Thursday, 24 December 2009

Wishing everybody ...

... a Very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy, Peaceful and Prosperous

Thanks for dropping by .....

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

To all my readers and friends ...

I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous

You will probably see the following on several blogs if you hop but I saw this on the imag-e-nation forum and couldn't resist reproducing it here. I'm sure it's something we can all relate to. I know I can.

Crafter's Night Before Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas,
I’m glued to the tree.
I’m wondering what Santa brought just for me.
Could it be cardstock or ink pads or lace?
Or some stamps, I said, with a smile on my face.
And that’s when I heard him ... “Hi Santa” I said
He replied, “You know ... good girls should be in their beds”.
“I know I should Santa and now I’ve been caught.
But I was just so excited to see what you brought”
“Well, let’s take a look in this room where you work”.
He shook his head quickly, and left with a jerk.
I heard him exclaim as he put it in gear.
“You’ve got enough crap, I’ll see you next year!


♪♪♫♪ Let meeee ♫♪♪♫ ...

♪♫♪♫♫... entertain introduce yooouuuuuu ♫♪♫♪♪ to Trevor!
Well, in a while I will - but first - I've done the decorations *lol* Actually, I put the tree up nearly 2 weeks ago. We've had some very rude comments about our tree and hubby has become very defensive of it. ☺ I saw it and couldn't resist. I thought it about time we had a change from our 12inch pre-decorated one that I've got out of it's box for the last couple of years so I threw caution to the wind and bought this new one ......

It's very 'green' (and I don't mean it's branches) as it uses no electricity. It's lights, yes, it does have lights - LED ones - run off of 2 AA batteries (OK, so they're not particularly 'green') and it takes up little room. I've not measured it but it's probably about 9 inches high in it's pot. It's a cute little tree and I can't see why anybody would want to be rude about it *LOLOL*

The remainder of the decorations were done on Sunday. Took about 5 minutes to do. It's a hard job arranging cards to fill spaces so they can all be seen.

Now Trevor .... I saw him as we browsed the Christmas section of the garden centre after Breakfast with Santa and it was love at first sight! He, and several of his friends, were so desperate for love and a good home that they'd been reduced by 50% (good job 'cos at original price he'd have stayed where he was - I wasn't that much in love - *lol*). I resisted for all of 2 minutes but found that he'd attached himself to me. He's tall and slim so what more could a girl want? He actually made a pretty good walking stick as well! Introducing Trevor .....

He reminded me of Jar Jar Binks and I love Jar Jar so why wouldn't I have found Trevor attractive? He is actually about 4 foot tall and made of metal and wood. I think the idea of him is brilliant and the workmanship is wonderful. He's been difficult to find a place for and I've no idea how I shall store him when Christmas is over but I'm sure I'll find some way ...

Anyways, that's my decorations for 2009 finished, unless we receive more cards and then they'll increase *LOL*

Thanks for dropping by .....

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Breakfast with Santa .... 2009

This has become an annual tradition now, started by Mum - Breakfast with Santa at our local garden centre restaurant. We had the 2nd sitting on Saturday morning this year and bearing in mind the weather, we were glad we did! By the look of things there were some people didn't make it. The table next to us remained empty despite being laid and a reservation name on it. This is such a good deal and the presents that the littlies received are really good. The eldest got a rock painting set, the middle one a card game and the youngest a lovely board book. Breakfast - full English for the adults and sausage, egg and beans for the littlies. The very oldest grandchildren don't come now. At 18 and 13 they're 'too old for Santa, Nana Pam' or so I was told at the weekend - *LOL* Not even a comment from me of 'Don't believe, won't receive' managed to change the mind - ☺

Here's some piccies of little ones that do still believe .... so much so the middle one was too excited to eat any breakfast at all so Daddy had a bonus *hehe*

click on any pic to be taken to an album for larger stills or a better slideshow

Thanks for dropping by .....

Monday, 21 December 2009

Getting there ...

... with the updates!
Hubby has heard from the hospital and has been given another appointment for his op that was cancelled on Friday. He's now going in on New Years Eve and this time he's been told it'll be overnight. Will probably be confirmed but it's looking as though he's way down the operating list so won't be discharged until New Years Day. Just as well we don't do anything special to see the New Year in but this op is too important to him, even if we did.

Weather update... It's rained in this area today so it's helped to clear away some of the snow. Not all of it but at least it's a bit clearer however, because it's so cold it brings the problem of ice. I managed to get out today to do a bit of shopping but didn't stay out too long as I started to feel ill half way through. Didn't do everything I wanted but not bothered. There's always another time. The food shop has been ordered and is due for delivery tomorrow morning. If there's anything out of stock we'll do without!

Anyway, back to the older updates .... Dad finally decided that he didn't want to go to the Day Centre any more so I rang and cancelled. They seemed really surprised but he's happier now he doesn't have to go again. At least he gave it a try which is all that was asked. I told the member of staff that I spoke to that he'd told me the 'old ladies' made him feel old and she laughed. Seems I was right and they are mostly younger than him, by some way, from what she said. Can't say as I'm surprised to be honest. She also told me that she was 69 herself - *lol* He tells us that he's happy with his own company and the carers that pop in and my visits are enough for him.

He refuses to have anything to do with any of the activities at the flats. There was some evening entertainment a week ago. A choir singing 'Christmas with a twist' and I offered to go over and take him. It was only in the lounge and was to be followed by tea and mince pies. Would he go? Not on your life! I've given up trying to encourage him to take part in things now. I feel as though I'm hitting head against the proverbial brick wall so not going to bother any more. He gets a diary of events so if he wants to go to something then he can ask from now on.

My brother has visited Dad twice now in the past 3 weeks *shock*. Mind you it was 3 months since his last visit - *lol* He's once again said that he'll come through (in the New Year) to take him out for lunch. Dad's still waiting for the lunch trip that was promised in August! Don't yer just love brothers?

Thanks for dropping by .....

Sunday, 20 December 2009

It's started ...

... to disappear. The snow, that is. Where there was 4 to 6 inches or more, there are now gaps showing through to the ground, even where the sun doesn't reach. Cars are losing their white blankets as are the tops of bushes. It looked pretty but we can do without it and fortunately, for this area at least, the other forecast snowfalls haven't materialised although other parts of the country have had them - including areas that missed the first lot - *LOL*

Over the past couple of weeks of non-posting there's been a fair bit going on. My left arm has become a pin cushion! On top of the various flu jabs and blood tests I've had 3 travel jabs with still one to come. The last I was daft enough to pay for! Yellow Fever - the one I was most worried about and the one that has been least bother - *lol* The blood test results have meant that I've got to have an Impaired Glucose Tolerance test .... after Christmas now! 2, yes that's TWO, blood tests to be done a couple of hours apart and fasting ones, apart from a glucose drink after the first. Such joy! I've had a change of inhaler as well. Slightly heavier duty and although it's better I still struggle. Guess there's nothing that will give me back the breathing that I'd really like so have to actually accept that I'm now limited with what I can do.

Eldest son has had his 37th birthday and officially moved out to live with his new partner and his decree nisi has been granted. He's moved out but .... his stuff hasn't - *LOL* Not sure how long we've to accommodate that but he may find it gets packed in boxes so I can have the room back. Don't think the fish will be moving anytime soon though and to be honest - I don't really want them to, as I like having them on the patio. However, if they're going to become permanent I'd like to do something with the corner they're in and disguise the pond as it's sitting on the patio and not dug into the ground.

I've had a couple of days of classes at the Glitterpot - my total relaxation days away from home. It's about the only way I can get any crafting done. On top of that the South East imag-e-nationers had their Christmas Party Craft Day. Hosted by Pippa, it saw 21 (I think) of us meet up for a day of banter and crafting followed with a meal to round the day off. Some had driven nearly 3 hours to join us and had the same journey home in horrendous, torrential rain, not arriving back home until nearly 11pm. A long, long day for them. Another couple came up from Cardiff but stayed overnight with Pippa so their day wasn't quite as tiring - *grin* A good time was had by all, even if it was a little 'cosy' - *LOL*

We started with a challenge, followed with an SU make & take by Joanne of Mainly Flowers (and a bit of 'shopping') and finished with a few projects given by Pippa and a quiz. Throughout the day were nibbles and cake and I had a first! My menu selection for the evening meal was red snapper fish. It's the first time I've ever had a stuffing ball with fish! I actually had the full roast turkey dinner (minus the pig on horseback and the yorkshire pud) with the meat substituted for the fish. Bizarre! They could have at least left the pig on horseback and the yorkshire as they gave me the stuffing ball and, because I whinged (in fun, of course), somebody ordered me a yorkshire pud - ☺. The meal was not the best I've ever had but the company was great and we had a real laugh - perhaps because of the meal (and my duff party hat!) and not in spite of it - *hehe*. All my crafty making results are over on 'Bits' but here's a few pics from the rogues gallery ...

click on any pic to be taken to an album for larger stills or a better slideshow

Now it's preparation for Christmas but as I'm very much 'bah-humbug' that's not a lot - *LOL* Haven't had any more than a 12inch pre-decorated Christmas tree and Christmas cards for the last 3 years but this year might be different .... *wink*!

Thanks for dropping by .....

Friday, 18 December 2009

It's been an age ...

..well, over 2 weeks but I'm not in hibernation! I've been busy and not felt like blogging when I've had time to relax. Even 'Bits' went by the board for a while but have caught up with that at last *phew!*  Today is a bonus day as what I'd planned hasn't happened.  We had snow overnight and early this morning and, although the main roads were passable this morning (with care) our road wasn't and I couldn't get the car out.  In fact, I didn't even try to move it when I saw the conditions.  Very, very pretty (well, it was when it was all virgin snow) but wish it had waited until next week.  Don't think we'll be having a white Christmas as it's arrived too early.  It'll probably all be gone by this time next week!

Unfortunately the weather has meant that hubby hasn't gone to hospital to have the op on his hand.  I feel so, so sorry for him.  He is in excruciating pain with it and was looking forward to going to get it sorted out.  Now he's going to have to wait until they get another space, which is unlikely to be this side of Christmas :o(  He's considered priority because of being a wheelie and needing his hands for his mobility.  He's actually housebound and has been for some while now and all because he can't transfer from his chair to a car any more as the pain is so great.

I've plenty of 'catch up' to do, including the imag-e-nation SE Christmas meet - with piccies (still got to sort them *doh!*) - but reckon I need to consult the calendar to remind me of what's happened and what I've been doing.

In meantime I've updated my profile photo - taken today, by me, with camera at arms length! First time I've tried that - OK, so I'm waaaaayyyyyyyy behind on that one *lol* - but it seems to have worked OK. I just snapped until I got one I was reasonably happy with. Never totally happy with pics of me now and usually go out of my way to avoid having them taken, 'cos I don't recognise the person that I see. It's not the person I see in my head, which is about 30 years younger and half the size *hehe!*

Thanks for dropping by .....

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Oooops! ...

... Normal service will be resumed at some point in the near future - LOL!!
Thanks for dropping by .....

Stamps & Nestibilities #2 - Workshop

Friday 11th December - The Glitterpot.
Afternoon session. 3 cards made.

Once again these classes were originally to be taken by Paula Pascual but she was unable to do them so Julie Huckstep took them instead - and very ably so!

Stamps used were Personal Impressions Essential Circles designed by Paula to be used with Spellbinders Nestibilities.  Papers were from the Magnolia, So Jolly range, Circle Nestibilites and Craftwork Cards Card Candy. The shaped card blank was the Sizzix Extra Long, Card Ornate #2 die.


Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Stamps & Nestibilities #1 - Workshop

Friday 11th December - The Glitterpot.
Morning session. 3 cards made.

These classes were originally to be taken by Paula Pascual but she was unable to do them so Julie Huckstep took them instead.

Stamps used were Personal Impressions Square Essentials designed by Paula to be used with Spellbinders Nestibilities. Papers used were from the My Minds Eye, Be Loved range, Co-ordinations cardstock and Nestibilities Labels 1 for the matting and layering.


Friday, 11 December 2009

SE imag-e-nationer's Christmas meet #2

5th December, Southwater, Horsham.
Both of the following cards were projects given by Jennie, the organiser of the meet. I started both during the afternoon but ran out of steam so took them home and finished them.

The Christmas tree card was made by cutting the outer frames, layering them onto the base card and then folding 4 different sized squares of paper and adhering them in position. Finished with a Craftwork card greeting and a jewel.
Details (by request and with thanks to Jennie and Lynn):
Card blank 14.5 cm square
Backing frame to tone (mine's silver)- 13.5cm outside, 9cm inside but it should have been 9.5cm hence I have a wider internal border than intended but I prepared it from email instructions not those given on the day. Don't think it really matters and I quite like the wider inner border.
Backing frame (to match tree) - 13 cm outside, 10 cm inside.
Four squares (to match backing frame) 7.5 x 7.5cm, 6.5 x 6.5cm, 5.5 x 5.5cm, 4.5 x 4.5cm
Instructions on how to fold the squares can be found here.

Update 8th Jan 2010: - I've now made one of these cards using a 12cm square card blank.
Backing frame to tone: 11.5cm square outside, 8.5cm square inside.
Backing frame (to match tree): 11cm outside, 9cm inside
4 squares (to match backing frame): 6, 5, 4 and 3cms square folded as before)

The star card was made by covering a square card with DP and then cutting a section of the card away, filling the gap, in this instance, with stars cut out of metallic card using a Sizzix Bigz die, layering some with stars cut from the DP. As the back of the metallic card is a browny grey - not white - I decided to back the stars with more DP so that when the card is opened the theme follows through. It also had the added advantage of strengthening the whole card. It took me a while to get my head around this one and get the layout of the stars to work but I'm really pleased with the end result. Might make this one again .... especially seeing the finished results that others did by really thinking outside the box - lol!


Thursday, 10 December 2009

SE imag-e-nationer's Christmas meet #1

5th December, Southwater, Horsham.
Great fun had by all. A challenge with a twist, some projects and an SU make and take ... brilliant!

Challenge was set ... The card could be any subject. It had to be monochromatic (having, or appearing to have, only one colour) with a toning topper. At least 2 backing papers needed and a few embellies (for example ... flowers/snowflakes or similar but relating to topper & backing papers and following the monochromatic line). There was to be an extra, surprise, element added on the day ... so it was a Challenge with a Twist! The surprise element was a card map/sketch/layout to follow.

I'd decided to use one of the stamped images I'd coloured a while back (The Greeting Farm, Dressy Anya stamp set) and to make the card 'zingy'. It's probably more zingy than in photo but light not good for photography at the moment. DP is Doodlebug and image was cut 'out of the box' style with a circle nestie to fit the Nellie Snellen Multiframe Die used behind that. Sentiment was Craftwork Cards and flower a Floral Doodle. Green metallic card used in the matting is from the kids craft section in Tesco. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out.

The SU make and take was a gift card/money holder. I loved this and, as it was an SU make and take, all the materials, stamps and finishing touches were SU. Of course I had to purchase the stamp set - Sparkly & Bright - especially seeing card samples made with it as well. Soo cute!

UPDATE: There's a tutorial for the gift card holder on this blog here.


Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Cut Flowers - Workshop

Jackie Huckstep, 27th November at The Glitterpot.
Afternoon session - 2 cards.
Floral die cut birthday cards.

Daisy flowers on pink & brown card ... Sizzlit 3 Die set, Hello Kitty - Butterfly & Flowers, Set #2. Card and aperture cut from a template designed and supplied by Jackie.

Green card cut using Sizzix Movers & Shapers - Kit #3 card, Horizontal note.
The flower was from the same set as the daisy on the pink and brown card.


Tuesday, 8 December 2009

A Christmas to Die For - Workshop

Jackie Huckstep, 27th November at The Glitterpot.
Morning session - 3 cards.

Die-cut Christmas cards combining embossing folders and Sizzix dies .... Sizzlit - Tree, Christmas #4, Sizzix Bigz - Holly & Berries, Cuttlebug embossing folders - Season's Greetings (cut up and elements used on each card) and Snowflakes.