Tuesday, 30 January 2007
Diane is a footy fan so we all agreed to change our night until Wednesday - hope her team wins :op - no hooligan goings on now Diane...lol.
It's a good week for scrapping - Wednesday night @ Diane's and Thursday night is the Pitsea crop (fingers crossed for Nicola that there are no more freaky weather outbreaks...:o(...).
So as footy has stopped play I'm going to grab my knitting and curl up in front of the TV. A touch of Law & Order (missed House - train was late) and a bit of QI. Have a pleasant evening everyone...
Monday, 29 January 2007
Your Shoes: Off.
Craving: Another cup of coffee.
The State of Your Home: Secure.
Annoyed By: Thought of having to go to work - Monday morning blues.
In The Background: Traffic outside.
Really Want To: Go back to bed
Thinking About: All the changes going on at work.
Smelling: Mixture of my coffee and that new puffing 'spiced apple' air-freshner.
Nearest Scrapbooking Product: AMM tote.
Don't Ever Want To: Stop enjoying crafts.
Your Eyes: Tired
The Weather: Cold
Have Never Tried: Sky-diving and never will.
Think Everyone Should Try: To do something nice for someone else.
Last Holiday Destination: Caister.
Best Thing You Did Today: Check my blog (pleeeeease, it is early)
The Last Thing You Had to Drink: Cup of coffee
Your Bad Habit: Not washing my car very often.
What You're Going To Do Now: Clean my teeth and go to work :o(
I hope that I'm doing this right - never been tagged before. As Nic has tagged Sharon & Caroline (and Me!!!) I'm wondering who I should go for??? I think I'll have to tag Zulieka, Joanne & Donna. Have fun...!!!
Sunday, 28 January 2007
I love the fact that there are so many different crafts, all with their own quirks, and involving different skills :o)
Scrapbooking is great for mixing & matching all those wonderful patterned papers, embellishments, ribbons, and tons of other scrumy stuff in order to make those precious photos 'pop'. It is also a great way of recording those special memories. Better still, it is the perfect excuse for indulging in those 'magpie' moments - must-haves that are bound to come in handy..........at some point (LOL).
Card-making also allows for the playing with wonderful papers and bits & pieces in order to create that special piece of correspondence that carries so much more thought than just grabbing something from the shops.
Then there's painting, ceramics, sewing, cross stitch and many, many more (okay, I'll hold my hands up and own-up to being a 'Jack of all trades, Master of none' ) so many in fact that there just aren't enough hours in the day to pursue them all as I would wish - but heck!, it's fun to dabble.....
One of the things I really love about crafting is that there is always an opportunity to play.
Knitting is one craft that can be taken to the extreme as far as playing is concerned. I am not a great lover of purchasing knitting patterns and following them slavishly, I like to play...
There are some wonderful yarns out there at the moment with a whole palette of amazing colours - so why limit yourself to one yarn or one colour? The current trend for knitting on BIG needles is super for achieving quick results and all those furry, shaggy, luscious yarns are magic. The names are pretty amazing too...'gladrags', 'fancy this', 'fancy that' (yes, fancy this & fancy that really are names of yarns) 'whisper', 'pizaz', 'snowdrift', 'soft & comfy'...
As you can see from the piccy, I have been playing a lot lately...
Mum knits a lot to raise money for her club (local branch of the MS Society) and this time of year scarves are always very popular. The problem is normally coming up with something a bit different that will encourage folk to buy. This year has not been a problem - there are just soooo many different colours and textures. However, it is still nice to be able to offer something a bit different, something that folk wouldn't normally see in the shops or even if they visited their local yarn retailer. I have had a wonderful time mixing different yarns and creating unusual effects, and if anything, Mum has had problems keeping up with demand *very big grin*
We are doing our bit to support local retailers, Mum is raising funds for a very good cause and I am having a lot of fun. Oh, and I think there are a lot of folk out there who will be nice and snug when we get the next lot of snow..........(he, he).
Friday, 26 January 2007
Next month sees the extension of the Congestion Charge zone in London - this too is aimed at reducing the number of vehicles clogging the streets of our Capital, pumping out more carbon...
Every which way you turn the message is the same, use public transport, don't make un-necessary journeys, think of the planet...So you can imagine my surprise whilst sitting smuggly on my British Rail conveyance, trying to read my free (re-cycled paper) newspaper, trying hard not to get battered at each station as the next influx of passenges barge past to nab that last seat...when I turn the page to be confronted with an article about overcrowded trains (there's a subject close to my own heart...LOL).
It would appear that a passenger had the nerve to complain to the service provider about the serious overcrowding of the trains on their line. A fair enough comment to make, you would think, nah!!! The service providers response was along the line - if you don't like the crowding, get off.............?????????????? The article went on to say that senior management of this provider had been unavailable for comment - there's a surprise!
With the push to get folk to use public transport you would think that every effort would be made to increase the services to meet the increase in demand but British Rail have admitted that they can't cope with the rising numbers and unless there is a huge input of funding (most likely from increased ticket prices :o< ) crowding is going to continue to be a BIG problem.
Is it any wonder then that some folk would rather sit in the car park (more commonly known as the M25 motorway) each day. At least they are in the comfort of their own vehicle, they can listen to what ever they want (or not, as the case may be), they are not subjected to the crass habits of other, inconsiderate, individuals - other than poor driving - (none of those 'picking, poking, inspecting of bodily parts, to contend with...excuse me whilst I just go and throw-up at the thought) and they can regulate the temperature of their environment - to suit (Toni climbs down from her soapbox...).
Get off? I'd certainly like to tell that individual where he could get off.....................
Thursday, 25 January 2007
Wednesday, 24 January 2007
For those of you who have had 'sunny, sunny' days - you don't know what you missed :o)
Apart from concentrating on getting from A to B without any 'Ouch-type' mishaps (LOL), there is nothing quite like snow for making everywhere look fresh & new and MYSTERIOUS... It was like looking at early scenes from the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe.
Glad I dashed out with the camera to get some pics because I have a number of class project pages that I just haven't been able to finish because I needed Snowy pictures (there is a limit as to how many times you can use the same Swiss photos before someone comments......tee,hee). Got some lovely shots on the way to the station (if they come out) unfortunately as they are not digital I will have to wait 'til they're processed. Just wish I could have taken some photos from the train as some of the scenery was super but I don't think my little 'happy-snaps' was up to the task and tinted windows don't help...!!!
Coming home this afternoon the view was back to the grotty, usual dirty winter landscape :o(
British rail obviously didn't know about the snow as there were trains, on time trains at that - WOW (I know they didn't know about the snow because no-one had cleared any of it from the platforms). London Underground was a little more clued-up about weather conditions and we had the regular announcements advising us to 'take care as surfaces could become slippery - due to the adverse weather conditions' doh! who would've guessed......
Coming home from scrap night the temperature had dropped but at least the windscreen didn't need clearing. Jumped in the car pretty quick so that the heater could go straight on. My glowing snowflake thingie on the control panel was glowing orange, so not tooooooooo cold (2c).
Then this morning I look out of the window and we have snow...
It is still too dark to see much but the back garden is well covered (including my car which currently resembles a marshmallow) but the stepping stone path is nicely clear - probably black ice and to be avoided if hubbies footprints are anything to go by, lol. Front garden is covered but the street looks fairly clear. They have been gritting the roads for the last few days so that obviously seems to have worked. Don't much like the look of the pavements (what I can see of them) they look to be covered in that hard crystaline type snow rather than the soft fluffy stuff. Can't find my boots anywhere and I have visions of Ouch (rear & ground coming into sharp contact - grumble, mumble >:o..........). Still, despite the worries of venturing out into the stuff guess what my first thought was...Where's my camera? It should be light enough to get a few pics before I set off for work and I'll take it with me to make the most of our temporary winter wonderland - before it gets to that black/brown mucky, slushy, solid ice stage.
Today should be interesting...and you never know, British rail might not have noticed and there could be trains..........
Monday, 22 January 2007
I was trying to tell you all that my birdtable had been rescued and was now located closer to the garden wall in order to provide it with a bit more protection. I also mentioned that the tree was past rescue (being close on 100 years old it was laying down having a well earned rest...lol). These and many other wonderous things I was merrily imparting to the folk of blogland yesterday when I hit the wrong button...grrrrrrrrrr >:o
Sorry I didn't come back but as I have mentioned, the sun had disappeared and I was feeling rather miffed (love that word - miffed - yep, good word that).
I didn't get any scrapping done but I did complete another shaggy scarf :o)
For all it's pretense at 'bright & sunny' it was cold yesterday but not as cold as it has been today. British rail stations leave a lot to be desired when it comes to shelter - brrrrr *teeth chatter at the thought* Having walked briskly from the station to get home my first thought was to get the kettle on...much better..........
Only a few days ago Chrissie (Life is Scrap) very kindly turned my "A4 gone wrong" LOs into 12x12s as they should have been (see, It's done...). On Saturday I got an email from Nicola Clarke who had set me the challenge in the first place and she has 'stitched' the two pages side-by-side as they appear in my album.
Now I just need to sort out the wizzy stuff and save the pic so I can add it to the earlier posting. For some reason things aren't playing..................now, do I press that bu...oooooopps!
Sunday, 21 January 2007
I had been merrily rambling on about the nice sunny weather, my poor tree, housework, scrapping - just the world in general (lol) and then, zap, ALL GONE...
Tempted to go and curl-up with a hot chocolate and feel very sorry for myself but I really must get that washing done...see how things go and I might be back later...
Saturday, 20 January 2007
Gale force 1 - Plum Tree 0 (think this one was more of an own-goal as the tree has been looking rather poorly for the last year or two)
Friday, 19 January 2007
Still, I digress. The end of another commuting week (promise not to go on like I did yesterday) in which Mother Nature did her best to keep us all at home...and British Rail contributed it's fair share to the process. Weather was quite nice today but even that couldn't help British Rail get it's act together. You know something is not quite right when you come round the corner and there are crowds of people standing on the steps of the station :o( afterall, that's what the platforms are for...unfortunately, you can't see the main indicator board from the platform!
Upon entering the ticket hall it was clear that there was a problem. All the Pitsea/Southend bound services were listed with that very pretty blue word by the side of them - cancelled, and London bound trains didn't look as if they were fairing much better. It was now 8.07am and the 8.02 was shown as 'expected 8.25', the 8.12 was nowhere to be seen (found out later that it had just disappeared from the board like all the services before it) but looking more promising was the 8.24 (my normal train :o)), shown as ON TIME - yes! - NO!!!!! Clock ticks by and it is now 8.25 but the 8.24 is still shown as on time. Board refreshes, you know - screen goes blank and then the data slowly re-appears from the left, and the next London bound train is...8.41???? Wait-a-mo! what has happened to the 8.02 & the 8.24? I am reliably informed by my co-wouldbe travellers that this little trick has been performed at regular intervals since just after 7.00am.
Well, unlike last night, we had staff present - though what good it did... as the guy at the barrier just grinned idiotically everytime someone asked him a question, occasionally he got energetic and shrugged his shoulders but actually provide any info, no way. Ticket office staff had it easier - they were behind plate-glass and there is a very convenient back room that they kept disappearing into. Phonecall to work - "think I'm going to be late - if I get there at all, speak to you later".
8.40, it's cutting it fine if this one is going to arrive and then the magical sound...the crossing alarm as the barriers come down. Now consider this...there has been no service for close on 1 & 3/4 hours, many folk have given up and gone home but there is still a considerable number of bodies milling about - short, four coach train arrives (and it's already half full). Huh! I was prepared, I know this service, I'm standing just at the right place for boarding at the front of the train AND I get a seat, way to go.......!!! However, by the time the train pulls away I have a shoulderbag pressed into my right ear and I am already considering how I am going to get to the doors, should we ever make it to West Ham >:o( With the exception of some rather colourful comments from folk trying to get on (lol) at each of the stops along the way, the journey was fairly uneventful. Arrived at work only 20 mins late.....
Homeward journey this evening, boring, train was on time (through train, no changing) got a seat, arrived home without any problems - now where is the fun in that..............??????
Thursday, 18 January 2007
It has been windy today, there's a surprise, it's been windy for the last few days but granted, it was a bit gustier today - so everything comes to a halt through lack of planning or failure to implement contingency arrangements. I'm sure you know where I'm going with this...
Good old British Rail...no trains, no explanations, no help!!! :o(
Due to the adverse weather conditions (gosh, I'm even sounding like a station announcement) I had been checking travel details on the Internet at work. Afterall, tonight was to be Nicola's first crop of 2007 and I didn't want to get caught up in any rail disruption. The best laid plans of mice & men...
BBC travel advised that my line had problems between Barking & Grays (good old Tilbury loop on the Fenchurch Street line) and could be subject to delays. So I set off for home early - left work about 4.45pm, normally a 40min journey, plenty of leeway for some delay - no problem. Even if there were hold-ups I should still be home in time to grab the car and get to the crop on time <#noise that the computer on family fortunes makes when the answer is wrong#> First stage of journey; Stratford to West Ham via Jubilee Line - slight delay but arrive with about five minutes to spare for a train that would take me all the way home without changing <# that noise again#> WRONG. Indicator board shows the time as fast approaching 5pm but we are awaiting services that should have arrived almost two hours previously. Next train due, only a couple of minutes to wait, will only go as far as Grays (three stops from home) but it'll be most of the way home. The second train listed would take me right home but there was another 10 minutes to wait and when there are problems.................you don't take the chance! Wait on platform (short trains this time of day) horrid drizzle and it's a bit blowy but nothing out of the ordinary, glance at indicator board and the data does a flip - train 2 is now train one and train one (that was) has been further delayed. Great, things are looking up, no broken journey, and as the thought goes through my mind the train pulls in. Not too crowded but standing room only, just the same. Arrive at the next station, still standing but I'm on my way home so who cares... Just as the doors close a tannoy announcement is made, something to do with Grays but the doors are closed and we are pulling away before anyone can hear the message. Two stops later I get a seat. Not the fastest of journeys but I'm on my way. I thumb through my latest craft magazine and wonder if I've got a suitable photo for the crop page that Nicola has prepared...
Arrive at Grays (only three stops to home, yipeee) folk get off, but folk on the platform are hesitating about getting on - not a good sign. The doors close but we don't pull away. Everyone then starts straining to hear what is going on the drivers cab. From his side of the converstaion he is not a happy bunny and he repeatedly tells whoever he is talking to that he has a train full of people and needs to know what is going on. Then we heard the dreaded words "so I'm to terminate the service here and return to London..." The intercom crackled to life and he very apologetically asked us to leave the train - he believed that a replacement bus service was in operation for us to continue our journey (believed? why didn't he know, why hadn't he been told for sure). Out into the drizzle and where are the staff? Who is going to tell us about these wonderful buses? Quickly making his way to the underpass to the other platform we saw a member of staff trying to beat a hasty retreat - too late, we got him. Although what help he was is still being debated by the jury... When asked where the buses were he asked where we wanted to go and then waved a hand vaguely to indicate the other side of the street.
There was actually a bus sitting waiting at the end of the line of bus-stops and not too many people waiting to get on, unfortunately, neither was there a driver for the bus. When you are uncertain what is going on you tend to lose track of the time but it couldn't have been too long when a second bus appeared (and from somewhere so did the driver of the first bus).
Although the distance involved to get home from Grays is not huge we had three stations to call at all separated by dark, wet, country lanes. I phoned Diane and told her I might be late for the crop. As we pulled up at Tilbury Town we saw a train pull out heading in the direction that we were travelling - what was going on. The driver saw it too and was not happy as he had been called out to provide an emergency service but the trains appeared to be running. We continued.
The next stop is East Tilbury. This is a great place, there is only one road in and the only place that it leads to is the Thames, so the bus had to turn around in order to head for my destination which was next. To get into East Tilbury the road crosses the railway line - you know, flashing lights, barriers and all that stuff and yes, we got caught at the barriers on our return. But you are on a Rail replacement bus, I hear you say, why do the barriers need to close if there are no trains. Once again, WRONG, as we sat there a train merrily trundled past heading towards London. In the meantime, Diane had phoned back to let me know that the crop had been cancelled because a lot of folk were having problems with the weather...
We finally arrived at my station. Still drizzling, no crop to look forward to, not much on the telly as far as I could remember, not a good evening (yuk, pooh, huff). No way was I in the mood to go home and start cooking (only for me, hubby is nights tonight) - CHIPS :o)
There is nothing nicer than a fish & chip shop on a grotty evening, windows steamed up but shining bright, and even better if there is not a queue. A tray of chips with lots of salt and vinegar (in times of need...lol) and things don't seem quite so bad.
It'll all still be there tomorrow so for now, anyone want a chip?
Wednesday, 17 January 2007
Due to the very kind assistance of Chrissie (Life is Scrap) I was all set to edit my previous posting to show the LOs after she had worked her magic and 'stitched' the bits together so you can see the whole of the pages - no joins (ain't technology amazing).
But I thought I would leave the other pics so that you could see the difference (just a shame about my ability to set out a posting...lol).
I have to tell you that when I read the comment Chrissie left on the last post I was so touched that someone I had only 'met' briefly via the wonders of blogland would offer to help me in this way.
Sorry Chrissie if my posting doesn't do your efforts the justice they deserve but I am trying (yes I know, very trying......:o) !!!) I promise to practice and do better... it's just that everything looks okay until you hit the publish button and then the gremlins take over and things appear in places you just didn't imagine..........
I know it's not the same as using a photo but I just loved this Santa. This to me was Christmas - the lovely bewhiskered gent catching a few Zzzzzzzzz's , probably because of too many mince pies and sherrry's - Peace, Joy, and Happiness...
Hope Nic likes it when she see's the whole thing, tomorrow :o)
Tuesday, 16 January 2007
Monday, 15 January 2007
It doesn't seem possible that all those years have passed and tomorrow she will by 20 (I know I've already said that, but I'm still trying to let it sink in!). However, I have to admit that she has had a very 'grown-up' head on her shoulders for some time and she is one determined young lady. For as long as I can remember, she was telling everyone that she wanted to be a lawyer when she grew up, and through sheer grit and determination she is currently working her way through 2nd-year law at University. I know that whatever she puts her mind to she WILL achieve - not that she is stubborn or anything, lol (think she takes after her Mum on that point) but I know when she sets herself a goal she will work flat out to reach it.
Hope you have a wonderful birthday, Kristy.
Love and best wishes from one very proud Aunty...
Sunday, 14 January 2007
I still have to make up my mind whether to sort out some photos that fit the months or wait to take pics during this year...have to think about that one! However, I will try to remember to post the pages as and when I get them done.
The day was fun as usual and I am still amazed at the topics of conversation that arise. Waste collection & recycling to SEX - well to be precise, "pink sacks" but some how that was taken as 'pink sex' and everyone dissolved into fits of laughter of the 'tears running down the face' kind. I don't think I can go into detail without giving this a lot of careful thought (ROFL). Needless to say, I think the conversation started over a comment about NOT following the project instructions - this went meandering into problems with not checking the Christmas timetable for waste collections (as it would) and ultimately ended with PINK SEX - quite logical really...
Saturday, 13 January 2007
It has become one of the first things I do when I get a new mag - flip through to see if there is anyone I know... I have become quite good at picking out Carter (Nicola's eldest) even before I see Nic's name. This month's SB Inspirations was a real treat. Couldn't miss Nic's double page LO as she was actually in the photos but it was a lovely surprise to see work by another lady that I see at the Thursday crops - Zuleika (well actually, I recognised the pic of her boyfriend before I realised it was her work) and not just one LO but 3 !!!. I love visiting her blog as she has taken some stunning photos at gigs.
It's really nice to see things that are 'closer to home', so to speak, it makes things more real...
Thursday, 11 January 2007
Generally a grotty day at work only to be followed by just as grotty-a (is that a word??? - doubt it but I'm sure you get the sense of things...) journey home. Strange thing, British Rail just doesn't seem to be able to cope with the extremes of British weather - just waiting for the snow to arrive at some point this year because it is sure to be the 'wrong sort' !
Am now home, in the warm, checking on everyones blogs to see what exciting things are going on out in the world of 'blog-land'.
The first Artbase crop of the year is this Sunday and I'm really looking forward to it and I've just seen the posting for the Feb crop project so am really glad that I managed to get booked in.
What shall I do now...perhaps another wander through 'blog-land'..........
Wednesday, 10 January 2007
Have to work on that one !!
Tuesday, 9 January 2007
Tuesday nights are spent at a friend's house scrapping, chatting, swigging tea (and the odd red wine...) and generally putting the world to rights. Normally, four or five of us gather at Diane's and we share suggestions, give encouragement and occasionally we are quite productive (I did say, occasionally...LOL).
Well, I was late - British Rail at it's best, yet again (don't get me started - see yesterday's posting to get the gist...). As I pulled up outside I was surprised to find I was the first to arrive.
Poor Diane has a grotty cold but it's Tuesday night, so scrap we did - just the two of us...! One lady is currently off in warmer clims, and the other two - well I think they must be hibernating. By twenty past the hour it was clear that no-one else was going to arrive so the kettle went on and we got stuck in.
Nicola (Clarke) set me a challenge just before Christmas and I have been fiddling with it off & on but getting nowhere...tonight I finally got patterned paper stuck to cardstock (don't faint from the shock Nic) - decided to make it a double LO so it's not finished yet but I know what I what to do and I'm pretty pleased with the way it's going. Diane also had a good 'play'. A family friend had recently purchased the Cricut machine and she had given Diane a selection of die-cuts. A bit of heat-embossing and cutting photos into unusual shapes and her Christmas LO is well on it's way.
Thanks for a lovely evening Diane - it really is great to be back scrapping.....
Monday, 8 January 2007
C - Can't
R - Remember
A - A
F - Flipping
T - Thing
Sunday, 7 January 2007
Friday, 5 January 2007
Thursday, 4 January 2007
I still can't work out how to put a pretty piccy behind my banner. It would be so nice to have the glorious colours of Autumn or the clean scenery of Winter sitting behind my banner at the top of the screen, but noooooooooooo!
I tinker, I move things around, still no luck...:o(
How you folk out in 'blog-land' manage this mastery of technology still eludes me and slideshows - let's just not go there for the time being. I'm pretty pleased with myself in so far as I can actually get pics onto my blog (this was a problem to start with, but I got there!!!!!!) but oh to have a lovely banner...
I will get there, this is 2007, it is a new year, I can do anything that I put my mind to (perhaps if I tell myself that often enough, even I'll believe it) my banner will be beautiful - soon, I promise.....
Wednesday, 3 January 2007
No sooner is Christmas and the New Year over when the birthdays start. Thinking of prezzies for Christmas is hard enough but when you have to start all over again so soon.........
I have been trying to get the cards done whilst I try and come up with some novel ideas for gifts (failing miserably on both counts). My niece will be 20 on the 16th and as we both love purple/lavender/lilac it was pretty easy to come up with a colour scheme for the card. I am part-way to completing it and will scan it before sending it off (won't post until after the event as she visits the blog, off & on). Prezzies are a little harder to think up! She is a second-year law student so money is always welcome but spoils the fun of ripping paper off wierd shape parcels... She is into crafts (when studying permits...) but is limited on the space she has available for keeping her stash. Will have to give this some more thought.
DH has his birthday on the 23rd and is another problem. He is a fan of Jamie Oliver so that sorted his Christmas gifts but I'm stumped as to what to get him for his birthday - there's not much more in this line that he hasn't got. He sails, he target shoots, he tinkers with cars but there really isn't anything that he needs for any of these hobbies. If it comes to the worst, I may have to resort to the boring stuff - socks, jumpers, etc. He didn't get much in this line for Christmas as everyone was trying to steer clear, but, when needs must...
There are a couple of friends dotted around the month but these are dealt with, so, thinking cap on and see what I can come up with (thoughts, suggestions - keep it clean, please - greatfully received).