Thursday, 29 September 2011

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

More Lessons

Days 22 to 26 went a little bit like this:

22 - I can't be in three places at one time.

23 - I can't run for three minutes just yet even though week 3 of c25k calls for it.  I did, however, find a flatter route than the previous one I have been doing.

24 - My eldest leaving for university is easier to cope with the second year.  Lots of problems in the house she and her friends are renting, not least an unfinished but useable bathroom and no hot water until today.

25 - horse chestnuts, or conkers as we in the UK call them, have markings on them which I've never noticed before. 

This was the haul little man and my other half got from the park on sunday.

26 - The decorating is not going to do itself and I need to make a start hence having to call at B&Q for a filling knife to get the holes in the walls filled in.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Punky Scraps - Get Picky

The last challenge for September on Punky Scraps is a get picky challenge where the other team pick criteria for our team to use. The full list is over at Punky central together with all the fabulous design team inspiration.

I will admit that I left this until the last minute because I was a bit scared of the monochrome part of it having never done one before. I went through my papers though and taking inspiration from the picture criteria used a orangey brown sort of hue. I ended up sticking a bit of black in there aswell.

I think I got everything. The canvas caused a bit of trouble because I couldn't get a toning colour no matter what I tried so I eventually went for a prima sequinned flower centre (on the tree branch) that had a canvas back. Yes the canvas is there but you just can't see it lol

I think I went a bit overboard with the glimmer mist. Never mind.

I used some Basic Grey Out Of Print, WRMK Travel, some chipboard shapes (bird and branch) and letters that I had and have no idea who made them, some of my handmade crocheted flowers and some black prima flowers.

The photo is one that has been propped up on our mantelpiece since I printed it off a while ago. It was taken last October of middle man and little man when we were at Center Parcs at Whinfell Forest.

Thursday, 22 September 2011


Taken in the five minutes we had between storms one day last week:

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Welcome To Autumn Or Is It?

When I was a kid I was taught that the seasons always changed on the 21st of every third month which would officially make today the start of autumn.  Apparently not.  So lesson 21 learnt is that the first official day of autumn is the 23rd September this year. 


Click here to getImages &
Autumn Pictures - Pictures

It feels a lot like autumn out there.  I went onto some grass this morning on my run and decided it was maybe a bad idea with all the leaves making it hard to distinguish between leaves and other dodgy brown stuff (you get me don't you?).

I've even seen a forecast this morning that snow is predicted for October this year.  That is unheard of here in the UK.  We had it bad in November last year which was unusual.  Sign of the changes in the global thingy I suppose.

However I still haven't had a crop of strawberries from my hanging basket yet.  They are slowly forming but whether they will actually turn red remains to be seen.

Speaking of hanging baskets.  I picked up some heavily discounted seeds in the sales and planted some ornamental cabbages in a basket in anticipation of how nice they would be to look at in the depths of winter and they grew really well and I was feeling so proud of growing something like that.  That is until last night and I glanced up at the basket while I took the dogs out in the yard for their end of the day functions.  In just one day they had gone from very leafy and green to this. 

The culprit can be seen wearing the green jacket.  I am seriously not impressed. Those leaves in the picture are about the only ones that still remain.  The very hungry caterpillar story comes to mind and hopefully with them being in the basket they won't be able to attack anything else not that I have all those things in the story planted in my yard lol

Yesterday my learning came about courtesy of the tall one and little man.  The tall one needed putting on the right train to my other half from work so they could go to the Leeds match. He hasn't done it on his own before and with more than one train due at around the same time I thought it best to make sure. We got half way up the street and realised his half fare pass was still in my purse at home.  I ran home, got it and ran to catch them up but the tinkers thought it was funny to increase their walking pace so I had to run further and faster all the while laughing their heads off at me.  My lesson was that running in sandals buggers the knees.  They were aching like mad for a good hour or so afterwards.

Today's run was the beginning of week 3 in which the schedule goes like this:

5 minute brisk warm up walk
90 seconds running
90 seconds walking
3 minutes running
3 minutes walking
90 seconds running
90 seconds walking
3 minutes running
3 minutes walking
5 minute cool down walk

Those 3 minute runs are doubling what I have done in the past.  I managed everything except those.  The app gives you a countdown during those 3 minutes and I got to just past 2 on each one before I had to walk.  Hopefully next time I can go that bit further and complete them.  Saying that though my pace wasn't that bad this time and I actually think the map got the distance right for a change.


Do you use Facebook?

I do but to be totally honest it is rapidly losing its appeal.  I made a promise to myself earlier in the year that I would spend less time on there. 

The long school holidays helped me make a start on ridding the addiction.

I weaned myself off the time sucking games. 

I used to go on Farmville and Frontierville several times a day but I can't remember the last time I went on Farmville. 

I did go on Frontierville for about 10 minutes last week and found that I really couldn't be bothered with it.

I've opened my eyes recently to the victim attention seekers who can't seem to go more than a couple of hours without another 'oh look at me and how badly done to I am' post.  I used to sympathise and then I saw that that was what they were wanting from everybody.  Now I am of the opinion that the hide button is the best option for their whining.  Nothing will stop them and they won't do anything to change their lives.

Then there are the classic attention seekers who need to tell us every single thing about their lives.  Yawn....BORING!

Now don't get me wrong I have probably been guilty in the past and I apologise to anybody who had to sit through any of that.  I haven't updated my own wall apart from the running app which does it itself for nearly a week because my life really is not that interesting that anybody could give a monkeys fluff about it.

I'm not abandoning it completely because I do have friends who are none of those things mentioned above and I value that.  The rest will go on the ever expanding hide list.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Still Learning

Day 16 was definitely that tissues and the washing machine are not a good mix and that they clog up the tumble dryer filter

Day 17 was that scrapping for just because rather than commitments can be enjoyable (see yesterday's post for the layout) and that is what it is supposed to be about.

Day 18 was that the weather can be unpredictable especially when I have delicates on the washing line that can't be tumble dried.

Day 19 was that it costs quite a lot more to travel by train into the big city at 9am than it does at 10am.

We got to shop in almost empty shops though so there are positives.  Gotta love Cath Kidston and I got to have a look at some of the lovely stuff in there without other people being right where I want to be (I hate that lol).  I'm currently eyeing up a new purse.  Expensive but I might treat myself for a big birthday which is coming up next month.  The purpose of the trip was for the last few bits (apart from food shopping) that my eldest needs for going back to university on saturday.  We got her most of the essentials last year so there wasn't a huge amount to buy - mainly things like a new duvet, sheets, duvet cover because she has a double rather than single bed this year, stationery, pegs because she will be in a house and able to hang her washing out rather than in her flat in the halls of residence last year and general bits and pieces. 

Still running and this was yesterday's run. I'm happy with that pace although it didn't feel any faster than the 25 minute miles from last week so I'm taking everything the pace thing tells me with a pinch of salt. I'm still convinced that 25 minute miles are definitely not what I did.

Exactly two months today I am having a stall at a craft fair for the very first time.  For the last few weeks I have been messing around with yarn and trying to perfect a couple of ideas. I think I'm pretty sure on one of them now so here is a little sneaky peeky.  Taken with my phone because my dear husband has taken the camera to work with him as he is going off to the Leeds v Manchester game straight from work.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Scrapbook Starting Points

Have you stopped by Shimelle's blog lately? She has started something called Starting Points where she has a picture of a starting point of a layout.  The latest one (full details here) was this:

scrapbook starting points

Love how she has used stripy paper because I hardly ever use it and it is a satisfying feeling to use a full piece of paper every now and again.  I chose some Jillybean Soup papers from the September Scraproom kit and my starting point turned out like this (crap phone pic)

which then became this

Ack.... I hate the photo of the layout.  I need a scanner or lessons in how to photograph something 12x12 so it doesn't look like this.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Punky Scraps Challenge 28 Sketch

This week on Punky Scraps it is a sketch challenge.  The sketch is over at Punky Central along with lots of inspiration for you from the design team.

This was my take on it

When my husband took the boys camping in the summer they went to a viewpoint and the photos scare the hell out of me.  This one in particular looks like one nudge and little man would send middle man rolling down the hillside.  I reckon if he had the opportunity to he would but who knows lol?

Thursday, 15 September 2011

LSNED Plus A Bit Of A Skywatch

Day 13 was Tuesday and my lesson was I need to be more organised and not leave things until the last minute.  Also maybe not to overcommit.  I don't think I'll be taking on any more round robin things for a while.

Day 14 was yesterday and with it brought what I think must have been an absolutely outstanding sunset.  I only caught the very end of it and even then it was from the car when I was driving out of Asda carpark. (I did park back up to take the pic).  So this is my bit of a skywatch picture for this week. A bit of one because it is quite rubbish and blurry.  The blanket of cloud was black against the bottom bit of sky which was pink.  Not something I've seen for quite a while.

Day 15 is one that I have been learning all year.  Today is the first anniversary of my dad losing his wife to a very long battle against the horrible c disease.  We knew the end was coming and we hadn't seen her for a few months for no particular reason so myself and my daughter who was shortly going to university for her first year decided we would go to the hospice and made arrangements to visit on the wednesday (15th).  Unfortunately the time scale the doctor had given her didn't quite work out and she died a short time before we were due to visit.  I made the decision, along with my sister and brother, to go and see her anyway and I'm glad I did.  Back to the learning and my lesson learnt is that we can't dwell on regrets.  We can't change what has already happened.

I'm going to do something I never normally do and ask something so please don't take offence and just bypass it if you like because I feel guilty asking. My brother in law is running the Great North Run this weekend to raise money in her memory for the hospice where she died.  If you have a few spare pennies they are very much appreciated. His fund raising page is here 

Monday, 12 September 2011

LSNED Catch Up

Here are days 8 to 12.

Day 8 I learnt not to leave my eldest son in charge of cutting and cooking green beans for tea whilst I take little man for his swimming lesson. Burnt pan and no edible beans.

Burnt Saucepan

Day 9 I learnt that, despite doing the exercise, eating crap doesn't get rid of the excess weight and at weigh in today I was the same as last week.

Day 10 My middle man (13 year old) accompanied me to the big park for my run this morning.  He was on the school cross country team last year so in theory it was a good combination to take him.  In practice though maybe not.  All my fault though because I left his inhaler in the car.  He hasn't had any symptoms for several months so I didn't really consider taking it until half way around and he was struggling for his breath.  The decision was made to take a steady walk back to the car instead of carrying on.  Lesson learnt was definitely not to second guess that he would be OK and that his inhaler still needs to come with us. 

Walked half the runs

Day 11 A massive spider took up residence in the living room this evening and I hadn't estimated how much of a phobia certain people in this house have of them.

Day 12 today - running again but a big lesson for me in technology.  I was messing with the c25k app I use over the weekend and today I just pressed the go button thinking it would start at the next run from the last one I did - erm no doesn't work like that.  I ended up doing day 1 week 1 again.  However, since I didn't do it properly on Saturday and considering I stupidly chose a route with an unexpected incline and the wind was quite strong I maybe didn't make too much of a mistake.  I'll just start week 2 on Wednesday instead.

Wrong Week

Speaking of the wind - it isn't the actual hurricane we are getting here in the UK.  It isn't possible for a hurricane to hit.  My daughter explained it all to me yesterday and I had heard it on the local weather forecast on Friday aswell.  It is something to do with the sea temperature having to be at a minimum of 27 degrees to a certain depth which we just do not get here.  Gales more like but definitely not a hurricane as lots of places are reporting.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Punky Scraps Challenge

This week over on Punky Scraps the challenge is to take inspiration from this picture

I took the buttons and the tartan as inspiration and created this

To take part in the challenge and have the chance to win a prize and also to see what the rest of the design team and guests have done head on over to the punky home.

Thursday, 8 September 2011


For this week on Skywatch I've chosen to use one of the pictures of my little one on the climbing spider web thing in the park.

He is rather a daredevil 7 year old just at the moment and it is scary from a mummy point of view

LSNED Days 6 and 7

Day 6 on LSNED I learnt that administering eye drops to a dog is not easy and is better done as a two person job.

Day 7 I learnt that the c25k thing felt easier on the second workout and that the 19 minute mile pace from last time was actually easy to improve on.

Monday, 5 September 2011

LSNED Days 4 and 5

Day 4 I learnt that it is helpful to check dates on items before I buy them. This lesson is the second time in the last week or so that I have bought out of date food without realising. Last time it was crisps. This week it was mayonnaise with a date of May 2011 so it looks like asda will be getting a visit later to take it back.

Day 5 I have a screen shot from my phone for

I discovered c25k on the nhs website at the beginning of the school holidays and have been itching to start once my little man went back to school. That day was today.

Anyway my lesson learnt is that I'm unfit and even though day one is alternating one minute running with one and a half minutes walking for twenty minutes I still ended up walking for two of those minute runs. It is a starting point though and a work in progress which I am building towards in the process of dropping some lard off my ass. I'm really not sure how the pace thing works because 2.46 miles at a pace of 19.22 minutes a mile over 30 minutes doesn't really work out.  Maybe it is averages or maybe the GPS bit got its knickers in a twist and it wasn't really 2.46 miles. I do usually walk faster that that though so I really don't know what happened.  I did go quite a haphazard route around the rabbit warren of terrace rows near us - maybe it got confused.  Next time I have a different route in mind which takes me more of a circular route. 

If you use the podcasts from the NHS website it is free.  I was all for doing it for free but having heard other people talk about it I decided to buy this £1.99 app for my iphone. It lets you play your own music and as you can see from my screen shot it tracks pace and miles.  One very simple thing I thought was good was that it tells you when you are at the halfway point of your workout.  So if you just set off from home and kept going then in theory once it tells you then you could turn around and arrive back home spot on the end time.

I also learnt that some streets are dead ends and it is a bit embarrassing to have to turn around when people are stood there.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

LSNED - Day 3

Day 3 I discovered I love Webster Pages after receiving a massively discounted warehouse sale package. It cost me just over £30 including postage from the US and I got a mammoth amount of loveliness. Lots of papers underneath the gorgeous embellishments you can see in the picture. I've only ever had one or two pieces of patterned paper from Websters Pages before and definitely no embellishments apart from a very small length of ribbon in a kit once so I am very excited at the contents of my box.

There are a few christmassy bits in there but with a bit of creativity they can also be universal or I could just use it as an excuse to sign up for shimelle's Christmas class :)

LSNED day 2

No picture for day 2. It was the first session of a rerun of the weight management course I have done three times before. Every time in the past I have missed some sessions so I signed up again to revisit the lessons from the previous times and hopefully manage to catch the ones I missed. It's a fantastic free course run by the nhs aimed at educating people about the way we eat, what we eat and how to make small changes which add up to big differences to our health.

Anyway my lesson was from the weight scales that in the three weeks since the last course finished I managed to maintain my weight despite being lazy about exercise.

Friday, 2 September 2011

Learn Something New Everyday Day 1

Are you taking part in Learn Something New Everyday over at

I signed up for Learn Something New Everyday (hereafter known as LSNED) a couple of years ago and the great thing about Shimelle's classes is that once you are signed up that is it for however many times the class runs.  LSNED is a September class and this will be my third time trying to do it.  The first year I manged something like 4 layouts for the class and ended up just doing a montage layout with tiny photos at the end because I couldn't keep up.  Last September was a particularly sad one for our family and something happened slap bang in the middle which made it difficult to get motivated.  This year I'm hoping I can stay on track.

Anyway off we go with Day 1 in which I learnt that my little man is not so much a little man anymore and is turning into a bit of a daredevil.

We went to a park with one of those spider web climbing things and he would usually just stay at the bottom but this time he was like grease lightning.  I stood his scooter up at the side of me and got my phone out of my pocket, pressed the hipsta button and looked up.  He was almost at the top and wanted to know how to get to the very top point!

This photo scares me because he was just holding on with one hand and looking at the view. 

I guess he is growing up.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Skywatch 1st September 2011, A Design Team Call & September Challenge

We had an amazing sunset this week which was over very quickly but I consider myself lucky to have snapped such a gorgeous sky.

On Punky Scraps we are having a Design Team Call so if you are interested in being part of the team and enjoy getting messy with paints and ink please check out this post

Over on The Craft Garden this month it is picture inspiration and here is my creation