Sunday 31 May 2009

bon voyage

Last night we went out for a meal with a group of friends to say farewell to Martyn who is starting a new job which is located in Belgium. It marks the end of an era as Martyn is one of Paul's badminton buddies and his moving leaves them in need of an extra player (any offers?)
Of course once Julie has moved out there too, we will definitely need to go out to visit. Rumour has it that there are 200 Belgian beers to try and we all know about Belgian chocolates ;-)

Thursday 28 May 2009

1940s page

This is a page I have wanted to do for a while now. I wanted to go through some old photos and find some of my Mum & Dad when they were young. Sadly, both of them have died now and so I can't put dates to the pictures but I am guessing that as the smaller photo is of my Dad in uniform it must have been taken during the war. The larger picture has a photogapher's stamp on the back so I know it was taken in Margate and I know it was before my sister was born so I am guessing around 1948.

I must confess to having had a little cry this afternoon as in amongst the photos I found two love letters from my Dad to my Mum. One was written when she was in hospital waiting to have my sister and the other is dated 8 years later, 2 days after I was born. So emotional, and a precious insight into how the arrival of Gill and myself was treasured by them both. It was so lovely to be reminded of the love they had for each other and I think these photos show a very happy couple.

Wednesday 27 May 2009

Sew easy

I'd noticed on quite a few blogs now that people are incorporating sewing into the layouts and so I've been meaning to have a go at that too. Yesterday I had the sewing machine out as a work colleague had asked me to alter a dress for her and before I started on that I decided to have a little experiment ... it seemed very strange to be sewing through cardstock and I'm not sure how this may have affected the sharpness of the needle for my next project but I was pleased with the result.

Of course in the photo, it just looks like a black zig zag but I promise you it is real sewing!
Rumour has it that there is a big football match on tonight, so I'm guessing I will not be allowed near the remote control. I think there could be more scrapping done tonight as well ....

Tuesday 26 May 2009

Busy Bank Holiday

As I type this entry, it is absolutely pouring down with rain. Typical half term holiday weather! What a difference to the long weekend though, 3 days of sunshine - that's how long weekends ought to be!

We had quite a busy weekend, starting at 4am on Saturday when we had to take our daughter to Gatwick to catch an early flight to the US. As it was a glorious morning, and still very early even after stopping for breakfast, we decided to make the most of being south of the river and drove to the South Downs to have a walk around a National Trust area known as Devil's Dyke. The views were lovely. Apparently to walk the whole area it is 5 miles of 'strenuous' walking and the footwear I was wearing (jewel encrusted, fake snakeskin, flat sandals with non-grip soles) was totally unsuitable we just had a stroll around the easily accessible bits!

After that we drove down to Brighton and spent a really lovely few hours there, including of course a walk to the end of the pier -

After that, the scenic route home via Tunbridge Wells for an open air lunch in the Pantiles area. A really lovely day - once again followed by the immortal words 'We really ought to do things like this more often'

Tuesday 19 May 2009

Page 3 Girls

There was a 3rd page layout on Sunday and I didn't quite get that finished at the crop but it is all finished now. Paul and I had been to our friends' house for supper a few weeks ago and I asked Paul to take a picture of me and Mandy so that I could use it on a scrapbook page.

Paul is a whiz at photography, he has a lovely camera and has spent much money on camera equipment in the past and at one point had a darkroom in the house and developed his own photos. Therefore, taking the picture should have been a breeze with my little Sony Cybershot 'point and shoot' shouldn't it? He moaned a bit about view finders and lens capabilities, but I am not sure if that was a criticism of my camera or the fact that a few bottles of wine had been opened and drunk at that point which may have affected his photo taking!

When I put the pictures onto the computer, I couldn't work out why they wouldn't load onto the photo print programme that we have. Then I realised - instead of taking a still picture, he had put the camera on 'movie' mode by accident. This would explain why he was having trouble and I guess that answers the question about whether it is best to take photos at the beginning of the evening, or the end ;-)

I thought there must be a way to isolate one frame and transfer it into a photo and the more I couldn't do it, the more I was determined to find out how! I got there in the end and here is the finished page:

Sunday 17 May 2009

Sunday Crop

Today was the monthly crop day at Welwyn Garden City. As Paul had flown out to Italy on his cycling trip in the morning, Rachel decided to come and spend the day with me which was really nice.
The theme for the pages was 'Boy' but I had already decided I wanted to use the photos I took when Cindy and Ray were over, so I had to make a few adjustments but I am pleased with how the pages came out.

I liked the way the 'star' page incorporated a frame around the photo. I hadn't thought to do that before but it does make the picture more of a focal point. When I first saw the papers we were using, I wasn't that keen on them and they were not something that I would have chosen if I saw them in a shop but when I started cutting them up and putting them together, I really liked them. That's the good thing about going to a day like this, you get to try things that you wouldn't normally do. The lettering on the 2nd layout took some time as we had to make each individual letter ourselves. It used a special cutter and again, I would never have gone to the expense to buy one of those so it was good to try it out.
All in all, I think the pictures went well on the pages, and I am pleased that I have 2 nice layouts to remember Cindy's visit by.
Sue kept us pretty busy as there was a 3rd layout to do as well which again used materials I have not tried before like painting and stamping on acetate. I should have that page finished tomorrow as it just needs a few final touches.
It's been a busy day, Paul had an early flight so I have been awake since 5am and then I've been concentrating on the crop all day. I need some sleep ........

Wednesday 13 May 2009

The visit

As promised, here is a photo taken last night when my pen friend and her husband came to stay.

It was so lovely to see her again and to meet her husband - the time just flew by and I was really sad when it was time to take them to the station for them to continue their journey to join their cruise ship. So for them, the delights of Viga, Sardinia, Barcelona, Nice, Rome etc and for us - back to work. I know which I would rather be doing!
Paul and I often say that we ought to go over and visit them and this visit has made us promise to do it next year. I have a sneaky feeling that instead of working, he is spending his day checking flights and planning itineries!
I am going to a crop day at Welwyn organised by Sue at Crafty Stash on Sunday, and I'm not sure how I am going to fit my photos of their visit into the theme she has chosen, but I'm going to give it a good try! Watch this space ...

Sunday 10 May 2009

Pen Pals

When I was about 10, I fell in love with Davey Jones in the Monkees. ( I do realise I am showing my age here!) So I joined the Monkees fan club and saw an advert for putting other Monkee fans in touch with you to become pen friends. I was given the address for a girl named Cindy who lived in Chicago. Cindy and I started writing to each other .... and 40 years later, we are still in contact!
We have met twice. She came over to Britain in 1978 and when I went with my family to Florida in 1998 she travelled down to St Pete's Beach with her daughter and her niece to meet up with us for a few days.
Tomorrow she is flying out to the UK with her husband on the start of a grand European tour and will be spending 24 hours in London before she travels down to Southampton to join her cruise. It's going to be so lovely to see her again and to meet her husband for the first time. They are staying with us overnight and I can hardly wait! We have a lot of catching up to do!
As I will be posting photos (and a couple of scrap pages no doubt) I thought it might be fun to dig out a picture from our first meeting. This picture was taken when we went out for a meal with my parents before she returned back to the USA.

Sunday 3 May 2009


Today was one of those days which celebrate 'firsts'. On this occasion it was the first of my daughter's friends to get married. How can they possibly be old enough to do something as grown up as that?!

Rachel met Jo at secondary school and they have been friends ever since. They have certainly had some adventures together and have so many memories and crazy stories to tell. They have shared rooms on French exchange trips, scared themselves silly sleeping in the open air on a beach in Wales on an Outward Bound course, tried to wax their own legs on the kitchen floor, helped out on ski slopes for my son's 10th birthday ski-bobbing treat, taught him how to ice skate, and generally shared the laughter and tears of teenage girls growing up. Along with another friend, Harriet, they were - and still are - a formidable threesome. There have been fashion disasters, hairdressing disasters and general 'Rachel, Jo and Harriet getting into problems' disasters.

There have been a few years where their lives went in different directions, Jo went to a different 6th form to Rachel, and then Rachel went off to uni while Jo trained to be a beauty therapist locally. But although they have been apart, they have kept their friendship and been there for each other through thick and thin.
And now Jo is married. I have seen her dressed up on so many occasions, but I have never seen her look as lovely as she did today. This picture shows the three of them outside the church at the end of the ceremony.