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

Monday, April 30, 2007

Oriental ATC set


Haven't done any ATC's for yonks, in fact I quite went off them for a while but now my thirst for them has been requenched and I'm enjoying myself more than ever. I've thrown myself into an Oriental ATC swap on UKScrappers and I'm also currently hosting one on my new and fabulous forum Craft. These have all been stamped and inked to within an inch of their lives and I love them, the background papers are from a DCWV matt stack which is just the most divine little pad of paper you have ever seen :D
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Did I mention.....

That the Craft Kingdom has had a merger? Hmmm, can't remember, anyway it has and it's now combined with www.craft.co.uk and I have to say I think it's quite a splendid little forum (well bigger than it was actually) it kind of reminds me of the olden days (yes atleast 3 years ago) when I first joined the now defunct Papercraftuk (although I beleive thats now another name as well, LOL). I'm kind of thinking it's going to be a nice place to dwell as there are so many different crafts on the board and so many crafters with their various specialities, it leads me to wonder what new and interesting things I'll end up trying myself given some time! I'm quite lucky in that Phillip whom I've merged with is far far far better at the technical stuff than I ever could be and it's going to be a very exciting and interesting partnership I think!!

Anyway, rambling on, thought I should blog really but to be honest my energy levels are still in my boots, my cellulitus seems to be fighting back though lord knows how it can beat all the various medications I'm taking at present!!

I set myself one task for the morning today as I couldn't see myself getting anything more done and to be honest I was shattered just doing that one thing, it's done now though and I have a certain sense of satisfaction knowing I achieved something atleast.

Only 1 week to go until Abigails birthday and all preperations are in place, I bought her the prized Lelli Kelly shoes yesterday, I can't wait to see her little face when she sees those, after all she's asked me atleast twice a day, every single day since before Paul started at the post office (around September if I remember rightly). The Sylvanian Mansion has been safely hidden though it took some doing as it's so very big and all plans are still afoot for going away on Sunday morning :)

Really looking forward to this weekend and just hoping that I'll be well enough to enjoy it all.
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Friday, April 27, 2007

Phew, what a week


What a flippin week, just a quick post to say I am alive, though I have had a trip to hospital!

I've been ill, basically on Monday I got a virus what happened next was the horrid bit, would you believe you can be allergic to your own virus. I'm afraid I came down with a rare allergic reaction to my own virus called angiodema and my nose and the surrounding tissues increased to twice their size, this then lead to me getting a cellulitus infection in my leg and it's all be a little scary, luckily after the doctor had me admitted to the emergency assessment ward they gave me 4 different types of tablets (I had to take 15 tablets this morning!!!!) and I'm on the mend, still feeling a bit yacky but my facial swelling is going down and the cellulitus is under control though my leg is a tad sore.

So that was my week, mostly spent in bed I have to say and resulting in Paul having to take unpaid leave to look after the children, I don't fancy next weeks wage much, top tip, don't go and work for Royal Mail if you want them to be understanding in a crisis!!

Happy weekend everyone!

Oh the photo was a badger I found in a tree when we went up to Wallington Hall for a theraputic afternoon tea this afternoon!!
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Monday, April 23, 2007

Bland!

Nothing really much has happened over the weekend which is why I haven't blogged but I do know that if I don't blog for too long I have wanted notices and people worried I've been abducted by aliens.

I came to the mammoth decision to close the Craft Kingdom at the weekend and no sooner had I announced it I received a lovely email from another small forum wanting to do a merger so by the end of this week we should be fully merged with www.craft.co.uk another multicraftual society, I've also started a Myspace group called Crafters are not Twee or CANT for short LOL, it's my hope that we find some members on there and then we can redirect them to the new fabulous forum. I'm really looking forward to working with Phillip who owns craft.co.uk and I think he's genuinely looking forward to it as well, hopefully this is the dawn of the new forum!

Also this weekend we hatched a cunning plan to distract Abigail from having an exhoribitantly expensive party at one of those damned awful child hell establishments, I'm sure you know the places , 50 random monsters of various descriptions running around high on too many e-numbers and paying around a tenner a child for the priviledge, ah well no thanks very much, we're instead going to go and stay away for a night in a travellodge and spend a full day at a Gullivers theme park, a theme park specifically designed for the under 13's, We told her what we had planned and it seems she's quite excited about it, hurrah for that, I class myself as quite a good mum but I just can't stand childrens parties!! Anyway we're planning on getting her just one present for her birthday as we don't have the room and we don't believe in commercialisation, it is however the one you see here which comes in at just one penny less than a hundred pounds so it's not like she's being stuck in a corner and given a broken stick to play with LOL. I showed here pictures of it yesterday and she's still a little undecided between this or getting the Playmobil Manor house which is around the same price but just a slightly different concept. I think whichever one she chooses is hopefully going to bring her lots of fun and enjoyment for the future and either this Sylvanian families house or indeed the playmobil set can be added to at a later date.

Personally I think this is every little girls dream and if it were going to be my 5th birthday it's something I would dream about!

OOh almost forgot, whilst we go away I've managed to squeeze in a photoshoot for a lovely internet friend of mine, I'll hopfully be shooting her (she's just lost a ton of weight and is looking fabulous) and her gorgeous daughters. I'm quite excited about it as you all know how passionate I am about my photography. Talking of which it's not long now until my ad appears in the yellow pages and also not long until the local paper is featuring me in an article about the local enteroprise centre, hopefully this will me lots more business and lots more opportunities to photograph gorgeous people and their fabulous families. Don't forget if you live in the north east of England and you're looking for a photographer, I'm available and very reasonable, no Venture Photography prices here!! Email me for more details.
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Friday, April 20, 2007

Daddys Poppet Princess


Another layout from a couple of days ago, Abigail knows she's daddys poppet princess and likes to tell me that, she specifically got me to take the photo on the layout as her daddy was at work and in her words "daddy wants to see what his poppet princess has been doing" I'm pretty ok with this layout now though I hated it for a while LOL It's using this months Scrapagogo kit which happens to be the very highlight of my month at present!
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Thursday, April 19, 2007

ATC's set - Journeys


3 cards representing the physical, the emotional and the meta physical.
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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sweet Sister


Because occasionally they are nice together, thought I better remember that!!
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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Laughter is the best medicine...


Feeling totally crappy at the moment, have slept most of the day today as did I on Saturday, not sure what is up exactly though I suspect it could be a virus, anyway Iain has asked me to go to the doctors if I'm not feeling better by the end of the week, nice that he looks after his old mum eh?!

Just wanted to post this photograph I took yesterday, not technically perfect enough for my photoblog but good enough for me, I just love that this is true laughter, nothing posed just unbridled fun.

Enjoy, hope to be back tommorrow as usual, if you want to see an update pic of the puppy check out todays Photoblog.
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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Saying Goodbye

Bernie returns to school tommorrow and it's with a heavy heart that we send him back, I really have had the best school holidays I've ever known and I have to thank Bernie the bear for being very much a part of that. He's really revolutionised things so much that we're going to go out at the end of the week and buy our very own Bernie who will come on adventures, journal the times he's shared and probably even blog about it.

I made a fabulous scrapbook for the school with lots of photos and plenty of journalling and I hope that the whole of Abigails reception class will enjoy looking through it.

In memory of his wonderful time, please take a whole 1min and 7 seconds to enjoy some of the highlights of our Easter, Bernies holidays.
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Saturday, April 14, 2007

In Review...



It was a pretty good week up until I got sick on Wednesday night and since then we've not done a lot really, it seems all that activity which preceeded my downfall may have taken it out of me somewhat and now I'm kind of suffering, I've had the chills, a rash, sickness, and now I have the sore throat to end all sore throats. Still I'm not complaining, well other than about the lack of photos taken over the last couple of days. Still it's allowing me to catch up on editing a little and so I can share a few of Bernies highlights of his visit and indeed the highlights of what has been a very very busy Easter holidays. I've been proud of myself for beating agoraphobia for the last six or so months but it's only now that I truly appreciate it, being able to just get up and go with the children really has meant the world to me, they get so much more from visting galleries, museums, gardens and farms than they ever could sitting in the house with a mum trapped by an evil illness.

So todays photos, first we have Bernie learning to sail boats at the discovery museum in Newcastle.
After that the little chappy learned to fly a helicopter, surely a bear has never accomplished this much in such a short space of time! No wonder the little guy is looking a tad tired!
Finally another of my favourite places on the north east of Englands beautiful coastline, this is St Marys Lighthouse and as you can see from the photograph it's quite beautiful.

I'm trying to compile a scrapbook album of his visit and I just hope I finish in time!


One final and very important announcement, 7 years ago today I married the most wonderful man on earth, without him none of this would be possible, I love you Paul, so much even the briefest seperation cuts my soul in two, thank you for all the love and all the happiness you've brought and thank you for showing me that there are people out there who love you for who you are and not for who they want you to be.
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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Bernie Does Art!



It's been a busy few days for Bernie the Bear as he's been just about everywhere now, I can't remeber ever encountering such a well travelled bear, surely he must be related to Paddington don't you think?!

So yesterday we walked down to the Quayside again, after enjoying ice-creams and me enjoying lovely coffee we decided that we would have a look in the Baltic Centre for contemporary art.

The building as you can see here used to be an old flour mill but was given much funding by the lottery etc to become the art gallery it is now, it opened a couple of years ago now and it's taken me until yesterday to actually get in there. I thought the children might be able to stand it for just a few moments but wasn't too sure what they would make of it as it's really been their first encounter of ART, well for Abigail, Looby and Bernie, Iain is quite knowledgable on such subjects and is studying Andy Warhol at school at the moment. There were a couple of really great exhibits but my most favourite was "Constellation" by Brian Eno, if you want to find out more about it HERE, it really was awesome though, made up of 77 million paintings on slides, it stands on a huge wall with 46 panels which constantly revolve to give each visitor a truly unique experience, it's in a darkened room with specially written music and I have to say I was awestruck and for once (probably the first time ever) all the children were quiet at the exact same moment.

I really hope the children grow up loving art and culture, we surely live in the right kind of place for them to experience it. Next stop I think will be a trip to the Laing Art Gallery, a more traditional gallery, we'll see what they make of that! Not today though, Abigail and Loobys bug of last week seems to have caught me and Iain and we're not feeling very good at all, Pyjama day all round, I just hope that Bernie doesn't complain about staying in the house too much!
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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Oh My Goodness....


It's Tuesday already and it's the second week of the school holidays, I've been like a woman possessed lately makeing sure that the children have something to do with each moment of the day, we've been to farms, ice-cream parlours, lakes, museums, winter gardens, bridges, viaducts and we've been on, buses, trains, metros, in the car and we've also managed to do much walking. I'm feeling positively fit as a fiddle and yet my feet are so hot and tired from all the walking, I think I might have worn myself down by an inch!

I've taken over a thousand photographs in the last week but as I shoot in RAW, I've as yet only managed to edit around 20 of them!

I can't beleive that I was managing to squeeze working for Happy Scrapper into all that as well, thank goodness for self enterprise, it's far easier to manage your time when you work for yourself and not someone else.

Todays photo is the only one I had edited that I hadn't shared recently, it was taken not 10 minutes walk away looking down Newcastle Quayside. I'm reminded that I am so lucky to live where we do as we never tire of new places to explore and beauties to see.

Last night I trapped my finger in the car door, what is more it's my photography finger, l;ets just say it's been more than a little ouchy today!!
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Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Lovely Lakes



Firstly big Happy Easters all round, we don't really celebrate Easter atleast not in a commercial sense, we did though go out for a day of fun filled family enjoyment in the lovely Lake District, thats an Oustanding Area of beauty in the north west of England just incase anyone not in the UK is looking in.

So we started off at Aira falls which is just next to Ullswater, we thought we would park in the National Trust Carpark as it's free for members, only to realise at the last moment that Paul hadn't brought his wallet with the membership card in, so we had to pay £3 for 2 hours of parking, we had a long walk and the veiw from the top of trail was just amazing as you can see. Bernie the bear I'm sure would have loved the veiw but sadly he was keeping watch over the car, Abigail it seemed was far more interested in bringing along Fiyero and walking him instead, we did show Bernie all the photos when we got back to the car though. Actually I must mention another travelling bear who has his own blog Where is the Bear has just been set up for children in a particular class and whoever takes the bear home will I think update the blog with piccies of his travels, why not go along and see what he's been up to over easter. I would love to know of any other travelling bears who have blogs or adventures, if you know of any do let me know in the comments section and I'll pop along and have a look.
Loved this photo of Abigail, Too much gaussian Blur? I quite like the almost dreamy nature of it, she certainly looks somewhere far away doesn't she?

If you want to see one of my favourite images of the day you'll have to pop over to my photoblog for an awesome veiw.

Also can I just say that my hubby has a photoblog all done with his little cameraphone, he doesn't claim to be a great photographer but he does have his own individual take on life, love, work and everything. I think he did a pretty good job of capturing todays image so why not go over and leave a comment, he loves them and it makes him feel valued! LOL

Well thats it for me for another busy day, Bank Holiday Monday tommorrow and we're off to the Ouseburn Valley to go to an Easter family fun day, complete with chicks and lambs. Abigail is already very very excited!!
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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Catching Up


Well the last couple of days has been devoted to me nursing sick children, namely Abigail and Looby who have had the most awful sickness bugs since Thursday, Abigail started coming down with it during our trip to the coast and Looby wasn't too far behind. Bernie the bear has also been quite ill and spent most of yesterday either in bed or lying on the settee!

So I thought I better share some photos as I seem to be collecting a plethora this week, the above of course is Bernie, that well travelled bear from Benton Park Reception class and the second one is yesterday, Looby felt a little better and really wanted to take Fiyero for a walk so we headed off to the Quayside.

She did really well though we had to carry Fiyero most of the way as we've found he doesn't like the outside world very much, just as well he's teeny enough to carry! Maybe I should get myself a doggy bag!

Once we walked to the quayside we ended up having to call Paul to rescue us, thank goodness he was off yesterday really.

Today all the children have felt well enough to go off to their grandmas for the day and so I think they'll be enjoying an Easter party though who knows how much will get eaten as Abigail atleast is still a little peaky.

Paul is off working his usual plus some overtime so it's just me and a houseful of animals, I'm thinking that I might try and take Fiyero for a walk in a little while but maybe I should take along my extra large handbag just in case he doesn't fancy it!!
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Thursday, April 05, 2007

They say you never see what's right under your nose



but after a couple years of agoraphobia you certainly appreciate it even more! This is the first year I have actually felt I was able to explore my surroundings and me and the kids, Oh and of course Bernie have had a lot of fun in the process.

Yesterday we walked aropund 4 miles, thats only a couple of miles from home and back but such treasures awaited us it was absolutely worth it.

I'd never been in the Ouseburn Valley before even though it's a maximum of 5 minutes walk from home but boy was it worth it, the whole area is being regenerated at present, a process started in 1996, thing is though it's such a huge area it's taking years. I loved the fact that it was so industrial and yet there were moments of beauty to be appreciated at every turn. If you are a UK resident with children then if I tell you that CBBC's "The Stables" is filmed in the Ouseburn Valley where Stepney bank Stable is then you may have some idea of the area I'm talking about.

Then of course we have the more familiar sight of the river tyne with all it's beautiful bridges, this is the first time I've taken photos of the bridges and so I thought I better take a couple of hundred just to make up for it!

The kids (I Think) loved the adventure, probably their favourite bit was when we all sat on the Millenium Bridge (thats the white one for anyone who doesn't know) eating our chocolate biccies (which I secreted away in my camera bag) and soaking up the gorgeous Easter weather.

Today we're off to Tynemouth for a little quaint seaside fun and hopefully some hi jinks along the way!
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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bernie Goes to Whitby


On Sunday Bernie decided that he would like to go and visit historic Whiby and never being one to refuse a bears request off we went to the fabulous seaside town where it is rumoured that Dracula was shipwrecked upon the beach. Of course the locals can't resist having a Dracula museum or two LOL.

The other thing Whitby is famous for is having the best fish and chips in the country, obviously it wasn't the place we had lunch though as ours was BLAND! Paul was not amused being the foody that he is! He did say that the ice-cream was pretty good though.


I think that a definite highlight of the day for me was going on a 25 minute boat ride, the sea was very very bumpy and both Iain and Looby ended up looking a little pale but Abigail and I were both out on top deck being bounced up and down by the fierce waves laughing our heads off because it was so much fun!

Of course being a Charlton day out adventure is never far away and there were moments of panic when we realised that Bernie had gotten left behind in one of the amusement arcades we visited, we sprinted back along the seafront and to our releif Bernie was waiting for us having been discovered trying to have a second ride on the merry go round.

Whitby was a definite great day out and I wouldn't hesitate to go again in the summer though I suspect it would be far too busy for us all as it was very crowded last Sunday so I would hate to think just how crowded it gets during the summer season.
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Monday, April 02, 2007

Bernie Comes To Stay!

Bernie is the class bear in Abigails reception class and each weekend he goes to stay with a different child from the class, he takes along his diary and it gets filled in with photos, tickets and stories of his time with each family. Abigail was chosen to bring Bernie home for the whole holidays and so each day we have a plethora of things for him to do and photo opportunities. This slide show was just the beginning of his adventures with us on Friday night and Saturday. Don't forget to tune in for more as the week progresses!!

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