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Nearly our holidays!

Aug. 4th, 2013 | 06:21 pm
location: Worcester, UK
mood: lethargic lethargic

Its a rainy kind of day...

Rave: Crafting
Rant: Not sleeping

So I thought that the programme 'The Returned' was just a one season thing and now I find out at the end of last episode that there is another season and I really didn't get what happened at the end of the first one. Another season finished was 'Hannibal' which has been really good too. So there aren't many programmes on at the moment as just about everything I have been watching has finished. 'Revolution' is another too that has been really good and has finished now as is 'Grimm'.

But the good news is that we are nearly off on holiday. Last year was the first time since Rosie has been born that we went abroad and stayed all inclusive in a hotel in Tunisia. We had a lovely time and I loved being able just to relax by the pool and jump in and out when I wanted. Rosie loved the water slide and the kids club and because she can swim so well we didn't need to be in the pool with her all the time, just keep an eye on her. There was no way I was going to stay in this country for another holiday as I was expecting it to rain, which of course it hasn't! Anyway we have booked to go to Marmaris in Turkey this year. We haven't been to Turkey but everyone who has says it is lovely. We are staying in Club Alize Apartments in Marmaris. You can see the picture below of the pool with the waterslide and there is a kids club too.

So today Rosie and I did some more crafting as it was pouring of rain again. That is after I had a lie in with painkillers thanks to no sleep again! I made some cards using the 'Happy Day' Stampin' Up kit  and the 'Notable Notions' Stampin' Up kit from Jane at Petite Fleur Paperie. Jane puts together some lovely kits from Stampin' Up products and you can contact her to get hold of the kits.

Celebrate Card
This is a card using the 'Happy Day' Stamp set, the Baroque embossing folder, ribbon, buttons and designer series paper all from the Stampin' Up kit.

Happy Day Card

This card is also using the 'Happy Day' stamp set, crochet ribbon, black ribbon, designer series papers and the baroque embossing folder from Stampin'Up.

You make me smile

I really like this card, which uses the 'Notable Notions' stamp set and coordinating papers. A die cut bobbin has been wrapped with bakers twine and the background embossing folder is one from Tim Holtz. I have used Marina Mist ink on the embossing folder and card and other inks used are baked brown sugar, coastal cabana and calypso coral.

Scissors card

This is another card using the 'Notable Notions' Stamp set and papers I  have stamped onto the ribbon and punched out some flowers from the paper and stamped some buttons too.

Rosie made a sign for the cat door which is in the new wall between the dining room and the kitchen. It is basically a cat flap sized hole which has architrave around it so it looks like a feature. She is loving using the die cutting machine and cutting out the Belle and Mickey Mouse die and embossing folders that I have. I think that I will be buying a few more of these!! Oh no more money I need to spend on crafting...what a shame!!

A bit of crafting

Jul. 29th, 2013 | 10:00 pm
location: Worcester, UK
mood: cheerful cheerful

Its a...thundery day...

Rant: Why doesn't the ice cream man arrive when you need him?
Rave: Lost over a stone in weight!

Well I am just watching the last episode of 'The Returned' which is a series from France with subtitles about some people that come back from the dead in a village in the mountains. It is really good and I am really going to miss it which it is finished but I really hope that the ending makes sense!

I have had a couple of commissions for my gemstone jewellery, one item with Coral and Dumorterite and one with Quartz and Agate. I will also have a stall selling my items at the Droitwich Spa Salt Day on 14 September. I have also encouraged my Mum and Dad to have their first stall too with my Mum selling her ribbon embroidery and my Dad selling his woodturned items. He is new at it, but her really has a knack with the wood, they are gorgeous pieces. I have commissioned him to make me a dark wood bowl for my new dining room table.

Rosie had the first day of her two day pony rally today at the stables and looked after Peter the little coloured pony she rides. She brushed him and learnt how to put on his saddle and bridle and did some games too. She had a lovely time and she has tomorrow too to enjoy. I am so jealous as I miss my horse so much. My horse Star was just the best girl ever and was lovely to ride and as good as gold.

I enjoyed making some cards at the weekend using some of my Stampin' Up stamp sets. The only problem is that I am not very good at photographing projects to share so you will have to bear with my blurry photos.

My first card uses the stamp set 'Elements of Style' and is just stamped and watercoloured directly onto the main body of the card using three of the new 'in colours' for this year; 'Pistachio Pudding', 'Strawberry Slush' and 'Crisp Cantaloupe' .Then the sentiment 'for you' is featured with some bakers twine and butterflies.

For You Birthday Card

The second card is using one of my favourite stamps sets which is retired called 'Vintage Vogue' and two of the new colours 'Smoky Slate' and 'Pistacho Pudding' and an older colour 'Pink Pirouette'. I love stamping and cutting out the flowers to use as a feature. I have also used a small piece of the new ruffled ribbon in the Pistachio Pudding and some resin roses that I had in my stash.

Flowers Birthday Card

The last card is using a paper from the Echo Park line 'Everyday Eclectic' and the stamp set 'Happy Day' with two of the new colours which are 'Baked Brown Sugar' and 'Crisp Cantaloupe' . I love the doily in this set, which I have stamped multiple times and cut out and layered.

Happy Day Birthday Card

I did make another card, which was my favourite, but of course I have forgotten to photograph it, so it will have to be next time!!

Nearly end of term

Jul. 21st, 2013 | 09:13 pm
location: Worcester, UK
mood: thirsty thirsty

It's a...slightly cooler day today

Rant: Kitchen still not finished
Rave: Going on holiday to Turkey

Well Rosie has two days left at school before summer holidays, so we have a while before we go on holiday. So it is check the childcare time. I am having a couple of days off, Mum is having her a couple of days and she is going to a Pony Rally and then she has some time at holiday club which is where she goes to breakfast club and then we are on holiday. Phew! It is such a hassle. I certainly agree with shortening the summer holidays not just for childcare reasons, but because they get out of the habit of learning. So I will be doing some spelling and maths with her regularly as that is what she needs work on.

Adrian keeps coming home with a glut of produce from the allotment. First gerkins and cucumber, kolrabi, kale and then redcurrants, gooseberries, broad bean, french beans, runner beans, any kind of beans. He has made redcurrant jam, gooseberry and raspberry jam, pickled gerkins and he wants to make chutney and hamburger relish next. He has really enjoyed having his own allotment this year rather than using the land my mum had. He has to wait until the award ceremony to find out if his allotment or polytunnel have won a prize. All he knows is that the allotment patch where he is have won 20 awards between them.

Been enjoying crafting with friends and doing some workshops and been to a crop and trying out new products. I have really enjoyed getting back into my papercrafting. I did a lovely shadow box class and you can see my finished product over on the blog of the lady who did the class, Jane at Petite Fleur Paperie. Mine is the one with the dress dummy on the front.  I have had a stall recently selling my gemstone jewellery at a fair and I also have a table in September at Droitwich Spa Salt Day.

Here is one of my recent pieces that I have made which is comprised of green chrysoprase chips and white shell stars. I love the colour of the green, it is like no other gemstone:
Chrysoprase and shell stars necklace

I am so glad that we are going abroad on holiday to Turkey. Although with the weather as it has been we might have been OK staying in this country. Sods law though. If we hadn't have booked anything it would have been raining all the time.

Lovely Crafty Day!

Jun. 21st, 2013 | 09:43 pm
location: Worcester, UK
mood: tired tired
music: Don't stop me now by Queen

It's a...very humid day

Messy House
Rave: but..nearly a beautiful kitchen

I had a fabulous day doing a 'Pretty Tags' Workshop using Stampin' Up (SU) products, delivered by my friend Jane over at Petite Fleur Paperie. Jane designed five fabulous tags using SU dies and Stampington templates. Colours used were lovely neutrals in creams, beiges, whites and greys. You can see all five tags on Jane's blog. I loved all of them but my favourite tag was the Mannequin bust:

A friend of mine told me about this new free online crafting magazine called jot magazine. The first issue focuses on project life, which isn't really my kind of thing, but it did mention the Instax 7 Camera from Fujifilm which is like a Polaroid camera and prints photos immediately. They are smaller, credit card size, but I like the idea of having instant photos in some instances as sometimes the lack of photos is what is holding me up crafting. I have also had two SMASH books for over a year and got all the bits to go with them but not started in them at all. I wanted to do a different style and more day to day and event stuff and I think having access to photos straight away will enable me to do this. So now this is on my Amazon wish list, although I have asked for the Instax 25 as it also takes landscape and has a lens that comes with it that does close up.

So my kitchen is nearly completed...about time too. I am so excited about how much more space we have in there. I need to order the blinds and the small table and two chairs and that is about it. Adrian has to fit a new window put a couple more units up, plaster the ceiling and paint the walls in the old section of the kitchen. I am particularly loving my American Style fridge freezer...who knew it was so essential to have filtered water, ice and crushed ice on tap!

Kitchen has been started!

Apr. 28th, 2013 | 08:11 pm
mood: excited excited

Rant: Only taken 9 months to get here
Rave: Kitchen extension

It's a messy house kind of day....

This will be my first new kitchen ever! The one we have now was in when we bought the house and was in when the house was built about 18 years ago and it was all white which was never very practical.

Adrian has been making holes in walls and banging generally in the garage where he is extending the kitchen into and painting a waterproof membrane on the floor. I talked him into having a door from the lounge/diner into the kitchen as one of my pet hates was having an open plan downstairs. All the kitchen smells come through and I hate it. It was my compromise when we bought the house. Now the kitchen is going to be bigger and the wall separating the utility and the kitchen is being knocked down and of course the wall will go down in between the kitchen and the garage, we can now have a door on the kitchen. It is a glass door which will let the light through but create some separation of space too.

Here is what the archway into the kitchen was like this morning:
kitchen archway

This is what it looks like now:
Kitchen archway with door

It took me ages just to decide which flipping door handle to choose. It didn't help that Wickes website had about 10 types I liked but when Adrian went into the store they had none of them! So I had to choose something else.

If you are on Pinterest, I have a board on there called New Kitchen where I am posting lots of things I like for the kitchen. We decided a very long time ago that we were having an Ikea kitchen as quality and price cannot be matched. I was determined not to have a kitchen with ledges on the door which needed dusting all the time and I wanted a gloss kitchen. I really didn't want to do something too dramatic as if we ever did sell the house then we would need something that others would like too. So no black or red gloss!! So as they stopped doing the gorgeous duck egg blue gloss kitchen it is going to be a grey gloss kitchen. Which as luck would have it, also seems to be uber trendy at the moment but also will not date. I will be having dark worktops and floor (practical!!), white tiles, silver appliances and the accent colours will be lime green and teal.

So the idea for putting the door on now before the major works start is that if it is shut while the major building work happens, it will limit the amount of dust that comes through to the rest of the house. Well that's the idea anyway!! As Adrian has a section to the side of the door which will be studded out we have decided to leave a cat hole feature in the wall to the left of the door so the cats can get into the kitchen, so the door doesn't have to be left open all of the time. Genius!

A year since I have posted

Apr. 2nd, 2013 | 06:31 pm
location: Worcester, UK
mood: awake
music: Taylor Swift

Rant: The cold weather
Rave: Malteaster bunnys

So it is nearly a year since I have posted. I think I gave up because I thought no-one was reading this, then I realised it doesn't really matter as it is more for me to purge my thoughts somewhere instead. I have then been caught up with facebook and share a lot of my thoughts on there so didn't feel the need to do a blog. But today I thought I would just give it a go and see what happens.

It is Easter holidays and Rosie is off school and I am off work. So we have been painting a scottie dog shape so Rosie can decopatch it with cupcake decopatch papers so she has a cupcake dog. She has also been practicing riding her bike. It is something she never ever really bothered with, she much preferred her scooter. So when other children have been riding without stabilisers for ages, Rosie still had hers. So she has now taken some interest in her bike and we have taken them off and for someone who can ride a horse, she really was making a bit of a meal of balancing on her bike. So I was getting her to scoot along with her legs on the floor rather than bothering with the peddles and eventually she realised she was balancing. So now she has peddled round twice before crashing into me! Now she is desperate to get out there on it all the time, which is good. This will be good as she will perhaps be able to take her bike to the allotment too when she can cycle properly.

Adrian is working away in Southampton this week. Something he rarely does thank goodness. I used to like having some time alone in the evenings, but not so much any more really. I am really lucky as Adrian cooks and helps with a lot of jobs, so not having him around means there is more for me to do.

We are watching 'Muppets in Space' a classic film. Although our visit to the cinema to see 'The Croods' was good yesterday. It was a nice film with a moral message and good fun too.

I am so tired these days and I have had a cold for over two weeks, so I am so fed up really. I have had a haematoma in my eye too which looks like I have had a bash in the face. I have so many ideas in my head for jewellery designs but I just need to get them down and actually make something. When I am so tired after work it is difficult. There are never enough hours in the day to sleep, work and design.

Long time no blog

Apr. 10th, 2011 | 08:40 pm
location: Worcester
mood: hungry hungry

Its a lovely sunny day...

Rave: Ebay bargains
Rant:  Don't want to say today

Well it is ages since I posted. It has been really busy at work and I have been so tired so I am glad to be having an Easter break soon. We are going to a caravan in Carmarthen Bay thanks to our Tesco vouchers. OK I am not a natural caravan park person, although we had loads of holidays in caravans up until I was about 11 or so. Most of this difficulty is because of the last experience I had at a caravan park in Norfolk when Rosie was a toddler. There was a large extended family staying in caravans all around us and one night they decided to gather outside our caravan and have a massive argument with each other and fight at midnight. I was horrified and said I would never stay in a caravan again. That is what you get for staying somewhere where the holiday was five pounds with Sun vouchers! Well at least Rosie will enjoy it as there is a swimming pool and a park and it is right on the beach. So fingers crossed we don't have any rain. Mind you last time I was in Wales it rained everyday. So it will be a break anyway away from home which I really need.

So I have rediscovered Ebay as my friend buys a lot of furniture from there to alter. Our sofas have been shredded by the cats and need the bin desperately, but I am loathe to buy new just so they wreck that! So we decided to buy some brown leather furniture from Ebay. It will be a bit eclectic as we have a two seater and a chair and they are slightly different styles and one is a slightly lighter brown. But however we will save a fortune as we have had both for around £80 so far! I am just looking out for a three seater sofa now. I can then build in the eclectic nature of the furniture into the style of the lounge.

I had a fabulous day at Bubbly Funk doing an altered Mirror/Picture frame with the editor of Craft Stamper magazine. We used Terra texture paste and Inka Gold Viva decor products, Prima masks and made our own flowers using distress inks. It was a great day and I met some lovely ladies too. I am really looking forward to more workshops. It is so great to have a craft shop in Worcester now. This is the one made by the person who ran the workshop.

Just found out today that Rosie is the book monitor in her class at school. I am so thrilled as I have always loved books and I know I have passed that love onto her. She loves her books at home. Having ended up doing a degree in Librarianship and Information Studies, although I have only ever used the information studies bit, I have always had a bit of librarian in me and love for libraries. So I am very proud that Rosie is a little librarian at school. She has just said "Mummy some people just don't respect the books!" Sounds like me!

Sometimes a struggle

Feb. 16th, 2011 | 08:35 pm
location: Worcester
mood: sad sad

It's a chilly kinda day...

Rave: Rosie having her first streetdance lesson
Rant: Binge binge go away

So I have been struggling so far this year with a lot of things to do with my well being, namely my binge eating disorder and it does make me feel very low indeed. I hate myself so much when I just can't control what I am eating. My friend who is my healer, adviser and good friend is very patient with me and supports me when I am having a bad day. He has made me promise to meditate on a daily basis and I have absolutely stuck to this. Do you know what it does make me feel better. If nothing else at the end of the day to have twenty minutes to clear your mind and focus on yourself is a good thing, even if you don't believe in the power of meditation. Mind you people have been doing it for thousands of years with amazing results so there must be something in it.

He recommended to me 'Autobiography of a Yogi' by Paramahansa Yogananda. It is an interesting book. I did not find it as live changing as my friend did, or others have done. However his life and philosophies are very interesting. 
Autobiography of a yog book cover

One perspective I particularly find interesting is that he was the person who brought Kriya Yoga form of meditation to the west and this is the meditation I am working with at present. This isn't the kind of mediatation that you expect like visualising happy places or something like that. It is about focusing on breathing and energy. I am also working with spinal breathing or pranayama. This is the practice of focusing on breathing and feeling the energy going up and down your spine at the same time. There is an interesting blog from Swami Atma who talks about meditation, postures and spinal breathing.

I think I need to understand why I binge eat, deal with the way that I respond to this and find some peace within myself and I think meditation will help me with this, although it is just the very first step.

I am trying to read as much as possible,, so if I can pick up advice, better approaches to life and also how to be a better person and help myself, mores the better. So I am now reading '12 Steps to a Compassionate Life' by Karen Armstrong. I am finding this a really interesting book as the author is a religious historian, so she does not have a particular religous axe to grind. She encompasses buddhism, daoism, hinduism, christianity, judaism and Islam in her approach, one reviewer called it 'detox for the soul'.

Snow go away

Dec. 22nd, 2010 | 11:43 pm
location: Worcester
mood: pensive pensive
music: I'm dreaming of a white christmas

Its another very snowy day...

Rave: Christmas is nearly here
Rant: Snow

OK so I probably like snow, the way it makes everything look so pretty, the fact that Rosie loves playing in it and sledging. What I don't love is the fact that our country is so blooming pants when it comes to snow. We just don't know how to manage it, let alone drive in it! I have already had someone crash into our fence as they slid around the corner, taking it too fast. As for 4x4 drivers don't get me started! Just because your car can manage the snow better than ours, does not mean you can drive as fast as you like in it. Remember ice? Well your car is as rubbish as mine if it hits a patch of that! So my car has been parked on the top road for days as no-one can get up the hill by our house in the snow, but I am going to brave driving in it tomorrow as presents need to get delivered.

I am so glad I did 99% of my Christmas shopping online and in plenty of time, I just had a mad panic with my mum's handbag the other day, but all sorted. I have now finished wrapping everything,  I can now relax, especially as we are at Mum and Dad's for Christmas Dinner. I went to my Mum's the other day and she had a list and said "right I am glad you are here because I need to talk about vegetables" Well anyone who knows me knows, I am not a vegetable fan, so my Mum bless her does the best to get something I like. She said "We have peas, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower cheese, green beans, savoy cabbage with bacon, red cabbage, roasted parsnips, sprouts, roasted sweet potato, roast potatoes, mashed potatoes and shoebags (mash in puff pastry). Do you think that will be OK?" Can you tell my Mum loves cooking for the five thousand? There will also be three types of stuffing, sausages wrapped in bacon and just about anything else you can think of. I have highlighted the veg I eat, so I will be sorted.

I have had a mad crochet fest and knocked up two pairs of fingerless gloves, a scarf, a cowl, five coasters and five bookmarks for christmas presents and an altered canvas. I love making presents for people, but you have to pick your recipients carefully as some just look at them and think, "oh thanks a handmade present" where other people would rather have something handmade than anything else. I am desperate to spend more time in the craft room and I would like to start scrapbooking again, so I am so pleased that there is a new local crop starting at a new bricks and mortar shop called Bubbly Funk. I am looking forward to doing workshops with them too and also at LBCrafts as they do some stunning metal art stuff and I did a piece there recently. So I now have all of the metal art tools on my wish list for my birthday in February!

I am also planning on going out to the theatre more again in the new year and have some things on my list at the Birmingham Hippodrome, including Jekyll and Hyde - the musical, Top Hat - the musical and Midnight Tango  evening. Adrian hates musicals so it will be me and my friend Jules off to those and Adrian and I will go to the Tango show.

I really would also like to get out to the knitting club for stitch and bitch as they call it and meet some new people. Although it has been great this year reconnecting with old friends on facebook and some of them in person too. I almost feel as if getting to this point in my life I am coming full circle and revisiting my past and remembering that a lot of people who were part of that are still good friends. At some point too I would like to start singing again and go back to the choir I was in before I had Rosie. Although I need to find some energy from somewhere.

I am still having physio on my ankle and walking with a stick. I might need referring to a podiatrist too, whatever they do? So top tip for the year is to NOT FALL OVER AGAIN!

So it will remain to be seen if I can fight off my binge eating disorder and start to lose some weight and feel in control, but I will give it another go as it is really dragging me down now. I want to be a good example for Rosie, not a bad one. She is so good, eats really healthily, tries everything but of course she does like a bit of chocolate! I am trying to encourage her to be healthy and active without ramming it down her throat and giving her a complex and at the moment, she is super tall and perfect weight for her height. So I will keep pottering on with that one.

Well Yuletide greetings one and all and a Happy New Year. xx

How long since blogging?

Nov. 24th, 2010 | 08:04 pm
location: Worcester
mood: crazy crazy

Its a possible future snow day...

Rave: Thank goodness for my alternative therapist.
Rant: Migraines are pants

After having the worst migraine I have had in years last week, I was glad to start feeling vaguely human again and then I went and had another one this week! Thank goodness for my alternative therapist who always makes me feel better, albeit after half an hour or so of dizziness and feeling sick following treatment. This is long term treatment for my binge eating disorder so sometimes it makes me worse for a while as all the rubbish comes out of my system. However it is also helping with my headaches and migraines. I have stopped eating chocolate again, although when quizzed me he discovered that I am eating the odd bun or flapjack, but at least it is not a massive bar of chocolate at night and some throughout the day. I do feel better for it, although it is a constant battle. There are three chocolate pumpkins in the cupboard that belong to Rosie and working at home today I went to the cupboard four times and walked away without eating them.

So I have finished making a shawl for my mum to take on her cruise and also a cowl for my sister, like the one that I made for myself and even in the same yarn. Here it is:

Crocheted Cowl

It was a free pattern from Ravelry.
I am now making some coasters for my parents friends as a small Christmas gift and I need to get going on the other handmade gifts I make for friends who like this kind of present.

I have a shed load of Christmas cards to make, but fortunately a friend from work and I are having a card making day at her house on Saturday so hopefully I can get some made, along with a considerable amount of chatting you understand! So the key to this is one card design I can replicate, gone are the days when I stress about making everyone a different card. Of course except for close family.

Rosie is a king in the Innkeepers Breakfast, however it was hard to get her to chose a costume she liked that didn't look too boyish. She has a nice gold, green and red one. Gone are the days of making things, hardly anyone had last year when she was an angel and bought costumes are quite cheap so it is much easier.

I have nearly completed my Christmas shopping except for those people who have asked for vouchers and a few bits for Adrian. He is difficult this year as he has no idea what he wants for a main present. I have given in and we are having a Wii from my mum and dad this year and I am determined to use it as a fun and get fit thing using the excercise, dance and singing games only. It has worked wonders for my sister, so I thought I would give it a go. I don't want Rosie to see it as a 'gaming' thing, she is too young to get her head stuck in all that and that is when they lose their imagination.

So my hand is around 90 percent better and doesn't prevent me doing much now. I am still on a stick for longer walking and of course it is essential to ensure a seat on the train and to wave it at ignorant drivers on zebra crossings. I have some more Physio starting this week, so I hope that by mid December I can say goodbye to the stick altogether, only 6 months after my accident!

So Adrian is still all 'homemade' and has completed Ginger Beer and now is making Cheeky Vimto. So the videos of the allotment are being added to with homemade product videos, like tomato ketchup mostly starring my mad child Rosie. She is just so great. If you haven't seen them, please check out Adrian's Youtube Channel