2nd Aug just for fun

The 1st of August is Tommy’s birthday – proper little Yorkshire man. Where there’s a birthday there has to be cake. My granddaughter Layla-Jane loves food and the glee on her face when we just let them have the cake was priceless. Hence today’s prompt – ‘sometimes the only answer is …’

Just as a heads up – I’m off on holiday on Saturday so won’t be posting a challenge as I’m not sure how reliable wifi will be – happy for anyone to take over 😃

#Photochallengesummer 16 – Reflections

This post is for our challenge on Sunday 30th July but can obviously be attempted any time


It’s all about ‘Reflections’ I’ve included a link to give you lots of ideas. It can obviously be straight forward reflection in water but think about other reflective surfaces too.





For anyone interested in finding out more about using Photography with young people my book Learning Through a Lens can be found on Amazon HERE

#photochallengesummer16  26th July

Following a thwarted attempt to visit an RHS garden yesterday (it shuts on Mondays) We went to Bolsover castle. With my photo challenge head on I got lots of ideas. This room was just white and had nothing in it. It was strangely appealing. I could see groups of kids creating in here and turning this into an amazing space – but that’s teacher head and for another day…  

The challenge today is ‘Empty’ there as so many possibilities – although I suspect as it’s the holidays there may be several empty wine glasses by the end of the day. Hope you are having an amazing time. I’ve got a meeting at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park today so will be collecting ideas again J x


Today’s photo challenge is, on the surface, deceptively simple.

Basically – take a photograph to show us all where you are today. I know some of you are in exciting places like rainforests whilst others like myself are in Barnsley but that shouldn’t make a difference to your photographs- notice I said photograph not snapshot!!

Stand where you want to take your photo – look around for 5 mind before you do – think about your composition ( rule of thirds maybe) what angle will you take your shot from, can you use leading lines ( see photo above) what will be your focal point?

Slow your photography down today – looking forward to seeing where you are j x

#hereiam – hashtag as there are quite a few of us now and we can learn from one another.

#photochallenge 19th July

It’s finally the Summer for most people and even the weather is being obliging! Our #photochallenge today is a little harder. However, you still can’t get this wrong and anyone can join in.Today’s theme is ‘ I want to live in a world where …’ With this statement written over a photo – the only stipulation is that it should be a photograph taken by you or a photo of you! If you have children at home get them to take your photo and add your quote at the bottom or write your quote onto something and hold it. Be as creative as you want. Or ask someone around you for their ideas and take a portrait of them.

This was edited with stackables app and quote added via word swag.

This is my image taken on my phone last night at a friend’s house. Lots of things I could ‘unpick’ – we have been friends for over 40 yrs they are always there, kindness is a given – the flowers were my gift to them, simple home grown, not expensive but given with love.

Lie in the sun and relax, your photo will follow naturally from your quote. Enjoy my little Guinea pigs!! Do you fancy a photo morning next week?? I have decent coffee and biscuits

Nearly a year

Nearly a year on from mum’s death and we are learning how to cope. Lots of tears, skirting around issues, trying not to say the wrong thing. Dad has a huge gaping hole where mum was and is fragile but strong. Mum’s shoes have finally been moved from the front door, he’s cleaning out wardrobes ( so that I don’t have to do it when he dies). When we are out he cries if anyone mentions mum but is sad if no one does. He worries about sending birthday cards just from him so we’ve talked and for now he still signs them from him and mum. He is still convinced that it’s his fault she died the guilt of having no option but to place your loved one into care. 

He has aged so much this year, he shuffles, he’s had so many ailments (although a highlight was winning a £500 M and S voucher as a result of booking a hearing test). I’m so proud of him, he’s kept going and taught himself new skills, he asks for help with practical tasks ( well he does now I’ve banned him from climbing into the loft.)

It would have been my eldest son’s birthday this weekend – 29 – how can that be when I still see him as a baby? If you are around someone who is grieving remember that the sadness never fully goes away. It’s 29 years and I can still feel the softness of Matthew’s cheek so no, you never get over it you just learn how to live with it.

Northern Rocks this weekend brought back a flood of memories – mum was terminally ill, Debbie and I had recently been to Kakuma and my emotions were all over the place But and it’s a big but – I was surrounded by friends who propped me up ( literally at times).

At the moment I’m recharging with a week in the Dales, dad is in charge of my greenhouse and happy to have a focus for a week, my Tommy and LJ are on standby for hugs this weekend and life is good – the sadness is part of us and makes us what we are. 

Where’s his hand?

‘What’s the matter with his arm?’ A perfectly logical question from an inquisitive child. It’s happening more and more as Tommy is now at an age where he is mixing with children outside of the family. I want to gather him up, hold him tight and smother him with love and kisses. I want to protect him from the outside world, from the stares and the pitying looks. BUT I won’t as that won’t help him ( I may well smother him with kisses – I am a grandma after all) – instead I will smile and explain carefully that there is nothing ‘wrong’ with Tommy’s arm – it is just different to yours. No it doesn’t hurt, no it won’t grow back, yes he can use it. He isn’t disabled – that’s a negative term and there is nothing negative about this inquisitive, mischievous little package of joy. He is however, ‘differently abled’ he uses his feet instinctively he balances food on his little arm, he carries things in his mouth. He’s loveable, he’s cheeky, he can be naughty – he is just your regular toddler! Please don’t pity him or feel sorry for him, he’s determined, he’s loved and he’s just fine! Encourage your children to be open and honest, ask if they want to understand more. Model how you want them to behave when around someone who may be different. We are all different and if children learn that when they are young then that’s a good thing.
I’m learning so much from Tommy and am such a proud grandma x

Processed with MOLDIV
Processed with MOLDIV

Free Motion Embroidery Part 2

I really do think you can teach yourself most things with the help of you tube videos and a pinterest board. The last few weeks have seen my interest in free motion embroidery grow. I created more flower images based on my photos such as this one here.

Vase of flowers – free motion embroidery

I based the flowers and poppy seeds on photos and it seemed to work quite well. I decided to see if the same worked with photos of people. As I’m a beginner I’m working on images taken from behind to avoid having to sew faces!  Obviously my first subject was Tommy. My first attempt didn’t work as I forgot to flip the image and his little arm was then on the wrong side.However, undeterred, I tried again!


I love this as this is often my view of him running ahead whilst I try to keep up. My daughter in law loved it and asked if we could do a family portrait. Trying to keep Tommy in the right position was hard but I loved playing with this.


It’s now finished a framed! A real sense of achievement from a non sewer.

This is my latest attempt – a picture for my friend of her two granddaughters which has real significance for her.


So if you want a portrait from behind, preferably wearing a hat! You know where to come x

Free motion embroidery

My knees are creaking, my back hurts and I can’t see the floor in my study but I’m so pleased with the results of my efforts today! I bought a sewing machine at the end of Oct and have been playing! I was fortunate to attend a thread stitching machine course led by Karen Hall at Oh Sew Sweet in Wombwell I loved the day and came home with a framed picture that I had made – it’s a bit wonky but it really inspired me! Today I’ve taken a photo of a vase of dead flowers (what else) in the kitchen and used it as inspiration for a picture.

Processed with MOLDIV
Free motion embroidery
Vase of honesty and poppy heads

I know it’s not perfect but I feel like I have achieved something today x