Thursday, 29 May 2008

Today I Will Be Mostly Growing Older.

Okay, so technically I’m growing older every day, but today is my birthday, which is the one day of the year when you feel like you’re actually getting somewhere in the growing older stakes (or when you feel like the years are racking up, depending on how you look at it).

I got lots of nice presents this morning – although no Wii Fit, which is what I’m having for my present off Kendo and the kids, but which is sold out COUNTRY WIDE! Grrrrrr. Guess I’ll have to wait for that one.

When I got home from work yesterday, this lovely looking parcel was on the doormat:

Marmadaisy-package


The Marmadaisy sticker and the lovely handmade packaging were a bit of a giveaway as to where it came from, but to be honest, even without those, I would have recognised the handwriting on the label, but then I did sit next to Mrs Marmadaisy in class for a lot of years ;)

Inside was a fab card, and some LUSH fabric:

birthday-fabric


I love the Japanese one! Too cute. Now I don’t have any excuse for not playing along with some Fat Quarter Fridays! Thank you Mrs Marmadaisy. I love them!

Last night I finished the layout that I gave you a sneak peak of yesterday. It’s from this week's Pencillines sketch (#86 – I can’t believe they’re up to 86 already!). I haven’t been on the Pencillines blog for a while, and I should go more often, because as soon as I saw this sketch I knew that I wanted to do something with it. It’s great for helping relocate your mojo. Thanks Pencillines ladies :) Here’s the layout anyway:

Alike-LO


I’ve used SEI Twitterpatter papers on this page. I didn’t actually buy these papers, they came in a kit with a magazine subscription, but I’ve loved every layout I’ve made with them. The colours are just gorgeous. They remind me of chocolate and cake and icecream and all sorts of other yummy things. And Louise, I know what you’re thinking. The journaling block didn’t look like that last night. I knew it wasn’t right how it was and it drove me bonkers all night thinking about it so I had to have a bit of emergency layout surgery on it this morning. I like this much better. Thank goodness for paper layering!

I almost started work on another layout last night, but then realise it was 10.30pm already (I’m not sure where the evening went. Scrapbooking is the master of time suckage!) so I didn’t get past printing and cropping my photos. You know what though, I’m going to do some more tonight. It’s my birthday and I’ll scrap if I want to, scrap if I want to, scrap if I want to. Is that song in your head now? Sorry :P

Right. I’m off to get on with getting older. It’s going to involve tea, and probably chocolate. So it can’t be that bad.

TTFN

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Looking Back

Today has me in something of a reminiscent mood. I think it’s a combination of things. The weather (grey and rainy all over the UK today), which is more like September than May, and it’s got me feeling that “back to school” vibe is one thing, the fact that tomorrow I will be turning the ripe old age of 32 (how did THAT happen?) is another, and the fact that yesterday I actually located my scrapbooking mojo and got excited about a papercrafting project, something that hasn’t happened in a long while. Here’s a sneak peak of that, it isn’t anywhere near finished yet, I had another page to do first (but I can’t show you that one because its for a scraplift challenge):


alike_sneak-peak


Couple those things with reading this post by Shimelle this morning, and I’m all about the looking back fondly today.

So, in the spirit of The Cure, and having a “Jumping someone else’s train” moment, I thought I’d have my own “Time warp” blog post and share some of my first scrapping attempts (humiliating as it might be).

I discovered scrapbooking for the first time in the summer of 2004, when Grace was only 6 or 7 months old. I decided I wanted to do something with the plethora of photographs that we’d already taken of her (other than storing them on my hard drive, never to be viewed unless happened across). I’d not long gone back to work from my maternity leave and I remember Googling “scrapbooks” on my work laptop (in my lunch hour, of course ;)) and stumbling across the Scrapjazz.com website. I was immediately enthralled by the articles and layouts on there. A whole world of new craftiness opening up before my very eyes. I remember clearly going to Hobbycraft with the specific intention of buying scrapping supplies for the first time (the only thing I’d ever bought there before that was eyelets for LARPing costumes). I bought more pink scrapbooking supplies than should be allowed in one basket – a pink 12x12 album that was in the sale, pink paper, pink ribbon, pink cardstock and a packet of pink mulberry paper die cut stars (I still have the packet with some left in! LOL).

I scrapped at the kitchen table (long before I appropriated the conservatory as my craft room) and I shoved all my supplies into a Hobby Craft carrier bag! I don't miss the days when I had to pack everything away at the end of a scrapping session, that's for sure!

This was my first every scrapbook page. The photo is a bit duff because I didn’t take it out of the page protectors to photograph it.


Grace_Birth-Page


And my second layout. Tigger stripes?? What was I thinking??


Bounce_Scrapbook_page


Then it was official. I was hooked!! I began to learn all about exciting new things, like The Rule of Thirds, what "acid and lignin free" meant, and having “Magpie Moments” (using none scrapbooking items on your pages). I’d like to think that things only improved from there on it. Although there were a couple of incidents with some photos and a circle cutter:


Beach_Page


But everyone has those. Do you see that wire “B” – pulled by my own fair hand out of a piece of spare mains wire that was! How’s that for magpie? Not exactly an “acid free” moment though ;)

So, there you go, that’s how my scrapping started out. Next time (maybe), there’ll be The Curious Incident of the Corner Rounder in the Craft Room. For now, I’ll settle to listening to a little of this, for a reminisce:



TTFN

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Ring-A-Ring-A-Noses!

It's been a busy old weekend so far around here. Last night I headed off over th'Pennines (without Kendo or the kids) to celebrate Louise's birthday.

First port of call on arrival was of course the present swapping (well, once we'd cracked the Coronas open of course). Lou is a bit of a fan of a certain long-haired, top hat wearing rock guitarist. So this was my present for her (which I've been dying to blog for a week but couldn't because she hadn't seen it). Now she has, and so can you:

Slash-bunny


It is of course the lovely Slash, of Velvet Revolver/Guns n Roses fame. Louise was so excited I thought she might bust something! He's even got a nose ring:

Slash-bunny-nose-ring


He ROCKS!

My present from Louise was much more beautiful, and much more usable! She made me a gorgeous beaded bracelet with a silver heart clasp. It's fab!! The photo really doesn't do it justice. The colours are lush.

Birthday-Bracelet


THANKS LOUISE!! I love it!

Once the pressie swapping was over, we settle into a few beers and then headed off to a local Italian restaurant for some chow. Myself, Miss Lou and her lovely DH Rob, and Lou's friends Ally ('andbag) and Stevie (sandwich).... don't ask! and the totally fabulous Stef with her DH Tony. Much merriment was had (you can check out some photos over a Lou's blog if the fancy takes you) and once we'd stuffed ourselves silly on calzone, lasagna and divine strawberry cheesecake we headed off back to Lou's for a bit of a Wii Sports tournament.

It was all going rather swimmingly. That was until I decided to try and get from the conservatory into the living room without realising that Rob had closed the patio door. YOUCH!! After landing unceremoniously on my arse, with a collection of little cartoon birdies and stars circling my head I managed to get into the living room, attempting to maintain any semblance of dignity (trust me, there was none!) and insisting I was fine. Which was met with a chorus of "No.... you're bleeding!". Oh my.

So. What happens when nose mets a plate glass door?? Well, this happens:

Nose-V-Patio!


Not the most flattering photo of me ever taken. But in my defense I had been smooshed against a panel of glass and only went to bed at 3am!! The flash really doesn't do the two black eyes justice either.

Classy... don't you think?? :P

In other, less concussion inducing news, I can finally share the quilt I made for my Lucy Locket mini quilt swap buddy, Annie. She emailed to say it had arrived yesterday so now she's received it I can share on here.

Mini-quilt-swap_fairy


Right, there's an icepack and some painkillers with my name on it somewhere!

TTFN

Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Mini Quilt Swap Goodness.

My swap buddy in the Lucy Locket Mini Quilt Swap emailed me this morning to tell me she'd posted my quilt yesterday. I dashed home from work eagerly anticpating my package, and was rewarded with the sight of this on the door mat. Hurrah!!

MQS_Package


I was so excited I almost couldn't wait to photograph the package, but I managed to restrain myself.

Inside I found this lovely package in fabulous jade green tissue paper, along with a lovely card. This swap business is really exciting! I might consider joining in some more.

MQS_wrapped


To say I was thrilled with the quilt Annie made for me would be an understatement! It's bloomin' GORGEOUS!! I mention in my emails to Annie that I like rainbow colours, so she's made me an "Over the Rainbow" quilt - complete with blue birds. It's just so adorable! I can't wait to hang it (it will be going in my newly revamped craft room (when I finally get round to doing it!).

Here it is, in all it's rainbowy lusciousness:

MQS_quilt-from-Annie


Isn't it FAB???

Annie had also included some lush fabric pieces which are just crying out to be made into something lovely, and some delicious looking red beads, which I'm going to try to make into a pendant I think (I need to go in search of some silver findings).

MQS_fabric-and-beads



THANK YOU ANNIE!! I LOVE IT!!

I just hope Annie likes her quilt as much as I love mine.

TTFN

Thursday, 15 May 2008

Wednesdays Rock!


Wednesdays are brilliant! (that’s the day Wednesday, not this Wednesday, although she’s pretty cool too).
Why are Wednesdays brilliant, you may ask? Simple. On Wednesdays there is nothing good on the telly. Nothing. Tuesday’s is CSI night, Thursday is House and Greys, Friday is Criminal Minds and Bones (okay, so there's nothing on Monday either but I’m not talking about Monday’s, I’m talking about Wednesdays ;P).

Yes. I watch way too much TV.

You know what it means when there’s no good telly though? CRAFTING TIME!! WOO HOO! Being that my craft room is about as far away from my TV as you can get without actually leaving the house, I can’t really do both (except maybe knitting which I can do in front of the TV. Bonus! (maybe that’s while I love knitting so much?).

So on yesterday’s no-telly Wednesday night craft time I managed to finish my quilt for Lucy Locket’s Mini Quilt Swap. Hurrah! It shall be winging its way to my lovely swap buddy Annie at Overmilkwood shortly (when I find some packaging paper, and tape, and time to take it to the post office). I’m very excited. I hope she likes it. There was a time there when I was hit by the sudden realisation that despite thinking I had loads of time, the posting deadline was fast approaching and I might not make it, but now it’s done. Panic over!

In other crafty news. My next project is a birthday surprise for my good buddy Louise. I’m heading over the Pennines next weekend to join in her birthday celebrations (and have a much needed night away from the kids…… with beer…. and food…. and probably some Wii sports for good measure). In the meantime though, it’s a mad dash to get her present finished in time. I must secretly thrive on pressure, because I’m always leaving things to the last minute!

TTFN

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Memories, like the corners of my mind......


Every time I smell this cream (well, not actually this one, the 70s/80s one that came in the green jar and was the colour of custard and crammed full of lanolin*) I’m reminded of my paternal Grandmother. One sniff and I’m transported back to playing with the crystal vanity set on her dressing table and sneakily trying the cream out when she wasn’t looking. My Mum had ordered some from Avon a few years ago and one sniff had me thinking my Grandmother was in the room. Which would have been scary, not because she’s been dead 5 years and ghosts are scary, but because my Grandmother was something of a cowbag (I know that any of you who knew her are now laughing at the monumental understatement that that was, but I was trying to be restrained!)

Anyway, enough of the Grandmonster, I had a point somewhere, what was it? Oh yes. Smell. For me my sense of smell is the biggest trigger for my memory. Just catching a whiff of something that’s strongly linked with my past can send huge waves of memory crashing over me. Take for instance the smell of Calvin Klein’s Obsession perfume, which takes me back to the first house my sister and numpty xBIL lived in when I was a teenager and would baby sit my nephew and raid my sister’s perfume stash (I’m noticing a beauty product filching theme running through this thread! LOL) while they were out.

Whenever I smell Davidoff’s Cool Water it reminds me of a guy that I went to college with, who both my BFF and I had a HUGE crush on (the only man we every argued over, and vowed never to do it again). Christian Dior’s Poison conjures up images of my sister coming in at 2am, waking me up by waggling her stinky, just-free-from-pixie-boots, nightclub-worn feet in my face and demanding that I pull off her skin tight pale blue denim jeans (which she had sewn herself into earlier in the evening – God bless the 80s!). Of course the smell of her feet reminds me of that as well, but I don’t like to think about that too much, because her feet really do whiff. Badly. (Sorry Jaqs, but your feet hum dude!)

Today was the first of a series of drop in sessions at Gracie’s new primary school (which she’s due to start in September). It was a chance to meet her teachers and take a look around the class room and school facilities (and most important for Gracie….. find out where the toilets are! She seems to have this obsession with knowing where the loos are – like they’re somehow not going to tell her and she won’t be able to pee all day. Kids, eh?). The school she’ll attend is the same primary school that I went to (I know, bizarre isn’t it?) and when we walked in there today, well, I’ll be damned if it didn’t smell EXACTLY the same as it did *cough* years ago when I went there. The layout has change a little and there’s a new outside space and new mod cons (white board etc) but other wise, exactly the same! As soon as we stepped into the class room I was overwhelmed by memories of my time there. Images of being chosen to paint snowmen on the classroom windows for a winter frieze, of sitting there when it was dark outside making a Father Christmas with movable arms and legs – colouring the pieces in with Berol coloured pens (the green ones with the coloured bit on the end to show you what colour the pen was). Memories of making calendars by sticking pasta twirls onto cardboard which were then spray painted either gold or silver (your choice – even then I chose silver) by the teacher, and more amusingly, me not knowing at that point in my life that pasta was a food stuff! (Hey, we were a strictly meat and two veg household when I was growing up. None of that “foreign rubbish” as my Dad would call it. I’m pleased to say he’s a little more worldly in his old age! LOL). Thoughts of playing in the play house, sitting on the carpet for story time and learning how to say the Our Father and Hail Mary (good Catholic school that it is) abounded. Grace of course was off playing with all her other playschool buddies without giving a backward glance. They got to play outside on the new reception class playground, did some painting and play dough and played in the play house (this week currently being a “Baby Clinic”). I don’t think it’s the same one I played it! At least I hope not, the hinges on that thing were a death trap even then (health and safety hazard!!!). She wanted to know when she could go back though, so I’ll take that as a good sign. Do you think they’ll all be quite so enthusiastic when they realise that they’ll actually have to do some work, and don’t just get to play out all the time? Maybe not.

Ahhhhh, school days. Seriously, if I’d known then what I know now I would have chained myself to the desk and refused to leave!

*rather bizarrely, that reminded me of Mrs Marmadaisy’s childhood dog, who had a huge lanolin fetish and if you put lanolin rich cream on your hands would race up to you and lick it all off. Bless her, she was such a sweetie. Strange that I remember that, but can’t for the life of me remember what her name was.

TTFN

Monday, 12 May 2008

Actual Scrapbooking.

Don’t pass out from the shock, but some actual scrap booking took place in my house on Friday night. No, really. I know it’s hard to believe.

I was dithering all day Friday about what to do with my Friday evening crafty session so I decided I would torture myself with get some scrapping done (for a change). My scrapping mojo has been conspicuously absent of late (probably been trampled to death by wabi-sabi bunnies ;P) so it took a while to get anything down on paper. Eventually I decided to stop phaffing about and just go for the slice and stick approach (it’s only paper after all – and photos can be reprinted (thank God for digital!) – so no point stressing about it). I ended up having a bit of a mini cybercrop with my good buddy Louise, which was cool. It’s nice to have someone to prod you along a bit (even if it is online).

Here’s the LO anyway (which I actually finished in one night, wonders will never cease):

mfhf_blur


I’m making good progress on my mini quilt for Lucy Lockets swap – but I’d better get a shufty on as the posting deadline is next week. That seems to have sneaked (snook?) up rather quickly. Hmmmm. No fair. I know Annie has finished mine though so I’m all excited about that and can’t wait to see it.

Despite the fact that the weather was lovely we didn’t really get up to much this weekend due to Kendo working on Saturday and collection my parents from the airport yesterday (they’re home safe and sound – and I’ve got to come back to work for a rest!!).

I’ll leave you with this photo of a couple of cheeky monkey’s I found on the sofa.

SAY CHEESE!!!

cheeky-faces


TTFN

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Parental Controls.

Do as your mother says.......


The-bear-gets-it!


OR THE BEAR GETS IT!!

Mwwaahhhahhhahhhhhhhhh.

(okay, I wasn't really torturing Archie Bear. I'm not THAT mean. He got puked on by Egg last night and had to go in the wash, and a bears gotta get dry somehow).

See:

bear_full


other laundry on the line too.

TTFN

Rumours Of My Disappearance Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Well. I did say I was being a bit crap lately. So you can't say you weren't warned.

I can't believe it's been over a week since I blogged. Again. Shocking behaviour.

I think I might have sussed out what it is though. Not only did I reach (and indeed pass) my 150th posting anniversary, I also reached (and indeed have passed) my one year blog anniversary. I've hit that one year lull! That must be it. It can't possibly be because nothing remotely exciting ever happens around here. I mean, seriously, my life is so rock n roll.

We did have my BFF Paula over on Saturday night for a few beers and some Wii bowling, but she bowled over 200 the first time out and beat me, so we're not going to talk about that too much. Is it sad that my new goal in life is to one day bowl a perfect game of Wii bowling? Probably.

Sunday we didn't get chance to do much as I was on airport duty for my parents who have ruthlessly gone on holiday and left me at home looking after my own children. Which is just rude if you ask me. We've had text confirmation that they've landed and all is well with the hotel etc (no building site out the front door) - my Mum's getting to grips with this technology melarky slowly but surely. We'll get her on t'internet one day if it kills us! Only another 3 days until they're back though - and I can go back to work for a rest! ;)

Bank Holiday Monday was.....wet. But then it was May Day, so really, would I expect anything else? The rain didn't stop us venturing out to the fair at a local park though (with some friends of ours and their DSs (who I forgot to ask if I could post photos of so not too many pics from there I'm afraid. D'oh!)).

Here's one of me and LMC on the Helter Skelter (and surprisingly, yes, my arse did fit down the slide):

helter-skelter


and here's LMC on the enclosed bouncy castle thingie:

bouncey-castle


She might have had dirty feet:

Dirty feet


but that didn't stop her having a big smile on her face:

Grace_smile



On the crafty front it's been mini quilts a go go around here as I've made a start on my project for Lucy Locket's Mini Quilt Swap.

mini-quilt-a-go-go


It's a bit different from my usual quilty stuff, so I'm not sure how it will turn out. I just hope my swap buddy will like it.

Now I have a confession to make. I didn't actually forget about my 150th post or my one year anniversary. I just "accidently" forgot to mention them. The reason being that I was planning on a giveaway - in the tradition of crafty blogdom, but I can't decide what to make!! So. I think I'll ask the audience - if you sign up for a cookie blog giveaway, what would you prefer to get?:

The options?

1) A monkey made of knit

2) A wabi-sabi bunny

3) A quilt (it would most likely be a cot quilt or a single bed one - I'm double-quilted out for a while!)

4) A felted bag

If any of you give me an idea of what I should make I might get prompted to actually MAKE something. Instead of just thinking about making something.

On that note. I'm off to see if the Eggman will let me get some quilting done (as LMC has just been collected by her BFFs Mum to go to a soft play centre).

TTFN