Monday, August 16, 2010

The Ribbon Girl

The lovely lovely Andrea has started up an online co. selling beautiful ribbons and trimmings. Today if you hop over to the shop's blog, as well as some lovely eyecandy and inspiration, there is the chance to win a huge stash of ribbons and lace. Flick your eyes over to the side to click on The Ribbon Girl. It will take you right where you need to go.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Poor lonely blog

This blog has been very neglected of late. With it being summer hols (not that I am so sure the weather is aware of the fact) we have been rather busy.There has been lots to note on here, but there hasnt been time to write it all up.

So what have we been doing?
Having some fun, working hard, spending time with the girls, and getting wet.

Whitstable Oyster Festival started off the summer break, and although Martin was on a late shift, I still wanted to go hear some of the live music at the Brewery Bar.

Laura and Wayne said they would be going too and I could come with them. The event started at 7 o'clock but at 8 o'clock I finally got a text telling me to meet the kids at the Cricket club. By the time transport from there into Whitstable was arranged, it was getting on for 10, and we still hadnt arrived at The Brewery but at the Pearsons Arms. I came to the conclusion this lot were never going to get to the Bands and texted Martin to come down for a drink after work, and then we would go home.

But by 11 we found we had paid our entry free and were all dancing away to the last few songs of the last Band, who were very good and it was a shame it had taken so long to get there as I would have enjoyed the whole act I am sure. I didnt realise there was also going to be a disco and what a brilliant one it was, playing loads of '70's club classics. The place was packed, the atmosphere terrific and we ended up having a really good evening. We finished off the night by jumping in the hot tub enjoying a soak by fairy lights when we got in at two in the morning.

Martin was then on holiday for two weeks, he had wanted to go away again but I pointed out that if he didnt spend some time doing some sort of maintenance on the house, we wouldnt have a home to come back to, so provided with a long list of jobs to do by me, he set to and chopped down all the trees and bushes at the back of the garden, erected my greenhouse, laid turfs and paving slabs and relocated the fruit bed.

He also power hosed off the patio, refilled the gaps with sand, phoned up some workmen to come give quotes for some building work needing doing and managed to sqeeze in a few rounds of golf into the bargin.
This left us free to do a few fun things too.

We went to Mote Park with my mum and dad and Laura for a picnic (lovely),

went to Penshurst place and gardens for a day out (dissapointing as the gardens were in dire need of some tlc and a gardener or two and the part of the house we were allowed into was small and boring)

and spent an afternoon being tourists on Tankerton slopes with our deckchairs and books until it got too cold,

had lunch at The Red Lion in Stodmarch (shared by a few chickens and a couple of roosters as well as a cat eating a bird he had caught not 5 foot from our own lunch).

We also met Kelly and Ollie in London for a show. We had noticed when we went up to see The Calendar Girls that it was possible to buy many tickets half price or less if you bought from the little ticket booths in Leicester square so we thought we would give it a try. We asked the kids if we could stay at their place since we wouldnt have to worry about leaving the theatre in time for the last Ramsgate train. When they heard what we were doing they said they would like to come along too.

Of couse with four of us, all with different tastes, finding a show we would all be happy to see could have been a problem, but we gave Ollie first pick and he chose Chicargo which we all agreed we wouldnt mind seeing. It was a bit of a wait until the show started but that meant we had time for TGI Friday as well as a little shoe shopping for Ollie and Kez.
The show was very different from anything I had seen before but we all enjoyed it.

In the morning, Martin drove home as he was playing golf but I went back into town with Kelly were she had 'won' a photo shoot complete with makeover at The Starlite Studios just off Carnaby Street. Laura was her first choice of companion but she had got her dates mixed so I was given the opportunity of filling in. We were treated like royalty, given a full make-up and hair makeover and then spent over an hour having our photos taken. The results were fab although a tad expensive.
We had been adamant that we were not going to pay for any pics but ended up getting four, which when totalled between the two of us, and taking into account the cost of a hair do and make up ended up quite a reasonable price, and we had a lovely mummy and Kelly morning into the bargin. Thanks for taking me Kelly :)

This week I got to spend some more time at Kelly's place, this time supervising a couple of builders hanging new doors in their house while they were at work. I was treated to a scrummy meal at The Harrow for my troubles and when I travelled back the next morning a complete soaking (down to the skin) waiting for the bus connection in the pouring rain.

I have also been quite busy in my craft room, not papercrafting though but making a couple of dresses. I would desperately love a maxi dress but am practising on shorter ones to start off with. The blue one I made without a pattern, taking advise from the web just to make a tube shape and then sheer it at the top with lines of elastic sewing.

The second is from a burda pattern The Cate dress which I am very chuffed with as I had to alter it upwards 3 sizes to get the fit but which actually works!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Cherries and Utilities

I am having a renewed enjoyment in digi scrapping at the moment. I wanted to see just how many different layouts I could make with the Summer Beach kit from Owl Tree Studios. I admit, only a few of the embellishments from the kit fitted, so I turned to Kate Hatfield's lovely doodly stuff to complete it.

Laura and Wayne came over for a BBQ three weeks ago and bought the young Australian couple who have been staying with them for the past year along too. Our cherry tree had finally decided to produce a decent crop of cherries (probably knew it was for the chop as it was heavily ill and blocking light for the new conservatory).

There were quite a few Martin hadn't been able to reach but quick as a flash Gemma asked if she could climb the tree to collect them. Getting up was a doodle, a small boost from Wayne, but getting her down prooved a bit more of a problem.

I think the lads were tempted, but no, she didnt end up in the hot tub!

This last fortnight has been Martin's annual two weeks off, which is news for another day, but one of his many tasks while off was to sort out the utility bill. Our service provider sends a 6 monthly review which this time was also our yearly review. The gas was fine, but the electricity had jumped from 9kwh per day to 21 kwh. What!!!!!

We phoned them up. After a long conversation they said they couldnt do anything until we had talked to the consumption advisory service.

Another long conversation and it turns out that despite it being way over the average for high consumption it is about right for what we are running.

Ooooo kay. Next stop then is moneysupermarket to see if we can get it cheaper, because our provider wants to put the bill up another £70 a month, putting our utilities way over and above what we pay in morgage. Surely not right.

But what is that we spy... our own provider is going to provide our utilities at a saving of £411 a year on what we are already paying them? All we have to do is change tarrif? Surely not?

So back on the phone to our utility co. Yes thats right, and if you had changed last year you would have saved £250. Well why didnt you say so???????

Then they couldnt work out how much our monthly payments should be on the new tarrif, so ok leave it as it is and give us a call in a couple of months to see if it needs re-adjusting.

All this took us 2.5 hours of our holiday time. Just to be where we were anyway. So that was 2.5 hours of our lives we will never get back.

Next review we are going to make sure we ask if there is a cheaper tarrif available just incase they come up with some new ones.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Hey look!!!

I did some scrapping. OK its digi scrapping and took me all of 15 mins (and 10 of those were hunting down some extra 'bellis to finish it off) but hey!!

Most of the elements and papers are from a free kit from a new site - Owl Tree Studio, the Beach kit is still available and was given away to launch the site. Its a photo of Kelly on the 'Black Beach' in Lanzarote earlier this year.

At the moment we are enjoying our summer holiday but I will be back to blog about all our escapades pretty soon.