Friday, August 31, 2007

Blog Celebration...
This week's Scrapwest is all about Blog Inspiration and celebration (great idea Eva!) - little links to creative projects. This is my offering - A large altered canvas measuring 20''x 24''. I started back in June when we had an arty weekend here in my house - a few of the girls came over for a watercolour lesson with Maggie May and I decided to start dabbling with acrylics. It has sat on my table since June unfinished until today so I am really pleased with it. If you would like to try it for yourself here's how I did it...

Step 1 - Prime a canvas with gesso. Slab it on thick - creating mounds and bumps with an old credit card or piece of cardboard. Leave to dry - possibly overnight as I did!

Step 2 - Add a couple of layers of metallic acrylic paint with a paintbrush (I used Anita'as metallic). As you can see this part is child's play - even a 6 year old can do it! This part is fun as the gesso has hardened and the paint takes it's shape.

Step 3 - Cut out some pieces of decoupage to your liking and adhere with pva (which dries clear). Thanks Carrie for the lend of them! ;-)

Step 4 - Design a layout using a large colour or B&W photo. Adhere layout with double sided tape and secure with brads and blossoms to conseal.

Step 5 - Lettering - Using chipboard lettering cover with paper or metallic paint and adhere with double sided tape and the occasional brad/blossom.

Step 6 - Adorn with ribbons, metal, rub-ons and chipboard.

Step 7 -Hang on the wall and admire your artwork :-)

I have a miniature version of this canvas 7''x5''(primed, painted and ready to decorate) and a goodie bag up for grabs. To be in with a chance leave a comment here and I will announce the winner next Friday.
Hope you can join in - don't forget to check out other projects (and bag one of the many prizes) at ...just leave a link in the comments section to your work!
Chat Later

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Back to School

The Summer is officially over - Eva started back to school today (first class). As is customary I took a photo of her on the garden steps before we left. It's nice to see how much she has grown year on year. When we got to the school we were faced with the most terrible news. One of the school mums was murdered yesterday in a domestic dispute. She was a 46 year old mum of three children between 4 and 9 years. Her middle child is in Eva's class. I didn't know her personally, just to see around the school yard and swimming classes. Nevertheless, it is shocking when it happens right on your doorstop. Everyone in the school was just stunned at the news.

The teachers made an announcement to all the children giving them basic details according to their age and the parents were given a note to explain how much the children knew and that psychological counselling services from the Dept were on site. I had a chat with Eva and she hadn't understood anything at school except that her classmate's mum had been 'lost'. I decided to tell her that she had died as I know the kids will be talking in the playyard. My heart breaks for those three little children who have effectively lost both of their parents in one desparate moment. The youngest little boy was to start school today. You just don't know what goes on in people's lives behind closed doors...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Friends reunited...

Since my friend Niamh moved out of Dublin down to Wexford last December we have been trying to arrange a weekend to get us and the kids together again and it finally happened this weekend just before school re-opens. Our kids were best friends for ages and they still haven't stopped talking about each other despite living in different counties. We arrived Friday night and their little faces were overjoyed to see each other. Lots of holding hands and showing off - so lovely to see...

On Saturday Niamh and Ollie took us on a trip to Woodstock gardens just outside of the beautiful village of Inistioge ( Inn-ish-teeg!) where the Maeve Binchy movie 'Circle of Friends' was filmed. It's a beautiful place full of old ruins with a victorian walled garden and fairy house. The kids had a ball running around and just having fun together hiding in trees and looking for fairies....even the sun came out for us!

Afterwards we took a trip up to Kilkenny Castle and had a bite in Kilkeeny Design. While the kids played in the swings and slides with their dads, Niamh and I scooted up to do a bit of shopping ;-) We finished the day off with a lovely BBQ and chatted into the small hours.

Today we took a spin out to Duncannon beach and it was glorious. We got a comfy spot near some rocks and the kids dipped in and out of the water all afternoon and we had a picnic rustled up by the mammies from the local deli ;-).

It was sad to say goodbye - little tearful faces but a promise to go and do it all again very soon. Thanks Niamh and Ollie XXX

Sunday, August 19, 2007

So I needn't have taken the wellies...

Just home from a wonderful weekend of pampering at Adare Manor. Friday was really exciting as we packed the kids off to my mums and got into the car to start the mystery tour. When we swung by the airport I have to admit that my little heart sank as the destinations I had planned and envisioned, got scratched off the list. So then it was the M50 to the N7 and I still hadn't the foggiest. Eventually 3 hours later after a swift turn off the roundabout at Limerick I started to put it together but it still wasn't confirmed until he swung into the impressive avenue of Adare Manor. I was so excited - had to restrain the emotions as I was like a child doing that flipper clapping thing that you do when you are happy. Well you would do too if you turned the corner and saw this beautiful building...

From the moment we arrived the staff were all over us like a rash - I've never experienced anything like the service. It's a place of total luxurious pampering - will never forget it. Ed booked me into the spa on Saturday morning for 2 hours which was total bliss.

Afterwards we took a trip up to the pretty village of Killaloe on the Shannon and pottered around - having a lovely home-cooked lunch and watching the boats go by. We wandered into St Flannan's Oratory and Cathedral which is so old and eerie you can sense the history in the graveyard. An old man was practicing on the cathedral organ and it was mesmirising to just stand there and listen to him.

Then last night we had dinner in the Michelan star Oak Room at the hotel (6 courses! gasp!) and then downstairs for a fabulous sing song with the resident pianist until 3am.

What a weekend - back to porridge tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dum Dum Di Dum...

Precisely ten years ago I was walking up the aisle of Trinity College Chapel to say my 'I do's'. I can't believe it's been 10 years already. Ed tells me if I'd murdered him I could have walked in 7 (haha!). Seriously so much has happened and still it feels like yesterday. I'm feeling all nostalgic today as we had such a fabulous day in 1997 and I want to go back and relive it all again. I've been putting a wedding album together for the past year so have it ready to give to himself tonight. I'm going to take the girls into town on the bus to see the Viking ship and we'll pop into Trinity for a peep at the chapel. Tonight we're going back to the scene of the crime so to speak (The Glenview Hotel) for dinner -and Friday... I'm going on a mystery tour. I've been told to pack my bags for 2 nights - there was some mention of wellies (gasp!) but I'm hoping he's trying to throw me off the scent! Oh dear God I hope so!

So Ed if you're reading this - love ya lots jelly tots - wouldn't change a single thing...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Where's my baby gone?...

Lucy turned 4 today and I can't believe she's that age already. She's such a funny little girl and still my little baby at heart - bless her! We stayed up at her cousin's house last night as we were at a friend's house (Orla and Gary's) for a dinner party nearby. It was great crack - gorgeous food and loads of giggles. One of the girls there Carol is a pro photographer so we had fun learning how to get the most flattering angles. I dont know how many photos she took of us all but cant wait to see them (Not! haha!). We dragged ourselves away at 2am and the kids were up at 7am ....doncha just love when that happens!

Avril my SIL did a little photo shoot today to capture Lucy on her birthday and she got some fab shots of the kids...They were compliant for around 20 minutes then it went pearshaped!

I have been looking for a nice family shot for ages - even last year we had a version of this one taken at Venture but it wasn't great so I didn't buy it. So today we tried it again and I liked how it turned out - thanks Avril!

Happy Birthday Lucy Lou!


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Castleknock Crop

I held a crop and class at Castleknock today which was lots of fun. I always seem to get to the end of it and wonder where the day has gone - too much chatting and never any crafting for me. This is what we did today - I designed an interactive LO to show off some sunny photos (eh hello where has that yellow thingy gone???). A lot of the girls were struggling to find appropriately sunny photos - ah well maybe next year at this stage!

The circular piece opens up to reveal an area for hidden photos and journaling...

Jackie did a fab demo of using bleach on stamped images - wish I had more time to play at this table. Look at these aren't they amazing! There's no end to this lady's talent - she is now selling her wonderful jewellary too - check out her blog on the sidebar to see her designs...

We are off to a dinner party tonight in Co Meath so I made this little piece as a thank you gift (11''x18'' frame)- I took the photos a few months back of Orla and Gary's three gorgeous kiddies. Hope she likes it!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Lucy's 4th Birthday...

Today was a noisy day - but nice noisy iykwim...16 or so kids under 7 here to celebrate Lucy's 4th birthday. It was great fun amd we managed to have most of the party outside until the heaven's opened. Will upload photos when I get a chance...I need a lie down after it!

Great baby news for my pal Muriul - baby girl Hazel Ellen born last night a week early - weighing in at 9lbs. All well...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Heaven's Above...

Wow did you see Space station tonight? My dad is really into astronomy and he rang me to tell me (although he did tell me it was the space shuttle Endeavour attached to the space station - Dad... Endeavour doesnt lift off until tomorrow!doh! ) . It happened at 9.40pm and 11.20pm. We saw it both times - it was so clear and low it could have been an airplane. It only lasted a minute as it shot across the night sky. I love seeing this kind of stuff - makes you feel like you are watching history in the making.

Nighty night

Monday, August 06, 2007

I've been Tagged...

Thanks Audrey - she's just tagged me so here goes. I have to list 7 things about me and tag 7 people.

My 7 facts:

1. My favourite colour is blue
2. I once climbed over the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and it was one of my proudest moments as I was scared witless before I did it.
3 I have an inate fear of dogs - inherited from my mother and compounded by a unprovoked attack from a stray dog when I was 10 years old. (Woof!)
4 When I was a teenager my ambition was to have my own craft business.
5 I hate all fish (except smoked salmon)
6 I cry easily - especially when someone else starts first.
7 I'm a hopeless romantic!

So there you go...

And My 7 tags:
1. Annamarie
2. Caroline O
3. Jackie M
4. Gertie
5. Beckie
6. Amber Jane
7. Neasa

Yesterday evening our friends BJ and ELaine called over with their little boy Jack for a coffee. Whenever poor BJ calls - he always seems to get landed with a job of some sort - you know moving furniture and the likes... Well the rain cleared up and the kids started requesting their new trampoline so next thing the two lads are opening up the tool box and away they went. It took around 2 hours but they did it and the kids were thrilled to bits. We had a chinese takeout to celebrate. Then it was off to 'The Duke' in town to meet Brian and Helen for a few scoops which was fun. The kids were up at the lark this morning and dressed by 8am and out on the trampoline until the rain started to pour again. The only good thing is - it's a great time to buy garden furniture as it's at knock down prices after the alleged 'Summer' we've had! We did exactly that this afternoon and got caught in a crazy thunderstorm... We won't get to use it until next year though!

I've been working away at my Shimelle online class - have it nearly completed so will post it up as soon as...

BTW have you noticed my new blog banner - that's all thanks to the super talented and generous Jackie who kindly designed it for me. She's a whizz at these things and I am well impressed!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Sunday Sunday (da dah -dah di -da di dah.....)
And there was I thinking the rain had finally left us and sunny days were back. Ah well - back to indoor crafting to keep the kids from going around the twist and dragging their mother with them...LOL! I met up with Annamarie yesterday and we popped into Smyth's toy store. As it's Lucy's birthday next week I bought her a 10ft trampoline for her pressie and will hopefully provide the party entertainment as well. It's still in the box today in the garden in a puddle of water as the rain has been chucking down since we woke up. It better be gone by next week or I'm in trouble for party entertainment!

Well to take away the rainy blues -here's my Scrapwest for this week - Holidays. I took the photo last month in Italy. We loved it there so much we just booked again for next year - whoo hoo! Bring back the sun!

Last week (when the sun shone!) the girls had fun washing their dollies. It really is the simple little things that keep them occupied - once they get extracted from Nick Jr! Lucy has a thing about lining up her toys in rows - I wonder is she showing early signs of scrapbooking or photography - all of those leading lines....hhhmmm.

Yesterday I picked up my papers from Annamarie for next week's crop and class. Will give a little sneak preview of the LO in a while as it still needs some finishing touches but here's a peek at the papers...I was setting up the kits last night and had them strewn all over the kitchen! I know ..I know it's just not like me to have blue papers (haha!!!). I promise you will like them as they are double sided and full of colour. Watch this space..

I've had some requests to see my new hair***do*** well here ya go - nothing too radical I'm afraid. Nothing as adventurous as Tigger's new do. Go check it out on her blog. After the week she had last week I can see why she would need to celebrate with a new image!

My niece Laura (and babysitter) is home from hols -hallelujah! so we are going out on the town tonight. It's gonna be a late one!

Friday, August 03, 2007

What a difference good weather makes...

Last week we didn't leave the house much because the weather was so dreadful. This week we were up and out most days making the most and what a difference it makes to your wellbeing! Tuesday was the botanical gardens, Wednesday we went to the Zoo with my friend Susan and her three kiddies Martha, Sean and Grace.

It was lovely to see the new baby elephants in their new architecturally customed designed housing complete with viewing amphitheatre and bathing area - we didn't get to see them up close but hey we'll get them next week now that I have my new Zoo membership card. The donkeys were a big hit with the kids too - they fed them leaves for ages and enjoyed getting up close and personal.

Then yesterday we went to mums and we all got our hair cut (I love getting my hair cut! and so do the girls). Today, we met up with Muriul and Grace before she pops (baby no 2 due any day) and went to Newbridge House which is a fantastic place to run around and burn up energy.

After lunch and the swings and slides for and hour we finished up with a picnic and the kids had fun chasing crows...'shooing' them away. It was all going really well until they (Lucy and Grace) decided to take their clothes off and run around practically buck naked. I will never undertand this facination Lucy has to go starkers... Hope she grows out of it by the time she's a teenager!