Thursday, 31 January 2008

Winter has arrived

Thought this card fitted the bill! Tho it was far too windy for umbrellas. I was happy to stay indoors, even tho I had to do some decorating. I had to somehow repair the kitchen ceiling, the old light fitting had left a horrible mark, so I'd some special and really thick ceiling paint, it was like painting with polyfilla, but it did the trick. Also painted one wall, the fridge/freezer got moved and got a good wash, hoover... now why is she only decorating half the kitchen I can hearing you thinking? Well I live in a council flat, and we're getting new windows sometime soon, so seemed daft to paper round window, plus they're also supposed to be fitting new radiators. Gave the other walls a wash and it doesn't look too bad - I'll be glad when we get the new PVC windows, as I hate painting window frames!

But all that decorating left me no time or energy for any crafting. Had a grrrr moment, I'd bought a new refill for the roller, but could I get the thingymejig of the end to fit it, could I heck as like. So had to dash out to buy new roller, with tray, which turned out to be broken, but couldn't be bothered to go back to shop. Why do they design stuff in such an awkward way? Men! And my most hated job - cleaning brushes and especially rollers!

The card was one I made ages ago, I had just got a vellum kit from QVC and it had this gorgeous rain drop vellum in it. It went perfectly with a decoupage paper I had of the little boy holding his lovely red umbrella. Easy card to make really, but then I like easy. cardmaking wise that is. I think I am much more inventive when it comes to scrapbooking. I just like what I term: clean cards, I'm not a 'fussy' person, hate loud patterns etc. I do try to make them fit the occasion/person, I like to add that 'special' extra bit, so they are more personal than a shop bought card. I have also found that when selling cards (which I usually only do at Christmas), that people like the simple, clean look, when I've made ultra fancy cards while they are admired, few want to actually buy them. But I am happy with my card making, like to experimen a bit more with stuff, say alcohol inks, do like getting messy! And I've really enjoyed using my perfect pearls, funny one crafter I know said she found them far too messy and difficult, I've not found that at all. In fact her comments kind of put me off using them, glad I did get there in the end, cos they've really proved useful in changing colours of chipboard letters and other stuff.

Well the old bod is aching all over, I will pay for the decorating stint tomorrow, back isn't complaining too much, tho it will when I have to start papering walls. I don't mind decorating, just that in the flat everything has to be done quickly, there is no 'taking your time' as no room can be out of action for too long. It was my mum who taught me to decorate, my dad couldn't hammer a nail in straight, so it was up to mum to learn how to do the DIY, which she then passed on to us kids. Good thing, as at least I am not wholly dependent on workmen, feel kind of proud that I can tackle most jobs.

On that note, where did I put the Radian B!

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

When the wind blows

It was freezing today! Brrrrr, icy wind blowing in from somewhere. First had to go get some stuff ot fix the kitchen ceiling, old strip light had, shall we say, left its mark! Ended up spending £20 on some special ceiling paint, so that is my task for tomorrow! Ugh, hate painting ceiling. Kitchen really needs decorating, but we're having new windows, or so the housing association says...

So off I toddled in my newly serviced car, £200 for the necessary service and MOT, still I think I got off very lightly! Got to B&Q, we now have a supersized version, and I just found it all too intimidating, couldn't find what I wanted... so ambled over to Homebase, found paint stuff, new roller, then off to supermarket, stock up on food (snow is forecast - and I hate driving when it snows or is icy) and then home.

Finally settled down to some scrap booking at 2pm, I have no idea how I end up with my scrap book pages. I read the magazines, take note of making a layout template, or having some rough idea then... the forward planning gets chucked and I just bumble my way along. I knew I wanted to frame the photo, but had to make a frame, then it just 'needed' something, so made another frame and put it on at an angle, that frame seemed to be crying out for some bits, so out came stash of bits (should have taken a photo of table... you may have wondered how I was able to make anything! Then stood back, nope, page wasn't 'complete', mmm, bits on corners, yeah why not! I'm working on 8x8 papers, so I don't want to swamp them with too much stuff. Find it amusing that a year ago I found the smaller size albums intimidating, was very happy with scrapping on 12x12, just love the space! But now I do feel more comfortable working with the smaller size. Perhaps I can start making inroads into my neice's travel album, it's been looming large in my head, but kept on putting it off as the kit I got is an 8x8 album.

Hobbes is the moggy in the photo, another cat belonging to my friend Kaarin. Must say she has great taste in cats! Matilda is next, as a very, very cut kitten. Page is half done, but ran out of time, tummy began demanding dinner. Then there is Boston, and Roo Moo... and Catty.

I may get another page done tomorrow... how do some whizz thru umpteen pages in one day? I can manage perhaps 3 on a very good day, two is my maximum. I do like to mull....

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Cat scrapping

Finally able to get scrapping the cat photos I got. Just loved this photo of Sam's paw dangling over the edge of the sofa. The title was obvious, Sam Cat, as that is how we knew him, a lovely ginger cat. The kit is just lovely, everything coordinates, and designs on the papers are just fab. Just one tiny gripe, the letters, you never get enough of them! I got one capital 'm' and one small 'm' - a few more would have been nice. But had a lovely time, if extremely messy, managed to spread my stash out over 3 rooms - kitchen, living room and bedroom! Table looked like a bomb had hit it - but who cares, I called it creative chaos.

It was also a distraction from waiting for my mechanic to call to say whether the car had got thru the retest. It did, but Gary being Gary, the man can talk for England... it was ages before I could track him down to get the good news. He did tho bring the car back - good job as it was raining heavily. But car is now purring happily, she also has a nice new wing mirror, all speeds on her wipers now work properly, with wipers going to rest where they should and not in middle of windscreen. Have no idea what the damage is finanically, I reckon about £200, for the test, retest and service. I do have a car fund, just put a few quid by every week, mostly for the MOT, think it should just about cover the bill.

Also got last bit of my QVC craft day goodies, I used two of them on the above pic, sticky jewels or Diamond Stickers. They're really lovely, think they'll add a nice finishing touch to the cards, and exploding boxes.

There is a mini craft day next week, probably just as well that I'll be back at work! Got a feeling that the TSV will have something to do with scrapbooking as Rosemary Merry will be there for the launch at midnight. Will see what it is, whether I like it and need it, and if I can afford it - tho pay day isn't that far off!

Monday, 28 January 2008

Got it!

Was beginning to mentally pen my angry e-mail to QVC, cos two bits of my craft day order hadn't arrived when... second part did - cat scrapbook! So chuffed when postie handed large box to me, then alarmed as box said: Fiskars... hey... what? Didn't recall ordering any tools or the like.... so I learned something: Fiskars make scrapbook kits! But still waiting for one more bit of order... I really will complian tomorrow, as it is well over the 5 to 7 days, and me living just 15 minutes from their warehouse!

Happy moment in worrying day - MOT Day - a tortuous time of - would it, wouldn't it! My mechanic, Gary, lovely chap, he lived in house opposite to me, I was good friends with his sister, was taking care of car. Knew it would be bad news, it was a case of how bad... didn't want anything expensive, don't mind when they say it needs new exhaust etc, that stuff you expect, it is when they have to start welding stuff! Well it is sort of expensive, car failed on emissions, but Gary and MOT chap had agreed that car was just in need of a good service. Phew. Car had belonged to my nephew, I doubt it has been serviced since nephew bought it. And I had been planning to book it in for a service... so guess I got off lightly. But all that nervous tension.... cleaned living room carpet... in fact it is now gleaming, and gave suite a bit of a scrub. And gave bedroom a darn good clean, washed shelves etc, moved stuff to hoover behind... Car will be back with me tomorrow, in good and rude health.

Oh the photo, it is of Sam cat, a faithful and no longer with us, moggy, belong to one of my Yahoo group friends. Just his paws, but wow, what a photo! It will be duly scrapped tomorrow. Can't wait to get started with this kit, was just to jittery to sit down and do any crafting today (with MOT results looming). Kit is lovely, only an 8x8 book, do prefer 12x12, but it is high time I got to grips with smaller sizes.

Going to leave on a moggy saying:

Purring would seem to be, in her case, an Automacit Safety valve for dealing with Happiness overflow....


Sunday, 27 January 2008

Let there be light

First the pic, went thru a phase of wanting to do parchment craft, bought myself a little kit and... discovered it wasn't my thing at all. I couldn't master the pen and ink thing, got myself a white sakura gel pen, that improved things but was still not happy with the results. This litte bag is my only real success! I'd still like to be able to do it, may go back to it one day. Just hate the feeling of being beaten.

Had a far from relaxing Sunday, my BiL volunteered to put up a new kitchen light, it will only take an hour he says... several hours later.... me and him are still trying to get the darn thing to work! I know I'm going to pay pain wise tomorrow after having to hold up the light for such a long time, already my neck is starting to complain. We had to take a break to go have Sunday lunch, good thing really as both of us were nearly at the point of flinging the stupid light out of the window. Got back at 4.30, and after another mulling session we figured out how to wire it up correctly, we knew we'd have a spare wire over, it was a case of isolating the right wire. We both wondered about marketing a plug and play lighting system, think how brill it would be if you could just get the new light fitting and just plug it in!

Sunday lunch was interesting, just went to a local pub/hotel, all was fine till we, well the others ordered dessert, back came waitress to say that there was only one ginger and lemon ice thingie, so another choice was made... back she came again... 3rd choice was made, a fresh fruit pavlova, or rather: meringue nests with tinned fruit bunged in them. So my SiL complains, in a nice way and we end up getting £15 knocked off the bill and free coffee.

Got the week off, but have to take car for MOT tomorrow... fingers and toes will be crossed!

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Be glad when January is over!

This is my effort for my monthly card swap, the theme was 'historical' which nearly made me feel hysterical! But managed to get there thanks to my determination to sort out my stash. During the sort out found some scrapbook paper which had old stamps on it, then unearthed the chipboard embellishments, and... voila - a card! The theme had stumped me, then I had an overload of ideas, but none really took my fancy, then a mental block and finally... phew, got there.

At least I didn't resort to buying anything, just used up my stash. It was a case of 'bang, bang' that will do, as I was fed up of thinking about it. Now got to get my head round making two cards for my 5 year old nephew, he is obsessed with cars and Chester Zoo... So a zoo and car theme, just need to find some suitable zoo die cuts. Oh and some pre cut pop up cards... had a bash but... brain was not in gear at all. May have another go, then again if i find any on a site... I'll buy them.

Think this horrid month has finally got to me. Don't much like January, my father died on 9th of January in 1986. This year started badly. I have cleaned for a family since 1995, took over from my mum, I was a student and it was some much needed cash. But if you work for someone for that long, well you get to know them, and they you. I am treated like part of the family, I know them all, viewed their wedding photos, got to know the grandchildren etc. So when I tipped up just after New Year the last thing I expected to be told was that the grandmother of th family had died just after Christmas, while she hadn't been in terrbily good health, she had not been at death's door. The following week I was told that the daughter (of the lady clean for) had heard that her close friend's cancer had returned, and was now terminal, she was expected to live for only a few months. I went yesterday to find that the friend had died last weekend... Funny how life comes into sharp focus, how all the petty stuff slips away... tho you feel anger for those who are being petty-minded.

Then today, I got to work, and my colleague told me that her surviving dog, Cheeky - much loved, had also died last weekend. I knew how much this little dog had meant to my friend, she'd lost her other dog last year to cancer. She was devastated, I knew how she felt, I'd lost my much loved moggy Mufti, and it is devastating. Think what I was feeling was a culmination of an awful month, we both had lumps in our throats, did some much needed reminiscing... our Saturday kid was an absolute trooper, patiently listening to us old fogeys, but offering her consolation (and restoring our faith in the youth of GB).

I will be glad when January fades away, hopefully February will be much better.

I offered to make my friend an exploding box of her two dogs, she was thrilled with the idea. It is the very least I can do, as she is a very special lady, someone you know you can lean on, depend on and who will be there for you. The kind of person we all need in our lives...

Friday, 25 January 2008

A strange day

Off I went to do my cleaning job, the family I clean for have had a horrible start to the new year, their grandmother died shortly after Christmas, then one of the daughter's friends found her friend's cancer was now terminal and she wasn't expected to live long. So when I got there this morning it was a shock to find that this lovely lady had died last friday, only 39 with 3 lovely and very young children. When you hear things like that it puts life in perspective.

Mine, my life that is, has been slightly out of kilter this week as it appears I have offended someone, they haven't actually said I have but they are ignoring me. Funny old world, you offer a little bit of your knowledge on something you feel would be useful to them, in total innocence and that someone then takes the hump! As I see it I have two choices: tackle it head on, or ignore it. I've chosen the latter course of action, it is just too silly and petty to bother with. And if you wonder why - well I spent yesterday with my neighbour, whose son has cancer, he is now having chemo, but she is not dealing with it very well. She is a lovely lady and has been a terrific neighbour, but to see her like this is reallly heartbreaking.

Anyway, another day and another blog, and another pic. This one is from my LA scrapbook. Had 3 fab holidays there, these pics were taken on my first LA in 1991. On here they are a bit grainy, but the lady in the pic is Sharon Gless in her then new role as Rosie O'Neill, she was much better known as Cagney in Cagney & Lacey. What was I doing there, on the set of the RO show? Er, I took a bunch of Cagney & Lacey fans to LA, well it was also partly my excuse for a holiday in America! I had helped to set up and run the Sharon Gless Fan club, and that year a bunch of us went out to meet Sharon. She was lovely and in fact treated us to a lovely meal at a restaurant called El Cholos - more of that in another blog! We also got to spend time with her on the set of her new show, plus we were taken on a tour of the old Lacey Street Studios where they filmed Cagney & Lacey. Some of the sets were still there and in use - odd to see it all in the flesh so to speak.

My LA scrapbook was the first scrapbook I attempted, these photos just had to be captioned 'Lights, Camera, Action'. I don't actually remember snapping Sharon as she was adjusting her costume, it was a case of point and shoot quickly. But she was a good sport, letting us all snap away. I got some Hollywood bitz from a craft shop, perfick for the page, tho it was a bit of a nightmare sourcing stuff for the album as I wanted American scrapbook stuff. I've still got loads of photos from all holidays begging to be scrapped. Could run to a few volumes!

Ah happy days...

I'm also updating my favourites, trying to include as many blogs from the CB site. I'll get more on there soon, I promise!

Thursday, 24 January 2008

And there....

Wasn't any snow, not even a teeny tiny flake :-(( It has been freezing cold with a biting wind, and of course we had more rain!

Was on a course, second bit of Challenging behaviour, about as useful as a chocolate fireguard. Things went from bad to worse when chap from the Youth Offending Team bored us rigid explaining what his department does... er like what has that got to do with helping us control yobs? By that stage in the day we had that glazed look in our eyes... and couldn't wait to get out of there.

Kept on thinking that I could be at home, doing something useful like scrapbooking, or adding to my card box. Or equally important - watching tennis!

Pic I have uploaded tonight is my iris fold card, a cat, naturally! Made it for my cat mad friend's birthday. I like iris folding almost as much as I like decoupage, something very therapeutic about those two techniques. Iris folding can be fiddly, cutting all the strips, but once that is done it is really nice to sit and build the picture. This was a kit, half price (!) from my craft shop, a bargain I couldn't resist! I've had a couple of attempts at making my own iris fold designs, not quite got it yet, but I shall persevere.

Just heard a crafting friend moaning about how whatever she attempts is going wrong, think we all go thru this, short periods when nothing seems to work out. I used to just give up, thinking that I'd start afresh next day, now tho I try to work thru it. Usually I do some decoupage, or the iris folding, something I know will work, rather than trying to put together a card from scratch. I think you need to just produce one card, then you feel a whole lot better. I remember at Christmas doing one of the exploding boxes, I'd decided to use the embossing paste and a stencil, on two attempts I smudged the embossing paste. I was really starting to get frustrated, plus the box was looking really messy, I knew I was rushing things. So I had a little break, a nice cuppa, thought about my problem, that now the inside of the box was a mess... so how to rescue the box, and make a success of the embossing paste? Simple, use some extra card, then mat and layer it... which is what I did, I'd messed up the box cos the paste had made it damp which in turn had buckled the card, instead of waiting for the card to dry I'd rushed to correct the mistake and only made things worse. I do have to tell myself that I am not working to a deadline, or against the clock... ! Similar thing happened on a swap card, I was using a very large stencil, and the paste kept smudging in places... solution - mask off some of the stencil, so reducing the area - success! I've found with the embossing paste that you have to be careful which stencils you use, not all work with it.

Oh well, half a day in work on Saturday morning then got a whole week off! Hopefully my other QVC goodies will arrive tomorrow then I can start catty scrapping.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

A serendipity day

First my day, then I'll explain the scrap page. It was my day off, two in a row... could get very used to this! So there I was drying my hair and... doorbell... would it be, could it be... yes, courier - QVC parcel! By size of it I thought it had to be the scrapbook, so was busy making plans to scrap all day, opened box and... chipboard set! Hey ho. Still at least I have one bit of my order... hope courier returns tomorrow with rest of it.

So that was first nice surprise, next came in my mail box, with Kate telling me I'd won a years sub to Crafts Beautiful! I think Kate did send thru a e-mail on the forum reminding us of the comps, was in my 'I never win' moods at the time, but then altered it to 'you have to be in it to win it' so entered! So faith is restored, and I won £2 on a lotto instant win game - so that makes 2 wins, got my lotto ticket, dare I dare to dream.... If you hear a loud scream sometime tonight/tomorrow, well... What would I do with the money, first I'd pay for mum to have her hip replaced in a private hospital, sort out the family, buy a nice house, have my own craft room (bliss), organise dinner for my wonderful workmates who put up with me everyday, give them something... and investigate opening my own craft shop. Oh and organise for me, mum, my sister and my god-daughter to go to the Big Apple, mum has never been further than the Isle of Man... think it would be nice if she at least made it to another part of the world!

Dream over...

My scrapbook page... it was taken at Universal Studios in LA. On a very, very HOT day, about 96 degrees and counting. The holiday itself was enjoyable, once that is we'd got away from the people in the photo, well some of them, who were, well - not very nice people. Most of those in the photo were lovely, all American, but who were very warm and welcoming to us 3 Brits. That's me, Conny and Russell. We're somewhere in the photo. After the jolly pic was taken, everyone split up and went off to do their own thing, our 'thing' was in trying to cool down, we did go on the waterslide, the soaking at the end was a shock but also very welcome. Then for some reason we felt the need for cool beers.... which is why I prefer Universal over Disney, as the latter is as dry as a bone alcohol wise! Do remember that we ended up at some sort of 'hick' bar/restaurant near the entrance, I asked for a 'small' chicken salad... do they do SMALL in the USA? I got a giant bowl, luckily Russell was acting hoover upper... I did come back several pounds lighter on that holiday, and I ain't just talking money wise, but as in loss of weight!

The page tho was nice to scrap, I picked up a vacation scrap page kit from Smiths, got the palm tree from some clip art, the photo... not sure why, but I was going a phase of wanting to use my compass cutter, I just intended to put the lower bit of the photo on the page, but then as I was messing I thought - hmmmm that looks kinda good. I do like chopping up photos, then messing with the bits that are supposed to be left over. Love the lettering, have to try to replicate it with the robo.

Also made my swap card, but can't reveal it yet, person it is intended for knows about the blog so it would ruin the suprise! Tho it was a case of desperation, the theme was historical, make that hysterical (for me anyway). But I do enjoy the challenge of trying to put something together, gets me thinking outside the box, and away from the usual birthday cards. And half way thru my mothers day waterfall card. Just need the right phrase to finish it off...

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

A day off and the sun shone!

Well the sun came out briefly, but it was nice to see it, and to have a dry day. Sadly tho I was in slob mode, didn't feel like doing much at all. First there was craft outlet on QVC, well you have to don't you, just in case there is something! Next people came to measure our windows, I'm not holding my breath, so far they've come three times to measure for a new front door... Just wish they'd hurry up, kitchen really does need decorating, as does my bedroom.

Finally got motivated around 3 pm, and unusually for me decided to craft in my bedroom, needed to scan and print photos, so it did seem logical. I prefer not to use original photos, some also need a bit of tweaking as well. But had fun with this, tho it is pretty simple in LO terms, it is a photo I found during last weeks declutter, taken one Christmas at my sister's place, not sure whose 'arm' it is, was going to crop the photo, but didn't look right, so the arm had to stay! But it is amazing what you find if you have a good rummage, didn't think I had any peachy paper, but I did, then just cut up a brown card to make the frame, did crop the photo using one of the cookie cutters in photoshop, then cut it out. More rummaging and found my acid free silicone glue! Then the lettering, I really am getting a bit short on some letters, as in 'e, a,' which you need loads of, and never get! I'll have to settle at the robo and just cut out some sheets of alphabets.

Was a bit peeved to hear that some people had already received their stuff from QVC. I live just a few miles from the warehouse, but have to wait a full week before I usually get a delivery! Really could have done with the chipboard stuff today, need the jewels for some cards and exploding boxes, and of course the cat scrapbook! Be nice if it came tomorrow... well I can dream!

Monday, 21 January 2008

Days when you should stay in bed!

I live less than two miles from work.... so why did it take me nearly 25 minutes to get there this morning? Cos it was raining, and so all it seemed at decided to take their cars to work. Roads were clogged up, we were all at a snails pace, then one wally decides that he has had enough and chooses to suddenly make a left turn... only he is in the far lane, does that stop him.... no, he cuts across 3 lanes of traffic! He only got away with it as we were all going so slowly. I, in the correct lane, turned left just after him, and, yep, more traffic, another hold up!

But it was a truly horrible morning, really grey, a steely grey sky, and just bucketing down. Got to work to find all the buckets (we have 8 leaky velux windows) under windows are full! Had to ask Rob to empty them, my back is just too sore at the moment, feel like someone has twisted it around. Luckily Rob is the good sort, so he happily got stuck into emptying buckets.

Then I had a nice surprise, found I am off next week. Clean forgot I'd booked a week off, my car has to be MOT'd... nervous time! But I had loads of leave left, shall I make you green with envy? Why not, I get.... wait for it... 6 weeks off a year! Sounds fab, but actually you don't know what to do with it all, plus we never have enough staff so you can take the odd day off... Got on more week left in March, my birthday week, which this year falls on a Friday, my day off anyway, but hey, may as well have the whole week off.

Got next week planned, take car for MOT, and in order to forget it is being MOT'd, have my catscrapbook to make! I sent out a plea to all my moggy owning friends to send pics of their cats, and they did! Just have this feeling that I may end up getting orders for catscrabooks after they view the pages. Wouldn't mind in the least.

Have added my lantern card photo, tho not sure it does it justice, meant to take the photo in daylight, then forgot... tis an awkward card to photo. I usually scan my cards, but how does one 'scan' a lantern card? But had lots of fun making it, now got to make a box for it as it is far too fat to go into an envelope.

Will be crafting tomorrow, and watching more crafting on tv! And ooer, they've forecast snow on Thursday...

Sunday, 20 January 2008

A lazy Sunday....

Got up late - again! Dashed off to supermarket, hate supermarket shopping, the place is full of dozy shoppers - look, the point of shopping is to get it over with, quickly and without pain! I hate the idiots who stop right in front of you, park their trolley in middle of the aisle while they peruse the various types of marmalade! Or worse those who meet up with friends and so block the aisle while they chat! It should be like Ikea, and you HAVE to follow the yellow line, no veering away from it. Alls I wish to do is get in, get round and get out! Oh and I hate the thoughtless types at the checkout, who don't move their trolleys out of the way, who dispute price of everything, who use umpteen bags to pack their shopping - use the bags for life! And who leave half the shopping at the end of the belt, and expect you to load it on to the belt for them. I watched with growing annoyance, a woman with two kids, she had the 'car' trolley, which she parked at an angle between the checkouts, person in front of me had already ask her to move it, then she pulled it back to same position! She was grabbing umpteen bags to pack her shopping.... it is your kids lady who will have to suffer the consequences of your selfishness! Then she argued about a box of cereal, not healthy cereal, the stuff loaded with e numbers and sugar! And I bet she was driving a gas guzzler as well!

Home to a bacon butty... have 'Sunday lunch' in week, on a day when I can really enjoy it, as in after a hard days work. Browsed papers, did a crossword, then... got out the scrapbooking stash. Well actually before that I got out the LMC mag... wondered whether to buy it, didn't want it's craft mag sister, not into jewelry making. Wish now I'd left LMC on shelf! I got out the mag, saw a waterfall card, so decided to make one. Now what I love about LMC is that you get a lot of stuff, cards, stash etc, what I hate is when they then ask you to start cutting up cards.... Nor was I that taken with the stash, seen it all before, I can see that a new crafter would get a lot out of it - as I did when I first bought it. But for an intermediate crafter.... not sure it cuts the mustard any more. My first LMC mag was 2006, the Xmas issue and I was blown away by it and the quality of the materials... I did wonder if they would keep it up, in my opinion they didn't, standards did slip with the card stock and stash... so I stopped buying it, I did get the last Xmas issue, but was I am afraid - disappointed. It was nowhere near the standard of the previous year. It is a good magazine for the occasional card maker, or a newbie... but I don't think I'll be buying it again. Same with the crafting mags, I'm a card maker cum scrapbooker, and that is what I look for, scrapbooking ideas, hints etc, same with card making.

Put LMC away, got out my QVC scrapbook TSV, and scrapped, result is above! Not all of it came from the QVC kit, the page didn't, nor the matting card, the rest did. The page is of my nephew Michael, when he was abut 3, he had such a sense of fun, and the most infectious laugh, we always were trying to amuse him so he'd start laughing, then we'd have to join in - he had the most delicious laugh! The photos tho don't show his trials and tribulations, he couldn't talk, he had problems with his teeth, jaw and adenoids, even now you have to 'tune' in to him when he speaks. Later we learned that he was dyslexic, he hated school and seemed to have a bleak future. My sister dragged him to the job centre after he left school and ordered him to find a job! He chose a trainee chef job, and hasn't looked back. I was thrilled for him when he finally found something he was good at! I could relate to that feeling (bet a lot of crafters can?) He's been head hunted for a few jobs, which has boosted his confidence. Oh he still drives me nuts, has got into difficulties money wise, but he is a loving, giving and fine young man. I love him for what and who he is. One day I hope he will find a nice wife and have the family he so longs for.

And.... tomorrow is Monday :-( And I'm in work.... not a good combination!

Saturday, 19 January 2008

How to make a crafter happy

Simple, have a craft day! Been watching QVC all day, well pretty much, aside from a small break to catch up with what is happening in the real world. Have succumbed to buying a couple of things, tho I have this time set myself a limit - and only want embellishments or scrapbooking stuff. While I loved the papernation TSV, it was just too big, I knew I'd not use half the stuff, but was intrigued by the shrink plastic, must have a go at that sometime. I decided to wait till the new characters come out in the shops, then I can choose which ones I want to use. It was nice tho when Beth Hughes (the lady who has created all the PN characters) came thru on the telephone. Just love her work, every PN card I've made has been well recieved, and they're great for men, as they are humorous and quirky.

Spent the afternoon making a lantern card, my first ever! I used the kit from a former TSV, but was so chuffed with myself at putting it all together, usually I struggle with self adhesive stuff, it invariably sticks where it shouldn't or isn't straight, but the self adhesive papers went on like a dream. No photo yet, but will do that tomorrow, prefer taking photos in daylight. I'm am feeling rather proud of myself, I've tackled exploding boxes, waterfall cards and now lantern cards!

Was going to do some scrapbooking, but had a dilemma - TV is in living room, too far away from kitchen, so craft and watch QVC, or craft and not watch... decided to craft and watch, so that meant using my small table, which is not meant for scrapbooking - I need space.

I've had a thoroughly lazy day, just lazed around, got up late, well late for me, 9 a.m! Mooched while watching the crafting, had lunch, did some crafting while watching crafting, watched the rain pour down, and pour down and pour down - think someone has left the taps running up above - not sure how much more water this country can take!

Off to watch Rosemary Merry....

Friday, 18 January 2008

Love Fridays

Love that feeling of: I don't have to go to work! Tho do have to go do my cleaning job, but only for the morning. Today I waved goodbye to my old PC (it served me well), now it is off to serve the CAB, may it live long and do good work! Must look at what else can be freecycled, great way to get rid of what you think is junk and others see as treasure.

And can't wait for midnight, noooo, nothing to do with full moons and such, tis QVC's Craft day! 24 hours of crafting, bliss. And weather forecast is foul, lots of rain, wind and it will be cold, so a perfect day to stay glued to TV. There are quite a few scrapbooking slots, and a special Papernation slot - love their stuff. Still got a bit of Christmas money, and just been paid... :-)))

Not one bit of crafting today, had to go in search of new lighting for kitchen, and then got a new table and chairs for kitchen! Did get the new lights, BiL has offered to climb into loft to unbolt old strip lighting and install new lighting. Price is - Sunday lunch in a nice pub. Fair enough.

But will be getting out the stash tomorrow, have to come up with an historical card for a card swap, do have one idea, but not sure if I like it anymore. Have got the prospect of making a new baby exploding box, and possibly a baby's first year scrapbook for a colleague at work, she will be a grandmother in June. Don't often get the chance to do stuff for children, so it will be a nice change. Then want to get stuff together for my next scrap challenge, favourite TV show, well why not?! Thought it would be fun. Deadline is ages away, but who cares, just love to scrap. Which reminds me, got to get some cat papers for my pages on Mufti. Funny finding her photos, the one of her flat on her back made me laugh, that's what she would do when she wanted to be combed, which she loved, specially her tum! Or if I waved the comb she would roll over onto her back, legs akimbo, purring in anticipation. She could be a haughty cat, everything on her terms! Tho her night time routine always made me smile, she'd start off in the living room, curled up on an armchair, then she'd wait for my light to go out (don't ask me how she knew, she just did), then she'd set off down the hall, check the bathroom, and then the cloakroom - why she did I have no idea, in fact one night she nearly gave herself a heart attack, as she prised open the door something fell down! Then she'd pad down to my room, wait outside the door for a minute then barge in, sit in middle of floor then launch herself at the bed, always landing on my feet, then up she'd come, poke her nose over the duvet to check it was me, then curl up beside me. I'd be woken by a gentle tap of the paw, which if ignored would be a great wallop next time, she'd give her her sweet look - as in 'feed me, NOW!' Once fed she would return to bed!

She was tho 'my' cat, and made that quite plain to everyone, she knew when I would be on the way home, knew when I'd parked up outside, and would be waiting for me at top of stairs. Not sure how but one day I left to pick up new car, and leave old one at garage, so back I came in my new car, and still she knew it was me! I do miss her, tho I think she is still with me, I do still hear the cloakroom door being opened at night, not every night, but now and then, and the sound of her padding down the hall... you were a special moggy Ms Mufti and will never be forgotten!

Oh, that's her, supposedly hiding behind the Christmas tree, not sure if she was waiting for Santa, or checking to see if there was a present under the tree for her!

Have a good and dry weekend

Thursday, 17 January 2008

another day another training course

Think my brain is gradually seizing up, two different training courses in two days - one useful, and one... well utter rubbish. One thing that really irks me is for those who have no experience of working with the public, trying to teach those who have experience, how to do their job! I have had a bellyful of customer care courses, and of being told not to take anything personally, the inference that the customer may have had a bad day - and what, I am not human? Grrrrr.

Is it really too much to ask for a bit of respect? I've looked at my contract and nowhere does it say that I signed away my human rights when I chose to be a library assistant. I felt sorry for the instructor yesterday, she was lumbered with a bunch of disenchanted library workers, all of whom are fed up with the lack of support and clarity in guidlines from their management, oh and lack of support, and the constant moving of goal posts. So she was on a hiding to nothing, she lasted well, but by the end she had ditched her own teachings of acquiesce, be tolerant and was now exasperated... well at least she knew how we felt!

Today was different, learning about disability, and our instructors were all disabled, and bliss - all were opposed to the PC culture. The chap instructing us on visual impairments stated that he was 'blind' and not visually impaired, the lady giving advice on the hearing impaired stated: I'm deaf... and the mobility impaired lady told us: my body is buggered. And so I came away with a better understanding of how to guide someone who is blind, communicate with someone who is deaf (and not to feel embarassed if I resort to writing stuff down), and knowing that someone who can't move around easily will be happy for me to help them. I've got my own disability, my back problem, which does restrict me in quite few ways, but I know my restrictions and limits, I just wish to be left to get on with my job, or what I can do of it, what bits I can't I will ask others to help me with.

Want to be crafting, but it will have to wait till the weekend, got lots more scrapping planned. Oh and special mention to my papershop-cum-minimart-post office. Took card to be posted, needed one of those 'large' postage stamps, post office bit wasn't open, but manageress went out on a limb, took card, agreed with me that it needed the extra postage, which she didn't have at counter, but told me to leave it with her, and she would post it. And she did, called in to get evening paper, she spotted me and came over to reassure me that the card had been sent on its way with correct stamps.

A feel good day

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

I'll try again!

I tried last night to publish a blog and.... Orange decided to crash... as it does! I know it is not the computer, as it is brand new, nor is it the connection as I tested it, it is Orange! So much for 24/7 broadband!

Right, calm now, will get back to what I was trying to post last night. I had a bit of a surprise yesterday, went to work thinking I would be stuck there all day, but then found that I was only working till 1pm! Joy! So couldn't wait to get home and start scrapping my lucky find photos. Already had a few plans for one photo, the one opposite of my mum's 60th birthday, used one of the pages that came with the last goody bag (Do Crafts) it had lovely swirly lines on it and was coral, and as my mum's name is Coral, well it was perfick. But did have to engage the imagination, as I didn't have any suitable creamy coloured card, so mixed some soft gold and silver perfect pearls and painted some white card, nor did I have any plain chipboard letters, out came the perfect pearls again, and some copper coloured letters. I always like to have a mull, mid page construction, wondering what will 'finish' it off... I knew it didn't need too much, the paper was 'fussy', so settled for just some chipboard buttons. All the stuff, except for the paper came from my huge QVC scrapbook kit, Rosemary Merry said it would last for ages, and she was right, it definitely will - just so much in it.

Tho I do want more perfect pearls, just love them... and more papers, well hey, a scrapbooker always wants more papers. I go to the kalulu site and could spend a fortune, they have some really gorgeous stuff on that site.

I've been really happy scrapbooking, so nice to get back to it, been so long since I did any really serious stuff. November and December were taken up with card making. Been lovely just pleasing myself! Funny this time last year I just felt so intimidated by the whole idea of scrapbooking, had seen so many fancy layouts, very arty and all very good, but also very off putting. But now I've found that it is a very personal thing, it is about what that photo means to you, the memories it brings back, the sounds and the smells, the images that weren't captured on film. Or simply what it evokes in you.

Think I'll post quickly, just in case Orange chucks another sulky tantrum.

Monday, 14 January 2008


I actually don't mind Mondays, it is my day off, which helps! It's also housework day, but with a small flat it doesn't take long. Did some more decluttering mid dusting, bottom of sideboard was full of junk, got rid of a few strange looking bottles of stuff... that horrible Baileys! Yuck, in fact double yuck. But there, buried under a load of wrapping paper was a photo album - took a look and found photos of my old cat Mufti, I had forgotten I'd taken them, one is really typifies her, flat on back legs akimbo. But they are going to be scrapped! Plus found a nice one of mum's 60th birthday, other old family Christmas photos, all just begging to be put in a scrapbook.

First tho I had to finish off 2nd remembrance page. Managed to find amongst my stash some suitably sludgy coloured paper, plus some old maps of Europe - had wondered what the heck I'd do with them! Then cut a large poppy, well half a poppy as I didn't have a lot of red card. Made 3 crosses and found 3 red brads to hold them in place, then added the words from one of my favourite poems by Wilfred Owen: Dulce Et Decorum Est, Pro Patra Mori. Was pleased with the result, think the red poppy gives a great splash of colour, shows up just as it shows up on the uniforms of the cadets.

Then half started scrapping one of the photos I'd unearthed, that of mum's 60th birthday, so had to get out all my paper and start the mulling, kind of got a layout in mind, managed to find a suitable coloured paper, will see what inspiration hits me on Wednesday when I finish it. Would do it tomorrow, but got work :-( Mind you back is a bit dodgy at the moment - it was fine over Christmas now I feel as if I am inching slowly back to square one!

Must do more de-cluttering, see what else I can turn up in photos!

Also been tweaking my blog, it is beginning to feel more like me. Will continue to tinker ;-))

Sunday, 13 January 2008

The cure for a soggy weekend is...

Go scrapbooking! I'd love to say that the photo is my own, but it isn't. I spotted it in Google images and is by a very talented photographer called Pete Caffrey. But it was just so striking I just had to have a go at scrapping it.

It's partly for my scrap challenge, deadline for which passed a long time ago! Bit embarrassing as I set the challenge and the deadlines. Still got my own photo to finish scrapping, just needs to be stuck down and some wording added.

But I had a lovely time doing the page opposite, even if it did take me all afternoon. Yesterday I finished off an anniversary exploding box, it's for her 35th wedding anniversary, which strictly speaking is Coral or Jade, but just couldn't find any really nice coloured coral or jade card, so instead she has a purple box! Had to get a few wedding things, I've not bothered to get any wedding embellishments before now as I've not had to make any wedding cards. Luckily Papermill still had their sale on so got some stuff at half price. Also picked up an assortment of card, have decided that although I do have a lot of stash, it is lacking in a few areas, card and paper for scrapping is where I am really found wanting.

So the plan is to have an audit of what I have got and what I need to add to it. I was put off just buying stuff after a humungus gaffe when I first started crafting, saw this big box of scrap card at the Range, for £4.99 - the box tho was sealed, and really I should have left it where it was as it turned out to be a load of rubbish, just stuffed full of purple and black scrap card. I've avoided mystery bargains ever since! I know what I definitely don't need and that is cards, got tons of them! All just waiting to be adorned, think that particular bit of my stash will last for quite some time. Peel offs is another area I need to stock up on, the basics, letters and lines, oh and numbers - you can never have enough of them. May also invest in a creasing board - and really do need a new poky tool! Looked for one in the Papermill but it has a very poor selection of tools, the only piercing tool they had was part of a kit - 29.99! Okay if you haven't many tools, or an eyelet setter, but I have and just wanted a poky tool. Nor did they have many stencils... I am really really missing my old Craft Central :-(( They had a decent selection of everything, and you knew where to look for things as the manager sensibly grouped stuff together. The woman who runs the papermill shop is nice, and the staff are crafters, but it really is lacking in a lot of areas. Yes it has tons of paper and card, but you also need a good selection of tools and other basics, plus a good range of embellishments.

Also managed to buy a blouse, and two tops from M&S - eureka, was beginning to think I would never find a normal shirt in there. I am frankly not surprised their sales have dipped, the last range was rubbish, to gaudy for the likes of me, and too fitted and fancy, they need to start stocking some basics again, plain shirts, plain T shirts (longer as well - some of us wish to cover certain areas!), and baggy jumpers please! I just hate clingy clothes, in fact the shirt and two tops I bought are size 18, and I am actually a size 12, but do like things to be roomy and thus comfy. Want to forget what I am wearing, not be tugging at it. Also got long arms, so hate tight sleeves. Or worse, those horrid 3/4 sleeves, do you see anyone mucking with men's shirts - no, men know that they can go just pick up a shirt and not have to worry about it not fitting, or being too short or tight. I wish all those silly designers would take a long holiday - bring back designers who design nice clothes.

Now must go load the craft robo program, need to do some lettering. New PC has run like a charm all week, also figure out what to do with the old PC... cash converters here I come!

Friday, 11 January 2008

Funky/flunky Friday

I'm back to my alliterations! Not sure what is actually Funky about this Friday... more flunky than funky... weather has been grey, kind of wishy washy, just damp, dull and very, very grey. On way to my cleaning job saw a pigeon that had been hit by a car, it was struggling to fly off... road was too busy for me to do anything, well without endangering myself. I just hate seeing any animal/bird in pain or in trouble. So not a great start today, tho woke up largely pain free, but still getting a lot of cramp - sure sign that my back is threatening to go into spasm. Got to cleaning job, but didn't do a lot of cleaning, my lady had buried her mother, she died shortly after Christmas. I knew the funeral had been held on Wednesday, so I sensed that my 'lady' perhaps would want to talk, and she did, she is easy going, and there have been times in the past when all I have done is sit with her while she talked thru stuff, but the house did need cleaning, but we chatted for a good while then I cleaned like crazy... before sitting down for a cuppa and another much needed chat. Had a sense of deja vu, as on Wednesday my neighbour called, she was really upset, her son has cancer and the prognosis is not good, and she wasn't coping very well.

I sort of feel guilty, my life is okay, not great, but on the scale of things, I am very fortunate - my family is in good health (sort of, except for my brother), work maybe a pain, but I can get thru it as I have very good colleagues... and yet all around me it seems people are having a truly horrible time. My 'lady' for example, has just lost her mother, and sadly my 'lady's' daughter had just heard that her good friend had been diagnosed with terminal cancer... life does suck at times. You do wonder who decides all this stuff, when you read stories of those miscreants who win the lottery, or have their human rights upheld (whilst those of their victims get trampled on), while those who lead the usual humdrum lives, who do no harm, who try to do their best get shafted. I guess it makes sense to someone, somewhere... just wish he/she would let the rest of in on the 'plan'.

No crafting at all today, got home from cleaning job and brother called, so we chatted about his cruise, then off to hairdresser for much needed hair cut. Just wish I could send my hair along - and then pick it up. I really don't like going, the only thing I enjoy is having my hair washed as the girl that does it, does a mean head massage. It is the bit after that I don't much like, tho I have a good hairdresser, who isn't into indulging in small talk, we do chat, about footie usually, but invariably the deed is done in a comfortable silence - suits me and suits him.

Did think about doing a bit more to the exploding box I started yesterday, but sorry, I need more stash to do what I want to do. So off to craft shop tomorrow. I'm going to get myself plenty of cardstock, 12x12, in various colours, a good selection of peel offs, plus whatever may take my fancy. Also need some shirts, so may go to M&S or BHS and see what they have to offer, so far neither has tempted me to buy stuff... hate what they have had this season. Sorry but I want plain old shirts, roomy, long, same with jumpers, do not like anything tight or fitted, want boring old colours like blue, red, yellow etc. So I had no sympathy when they announced that their sales figures had dropped - due to the rubbish they were selling! Which is why I like shopping in America, you find the things that you want, in the sizes that fit you, no silly one off fashions, just the good old basics.

Was going to watch opening of our capital of culture, as promised by BBC, funny that the link they gave took me straight to News 24... er... not what I wanted!

So guess I am now officially blogging from the European City of Culture... Hey ho.... just mind the pot holes!

Thursday, 10 January 2008

My achy breaky back

Just when I thought it was safe my back decides to play up. Have double sciatica - great, pain down both legs! Gingerly keeping things crossed in the hope that it soon passes. Been hooked up to tens machine, it works but doesn't cure the problem, after an hour or so the pain is back. Can't keep the tens machine on all the time as it gives me a headache.

Mind you the weather was so foul today that I was grateful to be stuck in doors.

Managed to cut an exploding box, now just have to decorate it, it has to have a wedding anniversary theme as it is for my friend's 35th wedding anniversary! It really should be either Jade or Coral in colour, but didn't have those colours in my stash - I keep thinking I have plenty of stash then realise how littlle I do have compared to some. Anyway I plumped for a pretty lilac colour, with a glittery top. Found some wedding type peel offs, not sure yet what to put on the insides, but it will come together!

Just seen folk talking about craft desks, I wish, the ones I have seen are way too expensive. I mainly craft on the kitchen table, there I can spread out. All my stash is in papermania cases, or boxes or totes - tho now they are at least in good order, so I know what is in what. Then my tools are stored in a tool box, most of the stash is in the 3rd section of my wardrobe, that is in need of a good sort out. Have managed to tidy up some of it, I've put away all my Xmas stuff - can't bear to look at it anymore! The only way I will be able to have a dedicated craft space is to invest in some new bedroom furniture, then I can expand my desk and make it more crafty!

I have been decluttering, was pretty ruthless the other day, got rid of a load of stuff. I should also stop dithering and convert all my tapes to CDs, that would release a nice wooden case that would be ideal for craft stuff :-))

Oh well must get back to my box, see what stuff I have to decorate it.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Wet and Windy Wednesday

It got quite scary here last night, we had a big storm, wind, rain then for good measure - thunder and lightning. It was really blowing a gale, lots of noise from the docks - I swear that sometimes they drop those containers on purpose! And it was more of the same today, luckily by time I had to go to work it had cleared up, but it was bitterly cold, now we've got the rain and wind back.

Made a few edits to my blog last night, was determined to sort out the slide show, so that it was in 'one place' rather than it moving around. Couldn't do a lot with the old PC, half the time I couldn't even see the settings page to edit stuff, or it would crash half way thru. So now I intend to personalise the blog a bit more, have it more like 'me'!

Didn't realise how bad it was till today when I did a re-install, but before that I downloaded an info page on it from Packard Bell, which told me that it had at some point suffered a critical error, tho I never saw it happen or got the dreaded blue page of death. A lot had gone wrong with it, think I can trace it back to when I was using Yahoo messenger... but I now have a nice re-installed old PC, plus I gave it a bit of a spruce up! It is a happy thing without all the memory eating programs on it. Unearthed the old mouse, and an old keyboard, plus other IT stuff that is just taking up space, so it can all go together.

The reinstall took all afternoon, so no crafting :-( Really did want to settle down and do some card making, but needed to sort out the old PC to get it fit for recycling. One nervous moment when I asked it to do the restore and it said it was missing some files! Yikes! Fortunately there was an alternate method I could use, phew. Wanted to be sure all my stuff got erased from the hard disk.

Can now also see the pics on the CB forum! Got no idea why I couldn't with the old PC. But it was nice catching up with all the photos, love looking at other peoples stuff, gives me a lot of inspiration and things to aim for.

Got work tomorrow, boss is back, worse she has had two weeks to dream up more daft ideas and schemes! Won't be crafting til the weekend... then got lots to get thru, birthday card, swap card, and another scrap challenge page - lovely, my kinda weekend!

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Got my new PC

What a day. First the weather was foul, so didn't really mind being stuck in the house. Automated phone call said new PC was going to be delivered between 8 a.m and noon... saw that delivery firm was based in Runcorn, so figured I would either be first or last.... think I was one of the last as the delivery driver arrived at 12.30. Still I had filled the time usefully, not crafting, was too het up to sit and craft... did the ironing instead! So quick sandwich, quick glance at instructions - tossed to one side, get PC out of box, and start plugging it in, then the nervous moment, plugging in livebox... would it work? Yep, got flashing lights and all in the right order, phew. Then installed essential progs, updated anti virus, windows... registered everything, by that time I needed a lie down... exhausting work. But now I have a lovely fast computer, such bliss to NOT have to wait while it summons up the energy to do something. One worrying moment tho, couldn't find card reader slot or extra usb ports... was sure I'd ordered them... so where could they be? Simple, hidden under a stylish flap, had been thinking I'd have to reach round the pc to plug in my camera etc... but nope, there were the 'missing' bits.

Not even my old PC was fast when it was new, so this is a whole new experience, like going from 30 mph to 70 in a nano second. Not yet loaded the robo software, think I'll leave that for a day or so. Also now need to do a reinstall of the old PC so it can then go to a new home, but without my details on it.

Did tho miss the craft show, had the TV on, but was up to my eyes in installations. Will have to go see what I missed. And of course it is CSI night! Yipppeeee - Grissom is back!

Might see the show if the house is still standing, the storm has just got up again. Might need to go batten down a few hatches methinks!

Monday, 7 January 2008

Finished at last

At last I got my two scrap challenge pages completed, decided to do the NOEL page again as I wasn't happy with the background, looked like mouldy wall paper. I did manage to stick to my rule of 'use up your stash', well for all the bits and bobs, was wondering how the heck I would use up a scrap pad sticker book, it was half price but was totally Christmassy! It was a lovely way to spend a weekend, just scrapping. Now I've got two scrapbooks to look forward to doing, one for my niece and one for me - there could be a third, as the one for me is of my friend's retirement party, so I will have to do one for her. Tho I am not complaining, I just love putting the pages together, just so satisfying to see the end result, and it just means so much more.

Only a few more hours and I'll have a new PC! This one did its usual trick of choosing to chuck a tantrum last night, couldn't access the internet at all. Got so frustrated. Tho it would probably perform better if it didn't have so many programs on it eating up memory. It has served me well, but time for us now to part and go our separate ways. I've found a few charities that take old computers, so it will be going to a good home.

It has been an odd day, felt awful this morning, felt sure I was about to succumb to that virus, I staggered thru the morning, then by lunchtime I felt much better. Phew. We are now starting to tidy up the library, the boss is back on Thursday! It would be nice if we could trust all of our junior staff, sadly there are two who let us down all the time, hence I spent the entire afternoon sorting out what should and shouldn't be on display... wait till I get hold of those two - grrrr. Our two new staff are showing the old junior lot up, the newbies ask if they aren't sure of something, and don't laze around the counter but look for things to do. I've had enough of banging my head against the brick wall, so the junior staff (the lazy lot) are in for a New Year shock. Library work isn't rocket science, we have a clear system of what is to be put on display, and what isn't, that shelves should have at least 3 clear book spaces at the end, so more books can be easily shelved. Do they follow these simple rules... no. What is worse we trusted them over the Christmas period, didn't check up on them at all, and so they have really let us down.

But got tomorrow off, new PC is arriving sometime tomorrow morning, got QVC craft in the afternoon.... a perfect day and I won't care what the weather is doing!

Saturday, 5 January 2008

First Day of the newest stage in my life

Seemed like a good day to start, first took down all the decorations, then took myself off to the Papermill, I may have a lot of stash, but one can never have too much! Got some 12x12 card, one pack contains some gorgeous glittery card which will be perfick for some exploding boxes.

Then got on a sloooow bus home, but instead of getting all het up, I counted to ten, plugged myself into my ipod and watched the world pass by. What also cheered me up was a gorgeous baby, think she must have been nearly 18 months, but she was a chatty baby and waved goodbye to us all! And we, even the bus driver, waved back.

Got out my new stash, and set about scrapbooking my 2nd page of the challenge - Christmas Lights, much happier with this one, like the first one (well the sentiment behind it) but hated the paper, so I am going to rescrap it tomorrow, so it matches this page. I truly never know how any of my pages will turn out, I just stare at the photo, then at the card/paper, then go from there, it is often an interesting journey as I adapt, change and alter stuff. For example, I wanted the word 'Christmas' to be made up of alternate red and green letters, but.... only had two 's' one red and one green, so back to the drawing board and a new arrangement, but think it works. Also ran out of letters, so back to scrap pad, and found mini alphabet, l like mixing fonts, added a few gems (for the lights) and then began transforming the plain cream card into something a bit more interesting. Found some Xmas epoxy stickers, dunno why but started sticking them down one side of page, to give balance I guess to xmassy stickers on other side. Matted and layered photo using red mirri card, then offset the photo, added a bit of ribbon to hide the join between paper and card, and 07 and a page!

Now want to try making all the different versions I've so far seen of the exploding box. Seems t be one to suit every occasion. Got some birthdays coming up, family ones, not sure I'd risk sending the box thru the post! So have the opportunity, nice to break away from the usual card making.

Did get a few bargains in the Papermill, they had a 3 for 2 offer on sticky gems, and the double sided sticky tape was also on offer. Although I did buy more stash, I bought only what I really needed, I just don't have a good selection of 12x12 card, and the sticky gems needed to be replenished. Sticking to buying only what I need is one of my determinations, I was tempted by some stuff in Smiths, they had some large 12x12 paper pads, but I resisted as I have plenty of 12x12 paper.

Tomorrow got some more scrapping, and have to make a get well card.

Friday, 4 January 2008

3 candles, 3 souls, 3 prayers

I did some scrapping today as you can see. Tho when I took the photo of the 3 candles I never imagined the resonance they would take on.

The photo was just an idle snap of a table decoration, I actually lit the candles, something I had not done before. The photo was primarily for my scrap challenge page, an idea I had for a small (but beautifully formed and oh so comfy) Yahoo group I belong to. I'd planned today to scrap the photo, not imagining what meaning would come from it.

I've just had one of those weeks, when you know you are being silly and selfish, that you are stupidly worrying over nothing and that you should just get on with things. My jitters came from taking the plunge and ordering a new PC from Dell, a lot of money to spend, but I had it so why the heck was I worrying? Then along came my first reality check, just after I'd dithered and jittered over spending nearly £300 on a new PC, my phone rang, it was my neighbour, she'd just heard that her son had been diagnosed with advanced stomach cancer. I gave her what comfort I could, and gave myself a sharp talking to, as in: stop worrying about rainy days, live life and appreciate what you are given! Then it seemed someone thought I may need another reality check, just to reinforce the message, and so I got it today, when hearing that a friend and her family had endured the most horrendous Christmas, spending much of it by the bedside of their mother/grandmother as she lurched from crisis to crisis before finally succumbing to pneumonia last Saturday.

It has all made me wonder, why am I putting up with suffering at work, time to move on, go where I'll be happy. And possibly to get back in touch with a friend... Life is strange!

Did enjoy scrapping today, I never know how the page will turn out, tho last night in the wee small hours I did get the idea for my 'lights', how to string some lights across the page. I am not confident in drawing free hand, then at 2 a.m. had the idea of using one of my tearing rulers as a guide - a eureka moment I would have settled for at a more civilised hour - lol. But it worked, used a black embossing pen, then using the tearing ruler as the guide I drew my line and then sprinkled on some holographic powder, then added some gems to the line to act as a string of lights. I matted and layered the photo onto gold mirri card, but it needed a bit more oomph, so found some gold glittery card, cut that with my new cutter, using the scalloped edge, attached it with brads, wasn't that happy with the paper I was using, so chopped it up, cut some more strips of glittery gold card, with the scalloped edges, using an 12x12 insert as a backing sheet, arranged chopped up page on it, and strips, dug out some Xmas embellishents, added those but it needed a title... came up with Noel... then the brain began to grind, surely Noel could stand for something.... bit more grinding and:


Well 'he' brought light into the world, I was thinking of my neighour, and my friend and also my Dad, who died on 9th Jan 1987, 3 souls and 3 candles.

Had no idea what I would do with that photo when I took it mid December, had no idea that this week would be so sad... But that is why I love scrapbooking, it is a mystery, and adventure, you just never know where it will take you, or what emotions it will drag up.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

It's sooooo cold!

Was half expecting to find the car covered in ice, but fortunately it was a frost free zone. But that wind was biting.... managed to reach parts that really shouldn't be reached. Was really thankful that the heating at work had been fixed, was lovely and toasty in there - in fact so warm we had to open some windows, but we daren't ask them to come back an alter the temp, as last time they did the heating went off. So we have to put up with either a hot house or ice box.

Ordered my new computer last night, had hummned an arrhed for long enough, sale was going to finish next week so I took the plunge. So I should have an all singing and dancing PC this time next week... who knows, I may even be able to view the thumbnails on the CB forum! Still can't, have no idea why, and obviously nor has anyone else. I could view them before all the changes and now I can't. I can't not say that it doesn't spoil things, cos it does, I can't see any images at all, so have no idea of what folk are talking about.

It's my day off tomorrow, and I'll be catching up with some scrapbooking challenges, I sort of got a little bit too involved with the exploding boxes over Christmas, and with the rest of my QVC TSV kit! Think it is one of the best I've ever bought, I've had such fun with it, nice kit but they cleverly have left enough room for the buyer to use their own imagination. Tho wasn't grabbed by anything last Tuesday, then had a mini sort out of stash, discovered stuff I had forgotten I had! Got a few things in the sale at Smiths, so going to have a proper sort out of papers and card. I do need a few more embellishments, and some more perfect pearls, love the set I treated myself to, now want more colours! Also want to really get to grips with Craft robo, see how I can really exploit it.

By end of this month I wish to have waived goodbye to my big shot, and any other wishful thinking type craft stuff I bought and have either never got to grips with or never used, and off loaded other useless junk that is taking up space.

Tired now, full day at work, odd, read my horoscope it said I'd be handing in my resignation between 22nd Jan and 7th Feb.... what do they know that I don't? I'm not a happy bunny at work (anyone watching me dealing with our big boss the other day would have plainly seen how little respect I have for her and the daft plans she has for our library service), but not got anything lined up, and am not daft enought to quit without another job to go to. Mmmmm, we'lll see what happens!

Must add I enjoy working with my colleagues, they are a great bunch of people.... tis the idiots in charge that I have no time for.

Hopefully by this time tomorrow I will be able to add a few pics of crafting exploits! Tho probably best to make that Saturday.... creativity takes time, need my mulling period!

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

1st January 2008

Managed to stay up till midnight, watched the firework display in London and then went to bed. Luckily it was peaceful aside from a few idiots who think it is funny to let off fireworks throughout the night. Then found this morning that some mindless yobs had kicked my wing mirror off the car, and had smashed wing mirrors on 3 other cars - why? I can only assume that they have the brain capacity of a fruit fly. I hope that one day someone does the same thing to their car.

Fortunately for me my wing mirror is designed to 'give' under pressure, so I was able to just slot it back on. My other neighbour wasn't so lucky and will have to buy a new mirror for his van.

Was hoping to get a lot of crafting done, but a neighbour came in, her son is in hospital and she's very worried about him. So we had a nice chat, she also brought a bottle of sherry, I've not drunk sherry for years! She cheered up when I gave her then new year exploding box I'd made her. Managed to make one card, another waterfall card, wasn't happy with my waterslide card effort, so will have to try again. Caught up with the QVC craft show, but nothing really grabbed me. Also had a mini sort out of my stash, the one item I don't need to buy is any more cardstock, got tons of them in all colours. Stored away my Xmas stash, tho will need some of it for my Xmas scrap page, but the rest got put away. Not sure I could face making another Xmas card, heard some people on QVC saying they were making Xmas cards for 2008! Yikes- that is way too organised for me.

Well I've stopped dithering about buying a new PC, have lost patience with this PC, it is just too darn slow. I went to Dell, and have selected all the bits and bobs for my new PC, best bit is I don't have to pay till JUNE - that is the bit that swung it. Mind you Xmas was not as expensive this year, I did cut back a bit, and we have a rule that we don't spend a lot on each other.

Oh well got work tommorrow and Thursday :-((