Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sunny days are here again!!!

After the wettest and rainiest June and July for 170 years the sun has finally come back - yay! And boy did we not hang around today in case it changed its mind! My Aunt and God mother Marie just flew in from Australia last week so we had a chance to catch up today. She hadn't been to the botanic gardens in Glasnevin in over 40 or so years so she asked me to take her there for a walk with the girls. We wandered around for a little while and then suddenly came across the sunflower maze - which was just an amazing sight to behold. I didn't know we could grow sunflowers in this country - at least not without some sort of propagation. But there they were in all their glory- a whole field of them in a circular structure. The girls had a ball running through the maze getting lost and playing hide and seek. It was such a cracker of a day - couldn't believe our luck! Yesterday I signed up for Shimelle's online class 'A picture says a 1,000 words' so I am now delighted that I have a good set of photos to use for this project over the next few weeks...


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Simpsons - The Movie

This afternoon we took the girls to see the Simpsons movie. It's great when you can take them to a movie which is actually written for adults but appeals to the little ones and keeps them in their seats for 90 minutes or so (well apart from 2 toilet breaks LOL!). There were some really funny moments - like the rock and the hard place (tee hee) and Moe's bar scenes. My kids roared laughing at most of it even when the joke went way over their heads. So it was a great choice for a Sunday afternoon. Can't wait for the DVD so we can see the scenes we missed at the toilet breaks! Spider pig spider pig...dum di dum.....

Yesterday we had the most relaxing day in Cavan. Annamarie from http://www.thescrapbookstore.ie/ booked a fab retreat centre at http://www.bearessentials.ie/ which is a haven for any bear collectors.

The owner (Anke) makes her own designer bears and has the most beautiful shop crammed full of bear memorabilia. When I got there and ventured into the retreat centre I nearly jumbed out of my skin when this giant life size bear caught my eye.

Annamarie taught a class with the beautiful new Basic Grey 'Infuse' papers. In the afternoon I taught the girls how to make these 2 really quick and easy minialbums. There's a few surprises inside but here's a few photos to show what we made...

I even managed to get a bit of scrappin' done myself - I made this one (Things I remember...) on Thursday at Annamarie's class in Whitehall so I did a follow up one as a DLO )Going to the chapel). I'm building up my collection of Wedding LO's for my 10th wedding anniversary album next month! Shhh it's a surprise for himself...

Now- if this isn't relaxing in the countryside I don't know what is! AmberJane and Linda having a chinwag in the sunshine :-) If you are feeling envious and neglected there is another pambering scrapbooking day planned for Sat 25th August and places are limited so contact workshops@thescrapbookstore.ie to get a place on the next scrap oasis day out:-)

Friday, July 27, 2007

I've been tagged...

Thank you Carrie for nominating me as a Rockin' Girl Blogger ;-) The Rockin' Girl Blogger idea originated from Roberta Ferguson. It works like this ... you have to give her credit, put up the badge and finally, add 5 other rockin' girl bloggers to the list. I love to read these blogs so I've chosen these ladies as my rockin bloggers:




Caroline O


Thursday, July 26, 2007


It's nearly 40 weeks since we began our creative blog 'Scrapwest' (link in sidebar). If it was a pregnancy we would be heading for the hospital LOL! Here we all are - the scrapwesties in a photo taken by Kirsty Wiseman at Crafteire. It was our very first time to meet up as a group - some of us had only known each other online for the past couple of years. I really enjoy the challenge of working a theme to a tight deadline and it's a great way of using up the excess (which is also better known as my craftroom!!!). If anyone is interested in joining in we love to see their work. It happens every Friday at 9pm.... here's some of the recent ones I've done..BTW for those vivid coloured layout's featuring a large yellow sperical thing which reflects light - that's called the SUN - and it hasn't been seen in these parts for the past 2 months or so. If it can be located anywhere in Ireland- answers on a postcard PLLEEEEAAAZZZEE!!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Scrappin' in Cavan!!!

This weekend Annamarie from http://www.thescrapbookstore.ie/ is holding a Summer (eternally hopeful we are!!!) Retreat in Cavan. She has hired a custom designed craft retreat centre for the day and a few of us are going up to chill out and get away from the kids. She is running a number of classes for the day (Im teaching some minialbum classes) but can also just tag along for the crop - there's loads of space. If the weather turns out good you can scrap on the deck in the sunshine - positive thinking and all that!!!

All the details are here...so hope you can join us.... newbies are most welcome!!!!


Monday, July 23, 2007

Up North!

Last week my parents booked a cottage in Laghy just outside of Donegal town and invited the entire family to join them...so we did (well ten of us did! ;-) )....The farmhouse was spanking new with plenty of space and I loved the absolute silence every morning with nothing but the sound of cows 'mooing' in the neighbouring fields.

Outside in the back garden this was our view. Mum bought a bouncy castle to keep the kiddies occupied (5 under 6 years !) and it worked a treat.

We had some pretty spectacular sunsets during the week - this one I had to capture as it was beautiful.

Most days we went to one of Donegal's fab beaches. Rossnowlagh beach was one of our favourite haunts as it was so expansive.

The kids loved the long walk out to the shore and the daily entertainment of checking out the jellyfish or flying their 'Thomas the tank engine' kite or watching the sand surfers or whatever they are called (big kids on a skateboard with big kites!)

It's hard to believe that the kids could get into the sea and don their swimmers when the rest of the country appeared to be in a deluge of rain...

One of the days we went to the beautiful Fintra strand just outside Killybegs. We first stopped for lunch in 'The Clock Tower' pub/restaurant and then scooted down to the beach for a walk which quickly developed into a near skinny dip as all the little cousins fancied getting their knees wet. They had the best time...

This is my nephew Sam who is currently being potty trained having a quiet moment on the beach. What a sight to behold!

One one of the days we took a trip up to the Glenties area to visit a friend of my parents, Orla who lives in Lettermacoward. Her house is beautiful on an elevated site overlooking an estuary. She is actually selling her home to start a new life in Spain - look at the views she has. If I won the rollover lotto next weekend I would buy it in a heartbeat! We took a walk down to the beach and got caught in the rain but the kids had fun splashing in puddles.

It was a lovely week away - even managed to get a few night's out in Donegal town and catch up with my good pal Sorcha who was home in Donegal for a few weeks. Donegal is such a lovely spot - love going back there every time....

Friday, July 13, 2007

Will this rain ever stop????

Apparently it's been raining in this country for 34 consecutive days...what's that all about? Remind me again but it is July isn't it! I'm so glad we had the foresight to book our holidays in the middle of the rainy season! It's really beginning to get the nation down at this stage.

So it's Friday 13th and so far nothing terrible has happened to me apart from a trip to the dentist where I had to endure 15 minutes of 'root planing' and yes it was as disgusting and uncomfortable as it sounds. Have you ever tried to answer a dentist's endless questions about your holidays, the kids etc etc when he has a suction hoover and water gun in your mouth. Interesting challenge!

Tomorrow we are having our crop and class in Castleknock. It's been a year since I started this monthly get together and I'm delighted how the year has gone. You won't meet a friendlier bunch of women - all as nuts about crafts as each other (myself included!). I think that's why they keep coming back for more LOL! I dont normally give sneak preveiws but as I'm going to Donegal tomorrow afternoon I wont get a chance to upload so here is the lippy chick style album we are going to make with lovely Blue Cardigan papers (I love this brand - wish it was more readily available).

Back next week

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

If I had to live my life over again...

Yesterday I went to Joe's removal and it was so poignant and sad yet the mood was lightened by an oration by a good friend of his who spoke to elequently and humourously of Joe and his busy life and all the people he touched on his journey. He lived his life to the max, coaching hundreds of teens in his passion, basketball. He had responsibility for training the national underage basketball squad - even his daughter was on the national team. Joe was one of the nicest, most considerate and decent guys I've ever met - a real people person who was passionate about everything he did. Even in death he is a decent guy - 3 people have received his organs and will live a better life as a result of his generousity.

Today I spent the afternoon in the attic with the kids, organising their toys and spring cleaning. I came across a box of photos and found some of Joe and the work crew on a conference to Marbella in 2001 (the day after 9/11). It was strange to see a photo of him - I didn't even know I had it. In the same box I found a piece of paper with this poem by Nadine Stair (who was terminally ill when she wrote it) and it stopped me in my tracks...

If I had to live my life over again ....

I'd dare to make more mistakes next time. I'd relax. I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been on this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would take more trips. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more icecream and less beans. I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I'm one of those people who live sensibly and sanely hour after hour, day after day.
Oh, I've had my moments and if I had to do it over again, I'd have more of them. In fact, I'd try to have nothing else. Just moments, one after another, instead of living so many years ahead of each day. I've been one of those persons who never goes anywhere without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat and a parachute. If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the Spring and stay that way later in the Fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies...

Joe Kavanagh RIP..Gone but not forgotten :-(