Thursday, 27 October 2011

A Trip Down Memory Lane…

I recently spent a lovely day out with these two lovely ladies…

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Karen & Hilary. We enjoyed a fabulous lunch at a Thai restaurant just outside Cambridge & then Karen set about working her magic with her camera!!!  For someone who a short time ago proclaimed that she wasn’t technically minded & just wanted to shoot good pictures, she now knows her way around a camera & all it’s knobs & buttons like a pro…which to my mind is what she now is!  She talked non-stop (no change there then!!) about ‘f-stops’ & ‘ISO’s’ & ‘over exposing’ & ‘catch-lights’…but boy! Does she ever take a mean photo!!!

Hilary by Karen Oct2011

Me by Karen Oct2011









At a time when my self esteem is at a low ebb & I’m struggling to lose weight I’d like to say a huge ‘THANK YOU’ to Karen for making me look this good…& how fabulous is the photo of Hilary’s smile?!! See what I mean about magic!!

After our lunch & impromptu photo shoot, we headed off to a secret location!!! It was somewhere I’d never been, but can’t wait to get back to again!!! A small collection of old farm buildings that have been converted into a range of unique shops! Here’s just a taste of what was on offer…

Burwash Shops 
I managed to pick up a few small Christmas gifts, but my favourite purchase of the day was an original copy of ‘Woman’ magazine, from April 1960 (the year I was born).  I think I may have got my love of polka dots from being born at a time when they were obviously so much in vogue!! Check out the offer of a complete ready cut out shirtwaister dress for just 21 shillings & sixpence!!! That’s £1.07 in today's money!!!

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I have had great fun reading through every article, advert & short story! It is so politically incorrect by today's standards…the letters page alone had me in fits!!  Some of the articles still apply…look at this one about creating workspace within the home for all the family…could that be a scrap desk do you think?!!!

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Forgive me, but I’m going to share a few more double page spreads with you…they’re just too good not to! Do you recognise any of the products in the ads? How young does Angela Lansbury look in that photo top right (below)?!!!

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My Mum always had Handy Andy in the kitchen cupboard…it was the most disgusting shade of bubble gum pink!!

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Fig Rolls are still a family favourite with us today…they cost a bit more than 5p (one shilling) a packet now though!!

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There are so many ads & tips on losing weight through the magazine…it seems all you have to do is cut out starch…oh & wear a tighter girdle!!

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I remember ‘Unox’ luncheon meat too…my Mum used to make fritters out of it! How healthy was that…not?!!!!  Good ol’ Colmans mustard is still around!

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contagion_movie_poster I’ve had another visit to the cinema this week, to see ‘Contagion’…

…what an amazing cast! It is the first time I have ever been in the cinema & there has been utter silence…not a rustle or a cough!!! This story just grabs from the start & really brings home how fragile human life really is!!

Amanda didn’t even give me the usual goodnight peck on the cheek when we left to go home!! How funny!!  Go see it!!!


To finish, a bit of scrapping!!! I’ve been playing along with the ‘Summer Sense-ational’ contest over at Soul Scrappers & this months challenge was ‘Sight’. The criteria for extra points was to use handcutting, 2xPP’s, a banner (bunting!!) & a two word title!  I saw Dawn use a technique at the ‘3 Jolly Scrappers’ crop that I really wanted to try, so I did!! It’s the circular frame with the punched border edge…

cool summer 3
The photo’s are of my boys paddling in the river to cool off while on a trip to Bourton-On-The-Water in August 2006!!

So that’s me for today! It’s Mum-In-Laws 80th birthday this weekend, so we’re back to Hereford to help her mark the occasion. She recently had surgery to replace one knee cap, so it will be a quiet affair, but will be so nice to see her.

Before I go, I’ll ask you to pop over to Karen’s blog & leave some love!!  She goes in to hospital for her back operation on Monday & although she’s being all big & brave, I’m sure all the moral support you can offer will be appreciated!!  She’ll be out of action for quite a while, but if I know her she’ll find a way to blog her experiences & keep us all updated!!

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

Monday, 17 October 2011

My Guilty Pleasure!!

downton abbey wallpaper Can you guess what that might be? Well, it’s the second series of Downton Abbey, currently screening on Sunday nights! As I’m not home in time to watch it (& I suspect because it means he doesn’t have to!!) Lee records it for me & it’s become my Monday morning ritual to return from the school run & settle down with my breakfast & immerse myself in the plotlines! I love history, especially social history & this story, set during the First World War is so absorbing! There’s not been one episode in this series were I have not been reduced to tears…this morning was no exception!!! I love watching something that can hold my attention so totally & don’t want it to come to an end!! Is anyone else a fan?

On the subject of viewing pleasure, I realise that I haven’t reported any of my recent cinema trips!!! I had a few weeks break during the summer, but have been catching up recently…

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…I was surprised at how convincing an actor Justin Timberlake is… ‘Change up’ was an amusing take on the old body-swap storyline with some wonderfully cringe worthy moments for any parent!…‘I don’t know how she does it’ was OK…but it just sort of bumbled along!! ‘Midnight In Paris’ was my sort of story & it had a fantastic cast headed up by Owen Wilson & Kathy Bates…Rowan Atkinson was as good as ever in his return as ‘Johnny English’ the bungling MI5 Spy!! This one had some bad reviews but it had some truly laugh-out-loud moments!! Finally, last night ,we saw ‘the inbetweeners movie’…this was Amanda’s choice as I’ve never seen the TV series! It took me (waaay) back to Club 18-30 holidays in Ibiza & all that that entailed!! Very enjoyable & totally non-PC!…& it’s always good to see the geek get his girl!!

DP SketchSo…to a bit of scrapping!….& this time a sketch challenge over at ‘Dixie Pieces’

…I do like a good sketch to work with & headed off for a thoroughly enjoyable evening at the ‘3 Jolly Scrappers’ crop in Brampton. I spent most of my time catching up with Dawn & getting to know a new lady, Joanne, but I did get a LO done for the challenge!!

This is a photo of Alex at 4 months old, enjoying a cuddle with his Grandad, who is sadly no longer with us, so it was lovely to document the moment. I also managed to use up some odds & ends of stash that have been lingering a while…always a good thing!!

Ginger Cake Mix
Creativity of a different kind now…a bit of baking & a recommendation!

If you shop at Aldi look out for these cake mixes that they have at the moment…priced at about £1.39 & in a choice of Ginger, Chocolate Fudge, Carrot or Madiera. Such great value & just need oil & water added for a delicious cake!

Ginger Choc Loaf 

This one was the Ginger mix & I topped it with chocolate spread & sprinkled it with crushed Ginger Nut biscuits…it went down very well with everyone!!


A friend at work left me a parcel of goodies this week too…half a dozen eggs from her own hens (all double yolks & so yummy!) & a bag of walnuts, fresh from a tree in her garden!

The boys have had a great time cracking (& eating) them, although I did manage to rescue some to bake into some date & walnut cookies, which in turn lasted all of five minutes!!  Alex particularly set himself the challenge of shelling as many whole as he could & did very well!! The cat thinks the shells are the best toys ever…so all in all a great gift!!!  She had left me another bag of walnuts yesterday so I’m going to try out a recipe that Karen shared with me for savoury cheese & walnut thins…watch this space!!

10th October Sunset!
I’ll leave you today with a photo I took out of Nathans bedroom window last Monday!  It was such a gorgeous sunset, I stood there for the twenty minutes it took for the sun to disappear completely!!


Thanks for stopping by & I wish you all a great week, whatever you may have planned! :)

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Only TEN weeks!!!

Well, ten & a bit…till Christmas that is!!  I hate to be the bearer of such news but I started my Christmas shopping today….just a few stocking fillers, but Christmas shopping nonetheless!!!

It seems strange that it’s already ten days into October & I’ve not been on here sharing scrappiness with you! It’s been a strange two weeks…I’ve been logging on erratically, scrapping sporadically…but you know that feeling when real life just needs to take priority?…well that’s been me!!

I had a few days of overtime to work, which always throws my whole routine into chaos & the house even more so!! My shoulder is soooo painful, even though the Cortisone injection helped for a couple of weeks, the pain is back with a vengeance & I see my GP again tomorrow!

1 psychoSo, what about scrapping?!! Firstly, the movie poster challenge over at ‘From Screen 2 Scrap’ this month is ‘Psycho’ & for some reason I really struggled with this one. The added criteria was to incorporate a ‘spooky’ house, a split-in-half one word title & a silhouetted figure.

My problem was to dig out photo’s that came even close to tying in with being ‘spooky’…I eventually plumped for some night time photo’s of the boys, taken last year while they were playing with Sparklers & I was playing with the settings on my Canon!!


Here is my layout for this challenge…

2 Sparklers 
It’s one of those where I can see things I could have done better, but without pulling it all apart, can’t change! So I’ll live with it!!!

If you feel inspired by this movie poster & challenge, do jump in & play along! Just link your entry to the post over at ‘From Screen 2 Scrap’ by midnight on 29th October!

I’m also taking part in the ‘SENSE-ational’ contest over at ‘Soul Scrappers’, which started in September & is running over five months. The first challenge was the ‘Smell of Summer’ & I chose the smell of line dried washing…one of my all time favourite smells!  Added to the fact that I had photo’s taken of my full washing line that I’ve been intending to scrap for literally years!! There was added criteria, to earn extra points, Sewing, ribbon, string, 2 or more photo’s & a journaling tag! All of which I managed to include…

5 Weeks Wash 

I’ve also had my first commissioned work since my last post!! A keepsake Birthday card for a friend-of-a friends, Mum-In-Laws 80th Birthday! I was supplied with a photo (of not very good quality!) & a list of things the MIL was ‘into’…namely the sea, playing bridge & roses. This is what I came up with…

CardI edited the photo in Picassa to greatly improve the quality, which took ages, but was well worth it!! (of course I have blurred the dear lady’s face here for obvious reasons!) I used a sunset over the sea image, printed onto acetate as the background & made a frame for the photo from chipboard, painted & misted. I built up the card using rik-rak ribbon & Bazzill ‘Just the edge’ CS strips, lace, pearls, paper roses, leaves, seashells & seahorse, & of course, the four suits from a deck of cards, which I think covered everything! Those shells were a horrid yellow plastic to start, but a touch of paint & ink did the trick!! Finally I added the number 80! I printed the required words on an inner vellum sheet & made a box, lined with tissue & tied up with sheer cream ribbon. 

My ‘commissioner’ was thrilled with the finished result & was very generous with her payment!!  I guess, as crafters, we all assume that everyone is creative & can often be over critical of our own work, when there are lots of people who simply can’t create what we do!  I really enjoyed working on this project & as well as being financially rewarding, I’m also happy to know that it will be a valued keepsake!

27 Sept 2011 001 I’ll leave you with an image I captured the day after my last post. We had had a terrific storm & while the sky was still slate grey, the sun broke through & we had the most perfect rainbow I’ve ever seen

It had an echo too  & you can just make out a second, less well defined rainbow, to the left of the picture.

I’m not an overly religious person, but a rainbow always takes me back to childhood Sunday School classes. The story of Noah & the flood…

Noah looked up. The storm clouds were drifting away, the bright sun was shining against Noah's back. And against the dark grey sky, God made a brilliant rainbow appear. God said to Noah,

“You see, I have set my rainbow in the sky. This will be the sign of the covenant I have made with you and all creatures, never again to destroy the earth by a flood. It will always remind us of the promise between you and me.”

So, the next time you see a rainbow, think of Noah and the flood. Remember that God loves you, and that no matter how bad the storm, there will always come a bright new day.

Thanks for dropping by & come back soon! :)