Monday, 31 December 2012

Roll on 2013

Well Christmas has been and gone and the New Year is imminent, bring it on. 

Christmas was lovely, quiet but one of the best ever. I did decorate the tree and even put some decorations up in the lounge, got these fab paper garlands and hanging things from Not on the high street The lounge still needs more to make it look festive but at least it's a start. Here is the tree and self styled guardian of said tree, Harley.

Did really well for pressies again this year, a new lens for my camera (been too wet to play but looking forward to the nicer weather), pitt big brush pens, cd's, new book, fab pencil case made by my pal Kathb and a hamper full of goodies, also made by Mrs B. So a good time was had by all.

We are having a quiet night in tonight, takeaway and maybe even a little tipple or two but unlikely MP or I will stay up to see in the New Year. 

I will be glad to see the back of 2012. It started off on a crappy note with the death on New Years Eve of my beloved Muggle and hasn't really improved a lot since then. A year of uncertainty with the impending closure of PCT's (thanks Mr Lansley) has been clarified with recent matching and pooling of jobs in the 'new' organisation and I didn't. Then applying for left over jobs in the new organisations and I didn't get offered so now it's looking like I will be made redundant at the end of March. The letters came Christmas Eve, how's that for timing! A close friend has also had a bad year with family ill health and that's another reason for wishing the old year out, and a new improved year in, so come on 2013, New Year to look forward to.

RIP Muggle - missed every day x

So signing off and wishing everyone a very Happy New Year. May 2013 bring you everything you wish for xx See you next year with news of the 2013 photography scavenger hunt.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

To decorate or not to decorate?

Well the countdown has begun and the BIG question in our house, do we decorate the tree or not? We don't have many Ch*****as decorations for around the house so the tree kind of looks a bit out of place on it's own all sparkly in an otherwise less sparkly room. With it just being MP and I we sometimes don't bother (unless KathB has threatened to descend on us and put it up), so the jury is still out on whether we bother putting the tree up or not.

I'm nearly there with the presents, just a few more to sort out and then the wrapping. I am determined not to be last minute again this year, it's just way too stressful.

Food is ordered and being collected or delivered on Ch*****as Eve, having managed to secure the day off work, and then I intend to get the dessert and veggies sorted so not a lot to do on the day itself.

I don't know what I am getting off Father Ch*****as this year, I have decided to join in with project life for 2013 (an album of your life week by week) so I may ask for a new album and some page protectors to prepare but what I really want is an antique typewriter (don't ask me why).

I've had a few days off work this week. MP was supposed to have the first of his cataracts done but they cancelled him on the day so it's been re-arranged for next week. So I kept the days off to keep Sam company and do some jobs, including getting winter tyres on the new car just in case!

We had some nice walks, cold but at least dry and with the frost this week the ground has got a bit firmer so it's been less muddy which has been a treat. The dry crisp weather is excellent for taking photos and these from my phone have come out really well.

Rainbow over the moors


 Same using Hipstamatic

The water tower at Watergrove

Finally a couple of the layouts I promised previously. One for MP's album and one for mine.

 Fabulous spectacles embellishment from Sarah Hurley

So off to watch elementary now, so till next time.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Beginning to feel a lot like winter

Well winter is definitely on its way. The fire is lit, the heating is on and its still cold. Sam, Oscar, Harley, Travis and I are all competing to see who can get closest to the fire and I'm losing.
In between the showers we have had a few dry days so some nice walks with Sam but in this weather it's time to do inside jobs.
We have replaced several of the stove parts ready for winter, stocked up on coal and finally put the first coat of paint on the spare bedroom walls. It's supposed to be a cafe au lait colour but it seems a little darker than that, still its a nice colour, very dark and makes a change from the cream scheme in the rest of the house. I'll post up a photo when the second coat has gone on.
MP and I have managed a few little trips out on our own. Weekend before last we went to the cinema to see the fabulous Skyfall. Have to say, really like Daniel Craig as James Bond and this has to be one of my favourite Bond films ever.
This weekend just gone, MP and I went to Manchester for a quick wander round the Christmas market and to see Greenday's American Idiot at the Palace Theatre. The market was packed, so busy that you couldn't really see the stalls for all the bodies and the price of everything seems to have gone up again this year, £4.50 for a bratwurst! 

Town Hall Square all lit up and there's Santa.

We didn't stay long it was too crowded for us so we headed towards the theatre and stopped off for a coffee at Nero's on the way.

You can't have a Nero's coffee without one of their lovely lemon muffins

And finally onto the show.

Now I love Greenday and American Idiot was one of their best albums ever but I'm not sure about the show. The 3 leads were excellent, the set was ok but the choreography was awful, very amateurish.  Having seen Tonights the Night (live) and Mama Mia (on dvd) I expected the same kind of thing, with the songs highlighting the story but it didn't feel like that. It felt a bit cobbled together with the story almost an afterthought and the songs didn't add to it. For me they could have just stood there and performed the songs, it would not have deterred from anything at all. Still, it was a nice night out.

I have done some scrapping but the light isn't great at the moment so no pictures. I'll remedy that this weekend and get some on the blog.

Until then x

Sunday, 4 November 2012


Some weeks ago I took part in an altered art CJ over on UKS hosted by Biskit (Vicki), having got mine back I am delighted and have been meaning to post photos for a while and now I finally am. I chose Love as my topic and rather than have them in a book (which I never know what to do with) I choose to have mine on loose sheets of watercolour paper so I could frame them to decorate the wall of the bedroom MP and I are currently decorating. So here is what I got back, and great they are too.

Mrs McF 





Shirley June




As I mentioned MP and I are decorating the final bedroom. We haven't touched this since we moved into the house 6 years ago. Partly because we were hoping to adopt a baby from China and we thought this would be her room but 6 years later and still no sign of the adoption happening so we decided to decorate the room anyway and make it into a guest room. 

When I went to B&Q last week to get the paint they had these canvas's on sale at £5 each so it would have been daft not to buy a couple. They are going to be perfect altered to go in the new room, so watch this space and see what happens to them.


MP has gone off for a few days down south leaving me in charge of the boys. So hoping to get some scrapping done in between walks, so off to make a start. Till next time

Saturday, 3 November 2012

I'm a winner

Last weekend I took part in a blog hop for the 1st anniversary of C'est Magnifique kits. I love the work of Finnabair and she is their guest designer for this month. So from her blog I joined discovered the blog hop and all the fabulous designers they have on their team. One of my favourite websites was Beverly Sams and I have been lucky enough to win the prize she was kindly providing. 

And here's what I am getting, so what a happy bunny I am, after a crappy week at work, not being matched to a job, appealing against it and losing, I was in need of some cheering up and this has done the trick. MP said he hopes I am as lucky with the lottery tonight!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Problem solved

You may have noticed my blog has changed.

I've been having problems for a few weeks, things missing off the side and posts going all funny. I tried posting on the blogspot forum for advice but non was forthcoming. After much swearing and fiddling I think I got to the bottom of it.

Seems they changed blogspot some time ago and I think I had a conflict between the old format and the new. So I downloaded a new background and moved the whole thing to their new format and fingers crossed, so far so good. Only problem is I have lost some of my links to people's blogs I liked and a few challenges. So sorry if yours has disappeared, not intentional. Just let me know and I will put it back up.

Back soon with some new lay outs.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

I can now reveal

As I mentioned previously I signed up for the Christy Tomlinson She Art class and have been having a whale of a time doing canvases. I couldn't post any pics earlier as one of my 'masterpieces' was a present for my pal KathB for her birthday. But as she has reached the grand old age of 44 I can now share my creation.

So here is my practice canvas

and here is the canvas I made for Kath

Now I just need to buy more canvases! I have been scouring charity shops looking for pre loved ones to alter but not having much luck so a little trip to the range is in order. My next project is to do a canvas or two for the bedroom MP and I are currently decorating. I've bought the most fabulous PIP bedding so the room is being decorated around that. So watch this space for more she art specials. 

If you haven't thought about doing a Christy Tomlinson class I can heartily recommend it. She breaks everything down into nice bite size pieces and they are so much fun to do and each one is different. Before you commit, why not check out her videos on utube. Search for Scarletlime or Christy Tomlinson, you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Grand Day out

For our second day out we went to the spectacular Stonyhurst College. Nestled in the Trough of Bowland this private school has quite a history and includes in its former pupils Charles Laughton, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and MP's friend Phil. The former Jesuit college now opens for a few days a year to the public where organised tours take you around the college from the original building to the wonderful gardens. As a 'religous' school it has the most fabulous chapels within.

one of the stunning chapels

the other chapel (bit blurred sorry, no flash allowed and shaky hands)

For £6 each the tour was well worth it, shame it was such an awful day or a wander around the gardens to the observatory (yes it has its own for students who want to do astronomy) would have capped it off nicely.

The school houses some fabulous works of art, a real life mummy and artefacts from around the world donated by former pupils. It also has 7 huge portraits of it's 7 pupils who received the Victoria Cross in a spectacular dining room. Being a huge Sherlock Holmes fan I couldn't not take a photo of the desk from the study hall which Arthur Conan Doyle carved his name in. Can you spot it in the photo below?

The other bit of non crafting news is ...... I have a nice new car. My lovely Mazda 3 was becoming problematic (not good for a 6 year old car) and despite several trips to the Mazda garage some serious fumes coming from the engine were making my asthma bad, so after much research by MP we bought a lovely Kia Sportage and I am very happy with it.

Isn't it lush.

We also had a visit from MP's brother Dan and his wife Annette. Dan and Annette got married last year on our wedding anniversary but unfortunately MP couldn't get time off work for us to go. Having missed them last year when they stopped off in London on their way to Africa for their honeymoon we managed to see them this year on a tour of Europe. Not being organised and feeling a bit off colour with the start of a cold I didn't get a photo of them for the album so I have pinched one Dan put on Facebook for the two of them at the top of Snowdonia (and yes, they did climb it but boy was Dan in pain the next day).

Back soon with some photos of the She Art girls I have done x

Sunday, 9 September 2012

More of the same

Again, where does the time go? It doesn't seem five minutes since my last blog and now summer is nearly over. The house martins are having a final flurry over the house and it won't be long until they are off for warmer climates and it doesn't really feel as if we have had our summer yet.

MP and I did manage to get a week off together and after doing some jobs at home and some chilling we took ourself off for a nice day out at Chester Zoo. Even getting there just after it opened it was packed, well I guess it was school holidays and one of the few nice days we had. We had a great time and took loads of photographs.

I love bats. It was hard trying to get photos of them with no flash, so pleased with this

Can't go to the zoo and not see the elephants.

And how cute is he? Unusual to see one awake.

As usual most of our time is taken up with Sam. When he stays with my Dad he spends all of his day out in the garden, as we don't have a garden we tend to take him out for walks instead. We joined the National Trust last year to go to Formby Point but haven't been there this year so determined not to let the membership go to waste looked for nearer places to go. Turns out we have a fantastic place on our doorstep, Hardcastle Crags.

Someone from work told me about it but advised it isn't good to go there in bad weather as the riverside path gets quite treacherous but after a few dry days we decided to give it a go and what a joy it was. Sam being a water baby loved all the spots along the river where he could go in for a paddle and in some cases a swim and the lovely tree lined sheltered path led up to an old mill and a fantastic coffee shop with home made cakes.

Sam having his customary paddle

See what they mean about the path

Gibson Mill (toilets and coffee shop)

So pleased we have found this and we have already been back for another walk there. Only down side is that we like to go walking early and the coffee shop doesn't open until 11am but Hebden Bridge is just below Hardcastle Crags and there are plenty of nice coffee shops there.

I haven't done much scrapping but then I haven't posted the ones I have done previously, as promised. So here is what I have done .........

Another page from the altered art CJ I have been doing, this one was self portrait

A Steampunk Alice entry

Two attempts at Shimelle's And now for something completely different over on UKS

My boys (who don't get on at all) having a very rare moment

Another for my Childhood memories album

Just need to do the journalling on this one. When I moved down south to be with MP after we got married I had an awful panic about a parakeet I had seen in a tree and how it must have escaped from it's home. Turns out they are everywhere around London and the home counties but I never tired of seeing them. 

No-one is sure how there got to be so many or where they originally came from. Some people think they escaped from a zoo or a home and bred but another story is that some parakeets escaped from Isleworth Studios when they were filming The African Queen. This is my favourite.

Well, enough for now. Be back soon to tell you all about another great day out we had and all about the She Art class by Christy Tomlinson I am doing. Till then

Sunday, 22 July 2012

What a washout

Well, it's been a horrible couple of months, lots of very wet walks with Sam and some severe flooding up here. We have been lucky, living on the top of a hill has its bonuses, the worst that has happened to us is the road to our house has been badly damaged, nothing a 4x4 won't cure. The houses in the bottom of the valley haven't been so lucky though and we even made the national news oh and had a visit from Prince Charles.

I did stick my head out of the window and take a couple of photos but that was as far as I got.

So what have I been up to? 

I went to see the fabulous Blink 182 at Manchester Evening News Arena a few weeks back and had a great time. I have been a fan for years and they were on my bucket list of bands to see live but I didn't think I was going to as they split up for a few years. Once I heard they were getting back together and doing a tour, I was straight on the hotline for tickets. This concert was originally for July 2011 but they had to cancel so re arranged for this year and it was so worth the wait.

I didn't manage to get any good photos so you'll have to make do with this one.

The Jubilee went by in a flash, I did watch the flotilla event on TV whilst ironing and was very grateful for the extra days holiday but apart from that didn't really get too excited about it. Oh I did watch the concert as well, the highlight being Ed Sheeran, just love this lads voice. Not quite sure why Stevie Wonder was the closing act though ....... when did he become British?

Went with my Dad to see the Olympic Torch pass through Oswaldtwistle. Was really surprised to see how many people turned out to watch and very nearly missed it when I decided to take Sam back to the car. Luckily it was the precession warming up the crowd. The funniest thing of all was the Metropolitan Police escort really getting into the spirit with the motorbike cops high fiving the crowds as they drove past. The girl carrying the torch shot past us at such a speed I only just managed to get a photo. Well it had to be done. I'm not going to see this again in my lifetime.

Don't know who the girl is but good on her.

MP, Sam and I have also managed a couple of trips to the beach. We like to go to the top end of Blackpool, near the airport, and walk up to St Annes. Sam loves the beach and MP the ice cream from the pier before the walk back.

Sam having a rest and looking longingly at MP's ice cream.

On our recent trip to St Annes, we stopped off at Lytham to see 'the bubbles'. I'd read about them on the local news and decided to go and have a look. I have to say I wasn't hugely impressed, what do you think?

So that's about all i've been up to. Have done some scrapping but haven't uploaded the photos, so i'll pop back later this week when MP is working and put them on.

Just in case he reads this and I don't know if he does read my blog. I want to wish MP a very Happy Anniversary for Tuesday xx On this fateful date, 13 years ago MP lost his bachelor status and inherited a family (me and Murphy). So Happy Anniversary babes, we made another year xxx