Friday, 27 January 2012

Getting Older

Wednesday evening found me sitting in a school hall listening to a deputy head teacher explaining the options process to me. Now to start with, she looked about 25, far too young to be a head teacher and after sitting listening to her for half an hour I didn't know anymore than when I arrived! Mainly because I'd read all the bumpf the school had sent home with my son on Thursday! I still remember my options process and the resentment and anger I felt towards my school for not letting me choose 'my' options, rather they told me what I was going to take. I have always thought that it is important to study a language to at least GCSE level, not because I think we need it to communicate with but more that it shows employers that you have the capacity to think in a different way 'outside the box' as it were. If you study languages, you have to think differently, construct sentences in different ways than we do in English, you can also see patterns, similarities and differences. Anyway, I have now changed my mind as I don't want my son to feel that he only took French or German because I insisted that he did, I don't want him to get to my age and still feel cheated that he couldn't choose 'his' options. He wants to do triple science, which is a tough choice, history, music and he then has one left to choose and I am leaving that totally up to him. A big part of me hopes that he chooses photography so that we can practise together. (ever the control freak!)
Before we went to the school I shoved this in the oven:
It was blooming lovely! I don't usually take pictures of my dinner but couldn't resist this as it looked like something from a recipe book. The reason I needed an easy dinner was that I'd spent the day sewing bunting and cushions and cutting out interwoven hearts. Well to be strictly truthful Siriorn made the cushion and worked out how to do the hearts as I couldn't fathom it out. She is a genius! She was making a cushion cover and sewed the zip in and then decided, that because the material was so pretty, she didn't want the stitches to be seen. So she spent the next hour and a half making some complicated design to hide the stitching, the finished cushion is just so lovely but there is no way I can charge enough for it to cover the hours it took!

This is the fancy hidden zip!

I've messed up here by trying to be clever and adding a caption!!

On Thursday morning another of my 'old' friends came for coffee so that we could discuss the idea of a party. What we finally decided, I think, was that we would just recreate all of those Friday and Saturday nights we used to have. You know the thing, meet at 8 o'clock in Shades, have a drink there, then go to The Druids Head and just carry on having a drink in each pub until you get to the late night bar and finally end up in The Pink Coconut!
Happy days indeed. The thing was we don't remember spending much money, mainly  because we got a few under our belts before we left home, we were also rather good at getting people to buy us drinks. I also remember walking home at two in the morning rather than getting a taxi! Yes, the streets of Brighton were safe then for a young girl to walk home alone, slightly intoxicated and fear free. Thinking back I don't think they really were but we just did it!
I will find some more eighties photos just to give you all a laugh!
I'm typing this listening to Andy Murray in the faint hope that he may win.
Have a great weekend and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

WOYWW #138

It's that time again when we get to be nosey, how my Nan would have loved this! She used to sit in her chair by the window and watch the goings on of Barnet Way. Years later when she was in a nursing home I moved into her flat with my partner and we lived very happily there for several years. It was lovely having my boys in my Nan's flat, walking the same streets I used to walk to school. I love the connections to the past we can have through objects. What's this got to do with WOYWW? Well, I'll show you:
Today I will be making bunting using my Nan's sewing machine. My Mum gave it to me just over a year ago along with her sewing box(more of an ice cream tub to be honest) I love that when I am sewing I am using something that my lovely Nan used. One thing to get straight though, the sewing machine was Nanny Battes' and the flat was Nanny Shaw's! Nanny Shaw used to knit, not something I ever got into, I tried once but I wasn't very good.
My friend Siriorn is coming later on to do some sewing with me. She is amazing! She has made loads of bags using the washable vinyl with funky patterns on. They are in the style of Cath Kidston, she saw them in the shop and took one look at the price tag and thought, 'I could make those', so she did! Hopefully if we have enough stuff by 19th February I will be doing a craft sale, if not it'll be in March.
Another thing I have to do today is make a first birthday card for my great-nephew, Corbin. He is American so I wanted a British theme, unfortunately the stamps I've ordered from America (ironic the fabby British style stamps are American) haven't arrived yet so my plans have changed to an animal theme. A few years ago I bought some CDs from Kirsty Wiseman and to be honest I haven't really used them that much as I much prefer creating something myself. However, they are useful when you are stuck! It also led to me forming a friendship with Kirsty, so all is not lost. She has just launched a new digi stamp range called Ingalilly which are quite sweet.

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  This card was designed and made by Kirsty, not me!! Just so as you know, she has signed it in the corner!
Check out her blog or website for more inspiration.
Well this won't get anything done will it? Enjoy your table hopping, I'm going to try and 'visit' at least ten today!
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Not A Good Start

Tuesdays are one of my least favourite days for some reason and it didn't help this morning when the car wouldn't start. I don't mind walking my son to school but this morning it was raining, icy rain and when I got home I thought my ears would fall off!
So, yesterday I didn't post any pictures of the cards I made on Sunday so here they are:
I used stamps by Marion Emberson, I love the simplicity of her designs. You can buy them from her web site Sugar and spice I also used some of my new memento ink pads which I bought in a QVC clearance show, naughty I know. The ribbon was previously wrapped around my lovely tulips! The twine is from The Ribbon Reel although I must confess I received this as a present!   
I love using little jars as storage:
All I needed was a little piece of pink twine to finish off this card:
It's a Valentine's card for my husband, that way I get to keep all the lovely buttons!
Well I hope your Tuesday got off to a better start than mine. I'm off to get ready for work and then to sit on the sofa and watch a new sewing programme on QVC. I really should get a job with them, all this promoting I do for them!

Monday, 23 January 2012

Catching Up

So after the fun of Wednesday's lunch it carried on into Thursday morning when my friend Kay came for coffee. We first met in September 1979 when we both started work in the Midland Bank in Brighton. To be strictly truthful we actually met in Katherine Street in Croydon on the training course. It was a residential course and all of the B&Bs were full so we ended up staying with one of the tutors and his family. We formed an instant friendship which has lasted over thirty years through thick and thin, marriages, divorces,children and all sorts of fun and games. The strangest thing of all is that we are now related by marriage! Her husband is my husband's cousin, so her father-in-law is my husband's uncle, her children are my children's second cousins, you keeping up?
I hadn't seen her since last February at a funeral, unfortunately it was her brother's funeral and it was only a couple of weeks since we'd met at my father-in-law's funeral, so it was lovely to be able to catch up and have a good old gossip.
She very kindly pointed out that I was one of at least four of our friends who is going to be 50 this year and she suggested we have a joint party in the summer. Brilliant idea and I put the wheels in motion straight away and am meeting another old friend on Thursday morning to start planning.
Be prepared to be taken back to the eighties with this photo:
Love the hair!
On Friday I went into town with my husband as he very kindly said I could use his Next voucher, he'd had it for his birthday in October and hadn't spent it all. Back in the eighties when Next first opened, it was my favourite shop. Some of my all time greats were bought  there. Alas, now I rarely see anything I like so all I managed to buy was a long sleeved white t-shirt! Well the thought was there. We returned home after a coffee in Nero as I had to make something for afternoon tea. Sounds posh but not really, it was just my Dad and his partner coming for a visit and I like to make fresh cakes as I know he only gets (shudder) shop cakes at home. Another reason he shouldn't have divorced my Mum!

I made chocolate cup cakes and scones:
They were delicious served with home made plum jam. Lots of people have asked about my Chocolate Cola cake, so here is the link
On Saturday I went to Dunelm Mill as they had a sale of Bazzill Basics 12x12 cardstock, I also wanted some material for my patriotic bunting I'm making for craft sales. I got the Bazzill but no material, this is quite good because it means I get to go to my favourite ever material shop The Eternal Maker in Chichester.
Later, for some reason, I had an urge to do a scrapbook page, so I gave in to it and made this:
This was the layout before I stuck it down and, after a little advice from my virtual friends, I straightened the photos and I also added some words using multi coloured letters: Sea Lane Cafe.
Saturday night found us boarding a train for a night out. In 1994 my first marriage ended and I spent a lot of time with my brother and his friends in a pub called The Kendal in Hove At one point I also worked there as a bar maid! Well, it is just an old back street pub but it has been taken over and is going to be turned into a Gastro Pub. So before they ruined it my brother arranged a reunion so we could remember the olden days. It was fun although I find it so difficult drinking in pubs as it is so expensive! How we change once we have children and mortgages! We returned home rather drunk but happy!
Sunday was the usual round of football,friends and roast dinners but whilst my husband was sleeping on the sofa, my youngest was killing virtual enemies and my eldest was making an animated film I decided to make a few simple stamped cards. I haven't taken a photo of them yet but I'll post them tomorrow.
Hope you had a great weekend.
Thanks for dropping by

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

WOYWW #137

I'm a bit late posting today because I've had a girly lunch, hence the table:
The bale of sawdust in the background is a reminder that I still haven't cleaned out the animals! Lunch was lovely, we had leek and potato soup followed by rice pudding with plums stewed in Pimms, all home made of course. My guests were a fellow blogger Fiona, who I am trying to convince to join in the WOYWW fun, and Samya, who first got me into the card making way back in 2004 I worked with them both at Gatwick airport, ah happy days!
Lunch was quite profitable too as Samya bought some of my Christmas bunting and a card, she also wants some red, white and blue bunting for the summer. I also received some lovely foodie gifts from her and a bouquet of tulips from Fee which were tied with a lovely ribbon which has now found its way into my stash!

I have also received an email and a phone call about some work for February so the month is continuing to be good for me.
Oh yes, I nearly forgot I also won a giveaway from Kirsty Wiseman on FaceBook.
I love Wednesdays!
I'm thinking of doing a giveaway on here too, so keep watching.
Thanks for stopping by and join in the fun at The Stamping Ground if you can

Monday, 16 January 2012

Red Monday

The experts say that today is the worst Monday of the year, well forgive me but I'm sure someone said that last Monday too!
Don't know about you but I'm feeling great this January, I feel really positive about things and lots of little nice things keep happening to me and I'm trying to spread that happiness by joining in on swapping, giving things away or joining in with 'pay it forward, type of activities.
Last week was all about massive tidying up activities so hopefully this week will be more about making things, including mess!
Thursday continued with the preparation for the arrival of our Swiss visitors although I did manage a few quick cards before my evening class and the Swiss invasion:
I borrowed the size and style of these cards from the uber talented Ms Wiseman it involves making your own card blanks but it's a bit different.
Our friends brought gifts of wine and chocolate so it was a good end to the day.
On Friday they decided to go to Brighton for the day and I tackled some more tidying but this time it was my Christmas craft box. After tidying it I thought 'Hey, actually I can buy more in September!' as it looks rather sad and empty. Now I'm just waiting for Tuesday and QVC as I have been reliably informed that there will be some storage boxes on there.

On Friday evening we had a lovely curry paid for by the coins we put in a pot over the year so it tasted even better!
Martin and Jessica left for London on Saturday morning and my husband and son went off to football training so the house was empty again but I still didn't have time to make anything as I needed to go into Worthing to but something for a cake I've been asked to make. On my way to the cake shop I popped into a fabulous charity shop and bought a knitted bag for £1.50, it's in need of a little TLC but once fixed it'll be brill. I also bought some old music books as I know I can used them on cards and projects over the coming months. Somehow it doesn't hurt me so much to rip up Mozart scores as it did contemplating tearing pages out of a paperback to make the paper tree at Christmas.
Saturday afternoon and evening was spent at my mother-in-law's for dinner, this was a real treat as we hadn't seen her for a month as she'd been in Australia. I'd really missed her over Christmas, especially her cooking!
Joy of joys when we came home, Bridget Jones part two was on so I settled down to watch it for the 100th time and everyone else went to bed.
Sunday was a lovely chilled day, I went to Brighton with my eldest son and his friend while my husband took the youngest to his football match.
The afternoon was spent as all Sundays should be spent, in the kitchen with the radio on 'sounds of the seventies', the windows steamed up from boiling veg and a frosty glass of white.
Hope you all had a great weekend and are ready for this most depressing of days! Not in my house it isn't

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

WOYWW #136

Here we are at Wednesday again, how did that happen?
Here is my space today:
The things at the front are some of my recent sale purchases. Craftwork Cards had a sale and I ordered some cardstock; didn't realise that I'd ordered 8x8 not a size I'm familiar with. It does however give you a nice large area to decorate, especially as my Mum needs some for her work and she likes the larger sizes so lots of people can sign it. I also bought some Martha Stewart glitters, some K&Company paper pads and some Andy Skinner stamps from QVC. Along with my October Afternoon purchases before Christmas, I certainly have some tidying to do! When I have a minute I'm off to Staples to buy some 12x12 storage boxes.
I had said that this week Monday would be for cardmaking, Wednesday for sewing and Thursday for baking. Well so far Monday has been tidying my boys' bedroom and a futile visit to the doctor's. Tuesday a hospital appointment for my son, work for me and a trip to the post office and so far today has been spent reorganising the spare room. Why is it that it takes no time at all to make a mess but several days to clear it up? I'm really only doing it because I have visitors coming on Thursday, they're only staying for two nights but it should be fun.
I did have some fun whilst tidying though:

It's a bit of a monkey fest, isn't it?
I have made a couple of cards this week using some new stock and a new technique with a stamp pad:

My eldest son said the blue one with the black flowers looks like something you'd buy in a shop, high praise indeed from a 13 year old!
This last card is one that I feel I have spoilt and am waiting for my lovely new friend Lisa-Jane to rescue for me, she's going to send me another OA topper to replace the one I wrecked with Pro Markers!

If you have come over from The Stamping Ground, welcome and I'll try and visit more of yours today! I love Wednesdays!  Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Craft Buying Frenzy

It's amazing how much time you can waste sitting on a sofa watching craft shows! Here we are and it's Sunday again and I have days of stuff to blog about.
Let's start with Wednesday:
I'd posted on the QVC craft Facebook page   that I didn't get all the excitement over Tim Holtz but was willing to be convinced as I know he will be on QVC in February. Well a lovely lady called Paula Whittaker  showed me some examples of cards she'd made using TH stamps but they were 'clean and simple'. Using her ideas as a guide I made these:
I rather like them and will make some more. I also made another six cards using one 12x12 patterned paper by SEI, one 12x12 Swiss dot Bazzill Basics card stock and a few bits and bobs. This is why scrap booking will never replace card making for me!

On Thursday it was time to remove the tree :-(   I love my tree and don't like taking it down so I decided to take one last picture of it.

It does give you an opportunity to tidy up though doesn't it?
I spent the afternoon watching Amy Shaw on QVC and I do believe I purchased something, after encouragement from Kirsty Wiseman, I have to have someone to blame, don't I?
After sitting doing nothing for 2 hours I had to do a massive tidy up as I have an evening class on Thursdays; it's the only day my kitchen diner looks fab!
Friday comes around and it's Kirsty's time to host the 2 hours of craft, I knew it was going to be fun as we'd challenged her to slip a random word into the show. This was after Marion Emberson had said 'git' live on air! She'd meant to say 'clip' so it could have been much worse. Kirsty's word was 'suet pudding' and like a true star she slipped it in effortlessly, so to speak. The challenge now is to come up with another word for the next craft show!
A bit of bad news on Friday was that I had to take our elderly Guinea pig to the vet to have him put to sleep. RIP Scooby.
Saturday comes along as it usually does after Friday and after the breakfast making, the laundry sorting, the clothes shopping with a 13yr old boy, the lunch making and the general tidying I finally opened a couple of parcels which had been delivered. I made a card for my son's friend whose 14th birthday is today; Happy Birthday Maizie

It is an 8x8 card blank, which is a card size I've never used and didn't realised I'd ordered! It was from Craftwork Cards who had a sale starting 28th December and in a post Christmas frenzy I ordered some more stuff.
On Saturday afternoon I went to my Aunty's house for a belated New Year celebration and got rather tiddly on fizz came home and watched Bridget Jones. A lovely end to a lovely week.
I've decided to be more organised next week and have Monday as a card making day,Wednesday as a sewing day and Thursday as a baking day. We'll see, won't we?
Thanks for stopping by and, if you aren't a member already, I'd urge you to join in the fun on the QVC craft FB page, it's a hoot

Wednesday, 4 January 2012


Wednesday again. Today I'm going to get everything done before 1pm so that I can sit and watch the very funny Marion Emberson on QVC. She's doing a clearance show and although I shan't be buying anything, she's so funny and her style is clean and simple, which I love. I'm going to try a link to her page now: Sugar and Spice 
So, what's on my table today?
I couldn't decide if I should scrap,sew,make cards or tidy up today. What you can see at the front is a scrapbook page I made using pictures of my boys on Christmas day. I'm not a scrapbooker but I've decided to start. The boxes are full of October Afternoon papers and goodies which I received from America before Christmas. They so need sorting. At the back of my table are my papers and books from yesterday's lesson, I'm an English language teacher, which haven't been put away yet. I've decided to make a couple of cards today and it's my friend's birthday on the 10th and I also discovered that it's a new friend's birthday on that day too. Now she really is a talented scrapbooker and I would love to be as good as her one day. I'm going to try another link now! I think some of you WOYWW people know her LJJ Well I hope that works!
Here is a closer picture of my scrapbook page, be gentle with me I'm a beginner!(can't unhighlight now!!)
And one last picture of the mess which is my table:

Well, I'm off now to get all those little things done before I can sit on my bum for two hours.
Happy Wednesday everybody.
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Happy New Year

Well here we are in twenty twelve, who can believe it's been 12 years since the massive millennium celebrations? I must admit to drinking rather more this new year than that one! I was about six weeks pregnant on 31st  December 1999 and I also had to be at work at 7am on 1st Jan 2000 so I had my reasons.
This New Year's Eve was great as we went to a friend's house for curry,champagne,cake and silly games. Well we had plenty of some and none of the other. Ooo that sounds rude, what I mean is we didn't eat the cake and my friend managed to pass it off as her own at a New Year's Day lunch party. The cheek of some people.

New Year's Curry
The best part of the evening was discovering that I can still bend quite low when I'm well lubricated! We played a game where you put a cereal box on the floor and have to bend down and pick it up with your teeth. You gradually tear off inch strips of the box until there is virtually nothing left. Myself and Sarah did quite well but her children were amazing. Oh for the days of being able to do the splits and still walk afterwards.
My Bendy Boy

She went lower than this!
We saw in the new year with Bailey's and the fireworks and continued playing until about two, even then my 11 year old declared it was too early to leave.
I haven't had so much fun on NYE for years, so thank you Sarah for inviting us.
I was awoken on New Year's Day at 9.40 by my Mum phoning to say dinner would be at 5 and could I bring chairs? I think she is used to me being sober and her being hungover on NYD, still 9.40 is too early even on a normal Sunday. The next awakening was rather more pleasant, it was my son saying 'You do know it's nearly 12 and would you like breakfast in bed?'
I thought I was still asleep and dreaming!
We eventually dragged ourselves to my mum's for a lovely dinner with her, my uncle, my brother, his partner and their children. Eleven of us in total in a small flat, it was great fun and I got rather drunk, my husband was not impressed. Makes a change I reckon.
Monday and the boys finally went fishing and I said I'd tidy up. Well I tried, at least my ribbons and sewing box are tidy now.
Well, they're back at school now and I've just finished teaching my class so it's back to normal and Christmas 2011 draws to a close.
I hope you enjoyed your holidays no matter how long they were or what you got up to. I must say, for me and mine, this was one of the best we can remember.
Thanks for stopping by