Friday, August 31, 2007

First ever mini book

Two first's here: First time I have made a complete mini book from scratch, and first time I have photographed rather than scanned LO's so please bear with me. This book has been nearly 18 months in the making as that is how long Laura and Wayne have been building their first house together and how long it has taken to gather the photos together.

Wayne doesnt really 'do' photography and hates having his photo's taken so I had to be a bit discreet about taking these and also try not to annoy him turning up on site YET AGAIN with my camera. I know that in 15 years time they are going to thank me for it and wish that more photos had been taken but there you go.
Having taken the photos Laura wanted a 'coffee table' book to show all her visitors about how her new home came about. This is the result, based on the mini book Shimelle demo's on the Fiskars site. Lots of Crate paper Katie and most of the other embellies made from scratch myself as it was difficult to find appropriate 'bellies.

I also used Stamps Away stamps (from Clevercuts) to make the journalling labels which Laura can fill in herself.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Walking, paddling, laughing

Note to readers, these photo's have quite a bit of detail so you do really need to click on them and enlarge them to see the full beauty of the water.

Yesterday, because Martin had had to work all Bank Holiday, and because finally our friend Trevor had managed to get some time off work, we all (Trevor, Jan and Martin and I) decided we would go on another of our 'pub walks'. We have been slowly wading our way (or should I say walking and drinking our way) through the book, Circular Pub Walks in Kent. Of course we found this hard enough when the book was new and up to date, as we often lost our way but the walks are becoming more and more like a mystery tour since the book was published in 1995 and many of the landmarks are slowly disappearing. For instance yesterday's walk included the instruction 'past the white railings' which still exist but are a lovely shade of rust now, or the 'row of small trees to your right' are now 25 foot tall or have been cut down to make way for a small housing estate. Many of the pubs have changed hands and no longer offer the book's suggested menu, or they have shut down altogether, but of course this all adds to the excitement of the outing.

Anyway yesterday's choice of venue was The Zetland Arms on the beach at Kingsdown (just outside Deal). For once it was a beautiful sunny day and as we pulled up outside the pub Trevor couldn't resist looking over the railings at the sea, and inevitably ending up wet!

Inside the pub was all olde worlde and the food was cheap but tasty with quite a varied menu. Shame the waitress managed to pour half of Jan's tomoato juice down Jan's jeans!

Trevor didn't want to do the walk in the book but wanted to just stroll along the beach, we, on the other hand insisted that we had to do the walk to be able to tick it off in the book. So with Trev muttering we started off up the 'gentle' slope.

At the top the walk swung us inland, so another comflab and it was agreed we would walk back
towards the sea. Of course the decission was made easier when Jan and I spied the ice-cream van. And Trevor was even happier when, sated on our ice-lollies, we all had sticks to play a violent game of sticks (Trevor's summer version of 'conkers'). Of course Trevor won and we all ended up with broken and slintered lolly sticks.

And a day by the sea is not complete unless you do this:

Which invariably ends with this

And yes, it was Martin's fault as he shouted at me to look at him just as that large wave snuck up behind, and yes, I was very wet!

All in all a great day out!

Look forward to Saturday as we have managed to get Jan a bike and we are 'supposed' to be going on a bike ride. LOL

Puffing Billy

This week's pencil lines sketch, recording another of our days out during our fortnight holiday that I never got round to recording on my blog. Martin and I spent a day out at Tenterton Steam Railway. It was a beautiful sunny day and we spent the time looking at all the old engines before slowly being steam driven all the way along the preserved line, through beautiful english countryside.

The train stops at three stations and at the final one we got off intending taking a little touring trip of Bodium Castle but first we wanted to eat so we went in the only place in the tiny village, a pub. It was packed and we had to sit inside the dingy saloon because the garden (although really big and spacious) didnt have enough tables. The food was really overpriced, was bearly eatable and took nearly an hour to get to our table (and we only had a ploughmans each!). By the time we left the pub we were in no mood to be fleeced for more extortionate amounts to get into what was no more than the castle walls so we walked round the outside for free, and then seeing the large black rain clouds bearing down on us, decided to run for the early train.

Ok so this is where I realised just how unfit and overweight I am.

Anyway back in Tenterton, we hunted the lovely little shops for some reasonably priced jam jars so I try out my bread making machine for its other purpose - jam making.

The train was really good though.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I made one of these

Inspired by something I saw on the Scrapscene site I made a little felt heart. It didnt take more than a few minutes to do and I can see me making lots more felt goodies!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Square foot gardening

NB - Just to note date down somewhere, today I signed on at the job centre (again).

Yesterday I got to read my book all on Square Foot Gardening that I had bought from ebay. I had been told about this method of gardening by my friend in Wales who was trying it (with mixed results) on her very furtile welsh valley garden. I could immediately see the logic of planting just a few of each seed/plant variety in a square foot - after all it was something I had already sort of dabbled with by growing the odd cabbage in the flower bed or by planting each seed in a row in the seed tray to save me having to thin out later. So intriged I sort more info, found the book advertised , bid and won my own copy.

I was hooked from page one and now cant wait to get started so yesterday since Martin was off, I dragged him to B&Q where we found some cheapish skirting board packed just rignt to make 2 sets of the 4ftx4ft containers that you need to grow all your fresh organic goodness in. They didnt take long for him to make (it would have been even quicker if he had remembered to charge his drill/screwdriver) and then as luck would have it, dad phoned to say he had managed to get his hands on some really (dirt) cheap compost. I still need the vermiculite and the peat moss but I am sitting here with lots of little bits of paper trying to work out what wonderful things I am going to be munching on next summer!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

System up with the top down

I never got round to putting up here what we did for the rest of the second week of Martin's holiday. To be honest we didnt do alot as on Monday he took delivery (finally after the courier had lost the first one and had to send a second) of his 42" screen telly and once Sky finally got themselves sorted out and give him Sky sports there wasnt a great deal moving him from his armchair as he enjoyed an orgy of cricket, golf and football.

It did give me a chance to do a bit of scrapping, I have made Laura and Wayne a brag book using Shimelle's 12x4 project but I am still awaiting supplies for the finishing touches so cant upload and share just yet

However it wasnt all fun! LOL

Monday I insisted we DO something so we put the top down on my soft top and mossyed down towards Hastings, new ipod blarring. It didnt last long as by Folkestone the rain had started and we had to put the top back up. At Dymchurch I wanted a comfort stop so we paid a couple of quid to the parking meter, and stopped to look round. I hadn't been here since the kids were young, and Martin could only remember coming when we first started going out, way back in the mid '70's.Our memories were of long flat sandy beaches, safe swimming for the kids, slot machines, bucket and spade shops and a lovely 'wimpy' type cafe. The reality was no beach as a brown murky sea was right up to the defences, tacky dirty shops and a greasy spoon. We were back in the car after 10 mins

We travelled on and by Rye decided that since neither of us had actually been there (Martin just hadnt been and when my dad took me there were never any parking places) we would take a look round and have a bite to eat. It is a very picturesque place and it has loads of hostelries and tea rooms. Of course we managed to find the least pretty place to eat in but the food was good, hot and plentiful and we were hungry.

Once more on the road, and we headed for or final destination, Hastings. Very kiss me quick hat and candy floss! Very cold! Very expensive!

So again it was a quick look round, buy a bag of doughnuts and back in the car, and home via the country route to get a decent cuppa and munch these very small? squashed ring doughs. A rather dissapointing day out.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

World wide web

The 'tnet is old technology now, broadband is in nearly ever home and practically every business premises.

So why is it so hard to change your service provider?

I have been with my present ISP since 2004 with no complains but I have to say it is not one of the cheapest options on the market. So when Sky broadband came to town (literally. We've had to wait for the exchange to get wired up) we worked out that we could downgrade our Sky TV package slightly (cutting out the chanels we never watch), change to their broadband and with the money we saved, hubby could have Sky sports.

But first we needed our MAC number!!!!!

So I phone my ISP - on a premuim rate line - and am on hold for 10 mins. I try another number and another and finally ring sales dept where I am passed to a not very nice person. Not because he was rude, or miserable. In fact he was very pleasant and came across as very helpful. But I just cant stand people who tell lies!!

First off he asked me who I was changing to and if they had given me a date. Thinking he needed this information to change me over, I told him who I wanted to go with but also that I hadnt actually rung them up yet. Then he told me he was looking at my line and (the worst of the whole thing, told me he had no reason to lie as I could easily find this out) said that Sky was not available on my line and that there was no scheduled work from BT on it for at least the next 6 months. Then he proceeded to try and sell me another package which on the surface sounded cheaper than I was already paying but when I checked on the website later was actually £1 more than my current monthly outlay! Luckily I didnt fall for it or I would have been tied into them for another 12 months.

Then 2 more premium rate numbers to sky to find out if they actually could provide me with broadband - yes no problem, so back to my original ISP to try getting a MAC again. Well hopefully I should get one within the next 5 days. Watch this space.

I then tried ordering the Sky package online but that took me round in circles so too fed up to try any more today we decided to phone again tomorrow. Low and behold half an hour ago Sky phone us up trying to sell us a broadband package. Coincidence? I dont think so but at least that bit is now set up even if I still need to phone Sky to change our TV options.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Digi LO's

Two UKS classes and one just a simple play with some curling actions.

Just to show I can still do it LOL

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Scrap and turf

Ooooh lots to blog and not really feeling like blogging it, but I do need to get it all down.

So Tuesday, since the Dishwasher repair man was coming out (yet again, he must have rebuilt this piece of white goods trash at least 3 times over, this time it was the rotary water arm which had broken.) on Wednesday and we would have to wait in all day for him , I downloaded directions from Multimap and off we went to Ashford to see where a couple of schools with vacanies were.

Since both of them led us to the outskirts of the celebrated and infamous part of Ashford, Martin decided neither were for me, and we ended up in the outlet centre instead, where we bought trainers for me, and polo shirts for Mart, a few bits in the Papermill and (on the way back via Canterbury) a new game for the Wii (4x4 Monster trucks) and a pair of flip flops (posh ones) for me.

Wednesday was the start of UKS's summer scrap event so while I scrapped, Martin rubbed down the kitchen work top and then played golf..

The first class I did , some cute index cards which were meant to go in a little plastic purse, but without the kit I had to improvise and made my own box.
Wednesday ( I really should have done all this as I went along LOL) I dont remember that we did much but I did scrap a little more. This is more Chatterbox because its another for the wedding album. Honest I am getting there with it.

Thursday was spent making phone calls to Jan to work out what time we were leaving, whose car we would be taking and what to include in the picnic. Yes we were off to the races. It seemed to take all day to make salads, cakes (all home made) and other goodies. We were late for the first two races because Martin drove and forgot there was cricket going on in Canterbury so we got caught in the traffic coming out of the County ground.

Its always a bit of a rushed wirlwind trying to fit everything in at the races. With only 30 mins between each race, and not wanting to put a bet on until we have seen the gee gees parading around the ring, getting to the tote and then to the stands leaves you a little breathless but we really enjoyed it and our little flutters put us even on the night. Then the Queen tribute band (because it was Ladies Day and everyone had dressed up in their hats and finery). What can I say? They were ...... average! LOL!!!

Friday we were nearly at the end of the list of jobs I had made at the beginning of the week. Joking that I was the OFHOLS inspector Martin had been in special measures over his list on monday but had soon cracked on with them. We hired the carpet cleaner from B&Q and, driving the cat insane, I steamed carpets inside while Martin pressure hosed the patio. There was even time for more scrapping!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Chip, chop, chip, chop, the last mans head!

Are you overly tall? straggly? brown? or even just in my way?

If so that is my criteria for chopping you down...........with my secateurs!

Yesterday - ALL yesterday - both Martin and I were out in the garden attacking the plant life. We hacked down large overgrown plants, trimmed hedges, pulled out weeds and even removed lots of bits of rubble and wood that have been hidden in the undergrowth for years. Now we can get in the shed without fear of being stung to death, see the fish from BOTH sides of the pond and easily find the right sized plant pot when we need it.

We have only done about a third of the garden but I really think we are winning!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

We interupt this marriage to bring you the racing season

Martin wanted a BBQ so this morning I started the bread making machine at the unearthly hour of 8 oclock (since the guy delivering next door's newspapers had woken me up at 7 anyway). But then the weather turned so hot and muggy it took me most of the day to get the conservatory spick and span, the food bought and prepared and I never even got as far as doing any house work. Too hot to do much other than sit in the garden drinking water, I had just got up to make the salad when mum and dad turned up.
'We've bought an extra guest, guess who?' she said to me as I pulled my unbrushed and unclean face out of the fridge?
'Well I dont know but for heaven sakes tell me because I need to go and get washed and changed!' I exclaimed.
It turned out to be one of my 'long lost' cousins, whom I have only seen twice in the last 20 years! Both the house and me are a mess and he has 'dropped in' for a visit???!!!
Actually it was really great to see him although he and his wife only stayed for half an hour, despite there obviously being heaps of BBQ food. Mind you he wasnt allowed to go until all the men folk had been out and admired his Morgan sports car, and each of them had had a spin round the block. Stupidly I didnt get a photo op- but this is what it looked like.

As well as eating ourselves silly we also got on the 'net and booked a heap of tickets to go horseracing at Folkestone on Thursday. It is Ladies night and as well as dressing up in our gladrags, taking a picnic and enjoying the horses, there will also be a Queen tribute band.

So a racing themed afternoon all round!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

To celebrate

Yesterday was the last day at the nursery. At the moment it is running as a creche and we only had 11 children (with four staff, good ratio's LOL) so it was really boring for both the children and the staff. However they still all got together to surprise me with a little sing song, a bunch of flowers a box of chocs and cards made by the children. Even though I have not found the job to my taste or skills they are (in the main) great kids and lovely staff who all wanted me to stay on so although not sorry to be going I found it quite touching.

Anyway to celebrate being unemployed again I have done some digi scraping. Bit of a pain because the pc really does want a complete re-instal, it is running sooooo slow.

This is hubby in the Forest of Dean (note welly boots) which despite floods in Gloucster wasnt too wet. Mainly Miss Mint birthday kit with some home made brushes.