Monday, 28 December 2009

The one where I sit in pyjamas and think about photos, stories and next year...

Our Christmas Day is always busy with an early start to open presents at home with Mr Marshall, a journey together to mum and dad's house where I spend the day, Mr Marshall leaves to go to his parents' house and then returns in the evening; in the afternoon my family visit my little granny and then I go back to Mr Marshall's parents' for Christmas buffet tea and Wii fun. This year I loved every minute of it though. There was a lovely happy feeling in our house and it was relaxed and calm (unlike other years!!). I got some lovely gifts and hopefully gave some too.
Yesterday was mostly spent in the cinema watching Avatar and all day today I sat in my jammies taking a free online photography course for compact cameras here in preparation for my project in the New Year to take a photo every day. I think 2010 will be a perfect year to try this out as we make more plans for our wedding, to record all the decision making and visits we make (I'm thinking wedding dress shops here in particular!!).
Every year Ali Edwards chooses a word to focus on throughout the year - a short of mantra. You can read more here if you like about her choices. This year she has chosen 'story'. I'm thinking 'story' might also be a perfect choice for me to focus on. I'm finding more and more I'm journalling my thoughts on little snippets of paper to remember conversations, comments, feelings and moments. I think this, combined with daily photo taking will make for an interesting year to look back on.
Has anyone taken part in Project 365 before and can share any tips to help me stay motivated?!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Christmases past...

I've been off work and in bed sick yesterday and today with a cold and dizziness and just this morning realised it is 3 days to Christmas! I've all my shopping done, presents wrapped, cards sent and Christmas cake made but still have baking and food shopping to do. I started looking at photos of Christmases when I was little (in the early 80s) and had a good chuckle at these which cheered me up no end. I thought I'd share a few in case you need a laugh too!

Oh my goodness, look at this tree! It's the only year we had a real tree and mum said we'd never have another one because of the needles falling. I always had a romantic memory of this tree until I came across these photos and seen the shape of it!! I've got a sneaky suspicion my dad pulled this out of the garden.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Pictures from my world...

Hi everyone :) Today I'm sharing with you some pictures from what is going on in my world these days - well, this weekend anyway!
Yesterday was my birthday and although I was laid up with a bad cold I managed to take my annual self-portrait on the morning of my birthday. Note the sore, red lips and cupid's bow :(

These are some of the gorgeous pressie's I got - all of which I love. My friends/family know me so well!

Mr Marshall took me out to dinner, watch a movie and then we headed to the local pub for a few drinks. When we woke this morning we found snow outside so I had to take a few shots from the bedroom window.

I hope you are enjoying your Sunday evening. I'm updating my wedding scrapbook while Mr Marshall plucks a pheasant and makes soup! That makes him sound domesticated - but that he is not!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

oh Christmas tree...

Our Christmas tree is finally up and although all of the pressies are bought, very few are wrapped and sitting underneath. I'm not too sure what to think about our Christmas decorations this year, they don't seem very, well... Christmassy!

I realised the night before last that there are very few photos of Mr Marshall and I, at least ones you would want to look at. I was personalising this little calendar in Photoshop that I found on the fab blog Shutter Sisters (which is free to download if you want to have a little play!) and struggled to find 12 photos of us that I loved! Isn't that awful - that someone who loves photos hasn't got enough to fill a calendar after 5 and a bit years together. Something needs to be done about that. So I have warned him that the camera will be out this Christmas and to be ready for it!

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Font love...

It seems kind of popular these days to say you love fonts, given we are exposed to so many as a way of branding and of making you feel a certain way. I actually do love fonts but if you wanted me to give you a list of my favourites, we'd be here all day!

Today I took a quiz here (which I found at Ordinary Courage) to find out which font I am. The answer was Edwardian Script (above) - which backs up my claim to be a die-hard romantic!

For those of you who would like to have fun creating your own font with your handwriting, you can do so at


Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Be still my beating heart...

Have you ever seen anything so pretty? In my dreams this is how I want my wedding to look - if only the weather here in N. Ireland wasn't so predictable to be rainy. This morning I've closed my eyes and been carried back to my uncle's hay field where we would spend summer days when I was little, turning the hay and breaking for a picnic out of a wicker basket. I can see this wedding taking place there...

I've been told more than a few times before that I'm a hopeless romantic so this won't surprise you folk! Luckily for me, I see the romance in everything so when Mr Marshall brought me a glass of water to bed last night without me having to ask, I gushed from ear to ear and told him he was the best boyfriend I had!! I'm the easiest person in the world to please, a cheap date and the smallest gesture lights me up.

Like your comments. I can't thank those of you enough who read my jabberings and leave me comments. I have kept every single email I have received letting me know someone was kind enough to leave me a message - just in case I ever forget how good it felt.

Photos courtesy of Ian Grant via Style Me Pretty (designer and florist credits here)

Monday, 7 December 2009

Angela (and Mr Marshall) meets Angel...

It seems only fitting that someone who was a Christmas baby and named after the Christmas angels would (along with Mr Marshall!) choose Angel Photography to take the most important photos of her life - the day she marries her man for life! Yes, Angel Photography is the wedding photographer of choice and we will have two lovely ladies joining us on the day.

At our first meeting with Andrea we felt relaxed and welcome as well as suitably impressed by Angel's approach and work and I definitely think she has a good understanding of my style and what I like, which is really important. (We both share a love for painted doors so you can't go far wrong with that!) Their photos have a lovely feel to them - modern but romantic, natural but not left to chance. The album design was exactly to my taste and I was glad to hear Mr Marshall say that he loved it too, trying to convince me we need one! Photography isn't high on his list of priorities in life so that was definitely a good sign.

They also have a fab blog which I am obsessively keeping up to date with to see the latest weddings they have done.

As a sign of how much he must love me, I was humoured while we priced a pretty well-known photographer in USA to come over to take our photos. But it wasn't to be and I'm more than happy to give the job to Angel NI, who is def my no.1 choice in N.Ireland.
Photos courtesy of Angel NI

Friday, 4 December 2009

A present to myself...?

Oh my gosh, this morning I have found something beautiful I want/need to have. I visited Paris for the first time in July this year with family and fell in love with the atmosphere and buildings. Unfortunately we only seen the city itself one day as we were staying at Disneyland but I managed to fit as many photographs in as possible. However, these photos of the city are on another level - just magical!
irenesuchocki's shop on Etsy (which I found through ishtar olivera's blog) is full of gorgeous prints and this particular calendar has a 'pretty' for every month of the year. If you want to see the other months click here.
I always feel bad about buying myself something nice at this time of the year when so many presents have to be bought, but maybe I should buy a present for me, right?
Are you buying yourself something nice for Christmas this year?

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Getting old...?

Last night my sis and I took my niece and her friends to the Clubland show in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast (with Agness, Cascada, N-Dubz and the likes) and grabbed some food and a movie to pass the time while we waited.

We went to see these cool kids in New Moon and although I'm still only halfway through the book, I decided to go ahead and see the movie anyway and I loved it!

While we waited for our kids to come out of the show we suddenly realised we were getting old when we found ourselves saying things like, "Look at all that child has on her!"; "She doesn't look old enough to smoke!"; "How do they walk in those shoes?!".

Oh dear.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The Happenings...

Things have been fairly quiet around here. Some of the things I've been up to are:

  • Shopping on my day off work last Friday with family
  • Babysitting a 3-year-old all day Saturday and loving acting mummy
  • Trying to come up with fundraising ideas for our new church hall
  • Finding new inspiration at Designing Moms - even though I'm not a mum
  • Trying to reassure myself that the photographer we have decided to go with is the right one for us (I'm not good at decisions)
  • Visiting my little granny who isn't very well at the moment
  • Considering all the nice things I want to bake for Christmas
  • Reading Twilight and New Moon before I see the movies
  • Searching for cute red and green packaging to sell my baked goodies in for the church sale (for said church hall)
Life is good, quiet and simple. And that's not to say that there are other things lurking in the background but I'm making a conscious decision to focus on the good and be happy.

What is making you happy at the minute?

Monday, 23 November 2009

The official photograph...

For those of you who expressed an interest, this one's for you...

Although there were lots of them taken on the day, I think this photo is fast becoming my favourite photo from our engagement session a few weeks back and I am now declaring it our Official Photograph (much in the same way that royals and celebrities have official photographs!).

Extra special thanks to Annette Burke at 4ever Photos who was great at making us feel relaxed enough to get natural shots, who made us laugh and who fell in love with Mr Marshall's tattoos! The word on the street is that 4ever Photos have won a very special award this year - all will be revealed after the official announcement!

Sunday, 22 November 2009

crash, bang, wallop, what a picture...

This weekend we went wedding photographer "shopping". I thought I would love this bit, and I did, but now I have the difficult job of choosing just one to do the job. This decision, to me as a photo lover, is probably the biggest of all the wedding decisions that have to be made and it needs to be the right decision... nothing like putting extra pressure on yourself!

What to do, what to do?

Mr Marshall says I have tossed and turned in bed for 2 whole nights, talking in my sleep about photographers and weddings. I'll be glad when the decision is made and I can put it to rest for a little while.

Unless of course I start worrying whether I have made the right decision ;)
photo courtesy of Tec Petaja's blog

Friday, 20 November 2009

And the award goes to...

Thank you so much to Melissa for presenting me with "Making Smiles on Faces" Award! I've never had an award before and I'm so pleased she seen me fit to have it. You're a pretty inspiring blog-writing star Melissa! Check her blog out if you get a chance.

It would seem that I have to expose myself with 5 random facts before I can accept and pass on this award, so here you are:

  1. I can't resist pressing the cancel button on the toaster before it finishes.
  2. I am a hair twirler and twiddler.
  3. I always worry about what to wear.
  4. I need to starting dealing with the fact that life will not be perfect like it is in TV ads and movies.
  5. I can't stop looking at my engagement ring - 5 months down the line!

The lovely folk I would like to pass this award on to are:

All very much deserved ladies!

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Divine inspiration...

Today I am finding inspiration at Green Wedding Shoes from Tec Petaja and Jonas Peterson. Just look at those dresses.

And then I found this...

Man alive!

Monday, 9 November 2009

And now for something completely different...

Just a few of my favourite purchases from the last few months and a little layout that took up my Saturday morning when I should have been doing the cleaning. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

A change of scenery

Well, anyone who has visited my little corner of the web before will have noticed that we have had a bit of a makeover. I decided it was time, having been impressed by the look of my fellow classmates' blogs - in other words, I was shamed into it.
This being the highlight of my day, I thought it might be quite fitting to mention it given Shimelle's prompt for the day! My pretty background is from House of 3 blog couture and I'll tell you it took quite a few attempts to get it uploaded (my fault). I did follow their very good online tutorial and in the process opened an account with Photobucket which I'll explore another time, but their guide varied a bit from Shimelle's.

Now I feel all pretty and girly and arty and smart. For a little while anyway he he!

As a side note I haven't scrapped one single page since I started Shimelle's class but just because you should always have a photo, here's one I made earlier.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Oh My Wow...

First of all, a huge thank you to everyone who has commented on my blog since I started Shimelle’s class. It was like Christmas morning opening my email to find little presents telling me that someone had left me a message! I’ve had a great time rummaging through your blogs – there are some talented bloggers in my class I can tell you. And Donna, what can I say… I will love you forever for finding me worthy of a link!

Yesterday I registered for one of Jessica Sprague’s classes – which just happens to be free (!) – Holidays in Hand. The only requirement for this class is that you have holiday stories to tell, and while I’m not sure how particularly exciting mine may be, what I do have a real need for are Jessica’s fab free downloads and tutorials. I’ve taken a couple of her classes before – Frame-Ups and Special Effects and Brush Abilities – and I promise she doesn’t disappoint. If you fancy taking part in Holidays in Hand, registration is unlimited and the class runs from 16-23 November.

Talking of Christmas, last year was the first in 30 that Santa didn’t officially visit to my mum and dad’s (where we celebrate the day) because the youngest in the family was then 12 - and I think we done well to last that long. I have to say it’s just not the same and I can’t wait until we have little ones to bring back the magic of Christmas. More and more I am finding myself looking forward to having little ones and thinking that they will make outings etc so much more special. (Is it wrong to want kids so I have great material to scrapbook? I think yes.)

In other news, and on the wedding front, I am patiently waiting to see the online proofs of the engagement photo session we had last Saturday. I am calling these our unofficial photos because we got a free portrait voucher and I am hoping that our chosen wedding photographer will include an e-session for us as part of the deal with him/her. This was a great opportunity for Mr Marshall to practice not using his fake smile which he is already stressing about when he thinks of the big day. I have tried to reassure him that on the day he will be filled with so much love and joy that he won’t be able to stop himself smiling from ear to ear every time he looks at me. But he’s not buying it and neither am I!!

Monday, 2 November 2009

First day in class

The first of Shimelle’s classes that I have signed up for – Blogging for Scrapbookers – started today and my motivational levels are high! I’m hoping the class will inspire me to create layouts because I just haven’t been “feeling it” for several months now. I think what happened is that I’ve had inspiration overload from all the gorgeous crafty blogs I read and my mojo just curled up and died in the face of the ‘competition’. In the meantime I developed a love for wedding blogs/magazines and scrapping took a back seat.
As I’m just new to this blogging malarkey I thought some prompts from the master might help me along and increase the number of readers I have. (I usually clap with glee when I see someone has visited.)
To all my fellow classmates, I look forward to reading your fab blogs and thanks in advance to anyone who visits mine :)

Over the space of the next 3 weeks I promise not to:
· beat myself up if I don’t post
· think that my life isn’t interesting enough to blog about
· compare my blog to others’ and feel inferior.
(oh dear!)

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

I did it!

I did it! I actually did it! For the first time since June I actually scrapped. It was October's Scrapagogo kit that done it. Its 'easy to use' papers and bits and pieces really inspired me out of my scrap-less funk. So this is what I created:

And this, although not from this month's kit:

Yes, I know this was supposed to be a wedding blog but you know how it is... there isn't always a lot happening in the world of wedding planning so in the interim you will be getting more of the paper and digital creations that I get so excited about.

Thanks for looking x

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Calendar 2010

Another Sunday afternoon playing in Photoshop Elements on my laptop resulted in this which will be printed back to back. Necessity is the mother of all invention and as I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for I decided to have a try myself. I'm beginning to enjoy this digital creating malarky!


Font from Famous Fonts.
Brushes from House of 3 sample pack courtesy of Jessica Sprague Frame-Ups and Special Effects class.

What do you think?!

Monday, 12 October 2009


On doing my rounds of the many gorgeous US wedding blogs I have noticed there is quite a bit of peach and I love it. I know it has a bit of a bad rep of being naff but the pics I am seeing lately are to die for:

courtesy of Once Wed

courtesy of Flights of Fancy

courtesy of Flights of Fancy

courtesy of Snippet and Ink

courtesy of Polka Dot Bride

I like to call it 'blush'.

Oh dear, maybe I love this look too:

courtesy of Snippet and Ink

These inspiration boards are so... well, inspiring! Every new one I see, I fall in love and decide that it is the one... until the next time. I think it's fair to say that my mind will be changed on a colour scheme many times from now to April 2011!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Playing in Photoshop

Yesterday, for the first time in ages I done a little scrapping. I seem to have lost my mojo big time and haven't touched my last three gorgeous Scrapagogo kits because I just haven't felt the urge. I haven't been happy with the last few pages I done and so didn't want to force my creativity.

Anyway, I updated my little wedding planning scrapbook and decided then to have a little play in Photoshop Elements to create some bits and pieces.

While I was at it I thought I would try to create my own version of Naomi Murrell's gorgeous picture below. What do you think of my effort?!

Friday, 9 October 2009

To do list

Mr Marshall is keen to push forward with all this planning and while he is in the mood I won't complain. He asked what we can be doing while we are waiting for money to build up so, as a lover of lists, I'm making a 'to do' list:

  • Shortlist (another list!) and visit photographers

  • Find and go hear/see bands

  • Visit car companies

  • Contact catch cinematography again for a quote for our needs.

Today just for the heck of it I am going to make my evening invite list even though it is really early. Having such a large family on my side, few are invited to the wedding - it's always been that way at my family weddings - and the whole herd are then invited to the party. The total number of guests could more than double by 8pm!

As a side note, I came across this sweetie about a month ago and have been searching for her ever since. In the end I had to email SJ (a very talented scrapper and blogger) who posted about her in order to find out where she could be bought. I've found the seller, Naomi Murrell but alas my sweetie has been sold (in this background colour). Can I justify ordering a custom-made one? Surely not.

Monday, 5 October 2009

It's a date!

So, 4 months after our engagement, the date has been set for the big day!

On 27 April 2011 I will officially become Mrs Marshall.

In the end we went for hotel no.1 and after a second visit we are happy that we have made the right choice. We've since booked the church and the next thing we need to book is our photographer. The photos are the most important part for me after the dress and venue so I already have a shortlist!

We have been to a couple of wedding fairs which scared the life out of us and we came home exhausted with hundreds of leaflets to sort through. It was good though to get rough prices for things which we had no idea about and so we can work out our budget much better.

Friday, 28 August 2009

£24,000 Wedding

Every year Northern Ireland's Wedding Journal magazine has a competition to win a dream wedding - this year it is worth £24,000. Automatically I assume that a big fairytale story will win that is full of woe and love conquering all. Obviously Mr Marshall and I can't compete with that because we are just a normal couple but have decided to enter anyway and take the approach of letting them know we are just a normal couple but deserve to win just as much as the next couple.

I didn't think Mr Marshall would go for it at all but he says you have to be in it to win it and so our entry will be submitted over the next few days when I am sure that I have edited it to death! Entries close on 12 September 2009 so watch this space.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Shades of Summer

Something exciting arrived yesterday... This year I signed up to take part in the European leg of Shades of Summer 2009. Elizabeth Kartchner orchestrated the US version last summer and it was extended this year to Europe by Kristen Reinhard. Basically the shades (sunglasses to us Irish folk!) are passed around Europe to everyone who signed up, you take a photo of yourself in the shades and include it in the pack, then post it off to the next person.

I happened to be heading to the seaside at Kilkeel yesterday so took my sun specs along and had a little mini photoshoot right on the beach! They were too big for me and kept falling off but this is one of my faves.

Next stop for the shades is Finland.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Colour me pretty

I have been toying with colour schemes for the wedding for ages and searching through inspiration boards and lots have caught my eye but I just cant seem to make anything even resembling a decision yet.
I seen this today on decor8 from a creative mint and love, love, love it. I have been reluctant to choose pink because it is so popular and, well, weddingy, plus my chief bridesmaid hates pink. But it is pink that keeps on calling me...