Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Gardening With a Twist

Hi everyone, I hope you all had a terrific holiday weekend. I certainly did! I love it when we get a Monday holiday, it makes the rest of the week seem nice and short.

The sun was actually shining all day Saturday and for part of Sunday and Monday. That's the most sun we've had all year so far and no..I'm not joking. So, it seemed the ideal time to start to tame our garden again. I mowed grass, trimmed paths, planted some things and in general cleared away the last evidence of the garden's winter sleep.

My camera was out and each new flower, bee or butterfly set the shutter clicking. I had a great time and added lots of photos to my stash. I remarked to my DH that I was always behind the camera and I really needed to start getting someone to take the odd photograph of me. I am fast becoming the missing link in our family albums. In a few generations they'll start to believe that I was a myth or mystery due to my absence from the pages.

I instantly regretted it! "No time like the present" DH said and then it was like having a stalker around the garden. Me in my gardening clothes, trying to look natural..not posed. It wasn't a great success and after a while I sarcastically asked him if he wanted me to pose in Lilly's bird Bath...we have so many of Lilly there.

He thought it was a brilliant idea...he would!! So, anything to get the photos over with and I could return to my gardening in know me....I  obliged. Now here comes the BUT folks.......I forgot the bird bath had been moved for the mowing and I hadn't put it back properly. I had thought I would fix it later (that'll teach me to do it there and then). The result was, I sat...the bird bath didn't!! It was a bit like Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall, except there were no kings men to the rescue!! Needless to say my DH couldn't stop laughing, he really howled...after he had got his "action shots" that it is. My dignity was a little bruised but after the initial bang no harm was done...and after all it's just about on par with the chaos I normally cause. So nothing new there either!

Have look for's not one of my finest moments!!


Going, going



My photographs just seem to pile up, so I set to work adding to Lilly's album. I wanted to use some other designers stuff that I have collected instead of making everything myself. I trawled through my stash and decided to use a photo mask by Carjazi Designs as the base of the page. In fact I enjoyed playing with the masks so much that I made a few of my own too. The picture is one of a sleepy Lilly, she was really tired and just about to have her bath and go to bed....note the soother in her mouth.  


Credits: Background Paper from Get Doggy by Irene Alexeeva, Photomask by Carjazi Designs, Sheep, Sheep Paper and word art by me, Font Mistral.


Before I go, today's little gift is a mask to cut your photo's into shape. It's easy to use as a clipping mask to "cut the photo to the shape of the mask. I use Photoshop CS2 and this is how I do it:

1. In photo shop open the mask and the photograph you want to use.

2. Move them into a new file (or the file you are working with). Make sure the mask is on the layer below the photograph.

3. Make the photograph layer the active one by clicking on it and then press Alt+Ctrl+G for the clipping mask.

And there you have it!! You can move the photograph layer around until you have it just how you want. Have fun!! You can use the mask for personal/S4H and CU.




You can download the mask here on 4shared

or here on Media Fire

Take care and have a great week!!!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Affirmations Work!

Hi all. It's a long post today as I have lots of little bits to share, a lovely layout, an other of my oops moments, a site to check out and a little gift. Loads of things!

What do you think of this gorgeous page? I love it!! Kim from Kim's Scrapping sent it to me using the Mary, Mary Kit and pictures of Lilly and Charlie. Kim is a wonderful designer and scrapper as well as being a very good friend. Thank you Kim for yet an other beautiful page for Lilly's album. This pages says it all about Charlie and Lilly...friends fur-ever. Great word art!

Friends Fur-Ever

Now, my oops moment. I really need to stop having these before they lock me up or stop me going out alone!!

This is how it happened.......

On days when I'm feeling under par, or just plain unsure I affirm. I can hear you asking "You what?".  No, it's not some weird and wonderful strange habit! As if I have strange habits!! What I do is pick a phrase, sentence or similar that describes how I want to feel, not how I do feel and repeat it...over and over and over again! Yes, it's monotonous but it works for me. A real mood changer.

Yesterday I felt a bit wishy washy and not in the mood for, the answer was to pick a phrase and change my mood. The ideal group of words was "I'm happy and bright and the day is just right". Ok, I didn't say it would be poetry..just a phrase. Of I went walking to the chemist to pick up my sons prescription.

"I'm happy and bright and the day is just right" I repeated silently in my head as I walked. I don't really think about the phrase as I do it. I just repeat it parrot fashion...I sort of brain wash myself into being positive. But........(yes, I know..with me there is ALWAYS a but) what I didn't realise was the quiet path wasn't as deserted as I thought.

The path runs alone the road but behind a lovely deep bed of shrubs. It felt quite pleasant...... it was being to work!!! I was at the end of the path near the chemist, when out of nowhere a cheery voice said "You're a real little ray of sunshine my dear". My ears perked up and for a brief moment I thought I was hearing disembodied voices. I have to admit it sent a chill up my spine, until I turned around and saw the elderly man behind me. Thank goodness, it was a real person!

He looked me in the eye and grinned "I'm happy and bright and the day is just right". What!! He knew my phrase!! I was this guy a mind reader or worse still...the chill was back, big time!! I think he must have noticed the panic flit across my face and my flaring nostrils because he gave a chuckle and told me that he had walked behind me down the path, listening to my chant. Nothing weird, just my large mouth letting me down again!! I had been saying it out loud!!

He was a lovely old gent and we shared a laugh when I explained my phrase for the day. But before we went our separate ways he said he hoped the phrase worked for me as it certainly had for him! Lol!! Now that's what I call a result...two happy people!!

A site for you to visit is Glynis's Photoblog. She very kindly invited me to post some of my photographs on it and I was delighted to join in. I picked some pictures that were taken on my forest walks last year showing some of the animals and plants I encountered. Glynis's blog is a great place to pick up some free photo images, all copyright free. The site is in aid of charity so if you like the images and decided to use any of them you can donate if you want...but it's not compulsory as all images are free to use.

Those of you who have stuck with me and are still reading, thank you!! It's a long one I know, but you will not go's gift time. Today it's one that is for Personal, S4H and Commercial use. It's little flowers with a string edge. The download incudes the example borders, 4 coloured examples, a Psd grayscale file and a Psd flower have fun and be creative!!


You can download them here at 4shared

or here at Media Fire

Well, it's getting late and so I'm off to get some rest. Take care and see you soon.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

What a Mad, Mad World!

I fixed it!! Hurrah!! Finally after a system restore and reinstall, removing programs and a hair pulling session or PC is running well again. I have written myself a reminder it reads "If it's not broken...don't fix it!" I need to leave it in a prominent place in case I forget the last few days of grief!!

I know that the world is a strange pace but this week I have read so many news items that have proved the point that the world is MAD!!

The first was about a woman of 66 years old who was pregnant. I know that everyone has the right to choices in their lives but I can't help but think this has to have been a selfish one. I know...I'm being judgemental, for that I apologise...but, what about the child? When it's 3 years old it's mother will be 70 years old, more a grandparents age, or even a great grandparents age. Who will look after it when she is 80 years old and the child is only 14 years old. Then there's the energy issue..have you tried to keep up with a toddler or a teenager? Yep, I know a lot of you have and even at a young age they run you ragged. Imagine if you were elderly. I know the maternal urge is strong but nature makes things so that we have our children when we are best able to care for them.  I'm not 66 but I also feel that at my age I may make a good grandparent but as a parent of a young child on a permanent basis , year in year out....I would be frazzled!!

An other story that caught my eye was of a 7 year old girl who is a radio agony aunt, advising people on their relationship problems. What is this!!! How can a 7 year old have the experience to advise adults on their relationships? Apparently she advised one lady in a troubled relationships to move on and hit the town as men weren't worth the hassle. What is this radio station thinking of and more to the point who in their right mind would call in for advice from a 7 year old!!! It's scary!!

There was one little news item, that crazy as it sounds, proves to me that there are still some imaginative, caring people out there. It's the story of some bald chickens, yes chickens. The Little Hen Rescue Centre in Norfolk, England rescues factory chickens that have stopped laying and are destined for a short life but...there's more than one problem in doing this.



Not only do they have to find homes for these little bald ladies, they have to make little jackets to keep them warm until their feathers grow back. That's where the public come in. On their web site they have patterns to either knit or sew cute little designer hen coats and they ask people to make some and send them in.





You may laugh, but they have managed to get 1,500 wooly jumpers for the hens in the last 2 months!!! The good news is that the chickens feathers grow back and they start laying again. How great is that!! I love it!!

Keep up the good work!! I may even make some myself, lets face it these poor little ladies have been abused to bring us cheap eggs and now it's their turn to have a free life. They deserve it after the nightmare they have been through. The centre have a big job on their hands as they are trying to rehome 10,000 chickens at the moment..that's a lot of chickens!! So check them out and get knitting!!

It may be a mad world, but there is still a lot of good out there. Crazy, but good. How do you see the world and what's crazy in your neck of the woods?

Before I go, a gift for you to help with your scrapbooking pages. I love overlays, any kind, textures, name it I love them, so here are some papers that I made from my stash.


You can download the Overlay Papers here at 4shared

or here at Media Fire

Have a great evening and get the knitting pins out those hens are waiting!!

Friday, 15 May 2009

Last Part Mary, Mary

Hi All. Tonight need to be a short fast post as I changed my virus scanner and the new one is causing havoc with my PC. I have some sort of a conflict that means my PC keeps freezing and stops everything!! With a bit of luck and a fair wind it will last until I post had better. Mind you this is my third attempt and I am getting mighty mad (steam coming out of my ears job).

Why, oh why, did I not let well along...but no I had to go and change things!! Hopefully I should get it sorted out soon, if not I will throw the PC through the window!!! We don't realise quite how much we depend on our computers until they start to play up, a bit like cars really. Thankfully my car is working well, so I suppose things could be worse, lol!!

It's the final part of Mary Mary for your to download tonight. I hope you have fun with it. If you missed the first two parts of the kit then scroll down and get the links in the previous posts.


You can download Part 3 here from 4shared

or here from Media Fire


Be good and have a great weekend!!


Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Red Faced Day and More Mary Mary

Before I confess to my red faced "yes" experience, I just have to give Tragedy Anne a plug.  That girl is a source of boundless energy and talent, always on the go. The real news is that she and Diana (Freestyle Mama) have started a new blog and store to showcase their terrific Scrap4Hire and Blog Makeover services. It's called Keepsake Creators AND they have a competition running with chance for you to win a custom 4x6, 10 page brag book ready for printing. So if your feeling lucky drop by and have a look.



Okay, now my red face has turned back to normal after my embarrassing experience..when I yet again said "Yes" when in retrospect I should have said NO!! It's was one of those times when I knew I should shout "NO", as I was snowed under with other things but.....the gremlin was working overtime and "Yes" just popped out!! would only get worse.

I promised I'd tell and I will but it's under protest!! Lol!

It all started when a friend asked me if I could keep an eye on her cat whilst she was away for a few days. The usual thing feed it, change the litter tray etc. Straightforward if anything is straightforward when I step in. (I swear it's that gremlin again.)

I checked the first day and everything was good. The cat was normally out during the day but it's mum wanted it kept in whilst she was gone and hence the cat litter tray. I started to wonder what was wrong when on the second day the litter tray was still clean. Wow, this cat has some bladder control I thought. Second thought was the cat was sick!! Eek, not on my watch it doesn't!! I searched around to see if he had gone in the corner but nothing and there wasn't any cat smell so I fed him and left.

It was on the third day that all became clear and the litter tray mystery was resolved. Dear kitty had decided that it was an outdoor moggy and litter trays were sissy....large indoor planters were much more his style, dirt and all that. I nearly died...there was not a lot of smell until I started trying to repair the damage and then...all hell broke loose and it smelt like he had been burying dead things in there...or worse!! Well, it was worse, or it smelt like it to me.

"Okay, breath...don't panic" I told myself.  Don't panic, as if I would!!! But how would I explain the smell and by then the dead plants....okay, go ahead panic!!!! This needed superhuman more panic, what I needed was action!! What would I tell my friend..she would think I was a total incompetent who couldn't even look after a cat inside a house without disaster. Why had I ever said YES!!!! Gremlin...I will squeeze you so hard if I ever catch you!!

I rushed home and came back armed with a trowel, black bin bags and a large bag of new compost. The perspiration was by now spread across my forehead I don't do rushing around with heavy bags of stuff.

It was smelly and yucky in there but all the compost had to go. It was a struggle, those planters were big!! But I wrestled with them, got them emptied and rescued the plants one by one. All the time that naughty kitty was staring and watching me with a really evil eye. Believe me it was a two way thing..he stared and I glowered back!! I have to admit I was the first to blink, well I couldn't waste all day, I had a job to do...a nasty one at that.

Finally I had it fixed. I stood back and there were the planters...all redone and looking good and more to the point..smelling good.  At least if the plants died it wasn't my fault..and hopefully they would do it next week or later when the connection wouldn't be made to me!! I was dirty, stinky and a real health hazard but it was done!!

When my friend returned I casually remarked that her little Cutie had tried a couple of times to use the planters but I had stopped him. I had my fingers crossed behind my back as I said wasn't actually a lie but it wasn't all of the truth. I hate telling half truths but I did think that I should at least warn her discretely that kitty had a problem!! My face was really red and I felt like the kid caught with it's hand in the cookie jar. I just hope that she doesn't read my blog!!

Footnote: The plants are still alive!!

Thank you for bearing with me. Your patience will be rewarded..Part 2 of Mary, Mary is ready for downloading!


If your Collecting the Mary, Mary Kit you can download Part 2 here with 4shared

or here with Media Fire

There is still one more part to go to make the kit complete so don't forget to check back and get the final part.

Have a wonderful day/evening where ever you are.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Yes, I Mean No!


This last week bacon and I have had a lot in common, we both jump into the frying pan often! Life as usual was confused last weekend...lots happening and my inability not to know when enough was enough. I love to say yes to things but sometimes my body just gently reminds me that I am not as close to super woman as I would like to be....well, not so gently sometimes! This week was one of those times.

I really have to practice saying "No", but I'm sure that you all understand how it happens, you open your mouth and out comes "Yes". How does it do that? The message in my brain starts as one thing but by the time it reaches my's different. Personally I think there's a little gremlin in there who pulls the wrong lever just for the shear fun to see what chaos it can cause. My gremlin must have an overdeveloped sense of humour it does it so often. I'm sure that I must look surprised half the time when the word "Yes" pops out of my mouth, a bit like a puppy that discovers it can bark and scares itself when it first does it.

One of the good things at the weekend was my brother was visiting from Belgium with his kids and wife. It was lovely to see everyone again during the a big family lunch I did on Sunday. Lots of people, lots of cooking...but the good bit was everyone could chat and catchup over the meal. They don't make it over often and so the family all try to drop in over the weekend to see them.

My brother works in Brussels but they have a small farm with horse, sheep, chickens, pigs, llamas and alpacas. My SL breeds alpacas so they have quite a few!! My niece Sophie, who's seven, brought me a lovely basket with eggs she had gathered on Saturday morning before they left can't get fresher than that!!


The children had grown so much since I last saw them. It's just unbelievable how fast children can sprout up. I swear that they are part human, part weed, somewhere along the evolutionary chain the weed gene must have crept in.

Now for scrapbooking......this week I have made a new kit as a gift that you can collect over the next three posts. It's called Mary, Mary a bit like the nursery rhyme. It's got some flowers, rikrak, curly frames, bell flowers and of course Mary! Take a look.


You can download Part 1 of Mary, Mary here

I've only done a 4Shared link today as I can't upload to Media Fire at the moment...not sure why. Sorry about that!!

Edit: You can download with Media Fire here

Well, I'm off..back to the grind stone. Drop back and collect the rest of the kit in the next two posts.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Owl Cluster and Other Cute Things

 Life here is chaos as usual and today the lovely Lilly came back to stay for a few days. Charlie of course was overjoyed!! he spent all afternoon rushing around the garden entertaining Lilly with his antics. Eventually he wore himself out and Lilly was exhausted after laughing so hard at his peace reigned for at least five minutes and they sat quietly together on the grass just watching the world go by. It's lovely to watch them and see the pure joy on Lilly's little face. She is Charlie's heroine, he loves to entertain her and follow her around, his own little best friend.



Wild Child...rushing around the garden...well Charlie is, Lilly just laughs hard at his silly nonsense! Look at his ears flying as he does a running turn..that boy was really moving but he never knocked Lilly once. He loves to show off and she is his ideal audience.



Quiet reflection after all that energetic activity. How peaceful they both looked.



The wisteria behind the house is out and blooming beautifully. I love this plant, it winders above our dining room door and across the back wall of the house...and it has a perfume!! Pure bliss at this time of year as the wonderful scent drifts in through the door. It does have it's downside...the blossoms fall and walk straight in doors, but it's worth it.

Bedtime for Lilly was fast, her little head hit the cot and she was very quickly fast asleep. All the walking she did today and her fun with Charlie had worn her out, so this evening has been peaceful with time for me to clear away the remnants of the days fun..mess in other words!! But tomorrow will start early and it will be a long day. Where do these infants get their energy? I wish I knew and I'd get a double helping for me, a single on for Lilly. That way I would stand a chance of keeping pace.

Before I go I thought I would make today's gift something cute...I'm in a cute mood. So, it's an owl cluster, in two different colour schemes to add to your pages. Have fun!


You can download them here at Media Fire

or here at 4Shared 


Have a good day tomorrow and have some know it's good for you!!!

Friday, 1 May 2009

Tagged!! Now I Need to Think!

I know everyone will be busy with this weekend being NSD and there will be so many things to collect and pages to make..but it's Friday so I have a small something for you. It's okay for Personal, S4H and Commercial Use. You'll find it at the end of my post...a surprise!!

I was tagged this week by the lovely Kyra at With A Russian-Dutch Heart Design. (Kyra also has a great new kit on her blog that I think you may like. It's called Wishful Thinking.)

wishful thinking_russiandutchheart

Kyra's Kit Drop by and Check it out


Now.. the tag!! I needed to think on this one as I have to list things about me and what I've been doing. I have to admit that I seem to have recovered from my brain freeze earlier in the I managed it.


This is what I have come up with:

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To:

1. Summer

2. Seeing Lilly

3. Getting my website

4. Going to Charlotte's graduation in June

5. Charlie getting some sense (I won't hold my breath on that one!)

6. Feeling less tired and achieving some inner calm

7. Visiting the Yorkshire Dales

8. The world becoming a kinder place


8 Things I did Yesterday:

1. Got up later than I meant and had to rush! To much staying up late!!

2. Grabbed some toast and tea

3. Checked some old papers and took notes

4. Played with Photoshop (I wish this said "worked" not played!!)

5. Took some photographs of Charlie and Tigger

6. Did my Entrecard drops and read some great blogs

7. Made dinner for the boys

8. Went to bed usual!!


8 Things I Wish I Could Do

1. Visit my online friends Cindy, Kim and Tracy in the US, Linda and Chris here in UK and so many more!!

2. Concentrate and be productive when I design and not play!!

3. Give people hope when they see none

4. Go on a long road trip around Europe taking photographs

5. Make the sunshine!

6. Limit the number of things I say yes too!

   (I seem to find the word "No" hard to get off my tongue)

7. Stop Tigger hating Charlie so much!!

8. Make my girls well


8 Things That or Shows I have Watched

(This one was hard as I don't watch much TV )

1. The Lady Detective

2. Time Team

3. News

4. CSI

5. Who Do You Think You Are

6. The Black Book (in Dutch)

7. Midsomer Murders

8. The Mentalist

Now I have to tag 8 other people and they are...drum roll please!!

1. Glynis at Ghunibee Scraps

2. Kim at Kim's Scrapping

3. Mature but Not Senile

4. Tracy at Latte Dah Designs

5. PJ at PJ's Prose

6. Kandice at Colouraddiction

7. Swapna at Crafts and Cooking

8. The wonderful Grammology, full of wisdom

And before I go my gift to you. Its a set of three journaling brushes..only three...but I have done them as custom shapes and png files too. The examples are also included in the download.


You can download them here from Media Fire

or here from 4Shared

Have fun and enjoy NSD tomorrow!!!