Friday, 24 February 2012

February's Full of Firsts

I collected my bracelet and oranges yesterday but had to leave my car there as it was very unwell! This was a first for me, I have never had car problems. The engine was overheating and making terrible noises and I was too worried to drive it home so my ever lovely m-i-l drove me back home.
My bracelet is just perfect but what is more perfect is that my initial is the highest point value and, as my husband pointed out, their initials add up to mine. I said that this was because they are nothing without me!
In the afternoon I started the marmalade making process, little did I know that it would take from 2.30 Thursday til 11am Friday to complete. I'll share some of the stages with you, for those interested I got the recipe from this wonderful site which I use all the time for my jam making, The Cottage Smallholder
Peel after it has been boiled for three hours and left overnight in the pan

The fruit pulp and pips dripping their loveliness I still have wrinkly fingers from squeezing this bag!

 The 4 pints of liquid on the boil waiting for 4 lbs of sugar(!)
Finally! 2 of the 10 jars I made

I make lots of different sizes so that I can give them away to my Dad, my Mum and my Mother in law. I was also asked if I would save some jars to sell at a fete in May organised by an old school friend. She is in charge of fund raising for St Dunstan's in Brighton. I have asked her about having a stall, so watch this space. As I'm typing this entry I can hear my favourite part of the jam making process occurring; the lids popping as an airtight seal is formed.
The next 'first' is that I am going to enter a card into a challenge! My new friend Lisa-Jane Johnson suggested I enter it into SJ Crafts monthly challenge, so here it is
The theme is 'Flowers and red or pink'

Also a lot of people wanted to know what I am getting from Stampin' Up, well I haven't filled in the order form but I think I am getting a postage stamp punch with co-ordinating stamps, a young Cardinal bird stamp and First Edition paper pack. The free gift I qualify for will be a stamp set which co-ordinates with the postage stamp punch (clever aren't I?) I will also get some ribbon but I really can't decide on which to get as I want them all. I'll leave this overly long post with two photos from the SU morning. One is a gift she bought me and the other is the card I made with her. Hope you're still awake!


Thursday, 23 February 2012

Mucho Excitemento

I know, another post! What am I like?
I am so excited today because I finally get to collect my Christmas present from my mother-in-law. She gave my husband and I ,I sound like HRH, a cheque for Christmas and said that it had to be spent on ourselves, not the bills. It wasn't a life changing amount of money but it was more money than I'd ever been given as a gift, apart from my 18th or wedding, so I wanted to take my time deciding what to buy. The initial thoughts of 'Ooo, bags,shoes,clothes,craft stuff,spa,weekend away', were soon replaced with the thought that I wanted to buy something that I would have for a long time and that would always make me think of her. A bit like my 18th, my sister was given £250 in 1977 and bought herself a car for her 18th, not long afterwards she wrapped it around a lamp post and had no car and a bill from the council to replace the lamp post! When I got my £250 three years later I decided to spend it more wisely, also I didn't learn to drive until I was 25 so I didn't need a car! I bought a gold bracelet from an antique dealer in the Lanes in Brighton, and yes, I still have it today!
To get back to 2012 this is what I decided to get
It has four little scrabble tiles in it with our initials; J, P, G, and M plus the points value! It was made by a very talented lady who has managed to turn her hobby into a flourishing business; see what she has to offer on her site ,her name is Su.
Another little bit of excitement is I'm off to Seville to collect my oranges! No, actually that should read I'm off to collect my Seville oranges! My aforementioned m-i-l got me some at the market and I'm going to convert them into marmalade, shredless no less.
Yesterday I posted my WOYWW and people usually remark on how tidy it is so I thought I'd post one of it after I'd made a few cards!
I also like to tease my niece in America with pictures of Yorkshire puddings as she only gets them when I visit America or she comes here. My sister, her mum, never made them for her children she turned into an all American Mom when she moved!
And yes, they are mine I have never used packet mixes of pre made Yorkies and never will!
Tomorrow I'll be posting all about my Stampin Up experience as so many of you wanted to know what I bought!
Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

WOYWW #142

Happy Ash Wednesday WOYWW
I'll stick my picture up first before I waffle on
On my table today we have the Stampin' Up brochures, a note book and pen, Mollie Makes magazine and a letter from my son's school.
In 49 minutes a SU demonstrator is coming to see me as I'm thinking of buying something! The note book was hand sewn by me after seeing a simple tutorial in  the Mollie Makes blog, I love,love,love this magazine and was getting a little concerned this month as my mag was late. This month there is a Babushka doll keyring kit to sew, I may have a go at that!
The letter from the school is an application form to do the bronze Duke of Edinburgh award so that will be completed today as we are very keen for George to do the awards.
Not much on there today but later I will be making some cards using some stamps I borrowed from a lady I met on FB and I really should return them to her! She also wants to see the SU brochure so I'll take her that.
Yesterday I had a message from a friend asking if I would make a cake for his wife's birthday. He'd seen the picture of the cake I made on Sunday and suddenly thought it would be a good idea to get one for his wife.
I also finally managed to take a few snaps for my photography course and I'll just post one which is for the asymmetry task.
I bought this coffee pot and 4 coffee cans about 25 years ago from a PDSA shop for £5. Gradually over the years, with the help of Ebay and my godmother, I have built up a small collection of this service. I absolutely adore it and if anyone has any, or sees any, I will bite your arm off to buy it from you!
I'll leave you with a rose today. Thanks for stopping by and I have to go because she's due in 40 minutes now!

Whoops, in my haste I almost forgot to link in Julia's blog, hop over and see what's on everyone's desks today

Monday, 20 February 2012

I know it's not Wednesday!

Here I am trying to break the habit of only posting on Wedensdays!
As a lot of you will know last week was half term so not only did I have my two boys in the house I also had a 13 year old French boy staying too. I was exhausted after cooking breakfasts, lunches and dinners for a week! Boy they went through a lot of grub!
Thibaut went back on Saturday and I was finally able to do a few more bits for my craft fair on Saturday, I made some simple sewn note books and some quick tags. In the evening we treated ourselves to a curry and it was lovely.

Sunday morning broke bright and early and I packed up my wares and drove to a little town called Hassocks. I went to a girls' grammar school and a lot of the girls lived in Hassocks and the surrounding villages and used to come to school by train. For some reason most of my friends came from Hassocks and so I spent a lot of time there so it was nice to return, didn't see anyone I knew though!
My Bunting
                                                             Note Books and Tags
The fair was a bit of a let down and I only sold £6.50 worth of stock and I had to pay £6.00 for the table, luckily I was selling some bags for my friend and she'd givven me half the table cost.
It wasn't all bad though as I made two new contacts, one lady says she'll be able to sell the bags at her regular weekly market and she also offered me work sewing bunting for her! She was impressed with my neat stitching, can you hear that Miss Rundle? She was my Home Economics teacher and boy did I struggle with my tabbard!
The other contact was a lady from Ringmer who is interested in sharing the cost of a table with me at some more craft fairs in the summer. One is at a local village called Findon and they have an annual sheep fair, which I've never been to, so that should be fun. The other is a summer fair in Steyning, hopefully these will be more profitable.
I returned home to the lovely smell of my husband cooking dinner but the added bonus was he made a spare for the freezer, he was then given time off for good behaviour and went to the pub to watch the football. Well at least if you're going to lose a match it's great that you can set a record. I'll leave you to work out which match I'm referring to.
Whilst the boys were out with their friend I made this cake for my aunt to take to work. It's the first time I've made a square sponge cake but she needed a cake to feed fifteen people.
A night in front of the telly followed the delicious shepherd's pie.
This week will bring a craft day on QVC, my dad coming for tea and a Stamppin' Up demonstrator coming to show me her wares. Shall we place bets on how much I'll spend?
Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

WOYWW #141

I really must get out of the habit of only posting once a week, it's very naughty.
I've had a bit of a week and I'll get into that further on in the post but for now here is my neglected craft desk or as it is more commonly known, the dining table
We have the usual suspects on there today; my laptop and my phone, they are always on! We also have a lovely bouquet of roses and carnations with a rather random banana type leaf! Bought for me by my husband for Valentine's day, he also left me this which I found when I came into the kitchen
Such an old romantic!
Well, to catch up on my week; on Thursday we went to my son's school for the very important options evening when we could talk to the teachers individually. I normally teach on a Thursday evening from 6.30 so I put back the time to 7pm thinking that would be fine. Well of course it would have been fine if all of the teachers and parents kept to schedule, but that never happens. It was getting a bit stressy and I knew we wouldn't get to see all the teachers we wanted to see before I had to leave. Whilst we were waiting to see George's science teacher he had an absence which is like a mini fit. Luckily it didn't turn into a major fit and we were able to get him out of the school with the minimum amount of fuss. My husband asked me to cancel my class completely as he had to collect out other son from football training and didn't want George left alone.
Luckily I did as not long after we got home George had a full blown fit which is always very traumatic, especially for my youngest son as he gets very scared. He was amazing this time looking for the medication and phoning for his Dad. The main problem now is that my son is over 5ft 7 and when he comes out of a fit and decides he needs to go to the bathroom it is very difficult for me to stop him, even though he cannot walk properly and has no control over his limbs! After a while we got him to bed and he was soon sleeping peacefully, which is more than can be said for me. I seem to get more and more upset after his fits these days and break down in tears. I just can't get the awful images of him fitting out of my mind.
Anyway, enough of this gloom. George had Friday off school so he got an early start to half term and on Saturday he went into Brighton with his best friend and her Mum and he had a lovely day shopping. My youngest son went to his 'girlfriend's' house to deliver her Valentine's present and spent the afternoon there. Me? Well I spent the whole day cleaning as we had a French student coming that evening!
On Sunday my husband took the boys, including the French one, fishing. It was blooming freezing on the pier (apparently!) but Michael managed to catch this
Quite impressive for an 11 year old, especially when he was the only person on the pier to catch anything that day!
As for crafting this week? Not a lot! I've been struggling with making my first ATC for a swap group I've joined. After three abortive attempts I finally made one I'm happy with
This will be sent to a lady called Jenne and I can't wait to see what I get over the next year.
I've also been struggling with my photo assignments this week which involve taps, fireworks,bridges and darkness!
Well if you're all still awake why not pop over to Julia's blog and find some more exciting workspaces and hopefully happier weeks
Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Wednesday again! WOYWW 140

Has it been a week already?
This morning I decided to take my picture first thing, before I had a chance to titify my table, so to speak.
So, (must stop using so at the beginning of my sentences!) what can we see here? Centre stage, a lovely bottle of red which my husband and I drank whilst playing Scrabble and eating home made curry, at the front are my children's lunch boxes, in the silver foil are freshly cooked sausage rolls and, if they're lucky, they are still warm at break! In front of Michael's lunch box is my trusty dictionary which we use to check dodgy words in the Scrabble quests and on top of that is yet another permission slip or Michael to play football. You may also spot a tin of Brasso, something about polishing his tackle(?) and some doilies. To the right of the bottle of wine is a pile of papers which miraculously turned into this:
This card is for a challenge set by Krsty Wiseman on the QVC craft presenters Facebook page.

Well, what else have I been doing? Taking photos of forks and faces, making cards,cakes and jam!
I also never got round to telling you all about my fun trip to QVC last week, oh well you'll just have to suffer looking through some photos instead!
I won't bore you any longer with catching up with my week as I'm sure you have a gazzillion desks to look at on Julia's blog I'm just about to check them out too.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

WOYWW #139

Over the weeks I've had people commenting that my workspace is very neat and tidy so this week I thought I'd post a picture of where I am currently storing my craft supplies. Now this is a bit of a movable feast depending on the time of year. In my house I have a spare room which I use to sleep in because of my husband's terrible snoring! During the peak summer months it is filled with foreign visitors, I teach English as a foreign language, and the rest of the year it is a general dumping ground! So my craft storage gets moved around and fills any spare space. It is currently in an alcove in the front room:
What do we have? At the front is my sewing machine, which I talked about last week, to the right of the machine is a knitted bag which I bought in a charity shop for £1.50, It needed a bit of attention but it is now as good as new. At the back is my set of storage drawers which used to be more than enough, however we now have the overflow boxes! In front of the drawers is one such overflow box, it is awaiting sorting. In front of that is a brown paper carrier bag filled with stuff I no longer use and I am in the process of swapping on a Facebook page, if that fails I will take it with me to the craft fair I'm doing later this month. On top of the drawers are my ribbons in their special antique box, they are always tidy because I love them the best! Next to the ribbons are pizza boxes filled with 12x12 papers, I have sorted them all out and am waiting until I have enough money to buy some proper storage for them. What you can't see is a huge box which I bought from TK Max in which I store my card blanks and envelopes.
Lisa Jane decided to share her drawers with us today so if it's good enough for her it's good enough for me!
Rubber Stamp Drawer
Overflow Ribbon Drawer
Glitter and Ink Pad Drawer

Toppers and Doily Drawer

Well enough of me and my half sorted drawers, why don't you show me yours? Hop over to Julia's page have a look at some others and put yours on there too! Wednesdays are such fun.
If any of you are still awake, I'll post tomorrow about my exciting trip to London mixing with the stars!
Thanks for stopping by