Sunday, March 29, 2009

First of the Birthday celebrations...

We spent last night up in Drogheda (Drawhada as we call it!) with our old college crew to celebrate the upcoming birthdays and what a giggle it was...These are the people we meet once in a while and the minute we get together the banter is going back and forth, then along comes the slagging then the reminiscing -it's always a great night out. You appear to forget about your current age and pretend you're 19 again - and there's usually a few photos to prove it! Last night was one of those nights and if you are reading this...and you were know what I'm talking about! Thanks guys - you really are the bestest pals in the world. I think I'm beginning to like this 40 lark! XX

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Some crafty presents...

Here's a few I made earlier ;-)

The first is a Bo Bunny 'BABY' album for little baby Zac who is now doing great. I saw him on Thursday when his mum called in for coffee and he was in great form...

A few weeks ago I was at Sibeal's 18th Birthday party so I made this 16x16 canvas for her using a pink paislee kit...

Monday, March 23, 2009

A weekend of Castles...

One of the benefits of this over talked about 'Recession' is that the hotel industry has climbed down from its lofty tower and started to charge accessible rates in a bid to win customers and stay afloat. I spotted one such deal at Christmas (The Castles of Ireland promotion!). Now not one to hang around... and using the excuse that himself and myself have our significant birthday at this time, I booked it for a fraction and prayed for a babysitter.

Thankfully, my mum as always obliged and plans for operation escape were hatched. Just before we left last Friday, Lucy looked a little peaky (now why doesn't that surprise me!!!! She has previous!). I gave her a spoon of calpol, then sent her to school and crossed my fingers. An hour later mammy guilt was setting in, so in order to reassure myself I popped into the school yard and was so happy to see that she was well and smiling. So we hit the M50 and headed on our merry way.

Two and half hours later we stopped in our first castle - Bunratty, Co Limerick. We made a pit stop at Durty Nellies pub there for a toasted sarnie.

Then we arrived at our first destination - Dromoland Castle. Wow what a place to visit. Absolutely beautiful grounds and a magnificent setting. We were bowled over by how posh it was - valet parking, concierge welcoming you personally at the door etc etc. God I could get used to this LOL!

Anyway, we checked in and then shortly afterwards asked to change room as we got a connecting family room which was paper thin and you could hear the couple next door whispering and then sneezing! Not good enough for 5 star I'm afraid!

Eventually we got another room and went for a walk around the whole estate. This was the view from the otherside of the lake

I have to say the staff in the hotel were lovely - really attentive and nothing was too much trouble. Even Lily the resident pony was obliging for a photo!

Then I rang home and sure enough Lucy had a temperature (aaarrrghhh!) and if that wasn't bad enough himself came down with the same thing during our 5 course dinner in the ever so lovely dining room. My poor guy did his very best not to make a fuss but by 10pm he was green in the face, so we called it a day and skipped the residents bar.

The next morning thankfully, himself was in better form, bug had passed quickly and we had a lovely breakfast overlooking the lake. I rang home and Lucy was back to normal so happy days! I had been given a lovely surprise of a voucher for the spa from my brother and sisters as a birthday present so off I trotted to get myself buffed within an inch of my life at 10am. Two hours later I floated out of the spa a new woman and looking 10 years younger LOL!

Next stop was a trip to Lehinch for lunch and then onwards to the Cliffs of Moher. It was a beautiful day - the sun was shining so a perfect day for the cliffs...

I can never get enough of this place - they always mesmerize me everytime I see them.

As we had no kids with us we went a little further up the cliffs. My hands were breaking out in sweats when we got this close to the edge and at times I couldn't look at some of the tourists who were perched over the edge waving their cameras into the abyss.

'Eh hello...guys can you not read English???'

So after the cliffs we went back to Ennis. I dropped himself off to see the Rugby match (Up IRELAND!)while I went in search of craft shops heehee! Later I caught the end of the match which was a fantastic buzz (Grand Slam Rugby!) and we stayed in town for a great night of celebration. Unfortunately, a few hours later it was my turn to talk to the big white telephone and I was really unwell all through the night with the same bug.

Next morning (mothers day) I could hardly muster the energy to get out of bed to check out and we went on our way (clutching a plastic bag over the bumpy roads!) to our next destination -Ashford castle. All I can say is OMG! This place is in a different class altogether. The scale of the grounds, the setting -it was just stunning. Once again we were overwhelmed by the service of the staff-personally greeting us at the door etc. The best bit is that they had actually read the email I sent them telling them we were celebrating our 80th (40th x 2)birthday and gave us a complimentary upgrade followed by champagne - whoohoo! We were given this beautiful room which was taken by Maureen O'Hara when she was filming 'THE QUIET MAN' in the 1950's and it was just beautiful..You can see it here if you look closely on the RHS marked in red..

Anyway as I was still feeling icky, unfortunately the whole Ashford experience was a bit wasted on me as I crawled into bed at 4pm and ordered tea and toast and slept until the next day. If anything this has given me an excuse to go back someday!

Even so it was such a great weekend - funny when you look back now! A bonus is that I lost 2 lbs at weigh in! 'Every cloud' ...and all that!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St Patrick's Day...

We decided to give the parade a miss this year - unless you are 6ft 6 or conveniently live in one of those 3rd storey apartments en route -your vantage point can be a bit hit or miss. Instead, we had a cousin sleepover last night so the kids had fun turning themselves into Irish flags ;-)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Natural Beauty Class - Le Cheile

Today was our March class and crop at Le Cheile, Donnycarney and we made this double layout showing some architectural photos from a holiday in Greece many moons ago. Thanks to everyone who came along today and we are already looking forward to April's Mega class on Sat 18th April in Le Cheile for an all day event with myself, Annamarie and our guest tutor Carrie. Watch this space for details...

{Updated to add this canvas of a cat called CASPURR which I created as a present for the kind lady who donated her Il Divo tickets to me last week and I used the leftovers in the March kit. This was my very first animal commission!}

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Il Divo

What an amazing concert last Sunday at the O2. The venue is fantastic - a huge improvement on the old Point Depot as the stage is almost part of the audience allowing everyone to see no matter what seats you have. Acoustics were top class as well and I wasn't prepared for the wall of sound that eminated from these handsome men (swoon!). As you can see we had pretty good seats (and a long lens!). At times it was difficult to concentrate on what they were singing ;-)

Thursday, March 05, 2009

'Natural Beauty' Class in Donnycarney - Sat 14th March 10am-3pm

This Saturday at the Donnycarney scrapbooking class and crop we will be using a lovely Basic Grey 'Granola' kit with gorgeous element stickers. The title of the LO is 'Natural Beauty'. For anyone thinking about what photos to bring along, I suggest you bring at least 3 photos (5x7 in landscape format). A selection of great landscapes/scenery/travel photos from a favourite trip or 3 portraits of a child/woman etc will work perfectly. Colour or black and white will suit the papers which are naturals/beige and blues. I used some photos of a trip to Greece showing scenery and architecture. As always photos can be added in later. There are still a few places left so if you would like to join in the class just drop me a line. Beginners are always welcome ;-)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Please say a little prayer...

This beautiful little boy Zac, is in Temple St Hospital fighting meningitis. He's only 4 or so weeks old and he had only the mildest of symptoms on Sunday so his parents are totally shocked. He has had a brain scan today so they will know what type of meningitis it is tomorrow. If you can spare a moment to think of him and send him your prayers...


Zac is doing reasonably well today - at least he is responding. They have isolated the strain - pneumo coccal which is bacterial and therefore serious. From what I can gather the hospital staff are pleased with his progress. The next stage is to scan and identify how he has been affected if any. There's a high recovery rate with this particular strain but he still needs your prayers...

{Update on Baby Zac - a week later}

Thankfully Zac is doing really well this week. He is still in hospital but doing well on his antibiotics and his mum and dad hope to have him home next week. The great news is that his brain scan came back clear. Thanks for all the prayers...

Update 17th March'09
Yay for Zac - he got home last night and according to his mum you would never think he had been so sick this past few weeks. So happy for them! Miracles happen sometimes...