Friday 29 August 2008

Coping strategies

Isn't it strange how we spend 18 years teaching our kids to be independent, encouraging them to do things for themselves and have their own opinions - then you suddenly realise that you have succeeded and they don't need you to do things for them any more.
Sending a child off to uni is a tough thing to do. You know that it is a great opportunity for them, and a life changing experience. But it's so hard to know that if a problem arises, they are a long way from home. I think the way most mums cope with it is to go into extreme 'Mother Hen' mode, making lists of things they need to take, buying those things, checking all the correspondence to make sure they have EVERYTHING sorted in advance and trying to anticipate every little thing they may come up against. We need to know that we have done all we can. It won't bother them if they have to go out and buy a can opener when they get there because it got left off a list but it will matter to us!
You would think that 2nd time around it would be easier - it isn't! When our daughter went to uni 4 years ago I don't think any of us realised what it would be like and there were certainly a lot of ups and downs in that time! We missed her so much, and there were times when she was homesick too. Times when problems occurred and we felt so helpless 150 miles away. But she sorted them and dealt with them and became stronger along the way.
So now it is time for our son to go and our house is becoming full of boxes of 'things'. Things for bedrooms, things for kitchen, things for the course ... So long as I keep busy, remembering to gather together these things, I am still doing my 'mum' job. But I know that on 20 September, when we wave goodbye and start that long drive home from dropping him off, it will feel like a little bit of me has been left behind.
One good thing about 2nd time around is that you have the benefit of experience, knowing that by teaching them independence you have given them the basic tools of looking after themselves. They will cope, they will deal with whatever life throws at them, they will have fun. It is so lovely to have our daughter home again and being a 'hands on' mum again and that makes it easier for when our son goes, but I'm still dreading that long drive home in September!

Thursday 28 August 2008

Scrapped my day!

I can see I am going to have to plan to do more exciting things on the 25th of each month (December shouldn't be a problem!) as I have very little to show for the 25th August!

It had been my daughter's 22nd birthday the day before and I had catered for 12 of her friends before they all went out to a club so I was kind of tired anyway. So add to that a phone call at 2am on Sunday - "Mum, we're just waiting for the taxi and we're STARVING, can you stick some chicken dippers in the oven for when we get home?" Did she realise what the time was?! Or guessed that as she was up and having fun, then the rest of the world must be too! I am not good without sleep so I was tired for my scrapping day, and it seemed that I spent most of it tidying up the house and eating leftovers, before a quiet night in front of the tv.
This was also the day that my son returned from the Reading Festival. 4 days of non stop music, trampling through mud, and camping in a tent. He returned, crumpled, tired, dirty, in need of a shower and hungry! My photos reflect the kind of 'day after the night before' feeling, balloons, half eaten cakes and bits of sequin confetti that decorated the table.

Tuesday 26 August 2008

Finished My Freedom

Didn't I say I would get this finished before September 1st?!
I've been out for lunch today at Pizza Express with 3 friends, and came home with an hour or so to spare, so here it is, my final layout. Looking over the project pages, I realise that I still would like to go back and add a few embellishments here and there but on the whole it is complete! I struggled to think of a picture to put on the Reflection page, and ended up doing a 'cheesy' one with a play on the word, my reflection of me taking a picture of myself in a mirror and purely by chance the lens ended up looking like another eye! I had seen the technique of printing onto vellum paper on someone elses blog and liked the idea of doing that as an journaling overlay so decided to experiment there. I had also learnt how to hand tie little bows at a card making afternoon at Karen's Kards in Ware so although they were fiddly I made a few of them to go on this page as well.
So with new ideas and learning new techniques I am more than ready to get going on the next course - roll on September!

Running out of excuses

And I still haven't done that layout! But in my defense - it has been a busy bank holiday!
It was my daughter's birthday on Sunday and she had a dozen friends over in the afternoon and evening before they went out to a club, and I was busy cooking for them. Then Monday was spent just relaxing and tidying up. Not to mention eating up the chocolate birthday cake ;-) My son returned from Reading Festival - very hungry and grubby but he had a great time.
I had decided to start the scrap my day project this month, so took a few pictures and I think I have an idea of what to do but as it was a bit of a 'chill out' day, there isn't much to show for it!
Hopefully I will have something to post soon .....

Friday 22 August 2008

wrapping not scrapping

And my excuse for not doing that final page layout today is ... I have been busy getting ready for my daughter's birthday on Sunday. We hold birthdays as very special in our house and there still have to be surprises and routines to be followed even though the 'kids' are 22 and 18! When my mum was alive she always used to give little hints as to what was inside the present on the gift tags, not enough to give away what was inside but you had to stop, think and guess before you opened the present. Mum's imagination often meant that we were in tears of laughter after opening the gift as the clue was so cryptic it didn't seem to match the gift. Even though my mum died 10 years ago, I still carry on this family tradition and so wrapping presents seems to take so long, but it's good fun and I know she would be laughing alongside if she could see how devious my imagination has become!
I am still aiming to finish My Freedom by the end of next week .... honest!

Wednesday 20 August 2008

Busy days

I can't believe where the days are going at the moment - all I know is that the long school summer holiday doesn't seem that long this year. There's lots to do and lots to buy in preparation for our son going to university and every post brings more forms to complete etc. He's very excited and more than ready to live an independent life away from home. But at the moment he's more interested in going to the Reading Festival tomorrow!
Our daughter has started her first job in London and seems to be enjoying it so far. The 9 - 5.30 working day is a bit of a shock to the system after university days but she appears to be coping even though she is very tired in the evenings. Looking forward to her birthday at the weekend. Surely I'm too young to have a 22 year old 'child'?!
I have promised myself that I will finish the My Freedom pages before the new project starts in September and I am now well on the way to finishing my 'Reflection' layouts. All I need now is a photo to add. I was hoping to draw inspiration from other people's blogs, but it seems no one has done this one yet. Maybe we are all waiting for each other! Or maybe we are all suffering from Scrapbook Block? Hopefully there will be the opportunity to get it done over the Bank Holiday weekend ...

Thursday 14 August 2008

title page

It's been an eventful kind of a day here today. My son has passed his A levels and has been offered a place at University of Sheffield to study Politics so my baby is leaving home! Just as my other 'chick' had graduated and returned to the nest. I feel so happy for him as he embarks on this next exciting chapter of his life, but I know I will miss him so much.

But, in the midst of all that, and the bathroom renovations being finished, I have done my title page. It's pretty simple - just me!

Wednesday 13 August 2008

creative process pages

One of the advantages of being a school secretary is that you have long summer holidays, and with my new hobby that means lots of time to do my scrapbook pages. I have been struggling to come up with ideas for this prompt, maybe I don't consider myself officially creative yet!

I have noticed a few people using mosaic pictures in their blogs and I really wanted to have a go at making one myself. I like messing about on the computer so it was a good challenge for me. I have been attracted to neon colours, particularly pink this summer, and so I took a few pics of random pink things and pasted them onto a mosaic. I also loved the black, white and pink papers that I bought so put a sample of those in too. Plus of course the camera with which I took the pictures!

I am so determined to finish 'My Freedom' before I start the new class in September, so I intend to have a go at Reflection tomorrow although have to admit to struggling to know what to put on that one. Tomorrow is A level results day for my son so I can't promise that I will be able to stick to my good intentions, I'm not sure that any of us are going to get much sleep tonight!

Sunday 10 August 2008

Yes, no, maybe ...

When it came to thinking of questions that may have caused me to answer 'maybe' , none immediately sprang to mind. I guess that says something about me and my attitude to life! It is certainly true that once I make a decision I will normally stick with it, although it may take me a little while to reach the decision in the first place.

Hard to believe that this time last week I was on a beach in Portugal, and in between doing bits and pieces towards this project I am having to catch up on boring houseworky bits like ironing. Doesn't help that the house is in chaos because we are having the bathroom replaced. But that is a brilliant excuse for having a very untidy upstairs. Not that I need excuses for being untidy!

So here is another topic ticked off on My Freedom, not many more to go now .....

Saturday 9 August 2008

Journey through time

These pages gave me another good excuse to go through the box of old photos and step back in time to my teenage years. I seem to have chosen times that were transitional in my life. Child becoming teenager, schoolgirl becoming working girl, and then the complete family Mum. The first picture was taken at a wedding (which explains the hat!) in 1971, mini smock dresses were in fashion for the first time round! The second picture was taken on holiday just before I left school in 1976. The maxi dress is vintage Laura Ashley, if only I'd kept it! The last picture was taken just before my son's christening when he was a few months old and my daughter was 4. For some reason, I seem to look older in this photo than I do now. Or am I viewing through rose tinted glasses? I struggled to remember things going on in the news during these years, so am ashamed to say I had to find a website of news items to check that part out.
It's made me smile and been such fun trying to imagine myself back at these times in my life, remembering things that happened, people I knew and things I did that have made me who I am today. There are times when that 1971 girl comes to the surface even now!

Thursday 7 August 2008

creative processes

OK - I have to hold my hands up and admit that I have used someone else's idea of showing how I work! But I liked the idea of the flow chart so here is my 'process'. It is quite indicative of how I approach many things actually, not just scrapbooking. Good ideas, easily distracted, lots of indecision, open to criticism, putting off making a final decision, then doing something and then realising that with a little more hard work - I could have done it better!
I have had more than a few problems posting this, tried to upload the word document, which the blog did NOT like, resorted to photographing it and posting the picture, I hope this works as I am very tired (this time last night I was on a plane returning from a holiday in Portugal) and cannot fight the technology any more.
Tomorrow, I will try harder - honest!!!

Prompt 18

I wonder how many other 'ladies of a certain age' think back to their teenage years and remember buying 'Jackie' magazine? My friends and I all bought Jackie and we all loved the articles they published, true life stories, questionnaires to find out 'does he really fancy me?', the problem pages, and most of all - the pages that told us the real details (favourite colour, favourite animal etc!) of the gorgeous pop stars that we all idolised. For me that was David Cassidy. It seemed like you were either a 'Donny-girl' or a 'David-girl' and for me it was always David. I fell in love with him in The Partridge Family and listened to his singles over, and over, and over again. Learnt them word perfect with the help of Smash Hits magazine! The highlight of the Jackie years was a series of double page pictures that they printed over the course of 3 weeks that, when all put together, formed a life size poster of David. I could hardly wait for the 3rd week to arrive! It took pride of place on the wall of my bedroom which was already covered in pictures of him. Seeing pictures of him now, I have to reluctantly admit that Donny has aged better, but looking at photos of him back then, I know that if I could turn back time, he would still be my number one!