Friday, 13 December 2013

Not a good day ...

... and will be even worse tomorrow.  Today is the start of a bad memory.  Today is the 2nd anniversary of being told that Dad was being put onto end of life care and it would be hours, rather than days.  It was the day I knew was coming, if I'm honest, from the day he was taken back to hospital, having been discharged and sent home too soon, previously.  I'd asked the medics a week earlier if he was dying.  It seemed obvious to me that he was.  They didn't deny it but they said there was hope.  There was no hope.   He was given 9 blood transfusions in 11 days.  There was something seriously wrong.  He went downhill so quickly.  It was a peptic ulcer that burst.  He bled to death.  We spent the evening with him.  Did he know we were there?  I don't know, but I felt that he did.  I phoned my brother to tell him to get there.  'I'll call tomorrow after' ... can't remember after what.  I shut down.  I just told him that Dad might not be there tomorrow.  He wasn't!  My brother never did see him in hospital.  He told me that the man he knew as Dad had died years ago.  That man had gone for me as well.  I was his 'mum', his 'wife', anything but his daughter in those last years,  after Mum died.  He was still my Dad.  I didn't visit because it was my 'duty'.  I visited and cared because he was my Dad!  Not the Dad he once was, perhaps, but the Dad that he became.  2 years ago, early tomorrow morning, 14th December, he died.  6 weeks short of his 90th birthday and 4 weeks short of becoming a great-great grandad.  Memories of him and Mum are strong right now.  Not the good memories - the one's I'd rather not have and the ones I have to bear alone.

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Friday, 6 December 2013

Headache ...

... do one!  I've had it all day and I'm fed up.  Went to my exercise class this morning not expecting to be able to get through it.  I did but only just however, came home and felt rough.  Cough is not getting any better and, although I live with one, this one is different to my norm. I feel sort of coldified (new word) it feels different and chest is very tight.  Thought I might be going down with a chest infection so phoned doc who's prescribed antibiotics and a course of steroids.  I've collected them but going to hold off of taking them for a day or 2 as I don't want to take them if I don't have to.  I'll see how things go.  Back when I had my last spirometry in the summer I was asked if I wanted a rescue pack.  Haven't had, or needed one, before so I declined.  I'm thinking it might not be such a bad idea for the winter.  I'm getting older and this COPD isn't going to go away but I do want to do what I can to delay it progressing - which is what the exercise is all about, to be honest.  Early night I think and see how things are in the morning.  Got a busy weekend so need to feel a bit more alive - lol!

Last card I've got made from the Christmas workshop.  I lied when I said I'd made all but 2 of them.  I've 3 still to make, or at least, in process of being made.  I've done bits of all 3 but not one is finished.  Not sure when they will be either.  Anyways, here's the last of the Christmas ones ... for now.
Papermania designer paper
Lilli of the Valley image & sentiment stamps
- Wink of Stella clear brush tip on the cuffs/hem of jacket , bobble and trim of hat.

Can't go and leave this post without making comment on the loss of an amazing, inspirational man and probably the most influential person of the 20th Century.  Nelson Mandela died yesterday evening, aged 95.  So many people owe their lives, as they are today, to this man.  He opened people's eyes and made them more aware that there is more to the human race than the colour of their skin.  The man done GOOD!

Nelson Mandela
The world was a better place for having you in it and would be a whole lot better if there were more like you.

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Thursday, 5 December 2013

Done! ...

... at least, it had better be!  Replacement ordered for the Christmas present that I ordered in October and that hasn't arrived.  I've heard from the company I had the order with.  They've accepted the cancellation (not that they had much choice, to be honest) and will be crediting me. Not sure how this credit will show yet but it's looking as though they credit my account and then I have to apply for an actual refund.  I asked for a refund from the outset but I'm sure the card company will ensure that's what I get.

I've sold more unwanted bits and yesterday there was an offer too good to refuse on a new machine.  The Xcut Xpress, which has ticked all my boxes with just one reservation, was on offer for one day only at a price I'd have been mad to let go, so I ordered it.  The good thing is that it's actually cost me nothing as I've used the money from my sales of unwanted crafty stuff to buy it.  Money previously spent so it's not draining my current bank balance - lol!  MInd you, I spent a lot more than I'm selling for and, bearing in mind it's all brand new, unused ... just old and mostly discontinued/retired ... I'm practically giving it away.

All mailings that needed mailing are either done or ready to go to the post office so I've only the present wrapping to do, relevant bags filled and I can call it finished until the day.  Got quite a busy time between now and then though so perhaps it's just as well I'm quite well organised this year.

Hubby took me to pick up a new satnav yesterday.  My old one wore itself out some while ago and it's replacement - hubby's old one - wasn't much better.  It didn't seem to like the south.  Worked fine north of Watford and did well in Wales.  Wasn't so keen on getting us out of Wales ... or out of my own area - lol!  Anyways, got a brand spanking new one care of Tesco Boost.  First one was named Boris, 2nd one never worked well enough for me to bother about naming.  Wonder what this one'll be called?

Now for another couple of cards from the Christmas workshop day (still got 2 to make - lol!) ....

Imagination snowflake mask
Hobbycraft sentiment stamp
White card
Stampin' Up Lovely as a Tree stamp
White embossing powder
Stampin' Up sentiment stamp
Acetate window

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Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Feeling old ...

... eldest son is 41 today!  Mind you, his son makes me feel even older when his birthday comes round.  He's not long had his 22nd birthday *scary*

Had a busy few days but apart from the 1st Christmas present I ordered back in October I've got them all now.  Contacted the card company about the 'missing' one.  I bought this particular present on the understanding it was being delivered from Milton Keynes.  Seems I was being delusional, despite what the website said as I was notified a couple of weeks after ordering it that it had been 'shipped internationally'  I've been kept informed all the way down the line, even to the point of being told that the shipment had gone missing after it had arrived at the 'local depot' and now my order has been 'locked'!  I knew I wasn't dealing with a UK company but only ordered because I thought it was coming from a UK warehouse.  Card company are raising a chargeback dispute (oh how familiar that sounds, having worked for a major card company for a few years) and I've emailed the company to tell them what to do with their order - lol!  Unfortunately what I ordered is no longer available anywhere else at a reasonable price so I'll have to get the 'upgraded' version which is a bit bigger than was really wanted but there's not much I can do about it now.

I've also been busy photographing and listing 'stuff' on eBay.  Loadsa crafty 'stuff' I don't want, will never use now - despite all good intentions.  Anyone interested can look HERE :)  I'm likely to be adding other 'stuff' over time *wink*

OK, a couple more cards from the Christmas workshop.  I've still not got round to making the remaining 2.  Not much chance at the moment either - ho, hum :)
Round card blank cut with Spellbinders nesties (I cut across straight to stop it rolling.
No idea on the white mat die
Think the deer is a Tattered Lace - not sure. Just know it was a nightmare to cut.  This was the 4th attempt.  The rest went in the bin. (Not impressed with Tattered Lace at all, I have to say.)

Designer paper, Papermania
Stamps are both Stampin' Up.
Gingerbread man was cut with a matching die/framelit.

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Monday, 2 December 2013

A couple more ...

... from the Christmas workshop. A bit later than anticipated as I've asked a question and waiting a reply which doesn't appear to be forthcoming.  Nothing to do with the cards but relevant to this post.  Will post anyway ....
I loved the diversity of the designs Clair came up with.  I so wish I had the imagination.

An 8 x 8 inch (20 x 20 cm) card.
Imagination embossing folder
No idea whose die or stamp
Spellbinders Shapeabilities - 2013 Snowflake Pendant

An A6 card
Woodware Clear Stamp - Snowflakes & Sparkles
No idea re the Let it Snow stamp or the plaque die
White embossing powder
White ribbon
Candi made with a punch and matching card scraps.
I've started the photo book of mine and Jackie's holiday to Italy earlier this year.  Should have started it sooner but I'd already done 3, or is that 4, photo books this year and I kind of ran out of steam.  It takes a while to put the holiday ones together (it takes a while to put any together if I'm honest) as I research the places we visit so I can put a little info in the book and I also like to tell little 'stories'.  I keep a diary (I know, I'm sad) on a daily basis while we're away to remind me of what we got up to when the memory of the laughs we have start to fade - lol!  Have to say I love doing the books but I do have to be in a 'creative' mood to do them as I don't just dump photos in and hope for the best.  I can take a whole evening just doing 4 to 6 pages, or less.  Layout is everything and the choice of photos is hard when there's so many to choose from.  I prepare the books and then wait for a deal to come along.  I never, ever pay full price for a book and I never buy in advance and put myself under pressure to 'perform'.  Did it once, never again.  Gave me a month and I went to the wire.  Hated it.  Much prefer taking my time and there's always an offer round the corner *big grin*

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Wednesday, 27 November 2013

A few crafty ...

... posts, I think.  I mentioned in the last post that there'd been a Christmas workshop a couple of weeks ago.  I've made 10 of the 12 cards.  Not found time to make the last 2 yet.  Here's a couple of them ...

SU Santa Stamp coloured with Promarkers
Furry bits coloured with Wink of Stella clear glitter brush pen - doesn't show though
Spellbinders die for backing ... I think.
SU tag designer paper, button and silver twine.
Colours are more vibrant in real life and also in my file photo.  Don't know why they're not here :(

All Spellbinders dies for card base and matting and layering.
Spellbinders lattice die.
Marianne Poinsettia die.
Red velvet self adhesive velvet paper stuck to card for poinsettias
Papermania shimmer dome stickers for poinsettia middle.
No idea what stamp.

On Saturday I went and saw the youngsters in their Christmas show.  They did Annie this year.  Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take any photos due to 'data protection'.  It's the first year we've not been allowed to take pics.  Such a shame.  Family photo albums will not be the same any more.  So many of little ones childhood moments going unrecorded nowadays.  Memories don't always last without a prompt, especially when you're young and you grow old.  I know.  Mum got rid of so many pictorial memories that  I'm sure would have jogged a few from my childhood.  The show was lovely.  Just wish I'd got some photos for my 2013 year book and I'm sure their Mum would have liked some to send to great-gran in Aus! *sad*

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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Oh dear ...

... all good intentions out of the window.  2 weeks without a post.  Not good enough but, in my defence, I've been quite busy.  Only quite though - lol!

The ring finally arrived and it is lovely but the service was awful.  Anyway, it is here now and will be a surprise on Christmas day.  All bar the youngest granddaughter's Christmas presents have been bought or are on order so I should be able to start wrapping soon.

There was a family photo shoot on 9th November.  Unfortunately one of our daughter's-in-law was ill and couldn't make it so it turned out a bit of a damp squib however there were photos taken of all the grandchildren together so at least that was achieved.  Only managed to find 10 photos that were of any worth though and not really the one that I wanted.  Cost a lot to end up with pretty much only one photo we wanted, although we had one taken with our sons as well so I guess that's 2 photos.  The only thing I can think we can do is to try to insert the d-i-l by photo editing.  No idea how to do that.  I can take things out of photos but never had to put anything in.  Had to talk the photographer into letting me have photos on a disc but he's only going to do them so they come out as 8x6 inch photos so not going to be big enough to have a decent canvas done.  As I say, a bit of a damp squib but a largish hole in the pocket for not what was really wanted  *sad*

Back in the early part of September we went to meet, for the very first time, a new found cousin of OH's.   Last week her daughter phoned to tell us she had died suddenly.  We were going to see her again after Christmas.  It seems our next meeting will be her funeral.  So sad, having just found one another after all the years of never knowing each existed.  So many years lost and wasted but both her daughter and us are pleased we got to meet.  We also met her sister who we had no idea about until that day.  We will meet her brother at the funeral.  2 more cousins OH had no idea existed until recently.  RIP Anna - it was a privilege to have met you.
L-R: Barbara, Anna , Jan and OH.
Saturday was a lovely day.  Busy, manic but a real fun day.  It was a day of crafting arranged by Clair of Valentines.  A Christmas card workshop day with a carvery lunch, Secret Santa and 'snatch' raffle.  12 cards to make but only managed to make 5.  Prepped the rest and took them home to finish.  I've 3 to go and then they can be photographed so watch this space.

I've joined a few selling groups on Facebook.  I'm trying to sell some of my unwanted craft bits.  I have a lot of 'stuff'.  There's a lot I know I'll never use.  Most is brand new ... in fact I'd go so far as to say that ALL of it is brand new!  A few bits have gone *happy face*

And on top of all that - just to bring the last couple of weeks up to date - we found the guys that did a lot of work on our house years ago.  Wish we'd found them last year.  We'd have avoided the fiasco of our bathroom.  Still, it is what it is but they're now going to do the rest of the work we want done.  Most All of it was done by them in the first place so they will be undoing and redoing what they've done previously.  We've chosen the flooring.  They're sorting it, the underlay and trim out.  We've bought the wallpaper for the lounge.  The hallway is going to be painted.  A new ceiling fan/light is on order.  We need to speak to the electrician they use.  We want a new TV and have it wall mounted.  Only want a new one as it will need to be a slightly larger screen.  We want the cables and wiring put into the wall though.  Don't want trailing cables.  We're getting used to living out of boxes.  I don't want us to get used to it as nothing will happen if we do .....

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Monday, 4 November 2013

Gggggrrrrrrr!!! ...

..... eBay!  Or should I say eBayers!  After the hassle with the bow buyer about a month ago I'm now having a problem with a seller.  What is it with some people?  I ordered a ring.  Well, I made an offer on a Best Offer option for a ring and with a bit of bartering I got it.  Should have been sent within 3 days by recorded delivery (signed for) post.  I paid last Monday evening.  A week on and I've still not got it.  Contacted the seller on Friday as had no communication from them only to be told they were waiting for stock to arrive (I hate sellers who sell stuff they don't have to sell) and, if it arrived in time to send it to me that afternoon they would do so but otherwise it would 'definitely be tomorrow' (Saturday).  Postie came this morning and no ring but neither had I been notified that it had been dispatched so I contacted the seller again asking for a refund if there's no sign of it.  She came straight back telling me it had been dispatched on Saturday and apologising for the delay.  Still no official notification of dispatch and I asked her for the tracking number .... twice!  Twice she's ignored that request.  It seems she's lied.  She's either not sent it as she's stated or she has but it's not been sent by recorded delivery, which is what is stated in the listing and is charged for on the p&p.  I shall be raising a dispute if it doesn't arrive tomorrow and I'm thinking I shan't be giving very good feedback.  Her communication has been zero, only replying to my queries.  Not a sign of an apology without me pushing and worse, because there was a bit of bartering going on at the outset, she could have told me that there may be a delay as she had no stock.  I wouldn't have bought the blooming ring in the first place!

Until recently I haven't done many crafty things this year, well, for a good while to be honest, but back in March I did a day of workshops with Jane Gill at the Glitterpot  We made a good selection of cards using the resist technique, spotlight and patchwork.  The latter being an ideal way of using up oddments :)

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Sunday, 3 November 2013

Think we've ...

... decided on the wallpaper for both hall and lounge.  Also think we know what flooring we're going to be having.   Didn't like the ones we saw on-line in real life.  Actually nothing much like the images but there was a good selection and it wasn't difficult to find something.  Well, not entirely true as it was difficult in as much as there ended up being too much choice!  Price plays a part though and, although the expensive stuff was nice it was outside of our budget with everything we've had done of late and with what is still to come.  There were some quality ones on offer though, which made them more affordable.  Providing they're still on offer when we're ready to buy then it'll be easy to select :)

Having a rest day today, although I upped the minutes on the cross trainer this morning.  Have I mentioned the cross trainer since it was delivered?  Mixed fortunes on that.  I'm using it daily but I'm finding that I can't always use it for as long as I'd like, particularly in the morning.  Nothing to do with lack of breath, although that doesn't help, but more to do with muscle pain kicking in.  I always start with the 'walking' bit.  Do a couple of minutes with that (have increased the resistance since I started), then I do a medium speed cycle for another couple of minutes and finish with a speed cycle for a minute.  Sometimes I don't get the 2 minutes walking bit completed in the morning and the odd morning I've only managed 3 minutes in total.  Not good when I started on 4 and have been trying to increase the time, weekly.  The past week I've managed 6 minutes in the evening, doing 2, 2  and 2 but it's not the evening I've been having a problem with.  This morning I decided to try a different tack.   I started, as ever, with the walking bit but I slowed it right down and it worked!  The muscle pain stayed away but my heart rate and breathing went up, as they should do.  I managed to do 3 minutes walking and followed that with 2 medium speed cycling and then 2 fast - 7 minutes in total and the longest I've managed since I started.  Think it's the way to go, for now anyway.

OK, nothing of note today as having a lazy day so more catch up.  This isn't being done in any particular order.   P'raps it should be but it's how and what I feel like recording ...

February 2013 and I got a strange message via  Did I know what happened to the Peter Pantzer on my tree?  No Peter Pantzer on my tree but there is a Paul so I replied saying so.  Turned out that it was Paul the person was enquiring about.  I know exactly what's happened to him as it's my OH - lol!  Anyway, reply made and ... we've found Paul's Aussie relatives!  They're a huge family and he always thought, although he knew of some back in the 50s, that he was the last one of any of his family.  He was told he was the last of his maternal and paternal family.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Paul's Dad was born in Tasmania and he had several siblings.  It was his only sister that Paul knew about and she died, childless, some time ago.  Anyway, the siblings had children and it's those children and their children that we now have contact with.  Lost count of how many there are out there and they're all still in Tasmania.  On top of that there are cousins coming forward from his maternal side and we've recently met a couple of them that live around 30 miles away.  Today an email has been received from another there's been no contact with until now.

In January 2013 I entered a competition to win a photo shoot with a 12x10 print and a birthday party for a certain number of children.  The winner was going to be picked about a week before the youngest granddaughters birthdays and I thought it would be good if I won.  I didn't but the photographer gave a lot of 2nd prizes of the photo shoot with print and I had one of those.  Not wanting to waste it I offered it to youngest son to have the littlies done and so it came about.  The shoot took place early March.  A couple of hours of fun and the youngsters really threw themselves into it.  Well, as with most of these things, we couldn't just stop at one print so we paid for extra.  It wasn't cheap but, because we chose the photographers top option he threw in 6 prints and gave us 2 discs instead of the one.  Once collected and bought home I had to have all the photos in print so the call of the photo book was strong .........
Yep, it was supposed to be the littlies but it was good to have the family - youngest son and daughter-in-law.  Not so good I got roped in :(

There's going to be another photo shoot next weekend - watch this space - LOL!

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Friday, 1 November 2013

I'm going ...

... shopping!  I hate shopping - normally.  This is different.  I'm finally shopping for wall coverings and flooring.  Yay us!  First foray has been done and some wallpaper samples gathered.  Some are already discarded.  I'm off out again tomorrow to find some more from different sources and I want to look at some flooring I've seen on-line.  Looks ideal on-line but would rather see in real life.  

Nothing else of worth to report so I'll do a bit more catch up. Something crafty again?
December 2012 saw eldest son reach 40.  At one of Greta's playdays Debs had brought some card kits for us to play with.  I pinched one of them and it turned out to be the ideal card for him.  The background is made by sticking masking tape onto card then applying ink directly from the ink pad to the tape.  Once the ink was dry it was versamarked all over, clear embossing powder added and heated.  Very effective and ideal for the subject of the card.

January 2013 and the youngest granddaughters had birthdays - as did our little great-granddaughter.  Unfortunately I never got round to making her birthday card, even though it was her 1st birthday.  Too much was going on.  I did get to make the granddaughters'.  Quick and easy and peel-offs were used (shock, horror).  The girls liked them though and that's the main thing.  They were made from sheets of decoupage gathered at another of Greta's playdays but only on the understanding that I used them ..... :)

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Thursday, 31 October 2013

What a week ...

... weatherwise!  Monday we had the worst storm, wind and rain wise, for many a year.  Winds of 99mph were recorded not that far from us but the storm passed over the North Sea to Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands were the winds were recorded at around 120mph.  There was a bit of damage in our area but not that much.  Hubby's shed lost some of it's roofing felt, which is now being dealt with, and a fence panel, which was already loose, became looser and that has been dealt with.  Other than that there's not been a lot going on of any note.  

I did sell my bow again and for a LOT more than it sold for originally.  Quite a bidding war went on at the end.  An American was after it and he was determined but not quite as determined as a Brit was.  Good to know there were people out there that new the worth of the bow and I know, because of that, it's gone to a good home :)

We've found the guys that did most of the work in our house back in the early to mid 90s.  We have been more than pleased with what they did and we've called them back to deal with what we want doing now.  Just wish we'd found them last year when we were after having the bathroom remodelled.  They did the bathroom in the first place and we would have been more than happy to have them redo it.  Didn't happen but now we've found them again they're not getting away again!  We have a long list and they can deal with it all ..... new floors, new woodwork, decorating .... a complete transformation.  We've made a start as we've had a new boiler and a new gas fire with surround fitted over the summer.  Don't think it will be complete by Christmas but we're in no hurry.  Would rather time and care was taken as it has to last ... at least, the flooring does.  I can go shopping for wallpaper and then furniture.  Excited!

Now, what photos?   Way back in August 2012 a group of us went to a beading class in Fareham.  Squished into a very unsatisfactory space as a workroom with access to an old outside loo we were given beads, needle, Fireline and an instruction leaflet and pretty much left to get on with it. Fine for those experienced in this type of thing but pretty much useless for those of us that weren't.  Anyway, with a little lot of help from our friends, for some of us, we produced a beaded necklace that was actually quite pretty.  Could see ways it could be improved but I was pleased with my effort ....

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Monday, 21 October 2013

Photos today ...

... from the weekend in Cardiff :)  An excuse to stop 'working'.  I'm packing boxes still.  Well, packed really.  Just got to access some electrics to disconnect the wall unit and 'tis all ready.  I've heard from one of the Americans several times over my bow.  Even an estimated shipping cost of £50 ($80) hasn't put him off and he says he's going to bid and hope he wins .... "it is a beautiful bow" (his words, not mine).  Hope he bids well enough to prove that - or at least that others bid as well and it gets bid up.  He knows what it is ... hope other's do to.  Anyway, on to the photos - a small selection but WARNING .... PICTURE HEAVY - LOL!

The first few need no explanation .... but just in case -

 ... and after Dr Who?
Norwegian Church - and arts centre
Merchant Seaman's War Memorial
Pierhead Building - National Assembly of Wales 
Torchwood entrance (yay!) and the Millennium Centre
The mad women
The view from Kim's front garden ... beautiful!  A stunning area to live.

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