Two layouts in one set of 24 hours, pretty much getting on for a record for me! Am trying to take on board that not every page has to be a masterpiece and that I don't have to deliberate on the placement of every element for hours on end. So they aren't the best I have ever done, but I like them and I enjoyed doing them.

The first is another combined challenge effort. Off centre placement for the Ali E challenge on Annie's blog (yes - I know - I'm behind) and the second for using a non-scrapbooking product on Scrap That Moment.

This is Mia just learning to feed herself, mashed bananas just going everywhere (except probably in her mouth!) The larger flowers are from a teeny cute notebook I bought in Sainsbury's the other day. The title I printed in outline on the computer and coloured in with some watercolour pencils (bargain £2.99 from WHS sale!)

The second was a quickie (probably one of my quickest ever) for a journalling challenge on Scrap That Moment; to create a to do list.

Mine is a to do list of what I have got to organise ready for Josh starting High School next week. Note there are a fair few boxes still not ticked - eek! I even took the photograph as Josh was sat next to me on the computer and printed it out straight away. I used alcohol inks on both the chipboard letters and acrylic hearts. The journalling is about how excited he is and my hopes that he makes the most of the opportunities to learn and grow whilst at High School.

Out and About

I know I've been very remiss, I've done lots of things and not written about them.

Went away for a couple of days to Yorkshire. Stopped off first at Lightwater Valley. Felt so good to walk past the mile long queue and walk straight into the Birds of Prey centre (yep we are all cowardly custards so fair rides and theme parks are just not our style at all). We were about the only ones looking at the Birds. We had our picnic there, an ice-cream, watched the display (which was really good and the baby vultures were so funny) and then paid extra for the kids to have their photos taken holding the birds. Josh held Wingnut the Eagle Owl and Chiara and Mia both held Poppet the Kestrel.


I got piccies from there (you had to pay £3.85 each for the privilege of holding the bird and you got a piccie in with it) I took more piccies myself obviously but the ones from the centre are actually quite good (will have to scan them in another time).

Then it was onto Harrogate where we had tea then met up with Clare, Pete and Tom, they had been exploring earlier and took us to the fabulous valley gardens. The light was quite poor by then so no photos.

Next day we went to Art from the Heart (yum yum yum) and I spent too much money. But seeing all that lush stuff it is so hard to resist. Then into Ripon for Fish and Chips, onto Brymor Ice Cream Farm and finally Forbidden Corner. I took quite a few piccies but no-one really stood still long enough so most came out too blurred :( Josh enjoyed it more than I expected, Chiara got soaked by an unexpected water spray (drama queen moment) and Mia was spooked silly by the underground section so we had to miss some bits of the exploration out. We said goodbye much too soon to Clare et al. Mia was mightily taken with Tom btw!

We drove onto Brighouse were we spent the night then on to Eureka science museum for kids in Halifax the next day. This is a great place to spend the day. However Josh (11) was really a bit old for the displays and the adult - child ratio really could have done with upping a bit as I kept losing one or the other as they dashed around in between all the interactive displays. I would say this is a great place to go for younger children, Mia and Chiara thought it was fab (5 and 7).

Whilst there I picked up some discount vouchers for 2 for 1 entries to some of Yorkshire's main attractions. Magna in Rotherham looks fantastic and we will definitely be going there. The others included in the offer are The Deep, XScape, Jorvik, National Museum of Photography, Thackray Museum, Royal Armouries, Herriott centre, Harewood House and Magna. I have some of these vouchers spare. If you want a couple posting out just let me know! (details of these places can be found on

Ba Humbug - the layout that didn't want to be done!

Been having real trouble getting onto blogger and uploading pics, then just posting what I had got ready was a job that got pushed to the bottom of the pile. So really this is all about last Saturday!

Had another great time at the Stoke crop, nice to meet up again with Kathryn, Fran and Bevsie and the others (Happy Birthday wishes to Chris – thanks for the muffins!). And thanks to Julie for giving me a lush piece of BG cardstock to go with a layout I started there.

I re-did the layout for the BG sketch challenge. Very peeved because the Making Memories velvet stickers just would not budge and obviously I had used all the appropriate words on the layout I was ditching. I started using the BG letter stickers to match the paper but then the didn’t show up well against the pattern so I splodged paint over them and removed the stickers to show the negative space underneath and outlined in pen for definition. And this layout really was destined to trouble me. Started my journaling on the photo and the pen packed up part way through and had no other pen which matched the writing. Thanks to Kathryn’s suggestion, I sandpapered the old writing off and started again. Unfortunately the second pen had a more bold tip and I couldn’t fit all the journaling on. Luckily adding in another sticker word IF joined the top part and the bottom part together just fine. The stamp at the top right hand corner is a Heidi Swapp one stamped in paint, then gold versamark and finally chalked over. And I raided my button box again. I’m chuffed to have rediscovered a love for adding buttons to my layouts. I have hundreds so this is no bad thing. The letter stickers on the photo are by Creative Imaginations and were part of my fabby pizza box bargain at Scrapaganza in May.

I’m attributing this layout to several challenges (is this cheating too much, surely I’m not the only one to do this?) UKS August Week 2 challenge (minus the numberplate title and mini book), Scrap That Moment bi weekly challenge (to use label holders), and the BG August sketch.
I did have lots more to say at the time, but the news is old hat now so will just start afresh tomorrow!

Not so productive few days

Okay finally got this place to accept the photo of my altered canvas board I did last weekend again (see my post further down). I really had fun doing this so thanks to Clare for the great instructions on how to achieve the effects. Sorry for the big circle instead of the face, but needs must!

Been very lazy this week. I have done a layout but made a hash of things by adding in some penwork (should have known better!) I used the free Blitzen papers from The Scrapbook Magazine and they are just perfect for the page. Unfortunately I have decided I can't live with it how it is so am going to re-do it at crop tomorrow. I don't have these papers left so am going to give it a whirl using BG Skate Shoppe instead; a pity because the little bits of red in the Blitzen really worked well with the photo. I've based the page on the sketch from the BG newsletter for August and also the latest weekly challenge on UK Scrappers. Have managed to get some label holders in there too, to meet a challenge on Scrap That Moment. So three challenges in one layout. Hopefully I will be uploading it tomorrow after crop!

I've taken the kids to the cinema twice this week. First time it was Josh and his friend to watch Pirates of the Caribbean 2. Great special effects but I wasn't as wowed as I expected to be (though the boys were) and as I get seasick I had to cover my eyes a few times just to stop motion sickness from setting in (really!).

Second time I took all three, plus Josh's friend again (who was on sleepover) to watch Monster House (Orange Wednesday again). Poor Mia was really scared so she was on my knee all the time. I think this was more scary than POTC2. I hadn't realised that PG meant an age suitability rating of 8 as a guideline! I was worried my girlies would have nightmares, but thankfully not.

And today we have trawled around Derby searching for curtains for Chiara's new bedroom. An absolute nightmare. Just where do you go to buy curtains nowadays? I think we may have to resort to some from Next though, typically, they have to be put on special order. Same with the bedroom furniture from Homebase. Oh but I did manage to buy the bathroom fitments for the bathroom in the new extension, in the Debenhams sale, plus a lovely new towel for Josh's swimming lessons (original price £14, sale £4.20!).

Off to crop at Stoke tomorrow, looking forward to meeting my lovely friend Kathryn and the others there again.

Tagged by Soojay

Tagged by Soojay (sorry I forgot!)

1. If you could build a house anywhere, where would it be?
In our garden. bleeping fed up of being turned down for planning and it really would help us no end financially (plus we would be in catchment for the local school!)

2. What's your favourite article of clothing?
Erm .... anything that fits?

3. Favourite physical feature of the opposite sex?
Strong shoulders.

4. What's the last CD that you bought?
Oh heck, I'm stuck in a timewarp musicwise. A compilation rock album *More than a Feeling* bought because I couldn't find another one with one of my fave tracks on - (Don't Fear) The Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult. (now wondering what that says about me!)

5. Where's your favourite place to be?
Right here at home, in peace and quiet with the kids tucked up safely in bed (says she with them still running riot upstairs, but you get my meaning!)

6. Where's your least favourite place to be?
Anywhere too hot with mosquitoes.

7. What's your favourite place to be massaged?
My head. I just love getting shampoo'ed at the hairdressers. And my girlies are always brushing and playing with my hair - heaven!

8. Strong in mind or strong in body?
Either is negligible lol but I guess mind wins the toss.

9. What time do you wake up in the morning?
As late as possible to get the kids to school before having to sign the *late comers* register.

10. What is your favourite Kitchen appliance?
Freezer - for all the Hagen Daaz and Ben & Jerry's :D

11. What makes you really angry?
People who can't accept responsibility for their wrong doings - and never say sorry.
And the cats climbing all over my stash (okay so I should put it away, but still ...)

12. If you could play an instrument what would it be?
Anything that doesn't need me to read music.

13. Favourite colour?
Green..every shade (ditto Sue)

14. Sports car or SUV?
SUV i need space for the shopping (ditto Sue)

15. Do you believe in an afterlife?
I try to.

16. Favourite children's book?
Hairy McLarey series

17. What's your favourite season?
Spring. New growth, new lives, daffodils in the garden.

18. What is your least favourite household chore?
Cleaning the toilets.

19. If you could have one super-power, what would it be?
To eradicate debt.

20. If you have a tattoo what is it?
Nooooooo ... having my ears pierced was as much pain as I can take!

21. Can you juggle?
Nope - I fail miserably.

22. The one person from your past that you wish you could go back and talk to?
My Nana, to say sorry.

23. What's your favourite day?
Saturday - when it's a crop day.

24. What's in the boot of your car?
A map (I hope otherwise I've lost it).

25. Which do you prefer, sushi or hamburger?
Hamburger (if needs must)

I shall tag :
(in alphabetical order!)

Post Cyber Crop Exhaustion!

Phew! I'm all scrapped out! Had a fab time cyber cropping this weekend, many thanks to the hostesses and the girls who created the class projects too. Not done them all YET but have had a crack at most of them. I spent far too long on my altered frame project but I was enjoying myself so much!
And talking about this fits in nicely with Kara's blog challenge to talk about a new product. Well this was created using decopatch papers (which I bought from The Card Fairy but they aren't on their website). This is a 15x9" frame from the charity shop, originally painted silver. I sanded, applied the torn up decopatch papers with modge podge then painted over with gold paint to tone down the original cerise colour of the tissue. Lots of stamping with Stazon (I really didn't think I had so many stamps to choose from!), then embellished with Chipboard letters (Rusty Pickle and Heidi Swapp) which had been painted burgundy then gold (letters left gold, the C and scroll were swiped with red stazon for contrast), a bit of organza ribbon and some flowers. The inside of the frame is some Junkitz patterned paper with swirls stamped in Versamark and chalked over. And there is me and Len on our wedding day - twenty years ago come next month!

The Decopatch papers are so incredibly pretty and really easy to work with. They are a surprisingly strong tissue paper and come in so many different patterns. You can get special glues but my Modge Podge seemed to work just fine. I am definitely going shopping for more of these and perhaps some more mdf blanks to tart up too!

Oh and I won a prize at the cybercrop for this frame, which I'm pretty chuffed about, some lovely artists trading card products, courtesey of the Crafteire event organisers (many many thanks!)

Whilst I had all the messy stuff out I also had a go at Clare's altered canvas class. I loved the painting and stamping and created a photo canvas board (from Poundland) in girly colours. I have blanked out the face of Chiara's friend as she is in long term foster care - the courts have passed her for adoption so she will be moving away some time. Chiara will find this really hard as her last close friend emigrated to New Zealand. This board is to give to the friend and I shall make another one with more purples in it to match the colours in Chiara's new bedroom. (sigh, can't get any more images loaded on blogger so will try another time).

Cyber Crop Classes

More cyber cropping today. Should really be getting more done that I am, but I'm on a real go slow and there isn't any pressure anyhow. Some gorgeous classes to copy and fun challenges to take part in. My two pages today are classes by Debbie and Lousette.

I'm challenging myself to try and get some of my older photos scrapped. You know the ones - the not so good ones in the time BDS (before discovered scrapbooking). The first is Mia dreaming away at Nana's. I used BG Blitzen (free from The Scrapbook Magazine) and the background is from the Oh Boy range. 'Gift' is HS chipboard letters painted and gold rub-ons applied.

The second is making light at my frustration at having very few photos of Josh. He really doesn't like having his photo taken and those I do get he is usually trying to hide or pull a face. This photo is another one from our day out at Bakewell. Lots of thank yous for this page, Peppery Katie, Anam and Lins, for all my lovely presents :)

I've been very messy as well; I'm covered in ink, paint and modge podge. It's been ages since I just played with stuff like this and I've had such fun with it. Am hoping to finish my altered project tomorrow, we shall see!

Woo Hoo I love Cyber Crops!

Cyber cropping this weekend. I should really be able to do layouts quicker if I am only copying, right? Hmm, well not always. Especially late at night when my brain is halfway to dreamland.
Anyhow I started off with an absolutely gorgeous class by Karen (will come back with blog link!) it was done the 8.5x11 size so it was tweaked a wee bit (but not by much). My photo was even the same theme and matched the same range of papers! Just changed a few details but it is still obviously Karen's fab design, thanks Karen :) The photo of Mia was taken the other day on our trip to Bakewell.

And we were off to McArthur Glen again. The other day, eagle eyed Chiara spotted a poster advertising Paddington Bear as the special guest today. So we tootled along just to go and say hello to Master Bear! The girls had their faces painted, Chiara as a Fairy Princess and Mia as a butterfly. Mia had a strop about something or nothing (still none the wiser) and went and washed her face before I could take a picture. Here is Chiara though, not the best of shots (needed flash and it's a bit glaring) - she looks so weird and definitely much too grown up! She loved it though - especially the vampish lippy!

Okay just a quickie to add in some piccies from the last few days.

Going to start with the handmade pressies I received. The book from Kathryn is larger than a cheque book and each page covers one of the letters for my name (haha at the Z!) with lots of positive affirmations in it (ideal for when I am down, I know I will treasure it for years to come as I have another friendship book from Clare from a couple of years ago and I still love looking at that one too).

Then look what I got in the post this morning from Clare Wow! I know that she took the time and trouble to make it to my favourite colours. And the slide mailer has the most wonderful inked and stamps glass plates inside. Clare thank you so very much. (and also the flowers and ribbon, you know me too well!)

Plus I forgot to mention about my bargain yesterday from the Next outlet store at McArthur Glen shopping outlet on the M1 J28 (about 20 minutes from home). All the kids sale stuff was £2 per item and all accessories only 50p each! Sod's law though that most stuff wasn't in the sizes we needed (so no clothes for Mia or Josh, pity).

Quick list, fluffy collar cardigan, denim skirt with belt, velvet crinkle skirt with divine beaded waist trim, two winter hats, sequinned belt, diamonte buckle belt, two pairs party tights, one heart necklace, three swim/pe bags - full retail value over £90, MINE FOR £11 Oh I do so love a bargain :D

And I only need two of the pe bags. They are waterproof and feature mini mouse and sequins and are really cute. Anyone want one? First to say I DO gets a pressie for their little girlie!

I've got a couple from Bakewell too but Blogger is being silly with uploading the photos again. Does anyone else have this problem. I upload them, it says done, then ......... nothing ........ nowhere!
Well here I am - on broadband. I was yelling hooray earlier only for the connection to keep losing which I'm not happy about and will be onto the isp tomorrow. I have now, however, figured how to reconnect. Oh and there is a file missing from the second computer so I can't get the wireless adapter to work. I have to download some file and copy it over. A job for tomorrow I think (yes I AM a dreadful procrastinator).

Anyhow, BIG thanks to everyone for their warm wishes for my birthday yesterday (and lush presents to boot). I had a really lovely friendship book from Kathryn which I am certainly going to treasure, it made me feel so special (thanks Kathryn) plus some fab stamps and other stuff from Frances, yummy punctuation stamps and Maya Road chipboard from Donna, Chatterbox and HS embellies from Peppery Katie (my birthday swappee) and not forgotting my extra extra early and yummy pressie from Dawn (a Karen Foster tote no less). I love the good friends I have found through scrapbooking.

We (myself, Josh and Mia, seeing as Chiara was on a sleepover) braved the bus for a trip out to Bakewell yesterday (the car was in the garage). Suffice to say I now know why I won't relinquish my car. It was 15 minutes late going plus standing room only for most of the way and coming back it was 40 minutes late! We had a lovely day though, feeding the fish and ducks, at the park and eating ice-cream. Finished the day (the three of us again, Len wouldn't miss his football/pub night for me now would he?) watching Pirates of the Caribbean on DVD, cuddling, eating choccie cheesecake and downing a few port a lemons. Idyllic really :D

Been out today and spent the money from my parents/inlaws on a lovely pair of earrings and then took the kids to watch Over the Hedge. It was better than I was expecting, but Josh was a bit disgruntled as he wanted to see Pirates 2 - the showing times were way out though for us to accommodate both. Will try to encourage inlaws to invite the girls over for a couple of days next week so that I can take Josh to see Pirates just the two of us (Mia is such a scaredy cat, she just about managed Pirates 1 at home but the cinema would be a totally different matter).

Oh and big note to me to remember Orange Wednesday more often! Four of us for a few pennies over a tenner!
Well am trying again. I could NO WAY yesterday get this place to upload more than one photo and I wanted to get two on. So going to give it another go.

Had a real lazy day yesterday. Finished off a layout from the crop on Saturday and made a birthday card for a party Mia has been to plus another for my MIL whose birthday was yesterday. We went out for a meal to give her a rest from the usual gorgeous Sunday dinners she usually makes for us all each week. It's a double celebratory meal cos it's my birthday Tuesday. Not that I will be doing anything tomorrow as Len very inconveniently booked the car into the garage so we have to get up early and get the car in then walk back. Chiara is staying at a friends too and having her very first non family sleepover out. To say she is excited is somewhat of an understatement!

Anyway, back to Saturday. Had such a lovely time at crop - I'm really glad I made the effort. And thanks Jackie for providing the lift to the supermarket to get lunch, even if we did have to twist each others' arms to get the profiteroles :D

I did the Ali Edwards pp challenge from Annie's blog - actually started AND finished it in the day. Not quite random as I stupidly forgot the random papers and left them at home so I had to work with papers I had in my crop bag.

Those little stamps around the border are some stem stamps from My Sentiments Exactly. Aren't they gorgeous? They've got little phrases, the ones I used on here say 'you make each day sweeter', 'you are quite special to me' and 'follow your dreams and passions'.

There are another couple of sayings too, plus some flowers and leaves to match. I guess they are meant for card makers really, but I couldn't resist them.

I'm so in love with them I used them on the Easter Egg Hunt layout too! That features some more lush papers, this time from Heidi Grace. The darker pink is embossed and catches the light with beautiful, soft, shimmery kaleidescopic colours. Just perfect for a girly girl page.
Oh well, insert as many bleeping ***************'s as you figure suitable regarding Broadband. Suffice to say I'm still on dial-up!

Spent a couple of hours changing all the cables and stuff over (no mean feat as just getting to the back of the computers in here is a major job in itself) for the connection not to be recognised. Went and picked up a second hand monitor for the kids pc only to find out that one of Mia's friends' Dad is a computer geek so he came over to check it out. Three hours and two modems later we are back to dial up. Tried the technical helpline at 6.30 to find out it closes 5.30 - the guy thinks there is a problem with either username or password. So I am not best pleased, least of all because I have to start all over again next week.

Have got a crop to escape to tomorrow (yeah!) at Hobby Horse in Elvaston. Was considering not going until I realised the kids' social life was so more exciting than mine, so am going to make the effort after all. And perhaps I may even organise a project this time (but please don't bet on it).

I'm wondering if my deflated ego where computers are concerned can stand another battering - I think I need to figure how to start adding to the links on here and actually get some piccies up!
I am filled with trepidation (well scared stupid actually). I am a real technophobe, I can do the basics with my computer and nothing more. Well time has come now to try and get the broadband set up AND the computers networked together.

I have the Belkin modem/wireless router and the two adapter bits for the pcs plus the email from Euronet.

Just trying to pluck up courage to figure out what to do now.

I must just do it. Not having Broadband is a real pain as there are three of us fighting over the internet connection.

Also I will then be able to upload my photos to photobucket much easier and create one of those super duper slide shows of my layouts.

Wish me luck .........
A bit of a mixed bag today.

We made jelly and playdough today. I'm such a cheapskate, but homemade playdough is so easy to make, I will post the recipe tomorrow. The one thing I miss though is the smell of the real stuff. I always mean to add some vanilla or almond flavouring into the mix, but it's always too late by the time I remember. The jelly went down well at lunchtime, served with trifle sponge, ice-cream, spray cream, grapes, strawberry and chocolate sauce. Yum :)

I love the village school but it causes real headaches in the summer holidays - the children have few friends because of the small class sizes (for example there are just three girls and two boys in Chiara's year) and hooking up with them during the break is a logistical nightmare. Some have working parents so are not around anyhow (being at grandparents, holiday clubs and so on) plus mix in that their own holidays and, well, the kids have done well with each others' company for the first week but now they are craving to see their friends again.

We managed to have two of Josh's friends around today, he is off to the cinema tomorrow with another friend and Mia is also visiting a friend tomorrow. But Chiara is having a real crisis. Not helped by the fact that she doesn't want people to come here, she wants to go visiting other people. I tried explaining that it wasn't good manners to ring up and invite yourself over, but she just couldn't get it. Thankfully Len was home early from work today so I made good my escape, a mini trip to Derby. I bought three t-shirts, a copy of Scrapbook Answers, then spent an hour with a coffee reading the same in peace and quiet. Bliss!