Thursday, 28 June 2007

All creatures great...

...and small.

On Saturday it was 'Aunty Toni to the rescue'. An urgent phone call from Mum on Thursday had set things in motion.

My niece and her boyfriend have been living just outside of Nottingham along with their menagery of pets.

Last week Tom got a job in Spain so arrangements had to be made for my niece to move back to her flat at Uni in Leicester so that the Nottingham flat could be vacated...problem...pets are not allowed in the flat at Uni.

So this was where I came in...

The pets needed to be collected and transported down to my sister so that she can look after them until other arrangements can be made. Aunty Toni Removal Service answered the call, lol.

Saturday morning saw me wizzing round the M25 and up the M1 to collect an undisclosed number of creatures. My estate car has never been so empty (it normally resembles a portable crop workstation - I mean - a girl has to be prepared when she goes out scrapping...) and the rear seats were folded down in readiness.

Weather 'up North' hasn't been too great lately (unless you have webbed extremities) so I was keeping everything crossed that I wasn't going to be battling up the motorway in heavy rain. Well, apart from a few short but heavy squalls the sun shone. I arrived in good time and the 'decamp' commenced.

Six larrrrrrrrrrrrrrge cages, tons of food & bedding, a Chinchilla and numerous Hammys in various colours and sizes were duly fitted into my car - pint into a half-pint pot, no sweat.

The little furry folk didn't stay in their cages they were all in travel boxes so that was additional bulk to be wedged in. My niece very kindly informed me that the largest hammy was an escape artist of epic ability but told me not to worry (????????????) "Honey likes the passenger footwell so if she gets out of her box that's where you'll probably find her" (probably???). I was also told not to worry if it sounded like some of them were fighting "they do that all the time, it's playing really...if it gets a bit noisy turn up the heating in the car and they'll fall asleep" **I didn't inform her that so would I, yikes!!**

The trip home was uneventful most of the way. Again, a few heavy, short sharp showers but nothing much until I hit the M25....................the world disappeared!

Rain so hard that the wipers couldn't cope, semi-darkness and IDIOTS driving without any lights on. I know the papers are full of comments about lightbulbs, carbon emissions, global warming...but, pleeease, common sense should drive safely you have to be able to see and be seen (doh!).

The last bit of the journey was horrid but luckily by the time I reached my sister's home the rain was down to a gentle spit.

How long does it take two females to construct six cages and re-house numerous furry beings?


The car was unloaded at 5pm and I finally climbed back into it around 9.30pm (and only one break for coffee during the whole time).

All the little furry beasts are snug back in their cages but are now located at their "grandma's". Beds, toys etc might not be on the cage levels that they were previously but the furry folk didn't seem to object :o).

Good job other arrangements were made for the fish..............................

Thursday, 21 June 2007

I'm a...

...Scrappy Happy bunny :o)

The page kit that Nicola produced for tonights crop was in shades of blue, brown and sand. As soon as I saw it posted on her blog I knew that it would be ideal for the pictures that I had found of a trip to Duxford with my niece back in 1995 (oooooooo how time flies).

That year seemed to be so full of days out - Hever Castle (my sister was navigating...we actually set out for Leeds Castle, LOL), Mountfitchet, Leeds Castle (did actually get there - Kristy navigated this time...), Tower of London, Sea World at Southend, Colchester Castle, Hatfield House, Duxford and probably several others that I will remember WHEN I sort through the rest of my photos.

I didn't think Kristy would want to go to Duxford again as she had been there the previous year but it turned out to be one of her favourite places and we went again the following year, and the year after that and she even manager to get her Uncle Paul to take her there a couple of times.

The weather wasn't always good for our visits but rain or shine we all seemed to have a good time.

I started this post with the comment that I was a scrappy happy bunny...not only did I get a double LO completed at Nicola's crop but I have also sent for another super Scrappers Unlimited kit (well actually - 2, **smirks, rather smug expression plastered all over face**).

This time the kit is a teeny book only 2.5ins high with lots of bead decoration. The pictures look absolutely fab. I had to make a very hard decision as Chrissie and her team are offering the kit in a choice of 3 colours - pink, green, blue. I had to be strong (hee, hee), well, I tried to be strong...I've only ordered two (green & blue) - my logic being that the Basque Book was mainly pink so I'm giving that colour a miss this time although looking at the pics it does look sooooo sweet in that colour option.

It is so tempting, but no, if I'm good this time (well sort of) I won't feel too guilty when the next kit becomes available...**very hard scrub at the halo to keep it glowing**

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Cats & Dogs...

...yep, it's really pouring down.

Boy was I lucky tonight...I managed to get home before the rain became anything more than a few spits :o)

However, since arriving home from work we have had thunder (close enough and loud enough to make the air shudder) lightening (and it sure did light up the sky) and the rain has just fallen down - just the odd inch or two to add to the statistics (BBC Essex announced that this is one of the wettest Junes Essex has experienced for a very long time - ahh, but will it be the wrong kind of rain...?).

It is still pouring down as I sit typing this and I can hear the passing traffic swishing through the surface water but for all that, the temperature hasn't fallen very much and it is still 'muggy' :o(

Fingers crossed things brighten up tomorrow...

Sunday, 17 June 2007

A thought... take into the new week.

"Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom, while discouragement often nips it in the bud. Any of us will put out more and better ideas if our efforts are appreciated." Alex F Osborn.

Have a good week...

Friday, 15 June 2007

How remiss of me...

...I didn't tell you, Starbucks has arrived in Stratford (East London, not Upon Avon).
Yipeeeeeeeee, hurraaaaaaaaay, YES!!!
Oh how I love coffee, not that you would possibly guess, LOL.
I sooooooooo missed not having my Gingerbread Latte's over the Christmas period but time just flew and I never seemed to find the time to get to the nearest outlets at Lakeside & Thurrock Retail Park (ho-hum).
Stratford has a shopping mall, roughly in the shape of a + with exits at 3 of the farthest points. I go into the mall every morning on my way into work as it is slightly less busy than trying to battle through there at lunchtime (I do stress - SLIGHTLY). I usually pick up something for lunch and grab the latest craft mags that take my interest. I used to also pick up a coffee from Tchibo until they modernised it and did away with their fresh coffee in favour of a vending machine (pah!).
Just outside the fartest point of the mall (next to Superdrug & MacDonalds) there had been a cheepy fashion outlet. After a verrrrrrrrrrrry extended closing down sale the store was boarded up for what seemed like 'forever'. So you know what it's like when you are so used to seeing doesn't always register that things have changed. It was only when a colleague mentioned that she had met a friend in 'Starbucks' that I found out about it. I must have walked passed there several times a week for about a month without even realising it was there...:o(
My only excuse is that I am usually suffering from commuter-i-tis first thing in the morning and it normally takes at least two mugs of coffee to bring me back to normal (yes, I did say NORMAL, I can do normal...well sort of...tee,hee).
Still, I know it's there now, and hey, I don't have any other vices so why shouldn't I treat myself to a daily latte...OKAY, I heard you, revise that...I don't have many vices, just shopping, crafting, obsessed with coffee - no you can't include scraping, that's art................:o)

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Whatever happened to...

...dialing your own calls?

I am just about fed-up to the back teeth of computerised dialing. Take this evening as an example...

Late home from work (surprisingly, not the fault of British Rail on this occasion). Not in the best of moods, it's muggy and even the brief shower - that I got caught in getting off the train - hasn't cleared the air. All I want to do is sit down with something 'quick' to rings!

Grab the phone only to have my 'hello' greeted by a lot of clicking noises and some background static. After a few repeats of 'hello' I'm just about to put the phone down when a cheery voice breaks through the static...the call wasn't even for me >:o grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Sort out food, just sitting down to check rings! More of the same - I hung up.

Few minutes rings! This time as I say 'hello' the call cuts off.

Phone rings! The dial tone is already back before I have the phone to my ear or have had a chance to utter a word.

What's even worse is when you punch in 1471 you get greeted by the message "Sorry, the last caller was from a Network that is unable to transmit numbers".

When I get in from work I don't want to be pestered by 'cold calling' whether it be to offer me a super designer kitchen or replacement windows on a b-o-g-o-f offer. Free holidays are never that, there is always a catch and if you want polite, sensible answers to your survey don't call me after a 90 minute battle with public transport. I also don't expect to have 'my time' continuously interupted by unsolicited calls...and wasn't there something about cold-calling not happening after 9pm..........???

Word of warning to all you call-centre & phone-sales staff...if you want to put me in a bad mood continue to have a computer dialing your numbers for you. That delay whilst your super machine connects you after I have picked up the phone is a sure-fired way to get the call off to a bad start. If you must contact me, don't do it in the evening and I would suggest that you learn how to dial your own calls so that you can be ready to greet me without all the clicks, static and ...........................................DELAY!!! :o(

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Been having a play...

...with my new lime-green Crop-o-dile.

Setting eye-lets is soooooooooo easy and punching holes in chipboard is like a hot knife through butter...easy-peezy!

Whilst "playing" I thought I'd have a go at coming up with some card making ideas that my neighbour could use with her Brownie pack. Having just passed her several boxes of embroidery threads that were no longer required it seemed like a good idea to have a go at spirelli (hope that's spelt correctly).

I tried a couple of ideas as 'toppers' and think this will be fine - quick, easy and not too expensive (the centre of the flower has an eyelet that I filled with glitter glue to give a bit of sparkle).
The Brownies love making cards and had great fun at Christmas adapting an idea I had, using CDs. They did really well, and sold lots of cards to raise money for their pack.
Must go and have a rummage through my cardstock off-cuts and get punching out a variety of coloured circles. A few dozen should keep them busy for a while...:o)

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

It cost HOW MUCH...

...£400,000...someone's 'aving a larf!

That "thing" on the right cost £400,000 to design, by some highflying design firm - the man on the street could do better, and from the examples in the press, he has done...

Oh, and just to try and make things seem comes in a choice of four different colours - wuppee, it don't think!

In the space of a couple of days around 40K folk have expressed their loathing of this logo by signing an on-line petition yet the Olympic 'bigwigs' have stated they are happy with it and are going to stick with it...they aren't the ones who are being expected to foot the bill whether they want to or not. That honour will fall to good old 'Joe-public'.

I work in what can only be described as the hub of 'Olympic ville 2012' - Stratford, East London. I joined with the rest of the folk to celebrate our success at winning the right to stage the Olympics. However...little can be seen of the promised Urban Regeneration and there is very little to be seen that could be said to resemble the super scale models and computer generated images that we were all encouraged to go and view...and it's only five years, and counting.

It would seem that the 'bigwigs' are of the opinion - it cost a lot so it must be good (doh!!!).

£400,000 - just think what better use that could have been put to...

Why did this have to be put out to a design company? Someone in todays paper suggested that a National school competition would have helped folk to feel more involved and even awarding prizes of Bronze (£30K), Silver (£40K) and Gold (£50K) to the three schools with the top three entries would have been cheaper.

Still, if nothing else, this logo has united the Nation in one thing - its dislike of that 'thing' above.

The Metro news paper challenged commuters to re-arrange the 'blocks' that make up the logo and come up with other images - imaginations have really gotten behind this and there have been some super 'fun' alternatives. If you are not lucky enough to travel in an area where the Metro is available you can view the pics on their

I'm sure this is going to run for a while but how long will it be before someone holds up their hands and admits - they got it wrong...

I think I have...

..."Commuters elbow"!!!

No!...Don't you dare laugh...It's not funny (I can hear you sniggering)...IT HURTS!

The last couple of days my right elbow has been really painful and I can only put it down to the fact that when standing on a train I hold-on with my right hand and my elbow, wrist and shoulder regularly get jolted as a result of the drivers' superb driving skills...:o(

It also doesn't help that, being right-handed, this is the arm I use to operate my mouse and obviously write with (hurumf!!!).

I'm sure it is to do with the couldn't possibly be anything to do with crafting, no way Jose, lol.

Still, if anyone thinks this is going to stop me attending the crop tomorrow...think again Batman...

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Anyone remember... New Year post and the pic that I used?

For those who missed it :o) here is a reminder...

Well, you are probably wondering where I'm going with this so I won't beat-around-the-bush. I have been having a bit of a knitting session again, trying to use up some of the yarn that just seems to multiply (funny that, my scrapbook stash has the same tendancies LOL) and I found a couple of balls of yarn that had the colour described as 'fire'.

I decided that the colour & yarn was just right for a scarf so made a start. It wasn't until I was some way into the knitting that things started to look a little familiar.

Spooky, or what...

Monday, 4 June 2007

A Handbagggggg...

ain't it sweet.

(this is the second attempt at this posting - lost it all trying to get rid of those darned gaps...grrrrrrrrrr. Can't save until the gaps are sorted otherwise they have to stay).

Yesterday was the June crop at Artbase and another great day for those who attended. However, typical of our great British weather, we were all stuck indoors on a day when the sun had decided to make a re-appearance.

The BoBunny kit was lovely to do (who thinks of things like a handbag shaped scrap album?) and there were plenty of bits left over so Emma had prepared a page as an idea for using up all the bits. There were some new faces and a few old ones that we hadn't seen for a while.

What is it about a group of women gathered together that causes the conversation to get a bit naughty...:o)...I won't go into detail here as you really had to be present to get the gist of the inuendo that was passing around the table (LOL).

We were all looking forward to being entertained in the afternoon as the grounds of Langtons Registry office are behind the hall and there was an advertised musical event. Unfortunately, the only place you could hear the music was in the 'Ladies'...a bit dis-concerting (no pun intended) when you are sitting there getting blasted by the strains of the "Can-Can".

So, another Sunday crop has been and gone and I am booked and all paid up, ready for the July crop. Emma is not letting on about the kit other than to say that it might involve stamping...

Saturday, 2 June 2007

It might not be Wedgewood...

...but it is my own work!
Mum bought me these plaques some time ago but I just hadn't gotten around to doing anything with them (where have I heard that excuse So I finally knuckled down and painted them.

Colonial blue, all over and then some 'dry-brushing' with white to add detail and depth. I have to say, I'm rather pleased with the results.

Now I just have to decide where they are going to hang...

Friday, 1 June 2007

A quick peek... my LO using the page designed by Margaret (Artbase) for UKScrappers.

I just fell in love with the colours and it finally gave me the 'push' that I needed to make a start on a scrap album using my wedding photos (the original album is sooooooooooo boring...).

It will probably take forever to get this album done, lol, but at least I have one page ready to show next week at the crop which also happens to be my anniversary (not saying how many years :o) just suffice to say, it has taken a verrrrrrrrry long time to make a start on this).

Any more ideas Margaret as I still have a lot of pics to deal with...