Friday, October 30, 2009

Poor Abandoned Blog.

This past week I have been away for a break, a week in Scratby. We have had a great week, two Halloween Parties plus a whole load of unseasonal warm weather. I really can't remember the last time we were able to sit outside in October (nearly November) or go for a walk on the beach without wearing heavy weight cold weather gear. This past week we haven't even needed a coat!
We spent the first weekend with our friends Madeline and John, we had decided to have a Halloween celebration a week early so we all got dressed up! Childish I know, but it was fun.

Here we have a coven of three females, a pair of zombies and a Witchy Bride!. We had a Chinese meal and a whole load of cider. We also introduced Port to a new fan, so I will have to keep my eye on her consumption!

Madeline went as a scary pumpkin headed witch, where I just stuck with witch faced Dracula (mainly because I had a witches hat and a Dracula's cape!!)

Grace and Beth went as Zombies, both of them made their costumes on the evening, liberal amount of fake blood and some adapted tee shirts!

Laura was well prepared and came with a ready made costume which was beautiful. all black and green with raggy cobwebby edges. The costume came with a black veil. We were even more impressed when she told us it came from Tesco's!!!
I have a load of photos, so I will add some more over the next few days.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Card for Di Hickman

I liked this blueprint to work from, its easy to get into a rut and stick with familiar things , this one made me use circles, which is hard for me!!Made with a scrap of paper fro the background, the candles are epoxy stickers from paper cellar (bought at Papermill) the writing was carried out with a white Sakura Souffle pen. I love white pens!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Morning !

Today I am up early don't really know why beyond feeling achy it must be my age!! Yesterday we took Hunny to the beach she got straight in the sea and ran up and down the beach like a mad thing. In the afternoon we went into Yarmouth with Tina and places we didn't know existed ! Laura bought some new clothes! Last night Tom took Beth to the dogs, she came back full of info about sorting out odds and how much you can win depending on the starting price ! Obviously her fathers daughter !!
Not sure what we will do today possibly the pleasure beach if the weather holds

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The morning after ...

Last night we had an early Halloween party we got dressed up decorated the chalet and had a few bottles of port and wine !! This morning we have the debris to clear away !! I think the biggest problem is going to be getting the black make up off from around my eyes !!!
So we have gained an hour but I think an hour is not enough !!!

Friday, October 23, 2009

On a trip....

Today we are heading for Norfolk with Madeline, John and Gracie to spend a while on the coast. I have tons to do but can't get everything in gear!!! Watch this space!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Card For Di Hickmans Blog.

I liked this design, I trimmed down a scalloped card from craft creations, the printed papers are from crafters companion, the paperlace is papermill, the hearts from paper cellar, and the sentiment and brown circles from craft creations.
I found all these bits on my craft table, I had used the ingredients in other cards that I have been making recently!!
Check out the other cards on Di's blog!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Laura

We have hit my run of birthdays and yesterday was Laura's turn, she turned 24. How old does that make me feel?? 24 years ago our lives changed forever, no longer just the two of us, we were now a family of three. It soon became obvious that nothing would ever be quick again. No popping to the shops without hours of preparation and taking with us a ton of stuff, clothes, milk, nappies. Those first three months passed in a blur of feeding, nappy changes, night feeding more nappy changes and just when we thought that we had cracked it and she was starting to sleep through the night she caught chicken pox and we had to start all over again.
Yesterday we took her a birthday cake, but managed to forget a method of lighting the candle, so she went to the shop with Tom and was asked for ID before she could buy matches!!!! not bad on your twenty forth birthday!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I love my IPhone!!!!

On our way to conference we had a slight walk plus a trip on a cliff lift and then a stroll along the promenade, I usually have my camera with me but this was snapped with an IPhone, I think its a fantastic photo, untouched and straight out of the camera, it makes Scarborough look exotic.
This was the view on the first morning from the cliff top walk, it was misty and over cast, but it looked pretty all the same!
This row of pretty beach huts were just along from the conference centre, I am glad I took this shot as you can see in the following pictures just how far up the sea came and just how rough it was one afternoon!
The beach huts took a pounding from the sea, I was amazed how far in the tide came (assisted by a strong wind!!)
This shot is looking in the same direction as the ones above but this time the sea spray is so heavy you can barely see the beach huts , the cars were drenched in sea water. I had parked in a car park on the prom and my car is covered in salt and now needs a good wash. I think that the power of the sea is incredible.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Home today

Well these last few days have flown we will be heading home at lunchtime . We have had a good time and learnt a few things Long the way. We have eaten out each night, Chinese, Italian and pub grub. The hotel served a very nice cooked breakfast as well.
Yesterday was very windy so at high tide the water was crashing over the sea wall and onto the cars parked there ( including mine !!) the sea is so powerful and dangerous but so spectacular and beautiful at the same time !!
So I am all packed and ready go home and start on the washing !!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Misty day in Scarborougj

Today has been interesting, we went to the conference and I got up and spoke against a motion!! It was very scary and in doing so I managed to get my position wrong which didn't go unnoticed !!
On the down side there were no motions that resulted in a card vote but we did finish early !! Tonight there is social event so we will have a Chinese and head over there afterwards. Sometimes conferences are such hardwork !!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Card For Di Hickman...

I am very pleased with how this one turned out (That sounds awfully big headed, but I had struggled with the design!) I again used scraps from my craft table, the main paper and green spotty is sugar plum double sided, but I can't remember who made it. The pink back ground paper came as part of a kit from a local book store. The flowers are Prima. Part of the design was to write the greeting and I used a Sakura Souffle pen in white.
Pop over to Di Hickmans Blog and see some of the other interpretations.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Taking a trip.....

Tomorrow morning I will be heading north to partake in the bracing winds off of the north sea, to enjoy the Spa town of Scarborough in Yorkshire. I am attending a conference with two work colleagues. I am looking forward to a couple of days of interesting debates, followed by a seminar on Saturday morning.
Of course the best part of a conference is the 'networking' with other participants after hours, I must say I am particularly looking forward to that!!!
Tonight I am meeting with some friends, we are all going away for a Christmas trip. We try and organise something most years. This year it was my turn to sort it out. I have always fancied a trip to the Christmas markets on the continent, so I have booked us all into Sunparks in Belgium for a weekend in December, its in Dunkirk which is only around 30 miles away from the place I really want to visit, Brugges, I have been there a few times now and they have a Christmas market every weekend in December. They also have nice chocolate and horse and trap rides through the town, I would like to order snow just for the day of the market!!! The other good news is that the grand total for the trip is £85 each! The only down side of the trip will be the crossing in December, it could go either way!!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009


The change from Summer to Autumn is a gradual one, it starts with the daylight reducing and the temperature dropping, except this year the temperature has been behaving oddly and has been positively balmy!! No the less the plants are all closing down in preparation for the coming winter. The nasturtium above is a self seed, we had a plant in a hanging basket last year and this grew from a spot under the basket. It has turned itself into a climbing plant and managed to reach the top of the fence!

I love roses and usually I deadhead them to encourage more flowers, but this time of year its nice to see the colourful hips on display.

The huge Sunflower leaves are all drying up and dropping off.going through some beautiful colour changes before turning brown.

This one is just about to drop, we need in the next couple of weeks sort out the garden and hope that we can encourage a few more self set plants for next year!

These are the last few tomato stragglers they don't taste too nice, they have become earthy, they stayed green for too long to be tasty!!
Soon before we know it we will be dealing with our one regular day of snow and it'll be Christmas!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Carl !!

So where have the last 19 years gone ?? It only seems a matter of minutes since Carl arrived in the world, after a whirl wind labour. It barely seems any time since Tom and I were debating names for him. I wanted Oliver and Tom agreed with me all the way through the pregnancy until two weeks before he was born. It was then that Tom told me that he hated the name Oliver and he had only agreed to it as he was 'fed up' discussing names!!! So back to square one we didn't finally make up our minds until he was born, he looked like a Carl so that was it!!

This year we bought him another silver ring, his present last year was a silver ring but he took it off at work to wash his hands and when he went back ten minutes later it had gone, so at the last minute this year he asked for a replacement, unfortunately he has big fingers and even though I tried I couldn't find one in any of the local jewelers to fit him. So I decided to do a joke ring. You can see it on his finger in the photo above, its big and turquoise and just his colour!! Beth gave him a brilliant gold piggy bank and some shower gel. He also received money to boost up his ban account.

We pushed the boat out and bought him a birthday cake complete with 19 candles, I have to say it was the sweetest, sickliest sugar laden confection we have eaten in a long time!! He is taking the remainder back to Uni to celebrate with his new friends after their night our at TGI's. Happy Birthday Baby Boy!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Here comes the weekend.

This week has been a big one for us in lots of different ways. We have made some decisions.
October has always meant a lot, Laura and Carl have their birthdays (Laura will be 24 and Carl 19) But the biggie is we have finally finished our mortgage after 28 years of paying our monthly repayment, we have finished!! Whoopee!! Its such a relief to know that its one less thing to find money for.
When I think back over the years, I am amazed that we have got to the end. We started out with a shared ownership scheme because we couldn't afford the cost of buying a house outright on a mortgage, so we bought 50% and rented 50%. Looking back I am amazed that we couldn't afford to buy our first house. The paperwork from 1981 our first house was valued at £28,000 and we couldn't get a mortgage for that even with a deposit and both of us working full time! So we got a mortgage for £14,000 and started from there.
Times were quite hard because the repayments took up a huge part of our earnings and when Laura came along in 1985 it was even harder. Once we had Laura we knew that we would have to move on, a two bedroomed house was not going to be big enough so we took the decision to buy the rest of the house and look to move to a bigger property.

We soon found a place that we liked but it was during the time where the housing market was very volatile, people were being gazumped all over the place and the interest rates were moving upwards. At one point we reached a 16% interest rate which had a HUGE impact on repayments. We eventually exchanged contracts on our new house which was around the corner from our first house and waited to complete and move. The move turned out to be the move from hell, with the sellers demanding more money and threatening to back out of the contract. We moved on Friday the 13th of May 1987 into our present house, and due to the terrible move we had, we decided that it would be a cold day in hell before we would put ourselves through another move !! So we have been here ever since.

We have some great neighbours, Karen and Graham over the road have been here longer than us and I am pleased to count them as our friends. We have had different neighbours one is now my sister in law.

Over the years we have changed things, built a conservatory, new kitchen, double glazing and finally changing the bathroom, we waited 22 years for avocado to come back into fashion, but it wasn't to be!!!

To celebrate this momentous month Tom has also decided to take his retirement early and has given up his job to concentrate on becoming a house husband, so at last we may get dinners in the evening as he will have had some time to prepare during the day.

Finally Dad had his check up at Papworth and they have told him that they are happy with how he has recovered and that he can resume 'normal' life apart from heavy lifting, so thats good news as well!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Card For Di Hickmans Blog

Its been a while since I have done any card making, one thing and another has got in the way and stopped me from making anything. But I have now cleared my crafting table and have 'got my finger out' . I want to say thank you to Di for waiting for me during my down time and I promise to try and keep up this time!!
This card is made with scraps, the green and pink on the lower right is from a double sided sheet of card called Sugar Plum. The ribbon is by The East of India company, The flower is prima, and the greeting is from a sheet by craft creations.
Pop over to Di's Blog and take a look at the other designers interpretations.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Some more.....

When we went to the Guildhall at the weekend we walked through some very interesting areas. We were walking down a road called London Wall, heading towards our destination, when we turned the corner we came across this building below. It just looks so out of place! It looks like an American Colonial house, slap bang in the centre of the City of London. Its is completely dwarfed by all the huge buildings surrounding it. The grass in front is so lush, its an oasis in a concrete jungle.
The building is known as the Girdlers Hall, and although this is a fairly modern building there has been a hall in the site since 1431, initially set up to support craftsmen who made girdles. (not what you might be thinking, originally girdle was another name for a belt.) The building is beautiful!

Below is a shot of Beth posing in Love Lane, another green patch with some beautiful sculptures and water feature or two!

A view of the Guildhall, we went into the door towards the right of the photo, but the reception was held in the building on the left.

A coat of arms inside the Guildhall quadrangle. A shot of the romantically named Love lane. I must make more of an effort to take a look around the great City of London.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Presentation Day.

This afternoon we were happy to make a trip into the City of London for a presentation. Carl was awarded Young Life saver of the year plus a certificate of merit and a certificate of thanks.
We were unsure about getting there, but decided at the last minute to drive and I am glad that we did, it was a relatively easy journey and we found an NCP underground car park fairly close to the Guildhall. Although the parking cost £19 it was still cheaper than travelling by train from WGC (for 4 of us)

When we left the car park we were surprised at just how deserted the whole place was, it felt like the whole place had been abandoned, very few people around and the traffic was minimal. On arrival at The Guildhall we were shown in and took a look around the fantastic art galleries. The hall was stunning, 600 years old and steeped in history.

Being a good scrapbooker, I have kept all of the 'paperwork' including the ticket above and the brochure where Carl appeared in three different categories.

Once we were through security we were greeted by the above sign and directed to the great hall. Tom, Beth and I were seated in the guests area, we chose seats in the back of the visitors section as all the front seats were taken. While waiting for the presentation we hadn't realise that Carl was sitting virtually directly behind us!!

This was the moment that I realised he was behind us, he was not impressed that I took a couple of photos!!! He looked very smart and we are very proud of his life saving achievements.

He was presented with his awards by Tim Lamb and Lord Norrie, The presentation happened on the stage which was too far away for me to get a decent shot, luckily they had an official photographer so we have ordered one of the hand shaking bit!

Here is the winner with his Life Saver of the Year award.
After the presentation we had a very posh buffet, there were plates of finger food, but there was no choice. The food was very nice but I don't like smoked Salmon, so it felt very wasteful having to have a plate with things that you are not going to eat. the pudding was a selection of cakes which looked gorgeous. I had carrot cake, which was SO Carroty it was like eating a frosted carrot!!! I have come to the conclusion that the food was too posh for my uneducated palate!
It was a great day and one to look back on with a big smile.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

My Drawers!!!!

A few weeks ago I went to a car boot sale and discovered this nice set of drawers, I liked the size, the number of drawers and the shape, but I wasn't struck on the colour and there was a lot of surface damage. It had obviously been in a kids room because it was covered in scribbles and stickers. I gave it a sand and got rid of most of the damage.

I decided to paint them cream so that they would fit into my bedroom ( we don't have too much spare room, but they have fit right in.)

I thought that it would be a great project, but when I was on my second coat of cream I realised that I am not cut out for furniture renovation, I wanted it to be finished and I wasn't really enjoying the process. I found the painting to be tedious!!!

Finally I finished the painting and then spent some time trawling the Internet looking for new 'knobs' I immediately hit upon a problem.I needed 12 knobs and buying that number was going to rapidly make my up to now cheap project, a very expensive one!! So after a lot of surfing, I decided that I would replace the old knobs, recycling is the way to go!!

This week has been a busy one, work has been a blur with lots going on. What I really hate is the political wrangling, all the he said she said stuff that makes my brain fry. I just want to get on with my job and I just want to do the best that I can. This week has been one that was just not going to comply. I am really looking forward to going home time tomorrow!!!

Saturday will hopefully be good, we are going to London Guildhall for a presentation. Carl has won some lifesaving awards and we are looking forward to going and exploring the place and watching him collect his awards!