Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Introducing Elphaba

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Comfort


Todays blog prompt on UKS was where do you go when things are rough, what do yu do to get yourself through it.

This is a hard one because up until recently became more agoraphobic whenever there was stress around.

I suppose though that the answer is that I go somewhere green or I go and sit beside the sea, mostly places I can go and just be, to be able to take the time I need to comtemplate, solve and then move on up in the right direction.

I love going to places to take photographs and I think I probably use that as therapy too. If none of the above are available or if I'm having an agoraphobic relapse (and it does happen even to the most detirmined) I scrapbook, art is the most theraputic thing you can do!
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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Still crazy after all these years..


finally scrapped those photos from the other week, because we are and we still love each other, mad about my HUBBY!!!
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Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon!


Need I say more???!!
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Hat Heads!


Both my children are lucky enough to possess the sort of faces which go well with hats, I think it possibly comes from their daddy who also loves to adorn headwear any chance he can.

There's not a shopping trip goes by without one of them spying hats they love. Then there's me, I have possibly the only face not to go with hats, I adore hats too but sadly look mostly rediculous in them! Ah well atleast I get to see the children wear them!

As you have probably guessed I haven't a lot to blog about today, I worked on my website again earlier as I had some feedback so I changed it a little including putting my own smiley face on the About page!! I really truly hope that something comes of it.

I've actually been scrapping myself this afternoon but I'm so low on adhesive I had to use oogy sticky glue! EEuuuwwwww. I'll try and take a photo later so I can share!
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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Wooooohooooooooo!!!!!


I think Mandy Charlton Designs is actually ready to roll!! this of course is my new baby and hopefully the thing which will help me furnish the little things in life, you know like a new 3 piece suite, Christmas presents for the children and all those other extras which actually are quite essential to life and if you saw my settee you would realise this!!

I finally finished the commissioned retirement album so now I'm free to scrap for myself for a little while, although to be honest hopefully it won't be too longe before I'm scrapping for other people again, I really enjoy it and I know now that I can't see myself ever having a job which isn't about scrapping, Look at Happy Scrapper my other job which I totally adore, i get the scoop on all the latest products and I'm also lucky enough to be able to shop for some of them.

Oh and the photo, well I thought it was a woohoo type of photo, it's my daughter runnig along the beach at Saltburn on Sunday afternoon!
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Monday, August 28, 2006

Ok so where did the weekend go?



Blimey, I can't beleive it's Monday night already, this weekend seems to have flown over and we have been busier than ever.

I've been working on the commissioned retirement album which is thankfully nearly wrapped up! Also we've been out and about, doing a little of this and a bit of that, more on our adventures during the week as I have been working for the last 5 hours and I'm shattered. I have to say though that i have really enjoyed doing the retirement album, even if it was hardwork I'm totally sure that you can't get a better job than Scrapbooking for a living! (Oh and working for Happy Scrapper is a pretty good job too!)

Now I need to go and do exactly what the girls were pretending to do in that photo, go to sleep!! Oh and that one was not in any way staged, they're clearly just as mad as their mummy!!


1 final thing, My next blog post will be over the way at Hubbys Blog, we're swapping blogs and guest posting!! Sounds like fun to me!!
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Friday, August 25, 2006

Just a quickie!


Just to say that I am alive and well, just Uber busy setting up my new website for my scrapbooking and photography services. If you want a sneaky peek it's in the sidebar but don't despair if you don't find too much at the moment.

One day I'll make a million and then someone can design me a website and I won't have to use freewebs, ah well we all have to start somewhere and I'm sure even Richard Branson and Donald Trump were a bit short of cash at one time or another!!
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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Just wanted to share....




a couple of photographs from today!


I'm not able to share any layouts at the moment as I'm busy with a scrapbooking project for a company and it's all very formal and not very interesting unless you happen to be the recipient but what I can share are the photographs which will one day become the layouts. Photography is as close to my heart as scrapping and i hope that continues forever.


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Please Welcome


The newest arrival to the Charlton Family, Elphaba who is 8 weeks old and a bundle of fluffy fun!! We hope that she and Poppy will be great friends and keep each other company!
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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Clowning around!




You know, after 6 years of marraige and being together for 7 years you would think that Paul and I would have the occasional photograph together but sadly it's not so and on top of that we can't even find the one decent photograph we did have from our wedding seems to have gone astray. So last night I decided that it was time and after a couple of glasses of red left for us by the kindly elf, i took a series of shots, the only problem was my hubby who insisted on pulling hilarious faces on every single one. When I checked this morning, I don't think there's one serious portrait but then I think what I did manage to capture is how much fun being a couple is and how much fun being married to Paul is. We have been through so very much together but now is the time we're starting to get our lives back on track and genuinely laughing and loving each day together, yes we still bicker but mostly thats just to fill the time in. One thing is for sure though, I really do love him and the fact that he's totally gorgeous helps just a little!!
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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Magical Elf Cometh


I'm so lucky to get to meet all these wonderful ladies who I have encountered on the good ol WWW, I've known Celfyddyd since probably the first time I logged into a forum and that was some time ago now, I'm so lucky to have met up with this wonderful lady, she's so giggly and funny and we did have much chortling.

She's also so kind to have brought presents for all the children and some lovely papers for me and a gorgeous bottle of shiraz for me and hubby.

Another reason for declaring the internet totally top-tastic.

Oh and just a whisper, I bought a website today, look out for news on that very soon ;)
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Blogger beta

So I love new things, you should all know that by now and currently I'm running windows live mail beta, windows messenger beta, flock beta and now blinking blogger beta, if you are thinking of doing the last one, I would hold on just a moment as I have been quite happily up until today loading my images through either flock or picasa and since I went over I can no longer do that, GRRRRRR!

So I'm not going to get all techie on you as how boring would that be, I just thought I would mention that incase you're thinking of trying the new blogger, I have emailed them so we'll see if they fix it.

On to other news and back at La Maison Charlton, the children have been mostly a nightmare this morning, it didn't help that I took all three of them to the local shops. I also had a migraine which didn't help and the only way I could get rid of that was to pick up my prescription on said shopping trip.

Afternoon now and I have to say that things have calmed down a little. I bought a surprise for Paul, so I can't wait for him to get home from his course so I can give it to him!
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Monday, August 21, 2006

It's all about my name!

Today's Monday Bloggers prompt on UKScrappers was to find out all about my name, do i like it suit it etc so here goes.


Mandy is a derivative of Amanda but mum and dad didn't want me to have a name which would be shortened and they both liked Mandy, however dad was supposed to register me as Mandie but he didn't know the spelling and hence I was named Mandy.

Mandy means Worthy of Love and you know what I think I probably am! LOL, isn't everyone!

I've always kind of liked my name, I always wanted a middle name and it's funny that all my children have middle names, I always figured that if I gave them two names and they didn't like the first they could always use the middle one instead!

I'm quite glad of these blogging prompts this week as I'm stuck at home with the children all week and if it rains I doubt we'll make it past the front door!

I have so much work to do on a retirement album for a large company, this wouldn't be a problem if my printer hadn't just ran out of ink at the exact moment I need to print 40 photographs and 12 international flags. On route are now a new set of inks which will hopefully arrive tommorrow or Wednesday at the latest and also a new Epson Picturemate Printer, yes it only prints at 6x4 but a lot of the times thats all you need. Pray with me that it arrives in the next couple of days or I'll be off to PCWorld for a very expensive set of replacement inks!

Paul is on his training course and the children must have known because Looby decided that i had to get up at 7am this morning instead of 8am, I think it's a plot to over throw the kingdom, will they win, ask me later in the week!!

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

A few more!

I thought I would share a few more photos from yesterday. Love this top one, it's a rope bridge which connects to of the platforms to the worlds largest tree-house at Alnwick Gardens, My hubby is a total wuss when it comes to heights so he stayed safely tucked by the bridge and waited till we got back round to meet him, he didn't like the fact that it rattles and shakes, the children on the other hand loved running iver it and jumping up and down so that it would shake as much as possible, just as well I'm not scared of heights then!

Then we have the best chocolate caramel shortcake ever, I only had a wee piece as this was cut into five (soooo expensive) but oh my, totally delectable and delish, no wonder I need to lose weight again!

The bottom photo was some gorgeous Rudbekias taken with the super macro on my camera, usually there are an abunance of photographs of flowers but due to the tempramental british weather we have been experiencing i have to say that there weren't so many in bloom yesterday.

Today we're back into the swing of normal life, Paul is at Footy, Abigail is out playing with her friend, Iain is upstairs with his friend and Looby is watching the upside down show!

This week Paul is off on his course in Block paving and I am going to miss him so much, I'm not used to having to spend a whole week hardly seeing him and it's going to be a shocker, no doubt by the end of the week I shall be screaming into the nearest cupboard!

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

So many photos, so much to share


I have really had one of those days where I took so many photos I think I'll be sharing them over the next week!

We have been to Alnwick Gardens today and Oh my as always we have had the most splendid of times.

The weather was extremely kind to us and the sun shone most of the morning, followed by haze this afternoon but we didn't get wet till we got home so thats a blessing.

The photos I'm sharing at the moment are a veiw from the estate called the Duchess's veiw point. Then the next one is the mad hatters tea party an art installation smack bang in the middle of the woods. Loved that! The bottom was using my super-macro on my new camera and wow what a gorgeous hemorocalis.
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Thursday, August 17, 2006

A rare moment

It's not very often you see my photo as I'm the photographer and I'm still pretty carpoid at taking my own photograph (still need a tripod).

I do like the fact that Looby and I got to have fun taking some photos and even though she's a blondy like her daddy, I think you can see the resemblance. Posted by Picasa
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Marking his Card

Yes thats right, he's marking his own card for being such a bad influence and leading his wife astray, and midweek too, not even at the weekend.

So we had such a lovely relaxing afternoon out yesterday that I sent him to get a bottle of red, he came back with more but I thought hey, no worries we'll have a couple of glasses and leave the rest, Hubby darlingsworth had other ideas and so today I have been horribly hungover and far far worse than he has. He's gone off to footy now but he's treating us to an indian takeaway later, I can't help but adore him really!

Oh and the marking of the card was yesterdays game of crazy golf and with my 3 children it certainly was crazy! Posted by Picasa
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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

An afternoon at Bamburgh


Some photos to share, we went up to Seahouses and Bamburgh this afternoon, had fish and chips and took a few photos.
For any of you who don't live where I do, Bamburgh is a place of astounding beauty on the Northumbrian coastline, the drive up there is breath-taking and spending the odd afternoon there often leads to feeling relaxed, destressed and re-connected as a family.

This afternoon has been good for us and now we're home the children are all in bed having had the effects of all the sea air and paul and I are enjoying a nice bottle of red.

Some Wednesdays are obviously better than others.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Thought I would share

This photo of Abigail which I took this morning, i just think she looks happy and what gorgeous shiny hair she has, I wish mine would be as straight and shiney when I get up in the mornings! It just strikes me that she gets older with every day, gone are the toddler features completely now! 4 and a half and ready to take on the world! Posted by Picasa
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There's nothing like it....


A trip to the farm always makes me feel warm and fuzzy, I love how relaxed I feel when I am surrounded by all the animals, there's just something so very calming about it. It's just a shame that the feeling doesn't last!
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Monday, August 14, 2006

Spot the Difference

Go on, I dare you, can you tell me what it is yet?

Well......................................................

Actually apart from the fact that the photo isn't very good, that is actually the point! you see I bought myself a new camera today, the Fuji S9500 which is just about the most advanced digital camera you can buy without it being an SLR and a price on it to match, thankfully my laptop was paid off today so the camera just replaces the payment and as they were around the same price it's not really costing us any extra.

So here's the thing, this one is going to take me a while to figure out as it's pretty much all dutch, I have a grasp of photography but I'm trying hard to learn more, just at the moment though, I'm barely able to take a good photo! LOL

So the rest of the week will no doubt be spent chasing my children around the room in search of practice and that great shot, I'm sure you'll get to see it if it happens! Posted by Picasa
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Sunday, August 13, 2006

You're Beautiful, it's true.

Pinching the words here from good ol James Blunt.

I adore this photo of Looby, I took it during the floor as she was lying on the rug, it's been turn black and white but the had the levels altered to pop it a little more.

I'm really happy with this layout, I love the papers which are 3 bugsinarug and basically this was one of those layouts which took a little time, ( about 2 and a half hours) but it's pleasing to look at and it's certainly enough to brighten up dull and rainy Newcastle this afternoon. Posted by Picasa
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Saturday, August 12, 2006

Click!!

My first layout of today!

I'm sitting in my new creative space, i.e a 5 foot beech wood desk in the corner of our livingroom, what a great space I have, room to craft, room for my laptop, room to sit and survey the worl, oh and keep an eye on the kids when they're here too!!

So I took this photo of Looby who was playing with my old camera a while ago, she does look like she knows what she's doing, except for the fact that the eye she holds up to the veiw finder is always closed!! Posted by Picasa
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In the blink of an eye

They seem to grow up, I took this photograph of my youngest during the week and it strikes me just how grown up she is, she's going to be 3 at the end of September but she's already got a wise little head on those cuddly little shoulders, Looby Dooby Dumpling Pie as she's affectionately known by me is my little smiley angel, she has her moments but of all the children she has the most easy going of tempraments, which is not to say that she isn't determined, between her and Abigail who is 16 months older, Looby is proud of her independance and choosing her clothes and getting dressed where as Abigail (daddys princess ) likes to have as much done for her as possible!!

So anyway off they have both went to grandmas for the day and Iain is at a friends accross the street where he stayed last night. All in our house is very quiet except for Pauly watching his fill of Futerama and of course moi and my tap tappity tap of the keyboard a sound which sometimes is strangely comforting and sometimes drives even myself insane!! Posted by Picasa
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Friday, August 11, 2006

Catching up!

Can you believe that I didn't blog at all yesterday, quite unlike me I know but the thing is that it's been such a quiet week at Chez Charlton, we haven't really got any news of any sort which is thrilling enough to blog about so here in bullet points are the main bits and pieces.

Abigail was grounded but has been good all morning and has been let out to see her friend, I know that grounding a 4 year old isn't so good but we're really experiencing some challenging behaviour from her at the moment.

Iain is now out after his grounding was ended early after a day of entirely great behaviour, reward the good I say!!

I'm getting a new desk and chair tonight, i got it off the freecycle site and I'm so excited as it's going to be my own little crafting area in our sitting room, finally somewhere to call my own!!

Our Settees are falling to pieces but we can't get new ones at any of the charity shops, I swear if they fall to bits any more they're going to disintegrate!  I can't pop that on freecycle though as you would never be able to collect them in our teeny tiny car!

Paul is off to enrol on a fork lift truck driving course on Monday as part of the road back to working. 

Paul hasn't had a cigarette for 4 weeks now, it's 3 months exactly since I gave up, I think pats on the back all round!

Paul is beginning to be much more bearable to live with again now that he's back playing football, on the road to training and giving up smoking is getting better.  Blimey we may even manage a week without an arguement soon.  I'll let you know if that ever happens! LOL

Still no money or news from the Child Support Agency, it's 2 months of missed payments this time so far, if it's like the last time, we only have another 5 years and 4 months to go!!

Happy friday everyone and have a great weekend!!


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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

just a couple of photos to share...


Well 3 to be exact, the top 2 are of a church near Morpeth in Northumberland, the long path down to the church door is covered by trees which meet in the middle and the light effect is just wonderful, it's all terribly atmospheric and I had to capture it.

The bottom photograph is Rheged, Village in the hill near Penrith in Cumbria, we went there this morning but to be honest we're having issues with Abigail at the moment and she managed to make the whole experience very tiring, she has a mild strain of ADD and is banned from all colourings, flavours etc, anything which isn't natural is not allowed and she needs constant stimulation and can be quite hard work, she's also very demanding and constantly asks for things, given that it's now the middle of week 3 of the summer holidays, I'm getting tired and running out of patience! We're trying to explain consequences of different behaviours but not having so much luck, now the other thing is that of course Iain has Aspergers so the two of them in the car for any length of time usually produces.... I think you can guess that bit, Looby usually just tries to sit and not get involved in it all. Thank goodness for Looby who is a happy little sunshine or I would have ran away from home by now!! LOL

So anyway we're home now and I'm catching up, Abigail has gone to play with another little girl, Hurray, Iain is out with his friend, Hurray, and Looby is happily just being Looby!!
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