Monday, 30 April 2012

Monday Monday

I have had a very pleasant weekend. We did nothing particularly exciting but we spent it together and that made it fun. I have almost recovered from my cold too which is a bonus. The good news is that darling husband has today off so we get a couple only morning. We are going to go for a walk, have breakfast and a coffee out and just catch up with each other. The bad news is that he is off to Taiwan tomorrow (which is a public holiday here) so we do not get to spend that time with him. Oh well...

I thought I would share some cute things that have come through the mail to me lately. Today I would like to share some beautiful felt flowers and a decorative hoop for the Monkey's room. They came from Catshy Crafts and I just love them. I came across her shop through a blog post and I was totally smitten.

Here is the beautiful way the goods arrived: 

It was such an adorable package I almost didn't want to open it.

Inside were the most beautiful felt flowers.

I am not sure the photo does them justice as the colours are so beautiful and vibrant. I was planning to make a mini wreath with them but am now wavering and may make some stunning hair ties for my daughter instead.

I also ordered a little cupcake hoop for my daughter. Needless to say she is in love. 

The felt is so soft and begs to be touched. The cupcake is one of my daughter's favourite things in the world and sadly, with a constant reminder of them, she is asking for one more often but it is a small price to pay for such a cute piece of art.

I really love these items and am looking at buying one of Cathy's stunning wreaths as my next purchase. She was so easy to deal with, her shipping was very reasonable and the items got here in next to no time. Cathy has no idea I am writing this review. I just really want to share her cute felt creations with you as they have given me such a lot of pleasure.

As I write this the heavens have opened and it looks like my walk will be postponed for another day. I am sure a morning at home with my husband will be just as lovely. Enjoy your Monday.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Project Life in Japan Part Three

I decided to break out another of my WRMK page protectors for this part of the album. Three portrait slots along the bottom and a single rectangle of space along the top. This enable me to use 5 trimmed down photos in the top section and to include some journalling. I used an old Crate Paper PP for the top section and the journalling card is from the Clementine set.

On the flip side I collated all my Yokohama by night pictures. It is a beautiful city at night with a lot of lit up buildings and attractions. The PP is the B side of the Crate Paper PP from Emma's Shoppe and the bottom paper is an ancient piece that was gifted to me by Piradee Talvana last year. I love the bright colour!

The last three pages relate to our final day in Japan which was action packed. It is a little hard to make out but the top left photo was the view of Mt Fuji from our hotel window that final morning. The clouds lifted and it was a wonderful start to the day. We headed to the harbour front and ate a wonderful breakfast at bills, Bill Granger's restaurant. The hype was totally justified. The food was excellent and the old warehouse building the restaurant is located in was beautiful. We watched a cruise liner berth and Scarlett enjoyed running around in the sunshine. The PPs here are some additional Crate Paper Emma's Shoppe goodies and my original Japanese themed pps.

After breakfast we hired a car and headed out of Yokohama to an amazing temple complex housing the Big Buddha. He was enormous and constructed in the 13th century which astounded me. He has survived fires, quakes and tsunamis while all other buildings in the area have been destroyed. Astonishing! We then drove to an island called Enoshima which has a fabulous complex of shrines and temples that covers an entire hill side. We ate a fantastic meal at a traditional tatami restaurant which involved sitting on the floor at a very low table... I was afraid I would be stuck there but it was a great experience and the food was incredible. All PPs are the reverse of the previous page. I have also used some Studio Calico post it style labels on both these pages. They are really useful in the smaller photo slots.

The final page of our Japan trip has a couple of photos from earlier in the day as well as our final meal (shabu shabu which is Japanese steamboat) and Scarlett playing at the airport at  one in the morning as we waited to board our flight home. I have included a few bits and pieces from the first Amy Tangerine collection on this page.

It was an amazing trip and PL has made it easy to cherry pick some of the best photos and major events of the holiday in one place. I will still do some traditional layouts of the trip but only of stories I want to tell including the layout of Scarlett and her uncle I have shown here previously. 

Congratulations if you have made it this far! I know my PL is not the most polished or decorative  but it is doing a great job of getting our photos off our cameras and phones and onto an album page. I love this project and am still enjoying the process even if I am three weeks behind currently!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

More City of Lights

I had plans of writing a longer post today but overnight I have been struck down by the cold that Scarlett has been battling this week. That will teach me to wish to not get sick on my just meant I got sick the day after!

I made this layout earlier in the week with a photo I love of Scarlett and her Uncle Shinya who lives in Japan. We do not see him as often as we would like but Scarlett cannot get enough of him whenever we do. Daddy and I do not get a look in when he is around and luckily he loves carrying her and playing with her.

I was hoping to complete this as part of Shimelle's weekend crop but I failed to finish it in time. I based it on a wedding style sketch on her website here. Obviously it is pretty versatile!

The papers and butterflies come from the April Studio Calico City of Lights kit and the layered stickers are from all sorts of odds and ends from my Project Life box. The little card to the right of the photo came in my stash swap package from Kentucky. I am not sure where it is from but it seemed to fit this layout.

Right I am heading back to the couch to wallow in my cold induced haze. I took a nap when Scarlett did today. I was woken by her shouting out. Obviously I had slept through her earlier attempts to wake me and she was bringing out the big guns. Oops.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Wordless Wednesday Anzac Day

Today is the day we honour our war dead in New Zealand and Australia. Spare a thought for those service men and women who have paid a high price for our freedom and for those actively serving today.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

A Productive Week

I have just finished putting my layouts from the past week into sleeves in anticipation of popping them into my album (yes I only have one full of layouts so far). The amazing thing is I completed eight layouts in the past week as well as three more pages of Project Life! This is by far the most productive week I have ever had in scrapbook terms. I am so excited!

I still have a few layouts to share of this eight fortunately. The one I want to share today is from our trip to Japan in 2011. I have only really started scrapping photos from that trip recently.

Something bright and cheerful for a Tuesday morning! These photos were taken at a famous temple in the centre of Tokyo. This was our only full day of sightseeing as the next day the 9.0 mag earthquake struck and our plans for the rest of our trip were a little disrupted.

I am a wee bit excited by this layout as it is the first time I have used a mask. It came with my April SC kit and I used a Mr Huey mist to try it out. I was not entirely sure about using this vibrant green as a background but the photos popped on this colour more than anything else so I went with it.

I have loved the April kit. Not only have I made 8 layouts from it so far, there looks to be enough left to make at least another three or four. Exciting!

I have also signed up for a class starting in May with Shimelle Laine called Cover to Cover. It is a class about finding good ways to organise your albums and perhaps to think about a theme or colour way for your particular albums. I am at the point of needing to decide a way to divide up my album and I also feel confident enough in my own ability to look at starting a first year album for Scarlett and to scrap some of our wedding photos. I am hoping this class will give me some helpful pointers.

Right well I must fly. I am making pumpkin and ginger soup as Miss S is sick yet again! She is napping now and I am hoping some delicious soup might raise her spirits when she wakes up. Have a very happy Tuesday wherever in the world you may be.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Listography: Top Five Wishes For My Daughter

Kate Takes Five has come up with another great list for this week. I have been mulling this over for the past twenty four hours and I think I have come up with an excellent five for Miss S.

1. Self Confidence - This is something I have always struggled with. I think faking it often leads to making it and I would love her to feel confident in most situations! I think this would also be very valuable in those teenage years. I would love her to feel confident in her own skin and not feel like she has to follow the pack.

2. A Love of Books - I am firm believer in reading being the best thing ever. Scarlett has a lot of books in both English and Japanese and we are hoping that she will continue to love them even when she is able to read them herself.

3. Grace - the ballet dancer, Gene Kelly kind rather than the religious aspect. I have all the grace of a demented rhino but I would love Scarlett to be a graceful woman. She does love to dance so all may not be lost!

4. Itchy Feet - I have learnt most of the important things in life by travelling and experiencing the world. I hope Scarlett has a yearning to see the world and experience all it has to offer. I also hope this travel will enable her to really appreciate all the blessings in her life. To be honest her Dad and I travel as often as possible so she will be doing a lot until she is old enough to stay home alone!

5. Compassion - I would like Scarlett to feel compassion for other people and their situations and use her skills and abilities to help those in need.  More compassion and less judgement in the world would result in far more happiness for us all I suspect.

I have my fingers crossed that those fairy godmothers are going to arrive shortly. These would be so much better presents to receive than a Barbie Dream Home.

If you would like to take part please link up here. I would love to see your hopes for your children.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Shimelle's Challenge Eight: Stamp Just Once

I decided this was a good one to try as I never ever use my stamps on a layout. I am too scared that I will just make a big mess. To be fair, I tried one stamp first off and had to cover the disastrous results. I then used the large background stamp that came with one of my SC add ons this month and although it was definitely over inked I still liked the shot of texture and cover it provided. I hopped on line shortly after this layout was finished to find that Ursula from Under Scarlet Bird's Wing, one of my favourite scrappers had just posted a layout using the same stamp and ink! I would like to say great minds but.....

This is another SC City of Lights kit and add ons effort. I have added some Amy Tangerine letters from her last collection and a couple of stickers from MME's Miss Caroline collection too. I am still not sure this is finished... there is a wee bit too much of that divider showing but I am at a loss as to how to change it. Suggestions on a postcard please!

The challenge is located here and you have until tomorrow to take part.

I hope you are all having a great weekend. Our Saturday has been flat tack so I am hoping we might have a quieter Sunday.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Shimelle's Challenge Seven : Put It In A Pocket

I feel a bit of a fool to be honest. I just went back to find the correct challenge to link up to and realised I have used exactly the same pocket as Shimelle did on one of her examples! Cringe!

I love these two photos of my daughter from our recent holiday. There is not really any great story to either of them but the two expressions are ones that I adore. I have included a little message to my girl reminding her that she is a beautiful girl both inside and out.

Once again this is a Studio Calico kit special. Everything is from the April kits both the main and the add on entitled Louvre. I also included an older Amy Tangerine font from a September kit and a pocket from the first Amy Tangerine collection.


If you would like to take part in these challenges please have a look at Shimelle's website. The specific challenge involving adding a pocket to a layout is here.

Challenges for next year

Well my birthday is coming up on Wednesday and I will be 38 (eek)! I am still not entirely sure how that happened as I certainly do not feel much different from when I was 28.
I am planning to compile a list of 38 things to do before I turn 39 and would love some input from my lovely readers of some challenges to set myself. Some could be really simple like read a certain book while others might be a little more difficult. I know I would like to learn to sew and to start taking some conversational Japanese classes. I have some fitness and eating goals too.

So lovely readers, are there any things that you think would be great for me to achieve this year? No suggestion is too silly... I just cannot promise all of them will make the final cut!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Project Life: Japan Trip Part Two

There are a surprisingly small number of photos for the five days we were in Tachikawa. Scarlett and I were both sick for a big chunk of that time. Scarlett had a bout of stomach flu and then we both got food poisoning (from the McDonalds that my daughter persuaded her Daddy to buy) so we only had a couple of short outings and a lot of sleeping and dvd watching. One of those outings dominated this page and the next. We visited a wonderful palace park with beautiful gardens, blossom and a great playground for Scarlett to burn off some energy on. Most of these papers are as before with the addition of some of the Lilybee Double Dutch line and some older Crate Paper (Emma's Shoppe I think) that I had in my PL stash.

There are mainly more park photos here along with an impromptu performance by Scarlett at the local Department Store  and one of the wedding dresses on display in the lobby of our hotel. It is a major wedding hotel and they had an amazing shop full of traditional and very avant garde wedding attire. 

After working with all those little slots on the previous pages some 4 x 6 pages seemed like a good idea. Lots of photos that tell a story all on their own. I love the picture of Bo-chan (Tet's family friend who we treat as Scarlett's other Grandad) helping Scarlett onto the chair. There is a lovely bond between those two and I am so glad I took that photo.

More random photos from the Yokohama leg of our trip including some familiar and less familiar food and beverage items. I miss the soba noodles in Japan. They are so delicious. I used more of my 6 x 6 Double Dutch pad to go with these photos and I really like the bolder colours. Still loving those little coloured labels. A quick comment, stick and move on, yet they often lift the pocket and they are quite decorative with their multi coloured borders.

I still have one more installment of this series to go where I have used some different WRMK sleeves which I really enjoyed for a change. I am really excited about the new Project Life sleeves being released in July. Some of those sizes will be super useful.

We are in the middle of a serious storm so I want to get this posted before we get a lightning strike and I lose everything. I hope the weather is a little more settled wherever you are.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Shimelle's Challenge Four: Colour Adventure

I was really excited when I saw this challenge on Shimelle's site this past weekend. The challenge was to complete a layout using yellow, grey and one other colour. I initially thought aqua but when my April Studio Calico City of Light kit arrived I knew the main was perfect for this challenge and I knew my third colour was going to be green.

This layout uses a series of photos I took last May Day when we stumbled across the Open Day at the Istana (the Presidential Palace). We really enjoyed the open green spaces right in the heart of the city. The Istana only opens a few days a year and we are keen to return there soon.

I used a Shimelle Starting Point that I have used before involving stacks of patterned paper in decreasing sizes. All the paper and embellishments is from the April Main kit with the exception of the sequins and the two smaller fonts which came from one of the add ons, Sorbonne. I am so in love with this kit and finding it incredibly easy to work with.

If you would like to take part in this challenge please go here or head straight to for all the challenges. They run until the end of the weekend.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Shimelle's Challenge Eleven : Two Patterns

I really enjoy Shimelle Laine's approach to scrapbooking. She makes me feel like I can really create something special and I have loved any classes of hers that I have taken.

Over the past weekend she had a weekend of challenges. There were loads of different ones. See here for them all or here for this specific challenge. In a nutshell, this challenge was to use two contrasting patterned papers as the background to your page.

I thought the numbers and tartan papers fit the bill nicely. I was trying to kill another SC kit with this layout and I succeeded in reducing Boardwalk to scraps. Two down six to go! The papers, lettering and flowers all came from the kit. The only addition was the bunting that is part of the Dear Lizzy Neapolitan collection and I was thrilled with how the colours worked with these unrelated papers.

The photos come from my daughter's first birthday party.She was not too interested in the presents or friends there. She was all about the food. A little snippet of her personality that is worth recording.

My aim is to complete at least two more challenges by the time they close this weekend. I find a few rules make it much easier for me to be creative. I would love to see your layouts if you decide to join in so please share your work.

Monkey and The Measure

I thought I had best provide photographic proof that Miss Monkey is back to her best.

Well still a little pale and interesting looking but a lot better! I took this photo to record her wearing her new dress. I ordered it about 6 weeks ago and had kind of forgotten about it. It came from here and Scarlett's uncles have ordered her another dress from there for her birthday which we are thrilled about. I have mentioned before that I never met a chevron I didn't like so to find a dress with them on seemed too good to be true. Scarlett's verdict is that it is "really comfy" so an all round success!

Please excuse the woolly sleeve on Monkey's arm. She had some infected bites that she could not stop scratching. I pulled out one of her baby legs from her crawling days and it has worked a treat at stopping her scratching the bites. Her arm is all healed up now.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Project Life: Japan Trip Part One

Things are almost back to normal Chez Claire. Scarlett went back to the doctor this morning and was given the all clear and is allowed to return to pre school on Wednesday. Tet is in Indonesia and I have finally had time to photograph the 14 pages of Project Life that cover our recent trip to Japan. Please don't worry! I am going to break it down into three parts and keep the accompanying information fairly brief.

This page covers the few days prior to leaving for Japan and our first day there. There is a picture of the view from our apartment, Scarlett out and about and an interesting partial face self portrait taken by Scarlett when no one was looking. We also have a photo of our plane at the departure gate and two pictures at Haneda Airport in Tokyo shortly after we arrived. 

Product wise there is a mixture of the Project Life Clementine kit, some Studio Calico stickers and labels from an older collection and some florally Japanese style patterned paper that I cut the bottom off. I was hoping to use this throughout our Japanese pages but volume of photos prevented that.

Page two is entirely our first day in Japan. We spent the day in Odaiba, a suburb of Tokyo which has a big convention centre and is a popular spot in summer as it has a beach of sorts. We stayed at the same hotel last year and we really like it there. We rode an amazing ferris wheel and as it was a spectacular summer day got some good views of Tokyo. We also had a wee wander round the malls and generally got used to it being 10 degrees or less instead of thirty.

More the same papers here. The chevron and green papers are the reverse of the florals on the previous page. I used some labels from this great etsy store and some Studio Calico post its!

This page and the two to follow record our day at Tokyo Disneyland. Some of these photos will be familiar from a previous post so I won't say too much other than we had a brilliant time even if it was freezing. More of the same really as far as supplies go with the addition of some stickers from Echo Park.

I soon realised that I had a lot of photos so I turned to my WRMK page protectors and used this great 9 pockets of 4 by 4 page. I cut up a page of Jenni Bowlin's Magpie collection that was divided into perfect sized squares and went from there. I included some Amy Tangerine labels from her last collection as well as some older Studio Calico stickers. I love this scale pocket!

This finishes off the Disney section of the album. I included a bit more detailed journalling as I want to be able to remember the details to share with Scarlett when she gets bigger. I used various labels including a journalling card from the Project Life kit. 

I hope you have enjoyed looking at this. I have enjoyed working on it but am currently very behind as this 12 day period has taken a great deal of work. Fortunately a normal week is going to be a breeze after all this.

Hope you are having a fantastic Monday. I am so glad to be back in the saddle. I have really missed my blog fix while Scarlett has been so unwell. Fingers crossed she will get a few weeks of pre school before a new bug lays her low again.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

On the mend

Miss Scarlett is definitely on the mend. Her mouth has healed and she is starting to eat normally again! What a relief! She still has flu like symptoms but these are far easier to manage.

Thanks so much for your kind words. It was very reassuring to know people were thinking of us. Fortunately this happened while Tet was home so it was manageable.

I hope to have some photo a day and Project Life posts up over the weekend. Fingers crossed anyway!

Monday, 9 April 2012

Things May Be A Little Quiet Around Here

We have had a sick toddler through Easter weekend. She has been utterly miserable, not eating and barely drinking. We got her into the doctor this morning and he has confirmed she has Hand Foot and Mouth disease (which I think is called Coxsackie Disease in the US). She has almost nothing on her hands or feet but her mouth is filled with tiny ulcer like blisters that hurt whenever she eats, drinks or swallows. It has hands down been my hardest parenting experience to date as she has been begging us to stop it hurting and there is almost nothing we can do.

I would like to think I will get the odd spare minute this week to hop online but with Scarlett out of school for the next ten days I suspect my me time is going to be greatly reduced. Fingers crossed I will get on here a little but please excuse me if I don't as Scarlett's needs are going to come first.

I hope everyone had an awesome Easter weekend and please spare a thought for my wee dot this week.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

A Challenge and a Timely Post

I was planning to come online today and have a bit of a whinge frankly. Tet has been away all week, Monkey has infected mosquito bites, a yucky cough and the almost pathological conviction that 4 am is an appropriate time to be up for the day, and I am frustrated by how slowly I am losing weight at present. All these things are enough to make me a very cranky Mummy.

In spite of the ludicrous 4 am wake up, I decided that I would take Scarlett out to Orchard Road this morning and give us both a much needed break from the house (not to mention our lovely cleaner a break from cleaning round us). So off we went. 

First stop the pharmacy to get some cream for Scarlett's bites. She was a trooper while the pharmacist and her student had a good look and then organised some amazing cream with a bit of anaesthetic in it to numb the pain and stop her scratching. It will change our lives!

Second stop Starbucks where Mummy and Scarlett shared some fruit salad and Scarlett demolished at least half of a giant oatmeal and raisin cookie. She was really patient and sat in the cafe for at least 30 minutes which was a minor miracle.

Finally a quick call into H and M resulted in a mini shopping spree for Scarlett. I live in hope that they will start stocking their bigger sizes in Singapore but.... She loved holding all the clothes as we wandered round the children's department and proudly carried the bag all the way home!

She is now sound asleep inside her play tent in her bedroom and a happier wee bug you wouldn't meet. 

Anyway the point of all this is that a day that started badly with frankly rather too much shouty Mummy could have carried on that way but we both managed to shift ourselves into a more positive frame of mind. When I got home I scanned my reader and came across this post by the lovely Sasha with a great quote encouraging us to speak up when we feel happy. So I made sure I let Scarlett know what a lovely morning I thought we had had and she gave me a big grin and a cuddle which has made all the other issues of the day a lot less significant.

Which leads me, in a very round about way to the layout I completed yesterday for yet another Studio Calico challenge. This time the challenge was to add at least two items from your stash to an existing kit and go from there. I added ink, stickers and photo corners from my stash to the very much depleted Boardwalk kit. I do believe there is probably only one layout left in it at this stage. The smile captured in this layout has a very special place in my heart.

For those who celebrate I hope your Easter season is filled with reflection and celebration. For those, like me, who don't celebrate, try not to eat too much chocolate. Tet is home from Thailand tonight just in time for the long weekend! We have really missed him this trip and fingers crossed there won't be another one for a while!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

I have started the April Photo A Day challenge run by Fat Mum Slim

It is a great list and here are my first four photos.

Day One : My Reflection

Day Two : Colour

Day Three: Mail

Day Four : Someone Who Makes You Smile

It is not too late to join in the fun! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Studio Calico Challenge #2

I am really enjoying these challenges. So much so that I completed two layouts yesterday! Unheard of productivity!

The challenge I completed this time was to go back through the SC archives and choose a sketch to create a new layout. I found my sketch here from September 2010.

I am still really motivated to try and finish my oldest kit this week so I used more left overs (okay who am I kidding? uncut entire sheets) from Boardwalk. 

It seems like ages since I used a photo of just me in a layout, mainly because I hate the way I look in photographs. I love the rest of this shot though - the breakfast, the location and the background. This photo was taken by Tet when we were in Yokohama. We are sitting in the glassed in porch at Bill Granger's restaurant, Bill's, on the harbourfront in Yokohama. We ate a delicious breakfast and shared it with some of my favourite people. Just a lovely memory.

I hope you are having a happy Tuesday. I am hoping to get some more Project Life completed today and will hopefully post an update later in the week. I am only a month behind!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Scrapbook Challenges

Studio Calico has had a plethora of sales and great kits of late. As a result my stash is growing and my output has failed to match this. Fortunately there are a number of great challenges taking place on the boards at present and I am determined to kill a couple of kits this week!

I have just completed my first challenge which was to create a layout from your oldest kit. Embarrassingly this was from Boardwalk - the first kit I ever bought back in August 2010. I love this kit in the main although I have found some of the Basic Grey patterned paper quite challenging to use!

I used Shimelle Laine's Starting Point from last week which I loved. The layout came together really quickly and I ended up abandoning the thought of embellishing it as I really liked the focus on the photos and the colours and patterns in the paper.

Anyway here is the finished product.

The photo is from our trip to Tokyo last year and it amazes me to see the changes in Scarlett over that time. She only started walking a couple of months before this photo was taken and she was pretty confident in her abilities by this stage. This is also one of the few photos actually in focus from this holiday as she was in constant motion!

5 Goals for April

Thanks again to the lovely Kate at Kate Takes 5 for coming up with a great Listography. I find the months are really starting to get away on me so setting some goals is a great way to take back some control.

April will be the first full month where Miss Scarlett will be in pre school three mornings a week so I really want to make the most of the newly acquired free time I have and not waste it playing Bingo on Facebook!

1. Make sure I do at least an hour of exercise on the days that Scarlett is not at home. I really need to drop some serious pounds this year and I know that the difference for me between slow and significant weightloss is getting my derriere off the couch. Walking on fine days and getting the Wii out when it is raining is not that hard.

2. Stick with the Weightwatchers. I am starting to get frustrated eating out with the family as they chow down on bacon and pasta while I eat the sensible grilled fish and salads. I know in the long run it is best for them and me for me to lose the weight so I just have to put on my big girl pants and get on with it. The three new cookbooks that arrived last week will certainly help improve my WW mojo I hope.

3. Complete at least three scrapbook pieces a week be they cards, layouts or something else. I have the time and I most certainly have the papers and such so I really want to make a significant dent in my stash. Stash busting challenges at Studio Calico here I come!

4. Keep positive when Tet is away overseas with work. He is off this afternoon until Thursday night and is likely to be away again at least once this month. It is an opportunity to spend evenings doing the things I enjoy without feeling guilty. Tet does not like being away anymore than we do but his job is what is enabling me to stay home and for that I will always be grateful.

5. Learn to use my new camera. I have a new point and shoot camera which is similar to but not identical to the one that recently met a sticky end. I want to play around with it and get to feel comfortable and confident using it. Taking part in the April Photo a Day should help with this too. I am going to load my pictures on here every few days so hopefully you will see an improvement.

PS I turn 38 later this month so I also need to find a fun way to celebrate a midweek birthday... suggestions would be most welcome!