Sunday, 27 February 2011

Gungha din

I should explain,  gungha din was my way of remembering a rhythm today.   I got up in plenty of time then let time slip away, so ended up rushing to get there on time.  But had a great time at the drumming workshop,  a full day of it,  tho we had plenty of tea breaks - very essential.   Learnt a new rhythm, but damned if I can remember it now.  Need to get a recording gizmo,  take it with me to tape the sessions.   But the main aim was to have fun, which I did. And I caught up with an old friend, we'd met on a reiki course, I was so happy to see her looking so relaxed and glowing,  quite a contrast to what she was like when I first met her.  This was a more chilled session,  but really it is what the Monday workshop should be like, and could be like if we just indulged in a cuppa.  But I am starting to get to know people now, and remembering their names - which helps!  But then confronted with 10 people would you remember who was who?    A couple of new faces as well,  a nice chatty bloke,  who turned out to be an experience drummer, but he'd only just got back into it after a hip operation. 

The pic is of a card I did yesterday using the TSV kit,  just used ordinary photo card, as advised NOT to use by Tim Holtz, but it worked for me.  Then stamped the image onto acetate,  and then used an enamel embossing powder to give definition.   Very happy with the result.    A few more inks and a bit more messing around and I can see me being a very happy bunny!    Was having a think today about stamping the image directly onto the card, but not wanting to get the inks all over it... then thought of masking fluid?   Been watching the art shows on CnC, so may give that a go,  seems simpler than using a mask.  

Very soggy end to the weekend,  and cold...  also noticed that some kind soul has dented my new car!  Why can't people be more careful when opening car doors?    And since i am using disabled bays there is no ruddy excuse! 

All for now folks, catch up with you in the week. Stay safe and take good care

Saturday, 26 February 2011


Well I guess this is what some folk call proper crafting,  got my Tim Holtz TSV yesterday but didn't get a chance to use it till today. He said NOT to use photo card, so what does I do, yep, use photo card!  Well I was practising, so my thoughts were that I'd rather waste the photo card than the more expensive glossy card.   I frankly couldn't see the difference.   I did what he said and worked quickly applying the inks, think that is the real key to this, working fast,  then added the blender,  the first time I tried spreading the blender but it was disastrous, so next attempt I just dabbed it on and got the marbling effect.   The felt on the applicator also helps to create the effect.   I also then added the stamps from the kit,  and am quite chuffed with the end result. 

I was in Chester yesterday enjoying lunch with a friend, fortunately the BBC got the weather forecast wrong, so although it was grey it was dry.   We were disappointed not to get our preferred Italian lunch,  twice we tried to get a table, then gave up and headed to a nearby pub, there we settled for a chilli.   Of course having eaten we then saw lots of cafes, restaurants!  Since neither of us are big shoppers we just mooched,  we did find the new age shop, my friend bought a very outlandish jacket, which was just 'HER'.   I picked up a summer top, very hippy.   We stopped for a cup of t4a, and got served some very weak looking tea...  then time to head home before rush hour got going.   So a nice afternoon.   Made me laugh when we both got ignored in Browns, by all the make up lot!   For all they knew we could have been two very rich ladies. 

Tomorrow I have an all day drumming workshop.  Really looking forward to it.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Time keeps flying by

or is it cos our bins are now collected a day earlier?   It does get confusing.   Had a fab drumming session on Monday,  proudly showed off my new drum, it did get Kevin's approval, he said it had a nice tone and lovely bass.   We did some practice, then learned a new rhythm, which I kept losing.  Got so frustrating,  I'd be happily drumming along and then... lost it!   I've signed up for a beginners workshop this Sunday,  they all told me it will be very useful.

Today was beautiful,  sunny, quite warm,  also noticed that our crocuses have finally poked their heads thru,  didn't think they had survived the big chill, but they have.  In fact the garden is slowly coming back to life, more green bits than brown.  Got new growth on all the stuff I pruned.   Must get a new Clematis,  will do that this weekend - just need to remember!   Think I'll need to replace a few bushes,  one just died during the big chill and it isn't showing any signs of life. 
Of course it was the Stateside Craft day on QVC this Tuesday,  managed to stay awake for launch of the TSV, which I thought would be the Vagabond,  but it wasn't,  they went for a Tim Holtz kit,  didn't think I'd buy it,  but I did, well a good few hours later.   Felt that a lot of what was being sold with Tim's name on it was a bit overpriced,  and more easy pay would have been helpful.   One woman came on an said she'd bought 17 items!   I'm sure she'll enjoy all her goodies. 
Only made one card this week, see above.  Had mini blitz on the stash,  I'm giving away a lot of coloured card stock, don't use it anymore.  All will be going to a good cause, a craft group for teens at a local library, they're short of stuff.  Need to go thru the rest of it and what hasn't been used is going.   I should just concentrate on scrapbooking,  but do get tempted by the card kits! 

Fingers crossed that at last I'll be having lunch with a friend tomorrow,  we've had to cancel four times! Weather forecast is rubbish.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

How did we get to Tuesday?

Time seems to be flashing by,  no sooner does a new Monday arrive than suddenly it is Friday.  Oh well.  Uppity and down week/weekend.  Got lovely letter from tax man (NOT) telling me that because of their cock up I appear to owe them more money.  That was nearly 5 years ago, the due date was up ages ago.   This is called using intimidation tactics,  sadly for them I am now too bolshie to fall for it. 

I did succumb to the TSV on QVC today,  not cos I want to do grunge stuff, it never has tickled my taste buds, but cos just liked that you could mess with the stuff.  I like Holtz's off the wall stuff,  but not his grunge.  Not a bit of crafting really for a few days,  half made a card,  used some pinflair glue which takes an age to dry.   Must do some stuff tomorrow.  

Been spending my time drumming, getting in plenty of practice and I'm learning the value of  practice rhythms,  been doing them since I got my drumming DVD,  made such a difference as I realised what I was doing wrong.   So want to have a pattern practice every day.  Couldn't get the rhythm we learned last night,  if I just stopped thinking all was fine, but the moment my brain woke up - out went the rhythm.   But got a beginners workshop this Sunday, so that should help things. It does mean I'll have to miss the workshop on Monday, as I can't afford both. 

Right, best get back to replying to e-mails

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Surprise, surprise

Decided a shopping trip was in order,  just to give the car a good run you understand...  ;-)    Well best to check stuff.   So headed off to The Range,  and they had a sale, only it wasn't clear what was on sale what wasn't.   So picked up a few bits,  got to checkout found that everything I'd got was half price!  Chuffed.
 I bought a set of Born to Shop stamps,  just love that range,  and some 12x12 papers,  same as I got a month ago, in a storage box, but now half the price, and set of star cards,  see the pic.  They were also half price, but having got them I also have the template of how to make them.   So made up this card using the stamps and some paper from a magazine freebie, plus the card.  It will do nicely for my niece.    Used the pro markers for the colouring,  what did I do before pro markers?    Usually made a mess with brush markers.  
Car behaved herself, in fact she was purring nicely all the way to the shop.  Did come across a few idiots on the road, one chap who had been in front of me going at the pace of an ultra slow snail, but once on the dual carriageway he suddenly discovered he had an accelerator.   A few plonkers who couldn't decide which lane they wanted to be in, and the biker with  a death wish who crept up the line at a road works and caught me by surprise,   only just managed to miss hitting him.  His fault,  there was no real room for him to do what he did, he annoyed everyone in the line.   So not a bad day,  no drumming, well it was card making or drumming!   Can't do both, and living in a flat rules out any drumming in the evening. 

I'm back in a happy mood,  hope it can last this time.  Got to take mum for appointment at hospital, then taking her for a shopping trip and lunch. 

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Huge sigh of relief...

Took car to garage,  the chap did warn me that they were busy with services, but they'd get to my car by the afternoon. So spent a restless day waiting for a phone call, couldn't even do any drumming.  I was going to but realised that fancy monitor doesn't have any speakers!  LOL, only taken me two years to notice.  The new headphones I have block out all sound,  so that meant I wouldn't hear the phone.   Didn't find out what was wrong with car till nearly 5pm,  fortunately it was something minor and was about to be fixed.  Phew.  But no point in battling in the rush hour to get up to garage, so told them I'd pick up car today.  The best bit is: nothing to pay because of the warranty.   So car is purring nicely once again and I am breathing more easily.  Guess old habits die hard, having had a succession of second hand cars,  well used,  I've got used to a car going wrong and there being a bill to pay.   Not amused by price of insurance, it has leapt up these last few years,  to cover the cost of uninsured motorists, but rising prices are surely going to put more off getting insurance? 

Put a pic up of my swap card,  all cobbled together from an old Chinese calendar,  not that happy with it but best I could do with what I had.   These days I don't hang on to stuff,  it gets recycled or goes in the bin if it can't be.  
Not so nice weather wise, cold, raining and then it got windy at lunch time!  But had a great drumming practice this afternoon, found a couple of lessons on youtube,  so practiced them till I got them down pat.  Then made up a few rhythms of my own,   I did order a DVD from amazon, so fingers crossed that comes in the next couple of days.   Just eager to improve my skills,  and it is so relaxing.  Made sure it wasn't too loud, kept the noise levels down, besides you don't need to bash a drum. 
Well off to watch last hour of the kanban anniversary.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Sunday blues

Not a good nights sleep, worrying about what is wrong with car.  You always think it will be worse than it is.  I've had a look on line and it could be one of a few things,  most are fairly cheap to rectify and don't take long.   But there are two which are expensive and take a day or so to fix. 

Took my mind off things by making a birthday card,  also need another, but I am sure I've got some made somewhere.  But needed to make a new one,  I do like these daft stamps,  they are so cheerful.  I also put my new nesties to good use by making the scalloped frame,  then cutting an oval,  used some papers I got with a magazine, and a bit of ribbon, put the peel offs on the ribbon - just hope they stay on!    I also inked the edges, don't have a proper ink thingy like the one by Tim Holtz, so made do with a dabber that you use with stencils, seemed to do the trick.  Used the pro markers to colour it,  how anyone can not like pro markers is a mystery,  they are so easy to use and give much better results than any of the other pens.  Really chuffed with it. 

It's also been a horrible day weather wise, grey, raining an it has gone cold again.  I'll also have to cancel lunch with a friend, for the 3rd time!  Hadn't realised that mum's appointment is on Friday - rats.  So we'll have to try again week after next, we'll have this lunch at some point.

Hope you've had a better weekend than me...

Saturday, 12 February 2011

The real deal

It arrived, thank you Goldcoast drums...  my lovely drum arrived yesterday  morning, of course I wasn't in to receive it.  But that left my mum and the district nurse in a state of curiosity as to what was in this large box marked Fragile.   I wondered what colour bag I'd got,  the bag came free with the drum, but would it be plain old black?  Nope, it was bright orange, well mainly orange in an ethnic pattern.   She has a great tone,  perfectly tuned,   my worry was that I'd end up with a rubbish drum, but nope,  she is perfect.   I also thought from the pic that she was plain, but again I was wrong,  gorgeous colours, red and black.   I had a session in the afternoon,  got some rhythms up on Youtube,  some were good in how they explained how to play, others were rubbish, they just launched in to it and then said it was a tutorial!   Not in my book.  But then just went ad hoc and had some fun.  Which to me is how it should be.

Of course since I've had such a happy week there had to be a banana skin at some point.   And so it was,  took mum up to meet her friends at a coffee shop and on way back noticed a warning light on the car. Had no idea what it meant, so looked in manual, it said there was a fault in the engine,  which means it could be any number of things.  So I'll have to take it to the garage, it is luckily under warranty, phew.  Would just like it to be something very simple.   Just don't seem able to string together a long period of luck or a happy time,  something it seems always has to go wrong, and it usually ends up costing money.   Funnily enough I'd washed the car in the morning cos it was so dirty, then after I remembered to learn how to open up the bonnet, couldn't figure out how tho,  a damn nuisance not being able to kneel down,  a neighbour helped out and he found where the release catch was.    All this new fangled stuff in engines may make life easier, but it also means more can go wrong, and usually does.   I am glad that the car has, what Nissan have charmingly called a 'hijack' lock, it means I can lock all the doors once I've got in,  so no door can be opened from outside, it gives me peace of mind.  One of the things that always worried me about central locking that once the car was open anyone could get in if you stopped.  Anyway, please keep all fingers and toes crossed that the engine fault is minor.
I need the car this week,  mum has a hospital appointment, and then there is the shopping,  taking mum here and there.
Thought I'd put up a pic of my djembe bag,  no chance of me losing it is there? 
Did some crafting today,  made a swap card, it had to be of recycled things.  Must admit I was a bit stumped,  I've stopped hanging on to stuff in case it comes in useful, cos it rarely does.   But have managed to cobble something together.   Then I had a play with my pro marker aqua pens,  they're lovely,  I'd bought a picture stamp,  so was able to really make use of the pens,  I didn't think it was a bad first result, will post a photo tomorrow. 
Missed most of the Martha Stewart craft day on QVC, saw a few bits, but there wasn't anything that really took my fancy.  And it looks like the next TSV will be the Vagabond,  not for me,  it is just a very fancy looking die cutting/embossing machine.   I'm not into the grunge thing either that Tim Holtz favours,  just doesn't grab me.   I like watching what he does,  it is very clever,  but just doesn't float my boat.   So I hope on Tim Holtz day there is other stuff to buy.  It would be nice also to have a QVC scrapbook craft day. 

Have a lovely weekend,  stay safe and thanks for stopping by.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Great start to the week

I won the lotto!   Sadly not the jackpot, but did get 4 numbers, and that meant I could get my own djembe drum  - so I did.   I did have a natter to Kevin about the shop I'd seen, if it was any good,  he said yes.  So on Tuesday I picked up my winnings,  and then bought the drum, online,  so I'm still waiting for it to be delivered.   Chap did say 48  hours, but I'll let him off as I didn't put the order in till quite late Tuesday afternoon.   So feeling a bit chuffed.   Did think about going and spending a bit on craft stuff, but just about got all I need in way of big stuff,  cost wise that is.   

I'd never had 4 numbers on the lotto since it started,  so was quite gobsmacked when I checked the ticket.  It may as well have been the jackpot the way I felt.  Such a lovely surprise,  even the assistant at the supermarket congratulated me.    So had quite a spring in my step, well sort of,  my knee has been playing up all week.  Nearly didn't go to my drumming class on Monday,  my knee had given way on me 3 times that day,  and it was getting really painful,  you have to grip the djembe between your knees and I wasn't sure if I could with the pain.   I forced myself to go,  and was glad I did,  I tried using my left hand to keep the beat, and it worked a treat,  finally got the tricky rhythm that had defeated me the week before.    Noticed a few other naturally right handers were also leading with their left,  including one of the newbies,  a husband and wife,  lovely people,  they had a great time, wasn't so sure he was at first, but he finally got into it and kept up with some of the simpler stuff, just like I did on my first visit, which always makes you feel better. 
My aqua pro markers also finally turned up,  I'm not blaming QVC,  last few bits I've ordered from them have been really quick, coming by courier, this time it was RM, and they are not so hot.   It's taken RM a week from when I got QVC's e-mail,  which is not on.   Not blaming the posties,  they're being lumbered with more and more work... a pity the high falutin managers don't actually go do what the posties do,  time every manager had to spend at least a month at the coal face,  then they might just be more understanding.    The workforce is of course the most expensive item of any business, but get rid of them and how does business survive?   I mean if none of us are working,  there is no money sloshing around in the economy, so we all go bust. 
Off to lunch tomorrow with a friend in Chester,  forecast is rain... oh joy.  At least we can stay dry in Chester.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

It is the start of the Chinese new year, well it was a few days ago,  but better late than never.  It has started on a very soggy note,  it has rained ALL day,  at least the high winds have gone.    Had to go out and so got wet.  Also managed to get stuck behind sloooooow driver,  he wasn't even doing 30mph.  I managed to get past him and glanced in my mirror,  not sure the chap could see anything as he had a cap pulled almost over his eyes. 

So what to do on a soggy day?   Craft.  Did my challenge layout again with fresh papers.

Which is very different from first attempt.  Chose some plain pink card, then managed to find a nice matching  paper to go with it.  Also reprinted the photos, didn't like the oval cuts I'd used.

Cut into the patterned paper to give definition to the photos, used the x cut cutting system after lining up the photos.   Used the Slice to make the butterflies, the new cards allow you do to shadowing and mirror images.  Printed some text onto photo paper then cut it into strips.  I changed the font and size of text on some of the strips to add interest.  Much better than first attempt methinks. 
Still trying to track down a suitable Yurt, got call back from one place,  price was a bit steep as there was no bedding or cooking facilities in the Yurt. But they did have the week we want.   But have to discuss it with the others. 
Getting very fed up with these overseas calls trying to flog things,  for one thing I can't understand them.  Just had one tonight who couldn't even pronounce my name.   I've gone beyond being polite to them,  especially those who call back if you cut them off!  They get the sharp side of my tongue. 

Had a good laugh yesterday,  our city council told Cameron where to stick his Big Society (or something for nothing) idea after they'd had their budget severely cut.   The only people it seems who aren't suffering are those at the top,  all the big bank bosses and their over inflated bonuses,  how can Mr Diamond take such a huge bonus after announcing 1000 job cuts?  Has he no conscience?  Not sure how cutting jobs helps economic recovery,  people without a job don't have any money to spend,  so shops suffer and close, so more people are out of work.   I have noticed that there is never a reduction in parliament, or their expenses,  not much cost cutting goes on at the Palace of Westminster, they have subsidised bars/restaurants,  a very fancy smoking shelter.   I also hope the West stops poking its nose into Egypt's affairs, they have to sort things out for themselves,  the West has meddled far too much.
Oh well, another soggy day tomorrow...  joy. 

Thursday, 3 February 2011

How it can all go wrong

Not happy with this page,  something isn't quite right and not sure what!  Think it is the papers I've chosen.   Nothing is stuck down yet,   I think all the elements work... but just not happy with it.

It's been a pretty hectic week,   yesterday was the usual food shop, then off to medical in afternoon.  Only it would be in centre of town,  which is difficult to park.   Thought I'd got lucky, spotted a parking space,  just needed to move forwards a few feet and it was mine,  except chap in front also had same idea and he nabbed it!   Rats.  So had to find another spot,  and knowing that area I took first one I found,  so of course on walk back I saw loads of parking spots.  Typical.   Also typical was that it had to start raining as I started walking  - so got very soggy.  I'm wising up to these medicals,  they always seem to be trying to trip you up,   doc wanted me to go first up the stairs (not a very disabled friendly building at all),   so I decided to make no extra effort, just to be myself, and show him exactly what I have to put up with every day.  Got all the usual questions, then surprised him when he asked if I was given rehab straightaway after my first operation,  when I said no he raised his eyebrows so told him it was well and truly mashed,  he'll see when he gets all my x-rays.   I wasn't allowed to do any rehab, or remove brace for 8 very long weeks. 
It was odd being back in that area of town,   where I went to university,  tho it has all changed, more restaurants,  most of them looked very pretentious,   and sadly all the old shops had gone, all turned into bars.   Very sad about that, those old shops were a treasure trove of stuff, all second hand,  but great to go mooching about in.    The most pretentious bar was still there,  got introduced to it many moons ago,  oh boy was it snobbish,  but it also did good food.   That was the only reason I would go there, far preferred the Everyman,  all veggie fayre but delicious.   Back at home made mistake of asking mum what she wanted for dinner, a roast or something simple, and what did she choose - the roast!   So we had toad in the hole, which for the uninitiated is sausages in a yorkshire pudding.   I'm now excelling myself in the gravy stakes,  and yes we had crispy roast potatoes.   So tonight we had the simple dinner, which mum was supposed to cook, but guess who ended up cooking?  Yes, me.  Oh well....  be even simpler tomorrow. 
Weather is horrendous,  gales and horizontal rain,  nothing like what they've had in Australia, but bad for us.  Stay safe wherever you are.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

All confuddled

That was me last night at my drumming class,  got myself lost, was okay with some bits, but not with others, which I found frustrating. Then today when I was going over the rhythm, I switched hands, used my left to keep the beat and the right to do the other stuff, yup, it worked!   So felt much happier.  
I had a rotten night's sleep,  think I finally dropped off at about 4 a.m.,  so didn't even want to get up at 8 a.m.,  or for that matter at 9 a.m.   I dragged myself out of bed about 9.30 a.m.     But it was a nice day,  and mild, so felt obliged to go tackle what passes for our garden, which is a piece of tarmac and lots of pots.   Everything needed to be tidied up and pruned,  or what I call 'kill or cure',  so far it has worked,  I go mad with the secateurs and the plants somehow survive.   It was also full of rubbish,  so hobbled round with brush,  why do people drop rubbish?  I was taught not to,  so doing so is an anathema to me.  Yet these days I see people blithely dropping rubbish!   It really annoys me,  it shows no pride in where you live.  Same goes for people who don't keep their gardens/fronts tidy,  doesn't take much to get a brush and sweep up. 

So with everything pruned and all shipshape again,  I was knackered,  had cup of coffee, waved mum off to her lunch with her old workmates, and tackled her wonky curtain rail.  I'd bought some new fittings, but could I find them, nope!  They'd vanished.  So made do with a bit of switching around.   Then it was 'me' time,  so it was scrapbooking,  just got given a challenge so I had to have a go.   It was just a question of printing out 4 photos... only the printer didn't want to know...  grrrrrrrrrrrrrr      kept at it and, yep, it had been downloading some new software!   Almost as bad as Itunes, which must get updated every bloody month.   So did manage to get photos printed, and the layout sorted, not quite happy with the papers. Nothing is stuck down yet, so have time to change my mind.  Can't do it tomorrow, got shopping and then medical in afternoon. 

Thanks for stopping by