Sunday, November 30, 2008

Its beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!!

Look what my friend Ginger Claire has sent me!! My very own Christmas tree advent calender!! Its beautiful lots of sparkling gems and detachable numbers!! I love it. Thank you Claire!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Well Done!!

Beth came home from school yesterday with a whole clutch of awards, She has been collecting merits since she started in September and is very keen to amass as many as possible.I think its a great way of encouraging them in their first few months at secondary school. She was surprised to get the academic performance award but that was as a result of her gaining 6 plus marks over all subjects. The school also wrote to us to to say that she had excelled across the curriculum very encouraging!!
Beth's school is a sports college, so it follows that they would be keen on sport. Beth was also really pleased to be awarded 'colours' for outstanding performance in netball. (I think that is more important to her as its in the form of a discrete badge she wears on her blazer!!)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Di Hickmans Sketch - Happy Birthday

Here is this weeks interpretation of Di Hickmans latest Sketch. (Please check out all the other designers over on her blog.)
In this card I have used one of my favourite colour combinations, Yellow and Green. I love the bright sunny colours, you can't help but smile!!
This time I have tried out my new toy, a cuttlebug, So far I am impressed with it. I was never going to have one as I already have a robo and couldn't see a need. BUT I snagged this one in an online closing down sale, for half price, it would have been rude not to have bought it wouldn't it??? This little die and embossing folder came with the machine. I added colour to it by smearing the front of the folder with brown chalk ink, and then squishing it between the rollers.
Anyway the patterned paper at the top is from DCWV Glitter matter stack (a very useful pad!!) The yellow is from Papermill and the flower is from Prima. The heart is also a cuttle bug die cut shape, I used a piece of card from packaging coloured with silver ink. I have stamped the greeting in brown ink with invaluable Studio G Mini Stamps.
I hope you like it.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas Pantomime.

Beth has a part in the Christmas Pantomime at The Barn Theatre in WGC this Christmas. Its a huge commitment, loads of practices and 16 performances all over the Christmas and New Year. She seems to be enjoying it and for the past few weeks they have practiced three nights a week and a full day on Sunday. She likes the full day as they get pizza takeaway for lunch!!!
So any of you who are in WGC please consider booking a seat, great value at £9 and it looks like its going to be a great show!! Look out for the naughty cat, that will be Beth.
I really love the poster that she came home with and I'll keep a copy of that for my scrapbook!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Beth!!

Today my baby girl is twelve years old!! It only seems like yesterday that I was in labour waiting for to arrive. She has been very excited about today, she asked us for a new phone. She has always had our cast offs which in the main have been plain boring black ones. This time she wanted a snazzy white and red one which also has a MP3 player, so that's what she got. She also had some money and tonight nan and grandad and Laura and Scott will be coming around. We also have her cake so stand by for more photos!!
Happy Birthday Beth.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I have managed to do my Christmas Cards!! I have had a very good crafting day, Christmas Cards, Beth's Advent calender and Beth's Birthday invites, So I am happy with my production rate!!
I am pleased with my Christmas Cards, they have come out fairly similar to what I had in my head (which is a miracle!!) I used my Cuttlebug embossing folders and the wreath cutter. I got the cute bows and bells from Hobby craft , the wreath is covered in iridescent Glitter, I am particularly pleased as I have made 30 of them in half an afternoon. Whooo Hoooo!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Get Well Soon!! Di Hickmans Blog!

This week I have made a 'Get Well Soon' Card. The patterned paper is by Paper Mania, The gems are by paperchase. The flower was attached to a beautiful little pot of ribbons that I bought from this shop - The Ribbonrie
The stamping is done with the very versatile Studio G mini Stamps!!
Please check out the other cards over on Di Hickmans Blog HERE

Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Town Monday - Around my Town

This week I am fresh out of interesting stories, so I have decided to show you a few shots of the town and one of the reasons I like living in a 'Garden' City!!
Above is shot of the main Campus looking towards the white bridge, called the white bridge as its a bridge painted white!! (That said you can't see it in this shot!!!) The council have recently taken out a load of huge Laurel bushes and replaced them with a pleasant circular paved area with seating which is great for open air meetings, its also the venue for the Christmas Tree.

This shot is looking towards Welwyn Department Store - John Lewis, this is a huge store over three floors. When it was built there were apartments and a social club build on top. As recently as the 80's the club boasted a couple of squash courts plus a bar and function area primarily for the employees of the store. The club and courts have now gone and are used as offices however the apartments are still there. My daughter and her partner live there. Its ideal for them, right in the heart of town, they don't drive so no parking to worry about and her partner works for John Lewis, so they get a reduced rent. There are all sorts of flats up there ranging from studios to three bedroom flats, the down side is the lack of lifts meaning a trudge of around 80 steps to get to where they are and there are two further floors on top of them!!

We visited Laura for her birthday and on the way out caught a Church Parade which started in one of the roads off of the Campus and marched via the Campus to a nearby church. It was great to see so many Cadets joining in!!
This shot is looking towards the council offices (on the left) The building in the centre distance is the multi storey car Park and the building on the right is the other end of John Lewis.
Although this shot looks very similar to the first , its not the same. This is a shot of 'Campus West' This building houses the main town library, The theatre and Roller City. There are also many function rooms where all sorts happens. On the other side of the road is the college and the Police Station.
So A quick tour of my town on a pretty Autumn afternoon!!

Nice Evening!

Last night we had a house full, we don't have a very big house so nine of us really filled it up!! Debbielou and her family and my friends kids Ali and Emma. Emma has ended up staying for a sleepover. We hadn't really met up with Debbie and Malc since our holiday in the summer. (If you don't count me popping into Malc's office and 'breading' his desk!!) We took a look at their photos (they were clever enough to avoid looking at ours!!)AND we celebrated Georgies Un Birthday, having missed her birthday completely in September!
This morning Tom is at work and I have just put the dish washer on for the second time, we seem to have generated a ton of washing up.
Carl has been away all weekend camping, so I can't wait until he gets back stinking of campfires and putting my washing machine into overdrive again!!
I think I might try and wrap a few presents while its peaceful.

Friday, November 14, 2008

I can't even shop in peace!!

Today Tom and I went to Watford to do our Christmas Shopping, I was standing in the queue of the bargain shop of the century, Primark, when Sue (as in Suebaru, ELC girl) Turned up, I am sure she is stalking me!!!!
I shopping trip was successful, we managed to get just about everything and I even bought some silicone muffin cases, WHY??? Must be having a sudden rush of blood to the head!!
We have a busy weekend planned, with Debbielou and her family coming over for tea. A chance to catch up on all that's happened since our holiday.I have nearly finished scrapping my summer photos so thats a bonus!
My Baby Boy is away for the weekend, not really too much of a problem, except he is camping!! I think he is mad. He is a young leader for the scouts and he and two other leaders are taking a group camping. Its been dark since 4. So I have no idea how they will cope. At the moment its 5 degrees C, I hope he has a load of clothes to wear to get him through the night!!
Hope everyone has a good weekend.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This weeks Sketch from Di Hickman.

This weeks sketch is a little different to cards that I usually do, to start with I have trouble getting curvy things right, they really don't please my eye, I seem to prefer regular shapes with straight lines. I was worried when I saw this sketch, but its turned out fine once I was underway!!
The main patterned paper is from Laura Ashley, The purple paper from papermill and the ribbon from Offray. the heart is a cuttlebug die cut and the gem is from paperchase.
I have used the Studio G stamps and chalk inks.
Pop over and look at the cards by the other designers HERE.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

My Town Monday - Elstree Studios.

This week I have been made aware of a theft, not just any old theft, this is the theft of THE 'golden gun' As in Man with the Golden Gun of James Bond fame.

Hertfordshire has long been the home to Elstree Studios where lots of famous films are produced. I suppose the most world famous are the Bond films.
Here is the report from the local paper:-
Police were called to the Hertfordshire studios at Friday lunchtime to investigate the theft of the prop, believed to be worth £80,000.
The Man With The Golden Gun, which also starred Swedish star Britt Ekland as Bond's lover Mary Goodnight, was Moore's second outing as 007.
Christopher Lee played his enemy, Scaramanga, a three-nippled assassin who only ever needed one golden bullet fired from his golden gun to kill his target.
In the film Scaramanga played a game of cat-and-mouse with Bond, whom he had been contracted to kill for $1 million.
The impeccably mannered Scaramanga would carefully assemble the weapon in the film from a pen, a cigarette case and a lighter before dispatching his foes.
The gun was being cared for by Elstree Props, a tenant based at the studios.
Its website states that it offers storage of film props, as well as a service to "police the internet, dealer network and auction sites to counter theft and piracy".
Stephen Wickenden, its managing director, said: "I'm hoping the gun will be offered to one of the memorabilia dealers and from them we can trace it back to the thief.
"We have no idea who stole it or when it was stolen but things do not usually go missing."
It was being housed in a cabin at the studios.
Nicolas Cage's latest film Kick-Ass is being filmed there. It is thought a crew member was being shown around by Mr Wickenden when the weapon's absence was noticed, although he would not confirm this.
A spokesman for Hertfordshire Police said: "We were called to Elstree Studios in Borehamwood at 1.25pm after a report of a theft of a prop, which was the golden gun. Inquiries are ongoing."
Asked about the theft, a spokesman for Sir Roger joked: "You'd better ask Christopher Lee about this. Search his house."
So there you are, I nearly live in the Hollywood of England!!

Party Time - Going Underground!!

Last night we celebrated the 50th birthday of my long time friend Sandra!! I can hardly beleive that its been ten years since her last big bash. Being a love of 'Birthday Games' Sandra had started the whole thing off by making it a themed party. The theme was London Underground stations. We didn't have to go the whole hog on the fancy dress, a hat would do. So just about everyone joined in.

There were some very good outfits and brilliant hats, loads of stations cleverly represented. Tom went as Kings Cross, Sue was Queensbury (Tiara and Strawberries) Richard was Wimbledon complete with shorts and raquet. Beth came with us and dressed up as Arsenal. I was Green park, I wore Beth's communion headdress with a swing on the top! Sandra on the other hand dressed up as shepherds bush, and I'll have to leave it to your imagination how she did the 'bush' bit!!!!

It was great to see what the others had come up with. One man dressed as Black Friars and his face was PITCH black, I am sure it will take him a month to get that off. We had a fair few Angels for Angel Islington, Oxford Circus, Clowns carrying dictionary's. We had several Cockfosters, which you will have to imagine!! High Barnet was very popular with lots of BIG hair do's. One of the cleverest was Burnt Oak, they guy turned up in bandages with the odd oak leaf poking out.

This morning is Remembrance Sunday, 90 years since Armistice day. Always a very emotional service at the Cenotaph in London. Its sad to think that so many died in such terrible circumstances. It is best that we never forget.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Break Through!!!!

I have a few hobbies, best not to have nothing to do!! One that I pick up and put down quite often is my family history. I really enjoy looking into my history, it somehow helps to ground important historical events when you can relate it to a person in your own history.

Anyway I had reached a real brick wall with one of my oldest couples, Benjamin and Susan Botwright. I had traced them back to 1819 when they arrived in Hertfordshire from Suffolk. I couldn't find a marriage for them and the first time they came to light was when they registered the christening of their son Benjamin Jnr in 1819 in South Mimms. I have been looking for years, checked out all sorts of books and references always coming up with nothing. The only clue I had was that Susan said on the 1851 census that she was born in Walpole in Suffolk. I have even travelled there and to the county record office and failed to find them. Today Genes reunited threw up a 'hot match' so I went and had a look and Eureka, the match was with a lady who I have met who is a distant relative. She had been struggling with the same brickwall, but had made a break through.

This lady, Pat, had discovered my pair through the magic of Family History on line. The reason that they had eluded us was a simple spelling mistake which hadn't been picked up on any of the 'near misses' or 'wild cards' on searching. Benjamin Botwright had been recorded as Batright. Susan was in fact Suzannah. Pat has cracked the mystery. She has located their marriage in 1810 in Saxmundham in Suffolk, They were recorded as widow and widower. Another surprise was that Benjamin Junior was not their eldest child, they had a daughter,Sarah, born in 1815 in Bengeo in Hertford, but she died as a baby.

I now want to try and find out about Benjamin's parents, I will have to see the marriage entry for myself and see where I can go with it. Its so exciting !!
One of the strange things is the places in Suffolk, My friends Fran and Pete have moved there and we have visited them a few times, it now seems that Suzannah's family came from Henstead which is a small village where Fran and Pete moved to first of all!!

I am so happy!!!!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Di Hickman - Card for this week!!

This is my offering for this weeks sketch over on Di Hickmans Blog (Check out the rest, they are great!!)

This time all the papers are odds left over from other projects the only identifiable one is the patterned one from DCWV Glitter mat stack. Plain Purple from papermill, The crazy 4U plaque is unknown origin. This is a great sketch to use up all those scrappy bits of paper left over from other projects (I have loads of those!!)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

My Town Monday - Guy Fawkes Night

In England we 'celebrate' Guy Fawkes night every November 5th. I really think that the true origins of this celebration has been lost, Beth doesn't really have much of an idea what its all about, although she does know its something to do with trying to kill the royal family a long time ago.
The real story goes something like this......
Guido Fawkes, known as Guy, was born on 13 April 1570 at High Petergate in York, Yorkshire.
He was born in to a notable family that had connections with the Church of England, his father was either a notary or proctor of the ecclesiastical courts. Fawkes father died in 1579 and his mother remarried in 1582, this time to a Catholic Denis Bainbridge of Scotton. The family were known to be recusants, resisters of the authority of the Church of England, and it is probable that his stepfather's influence contributed to Guy's affiliation to Catholicism; Fawkes finally converted to Catholicism around the age of 16. In the same year that Fawkes converted to Catholicism (1586), he would be made brutally aware of the repression the English Parliament enacted on local Catholics.
In 1605 Fawkes and his co conspirators planned to blow up the protestant King, James the First, at the houses of Parliament, They hid barrels of gunpowder beneath the houses of Parliament and planned to detonate them. Unfortunately for them they were discovered and on the instructions of the King they were tortured until they admitted their plans. They were eventually tried for treason, found guilty and hung drawn and quartered.
The planned day of the plot was 5th of November 1605 and the plot has been celebrated since then.
Part of the celebration involves Children making a 'guy' usually clothes stuffed with newspapers and sporting a mask. When I was young we we often see kids asking for 'penny for the Guy' They would then go and spent any money they made on fireworks. Now a days people under 18 can't buy fireworks and the PC brigade have said that penny for the Guy is begging, so it has dropped off.
We still celebrate with Fireworks and you can't beat the smell of a damp night, burning wood and the fireworks, Pure start of Winter time!!!

So on the 5th all the towns surrounding ours will be having their celebrations, WGC will be refraining, some years ago the council cancelled the event citing Health and Safety concerns. We all know that they cancelled it because they are saving money. Miserable wotsits!!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Home Again.

This picture was taken by me at around 3.30pm yesterday in the beautiful city of Brugge. The reason that I took it was that back in the summer when we visited with Debbielou and her family we found that it was extremely easy to get lost in the back streets that are all very pretty and somehow look the same. As it turned out it was lucky that I did, as we wandered around the squares and chocolate shops, we mis judged and couldn't find the car!!! Luckily with the assistance of a sat nav and my photo we were happily reunited!!

We had decided to call in on Brugge as we had a late ferry crossing, 10pm from Dunkirk. The weather was really chilly and it got dark very early. Brugge is so pretty with horse traps all over the place, clattering through the cobbled streets. The passengers wrapped up with bright blankets. It would be beautiful with a covering of snow!! We had a good look around and even managed to revisit the Hamburger place that boasts a 'Crusty' Burger on the menu!! (only to use the loo!!)

We came across this really tiny chocolate shop, it was a tiny really old building that looked like it had been left over from a different time. It smelt absolutely beautiful and it felt like I had stepped into the set of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang!!

We finally sailed at 10pm last night the ferry was on time and seemed to be nearly empty. We sat in exactly the same seats as the way out. We finally arrived home at 1.30am driving the poor dog into a frenzy of excitement!!

I intend to blog hop and catch up with all your news as soon as I get a minute!!