Monday, 23 August 2010

Butterfly World

I can't believe that this amazing place is only a few miles up the road from me. Why haven't I visited before? I have passed it so many times! So finally I went with Eileen and Josh a couple of weeks ago and it was so good I have been back another couple of times. Today I took my D200 to take some photos of the butterflies and gardens. Here are a few shots....

This is their latest garden due to open next Monday I think. It is all about the interpretation of dreams and so far it looks like it is going to be a series of outdoor room settings. This is a view across the mantlepiece; the room looks like it could be a take on Goldilocks with the three different sized chairs in front of the fireplace and the oversized bed. Another room has a table made from driftwood and a spiral staircase made from wood and iron. At the moment it still needs the plants and flowers adding but it really is looking incredible so far. I just love this place so much!

Monday, 14 January 2008

Busy doing nothing....

or so it seems!

Today has been one of those days when I have spent most of the time either clearing up or transporting loads of stuff upstairs and then loads of stuff downstairs. I think I just need to have a massive clearout then I won't spend hours running up and down the stairs like this!

I did get to meet Sam and Amy for lunch which was definitely a nice thing. Amy has about two months to go until the baby is due but she seems to be doing more running around than ever. Sam is hoping for an interview for the manager's job next week. She will be just perfect for that so my fingers are crossed. Apart from that we chatted about all the good stuff we have coming up over the next two months :) The Ickenham weekend crop is looking pretty likely now and thats only a few weeks away, I'm hoping to join Sam, Amy and Nat on Wednesday to see Wicked in London which will be cool. Then I have a month off work (yay!!), the first week is half term so I get to spend some time with Holly when she isn't revising, then it is my birthday so we are hoping to go on a spa day, then I go to South Africa for 10 days - I am so looking forward to catching up with Venessa again. And then we have a girls weekend away at Centre Parks in early March - just before I go back to work. I know most people will be scrapbooking, but we plan to spend a day in the spa, walk the trails, eat and drink lots and generally just relax for the few days. And then it is ScrapFever....which I am so looking forward to. Karen Russell's class looks amazing and Shim is a fab teacher no matter what she does so that will be a fabby weekend. So just a few more weeks at work then all this to look forward to.

I had a long chat with Venessa yesterday (about 1 1/2 hours...I'm not thinking about my phone bill :( ) and it was great to catch up on the last couple of months. Ty starts playschool on Thursday; I can hardly believe it. He was only 6 weeks old when they went back to S. Africa and it will be almost two years since I last saw him when I go over next month. He will have changed so much. It will be good to see Hannah and Luke as well and I guess they will be a lot different now. There is a new shopping complex since I was last out there so we will have to check it out of course! It would be rude not to :)

Anyway not much else has happened. I finally got my car insurance renewed after about 3 hours on the phone trying to better my quote. I HATE getting insurance quotes, it is never 2 minutes, more like 2 hours when you have finished giving them all that information :( Anyway, it is done now.

I had a very lazy weekend; Sunday I didn't get out of my jammies until about 5pm which was very nice. Infact I would have got straight back into them after my bath but we went next door to play cards for the evening. So I drunk too much wine, ate too much chocolate and tortilla chips but I didn't lose at cards for once - yay! But we only played 'chase the lady' so I guess it wasn't that much of an achievement lol. Holly won which was pretty cool. Saturday, I went over to Amy's crop but I didn't get much done as I talked way to much....but I hadn't seen Sara for months and months and her daughter is in her first year at Med School, so lots to talk about.

Anyway, that's me caught up. Now to cook dinner.....

Friday, 11 January 2008


These are my recent pages from SI.... this is probably overkill but this is all I have done over the last few months apart from the unpublished stuff. So in no particular order.....

Xmas photos from years past.

The advent calendar project had to be changed as it didn't photograph well. This is what it originally looked like without the red background.

Holly off to a party.

Dedicated to Sean and his presents.

I was taking photos of some of the artist bears for insurance purposes many years ago when I collected them. I forgot I had these of Holly.

One of my favourite pages I have ever made...even if the inspiration was from a clothing label - totally.

Using my water colour pencils. I saw some in WHSmiths the other day - half price and I am very tempted.

This started off as an 8.5x11 but it just didn't work so I stuck it on to a piece of 12x12 and carried on...

Maybe I saw the Proclaimers a tad too much this year but they were just fab :)

I just love these photos of Holly....

I went back to Thassos in 2005 and in all honesty nothing seemed to have changed!But these were from my trip back in 1993?

Anyway, that's caught up on all my pages. Now I just need to do get on and do some more this weekend :)

Is it really three months...

since I last posted on here? I can't believe how quickly time has passed and it is impossible to even think about catching up. The end of the year was so busy at work, so combined with Christmas shopping I seemed to have no free time. But we had our Christmas a week early. Most of my family came down for the weekend; we had our stockings, presents and Christmas dinner on the Sunday and it was all lovely. But it did seem quite strange going up to the shops though as in my head I had really convinced myself it was Christmas and nothing should have been open! Truly I shouldn't have been going shopping BUT Holly decided that she really did want the first jacket she had tried on on the Saturday for her Christmas present from my mum and could we go and buy it for her as she had a footie match? So my mum and I stopped off from prepping the dinner and walked up only to find that it had been sold just that morning.... and it was the only one they had! Mmmn...I'm sure beating your kids really isn't a crime! Apart from that little unnecessary trip the rest of the weekend was great and it was good to catch up with everyone.

Then....we went to Lapland for Christmas itself. What an amazing holiday. I loved it all. And it snowed on Christmas day (the real one :))so a White Christmas! We stayed in a log cabin; it was huge. It could have slept 9 although there was just the three of us. With a log fire and a sauna. It was perfect.

We went for a night skidoo trip the first night; a 90 minute ride through the fells and forests with just our headlights to light the way. Then we spent two days searching for Father Christmas; during which we spent hours sledging (brilliant fun), snowball fights, more skidoos (not nearly so fast as the night trip) reindeer rides, huskie rides, sleigh rides, more sledging, eating, visiting Santa's post office, workshop and finally the great man himself. It could only have been better if I was five! I did ask Santa why he had such a good London accent? He pointedly said that he had been in Lapland for 400 years. Oh well....but then his sleigh must have stopped working because strangely he caught the same flight back to the UK as us! So funny. Actually he and his wife (Mrs Claus) were both lovely and had had a nice three weeks playing Father Christmas. They said they were off to Moscow the following year! Strangely, none of the other families or their children seemed to realise Santa came home with them :)

I will have to sort out my photos which unfortunately were not that good. Even with the ISO set to 1600 and the widest aperture, I still had blurred photos. But these are a few of them....

Meeting a reindeer....

and huskies

I think this was a sunset through the clouds but as we never actually saw the sun it was hard to tell.

Skiing on our free day. Looking down the blue run. There was no way I was stopping on the red run to take photos...well there was no way I was stopping! I swear the slope was vertical.

Roy, Holly and new friends Messina and Emma.

Mina (pronounced Mika) our fabby tour guide. I have only just got the elf song out of my head....

So as you can see we got one days skiing in and then Holly and I went back on our last morning as we had time to get one hours worth of skiing in before we had to catch the bus back to the airport. We managed 7 runs in that hour although I think I counted more bruises than that when I got home. I had forgotten how much ski boots hurt!
The only disappointment with the whole holiday? The weather was reasonably warm 0 to -3 degrees and mostly overcast. Totally the wrong conditions for the Northern Lights. I was so disappointed that we didn't get to see them but I guss it means I just have to go out again. In fact I have checked out a few websites for a long weekend to Luosto.....

Sunday, 14 October 2007

The Proclaimers at Hammersmith Apollo

OK, so my liking for this band might be a tad obsessive but I think they are fantastic live and last night was the best yet. They played a great set; a real mix of old and new, including some from the current album. A real highlight was 'Wrecless Eric' guesting on their take of his song 'Whole Wide World'. I won't go on because it can get boring if you don't like them but as before I managed to get a place up at the front, so perfect for photos. It is such a shame I can only take a snapshot camera in with me because the picture quality could be so, so much better. But overall, slight blur withstanding, they weren't too bad.

and with Wreckless Eric...

On another note, it is Roy's birthday today and we got him one of the new 8GB video looks very cool, black with a shiny, silver backing.(Not that this affects the music but it is very pretty!). I've just uploaded some music onto it for him but I need to work out how to do the videos etc, 'cos I haven't figured the extras out on mine yet.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

A long day...

and it is not over yet lol.

We have just got back from a flying visit to Lincoln to see my mum. Just over two hours to get up there, some gardening - basic because that's all I do. Then a hoover around, out to Whisby's nature reserve for lunch and then back down to London. Her leg is healing well, although it is painful as she is just starting to weight bare again. But hey, that is so much better than being in a wheelchair all the time.

Now I have time to get the washing on, go and pick Holly up from work, make dinner and then head into Hammersmith to see The Proclaimers. I bought their new album a few weeks ago, which I have played to death. Then I found Restless Soul the other day and have been listening to that instead. Although the reviews were not as good, I actually prefer this album.

Maybe tomorrow I will have some time to scrapbook...and a lie in - yay!

These were the two pages based on Shim's sketch for the Banana Frog UKS birthday crop class today. I'm looking forward to seeing what people make of this sketch...I had fun with it and it is quite unusual and fab to work to.

Thanks to Anita Mundt for these photos of me. I love that draping a piece of black material over my cupboard door makes such a difference.

I love these photos of Holly; a couple of them are quite old and just taken at football matches when the mamager was giving the team a talk afterwards. The middle one is more recent, taken a couple of months ago.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Busy time

Where has the time gone again? It is sooo long since I last posted, lots of things have been happening but no time to catch up. I will try and catch up with some back posts but for tonight, just a quickie. Its been a busy day at work but really just paperwork and lots of but nothing to go to today. They still continued an hour an a half after finishing - the downside to being contactable by mobile.

Anyway I am home now. My dad is here; we are going to his brother's funeral tomorrow morning. A sad time, they didn't really keep in touch so he didn't know his brother was ill. He could have said goodbye but no one told him. So he is sad and this is the last of his immediate family.

Have desparately been catching up with housework, washing and ironing. All I seem to do is pick up stuff from downstairs and take it upstairs. Every morning and evening. Without fail. The same stuff just magically reappears. Does this happen in other peoples houses? One day I will find out just how many calories I use up, running up and down the stairs countless times a day. It must be lots but it doesn't seem to make a difference lol. Maybe it has something to do with the wine and the chocolate!

So what else have I been up to? The last couple of nights I have been making a couple of pages for the Banana Frog UKS Cyber Crob class that Shimelle is running. So that has been fun and I will post them when I can. Now I have to work on magazine pages lol.