Wednesday, 14 October 2009


Bet you thought this post was going to be about something paranormal with a title like that! Sorry to disappoint but it is actually about signs of the wordy variety. When I got my new kitchen extension two years ago I bought a sign that said BAKE because, as anyone who knows me will agree, I am heavily into baking. Next came the EAT sign, then along came COOK to complete the kitchen set. Then I found a sign that said LIFE IS GOOD which was very apt as it fitted in with the Project 365 digital scrapbooking I have been doing at Weeds & Wildflowers, where one of the kits is called 'Life is Good'. Next came WELCOME, then LOVE in white, then WASH, then LOVE in red, and finally the latest in my collection is HOME SWEET HOME.
Do you think I am a bit of a compulsive buyer of signs?
Here is the latest one.....

And here are some of the others.......

Do you have signs like these in the house? What are your favourite things to decorate a room with?

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Getting in the mood for Halloween

Anyone who knows me knows I love any excuse for fancy dress, heck I even had a Wild West 40th. So with Halloween coming up I am starting to think about costumes, I am leaning towards Pirate Queen but who knows what I will end up as! Anyways I thought I would just remind myself of last years costume and here it is..... This is me and my OH at my friend Heather's party (which she will hopefully have this year too - hint, hint!) The fab kit is All Hallows Eve from Weeds & Wildflowers. Just in case you were wondering, OH is wearing a mask (he's not really that old and wrinkly), unfortunately I am not wearing a mask, that is me (but I do have alot of make-up on)!

This year Halloween will be a bit sad for me as my youngest DDs school closed in June and I was very involved in the PTA there and we always had a Fancy Dress disco for the kids at Halloween. Many an hour I have spent doing face painting or serving on the tuck shop, printing out certificates for best costume or best dancer, helping sort out DJ music or clearing up the sweetie wrappers after it is all over.

Do you dress up at Halloween? Do you have a party?

Leave a comment and let me know what traditions you have at this time of year.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Beads, Beads and more Beads

As some may know I have been doing a silversmithing course for the last few years and this year I started a beading class as well and it is fab. I now have a new addiction to rival Farmville! Do you have any idea how easy it is to get completely carried away with buying beads online? I sat down on Monday to order some beads and before I knew it I had ordered 3 lots from 3 different web sites LOL. It was a complete accident, I had no intention of spending so much but it just happened, it was absolutely not my fault. They were just so pretty and colourful and sparkly and they called to me!!

Anyway I tought you might like to see my first attempt at beading. It is a bracelet for my DD and I just love the colours, they are so cheerful.

Do you wear jewellery? What sort do you like best?

If you know of any good places to buy beads let me know!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Tagged and an Award - all in one week!

I am really chuffed to have been tagged by Gaelikaa and given an award by MelRoXx.

First the tag.....

All you have to do is pick up the book nearest to you, open it on page 161 and copy the fifth sentence.

The book closest to me is Jamie's America but unfortunately P161 is a full page picture so I will use P162 instead. The fifth sentence reads, "Give it a go." And indeed that is what I would say about Jamie's recipes so hows that for spookyness!

I am passing the tag on to anyone who reads my blog and wants to take part.

The award from MelRoXx is lovely. It's the You Add Sunshine To My Day award. Isn't that such a nice award to pass around, to show all the people whose blogs you read that you enjoy them.

I am passing this one to Ayak at Turkish Delight, and Gaelikaa at Gaelikaas Diary. I love both of their blogs about the countries in which they live cos they really make the people and places come alive with their stories. If you haven't visited them yet DO IT NOW!

Saturday, 19 September 2009

The Liffey Descent - action shots this time

OK so last time I posted the fun pics of the weird and wonderful hats from the 50th Liffey Descent and I think it's about time I posted some of the action shots, after all that is what the race is all about. So without further ado here ya go.

This is my OH at Straffan weir and at Lucan weir.

This is my DS (probably the youngest competitor in the race) and a friend.

This is my friend Karen at Straffan weir, right at the start of the race.

If you ever get a chance to try white water kayaking or canoeing, give it a go.

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

If you want to get ahead, get a hat

As promised I have put together a little collage of some of the weird and wonderful head gear we saw at the Liffey Descent last weekend. The first Liffey race was held in 1960 and 50 years on it is still the biggest, toughest and most challenging river marathon in the world. It is 17 miles of weirs and rapids, with a large lake and a 500m portage thrown in along the way. I first watched the race in 2007 and as I stood in the grounds of the K Club at Straffan weir and waited for my OH and friends to come over the edge my heart was in my mouth, it was truly terrifying. Above the thundering roar of the water the commentator could be heard to say, "There's carnage at Straffan" and that description was very apt. I will post photos of the actual race later in the week, but for now here are some of the colourful hats we saw along the way.

Apologies and an Award

First an apology..... I just wanted to say sorry for not posting for ages, it has been chaotic getting everyone back to school, doing uniform shopping, shoe shopping, books/bags/pencil case shopping etc. We have also been to two canoe races in three weeks down in Dublin (photos to follow) and on top of that I have to shamefully admit to a growing addiction to Farmville on Facebook.

Secondly, I am so chuffed that Gaelikaa from the fabulous Gaelikaa's Diary has given me an award. If you haven't visited Gaelikaa's blog yet then pop over there now. She brings India to life with her writing.

Since all the blogs I read have this award I am not going to pass it on at the moment but it means I will have to get out into the blogosphere and read some more so I can pass it on soon.

I am photoshopping my photos of the Lower Liffey Race and of The Liffey Descent so I will have a post about the races tomorrow (I hope) but for now I will leave you with this photo which made me smile. In case you don't recognise them, this couple are dressed as Smurfs. There are usually quite a few funny costumes and strange headgear at the Liffey Descent so pop in tomorrow to see some more pics.

Thursday, 20 August 2009

A Wedding to look forward to

We have been celebrating an engagement this week which means that we will have a family wedding coming up early next year at which my DDs are going to be bridesmaids, so there is alot of excitement in our house at the moment and lots of drawing dresses and googling wedding bits and bobs. In honour of the occassion I took this photo, and I also used it as my last assignment for the photography course I was doing at Feel Good Photos. It's a shot I have been wanting to try for a while so I am so glad I finally got round to it.

It got me thinking about my own wedding photos and I realised I don't even know where my album is. So my task for the weekend is to find the album and show it to my youngest DD who has never seen the photos before.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Yay, an Award

I'm so chuffed to have been awarded the 'Fabulous Blog' award by Gaelikaa over at Gaelikaa's Diary and Ayak over at Turkish Delight. Both these lovely ladies write fantastic blogs that really bring the country they live in alive to their readers so if you haven't paid them a visit yet, do it now!

OK, back to the award......... the rules are to list 5 things you are addicted to and then pass it on to 5 more bloggers, so here goes.

I am addicted to (in no particular order):
  • Farmville on Facebook
  • Starbuck's Skinny Latte
  • Photographing my family and friends
  • Digital Scrapbooking
  • My homemade Nachos

I am going to pass this on to -

A Mad Scientists Musings

Diary of an Allotment Widow

Riches of my Soul

Snaps and Shots in My Space

Welcome to My World

Monday, 17 August 2009

Bubbles at I ♥ Faces

I just had to enter this shot in the I ♥ Faces photography blog this week when I heard the theme was Bubbles. It doesn't seem to matter what age you are, bubbles never lose their appeal.

To see more Bubbles photos pop on over to the I ♥ Faces blog.

Lughnasa Fair

I have finally got round to posting some pictures of the Lughnasa Fair at Carrick Castle. I love these medieval type fairs because there are always lots of characters to take pics of but the one at Carrick is one of my favourites because the location is just so lovely. I made a scrapbook layout from this years pics as I know I definitely want to get it printed out so it can go in my 2009 book.

The fair was full of things to do. There were people dressed up as medieval characters, children's entertainers, art & craft workshops, archery and birds of prey demonstrations, face painting, acrobats, story telling, street theatre and of course plenty of stalls selling local crafts, speciality foods, coffee & tea and a mouth watering range of snacks. Unfortunately I left it too late in the day to get something tasty and all the strawberries & cream crepes were gone!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Carrickfergus Castle

I mentioned in my last post that I had been to the Lughnasa Fair at Carrickfergus Castle so I thought I would post some images of the castle today. I am photoshopping some of the shots of the fair and I will post these tomorrow but for now here is the castle.

Carricfergus Castle is here on a map and here is a picture of it from Google Earth.

The castle is over 800 years old and is now under the care of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency. It sits in the town of Carrickfergus at a strategic position on the shores of Belfast Lough.
Carrick castle was built by John de Courcy but has been added to and altered over the centuries. It is now open to the public and hosts many events throughout the year. The banqueting hall has been restored and there are many displays throughout the castle to show what life was like in medieval times.

You can hire the castle for special events such as weddings, and birthday parties can also be held there. I think you can also get married in the chapel, which is extremely small and would only provide enough room for 2-3 people. I remember when I was a teenager they used to run medieval banquets which were very popular but I don't think they do them now - pity though, that would be fun!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Wordless Wednesday

I just discovered Wordless Wednesday and knew I had the perfect picture.

My OH looking out from Carrick Castle across Belfast Lough which he had kayaked across the previous week.

For more Wordless Wednesdays go here or here.

Photos of the Lughnasa Medieval Fair at the castle coming soon.

Friday, 31 July 2009

Hooked on Cupcakes

I have decided that I have a definite obsession with all things cupcake. I just LOVE them. I have wiled away many happy hours pouring over Bakerella's blog and drooling at the funky creations she comes up with. Just take a look at the fantastic Father's Day treat she made here, I don't know how she thinks of all these fab ideas but I hope she keeps at it to inspire us and make us green with envy. But I don't just love the yummy cupcakes themselves, I love anything and everything that has a cupcake theme.

Check these out...

Cupcake Fairies


Garden Planters



Wall Plaques

Don't you just love them.

So this week I am hooked on cupcakes, and I'll leave you with a shot of the delish cupcakes that I couldn't resist taking a pic of at St George's Market (and I couln't resist buying one either).
I went for the Raspberry & Lemon one and it was divine. So if you are ever in Belfast on a Saturday morning nip along to the Farmer's market and treat yourself.

This week I am taking part in the Hooked on Fridays blog party check it out here.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Meet Nate

For one of the last lessons on the course I have been doing with Jessica Sprague, we had to create a collage. If you haven't tried this before you really should have a go, it's alot of fun and you end up with a great piece of wall art. I decided to use some of the photos of our day at Discovery Cove where we got to swim with Nate the dolphin. I had always wanted to do this so it was a dream realised for me and we had a fantastic day.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

My First Ever Award

Thanks to MelRox I have just received my very first award.

If I understand it correctly I have to
  • List 10 honest things about myself
  • Pass the award on to 7 bloggers who I feel embody the spirit of the honest scrap and whose blogs I find brilliant in content

OK here goes.......

  1. I HAVE to start the day with a latte or I get grouchy
  2. I have a very short attention span ........... what I am supposed to be doing!
  3. My favourite holiday destination is Walt Disneyworld, Florida
  4. I am addicted to Bejewelled Blitz
  5. I really want a new camera, a Canon DSLR
  6. I love digital scrapbooking
  7. I spend far too much time on the internet for my own good
  8. I love nachos and fajitas and apple sour martinis on the rare occassions when I go out
  9. I never read a book twice
  10. Sometimes I like animals more than people

I am passing this on to..





Life as I live it



Friday, 24 July 2009

Yay, I've been published!

So excited because I have had a scrapbook layout published in this month's Scrapbook Inspirations magazine.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

There's no business like SNOW business

This is a storyboard that I did for the Jessica Sprague course which is sadly over now but I thoroughly enjoyed the two weeks and learnt so much more about using PSE. Now I just need lots of practice!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

I am LOVING this

The Jessica Sprague course that is. We have been adding textures, frames and text to our photos as well as playing around with blending modes and adjustment layers. It really helps to learn PSE when you have a set project to do. This is my latest offering, a photo of my DD1 taken last year.

If you have any photos that you have done this kind of thing to I would love to see them, leave a a link in the comments if you want to share.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Jessica Sprague's fab courses

I have been doing a Jessica Sprague course on Frame Ups and Special Effects for the last week. It teaches us how to use various techniques in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements (PSE) to add a little something to our photos so that they are a little more interesting and unique. Although I have touched up photos in PSE I have not done much of this type of thing so I have really enjoyed learning new techniques and I will certainly use them more in future, especially for photos I am going to scrapbook.

For this photo we had to get a vintage hand coloured look, I think it is not bad for a first attempt.

What do you think?

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Seeing double

I had such a lot of fun using PSE to create this pic for The PWL course at Feel Good Photos. I am really pleased with how it turned out and really chuffed that it is one of the nominees for photo of the week. Now that I have tried doing this in PSE I just know I am going to use it lots in the future.

I am doing an online Jessica Sprague course on Frame-Ups and Special Effects so will post some of the photos from it tomorrow.

What are your favourite things to do in PS or PSE? I would love to hear how you make your photos fun, funky and unique so please leave a comment if you want to share.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Water, water everywhere

Ever wondered what happnes at the moment a water balloon bursts? Well wonder no more, here it is. Don't you just love the way the water holds its shape for a split second before cascading all over the place.

Here's another water shot. A drop of water splashing into OH's hand. I converted to B&W to remove the distraction of the background and concentrate on the water. Not quite a crown, but almost.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

In the name of art

I had OH posing alot for me this week so I could get some arty shots. This is the one I am happiest with. Sreet reflected in sunnies.