Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Play time

Having a ball playing with my card making and ATCs and even started on "inchies". I want to set up some of my work on flickr but it is quite time consuming and I would rather play with paper and bits and bobs. When I have done it I will set up a link to this blog.

I have downloaded some images from which looks to be an excellent site with some great ideas.

Have made some Christmas cards for next year and have completed all 4 of the red and green ATC cards for a swap - just need to get a few "extras" that are lightweight enough to post abroad and then they can go in the post later today.

Today's blog prompt from is 'Where I've been, where I've lived and where I'd love to go'
I was born in Winchester, England and then when I was just a baby my parents emigrated to Australia. We lived in Melbourne for 4 years and then spent three years travelling up and down the east coast. I remember a cyclone in Townsville very vividly. We sailed back which took 6 weeks and I remember crossing the equator. We have lived in Essex, England ever since, although I have travelled again before I settled down where I am now. Sometimes my children are disappointed that they have only known one house but occasionally they admit that they like the solid roots that we have here. I would certainly encourage them to travel and I would love to travel more myself when I have more time and money. Before I settled down I went to France, Switzerland, Denmark, Holland, Scotland, Wales and Australia again. I do like the area that we are living in now and the house is okay. I would love a bigger house with a utility area and an indoor swimming pool (ah one can dream).

Places I would love to go to include Montana, US to see my aunt and the rockies and Canada and REAL snow. I would love to go on a cruise to see the Fjords and Iceland. We did consider emigrating to New Zealand - it looks to be a beautiful country and some say it is very much like England used to be. One day maybe.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Well that's another Christmas over!

Well that is another year over! We had a great Christmas day, just the five of us. Had to get the kids up at 10.30am to open their presents and ate too much at dinner time. Spoke to all the extended family members over the phone during the course of the day. Boxing Day we went to Andy's brother's family briefly and exchanged gifts then went on to his parents around the corner where we spent a wonderful day exchanging presents, eating too much and generally having a great day. Seven of us played Monopoly which was confusing to begin with then we amalgamated into three teams with twin brothers Andy and Simon winning the overall game. I think Simon was excited to win because he usually plays games with his neices and nephews and usually has to let them win! So I think he enjoyed winning fair and square!

We had brought Millie with us and she was very well behaved. We left Barney at home, he seemed okay enjoying the peace and when we got home was pleased to see us again. Still wobbly though. Will possibly take him to the vets on Monday, will see how he is.Barney and Millie AND Harry LOVE this bed! This is the three of them on the evening of Boxing Day chilling out.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone around the world.

Here is a little Christmas message from me, Andy and the dogs.

Here is the table layout that we plan for tomorrow's dinner.

I have completed and placed in envelopes five of the ATC swaps for swap bot. Went to post them today but the post office was closed. Will have to wait until Saturday now as they are for USA and Germany so ordinary UK stamps wont do. I have bout a special folder to put all my received ATCs in - so pretty pleased with that. I will have plenty of time over the holidays to make Christmas cards for next year and some ATCs for some swaps that I have signed up for.

Here is a picture of 4 ATCs that I have received this week. Thanks to those who took the time to make them and send them out. They are really lovely. The a and b are the start of an a to z swap that we will be doing over the next 13 months.

Poor Barney is unsteady on his back legs again today. Not sure if it is because he is outdoors at night and getting stiff or whether the inner ear infection that he had last Spring has returned. When he had the infection though he was listing to one side and his eyes would not stay still. Medication soon put him right. Not sure what to do, it will be 2 days without a vet to hand without costing a lot of money so just hope he will be okay over the next few days. Trying to keep Millie from bothering him is a full time job!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Sheffield collection

Well my attempt at an Asperger's Angel ATC was appalling so I made another one to send off and sent both of them explaining!

I have lots of projects on the go - several ATCs left to do. I have six ATCs to make for the free theme one so need to check the recipients profiles to see what sort of thing they like that needs to go off by 31 Dec, then there is the chocolate bar to send off at the endof the year as well, four red and green ATCs and 10 "inchies". I have never tried to make an inchie before- could be interesting! I will upload the finished project when I am done.

Have had a long day today, left at 9.22am to pick Sarah up from Sheffield. Exactly three hours and 200 miles later we arrived at the shopping centre where she works and had a wander around for two hours. She was ready early so we muddled our way across the city to her student accommodation and had some lunch and a cup of tea. Then we loaded up the car - I cant believe how much junk a teenager can have including a large suitcase full of dirty clothes because she hasnt done any washing for a month! Jeez. Unfortunately we got caught in a traffic jam on the way home for several hours so Sarah found some cider and some wine and we drank and chatted and played on our respective lap tops until we finally started moving again. Finally got home at 9.30pm. Pretty tired.

We saw a rainbow on the journey up. Here are two versions. One is just the boring picture and the other is one that I photoshoped.
Two more days of work and then I can have a whole week off, not back until Friday 2nd January. I hope to get a lot more scrapbooking done and all the above projects.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Bring me Joy

Today's blog prompt from Digital Scrapbooking place website as suggested by TinkZoe is the question "What things consistently bring you joy"
Not all my "things" are materialistic, but I am sure that still counts.

1. Cuddling up to my husband - feeling all snugly and safe with no urgent need to dash off and do some errand or other

2. Seeing my little puppy's sweet face as she pleads for some love or a treat/food. She is a handful - very excitable and exhausting, but even after having just cleared up after the latest "mess" just one little look from her and my heart melts.

3. Creating things out of paper etc. I just love to while away the hours making stuff - scrapbooking, ATCs and cards, knowing that when I give them to friends and family they appreciate the love and care that has gone into creating them.

4. Having my children around the dinner table and having long discussions about everything. This event has been rare of late with Andy not interested in cooking or eating and Sarah not being around - so dinner is usually not as enjoyable as it once was, not only because it is usually me cooking or buying a takeaway.

Take pleasure in the little things in life the larger ones don't seem so large.

Today I found out about autism angel. I am doing an ATC swap with the them of "angel". The person I am sending an ATC to teaches autistic children, so I thought I would google 'autism + angel' and came across various versions. One that I particularly like is this one. I will try to incorporate the design on to an
ATC for her.

Monday, 15 December 2008


Have just found out that some kind person has put together a list of all the DSP users who have a blog. WOW. Fantastic. It will take me hours to go through them all but will be brilliant because I know they all share the same love for digital creativity that I do.

Looking at DSP in the run up to Christmas there are loads of challenges and fun games.
This is what was listed on 15 December - it changes daily but gives you an idea.

Tink2Zoe has been giving everyone a daily prompt for their blog. Ihave only just picked up on this so am pretty behind. Maybe when I am off work I will try to make a scrapbook page for each day's blog prompt! Well it is an idea. Just need the time to fulfill it. Today's prompt is to consider "What modern convenience do you feel you could not live without?"
Well, we really are spoilt with all our gadgetry - funny how we still don't have enough time to do anything!!
I could not live without my laptop - I love the huge WWW world that it allows me to dip into. I learn so many new things everyday and get to "meet" loads of people I would never have known existed.
I love tea - so I guess it is the kettle and the teabag. Gotta have a cup of tea in the morning to get me started. Ever since I was a kid my mum always woke us up in the morning with a cup of tea. Now a colleague very kindly gave me her mum's old teasmaid and I use that to have a nice cup of tea in the mornings. Bliss.
With those to things I can achieve anything. Except housework - but that will always be there no matter what gadgetery comes our way - I will still have to wash the floor everyday!

I made a blinkie for the sunday scrappers chat - you can see it here:

Sunday, 14 December 2008


We had a great day today - took Barney and Millie for a walk around the woods. Let Millie off the lead as she comes when called and given a treat really well. She did very well until......

She had started to get a bit hyper - a sure sign that she was tiring towards the end of our hour long walk when we came upon a dog of her own size. She was scared of the bigger dogs. She wanted to play as did the other dog so we had to catch her as she would not comed when called. But apart from that we were really pleased with how things went - she is only 14 weeks old after all. She loved running around freely. The walk was quickly followed by a very much needed bath and a sleep whilst we popped into town for a few things.

I spent the afternoon making ATCs for the Swap bot website. Here are the ones I made today.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Not well today

Feel pretty rotten today. Have a nasty cold. All the kids are out, so the house is quiet. The dogs have finally settled down and Andy has had a bath and is upstairs watching telly, so definitly very quiet downstairs.

I slept in till 12noon, which was a wonderful treat. It is our 5th wedding anniversary so we went out for lunch at the Boatyard in Old Leigh. I had deep fried camembert, then sea bass and finished up with passion fruit cheesecake. Very nice and we had a window seat, although the sea was pretty rough. Andy had half a lamb shank and was very full afterwards.

We then went off to Lakeside as he had £50 voucher from work for Next. He wanted to get a nice dinner set for Christmas dinner and any dinner parties that we might one day hold! The plum one that we both liked only had 4 of each, we need at least 5 even if Sarah is not always here. So we settled on a black and white set and then got carried away and bought 8 black glass goblets and two long thin black candle stick holders.

Then we wrapped all our presents - so we are officialy "ready" for Christmas. YEAH.

Thursday, 11 December 2008


I have just completed 6 ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) and have sent them off to the US. At the end of December I will be sent 6 in return by someone else from somewhere in the world. These have the theme of Winter Solstice. My aim was to show that this is the end of the nights getting longer, soon the days will get longer and I can go to work in the daylight! Yipee

Monday, 8 December 2008

A walk in Hyde Park, London

Millie in Hyde Park

Andy and I took Millie into London on the train and underground. We were picking out our photo from the photo shoot three weeks ago. We decided on a really nice black and white one that is cropped close to our two faces. Afterwards we took Millie to Hyde Park which was really close to the Photo studio. Millie loved the walk and all the new sites and sounds. She behaved really well and we had a really lovely day. It was chilly but sunny. There was SOOOOO many people in London. I couldn't believe it. Loads of people came up and said hello to Millie and oohed and ahhed. On the way back she figured out that if she laid down on the floor on the underground train it wasn't quite so scary. On the overground train home she fell asleep on my coat on the seat. Ahhh bless.

Andy and Millie in Hyde Park

Andy and Millie on the escalator on the
London underground

I loaded up a layout to the digital scrapbooking place website for the Sunday scrappers challenge to create a layout solely intended to go crazy with elements so for this we had to make clusters galour and elements everywhere !!!! This is my version.

I'm off now to write all my Christmas cards and make a Christmas shopping list.

Thursday, 4 December 2008


I am so very tired. Have had a very busy week at work with every day being totally full on. Still only getting 4/5 hours sleep at night as Barney, my 13 year old dog keeps asking to be let outside for a pee. I must go to bed earlier! but there is always something that needs to be done.

Tonight I went to a card making class - black and white theme - will upload the images tomorrow. Really enjoyed it, went with a friend of mine and we both enjoyed just taking time out from our busy lives to have a "play" and a chat.

Then I put the finishing touches to my Edexcel Leadership coursework that is due in tomorrow. Have applied for a longer leadership course more coursework involved for next year - am I mad?? I think I must be.

Monday, 1 December 2008

On the first day of Christmas...

It is nearly Christmas. Now that it is finally 1st December we can start thinking Advent Calendars, Decorations etc. Maybe I am in the holiday mood already because we have managed to get all our Christmas presents already! YAY.

Here is a site to get you digital scrappers in the Christmas spirit - There are some great freebie kits here thanks to a whole bunch of generous designers.

Talking of getting all Christmassy - here are a few pictures of our Christmas decorations at the office. This is just the start - plenty more to come. There are 40 reindeer cuddly toys and more arriving daily!! Hee hee.

This year the penguins and polar bears have decided to invite themselves too, though obviously word has not got out to all of them yet as we only have 7 polar bears and 9 penguins. I am sure next year there will be more. I love Christmas decorations at work - they are so much fun!

I have recently started going on this website - where you can swap almost anything that you can make. I am starting off simple with post cards and Artist Trading Cards (ATCs). Here are two postcards on which I have randomly stuck a load of stickers that are going to make their way to two ladies in America. I am due to receive two postcards the same from two other ladies from America. It is cool to see the different types of stickers that people have in their "stash".

Sunday, 30 November 2008


It is Sunday evening and the usual routine at 8pm of me on DSP on the internet and Andy watching Top Gear. We Hve had a nice weekend. On Saturday I went to the 4th of 5 lessons of a short course in Indian Head Massage. I am really enjoying it. We take it in turns to give each other a head massage. It is nice and comfortable and it is okay to ask questions or make a mistake because we are all learning. Then we took the dogs for a walk round the woods. Millie loved running around and kept burying herself in the deep piles of leaves. It was very refreshing. This morning, despite getting up in the night a few times, I stayed in bed, proper, until 11.30am - BLISS. I took the dogs for a quick walk over the green, Millie is getting better at not chewing the lead but I must make time to take her out without Barney so she is not distracted and I can teach her to walk nicely.
We went Christmas shopping and have most
of the presents. Then I spent the rest of the
afternoon making an icebert. Yes you heard
me right. I am making a 2ft square ice berg
to display our penguin collection at work as
part of the office Christmas display. When it
is completed and decorated I will upload a
photo. Bet you can't wait!! Hee hee.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Sixth Form College

The past two evenings after work I have been going round Sixth Form Colleges with my daughter who will be doing her GCSEs this June and then going on to Sixth Form September 2009. She did have one college in mind for monhs as that is where her brother and sister went to, but after having looked around a different one (TM) last night she is keen to go there (TM) instead I think. It was a really nice school, she knows lots of people there already, though it is unlikely many from her school will go to the one we looked at last night. The great thing about it is that it is just up the road from where we live so that would certainly be useful with regards to travelling time and money. She is going to apply for the two and then she can make the final decision when her results come through in August 2009. It is a big step and I am so very proud that she is going to go ahead and do A levels. Her subject interests are English Literature, Media, Psychology and RE or Sociology or something else. She has her mock GCSEs next week, but has been doing very well so far, so I have high hopes for her to do well in her GCSEs in June.

The dogs are behaving well. I had the day off work today and had a bath this morning. Millie had a bath too after me. She is thankfully asleep right now, so I am enjoying the peace and quiet for the moment. Have to hoover and wash the floors but am loathe to move whilst it is quiet!!! LOL

On swap site I have just joined a swap where you swap your five favourite internet sites that you use regularly. I go on the internet every day at home and at work. Working as a medical secretary the sites I usually visit are to clarify spelling or meanings of medical terminology. At home the usual routine is to check out my emails, facebook, and swap bot and digital scrapbooking place.

I just love the internet and am fascinated with the amount of information that is out there. I chat daily to my daughter, who is 200 miles away at University, using MSN, email, facebook, and skype – all internet based communications. I have only this week started a blog on blogspot – it is not all that interesting but you are welcome to take a look -
I love to make scrapbook layouts both paper and digital. The digital scrapbooking site that I visit daily is There are loads of great tutorials and everyone is very friendly. The site is US based but there is a good number from Europe and other areas. The support from the users is fantastic. There are regular chats and challenges. The freebie kits make this a very cheap hobby, though of course you can buy kits if you wish to extend your digital stash. Organisation (filing) is very important though if you want to find something again.

One site that was discovered whilst on digital scrapbooking place is We all had great fun making word clouds and using them in our layouts. The great thing is the huge variety of fonts and colours and themes. Try it out, you will quickly become addicted!!
Following on from this I also came across another similar site which included a grungy background to words - have a look at the gallery for some inspiration -
An interesting site that someone from work emailed me about tells you practically everything you might want to know about your birthday – really interesting information - It has the usual info about birthday stones, flowers, colours, numbers but there are lots of international information too. Enjoy.

I have been researching my family tree for 20 years now and in recent years one site has been invaluable for extending the branches of my tree. I like but this may be just UK based, however I believe is international. Many people use Ancestry but I don’t like the layout of the tree and information and much prefer the layout of genesreunited. I have over 900 names in my tree that are all connected to me in some way and have managed to go back to the late 1700s. The way forward now is to go to the individual Local Records Offices to check out the parish records – some of which go back to mid 1500s. This usually opens a whole load of other websites like the War Graves Commission etc.

Plenty to talk about re my research but another time, I think.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Hallelujah moment


Two nights in a row have been able to have both dogs indoors over night without any disturbance or mess, still having to get up at 4.30am but I can live with that. Went to bed at 8.30pm last night cos I was so tired. So have had a really good sleep.

When I got back from work last night we took both dogs straight out to the woods, it was dark by the time we got home! but they both enjoyed it. Millie is still chewing the retractable lead, she doesn't chew the short lead so much. I have enrolled her in a puppy socialisation class starting in January. This should help with her mouthing and jumping up, although she is getting a lot better each day. The two of them are right now curled up next to each other. Barney is tolerating her touching him a lot better now. I think if she is lying still he can bear it.

Struggling to keep awake at work as it is so hot and stuffy. It is too cold to have the window open but I want some fresh air. Have done some "googling" and discovered an ionizer might do the trick. Apparently it throws back negative ions into the surrounding attmosphere making the air fresher. Cost £20 but if it makes me feel better at work it will certainly be for the best. So this is the one I have gone for. Should arrive on Friday.

Am thinking of having Friday off work if I finish everthing off today. The boss isn't in and I am up to date with the work load. Plus it will give me time to make the iceberg for our Christmas decorations at work. We put them up on Wednesday. Getting very excited about it. Our office is the talk of the whole site, people marvel at our wonderous decorations. This year we are having a penguin theme on one side and reindeer etc on the other.

I recieved another post card from my post card swap, so that is 3 out of 5 so far. No-one has commented on mine yet. I just sent a little note on mine, but the ones I have received have got little doodles and stickers on - will do that next time. Will hopefully be a bit more prepared next time. It was a rush when I sent my five off last Friday.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Not a good day

Felt sick and giddy all day. It is so hot at work I cant bear it. One of the other girls and I are going to swap desks tomorrow as we are both complaining of neck ache - hopefully a seating change might help. Also I get to be near the window then so can get some fresh air without letting everyone freeze. Just feel like I cant breathe in the office. It is so hot and stuffy in there.

Left an hour early cos I felt so ill, had a little sleep when I got home.

Posted off my first ATC to my first swap partner. Very excited, hope she gets it okay. Another one in the US. Bought more stamps so I dont have to keep going to the post office. Must remember to post christmas cards to Richard and Stuart in Australia and my aunt in America. Must make sure they get there in time.

Andy has been "redeployed" which basically means he is out of a job, but they will keep him on and keep paying him the usual salary until another post can be found for him. Not good news at all. He will probably have to give up working in the office at home which means there wont anyone at home for millie which is a real problem. B****r. At least he has not been made redundant and no-one has been diagnosed with some horrible illness. Gotta think positive!

Monday, 24 November 2008

back to work

Back to work today after a nice leisurely weekend. There is chaos on the horizon as radical changes are made to the timetables. No one even knows what they are doing next week. Crazy times.

Andy weighed in today. Doing well, another half a stone lost. Result.

Got home after work and played with the doggies. Millie is starting to get used to having Barney around and doesn't launch herself at him every second he is in the same room as her!

Cant wait to start taking her outside for walks - on Thursday. May take her to London on Saturday for a nice walk around Hyde Park, hope the weather is nice.

I have the address of my swap partner for the Computer designed ATC - it is printed and ready to post tomorrow well ahead of the 1st December deadline. I think I will have to get some stamps for posting to the US in preparation as nearly everyone from the site is based in the US. Still, I should be getting some interesting post soon.

Sunday, 23 November 2008


Wow this is going to be like an online diary. How cool. Isn't it amazing how technology has developed in such a short space of time? I just love it. But also wish I had the time to play a lot more.

Today we are recovering from our trip to Norwich for one of Andy's cousins wedding - must remember to update my genes reunited and the family tree records. It was great to meet these two cousins for the first time - though we didnt get much of a chance to chat to them what with one being the groom and the other being the best man. It was a very nice wedding and I hope bride and groom had a great day.

So today we didn't do a great deal, Andy was suffering the after effects of the rich food so didn't get out of bed until 2pm. I have been on the computer and just lazing around really.

Took Millie and Barney for a walk on the green today. She loved it as it was the first time she has had a chance to have a good run round outside of the garden. Can't wait to take her to the woods next weekend.

Sev has been to Lakeside to watch a film and Alice has lazed around too. Sarah, I think was at work. I spoke to her briefly on facebook. So many ways to talk with her now, I get confused!! LOL. I can communicate by Skype, MSN, facebook, telephone, email. Have done all five this week. Might just use one more method of communication even if it is a little outdated now - that is a letter. Did you know that the snail mail post has reduced by 25% in the past five years - thanks to the PC.

I found a new website called It's pretty cool and you can get to swap almost anything. I started looking at the website because I had started looking into swapping ATCs. But the site also does post cards, amongst other things. So last Friday I sent five post cards of Hadleigh Castle to 5 people in the US, I am expecting to receive post cards from the US in the mail this week. Perhaps the snail mail might make a come back!! Then again maybe not.