Monday, 25 August 2014

Quite a busy week ...

... of sorts. Shopping, cleaning, laundry - all the boring stuff - but then it's been workshop week as well *grin* I enjoy the fortnightly workshops. It's about the only way I get to do any crafting - lol! This week, however, we nearly didn't get there! Cally picked me up and just about a mile from my house she had to stop to allow a lorry to complete a turn in the road. About 10 to 20 seconds after she stopped we were jolted forward with some force. A woman had decided to use Cally's car's rear end as her brake!  I have a gut feeling she was on a phone as she spent an inordinate amount of time bent down into the passenger footwell.  We had realised what had just happened, Cally had sat for a few seconds and then got out of the car and was standing by the side of the other car before the woman sat up and opened her door. Being suspicious by nature I'm convinced she was putting a phone away. What other reason would she have to spend so much time bent into the footwell? Most people would be out of their car looking at the damage and making excuses rather than playing around inside the car - that comes later. Anyway, although Cally sustained some damage to rear of car it was drivable - which is more than could be said for the other. Details dealt with we went on to the workshop and, on the way back, some 3 hours later, the other car was just being moved by the recovery team and she was still there.  A lesson learnt, expensively - concentrate when you're driving and pay attention! Unfortunately it's looking as though Cally has an old injury that's been aggravated.  I do hope not. I seem to be fine.

Lots of damage - oops!  Headlights, radiator and bonnet ... and that's just what's obvious!
Poorly bumper but photo doesn't really show the dent on the door above.
We had a lovely afternoon and evening at eldest's last weekend. Just us, them and daughter-in-law's parents. BBQ in the garden then moved into the living room as the evening chilled. He lives near Hastings and the Eastbourne Airborne was taking place. Yeah, I know - Hastings, Eastbourne, 2 different towns but they're close enough together we got to see a tidgy tiny bit of it from his back garden! 2 Tornadoes and 2 spitfires flew right overhead. Unfortunately not one of us had a camera to hand and even the camera phones weren't quick enough to catch them. By the time I'd fetched my camera they were too far away and yet, when they flew over they were so close it would have been a brilliant picture. Worse - it seems it's the last time they'll fly together so an historic moment missed *sad*

Youngest and his family, less one who was at dance class, called in to see us. His eldest is growing into a lovely young woman. I wish she'd stop as his children growing up make us feel exceedingly old!

Okey, dokey ... a little story. Back in March, when we were renovating the living room I'd pretty much decided (yes, OH leaves these decisions to me) on the furniture we were going to have and how it would be laid out. It involved a couple of Ikea Expedit 4 holed, square units (they're now Kallax and slightly different with a less bulky frame ... wouldn't you just know they'd change it so soon after my purchase). Anyway, one I wanted complete, as is, but the other was too tall for where I wanted it and there was nothing else that matched that met all requirements so I decided, as they're very reasonably priced, to cut one down and make it into what I wanted. I took the unit and all necessary bits to a sawmill and got them to cut it to the size I wanted and then bought it back home to play. Those units are hollow! There's just enough in the top of the frame for the fixings.  Cut that away and there's nothing to fix to.  
Inside of an Expedit unit frame, when cut! Dividers are the same, just narrower :O
OH was in hospital at the time and I'd no small blocks of wood or chipboard to use for fixings so, with a bit of thought, I decided to try expansion foam .... squirt it in, and then put the top on, put fixing through holes, weight and wait!  

It worked *big grin* I'm not sure it will stand being picked up and carried around but sliding is fine and, once in place it wasn't going to be moved too often. I then wanted drawers in the top section, to tie in with the drawers in the 4 cubed complete unit.  Problem there is that the drawers are sold to fit a complete cube and I'd halved the top ones so only needed one drawer in each bit. Good craft knife and a very long ruler sorted the problem and I cut the drawer set in half. I now have the unit I wanted, fitting exactly as I wanted. The back won't stand up to inspection but it's against the wall so am I worried? I learnt what I shouldn't have done and I learnt what I should have done. Would I do something similar again? Yep, but would think it through a bit more before diving in as I did with this one but nobody knows what I did unless I tell them. Most people think I bought it as is.I'm happy with the way it is and it works for us so, job done!

While hubby was in hospital I took the opportunity of putting the rest of the furniture together. When he's not around I can spread myself out, take my time and leave it if I want to, to pick up at another time and that's just what I did. The console table, dining table and dining chairs all needed to be put together as all delivered partially flat packed. Some, like the drawer of the console table and the dining table top, were complete but still needed legs, shelves and hardware installing. The dining chairs needed to be put together from scratch. A couple of days work and a bit of muscle was needed as it's all solid oak! 

Those trousers and that sweater are now consigned to the charity bag - they are mahoosive on me now :D
Back to craft and the all day workshop I attended back in July, mentioned a couple of posts ago.  A few more of the cards either made or prepped that day and made at home, afterwards.

Spellbinders dies, Heartfelt Creations stamps (I think) and flowers made from scalloped circles
Lili of the Valley stamp coloured with Prismacolor pencils.
Stampin' Up Secret Garden stamps and various SU inks
That's it for this week.  Think this once a week posting may work ..... *grin*

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Monday, 18 August 2014

I'm excited ...

... but need to calm down otherwise I'll be a gibbering wreck.  The reason for the excitement?  I booked a holiday yesterday but it's not going to be until October 2015 (hence, if I don't calm down I'll be a gibbering wreck).  It's to celebrate mine and OH's Pearl (30th) wedding anniversary.  We'd thought seriously about a cruise from Southampton, across the pond and up the Eastern Seaboard of the good ol' US of A.  He's always wanted to go to New York.  Personally the States have never appealed to me with the exception of seeing the fall colours in New England and I think the cruise is timed to coincide with that.  It calls at NY, Boston, Halifax and so on then back to Southampton.   I'd accept that, as most of the time you'd be on the ship - it's a 3 week cruise - but, on reflection, although it appeals to both of us in one way or another I wondered just how much OH would get out of it.  He'd be fine on board but I don't think he'd get much out of the shore visits.  He can't get on coaches (being a wheelie is a real pain sometimes) so organised trips from the ship wouldn't work for him although I guess we could get a car/cab and have local drivers take us round ... at a cost.  There wouldn't be much, if any, change out of £10k.  Anyway, a couple of weeks ago we had a mailing from the hotel group we stayed with for eldest's wedding in Cyprus back in 2011.  They're opening a brand new hotel, on the same lines as the Agia Napa hotel but this one's in Paphos.  I visited Paphos briefly and liked it.  It's a different part of the island so opens up more trips out so, on the spur of the moment yesterday, we decided to book 11 nights there and the deed was done.  We're, or rather I, am going to hire a car as driving is easy there and it works out cheaper to hire a car for the duration than to pay for return transfers from airport and I can get OH out to see some of what he missed because of not going out while there before.  We can sort excursions, maps and guides out before we go *big grin*  EXCITED!

Bit of catch up on the personal front. Our beautiful eldest granddaughter qualified as a Beauty Therapist in July. I'd helped out by being a guinea pig for her end of year assessments for facials, manicures and pedicures. I left the waxing for her Mum's enjoyment - ROFL! She's got herself a part time job in a salon and is earning a bit extra by doing treatments privately. She's back at college in September - she's going for her NVQ level 3 which encompasses, amongst other things epilation, facial and body electrotherapy treatments and massage. I'm waiting *big grin*  When she's let loose on the public I'll be a willing guinea pig.  She's also passed her theory driving test and now has her practical to look forward to.  Life seems good for her at the moment.

Diploma proper
The past week has seen me at exercise class - yep, I go to a weekly exercise class and have been for over a year now. I'm hoping that with that and the weight loss my lung capacity may improve.  If not improve, delay the problem getting any worse. At least I'll have tried. Shopping delivery was had, along with other boring, mundane, run of the mill daily 'stuff' and a very enjoyable Saturday with eldest and our daughter-in-law and her parents - barbecuing!  Bang went any weight loss this week, or so I thought but .... another 1½lb off so I'm very happy - LOL!

There's been a mini change on the blog - an updated photo - lol!  Thought the other was getting a tad out of date.  The new one was taken the weekend of the Great British Craft Festival 2014 so it's just a week old *grin*  Cally, Kim and myself all visited.  Cally and myself for the whole weekend, including the Friday workshops and Kim for the workshops and a brief visit to the show on Saturday morning.  That was when this photo was taken ... at Kim's encouragement, only for us to realise, too late, that she'd stepped back so wasn't in it! Thanks Kim but it would have been a lot better had you been in it as well *grin*

Workshops were interesting - 
3 cards in a HunkyDory one, hosted by Rebecca Seddon.  2 I made but one is still to be put together ...

Still to be embellished ...

2nd workshop was with Mel Heaton.  A frame decorated with flowers and every flower started out as a circle.  This was our favourite workshop of the day.  I think I may just take the back off and use on a card, with a greeting in the middle.

3rd workshop was with Ali Reeve from Clevercut/Stamps Away.  We guessed this one could be messy, just by who was running it as Cally and I had been on her very first workshop so, I took some gloves with me.  We were right, but it was fun *grin*  
Wooden frame, painted, mica'd and the small canvas design done in string, covered in foil and then painted etc. (There's a granddaughter's 18th birthday next month)

The final workshop of the day, hosted by The Dreamees - Carol and Hayley Bignall - and our least favourite although the finished product is quite cute.  Template, already printed and cut for us so we just had to put together and make oval spiral flowers.  Not sure what I'm going to be doing with it.

Looking forward to next year now and thinking we might have some more friends for company next time - LOL!

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Thursday, 14 August 2014

A quick catch up ...

... and a decision.  I've never really intended neglecting the blog in the way I have for as long as I have but somehow, when there's nothing of worth to blog about every day nothing gets done at all *sad*  I've decided I'm going to try and post at least once a week as that way I may have something worth blogging about but it's not so bad if I've not.  It will continue to be a mix of personal and crafty but probably more of the former (although I can catch up a bit from over the months - *LOL!*)  I'm going to try a regular post on a .... Monday?  We'll see how it goes and, I know it's not Monday but going to try and start it now *grin*

I've mentioned one major event that's happened this year - the transformation of our living room.  This followed the bathroom to wetroom makeover at the end of 2012 and the boiler and living room fire replacement last year.  Bedroom doesn't need doing (phew) but the kitchen needs a major declutter and deep clean.  That is the next job.  Could do with a new kitchen, if I'm honest, but not sure I could put up with another few weeks of disruption.  7 weeks for the bathroom refit and 7 weeks for the living room/hallway in less than 2 years is enough .... for now!

Earlier this year there was another major turning point - we learnt that OH's cancer had spread.  We knew it had been found in a lymph node when he was diagnosed back in 2010 but now it's spread to the base of his bladder and 'a spot' has been found in a pelvic bone.  He's had his medication revised and he's also having 4 weekly injections (more like infusions) in the local chemo suite.  It's not chemo but it's something that is designed to help strengthen his bones to try to alleviate the cancer spreading any further.  Apparently prostate cancer is slow growing and they've assured us that the prognosis is still for a normal life span - however long that may be for an already 74 year old, despite him only looking in his late 50s/early 60s! Unfortunately the side effects of this infusion are - well, were - horrendous!  After the first couple he lost 2 weeks of the 4 but the last one he had, although there were some, they weren't as bad.  Could be because he'd actually spoken to somebody about it and medication was prescribed to help.  How long these will last for we have no idea but we know he's to have them, at least, to the end of October.  I guess they then judge if they're being useful or not and then make the decision as to whether to carry on or stop.  We'll see.

I joined in with friends on our own personal 'fat club'.  I only joined to keep them company, not expecting anything to happen but I've gone from being just into the obese BMI range to bordering on the normal in just over 12 weeks.  Dead chuffed I am.  I'm now the lightest I've been in around 20 years and not much to go until I'm what I was 30 years ago.  I'll stick at that *grin*  I think, if I lose any more than that I'd look ill and I'd rather look well instead of gaunt - lol!

A bit of craft?  I few weeks ago I attended an all day workshop held by Clair to celebrate her 40th birthday. Here's some of the cards I made from that workshop.  There were 12 in total - I'll show a few at a time *grin* Have to say, we didn't get all 12 made on the day.  I managed to make 4 and prepped the rest, finishing them at home.

Definitely a Stampin' Up doily die.  Ink sponged from centre out to colour delicately.
SU Butterfly punches - the rest is reasonably obvious.
Pretty sure the background stamp and the poppy stamp were Stampin' Up but don't hold me to that :)
I coloured with Prismacolor pencils
Spellbinders Bitty Blossoms for the flowers.
Heartfelt Creations greeting stamp.
Not sure on the embossing folder, border or the leaf die.

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