Wednesday, 30 April 2008

After The Rain


This afternoon DS, the dog and I managed a trip to the park ... in between the heavy showers we'd had all day. A lot of the cherry blossom is now on the paths, rather than on the trees, but in a way it still looks beautiful - it reminded me of confetti.

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

All Shapes & Sizes!



DS has realised that he can put his shaped blocks into the holes they are meant to go in on his Libby Ladybird toy. At the moment he is trying to put all the blocks through the round hole but has also realised that the circular block will fit inside the cardboard tube from a kitchen roll.

Monday, 28 April 2008

"Biggin' Up" My Big Sis!


My very talented sister won a prize in the UKS Cyber Crop! Here's her winning LO - think it was for the Up Close & Personal class.


More Signs of Spring



Weather wise, it's been a funny old day - rain, chilly wind & sunshine - but the park is beginning to look its very best. Mr Heron is still on the pond so he obviously hasn't eaten all the fish yet!

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Out To Lunch


We've been out to the country today (well, a suburban bit of Berkshire!) for lunch with friends. DH ate enough to feed an army! Our friends' youngest DD has been really poorly lately so it was nice to see her looking well again. She loves DS and is so good with little people. It's no surprise that she wants to be a primary school teacher!

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Evidence of Spring


The things that grow in our garden that aren't weeds have to learn early on how to survive with very little attention from us! Both DH & I like and appreciate a lovely garden but neither of us are that keen on maintaining one! Imagine my surprise today when I realised that a bush of some sort had flowered, as if by magic...

Crop Until You Drop!

This weekend is the Oscars Cyber Crop on UKS and this morning I went to my crop, which is run by a lovely Canadian lady ... if I had the time I could have scrapped all last night & all day today, with more to come tomorrow!
At the crop I managed to make an interactive birthday card & did 2 7x7 LOs for an album I'm working on about my BF's children. The rest of the time was spent chatting, drinking tea & eating biscuits! UKS CC wise, I've not done anything apart from looking at the classes and printing off a couple to have a go at later. A lady known as Voodoo Vixen is running a class tomorrow morning; her work is stunning & she's a fan of the humble mini-book so I'm looking forward to that one.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Like Father, Like Son



It was only a matter of time ... DS has been fascinated by the wine rack in the kitchen for a few weeks now. He usually can't get to it because I have his highchair rammed in front of it ... however, this afternoon he squeezed through a gap & had a lovely time playing with the bottles ... until one broke!! I don't have any photos of the mess, as I was far too busy keeping DS from slicing his femoral artery open while trying to relieve him of the broken bottle & clean up the said mess!

Project 25


I've decided that I'm going to call Shimelle's new project Project 25, rather than Scrap Your Day. There are a few completed albums, as in decorated, appearing on UKS - these ladies must have been organised! So I took the camera everywhere with me today & got some good results; the heron was still on the pond in the park and happy to pose! I also got a lovely one or two of DS.

Thursday, 24 April 2008

More From Shimelle


Shimelle's There's No Place Like Home finishes tomorrow (although I suspect it will be next week before I am ready to bind my book and consider it "done"!) and she has already got something else organised through her blog & UKS - photographing your day every 25th of the month for a whole year. There's already a thread up & running on UKS with all the usual suspects signed up for it. I shall probably follow the thread but doubt I'll have the time nor inclination to get fully involved - things can get very "clicky" and that annoys me so it's best to stay away. Shimelle has come up with a brilliant photo as a prompt...


Spring Has Sprung...




The sun came out this afternoon so once DS was up from his nap I decided to take him & the dog to the park. As luck would have it, DH arrived home just as we were ready to leave. We must have looked an odd pairing - me in cords, trainers & my beginning-to-look-lived-in-Barbour & DH still in his made-to-measure black pinstripe suit! (DH still had one more meeting of the day left, at 5pm up town.)

I took some nice photos in the park, including a few of a heron on the pond. The online photography course I did last year is paying off!

Mr Postie...


... was good to me today. He brought me the latest edition of Scrapbook Inspirations magazine, a CJ on 1972 & a gorgeous little book from the Black & White with a Pink Accent BIA Swap over on UKS. It was made by just-a-bean, a very talented lady.
He also brought me a letter from the NHS telling me that I'd been referred to Charing Cross for the next stage of treatment ... I've known that for 6 weeks! So far the NHS has done nothing to redeem itself from my opinion that all the NHS pen-pushers are totally incompetant!

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Nearing The End...

Shimelle's There's No Place Like Home class ends this coming Friday, after a whopping 5 weeks. What I've liked most is the ability to not do a particular prompt and know that it won't affect the end outcome. Yesterday's prompt was along the lines of past, present & future; here's what I came up with.

Wednesday

DH is way on business until tomorrow afternoon...nowhere exciting, poor love, a country house hotel near Croydon! The dog is pining! I'm hoping he'll cheer up after a run around the park once DS is awake.
The plus side of DH being away means that I can spend as much time as I like this evening playing with bits of paper!

Monday, 21 April 2008

Pizza Face


We ended up having late lunch in Pizza Express in Bloomsbury - DS had his 1st taste of a Quattro Formaggi pizza, seemed to go down well. It was only a pity that when the pizza first arrived in front of me it was almost stone cold. Not like Pizza Express at all.

Victoria Cross Exhibition


We went up to the Spink gallery in Bloomsbury today to see the largest collection of Victoria Crosses ever to go on display in Britain. Among those on display is one awarded to RAF Sgt Norman Jackson, who climbed out onto the fuselage of his Lancaster bomber to extinguish a fire at 22,000ft above Germany during the Second World War. The 50 on display are all owned by Lord Ashcroft and apparently he hopes to open a permanent exhibition in 2010. I had mixed feelings about the exhibition; sad that families had been forced to sell the medal in the first place but glad that Lord Ashcroft had enabled them to stay in Britain and to be seen by the public. There was no entrance fee and we were given a VC Collection Catalogue (cover price £15); you'll need to quick if you want to see them, as the exhibition runs only until April 25.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Fairytale CJ



I've been working on a DLO for a Fairytale CJ, which I must admit I haven't been looking forward to . Anyway, I decided upon Rapunzel and actually had a fun time refreshing my memory about this particular tale.

Saturday


I'm feeling better today but DS seems to have come down with a chesty cough. I spoke to the pharmacist in Boots but apparently because he is under two, the current thinking is to leave well alone and monitor him. He seems happy enough apart from the cough!

We all went to the park after DS had his lunch; today has been chilly, grey & overcast but all the flowers were out at the entrance to the park, which also doubles as the town's war memorial.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Snuffles & Sniffles

I came down with a bad cold overnight so have spent a large proportion of today in bed. Thankfully DH has been around to care for DS. The only other news of today is that Eddie the Plumber came round to service the boiler & the central heating system - such exciting lives we lead!!

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Shimelle's Class - Prompt 19



Today's prompt was all about somewhere you love that isn't your home and how that somewhere is evident in your home. I love New York City and in my office are 2 prints - 1 of Grand Central Station and 1 of the Brooklyn Bridge. In our spare room is a watercolour of the Manhattan skyline in 1995 - the year of my 1st visit to NYC. I have a collection of ticket stubs, postcards and associated paraphernalia to go with a scrapbook album of photos.
The LO has a hinged flap so that you can see all the NYC stuff that's evident in my house.

UKS BIA Interactive Swap


This is the one I received in the swap. It was made by "Tillybud" and I think it looks really bright, fresh & summery...even if it isn't very interactive!

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Out To Lunch

We were invited to Drinks & Nibbles at lunchtime today with our old neighbours. They are both old as in elderly and as in used to live across the road. They moved just before Christmas to a 2 bedroom flat in Barnes, SW London after 46 years in a 4 bedroom detached house in our part of suburbia. It must have been quite a shock for them. They are a lovely couple and thankfully DS behaved beautifully. Champagne at lunchtime is very decadent!! One sour note is that their garage has been broken into and £900 of wine & champagne was stolen. Someone must have seen inside when the door was open and thought, "I'll have some of that"; thankfully their insurance company has finally agreed to pay out.

DS & The New Lawn



Poor DS isn't really sure about the texture of the new lawn. Although to be fair to him, yesterday was the 1st time he'd been let loose in the great outdoors without being in his pram or in his wheelie walker.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Shimelle's Class


Shimelle's prompt yesterday was all about the "soul" of your home and you had to do a LO which highlighted that soul. My take is a little different because sometimes I still struggle with whether this house is my home or just where I live.

Star Book



I finished the star book and it is now destined for extended family in Australia - hope they like it!!

The New Lawn



The guys have finished the lawn and pretty fab it looks as well. The dog has already christened it and had a mad 5 minutes on it!

Monday, 14 April 2008

End of Day


This is what our lawn looked like earlier; we now have 2 tonnes of smoothed sand! Tomorrow it gets the membrane and then the "grass" - can't wait for DS to be able to play on it!

Off to do some scrapping now, am in the middle of a Star Book, which is turning out to be surprisingly easy to make.

The Green Green Grass of Home





Today was the day! Our back lawn was about to get a new lease of life!! It's not a very big space but over the last 2 years it has taken a lot of abuse from the dog and is now totally unfit for DS to crawl about on or play on. So, the solution?? Artificial grass akin to AstroTurf. Two guys turned up at 10.15am and reckon it will take them 2 days to completely lift the old lawn and lay the new one.

Here is the work in progress so far. The dog had fun when he found one of the workmen's gloves laying on the ground!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

The Weekend

We persuaded BF to stay the night on Friday, that way she got to have a small drinkie & her babes got to sleep undisturbed. They left mid-morning yesterday; couldn't stay any longer bacause the cats hadn't been left enough food!
The In-Laws came over late afternoon yesterday, arriving 5 minutes after DH got home from his day up town (on a Saturday!), and stayed to have supper with us. My lovely SIL arrived armed with enough Shepherd's Pie to feed a small army, all I had to do was to provide the veg.
DH has taken the dog over to Maidenhead this morning, with the plan being that he will then take his parents back to Derbyshire and get home here sometime this evening. SIL has done a lot of running around for them of late so it's hardly fair to expect her to take them home again.
DS has now gone for his nap so I'm off to tackle the ironing and hopefully have enough time left over to look at some scrapping - I've agreed to make a 8x8 DLO for a girl who is 40 soon. She doesn't know it yet but the plan to give her an album albout being 40 and the year 1968.

Friday, 11 April 2008

Friends


I've had BF & her 2 children here today and it's been lovely. Her DH is away with work and mine has been up town all day. Her DD is such a poppet, I just have to keep having a cuddle.

Here's our 2 boys looking like they're having a chat during their tea!

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Music While You Work

The Lydian String ensemble was in the shopping centre today. Apparently they are hand picked from a pool of the best young freelance classical musicians sourced from London and across Europe; the Lydian String comprises musicians from all the major London Orchestras. Today we had two violinists & one cellist who played Ravel’s Bolero so beautifully I had a lump in my throat. DS was completely enthralled by them.
Their work is underpinned by a unique charitable ethos. Following the cancer related deaths of five family members, they raise at least £10,000 each year for Macmillan Cancer Support. Since 2001, they have raised in excess of £70,000. And knowing that somehow makes the tedious grind of food shopping easier to bear.

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Recipe Card Swap


On of my swaps on UKS is the monthly recipe card swap and for April we had to choose a main course. I've done what we call Cheesy Mince but you can find the original recipe in "I Love Food" by the Lady Laird of Ballindalloch Castle, Clare Macpherson-Grant Russell. That's some title, isn't it!
I'm able to show both sides of the card because you make two to send off.

DS at 15 Months



Hard to believe, but DS is 15 months old today (and is currently having a late nap). He's not yet walking but I don't think he'll be long. Yesterday I discovered he could climb the stairs! He had great fun this morning whizzing around the drive in his wheelie-walker. £50 well spent at Mamas & Papas and we already have a small person lined up to have it when DS outgrows it.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Scrapping For Fun

You know, it's amazing how different I feel about scrapping now that I'm no longer in a team. No more doubts that someone won't believe that you've made such-and-such or ask you to provide photographic evidence. I can even enjoy picking out the elements of a challenge I like and be able to discard the rest because no-one cares that I won't be able to claim full points.
I'm still in some swaps but am thinking that when they are done I may leave UKS altogther. No-one seems bothered that I've left the team (or they haven't been online themselves so haven't actually noticed yet!); if I had a big ego it would be slightly dented by now!

UKS has, on the whole, been great fun and I've enjoyed touching base with other fellow scrappers but I've let stuff bother me too much and allowed myself to get upset by a (hopefully) small majority who don't seem to bother about UKS rules re the number of LOs uploaded to a gallery in a day or how the use of the the emoticons can let people know that your comments are meant in jest or how even posting on time, with the correct postage, is the "right" thing to do if you've signed up to do it.

Ok, it's late and I've gone on too much and for too long. Anyone who doesn't agree with me reading this will just think, "silly old c*w" (or worse!!) and carry on as before.

On This Sofa ...


Yesterday's prompt in Shimelle's There No Place Like Home class was to do a LO on an area of your house that you love. I chose the sofa in DS's room, where I used to give him his night feeds. I loved those times and was quite sad when he decided at 8 months that he didn't need to be "topped up" anymore.

Monday, 7 April 2008

UKS Weekly Challenge


The challenge this week has been set by the Spring Chicks, which is the team that mum is in. Details of the challenge can be found on the home page of UKS. Here's my LO.



UKS Update

In a nutshell - I'm no longer in a team. There's a lot that could be said further but I shall refrain!

NHS Nightmare

I rang the GP's Surgery at lunchtime to see if they had any news on my referral to the clinic at Charing Cross Hospital for the treatment of the trapped nerve in my C/Section scar. It's now almost 4 weeks since I saw the Consultant at the Gynae Clinic at QCCH. Guess what? The Surgery has no record of me having been to QCCH so can't help with the next referral. Cue a frustrating hour & a half on the phone to QCCH, being passed from pillar-to-post and even having one woman hang up on me! Eventually someone gave me the number for the Consultant's PA but ... she's away until next Monday. Still, I feel better for having been able to leave a message but can't say that I'm looking forward to another 4-6 weeks with a trapped nerve in my abdomen! I'm beginning to think that obtaining the appointment will be more painful than the actual procedure!!

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Online Forums

I don't have any experience of an online forum apart from from UKS but it struck me today that it could be fairly easy to have virtual "friends" fall out with you. UKS has this odd set-up where you can remain "invisible" ie. where you don't show up as being online. Now why would you want to do that? Surely the point is to chat and make friends with other scrappers. Anyway, I digress ... I've a feeling that my being part of a team on UKS is coming to an end because I find all this "invisible" mode stuff childish and pointless. I'm also fed up of anything that I have to contribute to the chat being ignored by some members of the team. There are some days when my posts attract no comment because there's a personal chat going on between 2 of them that the rest of us have no idea about and I'm left feeling that somehow I'm intruding.
So ... bottom line is that I'm giving the whole team thing a lot of serious thought. Watch this space.

Latest LO


Alongside ER & my glass of champagne last night, I managed to complete a CJ entry on 1964 (Forth Road Bridge was opened) and scrapped a LO of the photos of DS with Spag Bol face for his album. Here it is; I kept the scrapping element very simple because I wanted the photos to tell the story.

Snow!



We have snow in our part of suburbia and it is still falling, although the driveway & path remain fairly clear. It's bitterly cold outside to boot. The poor dog's not been been for his usual Sunday outing to the park yet; think DH is working up the courage to brave the cold!

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Back To Normal ...

The house does still feel empty & quiet!
So, back to normal - DS & I have nipped into Tesco & M&S Foodhall, I've done a load of washing, which is currently on the maiden next to me, (it couldn't go outside because it is raining & I'm trying to be "greener" by not using the tumble dryer so much), all the ironing in the basket has been dealt with and DS has cheese & tuna pasta ready for his tea (plus 3 portions for the freezer).
All-in-all, not a bad day. Champagne & ER tonight & not much else!!

BIA Interactive Book Swap on UKS


Mine was received by the host today so here's a sneak peek of the outside. There had to be at least 5 interactive elements, think I managed 6 in the end. I used Lollipop Shoppe papers by BasicGrey & Bazzill Bling cardstock.

Friday, 4 April 2008

Friday


Haven't blogged for a few days due to a few technical difficulties but all seems to be resolved now.


Sib & her family have gone home and the house was very quiet this afternoon. DS has been exhausted this week so had a huge nap of almost 3 hours today - gave me time to look at some scrapping.


Here's DS being tickled by his uncle - they both loved it!!

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

The O2


Have been out to the O2 to see the Tutankhamun Exhibition - bit disappointing as totally chaotic, dispite timed entry. Still, DN enjoyed himself and that was the main thing. DS was so well behaved but refused to have a nap until we were 5 minutes from home!