Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Scrapping with IDIC challenge 10 'Layers'

The latest challenge for Scrapping with IDIC is Layers. We were given really gorgeous digi papers to use by JLJ designs who are also sponsoring the challenge this week, with the winner getting $5 to spend on their products.

The Zen Papers we were given are all glorious shades of purple and mauve, some patterned and some plain and I really loved them! I used 2 photographs of the old shed in my parents garden back in the spring when there were copious amounts of lilac blossom.

I used one sheet of paper as the backgound, more paper for matting and layering the photographs and pieces of the funky geometric prints as borders. My favourite part was somewhat time consuming, I took the geometric pattern (used as the border at the top) and cut out 4 leaved flower shapes, layed them up (3 flower pieces together) then joined them together with a purple jewel brad. I really loved the affect and tried to highlight my focal points (the photos) with the flowers attached with foam to give more of a 3D layered affect. I made the title really quickly but I don't like it so it isn't actually stuck down yet and it there isn't any journalling yet so this is still a work in progress but you get the general idea!

Please stop by Scrapping with IDIC to browse all the fabulous DT work and don't forget to join in with your version of 'Layers' thanks xxx

Monday, 25 October 2010

New class with Shimelle

Today is the first day of the new class with Shimelle called True Stories.
The first lesson begins with the words 'writing things down takes guts' and goes onto discuss how we are no longer part of 'the pen and paper culture' as we text, email and use modern technology to communicate. So we are encouraged to go back to basics and use a notebook and pen to literally scribble our ideas in for the course.

We were asked to consider the questions that others ask us, our FAQ's or Frequently Asked Questions. Today I was reminded of one of my FAQ's as we had a new hairdresser cutting the childrens hair and mine. She asked the classic ''Where do your children get their hair from?'' DD has the most beautiful auburn coloured hair and DS is a strawberry blonde. The question always tempts me to either laugh (where does hair come from generally??) or to say something flippant like 'it's from their real dad' or 'it's amazing the range of children's hair dyes that available these days!!' The reality is that I am half Scottish, DH is quarter Irish so there is a lot of Celtic blood we both have redheads in the family although we are both brunettes!!

I am also frequently asked about my job as a nurse and what my speciality is/where do I work. When I explain I work in G.U.M (Genito Urinary Medicine) also known as Sexual Health, people then want to know why!? Several years ago, a lady I met said in front of a mutual friend that she recognised me from somewhere. We ruled out a few possibilities then she asked where I worked, when I said the local G.U.M. clinic she went on to tell me (in front of her friend) a story about a one night stand that she had had and how she had come into the clinic for a check up because of x and y, all somewhat embarrassing for her. When I asked her when this was she replied '5 years ago' to which I said 'oh it can't be from work then I have only been there 3 years'!! Whoops definitely a case of T.M.I.!

So what are your FAQ's??? Hope to read what you are doing with the class on your blogs soon xxx

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Let's eat blog hop

Welcome to Let's Eat Bloghop!!!

I am soooooo excited to be a part of this amazing international blog hop organised by the totally talented Amy (check out her blog Over at Our Place) and I really hope this has autoposted at the correct time!!

Amy asked us to share a recipe/cooking idea and I sent her an email with a few ideas and she suggested I go with....

'Stir up Sunday'

Growing up, I spent every Christmas away from home, the vast majority with my Dad's family in London, staying at my Nanny's house. Whilst working she spent many years as the head cook at a large school and her ability to cater for large numbers really paid off when all the family got together. She was an amazing cook and seemed to be able to turn her hand to anything culinary and didn't weigh out the ingredients or use recipes, she just had natural talent.
One of the most important things to cook for Christmas was the Christmas Pudding. This was prepared several weeks in advance by my Nan and all the family used to meet at my Aunt and Uncles house around Bonfire Night/Guy Fawkes to stir the pudding.

Stir up Sunday is the traditional day that the family would gather together to stir the Christmas Pudding and make a wish, though we tended to get together on a Saturday. We had the added tradition of stirring in a silver sixpence
or a silver 'thrupenny bit'

On Christmas day if you were lucky enough to find a silver coin in your Christmas Pudding Nanny exchanged it for some 'real' money! The coins have to bemade of silver so that there is no risk of any form of poisoning/contamination to the edible pudding, now that coins are made from other metals they are harder to come by and I think this tradition has been almost lost. I don't know of any of my friends or family who do this old tradition moreover very few people make their puddings as they are readily available in every supermarket. (Obviously coins can be a choking hazard but it never seemed to worry us when we were growing up!!)

My Nan passed away a few years ago and I was determined not to lose this tradtion for my own family. Sadly I have never seen her recipe for Christmas Pudding if indeed she ever used one, so I had to find my own to use. I came across Delhia's Christmas Pudding Recipe and have used it every year since, though it has been adapted over the years, for example, I don't use nuts now.

My family now meet annually at my parents house a weekend in November near 'Bonfire Night'. We all make and take food to share, have a huge bonfire in the garden and usually have fireworks (though this has proved slightly dangerous in the past, but that's another story!!) I make up double the quantity in Delhia's recipe, my Dad supplies all the silver coins and we take it in turns to stir in our coin and make a wish...... I really love this tradition and hope it continues for many years to come.

The puddings are then made up in glass bowls and steamed for several hours, stored somewhere cool to mature for a few weeks, then re-steamed on Christmas Day. It is served hot with either, cream, brandy butter, custard or all three!!
Thanks for visiting my crazy blog next on the worldwide tour is Anne here. Her blog is amazingly mouthwateringly inspirational with lots of cupcakes and other scrummy recipes. I would also like to say Congratulations as she has just announced she is going to be a mum xxx

Just in case you get lost en route here is the list of all the blogs on our culinary tour....

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Handmade cards

A couple of weeks ago I celebrated a birthday, not a big one, just another one! I was lucky enough to receive several handmade cards and they arrived through the letterbox over a few days so I had something wonderful to open on more days than just my birthday!

I had a handmade card from each of the children, but all the others are from really wonderful women from the MSE cardmaking thread. I actually have only met one of these lovely ladies and I rarely get to go online to chat in the forum anymore, so that made it more special.

These cards are from (from top left clockwise), Claire (Mod frog), Jo (Jowri), Tina (Artydoll), Marg. Karen (Cookie) and Antonia (OAP) they are all completely stunning!!

If you look at these cards the bright yellow one has a pencil drawing of a pig in the sunshine (my talented DS!), the pretty pink pig is courtesy of the arty DD, from top left down we have cards from Debbie (Padster), Soma (Uma) and Sarah (Rainmac). The card on the right above the pig is from Dawn (Addams) and the one below it is from Jenny (Dragonllew). I feel really honoured to have so many fabulous handmade cards so a huge big THANK YOU to each and everyone of you xxx I apologise in advance for my lack of sending cards out to people!!

I don't seem to make cards as much as I did in the past, I am quite busy with work and trying to study plus I started scrapbooking this year and this is definitely my main papercrafting love at the moment. I think the two crafts work quite well together as after you have made a LO there are always lotsa little scraps let over and these are ideal for making a card or two (if only I was that organised to actually work that way.... you should see my pile of scraps!!!)

So if you scrapbook do you make cards too?? What do you do with your scraps and how do you store them? Mine are in a folder divided into colour/pattern/theme sections (plus some piled in a box!!) do share!!

Friday, 22 October 2010

more jumble bargains

I came across this little collection scattered across the Bric a Brac stall. I think they are all Japanese but other than that I am not really sure what some of them are! What do you think??

This is the flat compact type pink flowery thing but what are those little wooden things inside?? What are they for?

This is the inside of the doggy matchbox

How cute are those matches? Their white heads have little dog faces on! I won't be able to use them ever!! The other matchbox looked less interesting

but inside was a surprise

with a note

I was sooo amused by the fact that someone had taken time out to write this note by hand and put it inside the matchbox! Is this a one off or a traditional good luck type charm or something else completely? I have no idea really but knew that DD would love to see this collection and try to imangine what it was for and where it all came from. Please if you have any ideas what these are do post about it otherwise we may be wondering forever!!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Make a note in your diary....

I just wanted to let you know that there is a great Blog Hop happening on Sunday 24th October at 8pm Melbourne time and 10 am UK time.

And I am a part of it (and so proud and lucky to be involved with these Beautiful Bloggers!) so please either come back here on Sunday or go over to the 'Hostess with the Mostest' in the form of the Amazing Amy at Over at our Place and join us as we cross timelines to find out what edible delights each of the blogs is featuring.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Jumble Sale

Saturday 16th October was the annual school jumble sale for DD's secondary school and I volunteered to help. I was there for about 4 hours setting up, selling and then clearing away. The qualitly of goods varied hugely, from those that went immediately into the industrial sized school rubbish bins to items that were spotted immediately by dealers and snaffled up long before the doors opened!
I was on the book/video/dvd/pc/games tables so was surrounded by so much that I really couldn't take it all in!! There were lots of things everywhere and I tried my hardest to keep it all organised and tidy. I had also helped set up some of the toys and some of the more general bric a brac, again some of it was old toot but there were a few pieces of treasure I discovered...

quite a variety as you can see. I will try and share some of my 'finds' with you on here when I get a chance.
These are the books that I bought

There are 2 'old' versions of Enid Blyton's Secret Seven books, which I picked up purely for sentimental reasons as I loved reading these as a child. I thought there was lots of interesting information in 'i before e except after c' and it might even teach me a few things. 'The little Mermaid' is a board book that I hope to make into a mini album some time, I was hoping to find an interestingly shaped board book but this was the only one I saw. The last book I bought was 'The power of a praying woman', which I think my mum will really enjoy. I did feel a little sad that there was a brand new bible on the stall that never sold! I did end up finding someone who knew of a good place to donate it to as we were tidying up at the end.

Do come back again soon and I'll share some more of my wierd and wonderful jumble finds...can you guess what any of them are/or what I plan to use them for???

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

oh no I forgot to post yesterday!

I woke up this morning thinking of my blog (and a few other things that are playing on my mind!) and was disappointed that I totally forgot to blog yesterday. I went to work and stayed there until after 6, came home had dinner (whilst watching Desperate Housewives), read my book and went to sleep early.... totally forgetting!!

Has anyone else watched Desperado's? DD and I really like to catch up with all the gossip from the ladies on Wisteria Avenue, the first epeisode from this season showed the arrival of a new female star. It was Vanessa Williams AKA Wilemina from Ugly Betty (another of our fave girlie shows). She seems to play the exact same feisty type female character so I am sure she will be causing lotsa chaos throughout the series.

Look forward to catching up woth all your news and blogs soon xxx

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Two weeks ago SJ posted on her blog about visiting a pumpkin farm (see here). I have never even seen pumpkins growing and hadn't even considered that there could be pumpkin farms to visit in the UK. But after SJ shared her experiences (she is in the UK), I was inspired and excited. I googled 'pumpkin farm Surrey' and came up with Crockford Bridge Farm, which is only a short drive away from us.

Today we all went to see the orange fruits in all their Autumnal glory I was soooooo excited and looking forward to taking lots of photographs of the children with pumpkins. Sadly most of the pumpkins had been picked so the actual growing area was a little unattractive in places but I still loved it!

There were so many different shapes and sizes and often in the middle of where they were growing were beans or marrow/corgette type plants.

Some areas looked completely barren and dead whilst others were green and lush with beautiful flowers.
Many had been picked already and were in piles in the midst of the wilderness of plants

I think this was my fave pumpkin growing on the farm

Of course I had to get the children to pose with some pumpkins which can be quite difficult with DD here is the best pic of them together

DS is much easier when it comes to being in front of the camera and will get up to all sorts of funny business as you can see from this pumpkin picture

Did you spot him?? LOL!

Finally I got to buy 3 pumpkins from the 'Pumpkin Patch' where lots of the orangey amber globes were piled together according to size...bliss...watch this blog to see what I do with them!!

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Saturday night in

I cannot go out on Saturday nights anymore, there is too much to watch on the TV despite having sky +. It is great viewing for the whole family so we all become couch potatoes together sitting around 'the box'!

I expect you can guess what our favourite programmes are but just in case, our favourite has to be.....

the X Factor. I watch it every year and for the past 2 Christmas's I have received 4 tickets to the X Factor live tour so the whole family have seen the performances of all our favs (and the others too!!) This season has been filled with controversy already and I too was shocked by Cheryl's choices but Cher proved she has potential last week, tho' the jury is out on Katie still.

I was sad to see FYD leave last week as I thought they were great and would love to see them live... why is Wagner still in??? I would never pay money to see him, perhaps he is this years Jedward?? Believe me they were worse in real life than on any of the TV shows.... truly shocking! So who are your favs? So far I am enjoying Mary, Aidan, Matt and Cher.

Our second favourite is Merlin, we have followed every episode since the show started. Much of the storyline is complete fantasy but it is always fun and me being a traditionalist loves the age old story of good conquering evil. Plus it has the added bonus of Giles (Anthony Head) from Buffy playing the role of Uther. We actually tend to watch Merlin on Sunday as the X Factor HAS to be watched live obviously!!

The last essential Saturday night viewing has to be Strictly come Dancing. It is definitely best recorded so you can fast forward through all the apalling Bruce Forsyth jokes. Again I have my favs and they do not include Paul Daniels or Anne Widdecombe though I do appreciate her quick wit with the judges ie Craig. Do you watch Strictly? Do you like Bruces jokes?? Lol!

No doubt you all manage to go out on a Saturday night, next weekend we'll be with family so I doubt we'll be watching our fave programmes... I suspect we'll survive.....just!

Friday, 15 October 2010

I just couldn't resist...

signing up for the new Shimelle Class!!!
I got an email from the fab Shimelle today as a follow up to LSNED. It wasn't a personal one so I am sure many of you have had the news in your inbox today as well! It said there was a new class called 'True Stories' so I went off to Shimelle's blog (always an inspirational place to visit and peruse!) to investigate.
''True Stories covers fifteen different ways to approach your story and commit it to paper. You can use these prompts as a scrapbooker and see your journaling evolve to something that will be a treasure to read. You can use the prompts as a blogger to make your entries feel like honest, unique and compelling tales. Or you can just use them in general as a collection of ways to add a bit more excitement to your writing if you’re feeling like you’re in a rut of writing the same way on every project.''
This is just perfect timing for me as I was only saying today that I wished I recorded more of the details of my children as they were growing up, I have forgotten so much, so the memories will be lost (unless I can eventually recall them or someone else does!). I recently started trying to write something online most days using www.ohlife.com as I receive a daily reminder via email that I reply to which makes it relatively simple. But I think this class will be ideal to focus how I phrase things and what I write so I am really looking forward to it.
Also I have been blogging every day this month as part of Blogtoberfest and would like to try and continue with these daily posts and True Stories is for bloggers as well as scrappers... what more could a girl want!!??
It was even better as there was a discount as an ex pupil and classmate of LSNED if I signed up before Monday. A great Shimelle class and a bargain too!!! For most of you it will be £10 ($15)which I still think is a great price. So are you signed up yet??? Come on and join me and we can share our True Stories together

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Film day

Another Blogtoberfest post........day 14..........

Yesterday I had a day off and spent a lot of time chilling at home which was great! I ended up watching 3 Blu Rays in one day!! We recently discovered Blockbuster rent out 3 films for 3 days for just £10 and I can get 20% off being a University student so only £8 a real bargain.

DD had an inset day (teacher only day at school) on Tuesday so she invited some friends over and wanted to choose a film, so I just picked out 2 others.

She chose Killersstarring Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher. He plays an assassin who after meeting Heigl in Nice, France decides to give it all up to spend a 'normal' life with her, that is until a $20 million hit is put out on him! Then it's all a bit crazy with everyone suddenly becoming gun toting, would be Killers! But it was fun and quite light hearted and DD and I enjoyed it.
The next choice was Wild Target, featuring Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt and Rupert Grint.
Coincidentally Bill Nighy plays a very successful but lonely assassin paid to dispatch the quirky Ms Blunt but finds himself unable to complete the job. This film seemed to be a modern day version of an Ealing comedy, very British with goodies versus baddies and lots of chasing in cars. It was amusing but not one that the children would like very much.
The third film was

I loved the fantastic scenery of London in the 1800's, very atmosperic. I got a real feel for the smog filled city with grimy, busy streets with poverty and opulence rubbing shoulders (sometimes I wonder if much has changed!!??). This was my favourite I do quite like Robert Downy Junior and actually really liked Jude Law in his role as Watson (have been disappointed by his acting in the past).

This film set the scene perfectly for my current bookclub book 'Portrait of a Killer' . Written and researched by Patricia Cornwell about the true identity of Jack the Ripper. I am only a short way into the book but again I am enjoying the imagery of London during that period, the history is amazing. Not sure how I will get on with the more gory details of the murders (but I am a nurse so hoping I won't be too squeamish). I will keep you up to date!!

So what have you been watching and reading recently? Any recommendations??

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Halloween Madness Party

I Did It, Stitchy Bear Did It, U Do It 2 Forum are inviting us all to their very first annual Halloween Madness Party on October 29 - 31
There will be games and challenges and prizes and of course lotsa fun so get ready to come over and join in this spooktacular event!!

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Scrappin Silhouettes challenge 16 with Scrapping with IDIC 'Holiday' challenge

Scrappin Silhouettes has a great sketch this week by the mega talented Molly Bennett, who will be providing the sketches for the next couple of months.
Sketch 16Over at Scrapping with IDIC the challenge is to create a layout using 'Holiday' as the theme. We were given papers from Stampin Dragon Designs that were rich shades of orange and yellow which screamed Halloween to me. This weeks winner will win their choice of 3 digi images from Stampin Dragon Designs!

I decided to combine the 2 challenges and produced this Lo after flipping and rotating the sketch

My favourite bit of the layout was making those little 3D pumpkins, I cut out pumpkin shapes and glued them together to create little paper pumpkins.... really cute! The hardest thing was finding decent photographs of the children in their various Halloween costumes over the years, I was sooo disappointed that I haven't captured these precious moments. I managed to find this group shot from 2007 but the lighting was really poor. It is a lesson learnt for this year when I will definitely be taking more pictures.

Please visit Scrapping with IDIC for the holiday challenge and see what you can create with the sketch at Scrappin' Silhouettes check out all the fantstic DT work on both sites. Can't wait to see what you make!

Monday, 11 October 2010

An autumnal walk

Yesterday in Surrey it was like a summers day, it was beautiful, the sun was shining and the sky was blue. So we went out for a local walk at Newlands Corner. It has great views across the North Downs with wide open spaces and woodland areas, great for climbing trees, exploring and getting into the countryside

I am sure I have featured numerous photographs taken here as it's a convenient place to escape from the madness and so many spots are fantastic for photos. Yesterday both the children had moments of camera shyness, this usually only affects DD age 12
but DS was also hiding!

I did manage to get this one of DD making a face as she was fed up of me snapping away

and later with DS he kept running around or putting his hand in front of the lens but I managed to get this cute one of him and his long hair!

I think taking photographs of flora is easier than the human fauna!! Will show some of these another day.
So pleased I have managed to post everyday so far in October as inspired by Blogtoberfest!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

10/10/10 @10:10

It doesn't come round very often so I had to grab the opportunity and take a snap at the exact moment!

I got up late and 'the boys' had already left for a game of football at the home ground. I dashed into the shower, had a mouthful of tea and got in the car. The clock on the dashboard read 10:10 en route to the game but I always set it a few mins fast! I did snap a quick pic on my camera phone as I was driving .....shhhhhh! (need to work out how to upload camera phone snaps!).

I arrived at the edge of the field as the time turned to ten past ten and just took a photogrpah through the gap in the trees. Hoping for a semi decent moment... I got lucky!

The sun was shining and my boy was in goal, not as brilliant as it might have been but obviously it could have been a lot worse.
Where were you and what were you doing at 10:10 today, the 10/10/10???

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Cat in a tree!

Do you have pets? I may have said before we have one cat, Tinker and 3 rabbits, Panda, Cloud and Willow. The rabbits live in the garden in their three cages and as such are somewhat seperated from the daily interactions of the household. Tinker on the other hand has a major influence on most activities!

Today I was expecting the return of the summer for the weekend as promised in the tabloid newspaper I read yesterday. It did not arrive in Surrey! We had a warmish but totally grey day so not ideal for taking photographs. But I couldn't resist when Tinker joined us in the garden and had one of his 'funny half hours'!!
He ran up a tall tree maybe 30 feet out on a branch, then sat there miaowing at me as if I was going to be able to get him down! He ran up to the tip of the branch and looked like he was going to topple off but quickly retreated to the thicker part and sat down again miaowing! He was funny but he did manage to get down independently eventually!!

Currently he is sat in the kitchen hoping to be served some chicken that Lovely Hubby is cooking for dinner... I think he is out of luck!
Another post for Blogtoberfest xxx

Friday, 8 October 2010

Family and sunshine

Family is the most important thing to me and I love spending time with Hubby, DD and DS, especially when the sun is shining! I took this photograph a few weeks ago when we spent the day at a local National Trust property. I thought it was kinda cool the shadows holding hands!
Some of the simple things in life are definitely the best.
Another Blogtoberpost xxx
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Thursday, 7 October 2010

I love yellow flowers

I am not sure if I have ever shared this before but my favourite flowers are yellow! The most fantastic floral event of the year is the arrival of the daffodil. The vibrant colours in the often cold, dull days completely brighten my day and bring sunshine to my soul! I also get excited seeing all the yellow flowers coming out in the garden and the tubs, it signifies Spring has definitely sprung!

Throughout the year I am thrilled to receive any flowers but in particular yellow ones. So for my birthday, a few days ago, the children chose some beautiful blooms and guess what colour they were...... yep yellow! There were a multitide of blooms in various shades of yellow and yesterday I took them all into the garden as the sun was out (and the rain had stopped) and snapped some pics to share with you all.
Hope this has brightened your day xxx
Day 7 of Blogtoberfest and still going strong!