Sunday, 19 June 2011

Everyday photographer.


There was an amazing resonating link on Becky Higgins Facebook page today. It’s titled “what it means to be an everyday photographer” Please take the time to read it.

I seem to be noticing lots of links to my Project Life lately.

This week Scrappi Sandi sent me an email that contained this saying.

A birth certificate shows you were born.
A death certificate shows you have died.
A photo album shows you have lived. 

I stored it away in my little brain. Then we received a phone call out of the blue from my cousin that my Aunt had died on Sunday, unexpectedly. I sent him this lovely image of my Dad and my Aunt at my Sisters wedding. It was the last time they saw each other, as my dad was terminally ill at the time. You would never know from the image that he was on his third cycle of chemotherapy.


So that saying is really the truth. I feel sorry for people who don’t take the time to capture theirs and others short time on Earth.

I had lunch with my friend Judith the next day. I took some photos of us, even though I told her that I thought a photo of my Aunt would be used in my Project life for that day.


She asked me later what image I had used? That's the great thing about Project Life, you have artistic licence to put the images where you want. In years to come no one, even me won’t remember what happened on what day. So Project Life can be just a representation of my life now.

You never know from day to day , week to week what will happen in your life. I mean read my next post. That's a perfect example.

So all you lucky people here in Europe, are now able to get your hands on the last remaining Project Life's here . You won’t have to empty an entire suitcase like I had to, to get it home from the States. (blog post here.)

It certainly has turned out to be an interesting, thought provoking project.

maybe the card wasn’t appropriate





Its Fathers Day here in the UK today. My son had pre bought this card for his dad. But after the happenings here in the last few days, I couldn’t stop laughing when I read the card.





Why you might wonder? This message of “support ” from a friend on Facebook will give you a clue.

I love my friend Karen. Only she can get burgled and worry that she hadn't made her bed and put the ironing away. We always knew she was a dirty cow really. Oh, did they take any cup cakes on the way out????”

Friday was a bad day for me as my pain was through the roof and I was having trouble getting about. I told my physio that it felt like my hip bone was broken. I struggled to get to my osteopath for treatment and whilst I was there. Burglars smashed lots of windows and stole our jewellery and my new camera.

For the first time I wasn’t able to make my bed, or clean the shower. I even had left my heat pad on, in my bed. My MIL was shocked as she’d never seen me leave a house like that in 28 years. Things were all over the floor in my sons room and I couldn’t pick anything up.

My son came home just after I’d left, and thought, “boy, mum is really cross with me this time for the state of my room.” He rung his dad to say, “I can’t believe mums smashed up my chest of drawers!!!!”

He then looked into his sisters room, and to her embarrassment he thought that looks normal !!!


But it was the state of my room that made him realise we had been burgled.

He then discovered Teddy was locked in the sitting room and our dog Buzz's ashes were scattered on the carpet.

Thank God Teddy wasn’t locked into his caged area that day. He would have been hit with flying glass and china.

As it is, we know he would have gone to investigate, but so far he seems unscathed. There was glass from multiple windows and china from a large plant pot, everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Splinters are even embedded in the wall. As I found out a bit too late.

As you would expect they took my DSLR camera . But I’m really not that bothered, after all it’s replaceable. It’s just sad my pictures will be a bit crap for my Project Life. It’s particularly annoying as I had, after six months, finally finished watching my Erin Cobb video, how to use my Photoshop programme. I had just got the hang of it, and that very day I had found out how to resize my images, after a year of trying!.

They also took my external hard drive for my computer. So all my religious backing up of all my images, was for nothing. That's 2 bloody external hard drives gone in 6 months.

It turned out they also robbed our next door neighbour. So we didn’t feel so targeted.

But everything has a silver lining. Tasmin tidied her entire room !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I’m just off to get Teddy from under the bed, where he’s hiding. Who knows what that dog saw.



Thanks to everyone's for their kind messages on Facebook and text.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Stop the traffic, again




Her Royal Highness, the Potters Bar Princess is here.


My niece was chosen to lead the carnival. From her sunny smile you couldn’t  tell that it poured with rain the entire day. And to add to that ,it was freezing. She never moaned once, as she walked around a muddy field, greeting everyone.


My other niece had to walk the route in costume. The perfect costume to keep her quiet.


Under that mask, was a runner up for the princess title. Maybe next year we’ll unmask her.


My “younger” sister was brimming with pride.

(ha ha Andrea, that pays you back for my Anniversary card)

stop the traffic,

they are here………..


They were so bloody big they had to be dismantled on my drive to fit the buggers in.


I mean they are MASSIVE.

Thank God we went for the small ones. I mean, these big boys are the SMALL ones !!!!!!



It’s going to take some getting used to.

Teddy made himself at home straight away.


Thursday, 9 June 2011

Project Life- Week twenty two

here’s a shot of my scraproom notice board. The sheet is a list of Project Life prompts for those days when I have no idea what to take a picture of.


It’s VERY frustrating at the moment, as I am having serious problems posting my blogs. It keeps coming up –server error 500. Has anyone any idea what I should do?

In order to make a post, I have to reduce my content and resize the images, to much smaller than I would like.

Left hand side


Right hand side


The top photo is of some amazing peonies I bought at Lidls. They were huge and the best I have ever bought.

Phoebe do you now see, that your trendy low fringe is not that becoming.



Yes that sweeping fringe.


Why are teenagers so up for looking like they have just been in a wind tunnel.


I must be getting old ?

Project Life–Week twenty one


The left hand side


and the right


Here’s a snap of Teddy in his bed under my scraproom desk.


Don’t be fooled by his angelic face. He has a bad case of eggy farts lately.

I get a sudden, gross waft every now and then. Erghhhhh

Project Life–Week twenty



Of course my birthday week.


The photos in the top right hand side corner are of another blog readers boutique opening I went to.

There were 3 girls there, who I used to have in my Year 3 class, many moons ago. They are all grown up now. It makes me feel VERY old.


One of them came up to me and said “I recognise you, did you use to be the piano teacher at school ?”

Me a piano teacher ?

Do I look like a bloody piano teacher.?

Project Life–Week nineteen

I know this maybe a bit boring showing you these past Project Life pages, as I have shared so many of the pictures from my trip to Chicago.

It seems such a long time ago now. I look back to it with fond memories. I always have the best time there.


All of the pages can be clicked on to make them larger. I have been loading them slightly smaller in scale on my blog. To see if it helps with my current blogging problem.


I thought I’d share a funny story with you,  from yesterday . Hubby went to transfer some of the funds needed for our purchase of our rental apartment this week. In the bank the teller said she would have to check with her boss if the transaction was OK. Imagine Hubbys surprise when the teller returned to say the boss had said it was OK. She knew all about the apartment from reading my blog !!!!!!

How funny is that. So, hello Caroline. Thanks for reading my blog. Plus, you’ll be glad to hear, I have some more holidays coming up this month !

More Project Life-Week eighteen

I have been keeping up with my Project Life admirably.It takes a lot of time and planning. I try to print my pictures twice a week and catch up with the journaling at the weekend.

Cathy Zielske has recently started a Project Life album in her own style. Check it out here. Ali Edwards blog always has some weekly inspiration for me. It would seem that due to the demand in Europe, Project Life will soon be available to buy from this site. The kits are all sold out in the States.


The week that Osama was killed,had to be included.


I saw this on the Project Life forum and thought it would be a good idea to include it  for future generations.

On the reverse side I put a collage of photos from the shoot I had with my friends daughter and children


and on the left hand side


I shall be including my Project Life in weekly blogs, as Livewriter, which I use to write my blogs, is having some trouble posting my blogs. I think they are too large, due to the gigantic size of my images. I never bother to resize them, so the files are huge, as I shot  at the highest quality with my DSLR camera.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011


is what lead me to blogging.

I started this blog to showcase my layouts. I started scrapbooking over 5 years ago. I had wandered into an Archivers store whilst on holiday in Chicago. I was in awe of all the products on offer. Each time I visited I would wander around the shop, I wasn’t aware of any shops in the UK where I could buy any such products.

IMG_8216-1So on the return from one of these holidays I went into a stationary shop and found the ugliest album with some stash for the sale price of £10. I walked around for a bit and then went back to buy it. I sat at my dining room table trying to work out what I should do. I remembered a garden centre that had a craft session, so I drove there and talked to the owner. She showed me a sample of her scrapbook and I bought some extra stash and away I went.

I’m embarrassed to show you my first scrap layout. It’s hidden away in that crappy old album in a drawer.



I was also new to the web when I started scrapping. So I started learning to Google and I was away. I found UKS the scrapping forum for UK scrappers, and then I found little scrapbook shops dotted around my area.

But the biggest influence on me was a copy of Creative Keepsakes that my Hubby bought me back from Chicago. I devoured that magazine. I started to live, breath and dream about scrapbooking. My creative juices were in full flow. I bought more stash and kept it all, in a wheelie tote bag. This was the time when I made most of my favourite layouts. Bizarrely cropping and more stash has made my creative juices dry up.


In the old days I had a little book, where I wrote down ideas, quotes and kept notes on LO’s I liked.

Now I see the new SMASH book by K&Co is the latest scrapbook craze. It made me remember this old journal and I’ve dug it out again.

If I could get my hands on a SMASH book, it might get my juices flowing again.

2011 June 8th

So I thought I would share with you some of my favourite layouts from my early years.

2011 June 8th1

I scrapbook to tell the story of my family. To have a hobby that will leave glimpses of the past, that I want remembered, long after I have left the planet.

l almost need to go back to that old bag of stash and the dining room table. I never seem to have the time needed to sit and ponder, and sort through my stash anymore. I keep waiting for the moment when I am “ bored ” and have nothing to do, like the old days. My days are filled to bursting now. Not being able to sit and having to stand on the spot is too painful now. Even surfing the net has to be done standing and the fact I can’t seem to concentrate anymore, doesn’t help.

How have you kept your scrapping mojo going ?

What motivates you to record your families life ?

I would love to see your first scrap attempt. Dare you share ?

a test blog

I am having problems posting my blogs, so I am just doing a test run.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

My pot belly


I have always had a pot belly. By that I mean I have always had a belly that protrudes excessively. As I child I was extremely skinny, compared to my peers. But I always had a sticky out belly.

It would seem that was a marker for what was to come.

Over 20 months ago, I went to see my Doctor about the consistent pain I suffered, deep in my left hip. It kept me awake at night. So I was prescribed sleeping tablets and after some blood and urine tests. He sent me on a wild goose chase, undergoing many tests for kidney cancer! See blog here.

But I still had that deep hip pain. On my first visit I mentioned that  I had done lots of research, and I felt I had piriformis syndrome and/or hip bursitis.


I also mentioned the same thing to my surgeon during one of my many visits to him. He poo hooed it, and said it’s a made up term by Americans. It doesn’t exist. This made my osteopath see red when I told him.


splash_teejay_applied_pilates-1It was weird as Teejay always had to work on my piriformis muscle along with my psoas before I could attempt to work on a Pilates reformer bed.




Paul my physio and Pilates teacher now, always checks me out in class as I struggle with the stretches. He always tells me, my culprit is in my muscles. The pain is coming from my prolapsed disc, but the culprit is my muscles.

I feel I have been sent on a path of discovery in this long year of pain. Something made me check on Pilates reformer bed classes in my area  at 3am, one long January night. The incredibly knowledgeable Teejay was shown to me and I started receiving treatment and Pilates training from him. Then miraculously a new Pilates gym opened nearer to me. Thus lessening the agonising drive.

Who should I be given on my introduction session,but Paul. He is a fully trained physio as well as a fantastic Pilates teacher. I joined his rehab class and he gives me one to one tuition, in a room full of people. I’m not sure if I have mentioned this on here before. But it would seem I have been his most challenging person to date. After a rehab class with me in it, he had to retire to a darken room to recuperate.

IMG_9116-1pseAfter another challenging class I limped out of the class to see a man in white stood in front of me. Something made me stop and wait to talk to him.

He is the osteopath that works out of the centre. I told him about my back problems and history and I agreed to let him try and work his magic on me 3 times. Paul joined us during our talk, which is when I found out about him and the darkened room.

So yesterday was my second session. But miraculously after a long and lengthy first session and only 15 minutes of body work, I slept the two following nights straight through. It was such a joy to wake up and it was time to get up with everyone else.

Yesterday, he confirmed all my initial thoughts that I have probably got piriformis syndrome along with deep psoas muscle problems.


During our consultation I mentioned my weird eating disorder SED. It was like light bulbs going off in his brain. He said I am going to check your diaphragm as it can hold regressed emotional tension. And low and behold I have the tightest diaphragm he has ever felt.

It turns out the diaphragm connects to the psoas muscle at the base of your spine. A tight diaphragm means an incredibly tight psoas .A tight psoas means a tight piriformis. The sciatic nerve is then compressed by that tight muscle. The spanner in the works for me is that because I now have a prolapse disc. The surgeons have just been concentrating on that. But I know my body well, and I could tell that my muscles don’t feel right. It would explain why after only two days my epidural and nerve root injection didn’t work. A lot of the pain is as a result of my deep muscle problems. It would explain why as a child attending ballet for years, I was the only child who couldn’t do any of the deep stretches.


Now, why the pot belly you might ask. Well a tight diaphragm  means you stop deep breathing with your tummy and your stomach muscles slacken.

In my first session I couldn’t breathe using my stomach at all. I breathe just by moving my rib cage only slightly this then impairs the digestion and elimination process. Creating even more problems. Of course this is then compounded by the fact that my digestive tract no longer works properly because of the drugs I have to take for the pain.

So my pot belly was the marker for what was to come. I also have a tilted pelvis to add to the mixture. I would love to say that after my session yesterday I feel amazing. But I don’t . I have just struggled in extreme pain to see who rang our door bell. Luckily, Hubby got to the Jehovah Witness before me. Or I probably would have told him where to stick his pamphlet.

After the session yesterday I felt “ normal”, and pain free. But the short stint in the car on the drive home sent me back to the black hole of pain again.


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