Thursday, 28 February 2013

A Closer Peek... & 10 Things....

I had a few comments about the photographs on my desk for WOYWW this week... and so I have decided to share two of  my very favourites with everyone. Firstly... oh, how embarrassing... a photograph of two adorable children taken round about 1972-3. It is my older brother and me (with a lollipop). I just love the expression on my brothers face - like he really doesn't want to be there at all, and definitely didn't want his photograph taken.
The next one is a photograph of my great-grandmother Winnie and her brother Fred.
Winnie's nick-name was "Fairy" because of her long blonde curls... and her father named his fishing boat after her too - "The Fairy". I love this photograph of brother and sister looking so serious... it reminds me in so many ways of their father, and our history - it's a very long and quite sad story - but a story that got me hooked onto genealogy and tracing my family back through generations. One family line (from Winnie and Fred) I have traced back to the mid 1600's.

All this reminiscing brings me onto "10 Things" - a little challenge.
It's a simple list of ten things I miss. This was an idea of a friend of mine, a way of getting to know other people and remembering things about our childhoods, how things used to be, and having a bit of a giggle.

So, here's my 10... I Miss:

1. Sonic booms. When I was a little girl, Concorde would set off loud booms in the air, and all the children would stop playing for a little while and look for the distinctive plane flying overhead.
2. Hearing a plane engine and just wondering where it was flying to or from... rather than hearing a plane engine and listening to changes, wondering if it will get to where it's going to safely. Post 9/11 changes have been drastic.
3. Kentucky Fried Chicken. I'm a vegetarian because I can't digest meat very well - it makes me quite sick. Quorn, TVP and Tofu etc, are brilliant at mimicking most foods - but KFC cannot be replicated. I miss it so much *lol* I miss bacon too - another food that cannot be copied without the non-meat rashers looking and tasting like insoles.
4. My Nan's trifle. She used sherry in the jelly, rum in the custard, and brandy in the cream topping. You could have one serving of her teatime treat and not pass a breathalyser test!
5. Not being the baby of the family. Not only was I the younger sibling... I was also the only girl for two generations on my Dads side of the family. I was so spoilt :) Sometimes it would be nice to go back to the times when I had no responsibilities, and all the attention... just for a few moments.
6. Hedgehog flavoured crisps. I just really liked them - and, no, they really were NOT hedgehog flavoured :) I liked strawberry wotsits too.
7. Billy McIndoe. I don't actually miss Billy... I miss the bread delivery he made. Every Saturday morning, he'd come round the estate in his large white Mothers Pride emblazoned van, selling bread and cakes and all sorts of scrummy things from his van. Okay, I admit that when I was about 7 years old, I had a huge crush on Billy. But then, I loved David Essex too. It may have been the hair. *lol*
8. Christmas Eve as a child... that feeling of excitement and wonder is something that stays with me... but it's never quite intense as when I was a little girl. Perhaps it's the lose of naivety that is the difference?
9. Seeing my feet when I stand up. I really should get back on this diet *lol*
10. Quiet roads. I can remember visiting my grandparents in West Dean when I was little... driving for over an hour in the car just to get there on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, and hardly seeing another motorist on the road. This was only the 70's... yet things have changed so much!

Well, there  it  is (or there they are?)- 10 things I miss. Of course, there's a whole lot of other things - grandparents and people I have loved who have passed on. Crisps at 4pence a packet, Bagpuss (my cat, not the television programme), my grandfathers voice, grandmothers wisdom, being a child in the six weeks holidays... but the idea of this is to list the things that other people might not miss...
So... are you up for the challenge? Can you list 10 things that you miss? It was actually harder than I thought it would be. Let me know if you blog your "10 Things" by leaving a comment and a link to your "10 Things" post- then I can have a peek too :)

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Crafting Mishaps #6

Oh dear! Some people (i.e: ME) shouldn't be let loose with dangerous crafting items. Though, to be fair, glitter is a dangerous crafting item when I'm around (see crafting mishaps 3 and crafting mishaps 1 for proof).
It all started when I saw some retractable DIY knives really cheap in the 99p store. "Hmm", I wondered... "could these be as good as craft knives to use? I'll buy some and find out".
The second important piece of information in this sorry tale, is that I always over-use my craft blades. I'm such a skinflint that I use them until they're totally blunt. And then I'll use them for a bit longer. I know, I know... dangerous and really stupid!
Well... I had packed up my bag ready for crafting night at Pickwells, so my craft knives were jammed into an overflowing compartment and I didn't fancy having to rummage through my neatly packed (!!*lol*) bag to find them. Never mind, thought I... I'll just use the retractable DIY knives I purchased.
I was only cutting photographs - nothing heavyweight at all. Trouble is, my craft knife is somewhat blunt, and so unthinkingly, I placed a lot of pressure onto the retractable knife I was using... and sliced clean through my little craft mat.
It appears that I am not such a weak and feeble woman as I previously thought I was. It could have been worse... I could have sliced through my bigger mat and damaged my desk. I so liked that little mat too - handy for taking to craft meets, clearly indicated centimetres (which was why I was using it instead of my larger mat with inches), and pretty impervious to heat guns. Not impervious to retractable DIY knives though. Oops!

Maybe some glue and double sided sticky tape could fix this problem...?

WOYWW #195

I wasn't going to participate on "What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday" this week... but half an hour ago, Baby decided to wake me up with a wet nose to my chin, and a swipe of a soft paw to the cheek :) Bless.
So, seeing as the little kitty won't let me get back to sleep (swishing of big fluffy tail in face, purring in ear, etc) I decided to come into the craft room, empty my bag from Pickwell Craft Club last night and have a bit of fun and join in with hundreds (well... 175 last week!) of other crafters and nosey people who weekly pop over to Ms Julia's "Stamping Ground" blog and add their name to Mr Linky :)
I've finished the "Family Recipe" album - apart from what I'm going to decorate the cover with - and I'm actually putting photographs in it too! The piccies are all chosen, and just need to be cut down to size and placed into the album. I haven't started the journaling yet... that part will takes AGES! The photographs left at the side of the album are ones that will go into the album, but slid into a couple of 1/4" thick pocket-type-sort-of-pages I constructed, along with copies of certificates and memorabilia.
Of course, being at Pickwells last night AND having birthday money burning a hole in my pocket, I just had to buy the Tim Holtz Alterations "Elegant Flourishes" Bigz die (Sizzix, 656639). Expect to see this a LOT in future projects :) This die was the main reason I always wished for a Big Shot :)
I'm running out of pads for my smudgy-inky thingies, so bought those too - and a few little sale items just fell into my basket as I walked past them. Honest! :)
The mirror, as you can see, is still sat at the back of my desk, untouched and dusty just waiting for me to get round to doing something wonderful (!) with it. I will get there. Eventually. It just doesn't help when adorable little furry animals wake me up at some unGodly hour of the morning wanting attention! I'm slipping back to bed for a couple of hours - hopefully with no interruptions... but (as Arnie said) "I'll be back!" to have a snoop at your desks later :)
Have a wonderful WOYWW everyone!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

WOYWW #194

Another Wednesday rolls into view (and over me, it feels like!) and so once again it's time for the mayhem that can only be...
Da da da dada ta-da!!!
Did you have a drum roll in your head just then?! *lol*
Anyways... as everyone should know by now, you just pop over to Ms Julia's blog (The Stamping Ground) and follow the simple instructions. If they weren't simple, I wouldn't be able to follow them :)
So here's the mess desk this week:
Hubby bought me a bag of tiny nuts and bolts, and I haven't had time to look through them or put them away - which is the only reason they are still sat on my desk. I use them for putting hinges and clasps onto my mini album boxes. The main part of my desk is being covered by the mini-album I'm still making. I have 1 last page to do... and then I have to decide on binding, covers, etc. At the back is a bathroom mirror which has been broken. The other side is still a mirror which I shall just keep as it is. For the rest of the mirror (that is no longer *lol*) I will give it a big clean-up and then choose a photograph to place in the empty space, modpodge it to within an inch of it's life and then embellish. That's something to do for another time though... have to get this album finished first!
As for the Big Shot... you can see from the plates that it's being well-used already :) And it's not even my birthday until tomorrow.
I am sooo spoilt!
Here's hoping everyone has a brilliant Wednesday!

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Yay!!! Happy Dance!

Guess who's got her "T" key fixed ? :)
Now I don't have to explain to people that I really do mean that I need a "T", not a "TEA".. or that I have no "T" key, not that I don't have a "TIKI" - thank goodness I didn't have gifts of tiki dolls or miniature huts *lol*

So, now I have a "T" key installed that works (-AND I did it all myself!) and a new wireless hub, I may be able to back online and blogging.

Happy dancing!

Many Many Thanks to Sheridan - a lady with exceptional talent who you can find over at "No Time For Washing Up" who nominated me for a Liebster Award on my Pockets & Pages blog.
Want to know more?
This award was designed to be a blog award in the pay it forward fashion. Once you've been nominated, you award it to blogs that you like that have fewer than 200 followers, to encourage new visitors to visit these new blogs.
Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to their blog. Post the award onto your blog. Give the award to five bloggers who you appreciate that have fewer than 200 followers. Leave a comment on their blog letting them know that you have given them this awesome award!

Here's my five, in no particular order:

I really have to have Dawn on this list - a lady with such joy for life and sharing:

Hettie - another talent that cannot go unnoticed :)

Sandra, becaue she's also talented... and she has naughty chickens *lol*

Cathy is a must too - oh, her card designs are so fabulous!

Eliza has the cutest kitty - and a great imagination too

You can take it from me that all these ladies are BRILLIANTLY TALENTED!
Go have a peek - I promise you'll love them all :)

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Crafty Snippet - Week 59

I am so annoyed right now... my "T" key tried another flying lesson, and the hinge is broken completely now :( It's so difficult to type!

Still, I have finished a few projects this past week, including a box I made for my In-Laws letters (their story briefly told here on WOYWW #192).  The box itself is made from left-over chipboard (which I have only just discovered that we Brits call "greyboard") apart from one piece of 12x12" I needed for the lid top. All the metalwork - hinges, latch, corners, etc were leftovers from when I made a suitcase project, the inside ripped-page detail was leftovers from a few recent projects, the ModPodge is still the pot of mixed leftovers I have been using, and even the paint I used for the outside edges is a pot left over from some miniature painting I had done. I bought a pad of 12x12" patterned papers for another project, but didn't use them in the end  and thought this sheet of black with the white writing would be perfect. So, apart from the one greyboard sheet and the patterned paper... this is another project made from leftover snippets - perfect for an entry into Di's challenge "Crafty Snippets" over at Pixies Crafty Workshop.
(Just a quick word of warning - the girls over there are such a fun-loving bunch you'll soon be a member of their gang and addicted to Di's blog *lol*)
The finished chest

All the metalware was already in my stash, lefover from previous projects

The inner is decorated with torn pages - I've so much of this left, it will probably appear in many more projects yet!

Left-over paint - messy, but cheap :)
I should add that this was probably one of my quicker projects, taking me just one night to complete. I was going to add more to the finished chest - brads that look like screws, some cardboard decorative hinges detailed with silver embossing powder... but in the end, I liked it just as it stands :)
The bottom of the box has felt-covered brads as 'feet' to protect any surface it stands on... these were leftovers too :) though it took a lot of rummaging to find four matching ones.

WOYWW #193

The tidyness that was my desk has disappeared... in fact, my whole craft room looks a mess. It looks like Hobbycraft exploded in my room!
I'm mid-project, working 'on the fly' and making things up as I go along and that's my excuse for the mess on my desk that I'm revealing for WOYWW. It could be worse though... I could NOT have a Big Shot sat on my desk :) Yes, Hubby let me have my birthday package early and I have been playing with my new toys.
A little close-up of the first page of the new mini-album I'm working on... it's using the "Kitschy Kitchen" collection - but instead of a recipe book, I'm making a family album.
I just got out a load of things that I thought might match and have strewn them around - including ribbons and packets of embellishments hung up under my shelves!
So much for the resolution idea of "A tidy desk is a creative desk" *lol*
Right... I'm off to peek at some other desks - and if you don't have a clue what's going on here (*gasp*) then pop on over to see Julia at The Stamping Ground and join in with "What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday".

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Happy Birthday To Me!

Well, it's not actually my birthday yet... but a package arrived today - an early birthday pressie from me to me :) I know I should be using the stash I already have, but I couldn't resist these items at the prices I paid - and not included here is a pack of KaiserCraft Kraft shapes collectables from the Sears & Son collection - gorgeous! All moustaches, bowlers and ties with some vintage adverts and tags thrown in :)
I'm so excited - I shall start using these as soon as I figure out what I want to do with them :)

Friday, 8 February 2013

No Blogging For Bubbles :(

I have been blogless since Wednesday :( After just starting to blog (semi-) regularly again, it's been a hard couple of days. Some of the problems may be due to my trying to fix this "T" key... the tabs that hold the key in place are broken, so I thought that maybe superglue would be a useful addition :)
I also blame my whole new fixation on mending and using things I already have instead of buying something new. So, here was I with a broken "T" and a bit of superglue... and I accidentally glued down the key completely. This is actually a bit more disastrous than it sounds, as I couldn't shut down properly, and then when I restarted the computer it was made some very unpleasant noises at me. When it comes to technology, I'm more of a "run away, it might blow up" sort of person rather than a "let's look at this logically and sort it out" kind of woman.
I decided to use my playbook instead... and my internet access went off completely. I don't like BT a whole lot right now!
So... no internet access and a dodgy keyboard put pay to me getting online and blogging.
I've sort-of mended the "T" key - it's partially stuck down, but lifted enough so that I can press on it and use it (with a little difficulty)... and the laptop no longer is making weird and not-so-wonderful noises at me. Obviously I am also back online :)
Sadly, I missed WOYWW... and have no time right now to catch up.

On a much better note, I finally took the plunge and asked Hubby to get me a Sizzix Big Shot for my birthday. It's all ordered, and I have just received an e-mail telling me that it will be here on Monday! If I really suck-up and make Hubby a nice dinner, he might let me have my birthday present early :) After years of fussy-cutting large swirls, hand-cutting page edges and being unable to die-cut large shapes, I will be playing with spellbinders and on-the-edge dies until I run out of paper :)
Now all I have to do is invest in some large dies :)

Off to my "Pockets & Pages" blog now - I have some updating to do :)

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

WOYWW #192

Wednesday again - already?!?! Apart from being a time when I really do need to get tidied up here, and mend this blinkin' "T" button on my keyboard, it's also time for "What's On Your Workdesk? Wednesday" hosted (as nearly always) by the super-bloggity-linky-dink Julia at The Stamping Ground.
So... here is my desk... and there's somehing really special on there today...
I've just about finished the clock and album I've been working on, and decided that it was about time I made a start on a box with a hinged lid and a clasp. There won't be an album for this box... it's for the 'something special'.  Take a peek over to the right of the photo. Here's a little close-up of what it is... a stack of letters...
Okay, so it's not special to anyone else but my family - and here's why:
My Hubby's Mum and Dad separated and divorced when he was a teenager, his Dad (Ron) never remarried and seemed very happy living his eccentric and slightly odd-ball life. A few years ago, Ron passed away unexpectedly and it was left mainly to Hubby and myself to clear Dad's house. We had gone through most things - finding paintings and poetry he had created and Christmas cards he had saved for more than 60 years! I did mention eccentric, right? Well, someone had told Dad that instead of insulation in his loft, he could use binbags filled with empty plasic milk cartons - apparently they'd work just as well (no, I really don't know if this actually worked! *lol*). Hubby was voted by me to go into the loft space and clear out all these bags and cartons. It was there that he found a box... safely and carefully packaged. When we opened it, inside were these letters.
Hubby's Mum (Mary), as a teenage young woman, wanted a penfriend to write to and had asked a driver whom she worked with (in Essex) if he knew of anyone who might be interested. He did... and passed on Mary's details to a young man living in Battersea named Ron. This is how Hubby's parents met and married. The letters we found are from the very first exchange, right up to when they bought some land and built a house, married and then finally moved in together. The letters are so wonderful - Mum said I was more than welcome to keep them and read them when I asked her. It amazes me as I read through them, that if not for a simple message of "Would you like to write to me?" my wonderful Hubby wouldn't even exist!

I've rambled on enough... time for me to have a peek at some other people's workdesks now.
Oh, before I toddle off... here's a WUYWW - the "U" is for "Under"... couldn't resist this one - she's such a spoilt little Baby!

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!

Friday, 1 February 2013

New Blog Page

Just a quickie post to say that I may not be blogging here for a few days - I am adding a new blog page to PatchWork Apples to show the mni-albums I have made, page by page. This means that I have to take photographs (when the batteries on the camera have charged!), resize the photos and post them with some explanation about how the pages are constructed, etc. It's really for my benefit more than anything else, as I may be giving away some of the albums and want to keep a record of how I made the pages, what they looked like, and so-on. Oh... alright, I admit it... I'm also doing this partly to show off some of my albums in a bit more detail. So I'm selfish AND vain! *lol*

Right... I'd better go find the battery charger then. Why is it that the batteries always run out when you need them the most? Typical!
Well, maybe if I wasn't spending so much time taking photographs of my pets, the batteries would be fine.
Which reminds me... I was sorting out the craft room a little bit more, and left an empty drawer on the floor. It took less than a minute for this to happen:
Miss Violet all curled up comfy and sound asleep!
Awww :)