Thursday, 28 February 2008

Brace(let) Yourself!

Well, my little Ebay package finally arrived yesterday, so I set to making this last night:



I made it using this fabulous tutorial over at the Overstimulated/Undercaffeinated blog. I’m not usually one for jewellery making (too many little fiddly bits for my liking or my patience) but this was pretty easy (apart from some messing about with the toggle clasp/cramp bead/ends of tigertail combination at the end) and took less than an hour.

Excuse my pasty, pale skin in the photo won’t you. English rose/pale and interesting and all that. Yeah Right.

Now Gracie wants one after seeing me wearing it this morning. I think she might be getting one with polymer clay beads though – Grace+glass beads= recipe for disaster, surely.

The large beads for this are roselamp wheel nut beads from The Craft Factory, the smaller ones are Mill Hill glass pebble beads, I’ve used IMPEX tigertail and the silver toggle clasp was from kevscraftshop on Ebay.

So, that’s the crafty part over with. I would go on to regale you of stories of my exciting life, but seriously, nothing has happened around here.

The most exciting thing today is the fact that it’s Thursday, which is the new Friday, having taken over from Wednesday, which was previously the new Friday until I changed my hours at work, which isn’t really a problem because at least Friday isn’t the old Friday anymore. You with me?

We did book our holiday this week – so I guess I lied and something vaguely exciting did happen. We’re off here for a week in June, to see Rory and Anxious, of course. So Gracie and Egg can do this every night:

It’s a new site for us as we usually go here. Hopefully the June date will mean a greater chance of some sun. Hmmmmm. Well, maybe not. We can but hope.

Right, I’m off to do some work (for a change).


Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Spooky Blog Coincidences.

I've just spotted this on my lunchtime blog-hopping travels (do I ever do any actual work in work? Er.... clearly not!)

I swear I hadn't seen this when I posted my beret post.

Spooky, spooky, spooky.

(very glad I'm not alone in the dodge-beret stakes! Hurrah!).


Monday, 25 February 2008

Knitting Needle Roll Tutorial

So. After the issue with the teacosy beret, I thought I’d move onto sewing for my next project, and inspired by these and a little by this, I thought I would give doing a tutorial a go.

What I did realise was, it is WAY too long since I’ve sewn anything. In fact, I think this was the last sewing project I did:


which was for a friends baby, and was made August/September last year. No wonder my sewing machine was obscured from view by a layer of permadust!

I’ve absolutely no doubt that if you Googled this, you would come up with hundreds of tutorials for the same thing, but this is my take on it, all out of my own head and everythink.

Knitting Needle Roll Tutorial

You will need the following:

2 pieces of material 17” by 21” (in this case one red, one checked – to form the main part)
1 piece of material 9” by 21” (in this case checked – to form the pocket)
2 pieces of material 18” x 5.5” (in this case one red, one checked – to form the top flap)
½ metre of co-ordinating ribbon
matching thread

I’ve rounded the corners of my main pieces and the bottom corners of my flap pieces, for no over reason than I thought it would make a nicer edge. To get the curve I lined up and traced the rounded edge of an egg cup (yes, it was that hi-tech!).

To make up:

First take the 9”x21” pocket piece, fold a ¼ inch hem in the top, press and pin in place and stitch.


Then lay out the inside main piece and line up the pocket piece along the bottom. Pin in place.

Next, mark out the vertical lines for stitching the individual pockets for the needle. I’ve made most of mine 1 inch with a couple of 2.5 inch ones at one end (for circular needles). Make sure you allow an extra ½ inch on the end pockets for the seam allowance. Sew over the vertical lines you’ve mark – it’s easier to start with the middle one and work outwards so you don’t get any bunching.


Moving on to the flap. Place both flap piece, right sides together and pin in place. Stitch round the pieces leaving the long edge without the curves open. Clip and trim the curves to make the rounded corners neater. Turn right side out and Press. Sew round the seam you’ve just made, close to the edge (to add detail and make the seams more secure).

Now you’re ready to put the whole thing together. Place the main piece with the pocket piece attached right side up on the table. Line up the flap piece along the top edge and pin in place. Fold the ribbon in half and position about half way up on the right hand side edge with the ends pointing towards the middle of your work. Leave about 1 inch of the ribbon over lapping the outside edge.


Place the other piece of the main body right side down on top of the pieces you’ve just put together and pin in place.

Sew around the outside edge with a ½ inch seam allowance, leave a small gap along the bottom edge. Clip and trim the curves and turn work tight side out. Press neatly. Sew around the outside edge, close to the seam (as with the flap piece) ensuring that the open edges of the gap you left are tucked in neatly. Locate the 1 inch piece of ribbon on the inside edge and oversew with a cross hatch to strengthen it.


And that’s it. Add your needles, fold the flap over, roll, tie and go. All done.



Some of you might recognise the fabric I’ve used for this as remnants of this project from a while ago.


Waste not want not, as my Mother would say!

As well as making this roll, and seeing as I’ve already lost my darning needles in the depth of my current (and rather shabby) knitting bag about 4 times this week, I decided to make one of these cute and useful little things from the tutorial over at marmadaisy. Thanks Anna!


The only thing I’ve done differently is to machine stitch some elastic to the back of the ribbon so it will hold my snips secure (should I ever find them again that is, as they’re currently AWOL. *sigh*)

Next project will hopefully be a matching tote bag to carry my knitting in. I just need the time and energy, shame you can’t buy that on Esty!


Saturday, 23 February 2008

Not Beret Successful!

Sorry. Awful, awful title I know :)

My latest project is finished (woo hoo!). You may recall a month or so ago there was mention of knitting a hat to go with the scarf I made in the New Year. I had made a start, but this week I decided to abandon the patterned I'd started in favour of this beret pattern from The Purl Bee. It's my first time knitting in the round, which is quite a interesting experience. Knitting on the round needles is cool, because you could quite easily get carried away and end up with a tunnel of knitting big enough to drive through to France once you get going. Switching to double points is a whole other experience. As Teresa over at says, to start with it kind of feels like you're jugglying an unruly hedgehog. Once you get the hang of it though it certainly makes knitting a row more interesting.

There has been a bit of a tension issue with the hat though. This is what it looks like (excuse the photo - have you ever tried photographing the side of your own head?):


It's mostly okay, but the rim is way too loose and saggy. Not sure what I can do about that though.

All things considered, I suspect the beret may well be more at home here:


Ah well, you live and learn. At least it's finished. Now I have to decide what I'm going to make next. Hmmmmmmm. Better get the thinking beret cap on.


Thursday, 21 February 2008

What's In A Name?

I don't usually go in for this kind of thing, but I spotted this fun little thing on my blog hopping travels this morning and was entertained by the result!

Here's what it had to say about me:

What Marie Means
You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated.
You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want.
You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way!

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.
You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.
You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You tend to be pretty tightly wound. It's easy to get you excited... which can be a good or bad thing.
You have a lot of enthusiasm, but it fades rather quickly. You don't stick with any one thing for very long.
You have the drive to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time. Your biggest problem is making sure you finish the projects you start.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

I'm not so sure about this bit:

"You are usually the best at everything"

but how spooky is this?:

"Your biggest problems is making sure you finish the projects you start".

Just for the record the current project is a hat....... hopefully to be completed in the next day or so.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Definitely Pink, and Absolutely Cheeky

So, here it is! Finally. The pink and cheeky thing is finished.

It is most definitely pink, and absolutely cheeky.


It’s a pink, cheeky, ITV digital monkey (or should that be monkeh (with a strong Lancashire accent?)). As it was for Gracie she was charged with the task of naming her (because we can’t keep calling her pink and cheeky) and she’s decided that the monkey will be called Daphne (only she pronounces it all pseudo-posh with an “r” in, like Daph-er-ne). Don’t ask. She has a Scooby-Doo thing going on.

The pattern for this came from a link over at Kerry’s Monkee Maker blog and is a pattern which was distributed by Sirdar around the time of the whole ITV Digital fisasco. Knitting up the pieces was easy enough, but sewing it together is a right PITA. I’m also not sure about the finish on it. It’s knitted in reverse stocking stitch, so the bumpy bits (traditionally the wrong side) are on the outside. I think it might look better with the “right side” on the outside and the “wrong side” on the inside. I might have to test out that theory on the next one (if I’m never brave enough to make another one!).

Anyway. Daphne is settling in nicely and making herself right at home. She’s even found time for some bongo practice.


LOL. I don’t know what it is about these little creatures that makes you want to photograph them getting up to crazy stuff. I fear it may become a complusion!

At least I can breathe a sigh of relief that I’ve actually finished a project – Hurrah for the year of finishing things! Now I can move onto what was next on the list.


Where I'm From

I love a bit of blog hopping in a morning. This morning's hops took me from my usual visit to here along a little winding internet breadcrumb trail, to here.

Then I actually had to engage my brain, which is a bit harsh at this time on a Wednesday morning, but here's what I came up with about where I'm from:

I am from Palmolive Soap, Vosene Shampoo and Matey bubble bath.

I am from the quiet cul de sac, around the corner from the park, where no-one in the street was a stranger and the kerbs were high enough to play kerbie with a football.

I am from the single “Blue Moon” rosebush in a plastic pot in the back garden, the tree in the front yard that shed blossom all over the pavement in spring.

I am from 26 people for Sunday lunch and demanding your meat and veggies be served up on separate plates, from Nora and Joseph and Bill.

I am from patient, with a hot temper and impatient, with a milder manner (and inherited the worst of both).

From “if you break both your legs, don’t come running to me” and knowing that no matter what I do in life there’s always a place to go home to.

I’m from Sunday Morning Mass. From Catholic guilt, May Day processions and the Holy Days off school.

I’m from dodgy patterned wallpaper that changed every year, and furniture that was moved around at least once a week (because a change is as good as a rest), from over-cooked roast beef, homemade potato cakes and “runny” cheese with bacon.

From fighting like cat and dog with my sister then crying my heart out the day she left home, the house full of foster children, the relatives I saw weekly and the ones I wouldn’t recognise if I passed in the street.

I am from Royal Wedding street parties, walking to school unaccompanied, and hand-me-downs from people you only knew because they lived in your street. From old photos stored in a suitcase in the loft, static caravan holidays or going to “our gate” or “window view” when money was tight.

I’m from knowing that at the end of the day, nothing is more important than family. (Even though there are some days you could happily throttle each other).

An interesting little diversion to pass some time on a cold and frosty morning. There's so much more I didn't include in that list. I'm feeling all reminiscey (totally not a word!) now.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

There's Not Much Time.

Clearly my brain isn't functioning on all cylinders at the moment.

Despite having read this not two days ago, it has only just occurred to me that it really isn't long at all until Mother's Day. Only 12 days in fact. That's really not long at all if I want to give handmade gifts as presents. Yikes! I'd better get my thinking cap on, hadn't I?

I'm sure it'll all be fine. I can come up with something crafty and wonderful and easy to make that will please both my Mum and my MIL in 12 days. Right?

In the immortal words of the late, great Douglas Adams.....

Don't Panic!!!!!


Better Late Than Never

I am so late doing this it's untrue! Typical Cookie style really.

I received an award from Anna over at Marmadaisy. Which was quite nice.

The Award originally came from Arte Y Pico's Blog. As for what it's all really about I can't tell you, because like Anna, I haven't got the first clue how to read Portugeuse. I will just trust that it's a nice crafty award - and not a "your blog sucks" award. I did run it through Babelfish for a translation and it seemed positive enough (as far as you're able to gleen from a babelfish translation, which are notoriously literal!)

The Award rules are:

*Post the award on your own blog.(Post who gave it to you)

*Indicate its original link and link to that site. (Arte Y Pico from Uruguay)

*Give the award to 5 other blogs that you enjoy, find creative and inspire you.

and the five crafty blogs that I'm going to nominate for inspiring me are:

Shimelle's blog -for having the best cupcakes recipes, the most inspiring online classes and for being throughly entertaining.

Monkee Maker - I only recently discovered this, but it's a great blog. I love seeing what those little monkee's made of knit get up to.

Little Cotton Rabbits - Julie's little knitted creatures are a joy to look at and her posts always brighten my day a little

Overstimulated/Undercaffeinated - Earrings in the shape of vaginas, all in the name of charity. Enough said!

Garlics and Ginger Turtles - How could I not nominate Auntie Lou for this? Daft Yorkshire bird that she is. Keeping me sane on a regular basis by just being fab :)

As Anna's nominated me I don't think I can nominate her, but I can't do this without giving Marmadaisy a special mention. As she's put in her post nominating me, we have indeed known each other since the dawn of time (or there abouts). We were the bestest of best friends once upon a time but lost touch as life got in the way. Strange how the simplest concidence can bring people back into your life - like Anna discovering the Cookie blog the very week I was holidaying down the road from where she lives. We'd always shared an interest in crafty stuff (we were the only people daft enough to take GCSE textiles at our school I think!) and here were are again 15 years later sharing crafty stuff again. Bizarre how life sometimes brings you back around.

So, slapped wrist for my for being late with this, but I'm all done now :)


Monday, 18 February 2008

My One Little Word

Firstly, I have to get this out of my head. I’ve been reading this book lately (I started at the beginning of this set of novels as someone at work lent me the latest one and it’s been a while since I read them all so what better way to feed my reading habit?). Unfortunately, reading this book has meant that this song has been permanently fixed in my head for over a week. Sometimes I think I’ve managed to shake it off – and then it will just pop back in there completely unbidden to make a nuisance of itself. Not that it’s a bad song. I like The Mamas and The Papas well enough, but after over a week or listening to it as the mental sound track to my existence, its beginning to tick me off! So, I’m exercising this musical demon onto the Cookie in the hope that it will infect someone else and therefore decide to leave me alone!

Here are the lyrics, should you feel like singing along at all:

Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guarantee
That Monday evening you would still be here with me.

Monday Monday, can't trust that day,
Monday Monday, sometimes it just turns out that way
Oh Monday morning, you gave me no warning of what was to be
Oh Monday Monday, how could you leave and not take me.

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time

Monday Monday, so good to me,
Monday Monday, it was all I hoped it would be
Oh Monday morning, Monday morning couldn't guarantee
That Monday evening you would still be here with me.

Every other day, every other day,
Every other day of the week is fine, yeah
But whenever Monday comes, but whenever Monday comes
You can find me cryin' all of the time

Enough of that anyway. Now that my brain is a little more decluttered, that leads nicely on to my next musing for the day, which is related to this and to this.

I didn’t consciously sign up for this when I first read the idea on Ali’s Blog, but the more she’s mentioned it, the more I became aware that there was one little word that popped into my head whenever I thought about her posts, which, strangely enough, links back to my non-resolutions from the beginning of the year (how far away does that seem now? Crazy-timesuckage-madness is going on here, I tell you!).

My one little word for this year. SIMPLE.

(and no, It’s not a reference to my level of intelligence, thank you very much :P)

In the non-resolutions the SIMPLE related to me keeping things simple and not taking on too many things at one time. The more I think about it though, the more I think it really is a word to live by if you want things to be more hassle free. For example.

I want to be less stressed and hurried in the mornings.
Put out clothes for everyone the night before: SIMPLE.

I want my craft room to be less messy.
Tidy up as you go along. SIMPLE.

I want to know what to cook for tea.
Do the menu planning thing. SIMPLE.

I want to finish my craft projects.
Don’t start another one until the first is complete. SIMPLE

I guess what SIMPLE means at the moment around here is doing the simple things that have a knock on effect to the bigger things. If you start with the small things the tasks don’t seem so bad and things actually do get done.

Any now I sound like a Home Organisation Manual. Scary. Make it stop!

On tonight’s agenda for me is, unfortunately, about 4 loads of ironing which has been steadily breeding in the kitchen for the last week. Of course, if I’d kept things SIMPLE and done one load at a time when it came out, I wouldn’t have this problem, but if I’m never going to get to some crafting without a guilty conscience, I’d better deal with the backlog. It might be the perfect excuse to give the kids clothes drawers a good sort out of all the things that are too small for them (which I’m sure are many and varied).

Back to work for me now anyway.

Is that song still stuck in your head?


Sunday, 17 February 2008

Over Th'Pennines

So, I'm a little late blogging this (sorry Lou ;)), mostly on account of me being a lazy cow this weekend. On Friday we had our half term trip over th'Pennines to see Auntie Lou, Emily and Xander. We haven't managed to get together in a while so it was great to see them all. Gracie and Emily did their usual trick of bickering most of the time while we were there and then being BFF at leaving time (Gracie cried in the car because she missed Emily on the way home - oh the trials of 4/5 yr olddom!).

I managed to get a couple of good pics of the kids (amazing really seeing as they rarely sat still the entire time). Somehow Lou's managed to escape getting in front of the camera so I can't get her back for this post on her blog by posting some pics of her (must remember to get some pics of her next time!).


Grace and Emily hadn't even started the day and they were already vegging out on the sofa (I think they're both practicing for their teenager years), but they did eventually rouse themselves into action.......and managed to spend some of the day not shouting at each other:


I'm not sure Xander and Egg quite knew what to make of each other, but they did discover a shared love of all things Thomas the Tank (so I'm sure there's a solid foundation for furture friendship). Here's our little men hanging out together anyway - amazing they're both looking in vaguely the direction of the camera....... but only because the telly was behind me!). Xander's going for the clean cut look - Egg, well, he's more Seattle grunge. Do you think we should tell him that that's SO 1990s?


Despite all my good intentions for crafting I really haven't done much this weekend. The pink and cheeky thing is almost finished, but sewing it up is a real PITA so I'm kind of in avoidance mode at the moment. I promise to finish it this week though. I also have a sewing project all cut out and waiting for me to drag out the sewing machine. Maybe I'll get to that in the week. We'll see.

Well, it's Sunday, which means Lost night. So that's it from me. Short(ish) and relatively sweet.


Tuesday, 12 February 2008

It's Not What It Looks Like!

“I’m in the process of knitting something pink and cheeky (more on that when it’s finished, should be in a day or two)”

I know, there’s something overly narcissistic about quoting yourself on your own blog (or should that be oneself on one's own blog? Well, only if I want to sound like a pompous muppet, possibly). Anyway, I digress.

I am, indeed, working on knitting something pink and cheeky at the moment. The main part of the pink, cheeky, knitted item is finished. I just have appendages to make now. So there I was last night, watching the Lost repeat on Sky Two, happily knitting away at one of the afore mentioned appendages when I looked down to see where I was up to….. and stared in slightly stunned disbelief at what had unfolded on my needles:

It's not what it looks like

Seriously. It’s not what it looks like!

Thank goodness that Kendo (having a very early start this morning) had already gone off up the hairy mountain to Bedfordshire, because I think if he’d seen this he’d be wondering whether I was starting up a new line of environmentally friendly, knitting condoms…. or perhaps tackle warmers for all occasion (a niche market, maybe?). I know I was looking for a new project, but YIKES!

In retrospect, I suspect pink was not the best colour choice for this project, but that’s what happens when you ask a 4 year old girl what colour they want something. They’re not very imaginative. The answer’s almost always going to be pink.

I’ve brought my knitting bag to work to see if I can get a bit further along with this in my lunch hour – but I’m not sure I can be seen knitting this particular appendage in public. Hmmmmmm.


Monday, 11 February 2008

In Search of Fae

Hurrah for a fabulously dry, sunny first-taste-of-spring weekend, I say!

After months of not doing much with the kids at the weekends (mostly on account of it being too damn cold) this weekend came as a pleasant surprise, and I couldn’t wait to get us all out of the house on Saturday afternoon. A quick stop off to stock up on sausagey rolls, juice and doughnuts and we headed off to the park for the afternoon.

Grace and Ewan were soon running round sans coats and making the most of the weather.

As well as an animal corner (peacocks, ducks, pot-bellied piggies (my fave!), donkies and wallabies) the park we went to also has an ornamental garden with a wooded area behind that which used to house a faux Chinese arch….. and now houses a lot of stone ruins. Not that that would deter a four year old – all the more places to look for elves and fairies is more the case.

So, this is Gracie look for fairies:


And of course Ewan following suit:


This is Gracie checking out the hedgerows in search of elves:


And the expression when she came fleeing back maintaining that she had indeed found an elf (at which point I’m becoming slighty concerned about what exactly was used to powder those doughnuts!):


Which of course meant that Daddy was forced to go and investigate:


Grace was very tomboyish and decided to have a go at climbing this tree:


But she took some time out from her busy tree-climbing schedule for a quick photo opp with Daddy and Egg:


Unusually for one of our family outings, there were actually some photos of me for a change (damn, he knows how to work the camera now! Pah!):


As I (miraculously) don’t look too much like the back end of a tram smash in them, I don’t really mind sharing. Although I’m not sure what’s going on with the angle in this one:


After all that hard work fairy hunting and tree climbing we needed to find somewhere to take a load off:


But of course it wasn’t long before Grace decided she wanted the whole seat to herself:


There were of course the obligatory photos of the kids not doing anything particular, just looking cute:



Although the “mouthful of sausagey roll” pose is something Grace might want to work on.

Last on the itinerary, but my no means least, was stopping off at the icecream van on the way back to the car:


But as I suspected, giving Ewan sole control over his cornet was not the best parental idea I’ve never had. Needless to say I was scraping the remains off the car carpets shortly after this shot was taken.

Anyway, enough of our weekend exploits and my photo indulgence.

This unexpected spring weather has had another affect on me. I’m getting all crafty antsy for a new project. I have just finished a little brown knitted bear (but he’s still nak-id to you’ll have to wait until I’ve finished a jumper for him before you see him), and I’m in the process of knitting something pink and cheeky (more on that when it’s finished, should be in a day or two) but I’m after something new to peak my interest. I always get like this at this time of year. I think it’s the prospect of actually crafting in the day light which gets me all motivated for new things.

It’s a little too much the wrong side of pay day to be thinking about any projects that would entail any sort of outlay, so something that uses up what stash I’ve got would be perfect. I think maybe something sewn, my machine has been gathering dust for a while. Hmmmmm.

If you should happen to see any interesting projects on your internet travels then please feel free to point me in their direction, won’t you.

Right, off to do some work. Gotta love these new hours. I actually get to go home in day light! Woo hoo!


Wednesday, 6 February 2008


Every moment unfolding before me is an inspiration.
Honesty, compassion and sincerity inspire me.
Experience in itself is an inspiration,
as are the people who work to experience life fully”
-JonAnn, Artist/Photographer/Craft Goddess

On my usual daily visit over to Shimelle’s blog, I was led to downloading this intriguing little E-zine from the Designs for Mankind blog. It’s an interesting look at what inspires people to create. The quote above was one of my favourites.

It’s really got me thinking about what inspires me (er… not much lately, by all accounts!). Well, actually, that’s not really true. When I thought about it I realised that I’m actually inspired by stuff all the time – but I can’t hold those thoughts in my head for very long. They’re fleeting mostly. Like I will see a photo, or an event, or someone wearing a great outfit, or spot a fabric and I’ll think “wow, that’d be great to do……….X, Y or Z” and then before I know it my brain is galloping off somewhere else, probably trying to stop me stepping out into oncoming traffic (and you know how successful I’ve been at that in years gone by!).

Often my inspiration for things will come when I’m just dropping off to sleep, which is outstandingly annoying, because then I know I will never remember things right the way through the night until the morning. I used to have a notebook and pen by my bed for just such occasions. Hmmmm, I wonder whatever happened to that? I’m sure it’s somewhere in a Gracie hidey-hole filled with scribbled drawings of people with balloon heads, no ears and seven strands of hair that all stand up vertically from their head (drawn by Gracie, obviously – although my attempts at life drawing would probably be much worse!). I shall have to reinstate that bedside notebook. Maybe I could reinstate it into one of these, which I believe is from this book, which is weird, because I was only coveting looking at this the other day following this completely unrelated post over at Marmadaisy. Bizarre how that always happens, you hear about the same thing from unrelated sources in the same week.

I think I also might need to reinstate a notebook to my handbag. There used to be one in there too, a rather nice one, with a leather binding and a button and thread tie. I know exactly what happened to that one though – a 1.5 hour unanticipated boredom session in the dentists waiting room with 2 small people (whilst Daddy was upstairs getting a filling. Ha!). They needed entertainment – I gave them notebook and a biro. The receptionist was most relieved, as were the waiting room plants.

I really am waffling today aren’t I? I think it’s the prospect of having to be at work until 8.30 tonight. It’s sending my brain into spasm.

What was I saying? Oh, yes. Inspiration. So. I’m going to try to capture those random and fleeting moments of inspiration more, and, more importantly, to act on them more. Who knows where that could lead?

On that note. Should you be so inclined. Why don’t you share what inspires you on your blog today? Maybe it might inspire someone else.


Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Fancy a Chance of Winning this Little Guy???

combined with the opportunity to raise some money for a good cause???

Well, then you need to pop over to see Kerry at her Monkey Maker blog. She's holding a raffle (with this handsome chap as first prize) to help with the fundraising for Ellenor Wiseman. If you don't know about Ellenor's (Belle's) story then you can find out more details at Kirsty Wiseman's blog, but basically Kirsty and her husband Mark are trying to raise some money to fund a trip to the US so Belle can hopefully get some answers about her condition (which she hasn't been able to get in the UK unfortunately). You can find out more about Belle here.

How could you resist the chance to get your hands on that gorilla??


Monday, 4 February 2008

A Weekend of Ups and Downs

What a strange old weekend this one has been.

At the end of last week I came down with a pretty horrid cold. The kind of cold where you feel like you’re head’s been shoved inside a stuffed animal and everything tastes like stewed knitting. Unfortunately, the social life of a four year old doesn’t allow for poorly Mummy’s to wallow in their congested misery so there I was Saturday afternoon hauling my snot-ridden carcass to a pre-schooler’s birthday party with Gracie and a present of “Monkey Madness” (bet the birthday girl’s Mother just loved me!) in tow. To be fair, the party was actually pretty good. They had a couple of children’s entertainers, who pretty much did exactly what it said on the tin (or in their case the van). I could never have believe that a room of 8 over-excited 4 year olds could be so quiet, but the were truly engrossed in the story telling and face painting and princess-dressing-upness.

On Sunday afternoon, for the first time in I don’t know how long, I managed to get 3 hours of uninterrupted scrapbooking time in (as Kendo battled his manflu to keep up our bargain of him taking the kids to his Mum’s to give me some time off). I actually managed to get two layouts completed (wonders will never cease!). More on that later though, back to those ups and downs.

Surprisingly after a hectic weekend both kids went off to bed as happy as larry last night (hmmmmm – who is larry and why is he always happy? I think I might have to wikipedia that later! LOL). It wasn’t to last though. Egg woke up at 10pm as I was going to bed………… and didn’t go back off to sleep properly until gone 4am!! The poor little bunny has a rash on his face and all over his little tushy :(. Even piriton and calprofen (the staples of small person-fixingness) didn’t work last night. Eventually (after watching him scratching at his nappy for the hundredth time) we decided to give the cloth nappies a go (they’d be the ones we spent 200 quid on and have barely used because, well, quite frankly, they’re a bit too much like hard work for my liking!). After rifling through cupboards to find a wrap big enough to fit him and giving him some calpol he did finally settle down to some non-itchy sleeping. Unfortunately he woke up at just gone 7am and would not be dissuaded from the fact that it was waking up time. So, Kendo’s at home in bed feeling worse than he did already, and I’m in work downing coffee and eating muffins in a vague attempt to keep awake. I suspect we might be taking a(nother) trip to the drop-in centre this afternoon to get the Eggman checked over. I swear that kid has been ill with one thing or another for months!

Enough of the doom and gloom anyway. It’s not all bad around here. I have a couple of scrapbooking places I hang out at on the web. Of all the cyber hangouts I frequent though, This Place, never ceases to inspire me. I really love Shimelle’s work and her style of teaching and her classes are just great. Real straight forward common sense stuff – that you didn’t realise you hadn’t thought about that way before.

Recently she shared this article. On the concept of “Stick and Go Scrapbooking”. Now, its no real secret I’ve been in a bit of a scrapping lull lately (what can I say? I think it’s been Rach’s turn with the Mojo since Christmas ;)) so I thought I would give this a go and see how I got on with it. It’s a seemingly simple concept – which turned out to be deceptively difficult. Trying not to obsess about how to cut the patterned papers was a big hurdle. Then just sticking them down without analysing their placement in minute detail – that was a real stumbling block! The title, well, I know I say I have enough stash, but I really need to invest in some decent alpha stickers (hand cutting titles is not conducive to speedy scrapping!). Here was the result of my first “stick and go” attempt anyway:


The photos are a little too far to the left, which kind of makes things a little unbalanced, but in a weird way. It’s not symmetrical enough to look equally weighted, but also not asymmetrical enough to look okay either. Not a “bad” layout though, I don’t think. I suspect I just need some work on getting to grips with what I can fit where in a 12x12 space (although you’d think after 4 years I would have some idea really!).

The second lot of inspiration from Shimelle (she’s been a super busy bee I tell you), comes in the form of a journaling prompt a day on her blog for the whole of February. I have a little notebook for this:


And I’m trying to jot down some stuff for each of the journaling prompts. The prompt for the 1st Feburary entitled “Let me tell you about” inspired this LO of Gracie. The idea being to collect some sentences about a specific person or thing and using a title of “Let me tell you about this………………” you add journaling with the sentence like This…….…………. But, ……………………….. so you get a positive and negative aspect in the same sentence.


The journaling for this reads:

This girl looks like Mummy, but has Daddy’s hazel eyes.

This girl is only four, but sometimes she acts fourteen!

This girl loves her little brother, but wants to know why he always wants what she’s got.

This girl has learnt to colour in the lines, but sometimes paints the grass blue.

This girl is named Grace, but isn’t in the least bit graceful.

A bit more stick and go scrapping combined to make this LO. I think it turned out okay really.

Now I just have to get my thinking cap on and come up with something about squirrels. Well, okay, not exactly about squirrels, more about prepositions, but the squirrels made me giggle.

Oh – as a total after thought! I also managed to get this finished yesterday. It’s the “B” entry for my IACW A-Z journal. Not before time really, as the C prompt has already been announced!! So, B is for Baking Things (although not for trying to bake raspberry cheesecake cupcakes (they need raspberries in, right Lou?) and Lemon and poppy seed muffins on an evening when you’re trying to concentrate on the new season of Lost. Because that’s not really relaxing at all).


I supposed I ought to consider doing some work today, but I might have to have another coffee first!