Monday, 31 January 2011

Wit or Wisdom: #4

I don't know what chalkboard board guy is referencing here, but I photographed it because it reminded me of a conversation I once had with my cousin, L.
Timeline: 1992, on holiday in Madeira.  We are the youngest guests in our hotel by about 25 years.  We get asked out by 2 waiters and, after checking with our Rep that we'll be okay ("They'll treat you like their Mamas"), we go.  And have a good time.
As we are getting ready for bed, my cousin says, "Oh, I forget to tell you ... waiter A said that he loves me.  But I knew he was lying."
"How did you know?" asks me, once I've stopped laughing hysterically.
"His lips were moving."

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Under The Stairs

Yesterday afternoon, in an attempt to help DH with his word for 2011 ~ simplify ~ I tackled the bottomless pit that is the cupboard under our stairs.  It was astonishing, the amount of crap stuff  DH has kept over the years.  We've been together 8 years this year and most of what was lurking under the stairs I have never, ever seen.
However, I did come across one little gem ... a dusty bottle of this ... from 1970 ...
...with a label painted by one Pablo Picasso and signed by Phillippe de Rothschild.
And what did we do with it?  Opened it, of course!  And we found it had oxidised a little and therefore didn't taste its best.  Drinkable, but not great.  However, the bouquet was fantastic!

Yesterday & Today: Week 5

The idea this week was to look at telling stories without the use of a photo ~ something that I never do.  Ali's suggestion was to begin with a list of things/facts that you would like your child/ren (and possibly future generations) to know about you.
Here's what I came up with:
Scrapping in a 6x12 format is something else that is new me, but I think I could be a convert.  I also made a page about everywhere I've ever lived, and there have been many addresses over the years.  Years ago, someone I knew told me I was a classic Third Culture Kid, happy to be moving around every few years.  I read up on this subject and although I don't fit the classic TCK genre, there may be something to it.  What I do know is that this page will be helpful to future family historians when they can't find me on a census!
I should point out here that no-one related to me still has any connection to the addresses that I have listed.  And obviously, my current address is the one blacked out.
I also used this format to make a page for my One Little Word project.  It turned out to be quite a personal page and I'm not ready to show it yet.  It may appear on my blog later this year, tied in with something else, or it may not appear at all.  I'm happy just for it to be there right now. 

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Gadgets

I like gadgets as much as the next person, as long as they are easy to use.  My newest acquisition is a 35mm negative reader and, oh my goodness, it is so easy to use!
It's connects to my PC via a USB cable and that's it.  From 35mm negative to .jpeg image on your PC in a matter of moments.  You might just be able to make out the New York City skyline (the twin towers clearly visible) on the screen, which I took in 1995.  That box of negatives that came from my mum's house last year might just turn into a plentiful supply of photos for scrapping.  Taking part in Ali Edwards' Yesterday & Today class has got me thinking about the past ... a lot ... these last few weeks.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Park Life

Mr. Heron is back on the lake in our local park.  I think that herons are magnificant creatures; if only they wouldn't snap up the ducklings and baby moorhens for their lunch.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Yesterday & Today: Week 4

This week's task was to consider something that had been a challenge.  It didn't necessarily mean an actual physical challenge, more the idea of something that was difficult to deal with.  I sat for about half an hour, over a cup of tea, and made a list of things that I've found difficult over the years.  Within 10 minutes, my list had 5 things written down and all had scribbled notes and bullet points.  I'd never thought about putting these experiences into a scrapbook, but now that I have, I can't think why I didn't think of it before.  They all help to make me who and what I am, warts and all.
Top of the list, and the one I went with, was my brush with breast cancer.  Look away now if you're likely to be offended by the sight of my cleavage ...
The LHS tells the story of how I found a lump in my breast and what followed that discovery.  I still have my diary from 1999, so was able to easily look up the dates for the timetable of events.  
The RHS gives a brief description of what a fibroadenoma is and how it's treated.  I just transcribed the details from the hospital's information leaflet.
I've had that Junkitz patterned paper for a number of years.  You know, holding on to it for just the right moment and now that right moment is here.  (I was pleased to find that this website still has in in stock.)

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Solo Sundays

For the last couple of Sundays, DH has taken DS and the pooch off to the park and then gone onto the InLaws for a couple of hours.  Without fail, DH will ask, "Quiet day?" when they come home.
What?  Apart from tidying up, emptying the ironing basket, pooper-scooping in the garden, leaf sweeping, listening to the excellent progamming on BBC Radio 2, etc., etc.  In actuality, I did all of that list, and I also found time to make these:
Carrot Cake scones, as recommended by Robyn.  They took forever to make, the dough seemed too 'wet' and the icing too sweet, but, proof in the pudding, they taste okay.  And these:
Chicken Enchiladas with tomato salsa and Cheddar cheese. And, in the the spirit of honesty, I also found time to squeeze in a wee bit of this:

How was your Sunday?

Design Your Life:Week 2 ~ Sketch 1

I love the look of this finished LO.  And did you notice the resemblance between DS and his cousin?  The thing I learnt this week is that asymmetry looks great, but it's a faff to work out the different photos sizes.  I mostly use metric measurements, but have been known to work in imperial if I'm working in whole or half inches.  I didn't find it easy to convert Cathy's measurements at all, but then maths was never my strongest subject... 

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Design Your Life: Week 2 ~ Sketch 2

If you've just read the title and thought, "Hang on, I don't remember looking at week two's sketch one", don't worry.  It's just the way I've done things this week.
Week two has been all about what Cathy calls going off kilter ~ after week one dealing with symmetry, week two looks at asymmetry.
                                                               
Not equal yet balanced. One side is not visually equal to what I have on the other side ~ asymmetrical.
Note to self: don't stamp on a tag after you've adhered it to the LO with a brad.  Stamp before adhering! 

Thursday, 20 January 2011

More Reflections

Who knew that puddles could reveal so much, if you only took the time to actually look in them?

Monday, 17 January 2011

Fourteen

~ Happy Birthday to our nephew ~
~ 14 today ~
(Photo: 2002, 1st day at school)

Caught Napping

DS was a little over-wrought by the time we got to the end of lunchtime today, so I decided to have our regular post-lunch stories in his room.  DH caught us napping at 2pm, when he came down from his loft office.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Yesterday & Today: Week 3

Week 3 of Yesterday & Today is all about childhood memories.  The six I chose came to mind in no particular order and I've placed them on the DLO in exactly the same way.  I kept everything very simple ~ maroon ink for the edges and maroon zigzag stitching.
 

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Design Your Life: Week 1 Continued

The second sketch assignment from Cathy was as simple as simple can be.
Two 5x7 photos, 3 smaller ones (I think mine worked out at 6x6 cms), a journaling block and one plain embellishment.
 

Usually, for me, simple scrapping is the way to go.  But, I found this type of design too simple for my tastes and added the stitched border.  It seemed appropriate to use the photos Cathy inspired for this LO. 
The 1st part of Design Your Life: Week 1 can be seen here.

Friday, 14 January 2011

52 In Black and White: Week 2

~ Folly in a local park ~

Photography Workshop

My American blog friend Rachel will be hosting a photography workshop here in the UK in July, and I'm helping her out by giving her a bit of a plug.

Here's what she has to say about it:
Rachel Durik of Savor Photography has been teaching photography workshops around the United States and was even the featured teacher at the I Heart Faces workshop in Dallas. She's now bringing her workshop to the UK! This intensive, full-day workshop will be held in the London area this summer.


Date: Saturday, July 23.
Where: The beautiful ground of Haileybury College, just 30 miles north of London.
Time: 10am-6pm.
Cost: £375, including lunch, On Willow Presets and Rachel's workflow Photoshop actions. If you want to bring a friend, an additional ticket can be bought for £300.

Who: The ideal attendee is an advanced amateur and ready to take it to the next level and go pro, or someone who is newly pro.

What: The workshop will cover lighting (natural, and off/on-camera flash), shooting methods, exposure, setting up a shoot, interacting with clients, posing, post-processing in Lightroom and Photoshop, and the business of photography. We’ll also have a mini-session on the beautiful grounds of Haileybury. It’s going to be great!

In order to provide maximum attention to each attendee, spaces are limited! To register or read more information, go here.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Feel free to tell Rachel that you found out about her workshop through my blog;  I am not receiving any incentive to advertise it on Rachel's behalf.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Take Five

During a lull in the preparation of this evening's supper, I hopped over to Cathy Zielske's blog (far better than spending 10 minutes watching couscous do its thing, I assure you).  I swear that she wrote that post as if she could read my mind.
And here is my answer to it:
~ Socks drying on the radiator ~
~ Kitchen calendar ~
~ Cooling Gruffalo crumble ~
ETA ~ Gruffalo crumble can be any fruit filling you like.  You need to be familiar with Julia Donaldson's The Gruffalo for it to make sense.
~ Contents of the fruit bowl ~
~ Eating aforementioned couscous, with grilled lamb and mint sauce ~

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Major Richard 'Dick' Winters


I learned yesterday of the death at 92 of Major Richard 'Dick' Winters. He was an ordinary man who had the misfortune to live through extraordinary times. His story came to be known to a global audience a few years ago, when the American TV channel HBO produced a series called Band of Brothers, in collaboration with Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks; this series ranks in my top 3 of TV series ever.

The British actor Damien Lewis portrayed Lewis in the series and he gave this tribute:

 It's a sad day today. Major Richard Winters, without question one of the great heroes of World War 2, has died. His story, and those of the men of Easy Company came to prominence through the extraordinary HBO series, Band of Brothers. I was honoured to have played, no, represent him on the screen. He was unstinting in his support of the project and of me. He welcomed me to his house in Hershey, introduced me to his loving wife, Ethel, and constantly exhorted me to "Hang Tough!" He has died quietly, in private, without fanfare, with the same modesty that he lived his life as one of the most celebrated soldiers of his generation. I will miss him and I thank him."

If you have never seen Band of Brothers, I urge you to do so.  Never have Shakespeare's words been more fitting:   From this day to the ending of the world,  but we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Design Your Life: Week 1

The design theme for week 1 is balance, and in particular, symmetry.  Sketch 1's assignment was to use one large photo spanning the width of the page and four smaller photos, with two on each side of an imaginary axis equalling a classic, mirror-image design.
I also made a second LO, where I flipped the sketch onto its side.
How cool is this photo?  I cannot claim any credit whatsoever, except to say that it was sent to me by camera phone and I am amazed at the image's quality.
As an aside to week 1, Cathy Zielske also talks about real world colour and suggests taking inspiration from the colours in your own world.  December saw a lot of red in my world, obviously, but I took my inspiration for this next LO from the scarf DS is wearing.
I hope to finish off week 1 later this week; self-paced classes are such a good idea.  Absolutely no pressure and inspiration available when required.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Self-Paced Learning

My brother and SIL sent DS a "laptop" for his birthday and he loves it.
It seems that it is capable of all sorts of whizzy things.  There will be plenty for DS and I to discover together.
DS explored what it had to offer for a large proportion of this afternoon and I wasn't surprised to learn that the music programs are the ones he liked best.  (Remember, this is the boy who dances and sings around the kitchen whenever he hears Human by The Killers on the radio.)
Over the last couple of years, I've also realised that DS likes to discover and learn new things in his own time and in his own way.  He doesn't necessarily want me to help him at every stage; if he wants help, he asks me.  He might not play and learn the same way others his age do, but it's okay.
I think that DS and I are on a learning curve together. 

Wit Or Wisdom: #1

Given the popularity of the chalkboard sign during 365:2010, I've decided to create a photographic project around it.
Here is this morning's offering.  Postings will most likely be ad hoc, and I did think that if I got enough blackboard shots during 2011, I'd turn them into a photo book for the cafe owners.
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