Sunday, 30 September 2007

Party, party, party...

...Party Puddings.
I'm feeling quite smug at the moment...:o)
As part of the run-up to the cybercrop to celebrate UKScrappers 5th birthday there have been 'make & take' challenges to help get everyone in the party mood.
Wednesday's challenge was to create an invite, Thursday's was to bake a cake and Fri/Sat/Sun combined was to hold a tea party. Piccies of these tasks then had to be uploaded to the correct challenge thread in order to win cybercrop presents.
Well, as I said, I'm feeling quite smug (LOL) cos you all know that I'm not the best at the wizzy stuff - you would be proud...
I completed the challenges, took pics, loaded the pics on the PC, re-sized them (YES!!! me, I did that, no help, done all by myself) ** jiggy dance around the desk ** But it doesn't end there, oh no, I even loaded them onto the correct threads (yipee).
So, now that I'm up to date, I'm back off to the UKS site to join in the party. See ya.........

Super day out at...

...Ally Pally.

(grrrrrrrrrr, phew, hurumpffffffff - I know it's early-ish but blogger wont play and I can't load any piccies).

Anyway, pics not withstanding...where was I...oh yes, Ally Pally...

This Big Stamping & Scrapbooking show was much improved on the last two events. Having attended for a while, last autumn I was rather disappointed by the lack of regular names on the stands. The show only uses one of the smaller halls and it looked like they were struggling to fill the space - quite a large area set aside for ATC make & takes. The spring show wasn't much better.

Yesterday was fab. Loads more stands (or so it seemed) and PP seems to be back in favour as there was a pretty good selection available :o)

Many stands were demoing the new Cricut Expressions - super machine **wonder if I should start dropping hints for Santa???LOL**

However (go on, admit it, you knew there had to be a "but" somewhere along the way) the layout adopted for most of the stands was not very user had to fight your way in to be able to look at the products on offer and then fight your way out again. Mum being disabled can only attend these events because she has one of those little 'pack-in-the-boot' scooters and there was no way that she could get round most of the stands. Ally Pally are very good about allowing disabled folk in half an hour early to give them a chance to have a look round in a less crowded venue but many of the stands were still setting-up.

Still, Mum said she had a good time and she was quite happy nattering to several of the demo folk.

I got some clear stamps - don't you just love these things, so easy to use cos you can see where you are placing the image - PPs (only essentials,ROFLOL) - double sided tape (usual stock-up of supplies) - Stickles and a couple of mini book kits.

I do have one very big gripe - PRICES!!!

I know it isn't cheap to have a stand at Ally Pally buuuuuuuuuuuuuuut, I don't expect to see items marked up in price to cover the cost in the way that some of the traders seem to do. Cuttlebug embossing folders that can be bought in ANY craft shop for £3.99 were priced by some at £4.50 and even £4.90 (didn't even bother to look at what was being charged for the four-pack mini folders). Patterned punches that normally retail at around £7 were being offered at £10, storage boxes that you can get from your local Staples stationery store for £6 were being sold for £10 (sorry, I musn't exagerate, £9.99...). Yes, there were a good selection of 'show prices' - the new Cricut was being offered at around £30 below RRP - but 70p for a piece of normal 12 x 12 bazzil cardstock, per-leaseeeeeeeee!

We had to leave at 1pm because it was just too packed and Mum could no longer move around easily on her scooter. We had had a good time. Bumped into several of the ladies from the Artbase crops - Bev, you might have been 'good' when we first bumped into you but I'm sure on the second occasion most of the bags being carried by the other ladies were probably yours, lol (I normally just load-up Mum on her scooter, hehe).

Got Mum home just in time for the rain to start (great fun, not, when you are trying to unload a scooter from the car). Picked up some fish & chips on the way home. All in all, a super day (not counting the weather).

I suppose I should now get stuck into the housework.............

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Cybercrops should come with a... warning (LOL).

The next UKScrappers cybercrop starts on 5th October and I decided to register my participation this time. I've dabbled in the last couple of events and completed some of the classes (many of the instructions are stored safely in my "must get round to do" folder for when I get some time to fit them in - time?, no, no, no...don't even go there...) but this time I thought I would sign-up and be a part of the thing.

Okay, yes, I know - Mad as a Hatter - I hear you all say.

Just when am I going to fit this all in? well the blurb reliably informed me that this CC would be a little more layed-back, less frantic, as it is spread over a longer period - 3 weekends instead of just one. Well, that's what I was told....:o)

I registered at the weekend (I am now a member of the Party Puddings) and decided I would use the time in the run-up to the CC to find my way around cyber space - Monday I put myself up for adoption.

For those of you who CC or just visit UKS on a regular basis you will know that new cybercropers can get themselves adopted by an exprienced participant so that they have a single point of contact should they need help with any of the rules or wizzy-stuff. So, I've been duly adopted and my CC mum is CraftyPrincess - I'm sure she doesn't know what she has let herself in for, ROFLOL.

So, there I've been - browsing my way around the CC threads on the website and I'm cream crackered - I haven't scrapped a thing yet but I'm exhausted just trying to keep-up with all the chat and what is happening in the various worlds of my fellow puddings...

I'm told things will slow down once the classes start as everyone will be tooooooo busy to chat ??? I do hope so otherwise I'm going to be worn to a frazzel before we even get started.

Think I need to stock-up on essentials not more, coffee, coffee and perhaps some more COFFEE! I might then have a chance of staying awake long enough to fit everything in **I did say "might" **

In the meantime I really should get ready for workzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Is it really...

...TWO weeks since my last post?

Can't say it has been the best two weeks of my life :o(

The worst bit was Saturday 15th.

After the usual Saturday stuff - quick wizz round to get the shopping, over to Mum's to make sure she was okay and sort out any bits-n-pieces that she needed doing, back home, strip the beds and freshly make them, get the washing done ready for pegging out first thing in the morning (weather permitting) - I finally got to sit down in front of the TV for a while (the remote was all mine coz DH was on nights, lol).

Nothing that riveting on the box and between 11 & 11.30pm I found myself dozing so common sense said 'time for bed', and that's when it happened...

BANG, CRASH, and the sound of smashing glass.

As our lounge is at the back of the house I wasn't completely sure whether it was outside the front or actually the front of our property so I went to look...

Turning the hall light on I saw broken glass all over the carpet and a gaping hole where the window in the door had been - the front gate was wide open (I'd closed it earlier in the evening) but there was no sign of anyone.

Not being a '999' situation I phoned hubby who duly came home from work to secure the hole.

Our dining room is at the front and not knowing if DH would come in the front way or via the rear drive I kept watch for him. During the 20 mins it took him to get home a police car cruised the street 3 or 4 times (??????????).

After we had cleared the glass I left DH to board the hole whilst I phoned the local police to report the incident and to find out if there was a problem in the area - cruising police car? - but the crime desk seemed un-aware and just took the details of what had happened. They said someone would be in-touch...

DH returned to work and now being completely awake I waited in case the police made contact - I should've know better. By 2.30am, I took myself off to bed. The police car had made a couple of passes again but there was never any hint that it might stop.

So, when did the police make contact? 9.46pm on Wednesday 19th.

I was told that there was little point in an officer coming out to see me as there wouldn't be any chance of getting any suitable finger-prints (doh, four days later, house on main road, daily postal deliveries...I think I could have worked that one out for myself).

Still, this week has ended on a brighter note :o)

Caroline (she of the oh so scrummy cupcakes, mmmmmm) had something published in the latest Scrapbook Inspirations **anyone else noticed that there wasn't a freebie with the mag this month** a book full of mini books suitably scrapped to show off her favourite cake pics and recipes - well done Caroline.

Nicola also had her 'take' on the book of books published - her theme was a year of her boys.

John at Artbase has been creating again and has come up with a super Gingerbread boardbook. Margaret's stunning decorating of the book can be seen on the Artbase site or on UK Scrappers (nooooooo, don't ask for a link within this text - you should know by now that links and me don't go together...haha). I have a Gingerbread house and I am looking forward to getting stuck in...

The countdown has also begun for the UK Scrappers next cybercrop - starts 5th Oct. I have registered this time and am a Party Pudding member although I'm not sure that I will actually get much of a chance to spend a decent amount of time cybercropping...I can but dream.

There are loads of classes so even if I don't get to do everything I want during the crop I'll make sure that I download the instructions so I can do the stuff later. I will be doing the Artbase class (I've had a sneeky peek and all I can say is WOW, WOW, WOW) and I will try my best to fit in some of the others.

The materials lists have been published so I think I'll have a rummage in my stash to see if I've got suitable stuff for the classes that haven't got kits available. Off to start rummaging, I could be some time...........

Monday, 10 September 2007

Crafters really are...

...very inventive people.

A week ago I discovered Cuttlebug embossing folders. "So what!" I hear you say. Well the thing is, I hadn't really given them much thought because I don't have a Cuttlebug...

Yes, I know most of the super die-cutting gadgets that are on the market these days have accessories that are interchangeable with other systems but I hadn't really given much thought to this one as I have a QuicKutz, a Tag-a-long and a Big Shot (lucky me and mostly thanks to Mum).

A week ago I spotted a script embossing folder at Artbase and enquired if it would work okay on my Big Shot - the girls in the shop were great and actually tried it out for me. I left the shop not just with the script folder but four others too, I was hooked (LOL).

I've had a lovely play with them all and even got my friend Diane hooked as well (sorry Diane...more "toys" to buy). It seems that we are not the only ones to have found these super folders - in the space of a week Artbase sold out (I've been assured that an order will be going in ASAP).

For anyone who hasn't investigated the Cuttlebug embossing folders I can really recommend them. I love my QuicKutz Goosebumps but their size limits their use whereas the Cuttlebug folders are just right for matting & layering on an A6 card or providing extra texture on some of the larger die-cuts and alphabets. Great for creating some of the larger embellies for scrapping...:o)

However, this does not tell you why crafters are really inventive folk - does it!!!

I came across a posting today where the crafter was also singing the praises of the Cuttlebug embossing folders, why, because they worked perfectly in her pasta rolling machine. So there you go folks - if you can't afford a die-cutting machine at the moment but would really like to do a bit of embossing go and dig out that pasta roller from the back of the cupboard **big grins at the thought of everyone hunting out those pasta rollers whilst muttering "I know I put it here somewhere..." hee, hee**.

I am always amazed at the ideas that craft folk can come up with and there are probably tons of household items (bought as a must-have, used a couple of times then shoved away 'out of sight out of mine') that could be put to use - anyone got any ideas for a sandwich toaster???????

Friday, 7 September 2007

Happy Birthday...

Good job Simon doesn't 'do blogs' cos I think he might be a bit miffed with this pic :o) but he said I wouldn't dare...............!!!
Never say such things to a female armed with a camera and with access to the Internet. You just never know what is likely to appear...

You might have noticed...

...I've been taking photos.

Why...........cos I've got a new camera. My very own little digital wonder.

It's not one of these super-duper things like the ones used by Cheryl Johnson or Kirsty Wiseman but it is fine for me. It takes piccies up to 7.2 mega pixel quality, has 3 x zoom and a great little function called Advanced shake reduction (boy does it make a difference to the clarity of the pics).

I had a bit of a play one Sunday evening cos I just love sunsets and was really rather pleased with the results.

It is a lovely little camera and it didn't cost loooooooooooooads of dosh (I just couldn't justify that sort of expense) it was on special offer at Argos and I had a voucher to spend so it cost even less, yeh!!! don't you just love a bargain. Even better, the gadget-mad lads at work have been great with providing info about reasonable sorces for memory cards and bargain to-date, USB memory card reader £1 from Poundland. It is all soooooo easy now to stick the memory card in the reader, plug it into the PC and away I go.

Can't see me ever being "David Bailey" or "Lord Snowdon", lol, but I'm having a lot of fun and the results ain't too shabby either..........

Artbase crop... this Sunday.
Last month's project was this super board book. I have completed the book but haven't yet added any photos as I need to raid Mum's collection for the annual school photos...(you know the ones...never had a brush or comb handy, sat in front of some strange smudgy background cloth and told to grin at the camera, yuk)
This weekend we are going to make an exploding box (something I've been meaning to have a go at). Looks like I won't be adding the photos on Sunday as the pics I want to use need to be re-sized and my printer is very low on ink at the moment (bahhh!!!), perfectly okay for normal stuff but not good enough quality for photos.
I feel a need for some new ink cartridges...

I promised... introduce you all to Alfred and Barty. Here they are...
I did them both at the ceramic painting class that I used to attend. Alfred is in standing (blue) and Barty is lazing with a book (green).
I fully intended to create a whole family of "Gonelfs" (I wasn't quite sure if they were gnomes or elderly and would have worked my way through the alphabet for names. But after making a few as presents for friends and colleagues the novelty started to wear off and costs were also starting to rise. family consists of Alfred & Barty.
They have a nice sunny part of the garden **when the sun shines, that is** and they have their very own tree-stump :o) They seem to be quite happy and they have a good crop of toadstools (not real...) They are also very 'green' and have their own solar lights.
There may come a time when I can add to the family but in the mean-time, Alfred & Barty seem quite happy to just enjoy each others company...