Sunday, 29 April 2012

A Grand Day Out For Geeks!

it is no secret that we are a family of gadget geeks! Some worse than others I might add, but overall it’s a label that applies to us all!!

So, it’s not surprising that we’ve had our tickets for the ‘2012 Gadget Show Live’ booked since before Christmas!! Last year was our first visit & we all enjoyed it so much.

20 Gadget Show LiveWe headed off to the NEC in Birmingham, to arrive just in time for the doors to open. We had tickets booked for the early live stage show, so after a quick check of the hall plans we took our seats in the arena!

This time the stage was central to the hall & our seats were just three rows back…behind the VIP contest winners…so we had a great view. The only downside is that the show is so fast moving it’s difficult to capture really good photo’s! But here’s the best of what I managed!

22 Susie

21 Jason 









24 Faces

23 Jason & Otis








These superimposed 3D talking heads were actually a bit creepy!

26 Nat Tweets


Nathan had fun taking part in the ‘Tweeting’ challenge…the best tweets were displayed on the circular screens above the stage & there were prizes given for the best three! Sadly, he didn’t win, but he had fun taking part!

Then it was off to explore the exhibition halls & try out all the new gadgetry on offer. The i-pod & i-pad seemed to dominate with loads of new apps & accessories available! There were some very cool household appliances & I’m now coveting a plumbed in ‘Bebo’ for instant boiling or chilled water on tap!

27 Lee's new toy

  Lee had recently upgraded his
  mobile phone to the new HTC 1S
  & was disappointed that there
  was nothing at the show to ‘add
  on’…one exhibitor told him it was
  just too new!!

  I managed to find a gadget for
  myself! Something I’ve wanted
  for a while, but decent ones have
  always been too expensive! But
  at the ‘veho’ stand I found just
  the thing & at a special show

28 My new toyprice with 50% off!! So ‘what is it?’ I hear you ask!!  Well it’s a scanner that will enable me to upload all our celluloid negatives & store them as digital jpg’s to edit & print where needed!! Like most families we have tons of photographs going back decades, but we also have a boxful of negatives & I know that I don’t have all the corresponding photographs. So that will be an on-going project for quite a while methinks!! 

25 Lee Golf

  Lee had fun showing off
  his golf swing in a golf
  simulator. He was pretty
  consistent with his scores
  but I don’t think we’ll be
  installing one of these at
  home anytime soon!!


…& then…guess what?!! My camera battery died!…& I didn’t have a spare with me! Short of buying a new spare from the Canon stand, which I was loathe to do, I had to put away my camera & just enjoy the day!

And we did! I highly recommend this day out, if you’ve not been before. We’ll definitely be booking our 2013 tickets as soon as they go on sale!

Thanks for stopping by & come back soon! Open-mouthed smile

Friday, 27 April 2012

Don’t you just love it when…

….the postman brings mail that is actually interesting or even exciting?

15 JJ happy mailI’ve had one of those deliveries this week!

The first package was from the lovely Julie Jeavons,  a RAK for taking part in her recent challenge over at Soul Scrappers It contained some gorgeous ribbon & a fabulous handmade tag. I’m looking forward to using it all!  Thank you Julie!!

The same day a second parcel hit the mat! I love getting an order from Cath Kidston! Even the packaging is a treat!

16 CK happy mail 1I have been waiting patiently for this package to arrive! It’s something I ordered in January, but they’ve been out of stock all this time! They didn’t even have one at the factory shop…I tried!!

17 CK happy mail 2But now it’s here & I‘m happy!!

I love my Kindle & although it has a protective neoprene skin, I hated just popping it into my bag as it was. I didn’t like all the practical yet boring cases available & was thrilled that CK  had spotted a niche in the market!! So now I can carry my Kindle safely & in style!! 

Another delivery that arrived a little while ago was the pack of items for the SSQ12 challenge over at Soul Scrappers.

18 SSQ12 package 
The contents were…

3 x travel embellishments
3 x brads
1 x ribbon
1 x piece cork
1 x piece denim
1 x film strip diecut
1 x piece DSP
1 x quote ( Mark Twain)


The theme was ‘Travel’ & all the items had to be incorporated! So this is what I came up with…

19 SSQ12 LO 'Traveling in style'
I used a photo from our 2010 trip to Chicago, taken by Hilary. Karen & I making the most of a photo opportunity outside our hotel! Look at Karen’s skirt…Chicago living up to it’s name as ‘the windy city’! Eat your heart out Marilyn!!

So that’s all from me for today! It’s so cold & so wet today that I’m going to curl up on the sofa with the cat & my Kindle until it’s time to collect the boys from school!

I do hope you’re enjoying your ‘Spring’ weather, wherever you may be!!

Thanks for dropping by & come back soon! Open-mouthed smile

Monday, 16 April 2012

Scrap 365 April Sketch Challenge…

I really enjoy my ‘Scrap 365’ magazine & look forward to it arriving through the letterbox each month! Can you believe we’re on issue 5 already? It only seems a blink of an eye since I heard the buzz that a new scrap magazine was on the way! I love that there are so many familiar names on the design team & that there is such a variety of style & technique on offer for inspiration.

I also love the fact that there is a monthly sketch challenge! Probably my favourite sort of challenge as it provides a concrete starting point! However, with the best will in the world I have never made the deadline for issues 1 – 4, so I decided that this had to change & at last I have completed a LO for entry a full three days ahead of the deadline!!

Scrap 365 SketchThe sketch for April’s challenge appealed especially because I love working with circles! But I don’t often work with such small photo’s!

As it happened, when I had a rummage I found these two photo’s already printed off, exactly the right size & way overdue for scrapping! (Alex is fast approaching 16 years of age!).

'Look Who's 1'

I went with the colours in the photo’s, pulled out a new sheet of Bazzill Dotted Swiss & had another rummage through my scrap box, where amazingly, I found an almost complete sheet of MME Stella & Rose ‘Remember’ PP. Perfect!  Along with that, some scraps of BoBunny’s ‘Back To Basics’ & Websters polka dot PP’s.  I cracked open a new pack of Claudine Helmuth sticky-back canvas (great product BTW!).

Finally I dusted off some never before used clear stamps for the polka dots on the canvas, border & as a template for the blue adhesive gem circles! The white alpha’s are from Bella BLVD, ‘Sophisticates by Stephanie’ & are one of my all-time favourites! The number 1 is a chipboard Thicker, but I can’t remember which font!!

So that’s me for today! The boys are back to school tomorrow so my day will be making sure all uniforms & PE kits are where they should be & looking forward to having the house to myself for a few hours each day for the rest of the week!

Hope you’ve all survived the Easter break & are enjoying at least a little of the sunshine, however cold it may be, that we have here today!

Thanks for stopping by & do come back soon! Open-mouthed smile

Monday, 9 April 2012

The Spice Of Life…

I have a regular date on my calendar for a ‘Girls Night Out’ on the last Friday of every month. It was decided that due to my surgery, March’s night out would not only be put back a week to allow me a bit more time to recuperate, but would actually be a ‘Girls Night In’!!

The lovely Kali volunteered to play host & decided to dedicate the evening to a Sri Lankan theme! The menu came attached to the invitation & my mouth was watering from first read…

Sri Lankan Menu

…& all home cooked by Kali’s own fair hand!!

On arrival we were all given assistance to dress in a sari! If I had to wear one every day I’d never get out of the front door! How complicated, but how lovely does it feel to wear one!

















We all felt very feminine in them, although when it came time to eat  got very annoyed with the bit that kept sliding off my shoulder!!







What a great night in! Not too exhausting for yours truly & a lovely opportunity to catch up with all the gossip. BTW Kali is the tall dark haired lovely in the blue Sari, left photo!  Thanks Kali!!

I’m a bit behind in sharing my beginning of the month creativity! Apologies!

9 Jacky's LO to lift for 1 April I actually only managed to complete one LO & that was for Dawns Chinese Whispers. The LO that came from Jacky for my inspiration looked like this…


…& what I did with my lifted LO was this…


10 LO from Jacky's March LO

Nathan at Warwick Castle last September, getting to know the Dragon Slayer who was so impressed with Nathans enthusiasm that I think he’d have given him a job as his assistant there & then!!

11 Ever After Poster

Sadly I didn’t complete a LO for Aprils challenge over at ‘From Screen 2 Scrap’.

This months poster is from the movie ‘Ever After’, such a lovely poster & lots to interpret onto a LO.

So get on over there & check out the criteria to earn points as well as the fab prizes on offer!!

Another sad thing was that I just didn’t feel up to taking part in the Tim Holtz on-line class I signed up for, just before being given my ‘op’ date. I did miss out on the forum chat & posting in the gallery, but I am now starting to work through the class video’s & am actually enjoying getting messy (so unlike me!!) creating all the wonderful effects I always admire in Tim's handiwork! I’m only at lesson #3 & will share my completed collection of technique tags when they’re done!!

Egg CakeFinally, as its Easter Monday, I’d like to wish everyone a very Happy Easter. I hope the Easter Bunny brought goodies for you all & you got to spend some quality time with family & friends.

Of course the weather peaked far too soon & we haven’t ventured far in the rain, but that’s OK by me, my energy levels are still not back to 100%!!  We do have a great day out planned for Thursday, so I’ll be back to tell you all about that at the weekend!

Thanks for stopping by & come back soon!  Open-mouthed smile

Sunday, 1 April 2012

A Short & Sweet April Fool!

It’s ‘Storytelling Sunday’ over at ‘From High In The Sky’ & once again I’m at home recuperating, so I’m able to join in!! Do pop over & check out some of the others stories on offer too, I know you won’t be disappointed!!

My story is one you may recognise if you’ve been visiting my blog since the beginning, but it’s a story that both my boys refer to on a regular basis, so I think I’ll share it again!!

We have a number of ‘House Rules’ in our family, including the rule that when the boys have a pack of Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, they save all of the black ones for Dad. It’s just one of those things that has always been & both boys have always, without question, dutifully put aside the sweets for Dad, for when he gets home!

PastillesresizeWe decided to play a joke on them one April 1st, & bought two of the blackcurrant only packs & exchanged the outer wrappers with those from standard multi-flavour packs!!

Considering that they were quite small at the time, the boys took it all in good spirits & could not work out how this could possibly happen…how could every sweet in both packs be black??!!! It was just so funny to see the disbelief on their faces & listen to them trying to rationalise it all!!

We didn’t let them suffer for long & owned up to being wicked parents…& as it was now past midday, the laugh was on us & they got to keep all the sweets anyway…well except for maybe just one or two!! 

As I said earlier, it’s a tale that’s reminisced every time one or other chooses a pack of Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles…”Hey Mum, do you remember when you & Dad….”

I do hope you came unscathed through April Fools Day morning! I’m still sleeping for England & didn’t get up until 10.45am, so that minimised the risk for me today!!

Thanks for stopping by & do come back soon! Open-mouthed smile