what they are about and can't possibly think they can overthrow hundreds of years worth of sovereign rule over a republic state - for starters nobody would wear a fancy crown and sparkly jewels! There would be no pride or tourism if Cameron headed all we stand for. Bluergh, shakes head at the thought. And as for the media claiming they are spongers? Huh, they are proper nay-sayers; filling column inches with "non articles" just to ruffle a few readers feathers. Gah, it makes me mad.

This will be the fourth royal wedding since I was born although I don't remember Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips. I adored Prince Charles and Lady Di's wedding (even if he was in love with someone else when he got married) and I enjoyed Prince Andrews and Sarah Fergusons wedding. I know all of theirs ended in divorce but I truly believe that Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding is true love. After all they have been together a LOOOOONG time and they seem so down to earth. I so want Ellie to be swayed by the romanticism of this day without the drawl of slobbering anarchists and political activists spoiling the party.

If you are after some souvenirs,
I can recommend this shop in Chepstow who has Emma Bridgwater mugs marking the event - just call them to see if they have any left

And for fun, check out these daft tacky-fest oddballs. So even if people are not a royalist, someone, somewhere is laughing all the way to the bank!

T shirts - millions of them. Im just going to wear a a skirt, a top and a paper crown!

Ooooh earrings - mad!
A caffitiere warmer - how novel.

An invitation necklace that you will with our own name.


Its postman pat and Crystal Tips

Huh, its not just a wedding.....its history!

Love these!

This is stunning! Its made from domino's and costs $2,500 on Etsy

A vanity case, of course
Meerkat Wills and Kate


A commemorative compact mirror
Felt dollies
someone is going to be pissed when they realise that its meant to be a W and not an M.....duh!

Happy souvenir hunting x

24 Apr 2011

Are we in August?

I seriously never remembered such searing temperatures in April before - ever, in my life (and I am a woman of the world!). Obvs I'm not complaining, of courses. It's just that my poor little lady can't deal with it so well and spends the time indoors, in the shade.

Well, I broke the mold today and whipped her up to Skitters Wood to enjoy a little of what the bluebells enjoy and that's dappled shade. She needed to get out and although she didn't want to, initially, she was glad that we did because it meant she could pick up sticks and pick weedy flowers and enjoy the fresh air. And as Bluebells peaked this weekend, I thought we would grab the last chance for a few pictures before they wither away until next spring.

Isn't she a doll?

She loves picking for sticks, flowers, weeds - just picking, picking, picking!

And this picture is so her.

I like to remind people that asking your kids to smile for a photo just isn't natural. It's so much more candid to take pictures of them looking away or sat wondering and thinking ...... your kids don't have permanent grins on their faces so pictures like this are more or less what you see when you are observing them. Although, when you can, it's such a great opportunity to snap a photo of them laughing spontaneously (and without them knowing you are shoving a camera in their mushes!!!).

When Belles had gone to her sleepover this afternoon, I faffed around taking pictures of some bluebells that belles had picked for Amy (her sleepover buddy) and Me.and an undershot of this little beauty, here.

There was no reason to take the pics other than to just play with light.

And there is lots of it to spare right now!

Project complete

I took a class in Leeds the other week and Caroline Lovett shared a techniques experience with us. I knew I'd ultimately end up making this project as a gift for a friend. And as we had guests over tonight for a bbq, I put the finishing touches to it (complete with photos and my own extras) and gave it to my ex dorm mate, Carolyn. I haven't seen Carolyn for 16 years since I left the RAF and got married. We only recently hooked up on Facebook and I'm so glad we did. Our kids have things in common, namely ASD and muscle fatigue so we had nothing stopping the flow of conversation. Her children are just the most wonderful beings and both Carolyn and her husband Mark haven't changed a bit. Its so much easier to get along with your old time buddies when they haven't changed one incy wincy bit.

When I gave Carolyn this book she got a bit teary. I'm hoping to give her the craft bug with it and welcome her into a new world of stress relief!

I cant tell you what it means to me to be in touch with my oldest friends. **sigh**

22 Apr 2011

Resist Techniques - Aquamarkers

This is what you can conjure up with just two aquamarkers. Ok, ok, ok - I mean just the background and obvs not the paraphernalia attached to the tag as well (plus a little embossing powder as well). But just two lousy pens to create that colourific background?

Love it.
Come see here how it came together. (oh you are going to love the minutes worth of heat gunning sound effects on there!).

21 Apr 2011

Oooh sneaks - such rarity!

I haven't done scrappy sneaks for, like, evers and evers!
These are two of my submissions for The Scrapbook Magazine of which I was supposed to create one but ended up making two. Purely because I couldn't decide on the two and that's not because I think I'm clever. Its because I was working with papers I just couldn't work with. Double dutch, much?

Oh dear - I promised not to do anymore bunting but failed miserably. So sue me, why don't you?

In the end, I forced myself to use them and that needed concentration, will power and wine. And the result? Well, I just love them now. Heeeeee!

So - today?
Scorchio!!!! I took Belles for her Reiki healing. She was so up for it. The healer talked to Ellie in a way she could understand and asked her questions that Ellie couldn't know the answer to. She was so perfectly in-tune that the Reiki master must have thought this was NOT her first time. Encouraging, I thought. Ellie was absolutely drained at the end but soon bounced back, in time to go and watch Rio. Ugh, yawn. I was so bored watching it and normally I LOVE Disney films. I had other things on my mind today but I was happy to accompany her to see it as the poor thing has been blighted by the bright light during these BEAUTIFUL sunny days.

We got home to the smell of hot coals and sizzling steak on the barby! Hooray. Obvs the pic, below, is not steak. These are our famous veggy kebabs. Nothing like carbon-like, charcoal-ly, burned-to-a-crisp veggies to line your stomach, right? I always seem to taste the burned bits for a week.

And as he stood manly, arranging his sausages on the grill, Mark arranged for me to have a glass of wine as I watched part four of this weeks Britains Best Dish. I gotta say, I think the 14 year old lad will clinch the puds this week......yumsand he proudly showed me his prize buy of 85% dark chocolate that was bought JUST for me. I am so very lucky that he knows me so well.

I dressed for the occasion too. I had emails from facebookers/Twitters asking me where the skirt is from. Well, brace yourselves, kids - its from Asda. Yep! I'm the Momma who like to get her milk, DVD's and clothes in one shop. I love it so much, I'm going back to get the other two colourways. Its proper 1950's apron-like and flutey.
Its rare that Mark and I spend time drinking a glass of wine in each others company......let alone lounging in the back garden on our outdoor furniture. It was lovely. Just us, the pooch hunting for barby scraps, the setting sun and a slight breeze to cool us down.

And I got a bit squiffy too. Hic.

PS: I forgot to add pics from this weeks Britains Best Dish cook off between Helen Roscoe and I
Helens dish, on the left, was spectacular compared to my boring old (although tasty) pud. I was suprised I won my heat, if I am truthful. Helen and I had such a good day, between filming and I was gutted that her dish didn't make it because it truly was a work of art. Helen is coming over to ours at the end of May for a meal and Im glad we have kept in touch. **btw - how red was my hair on camera?**