Month: April 2016

52 Stories – week twenty four


Here we go again with another story.

I have been taking a class from Ali Edwards all about photography and using photos to tell our stories. It’s called Lens of Joy. Perfect name, right? In this final week of class she has been talking about how photos have layers. The literal story of what the picture shows and then many others stories that you could tell using that photo. This is usually a struggle for me so I’m pleased to have the message drilled home!

I made this page last week before the content for the class but clearly her whole ethos was in my head because this story is not totally a literal one and I love this page so.

The Heart of the girl


Here is the story from this page –

I asked and she delivered. H had made me a loom band bracelet before but it snapped. So I asked her to make me 3 using the colours form the original. It was only a couple of days later when she gave me these. Bless her heart. She is so kind and thoughtful. Always be that, my darling girl, always be that.

The takeaway from story number four/Would I add anything more?

Nope, I wouldn’t add anything more to this one. Love it like I said. It is a perfect example of pushing my story telling skills and I want to keep doing that. Yes, I still need to practice drafting out my journalling to make sure I get all the story down but I also want to capture the less literal side of the tale too. Very happy with this one and I am looking forward to using the class material to tell more.

It was a great class.


52 stories is a year long series or adventure in my story telling. Can I get the whole story onto a layout? Am I telling the stories I want to tell? Read the inspiration post here.

Project Life® share – January and February 2016


Although I have not shared any pages yet this year I am still plodding away with this project. I have found a sort of rhythm with it and so far this year I haven’t got stressed out because I know I have the photos and the notes jotted down so all I need to do is combine the two… no pressure! No, really I am in a relaxed place with this. But I think writing something down each week is key other wise you forget and it just becomes a photo album.


The other factor that is helping me with this project is the I’m keeping it simple. I took a handful of the Project Life cards from the kits I own (see below for details of those) and filled up several weeks of pockets.


I tried to keep similar colours for each week and filled all the 3 x 4 slots. I do a page a week and aim for just four photos, although I often have too many picture and either fill a 3 x 4 pocket with a photo or add an insert of some kind.


For the first week of the year a group of my family went to see the new Star Wars film and I wanted to include the tickets, as well as having a photo of my niece holding out the long string of them!

To do that I cut down an old page protector and punched holes so I could add it to the album.


I also am happy to make the whole spread one week if there is enough going on with the photos to fill it up. The second week in January did get a full spread.


I wanted to include that series of Buddy and it snowed so I needed to get all those photo in because in case you didn’t know I kinda love the snow….


I also love our London underground maps and for Christmas my sister bought me a lovely book of postcards, each design taking part of the map of the underground and filling in certain lines to make animal shapes. I thought the polar bear was perfect for this snowy week.


I just cut down another pocket page and added it into the album.


Simple one page for the following weeks.


Lots of labels. We recently bought a new colour printer so most of the labels on the page below are printed at home.


And that was how the year began.


Project Life® is a memory keeping system developed by Becky Higgins. I am using the Honey and the Fifth and Frolic ‘Dear Lizzie’ Core Kits, the Seasons, DIY shop, Road Trip and Pooch Mini kits on my pages.

Go here to find out more from Becky.

Photo a Day – week six


Here we go with some more.

I’m pretty sure, that although this plant is a biennial,  this will be its third year so when I see all that lovely growth I celebrate with a photo. It is Lunaria (honesty) in the white form so the leaves are that lovely variegated colour.


Tis the season for lots of flower pictures it seems. I am still in love with all our patio pots and they’ll be featured again and again until they’re all done I’m sure.


Funny girl.


So much wrong with this photo and I think my sunglasses are way too big! But I like it anyway.


I wonder if he’s chewing a toy or a plant pot…….


Went to paint pottery at the Emma Bridgewater factory. I’ve been before with my sister and niece, this time was with my BFF. We had such fun.


Macro shot of the Artichoke flowers and pretty light.


And there we have it.

52 Stories – week twenty three – Pizza Za


We are back on track for my adventures in story with another tale from our trip to the US. It’s almost a year since those adventures and I still have so many stories to tell about those three weeks…..

Pizza Za


My ‘test’ if you will, to knowing if I’ve succeeded in my quest to capture the story, will be that if I can just quote the journaling I’ve used on the page and not need/want to add anything here in the post to explain it further, then I have done it, I’ve got all the bits of the story down.

Here is the story from this page –

We are creatures of habit and if we go to San Fran, we go to Pizza Za. The journey up the hills is all part of the FUN. Waiting to squeeze onto the cable car, riding past so we can catch another look at Lombard Street then walking back to enjoy a delish pizza in the teeny buzzing eatery. We shared a large one. The its time for the best ride ever down the hills with the wind in our hair.

The takeaway from story number twenty three/Would I add anything more?

I think that this process, a little growth from me plus a couple of courses I have taken recently, Storytelling with December Daily and Storytelling with Project Life from Ali Edwards (they are not running currently) have made me look at stories or look for stories in a different way. Certainly the idea of using not just the obvious photos to tell the story is sticking with me just a little.

I could have just written about the pizza place and how we love it but when I started to think about the story I wanted to tell the journey of how we get there came out too and I remembered I had the picture of the outside that I’d taken as we rode by on the cable car.Adding that photo to the page completes and rounds it out.

Although I did run out of room at the bottom of the page I am happy with this little story and I do think I got my point across about our love of this place.


52 stories is a year long series or adventure in my story telling. Can I get the whole story onto a layout? Am I telling the stories I want to tell? Read the inspiration post here.

“Have you seen the Smew?” – a foray into twitching


One of the places I wanted to visit during our recent trip to Suffolk was RSPB Minsmere. We have a nature programme here in the UK called Springwatch and they have based themselves at this nature reserve during the filming. It always looked interesting and although I feed the birds in my garden and like to spot them on the beach I have never gone specially to seek them out.

Gav was happy to stay with Buddy (he couldn’t come in of course) and I set off on my new adventure. I didn’t know quite what to expect when I arrived at the visitor centre but quickly realised that they take all this nature watching very seriously with trails, hides, different types of habitats, enough for a week’s worth of exploring let alone the couple of hours I thought I’d be there.


I decided to take the coastal path that was 2 miles in length and took me past shingle beach and several lagoons. There are huge hides build along the side of the lagoons Wooden buildings on two levels where a dozen people can sit comfortably binoculars in hand watching and documenting. I ventured into three of these and in the second one a chap sat next to me and asked that question. “Have you seen the Smew?” My poor brain struggled with a response until I decided that honesty was the best policy and I explained this was my first visit to the reserve. To give him his due he did briefly explain what they looked like and that a sighting of a pair had apparently been made that day – he had come specially to see them. Then he turned and asked the people to his left if they had spotted them. The Smew were it seems being elusive.

Although I had an old pair of binoculars and my 100mm lens I struggled to see most of the birds out there. My equipment paled into insignificance set alongside what others were wielding. But I had a very enjoyable two hours or so and when I got the photos on the computer I did manage to zoom in so I could identify a few species.

The first photo above is of a Shelduck then there is a Wigeon and below are Avocets.


And of course here we have the lesser spotted Buddlington.


I don’t think I’ll be taking twitching up a hobby but like I say it was an enjoyable way to pass an afternoon.

Photo a Day – week four and five


Here are a few more.

All that material is coming together to make a triangle quilt. And yes I am stood, amongst the mess, on my dining room table.


I have a little drawing project in mind so bought a new pad and pen.


Took my niece out for dinner. Gav and I sampled the non-alcoholic beers. Quite nice.


A very strange snacking bowl at work.


Clematis buds.


The growing season is upon us but it’s slow around here because we don’t have a weatherproof greenhouse right now. I resorted to putting a few seeds on the windowsill in my craft room. Not ideal at all but better that nothing.


He is claiming his pots.


And week five.

I took a turn with some painting duties.


I’m transfixed with the pots of Daffodils and Tulips we have on the patio. These are Apricot Beauty.


Progress. I have sewn half of the triangles together and wanted to lay it all out to judge the size.


And some progress on the greenhouse front too. It’s getting there… I feel like I say that every day without it ever being finished.


It didn’t translate in the camera but that patch of lighter sky was just glowing.


Breakfast with my BFF.


Gathered a few flowers.


Okay we are up to date.

Read 2016 – Strong Poison by Dorothy L. Sayers


I know, I know another Wimsey.

This novel is when we meet Harriet Vane. I think it was sheer genius of Dorothy to make Wimsey fall for an accused murderer! And the author does a great job of altering the usual course of a detective story chronology. We have the accused murderer at the start of the book and Wimsey sets about trying to prove they have the wrong person.

I really enjoyed this one.

52 stories – week twenty one and twenty two


Another two stories to catch me up.

Lets see if I managed to get all the parts of the story I wanted to tell down on the pages.

Drive Through

52 stories three2

Here is the story from this page –

We have seen one before but are still amazed at these little machines. Only in the US right? Gav has the process all worked out now and obtained his dollars with no problems. Next stop Joann, well we have the cash now!


The takeaway from the page/would I add anything more?

Pretty much happy with this one. Again, as I have said several times in these storytelling posts, this is one of those little stories that we probably wouldn’t forget but is goo to get down on paper just in case. It was funny to us at the time (I don’t think we will ever get over drive through ATM’s!) and I wanted to record that.

And next we have – Drinks and snacks back in the car


The story on this page –

It’s fair to say that we spent a lot of time in our hire car on this holiday and it’s fair to say we had plenty of snacks in out hire car as we travelled along. Here we have a blue ‘slurpee,’ that I was very pleased about getting for Gav, and an iced Starbucks vanilla coffee, a staple of crispy M & M’s, a Coke Zero and a half-hearted attempt to be healthy a liquorice and mint tea (I brought the bag from home.) Oh yes we like a snack.


The takeaway from this page/would I add anything more

I love the photos on this layout and I am pleased with how this page came together and like the story I told. It covers everything I wanted to say except for perhaps one other little thing. For some reason when I saw the slurpee machine I thought of the Big Bang Theory (the TV show). We love that show and I am sure that Sheldon once bought a blue splurpee and so I wanted to get Gav one to see if he got the reference too. I think he did. So apart from that little addition I like this page and I was daring with my red journalling!


52 stories is a year long series or adventure in my story telling. Can I get the whole story onto a layout? Am I telling the stories I want to tell? Read the inspiration post here.

Photo a Day – week one, two and three


As the start of another Photo a Day rolled round I began to think about why I still do it and how I can make this year unique.

I first time I documented our life in this way was back in 2007. That was before this blog and before my DSLR camera. I enjoyed the project and love having those images to look back on. This will be my fourth year sharing here on the blog and I wanted to try something different. Last year I tried to remember to let Gav take the photos somedays and also tried themed weeks, although as I said the other week neither of these worked out quite as planned.

I read a great blog where she doesn’t share a photo a day but photos from her week. I love her images and her quirky personality and she lives near San Fran, reason enough for me to stalk follow her blog.

Another idea I pondered was joining in on this websites challenges. They give you a list of photo prompts for each month. Truth be told I look at those lists and then navigate away from the site because the idea of having, not only to take a picture a day, but to also fit it within a specific subject terrifies me. I can just imagine running around wild-eyed at 10pm looking for something, anything that would fit a prompt. I joke but I can see that happening and although you can switch prompts around to suit your days I still don’t think I am ready for the challenge. I may use some prompts on those weekend days where there is more time because I really love the idea and the website and all the effort they put into making 365 day photography fun.

Okay I’ll still yammering on and share the photos…..

On our trip away.


Loved the beautiful architecture in the village.


Cheese on toasted olive bread. Mmmm…


So this happened.


And this came all the way from Canada from the amazing Kal. She did a pop up script shop where you sent a phrase you wanted her to write in script art. I LOVE it and that I finally have a Kal Barteski original. I have followed her blog for sooo long.


The day the patio doors stayed open of more than five seconds. He was enjoying his spot in the sun.


I took the 100mm lens and a tripod (I know where will it end?) outside at twilight to get this photo. It’s not perfect but the best image of the moon I have captured. I edited it to make the sky darker and zoomed in a little in photoshop.


This is one of the Hydrangea blooms that was left over from the wreath. It has sat on the window sill in my craft room mellowing with age. I set the 100mm lens on macro to get this.


It is many years since I’ve had tomato soup. It was good.


Had an Easter  delivery at work!


A walking foot! Oh I am so excited about the prospect of quilt making.


And as proof here is the material I bought in Jo-ann’s last year. I’m going to make Buddy a new throw. How cute is that material?


Ready for a family Easter gathering.


Tis the season…. bad photo so I’ll clarify. It’s a female blackbird clearing out the garage gutters for nesting material.


Last little snowdrop.


An in progress copy of this Jasper Johns. I used a potato and a star cookie cutter to make the star stamp!


Breakfast at my Mums.


An early morning walk for coffee.


See I told you I was excited about quilting!


Love robins.


Okay so that was the first three weeks. Back next week with some more.

A whirlwind 22 hours


Strange title but it hits the nail on the head.

Gav and I are very lucky to have a great relationship with my younger niece. She loves to come and visit and we love her to. She is on her Easter holidays and came for a sleepover last Sunday night.

Here’s what we go up to in those 22 hours –

  • Trip to Hobbycraft to buy stretched canvases
  • Made pizza sauce and ate homemade pizza
  • Watched The Martian (excellent film btw)
  • Made Minion cupcakes
  • Read books
  • Made scrambled eggs
  • Ate grapes
  • Ate Dragon fruit (we have a goal to try new fruit)
  • Copied a Mondrian painting
  • Found frog spawn in the flooded part of the wood
  • Saw a heron
  • Moved logs
  • Took photos
  • Ate soup
  • Got really muddy
  • Had lots of fun!









Really love having ordinary adventures with that girl and we love her so.