31 May 2012

Win Tickets!

The Summer Crafting event is taking place at Doncaster Racecourse in July (14th and 15th) and I have 5 pairs of tickets up for grabs.  I've been to this event before and its fantastic! 
Great parking, roomy and most of all....crafty.  You might even come and join me at the Fantastic Ribbons make and take area which is FREE providing you sign up early enough!  To be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets, leave your name in my comments box below.

Talking of Fantastic Ribbons, here is a little something I wizzed up today.  Ive always loved ribbons, they make me so happy.  Keith and Ben are so generous to the DT of which I help run.  Pop over to their blog when you get a minute xx



I also forgot to share this, from Saturday night.  We were all invited to a black tie event but as I was not in the best of spirits, I urged Mark to take his little lady along with him.  She wore her prom outfit again and wore her hair shorter (I lobbed 3 inches off it on Saturday morning in a blind rage to the knots it had got itself into!).  BTW, her dress is up for sale if anyone is interested.  Its a size 4-6 (uk size).  Its supposed to come to a slender girls calves but Ellie wore it as full length (obvs!).  Plus its only sticky-y out-y as there is a petticoat under there.......so its not so puffy IRL.  Email me if you are interested.


Its Ellie's last proper week at school and after the half term, she will be only attending lessons in the timetable where she still has exams to sit.  She is struggling with revision at the moment, its TOO much - even my eyes are watering as I go through it with her.  I mean, we are enjoying the time together but chemistry?  Jesus, it's bonkers and nothing that Ellie will benefit from in her life.  When will schools learn that a final exam is too much for kids like Ellie?  Coursework based examinations should be taken into consideration and each child sit a mini test every 6 weeks to make up a final mark at the end of the year.  5 years of a high school's worth is based on the precis of one exam per subject.......it doesn't make sense to me (in terms of Ellie and her needs and her furture).  If only I was the education minister............

Best thing this week is that Ellie graduated from College with a Level 2 pass in Floristry which is equivalent to a GCSE (and that was for 15 months work!).  So proud of Ellie, more than words can say, really.

Finally.........My top tip for this summers drinks for half term?
Instead of buying a soda stream (costly gas and faffy exchange when its empty), buy your supermarkets own 2 litre brand of carbonated table water (17p in my Sainsburys!).  Then buy a bottle of  soda stream cordial £3.50 (a bargain when there is 50% extra free, too!).  I picked up the diet cola which makes 18 litres of fizz - we just add the fizz to cordial rather than add cordial to an entire bottle of fizz - that way we can add fizz to various cordials as and when (bonus!).  Combine all this which means I will get 9 x 2 litre bottles of soda stream style cola for £5.03.  That's equivalent to 54 cans of coke!  ok, shutting up.

Don't forget to leave your name to be in with a chance of winning tickets!


30 May 2012

A change of scene

Late this afternoon, I had to drive over to Wrexham to drop some Artwork off at Ellsion/Sizzix.  I love doing projects for Sizzix as I get to use lots of new schtuff that isn't even on the shelves.  As it was nearing rush hour and the fact we were in another country (Wales!), I thought "I know, lets go to Llandudno for tea".  Ellie all but spontaneously combusted with excitement because I used the word adventure - such a fantastic word for kids who still believe in the mystery of it all.  

But as we headed nearer the town, my thoughts turned to the town where I grew up, in Holyhead.  Its just off Anglesey and only 45 minutes past Llandudno.  So, like the crazy wild kids that we are we sped past and made our way on an impromptu adventure.  If it had have been raining, I think we would have just gone to the local chippy and made hey in the drizzle!

First stop was one of my three favourite beaches on Holy Island - Trearddur Bay.  I also got married here; it's always been such a lovely, breezy bay.  Today was no exception.  And best of all, Ellie was smitten

These blue railing were not here back in my day but their vibrancy and pattern was too delicious to overlook



This is us three taking a breather to admire the view.  Eddy LOVES the sea air and beach - his little tail wagged all the while he walked.  But obvs not here, he is stood still.  Lol.
 

 I then drove over to Holyhead, where I grew up between the age of 11 and 16.  Back then, it was a dead end little town with little industry including an Aluminium processing plant, an electrical components company, a ferry port and Fishing.  The first two have gone now but the town has expanded and has been modernised on the outer reaches including proper, high street shops (something the town lacked when I was a kid).  Road systems have since changed too but the general feel of the town is the same.

I stopped by our old neighbours whom we first met when I was 11.  That was a stonking 30 years ago (could cry at that number of years!).  Luckily they were in and were so LOVELY to Ellie, I and the poochy.  We did a LOT of reminiscing and of course, laughing.  It felt so good to see them and recall the good old days.  

I also took a picture of our old house.  No 5 Coastguard Houses, Prince of Wales Road.  My dad, of course, was a coastguard back then and our house was snug and had AMAZING views. 


See! I mean, SEA!!
 


We then drove over to Rhoscolyn, to the White Eagle.  This pub has ALWAYS been a fantastic place to eat and drink.  It currently welcomes HRH Prince William and Princess Kate on the odd occasion, although they were not there tonight.  BUT!  They treated Eddy like a prince as they allow dogs into the snug whilst you eat.  I COULD NOT BELIEVE IT!  
 


They brought him bickies and a bowl of water whilst Ellie and I ate like Queens.  Magic! 
 


I then drove the kids down to the second best beach on the island.  Rhoscolyn beach is a beautiful bay with gorgeous sand and dunes and rocks to explore.  Ellie LOVED it and Eddy?  Well, he went bananas hunting out new smells and blobs of seaweed.

The path to the beach was dune-ey and rickety fence-ey;  a beautiful opportunity for my camera.
 


 Ellie took respite on a cemented style.  The light was low which always means her eyes are WIDE open for pictures.  She was so at ease tonight; it was like she needed the break rather much like I did.


Just look at her being so cosy in front of the camera.  We don't often get that!


She even pointed out this abstract section of the sea wall and said "Oh you will love me under this".  And she was right.


On the beach, the boy kept sniffing and then staring inquisitively at his next target in the distance.  We were laughing so hard at his little oddity.  And between sniffage, I clicked away at his reddish fur parts


The rosette on the top of his leg?  My favourite part of his body, next to his silky ears.


 A rats eye view of my gigantor poochy!


 the kids, staring out to sea


 Turning back as we head back to the car, the light so low yet magical


By which point the boy had buggered off, leaving a trail of paw prints, leading into a silhouetted distance


And the last picture of the day with my faithful instagram.  Look how blue and wide open Ellie's eyes are.  Coupled with her ruby red, rosebud lips..........she is a little beauty, no?

We got home at midnight with the kids sleeping all the way and me listening to Mockingjay on Audio.  And here I sit with a cuppa reminiscing about the break that broke the camels back.  Yup, I'm back on form and the misery of the weekend put well behind me.

29 May 2012

The cutest papers


Im a sucker for papers.
Im usually drawn to the pallette then obviously design.  And these ones are just another pack I didn't really need but had to buy as they have so much potential.

They are called Animal Antics by First Edition papers.  Ive got to say, I have bought a few of their paper packs of late and are worth going halvers with your friends so you dont end up with an entire pack with extra sheets that will never get used (I have a pile of paper packs here in need of a swap session)

Right, Im off to bed, its 5.10am ... my body clock is way out of sync after this weekend.

Adios x



28 May 2012

Touchdown at Schipol

This weekend I was reminded just how incredibly cruel life can be.  I have done nothing but break my heart since Friday night right up until this afternoon when my sweet Belles came into the bedroom, sat right next to me on the bed and touched my cheek.  The fact that she was more interested in wanting to know if we were going to my friends BBQ was insignificant to me.  But that precious, feather light connection of her hand to my cheek was like she was draining all the anxiety from my sad, selfish shell.  I honestly believe Ellie is my earth angel.  She knew I was feeling dreadfully low and her way of softening any blow with me is to either offer a much needed sweet kiss or touch my cheek.  And if you could bottle this brand of magic up, it would sell for millions.

I perked up and said "yes, we shall go to the BBQ" and her little face lit up so majestically.  And for those of you who haven't met Ellie, smiling needs to be encouraged - it doesn't happen naturally.  She LOVES going to my friend Jane's.  You don't have to make excuses or have to explain things to them.  They are so accepting and gracious.  I know Ellie feels right at home there and believe me, besides our house and both our parents houses, she doesn't care much to go anywhere else.

my chipmunk - in all sense of the word.  She is FOREVER stuffing her pouches with food and they can be still full an hour later.  

In light of this weekends highs and lows, I wanted to share a very short story with you (although I blogged about this a while back but I can't find it in almost 2000 posts).  So I'm going to share it with you again.  If it resonates with you, share it.  If it doesn't affect you then still, share it.  But most of all, share it with your children.

 "Welcome to Holland"  by Emily Perl Kingsley 

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

"Holland?!?" you say. 

"What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy." But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place. So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy.

But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there.  And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go.  That's what I had planned."  And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland.




26 May 2012

The girl in silver boots


Frames courtesy of Rhonna Farrer brushes at Rhonna Designs

She wore silver boots, she did; they gave her magical, super powers.
For one night only she became super prom chick.
She oozed deliciousness from every pore.
She slicked her nails in storm grey polish.
Her hair was de-frizzed with a fat curl per tendril and polished off with a pretty flower.
She daubed her lips with niveas finest lip balm.

And then, armed with all her finery, she attended her prom.
Alone.

But her magical, super powers gave her humility and dignity.
It strengthened her tolerance to indifference .
And it made her beautiful soul glisten with purity.


Here are some instagram photos I took through the day.  Getting a good picture on a bright and VERY windy night was horrendous. The pictures above are about the best I could get and besides, I spent most of my time fighting back tears. 

Her amazing hands and real nails!

Hair being primped and preened.  I had to laugh, they plonked her on a booster seat!

A very beautiful, much thanked for wrist posy from Karen Relihan - we can't believe Karen went to such lengths to add to Ellies important night.

And her she is, on her way in my sunnies.  Love how that light behind her hair looks.

Cakes decorated and gifted to ellie, to match her outfit.  Made by the most EXCELLENT cakery bakery ever in our area.  Try out Sharon, here, for your next special event

At midnight, my Super Prom Chick came away exhausted; she'd enjoyed her night.
I hope she will remember this day and the people who helped make it more memorable from their love, support and gifts.

25 May 2012

Where has it all gone?

Yeah!  Where's is gone?  My sidebar stuff and all my links?
Well, you see, they were just in the way but they have homes in the page tabs above and lots have been placed at the bottom of this blog page.  Im making lots of changes to the blog to make it more "magazine" like.  I understand that some of my visitors come here for craft, some for photography and some for the crazy life stuff I write.  My aim is to segregate most post in future and place them in the page tabs you see above.
This page will then become an index, the pages for individual posts and general stuff below.

Before I start doing all that, I quickly wanted to share a new business card design I did today for Helen Anderson.  I love this part of my job and it suits the craft industry style (as opposed to clean and sanitary, like most graphic designer-y stuff)


If you need a business card designing or maybe a new logo, you just let me know, ok?!


23 May 2012

DSLR Training UK Tour!

After last years success of touring the country and coming to teach YOU in YOUR town, I've received enough interest to run another your but in differing towns.  If you are free on the following dates in the following cities, book your place now to ensure you bag a spot.

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:Aberdeen 24th June:
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and you can book them online now, with an early booking saving over HERE

You will receive my online course in addition to the day so that you don't have to take notes and have a back up of all you have learned in the day, too (worth £60!)
 I do hope you can join me!


One person who can't join me for the upcoming tour, is Lucy.  
 
So instead she came all the way from London on Sunday to be trained One to One.  I have to say she did a marvellous job of putting up with the first painful hour.  And then, before we knew it - she was shooting in Manual mode using the right apertures for the right situation and setting her shutterspeed to precisely the right one including setting her WB and ISO in tune with the ambiance and depth of light.
 
Look what she captured........ LOVE IT!
 

Lucy is such a nice girl, in addition to being an excellent student.  Her train back was leaving a little after the class was scheduled to finish so we invited her to join us for Sunday dinner.  A part of me didn't want to go home but then a part of me invited her to come anytime she liked, too!

22 May 2012

I've really enjoyed these last few months in the ATC swap group that I'm a part of.  Making a switch from a ginormous 8.5in x 11in substrate to a teensy 2.5in x 3.5in surface is quite a transition and requires working in miniature.  Obvs.

Here is this months swap from me.  I choose to make two so I get to keep one for me as I enjoy making them so much.

Gotta go and get me some more of the big, fat glitter chunks.  I don't mind fine glitter but the chunky malunky style is absolutely gorge.

And here are a coupla cards to add to my "emergency" card box



And that, my friends, is that.


19 May 2012

App Attack

I love Apple Apps.  I'm a bit of a collector, if truthful.  I have my precious Angry Birds almost sporting 3 stars on every board.  I love Draw Something and my longest streak is 63.  And I couldn't possible live without IMDb.  But the apps I covet the most are Instagram, PS express and my new fave in Be funky - which was free.

My photos are pretty random and usually involve the dog, my feet or food. Its not intentional, its just what happens when I'm out and about.  Here are a few of my fave instagram moments of late, Starting with Be Funky (it has a kajillion differnt filters to jazz up your photos)

The cross processing filter is lush


I love these leggings so much, I wear them lots


Is there any other way to eat hula hoops?


Me and poochy, before lights out


Jubilee time - Marmite has rebranded for a short while


And so has Kingsmill bread


We love Converse in our house


Wrapped up like winter for a poochy walk in MAY!


Then snuggled on the sofa with our feet up


I have a fixation with neatly presented loo roll


I love this little boy


Hmmm, meatballs


Ellie loves a bowl of spaghetti hoops - all the more prettier in these bowls



I got my hunter wellies at 30% off.  They are far too pristine here but now, after innumerable poochy walks, they are proper muddied up



Coffee with a client this week


And lastly.
Pulls sad face.
My first ever grey hair.


I guess this is the super quick way of scrapbooking.  If you are on instagram, let me know and I'll follow you!  You can find me under kirsty_wiseman.

Gotta get a good nights sleep, I'm teaching one-to-one photography to a girl travelling all the way from London.  Must ply each other with Coffee!!!