Tuesday, 2 December 2008


I wish somebody would invent a few more hours in a day; there never seems to be enough. I have almost given up on the idea of making mt christmas cards (apart from a few which I need to make, like very close family and a couple of swaps).

James is at a choir concert tonight (although thankfully a short one) as the choir are singing for the opening of the Christmas Craft Fayre this evening at school. I won't mention (much) about the magnet that James swallowed last weekend. It's enough to say that I'm fairly sure it's out of his system now. Honestly - you'd think he was nearly 10 monthsold , not nearly 10 years old!

We spent the whole weekend tidying the kids' bedrooms - and there is still more stuff to sort. We have bags and bags of rubbish/recycling/clothes/toys to give away (some has already gone to friends and family) and I can only imagine what the bedrooms will be like after Christmas again. Saying that - James' birthday is next week so it's going to get worse sooner rather than later. I can't tell you what he's having, as he reads my blog from time to time. Bless.

I'm just at work now catching up on here, but needs must and I'd better get back to doing the stuff I'm paid to do. Will pop back later.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Christmas is coming...

Oh hecky thump! How on earth are the days passing so quickly? Since I last blogged I can't even remember what's happened. I know that Sophie was ill again, and James has been bullied at school (although I am quite satisfied with how it's being dealt with - so far!). I made the rest of the Christmas gifts that Emma at work had ordered, and also a birthday card for her Mum (shown below). I still have to make any impact on my Christmas cards though - I've made, like, 10 maybe? No flipping good at all, I can tell you.

The washing machine broke last night, so we're now £46 lighter, but at least it's fixed. Bloomin' good service from my repair man I can tell you!

Strictly will be on soon, and however controversial I may appear, I'm actually quite glad that John Sergeant is now gone.I am sad and disappointed that the public didn't vote him out, but nonetheless, I think the context will dramatically improve from now on in. I also received Tom Chamber's autograph this week (via my wonderful sister who works in the bank where his Dad banks, and who asked him on my behalf to get a personalised autograph off Tom when he saw him). It arrived on Tuesday, and the kids and I were whooping around the house for ages! LOL - big kid me or what?

Go Tom!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Study leave

I've been off work today with a day of study leave - I've actually used it properly too - I've been a good girl and written my first reflective account for my NVQ in business and Administration. Had a bit of a rum deal though - my lovely employer has registered with an NVQ help website so that we can log on and get tips and hints. However, when I did this, I tried to register for the level 3 NVQ, but it kept defaulting to the level 2 one. I e-mailed the website, and they replied to me saying that my employer had only purchased the level 2 one (bearing in mind that 90% of us are doing the level 3 NVQ in Bus and Admin - so I rang poor Charlie at work and she's e-mailed the woman who runs it all. We'll see if there's an explanation when I get into work tomorrow.

James has been fine today (although still quite pale) - eating properly though, and quite chirpy still, so I'm not really worried. He had a bad night last night though, and wet the bed for the first time in months. At least I was working at home so I could wash all the bedding and get it dry. Bless him.

I got 3 more orders for mini clipboards off the back of one I did for a girl at work, so I need to get those done soon, as well as the ironing that I've been putting off for days. I'll have to do it tomorrow, or we'll all be in out birthday suits before too long (not a pleasant thought for anybody!).

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Animal Magic

We've just come back from a school choir concert for James (it was called Animal Magic - just in case you're wondering) - it was quite eventful - he fainted half way through the last piece! He was on the front row of the choir, and we were sitting 3 or 4 rows back right at the side. We watched him get paler and paler and start to sway a little, then I dived out of the audience and up the side of the seats, and as I went forwards, his music teacher spotted me, then looked at James and ran forward to catch/lift him off the stage and sit him down. Phew! He had completely drained of colour and gone all clammy and I'm sure was about to topple over.
Funny thing is, he had done something similar earlier on in rehearsals, but had been fine after 10 minutes and a little sit down.
He's fine now we've got him home too, so not sure what that's all about. Perhaps it's his version of the bug that Sophie had over the weekend? He should hopefully be OK for school tomorrow - but if he isnt he can stop at home as I have a study day tomorrow (well, technically a half day study day and 1 1/2 hours of flexi to top the day up). I think he'll be OK though.

The sad news is that a local man who was found dead in the church yard at the weekend is the step-dad on one of the boys in James' class at school. We've known the fammily for about 5 years, and although I wouldn't call them friends, it really brings it home how sad these tragic events are - and you never think it will happen around here, so when it does it really comes as a shock.

Sad, sad times.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

That card

Sorry about the quality - I was in a rush on the morning I had to take it into work to be signed by everybody. For anybody that's wondering, Helen and her boyfriend Baz have a large German Shepherd (Baz is a security guard and 'Kato' is a trained guard dog). So whilst the card might have an odd picture for a leaving card, it was very appropriate, and very much appreciated by the lady in question).

Monday, 3 November 2008

Dead or alive?

If I have any loyal readers, you'll all be thinking I've deserted you by now, I'm sure. However, as you can see, that is not the case - it's just that sometimes you can be poddling through life merrily minding your own business, when things just seem to catch up and overtake you on the odd occasion. Nothing major, no traumatic events (thankfully), nothing special to write home about, just 'stuff'.

I'm doing my NVQ 3 at work (business and administration), and I worked full time last week as it was half term, and I like to get my money's worth out of the holiday club I use for the kids - add that to the fact that work will not only let me take flexi time (like today - for an inset day), but they'll also pay me for some of the extra hours I work. Thank god they will too, as Michael is now on flat pay with no travel expenses or overtime at all. This last month was the first 'flat monthly wage' he's received, and OMG was it a shock! So if I can get a few extra hours in and paid for, then I will! It all helps!

I also helped out at Shirley's annual jumble sale on Saturday in aid of Breast Cancer Research. As a survivor of Breast Cancer, Shirley has organised a jumble sale for the last few years, and we broke the record again this year by raising over £600. A long day (but a few perks by being able to have first pick - so the kids got a few bits - some Spongebob DVDs, some Dr Who action figures, Sophie got a little collection of photo frames, and I even got a couple of decent books to read - Autobiography from Gary Barlow, and a Biography of Ronnie Barker, and a couple of Joanne Harris novels too - and a few other odds and sods like note pads and a couple of tops for James for the future).

Well, I have only made one card lately (a leaving card for one of my dearest friends at work) and I did take a quick picture, but I haven't uploaded it to either computer or laptop yet - so that will follow as soon as I get get chance or have the inclination.

The only other point to note is that I had to get a man in last week - the laptop finally stopped working (and I tried and tried myself to get it connected again with no joy). It turned out that I had got too many spyware and such programs running and they all conflicted with each other and booted me off the Internet after being connected for only 2 or 3 minutes at a time. All sorted now, and he also sorted my wireless connection (made it secure after 2 years of it being unsecured) and also created my little network so I can see files on the PC from the laptop and vice versa, and I can also print from the laptop now, which I have never been able to figure out for myself! He was here about 2 hours, at least, and only charged me £35 for sorting it all out! What a bloke, and a serious bargain too!

Only 51 days to go until the fat man comes then? Trouble is, it looks like we might have to choose between presents and food this year - (well, not quite that bad) but seriously tightening of belts will be required!

And Tina - if you read this - more info please!!! It's killing me not knowing!

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Another week

goes by without a post from me.

I really thought I was getting back into the swing of this blogging malarkey, and then it all goes to pot again.

I've had a busy week, with the kids h
aving after school stuff and two governors meetings...one of which lasted until 8.45, by which time I was shattered, but still had to fill the car up with petrol and get a takeaway for tea. I barely stayed awake long enough to eat it (although it was yummy KFC). To cut a long story short, other stuff just got in the way this week.

I did finish the card for my (stand-in) line manager's daughter's birthday - here it is:

I did get a wonderful bargain though - our local 'Au Naturale' shop was having a '20% off' day, and Michael and I had been chatting about how rubbish our cushions on the sofas are (we have 2 x 2 seater sofas and no single chairs)...so it was decided that I would look for some nice, good quality, well filled, plump cushions to replace them. So in to Au Naturale I nipped, and spotted some lovely large faux suede cushions, in a mushroomy/biscuity kind of colour - perfect! £12 each they were, but with 20% off, I could get two for under £20 (we can make do with 2 I thought - don't have to have 4 all at once). When I got to the till, the young girl behind the counter said "These are a real bargain today - they're coming up on the till at £5 each" - which meant I was going to get 2 for £8.

When I got them home, Michael asked why I didn't get 4? Because I only have two hands and I was carrying 3 bags of shopping before I bought the cushions, and the cushions were so big they needed a bag each...so that's why (the polite version anyway).

Needless to say I went back the next day and bought two more (after checking that the price was the same of course). We're now using the old cushions in lieu of a door draught excluder (anything to save money on heating bills) - but I'm going to look around for a proper draught excluder in the near future, I promise.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

What a week

Well, this week has been a busy one. I've had a birthday (I will photo my cards and pop a picture on here soon), I've been on a course to start my NVQ3 in Business and Administration (I must be mad), I've been running around left right and centre with the kids swimming and clubs and stuff, and I haven't started my Christmas cards yet, despite it nearly being October, and the fact that I'm fast running out of time! It was also 21 years on Thursday that I lost my Mum, and strangely I find myself missing her more and more as the years go by, and I see my kids growing up without her by their sides. RIP Mum.

My friend Helen from work has only gone and got herself a secondment for 3 months, so after having finally thought we were settled at work, it's all up in the air again. It's great for Helen, as it's more money for her, but on a purely selfish note I don't want her to go!

I have to get my posterior into some sort of gear today as I have loads to do, in the form of housework and card making (neither of which are floating my boat at the moment). So that begs the question; why on earth am I sitting here updating my blog when I should be running around the house with a duster or something...(I think, dear reader, that you probably already know the answer to that one in your heart fo hearts).

Sunday, 21 September 2008

As promised

Here are the cards I made yesterday (well, and one from this morning too). I still have to put inserts into these, but for the first time, I've inked the edges of a couple of the envelopes to match the inking on the cards - it looks quite effective, even if I do say so myself! In Jayne's card, I'll be putting an image on the left hand side of the insert (as you open it - the left page) to tie in with the front. (It's the same Jayne that's on secondment - so I hope she's not reading my blog to keep up-to-date!)

General birthday cards:

A couple of anniversary cards:

A card for my cousin's son (10 this week and a mad-keen footballer):
A 40th birthday card for Jayne:
And another general birthday card:

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Itchy and scratchy

is how we've been feeling for a couple of days as Sophie came home from school with some little tiny multi-legged friends in her hair. Well, that is , I assume she did, as I could see the eggs, but couldn't find the actual little pests themselves. All treated and presumably gone now, but it doesn't stop you itching when you think about them.

The consent form for James to appear on TV came (via Special Delivery 9am - guess who wasn't here?!) so I went to the sorting office to pick it up, and it's duly been completed and returned. We'll just have to wait and see when he will appear now (she said within a couple of months).

I've spent all this morning making cards! Yippeeeeee - finally! I shall take some piccies either later today or tomorrow and let you have a peek. Nothing spectacular (I bought some of those 'No Scissors Required' decoupage sheets, so I've been making fairly quick cards with them, and also some Paper Nation decoupage which I seem to have had forever.

I might get around to making something completely original one of these days, but don't hold your breath!

This evening, I shall be mostly watching 'Strictly Come Dancing' - I love the program, and since the gorgeous Tom Chambers (Sam Strachan from Holby City) is appearing, it will be even more worth while. I didn't realise that my sister knows Tom's dad though, until I was speaking to her about Strictly the other week! Apparently they're quite local to Matlock and they come into the Bank regularly - jammy cow [smiles sweetly].

Anyway - come on Tom!!!!!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Famous at last

Well, it looks like James is going to be famous at last! He's pestered me for days to take some photos of him that he can upload to a CBBC website Funky Fables - he needed seven photos of him with different (pre-defined) expressions on his face. We did this exercise on Sunday, and they were duly uploaded. They are then used for animated clips on the website where a character uses your face and it appears to talk etc. I'll try to post a link to his clip later on when he gets back from his piano teacher's leaving party (I'll tell you about that another day).

Clip is here

Now along with the website, there is also a TV Program, which is 10 minutes long and on the CBBC channel. Photos which are uploaded are randomly selected to be chosen to appear on the actual TV prog (with parents' consent) - and James has been chosen!

I was contacted on my mobile today by a producer from the program who asked me loads of stuff about James and confirmed he will be on the TV program within the next couple of months.

Can you imagine how excited a certain 9 year old boy is?? I'm not sure I can put it onto perspective, but I think the whole school knew about it by 8.50am this morning!

Sophie's been off school poorly for the last two days, with a stinking cold and a bit of sickness, but I'm hoping she will be well enough to go back tomorrow (she is slowly regaining her appetite) as I really need to be at work!

Right - Michael's cooking tea as I type, so you can guess how popular I am for being on here again. Must get around to crafting again soon...or I'm going to found buying birthday cards late at night under cover of Tesco's.

Saturday, 13 September 2008


Tuesday, 9 September 2008

All quiet

on the South Normanton front - well, that is to say the kids are in bed, recovering from the shock to their systems that is 'school'. Sophie was so excited this morning, she was practically bouncing off the walls before we went to school - I'm sure that we won't be early for school every day, but it did make a change. The only shame was the dreadful weather - it's rained persistently all day. I'm grateful we don't have a river nearby, as some of the local villages have had problems with flooding!

I did take a photo of the kids this morning all togged out in their new uniforms (well they're both 'new as in bought very recently and expensively from the shop - but Sophie's was a new uniform as in she has now moved up to the Junior School which James has attended for the last 2 years. I now have 2 years of them being together, so no more rushing between schools with seconds to spare and fighting for parking spaces. Phew.

With Michael at Band, I really should be doing something constructive - like making one of the 27 'occasion' cards I need to make for birthdays and anniversaries before Christmas, and that's not to mention the cards for that occasion in December which begins with C and ends in chaos and overdrafts.

I think I also need to make a card for a commission, only the person that asked me for the card hasn't mentioned it since. She is in work tomorrow, so I will find out some more info (seeing as the birthday, from the brief conversation we had) is very fast approaching.

I will upload the photos in a minute, so as long as there's a decent one among them, I will add one to this post shortly (and no - I'm sorry - I didn't meant to call you 'shortly'!)

Sunday, 31 August 2008

I can show you

the card I made for Jayne at work now - as she left us on Friday 25th August to go on her secondment.

Friday, 29 August 2008

When in doubt...

...post anyway!

Well, I've been so busy with work I've neglected it (my blog) again. I will be back very soon with some pictures and some info, as I'm finishing work today until 9th September. Yeeeehaaaaaa!

Sunday, 17 August 2008

A Quickie

Where does all the time go? I've been hectic at work for most of the week, and also the two days off I've had with the kids have been filled with mundane stuff.

I've got my new contact lenses (continuous wear ones that I don't have to take out at night) but I'm not sure about them. They just don't feel right/comfortable. I'm going back to the opticians on Tuesday to have a check up, so I'll see what the optician says. I've been looking forward to having them for ages, but now it feels like a real anticlimax.

Anyway - made a card tonight for one of my work colleages that's leaving on Friday to go on a secondment - can't put it on here yet, as although I don't think she does read my blog regularly, I know I've sent her the link in the past, so I daren't risk it. I'll put it on the Canny Crafters forum in the meantime, and put it up next weekend once it has been given to Jayne.

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Just passing through...

No time to stop - I've got 101 things to do tonight! As well as going and getting some food shopping and filling up the car with the last Tesco 5p off a litre voucher I've got, I've also got to get all my craft stuff together for loading up in a hurry tomorrow.

I also want to make a couple of bookmarks tonight, and I'd like to stamp out some images and colour them ready for doing my candle class at the weekend.

There's also some ironing to do (Michael is off this week with the kids, ands he's done loads of houseworky type things (cleaning floors, tidying, hoovering, cleaning) but he's managed to ignore the ironing so far (and only one day left). He is, however, at home all weekend with the little darling children as I'm off crafting in Nottingham with my lovely forum mates.

Can't wait until I finish work tomorrow - yipppppppeeeeeee!


Sunday, 3 August 2008

Phew - finally

I've finally made the candles with matching cards for Emma at work. I think they're for her to give to her daughter's teachers when she finishes private day nursery at the end of August. I just need to start working on the bits she's ordered for Christmas now!
I've also managed to take some photos to put on the tutorial sheet for the altered candles I'm doing at the craft weekend. that way. if I bore people to tears and they fall asleep, they will be able to follow the instructions instead [smiles].

I've also made a few cards to keep up to date with family birthdays. Should be all right for a couple of weeks now.
Back to work tomorrow - at least I won't be able to hear the kids arguing from there. They've been dreadful this last week - hitting and shouting at each other, then best of friends the next. Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
Anyway - here are the photos:

I promise that the last card has silver card round both images - the top one looks gold because of the flash :-(

Wednesday, 30 July 2008


I was bemused when I heard the doorbell ring at 9am this morning. I wasn't expecting anybody, and I couldn't see a post van outside...so imagine my surprise when I opened the door and saw my hairdresser standing there! She wasn't due until tomorrow...or so my pea-brain had convinced me.

How embarrassing, but at least we were all up, dressed (at least 2/3 of us were) and hadn't gone out for the day! It frees up tomorrow morning though.

Alas I still haven't had time to craft, but at least the ironing pile endeth! Should be able to get some major stuff done tomorrow now (although we have to fit in a trip to Tesco petrol station to make use of my 5p a litre voucher, and to the kids' holiday club to pay the next shed load of money, and also to the local fancy dress shop - the only outlet that sells the Junior school's branded items of uniform [I kid ye not - not even the school itself sells it]).

Really need to get some candles made for examples at the craft weekend (wont be showing you those until after the weekend, for obvious reasons).

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

No crafting today

No time to craft - still got half a mountain of ironing to do (it was just far too hot to finish it last night! I got a few bits yesterday at The Range - notably some cheap ribbon (not that I need to restock my ribbon collection, but if it's a bargain, it always seems to find its way into my basket one way or another), some brads (and I have a fair few of these too *ahem*) and some white acrylic paint, as mine is all stringy and weird inside.

Quote of the day went to Sophie though. We were browsing the aisles, and Sophie declared that she really needed some foam pads. I turned to her and said:

"Sophie - how many foam pads do you think I've got at home?"
"Fifty million" was her reply. The shoppers around us were almost doubled up with laughter (and a few knowing smiles made me think they understood the situation exactly).

I have also been to my local candle shop to buy some stock for the craft weekend - 24 so far. I had to make two trips as I couldn't carry them all in the poor quality plastic basket. I'm sure the woman on the counter thinks I'm barking mad - it was only a couple of weeks ago that I bought 10, and now another 24. Perhaps she thinks I've got a candle fetish?

Popped to Ikea too, to stock up on batteries and some small square mirrors for a friend (and had to have a few for me too of course!). Had meatballs and chips for lunch too. Yum yum.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Little and often

First day of a week off, and if I can get the kids to do as they're told, I'll be off to The Range in a minute (just for a few basics (need a new glue stick and maybe some bind-it-all covers and other little bits).

Got a mountain of ironing to do (didn't get any done last week at all) so that will be my main job later on (hope the heat dies down a little before then!).

Will make a concerted effort to turn this blog back into a diary/showcase, rather than one entry a month.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

And some more

And these were taken with my phone, so apologies for the quality (or lack thereof):

Some recent cards