Saturday 28 April 2007

Sunny Saturday

Really what more could one ask for? We got up early and headed straight for the Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. Well in all fairness Joe dragged me out of bed early to keep to the plan! And boy was it worth it!

We were greeted by a riot of colour. The tulips are in full bloom and the most amazing display greets you as you enter the gates.

There are really cool 'spiky' ones, which were just begging to be caught on film.

There were also the most incredible 'fire tulips' - at least that is what I am calling them, being lacking in horticultural knowledge and not having noted the real name. Anyway I think my name suits!

My imagination fell in love with the "Faerie Wood". It is so pretty surely there must be little Faerie's living here?

As always there were lots of squirrels dashing about (personally I think they frighten the faeries into hiding), and although they are hard to catch on camera I was really pleased with a few shots I got....

We finished up our walk by the river and rose garden area, where I got these shots.

I just loved the play of light on the soft colours of these flowers. They seem to capture a real dreamy feel which I love.

Friday 27 April 2007

Time Flies

I can't believe it is a week already since Crafteire, I honestly don't know where this week has gone. It has been a week of work, cleaning, solicitors, banks and insurance companies. While what I really wanted to do was spend all week crafting to finish all the lovely projects I started at Crafteire.

The sun was shining again today, and as I drove home from work I decided I had to get out and take some photos this evening while the weather is so fine. So I called Eddie to see if he would come out to play......

We went to Maynooth to drop keys off for Valentina, and I suggested we try Carton Walk which I have been meaning to do for years! It's a lovely straight path running from the Main Street in Maynooth to Carton House. Unfortunately the light was starting to go by the time we got there, but I got a few photos I am happy with.

Having seen the wonderful shots Kirsty Wiseman took last weekend I'm determined to improve my skills at photographing people. One important thing I learned is that not only the technical photography stuff is important, but knowing how to direct people to pose is a very valuable skill to develop, so I want to work on that.

I like the photo of Eddie, it's captured good depth of field, and I even managed to get him to pose a bit - instead of hands hanging at his sides I got him to hold the camera and I think it does help the composition. Mind, I don't think Kirsty need worry about the competition any time soon ;-)

The photo of the walk captured the softness of the trees quite well, and I was particularly happy with the tiny yellow flower I captured, which stands out so well against the background. While lying on the ground shooting the flower I spotted the leaf and twig, I just loved the patterns on the leaf and had to snap it too.

I'm so glad I went out 'shooting' tonight. I felt so relaxed as we sauntered back to the car, and for the first time this week I didn't care about rushing about and all the things I have to get done, for a few minutes I just enjoyed now.

Monday 23 April 2007

Crafteire - Beckie's Class

Just finished the first of my classes from Crafteire - this lovely LO which we did in Beckies class, and the 'scrappy writing' I learned in Eva's class.

I also wanted to share this heart shaped mini-book I made as a sample for Linda to display over the weekend. I really enjoyed making this, and bought quite a few mini-books over the weekend for other projects I have in mind.

Sunday 22 April 2007

Tired, But Very Very Happy

Actually home from Crafteire! I can't believe it's over, but what a super weekend. Don't even know where to start. It was so lovely to see everyone, and the classes were great. I was delighted to meet Jane Dean and attend her 2 classes which were brilliant!

Carrie's beaded accent class was terrific, and Eva's Piggy Tales class was wonderful, and made a lovely LO in Beckie's Masculine Metal. Have to finish most of them off but can't wait to show them ;-)

Had my photo taken by Kirsty Wiseman which I can't wait to see. Her photo's are pretty cool. She also took a photo for the ScrapWest group which I thought was really fun.

And of course I got some new stash ;-)

I picked up tons of new papers, which I can't wait to experiment with, got a bunch of mini-books to play with a couple of chipboard alphas as a real treat, some delicious flowers and loads of other bits and pieces. The class kits were great too, so have tons left over to play with.

Saturday 14 April 2007

Return to the Mundane

Sorry it's been so long, but everything seemed so mundane after my last post I didn't want to bore you. I'm over that now ;-)

This week has seen me achieve a Masters Degree in Kitchen Appliances and a PHD in Sofas and Soft Furnishings. As you can imagine I'm exhausted now. I really had no idea how stressful and tiring all this would be. Don't get me wrong, it's the good kind of stress as opposed to the bad kind, but I'm absolutely shattered. House buying should be an Olympic sport.

Had a wonderful break from it last night, my friend Lainey invited me to a scrap-over (that's a crafters sleepover) . It was a lovely evening, with wine and wonderful company and amazingly I even got my LO for next weeks ScrapWest finished. I really needed the break so thanks ladies!

Saturday 7 April 2007

Absolutely Awesome

On Thursday after a leisurely lunch in the Orchard we made our way to Leitrim for our Reiki retreat weekend. With the sun shining it was like the start of school holidays, and impossible not to feel cheerful. The view that greeted us on reaching our destination was this beautiful vista of a valley with two lakes, and daffodils stirring in the gentle breeze.

While this was beautiful, the vision I woke to on Friday morning was so beautiful I tried to capture some of it on film, but I also had to write about it there and then to capture the impact it made on me.......

"Some places and times overwhelm you and force you to stop and acknowledge your own insignificance in the world. Here at 8am on Good Friday is one of those times.

The Lake below, shrouded in mist and a majestic swan sails gracefully through the enveloping mists, the water parting dramatically in his wake.
The vision moved me close to tears.

It seemed the swans' approach through the mists was a ritual acknowledgment of the morning and the beauty of this place before he returned to the mists to prepare for another day.

Such a moment in a place like this has a timeless quality. There is no 21st Century, no machines, birdsong is the predominant noise across the valley. It could almost be the land of Tír Na nÓg, or was that Aodh, Lírs' son sailing through the mists.

Regardless, just for this moment in this place I feel glad to be alive."

As an even greater honour I was initiated as a Reiki Master this weekend. The short ceremony was performed overlooking these beautiful lakes. It is almost difficult to come back to the reality of computers, internet and housework, but I will treasure the special memories of this weekend for some time to come.

Wednesday 4 April 2007

Take Time Out

Its been a busy week - I feel like I have completed a 4 year degree in mortgages and soft furnishings, in just under 7 days. But the weather has been beautiful, although cold, the sun was shining everyday and the long evenings make such a wonderful difference to the day.

The last few evenings have seen stunning sunsets, so I was determined to get out with my camera this evening. I dragged Eddie and Joe along on a "Drive By Shooting". Joe, as our driver, sped around the Kildare countryside, while Eddie and I hopped out of the car at strategic points to try and capture some woodland/sunset photos.

It was a bit rushed, but I'm really glad I got some ok pictures, and I have so loved the obvious turn of season this week, that I really wanted to capture it.

Tomorrow I'm heading off to Leitrim with my Reiki group for a mini retreat. Looking forward to taking time out and maybe even getting some photos of rural Leitrim.

On top of all the homeowner malarchy and nature appreciation I even managed to do some crafting. I finished my Scrapwest LO for the week - check out the blog every Friday night! And I finished my Design Team Layout for Craft Factory. Meg from Craft Factory gave me a fabulous kit this month - the lovely new papers, chipboard, and alpha-stickers from Scenic Route. I also did this Layout of a photo my Mum sent me recently of her and her hubby which I think is great fun ;-)

Sunday 1 April 2007

The Micawber Principle

My Gran often jokingly refers to the "Micawber Principle" and wonders how both her and I always manage to be on the wrong side of it. For those who aren't familiar with this principle it is based upon an observation by Micawber (the Dickensian character) which cites,
"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
Never has this principle made more sense to me than it has over the last few days. Of course any of you who have bought a house understand immediately what I mean, but oh the shock ;-)

Oh course not only does everything cost far more money than you ever realized during the innocent days when you wandered round furniture shops critically eying the cheapie furniture - oh that I could afford that cheapie furniture now! But what I truly didn't realise is how much of this investigation requires some kind of PHD level of knowledge which I currently don't possess. Maybe there is a secret handshake in the world of retail parks that I missed out on. But what I wouldn't give to know the actual price of the items I want to purchase. That is the actual cost, to me, to end up with that fridge, sofa or flooring in my home - not the pretend cost advertised in the shop before the delivery, fitting and extra widgets are counted in!

Oh this is fun ;-)