The one for Marti xxx

12:00 Karen 26 Comments

First of all - A Very Happy Birthday to Marti xxxxx

I never thought I would have a blog and resisted for quite a long time. I started my blog when my father was alive as a way for him and mum to keep up with the day to day goings on of our little family. Of course, he wasn't interested in my craft projects but when I visited my parents I would often see photographs (always of Gracia) that he had snaffled off my blog, on display in his home office. Gracia is my mum's only grandchild and as they live nearly 200 miles from us, blogging was an easy way to keep them up to date with our lives. I could blog at a convenient time to me and they could read it at a convenient time for them.

Please note that mum doesn't really have a white mustache that is just a light flash on the glass of the frame but if it really was a mustache it would be a pretty impressive one - for those of us above a certain age I only need to say Jimmy Edwards for them to know exactly what I mean!

But through blogging, I have discovered some amazing and talented women, inspirational crafters, inspirational mothers, inspirational story tellers and also made some genuine friendships. Although these friends live many miles away they are still friends. We sometimes email, often comment on each others blogs, have skyped and last week I received a little supportive postcard.

One such friend is Deb.

Earlier this year her mom, Marti, was diagnosed with cancer. How can you support a friend who lives thousands of miles away? Deb, being the ingenious woman that she is, came up with the idea that if you wished you could wear a teal wrist band in support of Marti. Of course, I signed up for the wrist band and it came in the post with a letter asking all who received a band to post or facebook a photo of the band or you wearing the band on Marti's birthday - the 29th April 2011.

This layout is square and the journaling strips are straight in real life!
So here is my post and a layout I made in celebration of our friendship and of Marti's courageous fight.

I wear my teal band all the time and am so proud to be an international member of Deb's Team Teal.

So, if you are reading this, please take a moment out of your busy life to say a little prayer for Marti and her family so that positive thoughts come to her from all over the world.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Friends who although they are thousands of miles away can still be near enough to offer a little cyber support.

2. That more people use the internet for good than for bad.

3. Just knowing that someone, no matter how far away they live, is thinking positive thoughts about you.



Well it's not so bad ..............................

12:45 Karen 7 Comments

................................ being the parents of an 18 year old.

Gracia has had a weekend of celebrations for her birthday and she said in good old Mary Poppins style that it was "Practically perfect in every way".

It all started with getting up and opening her presents, we bought her some pearls but her main one from us has yet to be purchased as it is a Eurorail ticket for her summer travels.

She will hate me for saying this but I love that she only looks about 12 when she isn't wearing any make up!

Then off to breakfast at the local 'posh' department store, not our usual Sainbury's breakfast for this girl today.

A little shopping and trying on of hats in town.

Picking up her two best friends

for a picnic lunch and

afternoon of fun and frivolity at home.

Getting Josh from work and yet more presents.

Going to the Noodle Bar

for a delicious dinner.

Then off with Josh to go clubbing for the first time :) and having her first alcoholic drink - Malibu and coke :o0 (I'm not sure about that one). AND no photos that she is prepared to share from then!

Home to sleep for a few hours.

Up in time to fetch Josh for a day out.

Walking to Flatford Mill.

Another picnic lunch (food seems to feature in this post quite a lot)!

Rowing along the river.

I was very impressed when Josh said "Hey Karen, you can scrap a photo of us kissing in the boat and call it Canoe-dling"!

Walking back to Dedham.

Home for a tea of pizza and birthday cupcakes.

Gracia doesn't like icing or buttercream so they were covered and filled with chocolate spread and dipped in sprinkles with the icing roses she requested on top.

I think you will all agree that yes, it was 'Practically perfect in every way'.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. We made the birthday girl happy.

2. The sun has shone all weekend.

3. Managing to fit in the 6.00pm Easter Service during a very hectic weekend.



She's 18!

09:37 Karen 11 Comments

How did it happen? How can it be? Who stole the last 18 years, took my baby and left me with a beautiful woman?

Yes, my gorgeous girl is 18 today. I cannot believe that it was 18 years ago, at 9:37am, when I first held her in my arms, thanked God for the wonderful gift he had given us and knew that the saying 'Before you were conceived I wanted you, before you were born I loved you and before you were a moment old I would give my life for you' was so true. I never wanted anything more than I wanted a baby girl and she really is a dream come true.

Ok we do have our occasional spats but not as many as most mums and daughters do, we all jog along nicely and can't complain really. She is more than we dreamed of, more than we ever wanted and so, so perfect in every way. So she has gone from this

to this

in such a short time but she goes from strength to strength. Working hard and being the best she can. So maybe her bedroom is always a mess but as she points out 'I can't be good at everything Mum, you have to have something to moan at me for or I wouldn't be normal'. She is anything but normal, to us she is the most longed for and extraordinary daughter anyone could ask for.

So my darling girl, happy birthday and we will do all we can to make it as perfect as you are.

Reason to be cheerful:

The best and only reason today is that Gracia Rose is our daughter and we couldn't ask for more.



Morons, Marriages and Making Stuff.

08:02 Karen 8 Comments

The morons in question are the horrible people who devise scareware and viruses! My laptop was seriously infected by a scareware program called 'Windows Fix Disk', despite having anti-virus software in place. The virus asks you to pay a sum of money to fix the problem and then systematically starts hiding your files so that you think that the hard disk is being corrupted and you are loosing data!

After extensive googling and realising that this was a virus and that my data was not being lost my pc was sent off to the fixers and I now have it back but now have issues with SAGE as after updating one of the programs I use, the two on my pc just overwrite each other instead of running alongside each other. One and a half hours on the phone to Sage support yesterday still has not resolved the problem and I just lost patience and said I would ring back on Tuesday! OK rant over and on to some nicer things.

You may have been under the impression that the April wedding of the year was between William and Kate - wrong! It was Amy and Shaun's wedding on Monday.

The day was beautiful and sunny, the bride was stunning, the venue amazing and the actual event - perfect. On the run up to the wedding we had a girlie night making about 150 icing gerberas for the top of Amy's cupcakes and her main cake.

There were 8 of us girls and it took us 4 hours to do. I am so glad I accepted the offer of help. I was quality control and it was such a fun evening.

The downside was that although eating sugar makes Gracia's eczema flare up we didn't realise that touching icing for an extended period would also have the same effect. Her poor hands are so sore at the moment.

On to the making stuff.

This is the first, of what I am sure will be many, lo from the wedding. The bride and groom had left disposable cameras on the table and we thought that it would amuse them, when they developed the films, to get photos of everyone wearing Grandma's hat.

I only took a few on my 'real' camera but loved them so much that I made this page when I was over at my bestest best friend, Eileen's house yesterday.

Whilst I was there I finished a layout for Deb's wristband with strings, full reveal on the 29th April,

made a very special birthday card for a very special girlie and made the 'Who looks hot in Grandma's Hat page. What did Eileen do? Finished a lo that she had started at a crop at the beginning of the month and then started making a card for the same special girlie as my one is for! I seem to induce serious paper shuffling when I go to Eileen's to crop.

So I am now off to try and catch up with all the accounting/admin work that I couldn't get done when my laptop was away being repaired.

Tomorrow I will have a very special post about a very special girl!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. There are people who are just as cleaver as those who devise viruses but put their talents to good rather than bad!

2. Memories of a beautiful wedding day spent with two beautiful people.

3. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and my most favorite people in the whole wide world are at home (albeit still in bed) with me for the next 4 days.

Have a lovely Easter



Bits and Pieces

08:09 Karen 7 Comments

This is a post with lots of bits and pieces in!

Firstly, as mentioned we went on a little adventure on Tuesday. It was to visit Southampton University as that is one of the unis the kids are considering. We loved the uni and the building that they will be studying in was brand new and beautiful. I loved that the uni has a farmer's market every Monday, selling fresh produce, bread and cheese, I loved the campus, I loved the second lot of accommodation we were shown and I loved that it was much nearer than Newcastle. I wasn't blown away by the town (sorry if you are reading this and from Southampton). The kids considered the uni on a par with Sheffield but the town not quite as nice and if you are spending three maybe four years somewhere it has to feel right. Gracia summed it up by pointing out "You couldn't have been that impressed by it mum as you didn't take one photo all day!" I don't think we saw Southampton at its best as most of the students were on holiday and it didn't seem to have the life about it that Sheffield did.

Bits and pieces part II

I said on Tuesday that I was considering making a page using this sketch.

Well I did yesterday and only used bits and pieces that I already had.

The Echo Park paper was what was left over from Ann's class in February and the little bit of Girl's Paperie left over from the class that I taught last year.

I already had the cardstock and buttons, the banner was a free download for the Craft Robo but I am not sure where from and the title cost me 99c from the Silhouette website. So for a total outlay of 69p I have a page!

I have completely gone 'off piste' with this one as I cut out all the components put them aside and then put it together how I remembered the sketch to be because I was too lazy to open the sketch up on my laptop (in scrapping denial as I was supposed to be doing something else at the time)!

Final bits and pieces.

As promised many days ago, the last pages from my March DT work for ATDML. I am so late in posting these that April's are up so will start blogging about them soon.

and finally

Have a lovely day and hope you are able to enjoy the lovely sunshine.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. A girlie evening tonight, making icing gerberas for Amy's wedding cupcakes (my spell checker wanted to put 'icing gerbils' now that would be cupcakes worth seeing)!

2. Well into the mammoth task of sorting out files on my laptop and hard drive and sorting out David's system at work.

3. Looking forward to another run with Kiera sometime today.



Today on Tuesday I am ........

06:12 Karen 6 Comments

Today I am
  • Thinking about taking this class (May with May) - will it be too messy and out of control for my liking? Please link me with a 'show and tell' if you have taken any May Flaum classes.
  • Loving little beads as butterfly's bodies on this :) Photos taken by Gracia's bestest best friend Hannah.

Done for this sketch.
  • Admiring my new floor.
  • Happy that we spent yesterday afternoon making a little craft project and side by side working on our laptops - me doing the accounts and Gracia revising and working on photos for aforementioned project. Bad lighting and I must tell that girl about slouching at her computer!
  • Thinking about a page for this.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. I have a new floor in the lounge.

2. Looking forward to a little adventure and the prospect of good company while on our little adventure.

3. Happy afternoons spent watching DVD's, crafting and just chilling together.

Hope your Tuesday is as good as I hope mine is going to be.