Sunday, 20 November 2011

Christmas Garland

The beautiful garland by Corinne Jones is over at Shimelle’s Christmas online crop and our challenge was to make a garland of our own. I finished the start of my garland, I want to add to it over the next couple of weeks and then hang it over the fireplace.

Apologies for the poor photo.


MME Lost & Found Christmas and my favourite BG Jovial Smile

Card Challenge #3

Melissa Mann set this challenge over at Shimelle’s Christmas online crop.


I have learned from this that I am not nimble enough for weaving very much at all. I like the result. I may add a central embellishment for a focal point, not sure.

Christmas Tag Challenge

Mindy Miller set this challenge over at Shimelle’s Christmas online crop.


The glittery card did for my sewing machine needle Sad smile

I like it though.

Card Challenge #2

Pam Brown set this challenge at Shimelle’s Christmas online crop.


I’ve too many cards that I would like to make to try the intricate cutting that some of my flower paper would demand. So this suited me much more Smile

More Echo Park paper from last year. I love that stuff.

Card Challenge #1

Leah Farquharson set this challenge at Shimelle’s Christmas online crop.


I made my own rosette with a strip of paper, punched a border on it, spritzed it with shimmer mist to make it sparkly and pliable and then roughly folded it and held it down with the circle embellies. TH banner die for the title. This will be one for someone to hand to as I don’t think it’s going to go in the envelope Smile


omgmyfabnieceis14today….if I say it quickly enough I can cope with it Smile
It seems hardly credible that it is 14 years since I got the call to say she had arrived. I was at sea at the time working and I was fortunate that it was only a couple of days until watch change so I could get home to see her.
She was a gorgeous scrappy little thing, My favourite way to spend the day was taking her out and having her over at our house….now she is here all the time as I am fortunate enough to have her living with me.
She is whip smart, kind, thoughtful, fun, cool and sassy.
Lauren 14 Sepia
“You've gotta dance like there's nobody watching,
Love like you'll never be hurt,
Sing like there's nobody listening,
And live like it's heaven on earth”

William W. Purkey.
Go for it Lauren……I’ll be stood right next to you cheering you on.

Oh and those hair extensions look great honey.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Cocoa Tints–Colour Combo Blog Hop

At last I finally finished a colour combo blog hop challenge ahead of time Smile
Picture 2 (4)
I always love the colour combo, but this time especially (thank you talented Amy), I think it lends itself to a pretty pretty project and as my lovely niece Lauren appears to be having her 14th Birthday this weekend then I made her a card/minibook to scrap her own reminder of it. She lives with me so she can use my stash quite easily.
I started with the sheet of Prima Fairy Flora in 6x6, some Thorndon Hall and some stash. I have pretended that the cream is more white (i’ll blame it on my screen resolution) and used white DL envelopes to make a minibook based on the fab tutorial that a very clever and dear friend Susi gave for one of her projects for the Christmas Countdown over at Creative Craft World.
The front cover….
…..and some of the pages.

Thanks Susi Smile
I’m also going to enter it into Shimelle’s pocket challenge as there are lots of pockets for Lauren to slip her tickets and receipts into.
Thank you so much for making it through the hop, i’ve already seen next months colour combo and it is gorgeous.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Ten things on the Tenth

10 things I have done or am doing this week…

1. Making and enjoying Butternut Squash, Sage & Honey Soup.


2. Getting a new boss.

3. Dealing with lots of emotions at work as we have lost our overtime budget and some of my managers are having a hard time with it.

4. Looking forward to the staff Christmas Party on saturday. A little early, but then it will be done. I’m so happy that 71 of our 115 staff have decided to go Smile Yummy Christmas Carvery.

5. Making a further 2 Christmas Cards to add to the pile. They will be done by the 28th November. They will, they will, they will.

6. Dreading but enjoying a trip to Newbury Racecourse the happened yesterday to celebrate the success of our apprentices successfully passing their course.



Well done Dom & James Star so proud of them, and thank you Dom for driving.

7. Helped Ali, my youngest, to write his first book Rolling on the floor laughing We are on chapter 3 already. He cracks me up, I have strict instructions to write another sentence before he gets home.

8. Despaired of said youngest when he got into trouble for fighting yesterday. They give with one hand and take away with the other.

9. Breathed a huge sigh of relief when the garage said that it wasn’t the end of the road for my beloved ancient car and actually was much, much cheaper than I feared. Christmas is still on Smile

10. Proudly watching Ali take part in his first Remembrance Day Parade as part of his Beaver Pack. I get choked up watching the Parade anyway as the scale of the loss of life since 1914 is is too enormous to comprehend and I value deeply that we still remember them in such a way. This year will be even worse I think.

Sometimes when you think about your week there is much more happening than it appears at first glance. It is work heavy as well which is often the way with my job at this time of year. As I work in retail I spend November helping the store to prepare for Christmas, then I take the last week of November into the beginning week of December off as holiday and prepare home for Christmas and then hopefully I can enjoy the season. Especially since I have found Journal Your Christmas last year. For more ‘10 things on the 10th’ posts and a chance to find out more about JYC please head on over here to Shimelle’s lovely blog.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Little Ted & The Cloudburst

I think it would be safe to say, without likely chance of retribution or a libel case at the High Court, that my brother is and always has been very, very naughty and very, very funny.

I could give you many, many examples of the former and the latter. Many, many of these examples are not blog fodder to be fair Smile Hey, this is a family show Smile

But once upon a time, a good long while ago the signs were there.
This cherubic little boy….
had a teddy bear called Little Ted, was there a Big Ted? No-one can remember! It may have come from PlaySchool- The Cbeebies for the 70’s generation. I had Selly, an elephant I had from birth, I could not pronounce elephant, so she was my Selly.

So, the story of the cloudburst, in 1978 when I was 4 and Rich was 3 our lovely Mum took us out for a walk. Now we were such blessed children, we lived on Lundy Island until ‘78 and this was our first summer on the mainland but we moved to a hamlet next to a farm so it was still quite wild and we had such great walks. One of our favourite new walks was to the local reservoir which was just about do-able for Rich’s little welly-feet.

On this particular occasion we had insisted on taking Selly and Little Ted, I can remember as clearly as yesterday (if not more so) us showing the ducks to Selly & Little Ted and enjoying seeing the water tumble down from the lower reservoir to the Wilder stream, which runs about 50 metres from where I live now.
As we trundled back Mum pointed out the big dark clouds that were streaming over ten-acre field which was on the hill over the hamlet…….

It started off with a few fat drops of rain and then suddenly as if someone was wringing out the clouds there was a deluge….Rich and I were so surprised and shocked, it was quite scary. But Mum took us through it so well; she has such natural people skills and you should have seen her. She made it so exciting rather than scary.
"Oh it’s a cloudburst" she said, "the clouds are so full they have burst on us, lets run and jump in it." "This is what wellies are for."
I remember rushing along in it holding Mum's hand in one hand and Selly in the other and the feel of the water dripping off my eyebrows and eyelashes and being so taken by the imagery of a new word, cloudburst. I have experienced cloudbursts a few times over the years and I am instantly transported back to that red welly walk.

Well we were drenched, not just damp but soaked.
Mum did what any Mum would do and hustled us indoors with towels, lit the fire (we had a real one) and whilst she was running the bath and making hot choc got us to strip off to pants and vests and sit in front of the fire in our dressing gowns.
Being the good girl I am, I went out to the kitchen to see if I could help-more likely looking to see if there were any biscuits to go with the hot chocSmile
Mum suddenly said “What’s that smell?”
Then “Oh God, what’s he burning?”
A mad wet rush of wet Mummy in wet, drippy clothes dashing past me to the lounge.
Me scarpering after her…
Where we found Little Ted’s feet smouldering in the fire.
“He was cold Mummy, I wanted to warm his feet up”
Poor Little Ted, his feet had melted and the fibres fused into plasticky brownness.
Little Ted wears a pair of Rich’s little brown patterned socks to this day to hide his poor little feet.

Rich meant well; and my goodness there are more tales to tell of well-meaning out-doing sense over the years.
This story was inspired by Sian’s Story-telling Sunday series that she has hosted this year.
I hope She runs it again another year.
Please pop over to From High In The Sky if you haven’t arrived from there to see this months stories. There is always a lot of cracking stories to read.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Obsessed by Halloween

I mean properly obsessed, not just a passing fancy, but really over the top obsessed by Halloween.

Ali turned 7 a few weeks ago and I have seized the zeitgeist of him right now and his obsession and fed it zealously. I suspect this will be the year, the year, the last year I have a child that believes in Father Christmas.

So I have indulged the halloween obsession and will fuel the christmas obsession as well. It might be the last as a Mummy.

It all started 3 weeks ago when Ali started asking ‘how many days?’

He then had a list of things he needed and wanted. He counted up and portioned out his money (and mine). When we could afford things and which days I should buy them.

Monday 24th October

Uncle Rich took him out for breakfast and bought him a cuddly pumpkin that sings a song and flips its lid up and down. A thing of beauty.

Tuesday 25th October

I bought home the biggest pumpkin I could find. He hugged it. The pumpkin has had more cuddles than I have.


Wednesday 26th October

Ali wears Bat wings all day and sleeps in them. The cuddly bat he had years ago has been washed and was clutched in his hand all day and night.

Thursday 27th October

I take Ali out on errands and treat him to a cuddly witches familiar (complete with a purple cape and hat) which has a song and rolls over when you squeeze it’s paw. It is literally the best ‘thing’ I think I have ever seen.

Crazy Halloween Cat

We made gingerbread men.



The Cat had his tongue out Nyah-Nyah



Friday 28th October

I am dressing up as a witch (naa I didn’t fight it Smile)

and Ali was brilliant, he made sure I had a wand, he got me a stick from the garden and put foil on the end, he got me a light-up fibre-tipped wand from last year, made sure I had my hat and cape and also that my face was painted. Most sweet thing, he came to me quite formally with aforementioned crazy cat and offered her to me and said, “I don’t want to let her go but would you like to borrow her to take to tesco”. My heart melted as sharing isn’t Ali’s forte. I was gracious in my hunger to take her with me and she was an absolute hit at work.

IMG_1357 (2)

Me with the green face (and The Cat under my arm).


Lovely Ellen that had gone to so much trouble to order these scary contacts from the internet. Not sure that she should have been serving customers really, but they seemed to like it Smile


The dress-up winner, “Cereal Killer” I’ve given Matt an extra day holiday as a prize Star


The Cat having a rest in the pumpkin patch!


The Cat having his dinner! I knew Ali would worry Smile

Ali-Bat as my friends nick-named him became Ali-Skelli as the dress-up box came out and he was through it like the wind Smile

Saturday 29th October

Ali-Skelli became Ali-Ghost. Mummy Witch became Mummy Pumpkin. Complete with Orange Peel Stickles all over face Smile


Sunday 30th October

Ali-Donkey, (see previous post)


Dressed-up as Donkey from Scared Shrek-less. Pumpkin carving and hugging.





I got home late Sad smile, we went trick-or-treating but it was after the littlies, ended up out with the teens (many, many doors shut and windows suspiciously dark Sad smile) It rained halfway round, not October spooky drizzle, but full-on November rain. We were drenched by the time we got home.

Many thanks to the lovely ladies who did answer the door and humour my little Ali (including a lady who had gone so far as to paint her pumpkins and squashes white with black paint)

Hot Choc for me and warm milk for Ali…well, I like to think of him having a warm drink but really he doesn’t like it so it was cold, but still, a better image for you to think i’d warmed it for him. I would have, honest injun.

The run-up was better than the event. Isn’t that a metaphor or a simile or something, for life?