Thursday, 28 February 2013

LET'S DO A POST WHILST I ACTUALLY REMEMBER

I was supposed to do a post last night but forgot, brain melt or something, then I've prepared one for tomorrow, but I've decided that I might as well create one now, whilst I remember so this is a quick layout post to go - ta-derrrrr

a layout - well actually two

First up - first day at secondary school -  still can't get over that - enjoyed ripping paper - well who wouldn't right!
Then the boys and their toys sat inside a cockpit - would you trust them?  Not sure I would too much mischief in those faces.
 I'll be back tomorrow with my rocking post until then...

Friday, 22 February 2013

ROCKING YOUR WORLD FRIDAY AND DARCY'S READING CHALLENGE - A CASUAL VACANCY

If you've arrived to read my review for Darcy's Reading challenge - then scroll down to the bit which starts A CASUAL VACANCY, as the first part of my post is my Rocking Your World Element


OK peeps let's do this in list format, it's late on Thursday and I'm having to engage my brain - neither of which is a great mix!

  1. A week off from work
  2. Two yes I said two ice hockey matches to see Sheffield Steelers last weekend, not been in forever and we won both matches! 
  3. Said 12 year old getting the 'ice hockey' bug - this I like! 
  4. Time with my sister and my niece at the ice hockey! 
  5. Time with my Mum making a mini book on Sunday and then finishing it on Monday
  6. Keeping in contact with my Lil Bro! 
  7. Said 12 year old being happy with his new phone! 
  8. Having my hair cut
  9. Hubby rocking my world as always, putting up with the mood swings I'm having with these crazy tablets, and coping with my general stupidity - thank you hun! 
  10. Having a lie in - something we sometimes take for granted around here! 
  11. Crafting time!
  12. The Wednesday Whine girls keeping it real - thank you girls! 
It's been one of those weeks, where the time disappears but you can't quite put your finger on what you've done!  Overall it's been a good one, I hope yours has been too! 

If you fancy joining in pop yourself a post together and head back here to link up, we are a bit low on participants but I love to see others join in!  

Mr Linky is at the bottom of this post 

A CASUAL VACANCY

Well in hindsight picking what is probably the longest book during the shortest month was not my wisest of moves, I've struggled with fiction for years probably because once I'm caught up in a story I get completely absorbed, this book being no different by the 19th February I was only just 200 pages into the 501 page book, this morning I find myself collecting my thoughts on the book, having completed the same last night at 12.30am and today is the 20th - like I said I get absorbed.


So the review, having been
an avid J K Rowling fan it took some getting used to as a book, no wizards in sight for a starter, the first part of the book is, as would be expected well written but hard work trying to place the characters of which there are many.  The book is based on a fictional village called Pagford which has a long local political history with the nearest town Yarvil which has encroached on it's land by building social housing accommodation which has impacted on the local school.  The book doesn't centre on a single character but rather on the interactions between people.  The casual vacancy being the death of a local Parish Councillor which sets the scene for the political turmoil that follows.  Within the melee of characters you have school teachers and social workers, delicatessen owners, surgeon's and GP's, those that are on benefits, users of drugs the depth of characters is significant.  Those that were born there and those that were still deemed 'outsiders'.  You also have the difference between young and old, the teenagers in the book, developing their own characters and personalities and all that comes with growing up.

It's a book that makes you think, in 501 pages JK Rowling has summed up perfectly the sorts of issues that affect people every single day, it's easy to see that past circumstances have moulded each and every character, some are still tainted by it.  The book challenges you to make assumptions not because you are superior or better but because it's human nature to rationalise who someone is.  What it actually achieves is that we are who we are because of circumstances and choices sometimes beyond our control and that is what is the most deeply troubling aspect of the book.

The book is a page turner, you really want the story to 'come good' to be neat and tidy and happy, but the book is real life, it isn't neat and it isn't tidy or even happy in places, what it is is real.  It gives you a new perspective a deeper understanding and breaks those taboos that many choose no longer to talk about.

It's about chances and opportunities, it's about rare people giving others a chance, it's about the culture in which we now live and what lies ahead for future generations, its about consequences, from a personal level, to a local level to a national level.

Although at a national level you only touch on the implications of cut backs, the book shows at grass roots level the real impact.  Cutting local government funding, who in turn pull back the axe to fall on the services for the most vulnerable in society who in turn affect the lives of people needing help and in turn damage the next generation forever.  It's not far fetched it's reality and that's what probably made it all the more shocking.

It made me cry, I didn't laugh or even smile through the book, it's one where you nod and understand and 'get' what it's about but as the book draws to a close it did make me cry.  Circumstances and people, people and circumstances.

About three quarters of the way into the book I commented to my hubby that the book didn't actually have anyone that was happy and that I found frustrating because to reflect real life surely there must be people within that village who were happy?

Would I recommend it, absolutely, did I learn anything from it - it reminded me that those small gestures that we make to others are like the butterfly wings flapping that eventually cause the hurricane, we often don't see what those small gestures do, we don't see the impact or the benefit likewise we don't see the impact of an unkind word or an argument, it makes you realise that each and every one of us makes a difference, if you want yours to be a good one, make each of your interactions positive and considered and thought out.

The art was hard work, probably because I couldn't quite tell where I was coming from with it but this is my attempts this month, a journal page, the background writing was the word 'responsible' repeated over and over I think it sums it up!

Mr Linky for those joining in Rocking Your World


Tuesday, 19 February 2013

BLUE SKIES, HEADACHES AND SOME LAYOUTS

Well we find ourselves on Tuesday of the half term week already and once more we find blue skies greeting us outside, well we do here in Yorkshire!  It's not set to last unfortunately but I'm enjoying it whilst it is here.  I had a fabulous day yesterday working on a mini book with my Mum that we have now completed together and wake this morning thinking I need a tootle out somewhere, going to take my Mum out to The Range for an hour, she keeps complaining she's still not been, it's only been open about 15 months  so maybe she is overdue for a visit!

I've also woken with a headache again, this virus I've got is not going and the tablets combined with the virus = headaches, so paracetamol will be my next task.

Finally I've got sooooooooooooooooo many layouts to share at the moment thought I'd pop a few more on.

This one from Chatsworth's County Fayre last summer
Then our first visit to Creswell Crags, the title being photos of the various signs around the place, cut down and matted
 And again on this layout, you can start to see parts of my Secret Santa gift from Sam creeping into these layouts now, the journal block in this and the next layout
 And the tickets, thank you Sam - they were a much welcome addition to my stash!
 Loving my scrapping at the moment, but for now more tea, paracetamol and maybe a change in clothes, don't think the Range will be happy with me in my PJ's!

Sunday, 17 February 2013

A FEW MORE LAYOUTS...

Hello all with a growing addiction to scrapbooking at the moment, thought I'd share a few more layouts.

First up a double page layout from the summer Fayre at Chatsworth, I used some beautiful papers provided by my fantastic Secret Santa Sam!
Up close you can see the handstitching around the edge of the photos!  Also used my new hole punch from my Mum for Christmas.

 Then said 12 year old and my niece at the Crossbow Range on the same day, using lots of scraps for the squares on the left hand side, allowed the photo to lead me to the colour scheme!
 Hope you are having a fabulous scrapping time!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

NEW BORN GIFT

A few years ago a school friend who'd been trying for a baby for an age finally had a baby daughter, she was utterly over the moon and I made a little gift for her.  Last November she managed to add to her family with another daughter and then came the dilemma of what to make, I had a considerable think about this but eventually opted to make something similar to the original.
It folds up into a box
This is sat on the table.
 The back of it documents all the Facebook messages she got (I thought it was a good way of documenting all these lovely messages!
 Up close
 It is a little different from the original, but I had fun making it and it was well received, in fact if you wanted to know what the original looked like
Hope you are having a good day!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

ROCKING YOUR WORLD FRIDAY

We are at Friday again, another week has flown by in the blink of an eye, but time to take stock reflect and find the little glimmers of fun elements that have made this week more fun because its
It has been an eclectic mix of things this week, so in no particular order
  • Meeting my sister for a coffee last Friday, we talked and talked and talked (not getting a word in edgeways or talking over the top of the other), it was lovely to catch up and have a chat and put the world to rights - always a positive - so a big thank you to my sister Melanie! 
  • Booking late tickets to see X Factor Live, not our usual choice in gigs but said 12 year old had made a request to see it at Christmas but I'd had no luck with tickets, saw an advert recently, went hunting around and got 3 decent seats - couldn't believe it!  
  • Actually going to see X Factor Live was quite an experience, there were elements I didn't like but we aren't here to dwell on those - the positives were James Arthur, Ella singing and Rylan - absolutely fantastic!  The stage set was fabulous very colourful and lots of extremely good dancers really made the stage show an interactive experience, not sure I'd do another X Factor Live but I'm glad we did this one.  
  • Having a chat with hubby and said 12 year old about keeping top side of the house, we had a half hour blitz the other day and got topside of the house between us! 
  • Jamie's 15 minutes meals are still the mainstay at tea time, we've had some great meals, a couple of 'not fussed' about but on the whole the meals are tasty, different and quick to prepare.  
  • Said 12 year old embracing his Mother's idea of doing a bit of art, by creating a few collaged postcards, sitting, sticking and cutting and watching TV - it was a joy to see I tell you! 
  • Dave, we like Dave Dave is brill - not the TV channel but the 'laptop table' we bought at Ikea that was predominantly for said 12 year old to build lego on so I can stop saying every five minutes "sit up straight", Dave was also apparently a fabulous collage table! 
  • 6 Nations Rugby because Rugby = Happy Hubby, and Happy Hubby watching Rugby = Scrapping time which in turn = happy me! 
  • Starting to sort finances, albeit slowly.  I've set the task this year to have a bit of an overhaul of finances, you know the one looking at what you are paying and why, I had a letter over Christmas from Barclays saying that one of my accounts was closing and I had until a certain date to go in and see them about it, I was convinced it was an account with mere pennies in so we headed into the bank on Saturday and the lady had a look and discovered that it had £61 in it, the downside, the money wasn't mine but said 12 year old's from when he was born and people had sent some money to him and we didn't have a bank account at the time.  He was mighty pleased and promptly headed off to the Lego shop to spend his newly acquired fortune - it's alright for some! 
  • E45 shampoo and E45 cream are still rocking my world this week, I'm having to constantly moisturise which is a whole new world at the moment, but by doing so I'm just about managing with this exceptionally dry skin of mine!   Although my lips and around my mouth are suffering the most, I don't suppose eating and drinking helps and I know it would help my waist line if I stopped for a while but not sure it's a practical solution to the dry skin problem! 
  • The girls at work, we are a team of three and we have difficult tasks to sort, with me having been poorly recently there has been a lot of catching up during my phased return to work however, the two of them have been both positive and focused and really have made life a lot easier for me this week, only downside I'm going to have to head into work tomorrow despite not wanting to because I didn't get all the urgent things done.
  • Hubby on Valentine's Day, despite the fact it is his birthday you'd have thought it was mine, a bundle of pressies sat on the table, new undies, a ceramic ornament spelling out the word love and a DVD to boot, it's a good job I'd got plenty for his birthday is all I can say! 
That my lovely people will have to suffice this week, a quick layout before I go
This layout popped together, photo at the end of a very long day at Chatsworth's Country Fayre. 


Monday, 11 February 2013

I THINK I'VE TURNED INTO A SCRAPAHOLIC...

At the beginning of the year I had a flurry of activity creating layouts, with dark evenings and short days it was the perfect way to start the year, but before I knew it I was churning them out at a rate of knots, a couple of weeks at home poorly had me making a few more and I've sat and counted them this evening and they stand at 48 year to date, I think I technically have a problem (the biggest of which is I don't have any albums to put them in).  So I think I best start sharing some of these with you otherwise I'm going to have the biggest back catalogue of layouts ever.

First up one I created using lots of spray inks, not something I normally do due to the mess (yes I know they are so 'in' but my craft room is in my living room and I didn't fancy spray ink all over my sofa), I did however love the finished effect.
Next up a double page layout from a henge we found on holiday last year, it was amazing to find, not only because you could see it and their was still a standing stone in the centre, but the whole thing was made up of thousands of cobbles that had been dragged out of a river nearby and brought to the site to create the henge, you could feel the cobbles under your feet!
 The standing stone in the centre looked tiny, until said 12 year old raced down to it and stood next to it - how on earth did they manage to move such huge stones in situ all those years ago!
The other page up close as you can see I used tags to create the layout, foam letters for the title and managed to used some gromlets, not that I have a machine to put them in, but a hole punch and some brute force, they looked OK when I'd completed them!
I hope your creativity is productive without taking over your life - anyway do you think I have a scrapping problem?

Friday, 8 February 2013

CRIKEY TIS FRIDAY ALREADY - ROCKING YOUR WORLD ANYONE?

Morning/Afternoon/Evening one and all, Friday has fair crept up on me - I mean really arrived without prior warning I'm telling you these weeks are flying by already!  So without further ado what's been Rocking Your World this week?
First up has to be hubby who rescued me on Tuesday, I'm on some pretty awful tablets from the hospital a side effect of which is dry skin so for the first time in my life I've started using a moisturiser, nothing unusual about that but Tuesday found me with the driest itchiest scalps ever at the end of a very very long work day - it was no trouble for him to literally drop everything and dash off down to Meadowhall, first off to get a scalp treatment from Lush that he thought might help and then to pop into the pharmacy and have a chat and have a chat he did arriving home with E45 shampoo - which is utterly amazing and another grateful for this week!

The WW group on Facebook, I've not been as active on this as I have been over the last few weeks, kind of watching from the sidelines but enjoying nonetheless!

A certain Miss Carmen catching up on her 'to do list' - thank you Carmen you were very naughty!

Donna of the 'It's a Donna Thing' fame sending me our two pairs journals back and wow are they looking fabulous but also sending a little envelope of goodies, I've seen through the blog world that Donna has been sprinkling her potfuls of happiness elsewhere!  Thank you Donna you are amazing!

Hubby embracing yet a new weight loss system, this one apparently isn't a diet, what you do is stick to 1500 calories a day and yes I know in my book that's a diet, but apparently not, however, the literature is littered with the word diet as well and so after week 2 I'm as confused as ever!

Scrapbooking keeping me sane of an evening.

Trip to Ikea not costing us the usual arm and a leg and a trip to Next to look at sofa's so yum!

Understanding bosses

Quality TV - Ripper Street has been fabulous and we're just finding NCIS a good watch, however the Tivo box has gone into overdrive and is taping this series all over the place - we keep jumping between series - most confusing

Watching Hotel Transylvania and Taken 2 this week, not sure what my verdict of Taken 2 was but Hotel Transylvania was fabulous!

Parcel being received by a friend with a gift I made and her liking it made me smile!

Right got to dash and this is late!
UK Scrappers Cybercrop layout above, struggled with the size of the patchwork, but liked it once completed!

If you fancy joining in and letting us know what's rocked your week, pop a link to your blog below and we'll come and visit!


Friday, 1 February 2013

ROCKING YOUR WORLD FRIDAY

Hello fellow Rockettes and Rockers out there, tis Friday and I forgot I know forgot really what's wrong with me, so it's time to take stock of the last 7 days and identify what's been rocking my world this week, it'll be a dig deep kind of week but you don't mind that do you?
Well this week I have been somewhat unwell and off work, virus type thingy so it's been a quiet week overall, but that's not to say that there aren't moments that have made it positive so let's see what I can manage.

  • My sister finishing her revision/studying etc which means I've got my sister back!  It's been weeks since we had a proper catch up so we had a fabulous chat on the phone putting the world to rights - bliss!  
  • Persevering with my new tablets, they've been hard work but fingers crossed I'm going to be able to do the six month course with them! 
  • Scrapping, scrapping and a bit more scrapping, because I've been off work it's the one thing that has kept me sane when I've had any energy, I seem to be churning the layouts out at the moment. 
  • Big Picture Class for their free class that I did, that made me re-think a few things.  Such as 'do my albums have to be in chronological order?' and actually having embellishments in colour            coordinated order rather than going for individual embellishments in mixed colours.  Not that I've done either of these yet - but it made me think!
  • Hubby coming home a bit earlier earlier in the week, nice to have just us time even if it was only for an hour or so.
  • A walk to the Post Office (even though it was blowing a gale and left me utterly exhausted) I did appreciate the fresh air and managed to get a few parcels and letters sent off as well - win win! 
  • Taking extra cover out on the printer which meant when it decided it's print head was shot 10 months after purchase that there was no quibbling over a replacement, we've actually gone through 4 printers since taking out this cover which will continue to cover us until February next year - I wouldn't normally bother but seen as we seem to have had such printer issues in the past we decided to take it out just this once - worth it's weight in gold! 
  • The snow disappearing, it was a welcome relief to see that stuff go last weekend, I must admit for as pretty as it is, with the travel disruption it causes I often think it's just not worth it! 
  • Hiking boots, I almost (and I mean almost) didn't put these on for my walk to the Post Office, but changed my mind and popped them on which meant the walk albeit blustery was at least in comfort.
  • Discussions with hubby over things in general, he's used to my planning nature and knows how to deal with me when I get frustrated and fed up with things (usually just listening and realising that I'm going to instigate change whether he wants to or not).  So the fact I have a hubby who really listens to me is a big grateful this week. 
  • The girls on the WW group have been fantastic this week, we've all been supporting one another through life's difficulties and as time has progressed we really have got to know each other so well we are able to talk about pretty much anything!  Love you girls! 
  • Finally the local NHS trying to help me with my weight issues, I got a referral via the hospital when I went on other issues and my first 'class' was last night, slightly daunting it was I almost came home (when they insisted I had to go in the lift to the room as the doors were locked and I refused as I have a phobia of lifts and had to wait for a security guard to show me upstairs - hurrumph) anyway when I got there I bumped into a school friend who I haven't seen literally since we left school and we had an absolute blast for the hour we were there.  So this might actually be a fun thing to do, goodness knows if we'll lose any weight mind, but hey rekindled friendships are always a positive aren't they! 
Right can't leave you without a layout, I shared a layout on the same design earlier in the week, this class was my overall favourite of the last UK Scrappers cyber crop!  This one documenting our jaunt out to Puzzlewood during a trip to the Wye Valley last summer. 
If you fancy joining in pop yourself a blog post together and come back and link up so we can come and visit and appreciate the positives in your life, it really can make the world of difference.  Don't believe me?  Give it a try!  Finally Mr Linky