Having to hold back.

07:35 Karen 14 Comments



I will tell you a little secret, my girl is bright - not just bright but A level, A* potential bright, but that's not the little secret - I will get on to that later.



She has had offers from all but one of the unis she has applied for. Her boyfriend, of the past two years, is also bright (on some subjects brighter than her on others not). She wants to study Biomedical Science, he wants to study Zoology, they have chosen to apply to unis where both these subjects are taught so that they can go together.

Now here is my secret, at the moment they favor Newcastle



which is almost 300 miles away and over 5 hours to drive there. I cry at the prospect, I cannot even type this post without tears running down my face. She is my only child, my baby and I would much rather she went to Essex uni - 20 minutes drive away but a a push could cope with their next option which is Sheffield


which is 3.5 hours drive away but NEWCASTLE!

So whenever they talk excitedly about it I have to smile and join in and realise that is is the time to let her go, find her wings and fly. Believe me fly she will because wherever she goes and whatever she does she will give her all and do her best.

Perhaps it is time to stop holding back and let a wider world benefit from the marvel that is our girl Grace!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. That I am putting a brave face on it.

2. That my friend Julie knows how I feel and can relate to it as she felt the same.

3. That the kids have the brains and determination to carve their own paths in the world.

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14 comments:

This time

07:49 Karen 9 Comments


This time I will do it. I have told so many people that I am doing this program that it will be a major embarrassment if I don't complete it - my ploy for ensuring that I reach my goal of being able to run 5k in the next 9 weeks.

Final run of week 1 tonight, as I had a very busy weekend away so am a run behind but I really am determined to succeed this time!

Reasons to be cheerful:


1. An awesome weekend involving fire throwers and eaters!

2. Project for Saturday's crop - in my head and only needs getting out of my head and into reality!

3. Looking forward to a run tonight - honest I am.



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9 comments:

I joined the party - for the 2nd time this week!

20:51 Karen 6 Comments

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Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Zumba - my new crush.

2. It's the weekend.

3. The hot bath that is running as I type.

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6 comments:

A Few Of My Favorite Things - Take 2

07:05 Karen 8 Comments

When I did the Blogging for Scrapbookers class in November 2009, I posted this lo I had made about a my favorite things so apologies in advance if you have already seen it.


Listed on this lo are 'a few' of my favourite things :-
  • Beach walks
  • Oriental lilies
  • Kisses from David
  • Rennie Mackintosh mugs
  • Baking cakes
  • Little pots
  • Home
  • Stencilling
  • My camera
  • Puppies
  • My FatMan iTube
  • Baby elephants
  • Doodling
  • Friends
  • Convent Garden Market
  • The blue bridge at Bergholt
  • Decorated elephants
  • and of course Gracia's cheeky face.
So what are a few of my favorite things? All the things listed above plus I love to visit these blogs

Simple Inspiration
- This lady is really inspirational, she has 4 birth daughters and 4 adopted sons and an adopted daughter! She blogs mostly with awesome photos and her posts more often than not make me sit at my desk giggling as I read them.

Created by ATDML - I am a little biased about this one but I loved and followed this blog even before I became involved with them.

From High In The Sky - Sian has an amazing ability to tell stories and draw you in to her life. She is also an awesome scrapbooker too.

Confessions Of A Cookbook Queen - because I love all things cake and this lady can really come up with some amazing combination of sweet gorgeousness.

Little Birdie Secrets - a blog that features many crafts but lots of stunning hand made flowers and things that can be adapted for page embellishments.

Stop Staring and Start Sewing - if you are a needlewoman (or maybe even if you are not) this is a lovely blog. Of course I look at many other sites - I feel I want to post the whole of my googlereader but that would be too much.

Finally another page to illustrate things I love - I love that my family join in with me to totally deny that I am over 21 and collude to give me gifts that reinforce this delusion.


Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Being reminded of my favorite things.

2. Sunny mornings and bird song.

3. Going with Gracia and Jane to our first Zumba class tonight!

Wishing you a fun filled day.

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8 comments:

Which amazing day?

07:40 Karen 4 Comments


On the prompt for Blogging for Scrapbookers today, Shimelle said we should think back to one of the most amazing day of our lives.

But how can I choose which day was an amazing day? Was it the day I met David, was it the day (not so long after) that I realised I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, was it the day we got married or was it the day that Gracia was born? How do I choose because they were all amazing days. Just thinking about them all makes my heart swell with happiness and gratitude for all our little family have.


I was in a pub with a group of friends when I met him, I thought he was offhand and he thought I was loud, we later discovered that he was deep and thoughtful and I was fun and exuberant - same people but different perceptions and these character traits are the ones that made us love each other.

I was riding a bike, a tandem in fact - with David on the front, when I realised that he was the one and that I must do everything possible to hold on to him.

I didn't want to get married, at the time I didn't feel it was necessary, but am so glad that we did and although there were many people who were sure it wouldn't last - here we are 25 years on.

acrylic frame made in 2010

I wanted a daughter so much and when Gracia finally came along she completed our family and is the cement to our foundation stones.

page from 2006

How can I choose which was an amazing day - I am so lucky spending time with those two and now Gracia's Josh has joined our little family almost every day has its amazing moments. I don't have an amazing day but an amazing life.

Page from 2010

Reasons to be cheerful:


1. Reminding myself of how fortunate we all are to have each other.

2. Today was warm and sunny - perhaps spring has arrived.

3. Spaghetti and meatballs for tea - yum.

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4 comments:

What have you done today to make you feel proud?

20:54 Karen 5 Comments


After watching Comic Relief on Friday I have that song in my head. So what have you done today to make you feel proud? I am really pleased with myself as I did the first run on the couch to 5K fitness program and managed to run for 8 minutes in 1 minute bursts. I can remember running half marathons and running up to 50 miles a week when I was training but alas that was a very long time ago so I am taking small steps and hope I will stick at it and manage the 5K in nine weeks. I am typing this as I bask in the endorphins surging through my body and loving the feeling.

As part of my new regime I am going to try to blog more. I am doing Shimelle's Blogging for Scrapbookers for the second time and it is through the original class that I met many of my blog friends. I cannot recommend this class enough.


So after the fabulous webcam crop yesterday (a big thanks to Deb who I met through BFSB ) I managed to finish the page that I started on Saturday.




Also here are two of the pages I made for ATDML's March DT Gallery. It was using the absolutely beautiful new Prima papers and journling spots. I will show you the others next time I blog.




Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Taking the first steps to a fitter me.

2. Planning on a lovely hot bath as soon as I stop blogging.

3. The funny little text messages David sent me while I was out jogging.



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5 comments:

Awesome Sunday

20:49 Karen 6 Comments



Yesterday was pretty fab as Saturdays go as I went to the little crop and had such fun with the girls. An added bonus was that the Divine Miss E was there and I got to get some cuddles.

I managed to make some
ATDML dt work done and started a page for this week's Chicken Soup. Too dark to photograph now but will upload it tomorrow or Tuesday along with last month's dt pages.

But today really blew Saturday out of the water. I got up really excited because of what was going to happen at 3pm. I went to teach Sunday School and the children were all absolutely perfectly behaved and such little darlings and they even remembered the story they were taught.

AND then after pootling about killing time it was 3pm and what I had been waiting for all week happened. My laptop made a noise and signaled that the event was about to start.



I was skyping with my blog friend Deb and her daughter Carrie from Arizona, with my friends Deb and Denise from Hertfordshire and my new blog friends Mel, Rhona and Ruth. We spent a happy 2 hours chatting and crafting and it was the closest to a crop we could manage (although Denise and Deb and I crop together in real life). Plans were made and projects discussed and it was so lovely to be able to speak to them all. I am sure that it won't be too long before we skype again.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Little children and babies.

2. Saturdays spent crafting with friends.

3. Sundays spent skyping with friends.

Hoping you have an absolutely lovely week.


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6 comments:

A Domestic Goddess is in the house.

07:22 Karen 4 Comments



Yes, a domestic goddess is in the house and it is ME!

I think it must be spring fever because on Saturday I thoroughly cleaned and tidied my kitchen, dining room and lounge - rearranging ornaments and photographs and generally being wifely. David loves it when these moods come upon me but they are a rare and wondrous thing!

Yesterday, after a lovely day at work, I made lemon buns



bread rolls


and butternut squash and lentil soup.


Well I think it may be egg, beans and chips tonight, after all that domesticity! Well, I did receive a pizza box stuffed with loveliness from Mel and Jill and I simply must get some things made with it - that's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. The prospect of another lovely day.

2. Homemade soup and roll for lunch (and I might have sneaked in a lemon bun too).

3. Unexpected visits from friends xxxxx



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4 comments:

Two Birds With One Stone.

07:21 Karen 4 Comments



Well, what's a girl to do when her man is upstairs scraping on his cello and her girl is out with her best boy? A little light scrapping of course!

I am dipping in and out of the 4, 1 year long FREE classes over on 2 Peas. If the technique or sketch takes my fancy I do it that month, if not I don't. Also I like to partake of a little Chicken Soup occasionally so I thought I would combine the two and 'Kill two birds with one stone'. This was the inspiration on the Chicken Soup blog and


this was the Stretch Your Sketch class for February on 2 Peas.

I generally don't do double pages so combined the two sides into one.


Look lots of stamping on my page! For a girl who never, ever, ever stamps but has a draw full of cute stamps she has purchased just to look at, I have caught the stamping bug.


These are Papermania stamps that I bought from the local Range store (3 for 2 at the time) and a coordinating set that came free with the most recent Creativity magazine, I only bought the mag to get the stamps. I stamped them in black and then spent a blissful half hour colouring them in with water colour pencils.


All they needed then were e-line pearls and gems for the little cherries on the top and they were done. What's happened I hear you cry, a page in less than a couple of hours, has she gone mad?

Reasons to be cheerful:


1. After giving is something to worry about on Monday, Kiera is so much better. I cannot believe how quickly animals get over traumas and bounce back.

2. Planning a little Easter treat for the 4 of us (shhhhhhh).

3. The prospect of making some very fancy cupcakes, with my niece, on Sunday. Enjoy the rest of the week and have a fabulous weekend.


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4 comments:

Fully Loaded

20:35 Karen 4 Comments


Firstly, the most important piece of information - Kiera is slowly getting better. She has not made any fuss and she visits the vet every other day for a check up. She is fully loaded with antibiotics and pain killers. The vet was pleased with her progress on Friday so I hope that the same can be said tomorrow.

It was our first Birthday crop yesterday! I can't believe that a year has gone by already. So much has happened in that year; I have made some lovely friends; been taught some amazing classes; taught twice; made a whole host of different cupcakes and become part of the ATDML design team. What an amazing year it has been.


At the crop, I managed to finish half of one lo and 3/4 of the class lo. I finished them both today. I am a 'fully loaded' type of scrapper, no white space and minimal pages for me. Even when I digi scrap I have to pile on as much as I can.

So the first of my fully loaded pages is this one
I made it for this class over on 2 peas.



In the afternoon the very talented Denise

taught a page using the very beautiful and sparkly MME papers which are available here.


I changed mine about a little and used the sweet tag, which was what Jane had suggested, to make it a bit more girlie and of course loaded it up a bit more. I loved the way Denise cut around the franking marks but when I did that they encroached onto Gracia's face so I cut around the stamps instead.



Also, I had only brought one 6 x 4 photo (I really must read the emails I send out with class photo requirements). I fully intended to add another photo when I got home but then decided to use the other photo space for journaling. I love the words of the Bruno Mars song so used those.

We all loved the class and I am amazed at the variations that people made (photograph from Denise's blog).


As always it was a lovely day and I am counting down the days until the April crop. Have a lovely week.

Reasons to be cheerful:

1. Kiera is on the mend.

2. Gracia announced today, for no apparent reason, "You are not just my mum but my friend too!"

3. Blissful Saturdays spent with friends playing with paper and glue.

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4 comments: