Monday 31 October 2016

Memorandum Monday

Don't come too close fellow bloggers, there's germs aplenty over in Deb's World today.  But nothing to stop me joining in with Sian's Memorandum Monday.  Let's just say that my husband is enjoying the side effects of me having laryngitis this weekend i.e. peace and quiet.

Last week I was at the beginning of revamping my son's bedroom.  Which, as requested, I am most definitely not turning into a craft room {ahem}  When I left you  I think I had just realised that the tin of paint left over from the dining room was not going to be enough to cover over that hideous dark royal blue endurance paint and had gone to Homebase to have some Dulux paint colour matched. 

I have to say that the matching was pretty good, the Dulux wall is on the opposite side to the one which was covered with two coats of Farrow and Ball so you don't see them next to each other.  But, whilst we are really pleased with the finished room, my husband still maintains that the F and B paint is superior to a colour matched Dulux one and 'well worth the extra money'.  It's definitely a thicker consistency and the coverage is better so less hard work getting a good end result.  So that's my product comparison done and dusted! 

I keep going in there to look at it as it looks so much better than before.  In an effort to totally overhaul the room we decided to dismantle the old dark wood chest of drawers that were in there and replace them with some of the Kallax cube storage from Ikea.  Hadn't been to Ikea since J went to uni so that was 8 years ago.  We started off with the 'oh look at that, we could do with one of those' impulse buys, working our way round, and round, and round.  We had also gone to buy a picture ledge to go in the newly decorated dining room - I am happy to say that this is now a finished project! 

Why is it though that whenever I do go to Ikea, what I am looking for is always at the end of the building and I've clocked up 10,000 steps trying to locate it?
Anyhow, mission accomplished, we returned home and spent the afternoon building units and finding homes for the things which are going to be stored in it. 

Totally not going to be craft related things though if anyone asks.  Never.  Absolutely not.

However, buying something new in Ikea wasn't my main subject matter for this Monday.  Now, it's Halloween tonight so it's only right I come up with something a bit scary.  I have something to share which may be horrifying to some of you scrapbookers out there.  Sit down if you are easily upset. 

This weekend I have thrown away the vast majority of my scrapbooking papers. 

OK, I'll give you a moment to gather your thoughts.  Truth is, I haven't scrapbooked for many a month.  In fact those months have spread to at least a couple of years.  Whilst I still enjoy looking at other's work and love looking at the albums I have made I just don't feel the urge to scrapbook any more.  Maybe it's to do with the empty-nest syndrome, I don't have so many people to take pictures of to make into pages and there's only so many cute dog pages you can make.  Yes I know we have an adorable grandson to fill a dozen books already but in reality I'm just as happy making online photo books to display photos.  We've done them for the last four holidays we had and keep them on the coffee table and I look at those far more than I do my scrapbooks.

So here's my first for the week -

This is the first time that my scrapbooking tote bag has been neat and tidy since I first bought it. 

I have put a selection of papers and thickers together to give to a lady at work who has a young daughter who enjoys making things so I know it will be going to a good home.  But boy had I held onto some stuff that was never going to be used!  Little scraps of scraps, too tiny to do anything constructive with.

off to a new home
I've held onto whole sheets of letters and numbers, and buttons and pearls and glitter glue etc as I do still enjoy making personalised gift tags and the odd card but on the whole, all my scrapbooking 'stuff' like punches and stamps and the like now fits into one square 20" x 20" holdall.  Which definitely won't be stored in that spare bedroom we've just decorated.  Absolutely not. 

Just like those drawer inserts in that new white furniture won't be filled with balls of wool and fat quarters of patchwork fabric.  As if. Oh wait a moment.  Too late.   


Monday 24 October 2016

Memorandum Monday

It's the first day of the half term holidays over here in Deb's World and a busy day it's been too.  But never to busy to join in with Sian's Memorandum Monday.
But before I tell you the new thing I tried today, we need to first set the scene.  Let me take you back to the summer of 2007.  It wasn't a good summer for my son, in fact it was a summer he's probably pushed to the back of his mind.  AS exams had been taken, results would be arriving at the end of the summer holidays.  His first serious girlfriend had broken up with him and he failed his driving test.  Things were looking very bleak. 
In an effort to cheer himself up and make some changes, he asked if he could decorate his bedroom.  After a week of being totally despondent and just sitting around moping, we were happy to let him choose his own colour scheme and do his first bit of decorating, a nice project to do over the summer and keep him busy.  He went off to Homebase and came home with two tins of paint.  One a neutral cream and one blue.  One dark blue.  Very dark blue.  Endurance paint - with a shiny surface which you could scrub ('they didn't do it in any other finish and I liked the colour')  I loathed it.  But he loved it and he had such enthusiasm I didn't like to suggest maybe we return it for another colour. 
The plan was for friends to come and help him and to give them their credit, they rallied round, painted a first coat on all walls then went off with him to Subway for lunch and never returned.
While they were gone I looked at the patchy cream walls and quickly ran another coat over those.  Jon returned for dinner, declared himself thrilled with the lighter walls ( I kept the information about their 2nd coat to myself) and promised to finish off the darker ones the next day. 
Which he did.  Well, he did one of them but it's not so much fun without your mates to help out and then someone rang and asked if he wanted to go into town and ... you can guess the rest.  I finished off the 4th wall, put the furniture back and it's stayed that way ever since. 
Time came and went and so did he.  Three years in Sheffield at Uni, home for a year then off to Edinburgh for two years, home for six months then setting up home in London 18 months ago.  He's always joked that I was not to turn his room into a craft room or rent it out to a lodger as you never know when he might want to come back. 
Every time I go into that room (which is gradually turning into a room in which I store my craft equipment, which is not the same as turning it into a craft room is it?) I look at those dark walls and reach for the paint charts.  I said to him at the weekend 'You're getting married next year, you're living in London, you are clearly not coming back here to live, I'm going to decorate your room in half term', he smiled, gave me a big grin and said 'ok then, just don't make it pink'.
Now it just so happens that we had half a tin of the paint left over from the dining room and it would be a shame to throw it away so ...

Only problem was, there wasn't enough paint left in the tin.  That blue?  Horrendously difficult to cover up.  The word 'patchy' doesn't even come close.  After half a wall it was blatantly obvious that one cover up coat was never going to be sufficient.  But Farrow and Ball paint doesn't come cheap and doesn't some in small tins.  I didn't want to spend out on another 2.5 litres when I only needed 1 litre at the most so I tried something new.  Well it was Memorandum Monday after all, I needed to try something I hadn't done before so
I had some Dulux paint colour matched to copy the colour from the F&B colour chart.
It was all very high tech with scanners to copy the colour from the paint chart and squirts of various shots of colours added to the base, seal the tin, give it a good old shake and voila we had a cheap copy of an expensive paint.  It will be interesting to see how it compares when we come to put it on the wall tomorrow.  Watch this space.

Have you tried anything new in the last week?  Why not pop over to Sian's and share it with all the Memo Makers?

Monday 17 October 2016

Memorandum Monday - the circus edition

It's been a bizarre old week.
If someone had told me that one day I would be helping distribute a memo to be read out to all students in our school that included the words

'can reassure you that no clowns have been seen on, or around, the school premises'

I would not have believed them.  In fact that is something new that I had to do since last meeting for Memorandum Monday (as organised by the lovely Sian over at From High in the Sky). 

It was also the first time that an email was sent to all parents which ended with a comment from the local police:

They recommend that if anyone sees any clowns they should call 999 immediately.
Out of context, and if you hadn't heard about this latest craze on the news, these communications seem very peculiar but oh yes, our town is - along with many others - plagued by rumour and speculation that we are about to be ... visited by clowns.  I hope they know that if they come in their tiny yellow and red cars with the doors that fall off they will have to arrive at our school after 10am because before then they won't be able to park in the road because of local parking restrictions. 

There was a false alarm at breaktime on Friday and about 150 girls ran screaming through reception and down the front path because someone 'thought they had seen a clown'.  150 over excited, high pitched screaming girls.  I can still hear it ringing in my ears!  Hence the memo.  Because some of the younger girls are genuinely scared.  Some honestly believe that something bad and scary is going to happen.  People I work with who have younger children are having to comfort and reassure them and calm them down as they wake from scary clown filled dreams.  We are living in strange times.

Now for my other 'first'  - and I know I'm late to the party with this one, but this weekend I

received my first new £5 note

It feels very weird, like it's made of plastic but I think I do prefer it to the scrumpled up, torn and tatty old ones that I've been getting in my change, and it does feel like it will survive a quick washing machine adventure without needing to be pieced back together as it dries out. 

You can almost sense Winston's disapproving 'I won't take any nonsense from people dressed up as clowns.' look.

So that's my firsts for this week, head on over to Sian's to see what everyone else has been doing.

Monday 10 October 2016

Memorandum Monday

It's kind of appropriate that my subject for this week's Memorandum Monday is actually something I learnt about from Sian's own blog.

In fact sometimes I look upon Sian as my own personal search engine - far more appropriate than Google, she shares the same interests as me and knows exactly what I might find interesting.  In fact, Google only knows what I want to find out about when I mention it, Sian predicts what I might like to have a look at before I've even realised what it is I might need to know!

This week's discovery started a few weeks ago - from a casual,

 'how long ago did we last decorate the dining room?' enquiry

 - a little devious picking at a wallpaper seam -

'it must be a while, look it's starting to peel away from the wall' {ahem}. ' It's a bit old fashioned now, wouldn't it be nice to spruce it up a bit?'  After all, there are still so many Farrow and Ball paint colours we haven't used yet. 

Fast forward a few weeks, wallpaper is stripped, new lining paper put up, paint colour chosen for the 'feature wall' (Oval Office Blue - how appropriate given that the news is all about the forthcoming US elections) and talk turns to what we will put up on the wall to complete the new look.

I had already had my eye on, and had subsequently bought, a lovely carved wood panel from Nordic House, but before you click on the link, I must warn you that you will find a lot of totally irresistible things there, and I accept no responsibility for any on line purchases you may make ...
This is still nothing to do with what I did for the first time this week by the way.  Just laying the foundation for the story.  Apparently, I do this a lot.  Or so the family say.  'Just get on with the story Mum' is an expression often heard.
So anyway, as often happens when decorating takes places in one room of the house, it has a knock on effect on other things.  Whilst contemplating what to put on the blue wall, my husband said 'it would be nice to get a collage of lots of random photos that we could put in a simple frame, something reasonably priced that we could renew every now and again.'
A memory stirred, a light bulb went on in my mind - I've seen a link to somewhere that prints reasonably priced posters of collages of photos ... where would it be ... what was it called ... ???
I headed off to check the instagram/Facebook/blog pages of my fountain of knowledge - and sure enough, found a post from Sian about an app that is easy to use, easy to upload photos from your phone, not too expensive, post and packing free, and good quality.
May I introduce you to Sticky9  ...

(It only looks an odd shape as I've just taken it out of the cardboard tubing and it's still got a bit of a curl going on but once it's in a frame it's going to look fab!)
I love the fact that it's full of memories and informal shots and things that make our family who we are (No prizes for guess who the mojito, the sloe gin or the Portuguese custard tart refer to)  There's memories of two engagements and a baby, holidays and a certain furry person who owns us.  I love it and can't wait to get it in a frame and up in the Oval Office Dining Room.

Many thanks to Sian for the inspiration - now what next do you have in store for me?

Monday 3 October 2016

Memorandum Monday - the 'it's too early' edition

Hands up anyone who is thinking about putting up their Christmas tree anytime soon.  Not many eh? 
So in joining in with Sian's Memorandum Monday this week I'm sharing two firsts that I've experienced today -
The first Christmas department that I've seen this year - on, yes, the 3rd October.  Is it me or does that seem just a little bit too early?  And yet ... I did head over there to have a look (strictly in the interests of taking a photo for Memorandum Monday of course) and my walking speed definitely slowed as I passed the copper coloured baubles.  But my resolve did not weaken and I did not buy any.  Even though some of them were absolutely beautiful.  I wasn't tempted at all.  Not one little bit.  OK, yes I was, right up until the moment my husband found me and tutted about 'can't believe people can even think of buying Christmas decorations yet' ...
This was a first within a first, as it was also my first visit to see the new shopping centre that has opened up in Chelmsford.  I had a voucher from John Lewis offering me free tea and cake in their new store, and an invitation from White Stuff offering a discount and it seemed like the stars were aligning to say I needed to go and see what it was like.  So to make up for posting a totally unseasonable photo at the beginning of this, let me share the view from outside John Lewis, showing the River Chelmer on a gloriously sunny October afternoon.

It seems crazy that this morning some people I work with woke to a thin layer of frost on their car windscreens and this afternoon, people were sitting outside restaurants in the sunshine.  Only in England eh?