Sunday, December 30, 2012

The mini album

Here are a few photos of the mini book I mentioned in yesterday's post :) I used a basic Papermania chipboard book from the Range and used all My Minds Eye papers :) I kept it very simple ,just adding flowers and pearls to each page .

. I really enjoyed making this and I found it really easy using just a few sheets from one range .I stared a similar book but slightly larger,for my favourite Autumn phottos from last year ,so I think that will be next on my to do' list :)
Deb, I have requested to follow you on Instagram :) Thanks for your comment,I was just wondering about you the other day!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

My poor neglected blog...

I'm not sure why I've been putting blogging as I have missed it. And I find it really sad that so many blogs that I used to love reading for scrapping inspiration or just general nosey-ness are no longer updated or closed to univited readers :( The blogs I seem to spend the most time browsing these days serm to be nail polish related as there are so many. Yep,nail polish is my other expensive 'hobby'! Though you probably won't see photos of my nails on here as I don't class myself as any where near that good! Anyway,at least my blogging was better this year than last year so maybe with the new year approaching I may get the bug again:-)
Since I last blogged Holly has had her birthday, both girls took part in the school winter concert and were fabulous,Holly had her first secondary school parents evening which made us very proud,Em has got herself a part in a production at the local theatre,we went to see Em as Tinkerbell in her stage school performance of Peter Pan,we saw the John Lewis snowman in store

and I have just about got over the trauma of Anna moving :-) Oh and Christmas has been and gone!
I got a new phone at the end of the year and decided that with the help of Instagram that this would be the year that I did a December journal/album. All was going well until my new phone took a dive down the toilet and refused to be revived :( I now have a replacement phone so hopefully I will finish the journal in January.
I made an album of images from our photo shoot with Anna as a Christmas present for my sister in law and really enjoyed it so I'm hoping to make some more mini albums next year. Really not sure what to do about a yearly album for next year.I want to do something but have failed miserably at completing the last two years albums :( !
I hope to back soon and thank you if you have stopped by to read this :-)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pumpkins :)

Yes,I know it seems ages since Halloween and pumpkins but I'm still catching up on things :)
As with the last few years we went to Pearces Farm Shop to visit their pumpkin field again.Em was too busy with home work to come with us (boo :( ) so it was just me and Holly.

AS you can see the pumpkins weren't huge! They were all pretty much still attached to their 'stems' too ,but I didn't manage to find one convenient pile for her to perch on! One day I will visit a pumpkin field somewhere with huge pumpkins!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Time to get a grip!

The last couple of weeks have been a bit surreal,emotional and draining.That probably sounds a bit over dramatic but really they have.So I will try and catch up on our goings on bit by bit...
Two weeks back Em and I went to see Wicked again for Rachel Tucker's (the actress who played Elphaba) final performance.We knew we were going to be emotional and that tears would be shed,as she has been one of Em's theatre idols since she first saw Wicked last year.We got to London around 10 ish and after going to Oxford Street we decided to go and see how bad the stage door crowds were,waiting for the cast to arrive for the matinee.It wasn't as busy as I had expected and the atmosphere was lovely,though there were some very 'intense' fans there...I'm so glad we went as Em met all the main cast members again and everyone was really relaxed and in no hurry to dash off :)
Em with Matt Willis :)
Em with Gina Beck (Glinda)
And with Rachel Tucker :)
It had turned really cold by the time everyone had gone in to the theatre so we went to Costas to warm ourselves up with a hot chocolate.We got chatting to the lady in the queue behind us,who turned out to be also going to see Wicked:) She had a spare ticket for the matinee which she had been unable to re-sell so she very generously offered to let Em have it for nothing to save it from being wasted!How lovely eh? So having waved Em off into the theatre I had three hours to kill in London on a cold and miserable day! I must have walked miles as I think I only sat down for a bit in Leicester Square the whole time!I met Em outside the theatre at about 5pm and we went to get some tea at McD's before going back for the evening performance.
The show was amazing,lots of whooping, cheering and tears,it really is difficult to describe! We decided to wait at the stage door after show too,although the crowd was huge and we were frozen! It was worth the long wait though :) The two girls in front of us were really lovely and got Em's programme signed by almost every cast member and we got to say goodbye to Rachel too :) I really must write everything down that happened that day before I forget all the little details!We finally arrived home just after 1am and spent the Sunday feeling all out of sorts!
I will be back soon :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Everything is changing...

..and I'm not sure that I like it :( The kids are growing up and little by little I seem to be needed less,from simple things like the school pick up to other things like bath time and weekends ,when they go out with their friends rather than being at home.I know this is perfectly normal but it will take a while to get used to.I know it means that really I have more time to do stuff but in all honesty,when I looked through all my scrapping stuff yesterday,I didn't feel inspired to make anything at all :( Top all this off with Anna's amazing news of her,Peter and the girls impending move to Hong Kong next month and I am feeling a little lost to be honest. Hmmm,this is a depressing post!Can't post without a photo though so here is one of Holly leaf throwing last weekend :)

Bear with me,hopefully things will perk up soon! Holly and I have plans to make a Halloween house and Halloween cupcakes for next week :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sweet Sixteen

Last Friday Em turned 16...I wish I knew where those years had gone!She wanted a Wicked themed cake,and after Googling for images I could guess which one she had seen that she liked and also knew that there was no way I would be able to make it! In the end I used a combination of a couple of ideas that I found on line,though it doesn't really resemble either of them much!I know that is very wonky and I am not pretending to be a professional in any way! She loved it though and it was more Wicked - themed than she had expected it to be!The sponges inside were all green - nice! Em's main present was her ticket to see...yes,Wicked !! We go again on the 27th of October for the cast change performance :) For her party on Saturday I made cupcakes with green icing,even though she still hadn't cut into the proper cake as she wanted to keep it as long as possible!

We went for tea at Frankie & Benny's to celebrate and then on saturday Em had a bout 10 friends round for a party at home :) And yes,there is still some of that cake left...!!(We persuaded her to cut into it on Sunday in the end!)

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Autumn love :)

I say it every year but Autumn really is my favourite time of the year :) A couple of weeks ago we went to our usual conker collecting haunt and although I knew we were probably too early,it didn't look as though there were that many on the trees to come down. However,we are lucky that on one route into town there is an avenue of conker trees:) And whilst I wasn't hopeful at first,they have had a really good crop this year :) I don't know why but I just cannot resist picking some up every time I walk that way ! Geoff thinks that people probably see me and call me the Crazy Conker Lady!So I have a huge haul of conkers here,even after I have dotted some around the house to ward off the spiders!

Today has been a gorgeous sunny Autumn day again and I love this photo of Ayot,our conker haunt and also where we had our photo shoot with Anna :)

I have lots to catch up on so I will be back soon with Em's birthday cake,I can hardly believe she is now 16 !!

Saturday, September 29, 2012


I love this photo of Em,it's another one taken by Anna:) Em turns 16 in a couple of weeks that's a scary thought! Considering she was the most 'do I have to?' out of all us ,when I told her we were having our photos's done,she spent the longest in front of the camera ! Anna spent ages with her trying her various poses and listening to all Em's ideas about what she wanted to try.I really can't wait to see the rest of the images :)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

London & Ghost

There seem to be lots of shows closing soon or have closed recently in London,hence our recent trips to see a 'few' shows :) One of those is Ghost the Musical which Em was really keen to see,me not quite so keen! For the cheapest tickets without sitting in the gods we opted for day seats.So yesterday morning I caught the first off peak train and headed to the box office in the hope they would have something left! We got seats in row B in the stalls,which in hindsight probably were too close to really appreciate the effects of the show but did mean that Em was in complete awe when the actors came right to the edge of the stage!Em absolutely loved it and to be honest I just liked it.I think it's probably because I'm so familiar with the film.I'm glad I went though (and I'm trying to ignore the thought that I could have bought a day seat for Wicked instead ;)!) Afterwards we did stage door and got our programmes signed and Em got her photo with the two main leads :)

As there was not much point me coming home again after buying the tickets I had the rest of the day to wander around :) I think I walked miles! This year I have really learnt my way round parts of London,if the underground ever breaks down,I should be fine!I went to Oxford Circus,Marble Arch,Victoria,Buckingham Palace,Leicester Square,Covent Garden,Westminster,Trafalger Square...I think that;s it!

I had a really nice day just mooching around at my own pace :) That is it theatre wise now until the end of October :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Holly's creations :)

As mentioned in another blog post ,Holly made my cake this year :)

The Lorraine Pascal version was completely covered in Maltesers,but this was just the right amount :)
In August Holly also made a cake for her friend Tom :) When we went away to Cromer we found a lovely cake shop which was like an Aladdin's cave to her! We got two packs of ready coloured fondant icing as she already knew then what she wanted to do,and this was the end result :)

Blood Brothers was so good on Friday,we both cried our eyes out! The seats were fab too, seven rows from the stage :) The cast were amazing ,if you can get to see it before it closes in November - go!!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Another one :)

This is another photo taken by Anna on Sunday :) I am so happy with the sneaks she has shown us so far,I am so looking forward to seeing them all!
I love how this one looks so natural especially as I am far happier behind a camera rather than in front of it :)
This week Em had been given her Leading Prefect's badge,and Holly won an award in Food Technology,Chef of the week,for her fruit salad she made on Monday :)And I need to take photos before I forget!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Family photo shoot with Anna :)

This Sunday I booked Anna (best friend and owner of Anna Bowkis Photography) to come over and take some family/individual photos of us all - yes,that meant some with me in too!Although we have had studio family portraits done,I really loved the idea of an outdoor set of photos and have spent many an hour admiring such images on the internet!As Autumn is my favourite season ,now seemed the perfect time to book Anna :) Although the weather was bit dodgy earlier in the day,by the afternoon it was perfect :)We took Anna's advice and tried to dress in fairly co-ordinating colours :) We all really enjoyed the afternoon (yes,even those of us who are not so comfortable in front of the camera).Anna was fab a putting us at ease and I am so looking forward to seeing the results .Here's one she shared earlier :)
In other news,yesterday was my birthday and today is our 19th wedding anniversary :) Geoff and I both took yesterday off work and had lunch out - a rare event for just the two of us!My main present was going to see Wicked again last Thursday,it did not disappoint and was absolutely amazing.Trouble is, I come out of the theatre and want to go straight back and see it again! This Friday I am going to see Blood Brothers with Em,my birthday present from her :)Holly made me a lovely cake for yesterday, inspired by Lorraine Pascale,chocolate sponge,decorated with butter cream and Maltesers :)

Friday, September 14, 2012


...something happens and it makes you stop and think. On Wednesday I was shocked when I logged on to UKS to read that Kimmy Sonksen had passed away .Although I never met Kimmy in person ,she was an original member of the Pencil Lines team when we first started and was a huge influence on many people in the scrapbooking and card making world. It makes you realise just how precious life is and how quickly it can be snatched away. I can't even begin to imagine what her family must be going through at this time.
If you would like to make a donation in memory of Kimmy, a Just Giving page has been set up HERE in her memory.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

New beginnings

Today Holly started a her new senior school :) It was a bit of a strange day...once she'd gone ,part of me wanted to run and sob into my pillow while the other half me was like 'oh, that wasn't too bad actually'! Considering how anxious and worked up she used to make herself a couple of years back,she did so well today.She had a few tears and butterflies but soon got her happy face back on,and happily went off down the road with her friends and one their older sisters.Em is doing work experience this week at her and Holly's old junior school so they are going in opposite directions this week! Once I came back from work I hoovered the house from top to bottom,cleaned & tidied and then started to clock watch until Holly arrived home! She is shattered but had a good day :) I'm feeling slightly redundant in that I no longer have a school run/walk to do any more!
My little girl is growing up too fast :)
Em enjoyed her first day of work experience,which is good as she was a bit worried about it! She had booked to do it at a local ballet school (the closest thing available to something theatrical!)but it turned out that they don't start back til next week ,and she has to do her work experience this week :( Today she was with year 6 and her teacher from when she was in that year and had a really good day :) Let's hope the rest of the week is as much fun!
Starting to get slightly excited now about seeing Wicked again on Thursday :D :D :D

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Final few days ...

All too quickly the holidays are nearly over :( I wish we could have done more as due to Geoff's back we haven't done our usual bowling,shopping trips or family London trip this year :(
On Wednesday last night we had a very wet and cold day at Whipsnade Zoo :( I think it was the worst weather we've ever been there in! Typically the rain went off around the time we headed home :( I think it's the first time we have seen all the lions together like this though!
On Thursday afternoon Anna and the girls came over,just squeezing in a visit before the holidays finished! The weather was much better than the last few tomes they've been over so we went for a walk to the fun fair at the lakes :) All four went on the Dodgems which was hilarious to watch! Whilst Izzy and Holly screamed and laughed their heads off the entire ride,poor Em looked terrified!
Can't quite believe these two start senior school this week!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


On Tuesday Em and I went for an early birthday theatre trip for the pair of us:) We both wanted to see Chicago ,but when they announced it was closing on September 1st it got moved up our wish list of things we want to go and see! I booked the tickets as part of Kids Week.This, and Get Into London Theatre are great ways of booking great value tickets as you can see where the seats are available and choose them yourself :)
Anyway, Em was very excited when Robin Cousins came out to see her before the show,after she'd tweeted him earlier in the day!We also spoke to a couple of other cast members before and after the show and they were all really friendly :)

As we had gone in to London early we had time to go the stage door at Wicked ,to see if we could get Em & Holly's programmes signed (I didn't have one of the current cast :( )We did feel a bit daft and at times a bit like stalkers! But it was worth it as we met all three leads ,one of which is Rachel Tucker who currently plays Elphaba,and who is Em's theatrical 'heroine' !! To say she was over the moon would be an understatement! Needless to say the photo she took of me is totally blurred from her shaky hands!

Seeing Chicago is the start of a 'musical' month for me :) Next week I am off to see Wicked as an early birthday present with Geoff,tickets were booked way back earlier in the year :) And at the end of September I am going to see Blood Brothers with Em as my birthday present from her :)Just a little bit excited :D

Monday, August 27, 2012


Last week was results for week for Em :) I will admit to finding the whole exam thing totally confusing as it is so different from when I was at school! Back then it was two years of work and then one of results at the end of it,far simpler! Anyway, although Em got lots of results ,only one of them was a final one,for her Graphics,and the rest all go towards next years final results.She did really well,getting 2 A's ,7 A's and 2 B's :) To say we are proud is an understatement! Em is not someone who walks into an exam room and gets full marks,she has really worked her butt off for these results and I am so proud that all her hard work paid off :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Whizzing by

As per usual the summer holidays have whizzed by and the girls will be back at school in less than two weeks :( I have been juggling working and making sure the girls see their friends and trying to do stuff with them.The last two weekends the weather has been way too hot to do anything though - I know,you just can't win!
Last week we took a trip to Hitchin Lavender field with my dad :) As with last year it was really sunny so I have a fair few 'squinty' photos from the sunshine! Sunflower picking is now included in the admission price so we came home with loads! My photos really weren't that great,but here are a couple :)

The school shopping is now all done - thank goodness! Tomorrow Em gets her Year !0 results including her final grades for her Graphics exam - yikes!
We have finally got Holly sorted out with a proper phone ready for the new term.I honestly don't think I've ever heard her scream as loudly as she did today when Geoff gave it to her! (It was a surprise!) It's the first time she has had a new phone as her others have been hand downs (not that she has really needed or used them much!)Just need to sort her out with a door key and she will be ready for independence....sort of!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Getting into the Olympic spirit :)

Today i decided to take a trip into London with girls to join in with the Olympic spirit the nation is currently enjoying :) WE usually do a day trip to London during the holidays but as Geoff isn't up to walking far we hadn't planned one this year.However it seemed a shame to miss out on everything that is going on so I decided a bit last minute (yesterday!) that I'd take them to Hyde Park today as it was my day off and the weather forecast looked ok :)
The train and underground were pretty much the quietest I have been on ,this afternoon Kings Cross was almost deserted!
Anyway,going today meant that we got to watch the cycling part of the Men's Triathlon :)My photos are pretty rubbish as I had my camera on the wrong settings,but I did manage to get the Brownlee brothers both in one picture ,albeit it slightly blurry!
I hadn't realised that all the big screens and Cadbury House were all enclosed and classed as a 'venue' ie they had the same rules as the Olympic Park.This meant not being allowed to take any food or drink in with us :( Fine if you're only there a short while but if you were there all day it would cost a bomb ! (£7 for a cheese burger,£2 for a bottle of water!)Also the queue for Cadbury House was almost 2 hours by the time we got there!

Instead we decided to walk to Victoria and visit McDonalds for lunch which was decidedly cheaper! From there we got the tube to Tower Hill to go and see the Olympic rings on Tower Bridge :) I had a nightmare with my Canon camera which refused to focus on anything :( I realised when I got home that the focus button had got knocked in my bag from auto focus to manual focus - oops! Luckily I had my trusty Fuji with me which I still always take out with me as the zoom is so good!
I'm glad we went as the girls can say there were there,when they are older :) We came home with loads of maps which the London Ambassadors freely hand out everywhere you go :) You can't fault the signage on the tube and train stations or the helpfulness of the staff and Ambassadors :)

Friday, August 03, 2012


After a fair while not doing anything vaguely crafty I have done a layout! When Holly left school we made a little mini book for her best friend full of photos from each year they have known each other :) Stupidly I forgot to take photos ,but rummaging through all my stuff made me want to actually sit down and use some of it!Having bought the new Echo Park collection,I thought I;d better try and use some of the This & that range that I bought a while back and hadn't yet touched.

I even added lots of writing,as I am trying to move away from the 'pretty picture,no details ' type layouts I have so many of!I'm still looking at it thinking it needs 'more' on it,but I just don't know what to add so we'll stick with the less is more attitude!The photo is one I took the day after Holly had finished school.Papers are all from the Echo Park This & That Girl range and the title is a mix of Thickers :) Hopefully I will get round to catching up on my 2012 album soon and scrapping some holiday photos :)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

More holiday stuff :)

AS we had such good weather when we were away it seemed a bit daft to pile in the car and go out >Holly's main 'to do' was build sandcastles so on the Wednesday morning we went to the beach:) Needless to say the paddling also led to wet shorts so we did a quick walk back to the chalet for a shower and clothes change before going for lunch.

We went down to the beach each evening as the tide was low and waited for the sunset,It also went a lot colder on this evening so Holly and I were a bit shivery by the time we got home!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

A few days away :)

This week the girls and I went away with my mum & dad for a few days:) Geoff's back is not up to him going far so we hadn't made any plans for a holiday this year,so this was a real treat :) We went to Cromer in Norfolk and a lovely time :)We stayed in a fairly small chalet but we all survived,though we didn't get much sleep! Summer finally arrived in time for our trio and the first two days were gorgeous :) The third day started off a bit hazy but had brightened up by the afternoon.
On our first day we took a boat trip out to Blakeney Point to see the seals on the beach which was fab :)

There were lots of seals ,all laying in different positions ! Not surprisingly I caught the sun a bit on this day!
We then made our way back to Cromer and found a lovely cafe for lunch which we liked so much we went back to for the next two days!
I have so many photos that I think I will have to do a few smaller blog posts rather than one huge one!
A couple of other photos from the first evening when the girls and I went off in search of the beach :)