Friday 30 April 2010

Busy day

Well as the song says:
"All my bags are packed, I'm ready to go ...." because it's the Shimelle crop at Eclectic Keepsakes tomorrow. 22 little photos neatly packed in individual envelopes ready for me to look at, sigh, and think 'that's not suitable at all' but I have a variety of ideas for each page so fingers crossed.
Talking of fingers, I am also taking plasters, antiseptic wipes and a handbag sized pack of tissues - just in case ... I'm not sure the official Health & Safety expert, aka my husband, would approve if he could see the amount of sharp implements in my bag. I had to change the blade in my trimmer this afternoon, that was a bit of a potential disaster waiting to happen but here I am, still with 8 fingers and 2 thumbs and not a speck of blood in sight!
So that's how I'm spending between 10am and 6pm. Then a quick drive home and over to friends for an Indian takeaway night, and then I have a rather important project to get home for which kicks off in California at 10pm (US time). I calculate that as 6am Sunday here which is an odd time to set out for a wild party but hey - it sounds like fun and well worth making the effort for.
In fact, it sounds like so much fun that I'd really like you to come along too, check back here on Sunday and see what's been going on !

Wednesday 28 April 2010

Hairdos (and Hair-don'ts)

Over the years I have had more than a few hairstyles. Some more tasteful than others. Some suited me more than others. As I entered my teens, gingerness became auburn and I gradually grew to like my hair colour. Which is kind of ironic as now it has grey invading at an increasing rate I am paying good money to get as much red back as possible! I shudder when I remember the wash and go perms of the 80s when I resembled a badly groomed poodle, and I wonder what I was thinking of when I decided to have a very short haircut which I realised was a disaster as soon as I got out of the salon chair and made my way tearfully home.
It's funny how a celebrity can have a new haircut and it becomes so popular that you only have to go into a hairdresser's and say 'Rachel from Friends' and they know exactly what you mean. Nowadays I guess it's 'Cheryl Cole' extensions or the 'Posh Bob' or whatever.
So when I went into the hairdressers before going to my work's annual Christmas Dinner and Dance in about 1978, I must have mumbled something about Joanna Lumley's Purdy hairstyle. As I can find no other reason how I left the house with this kind of fringe going on .....

Monday 26 April 2010

Skool dayz

I'm not so sure that this idea about using photos of Young Debs is a good idea for my Shimelle crop. Now I've checked the evidence it would seem that my memory of a young hip chick doesn't quite match up to the photographs in my albums. Some of the clothes, some of the colour combinations .... oh the shame. Yellow seersucker wide legged trousers (were they called Oxford Bags?) worn with a rather gorgeous black velvet wide lapelled fitted jacket with diamante badges on it. Blue and white striped dungarees - what was I thinking? So there will be no pictures of me in the era that taste forgot, it's no good you all thinking you can have a good laugh at my expense! How did I walk in those platform clogs? The only time in my life I have measured more than 5' 1". The Dr Scholl wooden sandals - I still have the scars on my ankles from accidentally kicking myself whilst walking to school. Two tone trevira suits and Ben Sherman check shirts - classy! The feather cut hair was a bit groovy too, really short on top and then long wispy bits way past shoulder length.
Nope, this is all for me to know about and the rest of you to imagine!

Sunday 25 April 2010

Eighteen down and five to go

I have spent more time than I care to admit to today, trying to find some semblance of order to my photos to take to the crop next week. The bad news is I had miscounted the amount needed and it's worse than I thought, 23 or 24 - not 22. The good news is that I have printed enough photos for 3 of the 9 pages and have now compiled the next batch ready to go for another 2 pages. But, wouldn't you know it, the printer has now run out of yellow ink ... I do feel that I know where I am going with this now and just need a little bit of inspiration for the last couple. Hopefully I will have a 'eureka' moment and suddenly realise what I can use!
It's been an odd time since I last blogged, my 86 year old father in law has collapsed and been taken into hospital twice, now safely home, only to have mother in law feeling poorly too. Then on Friday I had to go the the funeral of a guy I was at school with. It really isn't right to be going to funerals of people my own age and it was a very emotional day for those ex-classmates that were able to attend. So many happy, silly school days memories. I can honestly say that I loved my school days, my classmates were such a good crowd and many of us have kept in touch over the last 34 years since we left. Put us in a room together and we all immediately slip back into an easy friendship.
Eureka! I'm going to go through the old school photos, plenty of scrapping opportunities there ...

Thursday 22 April 2010

Thought for the day

For those who don't know, I work as a school secretary/exams assistant in a girls high school. My kids are grown up now (aged 20 and 23) and I often feel that I have seen and heard most things while they were school age but sometimes I overhear a conversation that makes me smile with the logic that can only come from a teenager.
Year 9 is , I feel, the hardest year for a girl. You're 13 going on 14, too old to be considered a child but too immature to be a young woman. You're at that age where you want to push boundaries, if only to find out what happens when you do. You're trying to keep up with your peers even if some of the things you hear and see are confusing. Some of you will be trying to find something smart to say in any given situation just as a small act of rebellion.
Today we had a fire drill and I left the building behind a group of Year 9 who were leaving the science block. Protocol dictates that we all evacuate the buildings in silence, but there were a couple of girls laughing and chattering. 'Girls! Silence! Stop talking immediately' came the orders from the science teacher. As I walked past them I overheard one say to the other 'Yeah, right. 'Cos it's only people who are talking that get burnt in a fire.' Great logic eh?

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Progress report

Well McSherrif's diagnosis is that I have suffered severe trauma to the hand which may or may not heal quickly. I'm not sure I liked the way he sighed and shook his head as he turned to walk/wheel out the door. I'm to be put on a diet of sugar lumps and carrots and be on total sofa rest while searching the 'catch up' channels to get up to speed on 'Ice Road Truckers'. Once a new episode is found I'm to summon him immediately, he will cancel all operations and consultations while he sits with me to ensure that I concentrate fully. I think I may need to check his credentials out on .
Anyway - to take my mind off the pain and distress and immobility of hand, I am going to concentrate on my list of requirements for the May 1st crop with SHIMELLE . Houston, I think we may have a problem. 22 photos. TWENTY TWO? I have problems finding 2 per crop, how am I going to find 22? Looks like we are doing 9 pages including title and closing pages so it will be a busy day. I shall need to stay well away from sharp instruments! So that is 22 photos (did I mention that already?) all in the theme of sprigtime, love or family. 22 photos all in the same theme? Oh I feel faint ....
The papers we will be using are from the Dear Lizzy range. Go check them out, aren't they gorgeous?!!!
Twenty two photos ... pass me the sugar lumps Doc .....

Monday 19 April 2010

New doc on the block

I love Grey's Anatomy. It feeds the hypochondriac in me. It gives me whole new medical issues to worry about. It constantly reminds me that even when something awful happens there is someone gorgeous to scrub in and say 'Good morning people, it's a lovely day for saving lives'. It reminds me that hospitals can be happy places as well as places of sadness and anxiety. That even when tired and exhausted after a 12 hour shift, doctors and nurses can still find time to play 'Doctors and Nurses' in the on call room. And of course - there's also the eye candy ;-)

First we had McDreamy

Then we had McSteamy

And then today I had an email from Sian which made me laugh so much I could hardly type a reply. Seems there is a new character chomping at the bit to get on the series.


Sunday 18 April 2010

Hazardous Pursuits

Equipment needed to be put in tote for next crop day:

Glues, scissors, cutters, cutting boards, pens, glitter

Plasters, antiseptic wipes, sutures, bandages and sling

(Well, maybe not all of the above) I left the Crafty Stash crop a little early today following an incident involving a filigree button that need to have the shank removed, a pair of sharp titanium scissors and the fleshy part of the thumb part of the palm of my hand. Cue blood, a general feeling of nausea and a hunt for a first aid kit in the village hall which was eventually found to contain 3 sticking plasters, a crepe bandage, and some round nosed scissors. Maybe I've been watching too much Grey's Anatomy but after I'd been patched up I wondered if I needed to get Dr Shepherd in for some neurosurgery and Dr Sloan for a bit of plastic surgery. So anyway, my advice to all you scrappers out there - be careful, craft equipment and human flesh can be a lethal combination. So tell me, what's the worst crafting injury you have had?

But anyway, here's the two pages I did manage to do - a little extra bits and bobs will be added very soon to finish them off. But I feel the need to rest and lay down and be fed peeled grapes ...

Friday 16 April 2010

Volcanic Dust Shuts Britain

How can a volcanic eruption in Iceland possibly close down the British Isles? That was my first thought yesterday, but since then the nice scientists on the news channels have explained about wind flows and mineral particles and what volcanic dust can do if it is sucked up into a plane's engine. A friend of mine is stranded on the Greek Island of Crete, her family were on a cruise around Greece and Egypt and they got off their ship yesterday to the news that England was a 'no fly' zone. She text me to see if it were a joke or really happening. It does sound a bit far fetched if you don't have the opportunity to see it on TV or Internet!
This kind of thing makes you realise how dependant we have all become on aircraft. I have another friend who is moving overseas who had gone on ahead of his wife to get their new home sorted - she was due to join him yesterday - no chance. As an island nation we have few other options - although the channel tunnel has made a huge difference to getting over to Europe now, but I suspect that Eurostar quickly became oversubscribed yesterday.
When my husband went to go to work this morning, the car had a very fine layer of some kind of dust over it but that is the only sign that there is anything untoward going on. We have blue skies and bright sunshine, how can we possibly be surrounded by volcanic dust?!
So this is an unusual subject for a post but it's such an exceptional situation I thought I should blog it for future reference.
Meanwhile, Rinda has posted her tutorial for the altered house, no prizes for guessing how I will be spending my day today ;-)

Thursday 15 April 2010

Special delivery

Well look at what arrived on my doormat this morning.

No, not the new cheque book.

No, not the polling card so I can vote in the General Election next month.

The orange air mail package from Rinda in the USA! My pieces for the House Party she is hosting ...

There's a little part of me that wants to sweep everything off the desk and clear a space, get glues and paints out and get creating. But the big grown up part of me knows that I should wait until I've seen the tutorial! There's some lovely stuff inside though, I hope I can do it justice when the time comes! Thanks Rinda!

Tuesday 13 April 2010

Geography lesson

When we took my son back to uni at the weekend I realised that even though we have been doing that journey since 2004 (his elder sister went to uni in Sheffield too!) I have never taken a photo of the place! It's not the most attractive city in the country and with it having 2 universities in the area, a vast majority of the housing is student accommodation ... say no more!
But the landscape around there and the views as you drive through the Yorkshire countryside are lovely.
The only thing I knew about Sheffield before we started going up there 3 times a year for drop off/pick ups was that it was where the movie 'The Full Monty' was filmed. There's a lot of new development going on there and we have seen a lot of changes in the last 6 years. My son is living in a village called Walkley which is on the outskirts of Sheffield and must be one of the highest points in the vicinity. You certainly need a good handbrake on your car to park in the side streets! The area couldn't be more different than where we live, some 150 miles south, so I thought I would take a picture of the views from the back garden of the house where he is living this year. He, of course, was mortified that not only was I in his back garden, (and I use that term very loosely, there is not a blade of grass to be seen!) but taking a photo as well? Mothers! How embarrassing can they be?!

Sunday 11 April 2010


It seems absolutely no time at all since I was introducing my daughter to her new born baby brother. She wasn't too impressed with him, and was more interested in if it was OK to eat the Milky Way someone had given her in the hospital waiting room.
A blink of an eye and I was dropping him off at playschool, taking him to swimming lessons and running around like a mad woman trying to keep up with him when he took part in Mini Movers (a toddler gym activity).
He was an amazing escapologist and when we used to pick my daughter up from school I was always the mother charging the length of the school field because their toddler son had released himself from his buggy straps and refused to wait nicely for the final bell to ring.
He loved moving up to primary school where his big sister was, although she once told me that I had to have a word with him and he was standing with his nose pressed up against the window waiting for her to finish her school lunch and expecting her to play with him in the playground. It really isn't cool to play with your 5 year old brother when you are 8.
He looked so grown up in his black suit when he moved up to the Boys High School when he was 11 and he started to exert his independence.
Suddenly he is a young man, in his 2nd year of studying politics at Sheffield and loving every minute of university life. But underneath that grown man who now towers over me and whose unshaved chin grazes my cheek when he gives me a hug, he'll always be my little boy. So when he told me with excitement of his plans to travel via Interrail throughout Europe for a month this summer, starting off the tour in Croatia and ending in Berlin - I was thrilled for him but a little part of me felt a pang of 'Oh my goodness .....'

Saturday 10 April 2010

Thank You!

You guys are so sweet! Thank you so much for your cyberspace hugs and words of encouragement. It was just one of those days when I felt a bit overwhelmed by things and it seemed like one thing after another. I don't think I'll delete it though, if it were an entry in a diary I wouldn't rip that page out so I will leave it be - blogging can't just be about good things can it?
So today is another day, the sun is shining, I am wearing summer clothes and the plan is to eat lunch out in the garden. This is the last day of my son's Easter break and we have the long journey back to Sheffield tomorrow, so I have to make the most of 'mum time' today!
The daughter's mood is brighter today and it seems like they have both decided it is worth trying to keep things going so ... who knows, we could be going through this again in a months time or it could be the impetus they needed to make it work.
I'm going to try and get some photos taken today, I am going to a crop on May 1 where the guest designer is Shimelle! Yes, I am going to meet the Queen of Scrapbooking! Yay!!! I'm so looking forward to it but now I need to make sure I have enough new photos to do pages worthy of her attention. Oh the stress ;-)
Thanks again for your kind words of support, they made a big difference!

Friday 9 April 2010

Tough days

It does seem that bad things all come together at the same time and at the moment our family seems to be in that position. I'm not sure it's the best thing for me to blog about so I may post this, think better of it and then edit or remove it but at the moment it's nice to sit here and type these feelings out of my system.
My brother in law started radiotherapy this week and whilst it is a bad thing that he has had the diagnosis that he needs to have it, I have to convince myself that it is a good thing too as it hopefully marks the start of his recovery. This treatment comes at a stressful time for my sister as her daughter is expecting her first baby mid May. This is my niece who lost a baby last year and who is prone to Strep infections so the moment she goes into labour, she needs to get straight to hospital to be put on an antibiotic drip. So again, a worrying time but hopefully marking the start of happy times.
Back on the home front, I have an angry son who has just found out that one of his 2nd year uni exams falls on the day his girlfriend of 2 years flies out to Africa for 9 weeks of voluntary work in a school, so he cannot go to the airport as planned to wave her off. I have a distraught tearful daughter possibly in the midst of breaking up with her boyfriend of 7 months, unsure what is the right thing to do and dreading making a wrong decision and regretting it. I have a husband whose job is unsettled, much changes afoot at work and a lot of uncertainty there. I am the kind of person who does try hard to see silver linings in grey clouds and normally I would say it is probably better for my son to say goodbye at home rather than in an airport, and that Mr Right is waiting round the corner for my daughter. Sometimes it is easier than others to put a positive spin on things, and today I am struggling.
Thanks for listening! I feel better for having put it all down in a post, but will quite possibly delete this at a later date!

Thursday 8 April 2010


This is supposed to be about using up OLD stuff isn't it? So could someone please tell me why I ended up in Hobbycraft yesterday buying NEW things? For a start, this prompt was about transparencies. I have none. Even if I did, I'm not sure that I would be able to fashion them into anything attractive. So I found myself looking at vellum. Oh, here's a pretty one, the design on it reminds me of the circular window in the Notre Dame in Paris. Oh, I have a photo of that at home .... Oh my goodness, look at that pretty butterfly cutter. Lots of people have used butterfly cutters on their pages and I could really use one of those. Oh look, and here's a pair of scissors with a curved scallop edge to them, that would look good round the circular print on the vellum. And so, here is my page using (ahem) lots of things I already had - like purple card stock, photo of me in front of Notre Dame taken on my 50th birthday, silver ink pen ... and a couple of new bits :-)

Easily distracted by pretty things

So I'm in Tesco at the pharmacy, dropping off a repeat prescription in for my daughter. "There's about a 10 minute wait, do you have any other shopping to do?" "Yes, that's fine, I have a couple of bits to buy, I'll come back in 10 minutes" I then go in search of the chicken breasts and stir fry vegetables and Hoi Sin Sauce. On my way round I find myself in the wine aisle. And at the end of the aisle, round with the flavoured liqueurs, I saw a box that had the prettiest bottle inside it. Only £6. 'New In' - the sign declared. 'Take a tall glass, fill with ice and pour a measure of this over. Add 10 ml gin and top up with lemonade' Raspberry Liqueur - mmm I'm sure I could make use of that in summer desserts. And look how pretty that bottle is. How have I lived without this? I came home and showed my daughter the beautiful bottle and we both agreed it reminded us of the Vivienne Westwood jewellery collection with the jewel encrusted orb. We mixed the drink and both agreed that it really was delicious. Then she asked the crucial question: 'Did you pick up my prescription?' .....
I knew there was something else I was supposed to be going back for ;-)

Monday 5 April 2010


See that blue bottle in the photo? That's sun tan lotion. When was the last time you used yours? Feels like it was years ago that we needed it and it definitely isn't a factor 20 day today here. This is the layout that I did for the sketch challenge at Saturday's crop. I had taken along this photo of the 4 of us on holiday in Portugal back in the mid 90s with the idea of using it on a page kit that I had bought at a Crafty Stash crop a while ago. However, when I saw the sketch I realised that I could use the papers I had brought and use them for my own ideas on interpreting the sketch Karen from Eclectic Keepsakes had given us.
Now, is it worth keeping that sun lotion out of the cupboard? Let's just check the weather forecast ... no, don't think I'm going to be needing it again any time soon!

Sunday 4 April 2010

Easter Weekend

Firstly, Happy Easter! Isn't it lovely to have a long Bank Holiday weekend? Time to relax and spend time with the family and remember that it's not just about chocolate!
The weekend here got off to a good start, I went to a crop run by Eclectic Keepsakes and they had a guest designer there , SJ Dowsett, who had designed some adorable cards for us to make. They were fun to do and you've just got to admire the talent that S J has. I have trouble drawing a straight line with a ruler, so no way could I design little characters like these:

The first half of the day is allocated to doing your own projects and we were also given a sketch challenge to do. I've forgotten to photograph the design I came up with for that at the moment, but I also used the time to do the 'chipboard' prompt from the Shimelle class. I have so little chipboard that this was a tough one for me, but I sneaked a few bits onto this page and hope it qualifies for the 'chipboard' category. Speaking of Shimelle ... guess who is the guest designer appearing IN PERSON at the next crop .....

Friday 2 April 2010


By the time I started scrapbooking, I think buttons had reached their height of fashion and other things had taken their place in the embellishment world. I can think of no other reason why I do not have the dozens of buttons that other people have! In fact, in making this layout I have halved my supply of buttons.
These photos were taken in Menorca in 1995, kids aged 8 and 5. Sitting in a beach bar overlooking Cala Galdana beach. I can still remember that day so clearly. One of those lovely days where the sun is shining, everyone is happy and enjoying being together. Definitely one for the 'Celebrate Life' album!