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A New Beginning…

Wow it’s been over 5 months since my last post. I’ll be surprised if I have any readers left?!

The images are just a few things I love right now.

We have gone through many changes in 2011 and in a funny way I’m really glad to see the back of it.

10 years ago last December, My hub and his business partner started a company called Source Creative. For the 4 months previous I’ve been organising the premises to reflect that it is a design studio and creative space and not just a place to work from. This, amongst other things, is what has taken so much of my time and energy.

Through illness it was decided over a year ago that my husband buy out his business partner. After 10 very long and difficult months this has finally happened. We are really happy to be the joint owners/directors of Source Creative and we are really eager to move things forward. Unfortunately the outcome of the buyout wasn’t an amicable one but that is something I’m trying not to dwell upon. It’s very sad that a 20 year friendship seems to have ended and there has been nothing we could do about it.

There is good stuff on the horizon though and that is what 2012 is all about. On the eve of 20th December 2011 Source Creative became a family business owned by my wonderful hub and me! We had the option of closing the company and selling the premises and starting again or taking it over and continuing but making it more what the hub always wanted. Apart from the lucky few, I imagine many partnerships have interests that can be really rather far apart. The hub now has the freedom to move the company in the direction he always wanted.

At home we like our space to feel nice and reflect us. This didn’t really follow through to work. The 10 year anniversary was a great reason to update the space and make it more reflective of the business and what it stood for. When we were first told of what the business partner’s intentions were I was in my second year at college studying interior design. The buyout was going to be a lengthy, time consuming process and the hub needed my help to deal with the solicitors and bank etc so that he could continue to run the company without too much distraction. For this reason I had to leave college. Luckily they allowed me to work from home and just go in 1 day a week to keep up my study. Having done the work on the house and garden and having done an interior consultation job in the summer I was able to use this to gain marks to pass the course. All I had to do was complete a major final project. As most of my time was going to be spent at Source Creative and it was in a bit of a time warp it seemed most obvious to re-design the entire building. So that is what I did. I passed my course with a triple distinction and the design has now come to a reality. For the past 4 months I’ve been painting, re-arranging, building, stripping, designing, cutting, hammering… you get the idea.

We wanted it ready for the 10 year anniversary exhibition in December and it was a cathartic way of moving on. You can see the blog post I wrote here on that. So in 2012 we now own a successful graphic and web design company. This will hopefully continue to flourish as we have branched into interior design consultation and photography. It seems to make sense to utilise the skills I have to create more revenue. I also want to finally set up my online vintage/2nd hand shop from there which I’ve been wanting to do since mid 2010. I’m also responsible for the Source Creative online poster & t-shirt shop which is doing really well. This year will see some new designs and ideas when I get myself some time to promote it a little more. I also have the Source Creative blog to run and my own little blogeroo to keep up with as well as 3 twitter feeds!

It’s taken the best part of 4 months to write this post as there have been many ups and downs. I’m now on a pretty big up and I’ve actually got my self a little time to dedicate to blogging and all those little things I want to do for myself.

It’s been amazing fun working with my hub and his team. We all seem to be on the same page and have similar ideas. Don’t get me wrong, running a business is pretty hard and it’s frustrating knowing there are companies out there that sell ‘packages’ or have had no official training who think they give the same quality when in reality they are just amateurs. Don’t get me wrong amateurs have a place within the industry but they are a risk and if that’s what is required then I say go for it. Part of my job entails some of the boring, back end stuff such as accounts and invoicing but to be honest, and don’t tell everyone, I actually really get a buzz out of it. I’m learning about money and how best to play the accounts and when to invoice and who needs to pay etc. I feel like I have an important role to play in the running of the business but it’s not what everyone else sees.

The best thing about all this is that I get to run a family business and see my hub every day which I secretly love. I still get to do the morning school run and when the hub gets a chance he can do the odd day of taking the boy to or from school.

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

Jaume Plensa

Great Sunday last weekend spent at Yorkshire Sculpture Park with 2 sets of close friends that we don’t get to see nearly as often as we would like. I’ve known Brian & Fiona pretty much since I’ve been with my hub and Sam & Alice we met through Brian and Fiona when we were both heavily pregnant about 5 years ago. It was a meeting of music minds!

So anyway we miraculously managed to all have the same day free with no prior plans… amazing! We all made it to the same place at the same time and what a great place! Definitely a place to go and visit. Expected to stay for maybe 4 hours but only left after 6 plus hours and still didn’t get all the way around! There’s a reason to go back again. It was free to get in and just £5 to park all day.

As well as lots of magnificent sculptures and things to see there was a great cafe and a fabulous little shop that I could have spent days in!

As soon as we arrived I knew my hub would love it and it just got better and better. I took far too many photos which I’ve uploaded to my website for private view but if you’re interested you can see them here.

Here are some of my favourites…

Henry Moore

The views and lanscapes were phenominal Continue reading…

The boy goes to school

4 years, 2 months and 21 days later and my baby? had his first day at school. Well technically it was only half a day but hey my little boy is growing up. Where the hell did the time go?

Family breakfast…a healthy start

A little sad?

People have been asking me, ‘will you cry?’, ‘are you feeling sad?’, ‘have you been worrying?’. To be honest, no! I have no doubt in my mind that he’s well and truly ready for school. He and I can’t wait for him to start to learn to read. He sits with his books and makes up stories from the pictures. He gets sad sometimes that he can’t read the words. He will have a whole new experience when he can read those words himself and make some sense of it all. I’m also ready for him to go to school. I’m needing to move on with stuff in our lives. I’ve completed my course, I have other opportunities opened up to me in the last 6 months and I’m ready to get going. Hopefully I’ll be able to blog a big explanation in the next month or two as I don’t want to jinx things.

Getting himself dressed

Looking so grown up

I’ve not been particularly worried about Lucas going to school as just over a year ago we moved him from childminder near the hubs work to a local nursery. He’s met lots of the local kids, and 4 of them, are at the same school and we know their parents so it’s not like he won’t know anyone. He’s the type of child, like I was and probably still am, ok not so much the child bit, who will go in and be on their own for a day or two and watch. When ready he will make those important bonds and friendships. In the meantime he will just be silly and try to make people laugh or pretend he’s not clever. He’s a bit of a comedian and people like him. On the downside he can be ‘told’, by other kids, what to do but he’s also got a stubborn streak where if he’s not interested or doesn’t want to do it anymore he won’t be pushed. I don’t yet know how he’ll settle in but I think he’ll do far better than I ever did.

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Lucas’s 4th birthday!!! (Yup a tad late)

But better late than never I always say. And believe me I’m nearly always late…even the boy was late!

The boy was born shortly before 6 in the morning on Sat 9th June 2007. It was a fairly straight forward birth. Into labour about 11pm Friday night and, although the midwife said it would be at least another 12 hours before I needed to come in, I was in hospital by 4am. Have some rest and try and sleep she said… yeah right! I had no idea that he was coming so fast but boy am I glad he did. Within a couple of hours I had him in my arms and we were overjoyed. Most of it was a gas and air blur and I saw baked beans on the ceiling and traffic lights changing from red to green but it was an amazing experience. It’s true what they say about the pain fading from memory to some degree. The midwife who delivered my bundle said I could probably be home by lunch! Fab I thought. Then it started…

I made a decision, mainly because I brick it if you come anywhere near me with a ruddy needle, to not have an epidural or the needle in the thigh to speed up the placenta removal. I had a brilliant water birth in a small local midwife run unit and I would do it all over again. The problems came whilst waiting for the placenta to come away. It never happened. So in the needle went to help it on it’s way. Still nothing. It was like trying to give birth all over again but this time it was painful. Sorry for those who are squeamish, they pulled on the cord, I pushed, nothing! After a couple of hours they called the larger local hospital as I had to be transferred so they could do a removal procedure in theatre. All pretty intense and I’m so glad my mum was there. She turned up from work just after Lucas was born. Thanks mum I can’t thank you enough for what you did that day. So long story short… they tried again to pull it out and then I heard a pop, yay it’s out no need for surgery. No it turns out they snapped the ruddy cord off the placenta. So spinal block and manual removal it is… woohoo. I’ve never been so effing scared in my life. Procedure went well but felt pretty shit as had no sleep since the previous morning, hadn’t fed Lucas and my poor hub thought he was going to lose me. It all sounds pretty dramatic but remember I was on gas and air throughout most of this so I was non the bloody wiser half the time. Very surreal experience. Not something I want to re-live but there is a high chance of it happening again if we decided to have another child. The moral of this story is that we are all safe and sound and happy and that that was just a small blip in our lives which we’ve had to come to terms with.

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A bit of a cheat?

Ok so I’ve had this great idea…start a shop selling some vintage pieces but until it’s up and running, which, come on, knowing me, could take like forever! The idea was to start with a few of my own handmade sewn goodies but where to start. Decorations, bunting, monsters, bags?

Well on a little trip to the local sewing machine shop, which by the way is actually not that little, to buy some fabric dye to try and dye a sofa cover, rather unsuccessfully I might add, I spotted these lurking about.

Oooh what are they I hear you ask…Well they are a clever little company called Hamble&Jemima. They give you everything you need to sew you’re own little bag, cushion, phone case, travel bag etc. Really bloody clever if you ask me. I have a friend who has made some bags and they look fab. When I asked her for a pattern she said all she did was copy one she already had. Well unfortunately for me I’m not that clever/brave yet.

I was amazed firstly at how effing enormous this little local sewing machine shop was. My hub bought my beautiful PFAFF sewing machine from here about 6 years ago (my God have I really had it that long?). He’s a bit of a shorty and needs all his trews taking up and shortening and it was getting a bit pricey, what can I say he like shopping. His brain wave was to spend £90 on a sewing machine for me to do it. He remembered me telling him how much I loved it at school…come on that was nearly a quarter of a century ago! (Shhhhh!!!!) This little shop actually goes a long way back and goes into the next 3 shops which sells craft, fabric, t-shirt printing and embroidering. They have just about everything you ever need and it’s been right under my nose all these years. It’s 2 minutes down the road from hubs business. Me thinks I’ll be visiting rather frequently?!

So one day he pops off to said shop and comes home with the funkiest little machine I ever did see. My man has some serious taste, well he married me didn’t he…anyways I digress. So he comes home and says I bought you a present, Impressed? You think I would be but being me just thought what a tight arse he just doesn’t want to pay more money for doing his trews. Well needless to say some years later I’ve managed to do many pairs of trouser shortenings, as well as my own, and I’ve made a pair of curtains for the boys bedroom and a duvet cover and pillow from a double Orla Kiely duvet on sale in orange, as well as my boys birthday monsters. It’s really helped me get back into sewing…albeit a slightly long winded journey.

Anywho to cut a slightly rambling story a tad shorter, we came across these little boxes. Intrigued I took a peek inside. All you need to make your very own little bag, including pattern…bingo. I now have a couple of bag patterns and projects to get my head around the idea and then it gives me the knowledge to do my own ideas and designs…wooohooo! (No I won’t be blatantly ripping them off…it’s research dahlinks!) And it’s my lovely mummy’s birthday tomorrow and she adores Radley, so I bought her the little sling sac with dogs on. I’m going to make it but I have warned her that her present may take a few weeks/months/years to get around to.

I’m really excited about making these but I may just switch out some of the buttons supplied to ones from my own vintage collection.

I’ll let you know how they go.

Have a happy sunny(?) weekend everybody : )

AWOL-Hello

As you’ll have noticed I have neglected my poor blog for the last few weeks. It’s been a hectic old time. It’s been my last few weeks finishing my college course which just swallowed up all my time. I’ve been helping my hub with work related issues, more on that in a later post. The same day as my college open evening was my son’s 4th birthday, and the Saturday meant his birthday party, as usual we don’t do things the easy way. Then I had a little project to do, again another post on that later and basically we’ve all been wiped out and wanted some fun family time together so we’ve been away.

Lucas on the day of his actual 4th Birthday

I’m now back and getting on with the stuff I’ve been building up to for what seems like years.

I just wanted to say hello to those few good people out there that so kindly come and check out my blog of nonsense. I also want to say Thank you to those who leave comments to let me know you are there. I really do appreciate that you keep coming back and now it’s time for me to give you something to read.

I’ve been finding my feet for some time now in many ways. Since having my son 4 years ago I sort of lost my way and lost my identity…I’m sure some of you know what I mean. My photography career took a bit of a bashing, not to say I don’t still love photography, but with most people owning a point and shoot and/or mobile phone with camera capability and most budgets being slashed I was just not getting the flow of work I was used to. It suited me to work around my newborn and then toddler but something changed in me. I lost a little confidence and direction and wondered just who I was. I started buying items for our home from thrift shops and car boots and really enjoyed the thrill of having a house which had different things in to my friends and getting a bargain to boot. I have a love of DIY and love that I can learn how to tile or change door hinges etc. A mummy friend said she was going to try and get on a local college’s interior design course and I thought I’d pop along to the open day with her. I was sold. It wasn’t the swag curtains, pelmets and cushions I thought it would be. I could learn the history of interior design and use some of my old Graphic Design skills as well as my photography. It seemed an ideal way of passing the time until my boy started school. Well that was almost 2 years ago and I just received my results this morning and I now have a certificate for a BTEC National Diploma in Art & Design (3D) Interiors with a triple distinction. Not bad considering the first month or two of the second year I didn’t attend due to delays with build work and then missed quite a bit of time near the end of the 2nd year due to my hubs business issues. I only just managed to get all the work done necessary for the end of year show.

What this course has done is help me to regain the confidence I lost after having my boy and also help me understand what it is I love about homes and furniture. We had a great tutor, called Ian, who filled me with even more of a love for Mid Century design. Now I know what I’m looking for at a car boot or in a charity shop better than I did before. I used to buy what I liked but now I buy for a different pleasure. I have been thinking about it, since last summer, opening an etsy sellers account to sell vintage wares but a few other things have happened since then so although etsy may be the starting point I have been talking to my hub about using his reception area as a sort of shop. It’ll be online but viewing of an item can be done in his work place, that’s presuming that other things go as planned.

A sneaky peak at hubs business premises interior

My final college project was re-space planning and interior designing the whole of my husband’s company premises. It seemed appropriate due to the amount of time I have been spending there lately. He likes it so much he’s considering letting me do most of it, if and when the company is bought out by us. It’s all seeming to be falling into place and this scares me a little. I’m definitely negative until proven wrong whereas some people I know…hub included are positive until proven otherwise. I don’t get that because I think you’d feel more let down that way?! Anyways I digress …so from not knowing where to go I now have many ideas running through my head. I started knitting 18 months ago and really want to do more and sewing has really hit me in the head recently. I made some little gifts for the children attending my son’ s birthday party and they went down a storm and the parents suggested I could be selling them. I also have a friend who is a crafty mum and have asked if she would be interested in joining me in this new venture so fingers crossed she’ll be on board too. All of this is to keep finances in the black whilst I help my husband keep his job and 3 staff jobs. We don’t yet know the outcome of this buying the partnership yet so this is really where I need to be for a few months.

Party Bag Monsters made by me

When college finished, the original plan was to set up a company with my friend in Interior Design, we were just working through some names and how to go about it, when it came to light that the hubs business partner was very ill again. Totally unexpected and threw us all into a tizz.

So that’s pretty much me at this moment in time. I hope this goes some way to explain my sporadic posts but I’m hoping from here that things will start to settle down. If not for us then for my boy as he starts his first year at school this coming September…my big boy: (

Thanks for reading and hope I haven’t put those few special readers off returning. x

Old shed, New room

I thought it was about time I got to posting some piccies of the work we had done last year. Yeah I know it’s been months since I promised anything, but to be honest my heart wasn’t in the taking of the pics at the time. There was just too much stress and anxiety surrounding the last leg of the build.

I love what we have and I’m not complaining, but, as I’m sure with anyone else who’s hired contractors to do the work, there are still little niggles that bug the hell out of me! Luckily most people don’t notice the annoying little things and are just amazed at the transformation. SO, without further ado, let me introduce to you our newest room in the house…

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Brockholes – It floats!!!

After a week of stresses, Saturday was bliss. The whole family needed to get out and have some fun. We crafted at home in the morning and played games like monkey chuck…the boy thought it would be funny to throw his monkey high in his bedroom and see if he could catch it. Mostly he didn’t and sometimes he did. After a little train track building we headed out for lunch. I love lazy days mixed with a little adventure. The weather was rather interesting too. Rain followed by sun, followed by rain, followed by sun… you get the picture.

We ended up at a new place on the map called Brockholes. It’s a beautiful new nature reserve in Lancashire. We expected to pay for parking but as it’s only just getting up and running it was free all day. Now, this is a work in progress but I tell you, when it gets going it’s gonna be a fine place to visit. There weren’t many visitors this weekend but we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves nonetheless.

Images above taken on iPhone 4 with cross process.

Almost all others taken with a Nikon D2X with 50mm fixed lens.

The first thing we did, after putting on our wellies, was to get lunch. We were all starving and am I glad we waited till we got there. The food, yes expensive, but well worth it we reckon. The hub had steak and ale pie and I treated myself to the veg hotpot with cauli cheese and honey glazed carrots. YUM. I couldn’t move after!

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From Pineapple to Apple

I got a new toy!!!!

After having hubs 1st generation iPhone for the last year and a bit we decided that I should upgrade. I haven’t upgraded for about 4/5 years!!! To use the hubs old iPhone he had to jailbreak it. This meant, for some reason or other, that it didn’t have all the functions. I couldn’t send MMS and internet was a no no on my contract as monthly bill would have been HUGE.

The hub is after upgrading his 3G to an iPhone 5 but I just want one that functions properly without a stupid pineapple appearing instead of an apple. I finally bit the bullet and told my provider I was leaving. Well bugger me sideways if they didn’t bend over backwards. I got a far better deal than they showed online and on Friday this is what I received:

I was literally jumping up and down and clapping like a ruddy seal, I tell you I love gadgets as much as the next woman but I’ve never been this excited. I spent the whole of Saturday tweeting from my phone and accessing the internet… my family practically lost me.

Here it is in all it’s booti-fulness

I love this thing, not as much as I love my family, and ok my friends too, but it comes in pretty close.

I’m loving taking photos with the cross process app and uploading to Instagram. I can’t get enough of twitter.

I have it on a 7 day trial as the reception in our house is usually awful but, unless I do the death grip, it is definitely better than it was. Sold… baby you ain’t going nowhere… except everywhere I go.

It’s slinky in white and, as I’m a total saddo, I haven’t taken the front plastic cover off yet!!!!! So shoot me.

Don’t get out much-Bonobo

BONOBO@LEEDS UNI

Right, I love my boy to bits, but since he’s been here gigs have been pretty hard to do. But last Tuesday night was an amazing evening with Bonobo.

Firstly I’m amazed that we actually booked it as it was at Leeds Uni, which at best is over an hour away. Secondly it was a ‘school’ night (for the hub and me, not the boy). I can’t/don’t do late nights mid week, I struggle at weekends too! However, for Bonobo, I made the exception. My God, am I glad we did… it blew me away. The venue was small and not too crowded and we had a good little spot where all we were missing was the drummers face. I’d almost forgotten what a venue like this does to the music, it gets right up inside you and you can feel your heart pounding and your guts vibrating A.-MAZING! It was sooooooo good I want to re-live it.

Andreya Triana blew me away…

… especially when she sampled her own voice…

I don’t pretend to know a lot about music. I just like what I like. I can never remember the name of a track and at times my mind is so gone I can’t even remember who the friggin’ artist is (don’t know whether it’s age or having a baby?!) Ok, less of the excuses now. I love music and we always have it on in our house and Lucas is really picking up our appreciation for it too. He loves listening to, Temper Trap’s, Down River, full blast at home and in the car and he sings it at the top of his voice. Note to self…’ I must video that sometime soon!’

Simon Green AKA Bonobo

What this man couldn’t do with wind instruments…

These pictures clearly aren’t pro quality but I’m amazed at the zoom on my little camera. It has a 14x optical zoom. I never use these little cameras on automatic settings I always change to manual and play with aperture, shutter speed and flash settings. You definitely end up with better quality images as the flash isn’t so good as to reach to the stage from where we were stood.

Being at this concert has made me want to make more effort to get to gigs again. We did so many before the boy came along and we went all over the UK to see people such as Bjork, Radiohead & PJ Harvey. Prior to this concert I went to see Sigur Ros in Manchester. For me it was a bit of a let down. We’d actually booked tickets for the mega show in London but it all just ended up costing too much with train and hotel costs and we couldn’t justify not taking our son on holiday instead for the same price. In the end we sold the tickets at small loss and bought last minute tickets for the Manchester show. There was nothing special about the Manchester show and I think it was a let down as my expectations were set high.Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a genious and I love his work but we couldn’t get a sitter so the hub suggested I take a friend. I did and boy that was hard. She didn’t really get it although bless her she tried. I was meant to go with the hub and unfortunately the friend wasn’t keen. Hey ho… won’t be doing that again!

Right then, when’s the next gig?… Oh yeah it’s this one! Bring it on!!!!




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