Friday, July 30, 2010

Hanging Basket Extras!

Dad always makes the most fantastic hanging baskets, we have never let him forget the year that he 'supplied' cannabis plants to the whole of the neighbourhood. (He had put the baskets outside to harden off directly underneath a bird feeder, seems there were cannabis seeds in the feeder, the rest is history) We thought that was the end of exotic plants, the last few years have been a lot less exciting or illegal!!
We have two baskets by our front door, both are looking good. Both looked as if they just had your standard flowers in them, that was until the one in the above picture decided to swing around a bit in the breeze and reveal its secret.
It seems that this year dad is branching out into vegetable hanging baskets, we have a fine specimen of a potato plant hiding in the background!!! I have no idea how that has happened and on speaking to dad, neither has he!!
This afternoon I am waiting on the return of my son and heir, he has been camping with the scouts. I am expecting a whole load of muddy dirty washing plus tents and bedding all smelling of wood smoke and grass. I can't wait!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Don't you just LOVE summer???

Summer for me is usually all about rain and dodging the rain, this year however we finally have a summer, we finally have had a spell of dry and very hot weather. Its glorious I just wish I didn't have to work.
This year for the first time we have tried out these little bushy sunflowers, we have grown them in pots and they have been fantastic.They really add a splash of colour at ground level!! I hope to be able to collect some see for next year.
Dads hanging baskets this year are packed with begonias the colours are stunning. The strange thing is he had a mixed bunch of tubers but we have managed to end up with mostly red and he has mainly got all the yellow ones!!
Lobelia the beautiful blue plant, seems to attract a load of insects, mainly bees!
Lillies in a neighbours garden.
Finally TOMATOES!!! My favourite all time fruit/vegetable. I can't live without Tomatoes. It is the food of the Gods!! Although these are in dads green house, I have got the drop on him, mine growing in a basket outside are already red!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Two not so Little girls!!

Beth and Megan have known each other forever and although they sometimes blow hot and cold they do get on and when they are together manage to talk non stop for hours on end. They are both quite keen on being photographed so its nice for me to still have some willing models. They are a month apart age wise with Megan being the eldest. In these photos Megan was showing off her smart new hairstyle!
When I look at these photos it takes me back to a time when I was their age, playing with my friend Madeline, no trampolines back then, but we did go for picnics in the hay barn and play on the hay bales!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Lazy Sunday morning.

Yesterday afternoon was a welcome relief from all the ongoing hassles in my life at the moment. We went to see Debbie and Malcolm and were surprised to fin that the time just flew by, good company, good food and the next thing you know its 10.30pm !!
We had our horn off and I am pleased to report that my horn is bigger than 'his' horn, although we were all out horned by Georgie (aka Lisa Simpson) who has a saxophone which completely drowned out our horns. Tom received a belated birthday present of a beer mug with a built in horn!!! Seems a shame that we won't be able to take our horns on holiday with us! We have however devised a bit of fun for Florida, but I will not reveal our plans until I have completely sorted out all the elements!!
Carl and the cubs and scouts have arrived at camp, and I am pleased to say that Tescos have delivered the food , which was a bit of a worry as non delivery would have been a disaster!!
Today Beth has a friend for a sleepover, so best I get sorting myself out!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Mum.

On the 21st of July it was Mums 75th Birthday. It had been a pretty eventful week which started last weekend with her not feeling well and ending up in hospital all day on the Sunday with an overnight stay while they tried to work out what had happened. She was convinced that she would be sending another birthday in hospital, but we managed to get her released in time!!
We are hoping that she is on the road to recovery but she is finding things hard going and has been under the weather and miserable all week. I hope the tablets kick in soon and she starts to pick up.
We took the birthday cake around and rather than put on 75 candles and cause a melt down I was inventive and put seven single candles and a number 5 off of my 50th birthday cake!!!
Well school is out for the summer which is good as it means that life can slow down a bit particularly for Beth and Tom. Beth has fallen on her feet and has picked up a load more shifts at school life guarding. One of the other guards has decided that he doesn't want to do it anymore so she has taken up a lot of his shifts. So she will be rich by the end of the summer and it teaches her responsibility. She is going to save her money and over a few years hopes to save up enough to learn to drive and buy a car. (a good few years away but great ambition!!)
Carl  has been really busy preparing for Scout and Cub camp. For the first time he has organised everything and its been a huge feat of endurance!! There has been loads to do. They decided on an army theme so we have been making laminated dog tags and various other associated 'stuff' for the past couple of weeks. I just hope that the weather holds and that their food all arrives (delivered by Tesco direct to the campsite!!!)
I am looking forward to a nice relaxing afternoon with our friends Deb and Malc. I am hoping for a 'horn off' with Malc!!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Prize Giving!

We were very proud last week when we went to school prize giving where Beth won an award, Beth won the Derek Coughlan Trophy for Sportsmanship.
I quote -' The winner of the Derek Coughlan Trophy shows great sportsmanship at all sporting fixtures. She is always the first person to congratulate her team mates and opposition on a good performance, shakes hands with the opposition and thanks the members of staff for officiating at her matches.
 This years winner is Beth!
Beth was presented with her prize by Father Alan Neville.
We are very proud of all she has achieved this year. Well done Beth!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Bring on the Hearts!

Along with the cup cakes I stamped some multi coloured hearts with chalk ink and sparkled them up a bit with glitter glue, again very simple but I like them!!
Its nice using the darker colours, green is always my favourite choice.
I do like making cards, its therapeutic!!
Hope you all have a good week, don't work too hard!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Blowing Bubbles

There is something about blowing bubbles that captures the essence of summertime. We bought a giant sized bottle of bubbles with a super sized wand and spent part of the hot sunny afternoon sitting on the trampoline blowing bubbles! I can't believe how blue the sky looks!
These are fresh out of the camera, untouched photos!! its amazing what good weather can do for your photography skills!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Quick Card Making

I seem to go through times when I do a lot of one kind of thing, this weekend its been so hot that I sat in front of the fan and made cards. During the week I stamped out some cute little cup cakes, I have no idea who makes the stamps, but they come in individual pieces so you can mix and match them. I like the little sprinkles that you can put on the cakes, which I then touched with glitter glue. So this card is simple, but actually looks pretty effect  in the flesh!!
I am a fan of less is more, I am not afraid of the wide spaces on cards!! The little greetings discs are from craft creations. The patterned paper is from a pad called Nana's kitchen by DCWV. (my bargain from Dunelm mills)

This paper is from a pad that I have had for ages, its running a bit short now so I am worried what I will do once its run out!!!

I tried a couple of cards with darker colours .

After making cards there are always lots of little bits left over, I cut them all into little squares and made them into a card of their own. I also stamped some hearts last week and I will post those later in the week.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Its Sooooooo hot!!!!

There are lots of ways of keeping your cool and a nice icy dessert is one of them!! This week has been super hot with most days being in excess of 26C. It has made work a real slog and to be honest everything else a slog as well!
On Tuesday evening we went out for our girls night out, we ended up at the crooked chimney and for some reason it was packed. We ordered our meal and sat down to chat, we didn't mind waiting as we had plenty to chat about! However we were some what surprised when our main course arrived as we hadn't had our starters. The waitress was very apologetic and I think that was the reason we were served these huge puddings!! Eton Mess is a concoction of cream, strawberries and meringue, this version also had some strawberry mousse in it, it was lovely but too much, none of us could finish it.
Some good came of the night, we finally decided to book our weekend away in December, we are heading back to Ypres in Belgium. We made a quick visit last year but this time we are staying there so we will be able to look around the shops (for Sandra) and look at doing a battlefields tour (for the rest of us!!)
Yesterday was the school fete.It was boiling hot and as always the most popular stall is the 'soak a teacher'
I think Beth must have spent most of her money on there. This year she was handicapped with her splint, but she used her left hand and was just as deadly! In the end she bought a bucket full and chose her target, I love this action shot!!!
This week at school it was Beth's sports day, she was pretty fed up because she wasn't able to join in, she couldn't throw as she is right handed and she couldn't run in case she slipped and landed on her hand so she was stuck with watching. Sports day is an inter form event and last year her form had come 2nd. They really wanted to win this year but it was very tight on the points. Beth finally persuaded her teacher to allow her to throw the discus with her left hand, that way the class would get a point for having someone enter. Her first two shots were very short, it was difficult swapping hands. The third shot however was a good one, she threw 12m 60 cms, (her right hand distance is 19m) This distance was enough to win the competition and for her to be awarded 3 points. We found out yesterday from her teacher that the class won the sports day by - just 3 points!!!They were very pleased that she had entered.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Perfect Peonies!

Mum and Dad bought me some beautiful flowers, peonies are one of those flowers that takes me back to my childhood. At our old house Dad always grew bushes of deep red peonies. They were stunning but the slightest breeze or rain fall would cause all the petals to fall. I had forgotten about that memory until I received these flowers.
They look like roses, I like the way they look so frilly!
We have been enjoying some wonderful weather, the flowers look fantastic against the bright blue sky.
This year I have been enjoying my garden, I have even planed a couple of extra perennial plants, I think they will add that little bit of extra interest when the bloom next year.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I have gone card mad!

You know how it is, you go ages without making a single thing and bang, something flicks a switch and you are off again. Well today freshly inspired by easel cards I decided to make a few more. I am particularly taken by the papers from American Crafts, I was given a couple of sheets and the one I have used above is called Puddle by Dear Lizzie. I can't remember who makes the stamps, but they are really versatile and I have used them loads. The greeting it from Craft work cards.
In the same theme I have used one of the spare 'Gorjus' prints and used it with some plain paper which I have punched with a couple of Martha Stewart punches.
I really have used every single scrap of the Puddle paper, I used the last little bit on this card along with a heart shaped punch out and another greeting from craft work cards. I might have now exhausted my take on easel cards!!!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

My Garden

This year we have carried out a few jobs around the house and garden, we have replanted some of the grass, which was doing quite nicely until the unexpected hot dry spell that we are going through, stopped the grass growing and turned it a lovely shade of brown. I think its dead and if it doesn't recover we will have to reseed it again in the autumn.
Last year we planted some new clematis plants and they are now blooming, these beautiful purple flowers have done particularly well there are 32 buds still waiting to come out!
I am not sure what this one is, its pretty and it attracts bees and butterflies, its tall and moves gracefully in the breeze. Does anyone have any idea what it is??
This little flower is pretty but not head turning, its strength lies in its heavenly scent which wafts around in the warm evening air, its called Nicociana or scented tobacco plant.
This is my favourite rose plant, a hybrid tea rose called Oranges and Lemons, it doesn't have any scent but its absolutely stunning to look at. Its a shame that it flowers so little, I look after it, feed it and still it remains spindly. I enjoy it while its there.
I love lavender, I now have several bushes in the garden. I love the scent and the way it carries in the air. This particular bush is very lush and seems to get bushier the more that you pick the flowers.

Finally my only edible plant this year, a hanging basket full of mini tumbling tomatoes. I love tomatoes and you can't beat the flavour of a home grown freshly picked, warm from the sun tomato. I still have a while to wait for these to be ready for eating, but they will be lovely!

Monday, July 05, 2010

A 'Blue Peter' Badge!!!

Beth is an avid Blue Peter fan and for some time now has been trying to acquire a coveted Blue Peter badge. Blue Peter has been around for ages, I can remember myself wanting the same thing when I was a little younger than her. Every Christmas I used to get a BP annual and there was always a competition to enter. In those days it was a simple competition, I can remember spending days trying to make as many words as possible out of the words, Blue Peter. Back then we did not have the use of computers so all the work was a slog. It was so worth it if it resulted in a coveted Blue Peter badge!!
Beth has finally been awarded a badge. She sent in a poem about life in the war years, quite some time ago. Yesterday a package arrived complete with a nice letter and the much desired badge. Well done Beth, I must try and find mine!!

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Cards from The Craft Extravaganza.

While at the QVC craft Extravaganza I was lucky enough to be able to try out some new things for me and some news kits and crafts. The card above is an easel card, which looked to me to be quite complicated but is actually quite simple. If I was doing it in my own time, I would have made sure things lined up a little better, but I am happy with what I managed to achieve in the short time we had. The card above was made from Kanban goodies, including a stamp from their elegant ladies range.
I then made a card using the Gorjus range of images, I do like the images but I never thought that I would ever be using the term 'twisted pyramage' as something that I would do!! Again if I had completed this card at home I would have made sure the little spots where the cuts outs were attached to the card were removed. That said I do love the images and its something I might try again.
This card looks better in real life than it does in the photo. This was one made using a mini kit from Stix. This had a variety of double sided shapes and metallic foils which we used to cover the shapes, it is three dimensional as the flower hangs over the blue circle behind. I think it needs something else to finish it, but again it was something made within time constraints!
This is my favorite one, there is a new product due out on the market called 'Silkies' (I think) they come in packs of four colours in little bottles that look like nail varnish. They can be used for a variety of things and can be used on a wide range of things, so I think they have good potential. I made this card by sponging the colours over a template onto shiny card. Its very effective and I can see that it could have a variety of uses. Its one of the products that I might well look at when it hits the market.