Friday, 31 December 2010

Happy New Year 2011

We hope that 2011 brings you health, happiness, family and friendship.

From Will, Jacob, Freya & myself to you all.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

My son's been promoted!

Some of you may know that my son is in the Air Cadets.  He's been a cadet for just over a year now; joining up the day after his 14th birthday in 2009.

We had his Presentation Evening just before Christmas and he's now been promoted to Corporal.  We were all so proud of him.  Both his grandparents, my sister and brother-in-law as well as our best friends were there with Will, Freya and myself to see him accept his stripes.

Those that know us will also know that we never let the kids have time off school either.  Jacob had been incredibly poorly that week (we've never, in his 15 years seen him so unwell; it was very nearly a trip to the doctors because of his very high temperature!) and he had missed his last day of school before Christmas that day, but point blank refused to miss his Presentation Evening.  He still looked unwell but was determined to take part.

He managed to get through his Continuity Drill but then as they were formed up afterwards he had to be taken out to sit down in the foyer where it was cooler, as he was about to pass out.  He really did look poorly and we ended up outside with him resulting in him missing his first presentation of his Leading Cadet qualification.

Although he started to recover from feeling faint, he still looked unwell and was unable to rejoin his fellow cadets at the front of the hall for the rest of the evening.

He did however, manage to collect his trophy which he was awarded for obtaining the best exam results of the year (he gained a Distinction in his 3 exams to become Leading cadet).  The news of this actually came from RAF Wittering through to his Commanding Officer and he was told on his birthday this year - what a present eh?

When given the opportunity to go and collect his stripes leading to his promotion, the beret was back on again and he managed to march with full pride up to the front of the hall to receive it. (Sorry the photo was blurred, he couldn't march up there quick enough to fetch them!)

Jacob, we are all so incredibly proud of your achievements and continued dedication to your Air Cadet Squadron and fellow Cadets.

Congratulations Corporal Guthrie!


Monday, 27 December 2010

London with Ainsley Harriott

I was incredibly lucky recently to be invited by my very lovely friend Debbie, to join her in London on a cooking masterclass day with Ainsley Harriott.  Gotta say I was hyperventilating with excitement at the prospect of

a) Cooking with Ainsley Harriott.
b) Meeting Debbie for the first time, though we've been in touch for a couple of years via t'internet.
c) Luxury hotel overnight in London.

I was NOT disappointed I can tell you! Prepare yourselves for one very heavy blog post.  (I can, can't I?  I've not blogged in an absolute age!)

Our rather posh hotel!

My mad room mate and good friend, Mel


I love this photo, so typical of his nature... friendly, happy and honest!

From the back row: Claire, Me, Debbie
Mel, Ainsley, Jane & Suzanne

The very kind, generous and really lovely Debbie.

He had just said something VERY rude to me!!!!!

Smoked duck, orange & pomegranate salad.

Spicy Caribbean Bouillabase.

Cheers Ainsley - thank you for a fantastic time.
Coffee brioche pudding.

Oh Mel!!! Get your tongue back in your own mouth woman!

I may be smiling outwardly but I was hyperventilating and stressing inside letting Ainsley sign one of my Radley bags!


Debbie, thank you for being so kind and generous and inviting me to share your wonderful experience. xxxx

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Kirsty's Cyber crop

Catching up on Blog posts not done.

From Kirsty Wiseman's Wednesday night Cyber Crops:

Week 7 - 13th October 2010

(This was during my blonde phase!)

(Materials: Sassafrass papers - Dunelm Blooms - Bazzill Brad - Thickers alphas - Pink waxed thread)

Week 8 - 20th October 2010

My lovely friend Kate at her wedding shower.  Miss my girlie lunchtime chats with this great girl!

(Materials: Papers; offcuts from scrap box - Blooms; Prima - Alphas; BasicGrey - Bird & decorated brad; K&Company - Glitter; Stickles)

Scrapbook Magazine Freeeeee papers

I LOVED the free Hot off the Press papers this month from Scrapbook Magazine's issue 50.  So much so, that I couldn't decide which set to use... the greens/purples or the red/black.  So I chose BOTH!

These photos were taken when Freya was about 9 months old.  I really loved her in this outfit; it was such a beautiful colour on her.  She was such a happy baby too and had the most infectious, genuine laugh that you couldn't help joining in with her.  For a little bit of definition, I chose to scrunch up the printed background paper and highlight it with a little bit of 'Wisteria' Cats Eye Chalk ink.  I used the same technique on the lollipop scalloped flower that I made.  I wrapped the page with a some green & white bakers twine which is bang on trend at the moment.

For my second page I chose a photo that I'd printed out with a red colour cast, but which matched the papers perfectly and it was such a lovely photo that I chose to use it anyway.  I used Bazzill Swiss Dots in black for some texture and for the red swirls within the printed paper, I used some red Stickles to highlight add that little bit of bling & sparkle. Wrapped with some red & white bakers twine and with some white pen to place some 'faux stitching' gave me the finished article.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Happy Birthday mum!

I have the most wonderfully kind and caring mum.  She was a daughter, still is a wife, sister, mother, mother-in-law, aunty, and grandmother.  All who know her love her and for me, I'm proud to call her mum.

She celebrates her 73rd birthday today and just want everyone to know that she's special and adored beyond belief.  If I can be half the mother that she has been, then my two children with be lucky indeed.

She had 2 hand made cards made by me this year;

From dad...

(Materials: Making Memories scalloped paper - Stampin Up image - Derwent Aquatone - Prima)

From us...
(Materials: Thickers alphas - Stampin Up - Derwent Aquatone - Prima - Woodware punch)
Love you so much mum; today, tomorrow & always.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Kirsty's Cyber Crop no. 6

Yep, here again with another creation using Kirsty's Cyber Crop sketch.  I really look forward to my Wednesday nights with my stash and some photos, not to mention the Ustream video and the chat with the other participants.

Our sketch this week looks like this...

And my LO looks a bit like this...

This photo is about 12 years old.  Will had been night shift the night before (hence the bleary eyed look, bless him!)  We went to Jacob's nursery for a family photo shoot and had this one of the two of us taken too. The papers are offcuts and scraps from my scrap packs (I'm sure the yellow/turquoise is from Sassafrass).  The blooms are from my stash as I'm being very good and using up bits and bobs.  The hearts are punched from craft cardstock which are then fixed over some curled wire. Alphas are BasicGrey.

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Kirsty's Cyber Crop

The lovely Kirsty has created another great sketch for us to play with over on her Cyber Crop which you can catch on her Ustream Channel on Wednesday nights form 8-10pm.

Our two kids have grown up with our wonderful friends being their 'aunty & uncle'.  They adore them both and are totally adored back by both Kevan and Susan.  They never miss seeing them on birthdays or at Christmas and always get and give the biggest cuddles.  We've known them for over 20 years and love them dearly.  So, to celebrate our friendship, I chose to scrap these pictures which were taken a couple of years ago now.

The papers are BasicGrey (again!) and I'm loving the lacy paper doily effect with the cotton lace.  I hand punched the holes and hand stitched the vertical line in embroidery floss.  I wish I had some red & white bakers twine as that's what I'd have preferred to use. ;-(  The chipboard swirls were from Bubblyfunk a while back which I've inked and glittered using Stickles.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Kirsty's Cyber Crop

Another great sketch and 2 hours with the lovely ladies that join in with Kirsty Wisesmans Wednesday night Cyber Crop.  Our sketch this week...

The LO that I created using this sketch caused quite a stir when I posted it on the Facebook group, I can tell you!  I had texts, emails, private messages and FB messages congratulating me on my news.  Just so you know... this photo was taken in 2000 when I was pregnant with my daughter.  I'm not now and never will again be pregnant.  I truly loved being pregnant both times, but that's your lot, no more babies for this womb.

All papers are from BasicGrey (well you gotta love BG haven't you?)  Blooms are from Sarah's cards and Prima; buttons from stash and the alphas are from Thickers.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Kirsty's Cyber Crop

Kirsty held her 3rd Sketch cyber crop this evening

I can't believe how quickly my LO came together.  I started it at 8:10pm when I opened my photo box and then my paper left overs and emailed the first iPhone picture out at 8.53pm.... 43 minutes after starting!!!

I have NEVER made a LO that quickly, I can tell you.

I was then challenged by Kirsty to make a card using the same sketch before she finished her own LO.  Sadly she beat me by 5 minutes!  But I still managed 2 creations in under an hour and a quarter!

All the papers are from a left over Studio Calico kit that was kicking round.  The tag was in a box that I got from America a few years back.

Isn't she beautiful?

I was taking some pics of Freya on Saturday (she is such a willing model for me, unlike Jacob who would run a mile when a lens is pointed at him, unfortunately!)

I had to share this pic of her.  I cannot believe how grown up she looks.  Not quite 10 but a beautiful young lady with such knowing eyes.

Now, what will I have to bribe Jacob with to get a pic of him...?!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Kirsty's Cyber Crop

I really wanted to play along 'in real time' with Kirsty Wiseman's sketch cyber crop tonight, despite being still awake at 5am this morning, when my alarm goes off at 7am.

And tired though I was (and still am) I managed to stay awake long enough to do the cyber crop, watch the Ustream video of Kirsty creating her own LO and to chat with the lovely ladies in the Ustream chat room.

I'm going to try and make every cyber crop LO using BasicGrey papers:
a) because I LOVE BasicGrey, and
b) I have rather a lot of BasicGrey papers

So using photos of me which were:
a) 20 years ago.
b) 2 stone lighter.
c) 2 dress sizes smaller.
d) 2 children less
I came up with this 12"x12" LO.  These pics are soooo embarrassing, I can't believe I'm sharing!

This was Kirsty's sketch this week.  Hope you played along too.  Don't forget to share your LOs too.


You can do this sketch
choose 5 products in addition to card and paper to make an entirely different layout of your chosing
Combine the two - always interesting!

The 5 products you must use are:
Rub ons
One tag with ink (rubber stamped or coloured in)
3 buttons
This download here (print it out and use it on your layout) - resize of necessary!

Right, I'm so bloody tired and I really need to catch some zzzzzzz's.  Night!

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Monster sized Spider!

I know we're not the only ones at the moment experiencing bloody mahoosive spiders, but I had to share this one that we caught running across my son's bedroom the other night.  (This is the 3rd such massive spider in recent weeks - where do they come from?  How do they get so big without being seen before they've grown to Titanic proportions?

Anyone who knows me is aware of my inherent fear of spiders.  I hyperventilate (even when I'm trying to be brave around the kids) at the mere sight, especially of a big one like this.  Even Will found it a bit daunting to catch.  I could only get the camera out after I knew the jar was firmly sealed.

If it were left to me, this fella would have either been

a) DEAD!
b) Sucked up in the Hoover and the bag emptied into the wheelie bin.
c) DEAD!
d) DEAD!

There is NO WAY I'd have caught it and let it out in the front garden.  I told him to go at least to the end of the street to free it, but he was having none of my instructions. Bad hubby!

Check the hairy legs out... it has longer, thicker, blacker hairs than a female German shot-putter!  And look at the size of those pincer thingies on it's ass!!!!

This jar is over 3 1/2" in diameter which just gives you an idea of the size of the hairy little bugger!


Night all, don't let the spiders bite! ;-)

Kirsty Wiseman's Cyber Crop sketch

Kirsty had a bit of a cyber crop going last Wednesday evening, but as has been my life recently I was too busy to play along, not matter how much I would have liked to.  So last night, being Friday and my 'me time' evening, I loaded up her blog, took inspiration from her sketch and followed her 'recipe' of things to include and came up with this LO.  The photos were taken almost 3 years ago at my sister's wedding, but I still think Freya looked absolutely regal as her first outing as a bridesmaid.

This was the sketch...
 And these were the rules...

The products you must use are:
a swoosh of paint
Ink splats
2 tags
2 different stamps in two different inks
minimum of 5 gems or stickle/glitter spots
3 patterned papers

Rules and tips:
Twist the sketch to any orientation you like.
You must use all the products listed - but you can add more of your own if you wish
Def use two photos
Always add a title
Journalling is optional.

The papers and alphas: BasicGrey (because you gotta love BG!)
The backing cardstock:Bazzill (because this is a necessity too, spesh in white).
Stamps: American Crafts & Autumn Leaves.
Paint: Au Naturale.
Glitter glue: Stickles.
Ink spots: Adirondak Alcohol Ink.
Inks: Tsukineko Versafine black & Dewdrop Brilliance gold.
Gems: Papermania.
Flowers: Prima (of course!)

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Rosie D's Challenge 78

Evening everyone!  Long time no see.  Good reasons though, we've been on holiday to the Peak District in Derbyshire.  It was wet, windy and a bit on the cool side, but it was a break from work and home with special people; my husband, and two fantastic children.  Not to mention the dog as Maisy came with us too (and was rather wet and smelly by the end of the fortnight!)

Back to earth and work with a bump though now.

Here's my card for the last ever challenge over at Rosie D's.  It's been a difficult decision to make, but after almost 2 years I've decided to close the challenge blog down as I sadly just don't have the time to visit and comment on everyone's entries any more.  I have to give my priority to my husband and children when I get in from work and so something has to give.  I've stepped away  from all my craft commitments for the time being and only work on one Design Team now for Kirsty Wiseman, who is a dear friend of mine.

So, my final entry for Rosie D's (as set this week by Design Team member Jackie) looks like this....

Jackie's theme is 'One for the Boys!'  A monochromatic theme for an anniversary or just to say I love you to that special man in your life.

Please take time to join us this time round for our final challenge and please say a HUGE thank you to the fantastic Design Team members for their inspiration that they've provided us all with.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Back after a break & a change

I don't really know if anyone out there noticed that I've not been around recently, but I do have a very valid reason for my absense.  Some of you may remember that I was diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in my hands and that I was waiting for my right hand to be operated on.

Well... the op went ahead on Tuesday 8th June 2010 and has been a success.  No more pins and needles in my right hand, but they remain in my left :-(  I was advised no repetitive movements for 6 weeks along with no heavy lifting.  Unusually for me, I actually stuck to the advice that I was given and didn't even switch my laptop on for the duration.  Crafting was very difficult too so that went by the wayside as well.  My poor craft room was very neglected, just being used by me to sit on the sofa bed with a cuppa and a good book.  The first time I picked up my camera was a couple of days short of the 6 weeks as my son was with the other Air Cadets escorting our town carnival, and I never realised how heavy it was before, and my hand really ached that evening as a result.

Luckily I had crafted like mad and had scheduled Blogger to upload my challenge project for Rosie D's Challenge Blog to enable me to have the break my hand needed to recover.

It still aches but it's getting better by the day, the scar is fading nicely and some of the strength is coming back.

We also had a real scare with mum when she discovered a lump and was sent for a mammogram, ultrasound and possible biopsy.  Thankfully nan was smiling down on her daughter and everything is ok.  Tears and cuddles all round.

I also found out this morning that a friend of mine lost his battle against lung cancer which finally stole his final breath on 9th June.  I've been in contact with his wife today who apologised for not letting me know sooner.  Bless her, her priorities were with her two children and very young grandson and herself, and rightly not with me at such a difficult time. Howard was such a kind and gentle man.  A great husband, father and grandad,  unfortunately the latter was for such a short time.  He was a good friend and a wonderful driving instructor and mentor to so many people.  The world will be a sadder place without him.

I also changed jobs at the beginning of July... busy, busy, busy! LOL

Right, I really must behave now and stop typing as I've done more today than I have in the past few weeks.

Night all!


Challenge 76 - All Creatures Great and Small

Have you seen the fantastic work by the Design Team over on Rosie-D's this time round?  Wow!  They are such a talented bunch of ladies! 

I'm going to tantalise you with a little sneak of my card for Tracy's fab theme of 'All Creatures Great and Small'

Tracy is offering this great prize too for one lucky participant that will be picked out at the end of this fortnight's challenge.

When you pop over to the blog, not only will you see the full reveal of my card but you will also find the work of Saskia, Lyn, Jackie, Tracy, Mervi and Magda.  A very talented bunch of lovely ladies.

Don't forget to check out if you were our winner from the last challenge and remember, that you've got 2 weeks to take part in order to be in with the chance of winning Tracy's prize.  See  you over there! x

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Challenge 75 - Burgundy, Pink & Cream

Have you seen the girl's fantastic projects on Rosie D's this time round?  We have had some amazing entries to the challenge blog too.  Thanks to everyone who has already taken part and for those that haven't yet, remember you still have another week to do so.

Remember Tracy's theme for this time round is Burgundy, Pink and Cream colour combo.  GORGEOUS!!!!

This card is too late for my own Wedding Anniversary which was on 2nd July - 22 years!!!!!! Blimey where have they gone?!  We'll soon be celebrating our 25th - now that IS scary!

Cream card.
Flourish stamp: Hero Arts.
Fabric paper: Indigo Mill.
Flowers: Prima.
Leaf punch: Woodware.
Clock & Sentiment stamps: Paper Artsy.
Brads: Stash.
Ribbon: Ribbon Mad.
Inkpads: Pretty Colour & Versafine.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

Rosie D's challenge 75 - Burgundy, Pink & Cream

Howdy folks!  Thanks to Mervi for setting us a fantastic set of Challenges for June.

This month we have Tracy to thank for our challenges over at Rosie D's.  To kick start us off, she's given us a colour challenge...  Burgundy, Pink and Cream no less!

Ooh, is that fabric paper I can see on this project?  You'll have to pop and see what it's all about over on the Challenge Blog where you'll find some fantastic projects made by the other girlies too!


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