Monday, June 30, 2008

Day 182 - Monday 30th June

"Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind” - Henry James

I burnt my arm whilst cooking dinner tonight and my darling husband was kind enough to lend me his ice cold can of coke to put on the burn – unfortunately he wasn’t kind enough to pose for the photo nicely!!!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Day 181 - Sunday 29th June

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for” - Tom Bodett

I think this quote is very true. I know I journal about Zoë a lot but as soon as I read this, I thought of her and how I have changed since having her. I always thought that I didn’t want children and then one day I came home work and talked to James about perhaps wanting one. My brother had recently had his first child, Connor and spending time with him showed how brilliant kids were. So we agreed we would try for a child. Within 3 months I was pregnant and wondering what the hell I had done! Sometimes I still wonder that ;-)
Zoë seems to have given a true purpose to my life. I always thought I was happy with my life before her, but when I look back on it now, it was nothing in comparison to now. Yes she can be hard work but on the whole she is fantastic and a constant source of wonderment to me. She is growing up fast and some of things she does or can do amaze me and then I think to myself that James and I made that and we are shaping her into the person that she is becoming. I just hope that we are doing a good job and that she will grow into a strong, independent, intelligent, caring individual who has a long and happy life.
I love everything about my wonderful daughter, I love being a Mum and I hope that maybe I could do it all over again!!!
This is an old photo but one of favourites.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Day 180 - Saturday 28th June

"The Heart, the Brain and the Body"

What do yours say about you?

Well I think all 3 of mine are quite big but one I am happy with, one I would like to be bigger and one I would like to be smaller. Can you guess which?
Heart – this is one I am happy with. Although I love Zoë with all my heart there is still room to love and care about others.
Brain – this is the one which I would like to bigger – especially the part of the brain that makes me artistic and creative. I have a degree which probably doesn’t have much bearing on my career now as it will be knowledge and experience that will take me further. I wish I had worked harder whilst studying – but you get this hindsight until afterwards.
Body – and this is the obvious one that I would like to be smaller. I am back to my pre-holiday weight but I still feel enormous. I really need to exercise more as my willpower for cutting out the junk is easy. Trouble is when I get home in the evenings, all I want to do is flop or do some crafting. I haven’t been on the Wii Fit since before the holiday as either my back has been too painful or I can’t get near the telly as James is watching the football. I must try harder!!!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Day 179 - Friday 27th June

"Past, Present, Future"

Lets look at our past, present and future. Try and capture with a photo or 3, and journal

I have done things in my past that I am not very proud of and I wish I didn’t waste so much of earlier years with such low self esteem that I would rather go out with idiots rather than be on my own. I wish I had worked harder at college and university so I could have a better classification on my degree.
My present is fantastic. I have a lovely husband who is so supportive and caring. He is such a brilliant Daddy to Zoë. I have a beautiful daughter who, although can try the patience of a saint, is the light of my life. I have a well paid job that I enjoy even after 10 years. We have a good standard of living and are all very happy.
What my future holds, well who knows? But I hope that it is as good as it is now.

Penny Black Cards

I was just reading through UKS and found a link to a fab new blog called Penny Black Saturday Challenge so for those of you who love Penny Black stamps, check this site out.

This card is for my friend who is horse mad and has about 15 horses. So the Minding Shelty Penny Black stamp was an obvious choice. I have coloured it using my fabby Coloursoft pencils and then mounted on blue Bazzill Bling card and then on to stripy paper. Then the whole thing is mounted onto brown Bazzill Bling. I have put blue and brown prima flowers down the side with a blue pearl in each one. The greeting is a Bo Bunny rub on (I am so loving these) mounted on to blue Bazzill. I have wrapped blue grosgrain ribbon and a couple of ribbon sliders.
This card is for a mum from the nursery that Zoe attends. She had a baby girl on Tuesday a week early by caesarian. Again it is a Penny Black stamp - Nap Time - coloured in with Coloursoft pencils and mounted on cardstock from the Baby Girl Nursery stack from DCWV. The greeting is a Making Memories one (rubbish in comparison with the Bo Bunny ones) and then I have added some pink sheer ribbon. I laid this card out last night and didn't like it so went to bed. When I got up this morning I liked it and so put it all together.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Day 178 - Thursday 26th June

Me, myself and I - Billie Holiday

This prompt makes me question who I am. Well I am the obvious things such as a Mum, a wife, a daughter, a sister etc but there must be more to me than that.
I know I am a totally different person since I have had Zoë – and not necessarily all for the better. I think I am more professional at work but at the same time, I am definitely less career driven as I know my family is much more important than the company I work for.
Lately I feel I have much less patience than I used to have but maybe that is because I am a working mum and so time is much more precious to me and I don’t want to waste it whilst waiting for things to happen – such as Zoë dressing herself or putting her shoes on.
I am less self-absorbed - I am no longer interested in going out or having the latest clothes etc. I definitely chose clothes for Zoë over myself.
Zoë has made me much more protective of those that I care for and has me realise what is important in life.
She has shaped me into the person I have become and the whole I think I like me...
... With or without glasses

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

365 Challenge - Week 25 Layout

This is week 25 layout. We had to chose our favourite lyrics from the week and scrap them. I rebelled slightly (again) and chose my favourite picture. I love these bears. The bride and groom were hand dressed to match our wedding colours by a friend and were a wedding present 4 years ago.

Day 177 - Wednesday 25th June

"See no Evil, Hear no Evil, Speak no Evil"

The saying is typically associated with three monkeys one covering his eyes, one covering his ears, and the other covering his mouth it is believed that the saying may have its origin in a 17th century temple in Japan.

This prompt is very apt for me today as this morning I went mad.
Zoë really played up this morning on everything. From the moment she woke up this morning she was in a foul mood and she wouldn’t let me do anything. I only just about got a nappy on her but trying to get her dressed was another matter completely. I could feel myself getting madder and madder with her and I tried shutting her in her room, which normally brings her out of one of her strops – but no this didn’t work. In the end I told her she would have to go to nursery in just her nappy. I did manage to get her trousers on but I gave up on shoes.
I am ashamed to say she saw evil, heard evil and I spoke evil.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day 176 - Tuesday 24th June

"The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"

Show me your 3 sides!

I like this prompt.
Good - what am I good at? Sometimes it is easier to come up with things that I am not good at! I hope I am a good mother (with a caveat listed under Bad) and a good friend to those around me. I am good at talking - just ask anybody!!! I am good at persevering with something once I have decided to do something. I am good at my job. I am good at nagging (just ask my husband) and spending money (my work colleagues just reminded of that for daily trips to Hobbycraft!)

Bad - I have a bad, bad temper which seems to be getting worse as I get older. I can just erupt over something very minor. I always thought people mellowed with age, but this is not the case with me. I think this is the one aspect when I would say I am not a good mother as I can lose my temper very easily. I would never hurt Zoe but sometimes I feel like I am shouting at her all the time. I am quite impatient and if I want something, I normally want it now!

Ugly - I consider myself to be ugly and this is not fishing for compliments! I have very low self esteem about my looks and I know beauty is only skin deep and that hopefully I have other attributes that are far more important than looks, but I would love to be taller, thinner and pretty. I can make myself thinner (well try!) but there isn't much hope for the other 2! Having said all that I don't dwell on my looks. I am who I am and if people don't accept me for that, then that is their loss!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Day 175 - Monday 22nd June

"Say the word and you'll be free, Say the word and be like me,Say the word I'm thinking of, Have you heard the word is love? It's so fine, It's sunshine, It's the word, love, In the beginning I misunderstood But now I've got it, the word is good" - The Word, Lennon and McCartney

This has been the hardest prompt of this series as I really don’t know what to journal about.
Love makes you rich and is better than any material possessions you could ever have or hope to have. I love my husband very much and as I have already stated, the fizziness of a new relationship has long since passed but now we have a deeper, ever lasting love for one another. I love Zoë with all my being and I cannot imagine loving anyone as much I love her. I wake each morning thankful for the wonderful family I have and although sometimes I wish for other things, I know that I have all I will ever need.

Love gifts from James over the years.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

365 Challenge - Week 24 Layout

This is a bit of a play on words. Wii as in wee, small. The papers were free from a card mag some time ago.

A-Z Challenge M Layout

Mummy's Princess.
This photo was taken of us on holiday. It is quite rare to get a picture of me as it is nearly always me taking the photo.

A-Z Challenge L Layout

Little Miss.
Zoe loves Little Miss and has all the books, various items of clothing and DVDs. Her favourite is Little Miss Scary. The pictures show Zoe in her Little Miss Chatterbox T-shirt and then her sitting with her favourite book. I have matted the photos on different colour card. I got all the images from a web site and then made little tags with each of the Little Miss characters on and put these round the photos. The lettering I used a font as close as I could to the font used on the books. This layout has taken me about 4 hours to complete but I am really pleased with the way this one came out.

Day 174 - Sunday 22nd June

"Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can, No need for greed or hunger,A brotherhood of man, Imagine all the people, Sharing all the world,You may say that I'm a dreamer, But I'm not the only one, I hope someday you'll join us, And the world will live as one" - Imagine, John Lennon

Strong Lyrics, but lets imagine a day with no possesions, no war, no anger, what would today be like?

This is quite a depressing prompt because there is absolutely no chance of having no war or anger somewhere in the world. Every time you switch the news on, soldiers are being killed in Afghanistan, young teenagers are being stabbed or shot in the cities in England, in Zimbabwe people are being beaten or killed for supporting the opposition. None of it seems to end. I cannot imagine that the world is ever going to get better – it will just be another time, another place and another reason. So as I much as I could dream for the world to live as one, it will never happen. People are too power or money hungry for this to ever change.
This may seem selfish but at least I know in my little world there is no war or anger and that we are all living as one. And in Zoë’s world, she is happy as long as she some gummy bear sweets.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Coloursoft coloured image on Birthday card

Today is James' Auntie Pat's birthday and here is the card I have made for her. The image is a Sugar Nellie and I have coloured it in using my fabby new Coloursoft pencils using Sansador to blend the colours nicely. I have used Cuttlebug embossing folders and some gems.

Day 173 - Saturday 21st June

"Turn off your mind, relax and float down stream, It is not dying, it is not dying
Lay down all thoughts, surrender to the void, It is shining, it is shining.
Yet you may see the meaning of within, It is being, it is being,
Love is all and love is everyone, It is knowing, it is knowing,
And ignorance and hate mourn the dead, It is believing, it is believing,
But listen to the colour of your dreams, It is not leaving, it is not leaving,
So play the game "Existence" to the end, Of the beginning, of the beginning"
- Tomorrow Never Knows , Lennon

Crikey this is a long prompt. I am going to just take a small part of it. The first thing that came into my head when I started reading it was from the first line abut turning off your mind, relax and float down stream.
I used to read about a book a week but since I got an IPod I tend to listen to that before I go to bed and so it seems that I hardly ever read anymore. However I bought a book to take on holiday and it reignited my love for books. I have almost finished it and bought my next one yesterday. I love to read chick lit books where I can just escape into the story and I don’t need to think about complicated plots or anything. My mum always complains about my reading choice but I love the fact that they are so easy to read and often so “unput downable”. The characters are always so life like and realistic and I can normally identify with them. I love to imagine what the characters look like and the scenery etc.
Some of my favourite authors are Sheila O’ Flanagan, Marian Keyes, Cathy Kelly, Sophie Kinsella, Chris Manby to name but a few

Friday, June 20, 2008

Day 172 - Friday 20th June

"It's been a hard day's night, and I been working like a dog It's been a hard day's night, I should be sleeping like a log But when I get home to you I'll find the things that you do Will make me feel alright"
- Hard Days Night , Lennon

What kind of day have you had?

7.45am: Today is my day off so got a bit of a lie in
8.15am: Changed sheets on beds
8.45am: Sat down with cup of tea and had a catch up on UK Scrappers
9.00am: Did the rest of the housework
10.35am: Finished housework and had breakfast
11.00am: Had a shower
11.51am: Another cup of tea and sat down to make the toppers for 20 more wedding invites
1.00pm: Go to shops to buy Zoë Night Garden magazine and then to the Physio
2.30pm: Go to Art Shop to get some Sansador for my pencils
3.00pm: Finish off wedding invites
4.30pm: My brother, Joe, visited and we had a good catch up
6.00pm: James came home from work and we dropped Joe to his friends and got take away dinner from Tescos
7.30pm: Had dinner and did some more colouring in with my Sansador to make a
card for James’ auntie

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 171 - Thursday 19th June

"When I get older losing my hair, Many years from now. Will you still be sending me a valentine, Birthday greetings bottle of wine. If I'd been out till quarter to three, Would you lock the door, Will you still need me, will you still feed me, When I'm sixty-four."
- When I'm sixty four, McCartney

A great lyric to reflect on relationships or maybe the future

We have another 29 years until we get to 64 which seems a very long way off but I am certain that we will still be together then. We have been together for 10 years now and although we are no longer in the early flushes of romance, I think we have a great relationship. Zoë has cemented this relationship further.
Having grown up in a single parent family, I didn’t want to get married or have children unless I knew it would be forever and James feels the same way. I am not saying that we have the perfect relationship but it I think it is pretty good and I am happy with the way things are.
Luckily James has a lovely thick head of hair although it is going a bit grey (my fault apparently) and we still send Valentines and Birthday cards. I can’t remember the last time he had a night out so never has to be let in at silly times in the morning.
I know I will still definitely need him when we are 64 – that is if my feeding him hasn’t finished him off!!!!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Day 170 - Wednesday 18th June

"In Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs, Of every head he's had the pleasure to know. And all the people that come and go Stop and say hello"
- Penny Lane, Lennon and McCartney

Time to reflect on where we live

I grew up in quite a rural village and it was lovely growing up here as there were plenty of green fields and open spaces to play in. We had a brilliant village primary school, but the buildings have now been converted into houses and the playing field and playgrounds have been built on. A new school was built in a different location and is in high demand as it always gets outstanding Ofsted reports which has pushed house prices even further up. My mum still lives there.
The downsides of living in the village was trying to get anywhere – buses run very infrequently and unless you had a car, it was a nightmare.
I now live much nearer to the town and although I never go on buses, I could catch one every 10 minutes from the end of my road. I would love to move back to the country and send Zoë to a small village school.
Or perhaps live in one of these lovely houses... ... if only I had a spare couple of million pounds to afford one.

First attempt at blending

Well here is my first attempt. I don't think I used the right paper or thinners as the colour didn't move very well but am quite pleased for my first go.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Day 169 - Tuesday 17th June

"I heard the news today, Oh Boy" - - A Day in the Life - Beatles

What headline, made the news for you today?

My first thought when I read this prompt at breakfast was to wait until the 6pm news and then journal about a story on the TV. However the news at the moment is so depressing – the rising cost of living, the wars, the murders etc that I really don’t want to do this. Then I thought back over the day and thought I would write about what I am hoping is good news.
I have been lusting after some Prisma pencils since well before Christmas but they are so expensive to buy here and although much cheaper from the US, there is a risk that I would have to pay import duty etc. Last night I read on the internet that Derwent make an equivalent pencil which you can blend etc. So I thought I would buy a small pack in Hobbycraft today to see what I thought of them. However when I went in there, they had a 72 piece boxed set half price down to £49.99 and then of course I get my staff discount on them too so I got them very cheaply indeed. I have e-mailed the lady who was raving about these pencils and she said that she has actually sold her Prisma pencils in favour of the Derwent Coloursoft pencils. This was music to my ears!!!
Once Zoë has gone to bed I will have a play and see what I think of them.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Day 168 - Monday 16th June

“Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart” - Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), minister, civil rights activist

This photo is staged but I just love to sit in the garden with a drink and a good book. Obviously I would prefer to be sat in the sun on a weekend with a glass of Pimms but for the purpose of today’s prompt the photo was taken this evening after we had just got the new furniture out.

Roll on this weekend...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Day 167 - Sunday 15th June

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures” - Thornton Wilder (1897–1975), playwright, novelist

These two people are definitely the treasures in my heart. I don’t think I need to say anymore do I?

A-Z Challenge K Layout

I did this before I went away but have only just got round to uploading it. I really struggled to come up with a K.

A couple of cards

Mother in Law's birthday card:

Used Sugar Nellie stamp coloured in with watercolour pencils and the same stamp on Shrinkles, coloured in using Sakura Glitter pens and then shrunk. The papers are Laura Ashley and I added some gems to the flower centres and on the dots of the backing paper. The greeting is a Bo Bunny rub-on. It went on so beautifully - definitely will be getting some more of these.
Father's Day card:

I did 2 of these - desgined in Design Master and cut on the Craft Robo. Blue holographic card and silvery/blue glitter adhesive on the top.

365 Challenge - Week 23 Layout

This week's quotes were from the Momiji dolls. I have just realised that my company sells these little dolls. Not really my cup of tea but the pictures of them look good on the layout.

365 Challenge - Week 22 Layout

I was a bit behind due to my holiday, but have caught up now. Week 22 was the Disney quotes and I chose the Reach for the Sky from the Toy Story film. Used cloud paper from the DCWV Spring Stack and various glitter letter stickers and the stars are from Zoe's sticker chart.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day 166 - Saturday 14th June

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in” - Rachel Carson (1907-1964), marine biologist

Rediscover the joys of being a child today

We have been on a major shopping spree today up at West Quays and bought new Nike trainers for all of us, a gold necklace to match a bracelet for James’s mum’s birthday present, some Father Day presents and 2 new dresses for Zoë. But the most exciting thing we bought was the Wii Mario Kart game. As soon as Zoë is in bed, we will be playing it. And who says I am a child?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Day 165 - Friday 13th June (Argh!!!)

“You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” - Wayne Gretzky (b. 1961), retired professional ice hockey player

Interesting quote for us?! Motto : just keep clicking away, lol

It amazes me, since I got my Canon DSLR, how much I view my surroundings so differently. I look at landscapes and wonder what they would look like if photographed them. Or sometimes Zoë will do something and I wish I could capture that moment on my camera. The problem is my DSLR is big and heavy to carry around and so I often miss things that I would like to have captured. My little point and shoot camera is about 3 years old now and is rubbish in comparison to my other camera so I tend not to take that with me either.
James captured this photo whilst I was trying to catch 40 winks on holiday. I had got onto Zoë’s bed in the hope for some peace and quiet. She spent the whole time bouncing on our bed. I didn’t realise he had taken the photo until I downloaded the photos later.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Day 164 - Thursday 12th June

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead” — Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), novelist

I don't have any aspirations today other than trying reduce the ironing pile which is the highest I have ever seen it - so it is a high aspiration. I only did the essential ironing before we went away and so now I have added another 4 loads of washing to it. I may not reach the end of the pile, it isn't quite so high that I have to look up to it and I definitely cannot see it's beauty. I cannot believe there is so much there but hopefully if I start at the top it will lead to the end!

Update: 3 1/2 hours later all done!!!! Now I am going to pretend the washing machine is broken so I don't get anymore ironing to do.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Day 163 - Wednesday 11th June

“Friendship is the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words” - George Eliot [Mary Ann Evans] (1819-1880), novelist

James and Zoë are without a shadow of a doubt are my bestest friends. They make me complete. What more do I need to say?

Day 162 - Tuesday 10th June

“'Stay' is a charming word in a friend's vocabulary” - Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888), novelist

I like this prompt. It has a warm feeling about it. Although I am not sure what to journal about.
Having just come back from holiday, reminds me of how home sick I get. I love going away and am fine for the first couple of days, but then I start to miss home and look forward to leaving to start my journey home.
However perhaps if I had one of these and could come and go as I please, I could finally conquer my homesickness.

Day 161 - Monday 9th June

Clever Clogs - Once upon a time there was a clever clogs and her name was you. I like: boys who wear glasses.

As a mother, of course I think that I have the cleverest child in the world – as all mothers do!!!!
I think nursery has done her the world of good. She can count up to 12 quite easily and can recognise lots of letters whether in lower or upper case. I am not sure that she would know all these things if I was at home with her all the time.
This is my favourite photo from the holiday. She just loved being on the beach.

Day 160 - Sunday 8th June

Smiling - Sweet dizzy girl you make me always smiling. I like: gingerbread and tap dancing

Zoë has had a fantastic time on her holiday. She has been pretty well behaved – although she did have her moments when we wondered why we had taken her on holiday at her age. Once I had to take her up to bed as she played up so much at breakfast. I know she had very little sleep and her routine had been totally messed up. However, then one little smile from her and I had to force myself to be stern with her and stick to my guns. On the whole she was good.
This photo was taken on our last evening in her favourite part of the hotel – the playground where she would would smile all the time.

Day 159 - Saturday 7th June

Higgledy Piggledy - Somedays when life is quite higgledy-piggledy then you are the only person who can help. I like: cheese on toast and palates.

The hotel had a small kid’s playground and Zoë played on it every day. She loved it especially when she had it all to herself.
This picture shows her coming down backwards – all higgledly piggledy!!!

Day 158 - Friday 6th June

Soul - Your soul is a good one, i know when it shines in your eyes. I like: motorbikes

Just look into these beautiful brown eyes and try not to fall in love with the most precious and beautiful thing in my life.

Day 157 - Thursday 5th June

Lovely Day - We lie on our backs watching the clouds. Our lovely day. I like: old black and white movies, travelling to far off lands

The weather on holiday hasn’t been that great but to be fair it was just right bearing in mind that we had Zoë and if it had been too hot, then it would have been very hard for her to cope in the heat. We only really had rain on one day but we had already spent the morning at the beach. Zoë loved the beach. Daddy would dig big holes and then Zoë would go down to the sea and fill up her bucket with sea water and then come back and fill up the hole. This was a never ending task because as soon as she tipped it in, it would disappear. She had great fun running up and down the beach though. I didn’t get much sun bathing in as Zoë was constantly on the go and so lying down soaking up the sun was a no-no.
We were quite worried about taking Zoë away on holiday, but it has been successful and so we will definitely be going away again next year.
I love this photo – the clouds are so white against the blue of the sky.