Monday, 24 December 2007

Carols By Candlelight And New Baby - 2 Days To Go!

I cannot believe I was silly enough to forget to take my camera out today (Sunday) so this will be short blog. :0(

This evening we attended the carols by candlelight service at church. I love a good sing-song, TRA LA LA! Everyone carried a candle and there was no artificial light at all, it was very pretty. That got me into the Christmas spirit a bit. :0)

Afterwards we had to rush to mum's as Chris, Sarah and the boys had arrived earlier in the day and we wanted to see them before the boys went to bed. We just made it as Aaron had just gone to bed and Jo was on his way to sleepy land with his bottle. We nipped up to see 6 year old Aaron and wind him up a bit about Christmas Eve. He was a little disappointed as he had made some reindeer food at school but forgotten to bring it. I told him not to worry as we could make some Christmas Eve. Reindeer food, for those who don't know, is a mixture of oats and nuts with the addition of sparkly glitter. Apparently, the glitter glints in the moonlight and tempts the reindeer off the roof for a little snack.

Jo (aged 2) wasn't talking much as he had his bottle and was so tired from his exciting day.

Jake (9 days) was a little more receptive and gave us a full rendition of all his squeals, snorts, cross eyes and dribbles to coo over! This was the first time we'd seen him and he's such a little munchkin with the baggiest of little sticky legs and a nosey the size of my finger nail. I shall of course put some piccies on later. :0)

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Pizza Night and Art Gallery - 3 days To Go!

We spent today (Saturday) in Sheffield doing some last minute Christmas shopping. As a special treat for Livvie we let her spend some time in The Peace Gardens where all the 'Dirty Goffics' hang out. The thing is, all the 'Dirty Gofficks' are her friends! It's so funny to see all these lanky teenagers dressed in black and even the boys have black eyeliner and long black hair. They think they look so cool but I always have a private laugh at what idiots they all look! Livvie on the other hand, has the brightest blonde hair and bright clothes and really stands out from the crowd. As mean as they all look, they all came bounding over for a group hug when Livvie arrived. They're not so hard after all!

After that we took Livvie to the Graves Art Gallery for some sketching time. We sat opposite each other and decided to do portraits.

This the sketch I did of Liv, mmmmmm. More like Livvie in ten years time! It looks nothing like her.Well......the hair is good!And this is Liv's sketch of me:
I can see it's me, can you? :0)
Tonight we had a pizza night (not my favourite thing) and Vicki joined us as well. I had to put Vicki on the blog or she'd moan. All please say hello to Vicki! Vicki will be joining us for our New Years Eve party which is by now legendary. I'm sure she'll have great fun and not tell her mum too much!!! I just hope she doesn't win the Danglesplurge Championship or she'll steal the trophy. We have decided that if she does win, she can take the trophy home for a few weeks and then it'll have to be in Emily's room after that for viewing. :0)

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Alternative Christmas Presents - Still 5 Days To Go!

I just heard that my cousin Lynne has asked for something from this website for Christmas. What a fantasmagorical idea! I am so impressed that I am going to ask for things from here too when my birthdays comes round. That will be February 1st......I say FEBRUARY 1st. :0)

Look at all the cool things you can buy! Please do take a look and put it in your favourites for when you have to buy a gift for someone.

We in the Western world want for practically nothing. A small purchase on this website can change a family or indeed a whole villages lives.

Someone get me a bog will they?!!!

Daddy's Home And Sausage Rolls - 5 Days To Go!

Daddy's home! Mr. Wooks arrived home last night to the sweet smell of freshly cooked sausage rolls, yummy. I also did a batch of veggie rolls for Emily to my own recipe and they turned out really well. This has to be the most unflattering photo of us ever, but it captured the moment. *love*

These are the carniverous rolls with pastry just like Mr. Wooks mummy used to make:

Most of them are still plated up for you doubters out there! We all had a few and then had dinner, so there was no room for any more. I'm sure we'll polish them off tonight though! Below is the mess I get into when I make pastry. I just can't help it. Pastry making is the messiest job around!

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Waiting For Mr.Wooks - 6 Days To Go!

I am trying to look pensive for this photo, but instead look like I've just spied a spider on the ceiling! Oh Come All Ye Faithful is playing on the radio, the Chrissy decs are up and I can't wait for the children and Mr.Wooks to start their holiday on Friday. YAY!

I am off to post the one and only Christmas card I am sending this year to my dear Father-in-law and then when I get home it's sausage roll making time. Mr. Wooks will be pleased! I shall try and time the baking of them for when he gets home so that he is greeted by that lovely yummy smell. :0)

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

The Christmas Tree And The Meat Market.

The Christmas decorations are finally up, PHEW! We really weren't in the mood, but we put a Christmas MP3 on and rocked around the Christmas tree and were soon in the festive spirit. I'm pleased it's done now as the girls get so excited when they see the tree go up. This year I added blue twinkling LED lights and blue tinsel and baubles to match my new colour scheme, very pretty. Today I even wrapped all the girls' presents.

Here are a couple of ornaments I begged from my mum and dad's tree a few years ago. This first one, a white plastic reindeer covered in silver glitter is from when they were first married in 1962.

And this little golden pixie is from Gran and Granddad's tree which I greatly admired as a small girl. :0)

Yesterday we took our yearly pilgrimage to Barnsley Market. The fruit and veg there is second to none and so cheap! Here's me and daddy at the fruit stall. Notice the rather smashing shopping trolley that we have to cart around. :0)

Then we met auntie Mo who happened to be doing her shopping too. We had a bite to eat and a cup of tea in Tilly's Cafe.

And here is the reason we really go to Barnsley Market every Christmas, Barker's Butchers in the meat & fish market. They sell the best meat in Yorkshire and we always have a laugh with them. I bought a huge corner of beef, some donkey's doo-dah's (don't ask!) a boiling ham and 2lb of sausage meat for my sausage rolls. Luverly jubbly.

I'll try and be a bit more festive and update you on the yuletide happenings at our house. Ta ta for now!

Friday, 30 November 2007

Motorhomes Galore and Other Interesting Stuff.

Last night we had to take the motorhome back to it's mummy showroom for some repairs under warranty. I am now the designated driver as Gary doesn't have a licence, so I had to drive the van in the scary dark all the way to Newark! Anyway, no one died and we arrived safely in time for tea. Brownhill's Motorhomes has free overnight facilities so we stay there in order to get the van in the workshop nice and early. While the van was being fixed, we spend a few hours wandering around the lot.
This was probably a mistake as Brownhill's claims to have the largest stock of motorhomes in Europe and there was lots for us to drool over. Below is just a tiny selection of what's on offer.

It didn't take us long to fall in love with a 2000 Mercedes Rapido! It's the same size as ours, but so much swisher and the lay-out was so much more practical. It would only cost us another £5,000 which seems a lot but on a loan isn't so it?!!!!

That's me in the driving seat down there.
The seating arrangement is smaller, but it has a fixed double bed which means someone can recline and read in comfort in the evenings. It had every little luxury like fly screens, sliding windows, bike rack, shower etc. All the fitments were top luxury. I honestly don't think I could have thought of any extras that weren't included.

Below is one we didn't want to buy as the price tag was £85,995!!!!

This is me driving our van home.

So we have come home upset that we don't have thousands of spare cash to spend on a new motorhome. We can't afford it as I am costing too much is driving offences this week. So far I have 2 x £30 fines for driving through the tram gate (damn Sheffield City Council for sneaking in a new camera!) and 3 points and a £60 fine for speeding! I blame Gary for not driving and making me do it all!!!
Our tumble dryer broke down last week and this time hubbiest could do nothing to save it. Well, it was 15 years old so we mustn't grumble. I found a bargain dryer on eBay from Manchester so a few nights ago we set out at about 4.30pm over the Woodhead Pass to fetch it home. It hadn't occurred to me that I would be driving over the mountain pass and across the moors in the dark and I certainly wasn't prepared for the swirling fog that engulfed us! I was literally terrified. I don't see too well in the dark anyway with oncoming traffic blinding me and the fog was so dense that at times I could not see past the bonnet!

When we got home I felt the need to make a stress-o-meter to illustrate how agitated I was. This week I had a root canal filling and driving over the Woodhead Pass was faaaaaar worse I can tell you!

This stress-o-meter was really made for my journal.
Here's a few more pages. This watercolour is pretty self explanatory really!
I'm working on a whole series of self portraits. Can you tell it's me?
This is my favourite. My left foot!

Lastly for today's blog, a bargain. I picked up this digital Olympus Camedia C-40 ZOOM for £5.99!!! It even takes video. :0) It works perfectly and all it needs is a USB lead to download to my laptop and that has cost me £3.95. Bloody bargain mate!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Nanny Flo's Ring. :0)

I often admired my Nanny Flo's jade ring when I was small. I just need to look at it and I can see in my mind's eye my Nan's hand with her soft skin and gorgeously shaped nails with pink nail varnish. Nanny Flo wasn't one to wear make-up or perfume, but she liked to have her hair set and she powdered her nose and wore nail varnish on special occasions. She was a big woman but had lovely, feminine hands and dad's nails are shaped just like hers. :0) Nanny Flo was a proper nan, always baking and treating the grand children. She was the best ever audience and when you had a song to sing or a line in the nativity play to recite, she would literally puff her chest out with pride. We often miss her and say quietly 'nan would have been so proud'.

Granddad Tom and Nanny Flo (Dad's parent's) and Granddad Sid (Mum's dad, the artist)

When nan died she left the jade ring to mum and mum has worn it ever since. Recently mum gifted it to me to give me a chance to wear it. I keep catching glimpses of it out of the corner of my eye and it's Nan's hand that I see, not mine. Often, when I open my mouth to giggle I can hear Nan's giggle and that makes me laugh even more. Mum has been telling me for years how I laugh just like her, but as I get older I can finally hear it for myself.

I don't suppose the ring is worth an awful lot in monetary value, but in sentimental value it's worth millions to me. I painted my nails pink for the photo, in honour of the bestest Nan in the world. X X X X

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Flibble Fits and Mushrooms.

First, about the flibble fits in brief:

I had to call an ambulance for poor Gary a few weekends ago as he was having a series of seizures/fits. They looked like full-on epileptic type fits to me, so an ambulance took him away for a few days. He had all the cat scans, heart checks etc and they found nothing. No explanation.

Then this weekend while we were away in the camper they had to call an ambulance for me!!! I was having chest pains and difficulty breathing. So they also took me away for all the same checks and've guessed it...they found nothing! I was on oxygen for a couple of days and then they chucked me out.

The worst thing is that they have taken Gary's driving licence away which is a huge blow. Fortunately his company are fabulous and are backing us all the way. I think they are going to let me keep the car for the odd occasion when I am brave enough to venture out! Gary will work mostly from home for the next year so some good has come of it all i.e. no more silly hours and driving thousands of miles a month. I believe it's a blessing in disguise as Gary will now be forced to take things easier. :0)
See, we're both fine this evening! :0)

Now for the mushrooms. The camp site we went to is called Quarry Walk in Staffordshire. It is totally amazing. We saw squirrels, rabbits galore, an owl, mushrooms, toadstools and there were also badgers and stoats. It was so pretty and so deathly quiet. We have to go back again. :0)

Me and Auntie Dawn (not mine, the children's) hunting for badgers.

You can just about see our van through the silver Birch trees from the quarry cliff overlooking the site.

I hope you can click on this to make it bigger. Can't you just smell the damp woodland air? There were so many fungi that I shall purchase a book specially to look them all up. It was fascinating. I would have loved to have been clever enough to know what was edible. Yummy!

Now this was interesting. Gary got on tippy toes to look down a hollow stump still attached to a tree and this is who he found inside! Cool huh?

Me and Uncle Glen (not mine, the children's!) having some love. Please excuse my hair but I was not long out of hospital and could not be bothered to do it. Maybe if I'd have looked in a mirror first I might have!!!

Gary's last sick day off is tomorrow so we're hoping to have a nice day out weather and health permitting. I shall of course report back if we manage it. :0)

Friday, 19 October 2007

Printing And Pumpkin Time!

I haven't blogged for a while as I started chemo again and haven't been feeling too great. My mind is whizzing with great ideas for sewing, but alas, the body is not willing. I have been sitting around like a big fat slug for the past two weeks on an electric heat pad. It's quite nice actually! I did make a start on the three cat quilts though. I used my new fabric transfer dyes. They're very cool to use. You mix up the dye powder with water and then used them to paint a picture or pattern on paper. When it's dry...and here's the cool flip it over and iron it onto fabric and it transfers the print! Below is a photo of the painted paper.

Here is the fabric once the paper pattern has been iron-printed onto it.

And this is what I have done with them so far. I have pieced the backgrounds with different neutral pattern fabrics and stuck the cat shapes on ready for embroidering. This is fat boy Arthur.
This is Minnie Moochie Pie.

And here's Chicky Chick Chick.

I shall keep you up to date on any progress. It's funny actually because if you knew my three cats you'd see how these simple shapes truly represent them!
Yesterday I bought a big pumpkin. I can't decide whether to make soup, sweet pumpkin pie or wait for some nice pumpkin recipes from Jo in Texas. I did ask her, but I don't even know if she has any!
Obviously this photo illustrates how undecided I am about pumpkin usage!

Monday, 1 October 2007

Self Portrait.

I was looking at some self portraits last night:

I don't know why, but I found them fascinating (and sometimes pretentious) and it occurred to me that unlike all these people, I usually avoid being photographed, or if I am photographed I do my utmost to make it look like I really don't mind! I try and reason that even if I don't like photographs of my big bum, it shouldn't matter because everyone can see it in real life whenever I turn round anyway!
The other night it was mum's birthday. We had an hilarious discussion about double chins and how best to avoid them in photographs. And so started an hour of different camera shots, from the floor, from above, from the side and even from the back. We eventually decided on a camera shot taken slightly from above with the photographee looking up Princess Diana stylee. It takes lbs off you! Here's my best shot (with cosmetic computer dentistry I might add!) Look, only the one chin :

And here's Gary. Now anyone that knows Gazza knows he's fat too. This photograph takes stones off him! Look at my hunka hunka burning love. X X X X

So, after much hilarity, I decided to take my self portrait. Digital cameras are very limiting and you can't do anything special with them. I decided I wanted a blurred background and of course my face in focus so I hit on the idea of whizzing round on the office chair! It worked (even if I do look a bit stern) Notice that the shot is taken from above, thus eliminating the multiple chin problem!

And here is a shot of me and daddy in the midst of much guffawing and cackling over something very rude that he'd said!

I have put another self portrait at the top of my blog.

Sunday, 30 September 2007

New Shelves and Fabric Dyes.

At last! Gary finally put my shelves up today. It's not his fault as he is working such long hours and hasn't had the time to put them up so far. However, this morning we awoke at 9.30am as Gary has the day off. I couldn't believe it when I saw the time, I never sleep past 8am. I bet I won't sleep tonight now. :0( Anyway, the shelving has been sitting here for over a week now, so I was glad to be able to organise at last. It didn't take Gary long and at last my desk is clear of clutter as it's all on the shelves now. Look at all my pretty colourful boxes and crates.

The little colourful plastic boxes near the top are empty and are waiting to be filled with gorgeousness. The shelf below that holds my dyeing powders and made-up dyes. The crates on the bottom shelf are filled with all my smashing variegated and metallic threads. The box to the left on the bottom shelf holds my silk threads which I think should be kept away from light. And all those those gorgeous little glass jars I got from Freecycle. They're baby food jars, perfect for all my beads and buttons and 'stuff'. I am collecting some more in the week that I'll need for storing some more made-up dyes.

I received some new dyes from Beary Cheap in Australia (wages for pattern sales) and I bought these from eBay:

One of these pots ranges from £5.21- £9.40 (depending on colour) on the website and I got them all from eBay for about £10 including P&P! I have purchased a yellow dye from the website to complete the set, but it's still such a bargain as each pot is 100g (a lot)! I have also purchased some pipettes and small spray bottles to aid with the dyeing process. So expect great things on the hand-dyed fabric front in the coming weeks.

I hand painted a couple pf pieces of fabric yesterday. I don't think I shall ever use them, but it was good to practice and experiment. :0)

I prefer a more subtle, subdued look to fabric. I might try some tie dyeing in the week, that's always fun!

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Cat Quilt Sketch.

Nearly forgot! Here's one of the sketches for the trio of quilts I'm planning of the cats. This one is of Minnie. You have to imagine that the straight lines are different colour chunks of quilting. I think they'll make quite a cute set. :0)