Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Tree of Life

This is a Tree of Life ATC that I made for swap bot. I was really pleased with it, so much so I wanted to keep it.
These are all the goodies I have received in three days last week. What a great post week that was. It was very exciting to get so many intersting items. Thanks everyone from swap bot.


It is a boring Wednesday - work, work and more work! We are extremely busy at work at the moment. Our workload has increased and people are taking time off to use up their holiday before March 31st. So everyone is getting pretty stressed out. I just sit and plod along, you cant go much faster than you already are I figure and there is more to life than getting through a pile of work just find another pile has replaced it!

I took Millie and Barney for a walk this morning over the little patch of green that we have a few yards up the road. If I let Millie off the lead she gets to have a good run around, but she nearly always finds a bone and wont come back in! This morning she found a bone. Barney was chasing her for it so she was running off. So I took him home, leaving her in the middle of the green. She wasn't going anywhere because she was too busy chewing her bone. I got in the car, drove the 50 yards to where she was lying down and pretending we were going for a walk. Luckily she now associates getting in the car to going for a nice long walk and she quite happily discarded her bone and jumped into the car. I very calmy took her straight home and put her into her crate.
GRRR. She is going to be sterilised next Monday so hopefully she might calm down a bit, you never know.

Andy, Sev and I went to a Navy presentation and he has completed the application form. So now he has started his first steps towards joining up. I am pretty nervous about him joining up as there is a distinct possibility he might end up in Afghanistan at some point, but he is very keen to go ahead with it and has really researched life in the Navy. I suppose it is better than quiting college and doing some menial job that he does not enjoy.

For one of the swap bot challenges we get to take photos of our work place. Here are a few for you to muse over. Just a boring office with a limited view. :)

The limited view out of window. We look out onto a small courtyard that has walls on all four sides. Then one of the whole office. One of my desk. And the last one shows part of our Christmas decorations. One of the girls at work collects soft toys to decorate the office for Christmas, Easter and Halloween. This corner was for the penguins. We put up snow and wrapping paper on the wall so it looked less bare, but I didn't get a photo of the completed look as we were so busy at work - again! On the window ledge there was a huge collection of reindeer. People from all over the building come to admire our decorations.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Here is a layout that I have just completed of Andy. It is for the blended challenge for the Sunday scrappers chat on Digital Scrapbooking Place. I just love this picture of Andy.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

getting fit

Went for my usual afternoon walk round the woods with Millie. It is great to keep fit this way. I have a nice chat with some other dog owners as our dogs play and run around. There are loads of benches with plaques to commemorate those that have passed on but loved the woods when they were alive. I realised as we chatted that I have been walking these woods for 20 years. I moved here 20 years ago this month. It is hard to believe. It is the longest I have ever lived in one place. I have said to Andy that when I die I want my ashes to be strewn around the woods and a bench put up to add to the growing number that are there. I love the woods so much and they are very popular for loads of the local people.

After dinner Sev and I went swimming. He was in fine form and swam 34 lengths. I was pleased with my 25 lengths in 25 minutes. Definetly improving my speed and felt fitter this week than I did last. I am keeping a swim log on the zoggs website -

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

on holiday

I have had the past three days off work to use up all my annual leave before it runs out on March 31st. Have had a brilliant time, getting up late and crafting all day. Have done some finance homework for my diploma but it is just sooooo boring and dull I can only stand to do it for a few hours at a time before letting myself off the hook to go and "play" LOL.. The diploma I am doing is work based and thankfully only one subject is finance. The rest will hopefully be a bit more intersting. There is more information here about what the Institute of Leadership and Management have to offer. So I am back tomorrow to finish off the third and final finance weekly lessons. Then back to work on Friday and then it is the weekend again. YAY

I have also started to get back into digital scrapbooking. I haven't done much for ages except turn up for the Sunday chat with all my friends. I wouldn't miss this weekly chat for anything. I love the chat and we always have a laugh. It never ceases to amaze me being able to chat to people from all over the world. We set regular challenges and this week's one is to do a layout with a reflection. Nicole showed us how to make reflections on her blog -

I had a go and this is my interpretation of a reflection.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Valentine's Day

I used to hate Valentine's Day, not having had a serious partner for a very long time. Now that I am happily married to my man of 6 years Valentine's Day is finally really lovely. He woke me up with chocs, card and heart shaped confetti. I gave him one of my handmade cards and a photo frame to put the recent professional photo of the two of us in. Then he made me brunch and is taking me out to dinner tonight. I am so very lucky to have such a wonderful caring and loving husband.

Sev is going to have his hair cut today. This is big news. Ever since he was a baby he had always had a number 2 hair cut (very short crew cut). Then when he was about 14years old he started growing it long. It is now down to his shoulders. It looks great when straightend but he rarely does this as he needs his sister to do it for him. So it usually is curly and sticks out a bit. I have grown to love his long hair and think it really suits him. However he is thinking of joining the Navy and seems quite serious about this great opportunity. He has an interview with the Navy next weekend and wants to present a good image so is going to have his hair cut to improve upon that image. Can't decide if I am happy about the prospect of his hair cut or not!!

Friday, 13 February 2009

It's snowing again

It snowed again last night. We had just been swimming when we came outside to go home at about 8.30pm and saw all the lovely white snow falling and settling on the ground. We got home and took the dogs out over the green and had a snowball fight. The dogs loved running around in the snow. I took some photos. This photo above is taken from the dining room window looking out into the back garden. I love it, it looks so magical!
This is Andy and me snuggling up together in the snow
Millie looks lost here!
Here is Barney keeping warm in his old man's jacket to keep him dry. Bless him at 14years of age he still loves to play in the snow with us all.
Millie looking sweet, chasing the snowballs that we were all throwing around.

Here are the kids, Sev and Alice enoying the short lived snow. The snow was almost all gone by the nex day.

Monday, 9 February 2009

professional photos

Alice and Millie - Dec 08

Andy and me and the two dogs

Andy and me
We had a couple of great offers at two separate photo studios to have a sitting for free and cheap photos, one in my home town and one in London so we took up the offer and here are the results.

We have one of Millie and Alice as a thank you to Alice for puppy sitting such a lot and being very helpful. The one of me and Andy was taken at the London studio. We were never very happy with our wedding photos so we had always promised ourselves that we would get a good photo of just the two of us at some point - and this is the end product.

I've been playing around on photoshop -

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Great weekend

Have had a great weekend although it didn't start off too well. Andy's fish pie made us all very ill so all four of us had the day off work/college/school on the Friday and lazed around in bed making frequent dashes to the bathroom! Started to feel better by Saturday although not 100%.

On Saturday we went to look at a local University for Alice to study nursing in two years time when she has finished her A levels. Here is a link to explain what a children's nurse does in her role. She was relieved that she only has to get two Cs in her A levels and one does not have to be a science. Thank goodness. We all really liked the new campus and she had mixed feelings to hear that she would spend 50% of her time on the wards in a placement. Quite nerve wracking but exciting at the same time! Also good news was that the finance side of things sounded much better than I expected so hopefully she wont come out of it with a huge student loan like poor Sarah is going to.

In the afternoon we went to my father in law's for his birthday dinner which was lovely to have all the family around at once. I was invited to be godmother to the latest neice which was really lovely. I have 11 nieces and nephews but most haven't been christened or baptised, so this is the first time I have been asked to be a godmother - so I was very honoured and pleased to be asked. It wont be until May but I will defintely add a photo of the day! Unfortunately the only time I have ever seen my goddaughter to be she is always crying. Doesn't bode well for the christening! :)

Today Andy and I had a lovely walk around the woods with Millie for an hour. It was nice and sunny and even a little warm when in the sunlight. Millie got lovely and muddy and said hello to lots of new doggy friends as well as human ones too. She is much better at saying hello to new dogs, especially those of her own size. Larger ones she is still a bit wary of, but that is no bad thing. She came across another 5 month old pup, a labrador and had a little play with him for a bit.

Andy and I then went to B & Q to look at kitchens. We chose this Shaker Oak Style and discussed cookers and different drawer types [I know! we know how to live exciting lives don't we!! :) ]

After a trip to Tescos (wooppee!!) we got home and had a bite to eat and collapsed on the sofa for an hour or two.

Back at work for three days, one day study then a week off. YIPPEE. I get to paint the dining room whilst I am off.

I have been making some ATCs (Artist Trading Cards) for swapping on ATCs for all - for a Turquoise Monochrome swap of 6 cards. It has certainly been a challenge to make cards with just one colour - but i have managed it. Today when we were in B & Q I picked up some sample paint pots and colour cards to used on the ATCs - quite ingenious I thought!! hee hee.
As usual the weekend ended with my weekly chat to the DSP (Digital Scrapbooking Place) gang. There were 18 of us at one time making conversations hard to follow - it is quite fun when that happens, albeit a bit confusing. There are people from all over the world. It never ceases to amaze me that I can chat to friends from so far away every week. I haven't been doing a great deal of digital scrapbooking because of making the ATCs in my spare time. There are a couple of great challenges that I want to do though, so I really must make the time to have a digital crafting session. It was great to chat with everyone - we usually discuss random topics about our lives and how things are going with our digital scrapbook layouts and competitions.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Praia da luz

WOOHOO we have booked our summer holiday. This will be our first holiday abroad as a family ever. We are SOOOO looking forward to it. Andy's uncle is involved in a company that lets out apartments on the beach at Praia da Luz in Portugal. It is going to be HOT HOT HOT and we get to laze around sunbathing. I cant wait. Have just been looking at the websites to see what the area is like. Having a family member who lives out there will certainly be useful for all the best restaurants and where to shop. Luckily we got a great deal on the flights or would not have been able to afford this holiday at all.

It looks scrumptious. Temperature is expected to be between 25 and 40 - so a nice tan will be had. Andy will have lost even more weight so wont be so uncomfortable as he has been in past years. Hopefully Sev will be able to join us and not in the Navy by then! Not sure what we are going to do with the dogs yet! Will sort that out nearethe time, Millie I am sure will be ok in kennels, but I dont really want Barney in kennels.

I took Barney to the vets tonight as he is holding his head lopsidedly and keeps losing his balance. I told the doctor that he is aging and told him about his lack of winter coat, losing weight and absentmindedness and how weak his legs seem to be. He has given me antibiotics for an inner ear infection and a non steroidal anti-inflammatory called Ramidyl. I looked this up on the web site as I always do with animal medication (why doesn't animal medication come with an information sheet like human medication?) There were some worrying stories about 15-20% of dogs ending up with liver failure due to this drug. I have found out the warning signs to look out for - vomiting, not eating and sleepiness. So at least I know what to look out for. If he has any of these symptoms I will be straight back to the vets for a check up. I am uncomfortable giving him this medicine but it has helped thousands of other dogs. So let's just hope he is one of the lucky ones!

swap a blog

On swap bot the latest swap includes swaping our blogs. It is great to check out new layouts and interests. Here are two of the five that have been sent to me.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Chinese New Year

Andy and I had a great day today in London for the Chinese New Year celebrations. There was plenty going on with music on two stages. Loads and loads of people. Paper lanterns, fire crackers and paper dragons and loads of red envelopes with money in for good luck. We had a wander around Trafalgar Square and then went to Leicester Square. There were some Dragon dancers and we saw one up very close. We had a cold chinese lunch (it should have been hot) but the temperature was zero degrees. On the drive home it snowed.

Find Your Chinese Sign
Note: If you were born in January or February before the start of that year's Chinese New Year, your animal is the previous year's.
Ox: 1901, 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009
Tiger: 1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010
Rabbit:1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011
Dragon:1904, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012
Snake: 1905, 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013
Horse: 1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014
Sheep:1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015
Monkey: 1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016
Rooster: 1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017
Dog:1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018
Boar: 1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019
Rat:1900, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008
Sev has been getting himself fit ready for joining the Navy. Andy, Sev and Alice and I all played badminton on Friday night. It was fun. I was a bit stiff to start with, but soon got warmed up and really got into the game.

Barbara and Trevor came round after Andy met them in a shop to buy Trevor a cardigan for his birthday. They stopped for a lovely leg of lamb roast followed by a fantastic home made trifle. Unfortunately I managed to break four bowls from our new dinner set which was really gutting as it was only the second time of using it! Oh well. We will just have to try and buy another set.

This weekend we have picked up three photographs from studios where we recently had our photos taken. Once I have them scanned and loaded I will put them up on this blog.