Thursday, 19 June 2008

Ooops.... I Forgot To Do This!!

This post over at Marmadaisy and an email I received this morning reminded me that I was tagged by the lovely Joanna back in May, and promptly forgot to post it (which, lets face it, is pretty much typical me behaviour! Sorry Joanna!)

It’s a meme to answer 6 questions about myself. So, here goes:

What was I doing ten years ago - 1998

Ten years ago I had not long finished sitting my exams for the final year of my degree at Keele. We had recently made the move back from Staffordshire to St Helens and I was eagerly awaiting results day and Graduation (1st July). I was also in the throws of final wedding preparations – final dress fittings, double checking catering/flowers/room bookings/DJs etc. as we were married on 31st July.

5 things on my to do list for today

Make a cup of tea and buy a bacon sandwich from the refectory (because I’m bloomin’ starving!).
Deal with all the outstanding UCAS applications I have on my desk.
Finish my holiday packing .
Attend a meeting at Gracie’s new primary school to find out all we need to know for her to start in September.
Make up a prototype for a new craft idea that I’ve had (more on that tomorrow, hopefully).

Snacks I enjoy

COOKIE’S!!!! Mostly homemade, and most definitely handmade Tollhouse. Oh… and bacon butties, of course.

Things i would do if i was a billionaire

Build my own house with a spiffy craft room filled with stash. Send the kids to private school (something I never thought I would say, but if I had the money I certainly would do it). Build a respite centre for disabled children in our area, and a base for the charity I used to work for (funding is a serious issue for them). Enjoy my life and make the life of those I love as easy as possible for as long as I could.

Places I have lived

This is a bit tragic, because I’ve only ever lived in two counties!! I lived in St Helens, then Stoke on Trent and then St Helens. Can I count St Helens twice??? Please??

6 people i want to know more about

YOU! If you’re reading, and if you haven’t done this before. If you have done this before then you’re excused and can go about your business. If you haven’t, then please feel free to hop aboard the meme train.

There we go. Job done.


Wednesday, 18 June 2008

To Sleep, Perchance To Dream.

In the 14 years that we've been together, there's been one thing that Kendo and I consistently fail to agree on. Bizarrely, that thing is summer time bedroom window coverings (bear with me, I'm going somewhere with this, I promise).

If it were up to me I'd have black out blinds, black out curtains and maybe a covering of tin foil just to be sure no pesky sun rays poked through into the bedroom because I wake up at the first sniff of the sun. Kendo on the other hand likes light flooding in in the mornings - because otherwise he finds it really difficult to get out of bed (he's a nightmare in the middle of winter!).

The trick to successful relationships is always compromise, so in this case the compromise is that I generally wear a sleep mask in the summer months so I don't get woken up by the sun at 4am but Kendo can still get his ray fix when he's getting up for work. Everyone's happy.

I couple of weeks months back I ordered this book from Amazon, after coveting it over at Marmadaisy. I'm therefore holding Anna entirely responsible for my purchse. I'm certain she won't mind though. The book has some lovely patterns in and I've been meaning to make something from it for ages, but most of the projects I want to make are quite involved, which means I probably won't finish them in one sitting, which is a pain when I have to pack up my sewing stuff midway through.

Earlier this week I realised my existing sleep mask was getting a bit...well.....gross really (after a couple of months of me sweating in it, drool on it and doing whatever other unladylike things I do when I sleep). Then I remembered that there's a sleep mask pattern in the Amy Butler's book, so last night I set about making myself a shiny new one. I made this entirely out of pieces from my scraps bag (which is a cool way to use up some bits and pieces). I've changed the pattern to put my own spin on it a little - the front of the original is all one piece (not patchwork) and I've used horizontal stitching lines instead of cross hatch for the quilting, I've also added 1" elastic rather than ribbon as I've had tied masks in the past and they never stay in place because I toss and turn a lot in my sleep.

I'm really pleased with how this came out, and I envisioning making a couple more before the year is out.


I'm really enjoying these little sewing projects that I can finish in one evening. I feel like I'm getting my crafty fix without the pressure of having unfinished things sitting around (you know what I'm like for not finishing things, and this is supposed to by my year of finishing things!). Here's to discovering many more quick projects!


Monday, 16 June 2008

A Note About The Notetaker

A couple of you have asked on the previous post for instructions on how I made the notetaker.

I've been mulling it over and thought about a tutorial, but I didn't feel quite comfortable with that, as it isn't my design and was copied from the lovely notetakers that Kathy makes and sells the pattern for over at Pinkchalkstudio.

After dithering about this since yesterday and this being the age of technology and all that, I did the sensible thing and whipped off an email to the lovely Kathy to find out what the deal was with copyright etc on her designs (copyright, now, there's a thorny old business for you!). I received a lovely email back from Kathy, the basic crux of which was that she wouldn't really be happy with my posting a tutorial on how I made my notetaker, even if the construction process was different than hers. I thoroughly respect and appreciate her request that I not post instructions. This is her design and she makes a living from selling her patterns. It's a strange old world when it comes to getting inspiration from things you see on the internet and I always feel that if you're unsure how people would feel if you used their designs then you can but ask and respect their response.

So, I won't be posting any instructions for how I made mine. I'm sure you all understand. If you'd really like to make one, but can't fathom the mechanics of it then you can purchase Kathy's pattern here - and make one a 100 times better than mine ;)


Saturday, 14 June 2008

Take Note(s)

I recently followed the internet breadcrumbs and found myself over here, at the Pink Chalk Studio blog.

I was completely inspired by the Notetaker in this post. Just too yummy. I was going to order the pattern so I could make one on Friday night, alas on closer inspection they're actual, physical patterns, not PDFs so the chances of one arriving to the UK from the US when ordered on Thursday? Not really realistic for a Friday night.

All was not lost though. Necessity being the mother of invention and all that stuff I decided to have a go at making one myself.




I'm loving this project for a couple of reasons.

1) I managed to finish it in a couple of hours. I love projects you can get done in one sitting, it really makes you feel like you've accomplished something, and they don't end up living unfinished in the WIP pile.

2) I've used up some fabrics which I've had for ages. I really like them, but I couldn't find the right project for them. Now I have.

3) It's something that makes lists pretty, and anything that makes lists even better than they are already is fine by me. I love lists!

The only issue I have with it is that the stabiliser that I've used isn't quite thick enough. I would probably use a thicker one next time, or two layers or some chipboard inserts in the covers. I'm going to have a go at making a larger one for an A4 spiral bound notebook (the one I made fits an A5 pad) so I can use it for work.

More sewing projects on the back burner, but I won't be getting any done tonight because I'm having friends round for a belated birthday celebration (beers and Wii) as my husband is abandoning me for the evening in favour of a charity boxing event. Pah!

Also, I think I forgot to mention who I've been paired with in the I'm A Ginger Monkey Russian Doll Swap (that was one of the things I forgot to remember to blog). My swap buddy for this is Margy. You can check out her HMMDesigns Blog here, she makes some gorgeous stuff. I'm working on my swap item at the moment, and it's portable, so I'm going to take it on holiday with us. I suspect it may take a while.


Thursday, 12 June 2008

The Sleeping Time Directive


*no, Egg hasn't mysteriously shrunk overnight, he's 5 months old here, but it's the only photo I had of him sleeping!

We have a system of work in the UK (specific I think to those who drive for a living) called The Working Time Directive. It basically limits the amount of time you can work in a specific period (think overworked drivers + 18wheelers + napping at the wheel for reasons why this is a good idea). The general gist of the Working Time Directive is that you cannot work more than 48 hours a week, but this is averaged out over a 17 week period. So, in theory you could work a 60 hour week one week, then have a couple of days off and still even out at the end. Okay, so it’s slighty more complicated than that, and anyone who is married to/lives with/knows anyone who drives for a living probably already knows all about it through many ramblings about how complicated it makes things.

So, that’s the Working Time Directive.

I think Egg is working to the Sleeping Time Directive!!

It’s been bliss in this house the last week. Both kids have slept all night without waking up once. Heaven! I’ve felt like a new woman with 5-6 nights of unbroken sleep under my belt. Last night and the night before however, Egg was a complete nightmare, not going to sleep until 8.30 (goodbye mummy-crafting time :( ) and waking up at 6am.

Thinking about his pattern of sleep over the last year or so I’ve become convinced that he’s definitely working to his own Sleeping Time Directive. It’s like he’s only allocated a certain about of sleep per week (which in theory is right, we only need so much sleep) but some weeks he’ll sleep 13 hours a night without a problem and other weeks he’s lucky if he gets in 9-10. He’s evening it out along the way. Must be.

Unfortunately, all my motivation for crafting tends to go out of the window when it takes so long for Egg to go to sleep. Usually if I’m only coming down from putting him down at 8.30pm all I want to do then is veg out on the sofa, watch Big Brother and go to bed. I really need to get my arse in gear. The lack of having made anything is starting to make me antsy.

On the topic of Big Brother, I have actually been watching it this season. Unlike last year, when I didn’t manage to make it past the first night. I’m thinking of adopting Katreya as the official Protect The Cookie BB9 housemate, not particularly because she’s my favourite, but because she’s a total crazy loon (in the best possible way) and she does love her cookies………..

There’s been no cookie (nor indeed cupcake) baking around here for ages. I’m beginning to know how she feels!!


Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Where Does The Time Go?

To steal a phrase from Shimelle, I've been mostly "blogging in my head" this week. I had such good intentions and thought at numerous points throughout the week "I must blog that" and then of course promptly forgot whatever it was I was going to blog (usually due to interruptions by some pesky small people!).

As it happens, nothing much has really gone on around here. I did have a visit from a nice Police constable last Wednesday. A couple of weeks ago I witnesses an attack of vandalism/criminal damage on a local shop and the rather lovely PC Miller came round last week to take my statement. He arrived on his police issue bicycle - so a little more Heartbeat than NYPD Blue, but he did make a swift exit half way through (after apologising profusely for the interruption) to run (or rather ride) off to chase a couple of unlawful characters who had stolen a car and were heading in the general direction of our house. I don't know whether I was more impressed at the display of active policing, or at the fact that he actually managed to catch them on his push bike! Go PC Miller! So, that's me. Witness for the prosecution and all that. I was a little dubious at first about coming forward, but then when I thought about it I decided that the reason most of the crap that goes on in society these days goes unpunished is because people don't speak up - so I'm speaking up. Go me.

We've been making the most of the nice weather - seeing as we appear to have having our summer in the UK this week (don't even kid myself that it's going to last a couple of weeks so it's nice for our hols) - and we took the kids out for the day on Sunday. My hometown was (in a previous existance) a mining town and a lot of the old colliery sites have now been turned into really nice green belt areas (it's amazing what an artifical lake and a shed load of wild flower planting can do to a slag heap, I'll tell you). So, Sunday's family afternoon out was to one of these colliery parks. It was a little bit of a "family history" moment too as it was the pit site that my Grandad used to work in, and where my FIL was once the coal boy on the steam train that ferried coal and supplies to neighbouring pits and the canal network. I, of course, dragged my camera along for the day (the scrapper in my can't help it!) and I managed to get some really good shots from the day - in between the walking, frisbie playing and a spot of footie action.


Egg scouts out a good spot for the footie pitch.


Does Liverpool FC have a women's team??


My better other half. This is my fave photo from the day.


Do you want a flower Mummy?


Do you see this? Actual physical activity, by me!


Thirsty work, this sports stuff.


Gracie gets serious. I might be biased, but my baby girl looks pretty gorgeous to me.


He loves me, he loves me not?


Kendo plays "crispie" (Gracie's word for Frisbie. Bless her.)

There hasn't really been much crafty action around here this last week. I have a couple of scrapbook pages waiting in the wings, a couple of crochet projects that I'm trying out and a whole host of sewing projects that I have good intentions to get to........ what is it they say about the road to hell? ;)

Hopefully I can manage to get more that one blog post in in the next week.

[note to self] Remember to remember the things you think you should remember to blog. Or something like that.


Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Lagging Behind.

I’ve never been the kind of person who’s always on the ball with the new fashions or trends. Even as a kid I was always lagging behind with what everyone else was wearing. With 4 kids and a bucket load of foster children in our house there was never much spare cash to go splashing out on designer gear or anything. I remember seriously coveting a pair of red Adidas trainers owned by a certain Mrs Marmadaisy. I know she knows the ones I’m talking about, because we were only discussing them the other day, and she’ll probably kill me for even mentioning that she owned them, but I wanted those trainer so badly. *SIGH*

Some things don’t change, and I’m never exactly cutting edge when it comes to my scrapbooking either. Usually I’m lagging at least 6 months behind on the latest craze. Which is fine by me. It means I’ve always got plenty to be getting on with.

The latest thing that I’ve decided to have a bash at (which by my reckoning is at least 10 months after all the “cool kids” started doing it ;)) is scrapping in 12x6 (or is it 6x12?) format. I was all geared up when I decided to give this a try, but you know what, it’s a really weird format to scrap in. You think it’s going to be a lot of space, but it really isn’t. It’s not like 11x8.5 either, where you at least have some height to play with. Getting everything you want into such a narrow band takes a lot of paper juggling! I actually quite like how the layout turned out though, even though the photos make me a bit sad still at the loss of those lovely curls!:


I had quite a productive crafty night last night. As all the TV programmes I watch are starting to reach their season finales I’m finding much more crafty time on my hands (well, at least until Thursday when Big Brother starts – assuming it’s a less hideous group than last year, because I didn’t get past the opening episode for season 8. Way too annoying!).

When I made this bracelet way back in February I also made some polymer clay beads to make a similar bracelet for LMC. For some reason I’ve been putting it off thinking it would take too long. In reality, it took me about 10 minutes! That’ll teach me to procrastinate, won’t it?

Here’s the finished article:


And here it is being modelled by its happy recipient:


I also have another felted bag project in the pipeline. I think I have everything I need for it and I’m usually gung ho over getting started when I wake up in the morning, but by the time I’ve gotten home from work and put the kids to bed the prospect of hauling the sewing machine and related crap out has been too much to bare! Maybe tonight.


Calling All Comment Junkies.

There's a great little (well, quite big actually) giveaway going on at the new The Secret is in The Sauce blog.

The chance to win some fab prizes, just by leaving some comments. Who can argue with that?! So pop over there and see if you can be the lucky winner (because knowing my luck, chances are it won't be me ;P).


Monday, 2 June 2008

A Moment of Madness.

In another moment of crafty madness, I decided to sign up for the Russian Doll Swap that Katy is holding over at her I’m a Ginger Monkey blog.

I know. Bonkers. I have no defense.

It’s rather nice that there aren’t really any limitations on this swap, except that what you make has a Russian doll theme. I used to have a Russian doll as a kid (I wonder whatever happened to that? Hmmmm. I might have to go for a trawl through my parents loft, there’s a chance it might be up there somewhere) and I’ve always been fascinated by them. In Russian they’re referred to as Matryoshka dolls or babushka dolls. Unfortunately, every time I read the workd babushka it makes me thing of this. Which is bad.

I’ve been tossing ideas round in my already Kate-Bush-addled mind since I signed up, and I think I’ve narrowed it down to a couple of projects. I’m going to wait to see who I get paired up with before I make my final decision (at which point I will probably change my mind about 20 times!) and then I’ll get started. I can’t wait.

I also whipped up this little button for the swap for Katy. What's a crafty blog swap without a button to go with it after all?

If you're taking part and you want to add it to your blog you can grab it on flickr by clicking on the picture:


In other crafty new, I'm working on another little rock star. Unfortunately, it's a present. So I won't be able to share it until the recipient has received it. Just in case she happens to wander past the Cookie blog. The main downside to crafty presents. Not being able to share. No fun at all ;)