Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween.

At the end of September I saw the pumpkins go on sale and wondered to myself whether Ali would still be interested in Halloween, being as how he is 8 now and everything.
So I bought a big 'un and he was so excited. 

Bearing in mind that he does not tolerate photo shoots, snaps, portraits or indeed the camera anywhere near him without a scowl, I was astonished that he wanted me to take his photo with his new pumpkin.

I used them here for this challenge class for the UKS Cybercrop.

Quite quickly I could see that we would need another pumpkin. I could tell this because I found him in the utility room with his pumpkin and a screwdriver somehow managing to make a hole and extracting the seeds which he then insisted on planting in the garden. We explained the pumpkin growing cycle to him and he has agreed to hold off for a bit.
So I bought him another and it has been hidden in the shed.
The dressing up bag has been raided.
The lounge has been decorated.

Cobwebs have been strewn from the light fitting and spiders attached.

...and scary movies acted out.

I used these photos for a challenge class from the cybercrop at UKS.

Finally, I made him a wreath to add to his decorations which was from a challenge on UKS.

I would like to say a big thank you to my teamie Maria who sent me these halloween papers from Fancy Pants last year, they are gorgeous and I have so enjoyed using them.

So I think we are good to go now. I am off to find the haribos.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Damien Hirst has gifted Verity, a bronze statue of a pregnant woman wielding a sword and scales with a cut-away portion that shows her insides, to us for 20 years. It has caused a right ole ruckus in our little town. He may as well have called her Marmite.

I have reserved judgement until I could see what she looks like in place and today was that day, they hoisted her up just yesterday and she even made the national news.

I am really happy with it, yes she is a bit freaky, what with some of her innards on show :D but she is a great size, big enough to be a statement but not overwhelm the pier and cope with Hillsborough Cliffs behind her. The bronze is absolutely stunning and with the sun shining on her today she looked great.

We cannot get right up to her yet as they are still installing the lights.

I was so inspired, I came right home and after dinner made a tag book for a UKS pre-crop challenge.

The view from Larkstone Cove.

Alex was not at all happy, he said she was rude and scary. Fair comment an eight year old boy hasn't much time for pregnancy or naked ladies. It will be interesting to see what he thinks when her time is up and he is 28.

He was much happier when we moved away from her a bit.

and we couldn't resist the silly photo.

 Apologies for the poor light on the photos. My big camera has broken down. Which is A Very Bad Thing. Camera Hospital time.

There were so many people there today and the harbour shops were doing a roaring trade, if it brings in even a percent extra income it will be fab.
If you are interested here is the clip from the news (please scroll down to the first video, it will ask you to log-in if you aren't on facebook but you can just close the window). Now I would just like to say that I cannot be represented by, or held accountable for, some of my townsfolk's views ;)
Especially the man at the end that thought a pirate would be preferable.  
Hello? Is it suddenly 1812?
I doubt Walt Disney World Ilfracombe would follow :) Alex would be happier if it did of course.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

10 Things on the 10th.

Shimelle hosts a blog link with our top tens, bottom tens, whatever 10 things strikes us. I haven't joined in since I was posting my 10 things I was looking forward to in the summer. So now, 10 things that I am looking forward to in this new season.

1. Candle Light, Lamp Light.

I honestly cannot decide whether I like the clocks going back or forward most, I truly love both and I am so fortunate that I live in such a seasonal country, indeed, how could I love the Spring so much without the depths of Winter to come from? I don't need to choose, I have both.
So as I go about like Wee Willie Winkie, lamp-lighting all over the house (indulging the electricity bill), I feel my cosy inner-light going on as well. I want stew, thick socks and warm drinks.  

This is the illustration I remember from my childhood, so lovely to see it.

2. Autumn Clothes.

It doesn't really matter what is in fashion; boots, skirts, cardigans are pretty much ok any year I think. The fact that I am a little on the large side *snort* also means that I welcome layers and covers wholeheartedly. No more sartorial school run dramas.....cardigan, hat, boots, mascara (maybe). Simple.

3. Cybercrop on UKS.

I am indebted to the UKS Monopoly CC as it was the one that got me out from lurking, joining in and then trying to find a team and finding not only some scrapping inspiration but some very best friends in that team, The Bijoux Belles :)
I am a Detective and looking forward to it.

4. Halloween.

Bubble, Bubble, Toil & Trouble and all that....The pumpkin came home yesterday and my young man was taken with it, he even wanted his photo taken with it....and he never, ever, ever, ever, ever wants me to take his photo.

5. Being part-time.

I know I have banged/harped/bored on about this, but the difference it has made to me is immense and I am so looking forward to trying to make it work for us all. I have been focusing the extra time on the kids to start with, but I am also determined to take the time for me as well, running, swimming, crafting, blogging, setting up a crop etc etc.

6. Swimming.

I am looking forward to it, pity the poor unfortunates that happen to go at the same time as me. Not only am I not swimsuit ready, I have bought prescription goggles. Really. Now I have a question, do I carry the goggles nonchalantly as I attempt to get from the dressing room to the pool without being able to see or should I put them on and just walk out with them on. Please do leave me your answer...

7. Theatre visits.

Ali and I are off to the Welsh Ballet's interpretation of Roald Dahl's Red Riding Hood. Alex and I still screech with laughter at that one and as a dance, I think we will love it.
You can see a bit more about it here.
Louis and I are off to a performance of Michael Morpurgo's Farm Boy. We haven't read it yet, so must do that, or should we?
You can see a bit more about it here.
I found out just yesterday, as my mum is researching the family tree, that Michael Morpurgo's father-in-law was Sir Allen Lane the founder of Penguin Books, who we also found out is my first cousin three times (I think three times) removed. I am very excited by that news :)

8. New Class & JYC from Shimelle.

I have just enjoyed doing LSNED and I love classes, especially Shimelle's so this is looking good to me on the horizon. I am really looking forward to being part-time to really soak up the season this year and not be in such a mad rush the whole time...and exhausted by Christmas Eve.

9. Handmade Holiday & Economising.

Again with the part-time! But I would like to make a lot of the gifts and cards this year and also have already enjoyed paring down the material things that I buy, with little thought, to things I really need. It has already made me a lot less wasteful. Erm, I might have stocked up on the paper lines that I want before the salary dropped. Priorities ladies, priorities.

10. Lighting The Lights.

My favourite event of the year in our town, we are a large coastal town, but small enough that you know so many faces and it feels as though the whole town turfs out to watch all the children from all the schools parade through the high street with their lanterns and then the lights turned on with fireworks. A lovely start to the Christmas season.

Now I won't mention Christmas again until November.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Storytelling Sunday - October

Sian is hosting Storytelling Sunday over at her blog From High In The Sky. There are always so many lovely stories over there to read.

Yesterday was so beautiful that Alex suggested a trip to Woolacombe Beach. It took me about 2 seconds to agree. No other member of the family could be persuaded of this and so we set off on our own.

We had a fab afternoon. Digging battlements each and having a war. For the record Snakey Seaweed Castle fell to Feather Kingdom ( I wasn't allowed to name either, and really, he had it covered there).
He was thrilled with finally being able to make proper sandcastles by himself, seems 8 is the perfect age for patience, listening to your mother, co-ordination and strength for the big buckets to be flipped into the perfect shape successfully.

So the story today was sparked by watching this video when we got home of one of his trips to get water for his moat.

Since he was a toddler he has tried to fill his variety of moats. With his hands as a little toddler and as an older toddler it made me smile to watch him struggle with the bucket with water in and by the time he waddled to his moat, there was very little in that bucket. 
As a small boy, he used a variety of buckets and on one notable occasion he used some nappy sacks that we had in our pockets for the dogs, ahem. That was make-shift as I forgot the buckets and spades. What a superhero Mother I was not that day, especially as it was spring and the shop wasn't open to get any! I could not believe how long he wanted to carry water in a nappy sack up and down from the river into the moat. 
I guess it is one of those things, you know it won't work, everyone tells you it won't work, empirical evidence collated by yourself tells you it isn't working, you even describe it as "I know it will fade away", but you need to just do it.
There he is, just 8 and still trying to fill his moat. I love the optimism.

I made this for a scraplift challenge we are having in our social group The Bijoux Belles on UKS. You can see the challenge here on Sue's blog.
I've also used up some of the lovely buttons that my other teamie Susi makes and you can take a peek at her Etsy Shop here.

Have a lovely Sunday. Coffee is brewed, bread is toasted, i'm off to read the stories that are up so far.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

September in Numbers.

I am recording my Month in Numbers which is a great idea of Julie Kirk over at Notes On Paper.

So September, I recorded a lot of it as I was also doing LSNED. I love this way to pick out some faves though.

30 pages of LSNED completed, it is a great project and the same happened this year as last, there were a few days at the beginning when I did it daily and then a chunk of week 3 just was one liners of what happened. I managed to complete it on the last day so I was chuffed to bits with that. I also used all scraps as well so that made me really happy.
3 cakes made. I am not too bad at making cakes and icing them with a ganache or runny frosting but any more than that and I am clueless. My youngest son was 8 on the 24th and he wanted a moshi monster cake as he is obsessed. Well I managed to decorate it enough to keep him happy.
I watched lovely youtube to see how to colour fondant easily, lay it on the cake and burnish it. I was quite happy with the result and I don't think he noticed that the only moshi monsters on the cake were paper ones. It has inspired me to practice now though, so I made a chocolate cake and a lemon cake for the business plan launches we had at work this week.
2 pairs of onesies bought for the boys. I did not know that they were cool! I want one now....

1 new skill that Shimelle encouraged us to try. Crotchet. It is a new year resolution of mine to learn how to crotchet small flowers for my scrapbooking. I have had a few tries to no avail, but a few things collided this month which gave rise to a small measure of success. I am still a ham-fisted beginner, but I feel so relieved that I get it a bit!
3 children back to school. I used an idea I saw on Rachel Elliot's blog for recording which birthday it is and adapted it for the year group they are going into.
2 days wandering about my town.

Here is my layout to record the numbers, with a couple of the photos. I have scraplifted Susi's layout from here.

Hello October.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

LSNED. Finished. Happy.

Pesky work threatened the finishing of this project…but I prevailed. The satisfaction with last years project spurred me on to complete this year.
Unfortunately I cannot break this down for you, it is just a ton of photos now as I have the last two weeks to do in one. I love to record my scrapping here as it helps me to keep it all straight and in order.
So we are going back in order.
The New Skill Saturday has been brilliant, I have got so much better at crotchet….it even vaguely looks right!
IMG 5788
Some thoughts about how being Store Designate (boss lady) for a couple of weeks has made my edges much sharper and that I had a few apologies to make this week.
IMG 5789
A stroll down to the town can reflect some things.
IMG 5790
Ali's ingenuity is astounding some days. I have no idea how he got to this game, but I am impressed and I had fun!
IMG 5792
A joyful moment, my brother and I had a shorthand (well you do don't you) and I miss his banter. Since he died I have shut the feelings out, the horror comes on me when I think that he is gone and I usually shut it down really quickly. Today I thought of him and how he loved tinned pears and a joke we had about it. Today was the first time I remembered him without shutting it straight down and was able to comment on it to Mum.
IMG 5793
Birthday boy Ali, of course he had to wear the birthday hat, everyone does.
IMG 5794
He lives out loud. Love that quote.
IMG 5795
A little glimmer of making a tiny bit of money from crafting is on the horizon, from a wedding invite I made here.
IMG 5797
New Skill Saturday, I managed the treble, maybe, I think!
IMG 5798
I finally used some of the waste from die-cutting squares to use as embellies.
IMG 5799
I *heart* turquoise :)
IMG 5800
Some thoughts on change. I train it, coach it and examine my own feelings about it a load at work.
IMG 5801
Quick and simple.
IMG 5802
Simply a Moment. Alexa's great idea and I hope to go back and make a 12x12 page.
IMG 5803
New Skill Saturday, The Help.
IMG 5804
Nearly done.
IMG 5805
All done and bound. Happy and proud of my learnings.
IMG 5785