Thursday, 28 July 2011

Exploration & Perspective!

50 Explore
Phew! School breaks up….a girl takes on a couple of days overtime…plans a day out with family…& before you know it she’s almost a whole week behind with the prompts in Shimelle’s latest class ‘Explore’!!!

But I’m not overly worried!! I’ve been reading the prompts through & jotting down my notes…I’ve even taken a few photo’s…so all that’s required is some time at my scrap desk to catch up & that should be a distinct possibility from Saturday onwards!!

So, to share what I have actually done with this class so far!! Week one was all about perspective…

51 Cover  For my class ‘Playbook’ I chose to use the same format as suggested by Shimelle, namely a 6”x4” flip over ring book, so that there was plenty of scope for ‘adding to’ as we went along!

I chose a pad of K&Co 6”x6” ‘Life's Journey’ PP that I’ve had sitting dormant for months & that dictated my choice of brown Bazzill CS as the basis for the book & my colour scheme!!

The first prompt dealt with taking a self portrait photograph which actually included whatever camera, phone or gadget you used to take the photograph…then write a note to self to comment on how taking that photo made me feel…do I include myself on my LO’s…& why I signed up for this class?!!

52 Self Portrait

53 Note to Self

It’s taken me years to be satisfied with seeing my own handwriting on a project…something my good friend Karen once said made me persevere. She pointed out that we scrap to preserve memories & maybe future generations would get more of a feeling for who we were & that we were really here if they see our handwriting & not just the printed words! Can’t argue with that!! I just hope my albums will be around that long!!!

Anyway…I digress!!! Back to prompt two..which asked the question ‘Am I Adventurous?’

54 Adventurous 
Then we had to write ourselves a postcard to record what we felt was the most adventurous moment of our life so far!!! I actually had two ‘Adventures’ during one holiday, so I made & wrote two cards, using photo’s from those moments, & mailed them back to myself!!!

55 Postcards 
The moments in question were on my first visit to Turkey in 2005…planned as just a beach holiday, we ended up submerging ourselves in the mud baths at Dalyan & jumping off the top of a VERY high mountain to parascend to the beach!!! I’m not usually a thrill seeker so that second one particularly was a BIG adventure!!

Prompt three involved a bit of blog hopping, looking at all sorts of creative ideas involving maps. We also got to work on cutting out circles of various sizes to make our own embellishments in readiness for prompt five!! This is still a work-in-progress, so I will share that one later!! However, I did complete prompt three’s page in my ‘Playbook’! Inspired by some map covered letters on one blog, I followed suit & used the word ‘Journey’ on a favourite photo, taken locally, along with an appropriate quote!!

57 Journey 
Prompt four was about the perception of perfection! There was some advice on taking the perfect photo…lighting & angle being two areas to experiment with. There were questions to ponder…Am I a perfectionist? What is perfect in my life right now? I didn’t take any new photo’s to illustrate the answer to Q2…I used a recent far-from-perfect one & added it to my Playbook!!

58 Perfection 1

59 Perfection 2 
Finally, Friday brought prompt five!! This involves working on a full size project incorporating this weeks themes & of course those map circle embellishments! There were sketches provided for inspiration…BUT…as I had two DT deadlines to meet by Sunday night, I put this one on the back burner, just for now!!!

Prompts six through nine are all digested & saved, to be caught up on in, hopefully, the very near future, & when that’s done I’ll be back to bring you up to date!!

Thanks for stopping by & if you’re a fellow Explore classmate, I look forward to seeing your work in the forum once time permits a good old browse!!! :)

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Typically English Sunday Day Out!

On Sunday 10th July (one of my rare Sundays off work!) we woke to blue sky’s & sunshine! What would we do today to make the most of this glorious weather? A quick look in the local paper told us that the ‘Bedfordshire County Show’ was taking place this very weekend…& not half an hours drive away!!!

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In the Grounds of the stately Shuttleworth College there were all sorts of stalls, activities & shopping marquees. In the main show arena there was a programme of demonstrations taking place & as we arrived it was the hounds from the local hunt being put through their paces! The sun was still shining!!

The first thing Lee & Alex made a bee-line for was the clay pigeon shooting. Lee has had a go at this once before, but Alex never has. It is not usual for Alex to ‘put himself out there’ preferring to blend into the background…he hates being the focus of attention, but in this instance I think he was there before he knew it  & he really enjoyed himself!! 

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As an avid player of X-Box shooting games, but never having fired a ‘real’ gun, he amazed us all by hitting three out of his five clays…not bad for a first attempt! He was thrilled to beat his Dad, who managed to hit one & just clip a second!!! He’s is also very proud of the bruise on his shoulder from the recoil of the gun!!!

Not to be outdone Nathan not only took a turn at the ‘Sniper’ air rifles, but proved to be a natural with a bow…hitting a bull's-eye with his first arrow!!

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Maybe there is something to be said for all those hours playing computer games after all?!!!

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After all that excitement we stopped for an ice cream & a wander around the stands…

…we met this lovely little guy, scampering around on the end of a leash…

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…which he almost slipped out of so the lady from the ‘Ferret Society’ had to grab him quick…great photo opportunity!!


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Then we met these guys…they were so aloof!!


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Alex & Nathan both reverted to ‘Toddlerdom’ & insisted on having a go at hooking a duck…winning two toy sniper rifles!! They then proceeded to re-enact their successes of their earlier shooting prowess!! 



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There were several vintage cars doing the rounds of the show…this was my favourite…doesn’t it just show that originally cars were just ‘horseless carriages’ & it took a while for the design of motor vehicles to get away from actual carriages!!

The boys spotted some enormous inflatable slides & headed off to play…

Big slide 2

There were twenty two inflatable steps up that steep inflatable ramp!

It took a fair amount of time & energy to get to the top of that steep ramp…& only seconds to slide back down again!!!

They had six goes for their money & at first I thought that seemed a bit mean but believe me…it was enough!!

Big slide 1

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Alex’s Diabetes always means we need to watch his sugar levels when he exerts himself…& I can safely say that they were both exerted!! So much so that not only Alex had to have a lie down in the shade of a tree & a Glucose drink when they’d done on the slide!!

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We decided on some lunch & headed off to the food area…Pat moved a chair into the shade of a tree as the sun was now really fierce…but just look at that sky!!

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I commented to Lee while we queued for our hot-dogs that it looked a bit stormy & he agreed that we may indeed get a shower!!!!

After eating, Lee & the boys headed off to the ‘Army’ exhibit & assault course while Pat & I went to check out the Craft Tent…as you do!!  We had not been in there for five minutes when we heard the unmistakable sound of rain beating down on canvas!!!

A quick phone call let us know that Lee & the boys were sheltering in the Army trailer & would join us as soon as the ‘shower’ had passed by!!

Beds Show 2011 243 Well…in typical English fashion, that shower didn’t stop for an hour!!! After ten minutes we left the Craft Tent & joined the boys, as somebody (yours truly) had had the foresight to bring an umbrella!!

We all decided to head off back to the car, agreeing that we’d all seen & done what we wanted & that the sky still looked full of rain!!

As we walked past the show arena, the Pony Club were bravely continuing with their demonstration…British stiff upper lip & all that!! Those poor ponies..not to mention the little girls were all soaked to the skin!!

Once home & out of our wet things we settled down to tea, scones & a Victoria sponge sandwich cake…the perfect way to round off an English Sunday outing!!

Thanks for stopping by…I’m almost up to date now…will be back to share week one of Shimelle’s ‘Explore’ class very soon!  I hope you’re all having a great weekend! :)

Monday, 18 July 2011

A Whistle-Stop Catch-Up!!

Now that the excitement of the past week has died down & Mum-In-Law has returned home, I can update you with what else has been making me smile!!

Before Mum-In-Law arrived, I set about preparing her room, which is actually half of the room my scrap space is in!! I try to keep the two areas separate & it all as prettily coordinated as possible, in my favourite shade of blue…& of course there has to be polka dots!!

As my scrap space has grown & developed, I’m aware that the view from the bed is what you might call a bit busy, so I went into the loft to retrieve an MDF folding screen, bought years ago & never put to good use!!

screen 1

I started off by painting white emulsion on all of the edges & a good brush width in from those edges.

While that was drying & using a template I had cut earlier, I cut the six pieces of wallpaper I was going to use to cover the screen.

screen 2 



Then I pasted each piece in turn & applied them to the panels, trimming as I went!!

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What I ended up with was a room divider which screened off my scrap desk while not actually blocking out any light from the window…

screen 4




I am so pleased with the end result & to think that it’s been sitting in the loft for more than ten years!!!

08 July 2011 001BAnother thing that made me smile last week nearly saw me rear-ending a Sainsbury’s delivery van!! While negotiating the many roundabouts in Milton Keynes I spotted said van ahead of me…

…I didn't really pay much attention to it’s stickers at first, thinking them to be the usual hazard warning signs. Then, at a particularly congested roundabout the penny dropped & I scrambled in my bag on the passenger seat for my always-close-at-hand point & shoot camera!!!

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Believe me, it’s not advisable to try & take photo’s while also trying to keep up with moving traffic…albeit very slow moving….but these really brought a smile to my face…way to go Sainsbury’s!!!



bridesmaids After what has been far too long a time, I managed a cinema visit!! We saw ‘Bridesmaids’ & it made me laugh till I cried!!

Irreverent, totally non-PC & in places downright crude, it is still such a funny, heart-warming story of friendship & sisterhood.  If you’re easily offended, don’t go see it, but if you don’t mind bad language & cringe worthiness in equal measure I highly recommend it for it’s entertainment factor!!!


I received an email last week that had me laughing out loud too!!!

There seem to be plenty of emails doing the rounds at the moment that are nostalgic & celebrate those of us ‘of a certain age’…

… this one pondered what happened to all those hippy chicks of the 1960’s who embraced free love, smoked pot, got tattooed with emblems of peace & love & generally thumbed their noses at the establishment & the strictures of their parents upbringing?!!!

All will be revealed at the bottom of this post!!!!

One more thing to smile about….Shimelle has a new class that started today!

Called ‘Explore’ it promises to be a journey of self discovery!!! I must admit that I resisted this one at first because as you know I have the ‘When I Grow Up’ class to enjoy, courtesy of the lovely Mel, but I figured that ‘WIGU’ will still be there once ‘Explore’ is done & I do enjoy the forum while a class is in full swing!!!

I still have one more catch up post to bring me up to date, so I’ll be back before the week is out!

I hope you are all well & happy & finding lots to smile about!!

So…whatever happened to that 1960’s Hippy Chick I mentioned earlier?




Well…she still looks like a free spirit to me!!




Thanks for stopping by & come back soon!! :)

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Such A Proud Day!!

It’s amazing, but another full week has passed by!! Where does the time go?…& I’ve not even been on-line every day, so I can’t  blame the internet for once!!!

I have so much to share with you from the past week, but today I have to focus on the amazing day we had yesterday!! It was of course…Hubby’s Graduation Ceremony!!

11 July 2011 018BNow I know I’ve already said how proud of him we all are, but I have to say it again!! When he walked up to us in his cap & gown, it sort of polarised the appreciation of his hard work & dedication over the last three years…can’t you just see how he was enjoying his day…it’s written all over his face!!

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Before the ceremony, we all gathered in the square outside of the venue in Bedford…the sun was shining & everyone there was either sporting a cap & gown or in thier ‘Sunday Best’!! 

One elderly lady…a complete stranger…came up to Lee to tell him how wonderful it was to see a ‘Mature Graduate’ & heartily congratulated him…we guess she was probably a retired teacher…but how sweet to take the time to speak to him. He didn’t stop beaming all day!!!

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I felt he looked very smart in his cap & gown, but he now has a new nickname…Mr Chips!!!   Don’t you think he looks like Martin Clunes when he played the role in the 2002 remake of the classic 1939 movie ‘Goodbye Mr Chips’…..






Pat & Lee





Of course Mum-In-Law Pat enjoyed every moment too…

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…& I did step out from behind my camera to get into the picture as well, for posterity…

…but under much protest, I hasten to add!!


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The ceremony itself was very grand…lots very theatrical robes in the procession & lots of ‘academic speak’…

I learned a new word…’Graduand’…it kept coming up in the speeches & I thought at first it was ‘Graduate’ being pronounced softly, but when all four speakers used the same pronunciation, I realised it was something I needed to look up….& here’s what I found…

“Graduand refers to the status of an undergraduate or graduate student in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, the United States of America, or the West Indies who has finished his or her studies at university, but not yet graduated in a formal ceremony.

After the ceremony, the graduand becomes a graduate.”

…Can you tell I was a ‘Tech’ College girl?!!!!

cakeThen it was home for high tea with the obligatory celebration cake…& it had to be chocolate, of course!!!

Thanks for stopping by & allowing me to ‘show off’ off my Hubby’s big day!!

Fingers crossed that this time next year I’ll be doing the very same thing again for his ‘Masters'… ; )

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Oodles of Thank You’s!

It feels like I’m composing a ‘Thank You’ speech for an awards ceremony!!!!

Firstly…Thank You so much to everyone who left congratulatory words for my Hubby! He has been blown away by them all!  I’m sure he thinks that me blogging equates to ‘chatting over the garden wall’ but now & again I think he realises that it really is much more!!

Secondly…A very appreciative Thank You to the lovely furrypig who left this comment on my last post…

Hi Sandi I had the same problem with leaving comments for ages, Rachel B posted a few different things to try on her blog, the first being to uncheck the 'keep me signed in' box and it seems to have worked. Will watch to see how you get on

…well…doing just that one thing has allowed me to comment freely again!! So…a MEGA Thank You there I think!!!  : )

Finally a special  Thank You to a group of ladies who made me very welcome when we moved to this village over seven years ago & who, once a month on our ‘PTA Mums Night Out’ (bearing in mind that all of our kids left the village school eons ago!!)  have my sides aching with laughter & who I know will always ‘be there’ for me & mine!!

1 July Sue & I1 July Kali & Julie  




Cheers! Julie, Kali & Sue…

…& Donna too…I know that work comes first, but we miss you on our monthly jaunts!!

Thanks for stopping by…I’m off to make up the bed & prep the room for Mum-In-Laws visit this weekend.  She’s coming for Lee’s Graduation Ceremony & staying the week. The boys are so excited to see her & with Alex on work experience for the mornings only, he’ll get to spend some quality 1:1 time with her too!

Come back soon! : )