Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Smashing Pumpkin!

Hallowe'en is not a big deal in our house. As a child I never remember doing a lot for Hallowe'en, I had and went to one or two parties over the years but I never went trick or treating or dressed up unless it was for a party. BUT... I couldn't resist this cute little pumpkin outfit in Sainsburys - reduced to half price! So I bought it, dressed my child up as a pumpkin and then took photos. Well I had to have some photos to go with the Junkitz Hallowe'en papers I bought didn't I!?!? Anyway, I hope that all of you who celebrate Hallowe'en enjoyed yourselves, and those who don't, I hope it passed off ok.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Holiday Pics - See Post Below

OK Blogger is seriously messing with me - it finally let me i[load two images to my post but when I go to republish the post it says there are errors. So instead I am going to try putting them in a new post.

Izzy in her life jacket:

View of the seafront at Cromer: (loved the colours in the sea)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Back From The Wilds of Norfolk!

We are home (a day earlier than scheduled) from Wroxham. We had a great time although a certain little person decided that sleeping was an unecessary activity during the holiday! She sleeps really well at home but she managed to wake up throughout the first night and then pretty much stayed awake ALL NIGHT on the second night - that was great fun! NOT. LAst night she did actually sleep ok but of course everyone was still a little tired to say the least!

We went to Wroxham barns and looked round the little animal farm which Izzy loved, stupidly of course I forgot the camera though. We also took several trips on the day boat which comes with the house rental and I have to say I enjoyed driving the boat up and down (parking - yeah I know its called mooring really - and going under small bridges were not so fun!)

On Thursday Izzy and I took a little trip over to Cromer with our friend Jess, it was really quite a nice little jaunt and my lovely friend Jess even pushed the buggy around with Belle in so I could take photos!

Blogger has finally let me add some pics but it is SOOOO SLOW- when it decides to s[eed up a bit I will add some as I get round to editing them...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Totally Inspired!

Wow! Thats all I can say really! Well ok, you know me, I can easily say much much more than just WOW!

Anna, Annie and I had a fantastic time in Reading and I can honestly say its like a little light has switched on in my head and I now know I can move on from taking some photos I like to taking photos I really love. For anyone wanting to improve their photography skills I would seriously recommend investing in a course at The Photography School. Freddie and Mark were great teachers but also ensured that we not only learned loads but that we also had a blast too (oh and they fed us well too - lasagne and pizza mmmmmmmm! LOL)

I am seriously tempted to save up and go for their portraits course. Before I went my honest opinion was that the money it would cost to go on the second course would be better spent on a new lens but having learned so much on this first course I think now I may have been wrong and I would be better investing in myself first and learning what I can do to get the best out of the stuff I have, then in more kit if I can't do the things I want to do with what I already have.

Anna is doing a piece about it for Creative Scrapbooking and Freddie took a group shot of us all to go with the piece. Anna will e mail it over when she has it and I will put it on the blog. In the meantime I will add a few pics I took on the course, no doubt there will be more added in future blog entries too! The camera at the top of this entry was such fun to take. We were taking long exposures in a darkened room and "painting with light" it was so cool to play with different lighting conditions.

The dark portrait is of Freddie, we were experimenting with low key lighting and I wanted to get him just appearing from some dark shadows.

Finally I am going to HAVE to add my train picture! We were wandering round Reading taking photos of all manner of things found in the urban environment and we stood by the train tracks for a while. We were taking pictures at a shutter speed which would capture some motion but leave the subject recognisable and I wanted to get a train just coming in to shot. Of course I kept missing them (although later I said that I was waiting for a nicer looking train!) Anyway, finally i got this shot and as you can see I photoshopped it within an inch of its life but I love it even if it is kind of weird looking!

OK now I just have a craft fair to get ready for and a class to finish designing and writing instruction (or should that be directions Annie?) for... by this evening!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Chaos and Confusion


Why does this always happen to me?! I *know* I am a totally disorganised person but I am sure that someone up there is having a laugh at my expense!

So I am working Wednesday and on Wednesday night I leave for the Photography School with Annie and Anna for a course I can't wait for! I get back on Friday night, on Saturday I will be loading up stock ready for the trip to Hoveton on Sunday for the Scrapbook Show there. I am also teaching a class there - have I made my example for the class and typed out some instructions? Have I heck! Then I get back and have Monday free and on Tuesday we are going away for 5 days all the way back to Wroxham which is about a minute from where will have been on on Sunday.

All of that would be fine except we are now expecting the Basic Grey Dasher and Fruitcake lines imminantly so despite not having done the washing or prepared anything to take to Reading for the Photo Course, having not mad ethe class example for Sunday or even thought about the stuff we all need for our trip to Wroxham next week I am now drowning under paypal invoices, packing notes and emails. Gosh that sounds miserable, I am pleased people want to order from us REALLY I am!!!! I just wish that they had picked any other fortnight to send it but this one! Ho hum, such is life!

I will try and post a less fraught entry at some point soon with a pretty picture and stuff!

***Oh but in the good news section - my new lens arrived today SMILES **

Monday, October 09, 2006

Isn't She Lovely?

We went up to Nottingham yesterday to visit Nic, Chris Anya and Lady (their dog!) It was fantastic being able to get up and see her while she was still so tiny.

We decided to let Izzy visit Gran instead of coming as she has a bit of a cold and with Anya only being 11 days old we didn't want to expose her to Izzys germs so soon! It's easy to forget how little they are. When I picked Isabelle up from Mums this morning she seemed so big and grown up all of a sudden.

When we got there Nic was just about to feed Anya but when she had finished we got to have lots of cuddles. She was very sleepy to start with but she woke up and stayed awake and pretty alert for ages.

Of course I had to snap lots of pics and despite my dislike of having my picture taken I was even in some of them!

I adore this picture of Anya all snuggled up with Nic and Chris - ok so you can't see them but she is just so cute chilling out on Mummy and Daddy!

Anyway, I have loads more pictures to post and I took some this morning of Isabelle tackling a whole pear by herself for the first time. Usually I cut it up for her but today she just went right ahead and sank her teeth into it!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Not Only Weird Enough To...

...arrange my sausage and mash in a perculiar way but weird enough to photograph it! As promised here it is!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Forgot that I was Tagged!

I am terrible at these tag things! I don't mind answering the questions, in fact I quite like it (gives me something to blog about!) but I never ever get around to passing them on...

5 Weird Things About Myself:

1) I am obsessive about researching things that I am doing. We went to Florida for 3 weeks in 2004 and I had a plan down to military precision levels. We had a great holiday though and did nearly all the things we wanted to. Plus my research helped keep the price down so we could do more!

2) I am ridiculously positive about things that other people worry about...
"we're having Ofsted" - "It will be fine!"
"childbirth?" - "It will be fine!"
"Will we be able to sell all this stock?" - "It will be fine!"

3) I am the worlds worst housewife. My domestic skills are appalling - well it's not that, it's more the fact that I am terrible at making time to do the horrible boring jobs. I would rather take Isabelle to a music group, or swimming, or the toy library. And when she is asleep (i.e. now) I have so much to do online! LOL mainly for ATDML but also to keep up with whats happening on UKS or the pad.

4) I have a weird habit when cooking Sausage and Mash!! We are (coincidentally) having that for tea tonight. When I serve mine I have to spoon onion gravy on to the plate first (oh and the gravy has to be made with lots of onion, some normal gravy and a generous squirt of ketchup... don't grimace, try it!) Then I have to put the mash in a heap in the middle of the plate. I have three sausages leaning up against the mash mountain at approx 12 o'clock, 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock. Then I put a spoonful of peas in between each sausage so I have three little pea piles. God I sound weird. Tonight I am going to photograph it so you can see what I mean! Then I add a load more gravy on top. I ONLY do this for me, Darren and Elizabeth think I am weird for faffing about with my food this way and I have to say I agree with them - but it looks very restaurant ish!

5) All my fingers (and thumbs) turn up at the ends. I can't hold any one of my fingers in a straight line as the last joint bends up. If I bend the middle joint I can straighten the last one but thats the only way!

Think that is quite weird enough for now thanks. Will post my dinner picture later to illustrate the sausage and mash technique for anyone who wants to try it. Believe me it makes it taste GREAT!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Well I Survved!

Ofsted was ok. I didn't get observed teaching and I was allowed to spend most of the day working with some of our children who are on the Gifted and Talented register for art, and also some who we thought would benefit from the opportunity to have a go at some large scale art work. We were, once again working on the epic wall mural! I MUST take some pictures as I am so pleased with how it is turning out. Most of the work is either done by the children or based around their art work and transferred to the wall by us. I was lucky to have my friend Alison come in to help during the painting session - infant children and paint brushes loaded with masonry paint are a nightmare waiting to happen! So thanks Alison (I know she occasionally reads my blog but she never posts!)

Overall we are happy with how the inspection went and are awaiting the official report!

On the ATDML front we have some sad news and some happy news. The cat is out of the bag regarding the Scrapgenie Design Team and the winners have been announced on the SG blog. Our Kirsty was one of the selected designers. As scrapgenie are operating an exclusive team it means we will sadly have to say goodbye to Kirsty, however as we stock loads of Scrapgenies products we know her work for the Scrapgenie DT will still help to inspire our customers and show them how to make great use of many of the products we stock.

The happy news is we have a fabulous replacement lined up. Hannah AKA Noodle will be joining us. She is a relative new comer although she already made a bit of a name for herself by winning Kirstys international Scrap Yourself challenge with an awesome layout.

We knew that we were losing Kirsty on Monday so we immediately thought of Hannah (she is also my UKS adopted daughter - I am so proud!) and she accepted on Monday night but because the Scrapgenie DT was supposed to be a secret until then we have had to keep quiet! But now we can get all excited!

We also have some plans afoot to make some changes to the site and improve the resources available. Our aim is to make the site not just a shopping site but also a place where you can get ideas and inspiration for a whole range of scrap related projects.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Wish Me Luck

OFSTED tomorrow...
'Nuff said!
adopt your own virtual pet!
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