Monday, 31 August 2009

This Week I Will Be Mainly...

...learning new stuff!

Definately going to be a big learning curve for me this week. First of all, I've signed up to this Shimelle class. First time I've ever done one of her classes, a September isn't exactly the quietest month to take on a project, but it seemed relevant for all the happenings this month and I thought it would be good to journal them. Marie and I had a cybercrop on Friday night and made our journal covers:

And I got 30 pages made up ready (complete with white-washed novel pages, sent in the lovely Shimelle kit); 30 pages takes a long timr to white-wash believe me!

The main new thing I'll be learning this week is how to be a working girl again. On Wednesday I start my new job as Maths Learning Mentor in high school. Not only do I have to remember how to work full-time (it's been 4 years!) but also how to teach high school kids and relearn Maths as I'm sure it's different to 20 years ago when I was at school! Add to that the joyous task of dealing with 1100 hormonal teenagers on a daily basis; it's gonna be a big old curve!

As for the rest of the week, I've no idea! I seem to be unable to see more than a couple of days in the future at the moment. May be a good thing, not sure how much more will squish in this head of mine!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Monkee See, Monkee Do!

That phrase sums me up craftwise, I see something crafty and I want to do it!

For a while now I've been admiring a couple of my blog buddies knitting projects: Marie with her snuggly toys, hats, wrist warmers etc and Jackie who basically can knit anything and everything! I've admired from afar as knitting ain't my thing, I've never been able to do anything except a basic knit stitch in a straight line and the whole P1, k2tog, turn thing quite frankly scared me (have you ever read a knitting pattern? Baffling stuff!).

However, that was until this monkee saw this on Marie's blog - this monkee needed to do! So, off to the library I go, Knitting for Dummies please Mr Librarian; pattern downloaded from Mrs Monkee Maker; practise on Emily's kids knitting needles and hideous pink wool; and off to Hobbycraft to buy needles, wool, stitch markers, darning needles etc...and off I go!

4 days, 2 very sore fingers, a few pleading emails to Marie and several expletives later, here he is:

Yay! I love my monkee! Well, only for a while as he's for Xander's birthday, but I'm quite proud of myself: I now know how to purl, increase a stitch, turn and all that other gobbledy gook! Go monkee!

Friday, 28 August 2009

End of a SAHM Era

So, today is my last official day as a SAHM (stay at home mum) to this little fella:

For 3 years now I've been at home with my boy, can't believe it's been 3 years since my first day on the job:

But, this boy of mine is growing up fast and I think we're both ready to move on. Xander loves nursery so will enjoy going 4 days a week (plus he still gets a day with Grandma and Grandad!) and in January he starts school so it'll be good preparation for that.
And me, well I am ready to get back to work and start something brand new. However it is such a wrench leaving your baby, especially as he's my last baby and the last time I'll ever get to do this. Have to admit though I'm not going to miss the constant loop of CBeebies! However, I'm sure those school holidays will come round quick and I'll be back to tearing my hair out!
So thank you to Xander for employing me as your mummy, it really has been the best job in the world!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

HSM 4?

For those of you with a daughter over the age of 5, you've no doubt spent the last couple of years with a series of way too chirpy teenagers singing and dancing their way through school on constant loop on your dvd player!

Imagine how sad all us parents were when, in High School Musical 3, the singing and dancing concluded with a graduation from high school! Hurray! Can't have a High School Musical when they're not at high school anymore! Ha!

However, there have been rumours of a new cast for a HSM 4...aaarrrgggghhhhh!

Emily has obviously heard these rumours as, when we were in Disney, she took the opportunity to audition:

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Em & Xan's New Friends!

Full Disney story later, jusr a few pics for now of some new friends that Emily and Xander met!

Buzz: Lilo:




And of course, Mickey:

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

How To Stuff A Mermaid's Tail!

I have quite a few doll orders at the moment, lots of little girls with birthdays coming up who have asked me to make various things. I finished the first one last night, Ariel from The Little Mermaid for a girl who turns 6 in a couple of weeks:

Completely different doing a mermaid doll. I did get asked the other night by Rob why I was sewing legs to a mermaid doll. Hmmmm, good point! So, off with her legs then working out how to make and attach a tail; little bit fiddly but eventually it got stuffed and attached!

Mind you, how I got any crafting done is beyond me: my crafting space has been invaded:

Yes, it would seem I can I have nowt! The lure of paper and glue are just too much for toddlers it would seem!

Emily, who was supposed to be crafting with me, was out in the garden, helping plant the vegetable garden (FINALLY!) which was originally supposed to be Xander's job!

So apparently in about a month we can look forward to home grown spinach, spring onions and carrots! Oooh, they'd go lovely with stuffed fish! :P

Monday, 17 August 2009

This Week I Will Be Mainly...

...going to visit this fella:

Later this week, the Garlics will be decamping to Paris and namely Disneyland! Why I chose to spend a few days with even more excitable kids is beyond me, but down south we will be heading!

We've never driven to France before, especially not with the munchkins, so we'll be breaking up the journey with a few visits. On the way down we're stopping off to visit Rob's Grandad for some lunch. Will be lovely to see him and spend a few hours with him. Then on the way back we will be stopping in London to see Zoe. Not seen her since my birthday so will be good to catch up. We're also hoping to catch up with Marc and Lauren (who are down south waiting for work visas to come through) while we're in the area.

Also assignment time yet again (think it may have to come to Disney with me). Good news is though that all the coursework is now done, phew! This next assignment is quite a bog standard one but then I have a massive end of course assignmnet to do before I finish.

Still on with the same book (UKS mini books kept me from reading quite a lot last week!) but hoping to finish that and re-read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Now I've seen the Half Blood Prince it seems like a good time to re-read the last book, read it in a bit of a hurry last time so will be good to take my time over it.

Still mini books this week, plus am in the middle of making some dolls for birthday pressies.
Oh, and I suppose I should pack....
Watch this space for 300+ pictures of the munchkins chasing Disney characters, pen and autograph book in hand!

Friday, 14 August 2009

The End of a Toddler Era...But the Start of A Superhero One?

Bit of a sad morning yesterday. Xander and I have gone to a toddler group every Thursday morning for the last 2 years now. However, now I'm going back to work full time, it's something we're having to give up so yesterday was Xander's last day. :(

It's a wonderful group, mainly due to the lady, Yvonne, that runs it. She puts so much effort in and always goes that extra mile with Xmas parties, Easter egg hunts, teddy bear
s picnics etc. And she only charges £1 each which is an absolute bargain (and in with that we get toast, a drink and a biscuit!). So it was with a heavy heart we said goodbye.

Xander's favourite toy there is the train set which he plays on constantly (Yvonne's even offered for us to keep it at our house between groups!):

Though he always breaks off for toast (and had a chat with Yvonne yesterday!):

And then breaks off from that for juice and biscuit time!

So, end of an era there, just another sign that my baby is a baby no more.
I wasn't going to post these next pics but they're just too cute not to! For Xander's birthday next month, we're having a fancy dress party. I've been debating what to dress Xander up in but wasn't quite sure. Then yesterday, Rob comes home with a bag of clothes from his colleague Rebecca (they're her son's old clothes, not hers! :P) and what was inside but this:

How cute?! Xander LOVED it and quickly struck his super hero pose!

I didn't want to spoil what Xander was going to his party in but how could I not post these pics?! Thanks so much Rebecca, you've made a little super hero very happy! :)

Thursday, 13 August 2009

2-Whit 2-Woo!

After a busy day yesterday, I finally got some time at my craft desk last night to make yesterday's mini book project. Marie was online making a monkee scrapbook LO so we had a nature related cyber crop!

So, here he is:
I did it for Xander and, as he's nearly 3, I did it all about what he loves while he's still 2 (2-Whit 2-Woo! Groan!):

I've had these owl papers for a while so perfect opportunity to use them. There was also some owl acetate so my first ever go at doing a clear page in a book:

I was going to save it for Xander's birthday but I thought he'd have plenty of presents then so gave him it this morning. He was very impressed and looked through it going 'It's me!':

No mini-booking today, it's a sewing day today, but I'll be back on them tomorrow!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Craft Frustration!

So, this morning, Rob packs the kids off in the car to go to Grandma's and I sit down with my breakfast and log onto UKS to see what today's mini book of the day is and see this little guy staring out at me:

So cute and it's Xander's birthday next month and he absolutely NEEDS one!

Then postie arrives with this little stash:

Luscious sparkly fat quarters that I'd ordered to make a mermaid doll for my friend's little girl.

And then last night I sat and sorted out all the remaining pictures for Gemma and Dave's scrapbook and got ideas jotted down for all the pages. And I finally got an idea for Trina's circle journal about the lovely Miss Chloe.

So, kid free day, all these projects and what am I doing? Blooming studying that's what! Why oh why oh why?! It's getting soooooo boring too and all I want to do is craft but apparently you need to do work to get those degree things so my little crafty stash is on the desk where I can neither see it or hear it calling! 'Lou....come and make us...!'

Monday, 10 August 2009

This Week I Will Be Mainly...

...sat here (hopefully!).

I got the grand total of 45 minutes sat here last night. I was hoping for longer by watching Sunday night TV on the pooter (2 hours of House AND scrapbooking? Bliss!), but Sky obviously think that £25 a month subscription isn't enough so wanted me to pay! Er, nope! So I decamped to the sofa and scrapped there. Can't show what I was doing as their Xmas gifts (yup, I said the 'X' word again!) but here's a sneak peak:

That's all you're getting!
Anyway, this week there is a minibook challenge over at UKS. Every day there's new mini book project to do. I doubt I can get them all completed but if I can get the basic books made that would be good! There were some taster classes last week and I made this to send to Lauren:

It's called a circular squash book and opens out to this:

So, last week's TWIWBM was to finish Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer, which I did last night. The original deadline was Friday but with assignments etc, that didn't happen. However it was finished in the week so a success me thinks! This week I'm reading A Bit of Earth by Rebecca Smith, which is a bit of a shorter book than last week's!
There's still plenty of uni work this week but the pressure's off a bit after my assignment result. And of course belly dancing (which I checked off last week's list). No play dates (thank goodness!) but lots of rain so joyous days in with the kids instead!
At the weekend we're heading off to see Ally, Steve and Elise who we haven't seen for ages, then maybe a trip to The Deep on Sunday (which we didn't do last week due to a case of 'can't be ar*ed'!).
I did check off the crop on Saturday, here's what got done. The first LO was for the UKS monthly challenge where the subject was 'Last':

I stole, er I mean lifted, an idea I'd seen over at Marie's blog to make this 3D effect:

I then did the UKS weekly challenge from UKS which was to use a travel theme, purple and ribbon. This picture from Antigua was perfect for it:

Right, so I suppose I'd better crack on with my list, watch this space!

Sunday, 9 August 2009

A Space Of My Own

Apologies for the second picture-intensive post of the day, but it's been a picture-intensive kind of day.

I've been coveting a craft room for quite some time now, fed up with crafting on the dining room table or the little fold-up tv table in the conservatory. It's a pain getting all the stuff out, then putting it all away again etc. However, to have a custom made craft room, our house would either have to start spurting new rooms, or one of the kids would have to move out! Neither looks like happening for a good decade at least, so we've gone with the next best thing.

This morning, my conservatory looked like this:
With papers stored like this (not so easy to drag out):

But yesterday, lovely Mr Argos man brought this, which lovely Mr Hubby man assembled this morning:

A trip to Ikea and a few hours of stash sorting and voila, my very own craft space:
With luscious stash to look at on my desk while I'm scrapping:

And nice easily accessable paper (under the table to prevent sun-fade)

Little project baskets for all those CJs, albums etc I'm in the process of doing for people:

And gorgeous little red riding hood picnic baskets for sewing scraps (thanks Lauren!):

Aaaahhh, my own little sanctuary! I already have a cyber-scrapping date with the lovely Marie tonight, herself the owner of a conservatory scrapping room. There are projects ready to go on the desk (but hidden as Xmas surprises - yes, I did just say the 'X' word!). All I need now is sound proofing so I can't actually hear the kids screaming while I'm in my little paradise!

Pic-Er-Nic #2

Friday it was time for another pic-er-nic. Xander's tummy was absolutely fine so we drove over the hills to meet up with Marie, Rach and their broods at Stockley Farm.

Rach was a little delayed so we caught the tractor down to the farm to meet her later:

And had a lovely pic-er-nic in the sunshine:
After a bit of tractor trouble Rach and Scott arrived with the kids and off we went to see the animals. Cam and Charlotte stroked the cows:

And Charlotte was happy to pose for a pic with Auntie Lou! :P

They all had fun feeding the animals:

Though Caitlin prefered to feed herself toys instead:

And then the girls had fun playing in the sun:

And the boys were a little tired so we got them strapped down:

It was lovely to see Marie, Rach and all the munchkins, it's a long time since we've got them all together. Unfortunately this was my last day flying solo with the kids on a day out. A 2:1 ratio with a dicky ticker isn't really working out with the 'nothing strenuous' instructions from my cardio, so it's days in with dvds for the rest of the holidays. However, I'm glad I got to see my old BW buddies while I had chance.