Sunday, December 31, 2006
Yes I know the photo is out of focus. Try as I might I just couldnt get any decent photos of christmas this year, but to be honest putting the camera down and actually enjoying the moment was far more important to me this time round.
Forgive me if I get the credits wrong - I played with so many things this morning I may have forgotten my sources.
Template by Conny B of connyscrappings.blogspot.com
Holly element from Meryl Bartho Christmas red collection at Digitalscrapbookplace
Papers freebie from Creating Keepsakes site, Echos of Asia by Jessica Spraque
And the doodly bit was a free transparency (TLC MerryMine) which I turned into a brush.
Friday, December 29, 2006
I've finally managed to do another page - going for a bit more simple style and even printed the title by putting the cardstock through the printer. The photo's aren't brilliant as the printer seems to want to give them all a lovely christmassy green hue.
This is my boxing day table. And the story to go with it? It starts on Christmas eve when I came home from the Crib service to find a little note on the kitchen worktop propped up against two empty used glasses. 'The elves did it....'
Thinking Laura had come in with Wayne I texted her and asked what had the elves done it certainly wasnt any housework. Laura, knowing we were going out to the pub with our friends for a drink texted back asking her father if we were drunk. It apparently wasnt Wayne and her that had left the note. Kelly and Ollie had popped in for a cuppa between Ollie leaving work and going to their party. They had helped themselves to a (soft) drink and also munched through all the sausage rolls, mince pies and shortcake biscuits which Laura and I had spent two days baking ready for the mob arriving on Boxing day! They had also looked in the fridge and decided I wouldnt have any food for them on Boxing Day.
So Boxing Day morning Martin and I had to spend doing another huge bake in. 4 hours of rolling pastry, grating cheese (and my thumb- ouch) cooking another ham (they ate the first one three days before christmas) icing log cakes and mixing bread and biscuits!
So all the family came to ours and stuffed themselves silly, giggled themselves senseless as we opened the christmas pressies, and played board games on the upturned microwave box because the table was still groaning under grub!!
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
For now I just want to record all the goodies this lucky girl got.
From my Secret Santa - A lovely mini album with a gate fold opening and a Lush bubble bath cake
From my Stocking swap - which I believe was from Lemon:
A hand knitted rudolph finger puppet
Some chipboard flowers and paisley shapes
Double slide holder with two micro slides in it
Some scrub and moisturiser from The Sanctuary
A Santa Key decoration
A christmas stencil
And some Maya Road Journey tins.
In my stocking (from Laura and Martin combined)
Four pair of christmas socks
Foam alpha set
Satin ribbon (reds)
Paper mania alpha stickers (two different sets)
Papermania accent stickers (birthdays)
Wire word (Thank you)
Exfoliating body scrub and bath powders
A chocolate reindeer
Ankh PC game
Syberia PC game
The secret files pc game
Wintersmith (Terry Pratchett)
Clean and Simple Scrapbooking
Book reading light
A large tin of choccie biscuits
Lovely furry slippers
From Mum and Dad
Keepsake PC game
Q/K die folk heart
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Laura always ends up decorating it. Kelly sometimes started with us but never focused until the end but Laura always has helped until it was done. This year she dragged Wayne over too, and we had music playing, mulled wine and sausage rolls.
Everything is done. I have spent the morning sorting christmas songs onto itunes so that I can run the ipod all day tomorrow. Then I discovered I have over 300 songs and only 170 fit on so I have all the songs A-J on the ipod. At least I got anything that starts with 'Christmas' LOL At 4 mum and I are going to the crib service at the small church near her, and then this evening over to our friends and out for a drink at their local pub. Martin has had to work all today so he will be tired when he gets home at half seven but I am sure still up for an evening of good company. Tomorrow after we have opened our pressies from Santa its off to my parents for the day. Kelly and Ollie are coming over early to open the presents with us and then going on to his nan's for the day. Laura will be with us until mid afternoon when she will go off to see Wayne and his family. Boxing day everyone is coming to us for the day and we are going to have tree presents and play our board games and what have you. I dont have enough chairs, plates or cutlery so that will be fun!
Saturday, December 23, 2006
My SS gave me a baggie full of more lush ribbon today and yesterday a bag of jelly tots. I am so enjoying this advent swap this year.
And Laura and I have spent two days baking for christmas. I saw these ginger bread trees being made on Blue Peter so we thought we would have a go. They are really simple to do. Any gingerbread recipe and then cut two christmas trees out. Cut one of the trees in half lengthways and when baked just 'glue' the halves onto the whole tree at right angles with icing.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
And I got tagged by Scrapdolly.
Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
Hot Chocolate I am a self confessed chocoholic
Coloured lights on tree/house or white?
White icicles outside the window. coloured lanterns round the porch, coloured on both trees (we have a real one in the lounge and a fake one on the landing) white lights up the staircase, coloured ones on the landing, and red santa's in the dining room. Can you tell I like lights?
Do you hang mistletoe?
When do you put your decorations up?
The first weekend in december but the tree goes up later because the central heating would kill it off too soon. It usually takes me about 3 days to do on and off because I decorate all the house.
What is your favourite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
I loves me roast turkey
What's your favourite Christmas memory as a child:
Waking up early to open my stocking
How and When did you learn the truth about Santa?
I dont remember but I suspect my brother told me
Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
No - that would be norty and santa wouldnt come.
How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
Angel first then lights. After that the kids do the rest of the stuff, we have christmas music on and mince pies and mulled wine on the go as we do it.
Snow! Love it or Dread it?
Hate it with a passion. This stems from a field study course I went on in Wales when I was in the sixth form where it snowed every time we left the youth hostel but we still had to walk over mountains in blizzard conditions. It was so cold it broke the temp testing equipment!
Can you ice skate?
Yes - very slowly and not often because it makes my ankles ache. We used to go up to Stretham on a Sunday morning when I first started going out with DH.
Do you remember your favourite gift?
No, I just love getting any pressie.
What’s the most important thing about Christmas for you?
I love it all
What is your favourite Christmas dessert?
My FIL makes the puddings to a secret recipe handed down from his mum. It has enough alcohol in it to run a pub and is soooo yummy.
What is your favourite holiday tradition?
The crib service on Christmas ever incorporating the Christingle and a navity play at our local church
What tops your tree?
Which do you prefer, giving or receiving?
What is your favourite Christmas Song?
Bing Crosby singing White Christmas
What is your favourite Christmas story?
Twas the night before christmas
So now I am tagging Shirleen!
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Ok this may not look that much
but it took me all evening because the menu unfolds a little zig zag mini book filled with photos of our chrissie dinner - thats the bit that took ages - but unfolded it wont fit in the scanner so I am waiting for better lighting to take a photo of it. .
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
This blogger needs to catch up. Especially with my audiance growing since I have joined the Crafty Blog's site. Actually that is part of the problem, as I feel I should have something crafty to post but every attempt at catching up with my journal has been thwarted in some manner. But I still want to record what my SS has been generously gifting me. So just a couple of cards in the meantime.
On the 16th day ...a wonderful chipboard alpha, it was in a baggie so dont know much about its origin but its really lush
On the 17th day ...some Body shop Papaye Bath and Shower gel to match the Mango I had earlier
On the 18th ....lots of little shiny shiny beads
And today .... a little baggie stuffed with ribbons, in cream, white, grey and blue.
I have been such a lucky girl with my Secret Santa and am enjoying this immensely.
So to life. Saturday should have been catch up day on my journal but I still needed another 15 Chrimble cards, the room was a mess and I just didnt feel like it much. Plus the kids were supposed to be coming round Sunday to put up the tree so I spent most of the day hoovering and tidying (doesnt look like it now though). In the evening we went for a drink (or two) with our mates, and had a much needed giggle (or two). I have to say that even though the pub had its tree up there wasn't much of a christmas atmosphere - is this something I only remember from my youth or movies? I do remember we used to go out to the pub and the whole place would be twinkling with fairy lights, a roaring fire and the Sally Army would come round singing carols. Of course there was always a lot more people in them then too. Perhaps we are just going in the wrong pubs and everyone is in Weatherspoons - i saw people actually queueing to get in the Canterbury one yesterday.
The kids were late coming round to do the tree and again the spirit of Christmas simply didn't get going. I have a feeling they weren't really in the mood having been all day working on their house, and doing the rounds of B&Q, MFI etc for supplies.
And then yesterday I was a taxiservice for Laura as she had to go to uni with her work file but there was no room in the park&ride, so she came and asked me to drop her in. I ended up parking miles out of town, walking in and spending 2 hours wandering around waiting to take her home (it should only have been half an hour, and if I had known I would have gone home and come back). By the time I had dropped my application in to another school wanting maternity cover that was another day gone and nothing done.
In the evening we took my mum to see Eragon. I enjoyed it but felt the story line needed beefing up a bit, too many riding horses and scenery (beautiful as it was) shots, too many fight scenes with enemies who were not defined enough (whatever happened to white hats/black hats so you could tell the baddies?). Driving home was a bit stressful as it looks like winter is finally here, with icy roads and thick patches of fog. Still all home safe and still tucked in bed.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Then Laura had asked me to drive to Sittingbourne (about 23 miles away) to collect her from her 'drinks with the staff) after her day at school. I said I would find the pub and checked it out on multimap but I forgot it would be dark and I wouldnt be able to see road names. Anyway she wanted picking up at half five which meant I got all the oncoming rush hour traffic shining their lights on my rather greasy window screen, and despite my dad's best efforts we couldnt get the screen wash to work. Not only that at one point I must have dredged up some dirt from the petrol tank because the engine started to stall and overheat. There I am, lost on a strange estate, with a car about to die on me, and then I couldnt find my mobile phone (it had fallen out of my bag and gone under the seat)., only to be told my Laura that I could go home again as she didnt want collecting for another hour and a half!
Luckily my future son-in-law plied me with a cup of tea, the car cooled down and sorted itself out and I drove home. Wayne had to go get Laura which considering the state she was in (a tad merry) I am rather glad about. Just wish I hadnt spent 2 hours going there and back.
The upshot is that I have only done one more page of my journal and that is a scraplift of Scrapdolly's who has apparently scraplifted Shimelle's. So no originality today I am afraid.
I am falling way behind on my journal. I suppose it must be part of the grieving process but the last two days I have not really felt like doing anything much and I am even struggling to get the last few christmas cards done. But I am going to have a concerted effort to do at least one page this evening - if I can throw off the headache I have had all day.
We did do something towards christmas though, we took a trip (mum dad and I) down the coast to a farm shop we use to buy the veg for the christmas dinner and then on to a really good butchers to buy the meat. We each got a huge home made apple pie too!!
And the job? Well it came as no surprise but the school has decided not to appoint (again) and from comments made to me in the interview I suspect this decision had been made before interviewing me and def. before interviewing the Thursday appointment.
I would just like to share this card with you all. Angela, a fellow cardmaker and scrapper on the Pad forum, was having a bit of a joke over some of the things she was asked to do on commission makes, so in our Pad card swap I had asked for some outrageous requests on my card. Angela came through to the letter! I think it is brilliant!!! Thank you Angela.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
But how I managed this one I dont know because there are wrapped and unwrapped chrissie pressies all over the scraproom floor, and the table is covered in half made cards or cards in envelopes or about to go into envelopes.
Last year I spent ages and a lot of digital memory trying to get a decent picture of my christmas tree. I eventually asked santa for a tripod as I just couldnt get enough light into the camera and keep it steady at the same time. So these 'bits' of tree are all I could really salvage. But Santa is a lovely man and he also bought me a really good camera book so this year, when the tree goes up, I am going to have another go. So the photos lift up leaving space for journalling and the brilliant brillant photo I am going to take of this years tree! We all insist on a real tree in our house, we always have (despite the dog as a puppy or the cat). Its not Christmas without the smell of pine and hoovering up pine needles on a daily basis. When I had Kelly, mum kept saying I wouldnt be able to have a real tree with a baby in the house but when we got it I took her up to it, gently applied her finger to a needle so she could feel what it was like (not hard so it didnt hurt her) and told her it would hurt her if she touched it. She not only didnt touch it but 4 years later when her sister was born I watched her give the exact same warning to Laura.
I was off for an interview for a teaching post today. I had just put on my make-up when my mum phoned. She had forgotten about my interview and called to share the sad news that my Uncle in Australia had passed away in the night. Although he has been very ill for some time it still came as a shock and rather than go for an interview all I really wanted to do was go give my dad a huge cuddle because as he said, he hadnt just lost a brother but a friend. They spoke on Skype every day and I know my dad is going to miss him. My Uncle Vic had a heart of gold and was very good to me as a child so I would just like to say Goodbye to him here and now.
Of course that is not the best frame of mind to go to an interview and although the actual question/answer bit seemed to impress the board, the teaching was pants if I say so myself. I had pitched the whole session far too low for the class (difficult to get right even when you know the class) so behaviour was off the wall. I wont know anything officially until tomorrow but I am not holding my breathe.
Still I came home and did a search on the web, to discover there is a job in a school a bit nearer going so I still have something to apply for.
Then came the really silly part of the day. My dad is a qualified electrition so you would expect he would be good with technology, and yes he is one of our silver haired pc uses, but at 76 he is getting a bit confuddled so he doesnt own a mobile phone. Mum does but if she goes out without my dad or my dad goes up his allotment she gives him her mobile so she can phone him. Bear in mind he is also totally deaf in one ear and doesnt hear much in the 'goood' one either.
So he phones me up in a panic. He dropped mum, off down the highstreet to do some shopping and went up the allotment. Mum phones but he doesnt know how to connect the call. He thinks she must be phoning to say she is home now so he goes home. Mum is not there. The mobile goes another 3 times but he still cant figure out how to connect. He then rings all the places mum may have gone. No one has seen her. It turns out she was ringing to say she would meet him at the allotment but when he didnt answer she walked up there anyway. Not finding him (because he has gone home to look for her) she walks home stopping at a couple of phone boxes on the way to try and tell him where she is. I, in the meantime tell him to do 1471 on the mobile (having to talk him through it as I am on the land phone to him). After 4 attempts (its a long number) he gets the number and rings...the empty phone box.
So this comedy of errors is my life in a nutshell really LOL
Anyway a lovely Mini Tag Book Kit from my SS today. A lush card from my padder card swappee Lyzzy and another card from my lovely mate Angela but I shall say more about that later. Oh and we went to see The Holiday last night, lovely feel good christmas film, go see and enjoy too.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Today I have been down to the job centre to sign on for Job Seekers Allowance. The people were very nice but even in the nice new building with every reason for me to be there it still felt intimidating. As a professional teacher I am 'allowed' to only look for teaching jobs in the next 13 weeks. After that I may have to look for other jobs. Since a term is 13 weeks and jobs come up termly, not weekly I thought this a bit unfair but its one of the things you have to agree to. And I also have to make at least 3 applications a week. I tried explaining to him that in the time I have been looking (since last may) there have only been about 7 or 8 jobs that I could have applied for so how am I going to find 3 per week? He said they expect you to cold call. I explained that Head Teachers expect a certain etique to be followed and cold calling is not part of that. In fact with some Heads cold calling could actually put them off giving you any kind of job. While he agreed with me, and even looked on his computer to discover there are zero teaching jobs in the whole of Kent, he still insisted I have to sent three applications off. So I have no idea how I get round that one. I guess I will have to find out when I go to sign on in a weeks time. *sigh*
Anyway back to scrapping. Well I would have done some last night but for some reason we suddenly lost all our terrestrial telly channels. After I had pulled the tv forward, checked all the wires, unscrewed and rescrewed all the connectors, it became apparent that the Dover mask was playing up. So when Martin came home I asked him to push the telly back in to place. Thats when we lost all our sky channels! So another 90 mins playing about to discover it seems to be the video recorder - it may have lost its tuning and all the channels go through it. So bypass that and ...its 11.25 and way too late to do any of my christmas journal.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
I should have been sorting out a lesson plan for the interview I have on Wednesday, instead I got up early and did a page of my journal and then did another this afternoon. Hubby has had to work all day today and Laura was at her other half's so I have been on my own all day. I made some toffee popcorn and settled down to watch films, they were re-running Oliver with Mark Leister so got to have a good old sing song too!
Right, no idea what page number this one is. I took some photos of the cards I made and then shoved them all in the envelopes. I never thought to check if the photos were ok, they weren't, they were all blurred, which is why the LO has them all hidden behind bits of greenery.
Only 4 LO's behind now.
I think in redoing some pages I have got the days mixed up but never mind Perfect Chrismas!!! And sorry the scan has come out a little dark so the shiny micro beads on the christmas ornament dont show up (after I spent ages glueing them all on)
The exclamation marks are because each tag tells of little! incidents that nearly stopped our christmas from being perfect, from the time hubby stuck the chisel through his thumb trying to whittle the trunk of the christmas tree thin enough to go into the stand, the time Martin bought home a tree so pathetic I sit and cried and he had to go out and buy a second one, to the time my SIL accidently managed to lock herself in the toilet just as we dished up a family dinner to 14. Lots of Kay & Co papers that I was too busy stroking to use last year. MM pewter christmas charms, Heidi rub ons and SEI stickers.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
The Count down door opens to reveal photo of our Santa's workshop advent that has been coming out every year since DD1 was born 25 years ago. I've never seen another advent like it, you dont open doors but each day slot a little cardboard figure into the workshop scene until Santa arrives on christmas eve. The girls love it so much I have had to scan in and make a second one for DD1 to take to her own home and have instructions to make a third for DD2 when she moves out next year!
Journaling also tells how I have to buy Cadbury advent calendars for the girls, my husband AND the girl's boyfriends. As well as which we also have a felt tree with little felt objects to hang on it which I made for school but because we break up before christmas eve I never made the last 5 objects.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Loads if stuff on this one, journaling to tell how Mum and I always had a day out christmas shopping together, hidden behind photo is this years christmas lists from everyone and some more journaling about how we always make a list and pass it round for each person to cross off what they are going to buy, and then journaling down the side explaining the photo. Kelly wanted a 'mum and daughter shopping day but wanted to hit Bluewater AND Lakeside in one day. This is the result!!!!
Discovered 8x8 fits through the printer - trouble is it doesnt always print in a straight line. However the actual photo IS straight but its got a bit distorted by all the journaling underneath.
My SS sent me some lovely glass beads, and today a packet of toffee poppets. We used to get poppets on the way home from school, either in the train station shop or more often from the plateform chocie machine, Ahh happy yummy memories.
I also got a phone call from a school I applied for ages ago inviting me to an interview next week. I have now got to sort out a maths lesson for 30 reception children.
And I decided that the format of my christmas journal simply wasnt working. I am used to scrapping 12x12 - square, so the rectangle just wouldnt do it for me. So I have taken the drastic step of restarting. I am much happier with the results, I know that if I hadnt done this I would have given up. Of course it does now mean I am several pages behind but I think it is worth the bother. Plus I also found some Basic Grey Blitzen left from last year which gives me a bit more scope.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Journalling reads "I love those old fashioned Christmas cards with Victorian snow scenes, skaters with their hands encased in muffs, carol singers in front of bay windows snow piling up in the corners, cottages in snowy fields. In reality I hate the cold silent stuff though, and much prefer my Christmas to be rainy, dark, murky so I can enjoy curling up indoors, drawing the curtains to feel cosy and listening to the drips hitting the conservatory roof, watching the sparkle of the Christmas lights, lighting aromic candles or building a roaring fire in the grate. I love walking along wet pavements twinkling fairy lights reflecting in the puddles and decorations gleaming and distorted by raindrops on windows."
my SS is still sending me wonderful gifts. Yesterday I was facinated by this thing - a folding ruler. OK so little things please little minds but at least my SS realised that LOL
Today she sent me some microbeads, seasonal red and white ones mixed in a bag and some lovely heart shaped buttons. I love all things heart shaped. DD even had to buy me an engagement ring with the diamond set in a heart shape setting.
Monday, December 04, 2006
my Secret Santa was so genourous and sent me a bottle of Body Shop Mango Bath and Shower Gel.
I can't believe I am being so spoilt and how did she know I just love Body Shop stuff? In fact Thursday is late night shopping in Canterbury and the Body Shop there are having a 25% off event for 'Love your Body' members. My yearly membership runs out next month but it has been so worth it. I have saved sooo much so if you adore BS goodies I highly recommend investing the £5. I have had that back 10 times over at least.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
some Tim Holtz pastel words Doo-dads, I am one lucky girl.
I also managed, finally, to get my christmas banner to work. Credits to Martha Bartho and www.digitalscrapbookplace.com for the holly elements.
Today I took my mum and my youngest daughter Laura to the Christmas Craft Fair. Mum and I have been for the last four years, the first time it was packed and there were tons of lovely hand made stuff from knitted baby clothes, lathe-turned wooded tree decs to Christmas cards but we have seen a decline in the number of people going and the kind of work being exhibited. I was surprised Laura even wanted to come as its not really her bag, especially as is customary, it was blowing a terrible gale, chucking it down with rain and was fairly early (for her) on a Sunday morning. As it turned out she was the only one to buy anything, there were some lovely things but priced out of our bracket for the presents we have still to buy. Anyway Laura bought a hand embroidered baby bib for a friend who is due a little addition real soon, and a really good quality hand knitted scarf for her boyfriend's mum.We got plenty of inspiration for things we could make ourselved too, so despite the weather a successful visit.
We were also going to go to our local town Victorian Street Market but by the afternoon Laura was feeling unwell with a rotten cold, mum had gone home to the warm and even though it had stopped raining I had reports that the road had not been shut and very little was happening. Maybe it had been cancelled due to the adverse weather, but I stayed in and did some more work on day 2 of my Christmas Journal.
Watch this space, I need to do a little more work on it before I share, but I really am having fun with this project.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
Anyway here is my first entry.
The journalling reads " Next Christmas is going to be so different. Kelly already lingin in her own home will be married to Ollie and Laura & Wayne will be living in the house they are building together, so this maybe the last teime we have our tradition Christmas. Already some of the traditions we built up as a family with the children have changed or been lost as the girls have got older. We have already decided that I will not be doing stockings for them this Christmas eve. So before everything changes or is lost I want to keep this journal to record Christmas 2006.
Today I did my first day of supply teaching. It was really hard work, although the children were lovely (although a little lively) and the plans left for my by the class teacher worked well and were easy to translate into my own style. But I had forgotten what a long day it can be, how you have to be aware and on your feet all the time. I am totally exhausted. It was really great to be back in the classroom doing what I know I am good at doing though.
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
So my christmas as a kid? Well as I said, we never had much money, people were paid weekly in cash in those days (hard to beleive now in the land of plastic credit cards and easy debt) but often my parents got to the day before payday and we were living on eggs alone. I have a big extended family, my dad is one of seven and they have all married and had children so alot of cousins. Then living in Kent September was spent out in the hop fields earning some extra dosh which meant (for us kids) we met and aquired lots of extra 'aunts' who would give us christmas presents too. I don't really know how my mum managed to afford presents for all those she had to buy for but she did. I can remember helping her wrap and tick off the very long list, checking several times that no one had been missed.
There were always ways to save a few pennies though. Maybe thats where my love of papercrafts started? When dad came home with our packet each of pre-gummed paper strips to make the paper chains? When mum went out looking for the perfect tree twig to paint white and use to hold little ornaments made from silver paper? My Grandad worked for Bowaters, the paper mill and would get some of that white core silver and gold card to make into decorations. Then there were the traditional snowflakes cut from sheets of paper, the silver paper bells made by fashioning the paper over your finger, pine cones sprayed with silver paint, tags cut from last year's christmas cards. It seems that for days our table would be covered with glue, paper, card (much like mine now I suppose LOL)
Sunday, November 26, 2006
I used to love cybercrops, well I say that, I only ever got involved in the UKS one and I really enjoyed it at the beginning. When I first joined it was ALL about scrapping and with a smaller community it had a terrific feel. Layouts were encouraged from the stash you all ready owned and classes focussed on technique rather than style. Simple challenges were dotted throughout the weekend and I would dash about trying to do EVERYTHING!!
But now its just too big, too busy and too .... Oh I dont know ... arty? for me. Scrapbooking doesnt seem t o be the main reason for the whole chebang anymore. Firstly nearly all the LO's need you to buy a kit. OK they SAY you dont, but this time round you really did need some of the stuff in the kits to do the classes. Which wouldnt be so bad if the kits didnt sell out within minutes ... and I do mean literally minutes, apparently this year there were people sitting at their computers repeatedly hitting refresh just to be in on the word go when the kits when up for sale! Which is a bit unfair on those for which Real Life must come first.
I think that is what puts me off the UKS cybercrops nowdays, the unfairness of the whole thing. I'm not knocking the organisors, far from it, it's just got too big to even think that it would cater for everyone involved, but it certainly disadvantages you if... you work or can only get to the computer for short periods of time at set times, you dont have money to buy every item needed, or you are not into altered art, or decorating clipboards.
And the pace is unbelievable now, again disadvantaged if your pc is not near your scrapping area because with so many challenges invovling whole LO's and so many classes there is just no way...!
On the other hand the one day cybercrop on the pad was just my pace, with just enough good quality classes, using things you can find in your everyday stash or if not, clear instructions or templates on how to make them or adapt stuff. A good mix of challenges and quizes and none of it reliant on either visiting sponsor's shops or buying stuff you can ill afford just near christmas.
Of course having said all that I was out for most of yesterday and then when I got in felt so rough with a winter cold coming that I didnt actually do anymore than download the classes, peruse the respective galleries and retire to bed. But what I do want to say is, whether the pace or classes or whatever were to my taste or not, a big thank you to all those ladies who work so hard to organise such events for us all.
Saturday, November 25, 2006
Of course I also had to supply the decorations for the classroom at school. We were given £10 eac year but most of that went on the children's christmas party prizes so I consider any decs I bought for the school to me mine. Lets face it a decent artificial tree cost me £30, and during my time there I have had to buy two of them! So that accounts for another three boxes.
I used to put real ivy, holly and large chunks off the laylandi trees on the bannister and over the fire mantle, but the cat (a new addition four years ago) found that rather tasty and kept eating it so now there is a box full of artifical garlands. Its not the same, I miss my greenery, the smell, the hoovering up of dead leaves, but there you go...
A box lablelled 'lights'. Mmmm well..I love lights. That's the whole magic of of Christmas for me, enjoying all the sparkly fairy lights against a dark winter night's sky. On my route home most evenings there is a house with a single reindeer light up on the flat roof of the garage. No over-kill just one single reindeer lit with white lights and it looks fantastic, set against the black backdrop. My lights on the other hand .... well hubby isnt really into the "untangling, sorting through the lights to find the one that has blown, hang them up by climbing up a ladder" thing. But I still manage to drap quite a few little twinkling bulbs about the house. I love the ones peeping through the garlands on the mantle and down the banister. I'm not so keen on the lanterns we have round the porch door though as you can guarrantee that at least once I will have to walk down the road looking for the plastic holders that have blown away in the wind.
Friday, November 24, 2006
I have been busy getting in the mood and getting ready for Christmas.
I LOVE CHRISTMAS !!
and have been making cards, wrapping my advent swap pressies, buying advent calendars for the kids (even though they are 21and 25 years old) and sorting out pressie lists. I've also filled my ipod with christmas music and have started blasting it out in every room in the house plus the car. A different cd in every player!! Currently its Bing Crosby on the pc, Motown in the lounge, Christmas classics in the kitchen/diner and Trans-Siberian Orchestra in the car (which frightens a few old ladies when played at full pelt down the high street LOL). I am so jealous of my eldest DD who is now working in London so last night after work she took her boy friend to Oxford Street to see the lights, window displays and to play in Hamleys.
We discovered Hamleys when my eldest Kelly was really young. Hubby was working in town then so when she was about 3 years old we agreed to meet him at Oxford Street Circus underground when he had finished for the day and take her to the toy shop and see Santa. Gosh we were all so excited! My mum and I had made a day outing of it, taking Kelly up earlier in the day, on the train, to see where Daddy worked, where everyone made a huge fuss of her. A visit to Hyde Park and feeding the ducks, and then the underground to Oxford Street. We knew the toys were only minutes walk away but NO we had to wait for daddy first. So we waited,... and waited.... and ...yes you get the picture. Kelly was so patient but also so eager to get to the promised wonderland, and to make matters worse it was chucking it down with rain. That cold driving sleety stuff you get in December. Well eventually after over an hour and with only minutes left until Hamley's shut I decided to wander down to the actual underground station to see if the trains had been held up or something, only to find hubby had been standing down there, in the dry and the warm, the WHOLE time!!!! We made Hamleys with only 10 minutes to go before closing time. I could have killed that day, poor Kelly. If only we had had mobile phones in those days.
Anyway to get more in the mood I have decided to show some of the cards I have been making. I never batch make, because I get so bored so easily so every one is a unique design (all be it some are copies from those seen on the net).
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
My friend Clare asked a good question today - has anyone seen any sugar mice for sale IRL. You can get them on line but not in real bricks and mortar shops anymore, or if you are lucky enough to find them they seem to be minus their little string tails (Health and Safety I expect).
I remember them so fondly, there were one of the things Santa ALWAYS left in my stocking, along with the nuts and the satsuma, the bottle of bubbles and the balloon.
I tried so hard to make my two girls Christmases as special and as magical as my childhood ones had always been, but sugar mice eluded me. My mum and I had a tradition of picking a town we wouldnt normally shop in to have a day out and do all our christmas shopping. Dad would have the girls and we would take the train to Bromely or Croydon or where-ever, with our lists in hand and come back laden with goodies. And I would always have a weathered eye open for a glimpse of a little pink body with a chocolate coloured nose, and that string. I only got lucky three times, when I discovered the Fudge shop (now no longer there) in Canterbury made them. But now alas it seems that they really have become a thing of the past.
OK so maybe dentists wouldnt approve of all that sugar but hey? Its only once a year.
Going by the responses to Clare's question many others love them too and hate the demise of them.
So I had a little hunt on the net and found two recipes. One on the Bagpuss site http://www.smallfilms.co.uk/bagpuss/sugarmice.htm (because even Bagpuss loved sugar mice!!)
And this one;-
Sugar Mice Ingredients:
2 pounds of granulated sugar
3/4 pint water 3oz glucose (you can get this from Boots, or good cook shops)
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
Nice clean white string
Red food colouring if wished
Method: Put the sugar and water into a pan, and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved.
Add glucose, and boil until 240 degrees fahrenheit/105 centigrade (setting point, again).
Take from heat, and allow to cool until it starts to thicken.
When cool enough to handle, work in the colouring, if you are using it, and knead it. Shape into mice-shapes - or little grubby sausages, if you're under 2 years old.
Make the ears seperately, and press them on.
Take a tiny bit of fondant, work in the cocoa powder and make eyes. Stick the tails into the fondant.
Makes 16 mice (or hedgehogs, or dinosaurs, or grubby things with ears and tails).
Curtesy of http://www.dooyoo.co.uk/recipes/preserves/295588/
Monday, November 20, 2006
And a big thankyou to Clare, Anso and Suzanne who have helped me to get my slide show into my side bar!
Saturday, November 18, 2006
So next challenge is to get a slide show in the side bar. Yeah right!! LOL
A bit of really good confidence boosting news. Yesterday the school where I had my interview phoned and offered me a day of supply work. Ok its only one day, and OK maybe I should think - "well if I wasnt good enough to be employed full time ...." but to be honest I am just sooooo very chuffed they actually asked me, and I am going to get back into the classroom. Mind you its a little scary as they have asked me to teach Year 4 and it has been oh so many years since I taught any child over the age of 6!
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Anyway I finally could get back to some paper scrapping. I needed to finish some recipe cards I am doing for a swap. I had made 4 before the move round and had left my tweezers, my beautiful holly garland stamp and my paint brush (Art-Kure) out all ready. So where are they now?????The room is tidy. There is no where for them to hide! Humph!!
Monday, November 13, 2006
The only trouble is that in doing all that I managed to loose my visitor counter so next challenge...to get it back again. LOL
I will only be able to digi scrap for a while, and since I cleared all my photos off the pc and onto discs its a massive hunt through them all to find the photos I want to do that. I cant paper scrap as we went out and got a new carpet for the craft room today and all my stuff is piled up around our bedroom ready for Martin to lay the new carpet tomorrow morning. We got a beautiful bit of Axminster for £50, enough to do the whole room, in the half price sale. It should have been £46 a square metre but it was the end of the roll so was already at a cut down price. Its going to show all the cheapo stuff in the rest of the house up though. Hubby was a triffle put out that there will be better quality carpet in my scrapping room than in all the other rooms. I think I best be a bit careful with the acrylics for a while in there LOL
Ok so updates. Well I went for my interview, and had a terrific day. The day before I went I got a phone call to say one of the candidates had dropped out so it was a two horse race. The staff were so friendly and put me at my ease straight off. The TA I was to work with was wonderful and after only 10 mins went out and told the Head that I was 'lovely'!!
It was fantastic to be back in the classroom with the kids and withing minutes I was so wrapped up in the lesson I forgot it was actually an interview and I was being observed. After that I was meant to get the chance to look round the school but the Deputy Head asked if I wouldn't mind helping his ICT lesson in the ICT suite as he was missing his TA, so I got another chance of teaching, Year 3 this time.
Lunch with the staff where a terrific buffet spread had been put on but I was still too nervous to eat. Shame as there was lashings of lovely chocolate desert and cheesecake. The other candidate said it was horrible being only the two of us especially as I seemed so nice (gosh so not used to all these compliments after all the horrid things my last Head had said about me.)
I felt the actual interview bit had gone ok, and even though the Head quizzed me on the stress and how it had been caused I managed not to say anything detrimental about my last empoyer.
However sadly I did not get the job. In feedback the Head said I had just not said enough about what I knew when asked questions. Basically lack of interview technique. Apparently even after 10 years of teaching and having to follow the National Literacy strategy you can not assume the Head knows you know about teaching phonics and have to actually tell him so!
So onwards and upwards, a brilliant brillant day that did wonders for my confidence and has given me the experience to get the next job that comes my way.
Thank you to all of those virtual friends who wished me a happy birthday. It was a strange day as I was left alone all morning, hubby left to play golf before I was awake, and my two daughters didnt turn up until later as we were having a late family lunch to celebrate. Infact the younger one phoned me to come over to the new house to see progress, then the older one wanted to go over there to take a look, so I got two visits to the building site and even ended up stacking house bricks at one point. Lunch was good, but Kelly had to get home to feed her two new little kittens and mum and dad needed to get back for their dog as the fireworks really really upset the poor little mite, so I got dragged to the pub to watch the Tottenham game!! Hubby says he likes me more since I have had stress as he would never have got away with doing that two years ago LOL
Monday, November 06, 2006
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Of course then I start writing things I see on bits of paper but never have it to hand when I am asked!
So I am going to make my list here this year. Its ok if it stays here and I just add to it because it usually doubles as a christmas list with it being so close to Christmas. Please please dont anyone take this as meaning I am asking anyone to give me this stuff - it is here purely to aid my poor aging memory for when the youngest and my hubby ask me what I would like, but please feel free to chip in with any 'must haves' you think I should add on.
Ok then - Yvonne's birthday/christmas gift list
Body Shop Lightning touch
Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
Book reading light - as seen in Boots, nice pink girly oneLOL
Sunday, October 29, 2006
We, in the meantime finally got our medicals for the fostering through. My doctor has a very dry sense of humour so the hour we spent at the surgery was a bit of a giggle. Hubby couldnt come in with me for mine as Doc said he would only get confuddled trying to fill in two forms at once so I went first. I've not had a medical since I was 16 and applying for a job with the MOD so I was a tad nervous. So result - high blood pressure result. But fingers crossed everything else is ok on it. No idea how long we will have to wait for the next bit though.
I have also been having a major stress about the job interview in a week and a halfs time. They seem to want so much of the candidates - a lesson in the morning fully planned, lunch with the staff, a 10 min presentation with a portfolio of work and then a proper formal interview. It all got too much for me and I finally broke down in tears because I just dont have any work samples - well why would I? I walked out with stress last november never realising I would never set foot in the place again. Anyway Hubby was great and said that it doesnt matter, I can only do what I can do and if I dont get the job we will find something else, even if it means I have to go back to college (and that wouldnt be for a whole other year!) So I am now trying to let it all 'go over my head' as the saying goes.
I also went to my local crop yesterday where lovely Bernie RAKed me a lovely little tin for me to decorate for my advent swap and then Margie gave me a mini lunchbox for the same reason. Margie was very impressed with the short lesson I gave her on photoshop 7, mum finally made some christmas cards and I managed the best part of an exploding box as well as two cards and a half decorated tin.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Anyway the first shop we tried was Coast where I tried on a bustier top and matching skirt with a lovely lacey kick pleat at the back, all in a dusty plumish colour. It actually looked ok and whats more it was in the sale, £75 top reduced to £35 and the skirt had a similar huge price slash. Wow! I couldnt believe we had actually found something and so easily. Next was our stop after that where we picked out some lush gold and cream brocade shoes which lifted the colour - I didnt actually buy them as I wanted to have a further look round before settling but I think they are what I will go for. I thought we were on a roll, all I now needed was a shrug/jacket/bolero/top coat to wear with it (as it was off the shoulder and the wedding is in March, plus I am getting a little long in the tooth to be parading too much bear flesh). This is where it got difficult though as nothing either was the right colour, fitted or suited me. Without the complete outfit there is no point in looking for the accessories (jewellry, hat, bag) so its back to scouring the internet and ebay. But at least I have made a start.
By this time we have been out 5 hours and it is tipping down, but it is my dad's birthday tomorrow and neither my daughter or myself had bought a pressie for the old man, so a detour over to Sheerness to find the concrete ornament factory. Yes a good idea except we didnt actually know where it was or what it was called. An hour spent driving in torrential rain around docks and industrial estates later and we stumbled on it. Between us we got him a lovely water feature complete with pump so I just hope he appreciates the effort.
I am still doing the Dares from the WeDigidareYa site - so many challenge sites have shut down this week its hard to keep up with them - this is my attempt for Dare #8
Shir Benovich Kit 1
ES Spooks stitching
Quote "A hug is worth a thousand words, a friend is worth more" Author unknown
Friday, October 20, 2006
Well hubby has been told he can stay in the store he is in at the moment recouperating from the stress episode for at least another 4 weeks so yes that is good news.
After loads of job applications (one I was positive I was perfect for but alas no) I have finally been shortlisted for interview. Mind you they want to see a taught lesson, lunch with the staff, a 10 min presentation AND an interview so scary but a confidence boost to be chosen at least.
And ok only a little bit of good luck but is it a sign that the bad times are over? We bought some computer chairs from Morrison way back last November. They were such a good offer we bought 3, one for my daughter, one for my daughter's boyfriend's dad and one for me. Within a month the one for my DBF's dad had broken (awheel on the stand snapped off). The cat had snagged the plastic on the seat of mine so we made one decent chair out of the two broken ones, but had lost the recipe so could do no more about it. Last week a wheel snapped on mine so it was religated to the pile of rubbish sitting outside waiting to go to the tip BUT THEN Monday Morrisons put out a recall on them!!Apparently this wheel snapping thing is a fault and they are giving every one who brings them back a full refund, no recipe needed! So WAY HAY a result. Money returned and off to Staples for a new chair.
Fingers crossed this is a bit of a turning point.
Sunday, October 08, 2006
Then we went up to the clubhouse to help set up and decorate the tables to find the marquee had only just turned up and no one else was there to unlock or let them in. Worse still when we did get inside it was to discover that the place had had a break-in. One of the small top windows had been completely pushed in, an optic of JD was on the floor and mud everywhere. So far from cleaning up and getting the place ready we had to wait for forensics to turn up and dust for fingerprints!
Laura had a hair appointment followed by a make up demo appointment (care of her last employers who had bought it for her birthday) so had to leave. I ended up doing all the bits and peices she was going to do in the morning instead. I walked all round town looking for oasis to do the table decorations, dashing back up the club with my husband to put them out, and put up the balloons and stuff.
Anyway at last we were all ready, Laura was highly stressed out and had an awful headache but we were ready! Or were we? We had not realised it was to be such a 'posh' affair. Black dress and DJ's no less. There were only three men in ordinary suits - my husband, my dad and ....the club chairman LOL.
But it was a fantastic evening! The band were brilliant and had us all up and dancing and singing, my dad won his first ever raffle prize, a 14" combo tv with dvd player (he was so chuffed) and then my mum won a bottle of whisky, the meal was supperb (pate starter, roast turkey and heaps of trimmings, trifle with lashings of cream, cheese and biscuits, coffee and mint). Then to top it all, as it was also the prize winners presentation too, Laura and her friend recieved a cup for services to the club. This was a presentation cup that could go to anyone as voted by the club committee and it is the first time in the club's history that it has gone to two people, and the first time EVER it has gone to anything other than a male!!! Girlpower rules!!! Their names will be added to those already on the bottom of the cup and also up on the winners board around the clubhouse walls. It was certainly well deserved though as they have knocked themselves out over the last two years, running the bar, making the match teas, organising curry evenings, quiz nights, bbq's as well as spending time up the club cleaning and painting.
Ok I was going to put a photo of Laura and her friend holding the cup but blogger is not letting me upload it.
And as for the birthday boy? He was in seventh heaven as he not only got a cup for being bowler of the season, had a terrific cake off his girlfriend, but all the team had clubbed together and bought him a Spurs shirt signed by all but one member of the Spurs team!!
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
The plans for the wedding are steamrollering on. A venue is now booked for the reception, menus nearly sorted, bridesmaid's dresses chosen and the groom has now had a change of mind (he was adamant he was not going to but!!) and now the ushers, groom and Father of the Bride are to be in full top hats and tails, with proper penguin suits!!! This thing is getting posher by the minute and I am having a real panic about what to wear as Mother of the Bride. I have been given lots of instructions from my daughter who does NOT understand my body shape, and I know that the choices I am left with will not suit me or fit or be comfortable. And is going to cost an absolute fortune since I am strictly forbidden to buy off ebay LOL. The diet is not going well either, I put ON another pound this week so I am going to have to ban all goodies from the house and live on lettuce leaves for a few weeks.
On the scrapping font I went to a crop at the weekend, the first time I have been since I became ill and left work. It was really good to get back and chat with the lovely ladies I had met before. I was supposed to be giving some lessons in photo manipulation using Photoshop and had spent quite a while burning all the freebie plug ins I had downloaded off the net onto discs so that I could use them. Unfortunately the lady who was supposed to be supplying the laptop to play on forgot it so I never got to do my class but I did manage to get some stuff made, and a lovely lady Jackie showed me how to make a brilliant waterfall book.
Sunday, September 17, 2006
Used a Jen Capulo template.Colleen Lynch kit Sweetpea papers. Book image downloaded from internet.
Book quote a play on children's nursery rhyme book 'The house that Jack built'
Photos of the house my youngest daughter and her other half are self-building together.
So all sorts of stuff blew up on UKS this week and lots of people got hurt, which I am really sorry for. Its just not the place I joined 3 years ago and I hardly visit now but I do use the gallery so that I can link back to it for all these wonderful challenges. There is a lot I could gripe on here about the place, but I'm not going to, lots of others have blogged about it so much better than I have.
What I am fed up with is the limit on the gallery. I am sure no other forum puts up such a piddly small limit. Yes I know there are a hell of a lot of members and I know about bandwidth and all that stuff, but I am so fed up of having to keep taking something out every time I want to upload something. I'm even more fed up when I forget and having written all my credits and explanations I just get that blasted blue screen telling me I have used up my limit.
This week I am putting my LO on my blog - next week I may try actually using my 2peas gallery (had it 2 years and never used it LOL). One place it probably wont be going is UKS ..... and who's lose is that!!!
Friday, September 15, 2006
Mind you not that there has been much to update on. Its been a quiet week so far. Its strange but I realised today, this is the first time I have ever been off work or away from education without a reason. When I first left school I was at home but only because the date I was due to start work was later than my school leaving date. After that I worked right up until my maternity leave started. Then a SAHM until I went to uni to do my degree as a mature student. OK there were a few weeks between leaving uni and starting teaching because school didnt start until September but even then I was familiarising myself with the computer system and the policies before taking up my class. I can find plenty of things to fill the day (housework, reading, scrapping) but the truth is I feel so guilty that I cant settle to anything. I wonder too if that is a normal reaction or residue from the anxiety?
Mum and Dad are booked on one of the Sun Newspaper offers to go to Butlins next week so I am housesitting and looking after their dog. I had to go visit today to be shown how to give the poor animal all his medication as he suffers from really bad eczma. Of course Dad showed me for the zillion and one time how to feed the fish and water the green house plants LOL Bless! They had been wanting to go abroad with their friends on holiday but with my Mum still waiting on the hospital tests to find out if she has angina they had assumed they wouldnt get medical insurance. Of course I had to open my mouth and go and tell them to check with the insurance co and the doc's. Good news is she DOESN'T have anything wrong with her, bad news, they have now booked to go with their friends and I shall be dog sitting in 3 weeks time too.
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
And such a lot happening, I really should have been keeping up to date.
Saturday I went to the Kent Autumn Garden show with my parents. There really wasn't alot there to see for the £5 entrance fee, although mum did get some of that powder stuff you can mix with yoghert to make some scrummy dips. What did happen though was that when we sent mum off to buy a round of hot drinking choc, although she managed to juggle three poly cups full of steaming hot liquid safely back to the table on her own, the wind caught her cup and tipped the whole lot over her white tee and down her skirt through to the lining.
Saturday was also my eldest baby's 25th birthday although she was out all day with her other half so I didn't get to see her on the actual day. Its strange how you forget all the pain of the birth but can remember other details that happened at the time of birth so vividly. She supprised us 10 days early so hubby had been out on a bit of a pub crawl with his footie mates. When he got back and the ambulance rushed me off to the hospital they put me next to a room with a very drippy leaky pipe. Not somewhere someone who had just consumed several pints of beer really wants to be.
Sunday hubby and I went to Challock Goose Fair. We had never been before although apparently it is a huge event with over 1400 visitors every year. I'm not surprised. It was really good, took me right back to my school fates back in the late '60's early 70's. Sadly we missed the dog show but the bit I really enjoyed most was the 'duck herding'.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Weighed in at my daughters. We got fed up with Weight watchers as we reckoned we could do a little mini family club. Its not really working for me but my mum has managed to loose a stone since we started so its worth it for that. Then we came home via the church she has booked for the wedding so I could have a looksie. Very picturist if you ignore the barbed wire on the building beside it.
Today I helped my youngest daughter finish off her scrapbook for her other half. I got the job of sorting out and printing the photos off while she wrecked havoc in the scrap room and used up all my stash supplies. Not that I mind, as I think she has enjoyed doing it.
Then this evening I went to the launch of the new Body Shop range of make up and ended up buying all the wedding make up for my daughter as a slightly early birthday present. Still we got a 20% discount and lots of freebies so it was well worth going along.
So besides all the housework, paperwork, shopping and paying bills, just two days full of the things that make life trundle along.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
I feel slightly that I have something to proove about these digi templates having opened my big mouth about them. So same template as yesterday, except I rotated the canvas, stretched the photo really big and then overlaid it so it was in two parts of the template. I didnt use a kit either this time, just changed the colours of a few backgrounds to make my own paper. The ghost letters are from the same kit as yesterday though, and the label is from K Teague vacation kit.
Monday, September 04, 2006
I've been trying to explain to some of the girls on the Padders forum what a digital template is and how it works. This LO was done using a template I got in my kit for taking part in the first challenge on We Digidare Ya. There's a link to the site in the sidebar, if you are into digi scrapping then this is a fab site, well worth a visit. I like working in digi as it means I can scrap while keeping up with the forums. When I paper scrap I am in a different room to the computer. I can't wait for Sky to get sorted in my area so that I can go wireless because I still like paper and glue best. There's nothing like making a mess all over the floor!
So my parents came over for a quick coffee today. Dad has just bought himself a new big greenhouse so he is going to give me his old one which is really tiny but ok for me to pot up a few plants and seeds. We looked round my garden to see where it might be housed, but the place was rather overgrown so when he left I got out there to hack back brambles and rambling roses. Then I thought I would attack the reeds in the pond which have rather taken over and the poor fish have virtually no where left to swim which isn't filled with roots already. I used the hedge shears and was gaily chopping away when I looked up to see the cat's head just between where I was about to close the shears!!!! One nearly decapitated cat!!!! Since after that he refused to stop following the shears around so that was the end of that gardening session. The fish are going to just have to take their chances.