Well it hasn't stopped raining for days and now we are threatened with more snow. I quite like to see the beautiful scenery created by snow but apart from that I don't think it has much going for it. Cold, slippery and downright miserable as far as I am concerned. proper old grouch, me.

Anyway I was sorting through some paperwork and I came across these photos. It was some years ago, probably nearer 25 years ago and longer ago than I care to remember, and it was a very bad winter. I had a temporary traffic light business at the time and we had a set of lights up on the Downs, just outside Eastbourne. These photos were published in the local paper, The Sussex Express and Herald, and I was tickled to see that they were my lights, the diesel generator still chugging away in the cold and the lights still working.

I hope that we don't see as much snow as that again this year!!!

Happy new Year Everyone

Thank you for supporting my blog and I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas.

And may 2010 bring you all good health, plenty of laughs and barrowloads of money and loads of friends to share your happiness.
One of the cards we received for our anniversary was from our friend Gillian. Gillian is a very talented lady both in cardmaking and sketching and to see some of her fantastic work you should look at her blog
This is the card she sent us.

As I said she is a very talented artist and we received this Christmas Card. She sent her own artwork to Snapfish and they printed it into Christmas cards. A briiliant idea and we love receiving her cards.

Yesterday (Friday 11th December) was our 45th Wedding anniversary. Too many years ago to remember half of the things that have happened to us, but we have had an adventuresome life one way or another.

Richard bought me some beautiful roses. These are just half of them. He did say that he looked for a sapphire but couldn't find anything. Mmmmmm. lol.

And a very dear friend sent these wonderful flowers. She has had so much tragedy in her life and also a fair bit of late but she still found time to think of us. I really value her friendship. A truly lovely woman.

In the evening two other friends took us out to dinner. We went to the Star at Normans Bay and had a very nice meal. So all in all a wonderful day. But I am in rush to get to the Golden Wedding.
Thursday morning was the last of Anita's classes for this year and we had great fun making a different take on an exploding box. It should really have a bow made from paper on the top but after two or three tries my bows got consigned to the filing basket (under the table) and I used some Prima Ornaments to decorate the top of mine.

Two of the Sunday croppers, Carol and Lynne, who also came to Anitas class, kindly gave me this beautiful Poinsietta as a Christmas present. But I am under strict instructions to make sure it still has its leaves at the next crop in January. I don't think that they know that my house is a graveyard for pot plants.

Yesterday was the monthly crop day and I was given some lovely cards and presents. Thank you all so much.

Firstly I would like to show you this fantastic card from Anita. The picture does not do it justice. It is jaw droppingly beautiful.

The is an origami tree which has been glittered and the embellishments have been glittered too. It opens like an ordinary card but the bottom is a box. There are 4 little draws in it and they have chocolates in them.
Yum Yum

And this from a woman who doesn't make cards!!!

Liz also showed us how to make the acetate card and I will finish this at todays crop and post a picture tomorrow.


Well its the moment you have all been waiting for.
The cludgie is finished.
No more dodging the raindrops to get to the loo. Its been a long, hard 4 months, but we have done it. From building the extension, plumbing, tiling, plasterboarding, you name it we have done it all. In my eyes quite an achievement considering we had no idea what we were doing lol.
Here are a few pictures for you

Now its official

The washbasin

The toilet (as if you didn't know lol)

Although Liz insists she was browbeaten into holding a couple of card making classes I am certain that she is enjoying planning them

She is holding 2 classes here at our purpose built studio on 21 November. Refreshments will be included in the price, together with all of your materials and tools will be provided, but if you prefer to bring your own then please do so. Spaces are limited so if you would like to take either class please email me to book your space.

The first class will be from 10-12 and will be a glittery Gatefold Christmas card. Liz will also show you how to make a Never ending card which you can take home to decorate at your leisure. The price of this class is £7.00

The scond class will be from 1-3 and will be an acetate card. Liz will also show you how to make a Never ending card which you can take home to decorate at your leisure. The price of this class will be £7.00

Sorry this is not a good image. Liz may be a fantastic card maker but she is not much of a photographer lol.
The card has layers of acetate with houses on each layer and the houses are decorated with snow glitter.

I was kindly invited to a cardmaking class by Lynn and Linda, 2 of the lovely girls who come to our crops. It was held by Francoise Read and I had a great time. Not being a stamper or cardmaker I unashamedly copied Lynn who was sitting next to me. I enjoyed the class but had to leave quickly after it was over but I would love to have stayed and seen Francoise demonstrating how to make her cards. Lynn took some photos of her cards and these are on her blog, A Moment in Time.

I have been in touch with Francoise with a view to her giving a couple of classes here, and she is agreeable - but - she is fully booked till May next year. Still it something to something to look forward to.

I was standing in the garden this afternoon, gazing around at the bare trees, as you do if you have nothing better to do, lol, and this caught my eye about 6 metres up in a tree. I thought it was a dove huddled in the branches but when it didn't move I went for a closer inspection. Then I went in for my camera and took this photo. I think its a wasps nest but to be in a tree that high off the ground didn't seem to be in character.

Anyone have any other ideas?

I am going to get on my soapbox again here.

As a teetotaller I only ever drink lemonade when I am out and make a point of asking for 'no ice and lemon' Invariably the drink comes with both. Tonight I pointed out that she had asked if I wanted ice and lemon and I had said 'no'. Well couldn't I just fish it out then?

Why is it so difficult to get an order correct?

At Catering College we were told never under any circumstances to have ice in our drinks. Ice had been tested and found to have all sorts of nasties in it, some to revolting to mention.

And while we are on the subject my Tutor Chef also said never, ever, ever send your meal back. The Chef would take it as a personal insult and after he had kicked it around the floor and wrapped it round his **** he would cremate it and send it back to you. I have always hoped that he was exaggerating, but never put it to the test lol.

Whilst on the subject of college we had to pop the eyes out of trout before cooking them. One of the tutors would substitute , unknown to his pupils, the eyes for currants. He would dip the 'eyes' in batter and then eat them. One girl fainted clean away.

Enjoy your evening meal lol
We took a day off last week and visited Port Lympne. Richard makes a monthly donation to them so he gets a free entrance and I had a ticket with £4 off so it was a good deal and an afternoons entertainment for us. We tend to go to Ashford and have lunch and then on to the Park. An afternoon is plenty of excercise for us as its quite hilly around there.

This Ostrich had his beady eye on us. They really are mean looking birds close up.

The keepers were throwing peanuts off the roof to the gorillas for an afternoon snack. This little fellow gave us a good half hours entertainment watching his antics.

This big silverback was too grand to go outside with the others and scavenge for peanuts. He stayed inside and studiously ignored us through the glass, whilst scratching about in the straw for peanuts.

Last night we went to a Quiz Night in aid of Rachels Dog Training Group. It was very well attended we had to make up teams of 8 people. 2 people that we didn't know joined us to make up our number, Sharon and Jordan. 9 teams of 8 people in all.

We decided to call our team The Dimwits , and as it turned out we were very aptly named. We sat open mouthed as the questions were called out. Among them were questions like 'When is London Dog Week' and 'What is the aim of London Dog Week' and When is National Dog Worming Week?'

At the end she said she would call out the results in reverse order. We collectively slid under the table as she read out the name of the team who came last - and it wasn't us. We breathed a sigh of relief. We weren't last. We could at least hold our heads up a little bit.

And as she got further and further up the list our mouths began to drop open. She got to number 3 and we still weren't named. She must have lost our paper. Then she called out 'Second - The Dimwits' We could have danced for joy. But how we managed that we will never know. But we weren't going to argue. A very enjoyable evening.

For some reason this photo puts me in mind of a Beryl Cook print.

Do you ever get a tune stuck in your head? I had an email this morning from a supplier about the new SEI range called 'Juliet'. This immediately brought to mind a song from way back in the Sixties by the Four Pennies called 'Juliet'. And this has been going round and round in my head all day. Unfortunately I can only remember the first 4 lines of the song so its getting a bit strained now lol

Last weekend was crop weekend. 2 different groups on Saturday and Sunday. Its always a pleasure to crop with these girls and I like to see what they achieve. On Saturday I was a bit under the weather and did nothing all day but sit and chat and watch the others work. But on Sunday I thought I had best knuckle down and get something done. I only managed one layout and finished another that I had started at Debden. Because of my bad back, the car still hasn't been unloaded from a month ago and I still have the 28 kits that I made up with the good intention of doing them at Debden.

Spooky, is a photo of my granddaughter, Natalie, and her (ex) boyfriend Ross. The cardstock is from the October Monthly Bazzill Kit, some paper from the Basic Grey Erie Collection and the bats were cut from a Bazzill Just the Edge Halloween pack. Title, rub ons and buttons from Basic Grey Erie again and pearls and crystals from the Prima e-line range. I put the imitation purple nail heads around the edge of the festive eyelet cardstock. Heidi Swapp green flowers with some of the new Prima centres. I love these centres.

Next door have moved all of the cockerels, thank goodness, and the silence is heaven. Just a few quacks from the dozen ducks still left there. Their pond is a couple of bakers trays filled with muddy water. There is only enough room for one duck at a time and this causes a few squabbles.

Bazzill cardstock with Basic Grey Mellow paper. The title was cut on the Cricut using the Storybook cartridge and I dotted crystals along the letters. Jewel brads in the centre of the flowers and some small pearls along the sides.

I have been playing with the i-top Brad Maker. Another new tool to add to my collection ^-~ .

It is by Imaginisce and you can make your own brads in 3 sizes. The tool is like a pair of pliers with swivel heads at both ends. It can make brads in either 16mm or 22mm. You can make larger brads in 28mm but you have to buy a seperate rubber head for this. The brads are called, for some reason, Brad Daddies and come in packets of 8.

Basically you punch out your paper with one of three punches, or you can use a template and cut round it, the pop the head of the brad in the rubber base, place your paper over it and squeeze the pliers together. This pushes the brad head and paper into the rubber and you then push the edges down. Then pop the pronged base on, squeeze and hey presto, a brad to your own design.

We have just had a small delivery of the Limited Edition Pink Slice Machine.

This little die cutting machine cuts from 1" to 4" and you can position it anywhere in the page. It is rechargeable and lightweight. It has everything you need to get started including 2 design cards.

I can get the design cards to order and they take about a week.

You can find out more about it on this website

We R Memory Keepers have brought out 3 new additions to the Corner Chomper. They both have dual heads which you change by just twiting the head. They are easy to use and you need very little pressure to cut chipboard.

They sell at £23.49 which seems a lot just to cut a corner by=ut they are very hard wearing and if you make chipboard books you will soon get your value from them. they would make a nice change from just the rounded corners on a book.

The first has a pink handle (of course) and has an Angle/Photo cut

The second a pale lilac handle and has the Cloud/Scallop cut

And the third with the lime green handle has the Stub/Deco cut.

As well as all of the other gorgeous stuff that Prima has brought out, there are the crystal and pearl centres. They are not cheap at £3.99 but you get 12 self adhesive centres.

Such beautiful colour combinations and we have a choice of 16 different packs. I can't wait to use them.

Here are just two of the colour combinations


As well as the economy line of flowers Prima has brought out the Crystals and Pearls.

In 30 colourways there is a pack for everyones taste and again at £1.60 a pack they won't break the bank.

There are 60 pieces per packet , each with 40 pearls and 20 crystals. They range from approximately 4mm to 8mm

Prima has brought out an economy range of flowers called the e-line.
These consist of 5 styles with 6 colourways in each style. The colours range from cool white, to the primary colours, to muted vintage through to zingy citrus colours.

There are either 24 or 30 flowers in each bag and at £1.60 a bag they are a snip.

The 5 styles are Chelsea, bermuda Breeze, Celebrations, Daisy delicacies and Confetti Cake.
Daisy Delicacies

Bermuda Breeze



Confetti Cake


I have been busy uploading Prima e-line flowers and crystals to the shop site and also in the shipment from the US were these Flutter Vines.

They are 12" long and I have just these 3 colours in stock, Fuschia, Pacific Blue and Scarlet.

They are really so pretty, especially the Fuschia one, and I keep wondering 'how can I use them on a layout'. I am sure I will find someway to do it. I will try and show you some of the other gorgeous things over the next few days. In the meantime if you would like to see the selection of flowers, centres and pearls please pop along to the shop and have a browse.

Richard has decided that he needs another project after the shop toilet is finished and so he has decided to go into property. He wanted something that was not too challenging for his first attempt, no major reconstruction work and something nearby. After trawling the internet I found a house a mile or so away from here which was due to be auctioned on 17 September. We went to look at it and what a shock. I thought that there had been a fire in the property as everything was brown and there were stains running down the light switches. The smell was horrendous and then I realised the stains were nicotine. I know that pub ceiling were brown but this surpassed anything I had ever seen. The brambles in the back garden reached up to the first floor window and the kitchen had been gutted and the bathroom defied description, I swear the toilet had not been cleaned since 1950. The auction estimate 60k- 80k.
The auction was in London so off we set on Thursday and this lot was the 4th being sold so not long to wait. Well there were so many bids the auctioneer didn't know if he was on foot or horseback. It eventually sold for 126k. It defied belief.

Anyway what I really wanted to say is how shocked we were at the manners of the people on the underground and in London. The word 'politeness' was a stranger to them. Richard was acting as a sort of bodyguard for me as I had trouble getting up and down the stairs and also a bit slow getting on the trains because of my back. People pushed in front as they scrambled to get on the trains and grab a seat. They pushed you out of the way as they got off the trains. They pushed you to one side as they went down the stairs. All in all it was mind boggling. They were just so totally rude. When did this country become like this. Has it always been the same in London. As a country mouse I have been used to politeness, smiles and general thoughtfulness on the part of other people. Am I now totally out of tune with modern day living?
Well I thought it was about time I updated my blog.

Things have not been going so well. I have injured my back and so it has rather slowed things up a bit. My movement is severely restricted and the ostepopath is making a fortune out of me at present. I am wearing one of those back support and Richard says I have my hourglass figure back after all of these years.

The toilet has just arrived for the shop so Richard will be cracking on with that now. He hasn't been able to do much until it arrived because of puting the pipework etc under the floor. Now it should be all systems go. I shall of course supervise.

This last weekend I went to Debden on a scrapbooking weekend with the girls from the Sunday crop. I really enjoyed it although I wasn't able to do a lot and having previously made up 20 kits so that I would have plenty to do, I never managed to complete one layout. I have to thank both Liz and Gilly for being my official picker-upperers. I did devise a patent picker-upperer by putting a large glue dot on the end of a ruler and that picked up the lighter things. But when I dropped ny Craftmate bag with all the boxes of brads and eyelets Gilly had to come to my rescue. One of lifes mysteries is why, when you have a bad back, does everything end up on the floor.

I really enjoy my weekends at Debden. Its nice to have your craft stuff to hand and know that you don't have to pack it away all the time. Meals are served and you just get up from the table and walk away - and someone else does the washing up. As we have been before, several times, the staff pretty well leave us to our own devices, so we have the run of the place. We generally have a small group which makes it more personal.

As it is Bank Holiday Weekend we decided to take a break from the building works and go to the Medieval Fayre at Herstmonceux Castle near here. We decided against going yesterday as we had a few things we wanted to do and planned to go today. Well yesterday was a beautiful day and today overcast and windy and drizzly at times. The best laid plans of mice and men they say.

I did manage to take some pictures but unfortunately the weather hasn't made them particularly spectacular but here are some:

Herstmonceux Castle, East Sussex

Medieval Knight


The Lord and Lady of the Manor

Jousting Knight with his favour for a Lady

Owl from the Falconry display

I think this is a Peregrine Falcon