Saturday, 18 May 2013

I've got a new toy!

My wonderful Hubby bought me a new lens for my camera from Ebay which arrived this morning. I've just been playing with it in my MIL's garden and have got some gorgeous shots of her flowers. I can't download them at the moment, but will post them on Monday. Meantime - here she is ;)

It may take a while for me to get used to it, as it's about 20 years since I last used a manual lens. But I'm so looking forward to learning how to again. Now I just need to get myself on a photography course!

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Catch-up Day

I've got both boys off school with tummy bugs today, so I have an enforced day off work. Rather than waste it, I've locked myself away in the bedroom to escape the germs, have spread my PL goodies over the bed, and am having fun playing Catch-up. At least I'll be able to get the journaling done up here, then it's back down to Lurgey Central to play with photos! Oh the joys of Motherhood lol.

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, 26 April 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday

Yes, I know it's Friday, but I'm just letting you know that I will be starting a new weekly blog theme - Weight Loss Wednesday.  I have publically pledged (on FB and now on here) to get down to 9st7lb by the time I go to France with the Scouts in August 2014.  I've weighed myself this week and am currently at 15st2.6lb - so I make that 5st5.6lb to loose.

I'll be posting the losses (or gains ;0( ) on Wednesday evenings along with occasionally piccies.  All support will be very gratefully received (and heaven knows I'll need it lol)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Reading Challenge 2013

In January I set myself a challenge to read 26 books in 2013, one for each letter of the alphabet. So far I have read Len Goodman's autobiography 'Better Late Than Never', and I've just finished James Herbert's 'Ash'. I've been an avid Herbert reader for over 20 years, and thus book was definitely up to his usual standards. I won't give too much away, but it certainly makes you wonder where the missing people do go!

A real page turner - it's just so sad that there will be no more fantastic horror fiction from James.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

St. George's Day POTD

I've not posted one of these yet, so thought it's about time to get my bum in gear and post more to the blog.

James was very excited this morning and couldn't wait to go to school. Why? As it's St. George's Day he is allowed to go to school in his Cub uniform instead of his school one. Well, that just HAS to be a Photo Of The Day ;)

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, 12 April 2013

April Project Life Celebratory Blog Hop

WOW - I can't believe we are a quarter of the way through the year already! Time really does fly when you are having fun.
As this is my first year scrapping a-la Project Life, I really didn't know what to expect ... or where to start.  DH and the boys bought me some goodies for Christmas and my birthday (album, page protectors, core kit etc) and I've been treating myself over the past few months to digi elements to pep my photos up a bit.  And I am having SO MUCH FUN!
I can't believe how easy PL is - or that I am actually managing to keep up (almost).  Normally I would have given up on a year long project by now (have you noticed yet my lack of posts about One Little Word??), but PL is just so easy to keep on top of. 
By now, I think my family and friends have finally accepted that wherever I go, the camera goes too - although I think my Dad is still struggling to understand why I have pictures of my shoes and food in a photo album.  But as it's all part of our daily life - in it goes!
I am, by nature, a list maker (and procrastinator!) and I like to plan my pages and use those plans to keep track of which photos I'm using, what I'm journaling about etc.  I tried sketching them out on paper, but started stressing about how untidy and amateur they looked (yes, I can be a bit of a perfectionist as well!).  So, I drew out a template for each of the page protector designs I'm using on Excel, and added a space at the bottom for notes, special dates etc. for that week.

I'm mainly using Design A, but also have Designs D, F, G and H dotted around - more may be added as time goes on lol.

Assorted Page Plans

As you can see, the pages aren't always neat and changes are often made - but then hey!  That's the whole point of a plan!  Once I've sorted out my photo storage properly, I'm going to add the file names and locations for each of the photos so I can easily do reprints if family or friends want copies.
I also have a page at the front of my planner file with the dates for each week of 2013, and am highlighting the week number when the pages for that week are complete.

Weekly Tracker Sheet

So far, it's working quite well.  I also try to fill in my journaling cards each evening so that the day's events are fresh in my mind.
Some weeks we have TONS going on, so I add in an insert page or two with extra photos or memorabilia I want to keep ... others are very quiet so may only have one side of a Design A or D with one side of a smaller page such as Design H.  I also use filler cards, quotes, stickers the kids have been awarded at school etc to fill in gaps.  Having extra pages does mean I'm probably going to need 3 or 4 albums for the year, but I think it's worth it and I do love having the memorabilia such as birthday cards, DVDs, programmes etc with the relevant photos.
Week 6 saw the 10th Anniversary of losing my Grandad.  I wanted to remember him in my album, so I used one of my favourite photos of him, and enlarged it to fit into a 4x6 and two 3x4 pockets.  There wasn't much else going on that week, so it fitted in really well.  I think larger photos like this may well feature a lot more as the weeks go by, especially when it comes to holidays.
I am enjoying the PL system so much that I have also bought the digi page pockets and complete Cinnamon Kit so I can create albums for the boys with photos from birth, as well as a family history album using old photographs which I have inherited from my Grandparents and other relatives.  So, looks like I'm going to be a very busy bunny lol.

I hope my planner has given you something to think about - please leave me some love in the comments then hop on over to Katina's blog for even more inspiration!

Michelle R
Barbara  <----- you are here!
Katina  <----- go here next!
Michelle B

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Project Life Week 8

Half Term and a whole week off work for me, and three days off for Ian.  The weather was surprisingly good for most of the week, so the couple of trips we did were very pleasant.

The week started with a trip to the dentist for Joe - sadly my phone was still in the shop having it's screen replaced so no piccie for the album, much to Joe's relief!

On Tuesday we went to Hever Castle for our first visit of 2013.  I'm so glad we bought yearly passes last year as it's such a beautiful place to visit.  They were holding their annual Snowdrop Trail which was a lovely, if very muddy, walk.  Joe was glad I'd forced him to put on his hike boots!

Wednesday was a very busy day, with a trip to the Southbank Centre for an 'audience with' type event with one of Joe's favourite authors - Derek Landy.  I even queued for 2 1/2 hours after so Joe could meet him, and get his books signed - the things we do for our kids!  But it was so worth it to see the huge grin on his face all evening!

Speaking of the evening, we eventually made it to Sam & Natalie's Wedding Reception to help them celebrate their marriage.  I can't take credit for the photo as I think it's actually one of the official ones, but I thought it was so beautiful I had to pinch it!

Friday was spent with the Little Hawks swimming in Gravesend.  We hired the pool at the college, so had it all to ourselves which meant I could do my big-chief-photographer bit.  Unfortunately, I forgot my camera so had to use Lisa's phone, so the photos are a little blurred.  But I think the collages still look fab.

The week ended at Dockland Scout Project for a training weekend - Ian teaching a Keel Boat Course and me teaching an RYA First Aid Course.  I definitely think I got the better end of the deal.  And of course, there was a little Real Ale Tasting in the Ward Room on Saturday night - well, it would be rude not to lol.

I also treated myself to PSE11 so I'm now able to get far more creative with my collages and photos ;-)

Week 8 LHS main page
Week 8 LHS insert page
Week 8 RHS insert page
Week 8 RHS main page
PL products used:- Turquoise Core Kit, Pages Design A & G.

Other products used:- "This Moment" ,"So Much Fun", Sat & Sun overlays by Amy Jaz Designs; Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday titles by Kate Hadfield; "Loving This" Photo Flag is from the Photo Flag PNG set by Cathy Zielske; "Love" & "Happy" Poloroid Frames by Amy Martin, Collages were made in PSE11 using various 4x6 templates by Designs by Lili.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Project Life Week 7

This week brought with it Valentine's Day.  Being midweek was a bit of a pain as we were both working, but I found a lovely card from Ian when I got in the car (he's a big softy really!).  I did cook us a lovely meal and banished the boys to their bedrooms while we ate it - needless to say they jumped straight onto their X-Boxes so they were quite happy.

The diet went out of the window again on Saturday thanks to Ian & Joe's baking efforts, and Sunday was spent with Debbie & Lisa checking out the camping deal at Chessington World of Adventures.

Week 7 LHS
Week 7 RHS
PL products used:- Turquoise Core Kit, Pages Design A & H.

Other products used:- "Everyday Fun" "Thu" & "Sat" overlays by Amy Jaz Designs; Tuesday & Sunday titles by Kate Hadfield; Kitty Love text added in PSE; Arrow sticker is a Post-It Note.

Project Life Week 6

A bit of an emotional week this week.  We lost Grandad 10 years ago on Feb 7th, and I wanted to do something to remember him in my album.  I didn't want it to feel morbid to future readers/viewers of my album - more of a celebration, but I wasn't sure what to do.  It was also a pretty quiet week so I didn't have much else to put in this week.  I sought the advice of the lovely ladies on the Project Lifers Facebook Group - this group is such a mine of inspiration and I knew they'd know how to do it.  Someone suggested using a larger photograph and trimming it so that it fits into 3 pockets.  I chose one of my favourite photographs of Grandad and enlarged it to a 6x8 portrait, added a simple white border and printed it out.  After trimming it to make one 6x4 and two 3x4 sections, I slotted them into the pockets to form one large picture.  I love the effect, and it is really quite fitting as Grandad was always larger than life!  Underneath I used a lovely journaling card which I had seen on a page by Kari Vaclavik - she very kindly sent me the file to use, which I scaled to 6x4 and added a 3x4 digi journaling card next to the text.  Once printed, I handwrote my journaling.

As I said, it was a quiet week, so instead of the normal 12x12 page on the right hand side I decided to use a Design H page, especially as week 7 turned out fairly quiet as well ;-)

I have definitely come to the conclusion that having a cat makes PL so much easier - I have PLENTY of photos of him to add in as fillers lol.

Week 6 LHS
Week 6 RHS
PL products used:- Turquoise Core Kit, Turquoise Textured Cardstock, Pages Design A & H.

Other products used:- "Smile" & "I <3 Today" overlays by Amy Jaz Designs; Sunday title by Kate Hadfield; CS Lewis Quote Card by Elise ; In Loving Memory Card by Kari Vaclavik.  Word Bubble added using PicSay Pro for Android.

Project Life Week 5

A very special week, with the safe arrival of Toby.  Hope it isn't too long before we have the chance to meet the newest member of the family properly, and to congratulate Amy & Leo in person!

January seems to be a month of meals out - not good for the diet.  This week was the 1st Crayford Leaders' Meal at Assos in Crayford.  My only regret - not taking more photos!

Another week of appointments, with a trip to the Dentist followed by another check-up at St Thomas' - this one at the Lupus Clinic for my Behcets Syndrome.  As I had a 9am appointment, it seemed like a good idea for Ian to take me up to London on the back of the bike - well, it would have been if it hadn't been persisting down with the wet stuff!  I arrived dripping wet, and freezing cold - thankfully the wonderful nurse in the clinic made me a very welcome cup of tea to warm me up.

Thursday evening was spent at Joe's school for Parent's Evening.  I'm not sure who came home with the bigger head - Joe or me!  Every teacher we spoke to said how well he was doing and that he was a pleasure to have in their class.  There is still a little room for improvement, but on the whole I am one very happy Mummy!

Rugby on Saturday - watching England v Scotland on the telly!  Then Freya's 2nd Birthday Party on Sunday - she is growing up WAY too fast!
Week 5 LHS
Week 5 RHS
Week 5 Pull Out Journalling 
PL products used:- Turquoise Core Kit, Turquoise Textured Cardstock, Pages Design A.

Other products used:- "This Moment" & "All About Today" overlays by Amy Jaz Designs; Tuesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday titles by Kate Hadfield; "Too Adorable" Photo Flag is from the Photo Flag PNG set by Cathy Zielske.  Collages were made using; arrow sticker is a post-it note.

Project Life Week 4

What a difference a week makes!  Last Saturday we were living in white-out world - this Saturday the sun was shining and the snow had melted, although the pond near Costa's was still partly frozen.  Now this is more like it, Mother Nature ;-)

James collected THREE awards at school this week, including an Award for Excellence from the Head for carrying out the school's core values of Community, Uniqueness, Love of Learning, Aspire & Respect.  SOOO proud of him!

Sunday saw the arrival of my 42nd Birthday - aarrgghh!!  We did have a lovely meal out with the family though, and finished the week suitably stuffed ;-)

Week 4 LHS main page
Week 4 RHS insert
Week 4 LHS insert
Week 4 RHS main page
PL products used:- Turquoise Core Kit, Turquoise Textured Cardstock, Pages Design A, D and 6x12 Pocket .

Other products used:- "Sat" overlay by Amy Jaz Designs; Sunday title by Kate Hadfield; "Awesome" Photo Flag is from the Photo Flag PNG set by Cathy Zielske.  The word balloon was added using the PicSay Pro app for Android; Collages were made using

Project Life Week 3

Welcome to White-Out World lol.  This week brought us the first snow of 2013, although there was only a light dusting until the weekend arrived - just in time for our QSWP duty at the memorial service for Bill Hall, a great supporter of the Scout Association and founder of The Fort - Greater London South's County Campsite.  St Stephen's Church in Dulwich looked beautiful in the snow, but it did make driving down the windy hill from The Fort resemble a ride on a slippery roller coaster!  Still, thanks to Ian's expert driving, we made it safely back onto the main road.

On Sunday our little tiger had his first experience of the cold, white stuff - he wasn't too sure to begin with, but soon ventured further into the garden which gave the opportunity for some gorgeous photos.  I even got a bit arty with the photo of our street at night - I really love sepia!

Week 3 LHS of main page
Week 3 LHS of insert page
Week 3 RHS of insert page
Week 3 RHS of main page
PL products used:- Turquoise Core Kit, Turquoise Textured Cardstock, Pages Design A, D and G .

Other products used:- "Mon" overlay & "Tuesday" "Friday" & "Saturday" Vellum Overlays by Amy Jaz Designs; Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday titles by Kate Hadfield; Wednesday Tab by Amy Martin Designs; Groucho Marx Quote Card by Elise ;. The collages were made using

Bad Blogger!

Yep - that's me!  I'm WAY behind with the blog posts of my weekly Project Life pages, but on the plus side, I am caught up to the end of February with the actual pages.  March is well underway, and I've even started on the first week of April.  So watch out for lots of blog posts from me coming very soon!

Can you believe we are already 25% of the way through 2013??  This year is flying by us at a rate of knots - but looking through my PL Album, we Maynards do seem to be enjoying (and participating in) every moment of it.  To mark the end of the first quarter of my first Project Life I am joining a very talented bunch of ladies as part of the April Project Life Celebratory Blog Hop organised by Margie Scarpignato.  There are 17 of us in total, so there should be LOADS of stuff to inspire.

The hop goes live on Friday 12th April at 4am PST (that's 12noon for those of us in the UK).  If you haven't played along with a blog hop before, it's really very simple.  Pop over to my blog on FRIDAY 12th APRIL and you will find my contribution.  At the end of that, there will be a link to the next blog in the hop - click on that for more inspiration .... and so on.  With 17 participants, you may want to make a cuppa first lol.  Do remember to leave each participate some love in the comments - we all love to know what others think of our work.

If you haven't already done so, please feel free to follow my blog.  My posts are sometimes a little erratic but I am working on that!

Hope to 'see' you Friday ;-)

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Project Life Week 2

I knew my obsession for alphabet & number stickers would come in handy one day - only problem is I'm only using the 'w', 'e', 'k' and numbers from each pack lol.  I think I'll have to come up with some other interesting ways to use the remaining letters ;0)

Highlights of the week - a trip to St Thomas's Hospital for an eye check-up which resulted in EXTREMELY large pupils and very blurry vision.  Getting from the hospital to the hotel to meet Ian was fun - I'm so glad I didn't have to get the train home!

Friday night saw Ian's Staff Christmas Party (it's always in January in the Hotel industry!).  The theme was Gangsters & Molls, but as it was a Friday this year, I wasn't able to go ;-(  Ian decided he didn't really want to go without me, so he and Alex both donned white coats and played at being Stewards to allow Alex's staff to go to the party.  They did manage to pop their heads into the ballroom though to celebrate the announcement of a full 5% bonus and a 3.5% payrise with a beer - but just the one ;-)

Saturday brought dinner with the Borehamwood Gang - it's been so long since we all went out together, but it felt as if we'd only seen each other last week.  A sign of true friendship!  I really hope we get LOTS more opportunities to get together this year!

PL products used:- Turquoise Core Kit, Pages Design A.

Other products used:- "Mon" overlay & "Saturday" vellum overlay by Amy Jaz Designs; Thursday, Friday and Sunday titles by Kate Hadfield . The collages were made using

Monday, 25 February 2013

And we're FINALLY off!

OMG - it's the end of February and I am now only just posting pages from this year's Project Life Album!  I promise I have been working on it as the weeks went along, but for one reason or another (mainly lack of printer ink, then paper and finally TIME), none of the pages actually got finished until today.  Even now, I only have a few totally done - but I aim to get at least the whole of January finished before March begins.  Who knows, February may also get done lol.

I am having so much fun doing this - my family and friends are slowly coming round to the fact that I'm pointing a camera at them or the surroundings on a daily basis, and I've even committed to journalling SOLELY with a pen and my own handwriting (eventhough I don't particularly like the way I write).  I'm even thinking about starting albums for each of the boys PL Stylie showing their life in pictures with some personal journalling from me along the way (and maybe other family members).

Well - here we go with the Title Page and Week 1.

There are two different views of the week 1 pages, one showing the full 12x12" page for each side, and the other showing the 6x12" insert pocket .  The inserts are taking up extra space, but if it means I need to use 2 or 3 binders for the year, I'm happy with that - afterall, the memorabelia is just as important (in my opinion) as the photos and journalling.

PL products used:- I'm using the PL Turquoise Core Kit and album, with Designs A and D as the main pages.  The Insert on this first week is a 6x12" Page Protector.

Other products used:- Welcome Card on Title Page was a Facebook Freebie by Emily Merritt Designs, "Tuesday" journal block by Amy Martin Designs, "Wed" overlay"Saturday" vellum overlay by Amy Jaz Designs.  The collages were made using and the "Focus" button was kindly created for me by Melanie at