Wednesday 31 March 2010

Keep calm and eat a cupcake

Today was my day off from work and I decided to dip into the new cookery book that I was given for my birthday. It's the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. With so many delicious goodies on offer, it was hard to know which recipe to choose first. So I went for a cupcake that has melted marshmallow in the middle and a vanilla icing with baby marshmallows on the top. I seem to have melted marshmallow all over myself and the work surfaces of the kitchen, but I'm pleased with the end result. It kind of seemed appropriate to bake cupcakes when on a Shimelle class!

Sunday 28 March 2010

Flower Power

When my daughter was three, we enrolled her for ballet lessons at the local dance class. She loved it. She was always a 'girly' girl and the pretty pink leotards and the satin shoes with the ribbons were just what she loved to wear. As she got older, different dance classes came into the mix. First came tap, then modern, then jazz. Exams were taken and passed, demonstrations at local fetes were given, shows were performed once every two years and she was even given the role of 'Jasmine' when they performed Aladdin . How she loved to dance. But how did I, a mere 5' 1" tall mother, manage to have a daughter with such long legs?! But the teenage years came and other interests took over from the dancing: shopping, make up, boys .... and she suddenly gave it all up. So, when a prompt for flowers came up in my 'inbox' I knew I had to do a feminine page and whilst sorting through photos, came across one that had been taken when the ballet school had a professional photographer come to take pictures before one of their shows.

Saturday 27 March 2010

It's a stick up!

When my 'kids' are causing me stress by waking the whole household at 3am when they come home from a night out, or being out in the car when the roads are icy and the weathermen have said 'only go out if absolutely necessary', or are driving the 150 mile trip back to Sheffield Uni on their own and forget to text me to say they have arrived safely, or dying their hair almost black and then crying because they wish they had stayed bleached blonde (you can guess which comment relates to my son and which to my daughter - although some are interchangeable!) - it is easy to forget just how cute they were when they were little! So I used the 'Stickers' prompt to use a photo from primary school. Guessing they are aged about 9 and 6 here.

So let me check the criteria for this. Letters. Check. Numbers. Check. Sparkly jewels. Check. Gold stars. Check. Rub on. Check. Sticky title. Check. Adhesive jounalling. Check. Think I've ticked all the boxes, now onto the next one!

Wednesday 24 March 2010

Sew quick

Well I didn't think the page protector page would happen quite so quickly, but here it is! I do have to say that in finding somewhere to photograph this page I have gone into unchartered and unauthorised territory. Guitarland. My husband and son both play guitar. Both love guitar music. Both love buying guitars. Which is why a household of two guitar players has five guitars in it. So when I decided to use guitars as my theme, I came across a cunning plan to photograph my page leaning up against the fret board of a guitar. Which meant touching and moving one of the sacred items into a better light. But I think I've got away with it, don't tell on me will you?
Back in 2007 there was an outside exhibition of guitar sculptures right outside my husband's office. Famous musicians had designed and signed large guitars for auction and they were on display right by Tower Bridge. Ever the keen Rod Stewart fan, my husband had to have his picture taken by that one (compare it to Rod posing with it himself on this webpage, you have to scroll down a bit!). My friend and I chose Marc Bolan for ours (his wasn't signed - for obvious reasons!)

Monday 22 March 2010

Last past the post

It's done! I tried to keep it all one colour but I just felt I had to pick up on the blue in the tee shirt. How I am loving the eyelets that I can now add with my Cropodile, especially the different shapes one. Now if I could only learn to space them out properly when threading ribbon, I'd be fine ;-)
This photo makes me smile a lot as it was taken on holiday and the kids loved these crisps which were the Spanish equivalent of a cheesy wotsit I suspect. Hardly any artificial colourings or favourings at all ....!
It brings back happy memories and I remember my son loving this tee shirt. His favourite tv programme was Biker Mice from Mars. Or 'Byeger Mize from Mars' as he called them!
So, phew, I'm up to date ... well, until I open that email that has appeared in my inbox that is!

Sunday 21 March 2010

2 for the price of 1

No, before you ask, I still haven't done the last Shimelle prompt, but before anyone starts 'tutting' and sighing, it isn't because I have been laying around having peeled grapes fed to me whilst lounging on a sofa watching back to back episodes of Grey's Anatomy - I have been to another crop day. So I have not one, but TWO new pages to show you. Nothing to do with the Shimelle class but proof that the Scrapbook juices haven't dried up completely. The theme this month was a masculine one and it was by Michelle Mogford and I have to say I loved doing the pages. Made a nice change to do something a bit 'distressed' and not pretty, pretty. It's not often I get a photo of son and husband together, but whilst waiting for our daughter to finish getting ready for the annual Christmas Day family portrait, I took a picture of the two men of the household.

The second layout needed one large photo and 3 smaller that all went together, hmmm not so simple as the men in my family are loathe to pose for me at the best of times, the chances of taking 4 pictures in a row are practically nil. However, good old Facebook came to the rescue. I sneaked into my son's profile page and lifted a few pictures that he and his girlfriend took in the snow earlier this year.

Funny how he doesn't mind messing about in front of a camera for other people eh?!

Must be going, I have a Shimelle page to make ;-)

Friday 19 March 2010

Sports Relief

Working in a school means that whenever something like Sport Relief/Red Nose day happens we all have to dress accordingly. Which is why I ended up going to work wearing a Spurs shirt today. Not my normal attire I can assure you. Still, all in a good cause. The students and staff all donate £1 to not wear normal school uniform/smart clothes so I think we should be donating about £1200 to the charity. One of my colleagues is a keen horse rider and wore her full dressage 'kit', Jodpurs, boots, ruffled shirt, fitted jacket, hair in a net and hat - she looked amazing!

Anyhow, can someone please explain to me why I am struggling with prompt 3 of the class? There is no reason for this, I have plenty of plain card stock and I know what photo I am going to use but I cannot get my act together and put a layout together. It doesn't help by going on the forum and seeing what others are doing because everyone else seems to be having no problem whatsoever making fabulous designs and I just feel inadequate in comparison. Think I need to pull myself together, give myself a good talking to and make a start. Maybe once I get the desk messy with papers and all manner of embellishment things it will all come together. Does anyone else have any suggestions for how to get over a stumbling block? Is it better to go away and leave it a while and come back to it, or is putting it off just making it harder to start? What do you think?

Tuesday 16 March 2010


No problems finding a few bits of ribbon to play with for yesterday's prompt! And once I had found the one that said 'Happy Birthday' I knew what I would do for this layout. My daughter had gone to SO much trouble to make my Mothers/Birthday special and so I used a photo of us together taken on Sunday and used the ribbons to make a frame. I've also used some heart eyelets as I am using every excuse possible to use that new cropadile and also cut out a corner using a corner punch that my friend Mandy gave me. My daughter had made all my gift tags herself so I have used one of those in the bottom corner too.
I'm still suffering with my poor frozen shoulder although I think there is some slight improvement. Went to the physio yesterday and had acupuncture on it - boy did I jump as that needle went in and hit a nerve. But I have to say, today, it is more supple so I should not have been having evil thoughts about the physio, she obviously knows what she is doing!

Sunday 14 March 2010

Double celebrations

Today I woke up to these

And my gorgeous daughter has made these to have with our morning coffee

Which can only mean two things - It's my birthday! and it's also Mother's Day!
No cooking for me today!

Saturday 13 March 2010

Barbecue summer

Last year, the people in the weather dept said we were in for a scorcher of a summer. A real 'Barbecue Summer' they said. Get the patio furniture dusted, stock up on gas for the barbecue and don't forget to wear at least factor 15 at all times. What a cruel joke. On the May Bank holiday weekend we had friends over and we sat in the swing chair in the garden sipping chilled wine. Dinner sitting on the patio and then staying out there in the early evening watching the sun go down. 'Imagine' we said, 'a whole summer of this, won't it be lovely?' Well it's a good job we did have that lovely day because it was possibly the last nice weekend of the year!
So that is the photo I have used for prompt 2 of the Shimelle SFAN class.

I have used up some borders that I cut from scraps of paper at a crop I went to last year. The lady in charge of the crop had brought a large selection of Martha Stewart edge punches and I had fun experimenting with them all but ended up with lots of strips of random papers. So this prompt was perfect for using them up. I also used some smaller scraps of paper to make the little flowers. That was a technique I learnt at last week's crop and I think it is quite effective.

Thursday 11 March 2010

The more things change, the more they stay the same

I work in the school office of a secondary school. We have 800 girls in Years 7 -11 and a mix of 300 boys and girls in the 6th form. In Years 7 to 11 the girls have to wear uniform. It's not a particularly attractive uniform, brown pleated kilt, brown and white striped blouse and brown blazer with the school crest embroidered on it.
The other day at lunch time a group of us secretaries were in the staff rooom discussing how students' attitudes are changing and how they don't have the same respect for teachers, or adults as a whole, that we had when we were young. Even the uniform, honestly, it shouldn't be that hard to stick to the uniform, yet every day girls are sent to the office for uniform infringements. We harked back to our days when the threat of being sent to Miss Crook's office was enough to have you rolling down the waistband of your skirt so it was less revealing and buttoning up your blouse. WE were so much better behaved. WE wouldn't have dared flaunt the rules. Oh no we wouldn't. With sparkly halos shining, we went back to work.
By coincidence, that evening an old school friend sent me a photo of us in the 5th form wearing our regulation grey pleated skirt, white blouse and royal blue cardigan.

Wednesday 10 March 2010

New class

So, the new class begins! I've made a title page, but scarily it would appear that no one has posted theirs on the forum yet and I don't want to go first so for the moment I'm just going to show it here. The prompt for today was to use up metal embellishments which was a bit of a challenge for me as I don't have many fancy brads or buckles but I found a cream metal buckle from a kit I had ordered a while ago and have made that my centre piece. As the theme is 'Celebrate Life' I thought it was kind of appropriate to lean the page up against a bottle of champagne ;-) I have bought this little half bottle of champers for a friend's birthday as it is so sweet in it's little sleeve, however, I strongly suspect I may be suffering from 'It's so cute I don't want to give it away' syndrome ...

On a more serious note I want to apologise for not commenting on people's blogs so regularly this week. The poorly shoulder I had last week has developed into full blown frozen shoulder and it is so painful to lift my left hand onto a keyboard to type. I can browse around to my heart's content with my right hand on the mouse, but typing has been agony. I have some high voltage painkillers now that have serious 'these can become addictive' warnings all over them and things seem a tiny bit better today so normal service will resume asap I promise. I hate typing one handed! The thing I am missing most is driving, I simply cannot change gear. How handy though, that I should be off work just as a new Shimelle class is starting ;-)

Sunday 7 March 2010

New Venues

Yesterday I went to a scrapbooking crop at a new destination. It was a first ever crop organised by the ladies at Eclectic Keepsakes. It was at Marks Tey in Essex which I had never been to before and had only previously known it as a village that we went through on our way to Frinton-on-Sea when we fancied a day at the seaside. It was a really enjoyable day and the two Karens had gone to so much trouble to ensure that we had an interesting and creative day. Which included home made cup cakes and a selection of white chocolate maltesers, minstrels and chocolate eclairs on every table. What more could a scapper ask for? Well, she might ask for a little shopping therapy, and that was made possible by the ladies from A Trip Down Memory Lane who had brought a vast selection of goodies.
The first part of the day was time to work on your own projects and after lunch we had a kit to make up. I am planning to stop using up to date 'now' photos when I do a crop day and use the opportunity to scrap some of the older photos in my collection from when the kids were younger so this was my first chance to do that. I just have a bit of journalling to add on blue cardstock to stick over the cloud in the corner which will probably just document it as being 'Lanzarote 1997'

As you will see, my Tilda stamp is getting lots of good use!

Friday 5 March 2010

Spot the difference

March 1990
March 2010
I am officially ancient. Both my children are now in their 20's

Wednesday 3 March 2010

Exotic goings on in deepest Hertfordshire

This is a little glimpse of something I will be wearing tonight. Can you guess where I am going?
Belly Dancing!
Yay! It's part of an extra class that my Rosemary Conley organiser is offering. Taster classes in various dancing styles. Last week was Salsa which was great fun, and the music (mostly Ricky Martin) was upbeat and fun. I've tried belly dancing before - once! It was hilarious, fun and painful in equal measures. Painful because keeping your hips moving for an hour becomes a little tiring after a while. Well, after about 5 minutes for me. I'm sure having little legs is a distinct disadvantage.
Last year my husband and I went to Tunisia for a week at Easter and I bought the skirt shown above on a whim whilst walking through the Mdina in Sousse, just in case a 2nd belly dance class should ever materialise. So when I saw the extra class I had to sign up for it. I'm really looking forward to tonight. I'm no good at it but what I lack in expertise I make up for in effort.
Next week? BOLLYWOOD! Watch this space ....

Monday 1 March 2010

Happy St David's Day

OK, I'm not Welsh, and apart from an Aunt who moved to Bridgend back in the day, I have no connection with Wales whatsoever, but on this bright sunny March day, I wanted to mark the occasion with a photo of daffodils. This pic was taken on Easter Sunday 2008 and I loved the sight of daffs growing up through the snow. There's something cheery about the sight of daffodils and someone had left vases of them in the staff room this morning and they looked beautiful glowing in the bright sunshine that was streaming in through the window. Hey, maybe Spring IS just around the corner after all.
Happy March everyone!