Monday, April 30, 2012

Rocking Your World Monday - week 17

So I'm officially giving up on the 'posting RYWF on a Friday' thang....I just don't seem to be able to do it!  I'm always too busy on a Friday both at work and at home in the evening.

And the weekends are a no no - so from now on I'm going to aim for Mondays....which may occasionally slip to Tuesdays or Wednesdays :)

I hope Virginia doesn't kick me out of the club :)

So anyway - all that said and excuses made, I don't really have much to write about for week 17, as after the excesses and excitement of the previous week, we had a few chilled days to recover :)

Not that I'm complaining, mind you, it's been a lovely relaxing week.  And that most certainly rocks my world as I don't do the 'R' word very often :)

Starting on Saturday, the weather started off really nicely, so the boys were playing out from early in the morning until mid afternoon.  Ah, the peace and quiet!  That meant that Jay and I could put our feet up and watch what WE wanted to watch on the telly for once.  No Disney Channel or Nickelodeon - hooray!!!  What we ended up watching - a marathon of Come Dine With Me episodes - probably wasn't much more intellectually stimulating, mind :D

The kids came home at about 3pm having suddenly realised that they hadn't had lunch and were therefore instantly ravenous.  So we decided to make a third attempt at a meal at the new Harvester.  I call it the new Harvester, but really it's a couple of years old, it's just that it's usually so incredibly busy that we've never managed to actually get in there before.  But being an odd time, halfway between lunch and dinner, we actually succeeded this time.  Hooray!  And dinner was delish!

And not only was the food good, but the decor was really cool, with framed leaf collages all over.  They were lovely and now I want to make a wall of leaf pictures of my own :)  Will add it to the never ending list....

On Sunday I got my head down and finished the sample pages for my stencil tutorial for the Art Journey course over at UKScrappers.  I'm kind of glad that that's my last contribution to the course, as they take up a lot of my time - but on the other hand, doing the tutes did give me a good excuse/nudge to work in my journal....

I'll blog the pages properly when the tutorial goes live on Wednesday.

Oh and we also baked our Herman cake.  He started off ten days before as this rather unappetising looking, and not too sweet smelling, bubbling bowl of primeval goop:

But ended up as a very delicious, very fruity, spicy and all round yummy cake.  Or rather cakes.  We filled four of these loaf tins:

I can highly recommend taking a Herman mix home if you are ever offered one.  Despite the fact they look and smell like a swamp :)

the magazine - Very Nearly Almost
And that's about all I have to report this week - the remainder of the week was back to work, fairly tiring (especially the 6 hours of driving in the pouring rain on Friday, no fun), and therefore I did very little in the evenings other than tuck up in bed with either a magazine or back episodes of Eureka! on my laptop (love that programme :) )

the TV show - Eureka
Now my batteries are recharged and I'm all ready for week 18.

Which hopefully I'll blog next Friday Monday ;)

See you then!

Now I had best go and link this up at RYWF central and go and see what the other Rockettes have been up to....

Bzzzzzzzzzzzzz - more mail art

I know that this has landed on its intended doormat now, so I can share

A little bit of mail art to brighten up someone's day....

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rockin' all over the world...

….well, at least in Berkshire and Cheshire....

First up, here is my very last entry in the Project Runway themed circle journal that I hosted over on UKScrappers.

My own book is already home and I will share its contents here on the blog soon.

The theme of this last journal was “rock the runway” – and we were to pull together a two page layout based upon music of any kind.

As you know I’m a bit of a rock chick, so that’s what I went with for my pages:

And as I had made up far too much of that spraypainted background patterned paper, I used some of the spare to make a mail art postcard too:

This one’s on a base of thick corrugated cardboard so it’s bulky and light at the same time.

I've just had word that it arrived in one piece, much to the bemusement of the chap who delivers the internal post (it was sent to a corporate office address :) )

Rock on :)

Rocking Your World {insert random day of week here} - week 16

I really am getting slack when it comes to posting my RYWF posts anywhere close to on time, aren't I?

But at least this week I had a good excuse, because last Friday was my birthday :)  and I was accordingly rather busy!

But before we get to the birthday celebrations, there were plenty of other reasons to be cheerful:

To kick off the week, last Saturday we went to wonderful Brighton beach.

I haven't been to Brighton in about ten years, and Jay, Reece and Connor had never been, so it was a real treat for all of us.

Such a brilliant place with a lovely artsy vibe to it.

We had a fantastic day from start to finish, including a stroll along the pier, a ride on the little beach train, crazy golf, visiting a cool street-art gallery plus a painted up yard, the pavillion, the artists' beach.   Loved it.  I'm not going to leave it another ten years before I go back!

My favourite pics from the day (sorry, photo overload!):

ha ha - Connor wasn't overly chuffed to be the mermaid!

...and I don't think Jay was much happier about being my groom! :D

The next day we went out geocaching for the first time in ages - really enjoyed it!  Must get back into it properly once the weather settles down....

We found this monster of a cache, plus a couple of littler ones.

We also found a stone circle!

I know it's not QUITE as impressive as Stonehenge, but I thought it was pretty cool all the same... :)

After lunch we took a wander through town in search of a new graffiti mural we had heard had gone up the previous weekend.

And we found it, and it didn't disappoint, it was a collaboration between 8 or so artists, around a 'baby superheroes' theme.  Very cute :)

The week flew by as I was busy at work trying to get 5 days worth of stuff done in 4, so that I could take the Friday off guilt free.

Also middle son Darby was home again for a couple of days so as ever it was lovely to have his company in the evenings.

And so, before I knew it it was my birthday! yay!

(Let's not discuss the actual number, shall we? eeek, getting old!!!)

First up - PRESSIES :) :) :)

I had asked Jay for a Kipling carry case for my laptop - it's the one with the monkey key chain on it, I said....this is what he gave me to unwrap first.....

Not quite what I had in mind!! :D

So here are my real presents:

including the real Kipling bag :)  plus tons of other fab stuff - a signed Chicago Wolves jersey with glow-in-the-dark eyes, 2 ace books, a Kesler teddy, and a travel bug for my car.  I am thoroughly spoilt :)

Next we headed to my favourite tattoo studio to book an appointment for me to get some new ink - exciting!!!  Am booked in for August this space :)

Then I popped into the craft shop next door to the tattooist (would have been rude not to etc etc) and spent some of my birthday money - look at all my yummy goodies!

Next stop was Frankie and Bennys for some (delicious) lunch, and then we went to the movies to see The Cabin In The Woods....

....which was flipping BRILLIANT!!!!   Seriously, if you haven't seen it yet, you must!  Joss Whedon has never let me down :)

Last stop for my superb whistle stop birthday was a trip to the local theatre to see stand up comedian Stewart Francis.

He was really funny, and we had great seats (2nd row - almost too close to a stand up as you spend the whole time worried you might get picked on, but thankfully we didn't :D)

I hit the sack that night exhausted but very smiley :)

So that was my week was yours?

I'd better go and link this up over at chief Rockette Virginia's blog and tomorrow I'll have a good nose to see what everyone else has been up to ....

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just too late for yesterday's post....

This arrived today, more gorgeous mail art, this time from Shirley

I love it, thank you! :)

Monday, April 23, 2012

my iHanna postcard swap goodies plus more lovely mailart!

You might remember, a month and a bit ago - I signed up to take part in iHanna's annual mail art swap.

I shared my little pile of outgoing postcards here - now it's time to show you all the lovely stuff I got in return!

Up top, top left: a lovely large format postcard, painted and stitched, from Elin in Sweden

Top right: a fantastic reduction print card from my good pal TJ in the US of A - she also sent me a ton of ice hockey related goodies because she is lovely!

Bottom right: a gorgeous handpainted card from Holly Ann in the US - and with it, shown here to the left, a bonus card from her 6 year old daughter :)

Next lot - top left: "born to craft" - sounds good to me :) from Anne in the US

Top right: a super cute collage from Diane in the US - love that cheerful little raindrop! :)

Bottom left: a riot of colour from Denice - another one in America where most of my cards came from - love the bold black lines making the colours pop

Bottom right: a lovely fine line drawing by Ursula in Croatia - that little town looks really inviting

Last lot from the iHanna swap - I was very lucky and got all 10 cards back

On the left: a fantastic ink and watercolour sketch by Fanie in Montreal, Canada.  I had actually spotted this "friendly tree" on Fanie's blog before the cards were all mailed out and had coveted this particular card in a comment there - so when she drew my address she was kind enough to send him to me :)

Top right: a card from our swap hostess herself, iHanna in Sweden - a cool collection of stamps on a "meta postcard"

Bottom right: such a cute, happy whale :) from Lis in the States

And last but certainly not least, this gorgeous beeswaxed postcard from Lorraine wasn't part of the iHanna swap at all, but I thought I'd share it on this post as it landed on my doorstep this weekend, and I love it!

Hopefully I'll have more mail art to share soon....

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Art House Co-op Photo Response Project

As you may have noticed, I’m a bit of a fan of Brooklyn’s Art House Co-op – they of The Sketchbook Project and many other community art endeavours.  And I use ‘community’ here in its widest sense as they invite people from all over the world to take part in their projects.  And take part they do, in their thousands!

The 2012 Sketchbook Project tour kicked off this week in New York, and I have been desperately peering at the photos of the shelves and shelves of lovely journals, to see if I can spot mine, but no luck yet.

Let me know if you can spot a fairly thin book with bright pink binding…. 

The tour comes to London in October and I can’t wait to go visit my book :)

I’m not 100% sure yet if I will be taking part in the 2013 Sketchbook Project ( it doesn't look like the tour is coming to Europe next year, so that is a downer :(  )

But in the meantime, I’ve been taking part in a couple of their smaller calls to action.

First I was one of just 200 people lucky enough to grab a space on The Jar Project, which I have already blogged here

And more recently I signed up for the Photo Response Project

This was an interesting one that I couldn’t resist playing along with –

They gave us 5 photos:



And we had to choose one, and make something prompted or inspired by it in some way – you could use any media – the only proviso being that whatever you produced had to be 6”x4” in size and fairly flat – nothing 3-D

I hummed and harred for ages as none of the photos were screaming out at me.  In the end I decided that I liked photo 2 best, but still had no idea what to actually do with it.  Then my other half started talking about his work colleague going to Liverpool for a few days and ‘where was that beach we went to with all the statues?’ – and cogs started to turn….

So here you go – my postcard sized response to photo #2:

I was thinking along the lines of how, if something bad creeps up on you slowly enough, you either don’t really notice it, or you do but you don’t bother to fix it because you think you have all the time in the world….and then one day you’re engulfed by it, and then it’s too late. I’m depressing you, I know, sorry! :)

Not sure if I like the end result or not but I often feel that way about stuff I make.  Either way it went in the post to America today, so let’s hope it arrives in time for the deadline.  I look forward to seeing what everyone else does prompted by the five photographs.

I’ve also signed up for one other Art House Co-op project, one that involves public art, very much up my street.  Will blog all about it when it’s done….

Rocking Your World Friday Tuesday - week 15

Rocking Your World … Tuesday?

Oh dear oh dear oh dear, I’m a bad Rockette.  A bad blogger all round, actually, it’s been very quiet here recently other than my Project 366 updates.  Must try harder.

I was wondering it’s worth me doing this RYWF post 4 days late, as before I know it it will be time to do another one – but then I’ll end up with two weeks’ worth of documenting to do at once which will take forever, and I might forget stuff - so come on, let’s have a quick whizz through week 15:

So we start with the Easter weekend – an extra long weekend off work would rock anyone’s world, amirite??  Especially since for me it was the start of a 6 day break – woohoo :)

We managed to be lucky with the weather over Easter – so that’s definitely something I’m grateful for – it wasn’t perfect, but it was always good enough for where we were and what we wanted to do – no plans were disrupted.  You can’t ask for much more than that in England in April.

On Good Friday we all piled over to Jay’s house – first time I’ve been there in yonks as he always comes to mine as it’s just easier to be in Swindon at the weekends during the hockey season.  He had a three year old Canucks game (NHL ice hockey) on his TV recorder which I hadn’t seen before.  It was so cool seeing our old players again and hearing the announcers make endless jokes about Willie Mitchell’s big stick, it really took me back!  I really enjoyed watching it – definitely a lot more fun than watching Vancouver play over the past few days – but the less said about that the better – this is supposed to be a happy post!!

After the game we went to visit Jay’s nan and gramps – and admired his nan’s impressive collection of decorative teapots (the photo only shows about a quarter of them!).  My grandparents in law (ish) are lovely – I don’t have any of my own as my last surviving grandparent died when I was six – so it’s nice to be able to adopt someone else’s :)

On the Saturday, Connor went to his dad’s so Reece and I spent the afternoon making ATC backgrounds on canvas – Reece really enjoys arty stuff and it’s nice for me to have someone to splash paint around with :)  We haven’t yet finished our ATCs off but I’ll be sure to share them on here when we do.

And then it was playoff hockey time!  Which gave us a good excuse to wear silly hats! Yay!  (Sadly we lost – sob – but the hat wearing was fun regardless)

So that’s it – no more Swindon hockey until September – I’ll miss it, I always do – but the plus point of that is that without a 5 o’clock game to rush home for every Saturday, we can start doing more at the weekends and having big days out.  Hooray!

Another thing that put a big smile on my face this week was the release of Instagram for Android – at last!  This was the one app that had really made me envious of my iPhone wielding pals.  Within 3 hours of release I had it installed on my trusty Droid, and now, as you can see from the sudden abundance of square photos on my blog,  I’m instagramming everything in sight! :D

Here are my published pics so far.  If any of you out there are fellow IG-ers, please let me know your name on there so I can follow you – I’m ‘floroo17’

On Easter Sunday we had a brilliant day – we went down to glorious Dorset to see Jay’s mum and to meet her gorgeous new puppy, Reg.  He is a “toodle”, which is a cross between a Tibetan something-or-other and a poodle.  Isn’t he gorgeous!  He’s difficult to photograph though, because of all that black fur.

The weather forecast had been rotten, and we drove through some pretty dreary weather on the way down, but when we got to the coast the sun came out :)

We took Reg down to the beach for a walk (ma-in-law is lucky enough to live in beautiful Lulworth Cove, just a few 100 yards from the beach), where he had fun digging holes in the sand, and then we all drove to Portland Bill to see the famous lighthouse.

Climbing to the top of a lighthouse was one of our 101 family goals, so today we got to tick another goal off the list – 32 down, 69 to go!

Back in Lulworth, we met another new addition to the family – Jay’s baby niece Sofia – so cute!  New babies and puppies all in one day – squeeee!

Tuesday 10th was the first of my two extra days off work.  It was my eldest son’s 22nd birthday – boy that makes me feel old!  He had a bunch of mates round so Connor and I vacated the premises to give them some space, and we went down to London to visit my dad.  Lots of relative visiting this Easter!

Before we got to my dad’s house though we popped up to Chelsea (we’re gert posh we are :) ) and visited the National Army Museum (guns! For Connor) and the Saatchi Gallery (art! For me :) ).  Luckily I enjoyed the museum too and Connor enjoyed the gallery, so neither of us had to suffer through the other’s choice.

The exhibition at the Saatchi – “Gesamtkunstwerk: new art from Germany” – was absolutely brilliant – and I was just about to recommend you all go to see it but according to their website it has now finished :(  We must have caught it in its last few days – very lucky!

We got back to my dad’s at about 4 ish, and spent some time at his house before ambling round the corner to the Hungry Horse pub where we had a slap up dinner.  And I went home with a bootful of National Geographic magazines – some of them older than me – which my dad gave me.  They are fantastic.  Not sure where I’m going to keep them all, mind.

All in all a fab day.

On Wednesday we had one of those rare days where we had nothing to do - no work, no visits planned, no obligations.  Nice.  I spent the whole day making stuff.  Or at least starting to make stuff.  I didn't finish anything but I started lots and had fun in the process.

And that just about wraps up the week.  It was a busy one :)

I'd better shoot off to Virginia's blog to link this up before next week's post goes up and I miss my chance!

Have fun all, it'll soon be Friday again! :)