Sunday, December 30, 2007

27th December

Shhh! Don't tell anyone that I have put this photo up! It is Nicholas's birthday today, and he is 19! It is a tradition that we open presents in our bed, and that's Nicholas playing with his new PDA mobile phone! that's Maurice with a cup of tea (sitting on my side of the bed!), and Lucy asleep! She woke up to come and see Nicholas open his presents and then promptly fell asleep, and stayed in our bed most of the morning!
A quiet day really - nice after all the visitors we have had. Nicholas came with me to get Mum and take her into hospital so that Mum and Dad could see Nicholas on his birthday. It was amazing how much better Dad was! He took a real interest in Nicholas's phone, and had seen some photos from Christmas Day. Nicholas invited James and Fliss round and they watched 'Hot Fuzz' in the evening.

Boxing day

We had Maurice's brother and sons and girlfriends for lunch on Boxing day. I had bought some fabulous crakcers from lakelland which had whistles in them. Each one played a different note, and here's Mark (DN) conducting us all playing 'Jingle Bells'! His girlfriend Angela is next to him.
We had a great time catching up with all the news, lunch was a little bit hit and miss, because I had to take Mum into hospitla to see Dad just as they all arrived, and left DH in charge!!! He forgot to do the potatoes!! So it was a very meaty lunch! The cherry glazed gammon was really good though.
Maurice was especially interested in Simon's BMW motorbike. Watching him and his girlfriend putting on their gear really reminded us of when we were younger and used to go everywhere at any time of year on the motorbike!
Dad still really poorly today. His temperature is still high.


Our Christmas was tinged with sadness and a lot of stress because Dad was taken into hospital on Christmas eve with a very nasty chest infection. His immune system is really low because of the chemotherapy and it really hit him hard. Writing this now on 30th Dec, he is still poorly, but the antibiotics are doing their job, albeit with horrible side effects (sickness). Poor Dad! We missed him terribly at our Christmas dinner, but have been going in every day, taking it in turns with my brother Andrew to drive Mum in and out of the hospital. Poor Mum! She is beside herself with worry.

Anyway, we still managed to have a good time, and here are a few pics. Here's Nicholas opening a pressie!

Here's Lucy in her shower cap! I made up a little box of girly things for Lucy, and silly things for Nicholas. They loved all their presents.

I have included this one - not the greatest photo, but it shows how our lounge looks right now! Merlin had a fab time shredding all the paper!

I have cropped this one a bit, but this is Christmas Dinner. My brother and his wife are to the left of Maurice, then Izzy, my Mum is to the right of Maurice and then it's Michelle. We had lunch a bit earlier so that we could take Mum in to see Dad. He was really poorly today. We left Mum with him for a bit, then went back to get her, and bought her back here for a present opening fest! Michelle did all the driving so that A & L could have a little drink! Bless her, she has been absolutely wonderful, supporting Andrew, and has been to the hospital with him every time he has visited, because Lynda has a cold and can't go to see dad.

And here are some of the presents I received!

Now I must put my new CDs (Hoosiers and Bruce Springeteen) on my MP3 player!
I also had the book for the TV series 'Tribe'.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More Christmas journal

I am so loving this journal! And managing to keep up. It is amazing what you can do when you put it as a priority!

Things I am grateful for this Christmas. I have kept this page as Christmas things, but I am grateful to have my Dad still here. He is not too well at the moment - and having known 2 people die recently..... (My friend Janp on UKS died from cancer, aged 60 - what an inspirational woman she was!) (Sandra at weightwatchers died on the same day, but suddenly from a brain haemorrhage aged 49, how unfair!)

I did have a 'I saw this and thought of you' moment this year! It was a fireside basket full of scented pinecones, and firelighters, and things that burn bright colours! I immediately thought of Mum and Dad, they love their fire! The present is a falp, I'll put a photo of them opening it under neath.

And here is our Christmas Dinner menu. We have 10 for Christmas this year, MUm and Dad, Andrew and Lynda and their girls, and us 4. DD has a nasty cold at the moment, so I am prayng like mad that noone else gets it, becasue Dad cannot afford to be near anyone with a cold as his white blood cell count is very low. I will be really upset if our dinner can't happen.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I have been keeping up with the journal, I promise! I just haven't had time to upload them. So here are days 7 - 15, all in one go! Oops, I have missed off day 10! Off to have alook for it!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Christmas Tree Festival

One of our local churches, St Marys in Goring, has a Christmas Tree Festival. Not sure whether this is the first year, but it is the first time I have been. It was absolutely magical! The church was filled with 60 Christmas trees, all decorated by local businesses and groups. They were collecting money for the local children's hospice, I bet they made loads of money! What a wonderful idea!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

day 6 already!

day 6 already, and I am still keeping up! Not so sure about how I will do next week, as I am back at work. Have to remember next year though to get all Christmas cards stuff done before December! You really need to clear the decks to do this project properly. I love the forum that shimelle has set up - all the pages are on one thread, so it is really easy to immerse yourself in the journal and keep with everyone else! I love it!

I am trying to do different aspects this year so that this journal is different from the one I did in 2005. Hence 2 different memories this time.

Blogger won't let me upload the picture just yet, so will have another go later

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas journal

Days 4 and 5. I'm keeping up so far!

Day 4 is scraplifted from Shimelle's page. They are pics from a magazine depicting aspects of my perfect Christmas!

Day 5 is the countdown to Christmas, or advent calendars. Paper is 4bugsinarug. Letters from Lakeland! (They don't show up very well in this photo)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Christmas Journal Day 3

Here's my December 3rd page, all about Christmas cards! I have taken photos of my cards that I made with the Anna Griffin kit from QVC, and used papers and embellies left over from the kit. There are 2 tags with more pics and journalling, one for giving, one for receiving.

I love getting Christmas cards!

Got DD off school sick today. Bit worried about her avernight cos hse had a really bad headache and was sick. Kept checking her for a rash after my friends DS had meningitis recently! She seems a bit better this morning and is sleeping at the moment. Maybe we will get to watch a film together this afternoon.

Hoping to catch up on crafting big time this week, but I keep spending too long on here! Not sure how much I can keep up with my photoblog and Shimelle's CJ forum for the rest of December!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Christmas Journal

OK I am having another go at Shimelle's Christmas Journal. ( I actually completed it in 2005, and absolutley loved the process! I got it out recently, and love some pages, hate others! Last year I started but didn't get past page 2 LOL! Here are the cover, page 1 and page 2. I intend to keep it fairly coordinated this year, so BG Blitzen, (forgotten the name of last year's papersLOL) and BG figgy pudding! (I have only bought a 6 x 6 in figgy becasue I am on a stash diet LOLOLOLOLOL

Friday, November 30, 2007

some crafty stuff

Here's a CJ entry I did for Jenny's CJ 'Childhood Holidays'. It's me as a 2 year old!! LOL on my very first holiday in Cornwall. I think the photos are cute! I know however, that the holiday wasn't a great success for Mum and dad. They went with some close friends (that's their son in the photo with me), but at the last minute another couple came too, and Mum and dad gave up thier room for them for some reason. I don't think they all got on very well.

We went down to Cornwall on motorbikes. My dad and his friend had big motorbikes and sidecars! I don't know if the weather was good all the time, but it looks Ok in these photos!

Papers are BG Blush, I think they go very well with the b&w photos. Stamps from Tandastamps. I knew I would get loads of use out of these!

Here's my 2 ATCs for the Tandastamps ATC swap for November. Theme, Snow and Snowmen. The cut out snowmen on the first ATC are from a pack of ATC sized Christmas papers from lakeland. The big snowflakes on the 2nd one are die cuts from a Christmas embellie swap ages ago! Just proves you should never throw anything away!

Feeling much better today. Still not sure how much I want to do, but am going tokepp my lunch date with some friends (only 5 mins drive away) and if I can have anap this afternoon, I will be able to make tonight! Our anuual Christmas Dinner with our old motorcycling friends. We have knwh each other for 30+ years, but only get together once per year now. So it would be a shame to miss it. Dare I take my camera? (I always feel a bit embarrassed taking people shots!)

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Well, the op went well, but boy have I been knocked for six by the after effects of the anaesthetic! Whenever I have had an op before I have felt absolutely fine straight away. Not this time! Maybe I was out for longer? Who knows? Anyway, I spent Tues pm in bed dozing, and yesterday on the settee watching awful daytime tv and dozing. Tried to watch my Sense and Sensibility DVD but feel asleep half way through! Today I really don't feel any better, very woolly headed and a bit wobbly, in fact, worse than last night!!

One frustration is that my book has got the wrong pages in it! It's Jodi Picoult's Plain Truth - just got to the best bit when it jumped back from p 232 to p 195! Then 195-232 are repeated, and the proper pages are missing! Just sent DD into town with somw money to buy me another one! The book has been in my reading pile for ages, so I don't know where I got it from to take it back! It's a fab book, really enjoying the juxtaposition of the modern world on the Amish community in Pensylvannia.

Just waiting for Mum and Dad to come and cheer me up!

Monday, November 26, 2007

findng colour in the garden in November

I went out in the garden yesterday and took these surprisingly colourful plants! There si colour in my garden in November!

One thing is on mind today! That is the operation I am having tomorrow. I am sooo nervous! Silly really cos I have never had aproblem with anaesthetic before, so not likely to now. It is day surgery, and only a minor op. (Gynaecological - endometrial ablation, which means they burn away the lining of the womb. It is to get rid of fibroids)
I am hoping to have a couple of days on the sofa watching day time telly! LOLOLOLOL

Thursday, November 22, 2007


It's been a bit wet lately! This is the car park at Ferring beach where I like to walk with Merlin! I love the reflections!

Decided I would enter the photo competition on UKS this month! The problem is, the subject is 'What I love about November'! Not sure there is anything I love about Nov, except that December comes next! Anyway, here's a couple of photos I have entered because of the dramatic skies.

Sad time atm. I keep hearing bad news.

My best friend's 18 year old son has had meningitis! He has been really poorly in hospital for 2 weeks. I don't have all the details cos we've only texted each other, but hope to meet up tomorrow (although he is coming out of hospital tomorrow). They have lived through a nightmare!

A friend on UKS is very very poorly. Big HUGS to her.

Several people on forums have recently lost parents and prents-in-law. It reminds me that Dad is not too good. He has very very low white blood cell count, and this doesn't seem to be improving. He is not doing too well on the chemo this month. Bit worried about him really.

Some good news!!! Some friends of ours have just become grandparents! (They seem too young to us!!) Congratulations to Bob and Jan, and love to Laura and partner and their new daughter!

Well, the sun is shining now, I am waiting for my shopping to be delivered, and am going to do a bit more on my book of Rolo!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


I have finished my PWL photography course now. Just as well, cos I need to get busy with Christmas now. (And it's that time of year for Shimelle's Christmas Journal see We had a RAP Party on Saturday eve, which was great fun. We had 3 photo challenges, which I got Nicholas to help me with, and a scavenger hunt which I got so carried away with, I missed the deadline! But we won the prize for the best photo of yourself reading your camera manual - in the style of one of the modules. Here I am speed reading!
It was great, there we were with the tripod, choosing speeds, apertures, uploading, changing to B&W etc, all in the space of a few minutes! Proves how much I have learnt.
Roll on the next course! Ma=eanwhile, I must look out for more photogrpahy competitions, and visit more often!

This week's craft

Here's my entry in Shakespeare's women, an art doll CJ. Bit nervous about this, becasue I don't think I am arty enoughLOL! But, I am quite pleased with how it turned out. It is Juliet aka Maria in West Side Story. I printed out the lyrics for 'I feel Pretty' for thr RHS. The backing paper to Juliet has love words all over it, including 'dollface', which unfortunately has slipped off the bottom a bit. The lyrics are printed onto the same paper, and it says 'honey' LOL. The whole thing is supposed to be Juliet in love.

This Lo won 'Page of the Day' competition at my Brighton and Hove crop. The challenge was 'sweet moments'. I was going to find a pic of Lucy as a little girl, and do a pretty LO. But then I saw this LO (off to find out where I saw it so I can acknowledge it!) and thought about doing a LO with some of the pics i have been taking of the family lately. The journalling reads
I said 'What is your favourite sweet?
Maurice said a big box of chocolotaes
I said chocoalte bar
Nicholas said bar of chocolate or jelly babies
Lucy said Mars Bar or Haribo'
Paper is BG Blush.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Christmas cards

Here are some Christmas cards I made with the Anna Griffin kit from QVC. Although the kit seemed expensive, I have made the 40 cards in the kit, and I have loads of embellies, card and tags left to make a whole load more! So each card will have cost well under £1 each - you'd pay much more for this quality in the shops. S I am pleased!

Goodness, after not blogging for ages, I am blogging two days in a row!! I have some spare time becasue I didn't see Mum and dad like I usually do on Weds, because of DD being unwell. (took her to Drs this morning for penicillin- hopefully she will start feeling better now)

Off to make a start on a LO - think I will have a go at this weeks challenge on UKS. We did the challenge last week, and it was great! Over 20 people uploaded their LOs, and it was great fun seeing what everyone made of our challenge!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

catching up!

Xmas baking! Here's my puddings just going on to steam for 6 hours!!

RHS Wisley with Mum and Dad. In front of the new big greenhouse.

National Trust - Standen. Note the framing! A little trick I learned on the course.

A pic I took up at Highdown this week.

Again, I have not kept up to date! A quick resume of what has been going on in my life: We had half-term off (well I worked Mon and Tues, and M worked Wed!) Highlights were going to NT Standen with Angela on Wednesday and RHS Wisley on Friday! A few photos here.

My photography course has finished. Quite sad, missing the little prompts each week in my eamil box! I came in the top 10 5 times (I think!) and the top 5 twice - not so bad. We're having a RAP PARTY on Sat evening - not sure what that entails, but sounds like fun. Met some great people on Cheryl's forum, and looking forward to doing her next course in the new year. I also want to do a scrapbook of the course.

Work is OK. We're having one of those weeks where everyone is sick! Everyone has a nasty throat infection - in fact, DD has gone down with it too. Bit worried whether I should see Mum and Dad tomorrow as Dad is on chemo and very low on white blood cells atm.

Weather has been good, lots of gorgeous Autumnal colours about as there has been no wind to blow the leaves down! I've taken a few pics, but really want to go to Wakehurst Place for photos, but it doesn't look like I've got the time. Been for some lovely walks with Merlin.

Planning for Christmas has started. Mum and Dad and A&L are coming, so cooking for 10 Christmas dinner! Can't wait! I am quite excited because I will have something to go to town a bit with. More deccies, more food, more pressies etc! Already started Christmas shopping, and I made cake, pudding and mincemeat last weekend.

Scrapping has taken a bit of a back seat. I ran out of steam a bit when I got home from SP! I didn't manage any of the other 2 weekends cc on UKScrappers. I did buy some kits though, so must do them. I did complete a really nice one by Vanessa from Paper Arts at the weekend. I am also frantically making Christmas cards with my Anna Griffin kit from QVC. They are dead easy to make, and look really good. But now I am drowning in s/b kits though! Having subscribed to Scrapagogo, Little Red Scrapbook Co (who both btw sent the same papers last month, luckily they are scrummy - October Afternoon) and Scrapping Angels. I have loads of kits I haven't used. I think I must do a mega scrap after Christmas to use them up! And to use up the billions of photogrpahs I have taken lately! Might sadly have to give one of them up -trouble is, which one? I don't want to miss a really nice kit LOL

Monday, October 15, 2007

Scrappers Paradise

What a fab weekend we had at Scrappers Paradise!! Lots of laughing, scrapping, cropping, learning, shopping, painting, getting messy and not so messy, cutting and sticking- a truly wonderful weekend!

Here's Natalie, just doing her final talk.

This is the crop room, where we cropped in between classes and late into the night! I only stayed Saturday night, but loads stayed Friday night as well. I stayed up till gone midnight (vvlate for me!!!) and there were quite a few still up!

Here's Alison, Natalie's partner in crime! They did a really good job of organisng the weekend. The classes ran like clockwork, everybody was where they should have been at the right time, no hanging about waiting for rooms to be ready or teachers being late. The only things that went wrong were the hotel's fault (like not having a room booked for Anna, and horrible cold food and cold coffee!!) In the end Natalie and Alison had to go and stay the night at another hotel!

This is in the crop room too. Look at the LOs on the wall. They were part of a challenge, 'Autumn Bling'. We were given a small kit (£5) when we got there, so we didn't know what was going to be in it, only the title. I entered 2 : Autumn Bling and The World Goes Round and Round.

Here are the helpers, Zoe and Nura. They were brilliant! They made sure we all had what we needed (and fetched more when we cut the papers wrong!!!), cleared away our rubbish, and were really helpful.

To the left of the pic is Tracey who also goes to the Crawley crop that I go to with Natalie, Zoe and Nura among others.

Here are Caroline, Lorna and Jackie. Lorna goes to my Brighton crop, and we sat together. She is so lovely! Friendly and interesting. (She has led a very interesting life, which makes for very interesting LOs!!!) She met Caroline and Jackie at a previous SP, and we sat with them in the crop room. I had a very interesting chat with Caroline on the Saturday evening. C and J have a huge scrap 'barn' for crops and have invited Lorna and myself up there next year!

Here's MJ and Maria (hiding behind her tote!) We were pointing our cameras at each other and I just managed this shot! MJ runs the Newbury crop that I have been to a few times, and came with Maria, Angela, Anna and Liz.

MJ's crop is still the best crop i have ever been to, and I just wish it was nearer! She has wonderful stash in her shop too, and is about to open an internet shop - watch this space!

Here we are in the classroom, being taught to decorate an MDF Chrsitmas tree by the wonderful Dyan Reaveley from Blonde Moments (www. blondemoments. org)
and her shop: Art from the Heart. She is a top teacher! I loved her paint effects class, in which we made inspiration cards.

Here's Dyan in full flow!

Here are some of the goodies I made:

And here are the goodies I bought! (I really loved those mdf Christmas trees when i was in the shop, but now I've got them home, I am wondering why I bought them! Am I really going to get time to do them before Christmas???)