Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Bad, Bad Blogging

Bad, bad blogging, and I don't just mean me. Almost a month since my last entry, no WOYWW as I've been busy Wednesdays with a friend for weeks, trying to keep up with other blogs I follow let alone my own. Work has been busy, real life has been busier, the therapy is proving above and beyond my expectations and, a month later, I again have a bad back, worse than last time. Nothing I can do except the prescribed exercises, resting it, using a stick and keep popping the pain killers, grrrr arrrrgh. It is a hereditory spine condition from my mother's side that I and 2 of my cousins have and I am the only one so far that has escaped spinal surgery. SIGH.

Anyhoo, on a lighter side, we are reaping the benefits of gardening in pots - we are happily munching on home grown lettuces, spring onions, basil, tomatoes ripening a treat and the chilli plants blossoming as I type. Oh, and beans, but that is another story.

Another fantastic crafter I have the privilege to know in RL - Helen - has started her blog. Just check out the wonderful Loving the Traditional if you want a real treat!

Off to creak about for a bit.......

I'll be back. Back. BACK. Geddit?

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


Already Wednesday!

Again the Roller Coaster of Life races on. From the lows and highs of saying goodbye to a friend at the funeral on Monday, the lows of having a really bad back and the highs of having my new nails "filled" this week.

Anyhoo, this weekend, only able to sit in a comfy chair, I decided to start my bedroom curtains. Not just window curtains, but curtains for behind the glass in the wardrobe, matching co-ordinating cushions and a bed runner. So that it what is on my workdesk this Wednesday! Also at the front is my tiny steel hem measuring ruler - nothing special, you would think, except that I have had it since I was about 17! This is my third sewing machine. My parents bought me my very first basic one when I was about 14, then as a reward for my O Levels, bought me a super-duper one which lasted for years and when it was finally beyond repair, this is my latest, now some 6 years old now. I have rediscovered my love for sewing just - after a 2 year break from making DD dancing costumes for over 10 years!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Weirdness and New Experiences

It's a funny old life, this one. One being the operative word. We just get the one.

Going through my own recovery from a long .... ummmm ..... condition ...... for want of a better word, I have not had a good few weeks but know there is light at the end of a few months tunnel with any luck. Last week Monday, I just could not go to work. Work, a new role that I am absolutely loving and enjoying and what is keeping me relatively grounded and for which I am very grateful. Very early that morning I had a message to call a friend only to find that another friend's partner had died suddenly in the night. For us that is the second friend lost in less than 4 months. Are we really that old, when it is no longer our elderly relatives, but our peers? Sobering thought.

And so to lighter things. Crafting also keeps me sane, although the offspring (albeit aged 24, son, and 20, daughter) regularly aim to throw me off balance, they haven't quite managed it.


Daughter (youngest child) has been suggesting for a long while that I try false nails as mine have steadfastly refused to grow back to their former glory. Not just any false nails, but acrylic tips and gel stuff with spray on French polish and gloss. A whole new world for me. Just as long as she doesn't attempt to get me to try the 6 inch stilettos that she is also very attached to. Lots of pairs of teetering eye-wateringly high shoes - things of a misspent youth a very long time ago for me. And several stones less pressure on the poor old feet. I don't think they even do 6 inch stilettos in an extra wide fitting.

And here is the result of a visit to a lovely man named Yum - who could resist? Of course husband and son made all the right noises, as they have been well trained. Especially as, also on the spur of the moment, I had my hair cut at the same time. N0t the same time as having the nails done, but straight after, if you're still following. No big thing you would think, but if the family think my hair is too short (it's STILL shoulder length after being cut and long enough to put up in a twist for work) there have been threats of divorce and disowning in the past, although not necessarily in that order.

What can I say? I LURVE my new nails and, 2 weeks on, they are still a) attached, b) still looking FINE, even though I say so myself, c) Not stopping me crafting, d) Now longer and all the same length for the first time in so long that I cannot remember and e) now hindering my ability to type. Well, not to actually type, but actually hit the keys I was aiming for. Would I do it again? Hell yeah!

And here is the proof of my crafting on a tiny scale AND with long nails - my 2 groups of red inchies for the August Inchie Swap on UKS with our fabulous Monthly Colour Inchie Swap host, Tracy. Thanks Tracy and keep up the good work! Having just finished a fabulous fabric ATC swap I am so into fabric at the moment, so these are felt, lace flowers, beads, fabric butterflies, yarn and yummy red stickles - gotta have a bit of glitter!

And so back to where I started - life is not a rehearsal dear reader, so remember to make the most of the one you have!

Thursday, 30 July 2009


Life is passing by at a speed of knots, a roller coaster ride with moments that leap out and bite you, including the sad loss of a friend Sunday. I have not felt in the gardening, blogging or crafting mood for a while now and the weather hasn't helped. However, this is the photo of my desk last night. To be honest it is exactly how I left it on Monday as I was out on a meal with colleagues last night and a very yummy one it was too.

So, what is on my desk .... The colour does not show true because the sun was shining behind the orange curtains, but you will spy a theme of red. I have one set of inchies for next month's red swap and the second set are drying at the back on a box. My inchie acrylic album is open at the purple month as I was seeking inspiration and this little book rarely lets me down! Ahhh, and you may also spot my latest toy ..... a little red nintendo DS Lite *blush* .... purely for the training of this old brain, of course..... !

Wednesday, 22 July 2009


Arrrgh - Real Life, Work and a Snotty Nose gets in the way of this blogging business.

So, prodded and poked into submission by a fellow Dolly I am posting not my whole desk (trust me, you don't want to see the rest of it right this minute) I am taking a close up of the FABULOUS Fabric ATCs from a recent swap that I have sorted ready to put away in my prized collection.

This was my first ever Fabric ATC swap and it caused me real grief, although I was pleased and relieved by my final output (see earlier WOYWW for the work-in-progress) and nothing could have prepared me for the fabulous ones I received in return - WOOT!

I am still suffering from Performance Pressure from this, but def up for another when I feel able to commit.

Thursday, 2 July 2009


Good gravy, this week has flown by. Off work last week, extra day off work and back Tuesday. Yes, yes, I know it is What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday and it is now Thursday, but I blame the heat. And work. Which, of course, had I not had a week and a day off, I wouldn't have as much. It's a vicious circle!

Anyhoo, here was my workdesk last night, photographed just before I staggered slowly into bed. And it is exactly the same now. I had to work late tonight, you know, to catch up from the week and a day off work, and was actually "thrown" out of the building by the tannoy message that it was closing with me shouting I couldn't possibly leave yet, I still had work to do ..... Sad. So Sad.

So what is on my desk? Well the bright pink, brighter pink and assorted colours of felt are my first attempt at fabric ATCs for a UKS swap. I have been faffing about with these for weeks and the deadline for posting is rapidly approaching and I hate being late for anything, especially involving other people. I finally came up with the idea of the flowers, bought yet more colours of felt (none of which I have used) and finally begged Wednesday crafting friend to poke me into the right direction. She is brilliant, during my faffing with something and glue and being completely undecisive (because I ran out of decisions at work) - slapping her hand over mine and just sticking it down. It is always in the right place and I can never work out why I faffed for so long in the first place.

You may also see a slimline card with a row of stamped and coloured flowers in flower pots. Not one of my best efforts and about to be consigned to the bin. It was intended to be a get well soon card for my cousin who unfortunately works in one of the school that has been closed because of swine flu and she is one of the unlucky staff that caught it from a pupil. Actually cousin is quite poorly and I wanted to cheer her up with a hand made card. Unfortunately it had the opposite affect on me, let alone sending it to her, so I through it across the desk and started faffing with the ATCs.

I blame the heat. Just throw me on the floor and hose me down - I'll be fine.

Monday, 29 June 2009

Ma Bete Noire

My Bete Noire is Paperwork. Home paperwork. I hate it with a fiery vengeance. I mean, after all I am a civil Servant - I do paperwork every day of my working life - I should be used to it by now.

But no and there lies the rub - at work I am PAID to do paperwork, at home I am not AND it impinges on time for my creative side. When wading through paperwork I'm not having fun. I am not enjoying myself. And certainly not being paid to do it, so no incentive there either.

So, to those of you that know me, I often refer to Mount Paperwork. Here is the evidence. You will note two frames as well - these are obviously not paperwork, but some photo manipulation and re-sizing work I said I would do for some friends. You see, I would enjoy doing that rather than the paperwork, but not going to do it until I have done some paperwork - the whole pleasure/pain syndrome.

They may have to wait some time .........

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

WOYWW - Debut!

WOYWW - What's on Your Work desk Wednesday - debut! My Teamies and those that know me will be impressed that I refrained from tidying it up before I took the photo - but I managed it! So, what is on my work desk?

Mainly my sewing machine - the first time it has been out since DD stopped dancing just before she went to uni and no more costumes to make. The reason it was dusted off was to alter her BF sister's prom dress. A beautiful creation from China with 3 layers of material, the top being chiffon, a sequined and beaded bodice, and a train. Easy peasy lemon squesy - NOT! Of course it took a lot longer than I anticipated, but well worth it - she looked beautiful. Plus I enjoyed the girls' company whilst sewing, trying on, sewing, trying on, layer at a time, train and strap removal. Hence the blue box which has all my sewing threads in, the multi coloured binder - my overflow ATC (ACC!) collection and the inchies on the shelf - I was just adding the fab orange ones from the last swap - and other things that they went through, making all the right oooohs and aaaaahs at the art work. Then the Circle Journals, mini books, scrapbooks, yada, yada, keeping them entertained whilst the sewing machine was doing what it does best. Talking of company, you may spot Boo - DD Furbie lurking in the corner - he occasionally wakes up and then goes back to sleep snoring, normally making me jump because I forget he's there. The circular Nestibility thingy is a coloured image I was experimenting with for a thank you card. Pretty random stuff really, all of which I am about to clear so that I can tackle Mount Paperwork before making curtains, cushions and runner .... but both of those are other stories. As is The Bean.......

Thursday, 18 June 2009


What's on your Work desk Wednesday, or WOYWW to those of us in the know, a brilliant idea by a fellow Dolly Diva teamie of mine, Mrs Dunnit, from over on UKS - and hence the new avatar link to it on the right. Despite having managed to acquire the link and work out how to show it on my blog, I am ashamed to admit that I haven't managed to join in yet - for 2 weeks.

This week I blaming work sending me away for 2 days and me only arriving home Wednesday night and my desk was clear because I hadn't done any crafting for a week, so I couldn't join in. Again. But, watch this space for next week. Well, not THIS space exactly, my work space. Not at WORK, you understand, but at home. My Home Work Space. I hope. I have the WOYWW and I'm not afraid to use it. Puggled, maybe, but definitely not afraid.

Anyhoo, it's Jules' fault - she mentioned banana muffins and I couldn't get the visual out of my mind, or the virtual taste. HOME MADE banana muffins, I hesitate to add. And THEN the mention of strawberries, my favourite, let alone what else was on her desk!!!!!!

Next week it is then.......

Oh, and I am not even going to mention the G word. I have a very bad case of Bean Envy. Green Bean Envy, to be precise.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Hoops - an Olympic Sport for the Workplace

I have a love/hate relationship with my job and tonight I don't have the strength for either. I learned a long time ago to dance on a shifting carpet so that no-one could pull the rug from under me. And then I took on my latest role. On 1st April. April Fools Day. I should have spotted the Omen. But, ever the optimist, me.

If Jumping Through Hoops was an Olympic Sport, I would now qualify for a Gold Medal. With danger money.

I have spent 2 weeks discovering how to do something new. With dire consequences, if anything goes wrong, and, hence, The Hoops. I have spoken to, researched and consulted with the Workpace and his Dog to reach the end game today. I have also learned that, if all else fails, go with The Dog.

So, there I was, with The Dog, jumping happily through hoops late this afternoon and smiling with a Satisfied-With-A-Job-Well-Done smirk - and someone lit the hoops mid-leap. Then drowned the work of the last 2 weeks in an attempt to put the fire out. I wasn't at all sure where the resultant smoke and steam was coming from, until a colleague pointed out it was from me. Out of my ears and very probably not the only orifaces. But the only ones I'm admitting to. I have now pointed one VIP to the opposing VIP and said I would simply do whatever the Winner decides and settle for position of Third Place.

Mutter Chunter. Learning Curve? More like a bl**dy Harrier Jump Jet leap. Mutter Chunter.

Monday, 8 June 2009

The G Word

I don't do the G word - Gardening. I have always worked full time and, especially when the children were little, hubby and I developed a split of duties - I did the house, finances and kids, hubby did the cars, garden and kids and everything else was shared according to who was doing what hours at work or taxi duty for various child activities. Of course now that they are both in their 20s things are very different. Except for the gardening.

Now, don't get me wrong, I love our garden. The best
bit being when I'm reclining on something soft with a little something else chinking gently with ice in one hand and a good book in the other, preferably in the shade. The closest I get to gardening is when I point out the odd weed he's missed. Lucky weed, because those of you that have seen our garden, know that nothing is allowed to grow taller than hubby and his idea of pruning involves an electric hedge trimmer. I jest not when I say we have square conifers with flat tops and, when I manage to find my camera from the somewhere safe I put it during a recent flurry of housework, I will post photographic evidence. [Edited to add - found it!]

Because of this, dear hubby has refused in recent years to let me have a greenhouse on the grounds that I won't have any time for it because of everything else I do and he will end up doing that as well as the rest of the garden. With large hands and fingers like bananas, the closest he gets to seedlings are the plug plants we buy from the local wherever. But, not this year. This year, in a fit of pique, I spotted a 14 squid plastic greenhouse, bought it, got son to assemble it and had seeds planted before hubby got home. HA! Not only that, I, again aided and abetted by son because the canes were 7 feet tall and I'm only short, created a potted cane wigwam ready for the runner beans when they sprouted. DOUBLE HA! He may have the green fingers, but I have the green house. It must be the nurturer in me because I have cooed and watered and poked and transplanted with loving optimism the odd bean that was attempting to sprout (despite me having nearly fried them under the plastic during the mini heatwave). Then the weather changed and they are now shivering in the pot at the base of the wigwam and not looking at all hopeful.

Perhaps it's just as well I'm the only one that actually likes green beans, which is a shame too really, because I'd planted a yellow variety just for the sheer hell of it.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Here we go

None of my varied life had actually prepared me for the effects of cognitive analytical therapy – the receiving end. I hope this therapy will help overcome my remaining health issues, stop the need for medication and finally release me from specialist medical care. The therapist has encouraged me to keep a diary, journal, or whatever, and hence this blog.

Whilst, of course, daily holding down my career, being that dutiful daughter, good wife, loving mother, avid crafter (still not necessarily in that order) plus all-round puggled person I seem to be just now. May the random ramblings commence ...