Tuesday, 28 July 2009

The Many Shades of Grey

From the window of the house where we're staying in Wales you can see the sea ... technically. What you can actually see is a murky grey line which meets a slightly darker grey line - that's where the sea meets the sky. When the rain is particularly bad the 2 colours of grey merge and become one big grey nothingness.

When children draw pictures of the seaside they always draw both sky and sea in blue. I'm not sure why, especially if they've been on holiday to Wales. If I were still a child I'd draw a picture with a lot of grey in it. In fact I'd get a grey crayon and cover the whole page in grey. If I were a grown up I'd draw a picture of my wallet gaping open with a shower of £10 notes disappearing out of it like a plague of locusts.

On the bright side I've discovered Welsh Cakes.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Summertime ... and the weather is ... well , pretty awful really

I took my youngest to a sailing club this morning. For a sizeable amount of money, paid to the outdoorsy looking teen manning the reception desk, he was allowed to change into a rather shabby looking wetsuit about 2 sizes too small and toddled off to be dunked in a grey reservoir for the rest of the day.

Actually , he's attending something called Water Fun ( or Water Hell in my book) which runs for the whole week and introduces your offspring to the delights of kayaking, windsurfing, knee boarding and sailing .. like I said ... Water Hell.

I wished I could embrace the whole sailing fraternity thing. For a moment I thought I could. We turned off a grubby road, aptly called the Staines Bypass, into a narrow tree lined lane and entered the sailing club gates where a large spikey ramp thing prevented us from going any further , ostensibly to prevent fly-tippers and graffiti hooligans from plying their trade. Once we'd convinced them of our credentials we were allowed in and asked to take the right hand fork and proceed to the car park. After climbing 66 steps ( I know this because I counted every one , somewhat breathlessly by the time I'd reached fifty something) we ascended into a little bit if suburban heaven.

A large expanse of glistening water greeted us accompanied by the clanking of those sail mast thingies and the swooping of gulls, all lending to the illusion of being beside the sea. If you closed your eyes and breathed deeply , I swear I could almost smell salt on the breeze or maybe it was just the chips they'd be serving at lunchtime.

Most of the children there were sun kissed and fresh air types - a good sign. Excellent decision I thought , all the benefits of healthy exercise and team building stuff and I don't even have to dip my toe in the water . Perfect. Here were in the suburbs of London and I could almost believe we were salty sea dogs, hoisting the mainsail and all the that palaver. A little bit of maritime heaven.

I turned to descend the 66 steps and as I did so , I left behind my vision of seaside loveliness. A police siren wailed from the road below and the 24 hour Tescos loomed out of the grey mist . Back to reality.

And as for my scrapbook pages this summer , rather than the 'Fun in the Sun' variety I think they're more likely to be 'Rain is a Pain' . Having said that I can always look back on last years and remind myself what proper sunshine looked like.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Gadget Junkie

I can't help myself . Never show me a new gadget ... chances are I'll want to buy it. I bought this little toy at the weekend from Calico Crafts - it's a glue dot dispenser and works a treat . Pricey at £13.99 but very economical with it's refills - 500 dots for £2.99 which I reckon will save me a fortune on Herma - well that's what I told myself to justify it's expense.
Anyway - used it all weekend and I love it. Now if only they'd make it in pink !

What's Your Style ?

I remember reading any book I could get my hands on when I first started scrapbooking. I didn't know where to go to find good sources of inspiration - everything was new ... don't think I'd even discovered UK Scrappers back then ( how on earth did I spend my time ??). One of these books divided scrappers into certain 'styles' , like Shabby Chic , Vintage, Clean Graphic and the like. I tried to pigeon hole my style but found I couldn't . One day I might be using messy paint, the next I'd be using grids of photos like Cathy Zielske. And 3 years later , I still can't define my style which I think is a good thing. However, one thing's for sure.. I'm not a mad fan of Vintage, hate purple and prefer to make my own embellishments. I've also realised that I have a favourite palette of colours - think Farrow and Ball meets Conran ... or at least that's what I'd like to think. There's always a neutral shade or 2 coupled with a bright vibrant colour. There's usually a bit of fabric and maybe a spot of stitching and usually a little cluster of happy little items. This one above sums it up I suppose. Mind you tomorrow's layout will probably be completely different.

I never really know how a layout is going to turn out when I start . It all depends on how the mood takes me. Sometimes it even depends on what music I'm listening to or what the weather's like. One thing will always be consistent though. The photos is the main driver , the story is equally as important although you might not always be able to read it without delving and it has to make me happy . I reckon those 3 things define my style. Now all I have to do is think of a name to define it. Maybe I could just call it 'Happy' .

Saturday, 18 July 2009


... can't get enough of it. I almost love it as much as paper and that's saying something.
Used some canvas on this layout which was for a challenge set by Craftystash Workshop which was supposed to have been last weekend but was sadly cancelled - get well soon Tracie. Got the old sewing machine out of mothballs also. Reckon if I left it out , I'd sew on every layout. Sewed some journalling lines - might try this again soon as I really liked how it turned out.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Birthday Boy

My baby is 10 today. Double figures - how daunting.
True to form , when asked how he'd like to spend it he said he didn't mind so long as it was with his family.
Present opening in bed, pancakes for breakfast, a quick trip to Thorpe Park ( thank goodness for annual passes ) and home for tea and birthday cake. Perfect ... apart from having to queue for half an hour to be turned upside down in something called Zodiac. I think today must have been 'Get in free to Thorpe Park' day or maybe they were just handing out free tenners on the door. Anyway it felt like the entire world was there besides us , hence the queues. And here was me thinking that most school hadn't broken up for Sumer yet or maybe just 2 million kids decided to play truant on the same day.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Things My Children Have Taught Me

I may be getting on but I'm still able to learn something new every day , this old dog can indeed be taught new tricks.

My children are a constant source of amazement to me. I adore the way they see things in an uncomplicated way without the jaundice that comes with advancing age. It's too easy to be cynical these days, trying to find the positive side is so much harder but worth the effort.

Here are 3 random things I've observed in the last 24 hours alone...

* Simple Pleasures - a bowl of popcorn can bring squeals of delight
* Anticipation - remembering that it's your birthday in 13 days time and better still your party at the weekend can produce an ear splitting grin
* Finding Time - to stroke the cat and tell her that you love her

Today therefore , I'm going to make myself some popcorn, count up the days til my birthday and stroke the cat and tell her to get off the bed and stop leaving hairs everywhere ... then I'll tell her that I also love her.