Saturday, 30 June 2007

I'm Late, I'm Late, For A Very Important Date...

I know, I know, it's Saturday, not Friday and the challenges are late but hey.... I've been doing battle with over-tired and over-sugared small people, torrential downpours and a very large pink elephant with an annoying squeaky voice (more on that later).

So, best crack on then.

As we're home from our holidays (a day early because of the threat of yet more rain) and I've never been so glad to get to sleep in my own bed (thank God for king sized duvets!) the prompt for this weeks LO is:


And the sketch.... is here:


Sorry it's late.

Happy Scrapping


Thursday, 28 June 2007

Rain, Rain Go Away!!

Well - we're here in not-so-sunny Porthmadog (still think it's totally civilised to have the wireless connection in the bar! LOL). Mostly it's rained... and rained A LOT, but we have managed the odd couple of hours of sunshine here and there. I shouldn't complain though - at least we're not flooded! I shouldn't really say that. we'll probably wake up tomorrow to discover our caravan has become an inpromptu floating barge :)

We would have had a photo - but I forgot to pack the little dongle thingie that I use to transfer photos to the laptop....but hey, I packed everything else so I think I can be forgiven!

Nothing really to report - I just thought I'd blog while I'm here enjoying a nice Corona. Now I'd better go before Gracie implodes.... she wants to go on yet another 50p arcade ride. I swear they're going to bankrupt us!

Hopefully I'll manage to get up here to post some challenges tomorrow....... time will tell!


Friday, 22 June 2007

Hi-De-Hi??..... more like Hi-De-NOOO!!!!

First off, apologies for taking so long to getting round to posting something. It's been such a busy old week what with holiday packing, seeing BW buddies, Job applications and general life-type things that I just haven't had the chance. Rest assured I have been severely reprimanded by Auntie Lou for the lack of Cookie Blog activity.

Right, onto the other stuff.

We had a lovely day out with Nina, Theron, Connor and Amy-Lou yesterday. They've been on holiday at the Pontin's site in Southport (an experience which they won't be wanting to repeat in a hurry, unfortunately) so as it's only about 30 minutes for us Grace, Ewan and I went up to meet them for the day. The Pontin's park is......well....... I'm struggling to come up with a nice adjective. Sufficient to say that Nina wasn't expecting the Ritz - but something approximating clean would have been nice (thank God for upgrades!!). Hi-De-Hi??..... more like Hi-De-NOOO!!!!

The disappointment of the park doesn't seem to have stopped Connor having a blast (you've gotta love kids - they can make the best out of anything!). Judging by his soft toy collection he's becoming quite a dab hand at those grabby machine things (I think there were 8 at last count) and he was happy to show Gracie round the soft play and all the playground equipment.


Connor is (of course) Gracie's "New Best Friend". I think she's managed to find the Holy Grail of what every woman wants - a good looking younger man who does exactly as he's told! :) The two of them happily trotted around all day holding hands with Gracie's telling him things like "We have to hold hands when we cross the road Connor". When we went for something to eat they were like Southport's newest "little old couple" with Grace saying to Connor in an exasperated tone "well... what are you having then?"

They seemed to have fun (despite Gracie's mile long bossy streak having a field day) and certainly worked off plenty of energy - I think Connor was amazed to find someone who could run around and shout as much as he can!

Amy-Lou is gorgeous (although still a little spotty from her chicken pox, bless her). Her and Ewan mostly prodded each other when in close proximity (and 9 and 11 month olds tend to do ;)) but they seemed to get along just fine.

I spent most of Wednesday in a mad holiday packing frenzy but most of it is done now (just things that are last minute and a few odds and ends). That's the bit I hate most about going away. I need someone to invent a Star Trek style transporter so I can just beam us and all our crap there. Where's Gene Roddenberry when you need him?? Well, dead unfortunately, so I don't think he'd be much use *SIGH*

Last night I wrote an application form for a part time job at the sixth form college I went to (how weird would that be?). I was trying not to think about how long it was since I was there *COUGH* 13 years *COUGH* because that's slightly depressing. The job looks cool though - part time Degree Administrator so I'll go and drop the application in today and we'll see how it goes.

Right then, I think that's every thing up to speed. We're heading off for our summer jollies in the morning (about 10.30ish) so I may or may not have time for some blogging in the morning - it depends on the level of pre-holiday panic. I am taking the laptop though, because I am that sad and can't bear to be parted from my PC for a week. Such a shame that the wireless Internet connection on the site is in the adults only bar, don't you think??? ;)


We're All Going on A Summer Holiday

It's FRIDAY!! :)

This week's scrapbooking challenge is another one word prompt. Prompted by the fact that we're going to Wales for a week tomorrow. This weeks prompt is:


and here's a nice bit of Cliff for you to sing along to while you think about what you're going to do for this week's challange - there's even words and everything... Karaoke city!! LOL

There's a sketch for this week as well (of course ;) ) which is here:


Do one LO for each, or combine the two - entirely up to you.

Happy Scrapping!


Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Nitty Nora, The Bug Explorer


We've had a letter home from Gracie's play school today to say that they've had a couple of cases of head lice reported and to be on the look out.
I've had a good look but I can't see any signs on Gracie (I'll be getting Mum on the case later - she's a bug spotting master :)) but my head has been itching madly since I read the note *shudder*

I know it's inevitable she's going to get them at some point, but they give me the willies. I think I've been traumatized by those posters of them with giant photographs on that they used to have round school.

Do you remember the days of the nit nurse coming round?? We used to call her "Nitty Nora, The Bug Explorer". I don't know if they even do that any more. You would have to queue up while she went through everyone and trawled through your hair with one of those wooden tongue depresser thingies that look like a giant lollipop stick. Then when she'd finished she'd snap the thing in half with a look that suggested that she was invisioning snapping little necks instead of bits of wood. They were always really butch as well, like they should have been named Helga and probably threw shot put as a hobby - or maybe that's a St Helens thing. Bizarre.

Right, off to get Gracie some that I've made you all itchy. Sorry.


Monday, 18 June 2007

Nobody Puts Baby In A Corner

...we don't need to...she does that herself :)

This is my LO for Pencillines sketch #37. It's all about Gracie's "corner" which is a space in the living room that she's appropriated for herself.

Love-your-Corner_-Pencillines Sketch #37

The journaling reads:

"The corner of the living room, nestled between the 'chocolate' chair and the sofa and in front of the bookcase, is "Your Corner". This is the place you hide when you don't want to do something we've asked you, where you sneak off to when you want to escape Ewan, and where you're sure to be found in a game of Hide and Seek. You LOVE your corner."

I've used pink and black Bazzil cardstock, Dovecraft "Charcoal prints" and Paper Adventures "Valentine Plaid" patterned paper. BG chipboard monograms (must get some more of those - run out of O's and A's!), Dovecraft ribbons and PaperMania buttons.

It's a flying blog visit this morning because we're having visitors..... Auntie Paula is coming - so Grace is probably going to implode with excitement! I'll be back later with more stuff about me/us/life/the panic of packing for holidays.


Saturday, 16 June 2007

With Flowers in Her Hair.

This is a teeny tiny project for a rainy Saturday morning. Not even big enough to be called a project really.... a projette, if you will ;)


Gracie really loved the little felt heart clip I made a while back. Unfortunately it's currently missing, presumed down the back of the sideboard, so I made her this one this morning to tide her over until the hearts are relocated.

It only took about 15 minutes - so super quick. I cut two felt flowers in pink using a chipboard flower as a template (which I bought here - well, actually from Sarah at the Haydock crop, but you can get them on the website). Then I cut a circle of purple felt (I drew round a 1 inch punched circle of cardstock because it was about the right size). Hold the flowers together and blanket stitch around the edges with some embroidery thread. Leave one of the petals open while you stuff the flower to pad it out (in my case with some left over Sock Monkey innards! aka some 6oz wadding) then stitch round the last petal. Put the purple circle in the centre and put in a stitch to hold it in place, then attach the button and push the needle through to the back of the flower and make a double stitch to tie the ends off. Then sew a french clip onto the back. And that's pretty much it.

It looks much bigger in this picture than it actually is for some reason. It's only actually about 2 inches (maybe a little less) at the widest point.

So, that's my Saturday morning project. Now I'm off to check out what the Her Space: My Space prompt is for today, before Ewan wakes up from his nap!


Naughty Me!

I'm sorry.

In my total over excitement about the cupcake army last night (it must have been the impending pumpkinness, it's distracting you know :P ) I plum forgot to tell you where you could get the recipe for these yummy creations. That would be here then.

For the frosting I used some recipes from the Chockylit blog - but adapted a bit because I didn't get enough butter out. Which lead to a very important frosting lesson:

If you must add extra butter, don't try to cheat and add it straight from the fridge - because it's not pretty!

I spent the next couple of minutes inhaling a cloud of cocoa and icing sugar (although, inhaling chocolate.... not necessarily a bad thing LOL) and I couldn't see past the film of powder on my glasses. Plus, it makes the mixer make unpleasant "you're working me too hard" kind of noises, which I have to say had me worried for a brief moment. Ah well, you live and learn.


Friday, 15 June 2007

The Cupcakes Have Landed!!


Now, normally, I don't photograph all the cupcakes in a batch I make. I cherry pick the nicest ones to show off and snap a couple of shots of those.... but this time.... well, they're all different, and equally yummy looking. So I thought for a change I would just photograph the lot (minus the one Kendo ate un-iced, in his official capacity as chief Cupcake tester, of course ;)).

And there it is. That's the amount of cupcakes you end up with when you forget (yet again) that Shimelle bakes for a staff room full of teachers or whole classes of pupils at once! It's a good job all my family like cake is all I can say - and that there isn't really that much actual food in my fridge (because it's stuffed full of chocolatey M&M filled cupcakeness now) ;)

Bedtime for me. It's 11.53pm - so I have about 7 minutes left before I turn into a pumpkin, and that's not a pretty sight, trust me :)


Baby, It's cold outside

Friday's come round again.... so it's scrapbook challenge day.

Another one word prompt this week - because I like those, and they leave a lot of scope for what you can do. In light of the recent downturn in the weather around here, this weeks word is:


As it wouldn't be Friday without a bit of a sing along I thought I'd give you this......a nice bit of Tom and Cerys and some big band bopping to get you moving on a cold Friday morning:

For this weeks sketch, well, just lots of circles........ that's about it really:


That's all folks. Happy Scrapping.


Thursday, 14 June 2007

C is most definitely for CUPCAKES!


This is the "C" layout for my 8x8 A-Z BoM project (that's a mouthful).

What else could "C" be for these days..but Cupcakes? I've used Pencillines Sketch #36 for the layout which is a great sketch by Tessa Ann.

The journaling reads:

"I recently rediscovered baking, which means cupcakes.... and plenty of them. My Mum and I used to bake quite often when I was a kid and I always find something very comforting in it. Maybe it's the warmth of the oven, or the yummy smells drifting through the house? Or, more likely, it's getting to indulge my very sweet tooth with the results. Either way, C is definitely for CUPCAKES!"

The papers are from Sassafras Lass "Dreamy" range (Green craving and Crush) and I've used four shades of Bazzill cardstock. The alphabet titles were my MM bargain from Hobbycraft last week. I made the little paper pieced cupcake in the tag.

Now I just have to decide what letter to move onto next... 2 down, 24 to go!


The (Not So) Great British Weather.

I can't believe I'm blogging about the weather, but honestly... give us a break!
What's the saying? "Cast n'er a clout till May be out"**? Well, it's the middle of bloody June, and it still can't make up it's mind.
Last week - 26 degrees and glorious sunshine, this week? Colder than a witches' tit (origins of that lovely phrase can be found here LOL) and raining cats and dogs (okay, so there was a colloquialism theme emerging.... I thought I'd run with it ;)).

So, after last weeks running round like a nutter turning off all the radiators upstairs, moving a huge pile of crap in the living room to get to the heating settings so I could turn it to just water, locating all the fans so the kids could even being to attempt to get a nights sleep in the heat and changing our king sized duvet for the patchwork throw over so I don't toast in bed when Kendo's piled his half of the duvet on top of mine................. I'm now freezing in bed and am having to decide whether it's worth moving the aforementioned pile of crap again to turn the heating back on. *SIGH* I really wish it would makes it's mind up.


**I'm not entirely sure what that means, but I seem to recall that according to 80s diary-writing-legend Adrian Mole, that it has something to do with keeping your vest on ;)

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

It's Never Too Late for Cupcakes.

Well, okay, maybe deciding that you're going to bake cupcakes at 10 o'clock at night is a little ridiculous - but what's a girl to do?


The recipe for these is a bit complicated so if you want to write it down you'd better get a pen. Are you ready?

Take one packet of Asda (Walmart) chocolate cake mix.

Mix according to the instructions.

Add 1/2 cup of seedless Raspberry jam and beat until combined.

Bake as per the instructions.

Well.... maybe it's not THAT complicated! LOL :)

They actually came out pretty yummy. You can't really taste the raspberry but it give them more of a brownie kind of texture which is nice for a change.

I iced them with this One Minute Frosting and like everyone else I wish I'd read the reviews before I started. They are right, it does indeed look like Willy Wonkas' chocolate river. I just dumped in a couple of cups of icing sugar (confectioner's sugar for you US peeps), stuck it in the fridge for 15 minutes and then beat it to within an inch of it's life with the electric whisk, and voila - spready chocolatey goodness :)

I need a little practice with the icing with a palette knife business (damn, that means I have to bake more cupcakes!) and my top tip - make sure you add your chocolate sprinkles BEFORE your icing sets completely, if you won't want to be sweeping them off the kitchen counter for hours *SIGH*


I challenge you.... look at this photo and NOT yawn!!


The prompt for the Her Space:My Space photo today was "Tired", so I immediately thought of this. It always makes me yawn just looking at it. Why is yawning so contagious anyway? Well, if you're bored you could always Google it and find out ;)

On the topic of being bored - I swear I can't win with that husband of mine. On the one hand, complaints that I shouldn't be on the PC so much in the day, and on the other, emails complaining that I haven't blogged anything because he's bored and needs something to read in his lunch hour! Honestly, Men! Can't live with 'em, can't shoot 'em.

As it happens the reason for no blogging this morning was that pretty much bog all blog worthy had happened. The highlight of this morning for example was Ewan having milk from his sippy cup for the first time, which he did in his own inimitable style of course:


We managed to get out for our first family consitutional yesterday evening. A nice walk around the park with a bit of football for good measure. We've decided that Grace has a great future career in Italian Football - she can't kick for toffee, but she can take a dive with the best of them! She spent half the time on the floor going "ouch my leg/foot/arm" only to be up and running two seconds later!

Hopefully the weather will stay dry and we can go out again this afternoon.


Monday, 11 June 2007

Back To School Today! Woo Hoo!

I don't think I've ever been so glad to see a Monday :)

Gracie's back at nursery today after two weeks off for the Whit holidays, which is a good job, because the Cabin Fever had truely started to set in and we were driving each other crazy. So it's back to school this afternoon for her, and two and a half hours with just one munchkin to chase around after for me (heaven!).

Nevermind Gracie going back to school though. Apparently I could do with a few spelling and grammar lessons myself seeing as I've had my darling husband calling me from work this morning to tell me that I've misspelt something in a previous post. Er... hello??? Do some work while you're at work Mister! :P

The health kick is starting today so it'll be healthy lunch and dinner, no beers this evening and going for a family walk after we've eaten tonight - gotta be getting exercise. I was even going to try to drink enough water today (although how you're supposed to fit in 8 glasses a day without having to permanently relocate to the bathroom I'll never know. Bladder the size of a pea, me.). I did find this online this morning which was an interesting counter argument to the whole 8 glasses thing.'s on the internet... it MUST be true, Right?? ;)

I don't know about water, but I'm sure its definitley time for a cup of tea (isn't it always), so I'm off to make one.

I'm also thinking about a little making things project at the moment. I promised you BW crafty ladies some online projects a while back so I'll post this one when I've had a think about the details (and made it).


Saturday, 9 June 2007

Headaches, Pic-er-nics and In-Car Puking.

I woke up with a pounding headache this morning, and the day pretty much progressed downhill from there (although there were a few highlights :)).

After calling to cancel having friends round this evening (sorry Karen and Ste), because, lets face it, when you have two small people in the house and wake up with a headache you can pretty much put money on the fact that it's not going to get better as the day goes on ;) I spent most of the morning trying to keep Gracie down to a dull roar and make sure Ewan didn't have anything to scream about (like - I can't reach my toy, I can't reach Gracie's toy, I've just chewed this toy and now my gums hurt..etc..etc) Kendo came home from work early (thank the powers that be!) and we decided to take the kids to the park to keep them occupied for a bit,

Enter MUMMY MODE aka there's bog all in the fridge but I've manage to rustle up an emergency picnic for 4 (well, three and a bit) in ten minutes (Do you think they secretly programme us with these abilities in the delivery room in a Matrix style procedure? I certainly couldn't do crap like that before I had kids).

So, off we trundled to the park (via Craft Central for some emergency stash shopping - how is it possible that in a 5 inch stack of patterned paper I can't find one sheet to fit a layout I want to do? Hmmmm) and set out our pic-er-nic. (This was a highlight, in case you haven't guessed). Kendo and Gracie had some great fun running around the field playing ball:

Playing ball in the park

While Ewan and I played on the picnic blanket:

Smiley Ewan in the park

The look of intense concent

Things were looking up at that point (headache was still there, but I was distracted by the pic-er-nicky type fun) until I went to put the rubbish in the bin (socially responsible Mummy that I am LOL). I was about half way there when Gracie proceeded to chuck up pretty much her entire lunch - mostly onto her shoes. Nice!

We had a quick clean up and loaded everyone and everything into the car. We'd driven about a mile and a half when she was sick again. IN THE CAR! How nice does it smell in there now, given the fact it's been about 25 degrees all afternoon? Lovely - NOT!

At this point, Kendo is leaning over the back seat holding the emergency potty (hey, sometimes a girls just gotta go - and sometimes Grace can't hold it either ;)) which thankfully happened to be in the back seat) under Gracie's mouth while she puked up the little that she had left (mostly just the water she'd topped up on Thank God!).

So, here's the picture. I'm driving, Gracie's puking, Kendo's almost dislocating his arm bending behind him try to catch puke in a potty.... and then come the speed bumps. Ooops. Lets just say there were a few choice words from Kendo at the first one when half the contents of the puke potty spilled out onto his hand, and a couple of threats that he was going to pay me back as I managed to hit every one on the way home (and there are LOTS). Ewan was happily watching the whole scene play out from his car seat with an amused expression on his face. Cheeky little monkey :)

I do have to wonder if this might have had something to do with the puking:
The reason for the puking?

Fast forward to bedtime. Ewan took the best part of an hour to get to sleep (I was no help, clearly I'm having a bad Mummy day). I can't decided if its the teething (seeing as he's getting another 2 through, which will make 4 in the space of a week and half) or if it's the heat or if it's separation anxiety. Or indeed a combination of all three. *SIGH*

I decided that I'd chill out with a nice bit of scrapping which was going okay until Ewan woke up again at a most inopportune heat embossing moment. Two wakings and an hour and a half later and then came the craft knife incident (see previous post). I was almost finished with my LO... and managed to bleed on the damn thing!! Arggghhh!! On the positive side, it does have a red, black and white thing going on, so at least I bled within my colour scheme ;)

This is the layout (you can't see the blood spot (thankfully) - yey for bleeding on black paper!):

Trouble Brewing LO

I was seriously wishing that I lived next door to Rach when it came to the journalling so I could have nipped next door and borrowed her lovely new Banana Frog journalling stamps (note to self: must get me some of those).

I've really pleased with how the LO turned up. I solved the "no suitable patterned paper" problem on this one... because I haven't used any LOL.

Right. I think it's about time I was off to my bed. Hopefully I'll wake up without a headache tomorrow and things might start off on the right foot. On the plus side, my MIL is cooking roast lamb tomorrow (my absolute fave) so things are looking up already :)


Just Lock Me In A Padded Room Please?

..... because clearly I can't be trusted with sharp implements! I've just stabbed myself with my craft knife (again) - which makes for the second time in as many weeks. This time on the pad at the base of my index finger. It's not a very wide cut - but I managed to stick about half the one inch blade of my craft knife in there. I'm still finding spots of blood that I've missed in the clean up. Seriously, I'm a danger to myself (if not others!).

Back in a bit with my LO to tell you about the rest of my eventfull-ish day....when I stem the bleeding enough to get it my page finished..... the crafting must go on after all :)


Friday, 8 June 2007

Multiple Exclamation Marks!!!!

I know, multiple exclamation marks are allegedly the sign of a
truely deranged mind.

I think I'm in serious trouble!!!! LOL

Whilst I've been writing my last couple of blog posts I've
become increasingly aware that I use exclamation marks
WAY too often in my writing. Some days I can't finish a
sentence without one. When I go back and read them over in
my head it makes me sound like a Valley Girl. Way too heavy
on the up speak. I really don't sound like that IRL
(pretty hard to do Valley Girl with a Lancashire accent).

I promise to try and go easy on the old !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!'s from now on ;)


Thank Crunchie....'s Friday!! :)

Is it me, or do the Friday's seem to be coming around rather quickly these days? I think I must be getting old. I remember when I was a kid and a week seem like forever, nowadays it's like "blink and you've missed it". It'll be Ewan's birthday before we know it (which is 15 weeks on Saturday if you want to be really freaked out!), then Christmas, then Gracie will be four. Okay, I need to stop that, I'm wishing my time away.'s Friday.... which means scrapping challenges. I was all prepared this week and made my sketch yesterday instead of in a rush job this morning. Hark at me all organised! It's Deb and Steffi making me get my brain all in order with routine and To Do list threads ;)

Here's the sketch:

For the scrapping challenge I'm taking a slighty difference approach this week. Inspired by this, which was in turn inspired by this lady I going for a one word prompt to get you moving this week. So, without further ado, your word is:


I'm quite certain that with all the mischief our little monkeys get into we can all come up with something for this!! Do with it what you will, interpret it how you will, it's all up to you. You could even kill two birds with one stone and combine it with the sketch challenge if you want to (that's probably what I'm going to do).

I also realised that I haven't actually done any of my own challenges for a while - which is a terrible way to lead by example!! I'm sorry! So I'll be working on this and will post my LO later.

That's all for now.


Thursday, 7 June 2007

He said "Mama"!!!


Ewan_June 2007

I wasn't quite sure I'd heard it right but then I looked at Grace who had spun around to look at him when he said it. She just looked at me and said "Aww. He loves you Mummy". Melted my heart :)

Of course if he's anything like Grace, now he's started saying it, he won't stop. "Mummy I need, Mummy I want, Mummy can I have, Mummy put that vodka bottle down ;)".

As my MIL would say, you spent the first 2 years teaching your kids how to walk and talk, and the next 16 telling them to sit down and shut up!! :)

That's all the blogworthy news today. It's Thursday. I'm not very blogspired. Ah well.


Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Did you see the size of that Monkey??


You see.

It happened like this.

I was making the mini album last night, as per yesterday's proposed crafty schedule. I've made the body of the album (sneak peak of that in the photo) and I was about to print the photos off and decorate it. Then I kind of got sidetracked by this little guy:


IT'S A SOCK MONKEY!!! How cool is that? A monkey, made from socks!

(my God, I'm easily amusing! LOL)

I saw this one on the Happy Bunny Designs blog and decided I had to make one, because they're just too cute. Gemma from Happy Bunny kindly pointed me in the direction of some web destructions on how to make one (thanks Gemma), which you can find here and I also found some instructions for ones with the traditional Rockford Red Heeled Socks but they're basically the same.

Kendo has named our Sock Monkey "Fred" in honour of the imaginary monkey that lives on Grace's head and usually causes lots of trouble (probably best not to ask about that, it's a Daddy/Gracie thing!). He came out pretty good for a first try, but I think his tail is a bit thick. I'm anticipating an emergency "Tailectomy" at some point in Fred's very near future. I'll let you know when his surgery's been scheduled.

I'm taking Ewan swimming for the first time today. We're going to Aquatots with Sandra and Melissa. I'm not sure what he's going to make of it - hopefully he'll be pragmatic about the whole thing and just look on it like a big, cool, slightly chlorine-stinky bath :) It should be fun anyway. I just have to work out how to fit it around his new schedule (which seemed to work much better yesterday). I'm sure it'll all work out along the way. Grace is going to Nanny Tish's while we go swimming, I told her a slight porkie, that I was taking Ewan to clinic, so she won't have a flid that she can't go to the pool. Naughty Mummy.

and Kendo - stop checking up on me and do some bloody work :P


Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Drowning in a Sea of Laundry

This is my house today.
Well, okay, imagine it without the factory setting, industrial equipment and women in victoria outfits.... and all my laundry isn't white - but you get the idea :)

Once again I'm asking myself why, oh why, oh why, oh why, oh why do I always leave the laundry to pile up until I'm drowning under a sea of dirty clothes then I have to spend all day doing washing and ironing (the 5th level of Hell??) to catch up??

I know that if I did a load or two a day I wouldn't have this problem but I start off with good intentions and then I always end up back where I started. I am such a S.H.E it's untrue! I think I need to get back on the FlyLady wagon (again). I always do okay when I'm doing that and following my routines. One of these days I'm going to do that and it's going to stick! I swear.

I was very good this morning and got up at 7am (Ewan woke up about 7.10 so I was pretty much ready to get him up and at 'em - clothes laid out the night before.... see! One Flylady habit did stick! Woo hoo!). He's been napping since 9.20ish so hopefully he'll last until 11 then he can have his bottle. In theory he should nap around 2.30 then which will make a 7/7.30 bedtime easier. We can but hope.

Gracie's at Nanny Winnie's all day today. She's off to Busy Bees this morning with her "American Cousins" (Alison and Madison) who are visiting (although their not technically her cousins. They're Kendo's Auntie's Great Granddaughters. If you can work out what that makes them to Grace then you're doing better than me). She doesn't care, they're 5 and the like Scooby Doo. That's all that matters.

Right - the washing machine has just finished the third load of the day (and it's only 10.30!!) hopefully the stuff on the line is dry so I can have a swap out. More ironing. Oh Joy.


Monday, 4 June 2007

The Best Laid Plans!

Ewan sleeping

If only he looked like this all the time!!

We had a lovely day today in Leeds with Lou, Emily and Xander. The weather wasn't stunning, but was dry and warmish so we had our garden pic-er-nic which Gracie loved. Emily and Grace did their usual trick of fighting most the time they're together and then whining when it's time to go home (there's just no pleasing 3 and 5 year old girls is there!). It was great to see them all (it's been a while) even if Lou and I did spend most of the day saying "Grace/Emily BE NICE!". Xander and Ewan got along great and bonded well over some mutual drooling, shared soggy breadstick crumbs and the trials of having an older sister. God help us when the two of them start running around the place!! I only managed to get one picture from the day (for some reason the other ones I took haven't come out (another good excuse for a new camera!)) but this is Grace and Emily "sharing" Ewan:


So, after a lovely day out I had big scrapping plans for this evening. Which have been completely scuppered by a very grumpy Ewan refusing to go to sleep until 8.15pm and then waking up again hungry at 9pm because he only had 2 oz of his before bed bottle! So here I am at 9.26 and I haven't even started Karen's album. I know that Ewan's routine needs tweaking somewhere along the way so I think I'm going to have to chalk tonight up as a scrapping write off, dig out my Babywhisperer book and sort a newly shuffled routine to try for tomorrow and try and get an early night. Ah well, The best laid plans, as they say.


Sunday, 3 June 2007

Nothing if not fickle

My Next Big Thing

Two layouts in three days. I could be in danger of being on a roll here! I decided to do the sketch challenge for the Pencillines design team search because I really liked the sketch. I've adapted it to 8.5x11 because it's a LO for my BoM (yes, I haven't forgotten about that - it's a work in progress!). It's a strange one, because it's not really about anything - and yet it's about the most basic trait of my crafting. You can't really see the journaling on this photos (still dreaming of that Nikon D40 (roll on Christmas!)) but it says:

When it comes to crafty things, I'm nothing if not fickle.
One week I'm hooked on scrapbooking,
The next I'll discover something new,
or rediscover something old.
Then I'm all about that for a while.
Be it baking, quilting, knitting or hairbows
I never know what's going to be My Next Big Thing.

The little pink squares are all fabric from my patchwork stash - and the paper flowers were one of my Hobbycraft bargains.... a big pot of paper flowers for £1.49.

I've made another batch of Raspberry and vanilla muffins to night because they didn't come out quite right and were niggling at me. I know what you're thinking, and tragically the answer is YES - I do lie awake at night thinking about cakes! For the new ones I took about a third of the cake mix out and added the raspberry juice to that, mixed it completely and then mixed the two back together - so they look much more marbled which is nice. I tried a tip with the raspberry which was to freeze them and flour them a bit so stop them from sinking, but that failed miserably and they still sank to the bottom. Ah Well. Didn't work on the blueberry one's either. *SIGH* I'll havc to Google "How to stop your blueberries from sinking" and see what delights that comes up with. Could be interesting!

We're off to Leeds tomorrow to see Lou, Emily and Xander. I haven't told Gracie that we're going yet so that should be fun in the morning :) I couldn't bear the "Are we seeing Emily yet? Are we seeing Emily yet? Are we seeing Emily yet?" tirade that I would have gotten today if I'd mentioned it, so I thought I'd keep it as nice surprise. Hopefully the weather will be nice and then we'll be having a garden picnic (or pic-er-nic as Grace would say) while we're there - which should keep them quite for a bit while Lou and I have a good old chinwag.

Tomorrow evening's plan is to finally get Karen's WonderStuff album done - which was supposed to be her birthday present... In April! but still hasn't been made yet (typical me!). I just need to decide what kind of album to go for, although I'm leaning towards a maze book at the moment because they're really cool. Watch this space for pics of that tomorrow if I manage to get it finished.


Saturday, 2 June 2007

Here you go, Looby-Lou :)

*Ducking before I get thwacked by Auntie Lou*

She's got a new blog (bloody copy cat ;)) which lives here and is brilliantly titled Garlics and Ginger Turtles - LOVE IT!! :)

So, if you're stalking me - then why not stalk her too, and Rach for that matter. She lives here in case you didn't know.

Go on, it'll be a big old Stalkarama!! :)


Reclaim Your Workspace!

I'm joining Shimelle in her June mission to reclaim your workspace (well - my workspace....but you know what I mean). If you want to join in too, then you can find some info here and here.

The photo is the current condition of my scrap room (well, current as of last night and on the basis that I haven't been in there this morning and I'm (sadly) very certain that little elves haven't been in to tidy it overnight I assuming it's still a dump).

The thing that's struck me most about this? The perpetually overflowing rubbish bin. It's brought up a dilemma. Do I:

a) stop being such a lazy sod and empty the bin more often or,

b) get a bigger bin so it will take longer to fill and I won't have to empty it so often?

Hmmmm.... decisions, decisions.

Realistically speaking, there's preciously little enough room for the bin that I've got - so I don't think option b) is feasible. Damn! I'm going to have to stop being lazy. Don't you just HATE it when that happens. D'oh!


Friday, 1 June 2007

Marbled Raspberry and Vanilla Muffins.

Inspired by Shimelle's Thurday blueberry muffin making - I came up with these this evening (an adaption of the blueberry recipe on Shimelle's blog).

Marbled Raspberry and Vanilla Muffins.


Here's the recipe:

85g unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarb soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/8 cup milk
3/4 of a mug of raspberries for the sauce and extra to keep whole

  • Beat the butter, add sugar and beat until fluffy
  • Add the vanilla and beat til combined
  • Add the eggs one at a time and beat inbetween each one
  • Add the rest of the ingredients (except the raspberries) and stir in, then beat lightly until combined
  • Put the raspberries in a sieve and rub through with a wooden spoon until you have mostly seeds and a little pulp left in the sieve (don't forget to put a bowl underneath! LOL)
  • Drizzle the raspberry juice into the mixture and mix gently so it's marbled (don't over mix or it will all go pink!)
  • Line a muffin tray with muffin cases and full to about 3/4 full.
  • Push a whole raspberry into the middle of each muffin and push the mixture over to cover it

Bake at 180C or Gas mark 4 for about 22-25 mins. Lift onto a wire rack to cool.

This made 12.

These taste totally yummy! The whole raspberry adds just a touch of zinginess against the sweetness of the muffin and it's lovely! I'll definitley be making these again!


Everything stops for Tea!

A pleasantly surprising visit to the cookieblog by Aman Stubbington (Pencillines design team-type lady) led me on a cyber wandering that took me here, to the Love to Scrap's Happenings blog. As my scrapping mojo's been flagging again of late I decided to give their "routine's" challenge a go and also decided that I'd make it part of an A-Z book of me. I'm doing an 8x8 album - not a size I'm used to scrapping, which was actually a pleasant change of scenery - it was nice to have a smaller space to fill. Of course, me being me, I couldn't possibly start an A-Z of me at the letter A.... so I started with T instead (or should that be tea?). Any of you who've been reading my blog since the start are used to my random tea related ramblings - and those of you who haven't been reading since the start, well, you'll just have to click on the link if you want to see the waffle about the big yellow teapot.

Here's the LO anyway:


The remit was to scrap about something that you do as part of your routine, and my daily time out with tea and choccie biccies was the first thing that came to mind.

I've used SEI Twitterpated paper and stickers (freebies with my SI subscription this year - yey!), Papermania brads and metal-rimmed tag.

Thinking about this LO and about scrapping in general recently has led my brain off down yet another tangent. To this:

Things I'm finding out about my scrapping style #1: Form an orderly queue!

So, as much as I'd like to think I can be a random, quirky and off the cuff kind of scrapper, what I've actually come to realise is that I like things orderly. Not necessarily straight lines - I love a good curve as much as the next scrapper - but I like things to look structured, and even, and balanced. I have difficulty getting asymmetric LOs to look right - something in my brain makes me move things around until they're back to being even again. I'm going to go on the look out for some asymmetric sketches and try a couple of deliberately off-kilter LOs to see if I can get them to work for me.

I'm thinking this whole "what's my style" thing could prove to be quite an interesting journey (for me anyway, you're probably yawning already ;)) - I'll have to wait to see what else I can discover about my scrapping along the way. Onwards and upwards and all that.


I Don't Care If Monday's Blue........

Tuesday's grey and Wednesday too
Thursday I don't care about you
It's Friday, I'm in love :)

Well, the sun is shining, the birds are singing, I have lots of lovely Hobbycraft vouchers burning a hole in my purse (which I should get to spend today) and all in all I'm feeling pretty chirpy - so I'm having a bit of a "dance round the living room to The Cure" moment. You can join in here, should you feel like it ;)

So, inspired by the lovely Robert Smith, this weeks scrapping challenge is this:

  • Use a "Day" theme on your LO (a birthday, a day of the week, a day in your life, however you interpret it)

  • Use some wool or crochet on your LO (or something with holes if you can't muster up something woolly) - In memory of those holey Goth jumpers/sweaters.

  • Use something RED on your LO - for Bob's lovely red lipstick

For the sketch this week it's actually one of my own (for a change). I've even done it on PSE so it's all straight-lined and proper! Here it is:

That's all folks. Remember to embrace the Fridayness, and HAPPY SCRAPPING.