Saturday, May 31, 2008

Day 152 - Saturday 31st May

"Remember: Always let your conscience be your guide” – Pinocchio

I thought these Disney quotes would be light hearted but actually they are quite hard.

“Conscience is a hypothesised ability or faculty that distinguishes whether our actions are right or wrong. It leads to feelings of remorse when we do things that go against our moral values, and to feelings of rectitude or integrity when our actions conform to our moral values. It is also the attitude which informs our moral judgment before performing any action.”

I think my conscience plays a big part in my life. I always think about how other people would feel about my actions before I do them. If I think it will upset or hurt someone, then I wouldn’t do it, unless I had absolutely no choice. I find it hard to be nasty or mean or hard to anyone as I hate to upset people. I tend to treat people how I would like to be treated.

I didn't know how to photograph this prompt, but I found this photo of Zoe and it just tugged at my heart strings so I thought I would use. It is from last November.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Scrap Your Day - May layout

I managed to finish this last night. Quite pleased with it turned out. Now not very happy with April's layout. Having taken over 200 photos on Sunday, I have had to be quite selective.

Day 151 - Friday 30th May

"The past can hurt. You can either run from it or learn from it” – The Lion King

I am in such a different place to where I was just over 10 years ago and am a very different person. From leaving school I hung round with people whose main aim in life was to sign on the dole or to get pregnant so they could get a council house. I messed up my A levels as my first love (who was a good lad) went back to Scotland but I went onto Uni and got a degree in business and IT. I know I could have worked harder but I still succeeded.
Since the age of about 18 I went out with a string of unsuitable men. I had very low self esteem and thought it was better to be with anyone rather than no-one. I spent 18 months with a man older than me but he had no prospects and spent all his money in the pub. Then I moved on from there to spend 5 years with a man who was 13 years older than me with 2 broken marriages and 4 kids from the 2 marriages. I knew him before I got together with him and thought he was a real pillock – so god only knows why I spent such a long time of my life with him. My family must have despaired with me.
Luckily my James came along and rescued me from this and I have had the happiest 10 years of my life. I am much more belief in myself and have a good job and a lovely home and family. I consider myself blessed to be in such a happy place.
What I have learned is that I think you need to go through some hard or bad times to appreciate the good things in life and that youngsters make mistakes but it doesn’t mean that it is the end, with love and support they will see sense and come out the other end much richer for the experience. I hope I can put this into practice when Zoë is growing up.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day 150 - Thursday 29th May

"The flower that blooms in adversity is the most beautiful and rare of all" - Mulan

I don’t want to tempt fate but I think my little flower Zoë is blooming in her behaviour with the aid of the sticker chart. I really was getting to the end of my tether with Zoë and her naughtiness even on the simplest of things like brushing teeth etc. However since we started the sticker chart, which was 2 weeks ago today, her behaviour has improved no end and normally just a little “You won’t get a sticker” makes her do whatever it is that you are asking of her.
At the end of each day, before bed time we do the chart and she gets all her stickers. She loves getting a big star which I stress to her is only if she has done something really well and so if she was not quite so good she only gets a small star.
This photo was taken last week on the completion of her first week – she was very proud of it.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

365 Challenge - Week 21 Layout

I have definitely rebelled for this layout. We were to choose from the last week and to scrap it, but I wasn't overly happy with any of pictures so I decided that I would scrap the Bokeh pictures that I took.
Bokeh (from the Japanese boke ボケ, "blur") is a photographic term referring to the appearance of out-of-focus areas in an image produced by a camera lens.[1] Different lens bokeh produces different aesthetic qualities in out-of-focus backgrounds, which are often used to reduce distractions and emphasize the primary subject.

Day 149 - Wednesday 28th May

"Reach for the sky" - Woody, Toy Story

I like these Walt Disney quotes as they are bit more light hearted. I am going to keep this one short.
I think it is important to aim high in life but not be disappointed if you don’t quite succeed to the high level you set yourself. I hope that Zoë reaches for the sky in everything she does. James and I will always be there to support her in any choice she makes for her life regardless of the direction it takes her in. As long as she is happy, healthy and safe then we will back her 100%

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Day 148 - Tuesday 27th May

"Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all ?"
- Wicked Stepmother from Snow White

I really am not vain but still like to look my best hence me trying to lose weight. The holiday really prompted me to look at myself and wonder how other people view my body.
I have a dilemma of whether to wear a swimsuit or go for broke and wear a bikini on holiday. I don’t like the thought of a swimsuit as I like to catch the sun and get a good tan but then again the thought of exposing myself in a bikini is a horrifying thought – not so much for me but what other people may think of me. I am about the same weight as I was on my honeymoon and I wore a bikini then, but that was pre-baby and now everything has either bulged outwards or sagged southwards!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Day 147 - Monday 26th May

“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth” - Mitsugi Saotome (b. 1937), Aikido instructor, author

This is a very true prompt. Life would be very be lonely without anyone to share it with – the highs and the lows, the laughter and the tears, our achievements and successes. I get lonely very quickly and would much rather be with people than be by myself. If I am by myself I tend to talk to myself as the quiet can be deafening – I have even found myself answering myself back – quite worrying really! At least I haven’t started doing this in public yet.
I can never sit in total silence. I always have to have the radio or music on for some background noise. If I could I would wear headphones at work so I could work whilst listening to music. That way it feels like I am sharing my day with someone – even if they do not know about it!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Scrap Your Day - some of my favourite May photos

It is that time again - the 25th of the month and so I have been taking photos all day - over 200 photos I managed to take. Although it started off very dull and dreary the sun came out this afternoon and we had a glorious day in the park and at Grandma and Grandad's. Their garden is fantastic and I got some good photos.
Here is a selection of some of my favourite photos:
Lunch (and I am on a diet!)

Zoe learning to pedal

Zoe bored of waiting

Baby Geese

Zoe doing her crafting
A beautiful red flower (you'd never guess I work for a Garden Centre!!!)

Something purple


A metallic bug


UKS Team Challenge - May week 3

This challenge was set by the Alphabetties and there was a sketch to use and then you had to use ABC of scrapbooking
A = alphas, acetate, accents or arrows, for example
B = buttons, brads, bling or blossom, for example
C = chipboard, circles, charms or chalks, for example

I have used DCWV Nana stack paper, Alphas, Brads, Blossoms, Bling and Circles. The words are A Good Girl - what will she score? ABC.
I think that is the full 30 points.

Day 146 - Sunday 25th May

“Consider the rights of others before your own feelings, and the feelings of others before your own rights” - John R. Wooden (b. 1910) basketball coach, author

I guess this is all about putting other people first which I think I do quite a lot as a wif e and mother – although James would probably disagree!!! Certainly as a mum, I have to always put Zoë first – this can be hard sometimes, but when she gives me a hug for no reason other than because I am there, it makes my heart swell with love and pride and I forget all the hard times.
Sometimes I would like to go back to being single again as then I could just do as I pleased and if I wanted to craft all day then I could and I wouldn’t have to worry about anyone else’s needs and wants. However I know if I spend too much time by myself I get quite miserable and introverted and then start to crave for company. When I look at my family I know that I would never want to be without them and they are my world and those selfish thoughts go straight out of my head.
We are sat here discussing redecorating the lounge. It is currently a terracotta colour which looked great 5 or 6 years when we decorated it but now is looking dated. Amazingly we have the same thoughts about what we want to do. A wall of fancy wallpaper on the fireplace wall and the rest painted in a muted colour, new lights etc.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Day 145 - Saturday 24th May

“We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion” - Max De Pree (b.1924), author, former CEO of Herman Miller, Inc.

Crikey this is a long prompt. I agree with it though. I love my husband dearly but at the same time I think it is important to have our own interests and so spend some time apart. Other than during the week we do tend to spend most of our time together. I love to craft which I often struggle to get time to do as James wants to be out doing things together as a family. I do try to encourage him to find a hobby of his own but he says he would feel guilty that he would spend time away from us.
Today I had a lovely couple of hours alone in the hairdressers to get my hair dyed – I was beginning to look like a badger!!! I came out feeling revived and refreshed.

Friday, May 23, 2008

365 Challenge - Week 20 Layout

This week we had to chose a word from the week which most summed us up. I have rebelled slightly and chosen my favourite word and my favourite picture. We then had to try a new technique. This stumped me for a while and then I thought I would try printing my picture really big and cut it up to create a mosaic effect. I mounted it on black card with a red matt but angled differently.

Day 144 - Friday 23rd May

“Strive to be first: first to nod, first to smile, first to compliment, and first to forgive.” – Anonymous

This is something I am not very good at. If I am out and about and see someone that I know, but not really well, I nearly always look the other way. I will never go up and say hello to them as I have this fear that they will not recognise me and I will look an idiot. So I find it easier to walk away quickly and hope that they didn’t recognise me.
This always leaves me feeling really bad as I wonder whether they did recognise me and then think that I am rude for not saying hello. Silly I know but no matter how hard I try, I cannot stop doing this and I hate the feeling it gives me afterwards.

Photography prompt 4

Bokeh (from the Japanese boke ボケ, "blur") is a photographic term referring to the appearance of out-of-focus areas in an image produced by a camera lens.[1] Different lens bokeh produces different aesthetic qualities in out-of-focus backgrounds, which are often used to reduce distractions and emphasize the primary subject.
Here is mine. I used my Canon EF 50mm 1.8 lens. They are all flowers from our garden

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Day 143 - Thursday 22nd May

“Open your heart - open it wide; someone is standing outside” - Mary Engelbreit; artist, entrepreneur

I hope that I have opened my heart to everyone in my life and that there is no-one left standing outside of it.
Having Zoë has changed the way I feel about everyone and everything in my life. She is my number one priority and everything I do I always have her uppermost in my thoughts. I love being a mum and sometimes I feel that Zoë has filled my heart up so much that there isn’t any room left for loving anyone else. I know this is wrong so I try to make a little space for James. I love him more than ever but I know he can look after himself so he doesn’t need quite so much space in my heart. I think he probably feels the same.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Day 142 - Wednesday 21st May

“I feel the capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest significance.” - Pablo Casals (1876-1973), cellist, conductor

I would like to dedicate this journal entry to my fellow 365’ers on the UK Scrappers website as they have to be the most caring bunch of people that I have come to know. I have never met any of them but in the last 5 months we have created such a strong bond between us. No matter what the problem or issue, they are always there with words of strength and encouragement, always ready to give support and lots of cyber hugs. I don’t think there is one of us who could say that they haven’t gained anything from taking part in this challenge.
We are all hoping to meet up in November for a weekend of scrapping and fun. I can’t wait for this. I really do not know what I am going to do at the end of December when this challenge comes to an end.
I think these ladies know me better than some of my friends. I tend to share things with them that I might not tell my “real life” friends. On Friday I found a bald patch in the front of my hair which my hairdresser confirmed to be alopecia. I was feeling very tearful and I had a strong urge to talk to my fellow 365’ers about it as I knew that they would make me feel better. I don’t know what has caused the alopecia and I am trying not to worry about it so that it won’t get any worse. It is something that I have to act that I don’t care about.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 141 - Tuesday 20th May

“Once you choose hope, anything's possible.” - Christopher Reeve (1952-2004), actor, producer, director, and writer; best known for his role as Superman.

In just over a week we are going on holiday to Majorca and in all honesty we have been dreading it. It is the complete opposite to the sort of holiday we would have booked pre-Zoë. We normally go self catering in a small hotel so we can come and go as we please and we do lots of excursions.
This holiday has been booked with just one person in mind – ZOË!!! It is a half board high rise kids club hotel. I am guessing we will be spending a lot of time in and around the hotel using it’s facilities. However now the holiday is drawing closer I think we are both looking forward to it. Hopefully a chance to escape to the sun and be able to spend some quality family time together. What more could you hope for?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Day 140 - Monday 19th May


My number one dream at the moment is a totally to do with me and so is slightly selfish. All my other dreams are still there waiting to come true.
My main dream is to lose weight and to get down to 9 stone. I cannot remember the last time I weighed 9 stone probably when I was is my early teen years as I have always been plump. When I met James 10 years ago I was a size 18 and must have weighed about 12 and a half stone. When my mum and step dad split up after 20 years, I lost quite a bit if weight and got down to a size 14 and about 10 ½ stone.
Just before we get married I got down to just under 10stone but this soon crept up after the wedding. Since having Zoë I have more or less remained around the 10 stone 10lb mark. On the 4th of April I decided that my eating was getting out of hand and there was a real risk that I was going to pile on the pounds again. So I decided to stop eating all the junk and to eat much more healthily and get some exercise – hence the purchase of the Wii and the Wii Fit.
I weighed myself this morning and I was 10 stone 1 lb, so pretty chuffed with that. I was slightly less last week but I think this was due to me being poorly. I have bought some new size 14 clothes and they fit really well and if anything are a bit baggy so I have definitely slimmed down in shape. I don’t know if I will reach my target of 9 stone but I will give it a try.

So watch this space...

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A-Z Challenge J Layout

These seem to be getting harder and harder to think of a word for the prompt. Zoe loves jumping - on anything and everything. This morning she was launching herself off of the chair and flying face first into the bean bag.

UKS Team Challenge

I have done this layout this evening for the UKS weekly challenge. It had to be done using a sketch provided, have ribbon, stamping and doodling on. If you met all these criteria, you earn 30 points for your team.

Day 139 - Sunday 18th May


Well this must be the hardest prompt I have done so far in this challenge. One, one what...
One - there are lots of ones in my life. Zoë is my number one priority but I journal about her all the time so I don’t want to write about her again. James is my one best friend and one true love. Molly is our one cat. I would like to lose a further one stone to take me down to 9 stone.
Sometimes I quite like being one. I like to spend time alone which is quite rare since we have had Zoë but I am hoping for some me time this afternoon so that I can get the ironing done and some cooking for next week. Then hopefully some scrapping time as I have some layouts I need to catch up on.

Great Grandma's Birthday Card

I made this card last night for Zoe's Great Grandma who will be 95 on Wednesday. I have used my favourite Butterfly Kisses stamp which is a set of stamps where the butterfly is a front image and a back image. I have stamped on to acetate and then glittered both pieces and then glued them together back to back. This means that you can look at the butterfly at any angle. It takes ages to glitter but it looks so effective. I have then used the other stamps in the set for the swirls and the wording. Added a bit more glitter and some gems and a ribbon round the card.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Day 138 - Saturday 17th May


These one word prompts are difficult to interpret and this one is particularly difficult. The fact that the word art is separated to me gives the prompt a meaning of do I love art? I wouldn’t say I am a great art lover. I am not the type of person to go to an art gallery or to spend money art pieces but I do appreciate the amount of hard work that can go into art.
James’ father is very good at pencil drawing and two Christmases ago, he drew a picture of Zoë from a photograph and I know it came from his heart. I know he spends hours doing these pictures and they are always fantastic. He loves to draw people of different origins as he likes to captures their skin tones and features. He is absolutely fantastic at drawing animals too and his horses are wonderful. He is currently exhibiting in a local exhibition.
I am hopeless at drawing but love to stamp images and colour in them in with watercolour pencils. Today I have stamped on acetate and am glittering the image in. I love doing this and it is so effective when finished. I have done this to use on a card for James’ grandma’s 95 birthday card.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Day 137 - Friday 16th May


I think I have already journalled about creating before but I love creating things. Not many non crafty people understand the enjoyment that I get from card making or scrapbooking. Certainly my work colleagues scoff at me as I go into Hobbycraft most lunchtimes and come back raving about lovely crafting products – more often than not having made a purchase.
Through my crafting hobby, I started this 365 challenge and it has enabled me to create some lasting memories which Zoë will be able to read when she is older and be able to understand the type of parent I have tried to be. I have created many photos that we will be able to look back on in years to come to remind us of how we looked in 2008 - I am sure some of them will raise a few laughs due to hairstyles, fashions etc.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Day 136 - Thursday 15th May

Today whilst driving to work I was thinking about all the encouraging comments on my blog from yesterday’s entry from my fellow 365ers and I was inspired into using a sticker chart to encourage and praise Zoë’s good behaviour. She loves stickers and so it seemed an ideal solution. I bought lots of star stickers in different sizes – this way she is extra good, she can have a big star. I have made a chart using Word on A3 paper which I laminated so I can remove the stickers each week to start again. The chart has a row for each day of the week and then 7 columns, one for nappy changing, getting dressed nicely, brushing teeth, being good at bath time, eating all her meal, brush/dry hair and a general one for when she has been a good girl for something that I think needs rewarding for. These are things that we seem to be struggling with the most at the moment. I didn’t want to put too many things on the chart otherwise she would getting loads of stars and I don’t want to over do it. Each column has a picture to explain what it is for.I have explained the chart to her and then gave her a star because she had got out of the car nicely and put her shoes away when I asked her. Both of these things she has been really naughty over this week. Later she informed me she had done a poo so I explained that we were going to change her nappy and if she didn’t kick me and laid nice and still whilst I did it, she would get another sticker. At first she didn’t want her nappy changed and so I said no sticker and with that she went straight to the changer and let me do her nappy with no fuss at all.Then we had tea and I explained if she ate it all she would get a sticker. She very rarely eats all of her tea and as usual she had left the mince from her spag bol so I said no sticker and with that she ate it all up – a miracle!!!! She got dressed into her pyjamas with no battles, she has washed her teeth with no arguments and she let me cut her finger and toe nails. Her whole behaviour has really changed. She has been like a different child. I know it is only day one but so far so good. I am sure it will lose it’s novelty but hopefully by then she will have got the idea. I have been truly inspired!!!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Day 135 - Wednesday 15th May


It breaks my heart to make this entry but I am just discovering how hard it is to be a parent. Zoë is really playing us both up and last night she wouldn’t let us undress her to get her in the bath. She got quite vicious and was hitting me. I managed to strip her off and put her in the bath but she just went mad and I had to take her out of the bath for own safety. In the end we dressed her and sent her to bed with no milk.
Tonight she refused to get out of the car and again turned nasty hitting me. In the end I had to leave her in there and lock the doors. She moved around and set the car alarm off which upset her and when I went to get her, she wanted to come out.
I have promised her melon tonight after her bath if she is good in the bath. She hasn’t been too bad so far but was trying to hit James whilst he was watching her hair. She has got out ok without the usual fight.
I just don’t know how to react to her when she is naughty like this. Should I ignore it, should I let her get away what she doesn’t want to do or should I smack her or send her to bed. I know we have to be strong and stick by whatever punishment we give to her. I just pray that it is her trying her boundaries and nothing more serious.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Day 134 - Tuesday 13th May


I came home from work yesterday not feeling too well. This cough is really getting to me. I went to the doctors who thought I have adult croup. He gave me a cough suppressant which doesn’t seem to be working. I have coughed so much that I have a pulled a muscle in my tummy and having spent another fitful night on the sofa, I ache all over. There where was no way I was going to make into work this morning, so James took Zoë to nursery and I have had a very restful day at home.
No play from me today. The most energetic thing I have managed to do was to stamp some Sugar Nellie stamps so that I could do some colouring in so that I have some images ready to make some cards with. I stamped 12 images and only 5 are usable and I only managed to colour one in and then I fell asleep until James came home with Zoë.

Monday, May 12, 2008

365 Challenge - Week 19 Layout

Here is my layout for week 19. We had to chose our favourite lyrics and scrap the photo. I rebelled a bit and just used my favour photo. The letters are cut using the Craft Robo and I have decoupaged various flowers from the paper and then added buttons.

Day 133 - Monday 12th May

"Just a perfect day, Drink sangria in the park, And then later, when it gets dark, we'll go home, Just a perfect day, Feed animals in the zoo, Then later a movie too, and then home" - Lou Reed

What would be my perfect day? It would be a warm sunny day with beautiful blue skies. We would get up late and have leisurely start to the day. All the jobs would have been done so the whole day would be ours to enjoy. We would go out, maybe for a nice walk along the seafront or into the New Forest. We would be able to feel the sun warming our skin and everyone would be in a good mood. We would have a lovely lunch out in a little country pub and there would be somewhere nice for Zoë to play and have fun. Then we would find a quiet spot where we could lay down and doze our lunch off but keep an eye on Zoë.
Then we would come home and all be tired from the day, so hot showers or baths for all of us and then an early night for Zoë and James and I would snuggle up on the sofa and watch a soppy film.
This sounds like bliss!!! Why can’t real life be like this? In reality, Zoë wouldn’t want to walk anywhere, she wouldn’t eat her lunch and how can you doze with a 2 year old around!!! Ha Ha!!!! Still I wouldn’t change any of it!!!