Friday, 21 April 2017


Good Morning lovely people, Friday already - 16th of 2017 and time to take stock 

First up a week off work, always a blessing particularly when you are juggling 2 jobs! 

Friday was a bank holiday as it was Good Friday, so we decided to head to the cinema, Fast 8 is out and as we've loved all the others we wanted to see this one, plus if we leave it too long we end up knowing about the story so wanted to see it early.  We then popped to get some lunch before heading home.  My Mum and sister popped up and hubby went and collected items from the gardening centre. 

As the weather was good over the bank holiday weekend (I know unheard of), we decided to continue working on the back garden, the plan is to go grass free as the lawn often looks pretty awful and the high maintenance factor means that it has driven me mad over recent weeks.  That and the fact we took the grass out of the front garden last year and literally haven't looked back! 

Hubby repaired the fence on the right hand side, it needed a little TLC, then I set to with a fence paint - country cream!   Then hubby set to making a raised deck platform whilst me and said 16 year old worked on the slate in the garden.  As we already had quite a lot of slate down, but the membrane underneath was no good, we decided to put down new membrane and put the old slate through a riddle to get rid of the soil and debris leaving only the bigger pieces of slate to reuse, a thankless task but worthwhile given how expensive slate is and how much we managed to reuse. 

The photo is at the end of the day where said 16 year old decided to try out the decking! 

Sunday was more of the same when it came to the garden, although we also had an evening wedding reception to attend.  

Here we all are at the do. 

I made the happy couple a book in a box to fill with photos from their happy day

And me and my sister got a photo together 

Easter Monday came and went and we had quite a lazy day. 

Tuesday arrived and our 19th wedding anniversary - scary how time flies!  

This is a photo from the day

And another, I remember laughing in this photo because hubby was hiding a glass of bucks fizz in all the photos!

We went up to Yorkshire Sculpture Park for our anniversary 'date' said 16 year old had gone to the cinema with a school friend. 

We did the full circuit which is in excess of 5 miles.  It was utter bliss!

And we managed a selfie despite the bright sunshine 

I loved seeing the cherry blossom in flower. 

And this installation is now in, but we couldn't get close due to filming! 

Me and hubby photobombed our own piccie

And found this beautiful bench with the beginning of a favourite poem on it!

We found the new art - which is actually painted over the old art which said - Art makes Children Powerful - it now says - All Schools should be Art Schools

Wednesday was a strange day, hubby back at work and said 16 year at school all day finishing off coursework and doing some revision, he was the only one in for the full 6 hours! 

I did a little mini book, managed a single 12 x 12 layout and then made a start on an art doll.  Said 16 year old has his original book from art at home at the minute whilst he makes improvements to it.  The original project was an art doll and I thought, well I've never made an art doll.  I've been pinning lots of examples on Pinterest recently and thought I'd have a go, so this is the beginning of my art doll. 

I have since done another face which is just as strange. 

Thursday I went for a walk as I needed some fresh air and captured this photo, hubby detests this particular crop as it always triggers his hayfever.  We seem to be surrounded by it this year!

I came home and enjoyed a cup of spiced ginger tea in one of my favourite cups bought for me by a friend. 

The rest of Thursday was spent playing on the sewing machine, said 16 year old joined in when he eventually got up and we put Fantastic Beasts on the TV whilst we were working. 

Once hubby was home, he took items to the tip from the garden and off the drive and picked some more slate up on the way back. 

Me and said 16 year old had planted out a couple of pots I had and they needed a bit more compost so they picked me some of that up too, whilst I stayed home and made tea. 

And then you find me here on Friday morning, a bit later than normal, I've been food shopping as the cupboards were bare. 

I hope you've had a grand week, if you fancy joining in.  Pop a post together, pop back and link up and we shall come and visit. 

Sunday, 16 April 2017


I found another draft post, this time from our day trip to the Harry Potter world just outside London.  

The first one is a photo of two Thestrals, they form part of a much bigger album from the day (yes you heard me right, a whole album).

And then documenting the Knight bus, we and said 16 year old aboard the Knight bus, a photo of the exterior of the bus and one of the interior!  The background papers were gelli plated papers from a while ago

And that is me officially caught up, now I need to fathom out if there are any I haven't shared!  There must be some lurking somewhere! 

I hope you have a fabulous day! 

Have you ever done a whole album on a single day?   If so what was your day about?

Saturday, 15 April 2017


These have sat as a draft on blogger for long enough, I thought I'd better share them

First up a layout from Gibside, documenting some of the walk we went on and the flowers we came across. 

Next up playing with a couple of polaroid style frames, again taken at Gibside, I was in a using up mode as most of these items were lurking in my scraps bag! 

And finally one of Prudhoe Castle, a castle we went to and when we got in realised we'd been before - whoops!  Enjoyed it nonetheless. 

I hope you are having a good day and managing more creativity than me as mine seems to have taken a nosedive again.

Friday, 14 April 2017


Good morning, tis Friday time to take stock, look back at the week and count the silver lining 

Visits from family, my Mum, sister and niece popped over on Friday last week when I was off.  We had a good natter, catching up and putting the world to rights, I rarely remember to take photos (talking too much), but when my sister was trying out the snapchat filters she had me giggling (I don't do snapchat) for reasons that are fairly obvious in the photos!  

We are still enjoying the cooler evenings which enable us to have the fire lit, we enjoyed sitting and enjoying the warmth, chatting and reading and I was impressed with my new reading light that attaches to my book preventing me having to put the main light on! 

Saturday we decided to make a start on our garden, but first up the side of the house, there is a tiny gap between us and our neighbours and it has become overgrown and rather untidy in recent years so hubby and said 16 year old set about sorting it out.  This was the start of the day

And this was the end - doesn't it look better.  Weeds and rubbish removed, weed suppressant fabric laid (double layer) and then gravel on top!  

Whilst the boys were busy with this I made a start on the actual back garden, this was the start of the day

and this was the end, I decided to paint it a light cream as our garden is tiny and north west facing so trying to make the most of the garden is a priority.  After working on the front garden last year, our mission this year is to sort the back garden.  This is only the beginning! 

Sunday morning and said 16 year old had one of his keep warm team building activities with NCS.  This time out at a country park, strangely enough I haven't visited this one before, but know my sister likes it for the occasional walk.  We left him to it (it was RAF team building so we knew they would put him through his paces) and we set off on the circular walk around the reservoir.  Whilst it is a lovely walk near the water, I wasn't awfully keen on the flies in the areas where it was quite sheltered if I'm honest so I might head here again, but perhaps before the weather starts to warm up! 

We did however enjoy the blue skies! 

Hubby wasn't impressed with this lot as it sets off his hay fever, but I loved the fact that it looked like there was nothing beyond

The sun was mighty bright as the selfie shows

There were a few sheltered areas and we spotted a swan nesting in the middle of some bullrushes.

Talking of swans, I didn't spot this one when I took it but it fair made me chuckle afterwards

Said 16 year old really enjoyed the activity and despite there being a couple of friends there, the team were sensible enough to mix them up so they were forced to start chatting with other people, he enjoyed having new friend requests pop up on facebook during Sunday afternoon. 

Being a finance person for two charities, means the rest of the week has been pretty much wall to wall work if I'm brutally honest.  I had done in excess of 30 hours between Monday and Wednesday and then had another mighty long day on Thursday.  Grateful hubby went and sorted the food shop on Tuesday so I could finish some work off. 

Thoroughly enjoying Broadchurch at the moment, last episode next week, for some strange reason hubby keeps falling asleep to it - goodness knows why!  But then I fall asleep to some of the stuff he puts on so I suppose I shouldn't grumble. 

Bumping into family at the supermarket last night twas fab, haven't seen either of them in an age. 

Said 16 year old getting on with the old revision, he's been into school twice this week for revision sessions.  Monday it was DT food and finishing off a bit of coursework.  Wednesday it was a full day of biology revision and Thursday he had a friend over for RE and history revision!  I can't fault his work ethic, I'm hoping it will give him the results he needs in the summer. 

And that my people is that, I find myself at Friday morning, Good Friday and a long weekend stretched out in front of me.  I hope your weekend is a good one.  If you fancy joining in pop a post together and pop back and link up.  

Friday, 7 April 2017


Good Morning lovely people tis time for

Time to take a step back and look at the last 7 days, find the positive moments and the silver linings!

First up these flowers in my Mum's garden, they were a bud only a matter of days prior and now look at them - beautiful, it also meant another catch up with my Mum which is always a positive!

We had some cooler nights, which meant we could still have an evening fire.  I was sat reading my illustrated Harry Potter book, but it seemed too lovely to put a main light on! 

Said 16 year old was away on a weekend revision retreat (the joys I can hear you say), he wasn't actually geographically far away (although you might have thought differently when we were stuck at school for over one and a half hours waiting for his return), but it meant a weekend with hubby on my own, something that doesn't happen often.  As we've been so busy helping on the revision front, plus we haven't felt like venturing out for a fun day - when he is stuck in with his nose in a book, we thought we'd make the most of it and get some fresh air. 

So on Saturday morning we set off for one of my favourite places - Chatsworth and our first visit of the season!  It is about an hours drive over to Chatsworth from where we are, we've been members for about 3 years and it is honestly the best money that we spend each year (we are also English Heritage and National Trust members).  We get to visit the house whenever we like, we don't have to wait for timed entry at Christmas.  We get to enjoy the Beyond Limits sculptures in the Autumn, we get free tickets to the members garden party, free tickets to the International Horse Trials and free tickets to the Chatsworth Country Fayre and this year they are also having an RHS show and we will get reduced ticket prices if we venture to that too!

However, before we headed to the house, we had breakfast, which was lovely as always! 

Chatsworth always puts on something additional to the beautiful house for the visitors to enjoy as they wander around.  This year they have the most amazing fashion through the ages exhibition - simply breathtaking! 

Everything from Alexander McQueen dresses as in the photo below, to the coronation robes worn by the family and they don't mind you taking photos, provided you don't use the flash!

The whole house is filled with these amazing costume creations.  There are ball gowns from a fancy dress ball in 1897 to wedding dresses worn by the family and this continues through the tour of the house.  

As members of Chatsworth we were relieved because this means we can revisit over the summer to really get to enjoy the entire collection and read all the information that accompanies the items. 

This was hubby's favourite dress, known as the lovers

I adored this amazing hat! 

But the creme de la creme - had to be the portrait of the Duchess Georgiana, the dress in front was designed by Galliano and made by Dior. 

I also loved this book like dress as well, I imagine the pages flow when the dress is worn

Back out in the sunshine and I found a few fun photos to post on Instagram

We enjoyed the beautiful spring flowering bulbs

I still love this view of the maze, I always imagine coming across Alice and the Queen of Hearts when we get closer! 

And the evening sky on the way home was breathtaking!

So had we had enough culture for one weekend - of course not!  We headed up to Yorkshire Sculpture Park on the Sunday to get some better photos of the Tony Cragg exhibition and to get some fresh air!

This was my favourite piece (and hubbies)

A better up close shot of those dice that I mentioned the other week! 

The sun was lovely and we got little bits of blue sky!

And one of my favourite permanent sculptures

The Camellia house had a few blooms!

I still love the bendy wood! 

The chapel had a new exhibition!

And some people were still confused with this one - another permanent and another favourite! 

More Tony Cragg work outside!

This one reminds me of a tooth

The blue skies were much appreciated, apparently Bretton Hall that stands in the middle of YSP is being converted into a hotel, hubby was a little disappointed at first, but I can't think of a nicer place to stay for a weekend! 

More Tony Cragg up near the Bothy

And we found new art down by the lake - it is still being set up - but I love the faces! 

Said 16 year old eventually arrived back at school on Sunday afternoon and we headed home, he was utterly shattered, but as well as the revision he had managed, he'd also enjoyed a lasersoft type game, archery and high ropes - apparently he thinks he may have conquered his fear of heights!  He sent us a photo of his morning cuppa - black coffee - they had apparently run out of milk - now said 16 year old on caffeine really is a sight to behold, thankfully the effects had worn off by the time he arrived home!

Monday morning loomed and his first GCSE exam - art - 10 hours - 5 hours Monday and 5 hours Tuesday! 

He went prepared, canvases, Powertex, styrofoam head, bottom board, fabric, angelina fibres, embroidery thread, fabric cord, styrofoam egg, acrylic stamps, acrylic block, hinges, screws, screwdriver, hot glue gun, felt, silhouette, letters, ink, glue sticks, mirror foil fabric, needles, quilters grid, uv paint, glow in the dark paint, uv torch...

At lunchtime we got a message "way behind" on his plan!  This made for a nervous and anxious wait Monday afternoon.  Hubby thankfully picked him up and we had a happy child on our hands, not only had he managed to hinge and screw the item together - but he was ahead of plan! 

Tuesday therefore was a more positive day as he went in feeling he could achieve what he wanted to!  Needless to say it was still to the wire - I think he had about 15 minutes to play at the end - but the piece is exactly as he had expected it to turn out and he was really pleased with it! 

The piece is based on his dyslexia that wasn't diagnosed until he was 10.  The background are two mirrors, the left hand side for those that don't have dyslexia and the right hand side for those that do.  

He used smocking to distort the mirror foil fabric, free motion stitching on the statements on the right, as well as fabric pens.  The letters are stitch and slash and spell the word LEFT which he often mistook for FELT when he was younger, he has added UV paint to the L and F so that when you shine the UV torch on the letters the L and F become an F and L. 

In front of the final piece is the little Maquette that he made a few weeks ago, this was to give it some sense of scale!  Apparently his was the largest art piece created during the exam - why am I not surprised!! 

Now all he has to do is improve on his first and second pieces over the Easter holiday - no small feat as I honestly don't think he can add anything to the second piece, but apparently he has been told yellow flowers! 

The first piece though was his art doll and he intends on making a bigger and better one over the holidays, I've told him to crack on ASAP, so that he can get it out of the way and then it is just revision for the rest of the holiday!  I'm also considering making one whilst he is, as it is fun to have an arty day doing things together, we usually put a film on and put the world to rights!

The rest of the week has been work work and a bit more work, but then its year end so what was I actually expecting in all honesty!  I did enjoy a brew the other day though when I was working from home, using the cup my friend bought me a while ago - it is still one of my favourites!

I've also been somewhat melancholy and reserved (most unlike me), I have very few 'firsts' that happen these days in relation to my Dad, he passed away when he was only 40 years old and I was only 16 so that feels like a million years ago.  April is always a tough month because it is his anniversary, but I've found it really hard this week, because my Dad was gone when I sat my first GCSE exam, in fact I sat my first exam (which was French speaking exam), the day after his funeral.  So said 16 year old sitting his first GCSE exam this week has hit my quite hard, remembering where I was all those years ago, being grateful that I'm still here to support him as I know my Dad would have done.  So I've been teary and on the brink pretty much all week - like I said there aren't many 'firsts' that happen these days, but crikey when they do come along, they really affect me, not really a Rocking moment I suppose - so where is the silver lining in this one, well the fact that said 16 year old still has both of us, if that makes sense! 

On a happier note, I did manage to finish a mini book for a work colleague who is getting married this weekend, hubby made a box for it, but it didn't go according to plan when I started to paint it up and the colours didn't really work, so I wrapped the book in tissue paper,  tied with a ribbon and then popped it in a gift bag.  I shall however be using the box for something else! 

Said 16 year old has been enjoying the front garden when he has been revising - bless him

I had an appointment with my consultant last night, who has signed me off as I'm managing my fibroid pain at the moment, so nothing more to do on that front! 

We had a fire last night on the log burner, it was cool during the evening, me and hubby curled up reading and said 16 year old blatted things on Xbox at the other end of the room - wearing headphones!   This is how I envisaged the room being used and it works perfectly!  With an uber messy craft desk in the middle of it!  

And then you find me at Friday morning, said 16 year old still fast asleep, hubby at work and I'm sat typing this up in my PJ's with a hot steaming cup of Yorkshire tea! 

I hope you've had a great week, if you fancy joining in pop a post together, pop back and link up and I shall come and visit! 

Until next week TTFN