Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Rinda's 2014 Summertime Photography Scavenger Hunt.

I hope I am only fashionably late to the party. If I am unfashionably late then I apologise. Life eh.

Edit: I wrote those words a fortnight ago when I was only maybe fashionably late. A huge project at work and horrible lurgy have knocked me out, long hours and then reading in bed dosed up is all I have been doing!

I loved the challenge, I wouldn't say I finished it, I definitely didn't nail it.

However, after digging back through my photo stream for the summer, I have managed to find a couple of ok entries just from looking back through them with a keener eye.

Ok, here we go. I guess the only invigilators are myself and Rinda. But please feel free to yell out if you disagree with any of my takes :-) I guess the main thing is that I enjoyed it.

#1 A sign welcoming people to your own town.

#2 A garden gnome.

#3 Birds on a wire.
Good lord, I have photos of birds next to wire, on poles next to wire, on metal rigid wires and despite trying very hard all summer, this was the best I could do! This was 5am and those lights were red for so long I had time to wonder if I had time to get the photo of the birds, decide there was, take the photo and then decide that the lights were broken and I should just go through them. I really wanted a better photo, but by the 23rd September this was the best and only one I had.

#4 A group of tourists.

#5 A rack of postcards.

#6 An urban street scene.
It didn't get more urban for me this year, I was loitering for a while hoping a whole crowd of urbanites would wander along but it wasn't to be.

#7 A rural landscape.
This is the edge of the Pincombe farm lands, and the Bristol Channel.

#8 A tattoo.
Lauren's henna tattoo.

#9 A bakery.
This bakery. If you are in North Devon, go there for the rolls. Just scrumptious and they win many many awards.

#10 A photobomb.
Louis :-) It's funny when you are interested in photography you learn not to do this at all and be aware at all times of what is in the frame so I was wondering how to get an authentic photobomb. My Mum who is less familiar with the DSLR didn't see Louis.

#11 A horn.
I didn't think I had one at all, but on closer inspection of Ali being 'sorted' in the Harry Potter Studio Tour gift shop he had a unicorn behind him :-)

#12 A mascot.
I don't know if this qualifies but really, why wouldn't a Morris Dancer be a mascot of Devon?

#13 A sunrise.
A lovely memory of this summer, I have woken at stupid o' clock for the past 3 summers just for a sunrise shot at midsummer and it has been some of my loveliest memories. It is something I think and hope I will always do.

#14 A parade.
Ilfracombe Carnival and of course, Uncle Tom Cobley. That is Kevin and Christian at the back, friends from school days.

#15 A juggler.
An amateur juggler.
#16 A sign not in english A birdhouse.
We don't have a birdhouse for them, the dizzy rascals as we have named them treat the whole of our tiny garden as their birdhouse. There has been 20 of them from the same family regularly throughout the day using the whole garden as their bath and feeding station and outlook. We love them all.

#17 A lamppost.
Southsea parade. I have seen a lot of lampposts this summer, but these were the nicest.

#18 A waterfall.
Watersmeet, Exmoor.

#19 A public garden.
Bicclescombe Park, Ilfracombe.

#20 A bus with a picture on the side.

#21 A photo of me representing the season.
At a wedding, very seasonal.

The layouts I have finally finished. Made using a kit I put together for the Simple Recipes challenge on UKS. I made a 12x12...

...and 4 6x6's. I used papers from Heidi Swapp & Simple Stories along with some gold glitter cardstock and gold foil paper.

This is how they look all together and as they will go in my album.
I am looking forward to doing the other side of the 6x6 pocket page. It is such a challenge to do a 6x6 after 12x12s.

Thank you Rinda for such a great photo challenge, it definitely added to my summer experience.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Summer Bucket List #15 Old Fashioned Picnic. And, #4 & #18 from Rinda's Photo Scavenger Hunt.

One Day Like This...
A long, long while ago I titled a layout One Day Like This after the crowd-pleasing song from Elbow. It doesn't matter how many times I hear it, I still sit up and listen and my heart soars a little (or if I am out jogging accelerate from turtle pace to faster turtle pace). The lyrics mean different things to me at different times but the one thing that always sticks in my mind after a good day is "One day like this a year will see me right". And that is my long winded way of telling you that this episode of the Summer Bucket List was one such day.
The plan changed several times over the course of the summer and indeed on the day we changed our mind twice. The car was unexpectedly held up in the garage for an eye-watering amount of repairs and so we weren't sure if we would be able to go, the weather has been mercurial this week, anyway we decided to go out to Watersmeet, just outside Lynmouth.
I haven't been for many years and I am not sure Louis has ever been, I know Alex hasn't. So glad to rectify that. We normally go west to the Woolacombe/Croyde/Braunton side of North Devon to the beaches but as the boys age we are looking more to the east and exploring Exmoor.
We started at Combe Park south and above Watersmeet as there is a picnic ground. The boys tore round for ages as Mum and I set up the picnic and then I went off with them for a 'clamble' as Ali put it. I was so proud of Louis for joining in so happily and having fun with Ali. They have been quite close this summer (obviously still fighting like only siblings can sometimes) the 4 year gap is more pronounced at certain ages I have found).
Here is the journaling from the pocket layout:
“Come with us Mum” Ali exclaimed, Louis grinned at me and we followed him down to the river. The water has dark grey and dark brown smooth stones and in some places it is knee deep, but most places it is ankle deep. I love that the worst that could happen is that we get a little wet and yet my heart is hammering and the boys are being so careful, I wonder what instinct kicks in there? Ali is less wary than Louis and I and he scampers on ahead telling us where to put our feet like a juvenile sergeant-major. He chose a path across that I would have said was impassable but it was and we made it. Mum sat at the picnic table and caught some shots of us, when I looked at them we are all smiling and happy. Goal met.

Our picnic lunch was two days in the making, a part of the experience was to have an old-fashioned picnic. Ones I remember from my childhood at family days, ones I read about from The Famous Five. One of the plans was to make Ginger Beer and we found a recipe of my Granny's but forgot to do it! We will do that later in the summer or Autumn.
All scrapbooking supplies used from Simple Stories 'Under The Stars' collection with gold foil Thickers. That journaling? A green neon sharpie *love* #yesofcourseiboughtallfourcolours
We also resurrected my Granny's cut-rounds. Loved them, and so did Mum, she has been practicing with help as the original recipe was a bit out of date, so we found out how Auntie Pat now makes them and they are wonderful, Mum has tried them wholemeal and granary as well and all delicious. I have posted the recipe on my fb page if you want to have a go, especially for you Gill and Linds.
I made a gala pie, sausage rolls and cucumber pickle, Mum made manor cake and choc buns, we had homemade cheese dip for crackers and choc dip for fruit. It was all delicious and fed us for three days lol.
So after that we were ready for a walk down to Watersmeet. It was stunning and heart-droppingly steep in places, we sighed as we looked at benches on the way down knowing how happy we would be to see them on the way back up.

I captured a couple of photos for Rinda's Photo Scavenger Hunt as we got there:
#4 A group of tourists
and #18 A waterfall
IMG_9695  This is Watersmeet House, a National Trust property that has delicious cream teas and ice cream for a start. My cousin, the  aforementioned Gill, worked there along with my other cousins, her brothers Andrew & Rob. My Mum was recollecting that they used to cycle to work and I would like to know if that is true Gill? Amazing if it is!
We had an ice-cream, wandered around and then headed back up the trail. 
Those benches were so welcome, we did manage to not sit on one though and keep going!

On the way down as we turned a corner we came across a pile of logs, Mum and I immediately looked straight at Ali, and he saw it and shouted "Snake's house!" Of course that lovely Gruffalo book goes on and on. On the way up, Louis and Mum went on as Ali and I wanted to go and look at another waterfall (very high and I didn't get a very good shot of it). Ali said that maybe this was "The Deep Dark Wood" from the book. I replied that it did look very like it and maybe he should see if he could find the other animals houses. He asked for the big camera so he could get some photos, he said that the light was very good and made me pose for this photo...
...which is hilarious.
Then he got one of Fox's house and Owl's house and then of course Snake'ssss log-pile housssse.
The best bit, he turned to me and said "You know, you should put this on your website, with, like, a bit from The Gruffalo". "Good idea" I said. As if I hadn't already thought about that.
So courtesy of an original idea by Alexander:
When we got back to Combe Park, Mum sat and read, Ali played in the river and Louis and I chilled out on the picnic blanket until it was time to go home. One day like this a year will see me right indeed.

Now, I appreciate that was a long post, if you could bear it I would love to know whether you can get the video below to load? I make them for family (although of course you are welcome to watch if you like!) but I don't know if they load up well on other peoples screens, if you would be kind enough to let me know whether you can see it properly and if you are watching on a lappy, iPad, samsung, other tablet, phone etc.
Thanks in advance if you can help, please don't worry if you can't, life is short, this post is not.

Watersmeet from Jennie Hart on Vimeo.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sunrise: Summertime Photo Scavenger Hunt

I am collecting photos from the scavenger hunt, but those blasted birds on a wire...

Anyway, I got my sunrise. Last week I decided I had time to get up early and go get it. If I felt like it when my alarm went off then I would go, as it happened I was awake at 3:24am for no discernible reason and so I browsed online and then dressed and got Minty ready and we went down the seafront to catch the sunrise as it looked promising.
I was lucky, the sky was clear to the west although it was cloudy on the horizon so I had to wait longer. Worth it though. Once I had captured it and had 20 minutes chill out watching it, we walked around the harbour and caught another few shots I liked.

I especially loved this one. It looked to me as if a volcano was erupting, not a sunrise.
I used Rhonna Farrer's design app to add a border and text to say what I thought.

I have scrapped it for Sue's Sketch Challenge using Simple Stories and Heidi Swapp papers and enamel dots.


Thanks for coming by...off in pursuit of those blasted birds on a wire.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Champagne Corks.

On the 7th June our very, very good friends Christine & Tony's eldest daughter Alice married Mark in the lovely Devon countryside, the Yurt Camp near Newton Abbott.

I was so looking forward to it, of course Mum was as she has seen Alice grow up, I nearly have as I am older. The boys were looking forward to it as it is a day out and they haven't been invited to a ceremony before, just one other evening 'do'.


Louis isn't quite as tall as me, but we are talking nano-millimetres now. I shall stop feeding them now to stunt their growth as I cannot condone such events.

So Tony was there to meet us and he looked resplendent in his waistcoat and Ali's eyes lit up when he saw him as Tony had hurt his knee and was using a stick to help him walk. I am not talking a walking stick with badges from towns visited; I am talking a Gandalf staff. Now anyone that has been around here for a while will have heard me tell of Ali's obsession with pokey sticks, (you can read about it here) and this was the best he had ever seen. "I have got to get me one of those!" he said immediately (and grammatically incorrectly ;-)).

We soon started moving down to the ceremony area which was lovely, set in a nook, a thatched building, benches for us to sit on with billowing sails for cover and a wooden walkway. Louis wanted to use the DSLR and he took some great photos of the wedding party arriving.

The ceremony was a humanist service (they had the 'legal' service a couple of days earlier at Exeter) which I found really moving and full of their personality together as a couple. As it was coming to an end the faint sound of champagne corks popping in the distance sounded like celebratory fireworks and was just perfect.

The boys were so interested which was great to see.

After the photos had been done it was time for champagne, canap├ęs and chat. The Yurt camp has an adventure area with a zip wire so they got changed and headed off before lunch and then we had a scrummy dinner with loads of great speeches from the couples friends and family who are obviously great supporters of them, full of love and humour.

It was such a beautiful day, full of fun and love. I wish the happy couple the very best of everything forever.

Oh and if you are ever in Scotland, they are running The Inn At Kippen and they are doing great things there, I can't wait to go.

Of course it is scrapbooking gold and I have thoroughly enjoyed reliving the day while I have created my pages today. I made a 12x12 layout, 2x 6x12 layouts and a pocket page.

The papers are new Maggie Holmes Vellum and old Prima that I have been saving for a special occasion.

I used Jen's great challenge over at UKS, good better best. You take a photo after each stage to take it from good to better to best.
So here it was as 'good'

and the accompanying pocket page

Many, many thanks and love to Chris, Tony, Alice & Mark for inviting us to their special day.

Tune in next time for the coastal walk layout, it is done, just needs posting. Have a great day :-)