Thursday, September 17, 2009

One year on

flags at the bestival

It's just over one year since I realised I was going to be facing the future without someone I thought would be with me forever. The exact day passed me by because I was having too much fun - which is as it should be. But a couple of things have happened at work that made me think, 'oh, when we did this last year I was...'

Time is the only thing that makes it better. It isn't a linear process, I didn't start from heartbroken and work through to feeling better. There were days at the beginning when I felt ridiculously positive, excited for the future. There are some days even now when I remember something and my heart races and my stomach sinks. In between there have been times of pure happiness and times when it felt like I would never even smile again.

That which does not kill us, makes us stronger. That thought kept me going and still does. The things we experience make us the people we are, and I am a different person now from the girl I was then. I have put my heart back together but it is different now.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Back to front

I never normally go back to pages and re-do them. Life's too short. Once they're done, they're done and it'll have to do. Even pages for publication. This, though, has been an exception. I re-did the cover three times and then got cross and pulled it apart. It's not so different from the original, but just in a few little ways, and I think it works so much better.

front cover

This is also something of a tribute to the cuttlebug. It was my Christmas present last year from Mum & Co, but it's taken me a while to get in the habit of using it. I'm so glad I have (and a little bit cross with myself for taking this long). And now I can get titles in whatever colour I want!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Day two

LSNED, 2 Sept
I'd make September a self-portrait month, except I'd run out of locations around the house within about three days. And there are other things in my life worth taking photos of. Not today, though!

Getting started

LSNED, 1 Sept
It's taken a couple of false starts but I am getting in the groove again now. For me this class is really about the habit of taking a photo every day, and celebrating something in my 'ordinary' life. If my lessons don't always coincide with those on the worksheet - well, it's not the end of the world now, is it?

Sept 1st we were blessed with some gorgeous sunshine - I ran back into the house to get my camera for this one.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

<3 saturdays, sunshine and sketching

getting out of the house

I have spent all summer promising myself that I will get out and do some art outdoors. Today was the day I finally managed it. It cleared my head and made my soul feel good. I don't like it when it's too hot, but as we approach autumn the weather is perfect and I love it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Use sparingly


Yes, as you can see from my last photo, I have many jars of Primas. I do use them, honest - but at the rate of about two per layout (as on this page), I think these bottles are going to last me a long time!

The last couple of weeks have been quite hard as I am battling with some extreme tiredness. I have always loved naps, but lately it has become ridiculous. Last week I tried to give blood (I have a special blood group and they need it) but I was too anaemic. So, I am trying to eat more green things to boost my iron levels, and I've been for some more blood tests. The results will be due in a couple of weeks and I'm trying not to think about it until then.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to the long weekend and then a busy month ahead. I am very excited to be doing
this class again. It'll be the third year I've done it and the other two albums are some of my favourite work. September 08 was a very painful month, but I am looking forward to reclaiming it this year!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Old + new = crafting goodness

scrapbooking my gran

I have been using my lack of scrapping lately to justify buying lots of new things. After all, I need new things to feel inspired, don't I? But this page uses one of the first pieces of 12x12 I ever bought (the dark green) alongside one of the newest pieces. And a lot of other stuff thrown on as well. The self-adhesive paper lace is still a favourite, and the only scrapbook product I have ever bought more than once.

Life has really slowed down this weekend as I have done my best to relax and prepare myself for a busy week ahead. My holiday wasn't nearly long enough.

Thursday, August 20, 2009



After eight months, six assignments and one presentation, my management course at work is over. We've all passed and everyone is moving on. It's been great fun, but I'm pleased to have reached the end and be ready to start something new.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Good times, good times

The last few days have been so much fun. On Thursday, Mindy abandoned her duties at the shop and came with me on a 120-mile round trip to tour craft shops of the south. We got an early ferry, and managed to visit Farnborough, Alton and Winchester. In between the craft shops (which were all great) we managed one pub lunch and tea + cupcakes. There were some definite bargains, and some things that were best left untouched (who stores their paper in a damp basement?)

Friday I had all good intentions of writing the presentation for my final assignment, tidying, washing and generally making the house super-presentable for my weekend guest. It didn't quite work out as I planned but at least Lucy had somewhere to sleep.

And then this weekend has been a blur of food, laughter, music and more photos than I can count...we had a fabulous time at the Garlic Festival, a great meal with good music, visited the prettiest village, shopped till we dropped, and enjoyed a lovely cream tea and some fantastic views.

I think I've done myself justice this holiday. I have done the things that needed doing, and relaxed in between. Looking back a few posts, I wanted to:
  • Finish my assignment for my management course - well, it's nearly there. I've drafted it but it still needs working on.
  • Sign up for my next OU course - I've phoned and reserved my place....waiting for the forms now.
  • Scrapbook - yes, there's been some action on that nice clean and tidy craft table. Photos to share later in the week (when I am stuck in the office and can't go out to take pretty pictures).
  • Create some pieces for the house - hasn't worked out how I thought it would, but it's still happening. I have lots of photo frames and some great photos - so my challenge is to combine the two to create a great wall display without actually spending any money.
  • Spend time with Mindy - the last couple of weeks have been all about the people I've spent them with, and Mindy has been adorable, as always. She's also great help with my next knitting project!

Next week will bring its own challenges, as I go back to work (dreading it) and do my final presentation on Wednesday (I scored myself 9 out of 10 for confidence. Can I live up to it?). On the plus side, choir gets back together tomorrow. On balance? Good times ;-)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cleaning up and clearing out

This wasn't on my to-do list, but I figured it was as good a time as any to have a clear out. I love the space I have for working in, and this photo is just a little corner of it. Right now my desk is clear, clean and tidy and it's such an inspiring place to work. Having everything right where I need it, in full sight but tidy - perfect.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Sunday success

This morning I got up early and wrote a list of all the things I want to get done in my week off. Not just the things in my previous post (although they are still true) but other things around the house and in my craft room.
First on the list was to finish the cardigan I started knitting a few months ago. Knitting is a relatively new hobby for me; although I first learnt to knit as a very young child, this is the first time I have ever really done it seriously. Mindy has been my inspiration and her choice of yarns and patterns means I have plenty to choose from. I started knitting really because I needed a different hobby to keep me occupied, and this is the first item of clothing I've ever made:

"Pleased" doesn't really do justice to how I feel. I'm absolutely thrilled!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Good intentions

So, Daniel has gone home and I have the house to myself again. It feels very quiet without him. Morpheus has come back inside though, I think he had his nose seriously put out of joint this week.

I still have a week before I go back to work and have all good intentions of making the most of it. I have been feeling quite creative lately and there's a lot I want to do:
  • Do my final assignment for my management course. It's a powerpoint presentation, so hopefully I can be creative with this too. The course itself has been interesting, but I'm glad it's coming to an end. Mainly, so I can...
  • Sign up for my next OU course. I had a break from OU study this academic year, for a lot of reasons. I really enjoyed the course I took in 07/08 but felt like it was too much pressure alongside work, and it put a lot of pressure on my relationship. So much has changed since then that I've been able to reassess things. This year for the first time ever I have set myself some goals - some short term, some longer term, and one of those is to continue and complete my degree. It is my most important aim right now.
  • Alongside academia, I have re-discovered my creativity and as well as scrapbooking again I have started to look at painting and other crafts. I feel so inspired by the magazines and websites that I see, and really want to use that feeling to create my own work...
  • ...Because I also want that inspiration to help me create some pieces for the house. Specifically big, beautiful canvasses. The home I am living in right now feels very 'me' in many ways, but I also want it to reflect my creativity. At the moment, most of what I create is in books, journals and albums (or, indeed, online). My aim is to make sure that as soon as you walk through the front door, you can recognise my style.
  • I'm hoping that I'll get some ideas for artwork on a few outings next week, including some time with Mindy. It's easy to get absorbed in my own work and challenges, but sometimes a step away from the studio can bring huge rewards. And it's always fun spending time with my sister :)

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Days 5 + 6

Wednesday is Pirate Day at Blackgang Chine, so that's where we went. Daniel took it very seriously and insisted on taking the map (early male-pattern dominance emerging already). We visited every single attraction, went on every single ride, and I was totally and utterly exhausted by the end of the day. It's completely worth it because you get a different perspective visiting places like this with a child. To him it's exciting and magical and everything is fun, and that rubs off.
There were even real pirates. In actual costume. With long hair and beards and everything ;)
We stayed right until the end and watched the firework display (my firework photos have improved so much lately). It was a very long day, and a very late night for Daniel, but he really enjoyed it. And so did I.
On the way back, he said "Kate, what were you born to do?" And I'm thinking, what kind of question is that for a five year old? What was I born to do? Has he somehow stumbled on my deepest inner fears, that maybe there is no purpose to my life except to be happy? And while I'm trying to put all this into some kind of answer that will make sense without being too deep, he says "I was born to be a fireman."
This morning he was up late, and I would have been quite happy staying in all day. But no, Daniel has a schedule and he's sticking to it. Today was crazy golf. His technique left a little to be desired, being more like hockey than actual golf, and he dragged the ball across to the hole. Even so, he did actually manage to get a legitimate hole-in-one which made him a bit of a mini-celebrity with the other people playing (I heard the boy behind us announce to another group of people, "That boy got a hole-in-one" in an awed tone).

And we ended the day in the dinosaur museum. I've been here before, many years ago, and was all prepared for it to last about 30 minutes before he got bored. I was pleasantly surprised at how long it actually lasted. He loved all of the exhibits and seemed to have a great time.
Daniel goes home tomorrow and I am going to miss him. He's a great kid, and really quite easy to look after because he speaks up for himself. I don't have to guess if he's hungry or thirsty, he tells me. He's really good at going to bed. He gets really involved in all the activities we do, and hasn't complained or got miserable about anything. I've loved seeing things through a child's eyes, instead of as a (jaded) adult, and I've enjoyed seeing parts of the Island that I don't normally visit. I can definitely recommend borrowing someone else's child for a fresh look at life.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Day 3 + 4

Yesterday was exhausting, in a we've-done-so-much-I-can't-move kinda way. We went to see Vikki and her son Harrison, walked down to the park and fed the ducks. Daniel insisted on wearing a long-sleeved top and jeans, so when we got to the beach he was a bit over-dressed. We rolled their trousers up and told them to paddle...I think they look like two little old men in this photo. All they need is a knotted hanky on their heads and they'd be sorted. The jumping over waves didn't last long, and eventually they both came back soaked and covered in sand. I don't remember being this messy as a child, but I think boys are different :)

And today has been a completely different pace...a slow morning, indoors in the rain. We met Daniel's cousin for lunch, and then went to the cinema to see G-Force 3D. The cinema staff decided to search my bag and take my camera (because obviously, snapshots of a 3D film would work so well) but fortunately didn't see my stash of illicit sweets. Hah. Which reminds me, I feel a letter to Cineworld coming on. I understand their policy, but asking me to hand over my camera without giving me any kind of receipt?
Daniel has been working on this kit for a fire truck...I thought that as he's a bright kid, something labelled '6+' would be fine. I'm not sure where the age rating comes from, but I definitely felt stupid trying to put it together! But he's thrilled to bits with it, and we'll finish it tomorrow.
We had his "best moment" today when Morph came in for food and Daniel managed to actually see him. He's been dying to meet my cat all week, but unfortunately Morpheus is absolutely terrified of him. Today we managed to coax him in for dinner, but he ran off after a few mouthfuls. I'd love to let Daniel stroke him, but I don't think it's going to happen somehow...I still have the scars from last time Morph met a small human.
Lessons learned: Always take spare clothes, and if you let a kid decide what to wear, it will be wrong. Sand washes off, but I will be finding it in the carpet for months. Tidying up is more trouble than it's worth. Don't pop into work on your day off unless you can bear to be reminded of what you've left behind!

Monday, August 03, 2009

Day 2

It feels like I am saying this so often lately, but: I can't believe I haven't been here before. Well, not here exactly, because I have been to Appley, but Appley Tower. A lovely, quirky little building with great views of the beach. Perfect photo op :)

Day two of my adventures with Daniel has seen us at the beach, on the pedaloes on the canoe lake, walking miles across the seafront and spending hours in the playground. It's been huge fun and I love the different perspective that you get from going to places with a kid. Also he is very funny. New respect, though, for actual parents who do this on a regular basis. How on earth do you cope? And are they ever quiet??

Lessons from today: picnics do not need to be as big as you think, small boys are not the best pilots for pedaloes, and it is perfectly acceptable to say "I don't know, ask your mum when you get home".

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Adventures with Daniel: day one

So when I said I had two weeks off in the summer and didn't know what I was going to do, Anna said I could borrow her youngest for a week. I think I surprised her when I said yes!
So far I have learned: Tescos is easier without a small boy in tow (but it can be done), the power of 'no', introducing small boys to nervous cats is hard (I haven't seen Morpheus all night), and all my balloon models look the same.

Monday, July 27, 2009

This is living

Somehow, it's gone midnight and the weekend is over already. The last few days have been somewhat harder than normal, balancing work stuff + family stuff + trying to have a life. I will admit to having the odd pity-party, and I think that's allowed :) No-one said dealing with all of this was easy, right?

But I am still keeping a balance, and just because some things are tough doesn't mean that I ignore everything else. This weekend was the Last Night of the Proms at Osborne House. Good friends, a lovely picnic, and some fabulous music in a wonderful setting. The best way to enjoy life is to live it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


lunch with gran
Originally uploaded by kate bucci

This Thursday I am especially thankful for lunches with Gran. I've been going to lunch with Gran (and previously with Jonpa, of course) for...what, the last three years? Something like that. It's not always on a Thursday, and some weeks it doesn't happen at all. But it's always good to take time out of the office and spend some quality time with family. This photo is from a couple of weeks ago, but this week Gran has been pretty ill and it's really made me appreciate what I/we have. Nothing at work is so important that I can't take time out to share with special people.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Doing it with bells on

So, yesterday we were at Folkstation in Havenstreet. I haven't been there for years - when you live in a tourist destination you somehow forget to do the touristy things. It felt a bit like going back in time, with the old English custom of Morris dancing carrying on in the corner, and the equally old custom of drinking beer in the sunshine going on in the field. Some great music - absolutely loved Smoke and Mirrors, and will definitely be hunting out some more local (folk-ish) gigs!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

One week later...

The internet and my PC have been conspiring against me successfully updating my's hoping it works this time!


I love cats. And I love photography. So pretty much the perfect way to spend an afternoon is at a private leopard sanctuary taking 900+ photos of these beauties - and that's where I was last weekend. I've narrowed it down to the 48 best which you can see on my Flickr page

At first I was slightly uncomfortable taking photos of cats in cages - even cages which are specially designed for photography with little cut-outs to put your camera through. These are wild animals and I really felt they should be out there in their natural environment. As the day progressed, though, we could see that the animals were obviously well looked after and their keeper really adored them. These are animals which just wouldn't exist in the wild, and the sanctuary is doing a brilliant job looking after them.

We were just a small group of ten, and after going round the cages as a group we were allowed to wander off and take photos as we chose. It was amazing just to sit there and watch a huge panther lie in the sun, with only the wire netting separating us.

A big, big thank you to Anna for bring a fabulous friend and organising a fabulous weekend.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Far too tired to blog right now

This weekend was amazing...loads to share and lots of great photos. Updates to follow!

Friday, July 03, 2009


It's Thursday, so it's time to celebrate all the good stuff again.

choir concert

I've been back blogging for a week. Y This photo says it all. The concert was amazing and words can't do it justice. It was an amazing experience and I'm so grateful for the people I shared it with. Y Long weekends off work....

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

New look

new hair + dress

New hair, and new favourite dress. Love the blue. Love the shape. Can't believe I love wearing dresses!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fairy cakes. Not cupcakes

I call them fairy cakes

Either way, they are delicious.

Baking has definitely been a big 'thing' lately. There is no problem in the world that cannot be solved by some cake.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Things I love Thursday

14 June 09 130ed

YThe concept of T.I.L.T - so much to be thankful for! Y Bumping into great people that I haven't seen for years. Y Going to concerts that were totally better than I expected - last night I went to see this man play a free outdoor gig and it was phenomenal. Y Friends who plan amazing weekend is going to be brilliant! Y Wimbledon. Y Sixty voices singing ABBA in four-part harmony - truly we are amazing. Y Having a plan for the summer that starts with being in a concert next week, and ends with the Bestival. Y Having plants that actually grow - even if they aren't in my garden. Y Driving along with the windows down, the sun shining and the music playing. I love summer!

(with thanks to gala)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Starting all over again

Welcome back folks.

I've thought about starting a new blog many times, but I kind of like this one. I do hate leaving things unfinished, and it feels good to be back in my little corner of the world wide web.

So, where to begin? I've got six months of catching up to do and a stack of new photos to share. My craft desk is as messy as ever, and there is plenty of creativity to share. Shall we take it nice and slowly to begin?

poppies in ventnor