Les Mis Trailer

Sunday, 23 December 2007

The handmade pledge

As you can see I have tried to add the handmade pledge badge to the sidebar but I can't get rid of the text around it! I am not very handy with the old PC!!!! Any tips?! But I have joined the campaign to support all handmade industries including trying to make more of the gifts I give to people from now on. As a scrapper that shouldn't be too difficult should it?...or are you all like me, and once you have made something and feel pleased with it, you want to keep it yourself so you have to go off and make another one?!!!!! It is hard getting down to tidying up all the christmas papers etc ready to start a brand new scrapyear. I have to really throw out so much old stuff that I have no intention of using..........have gone off...............style has changed...........need to replace as it is too dated......................don't like it anymore....................all those excuses in order to justify buying NEW!!! I am dying to see what the new paper lines are going to be for 2008, and I am definitely wanting to get my hands on the grunge stuff asap. But I digress. Alesha won Strictly which she deserved to do but I felt more than a little sorry for Matt and Flavia who had to stand there with nothing. There should be a second place prize!!!! And a third for Gethin!!!! But it was a good show, and despite feeling very tired when it was all over, Ann and I managed to see it through to the bitter end, wondering what we are going to do with our saturday nights from now on!! There is hopefully a new season of MASTERCHEF coming up??? Tim and I love that one! And there is the search for an Oliver and a Nancy for a new production of Oliver Twist to look forward to ...but I am still a huge fan of the version starring Ron Moody and Oliver Reed ( fabulous) so am not too tempted to see this show at the moment. Could all change though! BUT! What I wanted to do now was wish you ALL a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS & A HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Saturday, 22 December 2007

tonight's the FINAL!!!

So this is it! The nail-biting final of Strictly Come Dancing. Here are the two final couples from last weeks semi-final, looking gorgeous....but who is going to win? I really can't decide which pair will get my vote when it comes down to it. I love Alesha and Matthew but I am dying to see what Matt and Flavia can produce on the night. If they prove to be amazing, they could win. When it is down to a matter of votes, there is a real chance that it can go either way, so I think for the first time it is a real unknown outcome. Ann has already mailed me to see whether I am getting nervous! But it is only now that I have done all the chores for today, and am sitting here with little else to occupy my thoughts, that I am thinking about it all. So like possibly the whole of the UK, we will take our places shortly to watch a most incredible competition come to a dramatic close, and await the announcement of the winner later on tonight with apprehension and maybe, by then, an idea of whom we think did enough to win the glitterball trophy. Place your bets here!!!!!

West Friesland in the grip of frost!

I took these photos this morning before the lovely frost disappeared. The first one is of our church here in Westwoud, then the other two were taken as I was walking around the villages. The temperature was -2C at the time but by this afternoon it was above freezing and everything was returning to green...aah! Anyway, these will be great to scrap, and I hope my friend Ineke will take on the challenge to digitally scrap one of them for me!!!! She enjoys all the challenges she takes on via internet sites etc for digiscrappers and usually does very well with her layouts, so I think she will create something lovely with these. I will have to do the same and we can see what both of us come up with!! How about it Ineke?!

Friday, 21 December 2007


At 10.36am the first snow started to fall here!! Not much, but it is here! I love it!!! Camera at the ready then today, as it might be the only chance I get to photograph the snow.

Shortest day of the year!!

What a strange feeling it is not to be rushing around getting the last minute christmas shopping etc! I feel wonderfully calm and unstressed....but I am missing all that SOoooo much!!! I have done Christmas for our family for so many years ( can't even remember how many) that NOT having to cook this time is kinda odd. Usually I am knee-deep in my Delia cookbook and old magazines which I dig out every year just for the recipes, re-making lists and adding new ones, polishing the silverwear, getting the table decorations ready..........playing the carols, drinking the sherry............its not normal!!!! It will be really nice being with other people this Christmas and we are all really looking forward to it a lot,so I am gritting my teeth and letting someone else have all that stress!! It is a white, cold world out there this morning. I was up at 6.30am adding the icing to Tim's traybake for school today, and it was dark then. Now it is around ten am and it is gorgeous! No snow yet, but it is getting closer. The sharp frost is the reason all is white. Lovely spiders webs out there which I have photographed of course, but am now in need of coffee to warm me up before I do anything with them! It is also sad to think that really I can start (thinking about) putting the christmas scrapstuff away for another year........ which is so sad! On the other hand it WILL mean that I need to visit the scrap shops for NEW STUFF!! Which I am going to do in January. First of all I am going to buy the wool for my 2 patterns which I am desperate to start knitting. Having looked here I have decided I need to buy that in England as I cannot find what I want for it here. Maybe in Hoorn there is the chance of finding it, but who knows....where is the shop?!! Oh no, the worst christmas song has come on the radio and I refuse to listen to it!

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Sad to see her leave............

If everything went ok with the train journey Becci should now be in Schiphol checking in!! I took her to the train at 4pm and although I think she would have preferred me to drive her there I am so glad I didn't as the traffic jams were huge! Her flight is at 6.40pm so she has just enough time to eat her sandwich and wait for the call to board. She is excited to be seeing Roy again this evening as he will be home for Christmas as well. I took this photo of my children whilst she was home. Tim is 14 and very tall and Becci is 20 and very small!!! They enjoyed seeing one another again although Tim was at school all week and not really able to spend much time with her. Hopefully Becci and Roy will visit us in the spring...........

Brr, it is SO cold here at the moment! It hasn't got above -1.5C all day! We have discovered that our two bedrooms over the garage are NOT insulated at all and they are freezing cold!! I think we will wait until we want to remove the existing laminate flooring to re-insulate them though...we are lovely and snug up on the second floor even though we have no radiator etc.

I am about to make the dinner which will be left-overs from yesterday and then I will make the traybake for Tim to take to school tomorrow, watch Strictly and probbly make it an early night. I am waking and getting up around 5.30am at the moment which is not through choice but I am awake so it is difficult to just lie there listening to Peter snoring!!!! Isn't it sad about Gethin going out?! I can hardly bear to talk about it as if Kelly had been able to stay in the show he would have probably made the last 3 for the final, and now it is only two!! I feel he and Camilla deserved to be in the final over Matt. I stand by the fact that it is a dance competition and he is better than Matt. I wonder how Matt will fare in the final with 5 dances to perform including the show dance.................it is tough! Ann and I will be watching with bated breath but I now hope that if Alesha and Matthew really dance their socks off, that THEY WIN! That would be the right result don't you think/agree?..roll on Saturday!

Almost Christmas!

Listening to the radio playing a christmas song almost every other tune is quite nice really. Takes one back to ones youth thinking about the discos and parties etc we used to love! And of course I am from the era when we had SLADE; MUD; WIZARD etc ( even lived in the same village as Roy Wood once....) so they bring back vivid memories from the '70's...aah! Happy Days!!! Last night we had our christmas dinner with Ann and Arjan which was great. Felt really English!!!! The boys were excited about the fireworks for New Year and Peter found our stash from last year in the garage so it was 'share-out' on the floor time after the meal. Can't see it myself as I am not a lover of fireworks apart from fantastic professional displays (naturally). Since getting sick, I cannot go outside because of the smoke etc, so I only look at them from the window these days. Yesterday morning Jeanette was here for a workshop. She and Becci made beautiful stars for Christmas and I think it was a really nice morning. Jeanette is getting married on 28 December so she is going to come and make her album in January. Then it was cooking and preparing for the evening in the afternoon. It always goes so fast when Becci is here..............and she is going home today. Roy finishes university today so she is looking forward to being with him this evening. We are going to make a photo frame for him this morning after dyeing our hair!!!!! So I will go and wake her up now: me, I have done the washing up from yesterday, made a birthday card for Jackie, got Tim off to school, fed the cats, written my blog, put everything away, turned the dish washer on, tidied my room, and all before eight thirty am!!!! Time for a well deserved coffee!!!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

fantastic blog!!!!

http://www.timholtz.typepad.com/ Just been looking at Tims blog and his 12 tags of christmas!! Wow! They are extraordinary. I love the distressing which is something I have yet to get in to really; looks like a lot of work and a lot of NEW tools etc!!!! (cue, ideas for presents Santa!!!) and that hammer is groovy!! I am not good at getting messy and dirty when I work but I know Loes is also keen to distress herself (ha!ha!) so I guess we are going to have to try it in 2008. Maybe that is what we should start the year off with: a list of what we plan to make and what we need to make it....and when we are going to do it!!! I am absolutely broke right now, and need to start doing more work in January but until then I can look, right?! It was great seeing all those different techniques all in one place so I recommend that you all take a moment to check Tim's tags out. And a goodnight to all.

Gethin to Win!!!!

Ok, I am finally naming my winner...........since it is the semi-final this coming Saturday there is no going back; Gethin and Camilla get my vote!!!! He has had the most incredible 'journey' in the series and is now stunning on the floor. Just goes to show what a little extra determination and a great acting coach can do for you!! So, GO GETHIN this weekend, Ann and I will be watching with bated breath! So, I have got a lot of cards made today and I have added the little bell circle to the ivy in the hall - looks sweet. I saw the idea in a shop recently but have taken it a step further and scrapped it in a funny sort of way...will take a photo, maybe. I wanted to make it myself so that I could remember it again when we want to make items for our Christmas shop next year! I still need to refine it and add the other sort of wire etc. and then it will be perfect. Just been browsing some other scrap blogs and there are SO many talented scrappers out there. Wonderful creations, but I want to say that I feel it is so important to stay true to ones own imagination and style and not to be tempted to copy (too closely) what one sees on the net. The ideas are there to be looked at and learnt from, if it is about a new technique etc. but the stuff that is in ones own head is always the best. Have the courage of your own skill, ideas, talents and colours and CREATE!!!!!!!!! Whatever you make will be a one-off unique creation made by you!

Christmas wreath and EUSTACE!!

This is the Christmas Wreath that I have made for the hall. I was going to hang it on the door outside but I think it is safer indoors...I have used the buttons and ribbons from my scrapstash and the large and tiny rusty bells come from CALICO CRAFTS, as does the wreath. They do cool stuff! Try this site: http://www.calicocrafts.co.uk/ I am supposed to be doing my cards but instead I have hung some decorations downstairs - weird not having a tree to do this year - and cleaned teh floor etc. The ironing is still waiting but I have time!!!!! And here is EUSTACE. He is delightful, and so sweet. His beak is just right for stroking!!! Ah well, must go on...my tummy is rumbling actually. I am trying the GI diet principles seeing that Lindsey has lost 2 stone on it in 2 months!!! Well, she has a specially designed diet for her, but the idea is the same. As Christmas is just around the corner I feel the need to prepare, not quite 'fast' but sort of!!!! I know how good a cook my aunt is!!! I didn't put any weight on this time in England which is amazing as we ate out a lot, but the rest of the time we did Lindseys eating plan so hey, must be something to it!!!! Baked beans on toast tonight folks!!!

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

the ups and downs in a day!

What can I say, some times nice things happen and other times things go horribly wrong! First the disappointment: I have taken part in a Christmas RAK (random act of kindness) and have already posted my parcel on time, read that everyone else has received theirs etc...but I have had nothing!!! It is the first time I have joined in a RAK from the forum and it is quite sad that I have not yet had mine in the post. I have made some enquiries but not yet heard anything back so I have to try and be patient and not worry, but it is hard!!! Then this morning I had supervision at my work and it was really good. I cannot say more but it was very beneficial and I feel that it is a good session to have to look forward to every 6 weeks. Then I went to Loes' for lunch and a good long chat!! She even gave me my christmas presents! A wonderful ceramic chicken ( I collect them) whom I have called EUSTACE. He is great and Loes told me why she had made him as he is and what he represents for me. I will take a photo tomorrow! He is sitting on the windowsill in our bedroom right now. She also gave me a perfect bead for my trollbead bracelet/necklace which I plan to wear in Friday night at Peter's christmas 'do'. So that sort of made up or the RAK being missing/not posted ( who knows?) and for my tiredness after the weekend. I need to get on with the rest of my cards now, the housework, the ironing, the shopping......but for now I am going to SLEEP!!!!! Zzzzzzz.....................


The first photo is of Lindsey and Jackie in the Winter Gardens in Sheffield. Then of Jackie with her daughter Amie, and then Amie alone. I've known Jackie since Becci was a toddler and Amie a new baby, so it was lovely to see her now she is 18 and all grown up!! Amie and Becci were good friends and we shared a lot when we lived near one another. It was nice trundling around Sheffield despite being windy and cold. There was a 'lookalike' German Market in the square and the first stall I saw said 'The Dutch Cookie Man'!!!! Real Dutch guys so we had a little chat, rather amusing actually. Don't think they were expecting to meet someone from Holland in South Yorkshire!!!! We went to see the flat that Amie shares with her friend Becky, and it was delightful. Very swish and a great investment for Jackie and Trevor. So this is it for now as I have to go to work soon. I have taken Peter to the station earlier so he is now at the airport on his way to Copenhagen. I will join him on Friday for the Works 'do' so time to myself to get things sorted before Becci arrives on Monday. This 13 days to go is getting me worried; too much still to organise!!!! But hey, so long as I have sent the cards and posted the presents all will be well. right?!....

Otley Christmas Fair

Lindsey standing under the lamp post in Otley market square last friday night. Jerry had scathingly called it 'Grotley'.....but it was quite a disappointment for us in the end. We thought that there were lots of people supporting the fair, and the atmosphere was great, but the stalls were not very inspiring or original and too many of them were cheap products going for a song instead of it being an opportunity to find unusual presents for Christmas. The most popular stall was selling the hot pork and crackling baps!!! That was doing a roaring trade! Lindsey bought a nice Bonsei plant for Sophie which was the best there was re. stands. Anyway, the Salvation Army were playing carols which I feel is an integral part of Christmas for me. When we lived in Granville Road in Walmer, Kent, we used to watch from our parents bedroom window as they played 'Away in a Manger' for us. Sometimes it would snow which only added to the magic. I loved it! So that is a favourite Christmas memory of mine that I wanted to share with you. Only 13 more days!!!!

Young Love

Here are Becci and Roy, my daughter and her boyfriend. I took these photos in Leeds on Saturday, but Roy hadn't been awake so long, hence the rather sleepy look!! Becci is starting to resemble her fathers side of the family more and more. They are all petite and dark haired and usually wear glasses etc and she is looking more and more like her aunty Cheryl! She has lost a lot of weight over the past year and is really slim now, despite a very healthy appetite I can assure you! Roy is studying at Leeds Metropolitan University so is a proper poor student.......aaah! He is a lovely lad and they are very sweet together. Becci is in her last year of study so 2008 will see her looking for a real job possibly away from Stafford where she currently is studying. I love her to bits!!!

Monday, 10 December 2007

I'm back!!!!

It went so quickly but here I am safely back home again, and lots to tell!!! The first thing to say, briefly, is that I had a great time. But I'll come back to that later....first, the horrors of flying out of England!!! Since all the terrorist attacks etc. the airports in Britain are understandably nervous. What I didn't realise is just HOW nervous they are until this week! We were in HEBDEN BRIDGE ( lovely little village) on Friday and it was absolutely pouring it down - we had some sleet too! - so we were ducking into every shop we came across to dry out! We were in a super little pot shop and had bought some small gifts and got talking to the lady there etc. (you know how it goes...)! She told us that I would only be allowed ONE cabin bag and not a handbag AND a cabin bag as the rule was now one only. Ok, so Becci bought me a bigger bag so that was my present sorted, and I could put my pot safely into it etc. no worries. Then we were out in the evening seeing Althea and she had got my present with her too. Was it small and light and easy to fit into the suitcase???? NO! It was light enough but too large to fit in my suitcase or my hand luggage! What to do..... I asked her about whether it had any wires in it as I have experienced that last year when I was asked to tip my luggage out as Jackie had given me a present that could have been a bomb!!!! Yes, there were wires apparently (the mind boggled). So it would have to go into the suitcase. Ok, could go that. Then Althea told us that no-one is able to drop passengers off outside the terminal door since the fiasco in Dundee. Everyone has got anxious about crazy drivers ramming the entrances so one has to be dropped off outside the terminal gates at the roundabout!!!!! Lindsey and I had a few anxious moments imagining dropping me off in the middle of the night at a roundabout and letting me get on with it!!! It was worth a few laughs anyway, and gave us food for thought. It was actually ok in the end. Lindsey was able to draw into the car park and chuck me out in a hurry before driving quickly to the exit and not having to pay for the pleasure! I got frisked of course but it was not a problem and I was in the plane and heading home without any more incidents!!!! Poor Peter was gallant enough to want to pick me up but he had to sit in 3 hours of traffic and we were not home before 11.00am and I had landed at nine!!!! Sorry, Becci, looks like the train for you after all!!! So I am tired but happy and no doubt back into the swing of things this week before you know it!!!

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

am I ready to go?....what have I forgotten?....

My suitcase just doesn't seem full enough!!! And I haven't even got a cabin bag...what is going on with me?!!!!! Have I finally sussed out that I don't need to take so much with me or have I forgotten my knickers?!!!!! And despite thinking I was going to make the christmas cards to take with me, what did I do? I sat and made a layout for someone's christmas present!!!! I was just 'in the zone' and I know exactly what Ineke means when she lets all the other stuff go in order to scrap....feels great really!! Jackie has just rung me to confirm our day out on Friday so that is organised. This year our planning hasn't gone as smoothly as usual. Can't see Linda as she is busy, which is a real shame as we love to discuss Strictly together! Barbara is staying in France as she is not able to get back to Yorkshire at this time due to finances. We must go and see her and Philip ourselves next year! And we will see Joan and hopefully Althea if she is now getting my e-mails ok, or else I will ring her tomorrow. Becci has arranged to meet us outside Morrisons on Saturday at 10am so that we can go to Holmfirth and Penistone etc. and re-trace our footsteps from years ago when she was little. Then maybe to see THE GOLDEN COMPASS in the evening with her and Roy and Jerry and his son....and uncle Tom Cobley an' all!!!! Nice Christmas Fair on Friday evening in Otley to go to...outside in the streets so nice and atmospherical (is that a word?!)..atmospheric maybe???? As you can tell, I am excited!!!!!


This is the photo album/book that I have made for Loes. It is a christmas present for her niece in Spain and poor Loes has been poorly and unable to complete it herself. I just couldn't resist offering to make it for her!! ( any excuse to scrap something different!!!) Actually using the pre-cut BELIEVE chipboard pages is a doddle and SOoo easy. Loes wanted there to be plenty of room to add photos so on the flip side of most pages I have made somewhere for her to stick or slip her photos from Christmas into the book. Since I am off to England tomorrow I don't have time today to show you the whole book but I have taken photos so it will appear once I am back home again!!! It is a lovely project and I would recommend the other chipboard books too. Takes a while to complete etc but it is worth it I think you will agree??????! Here in Holland it is 5 December and Sinterklaas so I wish you all a very happy evening with lots of presents and fun with family and friends. We don't celebrate it ourselves since we do Christmas of course, but it is nice seeing everyone here getting the last minute shopping etc. in, despite the awful weather and poor forecast. I am not pleased since I will be flying early tomorrow morning and it is likely to still be rather stormy. I have checked in now - what a nerve making one pay for a seat on top of the baggage payment AND the cost of using a visa card!!!!! Peter was not a happy bunny!!!! On top of that my kerst rak is STILL not here....and everyone else is saying they have received theirs already, boo hoo. I saw that my swop was already received so that is nice anyway. I hope she likes it!!! but, I am getting lost in translation I think here!!! My mind is more on the fact that the cabin bag cannot be found still, and I have got to get some shopping done for the boys whilst I am away so going with Pete shortly I hope (if his phone ever stops ringing that is!). And then the last things into my bag and the train ticket etc.........................happy days!!!!

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

the complex inner world of the fish!!!!

It doesn't take much to set off my anxieties and insecurities, something most fish have in common apparently. Talking to my friend who is also a Pisces, and sharing a few worries, we found we are often using our intuition to sense when things aren't 'quite right'. And then blaming ourselves!!!! Internalising the fears and self doubts and making ourselves miserable! Oh what a complex creature the fish is!!!! We see them swimming around in that ocean or fishbowl, thinking they don't have a care in the world, and, more interestingly, that they have no long term memory and cannot even recall what they did a few seconds earlier!!!! But the human fish has a memory as large as an elephants, the sensitivity of a prickly pear, and emotions the depth of the most gigantic mass of water imagineable. We are the twelveth sign and are made up of all the others, so trying to fathom us out is impossible!!! And when we are hurt......we dive into that deep dark ocean and sculk around on the bottom feeding our bleeding hearts with more pain and worry and it takes a while to surface again. So my ocean this week is called England and I am escaping there to my friends and my home and just diving, diving, deep, deep down...............

Friday, 30 November 2007

"Look what the children bought me"!!!!!

Amienke with her new Cricut. She was showing it to her friends with whom she makes cards etc and explaining what they would now be able to make with such ease........it will be a huge success I know for certain, as Amienke is really great at trying it all out; better than me as I am too cautious I think, and don't experiment enough. I will never get the 3000 possibilities out of one cartridge but she might!!! I am so happy for her, as it will be put to very good use!! Looking forward to seeing her new creations....

What a spread!!!!

This is the high Tea table that Amienke, Marion and Lily had prepared on Thursday. I told you it was splendid!!!! Even though the guests were a little hesitant to start with, I am sure there was very little left over by the end of the evening! Tim's eyes nearly popped out of his head when he saw all these 'delicious delicacies daintily dished up' for him to choose from!! I was watching Take Two last night and Claudia said that Arlene loves to Alliterate when she is enthusing (or otherwise) about the dancing, so I thought " I will too!" I used to love all that at school. Anyone remember their Malapropisms?!!!!!! I've a friend, Lindsey, who is great at them!!! Since these photos uploaded successfully, I will now try the ones of Amienke with her Cricut etc.....here goes.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

High Society!

Yesterday was a great day! I held my workshop from 9.30 - 12.3o and it went so well. The three ladies made nice jokes to one another and chatted in between making their cards, drinking coffee etc. and they were all delighted with their efforts which is what it is all about! It was a lovely morning, enjoyed by all. Then I buttered and cut all the cucumber sandwiches for Amieke's High Tea, and went off with Lily and Sara around 1.45pm. The spread was AMAZING! I have got photos but Blogger was not co-operating this morning when I tried to upload them, so they will follow, promise! I have got the table from several angles as it was FULL of delicious foody bits, and then I managed to capture a great set of photos of Amienke in her Alpine Durndle outfit, with Sara and Lars, and.................her CRICUT!!!! Amieke was so happy with that! She even demonstrated it to her cirlce of card-making friends in a corner of the kitchen in between all the cups of tea and food prep. It was great to see that she is loving it already!!! I have promised to give an English Baking workshop in January for Marion and Lily and anyone else who is interested!! Marion had got loads of recipes and made her first ever Lemon curd and scones and quiche etc which I was very impressed about. Since she had never tasted some of them before, so had no real idea what they were supposed to taste like even, I think she did remarkably well. If I give this workshop Peter may get me the Kitchen aid.....what do you think?!......could I get one for Christmas darling??!!! It would be fun and I love baking! So many wonderful english cakes and bakes and ideas which here in Holland are unknown recipes. Maybe I will advertise it on my site...www.thepaperlady.nl bakes!!!!! Anyway, I am now going to get ready for the visit to the kitchen design centre to discuss our new kitchen. I've taken photos to take along with me so that they can see what we have now, and what we would love to have by next March!!!! Peter and I went there with Tim last weekend as Peter is in Denmark today, and found a few we all liked - our taste is the same I think so that is easy enough- but it is the design and the layout that needs tweaking for sure! I am a lefty and like to have a kitchen that has the plugs to my left or at least with the space around either side so that I can get the kettle etc where I want them. As you can tell, I am the main cook and bottle washer in our house! So I get to say where I want it all, yes! We have got one side that is ok, but the other has nothing fixed so there is plenty of scope to re-design it all I hope. One thing is for SURE...a Boretti oven will be coming!! I love them and need the ovens for the style of cooking I enjoy, which is typically English with Italian thrown in !! It is super to have two ovens when cooking a Sunday Lunch for example, or Christmas Dinnner, yummy. Oh I must tell you this! We are going to my aunts for Christmas and she has always decorated Fabulous cakes. She used to tell a story or a cartoon etc on them, all made out of marzipan or icing and then coloured etc. We have heard of so many wonderful creations.... and then I asked her what it was going to be this year and she said ' oh, I don't do them any more!" Disaster!!!! But we got chatting on the phone about all the things we are doing over Christmas etc and she said that she will try and make an iced cake again....but what should she put on it? I said, half joking, ' I think Xander and Genghis throwing snowballs would be nice" - (our two Siameses) -and she said that that wasn't too difficult to do cats so she would have a go!!!!! Can't wait! Anyway on that note I really have to stop. Lots to do and little time to do it in! Havea great day one and all where ever you all are!

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree....

This is a little tree I have altered with some pretty christmas paper, some bells and ribbons and stars etc. I bought the plain white tree in XENOS in Hoorn and when I saw it I knew it would be perfect for altering!! I have inked the trunk with brown ink and given it a more natural look, but really you could do anything you like as it is in MDF and easy to cover with paper etc. If you make the holes in like I have done, then it is great to thread the silver ribbon through and wrap it around the tree - no-one sees the sellotape behind!!! -and adding the tiny bells was so cute!!! I have got a couple more that I am going to use in a workshop so that is interesting to wait and see what someone else chooses...........have a go yourselves!!!!

Secret santa!!!!

Anyone who knows me will appreciate how much I like to buy/make christmas presents for everyone BUT! at the same time how hard it is for me not to immediately tell them what I have bought!! And today I am absolutely bursting because I have found the perfect pressie for two of my friends!!!!!!! And I cannot tell you anymore than that! I KNOW for 100% that they will be de-lighted (to use a Craig-ism) and totally surprised with what I have got for them.....so now it is in the hands of the post to deliver to me in time to wrap for them!!!! I am off to England next Thursday morning so there is very little time....and if my parcel arrives whilst I am gone, what will DH think?!!!............she's ordered MORE stuff??? He will be equally happy when he sees what is in the package I am sure, and as it is not for me this time, all well and good, right?...!!!!! Thank you to Barbara who helped me get my counter for Christmas on the blog - big hugs since you are very special and going through tense times with your fathers operation and recovery. Bless you for helping me!

respect, your Majesty!

If I am feeling a little tired this morning, I really cannot complain after watching the first in a 5 part reality series about the work of our Monarchy. This first part followed the Queen as she prepared for a state visit to America. I take my hat off to this tiny lady who has the stamina of an amazon!!!! Her schedule and everything that goes into making such a trip is incredible. She was photographed and given speeches to learn, hopped on and off trains and in and out of car cavalcades, went from meal to meal, high tea to state dinner, outfit to outfit and always a little smile on her face. AMAZING!!! And all that at 80 plus!!!!! I have always been a supporter of the Royal Family and the traditions of England. They might seem old-fashioned and quaint and out of step with the modern world but they are the very things which make my home special. If they all went, what would we have left? The charm of England lies in her ability to stay her course of individualism and quirkiness added to her many years of history and fable. The fact that England is also a beautiful country with such a wide variety of flora and fauna and folklore - where else can you hear about Arthurian legend???!!! - scones and victoria sandwiches.......Wimbledon and Lords........crumpets for tea!!!! It made me feel so proud of my heritage and a little homesick of course, but there isn't anyone who could deny what Queen Elizabeth has done for England and Great Britain and the Commonwealth during her long reign: GOD SAVE THE QUEEN.

Monday, 26 November 2007

On the 1st day of Christmas, my true love gave to me...

Well, not quite but it is a question of "two stars and three cards, and a workshop on Wednesday!!!" Here are two of the stars I have already finished. We made them out of MDF and have undercoated them in white paint and then gone round the edges with either silver or gold paint, and put a small hole in the top for the wire to go through. The paper is cut out about half a centimeter smaller than the star itself and then I have done various things to it before simply glueing it in place! Because it is MDF it doesn't suck up the glue so that paper remains nice and flat! Handy tip to know!!! The cards are for the workshop I am giving this week. Two regular ladies are coming with another friend in tow, so that is really nice and cosy!!! I always enjoy them coming as they are so lovely and appreciative of what they make every time. I try to vary the techniques and the degree of complexity as well, as they are all 'ladies of a certain age' who are great at crafts but enjoy doing something a little different with me. Mostly it is the products that they are unfamiliar with now, and they have learnt how to stamp already at one of my other workshops, and use some of the inks etc, but I think the see-through ornaments will surprise them!!! I love the plastic buttons too; so easy to use! and they co-ordinate wonderfully. This year has been a great one for scrappers as the products are simply gorgeous!!!!

continuing with the book..

These are the last pages and I love the presents under the tree!!! I have tried to make the book appealing to Ben as he is only 19 months old, and it is more of an heirloom than something he can play with - that is in the other present!!! I have always read this poem to our children on Christmas Eve, as it magically captures the essence of the arrival of Father Christmas with his reindeers whilst they sleep, and I just personally love it! If you 'google-it' under the name; poem The Night Before Christmas, you can get the text too. The last page has got space to slip a few photos inside so that we can keep that memory alive as well. What do you think? I am very proud of my efforts and am looking forward to giving it to them on Boxing Day when we are all together.

next set of pictures

The poem continues with page 2 (6) and the reverse side (7), and the next page both sides etc. (8 & 9). The sleigh is done with the Cricut again as are the delicious reindeers! I used K& company for the santa and cut out presents from the paper I was using already since they were the right size!! I embossed the stars stamp with silver and added the thread around the necks of he reindeers and into the sleigh to give it more interest and dimension. The reverse sides of each page reflect the part of the poem I printed on the other side.

BEN's BOOK for Christmas

This is the little book of THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS that I have made for Benjamin Stone. He is the son of my cousin James and his wife Zoe, and the grandson of my god-father John Stone and his wife Hilary! This is the front cover (1) and then the inside of the cover with little letters in the post for Santa (2) with a close-up of that (3); the first page of the story (4) and the back of that page (5). I have used the Cricut Christmas cartridge to make the houses which I then embossed with Winter Wonderland powder. I stamped the reindeer and used the Marvy pens to colour them in etc. I printed teh poem out on the computer on transparencies and then backed them with pretty paper and made a frame to support them in the book.

radiating warmth!

I was busy the other day re-arranging my scrap-room as I felt unhappy with the way it was (logical), and this has led to Genghis finding a new place to sit! He can just about squeeze into a tiny spot between the phone, note pad, and the plant and manages to get right up close to the radiator! Any closer and he would be on it!!!!! He is SOoooo SWEET! Genghis is getting to the age where sleep is preferable to any other activity in the winter months. As I write now he is snuggled up next to Xander on our bed, where they will remain until 3pm when their tummies rumble and they come down for food. They usually return to their warm spot until we are having dinner when they re-appear to see whether there are any left-overs, or a nice comfy lap to sit on. If I were to count the number of 'beds' the pair have around the house it would be embarrassing!!! From hanging mats on radiators to baskets in my scraproom, chair with cushions, corners of settees, the washing........spoilt or what??!!! They say that if you want the best seat in the house you have to move the cat, and it is TRUE!!!! I am still busy scrapping my stars for Christmas. I have taken the "hand-made pledge" to make as many presents either myself or bought from a craft stall, or other hand-made shops. It is quite a challenge but I think that in a world full of electronica and computers and other gadetry, a little bit of time and effort spent creating something unique for someone else is worthwhile. I loved the button tree that I saw on Ali Edwards blog and have got to gather enough buttons to make it but I have started by getting the tree shape together! It looks easy.....but probably isn't, but anyway, worth a try. The stars are all different, made from MDF and painted in a shaker-way, folk-artish etc. I like this simple style very much. I can'twait to get the Christmas decorations out of the attic and up!! Almost December.........................I will take some photos of what I have completed to date and let you see them hereeeeeee. I have to make some birthday cards too, and then concentrate on the workshop for Wednesday. Photos of the cards we are making to follow!

Sunday, 25 November 2007

SAG report

I have to say that once again I was rather disappointed with the SAG event. I just can't seem to enjoy them mainly because of poor organisation I think. Maybe it is not an issue for others but I like to see that everything is ready well in advance of a class and not stand at the door while extra tables etc are being carried in!!! It wastes time and gives a poor impression. As I give workshops myself, I know how hard it is to be absolutely sure one has got everything nailed, but I spend a lot of time ensuring that I have got it all down to a T before the day people arrive. I was also disappointed with the standard of one of the classes I followed. The teacher was rather stressed I thought and not prepared for so many people and had not timed her projects appropriately. We ended up taking pictures and making some of the project back at home! I suppose I expect MORE from the organisers and want better from them as it is a heck of a lot of money to attend SAG. My friend and I won't be going again, that is for sure, which is not a great recommendation I know, and I apologise if you don't agree with us, but I cannot tell a lie!


I wish I was handier in setting new stuff on the blog!! I have failed now so many times to get new things on the right hand side, and cannot for the life of me work out what I am doing wrong!! I will have to ask my computer guru ( yes, Ineke, that would be you!) how to do it again (sorry!)... I wanted to add a christmas countdown and Barbara told me what to do, but that doesn't work for me yet, and then I was browsing Ali Edwards newsletter and joined the hand-made pledge site, and want to add their badge here.....copied the url etc but got nowhere with it! What do I do wrong???!!!!!! I have been behind with my blogging lately 'cos my DS had been using my computer and messed around with settings etc that beggered up my settings and resulted in my not getting mails or into the blog etc. Peter has spent ages sorting it out for me again, bless him, and now it works! So I will be back!!!!!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

waiting and wondering.....

This Monday just gone we had our interview with the Intake Bureau regarding our son Tim. We had to fill in lots of questionnaires and give our personal information details etc, and now we wait until next week when they will 'give us their advice'. And I don't much care for this waiting and it is not helping me to feel ok at the moment. I have still got this awful cough which I can't seem to get rid of, and I am so worried that it will spark off my asthma again................. Tim is not doing well at school and his report will be a disaster I am afraid!!! He CAN do it all, but sometimes his brain sits upside down in his head and it all goes wrong!!!! I know the feeling which only convinces me even more that he is Dyslexic. The school is arranging that test soon and also for him to see the school psychologist. I wonder what they will make of my DS?!!...in the mean time I do not feel I can concentrate on my scrapping etc and that is annoying too!!! I so enjoy that and it is a way for me to settle and find peace and serenity in this chaotic and sometimes harsh world. Boy, I am reflective today!!! Yesterday was nice though. I went to Den Helder with Amienke and she loved the shop!! She bought a few things for her birthday and pointed out a few others that she would like for her big birthday next week......'in case William and Lily ask'......and we had a lovely time together. She made me really laugh at times- she really knows how to tell a story and it is so visual that I can see what she is describing at times! She is having a High Tea for her birthday and she feels like a Hyacinth Bouquet apparently!!!! I am invited which is very kind of her, and I have offered to make some cookies etc and the cucumber sarnies...............it will be very entertaining I am sure!! Only 2 days until SAG with Loes this Saturday. I am looking forward to it very much, but have no money to spend on any goodies which is a shame...aah! I will get my soft pencils for the stamps tomorrow and then the purse is empty!!!! What will I do????

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

when all the world....

Isn't there a poem with this as title? Or something like it!!! The other day I was full of self-doubt and anxiety and worry about my scraps, and now I feel uplifted and wonderful!!! I got very brave yesterday and actually walked into a hobby shop in Enkhuizen and told them I give workshops etc and maybe there was a possibility of doing some for them or together!!! It might never lead to anything, but I have decided that I need to promote myself more and see what happens, in return for a bit more assertiveness on my part!! And I have also been asked to give a workshop for a group of people next year which is fantastic and I am delighted to do that for them. Can't say more at this stage but it is just so great to have been asked because someone loves my work...can't get a better compliment really. I have to photograph the book for Ben now, for the Scrapfever site and here, so back soon!!! I am busy making more cards for the workshop on the 28th that is now fully booked so also nice. These ladies are 'regulars' so I like to make it a special occasion for them - they are so sweet!! And today I am going to take Amienka to Simpel Scrappen in Den Helder as she has never really seen a proper scrapbook store and it will amaze her!! We were line dancing last night, but my coughing and wheezing is still a problem and so I couldn't do much, so we left early and decided to shop instead!!!!! I mustn't buy anything as I am going to the SAG this Saturday with Loes and I have to get the crayons for the stamps this week as well....................but where oh where can I buy DOEZELAARS??????!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 11 November 2007

ok, now it is just getting silly!!!!

Ann and I sat and watched in SHOCK this evening as Kate got voted in for another week on Strictly. UNBELIEVEABLE!!!!! She cannot dance and it is such a farce seeing her stay in and the delightful PENNY going out. Who is voting this way? Are they deliberately trying to ruin the programme for everyone else? How can our children appreciate the point of the programme if this happens? Len will go potty about this on Claudia's Take Two show this week!!!! And rightly so. Sorry, this is not a personal attack on anyone, least of all Kate, but this is so wrong. We all have our favourites, of course, but we are now half way into the show and it is time to start voting for the finalists and not the celebrities who are not hitting the mark. I cannot see the BBC being able to continue with the show if this is now the trend; voting just to be a nuisance. I suspect Kate must feel very bad about Penny leaving, however much she might be enjoying the show, because the good guys are having to leave as a result of her staying and NOT because they are bad dancers! We are so sad that this is happening again people... THINK ABOUT IT!!!! And vote with respect for the ones who are improving and working hard to learn to DANCE ( and not walk around the floor practically falling over and showing no potential at all). We are true Strictly fans so this is heart-breaking really. ps. Gethin IS gorgeous!!!! And he can dance!!!

Group photo Scrapfever crop in Rotterdam

This is the photo from the crop yesterday in Rotterdam. Just wanted to share this with you all!!!

Saturday, 10 November 2007

everything and nothing!

So it went well on Friday with the demonstration at KREATIEF, but I guess it could have been busier if the weather had been kinder.. ......and then I spent today in Rotterdam at the SCRAPFEVER crop. It was super meeting everyone and sitting and chatting and learning new ideas etc. for my stamping, but I hardly scrapped at all!!! It was more of a meet and greet opportunity which was fine, as I don't create well when I have got limited rescources and inspiration. I did buy some stuff from Chantal which is gorgeous and I can't wait to use, and I have got some stuff that I need to buy for my colouring of stamps etc. and that was that! Then Ann came round for Strictly.............SHE (not Ann!) HAS GOT TO GO!!!!!!!! Kate was hopeless and I felt the judges were more than kind to her this week! Her Salsa was appalling and there was no-one worse or anywhere near her in appallingness!!!!!! Way below standard and if the public vote her in this week it will be a crime. Even Kenny was so much better than expected and I wouldn't like to guess who should be in the dance-of tomorrow..............?????? any offers?!

Thursday, 8 November 2007

a sense of isolation...

Sometimes I feel that my scrapping just isn't up to the mark, and that I am totally alone in my hobby-ness......scrapping into the small wee hours just for my own pleasure; and to get me to fall asleep again!!! I was looking at a lot of other scrap-blogs just now, and they all seemed to be linked to one another but mine was not included, and I felt really sad and alone. I wonder why? Is it because I am not so good at forumming I wonder? Or do I not join in with challenges or other circles etc? Am I only in it for what I enjoy making? Do I not make scraps that people actually LIKE?!!!!! Since tomorrow I am giving the demonstration in KREATIEF, HOORN, it could just be nerves of course, but then again is it because I isolate myself? This is one reason I wanted to go to the Crop this Saturday with SCRAPFEVER; to get to know other people better and to find out more about what everyone else is doing out there!!!! I am a bit shy, and very English in my reserve-edness... ( all these new words I am making up here!!) but I am nice, and very friendly once you know me!! Of course I have ambitions and dreams of fame and fortune same as anyone else, but .....think I am just run down with my cold and headache and worry and this is so unusual for me as I am a real optimist!!!! Ah well, I have a blog because I want one, and I just want to say how FANTASTIC I feel when I see where and how many people are reading it apart from ME!! Huge hugs and thanks from me. xxx

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Christmas cards galore!!!!

Here are my latest christmas cards!!! As you can see, I enjoy designing lots of different ones, using various techniques and papers etc. The Siamese is for my friends Jackie & Steve as their cat Coco is a chocolate-point Siamese! The others are not person-specific but if anyone has a preference for which one I send them....say it now!!!! If you like these cards, do let me know!!