Friday, 31 October 2008

>>> Happy Halloween! <<<

Not that my boys do celebrate it but they did don on their Halloween outfit (bought several years ago) to go to their nan's. Didn't allow them to do the 'trick or treats' thingy as I don't like them eating sweets. Besides, they are still too young and it was really cold tonite!

It's half term this week and gosh, how time flies. It's Friday again and it has been great not having to wake up early and send the boys to school. Gonna miss that next week when they return and it will be a mad rush again in the mornings.

Oliver was invested as a cubs member tonite. They had a little Halloween party and then we came in the last 15 mins to witness his investiture. (photos coming soon). That means I've gotta sew his badges onto his new jumper again! A very tedious task and wish mom was here to do it!

MIL was nice enough to have both boys over for the nite. It was Oliver's turn to stay over but somehow cheeky Zac managed to squeeze his way in much to the annoyance of his brother. That gave us adults a free nite and boy did we made use of it. We went off to watch Quantum of Solace at Star City. Gosh, what an action packed movie it was. I enjoyed it thoroughly but definitely need to watch it again as you tend to miss bits on first viewing.

Managed to create a few LOs in between babysitting the boys. Made use of the Scarlet Lime Oct main kit as well so quite pleased I got to use the kit as usually it just sits on the shelf. The autumnly colours of the papers helped greatly too.

LO created for Scenic Route challenge where one had to mix at least 2 different lines of papers. Had to give this a go as I luv to mix & match different papers.

LO created using Scarlet Lime Oct main kit. And no, Zac didn't eat the snow, just his cheeky manner of doing it since I was taking shots of him.

Since I just came back from Paris Disneyland, just had to scrap this group photo of us. Didn't set my camera up properly so it's slightly overexposed but hey, it's the memories that count! LO created using Scarlet Lime Oct main kit.

Back to the grind next week! Can't believe it's Nov tomorrow! At this rate, Christmas will be upon us in no time! TTFN!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

>>> Disney Fantasia! <<<

Got home from Paris Disneyland after spending 4 days there. We left on Friday afternoon to stay at a hotel in Folkstone so that we didn't have to travel so early in the morning. It was a nitemare journey as it took us 6 hrs to reach Folkstone. At one stage, we were stuck in traffic for a good half an hour due to accident. In fact, we were stuck twice in different motorways. By the time we reached the hotel, we were thoroughly knackered.

The next morning we took the Channel Tunnel to Paris. Didn't realise it was such a short journey and it was the first time we took with the car. Thomas Cook messed up our reservation. There were 3 families altogether and somehow we were given a different ticket alphabet. We later checked and found that we were given a different departure time in France as well. So we had to change it to ensure all 3 were leaving together.

Anyway, got to Paris Disney in good time. We stayed in the Dream Castle hotel and it was amazing. What can I say about Disney, it was just brillant. The kids enjoyed it, the adults as well and all of us had a fabulous time. It was the first time we went as a group and we really enjoyed each others' company. Who knows, we might do it again in future but for now, I leave with some highlights of the trip....

First day: Travelling to France via the Channel Tunnel.

The Dream Castle hotel that we stayed in. The room we stayed in had 2 queen size beds.

First nite in Disney! Lucky for us the park closed at 10pm so we made the most of the evening there. The theme of Halloween was echoed throughout Disneyland Park, one of the Disney sections.

2nd day: the kids managed to get up close with some Disney characters. Here they are with a

Managed to capture a shot of the carnival parade

Moi trying on one of the many Disney hats. I was so tempted to get this particular one except common sense prevailed. Can't exactly wear this everyday, can I?

Day 3: Up close with Mickey Mouse and his autograph

One of the many rides that we went on

I just had to get into this pic. Luv Monsters Inc. and the characters.

Day 4: The gang!

A train ride around Disneyland Park.

Our last meal in Disney was taken at Planet Hollywood. I had rump steak (not really a steak person) but this particular steak was just so juicy and delicious. Heavens!

Managed to squeeze a trip to the Sealife Centre.

At the Channel Tunnel on the French side. We took the 2347 train and just managed to get in the last carriage. It seems they had cancelled an earlier train and there was a backlog of cars, not surprising!

Snow greeted us when we hit UK. Inches deep of snow too. We didn't get home till 4am.

I thoroughly enjoyed this trip. We had a hectic 4 days of walking, visiting, queuing and sitting on rides. My only grouse was the food. Loads of junk food at Disney and by the 2nd day, I had enough of chips and fried meat!!! Thankfully on the last nite at the hotel, we dined in at the restaurant and they were serving 'la cuisine francaise'. OMG, it was perfect as the starter consisted of seafood. I had 2 platefuls of prawns and mayo. Dessert was even better! Sure as hell made up for the crap meals we had on the first 2 days!

God blessed us with great weather as well. It did drizzle on the 3rd day but it didn't spoil our trip. We were lucky that it stopped during the day and it got wet by evening which didn't bother us as we were ready to go back to the hotel.

So was 4 days enough... I don't think so. I'm sure there were areas that we didn't go. In terms of exhaustion, it was certainly enough. Going to Paris Disney gave us a prelude to what it would be like to go to the one in Florida. We had plans to do that next year but after experiencing the Paris version, I think I shall opt to go to Singapore instead. I certainly don't want to spend my entire holidays queuing up for rides!!! TTFN!

Friday, 24 October 2008

>>> Hectic! <<<

This has been a whirlwind week for me, Oliver's school performance, Zac's parents' evening etc. It doesn't stop till Friday! Thank goodness I had them written down as there is only so much my brain can cope with all these events. Put it down to old age.

Oliver's year group put up a harvest performance on the theme of 'being green'. His school is aiming of 'eco' status so the production was about an a planet close to extinction and the need to find another planet to live. It was good and it would have been better if he did perform in it. Instead he was in charge of the lightings. Put my camera to good use and am amazed how well it took in low lighting. However, another lens would have done the job extremely well instead and without flash too!

Zac's report went well. A month into the school term and he's doing well apparently. All he needs now is to practise his handwriting as it's awful at the moment. His teachers described him as a 'bundle of energy'.

Haven't done much crafting as I'm sorting out my stamps at the moment. It's taking much longer than expected (translated as having far too much stamps!!!) I look forward to the day when I can merely flick through my files to search for a stamp as opposed to looking throught bagful of them instead!

Need to pack as well... we're off with relatives to Paris Disneyland. As usual, I'm the official packer in the family. TTFN!

Sunday, 19 October 2008

>>> Crop! <<<

Well, it's the 3rd Sunday of the month so went to the Solihull crop. It was also my turn to teach a class and my class focus on layering and distressing. Here the LO that I created:

Have to say, luv the shots I took of Oliver as I was merely shooting with my new camera and managed to capture him in action without any blurring! Luv those coconut trees in the background. Gave it a tropical feel. Unfortunately the pools in UK are all indoors and very stuffy!

Felt completely drained out after teaching. Needless to say, will hit the sack after putting my boys to sleep. TTFN!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

>>> Saturday! <<<

After the boys' swimming lessons, we decided to go to the NEC to visit the Caravan show. Hubs wanted to check some caravans out. Thankfully kids went in free. We had a nose around the different types of caravans and we found a particular layout that we like.

There was even a play area for the kids so they had a play in there. Oliver attempted the rock climbing wall and he was quite good and managed to cling on when the wall was tilting about.

We had a slight mishap when we lost Zac. Well, one minute he was with us and the next, he disappeared. God, I was shouting his name, looking for him and in the end, had to approach the info booth. That was when I overheard on the walkie talkie a man saying he found Zac. Sheesh, what a relief. Anyway, on my way to organiser's office to claim him, hubs called to say that he had Zac. Poor chap was sniffing about. That will teach him not to stray from us in future! TTFN!

Friday, 17 October 2008

>>> Before & After! <<<

Proud to say that I've finally buckled down and cleared the remaining mess outta my craft room. Threw out another bagful of papers and other stuff. Sometimes wonder why I hang on to them. I'm definitely a serial hoarder! It's now spick and span (god knows for how long...). Here are some images of them:

Where you couldn't see the floor before...

Hey, I've got floor space!
All storage boxes have been labelled with contents within. I made use of existing storage as I can't be bothered to go shopping and spending money on co-ordinating storage boxes. I much rather spend it on stamps! I'll be altering those brown boxes later. They pack loads inside! My craft room need to be re-painted. Dun really like the colour and it used to be the nursery room. Oh well, the boys now share a room and this room is completely mine!

The table where I craft and beside and beneath it, more storage units. One can never have too many storage units.

Another shelf full of storage boxes. Now the hubs installed all these shelves in 06 while I was on holiday in Singapore. I was using the dining room as my craft room and he got fed up of the mess downstairs so he turned this bedroom into a craft room for moi and surprised me greatly. I almost died when I saw it. He even bought those brown boxes and filled them up with SB stuff albeit haphazardly (men!). Still the thought counts.

A close up of my stamping area. I've placed all my stamps and accessories here within easy reach. I luv stamping and my purchases for SB always include some stamps above anything else! Had to use a shoebox to contain my 7 Gypsies seal stamps, wasn't using them enough as they were hidden and unreachable before. At least now I can reach for them easily.

Finally my basket of stamps, all categorised into ziplock bags, waiting to go into folders. I seriously need to tackle them as I'm reaching a stage whereby I don't know what I possess and end up buying similar stamp most of the time! They will go into the red box of folders in the above photo.

On a different topic, my son's teacher asked if I could help with the library books and Maths games. I used to do it last year. I said ok as it meant I could keep an eye on my little boy. Besides, it's nice to be back in a school environment. As a teacher before, I do miss teaching but it's not something I'm gonna rush to do it so soon. Might give it a thought in another couple of years when my boys are olders. Currently they need me now and I rather be around for them. Once they hit their teens, they probably won't want me that much!

On the subject of crafting, did two cards with the scrap papers from BPM medley kit:

Will add the sentiment later

It's Friday again. Boy do I luv Fridays! Just knowing it's the weekend and not having to wake up early is enough to make me happy! TTFN!

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

>>> Weekend Shots! <<<

We had brillant weather on Sunday and took a walk. Brought along my Nikon DSLR to capture some autumn photos and also to practise my shoots. I've yet to use the camera since coming back. Here's a few of them:

My babes!

Luv the colours on the trees now.

Luv the fact they waited for us before crossing the road. Caught them having a tete a tete!

A close up of Oliver. Not a great shot but I just luv it. Need to photoshop that pimple of his by his mouth! At his age too!!!

Another view of the trees

The electric pole... don't ask why I took it!

Zac, being extremely moody as he was finding it hard to cycle up the slope. He threw a hussy fit right after!

A close up view of him. It would have been nicer if he smiled! Typical of him!

Wish we had more such sunny weathers in the UK. Sure as hell makes a great change to the soul! TTFN!

Saturday, 11 October 2008

>>> Ikea! <<<

After the boys' swimming lessons, popped into Ikea in Coventry. We've not been there before and it a fairly new store. Gosh, it's a very impressive building, 6 stories high with a great play area for children. Kids stay in there for an hour and a half and they take kids up to 10 years of age, unlike the one in Wednesbury where it's only a mere 45 mins (you simply can't finish shopping for 45 mins) and kids up to 7 yrs are allowed in. I think we will be going to the Coventry one in future!

So what did we buy? A computer chair, a bedside table for my bedroom and a 6 drawer cabinet for my scrapping items. It's a narrow cabinet measuring 28 (w) x 43 (d) x 69 (h)cm. It costs £19.99 and yup, I went for that colour. Love the colour red. I had wanted to get those Really Useful Boxes but there wasn't anywhere in my room to put them whereas I had found a little niche in the room for this. I'm hoping that now I will make better use of my scrapbooking embellishment now that they have been re-sorted. The drawers are quite deep so I'll be piling a fair amount in there.

I do luv my craft room now. (Note to self: take photos of it!) It has been tedious sorting it out but I'm glad I did it. Makes scrapping so much easier now! TTFN!

>>> Yay! It's The Weekend! <<<

I can't tell you how pleased that it's the weekend. Been waiting for this day i.e. Friday to come. Just had a hectic week and seriously need a break from the kids. Thankfully there isn't much activity for the weekend either so hoping to be able to catch up on my spring cleaning! I still have unfinished bits to attend to.

Glad that I've got my DT assignments done. Here's what I did with BackPorch Memories October Medley kit:

Papers by Fancy Pants All Fall.

Papers by Scribble Scrabble Autumn Afternoon

Papers by October Afternoon Hometown

For the project, I created this circular mini album. I was influenced by Annette West, a talented lady with a penchant for making mini album. Here's my version of it.

An overall view of the inner pages of the mini album. I literally used up all the papers in the Medley kit and had to use some papers from the Solo kit which incidentally features Pink Paislee Vintage Moon.

Looking forward to the weekend! TTFN!

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

>>> It's Wednesday! <<<

Can't you believe how time flies? It's already mid-week. I've been busy cleaning the house out. Just got the cleaning bug and cleared the cupboard on the landing. I couldn't imagine how much rubbish there was in there... no wonder the door couldn't close! Anyway, I found tons of plastic bags, those that you get from shopping. Loads of them. How on earth I accumulated that much beggers belief and I managed to fill 2 huge bags full of them. No doubt they will be used for the bins now. After re-claiming the space from the cupboard, I re-organised and re-sort the items within. I'll be tackling the cupboard in my bedroom soon. That has become another dumping ground and needs a desperate clear out and that includes clothes!

Have been busy with craft stuff as well. Just completed an acrylic album for which I was guest designing. It will be featured later this month. Currently working on BackPorch Memories Oct Medley kit. Here's one LO that I've completed. The rest will be revealed on the 10th:

Papers used: Fancy Pants All Fall.

Attended my son's school PTA (more known as FOLGIS) AGM this evening. A letter was sent out inviting more participants from parents. We have a total of nearly 280 pupils and guess how many parents attended!!! Just 1! I sincerely hope she stays on. The usual members were still there. We elected the officiers for the team and I got nominated as Secretary again so I'm resuming the post a second time! We adopted the Constitution with minor changes to the original version. After half an hour, the AGM ended. Then it was the usual meeting to discuss activities for the Autumn term. We all agreed on a Xmas Craft Fayre. That should be fun! I'm thankful that the school isn't that poor that it needs to rely on donations from parents. We are there to raise fund to create an outdoor environment for the school. Let's hope we can achieve that! TTFN!

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

>>> Still Clearing! <<<

It's taking me a while to finish as I don't have the staying power of concentration. I start then halfway, I get bored and end up suring the net. Besides, working part time do take the time off me as I've to stop halfway. I'm also in the boys' schools on Wed and Thur afternoon for the violin so nothing can be done after coming back from work! Once they are home, it's time to concentrate on them so that they are kept busy with their homework or violin practice. However, I'm getting there. I've split up my embellishment into categories such as stickers, chipboards, rub ons etc. They are currently in ziplock bags. I've done the same for my stamps too as I figured they will be easy to access as opposed to putting them under brand names! They too are in ziplock bags. I've filled up all storage boxes and labelled them accordingly. I've made use of the current storage boxes as I don't want to spend any money on storage. If they are already there, why not use them. I'm saving up for a new glass (camera lens) so spending on SB items and storage is low on my priority at the moment!

I've broken up some of my kits and separated them. I do have loads of papers (used and unused) and will need to think how best to use them up. I can easily plaster the craft room walls with them and still have leftovers!!! Anyway, I'm getting slowly but surely!

On the crafting side, here's the LO that I did for Scrapbook Inspirations challenge, which made it on the front cover!

I luv the huge photo and will probably do more LOs with that size in future!