June DT Part 1

08:30 Karen 4 Comments

For June's ATDML DT this month we were all given Fancy Pants to design with.  I made this page and then blogged about it on the shop blog,  so apologies of you have read this post over there, already.

For me scrapbooking is all about recording life 'warts and all' and I am very fond of scrapping the everyday.

In this layout I ponded over the dilemma I have at the moment.  I love my patent leather DM boots.  Love that they were bought for me at a time I was feeling swamped by motherhood and love how them made me feel that my husband saw me as a funky young thing - even if I didn't.

My dilemma is that I don't feel that I can wear them at the moment because they have now come back in fashion and I see so many teenagers in them that I would feel foolish wearing them.  So do I keep them until they go out of fashion again or do I throw in the towel and admit I may be too old for them.  I think it will probably be the former rather than the latter as I am not ready to act my age yet!

For this page I have used the delicious Fancy Pants Trendsetter range.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1.  Loving my Cameo Silhouette for cutting out flowers etc.

2.  A husband in whose eyes I will always be young and trendy.

3.  An immense love of my old and battered but still shiny DM's.


08:30 Karen 6 Comments

Having joined in Rinda's photo scavenger hunt last year and failed miserably, I am trying much harder this year.

So last Saturday, not the most recent one but the one before, I went into town (with my list of photos) and made a concerted effort to capture some of the required photos.  I intended to stay in town for a while and even planned on buying a sandwich to eat in the park (opportunity for a bench outside).  It mostly went to play but more about that later!

In addition to the scavenger hunt Colchester Zoo has a promotion with very large giraffes which have been painted and placed around the town and in a couple of nearby areas.  So I am busy trying to photograph as many of those too but I will save those photos for another post.

As it was Saturday, I knew the market would be there - 1. An open air market

I also knew I could grab a photo of - 3. City Hall, Capitol or other similar civic building (our Town Hall).

I walked a short distance and found - 2.  A theatre for performing arts (not a movie theatre).

and - 8. A Tower (this is Jumbo the disused water tower).

I then bought some lunch to go and sit in the designated quiet area of the park to read the paper and dine is style.  This is where my plan came undone!  Once I got to the park there was a children's festival in progress so even the quiet area was quite noisy from the loud speakers and excited children all over the park.  Undeterred I walked to the not-so-quiet area taking a photo - 14 A stained glass object or mosaic,

on the way.  I sat down to eat my egg mayonnaise roll and when I picked up the bag it was in the roll fell out of the bottom, note to self - a paper bag containing an egg mayonnaise roll needs to be carefully handled as the damp paper disintegrates when yanked roughly out of your back pack!  It fell, eggy side down, onto the dirt.  By the time I had eaten the remains of my lunch (a bag of crisps and a bottle of Pepsi) the wind was getting up and the rain was starting to fall.  I decided to call it a day and go back home.  Although, I was rewarded on my walk back to my car with - 15. A fire truck or police car.

I think I may have more already than I got last year, including my windmill lady- 16 A Windmill

from this Saturday, and with the prospect of taking more photos next weekend, who knows what little gems will come my way?

Reasons to be cheerful :-

1.  I live near such a beautiful and diverse town.

2.  The council arranges wonderful entertainment for the local children.

3.  Lessons learnt with regard to egg mayonnaise and paper bags.



Sunshiny Day

10:23 Karen 9 Comments

Another page in response to one of the prompts from this wonderful class. This time it was to use a grid. So once again I pulled out bits and pieces that 'sort of ' went together and worked out where I wanted them to go.

We have a little stationers in our town, it is very small and an independant shop, in fact the only time I can get there is on a Saturday and he closes at 1pm so I have to be quick! I was quick enough yesterday and when I went in, supposidly for card for work, I just had to have a little look in his craft section. I found a Papermania decopage kit that was seaside based and thought that it would be ideal for my layout. 

I decided on and cut out all the components yesterday, and stuck it together this morning - I had chosen everything on the page around a photo of Gracia and Josh at the beach but at the very last moment changed the photo for one that I liked better!  A woman of great indecision - that's me.

Also as I am taking part in Rinda's Photo Scavinger hunt I was delighted to find a woman dressed as a Windmill yesterday - how random is that?


Reasons to be cheerful

1.  A day of cleaning the house and cutting and sticking, yesterday, what more could a girl want - ok I admit it a day of just cutting and sticking and putting up with an untidy house would be better but I have to get a bit of cleaning done occasionally and I do like the end results.

2.  Kids still having a wonderful time in Turkey - that girl of mine cracks me up as she is way too old for her years.  They went on a midnight boat trip and she complained that it was ruined by rubbish pop music blasting out all the way!

3.  I can feel an afternoon of crafting coming on - designing the class for July's crop.  Look out scissors and herma here I come .



What a Difference!

08:30 Karen 11 Comments

Well, we all know I am a sucker for a good class and what a good class this one is. I came across it on Jacky's blog and just had to join in. An absolute bargain for only £10.00! 

Projects that WOW! Online class at Jennifer Grace Creates

I have been meaning to rescrap a page that I had made in 2007 - especially as it was a page made in desperation and after a really big argument - to explain to a 13 year old Gracia why we were 'ruining her life'! I wanted to remind myself how fractious and fraught the summer holidays used to be and how lovely it was last summer with a 19 year old Gracia and both of us trying to keep the peace. I also wanted to be encouraged to focus again this summer on walking away from potentially explosive situations and to try to turn my back on the mum and daughter conflicts that arise from two feisty and independent women being in the same house for 12 weeks. 

This page fitted in perfectly to the prompt to scrap something soulful and so I pulled out the old layout (I am embarrassed at how many albums of layouts I have, even though tore apart and threw out loads not long ago, and how long it took me to find it - I am not a chronological scrapper and my layouts are not even put in albums next to ones made at the same time.  I usually just find a space and shove carefully place it in).  

I cut the title from black card out using my Silhouette and as luck would have it remembered that the font I had used then was called Coventry Garden and so it was easy to find and download again.  I also used the perforation feature of the Silhouette to cut journaling lines onto the black card. I then backed it onto white card.  I took the plunge and wrote my journaling by hand and had to change it around a little as I made a mistake and wrote some words in the wrong order.  I repeated the technique of using a shape instead of full stops at the end of each sentence.

I then went into layering mania - for the prompt Ultra Dimension.  It felt quite liberating to layer to the max and some of the pieces have three layers of foam pads underneath them.  I just pulled loads of bits and pieces out from my stash and shuffled them around until I was happy. I used the same photo and just cropped and flipped it.  I may reprint the photo as I am not sure I like the word 'love' so close to Gracia's chin. 

I really like how my style has changed in the last 7 years and like how it is constantly evolving with the help of fabulous classes, taught by such talented ladies, like this one by Jennifer Grace.

Reasons to be cheerful:-

1.  Blog friends who recommend such gems of classes.

2.  My girl and her boy are having a fabulous time in Turkey.

3.  Facebook and a hotel with internet so that she can keep in touch and send the odd funny photo and message.  How I love that little comedian of ours  xxx



The Story

08:13 Karen 9 Comments

Well, its the summer hols again and I have my lovely girl home until September. Mission is to, like last year, try to have a harmonious time without too much bickering, we accomplished this last year and I wonder if we can make it two in a row?

When Gracia came back on Tuesday she had recently sat her first year medical exams and was waiting for the results with trepidation as she feared she had not done well. In fact, we were banned from mentioning it!  Part of the exam was to take someone's blood pressure and she had failed to do this as she was unable to get the cuff to inflate.  She also felt that she hadn't done very well on the written part of the exam.  We assured her not to worry as she could resit in August and she would have the whole of the summer to revise.  

Well, Thursday came and I got a phone call to say not only had she passed but she had passed with a merit AND she had gotten 85% on the Blood Pressure test and 100% on CPR (useful girl to know if you have a heart attack I would say).  

As always, the stress was unnecessary as she always underestimates her own abilities and intelligence.  

Reasons to be cheerful:

1.  Gracie is back for the Summer, albeit that she is going to Turkey for a fortnight today.

2. She is well set up for her second year Meds.

3. A day off work, even though I have to take Gracia and Josh to the airport (opportunity for a photo for Rinda's Photo Scavenger Hunt) Gracia has promised to get up early to help me clean and tidy the house before she goes.



For the love of Shoes

07:42 Karen 24 Comments

It's the first Sunday of the month so it must be Story Telling Sunday over on Sian's blog. So what's my precious for June? 

Well, let me tell you.  Gracia has a cousin who is only 7 months younger than her and as Gracia is an only child and Millie is the 6th child there was a lot of clothes passed backwards and forwards. Things that were passed to Gracia from her older cousins and then back for Millie to wear and things that were bought for Gracia and passed on to Millie when she had outgrown them. Like most mothers there were precious things that I would never pass on but are kept in a box as they have special meaning.

If I had to grab just one thing from this box it would be Gracia's first pair of shoes. She was more of a thinker than a mover when she was little, even the health visitor said that she thought we had a bright one.  She loved to sit and look at books, sit and be chatted to, sit to be read to or anything else that involved sitting and not moving.  In fact, she was 13 months before she started to crawl, well why would she need to when there were plenty of adults at her beck and call? 

Once she discovered the art of crawling it was not quick enough for her and six weeks later she was running around and I took her to buy her first shoes.  In my imagination, they would be white with pink bows and so girly and pretty.  In the end we could only get black. They didn't last for long and very soon we were in the realms of proper and expensive hard soled shoes but I do still so love these little black and purple ones.  

Gracia entered a life long love of shoes at an very young age and even as a small child had very strong opinions of what shoes she was prepared to wear.  I used to dread shoe shopping as it would involve going to every shoe shop in town until the perfect pair was found, never in the first shop and always in the last.  We should have known what it was going to be like,  as the first time she strung two words together was on a shoe shopping expedition, when she very proudly announced ' New Thews!'

Reasons to be cheerful

1.  Getting these lovely little shoes out and just by touching them remembering my darling girl when she first wore them.

2. Then remembering the story of Mum, The Shoe Shop and The Busker - a tale for another day but I am still chuckling about it.

3. Gracia and her vast shoe collection are home for the summer on Tuesday. 

Why don't you pop on over to Sian's blog to read about other bloggers precious things for June?