Monday 6 September 2010

First day blues

My boys have gone to school and I am missing them. I am feeling the blues when I play "Jackson Street Blues" (Incidentally, that's the grade 5 piece I started at the beginning of the holiday and guess what, I had a lesson on Saturday and I've pulled it off! But let's leave that for another day ).

The house feels huge and empty without them. H starts at the Upper school today so with both boys at the same site, only one drop off point for me. There will be a few after school headache though but I am sure we will cope. The major point will be trying to motivate J to join more clubs! But we can't be too pushy, he has some IGCSE to contend with in June.

Wednesday 1 September 2010

It started with this

I was asked to do a layout for Scrapbook Magazine and the brief was to try a new style. I made Angkor Wat that you can see above. It uses very little patterned paper and generally "very light". I started by stamping the 3 frame stamps to form anchors to the 3 separate areas on my layout. This gave me 3 areas around which to group "stuff".

Centenary Ball followed, in the same vein. The photo was taken when we arrived for the Ball at school to celebrate the Prep school's 100th year. I don't usually like to do B&W but we were dressed in black anyway, so. I added very little to the page. Some saving stamps, K&Co die cuts, some Prima flowers, an old Daisy D journalling spot...

And whilst I was feeling nostalgic last week, I made Anticipating Paris. The photo was taken (and printed) 20 years ago from our first trip to Paris ( aaahhh). I didn't use a lot on this layout either, just my favourite chicken wire stamp from Prima and some Cavallini & Co stickers.

So what do you call this style ? I am enjoying doing this. I have far too much little things that would go unused otherwise. But what do I do with all my patterned paper ?

Monday 23 August 2010

Saturday 21 August 2010

Thursday 19 August 2010

You can fly

We went to AirKix in Milton Keynes last weekend. And, H could fly.
He went in, smiling all the way and he flew like a natural. On his helmet was a monkey and if you imagine one of those "cymbal banging monkey", the monkey on H's helmet was doing the same throughout. It looked as though the monkey was clapping. So the Superman award goes to H.

I did ok, I managed to fly but I kept sinking to the bottom. Because I am very flexible, I managed to curve my whole body backwards rather than bending my legs. My, how I hurt the very next day. When I got into the wind tunnel, initially I was a bit apprehensive. I was even holding my breath. Then I thought, I can't do anaerobic respiration for a whole 1 minute 15...even sprinters can't. So I took a deep breath and I was fine, I even managed to enjoy myself. I don't think I will be taking this up though...I don't look good in a jumpsuit.

J and A didn't do very well. Their legs were all over the place. Perhaps it does not help to have endlessly long legs to do this ?

We exchanged our Tesco clubcard vouchers for a family flight ...more fun than a bag of groceries, that's for sure. And very good deal with the 4x value.

And I made this layout with the photo.

Monday 16 August 2010

The Studio is having a cybercop

Will you join me ? I am doing a class. If you fancy having a go, check out the supply list.

Friday 13 August 2010

We rode on Fourteen or was it thirteen ?

Imagined our surprise to see Thirteen that we rode yesterday is now called Fourteen. Alton Towers renamed their new roller coaster because it is Friday the 13th. They have replaced all the labels on the shop and coaster just for one day. They even had some limited edition Fourteen mugs and t-shirts. Personally, I think the 13 inserted into the word works better in Fourteen because it is missing an I in Thirteen.
Sadly, we didn't get the photo. J said, "Nope, we are not getting that. I don't look good in it." LOL. He has actually been excellent in posing for the photos. Whilst we were all screaming down a steep fall, J retained his composure and smiled. We bought the photos in digital format on USB bracelet. I did try to ask what quality the photos would be ( to general laughter from my family ) but they "photographer" thought I was mad. Here are a couple from our family favourite rides.

You were not expecting Nemesis, were you ?

Monday 9 August 2010

Does Kraft = Lack of Sunshine ?

I looks like that for me! I did 2 layouts last week and ended up using Kraft as the background to both.

I printed some photos for H to put in his minibook and had a couple left over from his ski trip...that went into "First Ski Trip". H had a great time and will probably want to go again ( as opposed to J who vowed never again! ). Everything was great except the monotonous meals at the hotel, soup for lunch and pasta for dinner. H usually loves pasta and soup but, everyday ? He had enough by the end of the week.

Next, a layout with a photo. I wanted to record my musical milestone but didn't have a photo of me handy so I opted to go without. I am scrabbling about on the piano trying to play a jazz piece that was a grade 5 exam piece a couple of years ago. It is marked "easy relaxed tempo", 1 crochet = 76 beats/minute. Eeek...if I could play it at 50/minute I would be happy. I am so struggling moving my left hand up and down the keys and finding big chords. I am also playing a Rondo, "this is proper Mozart", said Jenny but that ended up being ok. Well, I have all holiday to practise.

Wednesday 4 August 2010

and Sevilla completed our trip...

We also had to do Sevilla. We set off early one morning. As we drove pass Gibraltar, I couldn't help commenting on how grey the sky always is, over this little spot on the Costa del Sol. Actually, to begin with, it was a slightly grey day over Sevilla too.

This is a view from the Giralda. It was a long way up. Fortunately you walk up ramps rather than steps. Can you see the river ? Do you know that Christopher Columbus ( Christobel Colon ...cue the laughter from my guys! ) set sail down this river on his journey to discover the Americas.

I didn't like the cathedral very much. Apparently it is in the Guiness Book as being the largest cathedral in the world. That is is but it is also squat and unattractive. I am not sure Columbus was even buried there! I think, this is a rare attractive angle to the cathedral showing the Giralda. I thought the Giralda looks remarkably similar to the minaret at the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakesh. It turned out, they had the same architect.

After the cathedral, we walked around the shops, had coffee, stopped at a pastry shop ( though I elected to forego as I had too much churros in Marbella yesterday ) before visiting the Alcazar. I like this place better.

Can you spot the fake frontage ? Quite remarkable.

But those churros thought me a lesson in not to be too boys are getting thoroughly fed up waiting for me LOL.

Friday 30 July 2010

We finally did Alhambra

We have been visiting A's M&D on the Costa Del Sol for a number of years now. We usually stayed quite local in terms of the places we visited whilst we were there. So we've done Gibraltar, Marbella, Jerez, Ronda and many, many white hilltop villages ( the roads to which usually make me very sick ). A couple of years ago, we made the effort to go to Cordoba so that's another tick on my must see Andalucia.
A's M&D are in the process of emmigrating to Australia. This summer might be our last trip to Andalucia. So my other must see ?

First is Granada and the Alhambra. (Did you know Granada means pomegranate in Arabic ? I didn't ).

We flew to Madrid and picked up our hire car. They definitely have a better class of cars at Madrid compared to Malaga but I am not sure why we decided to start from Madrid when Malaga is closer to Granada.

We arrived in Granada and it was a scorching 41C. I nearly melted walking up to the Alhambra that first evening. We wanted to pick up our tickets but it turns out the ticket machines were closed. Luckily we spotted the Alhambra bus so we took this on the way down. The next morning was an early start. We have booked the 8.30 entrance to the palace. We took the sensible way up was on the bus, queued for the ticket machine, queue to go in and after a short walk, got to the castle. We were one of the first in so the palace was still very quiet. If you are going to visit Alhambra, I recommend you book your tickets and try to go early to avoid the crowd.

Have you been ? What do you think ? Was it what you thought it might be ? I like it, but it wasn't as great as I thought but then, I have seen the "originals" in Morocco. I have also been to smaller Alcazars in Spain which are similar. My favourite Moorish building is still the Mezquita in that is truly something ( and different! )

Tuesday 27 July 2010

My son is leaving primary

H has just finished primary school and is excitedly waiting for September. In the mean time, he was set "homework" to present his autobiography. He has decided to make a mini book ( wow, what a surprised ? We reckon it could be one of the most original presentation at school! ). He asked me ( I am blessed! ) to take a photo of him on his last day at prep school so I get to make a layout too.

Next up are some elephants photos from Kenya. I am always amazed to spot a family of elephants, moving gracefully through the plain, hardly making a sound...practically gliding for an animal so large. And yet, if you spot giraffes or zebras, the sound of their hooves...I didn't expect that.

I have just noticed that I have made two layouts on yellow cardstock! The sun must have some effect on me.

Thursday 15 July 2010

Island adventure

This is another layout I made with the left over from Exhall. When I cut out the motifs from the Webster's papers, I saved the boats. I also had a spare map paper unused from which I cut out the legend. I had to pull out a sheet of cream cardstock from my stash and with the addition of Webster's lace and alphabets, here is one very co-ordinated Webster's layout.

J was quite brave, posing within snapping distance of these stuffed crocodiles whilst H was a bit unsure. There was also another photo where a couple of crocodiles were pulling a carriage. H was definitely worried in this setup but then he was only 3 years old.

The photos were taken many years ago, in the pre-digital camera years and were scanned, hence the patchy quality.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Challenge for The Studio

I forgot I was due to join in this challenge at The Studio. The last couple of weeks have been a bit manic but luckily I did the layout way back when Rebekah asked me. Here it is.

It is called "Listen to your dad". My boys didn't want to play nice when this photo was taken...hence the long face when A said, "You might as well look nice as she is going to use it anyway". Actually he might have said it on another occassion but hey-ho...that advice would have been perfect here too! This photo was taken in front of the John Lennon wall in Prague last year.

Monday 5 July 2010

Exhall Summer Workshop layouts.

Sorry, I have been busy with end of term activities, I have neglected to post these layouts that I did for Claire and Tracie for the Exhall Summer Workshop.

Monday 21 June 2010

Here's a funny story or two.

I took the photo of my boys sitting in front of a statue at Angkor Wat. They looked a bit fed-up and maybe a tad embarassed too. Not sure if you can read the journalling but it says, "you two were inspecting this statue very closely. You were touching and wondering what the hanging bits under the body of the statue were till it dawned on you that this statue is male". Eugh!

I made this with the left over kit from ScrapRevolution Crate Paper kit that I worked with last month. I love the multishape label stickers that Crate Paper produce with their collection. Very reasonably priced and so much fun.

The next one consisted of some funny photos of my boys. They were practising their "beheaded" look at Alnwick Castle. Alnwick castle had a box with a cleverly placed mirror which means when you look from the front, it appears as though your head is missing the body.

When I was picking out supply for this layout, I picked up the journalling block that says, "10 reasons to smile". I didn't want to list 10 reasons to smile ( I have hundreds! ) so I decided to alter the usage of the journalling block by incorporating it into my title. My, as usual, very long title is, "don't need 10 reasons to smile, I have two".

Wednesday 16 June 2010

Exhall Summer Workshop 2010

Want to see what I've made ?

I've done 2 very different samples but I will be teaching the same techniques to cover both. Everyone will be able to decide which layout to make and maybe even do the second in their own time. One is pretty, one more whimsical.

Can you guess which is which ?

The paper line is very pretty, totally lush. Can you guess which it is ?

So, are you coming ? If you haven't booked, I think we are sold out but you might be able to buy the kit from Stephanie at Indigo Mill after the event.

Tuesday 15 June 2010

I forgot to share

You didn't think that was the last of the holiday photos, did you ? They are not!

But today, you get a little break. I made this little "wall-art" many moons ago. He snaffled it and promptly put it on the wall in the kitchen and now that it is practically "fixture and fittings" of the house, I completely forgot about it. I was going to hang it in my scraproom, some words to live by, perfectly framed by an Ikea box frame.

I've used loads of pretties ... tissue, fabric, lace, jewels, beads, pink, name it, if I love it, I included it. Why not, it was for me afterall!

Thursday 10 June 2010

Holiday photos

What ? Again ?

I go through phases. When we go on holiday, I tend to take hundreds of photos. When we put it all on the hard disk at home, the numbers can be slightly overwhelming. Can you remember granny showing you hundreds of her holiday photos ? Now, I never want to bore everyone with all the photos so I pick out something like 10% ( or less ) to post.

Which ones to immortalise forever (LOL) in my scrapbook ? I will firstly make a mini book. Or if I am organised, make the book before the holiday, take it with me, fill it with writings and stuff and finish with photos on my return. This will use most of that 10% selection. It also enables me to consolidate stories that I want to tell. I will also make 2-3 ( at most 5 layouts ) whilst I am still reminiscing and "in holiday mood".

And then many months later, I might look at the photos again, notice some new details and something that might spark my imagination.

One of the details recorded in my mini book was what the boys called the islands in Venice. We did a tour of Murano, Burano and Torcello but they preferred to say "Murano, Burrito and Tortilla". Obviously, most of the photos during the tour were of the boys and their dad so when I saw a photo of me on the hard drive last week, I decided to use it for this story. This photo was taken when we were just setting off on the can see St Mark Square in the background so the photo is "very Venice". Well, I think so. And this is what I made last week.

The next photo has no story whatsoever! Besides the fact that it was taken on our tour of the "Water Village" in Siem Reap, Cambodia in 2007. The river runs into Tonle Sap which is a vast lake that is so big, it felt like the middle of the ocean except the water was grey instead of blue! I love the rare whole-of-family photo, taken by our tour guide. So, last week, I also made this layout ( I know, half term was a slow week, wasn't it ? ).

Monday 24 May 2010

The weekend at Scrap-a-mia

I got to spend Saturday at this amazing property. I love all the dark beamed ceiling and the beautiful glass windows ( make me miss our old village! ). We were in the new modern annexe for most of the day but I did go the main building for dinner. Thank you for letting me join you all, Cleo, scrapelephant, the lady who is a nanny, the expert with Morse Code from the Force, the lady who makes prosthetic legs...what a mixed bunch you were! Then Kirsty joined us whilst she waited for her next photo shoot. Big wave to you all. Sorry if I didn't get your name.

Here are some photos of the ladies who were in my first class. It was due to start at ten but I was delayed due to TomTom sending us to the wrong place! At 9.30, she (the TomTom lady) proudly announced, "You have reached your destination!" and I could have sworn, this couldn't be the location of a country house, on the side of a very big dual carriageway! A quick reentering of location shows that we are 25 miles away...eek! Anyway, we made it, and these ladies patiently waited for me. They were just picking out photos and thinking of colourways at this stage. Claire and Margaret have provided a few different colourways for people to choose from.

I was sent a black and red kit. This is my sample for the class. I still have some journalling to do.
The photos are of us going around in this "thing", a carriage pulled by a motorbike, in Angkor. If you know what the "thing" is called, please let me know.

I also did this layout way back in January this year, when I make a proposal of what I could teach at the retreat. The photos are of a male elephant ( they wander alone whereas the females and young male travels in family group ) who was spooked by us and looked like he wanted to charge at us. In the end, we drove and hid in a bush before he went away.

Friday 14 May 2010

My apron is finished

Or is it ? I am not decided! If I see a nice brooch, I might buy one to pin to it. And I might even get the bejeweller out...we'll see. I've downed tools for now.
Here it is again, modelled by me.

And a little close up.

In the end, I found a stash of fabric under the bed ( is that a surprise ? What would be surprising is the fact that I didn't go out and got some more! ). I am quite sure I will have to cut on the bias for the frill and I didn't have enough scrap for that sort of thing. Instead, the frill got a few patches to match the pocket. What do you think ? Am I sorted ?