Monday, 14 December 2009

JYC December 8th and 9th

What did I say about it not taking me long to forget not to keep up with the JYCing? It's weekends that do it to me. I didn't scrap on Friday night because I fancied a night off, completely forgetting that I was going out with my good buddies Paula and Karen on Saturday night (thereby being unable to scrap then either). Last night the prospect of doing 3 pages after a day of dealing with a very grumpy, snotty, bunged up (the kid hadn't pooped since wednesday, what's that all about?) Ewan was just too much to bear so I didn't do any then either. Now I'm left with 4 pages to catch up with including today's prompt. Seriously, I never learn my own lessons. Crubbish I am.

Here's the pages from the 8th and 9th any way. The prompt for day 8 was about sights of the season. I've printed some photos on to acetate for this and then used small squares of Christmassy patterned paper.


JYC 2009 - December 8th - It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas



For the 9th the prompt was all about Christmas traditions. I wrote about general traditions last time so I thought for this time I would concentrate on one tradition from the list, this time it was New Pyjamas (which we always all have on Christmas Eve).


JYC 2009 - December 9th - New Pyjamas



Pretty simple pages (which is kind of the blessing of playing catch up - you can't be phaffing about with things too much).

I've scrapped a page for the 10th prompt about Christmas wrapping (but haven't photocopied it yet). Tonight I will try to catch up with prompt 11 (about the tree), prompt 12 (about Christmas Past), prompt 13 (about the music) and today's prompt about gifts.

Watch this space. Or not.

TTFN

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Playing Catch Up

I really should know better by now than missing a days scrapping when I'm doing an online class. I didn't scrap a page for the prompt on Saturday so I've been all out of sorts and playing catch up since then. I'm sure I'll forget about that important lesson and be at it again in no time though.

Anyway, before we get to the JYC pages a bit of an update on life in Cookieblogland. Yesterday we took Ewan to the hospital for his whole body bone scan. He was a little superstar all day long! He didn't cry at the radioactive isotope injection (all he said was "Ouch! You're hurting me!" in a very matter of fact voice before going back to reading his book) and he managed to lie still for 30 minutes while they did the actual scanning (courtesy of the radiographer's secret weapon.... Scooby Doo videos!). I was so proud of my little guy, such a trooper!

On the topic of Proud Mummy moments, I got another one of those for Miss Grace yesterday too. She came home from her karate class last night proudly toting yellow tips on her white belt as she's made the grade of 9th Kyu. Go Gracie!! Now she's caught up with Daddy who also made 9th Kyu this week (so congratulations to Kendo too :)).

I have a photograph of Gracie getting her certificate but it's proving elusive at the moment (won't upload from my phone at work, I will try to get the original off Kendo's later and upload it).

Both my kids get extra brownie points this week for being super fab!

Right, onto the JYC catch up.

The December 5th prompt was all about counting down to Christmas. I had to scrap about Gracie's latest "Gracie moment" with this one. Every time she asks us how long until Christmas on a Friday and we answer with "It's X weeks today" she conveniently doesn't hear the weeks part, only "to" and "day". At which point she starts saying "Is it only 2 days til Christmas??" and getting all excited! I think now she knows it's not only 2 days, but she thinks its funny to do it anyway. Strange child. Here's the page anyway:




JYC 2009 - 5th Dec - Is it only 2 days 'til Christmas?



For December 6th the prompt is about comparing a good and bad Christmas memory. I really struggled with this the first time round and ended up doing Christmas past and present. I've taken a different tack this time and scrapped about handmade gifts and how although I was quite good at making them last year, this year I've been rather lax (although I'm sure family members are breathing a sigh of relief at that piece of news!)



JYC 2009 - Dec 6th - Handmade



Yesterdays prompt (7th) was about organisation. This year I am WAY more organised than I've ever been. To the point that I'm actually scaring myself. I've bought all my presents with the exception of a couple of stocking fillers and not only are they bought, they're WRAPPED too. Usually I'm having a marathon scrapping session on Christmas Eve, but not this year. This year my Christmas Eve will be calm and relaxed and will hopefully involve wine and chocolates and James Stewart in the bestest Christmas movie in the world, ever.


JYC 2009 Dec 7th - To Do? Ta Da!



I have to say though, this is the least favourite of all the pages I've done so far. I'm not quite sure why. Something feels a little off with it. Ah well, it will have to stay as it is for now, no point stressing over it.


So. We're back at the hospital with Egg for his scan results on Tuesday 22nd December (can't believe that's only 2 weeks away...seriously! That's Christmas week! How is that possible?! Time suckage is occurring somewhere), before then there'll probably just be more JYC pages and probably the story of the torturous event that is putting up our Christmas decorations.

TTFN

Saturday, 5 December 2009

JYC - 4th December

Today's prompt is all about what makes your Perfect Christmas. The last time I took part I wrote about all the little things that make my Christmas perfect. This year you know we only need one thing - good news from the tests that Egg and Dad are having next week. Health and Happiness, that'd do nicely thank you.


JYC - Dec 4th - Health and Happiness



TTFN

Friday, 4 December 2009

JYC - 3rd December

Crikey, I haven't blogged this much in months! I wonder if I can keep it up?

Yesterday's JYC prompt was all about Christmas Cards. Time for my confession then. Every year I buy cards (much to Kendo's great disgruntlement, see previous JYC card entry about that one). I write them all out. Then I completely forget to send them. They invariably end up sitting on the mantlepiece until March when I will eventually give up and put them in the recycling box.

So, if you don't get a Christmas card from me, don't worry. It's not because I don't love ya. I'm just totally hopeless when it comes to posting them. Chances are there's one here waiting for you, should you want to pop round and collect it.....


JYC - Dec 3rd - Forgetting to post the cards



As it's Friday today I am revelling in my 2.5 hours of alone time this morning whilst Egg is at nursery. Unfortunately a vast amount of that time will be taken up by tackling Mt Washmore (again!) but at least I can enjoy a few moments of quiet contemplation.

TTFN

Thursday, 3 December 2009

JYC - December 2nd

So, here we are. December 3rd already (only 22 days to go until the big day). Is anyone else still reeling about just how quickly this Christmas has snuck up on us? I'm honestly blown away every time I realise just how close it's getting. Time is flying by so fast, it's scary.

Yesterday's JYC prompt was about Winter Weather. Well, the winter weather so far around here has been pretty dreary. Rain, with some more rain, then a little bit of frost (that bit was okay), then some more rain, and then a bit more rain to go with our rain. Global warming sucks!

What I'd really like this year is some good snow. Ewan has never really seen a decent snowfall and I'd love for him to be able to get out in the snow and make snowmen and snowballs and snow angels. I know he'd love it. I don't rate the chances of getting it though. The last time we had any reasonable snow around here it wasn't even winter! It was April 2006, before Ewan was even born, and we woke up to an unexpected blanket of the white stuff. It was fabulous. We grabbed coats, boots and winter woolies and headed round to the local park where we spent a good two hours building snow men and messing around in the snow. It was a brilliant morning (and also made for some excellent Snow Day photos). Here's my JYC page:

JYC 2009 - S{no}w


I crocheted the little snowflake out of white embroidery thread with the pattern that Lucy has just posted on the Attic24 blog (We love Lucy! Might have mentioned that before).

I couldn't resist this opportunity to share these photos of Grace either. How small does she look in these photos? She's only 2 (bless her!). They just make my heart melt.

Grace in the snow April 2006


Grace in the snow April 2006


Grace in the snow April 2006


Making a Snowman


Right, back to work for me. Hey ho.

TTFN

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

JYC - December 1st

The worst thing about taking part in the Journal Your Christmas project is that dark winter evenings do not make a good time to try to photograph your pages so you can blog them. It kind of means I always end up a day behind blogging my pages. Ah well. As my Dad would say "what can you do when your clogs let water in?", or something like that.

Anyhoo. Here's the first page from my JYC album for this year. Prompt one is to write a Manifesto, to talk about why you're taking part and what you want to achieve. It's a pretty simple page, but I've learnt from LSNED that that's the best way to go if I want to have a chance of finishing the class (I think I will have to forgo the handcut titles and come up with something else - that's way too time consuming).

JYC2009 - Dec 1st - Manifesto


I also must remember to put my page number in there! I totally forgot about that and had to find a spot for it on this one at the last minute! LOL. Hopeless I am.

Right, there's a rumbly in my tumbly so I'm heading off in search of sustenance.

TTFN

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Blogger Unblocked

Do you see me here?

Do you see the time?

Do you remember this post?

It appears our IT services department have finally unblocked blogger access on the proxy server! Woo hoo!!

I have no idea how long it will last, but I will make the most of the opportunity while it lasts!

So, a good opportunity to catch you up with what's been going on in Cookieland of late. Some good stuff - like me having gotten all the Christmas shopping out of the way (woo hoo!), and Grace having her first Ballet Exam (well, actually a pre-primary ballet class presentation). Here she is before hand:

Grace-ballet-2


She looks super cute in her ballet uniform, although for some reason she will insist on pulling her skirt round so the label is in the middle, even though its supposed to go on the left hand side. OCD much?

They were graded on 8 points (including expression, music and rhythm, spacial awareness, control, awareness of body positions etc) and could be awarded either "Needs support", "Progressing" or "Competant" for each category. Gracie managed to come away with a grading of Competant across the board. Go Grace! So clearly she's doing something right in her class. We were so proud of her. She really listens well in her classes and takes on board what her dance teacher says. My little ballerina! Bless her.

Some of the other stuff that's been going on around here is not so good. You might remember a while back we had to take Ewan for knee and hip X-rays. Well after a good long wait we've finally heard back from the consultant at the children's hospital and we now have to take him for a whole body bone scan on Monday. The procedure involves an injection of radioactive isotopes and then milling around for 2 hours while it gets to where it needs to go, then the actual bone scan itself which can take 50 minutes. How are they going to get Egg to sit still for 50 minutes? I can't get him to sit still for 50 seconds! I guess we'll have to trust that they have plenty of practice with these things and have ways of dealing with it.

In the tradition of these things all coming along at once my Dad is also unwell at the moment and is waiting on a CT scan (amongst other tests) to see if he has developed colon cancer :( Not at all what you want to here, and certainly not a couple of weeks before Christmas. Fingers crossed that all the medically things come back with good news.

So, a mixed bag really. Some good, some not good. Ho Hum. Thus is the way of the world I suppose.

Right, I supposed I should consider actually doing some work (noting the vaguest possibility that the reason access was denied was because I spent too much time doing this before! LOL).

Back later with the first page of my JYC album (I hope).

TTFN

Monday, 30 November 2009

Compelled By Twilight

First things first. Apologies for being so long with the giveaway results. I've been mown down by the lurgy this last week and blogging action has not been high on the agenda. A quick bit of random interger generating though - and we're good to go. So here it is:




Random-Number-Gen_Morsbags

So that gives us:

Comment #9 Kate - who doesn't have a blog link

Comment #11 Elizabeth

Comment #3 Daisie

If you email with your addresses (email address is in the side bar) I will get your morsbags sent out to you. Thank you for all the comments left on my 300th post - Here's to 300 more! Hurrah!


Right then, now that's out of the way, onto other things, including an explanation for the randomness of today's post title.


The Sunday before last I went on a little jaunt to the cinema picture house (that's what the cinema gets called in our house for some bizarre reason), with my good buddy and fellow Twihard Louise, to see this long awaited release:




You may recall I've mentioned before that I am totally in love with the Twilight Saga (books and so far, the movies too). I've been trying to work out for a while now what it is about these books I find so completely compelling (I've re-read the entire series again in the 4 days I've been off sick!). It wasn't until seeing New Moon that it hit me exactly what it was that draws me in so much about the story.

~~And here there was going to be a lot of waffle about what exactly that is, but you know what? I'm not sure I'm going to write about it just now. I can't seem to put it down into words properly. I think I might have to get back to you on that one. Raincheck?~~

About the movie though. Seriously, absolutely, completely AMAZING! I loved every minute of it. So much so that I'm going back to see it again with Kendo in the post Christmas/Pre New Year lull. Hurrah! I do have slight concerns over the fact that this movie has me lusting after a 17 year old! It's just wrong! But Taylor Lautner is just too buff for his own good. His six pack has me all a flutter! I think I might have to go for a lie down ;)



Thinking about something else. Thinking about something else. Thinking about something else.

Okay, better now.

So, my complete lacksidaisical attitude towards blogging of late has meant that the end of November has snuck up on the Cookie blog quite quickly (How can it be the 1st December tomorrow?? How??). Being that I've been totally organised this year (to the point of scaring myself with how much is already done) December around here will mean that this will be going on, for sure:




Shimelle's Journal Your Christmas 2009 Class starts tomorrow, and being that I actually managed to finish my LSNED class this year, I'm allowing myself to take part again (along with my lovely mate Louise who is taking part for the first time).

I've gone for a different sized album than I'm used to using for this year. 6x12. Not a size I scrap every often, but definitley the most frugal when it comes to cardstock! Rather than buying an album I've opted to make my own post bound album (do you remember the Tricia Morris fixation..... still comes in useful that does!). I've used mountboard for the base of the album and it's covered in watercolour paper which gives a great texture.

JYC-Album-Cover-2009

JYC Cover 2009_Close Up

The cover is quite plain really, but it does the job. I'm really pleased with how it came out. I can't wait for tomorrow so I can get started on the first prompt, but for tonight........37 page numbers to make! I'd better get cracking!

See you soon for JYC page updates (I hope!)

TTFN

Monday, 16 November 2009

Battenburg Heaven

I love Battenburg. In fact I love anything with an abundance of marzipan-y goodness. If I could have my dream piece of Christmas cake it would have 3cm thick marzipan and 1mm thick icing. Marzipan....mmmmm.

So, two of my faveish things in the world.....cupcakes... and Battenburg. How about an amalgamation of the two?? I've been tossing the idea of Battenburg cupcakes around in my head for a while and after catching the baking bug again last week with the raspberry choccie goodness I thought I'd try to get the idea from my head and into the muffin pan. They worked out pretty well for a first time out. Maybe a little tweaking required for next time but they were yummy and pretty and did indeed taste of Battenburg so I will declare them a success. Here they are in all their pink and yellow glory (terrible photos again, sorry):

Battenburg Cupcakes


and the inside, just to prove they looked Battenburg-y there too:

Battenburg Cupcakes_inside


Here's the recipe. It's a bit of a mish-mash of weights and measures I'm afraid, mostly because it's easier for me to think cake recipes in grams and frosting recipes in cups! Method in my madness I'm sure. If you want to convert them then I'd recommend you go here. That'll do the job.

Battenburg Cupcakes

For the cakes:

150g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
3 medium eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
Red food colouring

In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar together.
Add the flour, vanilla, eggs and milk and beat until smooth.
Split the mixture into two and add a drop of red food colouring to one half (I added one drop, next time I will probably add two so it's a little more pink).

Line a muffin pan with cake cases. Using two dessert spoons pick up a spoonful of each colour mixture and pour the pink mixture into one side of the cake case and the yellow into the other side at the same time (quite hard to do this without spilling which makes the cakecases look a little messy when baked, hopefully I'll have a steadier hand next time).

This mixture made 11 cupcakes but I could have made 12 if I'd been a little more even with the pouring. As a random tip if your mixture doesn't make enough to fill each mould in the cake pan fill the remaining ones half way with water. This will ensure the heat is distributed evenly still and the steam from the water also helps with rising).

Bake for 20-22 minutes at GM 4 (180oC, 350oF)

Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes then turn onto a wire rack.



For the Topping:

2 tbsp Apricot Jam
4 oz (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
4 cups icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 almond extract
1 cup ground almonds
double cream

Melt the apricot jam in a saucepan until runny. Brush the tops of the cooled cake with the mixture (this would be optional I would think, I included it because I think the jam that normal adheres the marzipan to the cake in a Battenburg adds to the taste).

For the frosting:

Beat the butter until fluffy
Add the icing sugar a cup at a time until you get to quite a thick consistency (stop when it's quite thick).
Add some of the double cream and the almond and vanilla extracts and beat
Add about half of the ground almond and beat
Now keep adding icing sugar, ground almonds and double cream until you get to the consistency and sweetness that you want, thick enough to hold its shape but runny enough to pipe (difficult to be exact on this. If you taste it and it reminds you of over sweet marzipan you're on the right track).

Remember, the sweetness of the icing sugar will fade over time so make it sweeter than you think it needs to be if you don't want to be eating butter frosted cakes come the morning.

Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes, or spread on with a palette knife. I my head these had piping with a star/flower shaped nozzle but I need a new piping back so they just ended up with the circle nozzle. I don't think I'll lose any sleep over it though.

If you're really sad and phaffy when it comes to decorating your cupcakes (as I clearly am) then you could go the whole hog and make the little marzipan Battenburg toppers. If you want to make these then take some natural marizpan, cut three equal pieces about a half inch thick. Add a drop of red food colouring to one piece. (Use some icing sugar to ensure you don't stick to the marzipan and to "flour" your work surface). Split the pink marizpan and one of the yellow blocks in two and then roll each piece into a sausage (make sure they're equal thickness). Flatten the four sausages so they're cube shaped and stack them so they look like a Battenburg (yellow on pink/pink on yellow) using some water to stick them together. Roll out the remaining yellow piece into a rectangle wide enough to wrap around all four square pieces. Lightly rub the surface of the flat piece with water and wrap round the squared sausages. Seal along one edge. Now carefully slice the mini Battenburg "log" into pieces and use them to top your cupcakes.

Eat them.

They went down a treat at work, with my boss declaring (once again) that they are the best cupcake's to date (she says that with EVERY new flavour!). I have to say I'm particularly proud of them because this is the first time I've really had a recipe I can call my own to post. Go me!

I did promise you scrapbook pages too didn't I?? Oh, go on then......

Evolution_upright


Evolution_Close up 1


Evolution_title


Model Behaviour


See, I do put herma to paper around here sometimes. Honestly.

Right, I'm off to do the work the I brought home with me tonight (being as we're being inspected (audited) at work tomorrow and I've had the sudden and scary realisation that there are no work instructions for my role. Eek!!). Roll on Wednesday at 4.30pm when the inspectors have left the building and there won't be a damn thing we can do about their verdict!!

TTFN

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

300 (with a Giveaway)

Nine hundred and thirty eight days ago I stood in our back garden one evening and declared I was going to start a blog. Kendo questioned what on earth I had to say to the world...well, lots, clearly. 300 posts worth of lots in fact. 300 posts worth of inane babble about babies, motherhood, puke, paper, card, yarn and fabric all mixed up with some laughter, some tears and some days were I could barely remember my own name, let alone type it!



So, in keeping with blogland tradition - A Giveaway for my 300th post. Inspired by this post from a little while ago I'm going to giveaway three of the Morsbags I've been working on. You get some Cath Kidson-esque shopping bag goodness and I feel better about saving the planet. It's win-win!. These are the bags I've been working on:



Morsbags 1




If you'd like to get one then leave a comment (come on all your lurkers - let me know you're out there listening....er...reading...whichever) and I'll pick out three people to get a bag.



Right, that's the formalities out of the way. In other Cookieland news - well, there isn't much really, hence the not much blogging. We had a fabulous visit from our good buddies Louise, Emily and Xander - of which I took practically no photos, fortunately Miss Lou is much more organised that me and has blogged about our little get together here.

Halloween has come and gone (Grace was a witch, Egg was a vampire, there was chocolate and sweeties and falling over).

Bonfire night has come and gone (there were indoor sparklers and watching some fireworks from the window - not much else though it was too bloomin' wet around here!). I figured I'd better get blogging something or Christmas would be come and gone at this rate!



The big news yesterday was that this guy:



Dan_birthday




My (much tormented by me) oldest nephew, has passed his fitness test to be accepted in the Royal Navy. He's waiting to get a start date so he can head off down to HMS Rayleigh for his basic training. We're so proud of him. He worked really hard training to pass this fitness test and we're really proud that he's choosing to serve in our armed forces (if a little scared that he's chosen this time of war we live it to do it).



Mostly though? I'm looking forward to being able to tease him about wearing this get up:

Kendo_Navy-pic


Because trust me when I tell you that taking the mick out of someone for wearing this silly hat and flares never gets tired. It just doesn't. It's quality torment material to last a life time. Flares I tell you! (Okay, the fun does kind of wear off when they spend 30 minutes lecturing you on the reason they have to wear the flares (easier to turn up when you're swabbing the decks, in case you're interested) but for the most part it's fun).

The final thing for this 300th celebratory post? Baking. Mmmmmmmmm. Cupcakes were requested by my hubby yesterday as his minion at work is leaving (moving across the country) so he thought cupcakes would be a nice last day treat.

Devil's food cupcakes with raspberry filing and vanilla mascarpone frosting. Mmmmmmm.

Choc and Raspberry

They weren't quite this green looking, I swear. The lighting in my kitchen is appalling at 9.30 at night!



Next time I will have some finished scrapbook pages to share (scouts honour).

TTFN

Monday, 19 October 2009

Attic Inspired

I’ve mentioned before my love of all things Attic24. Lucy’s blog really is the most inspiring place. She’s just full to brimming with lots of amazing, colourful, lovely ideas (which thankfully she’s just as keen to share as she is to create).

Lucy’s been unveiling a lot of little projects on her blog lately and they’ve gotten me to thinking (once again) about the idea of original ideas. I’ve mentioned this before too (I’m a really “Rita Repeater” today it would seem (that’s what we call Miss Grace when she insists on repeating the same statement over and over – drives us potty)). It’s so very difficult these days to come up with an “original” idea. I’m always totally in awe of people like Lucy, and Julie, and Barbara and Jodie (to name but a few)who time and time again come up with amazing new things for us to drool over. There’s some seriously amazing creative talent out there in crafty blogville. Love it!

So. In light of the thinking about original ideas, I wanted to try to come up with something which for once wasn’t something I’d copied from elsewhere. Nothing big, just a little something out of my brain that was just mine. A blank. That was what I came up with. So, I figured, start smaller. Start with a little inspiration from elsewhere your first time out and build from there. So, I started with Lucy. More specifically, I started with these. Lucy’s teeny tiny flower pattern. These are so cute, and so easy to make (thanks once again to Lucy’s fabulous pattern writing skills). Now I just need to find something original to do with them. So, I did this:

Crocheted headband


Grace (crocheted head band)



A crocheted headband for Miss Grace. Not rocket science, but not something I’ve seen anywhere before (although I’m sure if I trawled through the internet that someone, somewhere, has done this before, no more original ideas and all that). She likes it. I like it. I might even try to write a pattern (but don’t get your hopes up, it won’t be a patch on an Attic one!).

Other then the random crochet item making I've mostly been baking around here, but not cakes for a change. I've really been getting excited about bread making this week (sad, I know). I have tried baking bread in the past but it's always been a bit of a disappointment. So what's a girl to do when something isn't going as it should? Why, read a book on it, of course! A little trip to the local library while Grace was at dance class yielded a copy of this book, which is very informative and has some great recipes. Clearly the problem in the past was that I didn't quite understand the science of it. I'm a scientist at heart and once I'd gotten my head round the processes that are going on in that yeasty-smelling floury mixture things just made sense to me. So now instead of the usual almost flat and completely yeasty tasting disasters that I normally produce, we get this:

Homemade Bread


Deliciously yummy bloomer loaves. And you know what, they taste goooooood. I forsee much more breadmaking in my future. Of course I'd have to give up work and bake full time if I intended never to buy shop bought bread again - no sooner have I baked these than they're already half way through being eaten!

On a last note, I haven't forgotten about these. They're a work in progress. More about that next post. Talking of which. Next post. Could be exciting. Can you count?? Google dashboard can and it's telling me exciting things......

TTFN

Saturday, 10 October 2009

An Eye Opener

My seaside swap partner (and swap organiser) Rachel has a great blog over here at Contented. (She's also just had a birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY RACHEL).

She also runs another blog with her friend Emma called "That Little Bit Greener" which aims to share information and ideas amongst the blogland community about what we can all do to make our lives that little bit greener, to lessen the impact we have on our environment and to reduce our carbon footprint a little.

This last Wednesday over at TLBG where was a post about a project called "Morsbags". Set up by a lady in London (Claire Morsman), it's a project that aims to get people sewing resuable shopping bags from recycled sources (old duvet covers, curtains, clothing etc) and handing them to out free to people (in front of supermarkets, in shopping centres etc) in an effort to get them to use the resuable bag instead of plastic bags.

Now, I have to confess at this point that whilst I have quite a few shop bought resuable bags I am AWFUL at remembering to use them. Shockingly bad infact. I almost never remember to take them with me, or if I do they end up getting left in the boot while I do the shopping so I end up with another pile of plastic bags (which lets face it are crappy whichever way you look at them).

After I'd read the post on TLBG on Wednesday I wandered over to Morsbags.com for a peek. Oh my. What an eye opener that was. Obviously I was aware that plastic bags had a detrimental impact on the environment, but some of the information on there just blew me away.

This film particularly:



struck a chord with me. Just awful.

Then I read this article. I've posted a link, but I warn you that the photographs particularly are not for the faint-hearted. One particular photograph (the one of the turtle on the second page if you're brave enough to look - but don't say I didn't warn you) just plain broke my heart.

The core of the issues is this. Plastic bags are made from petroleum based plastic. They aren't biodegradable (at least probably not in our lifetime!). When they get into the sea then marine life mistake them for food and ingest them and can't digest them. When the bags do breakdown they only break into smaller pieces, these microscopic pieces of plastic are swallowed by plankton eating marine life like whales.

On Friday I popped into a local charity shop where I found this rather lovely Cath Kidson-esque duvet cover for the princely sum of £2.50.

Duvet cover for Morsbags


It's destined to be my first round of morsbags. The website encourages people to set up "pods" where people get to gether to sew up bags to make it social event. As I'm just starting out I'm going to be a solopodist - unless any of my blog readers would like to join me in a "cyber-pod".

The whole thing has certainly had an impact on my already. I forgot to take bags to the supermarket again last night (I really need to practice making it a habit!) but I ended up only using one bag (for all the small bits I'd bought) - the rest I put directly into the trolley and then into car one at a time. Not perfect, but a start. Once I have some morsbags on the go hopefully I'll never need to use another plastic bag again.

TTFN

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Some Small Miracle.

A miracle occurred in this house last night. Not a huge miracle. Lives were not saved. Disasters were not averted. Wars were not won. What did happen was this:

I COMPLETED AN ONLINE SCRAPBOOKING CLASS!

Yup. My Learn Something New Everyday Album. All done. Finito. Completo.

After taking countless number of Shimelle's classes and not making it to the end of them I'm completely ecstatic that I've actually managed to accomplish this.

You've seen up to Day 22, so here's the rest:

September 23rd

September 23rd


The age old lesson I that I only ever "almost" learn.

September 24th

September 24th


THE most hectic week of the year for me. Horrifically busy, but it still only lasted a week.

September 25th

September 25th


Too many Fridays in a row in work meant no time for housework to get done.

September 26th

September 26th


A little jaunt over th'pennines for some scrapping time with Miss Louise.

September 27th

September 27th


Horrible light-headed, nauseous feeling all morning - I just had to go back to bed.

September 28th

September 28th


For all I'm organised at work, when it goes down to the wire I'm definitely a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl.

September 29th

September 29th


We do love a bit of Dr Seuss in our house. Reading "Did I ever tell you how lucky you are?" to Grace when this paragraph really jumped out at me. A little reminder in these times that there's always someone worse off than you:

It's a troublesome world. All the people who're in it
are troubled with troubles almost every minute.
You ought to be thankful, a whole heaping lot,
for the places and people you're lucky you're not.

September 30th

September 30th


It might be finished, but it certainly wasn't finished "on time". Ah well.

End Page

End Page


Just a few little words to round up the album. Here's the finished thing:

Finished LSNED Album


Hurrah to actually finishing things. There may be hope for me yet.

----------------------------------------------------
This morning was Miss Grace's first school assembly (that is the first assembly held by her class where they've all actually had to stand up and speak). The theme was friendship and they all had a line to read about what friends do for them and about a little recipe for friendship. Grace also had the extra task of standing at the front with one of her classmates and putting "ingredients" for the recipe into a big bowl. She read her line beautifully and handled the extra responsibilty really well. At the end they were allowed to come over and see us before they went back to class she when I told her how well she'd done and how proud I was she cried! Poor little love! I think she was a bit over-emotional with the nerves and the build up to it etc. When I asked her what was wrong she said "I've got that lumpy thing happening in my throat and I can't stop it!" I just love how they can put into words so easily what I think adults would have trouble describing. I knew exactly what she meant by that. We trundled off to the toilets to get some tissue paper and some cuddles and nose blows later all was well with the work. I'm so proud of my little girl.


Just time for me to have a cup of tea and a biscuit before I pick Egg up from nursery and then we take Mum and Dad to the airport while they jet off to meet their cruise ship in Palma. Lucky sods! There's barely a day goes by when I don't see my parents (being that they live next door) and it's so strange for me (and the kids) when they go on holiday. I miss them terribly, especially Mum. They're both really in need of a holiday to recharge their batteries though so I will keep everything crossed for calm seas and good weather (and no pirates, Egg is very worried that pirates will get his Nanny!) and a safe and speedy return.
TTFN

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Rain, Rain Go Away.....

OMG. How rainy is it here today? Soooooooo wet and overcast and grey and miserable. Definitely the most grisly weather day we've had for a long time. I've been listening to it bouncing down all morning out the office window (being thankful that I'm in here and not outside!). This was the view from my window this morning. A grey day indeed.
 
Before I start waffling, can I just ask you to excuse the [scanned] thing if it appears in the post title. I'm emailing this blog post in from work (being that I still can't post properly from work and probably won't ever be able to thanks to our IT department and their total knobbling of blogger access. Grrrrr). That's played a part in my big lack of blogging lately (just not getting to blog in the day when I used to) so I've decided that I must bite the proverbial bullet and deal with the lack of functionality (editing, photo uploading etc) that comes with blogging by email lest I succumb to their neferious plan and never blog again. The other option was to switch my blog over to typepad but for the moment that's not going to happen because a) I don't want to pay for my blogging service and b) I can't be arsed transferring everything over to another blog platform! Lazy tight-arsed blogger, that's me :P
 
So, what's been going on in cookieland? Well, despite Ewan giving us the big "I can't walk Mummy" fright a couple of weeks ago he's been absolutely fine, running around, jumping etc. Little tinker. We're going to see the orthopedic specialist next week (13th) so hopefully they will clarify what this "shadow" on his X-ray is and it won't be anything serious.
 
Grace has been settling in really well into Year 1. She completely loves her new teacher (a guy, which is quite unusual for Year 1 teacher) and is enjoying doing more maths and getting more books to read. She has a reading to do in their first school assembly on Thursday (which I will actually get to see for once as I have Thursday booked off to take my parts to the airport while they jet off for their mediterranean cruise (lucky so and so's!)).
 
The Saturday before last I had a fabulous day escaping to a crop with my lovely bloggy buddy Louise (see, no functionality, normally I'd do that clickable link thing so you knew which Lou I was talking about! Grrrr IT Services, you evil, cruel people!). It was great to see Lou for a whole day without the company of our small people. There was lots of chatting, lots of coffee drinking and a surprisingly large amount of scrapping (none of which has yet been photographed to upload. I will do that. At some point)).
 
I'm nearly almost completely finished with my LSNED album. I have two pages to complete (they're all set to go, just some cutting and sticking to do) and a closing page to complete. I'm hoping to get to those this evening, so I will have *shock horror* actually managed to complete a Shimelle class! I'm thinking about tackling the Journal Your Christmas class again this year (as an alumni I get to take part for free and Louise is taking part for the first time this year) so once LSNED is out of the way I will start looking into album sizes/supplies etc for that one. It is only 80 days till Christmas you know, which means only 56 days until JYC starts. Scary!
 
Fortunately I'm being disgustingly organised this year and have already purchased 7 Christmas presents. Woo hoo! Who knows, I might actually get around to sending cards this year. D'ya think?
 
Right. That's all the catch up from me. Hopefully there will be more regular (albeit slightly formatting-limited) blog posts now I've embraced the emailness.
 
TTFN
 

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Catch ups, Construction and Cabbages

I am shamelessly stealing this from Louise. Sorry Lou!



I've been (miraculously) keeping up with my daily layouts for the LSNED class, but been shockingly bad at blogging them. So here's Sept 11th through 22nd (in a handy little slideshow).







In other non-LSNED related Cookie news, my baby isn't a baby anymore!! Ewan turned a big 3 on Tuesday amidst much presenty, birthday cakey goodness. There was a distinct "Construction" theme to his present this year - he's all about the tools at the moment and he's been happily constructing kiddie meccano models in his Bob The Builder outfit. I can't believe that he's 3 already, it doesn't seem like two minutes since Lou, Rach and I were sitting round with our big ol'preggie bellies bemoaning the ridiculous heat of the summer of 2006. How time flies.



Here's the birthday boy showing off some of his presents:




Ewan's 3rd Birthday

Ewan's 3rd Birthday

Last weekend (as you can tell from the LSNED pages) was a pretty busy one. I got an unexpected invitation on Saturday to go with my Mum to watch Great Britain Versus Poland in the Davies Cup Tennis Championship which was being held in Liverpool. I've never watched live tennis before (only ever on the TV) and it's a very different experience in the flesh. I thoroughly enjoyed it though (even if we did get walloped by Poland 3 sets to 1!!). I'd definitley look at doing something like that again.



More sporty activity on Sunday but this time we were the ones to be getting the exercise. You'll recall that Kendo and I started a running plan earlier in the year. One of the things we did as part of that to spur us on was to sign up for our first 5K race. The Antrobus Cabbage Canter. The race took place Sunday and I'm proud to say we made it round in 37 minutes (and 8 seconds). I've no doubt Kendo would have made it round more quickly if he hadn't have had to keep pace with me and spur me along when I had a couple of walking breaks (thanks for sticking with me Mr K! :)) but we crossed the line together and proudly collected our T-shirts, medals and cabbages (half of which Kendo ate on his sunday roast later that day!). He's already picking a 10K for the next race. My calf muscles object. Strenously.

Other than that, nothing much has happened in Cookie land. Work is insanely busy with resitting students from last year and this years intake about to arrive tomorrow and I haven't managed to do anything crafty other than my LSNED pages. I'm escaping the madness of our house on Saturday to head over to see Miss Lou and go to her local scrapbooking crop. A whole day of non-kidding interrupted, dedicated scrapping time. I CAN'T WAIT!! Just need to decide how much of my stash to pack!! It could take a while.



TTFN

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Where is September going to?

I cannot believe we're already half way through September already. Or that it's nearly a fortnight since I last blogged. Lots going on around here, not all of it great but more on that in a bit.

First (and actually quite useful for remembering everything that's gone on), I have been keeping up with my LSNED pages (remarkably). Here's a quick lowdown on what I've not got around to posting yet:

Sept 2nd

Kendo managed to leave a bag of ice out of the freezer before he went to bed - not really good when left on top of a recipe book. I've had this recipe book since I was about 7 years old and still make things from it - its fab (especially the brownie recipe).

September 2nd

Sept 3rd

I finally moved into my new office at work which is cool - but I was a little sad to be leaving the admin office where I've been based for the last 2 year. Endings and new beginnings.

September 3rd

Sept 4th

The age old law of posties - when you're waiting for a parcel they'll try to deliver it as soon as you've left the house!

September 4th

Sept 5th

A tough one this. I had a falling out with some good friends quite a number of years back. Things around here of late have been making me think life it too short to be harbouring arguments, so I tried to get in touch to make the peace - so far nothing back, but at least I know I've done what I can to get the peace process moving. Watching this space.

September 5th

Sept 6th

The key to me actually doing the pages on time this year, I'm doing them little bits at a time when I can. So far it seems to be working.

September 6th

Sept 7th

The saddest of days so far. My SILs doggy has been very poorly and had to be put to sleep. Not an easy decision for them to make, but probably the best one. She was the biggest prima donna pup I've never known, but was a sweetie aswell and the kids loved her to bits (although I think she was generally just long suffering when it came to tolerating them!). RIP Annie.

September 7th

Sept 8th

Completely random learning for this day. Being in the new office with my boss now (when were were previously based across college from one another) I'm finding out lots of strange things I didn't know about her - like the fact that she can juggle AND ride a unicycle, but apparently only in a straight line!

September 8th

Sept 9th

Scary scary moment for this days learning.

September 9th

Now, I have done up to the 14th but I think that's enough photos for today. On to the reason for the September 9th layout.

Last Wednesday morning Egg managed to terrify the life out of me by not being able to walk when he woke up. Usually he's straight out of bed and into ours in a morning but he stayed in his bed shouting for someone to come get him, he wouldn't walk and when we did finally coax him into standing up and taking some steps he was super wobble and crying.

Whisked him off to the doctors office that morning (by which time he had started walking a little but was still limping and very wobbly) and was sent for hip and knee X-rays. Egg was a total superstar for the X-rays (as was Archie Bear, they both got stickers!) and we sat back to wait for the results.

The Docs called the day after with the result, starting the conversation with the phrase "Don't worry, but...." (like that's not going to make you crap your pants at whats coming??

Hence the Sept 10th page, come to think about it:

September 10th

The upshot of the phone call is that there is a shadow on the X-ray of Egg's left knee joint which needs to be investigated by an Orthopedic specialist. They don't think it's anything sinister, possibly a cyst, but it needs to be looked at. We've had his appointment date through for 13th October, so we just need to wait and see till then. Egg's been absolutely fine, so I'm sure it's nothing - but you can't help worry when something isn't as it should be with your babies.

On completely unrelated crafty stuff. I really need to stay away from Ravelry.com. I went on there just for a mooch about and ended up spending some of Saturday whipping up a winter hat for me:

Diva Snow Hat

I'm not sure about whether I like it or not yet. Time will tell. I didn't make the felted flower - it's the one I won in the Raspberry.com giveaway a while back, but I think it fits with the hat really well.

Can I just had a quick HURRAH! as Egg has just asked for his potty....and actually peed in it!! Hurrah!

Right, must get everyone dressed and off to their respective places of work, play or learning.

(apologies for any typos or errors, haven't time to check back)

TTFN