Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Back on track

It seems like a long time since I started my weight loss plan back in January. Hows it gone? Slowly.... Ive lost then put on, then lost and then stayed the same for ages. I have lost about 1 stone 3 LBs in total but its slow for 7 months. Still its off and hopefully off for good. I stopped going to see the nurse back in March as they were always cancelling my appointments due to staff shortages. This week I have started going back to see the nurse and I am going for it once again. Not a diet but a plan for life. Ive got rid of all the bad food in my cupboards and just bought healthy which should help. So we will see how I get on. Id like to loose it a bit quicker but as long as its coming off I shall be pleased.

We are currently looking around for cheap holidays. We have been saving like mad and fancy a week away in the school holidays if we can find anything cheap enough. There are loads of bargains if you can wait till a few days before so we will keep looking.

Swine Flu has finally hit the first person in our family. My Mother in law has it. We haven't seen her for over a week so there is no chance we have of catching it from her but its scary how close to home it is now. We are wishing her a speedy recovery and the doctor has told her to stay in for at least 5 days so she doesn't pass it on. I know the majority of people have it mild but I have asthma so Im worried about that. I can't believe how quickly it is spreading around the country though.

Susan x

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Devon in July

Here is my latest bear. Ive called him Devon as I wish I was there at the moment. He is on ebay at the moment until next Sunday. If you would like to see his auction, please click on his picture.
I haven't done much this week at all. It was the first week that the kids are off and apart from them going to the pictures on Monday they have stayed in most of the week. The weather has been awful with rain every other minute. I have had a good sort out yesterday, I filled 2 bin bags with shredded paperwork that I didn't need. We had a vat return to fill in and you have to make sure your last 3 months of books are completly up to date to do that. We are nearly there though.
Susan x

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Ive got the bug

Well Ive just signed up to 2 new classes over at the Jessica Sprague website. She is starting a brand new class on 3rd August but you need to sign up now to get on it. Its called brushabilities and covers the brush tool in photoshop. She promises to show you how to create you own blog header as part of this class and as that was one of the reasons I wanted photoshop in the first place I thought Id get on it. Its my birthday in a few weeks and Ive asked my family for money instead of pressies so it will go towards these 2 classes. I have had this photo shop elements programme for 2 years and bought it to have a go at digital scrapbooking and creating my own banners etc. Problem was I couldn't get my head around it. I even bought a book to show me how to use it and that cost £30 and I couldn't get my head around that either. I can honestly say that the way Jessica Sprague teaches her classes in small video segments is fantastic and you keep going over what you have learnt so it does start to sink in too. I would highly recommend them to anyone who wants to learn how to use their photoshop programmes more.

Susan x

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Last Day on Course

I have added another bear to ebay today. His name is Roman. I have been taking his photo for an hour today as his mohair is tipped and wavy so it was hard to catch the right light. With my new found editing skills though it wasn't too bad. You can visit his auction by clicking on his photo.
Today was also the last day on my 2 week photoshop course. We had to make a 9 frame clipping mask. I didn't have 9 pics on my computer of similar things so I took 9 pics of Ks favorite toys at the moment. 7 of her toys from Peppa Pig and 2 of her disney princesses. I thought Id print this out and put it on her wall. I really need to get out there now and take loads more photos I can edit.....
Susan x

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Story Board and Colouring a photo

Well Im still on my course for photo editing and Im having a ball. I have gone from not being able to resize a photo to actually making art with my photos. I have learnt 2 techniques over the last 2 days which I never dreamed I could do. I learnt how to make a photo black and white and then to have one area coloured. I always wanted to know how people did this as its so cool.
Then I learnt how to make a storyboard. I read alot of photographers blogs and loved the way they created these for their photos. I didn't realize I could buy a frame and make one of these in the size I wanted to go in the frame. That is so cool. These are some pics I took of my friend and her children. I am totally inspired now.

I have one more lesson to complete before the course is over for me and I am so thankful that I stumbled upon this ladies website and was able to get on this awsome course for free. I also can't believe the amount of things there are on the internet for free. Fonts, brushes, frames etc, that world is your oyster. Gosh Im gushing a bit now.....

Susan x

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Last 2 projects

Yesterday saw us creating a burn technique around the edge of your photo so it effectively draws your eyes towards a focal point in your photo. This was an awful photo I had of 2 leopards from chester zoo but I think the editing I have done has now make it much better.
Todays lesson was so hard. We had to create our own mask and add texture and an edge burn and then add text but on top of an overlay. Boy I can't even remember all that myself. To me it turns a photo into a piece of art. Whether Id use this many techniques on one photo or not I don't know but it was a good challenge.
Ive been so bad on the diet front today. I went out with my friends and their daughters and after a morning spent at a playcentre we went to Mcdonalds for lunch. That wasn't the worst thing though. I fancied something sweet after and because we were at a large outlet village called Cheshire Oaks we found a hut selling Krispy Cream doughnuts. I don't even know if I have spelt it right. My friends were raving about it so I decided to by a box of 12 to take home. Well what a mistake. I have had 4 today and I feel totally awful now. ( They were nice though)

Monday, 13 July 2009

100th post

Wow Ive actually stuck to this blog to get to 100 posts. It is a bit adictive though as you keep doing it. I like the fact I can look back to a post I made a year ago, just like a diary. I heard you can have a blog made into a book eventually so youve got a permanent record so I might look into that.

Day 8 on my photoshop course see us adding text and texture. I had learnt how to add text but couldn't move it around or change the colour so Ive got a much better idea now. I have used a pic I took of K and my words leave little to the imagination but with more thought and researching for quotes it would be better. My aim is to eventually create my own banners and adverts.

Susan x

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Meet Marmaduke

Here is a new bear Ive created called Marmaduke. He is a big bear for me at 15 inches tall. He will be listed on ebay at 9pm tonight if you want to see him. Look at the frames around the pictures, I did that.....
Ive been sorting out loads of stuff today. I went through Kaitlins wardrobe and found about 100 outfits that no longer fit. We have decided to sell as much of our clutter as possible and see if we have enough to go away for a few days at the end of the school holidays. So to start with Ive listed loads of mohair on ebay. its pieces Im unlikely to use in the future.
Susan x

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Not so sure of this effect

Its day 6 on my course and Im really getting into it now. Today saw the use of TTV and how to apply it. then we could apply brushes too. Here is my pic of K but I think I should of had a scenery type of photo and not a person as it doesn't do it for me at all. Some of the other people on this course have uploaded fab pics tonight so it must be the type of photo.

I have freckle ending on ebay tomorrow and at this point in time he is still at £16 so he could go for a really low price. If you want to visit him click on his picture on the last post.

Susan x

Friday, 10 July 2009

Now we're Cooking on Gas

Today sees the introduction of textures. What the.... In my dreams I thought. But look what I did. Im so impressed. This is my freckle photo with 3 textures on it. Now here is the same photo with the textures and a frame on it. I had to use a bear pic because these textures would look silly on a happy smiley people photo and I haven't got anything else to hand. Im actually really getting a few things now and Im definatly going to carry on with more courses when this is finished because this lady sure has a way for teaching ( even dummies like me)..

Susan x

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Grungy frames

In day 4 of the photoshop course we learned how to apply a grungy frame. I have always wanted to be able to do this ( and now I can ).... This is most impressive stuff. I applied it to a picture of K and her rabbit.

We are now on countdown to the kids finishing school for the summer. W and J finish a week today but K finishes on Monday. They are off for just over 6 weeks. I would of liked to have gone away for a week in these hols but we shall have to see what comes up.

Susan x

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Day 3

It looks like this photoshop course is going to be great. It is in small chunks which are easy enough to get your head around. Today we had to age a photo and then frame it and put tiny stars on so it was a mix of all the lessons. I like that as you only commit things to memory if you keep redoing them. Here is my pic for today. This is my friend and her daughter. I think it adds something special to the photo, makes it arty. I am just so pleased to be learning something with this programme.

I had an invitation to attend a bear show in Austria today. I am so honoured as it seems like you can only go by invitation. I believe the show is in October so I need to see if I can manage to make it there. I have always wanted to go to Austria as it looks so beautiful.

Susan x

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

A lesson with brushes

Well again Ive learnt something new today. How to use brushes in photoshop. I didn't even know what it meant. Ive now learnt how to add brushes and change their colour and resize them. Wow. Here is the picture I used and the box around the cherish is a brush and then I added text to it. The possibilities are endless now. Im going to search around for some free brushes to use as apparently there are thousands.

Sweet J

Susan x

Monday, 6 July 2009

Photoshop Elements Course

I found a free course on the internet a few weeks ago giving tutorials for photoshop. Its a lady in America who runs courses and she offered a free 2 week course on framing your photos. You can't sign up for it anymore because it has already started. I have learnt so much just from lesson one today that Im thrilled. We had to frame a photo and use word art on it so heres my attempt.

She runs loads of courses in all aspects of photoshop and photography. Take a look at

Susan x

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Bonfires at midnight

Well we had a very eventful evening last night and not in the best way either. I was on my computer last night in the conservatory at about 9pm and I started to smell smoke. I just thought it was a bit strange to smell smoke that late. Well my son had been in the garden and he comes rushing in telling me there was a fire in next doors garden. We flew outside and tried to look. I have a 10 foot conifer hedge between next door and us so you can't see a lot but we could smell it. Now they have a tiny garden and then a path which runs along the hedge which is about 6 foot wide, we have the same our side. Now guess where they had the bonfire. Right the other side of the hedge at the side of the hedge. Well there were sparks flying over the hedge and up my house as they had built it up so high. I just couldn't believe it. They have only moved in last September and because of how our houses lie and this big hedge, I have never met them. But to have a bonfire at night within 10 feet of someone elses house is out of order in my books. I wouldn't of minded as much if they had the decency to come round first to tell us to shut our windows and to warn us but no. I was so worried it ruined my night. My little girl was asleep in the room just above where they had it so her room filled with smoke. It was awful. Then to make it worse time was ticking on and each time we saw it die down they built it right back up again. I was trying to force Hubby to go round but he was telling me to calm down all the time. In the end it got to 12.30 am and hubby shouted through the hedge asking them what time they were going to put it out as it was 12.30. Then 15 minutes later we heard them put a hose to it but the smoke then was just awful.
Now am I being hyposensitive or do you think this is what we should put up from our neighbours. I like to think of myself as a considerate neighbour who likes to keep to herself but be friendly so Im very upset someone has no thought for me or my family.

We have had a pretty nice afternoon today though. The kids wanted to go to the pictures today so we dropped them off and then hubby, K and I went round the shops and out for lunch.

I have put Freckle on ebay tonight for a starting bid of 99p.

Click on his picture to go to his auction.

Susan x

Friday, 3 July 2009


Well after my last post my sis ended up in hospital with little J. She went in because he had screamed solidly for 8 hours give or take a few minutes for bottles. The hospital were excellent in that they saw her straight away and then kept them in to observe him. She was there all night and then all the next day. He was fully examined from head to toe and observed when he was screaming. They don't think its anything serious and have given sis a list of things she needs to do and they are at the end of a phone. She has come out today not knowing what exactly it is but more confident in the fact that someone is finally taking notice of her. So fingers crossed.

I was gutted today when Andy Murray lost his match. In the UK we don't have many people to pin your hopes on so its especially bad when they loose. I do think Andy is a superb player though and he will get there soon.

The heat has finally subsided a bit today after a really really heavy downpour and storms this morning. I understand the words tropical weather more now. We have had thunderstorms here almost every day for the past week.

Im not working this weekend and my Mum is having the kids for tea tomorrow so Im hoping hubby and I can go out and treat ourselves to tea tomorrow afternoon. We don't get to spend much time together as we pass like ships in the night. He works nights and I work days so we usually only spend an hour a day together and then with 3 kids you don't have much conversation that isn't listened into by little ears. Mind if we saw each other lots then we wouldn't have anything to talk about would we.

I have been working on a little bear this week. Im hoping to have him finished for Sunday, fingers crossed again.

Susan x

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Heat Wave .....

Oh my its so hot around here at the moment. I have been hoping for nice weather for so long and now its gone over the top. The humidity is awful and then we are having way too many storms and showers too. I shouldn't be moaning as I hate the winter with the cold and gloomy weather we have in the UK so I will shut up now.

My little baby nephew isn't very well at the moment. He is constantly screaming, I mean up to 10 to 12 hours a day. My sister is going out of her mind with it. She has had the health visitor, midwifes. 3 doctors and then a trip to A & E and all with no joy. They thought it was colic at first and then they thought it was silent reflux. Sis has changed his food 3 times and had him on gaviscone infant, infacol and other stuff too, none of which have helped much. She changed his bottles, then the teats and keeps him upright more which hasn't helped much either. She got in at the doctors again today and saw a lady doctor who fully checked him over and she wants him to have a days monitoring by a pediatritian. So fingers crossed she will get an appointment soon so that the baby can get treated.

Here he is a few weeks ago when he was asleep. We gently put him on his tummy for the picture.

And wasn't Andy Murray fantastic tonight. Mondays match was brilliant and had us on the edge of our seats but tonight he had a confident air about him. I can't wait till Friday for the next match.

Susan x