Loving the Lazy

Well Xmas is over apart fom all of the 'additional' food bought that lies half eaten in the cupboard (chocolate, chocolate biscuits, yule log, xmas cake, stolen (who the hell bought stolen?)). We are all feeling a little bit lazy and cabin feverish but unwilling to haul our butts from in front of the tv to do useful and interesting thing.
Hubby has gone looking for a new car seeing as I wrote off the old one by skidding into it in my car in the rain. The poor thing was so old the insurance company would not fix it.
I am going to do our thank you notes now, before time gets in the way and makes me forget.
I am also going to Whittlebury Hall next weekend for an OVERNIGHT stay. I haven't been anywhere without a kid for a min of 2 years, I hope I remember my manners.
I am also off to play with PS Elements - see if I can get it downloaded onto my laptop - my lovely friend Sharon bought it for me for my birthday and I haven't managed to install it successfully yet.


Is it Over Yet?

These are the outtakes. Remind me to bribe them next time. Oh and not to have a 'helpful' art director.

I have managed so far to not hit the shops in a big way, yet at the same time get most of my shopping done. How so? why on the internet of course.

And the internet is also the reason I am so far behind on everything else Christmas related. I have only made about 20 handmade cards this year, last year I made them all. Last year the kids Christmas photo was on the special family cards, this year they are just printed inserts in about 5 cards!

I spend all my time on here looking at everyone elses cool Crimbo preparations whilst not doing any of mine. Ho hum, I still have a few days i suppose.

If I am to get anything done in the future I am going to have to give myself about 3 months lead time.


Lisa Vollrath

Lisa Vollrath is offering free Christmas countdown images here. Wonderful stuff for ATC's and altered art.


My Husband isn't like this (much) but my sons are....


Is this mugging for the camera?

I hate flash, so put a white sock on my camera flash to see if it made a difference. My lens doesn't like this time of year, may have to go back to kit lens. Am wanting pin sharp pic and am getting nastiness instead.


Advent Swap - A Scrappers Delight

I am taking part in an advent swap within my little team over on UKS, we've done it for a couple of years now and it's truly a wonderful thing.
Here's how it works......

  • You list your likes/dislikes
  • You get a swapee given to you by the organiser
  • You look at what your swapee likes/dislikes
  • You go shopping
  • You panic at how close it is to Dec
  • You panic you haven't wrapped anything
  • You panic you haven't got a wrapping/tag strategy (we're talking crafters here people)
  • You get everything wrapped & tagged but not as you'd wish
  • You panic you haven't got a box large enough
  • You panic that your Hubby might see how much you've spent
  • You fling your kids into the car and hurtle towards the Post Office at dangerous speeds
  • You Post the Box
  • You relax
  • You receive a HUGE box from your swaper
  • You wait til Dec 1
  • You unwrap a little present each day til Dec 25 and revel in the gorgeousness that you receive each day and are thankful for being a scrapbooker with even more stash

I'll update my banner every 5 days to show you 5 days of gorgeousness.


I must be an 8 year old boy….

Because this movie rocks…… - Transformers Transformers DVD Transformers Movie Official Site

Screen clipping taken: 29/11/2007, 22:51

i was trying to cheat and blog from MS OneNote but it won't let me insert a screen clipping. But blogging from OneNote is so cool I could wet myself. OneNote is a very cool note taking programme that allows my scrambled brain to divest itself and then kind of sorts it out. Saves having hundred of pieces of paper being lost.



Lets101 Quizzes - Fun quizzes for blog & myspace

good or bad - does this sum me up?

When I was younger (i.e. <20) I used to devour my stars, I used to actually beleive there was some truth. I bought books, tried to categorise myslef, tried to spot 'me' in amongst all the banal descriptions. But to no avail, when life started getting too busy to bother about trying to second guess my future I left it all behind. I'm still the one who always wants to know what's around the next corner before we get there though.


Fabulous Etsy Shop Find

From Every Jot & Tittle. Go look at her stuff - mostly Xmas tags - and drool over the loveliness. I think the shop has been featured in a few US Magazines, and rightly so.

Not much new here in Riley Towers, kids have more homework than they know what to do with and try and squeeze it in between eating, the tv, lego and the new nintendo. Speaking of which my brain age has improved from 70 to 56 in one night! Who said Pavlov was wrong !!!!!!

Must take more photos, I'm not even sure where my camera is - still - (sharp intake of breath by all my friends).



  • the radiator in the kitchen (it's hot but is leaking water)
  • the cutlery drawer (our only one - is now being held by masking tape)
  • the hoover (now at the Henry workshop - back on Friday if it is not terminal - too many years of sucking up lego methinks)
  • the little handheld emergency hoover (went kaput and smelled of smoke)
  • my spirit (how much else can go wrong on the two most expensive months of the year?)

Things are falling apart around my ears. let's hope my teeth hang on in there.

no new pics - must find camera, or maybe not - that'll be the next thing that breaks!


Fireworks Night

gotta love working out how to control the shutter speed manually!!



I don't know what the hell I am doing, but I ain't doing it neatly.

Getting a bit fed up of mess, tidying, washing, ironing, hoovering, mess, tidying, washing, mess, tidying, washing, ironing, hoovering, mess, tidying, washing, ironing, hoovering etc etc the circle of my life.

Must admit from the state of the ironing pile it looks like I am skipping out on the whole 'ironing' thing in my circle :)



This is Halloween 'can't be bothered not got any time' style, coupled with 'wish i could find the head of my tripod'. The template is Matthews. Yes I did cut it out but I don't have the right tools and it's not pretty.
Halloween is always fraught with unspoken fears, there's our kids who are not allowed out but can dress up - they are not allowed out because of fireworks and the gangs of teenagers who roam about demanding free stuff from strangers otherwise they let your tyres down, throw stuff at your house etc. You are not sure who to answer the door to. It's great living here.
Traditions are great but as soon as the marketing people get a hold of the fast buck they ruin it and the supposed home spun charm of it.


23rd October 2007

23rd October 2007

Playing with Light

Using a 15s shutter speed, a green glow stick and a Doctor Who Sonic Screwdriver.

Went swimming - Pip tried to drown himself about 52 times. The toddler pool was so warm I think he thought he was in the bath and was trying to 'pretend swim'.

Munch totally wimped out of swimming in the big pool even though he gave it the big 'I'm going to swim underwater' vibe beforehand.

Me and Sam went into the jacuzzi without realising we had to pay and 'stole' these peoples bubbles! Am still feeling guilty now, but they did not say anything to us.

took Sam and Munch to the Disco, but they both declined to participate and stung their Dad for very expensive glowsticks before coming back and causing some more trouble before going to bed.


22nd October 2007

22nd October 2007

Took a relaxed view of 'going on holiday' this time and slowly got ready. Things got a bit less relaxed the closer we got to noon, and we were not helped by the fact that when we left I realised that I had forgotten not only my swimming costume but also my pyjamas.

Compounding matters further was the stupid petrol station pumps not reaching the car and the scheduled but inconvenient stop off at David Lloyd to drop off a cheque for books at the nursery.

If I was organised we'd save so much time, but I would be very frightening and have no friends, it's not worth the sacrifice.

The M1 was busy and slow, the M25 was ok but slow in places, the M3 was good as was the journey up to Fordingbridge.

On arrival we got our lodge, number 303, straight away and were very pleased with it. Steve looked at the static caravans rather sniffily, conveniently forgetting that he wanted to book one in the first place.

We did the normal stuff, unpacked, told Pippy off about 48 times in 5 minutes. Told the boys off for fighting 47 times. Went for a walk to explore the place. There is a really nice visitors centre. A bit like a central plaza, there is Guest Services where you can book activities, ask questions, buy gifts. There is a big posh and probably expensive Bistro, a childrens activities centre with a soft play area for the under 5's, another games place with pool and slot machines. A Spar selling food and other necessities at inflated prices for the convenience. An indoor swimming pool and spa area. Finally there is the Woodside Inn which is also the function room.

We went for a walk to what we thought was the river, and although it was a river in the end, it was a lot longer and steeper than we envisaged. No matter, we went, we didn't kill ourselves, we got back in one piece.

Although the whining about hiring bikes had started, we had silently agreed that we'd only hire the bikes when we had a full day to use them as it wasn't cheap. We'd make very good torture victims as we did not bend an inch to the plaintive requests.

Bedtime came soon enough,but Pippy put up a brave and noisy fight.


I think he's learnt his first word.....


20 months and a few days, the boys aren't a forward bunch in this family (Sam wasn't speaking at 2 and a half (of course now I wish he'd just.shut.up.) Munch didn't speak til 3 really and still has trouble forming his words properly and is a little behind at school).


My First Big Grown Up Crop

Got up at some ungodly hour on Saturday morning, picked up Joni & her friend. Drove in generally the right direction to here.

Then we unloaded all our rubbish and scrapped for 7 hours. SEVEN WHOLE HOURS. So how come I only got 3 layouts done? The event raised over £900 for cancer research and was fabulously organised. Gosh it must be hard work organising a really good crop.

Since then it's been hard to muster the energy to do anything at all craft wise. I must get my sewing machine out and hem my trousers before we go on holiday next week. I am so short and round I cannot fit into petite sizes whose leg length would fit me, so i get normal leg lenth sizes and then have to chop the trousers off at the knees! If I had a purely selfish wish it would to be taller. It would make a big difference. Honest. I could actually close the kitchen window without needing a soup ladle to grab the handle. It's given me an idea for a LO thoug so it's not all bad.

We are going to a place called Sandy Balls next week for half term. It provokes much amusement and smirking when I tell people where we are going, I should say we are going to Dubai or Guatalahara or something to shut them up.


oh Man I can't wait until Tuesday 9pm

Spooks is back



Self Portrait

[-+ Ugghhhhh - Pip decided that he would not sleep last night, nor would he sit nicely next to me whilst perusing all the channels Satellite has to offer. Oh no, Pip decided that climbing all over my head and whingy crying was the best solution. All night. Steve came down at 6:30am and he was still climbing and whining.
Tiddly said to me today "so are you going to be a bit cross today because you've had no sleep? " - an understatement if ever I heard one.



what i learnt on Learn Something New Every Day

my favourite page is the middle one below of Munch with his tennis racket


just surfing

I am liking this idea a lot - a rag quilt - seems to me to be a good way to use up scraps.


video phone love


wow, look at these stamps

here on Ali E's blog.


My Name is Toni and I am an Internetolic

I found myself yesterday and most of the night before without internet access. It was dreadful. I kept refreshing my browser and trying to pull mail approximately once every 30 seconds to no avail.

It was so bad I kept busy by tidying up. It nearly came down to actually cleaning as well but luckily Pip kept me busy with various antics. I shoudl start a catalogue of all the things he does that the other two never did. He is a shocker sometimes. When the server came back up (see I even talk like an expert) I trawled the forums trying to find other people moaning about their lack of access but found none so they were all obviously too busy playing catch up. Yes I know I could have tried dial up, but addict or not dial up costs money - valuable scrapping money.

I went to a crop on Sunday - good basic crop where all you do is chat and scrap. No fancy surroundings (an old smelly scout hut), 5 minutes from home, and lots of inane chatter. The perfect get away really. If only the toilets weren't such a fright.

Munch had a Teddy Bears Picnic here yesterday. I blame his Dad who whispered the idea into his little mind conspiratorially one night and the seed grew from there. So I had to bake cakes and tried to lay out a picnic blanket and put the bears all nicely round it. Munch and 2 little school friends plus 2 brothers completed the party. Of course it descended into farce when Pip wrecked it and the kids ended up having their picnic at the table just so Pip couldn't trample it into the carpet. But there were enough squeals of delight to let me know that they were all enjoying themselves.

Your Birthdate: September 3

You are more than a big ball of energy - you are a big ball of hyper.

You are always on the go, but you don't have a type a personality.

Instead of channeling your energy into work, you instead go for fun and adventure.

Witty and verbal, you can have an interesting conversation with anyone.

Your strength: Your larger than life imagination

Your weakness: You tend to be pretty scattered

Your power color: Lime

Your power symbol: Lightening bolt

Your power month: March

I'm not sure I'm a big bundle of energy, but the other things are pretty true - although I do choose to be witty and verbal with friends only as others would mistake my wit for insanity.


to sleep perchance to dream or maybe just sleep

i should be asleep, I've not had an unbroken night for a gazillion years. Ok for 2 weeks. Pip is the high priest of the 2am wake up. My nighttime stategy for him is to get the little blighter into bed then run like billy-o. We don't go in and adjust the covers . We don't go in and check he's ok, we know he's ok and know from experience that any false move and the beast awakens.

Normally he stirs a little around midnight - my normal bedtime crawl - i tiptoe anxiously in our very creaky cheap floor boarded house trying not to lighten the slumber so he squeaks. My Hubby tried to mend the squeaks once. What a disaster. His version of mending was to just hammer nails into the floor til no more squeaks, Ignoring squiggles drawn on the floor by the plumbers who installed our central heating. The rubbish plumbers who installed our rubbish plumbing. Anyway, it was the weekend that Princess Di was buried and we went to our friends, we came back to our ceiling on our front room floor. Hubby had nailed through a central heating pipe, the squiggles indicated pipework underneath, and water had leaked onto our ceiling to the point of critical something or other and it . Thank heavens we didn't have kids then. Seems like a million years have passed since then (which they have in sleepless nights terms).

More phone love pics - I am the only person in our family with green eyes - sometimes I look at blue eyes so often I forget I have green ones.


Oh god I am that weird stalking scrapper

ok - so you know that I stick bit of paper and photos to bigger bits of paper. Not in a particularly stylish or creative way, but it passes the time and allows me to spend Hubby's money for a 'reason' rather than for no reason at all (because let's face it I'd spend it anyway).

The magazine I've always bought and will always buy is Simple Scrapbooks. Its design ethos appeals to me and it's designers always hit the spot. I cannot tell you how excited I was when I discovered Cathy Zeilske had a blog, nor can I tell how sad I was when she stopped blogging for a while. But my little secret, the one that I don't share because I'm afraid she'll become popular and famous and everyone will realise how great her designs are and how funny she comes across is Margaret Scarborough. You know it's like when you like a band and you hope that no-one else finds out about them because they're 'yours'......

So imagine how bonkers I went when I saw the lovely Margaret had left a comment on my bday pic post. Of course no-one but a scrapper would understand or appreciate this so for my non-scrapping friends (Sharon, Jackie) this is like The Police leaving a message on my answer phone.

So if Margaret had a bundle of comments on her blog all the time I'd leave little comments every so often, but she doesn't, so if I left comments they'd flag up as 'that weird stalking scrapper' again.

Go see Margaret's Month at Simple Scrapbooks and you'll see what I mean :)

In other news, me and my phone are getting married (bigamy I know but who's gonna tell?) I have taken a bundle of pics on it plus some video - if I can load up the software tonight I'll share on here. They're worth waiting for - Tiddly running up and down outside the swimming pool with the buggy, me and Pip (I look about 102), a tired Pip, some of my shopping, my running shoes (man they take a pounding) etc etc I bet you cannot wait!!!!


belated bday pic

so many freckles! who knew?!?!


Back to Normal

or as normal as you get around here.

I have a new baby too - I just love new phones and gadgets. In fact I am geeky enough about it all to make a very good man. My Hubby is like a total girl in respect of gadgets, so we are a good match.
The boys are now back at school (apart from Monday when Tiddly had to go have a tooth out). I went back to the gym today to resume my efforts at trying to loose the elephant I have been carrying on my back for 10 years and to try and reach a goal I set myself at the beginning of the year.
Pip is asleep, he's been restless at night this past week, but he's been ok during the day so I am hoping it doesn't develop into anything.
Still waiting for my laptop, have used my craftrobo and am still doing Shimelle's class.
Life is good and normal.


I am definitely learning

Title page from Shimelle's 'Learn Something New Every Day' class. I have done more, I just cannot be bothered to find my camera and get the card out! Maybe I should learn to stop procrastinating.


I think I'm supposed to add this to my blog

This September, I'm going back to school. In my own little world. I've got a book and a pen and I'm going to record what I learn from life. I believe I really can learn something new every day. I'll share what I'm learning in the form of pages from my book, posted right here on my blog. I'm not alone: lots of crafty ladies are learning and recording right along with me. See their work here and here. Learn more about our project here.

But I must breathe a sigh of relief and admit I'm glad I'm not going back to REAL school, that was like hell on earth sometimes!


I have signed up to Shimelles "Learn Something New Every Day" online class. I'm a bit late, but I am sure I will catch up (hmmm famous last words and all that).

Went to see The Bourne Ultimatum tonight. Matt Damon Rocks!! That film Rocks!! Can't believe it's only a 12 though.

One more day to go before some 'me' time (Pip is a good egg at letting me do some scrapping whilst neglecting him).

Ordered the Fat Face Bag.
Will order filofax tomorrow.
Will download itunes tomorrow.

Will add bday pics later.

I will be mostly writing my kids names in their uniform tomorrow. In Sharpie Pen because the labels didn't turn up. Don't use Woven Labels, I ordered the labels and paid for them on the 8th Aug and no reply to a chasing email last week. It's all too late now even if they come tomorrow. Lesson learnedpeople, lesson learned.



it's my birthday today, not one to be too bothered about apart from yet another mortal coil shuffling off.

No pics as yet, it's been very much making sure the boys have what they need for school as opposed to it being about me and my wants.

But talking of my wants, here's my wishlist that I am going to spend my bday sponds on:-

  • A WHSmith Organiser

I have pretty much everything else that I want, and have no current scrapping needs (for once) and want to use what I have before I buy more and my little craftrobo needs to be used and loved and gotten used to as well.


We reluctantly came back

Glad we didn't walk home, it would have been a long trip!


On Holiday, may never come back if the sun shines

these are pics from our last visit to Sennen in 2005, we have been going on and off since 1993 always staying at the same house.

The most beautiful thing is the view doesn't change, nor do the sunsets and it's invigorating to realise that there are a few spots in the UK that are still to be treasured.



I'm not sure why I get excited about going to Ikea - the anticipation is greater than the actuality, and that includes giving birth.

We went tonight, got lost as usual trying to find it in Milton Keynes, got there with me hyperventilating as we 'only' had 2 and a half hours to get round it. In the end we left at 9:30pm still speaking, so that must be a record on many counts.
We were on a hunt for the boys fleapit tip, it's a right royal mess and I don't help things by not helping them tidy up. It doesn't help to have the worlds most untidy 5 year old sharing with a lego obsessed 8 year old.
So we went looking for suitable storage...

The CD tower is for their DVD's and CD's - Munch said and I quote "Does that mean we can have a tv in our bedroom now? we are getting bigger", this was batted down with a swift and decisive "Ask you Daddy" by me.

We also bought some wire drawer storage for our collapsed bedroom wardrobe inners - we've been living in such a pigsty for months because we have too much stuff and not enough storage. It's got to be the crappest design of house ever or we are total junk hounds.

So Hubby has managed to build all the bits today and I am left reeling with shock, he normally takes his sweet time over things.

in other news, I have ordered a Dell Laptop for my birthday. Of course it's a total extravagance and there are bells and wireless whistles that need to be bought too, but it means I can web ferret downstairs and not fight with the kids over access to the main pc upstairs. Hubby said he'll use it too even though it'll be green!