Friday, 25 February 2011

Photography A-Z Challenge

I chat on quite a few forums here on this wonderful web of ours but one of my favourites has to be UKScrappers. It's full of wonderful like-minded crafty gals (and guys!) who inspire me and challenge me to do better, go further and create more.

Each year they come up with a variety of challenges to keep us creative through the year focussing on various media and techniques. Last year I was reading my team mate Jo's blog an awful lot as she was taking part in the "52 Walks with my Camera" challenge and was producing some really OUTSTANDING work. I was in awe of her amazing photography skills. Looking at my sad little pictures I realised that the reason I don't improve is probably because I don't practise enough. So this year, along with Jo and quite a few others, I decided to take part in the "A-Z Photography Challenge". Every two weeks we are supposed to take photo's of people, places or objects that start with a particular letter. 

As usual, I am waaaaaaayyyy behind! However, I didn't want to get all depressed about that so I've decided that while the year is still relatively young I want to do some catching up. My inlaws came up two weeks ago for a few days to visit and we all decided to visit one of Glasgow's many museums - the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum. I took along my camera and decided that this was probably as good a place as any to do some "catch up shots" for the letters A, B and C.....

A is for Arches....

.... Antlers...

.... and Art!

(oh and Anthea too, but you saw these pictures in an earlier post!)

I love Glasgow's architecture so B is for Beautiful Buildings! 

These are both of Kelvingrove Museum's external features. This red sandstone is so prominent in Glasgow's architecture as the whole city is full of it. Everything from grand civic buildings to the lowliest tenements were built with it.

C is for......


 ....Cecily with Grandad's silly Cap on!.....

...Crockery and Cutlery....

... Chairs... (particularly Art Deco ones!)

.... Costumes....

... with beautiful Cuffs...

.... and Columns!

We all had a fabulous time at the museum - even my two girls! I admit that I didn't think it would be their thing but they thoroughly enjoyed it. We didn't even make a dent in it though as we only got to see about a third of the museum so I think a few more trips will be called for.... and while we're there I shall definitely be visiting the café again. The food was gorgeous, especially the Chorizo and Bean soup that I had! Delicious!!

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. Come back soon as I'm currently working on photo's for 'D'.... and I want to share about my One Little Word for 2011!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Himself the Engineer

For those of you who don't know, I'm married to an engineer... a Civil Engineer. They are the guys that deal with roads, bridges, water, pipelines etc. For the past 12 years or so Himself has been exclusively devoted to the world of Water Engineering. He helps companies like Scottish Water (his current secondment) to design pipelines, reservoirs and treatment works. He is very good in his field and has worked his way up to being a Senior Project Manager with a whole team of people working for him at his every beck and call. However, it may surprise you to know that I think he has completely missed his calling. Yup, Mr Diva is in the wrong job. What he should have gone into is Lego Engineering.

For example, take today's offering... we have all been poorly today with a stomach bug so Himself took the chance to spend some extra quality time with his two acolytes. Herself, being the eldest and currently more demanding, asked Daddy to build her a 'Building site'. "You want me to build you a house?" says He. "No Daddy, I want a building site". Now, having spent a lifetime on building sites of various shapes and sizes, Himself is well aware of what makes a proper building site.... but could he recreate it in Lego scale?

He rose to the challenge I think!

Please note, all builders are compliant with current Health & Safety regulations and are wearing the appropriate safety gear. Correct use of the sack barrow has been ensured by full training which has been given on site. The skip will be emptied regularly by a trained operative. All building materials will be stored in a designated area on site, out of the way of foot and vehicular traffic.

As is normal for a project of this size there will always be someone slacking off for a 'brew'. This site is no exception.

All tools will be stored in the appropriate place and distribution will be overseen by the site foreman.

Ladders may only be used if there are no black cats present.

Unfortunately a recent gas explosion resulted in the deaths of the majority of the workforce, including all the site medical staff and the site skateboarder.... ok I don't know why he's there but he definitely died in the blast!

 Your comments of condolence for the deceased are always welcomed. Please do not send flowers, however, you may wish to send a donation to "The Dead Lego People Foundation" in memory of our fallen colleagues.

(Gosh, it's been a long, tiring day! My sense of humour is having to kick in or else I'll end up killing someone tomorrow)

Monday, 21 February 2011

My new Venture!

In my last post I promised you that I would update you on a new venture as time had run out on that post. It really ended up as War & Peace didn't it?! I'm sorry if I was whinging that day.... the whole (lack of) weightloss was really getting me down. I'm so glad that a whole load of you guys were there to pick me up with your comments and spur me on to getting back on track! I'm not completely there but I am working on it and am feeling a lot more positive about it all.

Anyway, I've gone off topic haven't I? Typical me! LOL.... now back to the subject.

Last May I was looking at a friends crafting blog and saw that there was a special offer on Starter Kits for Stampin' Up! which really got me thinking. I had been looking for a way to help the household finances and thought that this would be a good way of contributing while indulging my passion for all things crafty. After having a rather in-depth discussion with Himself we decided that I should go for it..... and so my new business "Stampin' Diva's" was created. Here's my business blog if you want to go have a look!

I'm happy to report that it's going quite well so far, although not really enough to contribute to the family bank account.... yet! However, it's paying a little bit so far and as I've had a fairly slow build up I don't think that's too bad. Himself is happy though as I haven't spent anything out of the family bank account on crafting in quite a while now! So that's at least a million pounds saved from the current account each month (I wish!).

The only downside - if it can be called that - is that I'm so busy making samples, swaps, demo pieces, make & take items etc. that I haven't had an awful lot for my own personal crafting lately. It's not all a bad thing though as I'm still having fun and getting to craft a lot.... just not on personal stuff. I'm hoping to remedy that soon as I have a couple of non-Stampin' Up projects in the pipeline at the moment.

More of that another day though as I've just realised what the time is! I shall have to rush off and get a couple of things done before I retire to bed. Thanks for popping by and leaving a comment. They really lifted my mood last time and I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts again!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Part 3: Me! Me! Me!

Yes I know, it's all me, me, me isn't it? I'm so eager and keen to extol my own virtues to you that it's taken me ages to actually pull myself together enough to sit down and DO this post. My apologies. I have now started keeping a little notebook on my person which I'm using to write lists, reminders and ideas in. I'm having to do this now because I have so much on my plate at the moment that I keep forgetting stuff half way through doing them! I found myself putting the tub of sugar in the fridge the other day - and then couldn't figure out what I was really supposed to be putting in there. I walked into the kitchen two hours later to find the milk still sat on the kitchen counter. Anyway, now I have my little notebook so I'm hoping that if I put it down on a list it will eventually get done! Blogging is most definitely on the list!! In fact, I've actually got a couple of crafting posts in mind to do. Yeah, yeah I know you've heard it all before.... but this time I'll change! I promise!! LOL.

Anyway, I did promise you an update of everything I've been up to in 2010. I'll admit that firstly, it was a fairly quiet year and secondly, I'm not sure my memory is up to remembering all the important bits - but I'll try!

So in January last year after a horrendous Christmas full of enormous amounts of food and booze I saw some photo's that my Father-in-law took of me over the Christmas period. Yes. One of those photographs that makes you stop in your tracks with a gasp and the words "Is that really me? I look horrendous!" follow very quickly after.

Yes, that fat woman is me at 18 stone 12½ lbs. Not good! So, I decided that I would start on Weight Watchers again and get rid of the weight once and for all. I think I posted about it here in April. I also signed up for membership at my local leisure centre.

By March I had lost about a stone and was really pleased with my results. I got Herself to take this photograph so please excuse the odd angle and my head being chopped short!

By mid-summer I had lost about 2 stone and was feeling soooo much better! Although my weightloss slowed down a bit as having the temptation of barbeques and ice cream vans meant I wasn't sticking to it as well as I had been. By the time the school holidays had ended I was back on track. Christmas and New Year of 2010 I was 3½ stones lighter and I was in my element! I had dropped from a size 26 jean to a size 16! I bought a gorgeous evening dress for an awards ceremony from a 'normal' persons shop in a size 16 too!!

The last time I was a 16 was when Himself and I got married in May 2000. I made that wedding dress and only I knew at the time that while some of the wedding dress was a 16 I had used my sewing skills to 'ease' certain areas in order for it to fit properly.

So, it with a heavy heart that I must report to you that since January of this year I have been really really struggling with the whole diet thing. I haven't attended very many meetings, I haven't weighed in properly in over a month now and I *know* that I have gained weight in the last few weeks. My problem? Boredom, frustration, lack of will power.... and also a sense that I am so much happier in my size 16's that maybe it's not worth all the hassle and bother to lose more weight. However, in the back of my mind I also know that I'm letting myself down by not staying on track.

I took this photo a couple of days ago in the hopes that I can start taking photographic evidence of my weight loss over the next few months. I'm hoping that it will spur me on to get motivated again, but so far I'm failing miserably. So, I'd like to ask you all a big favour! I think I need some accountability in my life right, certainly with regard to weight loss. Can I ask, if one or two of you (or maybe more if you feel like being involved!) can post a comment on here holding me to this promise. I want to be accountable to you, my readers and followers, for getting back on track and posting on here at least once a fortnight about my progress -  even if it is just to report my last weigh in! Can I ask you to check in here regularly and yell at me in a comment or by email if I havent posted how I'm doing? I really really need to know that there is someone out there who will kick my bum (even in a 'virtual' way) if I don't get back on track and report in regularly. Please tell me you will help me in this way? I don't want to go back to what I looked like at the end of 2009. I really want to keep going with this and get down to a medically healthy weight, not just one that 'will do', but at the moment I feel like I'm losing my grip on this whole weight loss thing completely!

Anyway, I was going to share news of another journey I have embarked on, but it will have to wait now as this post has turned into War & Peace!! Thanks for all your comments, I really appreciate them and read them all. I'm looking forward to seeing you back here soon!