Tweet little birdie

At our house in Scotland we had a backyard with lots of trees & bushes and many birds visited our garden so we bought a little bird feeder in the form of a hut.

Now we are renting in Milton Keynes, in a comfortable house but with a barren back yard...and very few birds. We still put food out but mainly the greedy pigeons feed. Then during the snowy days of late I spied a little bird feeding.

It was tricky taking the photo. Getting the camera, without the bird seeing movement inside the house, positioning the camera against the glass so there was no reflection, waiting till the bird moved so he was move visible, then click!

Oh Christmas Tree

Its up and decorated. Thank you Rebecca! And there are presents around it already. Just showing the family so they can get even more excited!



It almost looks like snow outside. It isn't but we're hoping it will soon as it's cold enough!

Grey day but a great Sight

A really grey day can be depressing but on the walk back to my car from a shopping expedition I noticed the water reflection of this sculpture. Took a photo, not sure how it would turn out without some sunlight. But look.... what a sight!



My photography is improving!

Journal Your Christmas

I've started my Journal!

So far so good for Day 1.
The format for my pages in a ring binder with the circle tags numbering the days came from Erica Lee's blog http://1creativelife.blogspot.com/
I found an A5 sized ring binder which is perfect...but I haven't figured out how to decorate the cover yet! Might just cover it in fabric. Mmmm I did say I was going to use up my stash, not buy more.

I also pre decorated the pages this year - not sure how I like that idea. Will the papers etc go with the photos?



The intention is to use circles as the recurring element throughout the pages. We'll see what happens!

Where's Spring?

Now that The Wedding Album is finished I can start to get up to date with this years photos. Spent Sunday doing Steph's 30th Birthday page and a Spring page...remember blossoms?



I also finished preparing the numbered pages for my album for this year's "Journal Your Christmas" with Shimelle.



Check out www.shimelle.com if you are interested. I did my first JYC album with Shimelle last year and loved it. On reading through it last week I saw that on 1st Dec last year I took a photo of snow in our backyard in Scotland. Mmmm... will it snow tomorrow? Doubt it but maybe for Christmas? And shortly after that it'll be Spring again.

Picture Purfect

More things that make me Smile.

This is Millie, one of my daughter's cats, visiting from London but making herself very much at home amongst my craft stuff.





Irresistible!

Some things make me smile

This photo for example, taken a couple of weeks ago on holiday in Spain. Bit different to the grey wet days of now.

Countdown to Launch

12 days until I launch my new project.
Our Family - Our Story
It's exciting and scary at the same time.

I'm holding an afternoon tea & coffee followed by a presentation to inspire and help people write the stories about their families so they are captured for future generations as journals, photo albums or in electronic form. It's in Milton Keynes on 21 November from 2 to 4pm. If you want to come post a comment below and I'll email you the details.

The idea of the project came when I visited Bletchley Park and saw an ambulance just like the one my grandmother drove in London during World War II.



I loved my grandmother. She was my ‘special relative’ while I was growing up but I realized I have very little documented about her. I know her date of birth and death, and where she lived. There are a few family photos over the years with the odd caption but not much else. I just remember her now as a lovely, frail old lady who died when she was 94. Obviously she must have been very brave and strong when she was younger, to drive an ambulance during the bombings.

It is such a pity I never found the time to sit with her and write down all her stories while she was alive.

What's in a Name?

Last week we changed our gas supplier and I had to phone the gas board. When I gave them the address of the property it wasn't on their records. The man asked if the house had a name. None that I was aware of so I gave him the gas meter number. Yes he had found it but under the house name. There was a bit of a pause......



The house is called "The Shambles". Oh I laughed, thanked the man and told him he had made my day!

Ups & Downs

Its been a mixed bag of emotions this week with some bad news that means more changes and there have been so many these past six years. When I look back I can see that I have become much more adaptable and a stronger person because of this. It's OK to feel sorry for myself for a couple of days but then I'm off again laughing!

One thing that really lifts me up and takes the negative thoughts away is crafting. I am very lucky to have a large dining room which multitasks as a craft room. Sometimes it's quite tidy....



But this week its chaotic because I have several things on the go at the same time. I have the lessons to prepare for my "Learn to Scrapbook" course - you can sign up for that on the right hand side of this page.

I'm also making a book for Xmas, some Xmas cards and still trying to finish the Wedding Album started in March. And then I am preparing for my big project - "Your Family - Your Story". This is a community based project that I'm launching on 21 November. More about that later....

So it's no wonder my craft area looks like this.....



Mmmm.....Must be in the mind because my table looks quite messy in both photos!

A Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime

A while ago I was introduced to the expression that "People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime". Yesterday I received this explanation in an email and thought I would share it with you. When you figure out which reason people come into your life, you will know what to do for each person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON . . . It is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die.
Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

What we must realise is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.

People come into your life for a SEASON . . . because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Author Unknown

What you can miss....

When the alarm goes off at 6.15am I have to admit I'd rather not get up especially these mornings when its darker and colder but Mr Kepple is very disciplined so up we get. An early morning walk. A chance to talk and we often solve little problems along the way. After 45 minutes we're back home again, feeling refreshed and energised for the day. It's a good feeling.

If I'd stayed in bed I would miss some wonderful sights. You can't beat a sunrise for a great start to the day!

Reads the Signs

We're always on the lookout for signs. There's enough of them around. They are everywhere, not just on the roads to help us and keep us safe but also think about all the signs on packaging. It would be interesting to count the number of signs we read on any given day, but I'm not going to as I reckon the number would be huge!

I take photos of the interesting, unusual or funny ones. And of course they make their way into a Memory Album to enjoy later.



Why is the sign for 490 yards and not 500? How do they know? Where does the measuring start on a bend?

It just seemed odd to us that a sign was needed to say no charge for wheelchair users.

The label on the wine cask says " Don't drink and walk on the road, you may be killed" It struck me as sad that it's a necessary label for a South African wine.

The Stop sign, don't follow the vehicle in front didn't make too much sense to me.

And I'm not sure why Troops crossing would be dangerous. I guess it means "Be alert & ready to stop as troops may cross the road ahead"

Have some fun with your camera and learn to make a Memory Album. Just a small investment of £5 per month and you get weekly instructions in your in-box. See the link on the right side of this page.

Learn to Scrapbook

What is a Scrapbook?
It's a photo album... that's it. When you stick your photos in some sort of album and write the date and place, that's scrapbooking. The point of it is that as time passes, our memories of the exact details ...the who, what, where, when and why gradually fade. So we encourage you to write a little more about the photo or the event. That's called journalling. And if you keep all your photos digitally the journalling is just as important.

The other aspect to scrapbooking is the decoration of pages. If you have ever looked at the scrapbooking magazines or the many websites you'll see the pages are generally decorated with pretty papers and embellishments. These are just added to give the pages some creative, attractive or artistic look. Whether you do that or not is over to you and your creative side...and the time you have available.

In this course you get to make a Gratitude Journal...while learning to scrapbook. A Gratitude Journal is just a book where each week or day (over to you) you can write down something in your life you are grateful to Be, Do or Have. This can be simple like enjoying the sunshine or something very meaningful to you.

You learn different techniques in this course. You get to try things so you find out which scrapbooking techniques you prefer and then you can use them in your own photo albums.

Learning to scrapbook this way is so much fun. And its very affordable...only £5 per month. Each week you get an email with instructions on a technique for the next page of your Journal. Try it and Join in the Fun.

I'm back

Firstly a big thank you to Karen, my coach and friend, who has encouraged me to start blogging again. It's something I enjoy, but I stopped because I thought no-one was reading it. However Karen pointed out the obvious...if there's nothing new, people have nothing to read!

My "Create a Gratitude Journal" course is going well. People are signing up and sending me emails about how much they are enjoying the process and learning to scrapbook at the same time. Please send me some photos of your pages so I can post them on the blog too. Here's my Title page....



One of the things that I'm most grateful for is the love of a wonderful family. We spent last Saturday in London celebrating Louise's birthday with the Thames RIB Experience. It was so much fun. Exciting, exhilarating and lots of sights on London too. What gave me the most pleasure was all of us together including husbands, cousins & boyfriends, doing something together and enjoying each others' company. This is all of us experiencing the thrill of high speed on the Thames!

Celebrate

Let’s Celebrate
There’s a World of Possibilities….

Over the past few months I’ve been concentrating on being grateful ….grateful for all the many wonderful things in my life. My health, happiness, my husband & family, the possessions I love, the magnificent beauty of nature all around us, not to mention hobbies, sports and the many ways we can be entertained. And I’ve found that by doing so, I am much happier, like I have an inner peace.

The other aspect I have found to be true is that the more one is grateful for what one has now, the more one’s dreams are fulfilled. This is well documented in books like “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne's, Michael Losier’s “The Law of Abundance” and “The Key” by Joe Vitale who says

“Just be happy now.
Out of this now will come the miracles you seek”

So I thought it would be wonderful to celebrate by creating a book of my life. It’ll be part scrapbook, part journal, with collage, photos, records …. all sorts of fun ways to document the things I am grateful for.

Come on an adventure with me. Create a Gratitude Book and Celebrate Your Life.

Lots of Possibilities is my new online Club where I'll be helping you make your own Gratitude Journal for only £5 per month.

Every week you’ll get an email with prompts, instructions, hints and tips to help you create your book. We will explore the different aspects of your life in more detail. And I’ll share samples of my pages too.

Join me on this Journey. Click on the button on the right to Sign Up Now

We’ll scrapbook... learn some new techniques. Maybe you think your pages in your photo albums have a sameness about the look of them. Here’s an opportunity to try new things without fear of making a mess in your family albums.

We can make the pages lumpy if we want. We won’t worry too much about the archival aspect of our pages because this book is for us, unless of course you want to preserve it. That’s fine…over to you.

The plan is not to spend any money after the purchase of our book…well we might need to top up on adhesive but we won’t need to buy any new papers, stickers etc unless we want to. It’s a challenge to use up stuff from our current stash!

If you’re just starting scrapbooking I’ll be teaching you how to do it. You might want to buy a few sheets of pretty paper to get started or be inventive and use other things like old greeting cards or wrapping paper.

We might incorporate other craft techniques into our pages…stamping, embossing, collage, decoupage, beading…who knows where our journey will take us.

We’ll journal....this might be a word, a sentence or our deeper inner thoughts. But it’ll be about the things we’re celebrating. I’ll help you with your handwriting if you don’t like it but it’ll be fine to use a computer too.

We’ll take photos….of the usual subjects and the unusual. We’ll explore taking photos of different subjects, maybe from different angles. We’ll also use existing photos.

Mostly we’re going to have fun, be grateful and celebrate our lives!

I can’t wait to get started on this journey with you. What are we waiting for? Click on the button below to sign up.





Butterfly Gardens

In June I started quilting a "Block a Month" quilt which is called the Butterfly Garden. I've just finished the June block, my first.


I'm learning to embroider. I've got lots to learn but I'm well pleased with my first effort.

Thoughts & Feelings

Last night I went with the girls from work to see "My Sister's Keeper". What an emotionally exhausting film! Holding back the tears until I just couldn't any longer.

I found the film thought-provoking. How would I feel and behave ....as a mother? I've never had a sister but our daughters have...how would they feel and behave? Not easy questions to answer.

It's very well acted and I'm told the ending is different to the book but it's well worth seeing. However if you don't want to sob in public, wait for the DVD.

New Beginnings

Half-way through the year, a new month so a new beginning. Late yesterday I got clarity about my next project/business. I am so excited. I'm not revealing much at this point...You'll have to wait a few days but it'll be worth it.
Here's a hint....

Hot!

I am loving this hot weather. Yes, it is harder to sleep but after nearly five years in clear crisp Scotland, its great to feel the heat on my back. We're up at 6.30am for our morning walk. So peaceful and quiet. Takes us about 45 minutes to walk our circuit, which includes the Equestrian Centre.


Imagine my surprise when flowers were delivered to me yesterday afternoon....I've had my birthday...its not my wedding anniversary. Thank you Karen! Such a lovely thought and you're away on holiday too but thought you might like to see them.



Watched the tennis last night. On the edge of our seats, but congratulations to Andy Murray on winning the game. Tonight I'm off to a card making class.

Fun & Laughter

Saturday was a glorious summer's day...well to begin with....

Friends gathered at Vanessa's flat and the barbecue was lit. Ice-cold beers and lots of wine. The sun shone brilliantly. It was hot, hot, hot.
Around 4pm it was time for the present game. Now everyone brings 4 or 5 wrapped presents which go into a pile in the centre of the circle. The pile was huge this year. There are 3 trays holding 2 dice which are passed around the circle. When you throw a double you can choose a present but you don't unwrap it... that comes later. We keep throwing the dice until all the presents have been chosen.

We were getting close to the end when the thunder started, the heavens opened and it poured. Everyone inside quickly to carry on....it was a bit of a squash but we got everyone in the lounge ...by moving out most of the furniture. Once all the presents had been chosen we throw the dice for 10 more minutes and this time if you throw a double you can take a present off someone else. Its so funny what people get up to and how some presents become highly desirable even though you have no idea what's inside.
That's the end of the game and you can open the presents. What a lot of Fun and Laughter!!
Happy Kepples!
















Today is Mid-Year Christmas


Some people have been asking what's this all about? Well coming from New Zealand where Xmas day is hot and sunny (usually) we have a barbecue, outside in the back yard, at a beach or in a park. Sausages, chops, steak that sort of thing. So we miss out on the turkey, Xmas pud and the other trimmings. There's a tradition in NZ to hold a mid-year Xmas party around this time when its cold, wet and more wet.
Now we live in England we enjoy a thoroughly English Xmas on 25 Dec so we decided to enjoy a NZ style one mid-year. Kepples introduced The Present Game to this annual event. Its such fun but more about that tomorrow.....


We'll miss you Michael

When I woke up this morning I was sad to hear that Michael Jackson had died. He might have lived an unusual life but over the years he gave our family lots of pleasure with his music and dance......


.....in my teenage years with the Jackson 5


.....when our girls were growing up and into dancing, his music featured in many concerts

.....the Mums dancing to "Whose Bad?" Embarassing as that was, with my College students watching, I did dance to an audience.


.....an awesome performance by Michael in Auckland about 15 years ago where in a stadium of thousands we spotted our daughters.


.....and here's a photo of the last time our family danced together to Michael, November 08.



Happy Memories.


A little DISC training

This morning I'm the guest speaker on the ActionCOACH Support Team Call, talking about VAK and DISC. I created 15 videos about this topic and you can find them at www.disctraining4coaches.com and you don't have to be a coach to get value from understanding VAK & DISC.

Also I'm feeling a little sad that this is the last Support Team Call.....

A New Beginning



After several months of...well...procrastination really, I have started my blog. I hope you'll join me on a regular basis to see how I'm viewing the world.




Last night we went down to London, had a Thai meal (delicious) before going to Rebecca & Louise's Landmark Advanced Course last night. We're booked in for the beginning of August. It's going to be great.




We are enjoying a beautiful summers day today...long may this weather last. Dinner to cook now, simple chicken and mushroom stir-fry with some spinach.


Are you wondering what's this photo all about? Sitting at the station in Milton Keynes waiting for the 5pm train looking at the mirror wall across the track and the wonderful reflection. I love blue skies and fluffy clouds.