Sunday 30 May 2010

Madonna was right

Remember that song of Maddona's that starts off with a clock ticking then 'time goes by - so slowly. time goes by - so slowly,so slowly'
Well I'm ready to go, so if 4pm would just hurry and get here that would be very much appreciated, thank you. I've packed and then repacked my bag twice, considered taking out some of my husband's t shirts from his bag in an attempt to smuggle another book in, made lunch and eaten lunch. He's mowed front and back lawns and is currently watching England play Japan in a 'friendly' football match. Wish I'd booked an earlier flight now!
My daughter rang and asked me to check their return flights for this evening and then finished the conversation with 'right, I'd better go and do my last bit of sunbathing' The thought of being on that sun terrace on a sun lounger with a good book and nothing more to think about other than which restaurant to book for dinner is very appealing. I want to be there. NOW!
Time for a cup of tea I think!

Saturday 29 May 2010

I'm ready!

Well, my bag is packed, euros bought, all liquids packed safely in a plastic bag, taxi booked and for some strange reason I've felt the need to ensure that all ironing/washing/drying is up to date and the fridge completely cleaned out and restocked. I don't know why I am bothering to ensure the house is tip top before I go out the door as my son is home from uni for a week and my daughter will be back from her holidays tomorrow. This means that by Monday morning the washing basket will be overflowing, there'll be nothing but crumbs in the bread bin and they will have run out of milk.
I've set up a few scheduled posts so be sure to pop back now and again next week. I'd have loved to take you with me but this is the next best thing to let you see where I am and what I may be doing.
I just have one small dilemma - I seem to have bought 5 books in the last week and I need to decide which ones to take. I think I will only take two but I am one of those people who get on holiday and could easily read a book in a day or two! Now which ones should I choose? Or could I sneak a couple more into my husband's bag ....

Thursday 27 May 2010

How did that get there?

Look what's landed on my table.
I seem to have accidentally downloaded the Starbucks project mentioned by Shimelle here.
Not only that but the scrapbook fairies seem to have printed off all the pages for me.
And those pages seem to have been the things I was absentmindedly cutting out while watching Desperate Housewives last night.
Oh well, now I've got them all the right size and cut out, I suppose I ought to make a start on them ;-)

Wednesday 26 May 2010

Volunteering and miserable sons

I was going to entitle this 'Sophie goes to Swaziland' but as I've recently introduced you to baby Sophie you might have been a little confused and concerned! The Sophie that is going to Swaziland is my son's girlfriend, who is going out to do volunteer work organised through Tenteleni this summer. It's an amazing opportunity and as she is studying Sociology and Anthropology at uni, will be an eye-opening experience.
However, this now means that I will have a miserable son for 8 weeks. TWO WHOLE MONTHS! They've been together now for over 2 years and never spent more than 4 days apart so this will be a toughie for them. Soph of course will be busy and learning new things and I am sure the time will pass quickly for her however my son is another matter entirely ! He's booked himself a month in Europe with a vague itinerary which starts in Croatia and ends in Munich (I think!) no accommodation booked and no real plan as to the route he will take. His flights to and from the UK are booked and he is buying his interrail ticket for unlimited rail travel in Europe this week. He is so different to me. I like plans. I like details. I like to know where I will be, what it will look like and how I will get there.
Guess that is the difference between 20 year old guys and 52 year old mums.

Tuesday 25 May 2010


I was prompted to do this post after reading about Deb's collections which included roosters, and a comment from Rinda suggested that she might have a weakness for these too. Funnily enough I have a friend who collects roosters and items with images of roosters on them so with my forthcoming trip to Portugal in mind, I found this picture on flickr .
The Portuguese cockerel is found all over the country and whilst it isn't officially a rooster, with a little artistic licence maybe we can include it! So although I've seen these cockerels every time I've been there, I've never thought to look into the story behind them. Until now ......
In Barcelos, a small town in Portugal, a passing pilgrim, who was on his way to São Tiago de Compostela (in Spain) ,was wrongly accused of theft, for which the penalty was death. Feeling threatened in a foreign village, he only had his faith to call upon. .
He appealed to "Our Lady" and St. James (the patron Saint of protection) that justice be done.
The pilgrim found his way to the Judge who was to decide his fate.
The judge was about to commence eating a roast cockerel for his dinner. The pilgrim pleaded, "If I am innocent, that cockerel will get up and crow.
The cockerel at once got up and crowed heartily. The pilgrim was released and went on his way.
And to this day, the cockerel has been a symbol of faith, justice and good luck.

So now I know!

Monday 24 May 2010

This time next week ...

If you look on this webpage next week, you may see me ... instead of 'Where's Wally' it's going to be 'Where's Deb'. This is the Habana bar in Praia da Luz on the Algarve coast of Portugal. It's a great place to sit down with a glass of sangria, a toasted cheese sandwich to people watch at lunchtime. The beach is just across the promenade there - it's lovely. Why not come and join us?!
I'm relieved to see that the weather reports look promising and I am very excited about it although I was not best pleased to wake up with an ear infection on Friday. I am on antibiotics so fingers crossed......
My daughter flies out tomorrow and we may cross paths at Faro airport when we arrive and she comes home. I have visions of opening the door to the house and finding a pile of things she didn't want to bring home like wet beach towels and dirty washing. I don't mind her leaving a bottle of wine in the fridge and some custard tarts like these in the larder though!
Still, with weather as glorious as we had this weekend - we'll all look like we've had a week in Portugal!

Sunday 23 May 2010

Allow me to introduce ...

Baby Sophie who joined our family this week. Congratulations to Kirsty and Mark on the safe arrival of their gorgeous baby daughter.
From a very proud Great-Aunt Deb x

Saturday 22 May 2010

It's all about me blog train

Well Good Morning to you! Have you come over to me from Denise's blog? Well she's known me for over 30 years now so I'm guessing she knows all about me. And of course, I may be able to verify or deny some of what she's told you about herself! Anyway how nice of you to get up so early and check out the blog train set up by Mel. I'm sure that over time I have revealed quite a few bits about myself in my blog postings but sometimes there are things that are glaringly obvious to yourself that you don't think to mention so ... may I now show you my autobiography.

Front side

Reverse side

So now to show you a few pages at a time and explain what each represents in my life. Me. Me. Me. It's all about Me ....

The front cover is pretty plain and simple, just the letter 'd' for Deb. That's me. So now let's move left to right ...
Then we have a picture of a cup cake. This is the kind of thing I consider a treat!
The next photo is of the desk in my study which is wear I do my scrapbooking. Ok. Ok. Don't look too closely at this one, it's there to show you how messy I am!
The next two pages show the new Jamie Oliver cook book and on the facing page is a pocket with a tag in it that explains how I love to buy new cook books. I have dozens!

My first quote is 'The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra'.
Then we have a picture of a beach. If I had a free afternoon - this is where I would love to spend a few hours. Just walking barefoot on the sand and if the sea is warm enough, maybe a little paddle in the shallow water.
We try to get over to my sister's holiday home in Portugal at least once a year, and the next picture is the view from the roof terrace. Let's just say I'll be seeing that view again next week - woohoo!!!
Did you ever wonder what kind of jewellry I like? Well, let's go shopping one day, we'll go to Links of London and maybe pop into Thomas Sabo to buy some new charms for my bracelet.
Favourite colours? Just look at the lovely pinks and lilacs in this bunch of flowers. Perfect.
Wow - we're half way through. Time to turn over the minibook and see the next side.

'Live for today. Learn from yesterday. Hope for tomorrow' A good quote I think.
The first scrapbook class I ever took was online at and I like to think I've learnt a lot and improved since then. So I couldn't make a book about me without including a photo of me with the lady responsible could I?
I spend half my week at work so the next page is a picture of the school crest with the motto 'Sic itur ad astra' Reach for the stars.
Oh Hotel Chocolat. How I love your goodies. How weak I am in your presence. Even the sight of this photo makes me want to eat some chocolatey loveliness.

The next two pages work together. There is a picture of a bumble bee. I love bees, and worry about the news that their numbers are decreasing. Put me within 6" of a wasp and I am not happy until it is dead but I would never, ever harm a bee and I try to encourage them into the garden. In the envelope is a little note to that effect with the explanation that I was obviously destined to love bees as my full name, Deborah, means 'the bee'.
How cute is my little penguin? I had a phase of collecting penguin bits and bobs and this is my cutest one.
The page with the flower on is there as it shows how I am never happy with a page unless it has a bit of glitter, a flower or a butterfly on it.
The three little words that describe me are hidden under the flap of the page opposite the page of me in my favourite part of the house - the conservatory.

Phew! That's it. Now you know me inside out. Ready for some more? Who's next on the list of people? That would be Amy. Hang on a minute, we'll need our passports! I'll just get my handbag and I'll come along with you, I've always wanted to find out more about her!

Friday 21 May 2010

I'm ready to go!

Well after worrying that I would need to come up with a very good reason why I wasn't able to complete my mini book for the blog hop (and believe me I had come up with some interesting ones) I'm all done. All finished. All photographed. All ready to share.

(my daughter looked at it and said 'it's good mum, but why have you put a J on the front?' It's a fancy 'd' for Deb - honest!)

Wednesday 19 May 2010

And your starter for ten is ....

(that quote will be lost on anyone that didn't watch Bamber Gasgoine host University Challenge back in the day!)
Mel included me in her list of people that were asked a random set of questions and I've spent many a happy hour giving each my careful consideration. So to anyone that saw me apparently daydreaming while staring out the window at work yesterday - I wasn't daydreaming - I was thinking! ;-)

1. Where in the world did you spend your most memorable day ever, and what did you do?
Can I only have one? Because my wedding day was fabulous, but then I have the days my daughter and son were born and they were just amazing and so memorable. Oh, don't make me choose, that's so unfair!

2. What is your favourite time of year, and why?
Now you see, I'm torn. I love the summer - I love feeling warm and not having to take a cardigan or jacket out with me and I absolutely hate being cold. But I equally love the spring. It's a sign that good weather is hopefully round the corner and colour is appearing in the gardens and countryside. Hmm - OK, I'm going to go for round about now: May/June. Long days, balmy evenings and signs of nature's growth all around.

3. What is your favourite time of day, and why?
Mid morning on holiday, sun shining but not too hot. I'm warm, I'm comfortable on my sunlounger and all is well in the world.

4. What food would you find it very hard to do without?
Well, I probably use rice a lot when I'm cooking, either as a whole meal like risotto or jambalaya or as an accompaniment. But if we are talking sauces, it's sweet chilli dipping sauce.

5. What colour makes you feel happiest?
Aqua blue

6. What's the nicest thing anyone's ever said to you? (Or the most recent nice thing?)
That I am a really good friend who they know they can rely on

7. What's the nicest thing you've ever said to anyone else? (Or the most recent nice thing?)
Telling them how important they are to me and how my life is better for having them in it.

8. Who would be guest of honour at your dream dinner party?
I think that Stephen Fry would be fascinating, he's such a knowledgable man and has a great sense of humour. But I also think my girl friends would be pretty impressed if they arrived and found George Clooney at the table.

9. What's your favourite bird?
Does a penguin count as a bird?

10. What word or phrase do you find yourself over-using?
My family frequently comment on my latest 'in' words. I even have numbers I over use. They seem to think I exaggerate and apparently I often use the number 27 "I must have asked you 27 times to do that" etc. Once I realise I am using a phrase it seems I can't help myself. At the moment, the word 'clearly' seems to be cropping up. And a little while ago the phrase was 'this is true' and 'actually' I must be so annoying to live with sometimes. Clearly I must.

Coursework Deadlines

Working in a school office means that I have heard many reasons/excuses why students are late handing work in. Local buses are littered with coursework left behind, dogs up and down the county are at the vets having paper removed from them where they have started to chew on projects. Parents are busy safeguarding their home computer by installing passwords and then not telling the rest of the family the code they need to use to get on the computer to access their work. The number of memory sticks that wipe themselves clean - accidentally! There is definitely the need to research why printers break down the night before a coursework deadline. And someone really needs to invent a coffee cup that does not spill hot liquid over projects.
So I need to find a really good original thought for Mel as to why there are still two blank pages in my mini book. I have no dog, our only pets are koi carp in the garden pond and I'm not sure how I could implicate them into a story .... So, with that in mind, I am going to use my day off happily finishing off, adding glitter and colour and trying to find a way to photograph this project.
In the meantime, I thought I would share this video, don't be put off by the first 60 seconds, if you watch it through I'm sure you will be amazed!

Tuesday 18 May 2010

Welcome to the world Sophie Ella

I have a new great-niece! I'm so excited! She arrived 4 days late (typical girl eh?) in the early hours of this morning. My niece's pregnancy has been a little fraught at times and having lost a baby last year, this little one is particularly special.
I can't hardly wait to visit her and have been out in town buying pink bits to take with me when I go. Photo to follow later!
Doesn't it take you back to when you were in hospital with your first newborn? Everything is so strange yet wonderful, this little person you have been carrying around for so long, suddenly there to love and to hold.
Happy days!

Sunday 16 May 2010

100 years of memories

Well the weather stayed lovely for the centenary celebrations yesterday, a gloriously sunny Hertfordshire afternoon, perfect 'School Fete' conditions, I was a little late arriving, so sadly missed being chosen for some of the sports day activities ;-)
However, I was in time for the staff v students tug of war. Not that I took part of course, well, someone had to take some pictures didn't they? Here's the 'before' lineup of the staff ...

and here's the after ...

I think we should have had someone a little more 'burly' as our anchor man but our head of 6th form did an admirable job. Sadly, youth won out even though they tried 'best of three' attempts!

Some of the memorabilia on show was fascinating and the display of uniforms through the ages was lovely. Gone are the days of straw boaters for the girls to wear in the summer! I was chatting to a lady who had found her mother in a photo dated 1926. Someone had made a note of all the members of the hockey team and she was listed there. She asked if I could take a photocopy of it as she was going to visit her that afternoon. Her mum is now 96 and living in a nursing home and I loved the thought of her daughter arriving with a photo from her past and them being able to chat and reminisce about her school days. I overheard women much older than myself saying how just walking past the Head's office still made them feel nervous and I am sure a lot of ladies in the area went home with happy memories in their minds.

Saturday 15 May 2010

Centenary milestones

The school that I work at is 100 years old this year. What changes those buildings have seen over the years! So today is a celebration day there and I am about to leave to participate in some of the activities they are laying on. Actually, my contribution will probably amount to buying a plate of 'hog roast' and watching others doing energetic things. Come to think of it, eating, drinking and watching is how I spent much of my own school years too; the more things change, the more they stay the same eh?!
This week they have had a different decade each day for school lunches, anybody for Spam fritters? How about semolina pudding? The teachers have been dressing according to the decade too and I am a little concerned about how many still had clothes from the 60s and 70s. The drama dept were magnificent in their neon disco clothes but it's a bit disconcerting to see the head of History in his white John Travolta suit.
They are organising things like old fashioned lessons through the decades, which has caused it's own problems in the science labs as health and safety was not a priority in the 20s and 30s! But I think the most fun thing will be the old fashioned sports day. Egg and spoon races, three legged sprints and sack racing to name a few. Last I heard they were trying to organise a 'tug of war' team ... at 5' 1" and quite a light weight, I'm not sure I will be top choice for anyone's team for that event!

Friday 14 May 2010

What is love?

Someone sent me these quotes in an email and I just wanted to share.

When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth. Billy -Age 4
Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your french fries without making them give you any of theirs. Chrissy - Age 6
Love is what makes you smile when you're tired. Terri Age 4
Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen. Bobby Age 7
If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate. Nikka Age 6
Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day. Noelle Age 7
Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day. Mary Ann Age 4
When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you. Karen Age 7
You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget. Jessica Age 8

Tuesday 11 May 2010


My mum was a great one for superstitions. Some of them are quite common like warding off bad luck by throwing a pinch of spilt salt over your left shoulder, or not putting an umbrella up indoors. New shoes should never be put on the table, and if you see one magpie on it's own, you should always salute it and say 'Good morning Mr Magpie'. Never look at a new moon through glass, although you can get round this one by turning over any loose change in your pocket.
Some, I suspect were made up by her in an effort to cajole reluctant children to eat up their crusts - guaranteed to give you wavy hair apparently. Or take the last bit of disgusting medicine off the spoon, as that was where all the goodness sank to and you wouldn't get better if you didn't take THAT bit.
But one superstition that she passed onto me, and one which I have never understood, was that you should never look directly into the middle of a poppy. So when I saw how beautifully the seed pod of this plant had opened up at the end of the garden this afternoon, I did think she probably wouldn't have been happy to see me taking this photo.

A Good Talking To

You know when a friend has your best interests at heart when they tell you something, or comment on something you have - or haven't - done, that really is for your own good even though you don't want to hear it.
It happened to me twice yesterday and as I am a firm believer of 'things happen in threes' it can only be a matter of time before it happens again.
It was weigh in night at my Rosemary Conley class last night. I've been going for about 18 months now. I reached my target weight months ago and am now just 'maintaining' which in my mind is harder because you feel like you are entitled to treats and easily stray off the straight and narrow. Two weeks ago, our talk was on snacks, the kind of things you can pick up and eat when that sugar dip happens about 4pm and your hand migrates to the biscuit barrel/cake tin/crisp packet/maltesers snack pack (delete as appropriate) The thing is I heard all these lovely ideas and instead of having them instead of my normal snack, I had them AS WELL AS. So it's weigh in time. I reach the front of the queue. 'How do you think you have done?' asks Audrey. 'Well... I went out for a meal yesterday, ate cake, drank champagne ... but I've been good the rest of the time.' Hmmm so how come the scales went up 2lbs then? She didn't actually say anything, she just gave me THAT look. The stern look with the raised eyebrows. The hint of disappointment in her frown. It was for my own good though as I realised that those pounds have been going on one week and off the next but I need to give myself a good talking to and get back on the straight and narrow before I head off to Portugal at the end of the month. So now I have put it out in cyberspace I feel that I have to follow through and be good. Grilled bacon and tomato for breakfast just now. Chicken sandwich for lunch and pork and pepper kebab with rice for dinner tonight. And no extra snacks. Not even the gingerbread man I've been getting from the school canteen mid morning. Nor the iced finger bun. Honest.
Secondly. I had a telling off from Denise. Not a proper telling off, just a strict email asking 'so why isn't your name on this list then?' with a reference to Mel's blog. You see I had been meaning to do it but you know how it is. I've never done anything like that before and I'm not sure how I will get on left to my own devices but as I had a feeling that my name was going to end up on there even if Denise had to hack into my account and do it for me! And actually, now I've joined up, I'm quite excited so it really was for my own good again.
OK. Who's next? Who wants to tell me off for something else?!

Monday 10 May 2010


I can't believe my sister is 60. When I was growing up 60 was ancient. 60 is what elderly grandparents were. So it's hard to think that my big sis is 60. She's actually a pretty good advert for being 60. She certainly doesn't look it. (She doesn't have to resort to fake tan as she spends months at a time at her holiday home in Portugal!) And certainly doesn't act it. So if this is what 60 holds, it doesn't seem so bad. Especially when it's still 8 years away ;-)
So anyway, we all got together for her birthday yesterday. And her daughter managed to avoid going into labour 3 days early so she was able to be there with us too!

There was cake. (Did you notice I managed to buy serviettes to remind her how old she was? 'Cos that's the kind of things little sisters do.)
There were candles.

There was a picture of her with her MUCH younger sister ;-)

Saturday 8 May 2010

Weekend Wordle

Well after Mel's amazing instructions about Wordle, I just had to have a go and after a bit of playing around I finally came up with this. I just need to work out how to make it a bit bigger and I think I'll have cracked it!

News on the tan front ... I look like I've just returned from two weeks in Barbados :-) It's my sister's 60th birthday celebrations tomorrow (she's SO much older than me!!!!) so there are bound to be photos taken. Be prepared!

Friday 7 May 2010


One of my birthday presents, back in March, was a voucher for the beauty salon which is part of where my daughter works. I had a facial a month ago which was so relaxing and wonderful and today I went back for something else. Something I've never had before. Something that I kind of wanted but was a bit anxious about having. A spray tan. I love the feeling of being bronzed and think that psychologically, when I am tanned I feel better. But we all know the dangers of sunbathing and as a natural redhead, although I do tan, it is a slow process.
So today I found myself standing in just my knickers in a tent like structure with my hair in a shower cap being sprayed with 'Fake Bake'. You have an image in you mind, don't you? I can tell. I can almost see those smirks, hear those barely concealed sniggers of laughter! It was not a warm day today, so how stupid did I feel walking back to my car in strappy sundress and flip flops? You have to wear loose clothing afterwards to avoid rubbing it off.
The idea behind Fake Bake is that you leave it on overnight and it gradually darkens and darkens and then you shower off and it leaves your skin a golden brown. It adjusts to your own skin tone (apparently. I'll let you know tomorrow) It starts off pretty dark actually. I took a photo of myself on arrival home as proof. I was going to blog it. Really, I was. But I can't bring myself to do it.
My husband just arrived home. He's still laughing.
I do hope it DOES wash off or I'm in trouble.
See you tomorrow .....

Thursday 6 May 2010

Elephant parade

Today I sent my husband on a mission.
It wasn't exactly difficult, and it wasn't unpleasant. I just wanted him to go out in his lunch hour and take photos. In fact I would have loved to be able to do it myself. But the inconvenient fact is that I work at a school in Hertfordshire and he works for a property developer in the City of London. And the things I wanted photographed are dotted around London at the moment. And they are unlikely to ever end up in our town. Several of them are nearby his office, along the embankment of the River Thames. Here they are, aren't they gorgeous?

It's all part of a programme to raise awareness of the plight of the endangered Asian elephant. You can read about it here and here and it's called the Elephant Parade.
Just thought you'd like a change from seeing my album pictures today!

A productive day

There are times when I realise that working part time has huge benefits, and Wednesday was one of them! I managed to get the majority of my album finished although I do need to add journalling to a few pages. I hate my scruffy handwriting so try to avoid journalling but I can see why Shimelle added journalling to some of the pages and I need to be brave and add some here and there!

The Cyprus page involved us turning 4 small black and white pictures into a kind of film strip and I found these photos from our last 'whole family' holiday to Cyprus back in 2007. We had been experimenting with the cocktail menu in the hotel bar after dinner one evening and the photos capture the silliness! I liked this idea of mixing two contrasting colours for a double page layout, something I would not have thought of doing myself.
It was purely by chance that the colours of the paper for my Barbados pages worked absolutely perfectly. The smaller photos show the view of the sunset from our hotel room and also a brightly painted house that was just down the road from us in Hole Town. The orange and the pink with blue highlights pick up every colour in that house and I couldn't have planned it better! This was supposed to be our last 'whole family' holiday in 2004 - which is why we chose a more exotic destination. It certainly was an amazing place and fully deserves inclusion in this album of special family memories.
Still a couple of finishing touches to make to the last few pages. Do I really have to go to work today? :-(

Wednesday 5 May 2010

Feeling better

Well, this day off is just what the doctor ordered! Another two pages completed and I have to warn you now that the first one includes the remnants of a dodgy 80s perm. Those of a nervous disposition please look away now!

This is a rare picture of my sister and me with our parents where we are all looking at the camera and all smiling nicely! My dad, in particular, hated having his photo taken but this is a lovely photo of him. There is a restaurant near us that used to do the most delicious Sunday roast lunch. The meat would be brought to your table under huge silver domed platters and the chef would carve it at your table. So for birthdays, we would go there for a family lunch even after Gill and I were married and had left home. My dad died in 1989 and my mum died in 1997 and so pictures like this are really treasured memories and this just HAD to be included in my family album. Even though my hair resembles a freshly made birds nest.

And so onto another happy family event. My daughter's graduation.

I know I've made a page of her shaking hands with Robert Winston before but a family album needs to include momentous events so I make no excuses for duplicating photos! The smaller photos show us as a family - we only had 2 tickets for the ceremony so our son who is at uni in Sheffield at the moment, came to join us afterwards which explains why we look dressed up to the nines and he looks like a scruffy student who's come straight from a lecture. Because, um, that's what happened! The other picture is of our daughter and some of her class throwing their mortar boards up in the air - a classic graduation pose!

Tuesday 4 May 2010

Another good idea from Mel

Dear Boss,
I will not be in work tomorrow as I have developed Post Crop Stress Disorder. This is caused by starting to make an album and then being sent home to finish it at a later date.
Dr Mel has referred me to see a consultant specialising in these matters and Dr McSherrif has prescribed rest and hourly sessions of creative therapy to ease the anxiety caused by needing to finish my album.
I might be back on Thursday.
Yours sincerely

Where to start?

There were so many new ideas that I learnt at the Shimelle class on Saturday and so many ideas I know I want to use again and again. Here's page two of the album we made.
I had wanted to use these photos for a while. My niece got married two years ago and I had this lovely picture of her coming down the staircase before we all left for the church. The smaller pictures are of me with my family and my sister with her branch of the family tree. You will see a few elements creeping into the album which are reflected in practically every page. The butterfly on top of the circle is one, and the use of the little white tag is another. I love those little tags, why did none of you tell me about them before? How lovely are those padded letters? I would never have chosen a font so large yet it works so well.
And here is page three ...
Seven photos on one layout? Who'd have thought? Again the butterfly idea on a circle. The brown paper with 'Spring is Sprung' on it is from Dear Lizzy American Crafts, such a lovely range - go track it down, you won't regret it! The little bit of ribbon at the top is from the same range and I loved it so much that I fear it is one of those things that I never get to use because I won't want it to be used up, so I just used a few inches as I thought it went with the holiday theme! I'm loving the pennant ideas people are doing so this is my way of sneaking a bit in. How lovely is that wood grain effect ribbon along the bottom?
As you can tell, I was so inspired by the collection of stash we were given, and it is going to be very hard for me to go to work today when all I really want to do is work my way through the instructions for finishing off all the pages.

Monday 3 May 2010

Back to earth

Well, we certainly covered some miles yesterday with our House Party Blog and it was fantastic to see what everyone had done with their kits that Rinda had sent out. Amazing how different people interpret different raw materials - it was certainly fun to see the finished results.
It was certainly an eventful day on Saturday. The crop that was organised by the lovely ladies at Eclectic Keepsakes was such good fun. I had just about got over the stress of having to collate 22 pictures when Shimelle announced that we were going to be making 16 pages. I did wonder if I had inadvertantly booked in for a week long course rather than just the one day but she smiled confidently and I was reminded of the saying 'Keep Calm and Eat a Cupcake' which was quite handy really as she had, indeed, arrived with a tray of cupcakes!

Dear reader, you do know that I will be presenting you with these pages over the coming days and so here is the opening page. I had chosen the theme of family but did not have any previously unscrapped photos of us as a group. They would rather walk over hot coals than pose for a photo so I resorted to cutting and pasting individual pictures onto one print. It kind of reminds me of the opening credits for the old US comedy show The Brady Bunch

So you can see the kind of colours and tones of papers that we got to use and we all just loved them. There was also a theme going on with the patterned butterflies on top of circles and also the little white tags. I loved the paper with the little blue birds in a row with random sparkly pink ones so much that I 'accidentally' bought another sheet to bring home ;-) I loved the way that Shimelle got us all to finish all those pages to a basic level and then sent us home to embellish them more personally. Too often I've made a title for something because I've been put on the spot and it will be good to give some thought to each page. She's going to send through more info on suggestions for additions to the pages and I really am looking forward to completing the album. It was such a good day and I still can't believe I've actually attended a crop being taught by Shimelle, but here's the proof -

Sunday 2 May 2010

House Party Blog Hop!

Oh my goodness, it's 6 o'clock in the morning, who could that be knocking at the door?
Well hello there! I'm guessing you've come to me from Mel's blog. That's quite a journey across the UK so come in and put your feet up. I've been to a crop that was hosted by Shimelle yesterday so I'll just pop in the kitchen to see if there are any cupcakes left while you have a little look at my house that I made from the papers and trimmings that Rinda sent me.

I received some lovely papers and the picture that I had made me think of the old dilapidated houses in Venice with little bridges linking one to another. The lady's face was on the back of a playing card and the number on the card was 7 which is kind of appropriate as that is the number of the house that I live at, so that had to go on too!
Well, I am sure you are anxious to get on your way, there's quite a few blogs to get through today so it's time to move onto my namesake - Deb - at
But before you go, I hope you will join me in saying a big thank you to Rinda at who is the mastermind behind this blog hop. It was a great idea, and she put so much thought and effort into mailing all the ingredients for these little masterpieces around the world. I hope she likes what we have done with them!

Saturday 1 May 2010

Busy day, and ready for a House Party night!

I am happy to report that I returned from today's mega crop with all bodily parts intact! I did note that I was seated at a table next to another table which had a first aid kit prominently displayed on it but I'm sure that was just coincidence.
We ended up making a whole album - yes A WHOLE ALBUM! I love the page size of 8 x 11 1/2 and will use that again for sure. Shimelle (yes, really, Shimelle was our teacher for the day!) got us to get all pages up to 'stage one' basic layout and will then be emailing us suggestions for adding extras. It was such good fun and I will try not to bore you with pictures of all the finished pages in the days to come. I would never have thought to combine the colours and patterns that we used but I am thrilled with how it all looks, even at 'only' stage one.
So anyway I am back now, and just have time to get myself ready for the house party at Rinda's. Apparently the Margaritas are mixed and the music is ready so put your best party outfit on, slap on some make up and make sure you check back later to join in the fun!