...I have taken up running with my boys. The only problem is, none of us likes running when there are people around to watch (and laugh!) which means we have to get up extra early to go run around the football field!

So far, this is the fourth week and I am now up to 8 laps around the field. It is not a full sized football pitch, more like the size you get at school, but even so, I feel suitably noble managing (crawling?) around the field eight times. Of course, there are not many people around at 5:30 am when we go, fortunately. Otherwise they would have the joy of seeing me do a bouncy walk around the field dressed in jogging bottoms and top, both of which I wore when my daughter and I painted my office on February. This means, of course that the black trousers and navy top are covered in platters of lilac paint - very fetching!

One of my boys is aiming to go to University in September. He is the one who started the running thing off, as he is hoping to get a place in a catered hall of residence. So what does that have to do with running? Well, his theory is, he will put weight on if he is having three meals a day five days in the week (the hall only provides two meals a day on Saturday and Sunday, poor boy!) then he is bound to put weight on. So, he aims to lose some excess weight now then he can afford to put it back on each term and then come home in the holidays and run it all off again. Of course, the logical thing would be to just eat sensibly and take exercise anyway, but then he is male, and logic plays no part in his life!

One of the local colleges has been running a free Photoshop course and of course, since it is free, I have taken advantage of this and have been going regularly. However, it was a bot of a blow on the first day to arrive there and find we weren't using Photoshop CS3, but Photoshop Elements 2.0! Nothing like using the latest software, eh? Since my project on this course is to complete my part of the ADSDesigners July kit, I have been making papers for this on the course. This has been a huge learning curve for m,e, because whilst the course is very basic, and it took about 4 weeks before I even learnt anything new, PSE 2.0 is different from PS CS3, and most of my brushes and other stuff just won't work on PSE 2.0! so, when creating papers, I have had to basically design everything from scratch! And yes, I know the aim is to do that anyway if you are a designer, but I am only a beginner, and still have so much to learn.

Actually, most of us on the course (there are only about 8 of us) are around the same age and there are three of us women there who have freely admitted that whilst we came on the course to learn more about Photoshop, it is really good to be able to go home and tell our husbands we have "been on a course." Obviously, the course is educational, and therefore good for us because we are learning, but in reality, we each go to play! We spend the evening messing around in PSE, playing with brushes, retouching photographs, designing, using filters and so on, and having fun, and then go home and pretend it was all hard work! Then, of course, we can carry on at home because we are "working on our project"!!! And tomorrow, we get a certificate to prove we have attended the course! Actual documentation to prove we haven't just been wasting our time, lol! How good is that?!!!

OK, I'd have to go do breakfasts for the children and do the school run now. Hope you all have a lovely day. I am hoping to get chance to upload some photos from an airshow we went to recently as well as make some crumpled papers I've just seen a great tutorial for this and want to have a go but need to do a VAT return first - oh what an exciting life I lead!

....I'm not actually working today! That makes a very pleasant change so I am now catching up on various blogs, updating all my posts and, surprise, surprise, actually finding some time to spend messing around in photoshop!

I'm actually sitting here in my office, sipping my jasmine tea and just messing on the computer whilst son #2 sticks all my invoices and till receipts into a folder for me! He is currently moaning like crazy about how boring a job it is, how he hates doing it even more than he hates entering details onto the computer but that is the price you have to pay if you want to get a student loan and your mother needs her accounts doing!

It is currently tipping it down outside, typical British summer weather to be honest, although it has been really nice the past few days. The forecast for tomorrow is a bit iffy but am hoping that it will at least be dry. We have plans to walk (crawl?) up the Wrekin but only if it is not raining.

For those who may not know, the Wrekin is a hill not that far from here and it is 1,335 feet above the Shropshire Plains. You can get some glorious views of Shropshire from the top provided, of course, that the weather is fine. The above is a photo of the Wrekin taken from the grounds of Attingham Park, a stately home on the outskirts of Shrewsbury.

There are many local legends about the Wrekin, and here is one courtesy of Wikipedia:

A giant called Gwendol Wrekin ap Shenkin ap Mynyddmawr with a grudge against the town of Shrewsbury decided to flood the town and kill all its inhabitants. So he collected a giant-sized spadeful of earth and set off towards the town. When in the vicinity of Wellington he met a cobbler returning from Shrewsbury market with a large sackful of shoes for repair. The giant asked him for directions, adding that he was going to dump his spadeful of earth in the River Severn and flood the town. "It's a very long way to Shrewsbury," replied the quick-thinking shoemaker. "Look at all these shoes I've worn out walking back from there!" The giant immediately decided to abandon his enterprise and dumped the earth on the ground beside him, where it became the Wrekin. The giant also scraped the mud off his boots, which became the smaller hill Ercall Hill nearby. Ironically Shrewsbury is subjected to flooding from the River Severn on frequent occasions naturally.
Folklore from the wilds of Shropshire!

Anyhow, since the weather is too wet to do anything outside today, I decided to have a play with the Soft Denim swatch and came up with these gingham papers:

Feel free to download them - just click on the preview to take you to the download link!

I'm off to do some more photoshopping! Hope you all have a lovely weekend, no matter what the weather is like where you are ;).

I'm having a slightly less stressful week, this week and am catching up on various jobs, as well as trying to clear some of the paperwork in my office. I don't know about you, but I absolutely hate filing, it is the one thing I leave for ages and ages until I have mountains to do. I keep trying to persuade my children to help out, but they know me too well! If I'm trying to get them to do a job in my office, it will usually (in their opinion) be boring, and the pay is nowhere near enough! It's beginning to look like I might have to do this mountain of filing all by myself, sigh!

However, on a brighter note, I have used my part in this month's ADSD blog train to make a desktop for June and here it is:

I used the pupcats font and a ribbon template from Royanna Fritschmann plus the flowers, frame and papers from my kit.

If you would like to download it, then here it is:

Desktop 1280 x 1024

Desktop 1024 x 768

Desktop 800 x 600

I'm off to do some accounts for a card shop now (I lead such an exciting life!). Hope you have a lovely day!

Well, after a hectic weekend when I had to work until 2 am on Sunday morning and then until just gone midnight on Sunday, then having to dash out to a client to sort out tax returns and accounts I have finally had chance to upload my part in this month's ADSD blog train. I am sorry this is late, but real life hits big time on occasion. The preview of my part of the kit is shown below.

and comprises:

  • 5 papers;
  • 6 flowers;
  • 1 Butterfly;
  • 2 ladybirds;
  • 1 overlay
  • 2 ribbons;
  • 1 journalling paper; and
  • 1 frame
Just click on the preview to take you to the download link.

Please take time to go visit all the stops on the blog train - there are some fantastic designs out there and they will be available for all of June.


Have fun! I'm off to create a desktop using my part of the kit and am hoping to upload this tomorrow for those interested!

Well the new blog train is released later today but I am afraid you will have to wait until later in the day for my part. I have had to unexpectedly work all weekend and am off out to a client's very soon. I am sorry but I just will not have time to post my part until later this afternoon/early evening depending on how long I am out. You wouldn't have thought an accountant who mainly prepares tax returns and accounts could have sudden emergencies like this, would you? I bet you never realised accountancy could be so exciting!!!

To follow the next step in the ADSD blog train, please visit our central hub for the complete list of stops:


Have fun on the train and I will be back later! Oh, and I will also check out the tulip download to see what is wrong with it :)