Friday, December 31, 2010

farewell 2010...

If I am honest, I'm not really that big on New Year (well actually I am big all year!!) .We rarely go out and I'll be surprised if I can keep my eyes open til midnight tonight!

However, I thought I'd better do some kind of end of year post :)

The main reason we will remember 2010 is of course our almost month long stay in Florida,which now sadly seems ages ago :( Hard to believe that this time last year we were just about to book our flights. I will admit that it did take much longer than I expected for the holiday blues to pass...

At the ,moment I seem very aware at how much time is ticking by...I'm guessing one of the main reasons is that as from tomorrow I will be able to say that Holly will be going to secondary school next year.I know it will still be 18 months away,but it will still be next year.There is something about my youngest leaving junior school that really makes me sad.No more assemblies, sports days or Christmas shows.Sigh.

I have set myself a couple of 'scrapping' things I would like to do in 2011,but I haven't chosen a word for the year or made any hard and fast resolutions.If I end up at the end 2011 lighter and fitter than I start it ,that would be good but if not...there's always the next year ;)

I will leave you with a bit of fancy bokeh, another of the 12 Days of Christmas assignments .and wish you a very hapy 2011 :)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It's been and gone!

Christmas that is, since my last post! Three weeks...I think that has to be a record period neglect for my poor blog :(
So a quick round up of what's happened...
Holly's school show was fab (I will take photos of her costume once the tree is gone and I have a blank background for her to stand in front of!), Em's House Drama production came second .which means that we get to go ansd see her perform it :) The day after term ended we finally had a decent snow fall...and it's still hanging around now, though only in a mucky slushy form :( We did go out with the sledge a couple of times, but Holly wasn't really in the mood and it was really cold!
Christmas Eve saw us slip and slide our way to the Christingle service :) The walk home through the snow, admiring all the pretty lights got us in the mood for Christmas :)
Christmas Day was good,lots of lovely and much longed for presents were given and received :) I was lucky enough to get a new lense for my camera which finally saw me find my Bokeh! This was one the assignments on Cheryls photo course, and I just couldn't suss it with my other lense.

The present that made me laugh the most was the gift of three huge bags of Reese's Pieces -yum!
Boxing day was spent at my mum's and the last two days we have been enjoying lie ins and a lack of routine :) Except for Geoff that is who went back to work yesterday :(
This morning we went for a wander into town as I wanted to get a few things in the John Lewis Clearance.
We also got Holly a hat from Claire's in the sale :) I bought her a different one before Christmas but it was a bit small ,result then that Claires had marked theirs down to half price today :)

I will be back soon hopefully as I have some scrapping to share as well as the Disney mini album I made a few weeks back :)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

So far I am keeping up with the 12 Days of Christmas workshop :)Yesterday's assignment was to take a festive photo walk.Sadly the weather was horrible here yesterday, cold ,damp and by late afternoon pouring with rain :(These are a couple of the photos I took despite the dullness! I loved how cool the fountain looked where it was frozen :)
Todays assignment was called Get in Shape and involved taking photos of people -shock horror! I had a perfect image in my head of the photo I wanted but it was not to be! Grumpy models didn't help but I love this shot that I got instead :)

I've also had fun making my own star filter but I'll share the effects of that another day!

This is one of the layouts I did last weekend :) Not a great photo but better than nothing!I know the title doesn't stand out that much but with fourteen being quite a long word,I had trouble finding letters small enough to squeeze it in!

Today we went to Milton Keynes to see the Christmas displays and get a few bits of shopping (think Paperchase!).I don't think the decs were as good as past years sadly :( The girls had their traditional go on the carousel though :)

This week is a busy one, Holly has three performances of her school play and a panto trip and Em is also busy with drama rehearsals :)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

10th birthdays and busy-ness!

As always in December ,things have started to get a litle bit busy!
Tuesday saw Holly celebrate her 10th birthday :) She got her birthday wish which was snow on her birthday, although we didn't get a great deal.Shockingly though, they were actually allowed out for a snowball fight at school unlike last year when they were kept under lock and key when the bead weather hit! She is having her birthday 'do' in a couple of weeks,a trip to the cinema with a few friends and we had tea at Frankie & Bennys :)

One thing done off my to do list is Holly's costume for her christmas play :)I have no idea what the complete outfit looks like as I sent her mask, hat and tutu in after the main part!Fingers crossed she brings it all home in one piece so I can take some photos!
AS well as signing up for Journal Your Christmas this year I am taking Cheryl Johnson's 12 Days of Christmas photography workshop :)Yesterdays task was to experiment with the different white balance settings on our cameras.Whilst I know my photos aren't perfectly in focus, I'm really pleased at how 'glowy' they are :) I have yet to do todays assignment as it was pretty dark by the time we got back from school so I needed to have a re-think on my original idea.

We seem to be the only part of the UK that doesn't have a decent covering of snow,despite being forecast it :( Bah humbug! We were thinking of putting the tree up this wekend, but it feels a bit too early.Plus I really wanted to paint the living room first, so that is my job next Tuesday!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

In the mood for Christmas :)

This mornming I am feeling very christmassy! We have a light sprinkling of snow outside and I am all signed up for this :)
Over the last few years I have admired lots of beautiful journals on peoples blogs so this year I have taken the plunge :) I am still waiting for some supplies to arrive before I can get started :) Let's hope I stick with it :)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

One of those moments

Last week I had one of those of those when I thought 'We live so close to London, but hardly ever go there'So on Thursday Em and I went to Leicester Square to experience the atmosphere of the Harry Potter premiere :) We knew that by the time we got there, there would no real hope of getting near enough to see anyone actually in the flesh but at least we were there :)As it turns out,the first place where we were standing was pretty close to the 'main' red carpet (totally confusing as they were showing it at three cinemas!)But we were moved back from there by the police and then watched all the arrivals and interviews on the big screen.Despite getting absolutely drenched at one point Em had a great time :)
I'm almost ashamed to admit that I have never really watched or read any Harry Potter (Geoff normally goes with Em to see them) but almost feel like I should now!
This morning Holly took part in the Remembrance Parade with Brownies.Luckily the rain held off til about 10 minutes after they had finished.After going back to my old Junior school last week, it was a bit strange that my old headmaster from there led the service today!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

I'm still here!

And trying to remember what I've done for the last two weeks!
At the end of half term we went up to Widnes to spend a few days with Geoff's family.On Friday we went into Liverpool city centre,including visits to the huge Primark and Build a Bear! We caught a glimpse of Michael McKintyre in Waterstones,but weren't allowed anywhere near him due to the huge security guards everywhere!On the Saturday we went out to a PYO farm on the off chance that they may have a couple of pumpkins still left in the field...there were a couple !
We returned home on Sunday and once the unpacking had been done the girls set about carving their pumpkins :)
Sadly I never got round to doing mine and it's now outside rotting :( Although the weather wasn't the best, the girls still got dressed up and went out Trick or Treating.

Last week we got back in to the school routine :( Holly had a friend round one day after school, and they spent ages outside preparing experiments,planting pumpkin seeds whilst adding lots of salt & pepper to the soil to see what effect it will have! Ready flavoured pumpkin anyone?! Parts for the Christmas play have been given out and we seem to be on a fast track to Christmas now! Holly's year are doing Cirque Du Soleil so I am looking forward to making her a funky, bright costume! She has already dug out one of Em's old dance show leotards in preparation!

I got round to finishing a Lo a couple of nights ago.I was swayed into buying the Sassafrass papers having seen the gorgeous layouts on SJ and Laura's blogs.

My first attempt at the journalling was a a disaster though so I had to cover it up with the heart shaped banner stickers and pearls! I still need to stamp the date on it but as the stamps I needed have gone AWOL, it will have to wait!

Last night we went to a fab fireworks display :) it was a bit of a blast from the past though as it was at my old junior school. Everything seemed much smaller than I remember it! There was a huge bonfire to keep us warm, and the fireworks themselves were well worth the wait.This evening we had some sparklers ,which to be honest were pretty rubbish!

I will try and come back sooner next time!

Monday, October 25, 2010

One for the Disney album :)

Yesterday was crop day :) I think I enjoy these more these days as it's about the only time I sit and scrap !I did a bit work on Christmas gifts and finished two LO's .
This is one of them :)
I think I have decided that I like my Disney LO's without much actual Disney stuff on them! We met Woody & Jessie on our last visit to the Magic Kingdom,although we'd already seen Buzz & Woody at Hollywood Studios. I used My Little Shoebox shaped paper and strips of Jillibean Soup,Cosmo & more MLS.
This week is half term and the weather today is gorgeous ! Sadly it's supposed to rain all day tomorrow :( We are expectinmg the Bowkis clan though so I'm sure we'll be entertained by a show at some point!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

More celebrations :)

Last week Em celebrated her 14th birthday...yikes, that makes me feel old ! She had her main present from us a few weeks back in time for the start of her GCSE coursework, so she just got a few small things from us on the day.Last night she had seven friends round for food, X Factor dancing and a bit of Wii Just Dance .I must admit to trying not to laugh when they all sat down and 'rocked the boat' to Ooops Upside Your Head...pretty much what I did when I was a couple of year older than she is now! Anyway, I think they all enjoyed themselves and we all survived!" Holly opted for a sleepover at my mum & dad's after her orignal sleepover plans at a friends house had to be cancelled due to sickness.

Yesterday morning we went over to Thurrock as Em had a birthday money burning a hole in her pocket and Holly had finally saved up enough money to buy her long awaited bunny from Build A Bear ,along with a pumpkin outfit! Photos to follow!We also found a few things we liked in Primark, something for everyone :) I think Saturday shopping is the way to go though as in the past we have generally gone there on a Sunday and it's been manic.Yesterday was a bit of a revelation, no queues in either Build A Bear or Primark!
This week is a bit of a mad one with teacher consultations for both girls, year cake sale and year assembly for Holly and a Brownie do for Holly celebrating the end of the centenary year of guiding.Phew - roll on half term!

Birthday celebrations at Pencil Lines!

It's that time of year again, and this week Pencil Lines celebrates it's 4th birthday! There are sketches going live on the hour every hour today along with a RAK for each layout.Make sure you hop on over and join in the fun!

My layout has just gone live :) I used sketch number 146.I had trouble trying to choose one as there were so many I wanted to do again!

I used a real mish mash of October Afternoon, Jillibean Soup and Cosmo Cricket papers,along with Jillibean Soup twine, October Afternoon stickers,thickers and an Echo Park sticker :) It doesn't matter how many times we go out looking for conkers, Holly will always bring home a load more, even resorting to shoving them in her boots if her bucket is full! I love how this layout turned out ,though I will admit to leaving one layer out that was in the sketch as I was starting to get confused (it doesn't take much!)
I hope you enjoy the day of sketches and I will be back later with a post about Em's birthday :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Copy cat toadstools photos:)

One of the wonders of the internet is that you get to find out about local finds from friends :) Lyzzy told me about the pumpkin shop a couple of years back and this Autumn she has come up with another discovery :)
If you carry on down the lane where we go looking for conkers every year,you come to the entrance to Brocket Hall.On the verge are these amazing toadstools :) I have never seen them in real life before, although my Dad has informed me that they are 'quite common' in woodland! I have seen lots of boring brown ones, but not these! I'm sure the van driver that went past us probably thought I was a complete nutter, kneeling on a tea towel (I knew the grass would be wet so I went prepared!)with my head and camera on one side to take this photo

I do love Autumn :)

And here's another pumpkin /squash photo, just because I love the colours :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Autumn has arrived :)

Finally the damp and drizzle have disappeared and today we have had gorgeous sunshine :)

Yesterday we went to the farm shop to go to the pumpkin field.Sadly, it wasn't as good as last year :( Although I did phone and check they still had pumpkins in the field ,when we got there, they'd already picked and packed most of them :( (Much much earlier than last year!)I managed to find a few good ones to roll together for Holly to sit on though ! I'm glad we didn't leave going there til half term though,it would have been really disappointing!

This afternoon we went conker collecting again, this time with mum & dad. We also did a bit of leaf throwing :)

I will admit to still fighting with my new camera ,hopefully I'll start improving soon!

To help, I have invested in this book, the sooner it arrives the better! I also manged to lose my lense cap today so I've had to order a new one -doh!Thankfully the replacement one comes with a cord to attach it.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Last weeks scrapping :)

I meant to put these on here sooner ,but what with the rubbish weather we've had for most of the week it wasn't that easy to get decent photos.They're not great pics but I'm still learning with the new camera so bear with me!
For this one I used the new Jillibean soup papers, as well as the bakers twine and corrugted flower.The big brown flower shape is part of the packaging from the corrugated shapes.Love these photos that Anna took :)

For this one I used Echo Park Walk in the Park papers, and more bakers twine :) The colours of the photo aren't quite true as I printed it out on the wrong sort of photo paper -oops!.I will bet round to pe-printing it when I have more ink!

I have a couple more to share,but I'll pace myself as I don't seem to scrap that often these days !
As mentioned earlier ,the weather has been pretty dire this past week.I usually love Autumn ,but I love the bright ,crunchy days, not the damp and drizzly ones which is mainly what we've had!
This week is a busy one, Holly has her Harvest Festival assembly, where she actually has a speaking part (it's a whole school assembly and there aren't places parts up for grabs!) and another Victorian themed day on Thursday.Em has started dancing classes again as well as swimming with friends :)
Yesterday morning I had the house to myself ,which is rare for a Saturday so I had a giggle watching the out takes on the Friends DVDs :)
And for Lucy, this is the farm shop where I took my pumpkin photos last year :) Hopefully we'll go again this year :)

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Getting there...

I am slowly learning about my camera :) Since deciding which one I was getting I have been reading this great guide on the Canon website. To be honest, I find manuals a bit heavy going.This is much more useful as it has lots of photos showing the effect changing the settings has, perfect for a slow learner like me! This weekend I had a go at depth of field,and I finally got the sort of photo I have wanted to take for ages :)

Please excuse the dust on my Momiji, it will be removed by tomorrow afternoon! I dread dusting them as they tend to have a domino effect,I knock one and the whole lot are likely to follow suit!

Today was crop day:) It was lovely to catch up with people and actually do some scrapping :) I did three Lo's, though two still need titles - watch this space :) Plus it was a good excuse to stay indoors on such a miserable day!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Victorian Day

Today was Victorian Day for Holly's year at school :) They had to dress accordingly and went to vist a schools museum in Hitchin, taking with them a Victorian style lunch.Holly took a chunk of bread (!!), carrot,an apple and I made some scones last night, so one of those too :)She looked so sweet, like one of the Railway Children! The lovely pinafore & skirt were borrowed from my neighbour who had raided the costume department of her Amateur Dramatics group! The mop cap is a very old one I made for Em when she was in Year 5.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Oh dear!

I seem to be failing miserably on the blogging front :( Trouble is, I know if I don't carry on I will miss being being able to look back and use it as a reference as to when stuff happens!
So, trying to remember back three weeks...
The girls are back in the swing of school now.I did take some first day photos but they weren't great and I somehow managed to not take any of Holly on her own- whoops!
Em has now started her GCSE courses.a year earlier than many schools.She is enjoying her choices though and a day when she has Drama is always a good day! Holly has started having clarinet lesons this term, at last someone is making use of the family clarinet! Her learning topic this term is the Victorians,including a trip to a schools museum this week, in Victorian dress.
Last week saw my birthday, I was very spoiled and got my long awaited new camera :) This is a present carried over over from my big 4 0 ) last year, I think it was worth the wait! I am slowly learning what all the buttons do, and hopefully will soon start being a bit braver and leaving that auto function unused!I have found a really useful guide to using a DSLR on the Canon site with I have been reading gradually over the past week or so :) So please Mrs B, stop nagging me!!
I also got a couple of Momiji's ,a DVD and some spending money :)The day was rounded off nicely with a trip to the pub with friends :)My birthday was also the same day as my mum & dad's 50th wedding anniversary.So on Saturday (which happened to be our 17th anniversary !) we all headed to my sisters for a 'family do' to celebrate :) Despite really bad traffic, we managed to get there before Mum & Dad and get everything set up in time (we had most of the food with us!) :) As well as having a proper cake, I made some cupcakes .They weren't my best attempt (the first batch went in the bin!) but they did look pretty :)
On Sunday we went to see if there were any conkers to collect ,as we went this time last year, but there weren't many down,so we'll be going back :) And luckily, Mum has had been given lots of flowers for me to practice taking photos of :)

Sunday, September 05, 2010


that how it feels the last six weeks have gone :(Tomorrow we are back in the land of packed lunches and homework :(
We were busy last week though :) Em had her kneee looked at and redressed on Tuesday.Although it was still open a bit (yugh!) ,it is healing ok (so the nurse says!) She will have one big scar there though once it's all dreid up!
In the afternoon we went to the Butterfly Farm.My photos of butterflies weren't great, as they flew around too much!

There are lots of designer gardens to walk round, including these walls which were filled with...well, just about anything really!

As is always the way, the weather turned gorgeous last week,just as many schools went back ! Typical!Luckily for us though it meant we had perfect weather on Thursday & Friday when we went to Legoland for two days :) There were times when it did feel like we were back in a theme park, all wearing our summer clothes and spending ages in queues!
Here's a couple of photos, I'll write more in my next post :)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Catch up part 2!

So to carry on where I left off on Friday (I know my last post says Weds ,but that's when I first started writing it and saved it as a draft!)
On Friday,we finally managed to catch up Ann & the girls - better late than never! Check out the photos on Anna's blog,I love them :)I kept out of the way while Anna was taking them as sometimes when we are boith taking photos ,neither of us end up with any of them looking in the sme direction! I was also having a play with Anna's camera as I am hoping for a new one for my birthday...I need more practice though! We had taken a trip to the Dr's about Em's knee in the morning, and it didn't look too good so she wasn't feeling full of beans :( So although we were treated to a show by the others, it was definitely missing something!

On Saturday we finally got to see Toy Story 3 in 3D.If I'm honest, I didn't like it as much as the first two,I still managed to cry though !Loved the trailers we saw too and am really looking forward to the new Disney film 'Tangled' :)
Saturday evening saw Holly have a friend over for a sleepover and Em go to my Mum & Dad's for a sleepover.She was going to stay in Holly's room (Holly has to 'borrow' hers for sleepovers as hers is too small!)but climbimg up the ladder to the bed was a no no ,with her knee! Anyway, Holly & her friend eventually fell asleep about 12.30am, after Holly lost her third tooth this week!
And after saying I wasn't in the mood to do any scrapping, I now have a pile of five (yes,5!) waiting to go in my album :) Three are 'brand new' whilst two are ones that I had done at crops but were waiting for dates or that 'special' something ,to make them complete.Two of then I won't share though as they have Holly's friends in.
The pumpkin one is one that was waiting to be finished, thought I'd better get a move on as we're rapidly approaching pumpkin season again! And the bottom Lo is a new one, though I made a mistake on it and put the date as April when it should be August...doh!

Right, that si me all caught up for now.Tomorrow we are back at the Dr's with Em, depending on how we get on there kind of decides what we're doing the rest of the week....