Monday, 30 March 2009


Well, I've kept away for a few days now, so time for an update. Mum and sister are away in France for Easter, so maybe my brother and family will come here for a visit.

The advent of BST came, as usual, with the weather anything but appropriate! Saturday was cold, wet and windy, but Sunday a little better, and I was able to get to early evening Mass AND BACK in the light, which makes me feel things are on the up (and the long-range weather forecast is promising reasonable weather over Easter, too!).

On Saturday, too, someone I know came and we observed the hour for the earth - switching the lights off for an hour - NOT something I was planning on doing, but she had come by on her way home from the demo in London (she is into every cause going of the pacifist/feminist/eco variety and probably more besides) because she hadn't anyone to observe the event with and thought I might be free. She is one of those people who somehow manages to cause disproportionate disruption in my house ... and this time I was left with a jumper that had candle wax all the way down the front, which wouldn't have happened otherwise because I wouldn't have been sitting by candlelight!!

That is just typical - she doesn't actually mean to disrupt, it just happens - every time!! In a sense I can't really blame her as I moved the candle, but if she hadn't been here I wouldn't have had the candles lit so it wouldn't have happened. She is also prone to bright ideas which she communicates to me with great enthusiasm and without seeing the practical consequences. Her most recent suggestion is that I could replace the fence (which apparently is in a state of disrepair) with a hedge, thus establishing a more ecologically sound barrier with a bonus for wildlife.

All very well BUT:

- next door is responsible for that fence

- it needs someone who knows how to set it up, and that is a lost art these days

- it is bound to need maintenance, expensively so.

This follows on her giving me a bush for my birthday, despite my reply to her suggestion of giving me a plant, which was that I did not want anything for the garden at the moment as I needed to get the garden organised (and weeded!!) properly before putting anything in it. (It has been neglected since I was ill two years ago.) To add insult to injury, she had chosen a bush which needs acid soil and ours is alkaline ... as she claims to know a bit about gardening, that is another thing not thought through ...

Thursday, 26 March 2009


My mother, sister and I are going out to lunch today for Mothering Sunday and my birthday, so I've found this card for her from my box. It doesn't have Mother's Day greetings on it (just as well as that has come and gone, and I am going boss-eyed thinking the paper isn't on straight - if it isn't, and it very much looks like it!, the white being the card blank, she will notice!) but it's a pretty card and will go with the sweet pea kit I bought from Sainsbury's - I saw it and remembered she had said she loved sweet peas, so I hope they won't be too much trouble for her to look after. My uncle used to grow sweet peas in the garden at home and I still remember those.

We enjoyed lunch - my sister works as a special needs teacher for dyslexia and the like, and was filling us in on some of the ways she works, and my mother loved the card, even though it was about the easiest one I could have made.

I've also got some cards for kids to show you - there's a challenge on C by C at the moment for kids' cards. I'm not sure these will count, as in the immortal Blue Peter phrase: "Here's one (or two) I made earlier.", but I haven't been able to show them before because I didn't know how to!!

Wednesday, 25 March 2009


This time it is mine, so I thought I'd share two of the cards that arrived:

This one is from my brother in law - love the design (which has a bit of sparkle that doesn't show up) and the sentiment inside: "Wishing you a lovely birthday and a very happy year." so hope my sister will forgive him for taking precedence as he's signed it as from my sister and nephew, too. Congrats, too, as it arrived before the day.

This one's from my brother:

who said: "A wee card for your birthday with a picture to dream about!" Not such a wee card, and as I have recovered enough from being ill I can do more than dream ... maybe tonight I will have a glass from one of my collection of bottles (which I suspect are of somewhat humbler origin than these). My brother always teases me about the (modest) stash I have, so maybe it's time to consume a little.

Monday, 23 March 2009


Gradually, I am getting some of my craft stuff sorted:

1 - ribbons (pink, purple, red)

This is only some of the stash! I have lots of small lengths rather than loads of a few, so lots of choice. The image doesn't show up very well because of the little plastic pockets (they help to keep the ribbons clean and untangled, and it's easy to see what you've got) but you get the idea. The wide one on the mid-left with the butterflies is really a lovely mid-pink, but for some reason it just doesn't scan properly.

2 - ribbons (the rest)

These show mainly white and gold, but I have green and blue and all sorts of others. I think I might have to split them up into neutrals and colours, as I almost have to sit on the box lid to get it shut!

3 - embellishments

again, I've got masses more, so will have to split them into paper-based, wood, brads and whatever.

So now you all know what I've been up to over the last little while ...

Sunday, 22 March 2009

My very first piccie!!

Now for a major event:

(imagine a drum roll or fanfare, at the very least)


I have made another of the challenge items from the C by C birthday list - two tags:

(I'm not quite sure how that shadow got onto the scan ... but the image is reasonably good).

I used papers from the same pad as the one I used on the gift bag I made for the first challenge I did:

The challenge asked for a tag, or even better, two .. so two I did.
I came across a pink tag and a blue one, so I thought I do a his and hers, and the papers I already had out were a great match. Pink seems to be the colour for men recently so that fits, too. (If anyone knows a pair of twins and needs tags ....)

For those who'd like to know: papers are K & Co, ribbons and fibres from the Crafts by Carolyn shop, tags sent me by someone on the forum.

That's the good news. This week I also have some news that is not so good: my best mate has been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and has been referred to St Thomas'. Not entirely unexpected as she has been unwell for some time and the blood tests she had earlier in the year were a strong indication of that being likely. At minimum it will require an operation, possibly chemo as well. That last is something I wouldn't wish on anybody. And the result will not be a cure ..... things have developed from her feeling uncomfortable with the tumour to it being painful and obstuctive in a comparitively short time, and that concerns me somewhat.

That is a bit of a blow for those who expect life to be fair (and we usually do, especially if we have been taught to share as children, so nobody hogs the lion's share for himself). It's hard when someone you know is always willing to help other people gets hit by something like that (and some who have definitely not added to human wellbeing live into a ripe old age). It isn't the first time and it won't be the last .... because life isn't fair .... at least it doesn't appear to be. Maybe we will only know in the next world why .... maybe it is just not for us to know .....

Friday, 20 March 2009

Spring! :)

Today is, apparently, the first day of Spring! Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!

So as I haven't updated for a little while, I thought I'd add to this.

My brother used to run a deli and enjoyed thinking up unusual sarnie combos, but I can be fairly sure he didn't come up with the strange culinary mix that was lunch on Tuesday .....

Haggis, rice and ratatouille!!

You may well ask what led to that unusual event .... if you remember, my Lent project was to use some of the stuff in my freezer and not buy so much new: that explains the Haggis (which had been in the freezer for a long time). The rice, similarly, was something from the storecupboard that needed using, and the ratatouille was the result of not wanting to stop and cook veggies (which also explains the rice, because I didn't want to stop and peel spuds either .... ). To add to the culinary confusion, the rice was pilau rice, so had a distinct flavouring of its own!!

I'm not sure I'd do it again - though I might try it with plain wholegrain rice, because I think it was the pilau bit that really made it a little too strange to be really appealing to the taste (though I wouldn't go so far as to call it unpleasant: there's lots worse, cauliflower cheese for a start!).

As for my Lent project in general: mixed bag! For the first time in ages there is some room in the freezer. Usually this is immediately filled by a bargain ready meal or whatever, but this time I must resist!! There's plenty in there still and I really do need to defrost and start again from fresh. The healthy eating/weightloss side of it is having limited success and I need to tighten up on that, probably by writing down what I consume. As I have mobility problems and therefore cannot stand on electronic scales and get a steady reading, that is the only way I can check progress while I wait for it to show in reduced bulges. Whyever they make scales so complicated I do not see: I don't need to know my BMI, I have enough bulges telling me I need to lose weight!! (and they are really there, not a figment of my imagination! and no, I am not putting up a photo to prove it!! )

I am still busy with events on the Crafts by Carolyn forum - lots of challenges still outstanding. I have been trying to sort out some of my little bits of craft stuff, as I spend more time looking for things than making things, and get frustrated knowing I have just the right thing if only I could find it!!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Birthday bash

Again I'm referring to the Crafts by Carolyn one ... and I'm just updating this before I fall asleep ....

I've spent most of this weekend taking part in the above birthday bash - quizzes and crafty makes galore. Some of them had deadlines this weekend, but it would be worth a look because some don't have deadlines and some have longer deadlines. I made my first non-card item - a decorated gift bag (Challenge 12) but that was as far as I got!!

I still haven't sussed how to get piccies on there or on here, so forum blog candy will have to wait - I took one look at the instruction booklet for the camera (choice of English, French, Italian or German in the pack!!) and it was obvious it would take some time to set it up (especially as I am a complete idiot when it comes to computers). I will get it sussed .... sometime! I also have a guide to Windows Vista which might give me some clues - I keep forgetting I have that. So many people can do it, so it must be reasonably possible ....

watch this space (but don't hold your breath).

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Birthday! Birthday! Birthday!

No, not mine!

The Crafts by Carolyn forum has been running for seven years and there is lots going on over there, so if you like crafting (and even if you're not into it) hop over and see what is happening.

I promised blog candy for the CBC forum today, but it hasn't arrived yet, though I ordered it a week ago (memo to me: don't use that place if you're in a hurry!) so it will be deferred until it arrives - I'll let you know as soon as it does.

I went out shopping today and was quite successful - came back like an overloaded packhorse (again! - but given I use a small mobility scooter .... ) my haul included three jumpers, which was a good thing, as three of the ones I have now have holes in the elbow! The weather is not yet so warm that I can do without, and at charity shop prices they won't break the bank. They are comparitively lightweight so will see me through until next winter, I hope (and possibly beyond, with the addition of a second one on top).

I have spent most of the rest of the day chasing around the Net for the answers to the birthday quiz on C by C - unsuccessfully :( (well, it wouldn't have taken so much time otherwise, would it?)

Monday, 9 March 2009

Fits and starts

Seems to describe most things: the weather (winter seems to be giving more comeback performances than Sinatra! :(), my Lenten observances (though I am gradually tightening up on those, I think, as I get more into it) and last but not least, this 'ere blog - oh, I forgot - the washing up, too!

The friend who wanted a cookery lesson came yesterday, and went away bearing my demo Victoria sponge and very delighted with it. I hope I remembered to tell her everything important as I was doing it: the cake was OK so I can't have omitted anything drastic, but it's so easy to assume someone knows something just because it has become second nature to you and you are not even aware of doing it (as I sometimes discovered teaching German). Hopefully I have had enough teaching experience that I did better than when I demo'd on my teaching course - the tutor remarked that whatever I did demo-ing was NOT for me!! That time I had to do it 'back to front' so it was right way round for the audience, which I found really difficult (and it obviously was!) but this time my 'student' was looking over my shoulder as I did it, so I could work right way round. I have another easy recipe which she might like to learn too, just to have a bit of a change.

I never was any good in the kitchen at home: my sister was the practical one, who was allowed to cook (and did Home Economics O Level). I did the washing up (and I'm better at that than some people who come into my kitchen and kindly have a stab at doing their bit, though I'd never tell them as they mean so well). So it's quite a turnup for the book having my cakes so good that people say so and want to know how!!

This Thursday is the seventh birthday of the Crafts by Carolyn Forum, so do hop along there and see what's happening. There are lots of interesting crafty things going on, and lots of odd bits of info on all sorts of things else - whatever you need to know there's usually someone who can help around there. (Current concerns include getting rid of mice and growing veggies.) I hope my prospective blog candy arrives in time - I've yet to suss out how to get a photo on here, so I need it YESTERDAY! Fortunately the celebrations are continuing for the weekend, so I may change the date if I have to: I'll post it on here if I do.