Sunday, 28 February 2010

Not such good things

  • The weekend has flown by and my son is now on his way BACK to uni
  • The cake has nearly all gone
  • I think I have trapped a nerve in my left shoulder and cannot move my arm. The drive to work tomorrow is going to be fun - 1st gear all the way?!
  • It is STILL raining
  • Despite trying to influence the judge on Sian's giveaway, the Sheriff chose someone else as the winner. The money we spent on those VIP tickets to watch Ice Road Truckers being filmed was clearly wasted.
  • It's 9pm Sunday which means in less than 12 hours I will be back at my desk in the office

Friday, 26 February 2010


Thought I would snap a photo of the cake before my son arrived home! There's something about a freshly baked cake, sandwiched together with some lovely seedless raspberry jam with a swirl of vanilla butter cream on top .... let me just assure you, it looks nothing like this now!

It's so good to have him home, it was lovely to wake up this morning and have the whole family under the same roof. So this is just a quick post, because I've finished work now and we are heading into town - I knew this visit would cost me money! But you know how us mums like to know they have plenty of food and warm clothes, no matter how old they are. This is a well timed visit as well as it is his 20th birthday on Friday and I hate knowing we won't see him on his birthday :-( Got to go and grab as much mum and son time as I can!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Good things

  • My son is on his way home from uni for a long weekend! Haven't seen him for SIX long weeks, I miss him so much!
  • New class over at Shimelle's. Have you signed up? Well, what are you waiting for? Go on, you know you want to .....
  • It's nearly Friday
  • It's nearly my birthday
  • I have a freshly baked cake cooling in the kitchen waiting for me to fill it with jam and butter cream
  • Steak and chips with a creamy mushroom sauce for tea

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

One of those days

It's been a very funny day today at work. Have you ever had one of those moments when something really silly and small just tickles your funny bone and you get the giggles? You laugh and laugh and laugh, tears running down your face, mascara running. Deep breaths to get yourself under control. Calmness resumes and then something crosses your mind and you are off again. Well I had one of those moments this morning. My colleague was nervously preparing for her appraisal and we were suggesting things she could use for her objectives for the next year. And then it happened. It really wasn't that funny, but I could not stop laughing. Then she started laughing, and then another colleague caught it. I had tears streaming down my face, she was trying to make me stop so she could compose herself ready for her meeting. And the more I tried to stop, the worse it got.
I had just got myself under control, having reduced it to a gentle snigger every now and again when I had a call from our IT guy. I'm working with him on something that requires us to produce usernames for parents. You literally take a forename and then a surname. I give IT guy the list of names and he enters them into the system. The IT guy just says down the phone 'You've made this up.'
'No I haven't, what are you talking about?'
'This guy's name, it must be a wind up.'
'What guy?'
Now at this point you have to understand that at the time when a lot of our students' parents were born,we didn't have the famous burgers from the Golden Arches. So when IT guy says the name, he can't believe that this guy didn't just have parents with a cruel sense of humour.
'Ronald McDonald'.
And so began another bout of hysteria. Some days I love my job!

Monday, 22 February 2010

Meetings and new classes

Well the good news is that my manager is happy with me! She is more than happy actually; it isn't often that you get the chance to sit down and discuss the way things are going, (although I guess she'd be calling me into her office more often if things weren't going well!) so it's very reassuring to know when your work is appreciated. I came out with a nice warm, happy glow and then came straight down to earth as I saw the work that accumulated in my in-tray over the course of half term and saw how many emails were waiting for my attention!
Talking of emails and inboxes ... did you hear that Shimelle is going to be telling us about a new class later this week? Yup, apparently a new on line class is coming soon :-)
And I - for one - can hardly wait!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Scrapping Sunday with Sue

Today was the monthly crop at Welwyn Garden City which is run by Sue at Crafty Stash. It's a very relaxing, creative and fun way to spend a Sunday! Our pages were designed by Tracie Hudson and all three were really nice and fun to do. Although by the end of the 3rd one, I had indentations on my fingers from all the cutting out we had to do! Here's the end results:

Yes, every little leafy flower had to be cut out of patterned paper. A great end result but an impatient little scrapper such as myself was itching to get on so please don't look too carefully at the neatness ;-)

This picture shows my husband with our friend Richard. He's the husband of the lady in the photo above and I made them pose for these photos when we went round for dinner a week ago! Both men are interested in cloud formations which is a bit of a standing joke and in this photo they are posing with a book on clouds.

And finally one of me taken from our seats at the O2 Arena in London when we went to see Strictly Come Dancing on tour. I love the colours in this page, but then again, now I am home, I do notice a similarity in colours to those we used when we decorated the lounge!
So that is me all scrapped out, inky of finger and gluey of hand.
Back to school tomorrow :-( And I have a Performance Management meeting - wish me luck!

Thursday, 18 February 2010


Having a bad day? Weather getting you down? Winter taking too long to go away? Something bothering you? Then this little video clip is for you. Hope it makes you smile.....

Love is in the air

There's something strange going on and I can't quite put my finger on what it is.
It all started on Sunday, there was a lot of sighing going on and a strange atmosphere of anticipation. The word moody springs to mind. Mobile phones had been checked on an alarmingly regular basis and Facebook profile comments monitored hourly. It got to about 10pm and suddenly a text message came through. I'm sure I saw the name 'Shefiff' displayed on the screen before it was hastily snatched away. You've never seen such a change of demeanour.
But since then, mysterious things have been happening.
A new play list has appeared on iTunes which includes Horse with No Name, Crazy Horses, and the theme from Black Beauty. My daughter says that her favourite hair decoration has disappeared. I can't find my sparkly necklace and I think I've lost a pair of pearl drop earrings. It's difficult to find the bathroom free. But if you should pass and see the door ajar, this is what you'll find ....

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Waltzing My-Tilda

I've obviously been reading too many Australian Blog posts or, in view of recent blogging events, watching too much Neigh-bours ;-) But as you can probably guess, my stamp arrived! Excellent service from - very impressed.
So yesterday I got round to making a couple of cards. One for an 18th birthday, which clearly deserved the Tilda treatment, and an engagement card for the daughter of a friend of mine (how can we possibly be getting old enough to have children getting married?!) So kind of people to find reasons for me to get cracking on this card making business.

We have just received the sneak peek for this month's crop and it looks like a good one. The designer is Tracie Hudson and I've enjoyed the ones that she has designed for us in the past. I have my photos all printed and ready to go. Naturally there's one from my visit to Strictly Come Dancing on Tour and I managed to get some photos when we went to dinner at friends last weekend. Check out the sneak peek - love the colours and I think I see sparkly bits too ....

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Lanterns and pancakes

As we are officially into the Chinese New Year I thought this picture was kind of appropriate

This was a building that we saw in Belgium and it had been covered in paper lanterns and temporarily opened as a Chinese Tea House. So pretty.
Today is Shrove Tuesday and we all know what that means. Pancakes! So easy to make, why do I only think about cooking them on Shrove Tuesday? Anyway, I am stocked up on people's favourite toppings and ready to go for tonight. My favourite topping is the traditional lemon juice with a sprinkling of caster sugar (although I have been known to eat the corner off of my son's if it is spread with Nutella) What's yours?

Monday, 15 February 2010


So anyway, Now I have my blog back to myself....I've made another card. Told you I would, didn't I? Oh ye of little faith! I went onto some of the websites recommended and I've ordered a stamp with a cute Tilda character on it but while I'm waiting for that to arrive, I made this:

It's for a colleague of mine at work who loves shoes. High shoes, low shoes, pointy toes, rounded toes, ballet pumps, you name it. And if they have bows or sparkles on them too, so much the better. So I had a lot of fun adding lots of bits of glitter to the detail on the paper and putting a crystal in the middle of the flower.

You know how you have different shoes for different occasions? Going out shoes that look fab but hurt so much you can only wear them if the most walking you are going to do is between car in car park and restaurant entrance, smart work shoes, summer flip flops, old faithfulls that aren't particularly stylish but you know won't pinch or nip no matter how far you walk etc. Well when you work in an exams office you have a new category to add. Exam shoes. You see our school is 100 years old this year and the exams hall is in the original part of the school. The corridor that leads from the classrooms and offices to the exams office runs next to the hall. Now those floorboards are solid wood, they creak and every footstep sounds like the 'fe fi fo fum' of the giant in Jack and The Beanstalk. The walls are solid and every sound echos. So 'exams shoes' are needed for when exams are on. They have to be soft and quiet and low and you need to be able to walk quickly in them. So whilst the card is for my colleague in the exams office, the shoe on the front most definitely isn't an exam shoe!

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Blog hijack

I'm sorry about this people. This post is nothing about scrapping or cooking or anything remotely craft orientated. I'm getting no peace from a certain someone who insists I post her photo on the blog in an effort to send Valentine's wishes to a certain Horsey who lives somewhere near High in the Sky.

I think the feather boa is a bit over the top but she insisted she needed to look her best. Unrequited love and all that.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

So much more than scrapbooking

Little did I know when I joined the scrapbook community that I would learn so much else along the way. Scrapbookers are truly multi-talented people! My husband could never understand how I could spend time just blog hopping, until he started to see the benefits for himself that is.

Take yesterday, I finished work at 2pm, came home, checked out a few blogs, found the recipe for scrummy fish, ciabatta and pancetta kebabs on Mel's blog. Noticed a link on Deb's blog to here for crash hot potatoes and suddenly the age old 'what shall we have for dinner tonight that's a bit different' dilemma was solved. Here's the proof:

I used salmon instead of monkfish tails as at 4pm on a Friday afternoon, my Sainsbury's doesn't have the best selection of fresh fish! Let's just say, the husband now thinks I am a domestic goddess and a couple of new recipes have been added to the folder.
Thanks everyone for your suggestions re stamps yesterday, I'm determined to master the art of stamping and I have a few new websites to go and browse around now. Thank goodness for half term ;-)

Friday, 12 February 2010

Card #2

Now I've dipped my toe into the scrapbooking world, I've come across many people who are very talented at cards. I've been checking out this blog particularly. Jacky does such beautiful cards, pure works of art and it will clearly take me many a year to reach those dizzy heights. However, I am inspired to have a go at card making, it's a logical progression - right? So my first effort was last weekend when I made one for a friend of ours. Tough call, first card and it was for a middle aged man. No glitter or flowery business and it wasn't until I had handed it over that I realised I hadn't photographed it for posterity. "Remember when this was the best I could do?" etc. So this afternoon I have done this card for my aunt.

Now it's not fancy or clever but I needed something that was fairly plain but pretty. You see, my aunt lost the sight in one eye and 75% of the sight in the other about 35 years ago so she can't see anything fussy. I hope that the texture of the layered flower and the ribbon will appeal to her and I know she will like the pretty lilac colour. I even managed to get some glitter going on!

I think I need to invest in a stamp or two to get this card making going. Does anyone have any suggestions on some characters that would be quite versatile? At this point I do have to admit to being a student of the Scruffy School of Stamping. So something that will not easily smudge will be good! The only stamping I have done is on a few Christmas cards I made this year, snowmen are very forgiving! Come on girls, I have a whole week of half term to fill!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Suitable clothing

Last week, my daughter and I spent the whole of our day off clearing out her bedroom. And I mean clearing out. Every drawer was emptied, every basket cleared of contents which were then re-folded neatly, every hanger taken out the wardrobe, all garments on the floor put out to wash etc etc. It took all day but at the end of it she had a tidy bedroom, the charity shop had two bin liners full of unwanted clothes and the wheelie bin had 5 bags of rubbish squidged down inside it. And I got a new suit. It was obviously her 'interview suit' from after she graduated from university and it had been folded up and stuffed in a storage box under her bed. I rescued it from the charity bag as it was a size ten and from the Petite range at Next. Clearly calling out for me to wear it!
Today I wore it to work. Felt really smart, in my fitted jacket, pencil skirt with a little kick panel at the back, wore it with a smart polka dot blouse with tiny ruffles down the front. Such smartness deserved a bit more effort with the mascara and a darker lippy.
The whole office is now convinced that I was off to an interview after work! Do I normally look so scruffy that turning up in a smart suit could only mean one thing? Still, doesn't hurt to keep them guessing eh?!

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Ikea Man

It's not often the man himself gets a whole scrap page of his own but I thought this photo warranted it!

We're not great 'flat pack' people. We haven't been to Ikea since 2007. But a storage unit was needed in the spare bedroom. Apparently, someone has been buying lots of 'stuff' that is spilling out of the study. I don't know what he's talking about! So a trip to the motherland of all that is packed flatly was in order. Now, that has to be something worth scrapbooking!

Monday, 8 February 2010


Am I the only person in the country who hadn't been watching this? I discovered Grey's Anatomy at Christmas. Whenever I had lunch in the staff room, people would be talking about it so I added it to my list when I wrote to Father Christmas. I must have been a good girl because he gave me series one box set. I sat down, watched one episode and was hooked!
Then trailers started appearing on tv for the new series and I realised I had an awful lot of catching up to do before I could start watching that. Fortunately, I put a request out via the school email system and discovered that a member of our art dept is a huge fan and has all the other box sets! Woohoo! I just finished series two and today she delivered series three and four. No need to ask what I will be doing over half term ;-)
I am recording series six to watch when I have caught up but it is awful trying not to hear people discussing it. When a trailer comes on the tv I have to quickly find the remote to change channels as I don't want to have the story lines spoiled. I already heard that one of the interns dies this series and dread to think who it may be.
If you know, please DON'T tell me!!!

Saturday, 6 February 2010


So anyway, it's Friday afternoon, I am sitting on the 15.39 train to London Liverpool Street, listening to my fellow passengers chatting and I suddenly realised that I was the only British person in the compartment! Granted, the train I was on originates from Stansted Airport so it's often packed with people who have just arrived from a flight! But it got me thinking that because we live a shortish (37 minute) train journey from London, we take it for granted and don't really make a big thing about the sights and sounds we see when we get up there. So when I got off the train and started my walk towards my husband's office, I thought I would play at being a tourist and take a few snaps of my own. So, here is Tower Bridge, looking lovely in the late afternoon winter sunshine. I took this as I was walking across London Bridge. After I crossed the Thames, I walked down the ziggy zaggy steps that lead down to the embankment and looking back across where I had just walked I took a photo of this view. London Bridge, with the dome of St Paul's Cathedral in the distance. Photo taken, I continued walking beside the river, and when I saw this, I knew I was nearly there. This is what my husband sees if he looks out the office window. The HMS Belfast, with Tower Bridge in the background. So folks, that is my very short guided tour of the walk from London Liverpool Street to Hays Galleria. Then of course I met up with my husband, we caught the Jubilee Line underground to the O2 arena and here is the scrap-able photo of me about to go in to see Strictly Come Dancing on Tour!
It was an amazing show and I enjoyed it so much. But that is officially the end of my Christmas presents now!

Thursday, 4 February 2010


Ok, it didn't take much to guess that my three clues added up to the Strictly Come Dancing Tour.
I'm not normally a fan of ballroom dancing, and I certainly can't do it myself but I just love this programme. I prefer the up tempo dances to the waltzes but have to admire the beauty of it all and love to see how the celebrities improve from week to week. The highlight of the whole Strictly seasons has to be John Sargeant dragging his poor partner like a sack of potatoes in the Paso Doble. Makes me laugh out loud whenever I see a clip of it! What he lacked in style he made up for in enthusiasm!

My tickets were part of my Christmas present and whilst my husband doesn't share my love of SCD, he is bravely coming with me. I suspect that in return I may have to accompany him to a concert of some obscure guitarist later in the year!
It's my first visit to the O2 arena too so watch out for some photos and a layout in the very near future.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Friday Night's Alright for ...

I'm so excited! On Friday night I'm going up to London after work to meet my husband at his offices, then we're getting the train to here:And there will be lots of these: And something nice to look at: Strictly no other clues ....

Monday, 1 February 2010


Ladies, I would like to introduce you to a rather elderly gentleman called Rabbit.
Rabbit is probably about 43 years old now which is REALLY old in rabbit years. Rabbit was hand stitched by a little red headed girl called Deborah when she was in primary school in about 1967. Rabbit's main purpose in life was to keep Deborah's boiled egg warm at breakfast time. These were the days when runny eggs and dippy soldiers were an everyday meal to start the day on. Deborah liked to cut the top off her boiled egg really carefully, eat it very neatly and then turn it upside down in her egg cup so the broken part was hidden and pretend to her mum that she couldn't break into the shell. Oh how her mum was surprised when she broke into the egg shell and find it empty! And no matter how often Deborah played this trick, her mum still found it funny.
Rabbit was probably the first bit of 'proper' sewing that Deborah did. and you can see how lovingly and carefully those little 9 year old fingers did the blanket stitching around the edge to hold the pieces of felt together. Rabbit seems to have lost half of his bow tie and I suspect that happened while he was hidden away in a box of momentos in our loft.
Rabbit is probably very proud to know that he was the first in a very long line of sewing projects that I have done over the years (I used to make almost all my own clothes!) who'd have thought I would have gone from that to A level needlework before I finished my school days?!