Tuesday 23 February 2010

War and Peace....

... right, I will warn you now - this will be an epic post, so go make yourself a cuppa and make yourself comfortable, as you could be a while... or alternatively, just scroll down and look at a couple of pictures instead ;)

Life has been full steam ahead in the House of Yoo just lately. The kids were on half term break, so the holiday ritual of haircuts and Scribbles took place on the Friday. Scribbles is the kids favourite place to eat, mainly because of the legendary Scribbles sundae. It's not the fanciest sundae in the world - double choc chip cookies, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce - I think it's appeal is because it can be ordered in a child sized portion, so they get one each!! Unfortunately for them this time we didn't do puddings, just a main course.
Tom went on a playdate on Monday with one of his old classmates. They spied us sitting in the afore mentioned eatery, and we arranged it there and then. So we had one happy boy!
Saturday, I decided it was a good day to tackle the garden. We haven't touched the garden since moving in in October (apart from Mark ripping out some probably very beautiful climbers which were covering an unsightly garage wall, but thats by the by) so it was untidy to say the least. I am wanting to plant a herb garden, and to put some raised beds in to grow some veggies. This is the plan. Whether it happens or not is another matter. But at least the garden is now weed free, and spikey plant free. And no before or after photos of this either. Plus I ached all over...
So whilst Tom was out on Monday, Mark and I set to and painted the sunroom. In Heather Bloom 6. Didn't take as long as we planned, mainly due to prior preparation and lots of masking tape. We forgot to take a "before" photo. Never mind.
Tuesday, the kids went back to school. And we dug out the pasting table to attempt to hang wallpaper on one wall in the newly painted sunroom. It was sort of a success - the top of the paper is scrappy in places, and one piece seemed to creep across a bit after hanging, leaving a join line. Still working on how we can disguise this. But not bad for a first effort. Now, I have managed to get a photo of the "after"....

Normal life resumed after all that decorating frenzy, with food shopping, and work and stuff. Mark was back to work on the Thursday, so I managed to catch up with the housework. All was going fine, until the wee small hours on Friday, which I spent mostly in the en suite with my head down the loo... I was thinking it was food poisoning, or just me eating a big meal too late, but Mark has since had a tummy upset too, so I think it was a bug.
Friday was a complete wipeout, and I called in sick to work, there was no chance I could manage a shift. And to add to it all, we had 2 inches of snow fall in about an hour on Friday morning. More white stuff. Deep joy. Good job I bought those sledges in Asda on Wednesday...

So onto this weekend. Saturday I felt a bit more human. Tom had a party in the afternoon, and he went dressed as a "ninja spy". He then went to a Beaver Scout sleepover in a local village hall - 17 7 & 8 years olds, didn't envy their leaders one bit!! They did alot of activities, on an alien theme, including decorating biscuits, making masks and space ships, and bizarrely eating alien food. It turns out that alien food was different foods covered in chocolate. There were grapes, strawberries, sausages and cheesy puff ball crisps....hmmm. Tom said they tasted OK, and that sausages in chocolate were actually pretty tasty... But I don't think they'll be on my meal planner somehow... I picked him up Sunday morning, so we could go to the Founders Day/Thinking Day service at the local church. Mark and Jemma were marching up from the harbour, and we just missed the parade.

After the service, and lunch at home, I went to Tescos and then met Mark and the kids at the beach at Lossiemouth. It was a beautiful afternoon - bright blue skies, glorious sunshine and snow on the dunes. I've never walked on a beach with snow on it before. The kids were leaping off the dunes as per usual, and then we walked back on the river side of the dunes. Tom was fascinated with following rabbit tracks, but we couldn't seem to find any holes!! There were a lot of icy puddles, and the kids picked up large pieces of ice - which looked alot like sheets of glass - and practised reverse punches and roundhouse kicks on them. And guess what?? I forgot the camera.
We then headed to the ice cream shop - yes ice cream in February. I didn't partake in the activity, but the other 3 had a cone each. Tom managed to wear most of his. He even got some on his hat. Don't ask. He truly is a ming magnet.
It's taken me a while, but I'm finally getting over the obsession I had of taking the camera everywhere, and seeing our life through the viewfinder instead of being involved in stuff. If I'd have had the camera at the beach, I'd have probably got some cool shot of the kids jumping off dunes and breaking ice, but then I wouldn't have been spending the time walking across icy puddles myself and feeling the ice crack under my boots, or throwing ice into the river to see if it floats. Yes, I regret not getting a few shots of the snow on the sand, and how the dunes looked against the sky, but I'm sure I'll have other days. I have realised I don't have to take photos of everything we do. I have more than enough photos to keep me scrapbooking for many many years even if I never took another photo again! Before I scrapbooked, I took photos. Photos of stuff, of people, of pets, of places, of occasions. I didn't feel the need to take a photo of everything. Sometimes being a scrapbooker made me feel that something didn't actually happen unless I took photographic evidence of it. And then it would be a series of photos of said event. Through reading Photo Freedom, and trying to implement Stacy Julian's photo organisation system, I can see that I have million beach photos - the whole of my married life I have not lived further than 5 miles from the sea, whether it is the North Sea or the Mediterranean, so I have a lot of beach photos - so one trip to the beach without the camera is not the end of the world. And Tom attracts mess as a normal 7 year old does, so I am sure there are going to be many more opportunities for photos of a food covered face LOL. And with 3 scouting members in the family there are going to be many many more parades :)

I know I am documenting my life in other ways - my daily diary, and to some extent this blog. Documenting our life is not always about the photos, but words can be just as effective. I am a big fan of journalling on my LOs anyway.

I did take some photos this week, and this is one of them.

Whilst tidying the garden, Mark found these little chaps scattered around the various flower beds. I can remember seeing one in the rockery not long after we moved in, but in the end he found 5 of the critters, so we now have our own colony of meerkats LOL. And here they are enjoying the snow. Now, that's a LO in the making...

And speaking of LOs, I do have one to share. That is if anyone is still with me at this point.

This is another Photo Freedom inspired LO. Flicking through my storage albums I found some photos of Jemma with various stuffed toys. "A -ha" I say, and bingo, a LO on her tendency to take toys on nearly every trip we took out of the house...

I based the LO on a sketch in February 2010's issue of Creating Keepsakes. The paper is Prima, with some Bazzill card, PaperMania alphas for the title and the felt flower is one kindly sent to me by my Michigan buddy Sharon.

So, I'll get down off the soap box and back to the ins and outs of daily life. If you made it this far without falling asleep, then congratulations, go treat yourself to a chocolate biscuit or a stiff drink, whichever seems the most appropriate ;) And maybe I'll see you here again :)



Thursday 11 February 2010

Big fish, little fish....

.... cardboard box??? Not quite LOL.

I am a regular visitor to the PageMaps blog and they are currently running a competition to create a layout using the sketch provided. Now I LOVE PageMap sketches, and I use them alot, in fact I doubt if I'd get as many pages done without them. So, for once, I thought I would bite the bullet and give the competition a shot :) So here goes....

I flipped the sketch so it was a mirror image. It just seemed to look better that way LOL. I have used up a few of my scraps again, mostly Scenic Route, and a piece from an old Colorbok stack I bought when I first starting scrapping. The title is AC Thickers - the raw chipboard ones, which I painted and inked and then added some diamond glaze to make them look watery... The embellishment is Maya Road, again painted, inked and glazed. The stitching I did using a Bazzill stitching template.

I love the photo of the boys, and the colours of that pool were just amazing - that's a Mediterranean summer for you! I have literally hundreds of shots of the family in this pool, and all are turquoise LOL - *sigh* I miss Gibraltar so much.


More cards...

... February is a busy month for family birthdays, so I thought I would use some time over the weekend to get organised with my cardmaking for the month.

The first card is for my sister, who is 30 at the end of the month, although in my eyes she is always my baby sister. I used the Manga Fairy from Sugar Nellie, and a sketch which I squirrelled away in a folder but have no idea whose it is - I do know that it is one of the Sugar Nellie DT, so it could be either Tiets or Marlene... I used K&Co papers :)

The second card is for my mother in law, and again I used a sketch, and again I have no idea whose it is LOL. But it is most likely to be the same as before, so either Tiets or Marlene from the Sugar Nellie DT :) I used a Gorjuss girl stamp on this one, and some BG papers. Oh and my Martha Stewart butterfly punch :)

I also managed to get some scrapping done too - I went through one of the storage albums I have and found some photos of Tom in a school assembly. The boy was a complete star that day, having a whole side of A4 to read out - considerably more than the rest of his class mates. His reading has always been his forte, he has been a phenomenal reader, and this assembly let him show off his strengths. We were obviously proud at his achievements, but a few other parents in the class were gobsmacked... Their poor teacher at the next parents evening had a lot of parents asking why their little Johnny wasn't reading like Tom did in that assembly...
I used a PageMaps sketch for this one, a 8.5 x 11 double from October 2009.

Things are slowly progressing on the decorating front - Mark is on leave this week, and we have been picking paints and wallpaper to transform the sunroom :) The kids are on half term from Friday to Monday, so the painting will begin on Tuesday ;) I am hoping that the weather doesn't work against us, and at least stays dry, so that we can get out of the house over the weekend. Mark is taking the kids to the cinema on Sunday to see Astroboy - Tom loves that he has machine guns in his butt (not Tom, Astroboy!!!) and has been asking to see this movie for weeks.
I'm at work over the weekend, so won't be going - I am predicting a busy weekend, with Valentines Day and Chinese New Year. Plus there is a Dine in Meal for 2 offer on, and its the Valentines special - 3 courses, wine, chocolates or a rose all for £20, a bargain ;) So by the end of Sunday night I will be shattered LOL.