Monday, December 31, 2007

More projects

As promised some more craft projects. I WILL get more on here LOL Years ago I got these cones with little elf heads on them, no idea where from now but they come out every year and sit on the fire place.
Over the years they have slowly all lost their little heads though. I bought some foam balls about 6 years back meaning to mend them, but it wasnt until this year I actually did anything about it. Of course I managed to buy the wrong size foam balls so I only did a few. I am going to get some bigger 'heads' to do the rest. Maybe I will do them before the 6 years is up next time. LOL

What ever way you are seeing it in this even I wish everyone a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Busy busy crafting

This blog doesnt really show up the fact that I am really crafting away busily. I am going to aim to get more on show in 2008.

In a pique of madness I decided I would like a folk art kind of Christmas theme next year, we have been putting up the same decs in the same places for years and I would like a bit of a change. So I started by making this:

Its actually from a woodsaw pattern I found on the net but I have changed the quote, added the christmassy feel and taken off the season hangy bits to add stars. Oh and instead of wood I made it from chipboard. I'm quite pleased with it as a first attempt. I had the fun of digging out my acylic paints and using heaps of glitter.

I am also having a bash at cross stitch and am half way through a little angel pattern. I have a folky Father Christmas pattern to do too, and am hoping I will be able to put one in each of the little silver frames that Wayne's parents bought me. Watch this space but it could be some time as I am a slow sewer.

Friday I collected my brand new shiny KA car!!!

It was a bit sad to say goodbye to my poor old Astra convertible, it had done me so well over the 4.6 years I had owned it, and I loved driving round with the top down and the radio blaring. But it really was in a bit of a sad state and since none of us are particularly great at car maintenance, it had to go. We took it to get an offer on part exchange, I wasnt expecting any great shakes so was really surprised and pleased when they offered £450.

Anyway now my lovely new one is sitting on the drive. I have been to my mum's and back in it, and it is a really neat little run about, with a bit of a tiger under the engine once out on the open road.

I'm just waiting for decent light to take a photo.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bring on Boxing Day

Kelly and Ollie, not wanting to miss out on a family Christmas with us, had asked if we could have a repeat day at 'Nan's' on Boxing Day, complete with the roastie dinner and all. This meant that mum and dad had to get up and leave Laura's early in order to get the joint of pork in the oven and the central heating on to warm up the house (Dad refuses to use the automatic timer).

We were all meant to go but sadly poor Wayne had a repeat attack of the flu bug and ended up in bed the whole day, so Laura stayed home to clear up and administer to his fevered brow :(
We nipped home, fed the cat and went to my Parents, where Martin decided to have a play with his new remote control indoor the garden!

Within minutes he was back telling us it had flown down behind the shed between the fence and the back wall, and he needed the fishing net and hoe to get it back safely.

Martin cooked dinner (family tradition) but although it was lovely, we were still so stuffed from the day before that it was a struggle. All we really wanted to do was curl up and go to sleep, but Kez wanted to play board games (another Christmas tradition) so we finally settled on Trivial Pursuits '90's edition.

Now maybe I am getting older, but I am sure the first ever edition was ok. hard but you at least had some hope of answering 7--80% of the questions. These questions were written so badly (gramatically) and were so obscure that even Ollie (who I am sure secretly holds a Masters degree in Board gaming) wasnt able to answer many. And those of us who never pick up a paper or watch the telly had no hope.

We struggled on and tried not to get frustrated but really we should have all stopped and got the playing cards out.
Exhaustion won in the end and Kelly took Ollie home because he wasnt feeling too great. We left soon after and I think we were all in bed really early that night.

Friday, December 28, 2007

So that was Christmas!

And such fun it was too. Well most of it anyway.

Christmas Eve its traditional for Mum and I to go to the
Christingle held in the little church hall at the end of her estate. It is usually a beautiful crib service containing the Sunday Schools attempt at a nativity with the Christingle combined and is very child orientated. Laura was going to come with us but Wayne had man flu and so she had heaps to prepare with 9 of us to feed at her house the next day. She kept phoning to say yes she would, no she couldn't, yes she would come. In the end she didn't come and I am so glad she didn't. We had forgotten that the family man Vicar had left the Parish since last Christmas and we were treated to a really boring, not at all child orientated, long service led by a lady Vicar, who really was well past retirement age. It was so disappointing after the wonderful services of the past 10 years.

Christmas day w
e were up bright and early, woken not by our children, now grown and flown the nest, but by the blinking cat! I'm not sure if he knew he had a stocking full of goodies, but he's not normally pesting us quite so early so who knows? Anyway Kelly and Ollie soon turned up to get us moving towards Laura and Wayne's house. Not that it did much good because just as Mum and Dad were leaving for the grand present opening, rellies in Oz phoned and held them up for an hour!.

Here is a list of all the goodies I got:

A stocking full of purple lushness from my Secret Santa Sto
cking swap (Thank you - I still dont know who you are, but sooo much stuff, wow!)

From Martin and Pumpkin:
An adventure game

Suffle sukara pens

Pink ipod accessory kit

Bead machine book

From Kelly:
2 of Jeromy Clarkson's books
The latest Terry Prachett hard book

A set of Aqua flo brushes

From Mum
Ice cream machine recipe book (yummy!)
Rummikub special edition

From Laura and Wayne (after 5 years of being on my list)

A 4.5 ft bubble lamp with fish

From Gra and Di
2 Oval
shaped vintage sinlver and sparkly photo frames.

From Jan and Trev
Body shop bath goodies

We only unwrapped the ones from each other, as Di and Graham (Waynes parents) were coming on later and we would open more pressies after lunch. Ollie and Kelly left for Jemma's and we started in on the sausage rolls, played chrissie music and chatted.

Lunch was superb. Wayne made pawn cocktails, with melon for Laura and I. Then it was full turkey roast with all the trimmings and a ton of veg, followed by Christmas pud and mince pies AND vienetta ice cream, cream , custard and milk. Ending with After Eight mints, and coffee/t

Then suitably stuffed, we opened more pressies.
We watched TV while Wayne and his parents went off to visit Wayne's nan and brother who was suffering from the one day flu Wayne had had on Christmas Eve, and who had had to stay home in bed instead of coming to join us.

As if we hadn't eaten enough, Laura then faced us with salad, cold meats, pickle, bread rolls, sausage rolls, and a huge trifle with cream! And even when we had all eaten as much as we could Laura's fridge (a huge American one) still looked like this!

Di and Graham went home around 10.30 but we were sleeping over, so we sat up until gone one in the morning playing a hilarious game of Beetle drive!

Thank you to my family for making it a wonderful day.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Whirl of Christmas preparations

I'm not sure where the last week has gone to. I havent really done much of significance but have done shopping, baking, and general preparations for the Big Day. Martin has had to work the last two weekends so he is really tired and not up to going out much.

Last Thursday I had to sign on, the lady got quite stroppy . Despite the fact that I have been doing this for several months, and I even had a star for 'good job hunting' I dont seem to have got it right this time. I had to sign off and sign back on because I had done 3 days supply in one week (you can only do 2.5 without this happening) so I had been for a new claim intereview and this was my first sign on back. You have to do three things each week to show you are looking for work. I had filled my form in as per. However suddenly looking on 3 web sites wasnt enough. Suddenly looking on the web counted as only 1 thing even if you look at a zillion sites! Looking in the paper only counted as 1 thing even if you went through every publication known to man. So I had only done 2 things not 3.

So the first person to let me know what else I can do to find a teaching job please tell me, because I am damned if I know. You cant phone or write or cold call schools. Its the one thing guarenteed to get you on a 'dont employ this person' list with Heads. So what's left? Even the Job Centre person couldnt tell me, so she just right on doing the 'broken record' you must do 3 things routine. Eventually she said contacting the supply agency counted - err and this week when they are shut for the holidays?? We will see.

If that wasnt enough I then took my mum to the new Vue cinema to see Mr Magoruims Magnificant Emproium (great fuzzy film by the way) were we had more problems. Bailey the dog had chewed up Kelly's Christmas present. Too late to order a replacement I had promised to go by one in the shops for Loz, so mum and I arrived with 2 hours to spare, in order to go shopping and have a bit to eat first. We checked on the poster outside the cinema that the internet had given me the wrong times, only to find the first showing wasnt for another 6 hours!!! Ooops.

Anyway we did our shopping and then walked back to the cinema. The foyer was still locked but other people were turning up. One lot of lads, drove off again, and one older dad with his grown up daughter started making a right fuss, about how this wasnt the first time blah blah blah, he was going to write to the Managing director blah blah. It was better entertainment than any film so we hung around for a bit. A young mum with her two kids turned up and politely tapped on the window to the staff inside (yes there were staff, just all the doors were locked.) "Can you come here and talk" she mouthed, but the staff wouldnt budge. "I just want to know what time you are opening, I have two young girls and its freezing" still the staff wouldnt come talk to us.

Eventually we all sneeked in when the contractor putting in new chairs left the door open! I asked the young lad by the ticket booth what time the film was, turned out the net was right, the poster wrong, so I explained and he asked me (really politely) to show him the mistakes. I took him outside and he thanked me for helping out. Then the Manager turned up. He laid into me as if it was my fault. I hadnt even complained, just pointed out it was causing them to loose customers, but he still went on. "Why cant people look on the net, its not his fault the poster is wrong, what was he supposed to do about it" rant rant! Mmm good job the film was ok.

Friday I spent all day with Laura baking mince pies, cheese straws, and vienesse biscuits. Then we snuggled up to watch 'Its a Wonderful Life' (Love that film)

Continued to open my advent swap and being spoilt rotten.

19th day - a small note booklet with a large cut out heart shape on the front
20th day - more flower buttons (blue)
21st day - Lush hair and body gel
22nd day - an Ikea Christmas cone tree
23rd day - Lush Happy Pill

And yes I have scrapped!!

I got held up on I because it took so long to make the little acryilic mini book (there was a lot of glittering that had to dry) It has three pages but since it is so hard to scan and they are all more or less the same I have only put one up. The colours are way off - the 'i' on the front is not white but green.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A new Ka!!!

Today was Martin's day off, so we decided to go out looking for a newer car for me. This follows on from the other day when I went to turn the lights on and the knob came off in my hand!! Since now the window leaks big time when it rains and I noticed a hole over the wheel arch, it really is time to say goodbye to the old lady and get something a little more practical. As much as I will miss my convertible. :(

Now I never want much in the way of transport. As long as it starts ok and gets from A-B safely I am happy so my criteria looking round was 'blue, def not silver or white, a working radio, and under £3000'
Well we didnt see anything we liked and most decent cars were about £4500, so we ended up in the Ford garage and are now signed up for a brand spanking new Ford KA!

To be collected 2 days after christmas.

It has a
cd radio, and it is sort of blue - deep blue which in my eyes is black but there you go! I've never had a new 'new' car before and am quite excited!!

Crafting news:
On 16th day of christmas my SS sent to me some little tiny flower buttons

On 17th day - Cosmic shimmer regal artic aurora embossing powder
on 18th day a silver gel pen to match the gold one I got earlier

I am still doing the prompts for the girls A-Z albums, they say they are enjoying them and Scrapdolly is doing some fantastic pages. I am still plodding on with them, and last night managed to do H

Saturday, December 15, 2007

On the 15th Day of Christmas

This blogger needs an extra few hours in the day to keep up!

My Secret Santa has been sending to me:

Day 13 - some Crate Paper ribbon on a little reel
Day 14 - some Ikea star tree decorations
Day 15 - a packet of Woodware tree ribbon brads

I am being treated so generously by my SS!

So what have I been up to?

Sadly Kelly's bunny had to be put to sleep because it had Myxi. Kelly was very upset, and there wasnt much I could do to comfort her. My parents went over to visit her and offer tea and sympathy.

I went to Canterbury to get the last of my Christmas pressies, taking mum along with me. We were doing quite well on her list until she suddenly came over very grey and looked really awful. She complained of pains like a knife cutting slices off her legs, and needed to sit down. I was really worried, but aftere a coffee she recovered and we then took a very slow stroll back to the car. I did manage to get nearly all the last bits though and today sat wrapping them up, attempting to get the DVD to work so I could watch a few christmas movies. No luck there but the house is looking really Christmassy now with all the decorations up, the tree twinkling and piles of presents under it. The finishing touches, a table cloth for the little table and a table runner for the dinning room table made by yours truely from an Ikea sheet this afternoon, make it really cosy.

The girls on the pad say they are really enjoying my A-Z promps although not many of them are managing to keep up. I cant complain as I have only managed to get to F myself, despite promising today I would speed scrap a few pages. The middle bit opens to tell the embarrasing story of when I thought as a child I had seen Father Christmas fly past the window, and begged to be put to bed so as not to be missed.

Last night Wayne, Laura and I went to the new Vue cinema at Westward cross to see The Golden Compass, which we all throughly enjoyed. Not up to the standard of HP but still good, and it does get most of the plot from the book in, all be it not in exactly the same order, and it does finish before the book does, which is a bit odd. Still looking forward to the next two! Its a nice cinema too, and much better than having to traipse all the way over to Ashford.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

On the 12th day of Christmas

Cosmo Cricket, Scrapdolly's transparency Deck the Halls, various computer fonts

Gosh a busy few days. I had to stay in for the dishwasher engineer to come and 'repair' the dishwasher. Every now and then the heating element furs up from our hard water, and shorting the machine out. It takes seconds to reset but it really needs a new element so its bound to break again. I went to Ikea with Kelly yesterday. Only my second ever visit. I wastn too impressed the first time but managed to spend over £100 this time round. Then we went to Lakeside, had lunch in Nando's and went clothes shopping. We didnt do too badly although the Christmas party clothes are pretty dull this year.I stood in the door of one shop and all I could see was a sea of black, grey, brown and dark purples with no colour at all! Today Martin was off so we spent time putting all the new Ikea stuff together (new blinds, wine racks) and Martin went out to the farm shop and bought our Christmas Tree. So I decorated that this afternoon. I put the first 150 string of lights on but it is such a huge tree they looked lost so I sent Mart out for some more. It was only after I put them on that I discovered our other set hidden behind the sofa!

From mt Secret Santa I got

Day 10 - a mini book kit full of lots of little bits and bobs
Day 11 - a turquise sharpie pent
Day 12 - some Lush soap

And I managed to find my missing photos and do tw
o more album pages!!

Cosmo Cricket Winterland papers, Heidi Swapp ghost star and play word, Stampendous fluffles stamp.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

On the 9th day of Christmas

my secret Santa sent to me... some flower stickeez, just right for the thousands of microbeads I still have hanging around.

Sky Broadband went into meltdown again and refused me internet access until 11.30 am!!!

And my daughters have finally sorted out who is doing what where when for christmas and it seems we are at the younger one's for Christmas Day, with my parents and Wayne's parents (plus one huge puppy dog) but Kelly is calling in to open pressies and say Merry Christmas before lunch, and then its down to my mum's o
n Boxing day where Kelly will spend the whole day with us, Laura, Wayne, my parents (and one huge puppy dog).

I am giving the prompts to the pad girls for an A-Z christmas journal. So its really expected that I keep up to date. But this morning I spent the entire time hunting through backup discs for some Christmas photos I know I have but just cant find. So I have only made it to day 3 (shame on me).

Here they are.
BG Blitzen, overlay free from Scrapdolly's blog, Deck the Halls, selection of QK dies, doodlebug frill

Cosmo Cricket Winterland collection, velvet ricrac from my Secret Santa, more QK dies, and Dolly's overlay again.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

If Santa is to come ....

you must tidy up all your toys!! Did your mum ever tell you that? Well mine did, and part of my brother and myself's advent was to turn out the toy cupboard and sort everything out, putting it back neat and tidy.

Today I got up at 6.30 to sort out my toy cupboard - my scrap room actually. I use the wire cube system to store most of my stash, but for some inexplicable reason it has taken a definate list to the right over the past week. So before the whole lot came crashing down around my computer chair I decided to empty it and move it into the corner of the room, allowing the radiator to prop it up.

Now my daughters will both know that Saturday's in our house do not start until eight, nort, nort! Starting this early on 'housework' is a real No! No! but I really do have so much stuff craft wise to get done in the next few days it was really a necessity (plus I really would like Santa to come).

When I was a kid, tidying that toy cupboard, it was always those small last bits that used to frustrate me so much. You know, you got all the board games and puzzles back on the shelf, the boxes had all been mended with far too much sellotape at the corners, all looked spic and span, but there was this pile of playing pieces, jigsaw corners and other assorted 'junk' that required you to open ever single one of those boxes neatly stacked on the shelf to put them away.

Thats where I am at in my stash room.

So I've stopped.

For a cuppa.

Readers you will no doubt be over the moon to know that those missing scissors? the lost ruler? the awol christmas card from my christmas card swap? Not one of them has turned up while I have sorted and cleaned and tidied :(

Kelly you will be pleased to learn that I have finally piled up the small amount of stash you have left here ready to take back home with you, and after christmas I will be sorting out the stuff in the attic too!

Of course the land of spare 'oom is totally trashed!

But I think I stand a good chance with the Jolly Elf in the Red Suit!!

On the eighth day of Christmas my Secret Santa sent me some lovely Doo Da stars!

On a sadder note, one lovely, strong, generous, funny, kind lady left us yesterday. Jan I never got to meet you but through the forums we shared I got to know you and came to like you alot. You will be missed by so many, including me. So goodbye lovely lady, Godspeed, and hugs to Beth and her family who are left behind and are coping so well at this hard, sad time.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


How did I ever manage working full time?

This week I have been doing supply work every day except today (had to go to an appointment with the job centre instead) so am finding it really difficult to get on top of everything. I spent today getting my christmas cards in the post to their overseas recipricants, my christmas kit swap and stocking swaps in the post, and a heap of other little jobs that seemed to take all day.

I still have a zillion christmas cards to write, my journal only has the letter A done and someone has now pointed me in the direction of Tim Holtz's blog where he has tuts for some really zingy christmas tags I would love to find time to do. Hubby had to do the washing yesterday because I just hadnt found time to do it and as for blogging! Well.

Any way, even though I have no crafty stuff to put on here (cards I made last night are now winging their way to Australia and I forgot to take photos of them) I still want to make a record of all the lovely goodies my advent swapee has sent me so far.

Day 1 - A Woodware Tag board book
Day 2 - A gold gel pen
Day 3 - A Bar of Misteltoe kisses
Day 4 - Pink Porcupine lflipper study cards book
Day 5 - A plaid wooden word 'family'
Day 6 - A reel of brown velvet ricrak

Sunday, December 02, 2007


December, and the countdown for Christmas begins. Somehow I have volunteered to give the prompts for an A-Z book of christmas that the girls on the Pad are taking part in as an alternative (or as well as for those with lots of energy and enthusiasm) to Shimelle's journal. Last year I kept up by cheating a bit and throwing in a few digi LO's. This year I am already behind, despite being the one with the prompts because I spent the entire day yesterday either cleaning the house or making a copy of our family traditional advent calandar for Laura.

Then because Wayne is away for the weekend on a stag 'do' and she is 'home alone' I went over and stayed the night and we had a lovely 'girly' time watching movies (Christmas to-do, Love Actually and the Alistair Sims version of Scrooge) plus a little card making, some wine drinking and mum/daughter chatting.

Today I did a heap of food shopping a
nd have just spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning out all the kitchen cupboards whilst Martin has moved all the furniture to its 'Christmas position' ready for the decs and tree.

So finally I get to play with paper. Here is page A for my journal.

Basic Grey, Debbie Mumm stickers, and some Autumn Leaves stamps. The journalling is hidden behind the red and the square cut outs and tells about the angel we had for our tree when I was a child, and the beautiful angel (in the photo) we now have, sadly chewed by the cat as he thought it was a real bird with those geogeous feathered wings.