Rocking My World Friday...

Another week has passed already?
Time again for another look at what's...
Well. Thank you to Irene (Craig's Mum) and my friend Caroline for demanding I get on with my post ;) The return of the heat and mugginess this week has seen a return of my extreme tiredness so am not getting an awful lot (apart from snoozing) done. Plus we found out this week that bubby is laying across ways rather than up and down which is probably why I can't get comfy at the mo. 


Before we begin, I insist you listen to this. definitely my favourite You Tube video this week. Go on, you can read while you listen...



First on my list this week is Craig. I had a hospital appointment this week to have glucose blood tests and Anti-D jabs done (Blood tests because both my parents are diabetic and Anti-D because I'm a R-Neg blood group) They decided to get it all done in one go which meant a 10 hour fast (luckily over night) and nearly 3 hours sat in hospital after drinking yucky Lucozade and waiting to see if I had any reactions to the Anti-D. Craig, my knight in scruffy shoes, took himself off in hunter gatherer mode to the local town to source me a cheese & onion pasty and lovely cold drink for when I was allowed to eat again. Believe me that was like nectar of the Gods. Ravenous I was. Then upon getting home and feeling decidedly ill and with an arm that felt like it was going to drop off, I was tucked up on the sofa to snooze and have tea bought to me. Lovely. 
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I haven't put any weight on for about 3 weeks. now, I know I'm not supposed to be peeking at the scales while pregnant but am really worried about my breathing and such lately. I know towards the end of a pregnancy you get breathless but being a big girl anyway I was worried about putting on *too* much more. Especially when, although I'm not having cravings as such, I'm finding most foods unpalatable unless it's starchy/carby or fruit cake (trifle in particular) based. So although I'm definitely not dieting, I'm happy to see it's not piling on at the same time. Am hoping that means that for the last few weeks it's just been baby growing and not me. If that makes sense. And believe me - bubby bump is huge, much more than any of the others were. Am a wee bit scared of the exit strategy, I don't mind telling you!
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The Olympic Ceremony. Now, I am the first to admit that I'm not into sports one jot and I know this is a huge thing for Britain but up till this weekend the Olympics haven't really captured my imagination. However, Craig huffed and puffed about me being a stick in the mud and so I was cajoled into watching. I'm glad I did, what an amazing spectacle. I have no clue what must go on inside Danny Boyle's head but it must be amazing. Particular favourite bits - The NHS/Literature segment, the changing of the rolling fields into a the Industrial age and The Queen/James Bond partnership. I'm sure she almost grinned when she walked out after that.

I've even watched some of the sport since, I love watching gymnastics - reminds me of street/break dancing. Phoebe is entranced by the female weightlifters!
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Boot fair again. This week I picked up a large canvas, already with a picture on - a generic one like you get mass produced in the shops, only 50p. That's come home for me to paint over. Told my Dad - he said I should look out for framed ones and then I'd be able to take it apart and use the frame too. Good idea.

Talking of my Dad, he's been having a clear out. Every single year without fail he tells me at Christmas that he's sure he's bought more presents but cannot find them and he thinks he's going doolally. Well, he just found some of them! He's been putting them 'safely' in his Aladdins Cave of a back room - believe me you don't venture in there without safari gear and machete. Think of those hoarder programmes on the telly - yeah, you might be halfway there! So this week he piled us up with two boxes of board games for the girls, a table top easel which Devvie has nabbed, a wooden box of Derwent watercolour pencils and sketching pencils and a roll of watercolour brushes (I nicked those!) and some watercolour paints for Ruby. Who was over the moon declaring "no-one has ever bought me paints before." Which - when I come to think of it, no-one has, I always just let her use mine. She was so chuffed to have her own though, I may put together a little kit for her this Christmas! So, yay for tidying up and new stash - though I did say he was a bit daft and should have just wrapped them all up for this year!
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I'm going to leave you with this little monster :) Devvie captured these piccies on her iPod yesterday when we went for a park and picnic day. Ruby cannot walk past me without kissing bump and she will holler across the room "love you baby!" to my belly :) Lets hope she feels the same way when he's here and drooling over all her toys! 
 
I'm going to go link up with Virginia, pretend I'm not late ;) Why don't you pop on over and play along too?


Thanks for stopping by :)

Rocking My World Friday...

...on Monday! Oops!
Has it really been a week since I last posted? Aaargh! 

First on my positive has to be the lovely email received from a librarian in America asking me if I sold prints. She had seen the canvas I'd made for Virginia on Pinterest and wanted one to put up in the library. I had to say that my camera skills are a bit dodgy to say the least so this was the best photo I had - no prints... but that she was welcome to make her own.
She has said she is going get her arty daughter to have a go at it. I hope she remembers to show and tell - I'd love to see. It was a fantastic boost to my confidence  I know a lot of you have told me and told me to sell and the lovely Carol has bought a couple of pieces off me... but when you have such amazingly talented friends... and I still don't believe in myself that I'm good enough yet. I know it's a lifelong process and I'll never be as good as I want to be in my head... and I know everyone is a different style and at different places in the process, I know all this and I tell other people off that don't think they are good enough... and I always worry that when lovely friends or family buy off me that it might be because they are friends (don't all shout at me!) so to have a perfect stranger come along and ask me that... well, I doubt she'll ever know what a huge boost she has been. I know I'm an idiot - you don't all have to tell me ;)

This leads me on to my next positive. I decided I do need to get better at my photography and so headed to Amazon to look at tripods - my pictures always come out with a slight blur. Now I have no clue what I'm looking at or whether you have to buy brand specific ones for your camera etc, etc. Complete dunce.  So I stuck a question up on Amazon Discussions just asking to be pointed in the right direction for my brand of camera and needs. What followed was a wealth of information, tips on using the timer, shutter speeds ISO & RAW whatsits, website links, book links and loads of encouragement from the lovely people that frequent the camera forum on there. No-one made me feel like a clueless idiot and I've jotted down loads of what they've said to have a practise. Just lovely - I was hoping for one, maybe two people to link me to a tripod and instead got all that. They've said to come back when I'm ready to upgrade to a better camera too which I'll definitely be seeking their advice on. Not for a while yet but I'm just amazed at the help on there.

Which leads me to positive three - Craig - my number one champion to get my arse in gear and start selling, completing workshops, practising more. Bought me this book the same day of the email...
Now, I haven't read it properly yet but the bits I have, I can thoroughly recommend. It's no nonsense, it's not in techy speak. It shows you bad/good examples. It shows you how to do it without expensive accessories and it has multiple examples using various cameras. I'm so pleased to see that a model of the Panasonic Lumix range is in there as having owned two models of the Lumix range and my camera now is the Lumix FZ38 bridge camera, I know the dials are quite similar so am hoping it will greatly help. But a big thank you to Craig, especially when we are meant to be watching the pennies.

I'm very behind on my reviews - I have a whole stack of read books  looking at me, making me feel guilty but a proper review will come... eventually!
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Next up - meeting my niece's little bubby. My sister, brother-in-law and niece came down to visit from Scotland last weekend. My other sister had a BBQ so we all met up. It was lovely to meet bubby Talon, I didn't get a cuddle as he was a bit poorly and both my sis and niece didn't want either of us to get more poorly what with my own incubating away snugly - which was fair enough. So I'm hoping for a cuddle when they come back in October... and I have strict instructions that our little one has to have made an appearance! It'll be close - they are going home again, I think, on October 13th and I am due on the 17th! DumdumDUM! I also have my school friend visiting in October, not sure on dates yet but I just know she'll want cuddles... so no pressure there then ;) Although - I do have a feeling that this little monster is going to break with tradition and either be on time or early. My girls were all two weeks late but... I don't know. I didn't even bother getting my bag ready that early with Ruby as I knew the drill by then but something is telling me I should be prepared this time... just a niggle in the back of my mind...

Talking of the little monster - I think he might be on the turn. Have had some really big, wave like and strange movements yesterday and I felt odd all day. Conked out for 4 hours on the sofa yesterday (that might partly be due to the return of the summer heat! Go AWAY sun!) I'm wondering though if he was having a wiggle and a turn, it's all settled back down today... will find out tomorrow at my midwife appointment.

Only 13 weeks to go!!
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Glowing school reports have come in for Devvie and Phoebe Monster. The transition to Academy for Pheebs and big school for Ruby seems to have gone well. Ruby decided half way through that, actually, she wasn't that much of a big girl now and should still be allowed in the nursery when she wants to play with the toys *g* But other than that she has really enjoyed her first week at big school.

Pssst - check out Devvie's blog post here - she's showing some of her fabulous art work from school. So proud :)

Summer holidays have officially begun! No more trekking back and forth up that flaming road 4 times a day... at least for 6 and a bit weeks! Hurrah!
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Boot fair yesterday - yeah, should technically be on the next Rocking post but tough. I found a little wooden box. It's got like a shadow box lid and is crammed with paper flowers. I'm going to hoick those out to use on another project, do something in the shadow box bit and give it all a good lick of paint. Was very chuffed as it was only 50p and it's glass fronted and everything.

Ruby found a nearly new Peppa Pig duvet set for £3.50 so she was happy and then we found a baby stall where the clothes were either brand new or barely used - some still with labels on! So bubba now has two new pairs of shoes - 50p a pair, loads of new baby-gro's and vests (all 50p each and quite a few with bats, spiders and monsters on! YEAH!) And a brand new, still tagged fluffy blue winter bodysuit/coat thing for just £3.50. Bargain! Worth trekking through the swampy quagmire that was the field it was held on.
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So, that'll do me for this week :) I'm going to go link up over at Virginia's. Fancy playing along? Then follow me over!

Thanks for stopping by :)

Rocking My World Friday

Friday again already and time to reflect back on the week and pick out the good bits that can so easily be forgotten :)
Click the piccy to join in
My sister and her partner have been fabulous this week. Firstly they took me to Essex to visit where my Mum's ashes are buried. Haven't been in over a year because I nearly had a nasty car accident last time and it's spooked me with driving up there since. So that was very much appreciated. Afterwards we went to Camden to visit the markets which was fun. We kind of lost Sue, my sisters partner, while we were drooling over the handmade journals and sketchbooks - her eyes glazed over and she wandered off *g* We had a gorgeous (and cheap) lunch in a little backstreet cafe and it was just lovely to spend some time with them. Once again, due to differing work schedules we rarely catch up even though we're quite local to each other.

I wont (I will)  mention the gorgeous book I should have bought in one of the second hand book stores. One of those kick yourself almost purchases that you regret not doing. It was a tenner and I did that sucky teeth thing at paying a tenner for a book in a second hand store when am supposed to be watching the pennies. Curses. Can't even remember what it was called now to add it to my wishlist!

Second positive is again to my sis because she has lent me the Season Four True Blood DVD set this week! Woohoo!
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My little Ruby monster finished nursery school forever today. They had a graduation day yesterday where they wore little mortar boards and today they had a goodbye party for those that are moving up to the big school. She's very excited, I just can't believe it's that time already!
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My friend Caroline who popped in for a cuppa yesterday, bringing with her a very sweet Peter Rabbit baby book. One of those where you record little details. I'll have to remember to fill it in, it's so cute! I'll try to keep mentions of vivid zombie dreams to a minimum ;)
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You Tube videos. I clicked on a link somewhere and ended up spending a whole afternoon flitting from one video to the next. Ranging from mojo boosting tips, make your own watercolour travel kits to time lapse painting videos that made me green with jealousy. I often forget that You Tube is a fabulous resource for anything other than music video's so I'll have to do it more often!
I've added my two favourite video's of the afternoon below. If you have some favourite links, please share :)

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The response to my sketchbook post below. I can't put into words what all your comments have meant to me. In fact am sitting here thinking how I can express it enough... so am just going to say thank you. But it's really not enough.
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Before this turns into a mahoosive post I'll finish on a few quickie positives: New knickers (even if they are Harvest Festivals!) almost as good a feeling as new socks ;) Discovering my favourite coconut shampoo has come down to under £1.00 in Superdrug. Bubble & squeak (still!) The Summer of Colour challenge - sad we are coming up to the last week but grateful for the creative nudge it's given. Being complimented on my new haircut even though it's not actually due to be cut for week or so (Thanks Cas!) The Walking Dead and Once Upon A Time - about the only decent things on TV at the moment. Tea. Chilled water. Frozen Jubbly ice thingies... Coke flavour especially. The moses basket my older sister very generously passed on to us. Buying the baby-gro's to pack in my hospital bag. (Thumper the rabbit in pale yellow and white.) 

Aaaand that'll do me for this week. As always I have that niggly feeling that I'm forgetting something that I'm sure I'll remember later.

How was your week? I'm off to link up with Virginia and the other Rockers. Why not follow me over? 

Thanks for stopping by :)

Sisterhood Of The Travelling Sketchbook

A couple more entries to The Sisterhood sketchbooks.

This one is for October and the story behind it is that much as I love Halloween and all that comes with it - the one thing I don't do is take my girls trick or treating. It's a throw back from how I was bought up, echos of my parents saying "no child of mine is going begging round the neighbours!" It's kind of stuck. I have no problem with them going to Halloween parties or even dressing up and dishing out the sweets at our door... what a mean old mum eh?

So this was a scrapbook page that I have been hoarding forever. I used Copics to colour it in and added my own doodles to bring Halloween to life.











This one is for November. It's probably one of the more personal ones I've done and it's taken me a long time to do it, I've been putting it off. I'm actually a little uncomfortable showing these pages, how silly? I don't want people to think this is me all the time - it's rare but when it hits, it's not nice. It details how I have in recent years owned up to bouts of blackness - not to anyone in particular - more to myself, you know? November was a particularly bad month, which I've detailed in the book but wont go into on the blog... Basically, this is kind of how I feel when it hits. In the dark, all alone, even though part of me knows my family is there and I'm so lucky to have them... when I'm happy I just hope that they'll carry on waiting for me in those dark times to help me back into the light and still love me.                                             
Whoopidooings (Carmen Wing) Dealing with Depression Art Journal page
Ahem. So anyway. These pages were done in watercolour crayon, biro and fineliner pen. It all came together pretty quickly when I got bum sat down and mind on it - should tell me something eh?
Whoopidooings (Carmen Wing) Dealing with Depression Art Journal page
Whoopidooings (Carmen Wing) Dealing with Depression Art Journal page
I've fallen quite a way behind with these sketchbooks and the reason behind November is partly why. The other girls in the group have been very understanding even without knowing all the facts, I'm on a roll now though. The mojo seems to be back and I've got a couple more sketchbooks here to finish up in various stages of drying/pondering so hopefully I'll be showing those soon.

Thanks for bearing with on this rather self indulgent post... and as always for stopping by :)

Rocking My World Friday

 Click the piccy to play along :)

Aaaargh! My first positive is definitely to Gail for reminding me it's Friday! Seriously - who the flip has got their finger on the fast forward button of my week? Pack it in!

Now let's see...

We bought a pram this week! Not the one we intended to buy but a good price and everything included - baby seat, rain cover, bag etc. It's a not very exciting black and grey number. We were almost going to buy a bright red one but after fighting with the collapsing and un-collapsing mechanisms in store on both models we decided the unexciting one will take up less boot space in the car. Practical and functional. Godammit! :D Need to get him a nice bright blanket to make up for it methinks.

We worked it out last night - should I give birth on time we are a mere 101 days away from saying hello to bubba! Yikes. Of course, my girls were all two weeks late so we might have to add on to that but the way I'm feeling I'm praying that wont be the case. Why? You really want to see?
I was only going to show you that picture but then I thought... nah, I'm suffering so you can too ;)
This one is the reality. This is me when I get in for the day, loose jammy bottoms on, belly out, trying to cool down. Craig makes me put my feet up because I no longer have ankles. Just a bloated mess where my feet and ankles used to be. Hurts sooo much.
I tell you - I am terrified how big this baby will be! My bump wasn't this big with Ruby at the end! I feel ready to drop right now. Am going to have to play close attention to my back ache nearer the time as I wouldn't be at all surprised if he arrives on time or early. So my positive out of what sounds like a whinge... Craig and my girls making me put my feet up and running around making tea, helping with the dishes etc. Cooper my little shadow at the end of the sofa who can't understand why he cannot lay on my lap now without falling off, has taken to laying by my feet when I'm like this. And bubby, with his constant tickles, letting me know all is well.
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Middle monster Phoebe finished Primary School forever last week! Doesn't seem possible! She's spending three weeks at the Academy to get used to it before she starts properly after the summer. So far, fingers crossed she has been coming home gushing about it. So that's one worry off my mind. We thought she would - she's always loved school anyway but there's always that chance with a big change, going back to being the youngest kid again, losing some of her friends to different schools etc. Am so pleased she looks like she'll settle in well.
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This Dina Wakely video spotted on Maggi's blog last week. Has really struck a chord and she talks a lot of sense. Am going to try and 'warm up' before I try doing anything big in future... of course I consider working in my sketchbook, which is all I seem to be doing at the moment, a warm up anyway but you know what I mean - If I ever get round to doing big stuff again...



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Fabulous snail mail! It's been a good week this week. Firstly I won a prize over at Shell Stitching. The prize was a pendant with a cross-stitched design. I had no clue what design to ask for and so gave Michelle a list of things that my Devvie monster loves and this is what she sent...
A cheeky monkey in a bottle! How perfect? For those that don't know, Devvie is absolutely bananas on monkeys and she loved this when I presented it to her. I was going to hide it away for Christmas but just couldn't wait :) Go check out Michelle's blog, a very clever lady and she has another competition running at the moment to win another bottle pendant.

I bought this ACEO, I'd seen the artist, Little Black Heart, preview it on her Facebook page and fell in love immediately. She said she would launch a few in her shop, so I demanded pregnant woman rights to be at the front of the queue, being the delicate flower that I am. *ahem* She said she liked my 'sassiness' and so reserved me this little zombie! Yay!

I had mentioned last week or so,on my Facebook page, that we had gone to a charity fun day and that the girls had got some glitter tattoos.  Devon, always up for anything sparkly, decided she wanted to get a kit and have a go herself. We were both very surprised to receive a little packet of sparkly tattoo stuffs in the post from Carol to try while she saves up for the big kit. She was delighted I can assure you and is taking it to Hastings with us tomorrow to practise on her Nanna and Ruby. (Nanna doesn't know this yet!) Thank you again Carol.

And lastly to Sue who has loaned me the second book in a series we have been reading. Just in time as I just finished the last novel I was reading, thank you Sue and for the gorgeous tag that came with the book.
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I'll squeeze in a few more things... like, Bubble & Squeak - I could eat it all day long but I don't think it's a craving... my sketchbook for keeping me a tiny bit creative when I'm feeling so tired this week, ice-cold water from the jug in the fridge, yummy braeburn apples and sweet piccolo tomatoes, family and friends both here and those of you in the blogosphere - some of you that I may never meet but you are no less dear to me. You keep me, for the most part, on the right side of sane.

Thanks for stopping by :) I'm off to link up with Virginia, why not follow me over?

Summer of Color - Strawberry Lemonade Zombies, Baby & Laurence Fox

... Oh my!

Yes, what do we get when we cross strawberry and lemonade? (Which happens to be the ice-cream colour prompt over at Kristen's this week.) Why, zombies of course. You knew we would.

I wont lie, I struggled with these colours. Not exactly my comfort zone are they?
I did a couple of pages in my sketchbook journal. The first is detailing some very vivid dreams I've been having for a couple of months now. You know the sort where you're a bit disorientated when you wake up - not quite knowing if you're awake or not? Yeah - those kind.
My printer is literally running on dregs of ink at the moment and I am to skint to buy more. (Other far more important stuff to get first. Like the zombie ACEO in the post below. Priorities people!) Anyway - I knew printing in grey scale would give me some pretty funky results and was not disappointed.

The zombie horde and the dashing Mr Fox are both from Google images. I picked out the eyes and added some colour to the zombies with Gouache and Mr Fox was cartoonised by going over him in fineliner. The background is Gouache too. This is probably one of my quickest pages in this journal... and up there as one of my favourites. 

 


***Interlude***

For the international folk amongst you - this is what the original photo of Laurence Fox looked like. He plays DS Hathaway in a TV police drama called Lewis, set in Oxford, which is a spin off of another show called Inspector Morse. It's a ridiculously English show that shouldn't work in theory but I'm an addict.

***Normal service shall now resume***




The next page was another quickie. Most of the background colour you see here is bleed through from the previous page but I liked the effect. There is some added streaks of Strawberry Lemonade Gouache that was left on my palette (posh word for plastic picnic plate) so that went on as well. My OH kindly blew up and printed the scan picture for  me on his office printer and voila - another page this time about how we are now almost positive that bubba is a boy and how pleased I was to see my Mum's smile.
So there we go, after an initial few days scratching my head - another couple of pages have been added to the sketchbook.

The Summer of Colour only has a couple more prompts to go, I've really enjoyed it and how it makes me use colours I wouldn't normally and even just get creative when I'm tired - I must make sure I carry on when it's finished.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Motivational Zombie

Lookee what I bought!
It's by Little Black Heart and is a hand drawn ACEO in Artists Ink and Watercolours. Does not come with a guarantee to get your posterior a shifting though. I spotted him (or one of his brothers) over on the LBH Facebook page where you can get previews of artwork to be uploaded to the shop.

I love it and thought I'd post him and share with you the link to Little Black Heart's Folksy shop where there be zombie guys and geisha's galore.

Thanks for stopping by :)

p.s If anyone knows where I can get a frame/multi frame for ATC/ACEO's please let me know. Am building up a lovely collection of mini art and would love them on display rather than stuck in a folder. Thankee muchly!

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