Friday, 3 December 2010


It's been snowing for three days and the temperatur hasn't risen above zero so we have loads of snow still. I can't believe how deep it is. I don't think it has snowed this much for a very long time. Cars are just about getting around now and Andy and I went shopping yesterday and today. But otherwise we have all stayed in - fortunately no-one has had to travel in to work; although Andy is working in his office in the garden. Andy's route to work-
We took the dogs for a quick run over the green. Millie loves the snow and had a fantastic time chasing snowballs. Diesel was just a bit bemused by it all.
Millie getting completely covered in snow -
Both Millie and Diesel waiting for a snowball to catch.Millie having fun in the snow.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Frosty morning

When I woke up this morning I noticed the heavy frost and when I was drinking my tea the sun started shining. Remembering that today was my last chance to get some photos done for the Facebook's Photography Trading Card Group, I leapt up and went outside with my camera. I left the dogs behind as I wanted to concentrate on the photo shoot. The car needed defrosting first!
There were some really cool frost patterns on the car windows.

Going straight to the woods, I started snapping; here are some of the photos taken today. It was a lovely morning and I was really surprised at how many golfers and dog walkers there were out at 9am on a very cold Sunday morning. I like these two the most. The posts lead the eye along the path to the man walking his dog right at the end. And this one is of a hedge covered in frost.

Then, I came back and collected the dogs and took them for a long walk. It was hard work trying to get some good photos of them both in the same shot!!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Early start

Bleurgh. It is 7am and Andy has already dropped me off at work. However, I can't get into the office until 7.30am so am sitting in the cold 24 hour computer room waiting for the receptionist to arrive so I can get to my desk and start work. When Andy dropped me off early last time I actually started doing some work, but I wont get paid for it, so I'm not doing it this time.

So where were we with the films? Argh, no I haven't got my list, it is on my laptop at home. I will just have to continue this tonight.

Films - cont'd..

Carrying on with my list of films watched in the past couple of years.

The Boy in the striped pyjamas

Set during World War II, a stry seen through the inocent eyes of Bruno, the eight year old son of the commandant at a concentration camp, whose forbidden friendship with a Jewish boy on the other side of the camp fence has startling and unexpected consequences.

We hired this film one evening from Blockbusters. It's a very sad film,

A very strange film, along the lines of a scary fairy tale. I enjoyed watching it, if only because it was so different from the usual. The voices are from Dakota fanning, Teri Hatching, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.

When Coraline moves to an old house, she feels feels bored and neglected by her parents. She finds a hidden door with a bricked up passage. During the night, she crosses the passage and finds a parallel world where everybody has buttons instead of eyes, with caring parents and all ehr dreams coming true. When te Other Mother invites Coraline to stay in her world forever, the girl refuses and finds that the alternate reality where she is trapped s only a trick to lure her.

The day the earth stood still

To be honest I don't remember much about this film. I checked a trailer out to remind me. I recall Keanu Reeves being in it, so apart from that I guess it wasn't that good!

Christmas cake

Well the Christmas cake is in the oven and I have a four hour wait until it is ready! When I popped to the supermarket to get some of the ingredients the shelves had been mobbed of flour and dried fruit. I think everyone is making Christmas cake this weekend.

Saturday, 13 November 2010


In the countdown to Christmas, 6 weeks, I'm told, I thought I ought to check how much time I have left to complete my 101 things to do in 1001 days. I had a slight panic that I might be fast running out of time.

I started this challenge on 9 Jan 2009 and it is due to finish on 8 October 2011, which happens to be my mum's 66th birthday. So that means I have already had 673 days and have only 329 days left. That means 47 weeks or 10 months and 25 days. Or 7396 hours.

Now 10 months sounds alright, but consider this. I am likely to spend 4 months of that time sleeping (more if I get a chance!), 2 1/2 months at work and probably 2 1/2 months wasting time on my laptop. So that only leaves me just over a one month to finish off my challenge.

As I review this challenge, I notice how much my priorities have changed over the past 673 days. There are some things on the list, that I am quite unlikely to do now, although at the time, I thought would be feasible. I am unlikely to go to Tai Chi or Pilates, much as I would like to - I just can't afford it. I am still working on getting Andy to join me in salsa dancing lessons. I'd love to do this dance, it is so sexy and means you get up close to your partner. Maybe in January? We'll see.

Well I think I have cracked number 73 on my list -watching all those films, so I had better take another look at my list of things to do and see what else I can do within the deadline.

list of films

Right, Sev and I have just gone through the alphabet and compared notes with regards to listing films we have watched from a to z.

He keeps strange hours and watches late night films and watches chick flicks with his girlfriend.

So here are both our lists. I will go into mine in a bit more detail over the next day or two.

Angels and Demons
--- Adventure Land
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas --- Batman Returns
Coraline --- Click
The Day the Earth stood still --- Dirty Dancing
Evan Almighty --- Epic movie
The Final Destination --- The Final Destination
Great Escape --- GI Joe
The Hangover --- Happyness
Iron man 2 --- I am Legend
Julie and Julia --- Jarhead
Kill Bill --- Kick Ass
League of gentlemen --- Love Actually
Mama mia --- Marley and Me
Night at the museum 2 --- The Notebook
One hour photo --- Oceans 11
Panic room --- Pirates of the Caribbean
Quantum of Solace --- Quantum of Solace
Rock school --- Road Trip
Star Trek --- Star Trek
Time traveller's wife --- Terminal
United 93 --- United 93
Van Helsing --- Van Helsing
Wall-E --- Waterworld
X-men origins - Wolverine --- xXx
You, Me and Dupree --- Yes Man
Zulu --- Zombieland

I've cheated a bit with G and Z, I couldn't think of anything that I have watched in the past 18 months beginning with these 2 letters, so have included a film that I have seen, but not for a while. Everything else I have seen recently.


Number 73 of my 101 list of things to do in 1001 days.

I have neglected to keep a log of all the films I have been watching over the past year or so. I must check my deadline too!

Number 73 of my list is to watch 26 films beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Strangely enough I have managed to tick off some of those I thought might be difficult, like x and i. I have even managed to watch a film that was a number! How's that! LOL I usually watch films on SKY or normal channels, rarely going to the cinema - it is just too expensive.

So here is a quick rundown of my list so far. As mentioned above I have neglected to keep a log of films I have watched, so this list is retrospective.
Starring John Cusack the storyline is that Dr Adrian Helmsley, part of a worldwide geophysical team investigating the effect of radiation from unprecedented solar storms, learns that the earth's core is heating up. He warns the US President that the crust of the earth is becoming unstable and that without proper preparations for saving a fracton of the world's opulation, the entire race is doomed. The world's leaders race to build "arks" to escape the imending catclysm whilst volcanic eruptions and earthquakes wreak havoc around the world.

In my humble opinion it was okay - your average American apocolyptic film with the usual good effects. Not something I would be in a hurry to watch again, unless there is nothing else!

Angels and Demons

Tom Hanks and Ewan McGregor are two of my favourite actors and they were great in this film. I have read all the Dan Brown books, so was very excited when this film came out. We did go and see it at the cinema and I have seen it again on the television.

Storyline - When a murder of a physicist, Leonardo Vetro, finds a symbolist, Robert Langdon, and Mr Vetra's daughter, on an adventure for a secret brotherhood, The Illuminati. Clues lead them all around the Vatican, including the four altars of science, Earth, Air, Fire and Water. An assassin, working for the Illuminati, has captured four cardinals and murders each of them painfully. Robert and Vittoria also are searing for a very destructive weapon that could kill millions.

It has everything I like in a film - my favourite actors, mystery and suspense and some gory deaths with a twist at the end. Great. Definitely would watch this again.

Aliens in the attic
This was hilarious, we watched this about a month ago on Sky, I think.
Storyline - An extended family go on summer vacation. When they have problem with the television image the kids go up to the attic/roof to find the antenna dish destroyed. They find out that there are four alien invaders preparing to invade Earth using amind control weapon that only affects adults. The group of children lock the four aliens in the attic and try to force the adults to leave the house so they can deal with the aliens. One of the aliens doesn't want to harm the people on Earth and helps the children to fend off the baddy aliens. Because they are small and their vulnerability is depictedin the film, it is really quite funny. The children have fun with the mind control weapon on an annoying older sister's boyfriend who is quite obnoxious, that was hilarious too.
I will do the rest of the list another day.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Photography ATCs

Here is my favourite of the six photography ATCs that I received this week.

and here are the ones I sent out:

Am itching to get out and start to take more photos ready for this month's swap.

Friday, 5 November 2010

What to do this weekend? Too many things to choose from! Geocaching, geneology or photo-taking. Andy and I are going to help Sarah move into her new flat. Lo and behold there is a cache not 500 feet from her front door! heehee. Also if the weather stays dry tomorrow, and I'm in the mood for it, I might take Millie for a walk with me - and perhaps pick up a few caches.

I have been researching Andy's family history for a while now and have done all that i can on the internet. So now it is down to the parish records. Luckily his family have all lived in the same county for generations, so that makes it easier to research! YAY. So I might go to the County Records office tomorrow to do some more searching of births, deaths and marriages in the parish records. First of all though i gotta get up early and take Alice to work for 8am. GROAN. Well I can have a lie in on Sunday. Monday morning we are up very early to go to Sarah's. (Hi Sarah!!)

The photo-taking comes from my recent recipt of some photography ATCs. There is a newish group on facebook where people can swap their photography on ATC sized cards. I got a nice collection this week. Will upload them over the weekend. Add that to my list! LOL. So I got to looking on the web for photography themes. One person has photos of takeaway containers. On their own, each individual photo would be a bit odd, but a collection of them looks okay. Like a set. Some ideas i got from looking on another site are windows, door knockers, texture in nature and texture in architecture, water images, clouds and trees. I don't want to do boring or cutsey photos, like of the dogs or scenery. I want to do more artsy type photos. So we'll see what comes out of this wekend.

Saturday, 23 October 2010


After getting back from walking Millie last Saturday, my mum called to say that someone had a 2yr old boxer who needed a good home. So that night we drove up to meet Diesel. He is very excitable, about the same size as Millie. They seemed to get on, and both Andy and I liked him. So we brought him home that night. He has been absolutely brilliant and has settled nicely into our routine. I think he likes being with Millie and Andy all day, as previously his owners were out at work all day.

They love to playfight together, above is a video of the two of them playing in the living room. At first we walked Diesel off lead in a secure park as we were not too sure if he would come back easily. Thankfully he seems to realise we are his "pack" now and follows Millie everywhere. So when we call them, they both come back.Yesterday and today we have walked them both off lead in the woods and open park. He has been very good and has come back, albeit not as well as Millie does when he is distracted, but we have not struggled as yet.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

A walk in the park

Just been for a very lovely walk with Millie. We went about three miles along the sea wall. I managed to find four new caches, all quite easily, but we did have to climb up two very steep hills during the trip. It was a gorgeous sunny day, which certainly makes a walk much more enjoyable. We did have to pass some cows though, which always makes me nervous. Thankfully, with Millie on the lead we got passed them without too much bother. As always she needed a shower when we got back as her feet were quite muddy and she managed to roll in one of the many cow pats. Smelly dog.

Mum rang yesterday about a 2yr old boxer who is looking for a home. So after having phoned the owner, we have agreed to go and visit the dog tonight. I am quite excited about Millie having a playpal, but we will see how it goes.

Thursday, 14 October 2010


Had a lovely chat with Sarah over the course of the day. First of all by email at work - which was fun. She was in the Uni library - bored! Then we chatted on the phone. That was nice, because no-one was at home, so I was a bit lonely.

I was sitting in the living room quietly playing tetris on facebook, after having popped upstairs to do a pee, when I heard some moving around upstairs. At first i wondered who/what was up there as everyone was out. Then I realised Millie was not in the living room. The daft dog had gotten trapped in Alice's bedroom and could not open the door. LOL. So I wen to rescue her and she was pretty excited to see me again. She was funny.

Hello sarah :D

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Pizza cake

It is Sev's 19th birthday tomorrow and I wanted to make a "pizza" cake. I saw this decoration for a cake in a cookery book at Andy's mum's house. As Sev likes pizza I thought it would be a fun thing to do. So I made a some small cakes yesterday to trial out the decoration. I made these with icing sugar and water mix, but today when I made the bigger pizza cake, I used butter icing which gives a better finish, I think.
Hope he likes it.

10/10/10 CITO Event

It is geocaching's 10th year and so 10th october 2010 was a very special day that needed to be celebrated big time. Over 76 thousand people logged a cache on this auspicious day, smashing the previous record of 50 thousand in April this year.

Needless to say, I joined in too. I went to Essex's first ever CITO event. CITO = Cache in Trash out. So this meant clearing out any rubbish, or trash, that was lying around in one of the country parks. As it is a stunning beautiful area that I visit regularly, I felt I ought to do "my bit". So off I went and met up with over 20 other cachers and between us we filled a trailer full of rubbish - it was quite unbelievable just how much rubbish there was.
Thankfully the weather was wonderful and dry. It was a little windy in the country park, but the sunny and dry day more than made up for a bit of wind. In fact it was such a lovely day I persuaded Andy to come for a walk with me and Millie in the late afternoon. After going round in circles in a field full of cow pats getting lost, and being chased by a herd of cows, I only managed to nab one more cache. And Andy was not impressed with the walk at all. But all in all it was a good day.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

just a normal weekend

Had a nice day today. Andy and I had a lie in, after getting up at 6am every morning this week, it was a treat to lie in bed until 9. After a bath and a leisurely breakfast we took Millie for a walk. We tried to find a geocache which involved crossing a field with some horses. Now I am not too scared of horses, but when a bigun come running at you, just a week after another horse tried kicking Millie, it is a little scary. So I told Andy to walk quickly with Millie to get off the field, whilst I walked as quick as I could with the horse at my shoulder. So needless to say, i didn't get the cache. I will just have to try again without taking Millie with us.

So we went on to a country park just a quarter mile further and had a lovely walk around there. It had a nice cafe, shop and three trails. The three different trails took you around the country park with a focus on three different things, like sculpture, WW2 and explosives. The park used to have a factory on it which produced dynamite, gelignite, and other explosives, so it has quite an interesting history.

One strnage thing we did see was some very old style houses, like 15th century old, in a sort of circle with the intention of making a village and village green. One house had been transported from Stansted area when they built Stansted airport. Apparently the house was sold to the current owners for 50p. How bizarre. Even more bizarre the house is currently being protected by chipboard, so it looked very strange with a chipboard house and thatched roof.

Needless to say Millie managed to jump into a very smelly ditch, so she needed a shower when we got back.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Caching in Essex

I went caching one night after work. It was a dry day, we've had a lot of rain this week. So I took the opportunity to go for a nice walk in the Essex countryside. The walk was about 2miles, which was just about right for me. It took me 2hours, but I was sauntering along and took loads of photos. My last cache I nabbed just as it was getting dark. Below are some photos from my circular route.
These berries were very photogenic!

I was amazed to come across these llamas whilst I was out walking.

This is a typical cache pot

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Church Micros

Andy and I took part in a Ride and Stride event yesterday. This is about visiting churches and trying to raise money towards the upkeep of those churches. Andy and I were out all day. Of course it was the perfect excuse to get some church micros to notch up some more caches. We came across some truly amazing places of worship. It is such a shame that not so many people use them anymore, but we were pleasantly surprised with the enthusiasm of some of the people 'manning' the church open days. Of the 11 churches we visited we only went inside four of them.
This is the first one we visited for a quick 'cache and dash' church micro. It was only 9.30am so no-one was around, but it is not used for regular worship anymore so there are no seats inside - we peeked through the windows! Being perched high above a hill it can be seen from the main road and also has magnificent views across the Essex countryside.

The next church looked quite plain on the outside but inside it had some marvellous decoration from early 20th century artists with some very lovely aluminium panels.

Our next stop was at St Andrews Church. Here is the litch gate. The church is over 800 years old, with people worshipping in this spot for generations, including Andy's family. We spent some time here and went to find Andy's nan's grave.

Next on our list was North Ockendon's St Mary Magdalene Church. This is thought to date back t before 1075AD. However it may date as far as 630AD ast St Cedd, Bishop of the East Saxons, is thought to have carried out baptisms at the adjacent St Cedd's Well. I loved these memorials of the Poynts family.

We were warmly greeted by some people who were manning the open day at the church. They told us all about the history of the church and we had a good look at everything. There were these lovely alabaster memorials on the wall to the Poynts family who figured highly in the history of the church. The one on the left is one of two, one of them Sir James Poynts. There are about eight of the white ones on the left that were put up between 1603 and 1607 which apparenlty were an attempt to cover previous family history by recording eight more Poynts from 1307 to 1603. The first attempt at family tree!
All in all we had a great day and I got 12 more caches to add to my 800 finds. All good.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Day Ten = Creativity Boot Camp

Day ten - Creativity Boot Camp.
I've missed a few days cos I wanted to take photos but just haven't done that. So today have decided just to do the journalling for now and possibly think about the photos later.

Journal prompt today is thinking about the experiences of the day. That's easy, it's like making a list. I can do lists. In fact I love them.

At the end of your day, think about the millions of sensations you experienced. Try to answer these questions.....
Which ones stand out in your mind as being the most pleasant?
Today I finally collated a load of data from two different people that will answer a question that we have been trying to get hold of for over a month. I felt really pleased that we finally had cracked it, in just one day's hard work. Now all I have to do is analyse it all!

Were there any that were repulsive?
I had to go to the GP today with suspected kidney infection. I was asked to pee into a tube - yuk, why cant we have a pot to make it a little easier, instead of trying to aim, without being able to see clearly down there, to pee into a pot which is less than an inch wide. That was yukky especially as I managed to pee all over my hand. But even worse was seeing how awful my urine actually looked. NOT healthy, not healthy at all. So thankfully I have some antibiotics and will start to feel a little bit better.

Did any bring back memories from your past?
I can't really think of anything specific really, not from very old past. But more recently I had a kidney infection only a few months a go and remembered how bad the pain was then.

Did any motivate you to do anything particular?
Oh gosh, I am harping on about this blasted kidney infection, when I really dont want to think about it, I just want to get better... quickly. I have been feeling uncomfortable and suspicious of a urine infection. Then in the morning the pain started to travel to the side of my back. Exactly the same as a couple of months ago when I had an infection before. So this pain motivated me to make the doctor's appointment, rather than wait and hope it goes away. Cos that just makes the pain much much worse. So I am pleased I was motivated enough to do that.

Did any of these sensations inspire you in your creations?
Not today.

If you were to try and capture creatively any of these sensations, how would you do it?
Hmmm, that's a tricky one. I don't really know to be honest. I had a great journey home, very quick with little traffic, and it didnt take too long to get out of the car park, like it usually does. So I did some journalling about how leaving the car park is the best part of my day.

30 day colour challenge

I am off to buy a journal after work so I can join in on this challenge which starts today. How exciting. I wish I didnt have to go to work, so I could stay at home and CREATE all day!!!

30 day colour challenge


Friday, 11 June 2010

Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell Video

Meat Loaf - Bat Out Of Hell Video

An absolute fravourite of mine from when I was about 19years old. Playing this as loud as physically possible and yelling at the loudest possible. Sod the neighbours! I remember singing this with a group of work colleagues one new year's eve. We all had to work New Year's day and stayed up all night listening to music and drinking and then went straight to work. Couldn't do that now! Happy memories. Singing this loudly used to help let out any frustrations I had at the time.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Days 4 and 5

Creativity Boot Camp - days 4 and 5

Finding it difficult to keep up. Feeling pretty exhausted in this humid heat we have been having and not been too well either. But I do hope to keep going and join in on this creativity course. It certainly is giving me food for thought and it is great to see other people's work, I really enjoy that part too.

Day 4 - Heavy Metal is the word prompt, but I haven't done anything about it yet. Just about dragging myself through the day at the moment. But I will do.
Day 4 - Journal prompt. To write about what elements of some photos taken during the day have motivated me to take them. I went for a little walk today, and although i didn't actually take any photos, I did look at the world around me and think about what I would photograph and why. I walked along a footpath next to a field of unripe wheat. Several things captured my interest in this lovely green field. I noticed that the field stopped dead in a line, making a wall along the footpath. It was a very even line. I imagined the wall as a block to my creativity, which I am certainly feeling today. I was mesmirized by the sharpness of the line. The other thing that I was intrigued by the wheat was the colour of the stalk. To look at the field you would think it was all green. Not so. The stalks were a milky blue. A very lovely colour. I wish I could have captured that on camera and tried to capture that colour and the contrast to what one would expect. The final thing I noticed about the field was the tracks made in the even field by the tractor. You could see the two lines that the tractor wheels drove along when the farmer planted the field. I have been walking in the countryside since other fields of wheat have grown and seen the wheat grow each time. Something I have really enjoyed. I recall playing as a child, one summer, in a wheat field behind where we lived. Happy memories. The tractor lines on today's field went over the brow of a small hill. It reminded me of life's path, going off into the unseen future.

Day 5 - Word prompt - Grow. As mentioned above I love walks in the countryside and watching everything grow so fast in the Spring. It is amazing how green everything looks right now. The grass, where it has been left uncut, is practically thigh high. Amazing. But the one main thing about the word grow that strikes me is growing up and growing old. I did as suggested and listened to some music from when I was young and very emotional. To be honest i think i am still emotional inside, but you have to keep it under control, otherwise you really would be out of control - and that is no good. Cos that means no job and no money and no house etc etc. I enjoyed listening to the music. There are always good memories of 'when we were young'. I think we still do have those emotions within us. I still feel frustrated when unable to do something I want to. Trying to think about my hopes and my expectations. I always knew I wanted a family and have been blessed with three beautiful healthy children, for whom I thank God every day. I am so proud of them and pleased that I have managed to raise them reasonably well. More than i could have hoped for. Other hopes and dreams, like travelling. I managed to do that too. So really I have managed to achieve everything important that I wanted to do when i was younger. I would like to make a difference to someone, make someone's life better for something I have done. Perhaps being a Cub Scout Leader has helped with that a little. So all in all, I really am quite content now.

Photos to follow............

Mental as Anything - Live it Up Video

Mental as Anything - Live it Up Video

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Day 3 - multilayers

Day 3 of creativity boot camp and the word of the day is multilayers. Plenty of ideas with this one, first thing that came to mind was layered cake! yum yum. Unfortunately no layered cake in the house at the moment, so had to think of something else. I found some great layers in the roses. Here is one pink rose out in my front garden.

Then I went for a walk in the woods with Millie and tried to capture the layers within the woods. The hedges and the trees and the grass. Where I am thinking this has more impact is in the countryside with the bright yellow rapeseed fields against the green backdrop. Thanks to this creativity course I think I will go out there and actually take some photos of the yellow layered against the green, instead of just looking at it. Watch this space! But I did find some layers within the woods. I like to think that the woods themselves contain layers within layers. Not only is it a lovely place for us humans to enjoy with our youngster and dogs and horses, but deeper down a layer are the mammals - the squirrels etc and even deeper down another layer are all the insects. The woods mean different things to different people/wildlife. I absolutely love going out there and exploring the textures and layers that are seen in the countryside.

Finally I took a picture of Millie in the garden. She managed to pose for a full 2 seconds, long enough for a shot. She had been a good girl in the woods and had not moved a muscle when we came across these squirrels having their dinner within 10 feet of us. She was on a lead though!

Day 2 - picnic

I took some photos using Andy's camera as I knew it had macro on it. Found out later that I have macro on mine too! I have taken the picnic photo on his camera and wont be able to upload it until tomorrow.

But thinking of picnics, we had a picnic in a country park with my nieces and nephew. This is a photo of Andy enjoying a swing with the kids.

Day 1 - Ivory

Racked my brains for ivory as per instructions for day one of the creativity boot camp online course that I am doing. The first thing that came to mind was ivory skin, then ivory satin shoes for a wedding. I looked through all the blogs and the images that others doing the course had created. There really are some great unsung artists out there.

Finally I went for a walk in the woods today and took some photos in the woods and in my back garden too. Here is a rose which is from my back garden. We have a large climbing rose over the fence and it really looks amazing this time of year, so I usually take loads of photos when the roses are in bloom. This is as close to ivory as I can get.

Monday, 7 June 2010

Creativity Boot Camp

boot camp

Creativity Boot Camp - Day 1

Right, enough of the procrastinating. I have looked at other people's work on the links from the creativity boot camp blog, and they are fabulous. So, of course, I think I am no where near good enough! When I look at some of the creativeness that people are producing I know they are artists and I am not. Why do I not think of myself as an artist. I like to create, I feel that I do have a creative soul. I just am never happy with the end product, I guess. But then who is? I guess that is why there are so many tortured artists. My God, I am an artist after all! LOL.

I can't paint, I can't draw, my photography is a bit of hit and miss and my digital scrapbooking is pretty basic. Occasionally I am happy with something. I guess that is what it is about. You need to take hundreds of photos sometimes, and somewhere in there is the masterpiece. The one that works. I just need to strive to find that more, to practice more. Not just take photos and hope one is okay. So practice, practice and practice some more, I guess is the way forward.

I have been procrastinating as well in deciding what is going to be my medium. Photography, when it can take some time to set things up, and the lighting has to be just so. Or digital scrapbook pages, which are easier to do at any time, day or night, but probably wont push my creativity as much as I would like. And......I really do want to improve my photography.

I am happy to share my work with anyone online and probably my husband too. If there is something really good, I might even share it with close family via facebook.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Creativity Boot Camp

Have gone on to DSP chat for the first time in months. As usual after the one hour chat I am full of creative ideas and have loads of websites on. Usually takes me several hours to go through it all. I often end up on the most wonderful websites and blogs as well.

Just came across this blog -

It's a bit late now to start getting into it, but will start tomorrow and journal my journey on here.
Quite excited as I haven't done anything creative for ages.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Climbing trees and other adventures

Millie having a great time whilst out for a walk last weekend.
Have been having a great time out caching with some great adventures. Last weekend was really good. On Saturday I went round a series of 6 caches in a mile long circle. One of the caches was about 25 high up in a tree. I left my bag and walking stick on the ground and walked along the large trunk that had fallen at an angle. It was a bit nerve racking but I managed it slowly and carefully. Millie was going crazy howling and crying. I reached up and signed the log and put it back. Then started coming down. Millie thought she would join me at that point and lend a helping paw which made things tricky. I was so worried that she would fall off. Anyway we both made it down safe and sound.
I continued along the footpath that was in a dark wooded area that was absolutely covered in bluebells. The smell of the bluebells was really strong in the enclosed area. The next cache was interesting too. It was a box inside a large log that had been cut out. Very clever.
Then on Sunday I joined my caching pal Jill to drive round a local town to pick up some caches. We found everyone of them. Two of them were brilliant as they were not the usual plastic clip and lock pot or 35mm film container. One looked just like an apple but was hand made out of some unknown substance with the pull out core as the log. It was in a very dark part of the woods so difficult to get a photo. Howeve I did manage to get a photo of the next one which was a clay, I think, mushroom. Very enjoyable.
I will finish off with a fantastic view across the English countryside. We had found a cache under a bench and were sitting on the bench signing the log. The sun was shining and the world was a good place to be in that day.

Monday, 26 April 2010


Am enjoying caching everyday. It is quite challenging to do at least one every day. I have done at least one cache every day for the past two weeks, so going well so far but not sure I will make 100 consecutive days. as it is hard going.

Had a great day today. I dropped Alice off at college and had two hours to do a bit of caching before picking her and Sev up to take to an interview they both had at the same place. I have never been into the woods that I went into today and it is always nice to explore somewhere new. It was pretty hilly in these woods.

I also found a pink cache which was unusual. Sev was surprised that it did not stand out from all the green and brownness of the woods but I explained that it was well hidden away in a hollow log.

I have twelve caches that I have laid for others to find and there was a couple who had been looking for my caches over the weekend. They said they couldn't find one of the caches that had already been "muggled" just a month ago. So I was pretty annoyed to think it had gone again, and with a trackable in it again. So as I was off work today I popped along to see what was what. Luckily the cache was there and the trackable were still there. Thank goodness. The same couple said that the log in another cache was full so I went to replace that too. When I got home and checked the log it was actually not full at all. Very strange as the couple certainly weren't new to caching with approx 750 cache finds. I was surprised at their comments, but at least all is well.

Over the weekend I replaced a log that had been left to get wet. It was not at all possible to sign as the paper was just one papier mache mess. I took the log home and pulled it carefully apart and hung the pieces of paper from the log up to dry. It has dried beautifully. Not sure what to do with it now because the cache owners no longer go caching. The log is five years old so I wont get rid of it.

I've got one cache in mind for tomorrow, and then I want to go to Surrey to do the MUGS series and nab about 25 caches in one hit!

Friday, 16 April 2010

A walk after work

Had a busy day at work today, Katy had the day off so it was pretty hectic for me. Still loving it though. I know it has only been a month but I am so much happier where I am right now. There is no way I am going back. YAY. Words can't express how happy that makes me!!! :D

Last night I saw a new cache right near work. I did debate with myself about nabbing a FTF first thing this morning before work, but it would have been a one mile walk and I probably would have ended up hot and sweaty before I even started. So I waited excitedly until work had finally finished at 5pm. Drove to the Country park car park and set off. The first one was literally just 500 yards away. I was lucky in that I was just putting the cache back when I dog walking muggle came into sight! Phew. That was close.

It's a beautiful evening so I know I will have a nice walk, especially as I have managed to find at least one cache today! YAY. Third day in a row. Heee hee. So off I go to the new cache. Nice easy walk along a clear pathwhich was slightly muddy in places. The cache was hidden in a log. It took me a few minutes to find it but was pleased to find it eventually.

I walked back to the car. There is one more nearby, a third of a mile away, but i decided to leave this to another day. After all I need to save some to continue with my 1 a day for 100 days challenge. LOL.

Thursday, 15 April 2010


I have managed to find a cache yesterday and two today. I read someone's caching blog where they have set themselves the challenge of finding one cache every day for 100 consecutive days. Well I have managed two days in a row, I wonder how many more I can do in a row!! Doubt I could make 100 but it is worth a go. Trouble is I am running out of local ones to do before or after work during the week, so will have to plan carefully.

Just seen a new one come on line tonight which is right near where I work. Now do I get just that one or do I get another one nearby? Hmm, that might actually depend on how much time I will have, particularly if I plan to go before work which I am!

Tonight I went off for three caches and to give Millie a walk too. It gets boring going round our local woods every night, so it is nice to have a change of scenery as often as possible. The first one I went after was uphill - Plumberow Mount with a little mound at the top. There were some lovely views across the countryside. Unfortunately there were a couple of lager louts loitering right by where I thought the cache might be so I could not get to have a look even, just turned around and went back downhill. Millie had a great time running up and down with a log to throw around and chew. We popped into the car and drove a short way to nab two easy ones. The first had a DNF from November 2009 and nothing logged since so I was not too hopeful about finding it. But lo and behold it was an easy find. Funny how that goes sometimes it is dead easy, sometimes what everyone else has logged as an easy find can take me ages to locate. Anyway signed the log and started trekking up another hill to the next one. There was a lovely carpet of spring flowers on the ground, not bluebells, these were white. Not sure what they are called. There were limited views from the top of this hill. The cache was in a great hiding place. It was in the top of a telegraph pole that was hollow at the top but the cache owner had placed a little lid on top with the cache inside. Very neat.

Friday, 5 March 2010

month of SPAD

During the month of February I took part in a challenge to take a self portrait a month and here is a layout showing a few of those photos. It was quite a challenge as usually I am pointing the camera the other way! Also finding new and inventive ways to take a photo of the thing, namely me, every day was quite difficult too. The challenge was on Digital Scrapbooking Place website and there were quite a few others doing the challenge too, from all over the world. I really enjoyed finding out about these people, all of whom I have never met. It was great to see their day to day goings on throughout the month. I certainly will miss the comments and chatting with each other but I dont think I will miss thinking of different ways to take a photo of myself.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Joggers foil cacher

Oh dear you couldn't make it up. Tonight was like a scene out of a comedy film. I had just dropped Alice and her boyfriend at St Johns Ambulance at 8pm and though I would nab a simple cache or two on the way back home. It should be quiet on a cold winter evening I thought. I drove along the seafront and saw some joggers, and thought it must be a jogging club. But then as I drove along there were more and more. Until I reached my destination at the end of a parking spot on the seafront where a tiny nano sized cache was hidden somewhere. Only to find about 50 or 60 joggers warming up and generally loitering around right in the spot I wanted to search.

I had to laugh, will try again later when I pick Alice up when hopefully they will have dispersed.

So on to the next one. It was just outside a church and was another nano cache (about the size of those little circular watch batteries). Only to find that the cache location was in a park with locked gates. It was dark and I was hesitant to peer through the gates after having just finished watching a programme about vampires. Talk about scare myself silly. So I decided to go home and get warm again. Will just have to try another time.

I have had a bit of a weekend of things going wrong whilst caching so this evening just polished it off. LOL

I thought I would lay my own little caches in a nearby country park. So off I go on a nice dry winter's day. I had prepared three tubs and 2 x 35mm canisters to place in trees and little nooks and crannies. I had left a trackable item in one of them and it was not until I got home that I realised that I had not noted which pot/location had the trackable. You are supposed to log these on the website, so I messed up there and that has caused a little bit of confusion as just two hours after the cache site went live online, someone had picked up the trackable already! Talk about eager. Then a few hours later I realised I had put the co-ordinates for a nearby car park instead of the actual cache site. DOH. I wont be laying a series again for a while. I think I will leave it to those more experienced. Oh you have to laugh.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Ups and downs and muddy paths

It was a beautiful sunny morning when I woke up, clear blue skies. No work today, so that means only one thing. A nice walk in the countryside. I didn't want to take Millie with me because I knew I was going to be walking around a village first so I took her and Barney for a quick run over the park nearby. There is a cache there, a tiny one about the size of a fingernail, which I have been looking for on and off for six months. I had yet another look today. Nope couldn't find it. I'm thinking it must be lost so take the dogs back home and head off to the village.

At the village there was a multi-cache. This means that you have to go to different locations to get the clues and work out what the co-ordinates for the actual cache are. I spent a nice hour or so wandering around, finding out interesting little facts about this quaint and very old village which is absolutely steeped in history. Including a market square where people used to be hung. One such chap was hung just for being a Protestant in 1555. Unfortunately the cache site was in a field, so I had to traipse through the mud, which I had hoped to avoid today. The cache was in a tree which was right on the edge of a ditch. With all the rain and snow we have had recently the ditch was waterlogged so I had to gingerly cross the ditch to get to the tree. Picked up the cache, a small tupperware pot full of little odds and ends and opened it up to write on the log. Just as I had all the contents out, along comes a man walking his dog. Caught in the act. God knows what he thought I was doing. You've got to laugh. But I do always seem to get caught red handed these days. I must look all around before actually getting the cache. Anyway go that so off I went to do another one. This was a straight forward cache with co-ords and a clue to where to search. So I parked the car up and walked along to the cache site which was near a fishing lake. Fortunately there wasn't anyone around but unfortunately I could not find it at all. The clue was to look under a log. There were loads of logs and I searched under them all twice. No luck. Oh well that will be a DNF (did not find) to log on the website when I get home.
Off to the next one. My knee was getting very swollen and painful by now so I though I would do a straight forward mulit-cache up the road in an another village. The clues were obtained from a war memorial and I had the co-ordinates to the cache quickly. This one was in the woods, down a muddy path. So much for avoiding the mud today! It was quite slippery and on a slope so that was fun going down then back up again. I found the cache site easily though it was in a part of the woods that was not visited often so there were no paths in some areas, just loads of brambles to trip me up. Well that was me for the day so I went home for a nice cup of tea and cheese on toast for lunch.

I got home and started to log my finds on the geocaching website when I found out that the one I had tried to find this morning, in the park, had been found today. I was so incensed that I had not been able to find it. I messaged the person who had found it, someone I met last week actually, and confirmed it was where I thought it was. So off I went again to look for it, this time I took Millie with me. This was at 4pm today. There were loads of people walking their dogs so it was difficult to hunt for the cache. I spent ages walking up and down and talking to dog owners whilst Millie had a wonderful time running around with other dogs. Eventually there was a lull and I finally had it in my hands after much searching. What a relief. It has been bugging me for so long, not having this one ticked off my list, especially as it the nearest one to where I live.

So then I finally went home for dinner. What a day of ups and downs.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


Today I had a rotten migraine, I haven't had one for months. Not sure what the trigger was but I had to go home from work, take some migraleve and go to sleep for a few hours. Felt better when I woke up, although still a little fragile around noise.

I am planning on going to a geocaching meet/event tonight. Hope my head holds out alright and it is not too noisy there! mmm, some hope. I am really looking forward to meeting other geocachers, especially those whose names crop up on the website. I have met some and it is always nice to meet people with the same interest. Andy is not interested at all in geocaching and moans and groans every time I want to stop off somewhere to find a cache. Hopefully I might be able to pick up a few caches tonight before the meeting starts at 8pm.

So from the last log it looks like I AM making another jeans quilt. Will have to gather some dark coloured jeans and some red material to make one to match Sarah's room. I enjoyed making the one that I have done already and am looking forward to making another one.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Jeans Quilt

I decided to make a jeans quilt after having seen one that my mum had made. I liked the frayed edges and appliqued hearts. So I collected together some jeans, a pair Andy's old jeans and a pair of Sev's and someone from work donated three or four pairs that she was going to throw out. So these were all painstakingly cut into 5 1/2 squares. I cut out about 130 squares. I think I will probably only need 120, but there may be the odd one or two that doesn't work for whatever reason.
Step two meant cutting out 33 hearts from some cotton material that I had bought. One with flowers on and one with strawberries on. The strawberries look very realistic. You could almost reach out and pick one. So these were cut out and appliqued on using a zigzag stitch on the sewing machine.

Then I randomly sewed the squares with hearts and the squares without hearts into strips of eight squares each. This made 15 strips of eight squares. I have laid them across the backs of the dining room chairs here. Then all of those 15 strips were sewn together to make the final top of the quilt. I was very pleased with the result. To make the edges frayed I snipped at them all, giving myself a blister in the process. Then put the quilt in the washing machine with a tennis ball. Don't ask I don't know why but apparently this helps with the intended fraying. Mine didn't come out as frayed as I would have liked, so I may need to pick and snip at it a bit more.

Then I sewed on to the back a nice warm fleecy material in bright red. It really sets of the blue jeans material and matches nicely with the hearts. So here is the finished quilt. It didn't take too long to make at all and I am very pleased with it. I might just think about making sarah a quuilt like this but with green hearts, or even stars. Then again if I could put sheep on the squares that would look really cool, but I don't know how to make sheep shapes to applique on - could be tricky.