Monday, 28 June 2010

The Sunday Creative

Creativity Boot Camp, as you know, is over, but in its place, is The Sunday Creative.
Madelaine Bea (life set to words) is encouraging us to continue to use our creativity by giving a prompt word each week.
This week the word is "Open".

To be honest, the weather is just too lovely to be crafting inside so the piece I am entering this week is a photo taken on Saturday whilst out geocaching with the family.

I think this might work for the word "open" and I would like to thank the butterfly for waiting for me to get my camera out of my bag!

We had a very successful geocaching trip and found all 6 that we were seeking. We found a Beavers travel bug a couple of weeks ago which is trying to get to Australia - we were very pleased to help it on its way by activating the "Wormhole to Middle Earth" which will have it travelling to New Zealand!
(Geocaching is a world-wide treasure hunt using GPS devices and coordinates and is a great free, fun activity for the whol family - it gets you out into the countryside and places that you never knew existed)!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

Wow - we;re so honoured - we have been awarded the "Beautiful Blogger" award by the lovely Crafty Suzy at
Thanks Suzy - its so kind of you.

We have to tell you 10 things about ourselves and then nominate others to receive this award!.

Here are our nominations: All are well worth a visit and have a very interesting array of arts to share with you!

Now, 10 things about ourselves ...

1. Mel lived in Verona, Italy for a year after leaving college to take care of TRIPLETS!!!
2. Lou was lucky enough to travel around the six states of New England last year (without kids).
3. Mel has worked as a nursery nurse / nanny since leaving school is now at a pre-school until she goes on maternity leave in September.
4. Lou works an Executive PA for a Sector Skills Council. (yamn) But was a registered childminder for 5 years whan her kids were little.
5. Mel has been married for 9 years and Lou 13.
6. Lou got married in Orlando, Florida.
7. Mel keeps an allotment and is a bit of a country bumpkin.
8. Lou - doesn't and isn't - but would quite like to be.
9. WE both absolutely love Take That and have seen all their concerts since their "come back" which have been awesome!
10. Mel's favourite colours are red and green and Lou's is turquoise because it reminds her of the Caribbean sea.

Nothing earth-shattering but a little insight!

Have a great weekend!

Lou & Mel

Friday, 18 June 2010

The Finale of Boot camp "Smile"

Well, that's it - all over (almost).
I've really enjoyed taking part in this online creativity and have looked forward to finding out the word prompts and thoughts each day.
I certainly would never have made some of the ATC's if it weren't for this course!

The course leader (Meagan) is continuing with creativity prompts on a weekly basis starting next Sunday - go and take a look:

Today's final prompt was "smile" and here is my entry today:) (thats not it:)
This is :)

Whenever I make my 10 year old son an ommlette, I always make a simley face with ketchup. he always rolls his eyes but quite likes it. I'm sure we'll continue this routine unitl he's 20!

What am I going to do now?
Sign up for Shimmelle's photography course for scrapbookers I think!

Thanks for all your lovely comments and for keeping me company on my very first online course. It's been a blast!

Take care x

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Day 12 Boot camp - "Smooth"

I don't think I was with the programme today. I had to get up at 5.30am to take a trip to Leeds for a meeting and although I was back by 5pm it was a long day travelling. I didnt find out the prompt word until 6pm and to be honest - I think I was just too tired to try very hard.

I originally thought of a snake for "smooth" but didnt have the brain cells available to put it onto paper.
Instead, I opted for a saxophone - smooth jazz.
I'm rather disappointed with the outcome and probably should have left it until tomorrow but rushed ahead anyway - typical me!

The other assignment was to think of dreams and aspirations. Madeline stated that we have many dreams as children that change frequently (sometimes daily) and we never think that our dreams might not come true.
As adults we are more negative (and practical)but we should still have dreams. She wanted us to share these dreams and think about the possible steps that could be taken to make them come true.

I'm lucky ( like I said yesterday) I've been to some of the places that I've dreamt about and they've lived up to my expectations - I would love to do more travelling to see the world.
My dreams, at the moment, are for the children. I want them to have the opportunities and confidence to do what they want to do. I want to do things together as a family before the children decide they'd rather do it with their friends.

Oh and my biggest dream is obviously to win the lottery and retire early to do voluntary work and travel the world - I buy a ticket every week so I guess thats a step in the right direction!

Maybe I should give this whole "dreams" thing a bit more thought when I'm not so tired!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Day 11 Boot Camp - "Hush"

These word prompts are getting harder and harder each day, I mean, where did "Hush" come from?

"Hush little baby...."
"There's a kind of Hush"

I settled on two ideas for hush today for my ATC's

1. Hush Money
2. Hush Puppies

The other excercise today was to think about the timeline of your life and how you got to where you are now and how your experiences have shaped you.
To be honest I'm lucky not to have had major trauma's in my life and if there have been a few hiccups along the way, they're not really worth dwelling on.
I guess we should all thank our parents or guardians for a large part of who we are - whether we have modelled ourselves on them or taken a different path because of them - each is an important journey.

I know that a huge part of who I am is down to my husband being ill several years ago. He was "proper poorly" with pancreatitis and spent 6 months in hospital quite some way from where we live. As well as dealing with the 50/50 possibility of becoming a widow in my early 30's. I also went to work, organised the kids, made meals, paid bills, homework, housework and everything else that has to be done on a daily basis. I only missed one day of visiting (due to a Take That conert). I'm proud of myself for getting through this awful time - I obviously wouldnt have done so well if is wasn't for my family, friends and a very understanding boss!

I've looked at some other blogs who tell terrible stories of their lives - dealing with alchohol abuse, drugs, death and abuse and I feel so lucky!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Day 10 - Boot Camp - "Full Bodied"

This was a toughie - full bodied - I immediately think of red wine mmmmmmm.
Full bodied hair that I wish I had?
Full bodied woman?

Why not a full bodied man?
Why not indeed - so here he is:-

The journal prompt for day 10 (day 10 already - unbelievable) was to be highly sensitive to everything around you and to answer questions about your experiences.
Now, I dont think our leader works in an office like I do. I HAVE to block certain things (people) out or I'd go insane. I even ate lunch over my keyboard so didnt take a blind bit of notice of my sandwich (although the bread was very nice - seeded loaf)!
I am now sitting at my home computer and my high sensitivity hearing is only picking up on those really annoying trumpet things that are played constantly during the footie - aaarrrrrggghhh! My nose is picking up a rather unpleasant smell of left over dinner and I could do with a drink.
I dont think this sensory experience was picked on the best day for me!

See you tomorrow.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Creativity Boot Camp - Day 9 - Drizzle

Drizzle! We have way too much drizzle here in the UK so I knew straight away I wanted nothing to do with the rain!

I think this prompt word was quite difficult - where else could you take drizzle?
Around lunch time I decided that it would have to be food!
So here is my ATC of "Drizzle".

(actually its more of a stodgy strawberry sauce than a drizzly one)!

The other assignment that was given today was to get back to your artistic roots and remind ourselves of what made us take up our art-form. I have NO idea! I have always doodled and drawn etc and still do during very boring meetings at work - I even designed my conservatory, extension, bathrooms and bedroom whilst sitting in those previously mentioned meetings. So I guess I should doodle for a bit - not that I'll post it on here for all to see!

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Creativity Boot Camp Day 7 & 8 "Fly" & "Ornament"

Well, here we are on Sunday evening - still camping! I've made it through one week of boot camp and have actually kept up! I hope the same can be said for next week!

Saturday's word prompt was "fly" and Sunday's "ornament". How could I kill two birds with one stone - or would that be cheating?

My nephew, William, provided the ispiration for "Fly" after announing that he couldn't fly without an umbrella! Bingo - MARY POPPINS guv!!!!

The song that had been playing over in my head whilst thinking of "fly" was "Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra so I dedicate this ATC to him and his fab song!
"Fly me to the moon
Let me play among the stars.
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter & Mars"

Just so happened that these bees weren't flying today - they decided to use the trampoline bed right in front of us - the kids think this is insect porn but my first thought was "fly"!

This one was harder. What does it mean?
"something that lends grace or beauty".

How about those guys who have "ornamental wives?
Here's my first ATC for "Ornament".

I think my attempts were a little tired by this time - I totally ruined the guy's face with crackle glaze and didnt wait long enough before heat drying.

The second developled because apparently there is a World Cup on at the moment???? A bit of fun. Is the trophy an ornament? I guess so!

Stamp Saturday

I've had some stamps by Tim Holtz for a while now and haven't quite known what to do with them, they're really beautiful but I hadn't realised quite how small they were going to be when I bought them. Since finding out about ATC cards from Lou and her gorgeous examples I thought I might have ago aswell, and the stamps just happen to be 3 1/2 by 2 1/2inches in size, which is perfect!
I've used Tim Holtz embossing powder, which Lou has told me is a bit different than the stuff she has, a really good texture. The end results are rather striking I think!

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Creativity Boot Camp Day 6 "Fluid"

"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home" (Twyla Tharp)
This was the opening phrase of boot camp yesterday and what a lovely one it was!

The day's prompt was "Fluid". This threw me for a while because I was thinking very literally - looking at taps in a different way! When I put my more creative head on the ideas started to "flow" (ha ha).

Brush stroke
Long Hair

I made two ATC's featuring dancers (and I plan to make a few more).

Definition - "Fluid - a body whose particles move easily among themselves".

The second assignment tday was to break the rules! Hey, why not?
But, what are my rules? I'm not even sure I have any when it comes to things I make?
I love to try out new ideas and techniques.

I suppose I quite like symmetry and organisation - does this show in my work? Does my work have its own characteristics yet? Probably not.

I quite fancy having a go at altering books, collages and artistic journalling - so perhaps that's next for me - a small step from scrapbooking and ATC's.
I DID draw the ballerina on one of my ATC's this time though - so that's a slight change!

Friday, 11 June 2010

Maternity Scrapbook

Since finding out I was pregnant, I wanted to record and remember the time, I have no photo's of me from my last pregnancy nine years ago although I have kept everthing else, I'm such a hoarder! If I don't have photo's or things written down I tend to forget so a scrapbook of the next year seems like the perfect solution.
I found out extremely early about my pregnancy, only 4 weeks, I just knew! And keeping quite about it was really hard because I wanted to shout it out loud! My first page is of 'my secret'. It has journalling tucked in the envelope saying how excited I am, and on the back of the tag is a picture of my positive test.
The second page is of my first scan two weeks ago where we saw our little bean for the first time. Boy or girl? I can't wait to find out in just over six weeks time!!

That Friday Feeling!

So, I get to the end of the week, my one day on my own, free from work and child and what do I get up to... not a lot! I had intentions of arty stuff and maybe a try at an ATC card (I've not tried one of those before). Instead I've been to pick an order of maternity jeans, that fit really nicely already due to adjustable waisted elastic bits, but if I am to sit down or lift my knees will sink right down (I don't feel like joining that fashion of showing underwear!!) I have now bought on-line a stretchy belt costing 3/4 of the price of the jeans hoping to rectify the problem!

My garden is looking so lovely at the moment so I decided at lunch time to nip out and have a look at the flowers and see how everything is growing. My first look at the dahilias was disappointing because the slugs have got there first, but it does get better! Our fushias are looking particulary good and very pretty at the moment and I have roses over the pergola which smell fabulous. The honeysuckle has just started to flower and as I approached it a bee arrived to help itself to the nectar, I had a moment of inspiration from watching Springwatch last night and thought I'd have a go at insect photography. Ok, so I wasn't every so patient and didn't stay for hours, but I did get a decent photo of the bee inside the flower, not too bad!

Creativity Boot Camp Day 5 "Grow"

When I saw that the word prompt of the day was "Grow", I knew immediately what my ATC would feature! My "bean" of a nephew or niece who is due in December this year!
I'll be honest, I'm not that happy with the final piece. I'm not sure what else I could have done to improve it? Maybe I'm just not that used to using these colours?

This subject was also a theme on UKScrappers during May and I submitted a photo of my ever-growing grass!

The second assignment from the boot camp was to listen to music that evoked deep emotions and it was suggested that we go back to the music we listened to at school (when our hormones were all over the place)!

I listened to a lot music from the musicals in those days which is bit different - and they are supposed to be emotional! I loved Miss Saigon and Les Mis etc and managed to sob through a lot of Starlight Express!
I also thought I quite likes Guns n Roses but I'm not sure whether I was just trying to "fit in"! (I quite like them now though)!

It did remind of all the emotional turmoil that we went through at the age of 14 (although I have no idea what the fuss was all about now)!
My point though, is that I now have a 14 year old daughter who is probably feeling all the same emotions, so it's a reminder to me to be more empathetic to her emotional years!

Poem by Daniel
(aged 10)
I wanted to share with you, a piece that my son wrote for school this week. He said it wasn't a poem but a list of senses. I think it's a beautiful poem:

Spring Senses
What I see....
A never ending path surrounded by long leafy trees.
Neat and sturdy birds' nests stuck tightly
to the tree covered in blooming petals.
Birds fluttering across the bright blue sky.
Petals drifting gracefully towards the ground.

What I hear....
A bee buzzing lazily around the area.
Birds tweet up high in the distance.
The peace and quiet of a hot spring day.
The snap of hollow twigs when stepped on.

What I feel...
A warm breeze across my face.
The nasty stinging nettles painfully sting my legs.
The happiness I feel about the sunny day.

What I smell...
The smell of freshly mowed grass.
Warm sun and flowers.
Sausages and burgers on a BBQ wafting to my nose.

Lovely! I'm so proud of him.


Thursday, 10 June 2010

Day 4 Creativity Boot Camp - "Heavy Metal"

Heavy Metal
Why is it the first thing (after the obvious) that enters my head Mr T? I quickly moved on - I can't stand the man!

Today's assignment was to use the term "Heavy Metal" and create something on this theme. My mind worked overtime:

Cars and trucks
Ball and chain / wedding (oooh)!

That got me thinking of handcuffs and guns and prison so that's what I based my ATC on - prison! (not that I know anything about it you understand).

I'm quite pleased with the result - considering that this is certainly not something I would have thought of 4 days ago!

The second assignment was to take photos of anything that you felt was inspiring. By the time I got home from work I didnt fancy trapsing around the streets so I took some pics in the garden instead!

Okay - the one of the cemetary entrance isn't in my garden. Its lovely though - reminds me of the covered bridges in Vermont!

See you tomorrow.


Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Creativity Boot Camp - Day 3 "Buzzkills and Multilayered"

Onions have layers - Shrek said so! Why was this the first thing that entered my head when given the word "Multi-layered"? Very strange!

An onion - to make the point for Shrek!

For this Boot camp, I was supposed to choose one artistic medium to work with - I'm such a rebel - I keep switching and changing from one to another after seeing the amazing work that other campers have submitted. Everything is inspiring! I want to paint, draw, write poems and stories, take beautiful photographs, scrap and sew!

"Buzz kills"
These are the things or people who stop your flow of creativity, according to Madeline. We should name and shame them for what they are by declaring that they no longer matter to our creativity! I can't think of anything that stops me being creative apaprt from ordinary life getting in the way of things I would like to do. Unfortunately, the house still needs cleaning, the dinner needs cooking and kids homework has to be over-seen (otherwise it doesnt get done) Oh, and normal paid-for work has to be done too!

Tree bark - layers and layers of it

I have found the online community to be very supportive and sweet with their comments and suggestions and family, friends, workmates and strangers have been happy to buy my charity cards - bless them!
I dont generally talk about what I do outside "normal" work to others but I have started this blog and begun posting pictures to my Facebook page - its a start. I guess these little things mean that I am becoming proud of what I produce (I wouldnt post them otherwise)!

Roses are beautiful, delicate and intricate layers of petals.

As Darcy commented (on yesterday's post) its hard to feel like a professional artist when making "stuff" in our craft room (studio darling)!

This word was the prompt for Day 3 and my mind was working overtime!

What has layeres?
Onions (as per Shrek so Ogres have layers too)
Flavours in cooking
Rose petals
Trees - bark
Sheets and blankets
Make up - you know the lady with it trowled onto her face!

This made me think of Clowns.

My clown ATC is my "proper project" piece.
The layers behind a clown's make up.

Looking forward to day 4. Apparently the subject is a bit "lighter"!

Louise x