Wednesday, March 29, 2006

How cool is this drawing?

Celyn loves to play with her... whateveritscalled... drawey thingy which uses magnets to work. Anyway...Sunday morning she got up and was busy chattering away to herself in her room and she drew this. It's a crocodile.

The spiky bit at the back is its tail, then the large circle is its face (B.I.G scary eyes!). And then the bit sticking out from its face are its teeth. And apparently crocs have 6 legs (we need to work on that bit - LOL!)

We both thought it was so fab we had to get a photo of it before she pulled down the thingy at the side which wipes it.

I think she's so good at art, seeing as she's only 3 1/2 (Julia laughed at me because I say 3 1/2...but that 1/2 makes all the difference! LOL)

Proud Mummy moment (cheesy grin)

Funny moment I want to remember

You know those funny little things that happen that, if you don't write them down, get forgotten? This little story has amused me for a couple of days now so I thought I'd blog it so I can look back on it in a year...

On Monday Celyn had one of her nursery school friends come over to play at our house in the morning. However, they (Amy and her mum) arrived half an hour earlier than I thought we'd said, and I was still in my dressing gown from having taken a shower, Celyn was butt naked from taking a bath, and Danny was butt naked still IN the bath. Anyway, fine, no problem...let them in...I scoot upstairs and get Celyn dressed quickly and then myself and as soon as Celyn got downstairs with Amy she dragged her upstairs to show her her pink girly bedroom (which apparently Amy appreciated very much).

Later on Danny told me that he could hear their little conversation. "This is my bedroom. Do you like pink? And this is my mummy and daddy's bedroom. And this is the bathroom. My daddy's in here. Would you like to see him?"

Daddy is now having butt naked kittens and images of innocent 3 year olds wandering in and staring at him in all his butt nakedness flashing across his mind. " no Celyn...that's okay. Er...I'll be out in a minute. Just stay THERE" yells Daddy.

She did.


Excellent! 10/10 for amusement factor.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Of layouts and teaching and my home town...

I've realised that I hardly ever post my scrapbooking on here...except for a couple of beginners' classes...and that's because nearly everything I do is for upcoming events (and I don't think it's fair for Scrappers Unlimited delegates to have their classes shown for all to see when they've paid good money to take the class...until the class is done and dusted, as it were). And the classes from this weekend are no exception. But I just wanted to say that I do scrapbook!!! But no one ever sees recent layouts unless they're coming to a seminar or retreat! I'll post some soon!

Anyway, Julia and I put together a design seminar for this weekend which I am so proud of! We looked at design from all sorts of sources, discussed what design was, and how it applied to scrapbooking, and then created some layouts that applied the principles. The ladies even had homework to do beforehand and challenges to do when they got home (which I shall publish if they send in their layouts as they said they would). I had some fabulous comments from the ladies at the end of the day about how much they'd learnt and how inspired they were to create their own pages, and that is what it's all about for me. I just love teaching and I get a huge thrill knowing
that people have actually learnt something and can be better at doing this hobby (or anything else I happen to be teaching!). There were some real talents at that seminar yesterday too and I hope they take all the design ideas we've given them and send off their pages to magazines and get published all over the place. That would make my day! {Pictures: Roo with her cool design inspiration collage. Julia teaching one of her classes. The lovely Lorraine and Erica from The Scrap Cafe}

Julia and I also taught two Year 5 classes and two Year 6 classes at Arborfield Junior School on Friday. Knackered! But the children really enjoyed what they were doing. I just hate that we have to do it all in such a rush to squeeze them all in. I wish I could just sit with one or two classes only for a whole day and do something that was really fantastic. They were pleased with their layouts (a 'portrait' of themselves) but I just know they're capable of more and it's a bit frustrating. Julia was on chief stamping duty, and her hands were absolutely covered in black ink by the end of each session (not to mention my stamps!!)...children are messy little beggars - LOL! But it was just great being in a class of juniors again. I love them (especially Year 6...they crack me up!).

It was fab being in Reading for a couple of days too. It's home. I just feel like I belong when I'm there. Don't get me wrong...I love living in Wales - I love our house which we could never have afforded in Berkshire, and I've made some friends here who I love very much and with whom I have a great time, and I love being able to be on the beach or in the mountains within 20 minutes. But I just 'get' people in 'my' part of Britain. I feel like I'm truly 'me' there. And I feel comfortable and enjoy knowing how to get everywhere. The seminar yesterday was in conjunction with a scrapping business called The Scrap Cafe ( Although I only met the owners, Erica and Lorraine, in January, and didn't know them before I moved, we know mutual people and chat about them. And Julia and I were in Waitrose in Caversham on Friday evening, and I ran in to my old next door neighbour's parents and got chatting. I don't bump into people I know in the supermarket here even a quarter as much as I did at home. It doesn't reaaaaaaally matter, but it does give you that sense of belonging. History. Years and years of history.

But. I love my life here. I just want to reiterate that.

Anyway...the next seminar in Reading is on 24 June. We'll be teaching the design seminar we taught yesterday in the Cardiff area in the near future too. Exciting stuff!

We're Going UP!

I have been in Reading since Thursday till last night teaching scrapbooking with Julia and I'll chat about that on my next post, but I just had to say WOO HOOOO!! Reading yesterday drew 1-1 with Leicester which means that we are now guaranteed a place in the Premier League next season. I can't believe it!!! Sooooooo coooooool! After years of near misses on getting into the Premiership, we've finally done it. I must try and get home to see some of the games next season (if I can get a ticket!!)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

How red is that nose...?

{Lesson No. 1} Ballerinas blubber when over-tired...dramatic souls that they are

Celyn had her first ballet class yesterday. Talk about beside yourself. She was absolutely desperate to get in the class. Honestly, I could have bribed her with "no ballet if..." for days (if I was so inclined, which I'm not - LOL!). There were about 12 little ballet-slipper clad girlies who all had to walk in in single file, holding their skirt out and sit on little carpet mats placed in a circle (oop sorry...'magic carpet' ... beg your pardon...). The teacher wouldn't, of course, let me go in the room to watch, nor even watch through the fact she shooed me out of the building. So I scurried around the corner and pressed myself flat against a wall next to the fire door, in a Starsky & Hutch manner, and watched through there (but not for the whole lesson...I'm not THAT sad!). Celyn's face was just a delight. She was full of smiles and was just watching so intently so she could do everything right. She loved every minute of it. When she came out at the end, she asked if she could go again. "Of course love. You're going to go every week now". "No...can I go again NOW?" she asked. Desperate.

I have to say, this woman does seem a bit expensive though. £45 for 10 weeks of lessons, plus she charged £10 for the ballet slippers (all my friends seem to have paid around the £7 mark) and other exorbitant amounts of that flimsy skirt and leotard. AND £10 to 'register' her in the first place. And the lesson only lasted 45 minutes. Mmmm. Anybody out there who has a budding ballerina, let me know what you pay. I'd be interested to hear. But I think I'm being diddled a bit.

Anyway...there was obviously no way (except with the help of a black cat suit and a system of pulleys to hang from the ceiling unnoticed) I was going to get a photo of Celyn in her class, so I had to make do with pictures once she got home. But ballerinas who have been to school that afternoon as well as their first ever very very exciting ballet lesson are not happy about anything at all when it's nearly time for bed. We had tears and tantrums and dramas trying to get a photo.

My red nosed ballet dancer. Bless.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Trying to be positive...

I have a cracking headache and have not had enough sleep and I'm off to church to teach a lesson I have not had time to prepare very well (and it's on teaching lessons!!! Grief! LOL) and this hymn just came into my head. It's either that God's got a sense of humour or He's trying to teach me something!

Welcome, Welcome Sabbath Morning (click on the 'Words with music' button and then press play on the control panel top left to listen)

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Musical Me

I have been meaning for ages to put some music on my blog, because music is such a part of 'me'. So, if you haven't got the sound up on your pooter, turn it up now and get jiggy with Will (scoot down to the bottom of the blog).

So whose idea WAS this balloon launch anyway...?

I have been so busy these last 7 or so days trying to catch up from that awful coldy thing I had and being drippy around the house (in EVERY sense of the word!) for 3 weeks. Catch up on sorting out things both organisational and class wise for Scrappers Unlimited's next retreat in the Brecon Beacons, catch up on organising and making layouts for our Design for Design seminar in Reading on 25 March (...23 people booked and only 1 space left!), plus design a layout to teach to 100 Arborfield school children the day before (and order the paper...remember to order the paper Chrissie!!!), and design a Mother's Day layout for our scrapping evening here in Pontarddulais next Wednesday. As well as clean the house, make dinners, do grocery shopping, wash and dry clothes, oh...teach at Crafty Pastimes this Saturday, prepare Sunday School lessons, get Celyn to doctors appointments, school, ballet classes...and fit in time to see Desperate Housewives! (well...I mean...a girl's got to have SOME diversion!). Honestly, I was awake at 4am last night because Celyn woke up all freaked out by the dark, and I was lying there in bed with her, giving her a cwtsh, thinking, "Mmm...I need to order that paper. Oh I must design that layout. Oh must get the paperwork sorted..." etc. My head's spinning, and not in a good way - LOL

But we did have a fantastic day last Saturday at The South Wales Crop's 12 hour 2nd birthday crop. The lunch was scrumpsheelitious and we raised £145 for the breast cancer charity. But, oh...what a saga (and a laugh). This is how you go about setting off pink balloons:

1. Spend half the morning making pretty tags to enter into a contest and place on your balloon
2. Tie the tag (and a plastic bag) onto the balloon and discover that they all fall to the floor
3. Take off made tags and just put on return information for the finders
4. In the process of swapping tags, have some ladies let go their balloons so that they float about on the ceiling for the joy of all people attending church in the hall the next day
5. Go outside and take silly photos
6. Count to 3 and let the balloons go
7. Have half the balloons get tangled up in the tree (very pretty decor, but not quite what we'd planned)
8. Shake the no avail.
9. Swipe and then throw a broom and a mop at some of the lower down balloons in an attempt to dislodge them from the tree
10. Get the mop stuck in the tree too.
11. Break out the Tena Ladys because we're all peeing ourselves laughing
12. Finally dislodge mop from tree and give up on the 16 balloons
13. Discover that 8 of the balloons manage to free themselves of their own accord during the day anyway.

I really love those ladies at our crop, and I'm really proud of the South Wales Crop too. We really are the biggest and the best!

Anyway...cracking on...more layouts to design, more phone calls to make, shepherds pie to create....

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Just a quick post...

I like this quote!

"You are good. But it is not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence. And the good that is in you must be spread to others"—Gordon B. Hinckley

Have a good Sunday everyone!

Friday, March 10, 2006

I am 14 again...

I went to St. David's Hall, Cardiff last night to see my teen idols, The Osmonds, who were appearing in concert there. Minus Donny of course, and now including Jimmy.

They were really fabulous it has to be said. Their voices are still spot on, they are polished and extremely entertaining. They all play a variety of instruments and they sing such a variety of styles of music. The Proud One, Love Me For a Reason (brought the house down), Let Me In (gorgeous song...and not a love song, as people think it is). But it's when they did their more rocky numbers that I remember why I liked them so much. Hold Her Tight, Yo Yo, stuff from The Plan, Crazy Horses had everyone up on their feet dancing, and Jay's drum solo earlier in the show was excellent too. Danny came with me and I think he was amazed how many songs I knew off by heart! Thoroughly brilliant evening really.

Alan doesn't sing with them hardly ever now because he has MS, so the oldest one performing is Wayne, who is now 54 (55 this year)! I find it really weird that they're that old. How can it possibly be that many years ago I had every single inch of my bedroom covered in their posters!? But when I see them (or Donny) I always feel exactly like I did when I was 14. Happy days.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I'm a scrapping fiend!

Two layouts in two days. WHAT is going on?

This is the second class for tonight's beginners. It's actually got several techniques in it, not least of which is the gutting at the back which will throw them into a tizzy no doubt.

The layout is of my mate Nell...the title is influenced by Just Jools blog! I was looking at this picture of Nell this morning thinking "Well, what would I call it? Something arty like, 'Woman With Car'?" and I thought, "It's Nell. It's Just Nell" and immediately thought I'd been reading Jools' blog far too often - LOL!

Now...before anyone points this out...I know I said I hate this Fusion paper (80s curtains paper), but it just goes perfectly with this photo so what's a girl to doooooooo?

PS. I've added a gorgeous daffodil at the bottom of the word 'Dewi' on the other layout. Looks luuuush. Finished it off just perfectly.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

And the Bertie goes to...


He is so excited bless him. The most hilarious part of it was that he chose Crash as winning best picture and all of us, to a man, had picked Brokeback Mountain. So there we more Oscar to be announced, Shaun was on 18 correct and Danny was on 17. "Oooh deeeeear" we were all shaking our heads and sympathising. "Shaun's going to be kicking himself that he picked Crash now. Went with his heart and not his head. He's going to have to share the prize with Danny now." Best Picture noms are announced. "And the Oscar goes to..." We wait for the inevitable. "...Crash!" Well I leapt forward in my seat, shouting "No!!" with this incredulous grin on my face. None of us could believe it! So instead of levelling with Danny, Shaun pulled clear ahead by two points. And I'll tell you...he was SO excited when he got up the next morning (the staying up half the night for him!) and saw Crash had won. I awoke (after 4 1/2 hours sleep) to find this email from the victor:

Please accept this e-mail as an oppotunity to gloat!!

I'd like to thank all those that were laughing their heads off (all of you) when my
nomination for best picture came in.

I see this as a victory for the guy who actually watches the movies in question (no offense Chrissie. I know you are busy with your scrapbooking!)

Cheeky swine! So £30 on an HMV gift card and the Bertie are heading to Reading. And Shaun is promising that he will definitely join us here next year to defend his title.

As for me, I came 5th. Clare and Katie were joint bottom (in Clare's words when she rang right after the ceremonies, "I suck!" LOL). Rob and Simon were 3rd and 4th, and Danny 2nd.

As for the show itself...George Clooney winning best supporting actor was fab (I didn't think he would get it, so hadn't voted for him, but was so pleased). It gave me, at the very least, an opportunity oggle his eye-candiness! Meryl Streep and Lilly Tomlin were absolutely hilarious presenting the Honarary Oscar to Robert Altman. Charlize, Charlize, Charlize...that dress was NOT good. And I was completely irritated by Reese Witherspoon. Best dress of the evening for me was Jennifer Lopez's. GORgeous. And let's hear it for Wallace & Gromit...lovely bit of Wensleydale!

Now all I've got to do is see most of the films. Ho hum.

Dydd Dewi Sant Hapus - The Layout

I have another beginners' class tomorrow evening so I thought I'd scrap that picture that was screaming at me like a banshee. Simple use of paper - no embellishments - because they're very very new. The thin strips of black pick up on the black and red check on their jackets and the boy's hat, as well as the black line around the bottom of the girls' skirts. The black semi-circle with white lettering reflects the lacy hats. And I had to ask my first language Welsh speaking neighbour to make sure Dydd Dewi Sant Hapus was correct (word order being something of a mystery in Welsh!)...which it is. Deeth Dew-ee Sant Hap-iss is the pronunciation for the uninitiated - LOL

I'll blog later about the Oscars. Needless to say, I didn't win (BUT I wasn't last either).


Saturday, March 04, 2006

And the winner is...

For years (years) my friend Clare and I have 'done' the Oscars. I'm a good girl, Iyam (a la My Fair Lady) but once a year we pick out the winners...put down our £5 HMV chips and dip...and stay up aaaaaaaall night to watch the glitz and glamour live from La La Land. Usually Clare would take the haul home, but I think once or twice I won. Mostly Clare though. Then I moved to Swansea (as a student) in 1994. I meet The Gilmours...the last 2 of the 8 children (identical twins) are well into the Oscars too and do the same 'we're LDS and we don't bet...but, go's only once a year and within our family' thing. So we amalgamated Oscar betting, and now we always get together on Oscar night. Then I got married to Danny in 99...he joined the throng. And then in 04 we allowed our friend Shaun (in Reading) to join in too (as an avid movie buff)...but he never joins the partay...just throws his guesses and money onto the pile. And Rob married Katie-Jane last she's in too (which is great, cos she's usually worse than I am for her picks! It's not so lonely at the bottom now - LOL!)

And it's tomorrow (is my point). Oscar Party Season is upon us.

Trouble is...I'm so boring haus frau now I never get to see the piggin' films. And my house is a tip (so I'm not even that good a haus frau - LOL!). And Simon, Rob and Katie will be arriving with chips, dip, HMV vouchers and guesses (in Rob's case, all neatly placed on forms in a scary manner) tomorrow evening. (Clare's not coming up from Reading this year). guesses (which I will update over the weekend...guesses have to be in by 9pm Sunday) are:

Best Film: Brokeback Mountain
Best Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman - Capote
Best Actress: Felicity Huffman - TransAmerica
Supporting Actor: Jake Gyllenhaal - Brokeback Mountain
Supporting Actress: Rachel Weisz - The Constant Gardner
Best Director: Ang Lee
Animated Feature: Wallace & Gromit - Curse of the Were Rabbit
Art Direction: King Kong
Cinematography: Brokeback Mountain
Costume Design: Memoirs of a Geisha
Documentary Feature: March of the Penguins
Documentary Short: The Death of Kevin Carter
Editing: Munich
Foreign Film: Tsotsi - South Africa
Make Up: The Chronicles of Narnia
Music: Brokeback Mountain
Song: Travelin' Thru - TransAmerica
Short Animation: One Man Band
Short Live Action: Cashback
Sound Editing: King Kong
Sound Mixing: King Kong
Visual Effects: King Kong
Adapted Screenplay: Brokeback Mountain
Original Screenplay: Good Night & Good Luck (George Clooney & Grant Heslov)

Mmmm...not sure about one or two of them. May change a few. Big sigh.

We have also acquired a little Oscar statuette of our own that goes to the winner to display all year. He's called Bertie because he was first won by Rob in 2004, and my Danny won him last year (oh the head swelling, oh the strutting...oh, the Bertie on top of our TV all year). Perhaps he'll be mine all mine this time. But I doubt it! to tidy.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Dydd Dewi Sant Hapus!

It's just SCREEEEEEEEAMING to be scrapped now isn't it? I invaded Celyn's school yesterday and took photos of her and her classmates in all their Welsh finery. She's the gorgeous piece of scrumptiousness bottom left. They're all sooooo cute though (I of course do not include the teacher or LSA in that comment - LOL). And now it's a scrappin' I will go. If I can get past the guilt.

I just read the funniest article on UK Scrappers which honestly could have been written by me (except for the tea slurping, as tea is the dominion of my mother only in this household).

This soulmate of mine (I'll have to tell her...) explained that she had a whole day to herself...children at school, husband happily skipping off to work, and visions of wallowing in a scrapbooking bliss all day, producing 5 or 6 of the most fantastic layouts ever known to woman or dog. But before she embarked on her journey of Bazzill and glue dot delights she thought, "I’ll just have a shower" ...and now I quote her:

"I’d best clean the bathroom actually, I thought, as I wafted a towel and watched the fluff rise and fall on the side of the bath. I’ll just dry off my hair I thought. I’ll just dust my bedroom with a sock from the laundry bin, I thought, watching the dust billow up from the dressing table as a result of my wafting hairdryer… and before I knew it, it was 10.30 and I was in my underwear upstairs cleaning."

Welcome to my world sister.

And then...THEN...when you do actually have time to scrap (e.g. at a crop) your brain is so entirely fried and frazzled from all the work and organising and nurturing you've been doing for the previous month, that you sit there in a part catatonic state, chatting and shuffling paper around in front of you. But your Artbin looks good.

Anyway. My cold is (oh praise be all things Tixylix) nearly better. Current report is that the left tonsil is still slightly up but not too bad, I can breathe almost 100% through my nose again (just the odd violent sniff to clear the passages), and I'm coughing only once every half hour and it only woke me up once in the night. You have no idea how happy I am to be feeling like this. Nearly 3 weeks of it nearly sent me barking.

Perhaps I'll go and do some scrapping now I feel better. Better tidy the living room first...