Thursday, 24 December 2009

Christmas Eve

Wow, how Cristmassy has this weather felt? Snow... on the ground... on Christmas Eve...

Mark had to work, this morning, but the rest of us went to visit my aunt, who lives the other side of town. Everywhere looked so pretty on the way, with the snow. And it was also quite misty, making everything a bit eerie, but in a good way. And disguising some of the less savoury sights on a trip across this city... And then I remembered, I had my camera in my bag... So, on the way home, I snapped away, from the back seat of Dad's car.

The picture above is of The Old Grammar School, Kings Norton. It, and the nearby Saracen's Head, won the BBC's Restoration programme a few years back. Well, all of the restoration has been completed, and two old buildings have been saved and put to really good use as community buildings - I know this, as I go to my slimming group in the Saracen's Head, or St Nicolas' Place, as it has now been re-named. I used to go to Brownies in the Old Grammar School, many years ago, and got married in the church that lies between the two buildings, also many years ago...

I'm quite chuffed with the pictures I took...

This is a church hall, near the city centre. I had to take a picture, as it is just so incongruous. It almost looks New England-y, but there it is, in the middle of Birmingham...

We got home, closely followed by Mark, had some lunch, then set off to see what time the crib service was to be. Picking up an extra table from Mom and Dad's, to take to Helen's - we're all off to her's tomorrow...

So, we got to the church, to find we had missed the crib service - by two days! Oh, well, better luck next year... We never made it last year, either...

Off to Helen's we went, to help get ready for the big day... The veg was peeled, the dining table was laid, but the table we had taken round didn't fit where it needed to go. So, Mark and Simon decided to bring in the table from outside. But, before they brought it in, they decided to clean the glass top, with warm (they say tepid) water, when the temperature was around zero. All I will say on the matter is - don't try to put your drink down on the outside table...

After a little drinky, home we came, to make sure all was tidy for Father Christmas. Christmas pyjamas were put on - Father Christmas had thoughtfully left us a pair each, this morning. Then a mince pie, carrots and a glass of milk were left for our night time visitors.... And then it was time for bed...

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Stockings finished...

Hmmn, no work today, but today's the day for a minor melt down. Well, it had to happen, didn't it? It's all so very nearly ready - but, not quite. So, I had to lock myself in the bedroom to finish the wrapping and sorting. It's felt a bit single handed this year, but, it's all done now.

Dad brought the ham round, so that's been cooked, very yummy, as usual.

Then, down to the sewing - stockings don't stitch themselves, you know. Even Mark entered into the spirit, and stitched his own stocking. We all put our names on them, so Father Christmas will know who they belong to. Luu's is very intricate, with beads individually stitched on; Mark's is very simple, just his name; Phoebe's is more colourful than the rest, with bright beads added; and mine is fairly simple, just a heart as embellishment.

I wonder what will be left in them TOMORROW NIGHT, excitement is mounting around here...

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Christmas pressies and stockings

Where's the time gone? Only two days left to complete all of those ideas I've had! Oh, well, what doesn't get done, doesn't get done... But, I'm sure it will.

Helen and I decided to do the BIG Christmas food shop today. And we had decided to go early... So, off we went at 5.30 this morning! Boy, was it cold.

It was really not too bad - Tesco's only had half-light until about seven, which actually made it quite relaxing. There were lots of staff stocking up the shelves and pushing their on-line shop trollies, and we managed to get pretty much what we needed - only forgetting a few things...

We were home and un-packed by 8.30 (and that's only because we spent an extra half an hour sorting a present from Dad to Mom). Which made for a very looong day. So, I got the girls to help do the last of the wrapping - well, not quite, but there are some things they couldn't wrap...

Luu and I then set to making some little notebooks, using the bind-it-all, some cheap notebooks from the poundshop, and some scrapping stash. They turned out pretty well, all personalised on the front, but I never took any pics before wrapping them.

After tea, we made a start on some little stockings - an idea that I'd had earlier in the month, and bought cream felt for. It was very pleasant, sat in front of Top of the Pops2, Christmas edition, stitching away. Interspersed with much hilarity when we realised that Phoebe had sewn the top of her stocking together! Nothing that couldn't be sorted with a quick snip of the scissors...

Monday, 21 December 2009

Christmas Crafts with Nanny

Last year, Mom decided to sort out a day, just before Christmas, to do some crafting, with the grandchildren. We all had such a good time, that we decided to do it again. Today's the day for Christmas Crafting with Nanny, 2009.

Mom had sorted out some gingerbread coloured felt, and cut out shapes using gingerbread cutters for the kids to sew up and decorate. The biggies sewed their own - in fits and starts, but the littlies had their's sewn up for them. Although little Miss H did give instructions as to how hers should be done, as befits a 4 year old...

Lots of tv watching and playing went on amongst the kids - then they finished off the day decorating masks. Cats for the big ones, and a dog and princess for the littlies. Lots of glitter, feathers and felt.

I spent most of the time (after sewing gingerbread decorations...) hooking a Christmas wreath. Mom had done a class with her WI, being taught how to "hook". She bought Helen and I a kit each, to make our own wreaths. Helen and her girls have already made theirs, and in fact, Helen completed a second one, as she has double doors to the living room - so needed two. They have all been made using the same instructions and fabrics, but they all look different. Mine is quite large, thanks to Amber's cutting, but it's just right for the back of the front door, where it hides the back of the wreath decorating the front door, if that makes sense...

Each of the kits included a hook, used for pulling the fabric through - but we also used one that Mom had, that belonged to my great-grandmother! This crafting thing must be in the genes! Don't you think? One of the differences being, that grandma (as we called her) used to use fabric from jumble sales, whereas ours came from the Rag Market. Although, Helen and I think that we could make wreaths, or possibly hearts, from the girl's outgrown pyjamas...

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Michael Jackson Party

Today's the day for my friend's son's birthday party. Callum's birthday is on Boxing day, but Jayne decided to have his party before Christmas this year. She organised some dance teachers to teach 25 seven and eight year old boys how to dance like Micheal Jackson. And, they loved it.

She got them each a hat and a microphone, and covered 25 white gloves with sequins. They learned a short routine, and danced before their parents, when they came to pick them up. Ann and I were roped in, as her very good friends, to look after the food, the drinks and the parents.

We then had a chilled out evening at Jayne's, with chilli (cooked by me) and chocolate fudge cake, brought by Ann.

Saturday, 19 December 2009


Still no desire to go anywhere near the shops on the last weekend before Christmas. Luckily, my planning has paid off. Pretty much all of the presents have been bought. However, they haven't all been wrapped up yet - but, there's still time.

Haircuts this afternoon - I had a good few inches chopped off mine, and it feels much better.

We were supposed to be going out this evening. To a do organised by the factory that Mark has recently been made redundant from. But, he decided not to go. Mark is one of very few who has got a new job - and he didn't want anyone to feel that he was gloating in any way. He also wants to look forward, not back. And only a few people from his department could go - the ones he would have liked to meet up with couldn't make it.

The upside of not going out? The Strictly Final!!!!!!!! It's a new Christmas tradition, round here, to spend the last Saturday evening before Christmas watching the Strictly Final.

In the words of Craig - it was FAB-U-LOUS!!!

The dancing was great, the atmosphere was great, now if only Brucie didn't present.... I would have been happy with either Ricky Whittle or Chris Hollins winning, they were both brilliant - in different ways. But, our favourite, Chris, won. Thanks, I'm sure, to the voting that Phoebe did!

While we were watching, Luu came to tell us that it was snowing. And it was. The most perfect fat snowflakes were laying a blanket on the ground. Could we be in for a White Christmas?

Friday, 18 December 2009

Party Day... Another One...

Each year, I go to a corporate work's Christmas "Do", and today's the day. It's always an afternoon event, Christmas Meal, followed by a disco, then onto Broad Street for a couple of hours, for those that want...

This year, we went to Telford, where a small number of employees are based, and someone had suggested it would be "fair" to hold a Christmas event there. So, three coachloads of us went up the M6 to join the dozen, or so, staff in Telford. The meal was good, then the disco kicked off with half an hour of karaoke. Now, it had been suggested around my department that I would be taking my turn! But, I keep telling them, I don't do karaoke! Sing Star? That's completely different...

The karaoke was not too bad, definitely different It kicked off with just about the biggest poseur there, but, he got us all in the mood. He was followed by good singers, bad singers who thought they were good, appalling singers up for the fun of it, and, of course, a truly dreadful effort by the exec team. But, all good fun...

We got back to Broad Street to round off the day with a few G&T's. Ann's husband came to pick us up - we just had to get to the front of the Mailbox - no problem, apart from the sheet ice everywhere. And Ann and I being the most fall over pair you are likely to meet. But we got there safely, and waited, and waited, and waited... Probably for about half an hour, it was absolutely freezing! At one point, we were going to ask the taxi drivers if they wanted us to warm up their seats... But it was very festive, with families making there way home from the German Market, and people heading out for their Friday night out.

I got home and watched Love Actually. Mark got home just after me, and went straight to bed. Only one of us had a headache the next day...

Thursday, 17 December 2009


Thursday, work, not much more than that....

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Work-a-day Wednesday, and Webbs

Wednesdays mean work - so not too Christmassy. But after I got home, Helen rang to see if we wanted to go to Webb's. Er, yes... So, off we went.

It was so pretty, all of the railings outside were covered in icicle lights, and they also had what looked to be very pretty lights outside, but it was too drizzly to take a closer look. Instead, we all had a lovely mooch at the decorations, and the little villages inside.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Merry Hill, again?

Merry Hill? Again? Anybody would think it was nearly Christmas...

So, a shopping day was organised with Mom and Helen. Where to go was left to the "lists". But on the day, the drizzly damp weather meant that Merry Hill it was. The end of the day left us with much shorter lists, and we had a lovely day, complete with the obligatory hot chocolate - to keep the sugar levels up, you understand.

Christmas Trees in Town

Luu had today off, the end of her exam leave for her mocks (eek, GCSE's next year!). So we took ourselves off into town for some Christmas shopping, and also an outfit for her college interview, on Friday. Luckily, we found the perfect outfit quite quickly, and our shopping list for the day was soon completed.

So, we rewarded ourselves with a couple of hazelnut hot chocolates and a Christmas Pudding Cupcake. We sat in the Starbucks in Selfridges, looking out at the real Christmas Trees for sale on their balcony. Yes, Pedlars in Selfridges are selling real Christmas trees in Birmingham city centre! And they looked gorgeous, but there were still quite a lot left - I suppose people may not really want to drag a tree through town, but I'd like to see them try!

Party Day!!!

So, today's the children's Christmas Party. It's hard work, and great fun, all at the same time. And even though we may mumble and grumble and say never again... We've already asked the DJ to come back next year. We only had the one turn up, phew! And he never turned up till ten minutes before the party was due to start - and then took half an hour to set up! Luckily not too many people turned up that early!

The party seemed to go well, we had plenty of thank yous and hugs. And Father Christmas turned up and gave all of the children a present, as they'd ALL been good this year! We set up a little "grotto" in the corner of the hall for Father Christmas, which he seemed to enjoy, even though it tried to fall down on him... And, yes, my decision about the tacky seventies style Christmas lights was right, they looked the part in our grotto.

A bright and early start

It's the children's Christmas Party this weekend. The one my friend and I have organised, for the children and grandchildren of staff where we work, for the last five years. So, yesterday also included filling our cars with the presents etc, that we have bought, and kept stored at work.

The plan to do the food shopping was a little different this year. We decided to meet up early, at a supermarket between where we both live. So, at eight o'clock this morning, we met to buy party food for 66 children, and accompanying parents! All this at a supermarket where neither of us normally shop. This caused some light-hearted grumbling, when we couldn't find the things that we needed, most noticeably the Party Rings. I mean, you can't have a party without Party Rings! Eventually we found them, but not with the biscuits! I mean...?

We rewarded our early start, and hard work(!), with a cooked breakfast in the supermarket cafe. And were delighted to see three ladies, probably in their seventies, meeting up to exchange presents over tea and a bun. We did wonder if that is our future?

The rest of the day was spent quite quietly at home. We don't really want to be venturing out to the shops on a Satueday this close to Christmas, unless we need to. As a family, we have done quite a bit of on-line shopping this year, and I have done most of the rest on Mondays and Tuesdays, when I don't work, all-in-all, a nice balance.

The afternoon was spent doing quite a bit of wrapping, and sorting, and hiding... And the day was rounded off with a marathon sit down in front of Strictly. I can't believe it's the final next week, and I can't believe I will be out that night! Oh, thank you for digital recorders! I shall watch it all on Sunday, even if I do know by then who has won, and i shall be able to fast forward through the Brucie cringy bits...

Oh, Christmas Tree

Hmmn, it's getting close to Christmas, now. Only two weeks. A work day, so pretty quiet Christmas-wise. Mom and Helen got their Christmas trees, they have real ones. I've had the same artificial one since Luu was a baby. In fact, I chose it the year before.

We decided to go artificial as we like our decorations up the first weekend in December, and we'd already had a year when we had to get a replacement tree!! So, we chose our tree from a local garden centre, and decided to get it on boxing day, when their half price sale started. Being seven and a half months pregnant meant that the early start was easy, and there we were, as the doors opened. In we went, and looked for our tree. But they had none! Such a lovely, if pricy, tree, of course they had sold them all. What to do? We looked at the ones they had left, but they weren't a patch on the chosen tree. So, we didn't get one. We decided to keep looking - for that perfect tree.

Towards the next Christmas, we kept an eye on all the shops and garden centres, waiting for them to get their Christmas stock out. The shops started to get all Christmassy, and the search for the tree began. Luckily, it didn't last too long. Our garden centre had OUR TREE in stock!!! So, we got it. And we still use it. And each year it still surprises me that it is still so lovely. In fact, last year was the first year since we had it, that my Mom did not ask, "Oh, have you had a real tree, this year?"

Thursday, 10 December 2009

A Year Ago, Today...

A year ago today, I took the plunge into the wonderful world of blogging! Where I was going with it, I didn't know. And, if truth be told, I still don't really know..

There are so many lovely blogs that I read, some scrapbooking, some knitty, some crochet, some design types, some in languages I can't read (they have the lovely pictures), some with lovely pictures - and I do wonder what mine is? I flit around through these blogs - and am influenced by them - but can't quite pin down what I want mine to be.

This blog has brought me back into touch with one of my school friends, Hi Lisa,and through that renewed friendship I have made more friends by joining the monthly Bromsgrove crop, Hi Lib.

This blog has tracked the changes of an ordinary life. This time last year we were getting our heads around Mark's four day week. Since then, we have spent six months living under the shadow of impending redundancy. And then the utter surprise of a new job. Now we are living with the demands of that new job, combined with quite hefty amounts of courses and training for it. And the factory that was due to close by November? Well, it's still open, at least into the new year.

This blog has documented some of the stuff that we do. The crafty stuff. The family stuff. The dreams of the seaside. It has seen birthdays, holidays and baking. What will the next year bring? Who knows. But, I hope to still be here, and if I could ever commit to it, I will be a tad more organised in the coming year, and perhaps, do a few more than the measly fifty posts I have managed in the past year.

I shall now away, for a celebratory G&T...

Sarah x

wednesday 9th

So, work today, so not particuarly a Christmassy type day. But... did manage to sort out a dj for the children's party my friend and I organise at work. Huge phew! As the party is this Sunday, and we've been let down by 2 djs, the one has done this party for us for the past five years, but has just not returned any calls or emails, and the second said he could do it, he just had to check the times of an event that evening, and still has not come back to us!!! It was starting to look like a cd player in the corner...

Watched the second part of Kirstie's Homemade Christmas this evening. Such a sweet programme, and even more ideas of things to do for Christmas. I have a little list of things to do, for after the Christmas shopping has been done, and after I break up for Christmas, which would be next week - woohoo!

And today's photo? Another one from last Friday, of the Christmas Tree outside St Martin's Church. No, it wasn't snowing. That's the flash bouncing off the drizzle - but quite pretty, nevertheless. And if you really squint your eyes, and because I said so, you can just see the church in the background...

8th December

Yesterday, got some very sweet new lights for the holly tree outside the front door, so got them put on. And very lovely they look too. Sadly, it's too dark to get a piccie.

Today I nipped to Webb's to admire their Christmas decorations, hopefully I'll take Mark and the girls to have a look, too. Popped into Hobbycraft while there, and stocked up on a couple of Advent gifts for the girls, then dropped in at Gallery Textiles for some cream felt for planned Christmas projects....

And, as there are no pics from today, one from last Friday, of the wheel, in town, which was shut, so I couldn't go on it, phew!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Off to Merry Hill...

Today's the day. Helen and I off to Merry Hill to really put a dent in that Christmas Shopping List!

Well, that was the plan. Unfortunately, our lists weren't that great to start with, due to lack of letters sent to Father Christmas around here! But we did our best, and came home with heavier bags, and lighter purses.

The picture was taken in TKMaxx. I had just picked up the perfect present for one of my friends, when I noticed somebody had been arranging the letters - and, no, it wasn't me! Luckily, due to "the plan" for the Christmas book, I had my camera with me, so I whipped it out and took the picture, forgetting to turn the flash off! So, then had to shove the camera in my bag, and whizz off, before anybody could question the strange behaviour of the lady in the household section!

Deck the halls...

It's the first weekend in December. That means it's time to put up the decorations!!! Yay!

This is what the living room looked like at 10 o'clock in the morning. And after many trips into the loft, this is what it looked like by 3 in the afternoon. Just in time for my traditional glass of sherry. The Christmas music had been playing all day, just to keep us in the mood...

On a side note, Phoebe wrote a very (unintentionally) funny piece about not being to help with the tree, and having to do washing up instead! Luckily, I printed it off before she deleted it, and will be able to pop it into my Christmas book - because that's where these (nearly) daily rambling are heading. There are lots of scrappers out there doing things like Journal Your Christmas or December Daily, and I really fancied having a go. But following my pretty poor attempt at learning something new everyday in September, I decided to wing it myself, and try to get some notes here on my blog, to help put something together at a later date - well, that's the plan, anyway...

A cropping we shall go...

It's the first Saturday of the month - it's time for the Bromsgrove crop!

Off Helen and I trundled to enjoy a day of scrapping, laughing and festive merriment - complete with a visit from Father Christmas himself! Who invited us all to delve into his sack! Thanks for a lovely day Lib.

Mark and the girls had been to see Mark's mom, and they got me this sweet little robin - oh how well they know me...

4th December

Friday the 4th dawned cold and frosty, but treated me to this lovely view when I got to work.

After school a family trip to the German Markets took place. All of the cousins, plus Nanny, made their way into town, to enjoy the festive lights and delights.

A trip on the wheel was planned, but, due to technical problems, it wasn't turning. Phew...

We munched our way through hot pretzels, yummy German hot dogs and chillipoppers (chilli peppers stuffed with cream cheese, then deep fried).

The littlies got their adrenaline kicks from a slide down the helter skelter - complete with coconut mats.

We then meandered back through town, mooching in some of the shops, before making our way home to a welcome Friday night glass of wine...

Thursday, 3 December 2009

3rd December

So, today I ended up with a surprise couple of hours at home, by myself. So, before I left work, I sorted myself a little to do list:

  • fill advent calendars - check
  • sort pressies in bedroom - check
  • move wrapping downstairs
  • sort craft table - check (although Charlie cat does think it's his bed!)
  • tidy PTA paperwork away - check
  • check girl's trees in loft (bought new earlier in year, and forgot what colour they were - black for Luu, white for Phoebe) - check
  • check Christmas lights in loft - too high up, so left for another time. Aargh - running out of time, hope they all work before a panic/manic dash to the shops at the weekend
  • take some photos for the blog, as home in the daylight - check
  • update pressie lists in "my book" - check
  • blog this list - check
Still have to go and collect the turkey for the school Christmas Fayre, but that won't be until later, so not really for this list.

I'm quite pleased with what I achieved with my little to-do list - one of many over the next few weeks, I'm sure.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

2nd December

Luu's tree has now been finished. But no pics yet, I'll try to get one tomorrow.

A quick trip to the chocolate shop to stock up on humungous tins of chocs ready for Christmas - and some "emergency" chocolate, just for me... Also, some advent chocolates.

Then, this evening, a very unusual shoppping trip - the only presents bought? Presents for me...

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

December the First...

So, December is here, and the countdown to the most wonderful time of the year!

Phoebe made the tree, Luu's is still a "work in progress", at the moment.

Is it 25 days to the big day? Or 24? I think 24, but Phoebe has it at 25, so there we go.

A bit of Christmas shopping today, and some of it already wrapped! And the first Christmas card has gone in the post - but it has gone overseas...

Monday, 19 October 2009

made this weekend

This last weekend has been one of those quite ordinary weekends. You know, one where you don't really DO anything. And then I thought, actually, we did do quite a lot...

On Saturday we cleaned and tidied the house, set up the new laptop to our home network, set up the printer as a network printer, Phoebe did her gymnastics, Mark and I had our flu jabs, the lawn was mown, the girl's and I had our hair cut, we enjoyed a delicious home made chilli and the day was rounded off by watching Strictly - quite a lot for a quiet Saturday.

Sunday was a lazy day - all the housework had been done the day before. All we did was the weekly food shop, Mark did four hours of homework, the ironing basket was (nearly) cleared, we popped to a couple of garden centres looking for planters and looking at fish, cooked and consumed a Sunday Roast before sitting in front of the TV watching Doc Martin (oh, how I want to live in Cornwall, AND have a dog!), laughing our way through a re-run of Top Gear (the one with the old Leyland cars, that Helen and I saw them filming, but that's another story) and dreaming of going whale watching again while watching Last Chance to See..

Yep, just another average quiet weekend. Then I remembered the crafty, creative makes that had also made their way into the weekend.

Phoebe made banana cakes, using a banana loaf recipe that she'd made a couple of weeks ago.

While the house was being tidied on Saturday, Mark inadvertently threw away some very important bits of paper that were lying around on the computer table. These were lists of various important bits of info that Luu had been jotting down while surfing the net. So, pulling a few bits of card from my stash, I made her a book to keep those scraps of paper together and not looking like intended rubbish...

The cover was made from a quick card I had started to make...

The inside pages have been folded up to make pockets for those important bits of paper, and some blank cards left for new notes...

And some pictures added, well, just because... Then all put together using my Bind-It-All. It's already been put into use - I might just have to make some more...

Sunday morning saw me showing the girls how to make paper boats, the picture's at the top of this post. We used pages out of magazines headed for recycling - carefully choosing pages with good colour combinations. And very pretty they look - "sailing" along the window ledge in the conservatory.

So, there you go, a quiet weekend at our house...

Sarah x

Friday, 16 October 2009

and she's back...

Dear Blog,

I am so sorry I have neglected you. It has been many weeks since I visited you, but I thought of you often. And pondered our reunion many times. So, please accept my apologies, and welcome me back with open arms and mind.

your friend,
Sarah x

So, I've been an incredibly bad blogger. Also, didn't do too well with my Learn Something New Every Day. I think I knew it was going to be a commitment too far for September. And it turned out to be. Mark ended up juggling two jobs for the month, which meant home life got a bit hectic. But, he has now officially been made redundant, and has started his new job. So life is still busy - but in a different way. Also, I had to do the round of secondary schools with Phoebe, as her application had to be in at the end of September. One week we had seven schools with open nights! Needless to say, we didn't get to all of them! But, the form has been submitted - so, now we have to wait until March to find out where she'll be going next year. Loads more happened, but I won't get bogged down in that just now, better to just get this much posted, I think.

So, for something to look at, a couple of layouts that I did in September. No, fibbing, the last one was done at October's crop...

Sarah x

Thursday, 3 September 2009

On a Roll

So, in the last hour, I have...
  • Finished the cover for my Learn Something New Every Day folder
  • Designed (ha ha) a sketch for each page - hopefully this will make it easier to do each page. I won't have to think about a new layout each day
  • Done Day 1
  • Done Day 2
  • Done Day 3
I have gone with the idea of using up my stash. So, I'm using a binder from Paperchase (a birthday present back in April), the cardstock is Papermania from a couple of years back and the papers are a Basic Grey set I bought earlier in the year. It's a Christmas set - but just my sort of colours, and I don't think they look too Christmassy, and I really don't think I will use them all up at Christmas...

The pics aren't great - taken on a really gloomy day, about 15 minutes after any reasonable light was around, as there were no batteries charged for the camera when I was ready...

Oh, and I had some "help" from Charlie

back soon...

1st September 2009

Ok, so I didn't actually manage to post yesterday about what I learned on the first - are you confused as well? But, I have a reason - or excuse.

After a day at work, I picked the girls up from home, dove to Ikea, and spent five (yes, five) hours there. Then drove on the motorway in torrential rain, to finally get home at 10 pm. Then I had to go to look after my Mom and Dad's cat and house. Not bad, as reasons (excuses) go, is it?

So, I haven't actually done a page yet, or finished my cover page... But, I have a plan! I will be able to catch up at the crop on Saturday! As well as decorate a post box for my friend's wedding...

And, what did I learn on the first?

"Teenage Daughters love you, when they want a lift home, in the rain."

back soon...

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Learn Something New Every Day

So, I've signed up for my first ever on-line class, Shimelle's "Learn Something New Every Day"...

I've got some cardstock, some papers and some embellishments ear-marked. Now I just need to work really hard in class - and learn something new every day!!! Not really a problem, I know I learn new stuff all the time... The problem will be my utter lack of organisation, and taking the time to identify what I've learned - but that's one (or two) of the reasons I'm taking the class.

This is day one - and I think I know what I've learned today - but, the day's not over yet, and there could be something even more important to be learnt.

Not to put even more pressure on myself - but I'm also aiming to blog what I've learned, each and every day in September.

See you tomorrow...

Edited - something else I've learned today - how to add a blinkie...

Monday, 3 August 2009

Life is a Roller Coaster...

...just got to ride it. Or words to that effect, as Ronan Keating sang.

So much has happened in the last few weeks, I almost don't know where to start...

Luu had two weeks work experience before school broke up. She worked at a friend's florist shop - and loved it! By all accounts, she did really well, worked really hard and learned loads. During the first week she started to get a rash on her face - which we thought was an allergy. But as it got worse over the weekend I took her to the doctors, who said she had shingles. She had anti-virals prescribed and off we went. But very worried about potential scarring on her beautiful face. But by that weekend it was no better, in fact it was much, much worse. So, back to the doctors, who this time said it was Impetigo ( a highly contagious skin infection). He was very surprised no-one else in the house had caught it - down to my good housekeeping I think LOL!!! So, the poor thing had unwittingly spread it around her face - while treating the rash as shingles! So now she had a course of anti-biotics and some cream to apply. All the while not telling the mother-in-law - as Luu is now on a cruise with her nan, and her face is all cleared up - no marks left, thank goodness. She was not allowed to go into school for the last few days, and missed out on a trip to Drayton Manor. But we did spend some quality time together, and made a lovely bag - which is now in Norway - with no photos to show, unfortunately.

The weather, as we know, was pants at the end of term - so there was no Sports Day - again...

School finished, and there was the year six Prom to help organise. I think it was the best yet, the children behaved so well and looked so lovely. My niece especially so - and she loved her ride in the fire engine limo with a group of her friends.

In the garden, we now have plenty of tomatoes - which we have grown from seed! Very impressed with that. But, the courgettes are rubbish... We also have plenty of Chillies - indoors though - which were also grown from seed.

Then, out of the blue, Mark got a call, and was offered an interview for a job that was so far up his street you wouldn't believe... He went along, did his best, and the next day was asked to go along for a second interview! Woohoo!!! We had a very busy week as he prepared for his second interview - as he had to deliver a lesson to apprentices and management. Anyway - HE GOT THE JOB, and yes, that is shouted out loud. Lots of tears, too, on my part anyway! This is especially good - as the day before the second interview he got his notice of redundancy letter, to finish in November. He now has to negotiate trying to finish early, while keeping his redundancy... Watch this space on that one...

The same day we heard off the insurance about the van - yes, Ruby is still in the garage. Anyway they agreed to some slight changes in the parts to be fitted - as some of the standard parts are difficult to source. So, it's all systems go with that. Especially as today, we managed to get one of the parts that was really difficult to get - as it had melted, being plastic, but they don't usually need replacing so nobody makes replacements.

So with one thing and another, karma has come around to give this family of mine a lovely hug. With the cherry on the icing on the cake (yes it really is that good) coming in the form of a very unexpected cheque in the post today.

Hopefully, more regular posting will now happen, as, hopefully, life settles back down to normal - whatever that may be...

Sarah x

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

It's July!

Where, oh where has the last week gone? I uploaded these pics last week, thinking I would spend my lunch (half) hour at work doing a quick post - but that didn't happen. So, just so you know I haven't fallen off the face of the Earth - Hi.

Been doing a bit of scrapbooking - some more pages done, but no photos yet. And I'm off to the crop on Saturday - but at the moment I'm mithering about photos - not sure what to scrap next. The photos I had printed off for last month's crop are not speaking to me at the moment. I printed some off on our printer, but the quality is a bit pants, to say the least. I'll give them another go, but I think my next scrapping "need" is a photo printer. Any suggestions?

Speak soon...

Sarah x

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Let's go to Arkansas

Not much creating going on this week - as this monster landed in the garden on Tuesday.

As we have decided to sell Ruby - our VW camper, we quickly needed to find somewhere else to lay our weary bones when we head to Cornwall in August.

After much searching and camping-nerdy conversations we decided on this tent. And in a camping-nerdy way, it's fabulous! From it's sewn in groundsheet (no more floods this year!) to the storage pockets (no more treading on DS charger plugs this year!) all the way down to the fabby velcro thingies to hold the guy ropes when you take them down (no more cursing knotted guy ropes this year!)

As you can see, Charlie Moggins went for a mooch around. He has decided he will not be travelling to Cornwall - he will stay at home and be looked after by Nanny and Grandad.

As we sat in the tent on Friday evening, chatting over a glass of wine - cue neighbours thinking "what are the neighbours up to, now?" We started to worry that the tent (plus car, plus trailer) may be too big for the compact pitches at our favourite place in the world... However, after a quick look at some photos of us camping there a few years back, we think we'll be ok. Fingers crossed.

The garden is now back to normal - save for that flattened area of yellowing grass. So, a couple of pics of some of the flowers in the early morning sunshine...

Sarah x

oh, and the Arkansas in the title? Why, it's the name of the tent, of course.