Friday, 17 February 2017

Feeling ...

... accomplished!  I've been busy clearing our loft.  It was full to capacity and now it's practically empty.  Everything's gone to charity and I'm still in a decluttering frenzy.  I've finally made it into the room that should have become my craft room ??? years ago.  Lost count of how many years ago it stopped being a bedroom and units were installed for me to use.  Have they ever?  Nope!  It's been used as an extension to the loft.  It is now being cleared and sorted.  I'm aiming to have a working craft room this year - in fact, determined!  There is not just the junk to sort but what craft stuff has made it's way into the room.  I'm sure most will need to be found new homes but the charity benefitting from this hive of activity is the Martlets hospice that have been helping to keep the OH going for the past couple of years.  He's certainly had a lot of help from them, as have I.  Seems only right to put something back in any way we can.

Keeping track of nephew, inbetween time.  He's on his world cruise, about a third of the way through at the moment.  He's been to some amazing places and is currently at sea on his way to Perth, Australia.  Itinerary is here.  The places he's been already? 
Port Said
Suez Canal
Colombo - Sri Lanka
Bali ...
Am I jealous?  You betchya!  Well, jealous is probably a bit strong as it's not an emotion I generally suffer from but envious, certainly.

It's the OH's birthday next week.  I had a playday at Greta's yesterday with Cally, Debs and Kim.  I actually made his birthday card .... *shock!*  Made from the freebies in this month's Making Cards mag and some feathers from Greta's stash.  First time I've ever made something with a mag freebie.  Just loved the paper pack and stamp set that came with it - and the 3 issues for £3 offer that was within *happy*
 We have a busy birthday week for him ... hospice, oncologist and, hopefully, the cancer centre for the next month's supply of meds.  That depends on what happens with the oncologist!

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Sunday, 12 February 2017

2nd workshop ...

 ... done and dusted.  Finally got round to photographing the first one's makings along with the second.  Workshops have a new format.  We're now making 2 cards per workshop.  One is designed by Clair and the other by her daughter, Sharni.  The workshop is now split in 2 and each lead the half with their card design.  We're also told where we're sitting each time so we don't choose for ourselves.  We get to sit with different workshop members each time which is fine.  Only problem Cally & I have is that we don't get our 'catch up' time if we're not near each other.  We have the trip there and back in the car - and that's not long *sad*  Spend more time with others than we get with each other now - *ROFL*  Still, we've a play day at Greta's this week.  An 'au revoir' meet up before Kim departs for pastures new.  She's off to live near Prague.  We don't want her to go *sad*  We'll see her again in June for our annual Crafter's House Party though *woo hoo*

In the meantime, workshop cards .....
Those made in January - 
Clair's design - MFT stencil andstamps, Mama Elephant dies
Sharni's design - MFT dies & stamps
This weeks workshop cards ...
I've adapted Clair's design slightly.  She had hers mounted straight, I've got it on a jaunty angle.  Clair had coloured the background buds and leaves.  I decided to leave the as black and white line images, however I've mounted the image in such a way that I can colour it if I change my mind.  I also added some crystal for a bit of 'bling'
Clair's design - Stampin' Up & MFT stamps, Sue Wilson dies
My version of Sharni's design looks as though it's got some mauve sequins on.  It hasn't but they are iridescent so take on lots of different colours in different lights.
Sharni's design - Stampin' Up stamps, Sizzix embossing folder.
Last week I finally managed to blag some photos taken at our workshop craft day in November with John Bloodworth.  Clair had arranged for a local guy to come and take photos for a local website.  That guy is my window cleaner *ROFL*.  I've asked him a couple times for some copies, particularly one of the group with Maisy.  He sent me that one and a few more last week.  I checked with him for permission to share them with the workshop group and he kindly agreed I could, so I did, except for one *wink*  I'm sure he won't mind me sharing a couple here.

The Motley Crew
Really think I should have combed my hair after we'd been outside but it didn't see a comb all day *shock!*

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Friday, 27 January 2017

... and a Happy New Year!

OK, I know, it's late!  February next week.  Had a lot going on and no 'ooomph' to write blog posts.

December and Greta's playday.  As expected, not a lot of crafting got done although a good trial of 2 stamping tools took place - MISTI and the WRMK Precision Press.  I'd bought both.  A whole day of stamping this and that by me and some of the others and I decided I preferred the WRMK Precision Press.  Came home and sold the MISTI +extras.  Long story short (and a case of good karma in my direction as it turned out) and I ended up getting over £70 for it, nett.  Very happy bunny as I'd had to put up with some really nasty moron (as it turned out) through the transaction so I guess it became compo as well.

Christmas came and went and then it was back to normal with hospital appointments etc for the OH.  He had a 'blip' which could have been a kidney infection but wasn't.  Oncologist appointment meant we had a convo we'd rather not have had.  Told we may be optimistic in having our booked holiday in September.  Also told to keep a close relationship with the hospice.   Day after - everything back to normal!  Now we're not sure what's likely to happen. The OH is to have a CT scan before he sees oncologist again and the nurse specialist he saw this week had been asked to assess him for pain and overall well-being.  Fortunately he's doing well again so hoping things will continue as they are at the mo. She will be reporting back positively.  Seems chemo may not be an option at all so we may have exhausted all available treatment if what he's on now is stopped.  We're hoping to have a different, more positive, convo with the oncologist next month.  We know that 'that' convo will probably happen at some point though.  We're not ready for it yet!

Youngest found a flat and moved out.  So much better for him.  More space and it means the youngsters also have more space to stay over with him.  So pleased to see him happy in his new home.   It's a work in progress, getting things together, but slowly, slowly.  It's a long time since any of us have had to start from scratch.  We've managed to loan him some bits to tide him over.

I broke my laptop *sad*  I now have a perfectly OK laptop that I can't use because ..... I cleaned the screen!  OK, I didn't clean the screen properly.  I squirted cleaner directly onto it instead of onto a cloth.  Didn't catch the runs quick enough and the liquid got into the connections.  After a while screen started going odd and turning white.  Logging of and signing in again brought it back for a while but it kept doing it until it opened up on the white screen *oops!*  Techy hubby of a friend took it to look at and told me he thought the screen driver had blown - kaput!  Fortunately hard drive was fine and all info still on it so that's been put in a case as an external and the OH has given me a new/old laptop he had (barely used).  Driving me up the wall though 'cos I can't get it to 'wake up' from sleep with the keyboard or mouse.  Tried everything I've found on Google to put that right (seems a fairly common problem with W10) but nothing's worked so far.  I may just treat myself to a brand new, all singing and dancing, one ..... we'll see

I've finished the photo book for our October holiday *YAY!*  As normal I left it pretty much to the last minute.  Bought a credit in November, with 3 months to complete it in.  A month left and I'd not started.  Panic - I know it can take me 4 or 5 weeks to put a book together.  Cheat!   I used an older book I'd done for the layouts/guidance.  A few tweaks here and there as I added the photos - job done - but not before I'd deleted all the photos in the album by mistake and had to upload them all again and restart!  Wish I could embed the online copy like I used to be able to but seems Blogger still won't allow it.  Link instead .......

Had the first (for me) card workshop of the year this week.  Good to be back.  I've not photographed the cards yet ... new format to workshops with Clair.  2 tutors, 2 cards.  Excellent!

... and that's pretty much the rest of December - and most of January - in a nutshell!  Just got to sort out photos *grin*

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Sunday, 18 December 2016

Friday was ...

... an amazing day.  My first experience of a cruise ship. P&O's cruise ship Aurora.  I went, with my bro, sis-in-law and niece to visit my youngest nephew while he was in port before departing to the Caribbean for Christmas.  He'd just docked on return from a Baltic cruise so had a few hours off.  We delivered his Christmas presents and he gave us a tour of the ship.  Lunch was had on the ship and the food was wonderful.  The ship is amazing.  It's not the biggest of P&Os fleet, by any means but it's classic and looked extra good all dressed for Christmas.  We had to be off the ship by 3pm but it was quite an experience and a few hours I shall remember for a long time.  He took us backstage to show us the dressing rooms and the general backstage area full of props and costumes.  Even got to stand on the stage looking into the auditorium. He then took us round the rest of the ship. We'd happily have stowed away but we'd had to hand our passports in before we boarded so they'd have noticed we'd not returned for them *ROFL*   Lots of photos ......
A dining room
Another dining room
Yes, that does say World Cruise 2017.  It's his next one when this one is done - not jealous!
One of the 3 swimming pools.  This one is covered but has a sliding roof.
Another pool
Crow's nest bar - above the bridge.  Entrance to the bridge is where the railings are.
Costas, but like none I've ever seen before - lol!
Nephew and his girlfriend who has joined him for the duration of the Christmas cruise
Crafty stuff ....
The Tuesday following the All Counties Craft Challenge weekend in Godalming I did another workshop with Helen of Craft Bunnies.  She was leading us through the making of a calendar using an Ikea photo frame.  I loved it.  I'm thinking I may make some more but, then again - lol!  Once again, with Helen, it was all Stampin' Up products used - apart from the frame and the book rings.
At this point, my crafting for the year is nearly at an end.  Just one more crafty day left in November  to note and it's all done until 2017 although I think I've missed one of Clair's.  I'll have to check ....
Greta is having a 'playday' this week but not sure there'll be much done by way of crafting.  More like chatting and laughing ending up with a meal.
There's still plenty of other 'stuff' before I'm done with 2016 though *grin*

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Thursday, 15 December 2016

Lovely day ...

... yesterday.  Took myself to the theatre.  Sunny Afternoon, the Kinks story.  You've got to have been a fan and like/d them, both now and back in the day.  Theatre Royal hasn't put on a panto for a few years now, instead they've put on alternative 'family' shows.  Have to say I think they've failed this year.  Enjoyable as it was it's not really a show I'd like to take younsters to and for one reason only ... the language.  Quite a few profanities used and, although it's to keep things real, it's not language I'd like our little ones to hear because of us.  They hear enough without parents or grandparents seeming to condone it's use.  Old fashioned idea???  Probably but there is no need of it, to my mind.  Having said that, the show is excellent.  The language relevant, to keep it real, and the lads taking the parts are excellent in their roles.  Certainly a trip down Memory Lane for me.
Night had fallen when I left the theatre (I did a matinee) so thought I'd take a look at Brighton's Christmas lights, such as they are.  Quite pretty, especially Bond Street and around the Clock Tower ...
The area I spent the majority of my working life in, inlcuding the building (blue lights) where I had my very first full time job.  It was a bank then.  Now it's a Wetherspoons pub/restaurant
Mid November - a very special weekend, craftwise.  The 2nd full weekend of crafting hosted by John Bloodworth for his All Counties Challenge in aid of MIND.  This weekend was different to the April/May one in that we had to choose our workshops from a selection.  John was dedicating his time to teaching the Scan & Cut (his forté) but to support him and for those of us that don't own a machine there was Leonie Pujol (using her own range), Paula Pascual (Tonic Studios), Jenny Meyes (Hobby Art), Sarah Milsop (Beads Direct) and Dean Wilson (DIY).  John's report of the weekend is here

Kim & I chose Leonie, Paula and Jenny as our choices for the weekend.  The results .
Leonie's - backgrounds with sparkle pens and some mixed media
Paula's - crepe paper flower, tissue flowers and wreath, card - all using Tonic products
Jenny's - using Hobby Art stamps,  Kuretake Zig Clean Color Real Brush pens and other 'stuff' - loved those pens 
.Great weekend and learnt a lot.  Waiting for the next one to be announced now *wink*

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