10 December 2007

Holiday Snaps...part deux!!!

Okay, here's the next gripping installment. Needless to say Gatwick is far less photogenic than Vancouver, so we didn't bother taking photos there, though I was tempted at the Yotel, which was fab. Compact, bijoux, yes, but a little gem nonetheless, and if you find yourself in desperate need of a nap between flights at Gatwick, we can highly recommend both the beds and the food (bacon rolls to die for!). Actually the food is worth mentioning, because you order it through the tv, they promise to deliver in less than 15 minutes or it's free (ours came in just under 10), it's quite a bit cheaper than we expected (certainly cheaper than food in the terminal cafes) and it arrives packaged in attractive boxes (like designer flower deliveries) in a boutique style shopping bag...way cool! Actually, that should be .... way hot! because it was in fact piping and stayed that way to the last crumb.

Anyway, on with the show...here's the new arrival we travelled all the way around the world to see, snapped in a rare moment of wakefulness perched on her momma's shoulder...altogether now, awwwwwwwwwwww.....

And within seconds of being plonked on her jet-lagged step-gran (moi!) she was out cold and snoring a little purr-like snore like a contented putty tat...

This is mom & auntie skulking in the kitchen to avoid the papa-razzi (i.e. their dad with a camera...they absolutely detest being snapped!)

And here's the proud grandad, aka Mr Christeph, posing with his new little darling at the airport before we headed off to Ireland...

Okay, that's enough for now, we're out to dinner tomorrow to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of arriving in Canada, so I reckon it'll be a couple of days before I get around to posting some more.

But before I forget, Carol asked what did I miss most while we were travelling. Well, without hesitation, I can honestly say, my bed! I don't think I had a decent night's sleep the whole trip, everywhere we went the beds were just so uncomfortable!! In fact the only place with a bed even close to comfy as ours is the hotel at Vancouver airport where we overnighted on the way back. When we finally got back I think we must have spent 24 hours straight snuggled up in bed, that's the life eh?

Truth is Amanda, they're revamping the airport for the 2010 Winter Olympics, but I must admit I really love what they've done so far. And hidden along the river bank is a series of tiny ear-phone sized speakers constantly playing restful river sounds eg birds, insects, water, wind....it's really lovely. It really was the most relaxing start to a journey ever, and I wish all airports would follow suit.

09 December 2007

Holiday Snaps ... Part One?

Okay, so according to Amanda it's time I did an update. What can I say? We've been half way round the world and back, and it's so good to be home! So here are the first of the (many!) holiday snaps. Get yourself a glass of wine and try not to yawn...

First up is the departures area at Vancouver Airport, exciting eh? Well, actually for us it was! It has been completely revamped since we were last there (circa 2004) and I have to applaud them. It's certainly the most comfortable, relaxing and de-stressing departures area I've had the pleasure to be in.

Here's the new and rather fascinating aquarium, seen from downriver...yes, there's now a river running through departures!

And a close-up of some of the occupants....

Here's a view of the river itself...

And a close-up of one of the more docile inhabitants, Salmonus Glassicus, I believe.

Okay, so I see some of you are already nodding, so we'll stop there for now, more to follow sometime soon!

02 November 2007

What I've been playing with....

When I shouldn't have really been playing at all! So much to do, so little time, and instead I find myself making papers. Kinda pleased with them though, certainly not your run of the mill kinda papers...whadya think?

Don't think anyone would actually use these for scrapping...but let me know if you'd like them, I'd love to be proved wrong!

09 September 2007

Thanks M!

Just wanted to send a very special note of thanks to my pinkie chum M, who sent me the most wonderful gift for our Christmas in August exchange!!!!

Thanks so much M!
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Lotza hugz coming your way M!!!

02 September 2007


My sweetie took some fabulous shots of the sunrise the other morning from our bedroom window...(I'd like to say we were up that early, but the truth is we never got to bed!) Anyhow we were both really pleased with how they turned out at the time, but looking at them now, I can't really believe how lucky I am to get to share this kind of breathtaking event with my sweetie without ever leaving home... we are really blessed!

And thanks to ON Designs Grand Opening Template Contest I got to use a really cool template to scrap it with... (click on the picture for a larger view)

Credits: Template by ON Designs, Papers & Red Ribbon from Black White & Read Kit by Anna Benjamin aka Paper Moons

27 August 2007

Did I create a freebie?

Lol! Well I've been playing around and finally came up with my first papers! Not that I'm particularly interested in getting into the whole freebie game, but I was so chuffed with myself, that I just had to share them...with anyone who actually happens to come across my little blog lol!

So whadya think? Would they be worth downloading as a freebie or not? Answers on a postcard please...lol!

20 August 2007

Feeling inspired (finally!)

A couple of things conspired together to get me scrapping this week - fabulous new bookbinder papers from Anna Benjamin at Paper Moons (only $1!!!), a cute torn frame template from Princess Pamela and an unusual sketch from Chris Greiser... and of course my ever-loving sweetie for whom this layout was assembled.

Click the image for a larger view to see the detail in these fab papers:

Credits: Bookbinder papers from Anna Benjamin at Paper Moons (only $1!!!), Torn Square Frame template from Princess Pamela, inspired by a sketch by Chris Greiser.

Cake anyone??

As a confirmed 'can't cook, won't cook' I was stumped when challenged to scrap a recipe card recently. And then I remembered one of the very few recipes I've ever actually baked rather than just drooled over. The Daily Mail did a promotional article for Nigella Lawson's Feast cookbook a few years ago and this was one of the recipes they featured. After weeks of pondering, I finally got up the nerve to try it and it was delish! It's heavy and moist, with a far more complex flavour than your average chocolate cake.

If anyone tries it, let me know! (Click the image for a larger view)

Credits: Bookbinder papers and manilla envelope by Anna Benjamin aka Paper Moons (only $1!!!), Torn Square Template by Princess Pamela, Shapes & Page Borders by Pillowgirl

13 August 2007

Ugly duckling girls like me....

So there was obviously a conjunction in the heavens today...

  • I heard Janis Ian's At Seventeen earlier on the radio and thought I'd love to use those lyrics in a page...
  • I came across a picture of myself on holiday in Greece dancing with my big brother (& hero) when I was seventeen (i.e. many, many, moons ago lol!) and again thought, I'd love to use that in a page...
  • Julie announced the design team at Stone Accents Studio today and and as part of the launch Candee started a challenge to do a 'hello' layout about yourself (or rather myself!)

Well ya can't ignore those kind coincidences... so here it is... the ugly duckling at seventeen...

Of course the lyrics mean a lot more to me now than they did then...sigh!

Papers and flowers from Harriet's Parlor, Rose and bead from Sugar Sugar...both kitz by the inimitable... can ya guess????
Anna Benjamin aka Paper Moons

06 August 2007

Raising a parting glass to Tommy Makem

One of my early heroes died the other day, you may or may not have heard of him. His name was Tommy Makem, formerly half of an Irish folk singing duo, Makem & Clancy. Growing up I learned more about my heritage and history through their songs and stories than I ever learned at school. To me they were the heart and soul and essence of what it meant to be Irish, and to them I owe my first sense of pride in being Irish.

I met them briefly, saw them perform live several times, both together and in later years individually, after they split to pursue solo careers. Each came from large musical families - and now their sons and daughters are carrying on the tradition.

Although diagnosed with advanced lung cancer last year, Tommy decided to carry on with his tour as planned rather than disappoint people - and I think in doing so he gave himself and his fans an opportunity to say goodbye in a real sense. Unfortunately I didn't get to any of the final dates, by the time news had reached me, most had already taken place.

And while the news of his passing didn't come as a shock, it brought with it a greater sense of loss than I had expected. As if I'd lost a favourite uncle, my childhood and my country in the same moment. While he has passed on his talent and passion for music to his children and they continue to perform, it's different. As if an era has ended and the future is uncertain. Normally I'd call that sentimental tosh, but that's how it feels just now.

In tribute I'd like to share one of his songs, a haunting piece with a superb melody that seems oddly appropriate and somehow comforting at the moment. To listen, click play on the Smilebox below.
Parting Glass
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Slan abhaile, Tommy.

27 May 2007

Nicknames, nonsense and 'nother template!

So isn't this weird - I start using templates for the first time and Chris Greiser starts making them! So I had to give the first one a try and see what I could do with it - and here it is ...ta dah!

The 'Petal' in question was a much younger version of me, it was one of my dad's nicknames for me, along with 'Half-pint' and his favourite (which was a collective nickname for me and my sisters lol!!!), 'Helpless, Hopeless & Useless'. Hmmm, that might just make a good page to scrap methinks!

{Credits: The Princess & the Pea kit and Silk Flowerz by Anna Benjamin (aka Paper Moons) and template by Chris Greiser}

Don't forget to scroll down to see Anna's fourth QOTC entry - and go vote!!!!

26 May 2007

Is Hunter not the most adorable little boy?

Don't ya just want to hug him all up for saying such sweet things about his mommy?

This layout just makes you wanna smile and go Awwwwww.... and then run right over to Scrapbookgraphics and vote of course!!! (You'll see the credits there too!) Another great bag of goodies there as a bonus once you vote - and if you need any more incentive - just go check on Anna's blog and see what she's got waiting for you!!!

Well what are you hanging around here for? Go! Scoot! Vote!

24 May 2007

Thoughts on templates!

Now as a real scrapping newbie, you'd think I'd be pretty keen on using templates eh? Wrong! Why? Well let's just say the ones I've seen so far have left me pretty cold, and I always end up thinking, I can do better than that!

But then a couple of days ago I discovered....Renae Nicholson! Renae brings real creativity and inspiration to template design and frankly, one look at her templates and I realised there was no way I could do better!

So since this was my first attempt to use a template, I played it safe and chose a simple one. I had a play and came up with this as an early anniversary card for my Mom & Dad that I'm really kinda pleased with. Though really with a combination of Renae's template and Anna's designs, how could I not be pleased?

[Credits: Chocolate Treatz, Foundation Paperz and Mini Bowz all by Anna Benjamin (aka Paper Moons), Template #42 by Renae Nicholson]

19 May 2007

Anna for Queen Campaign - Week 3!!!!

Isn't this gorgeous???? This is Anna's page for week 3 of the QOTC - and you can vote for it and see the credits here.

And this week's goodie bag for voting is a phenomenally HUGE 2.2gb!!!!!! Mine is downloading now - can't wait to see what's in it!

17 May 2007

Anna for Queen Campaign!!!

Okay, so I'm a little late cause it's week 2 already, but sheesh, give a girl a break!

Anyhoooo, here's the deal. Anna Benjamin (aka Paper Moons) is without doubt the most talented, gifted, versatile and downright creative designer it has been my privilege to discover - she's also a generous, funny and all round wonderful human being and she writes an addictive blog to boot - far more addictive than reality tv and vastly more involving. What more could anyone want in a future sovereign I ask?

As a challenger for the crown at Scrapbookgraphics QOTC, she simply has no competition!! But there's no shame in that for the other entrants, trust me even Princess Di would have conceded defeat to this Queen-to-be (she might even have asked her to design her wedding dress!!!)

Wanna see the proof? Well here's just a little sample of what this woman is capable of, it's her entry for week two:

See what I mean? She's unbeatable. So here's your chance to get in her good graces, and you just never know she might confer you with a title once she's crowned. Go here to see the credits and cast your vote and collect a wicked bag of goodies to boot.

And then go here to catch up with her blog and she might even treat you to some of her world-reknowned sugar cookiez for visiting!

Mmmmmmm, scrummy!

15 April 2007

All about me!

This is a challenge I did for godigitalscrapbooking.com last month - technically the challenge was over ages ago, but I liked the idea of it and thought I'd have a go for practice! Since it's along similar lines to Anna's first challenge for QOTC, I thought I'd share it with you, and see what you think?

Credits: Created in Powerpoint using Yin Designs Brown Paper Packages Kit

04 April 2007

First comment, third challenge!!!

Yay!!! My little baby blog got it's first comment today from Misty Cato, designer extraordinaire!! And such a lovely comment too, thank you so much Misty!! I'm almost speechless with delight!!

Onwards and upwards, been following Anna's blog at Paper Moons for the last few weeks, (well worth a visit and a read) and much impressed by her fabulously scrapped to-do lists. So when she issued a challenge for readers to create one of their own, couldn't very well resist could I? Even though this is the busiest of weeks for me and I hadn't got a clue where to start! Anyhow, here is my little effort - hope you like it Anna!

Bow & flower from Anna's March Madness collection
News Clipping Generator at fodey.com
Dummiez Book Cover Maker 2007 from signgenerator.org
Catalog Card Generator at blyberg.net
Photo of my beloved - you can tell I like this one too, it crops up a lot!
Geisha Brooch - one of my collection of brooches!

03 April 2007

Most treasured and most thankful...

Okay, so this is my second challenge ever and my second scrapbook page ever. Why is it so special? Well one, it's about the person that matters most to me, who changed my life in ways he doesn't even understand. And also, it refers to two monumental trips - one in 2004 to visit Canada to plan our emigration, and one in 2005 which was a pitstop at our favourite hotel in Brighton on our way to Canada to live - really lifechanging moments. And finally because the top photo is his favourite photo of himself ever, and I took it! The bottom one is a little blurry, but that was mostly due to the champagne, so even the blur is special!

It was created for Andrea Gold's 'What are you most thankful for' challenge at GoDigitalScrapbooking. I didn't manage to get the hang of the template provided in PSE (I've only just started using that too), so I worked in Powerpoint instead and recreated it as closely as possible.

And I'm entering it for Misty Cato's competition more because I'd love to get my first comment on my baby blog than because I have any hope of winning, which I doubt!

Credits: Key, Tag and Alpha from Debra Anderson's For All Time kit; everything else created in Powerpoint.

24 March 2007

My first ever challenge

This is my entry for Bren's colour challenge at TDS, I haven't been able to log into TDS because of a server error, so I'm hoping this works instead:

Visit Bren's blog here

24 February 2007