Friday, April 28, 2006

I know you're waiting...

to hear about Celyn, mackerel and the scary baby, but you'll just have to wait cos I've been tagged by the talented and very lovely Mrs Clarke and I'm in JUST the mood for a tag:

1. 5 things in my fridge

  • Bobs (this is our family word for anything along the yogurt/fromage frais line, because the first one Celyn was aware of eating was a Bob the Builder one and she just referred to them as Bobs, and it stuck. It's hilarious when it's only me and Danny talking and we say, "Oh, we need to buy Bobs while we're at the supermarket" or something. LOL!)
  • Asparagus tips (for my baked asparagus recipe I'm making again this weekend - see my blog entry of 18 April)
  • A big bag of carrots
  • Stilton cheese (deeeelish!)
  • Cranberry juice

2. 5 things in my wardrobe

  • Lots of clothes I can't fit into any more. AAAAALL of my clothes that I wear are in the laundry in various stages of the cleansing process!
  • Lots of Danny's clothes (he owns waaaaay more clothes than I do)
  • My Scrappers Unlimited waistcoat that Nicola's mum made me as my name badge at last year's Gloucester retreat (the woman is a marvel and I just LOVED it!)
  • Various pairs of shoes, including my sandals which I must pull out and start wearing in this sunny weather
  • A belt off a skirt because I just don't do belts

3. 5 things in my bag

  • A notebook I keep for 'family' things...what we're doing for family night, shopping lists, notes from church meetings, etc.
  • Reuben's funeral programme from today
  • A really pretty emery board
  • My Pebl phone, charged and everyfink!
  • Several Tesco Computers for Schools vouchers

4. 5 things in my car

  • 3 small Easter eggs given to my husband and left there because a chocoholic he ain't (but I need to move them otherwise they're going to melt all over the place)!
  • My mobile phone charger
  • A book I'm reading when I wait for Celyn during her ballet class, 'The Ode Less Travelled' by Steven Fry (about poetry)
  • A crate of Chatterbox papers I still haven't taken out of the car from Brecons retreat (slattern)
  • Several plants - pansies, violas, a marguerite, a yellow daisy, an ivy and some evergreen trees - I just bought at the garden centre (summer is a coming in!)

5. 5 programmes I would save on Tivo (if I had it!)

  • Desperate Housewives
  • Will & Grace
  • Judging Amy
  • Lost (from the very beginning because everyone says its fab and I've never seen it)
  • Who Do You Think You Are

There you go. And now I'm tagging...ummmm...Fiona, Linz, Jakki, Vanessa, and Rach. You're it!!

PS. Does anyone know how I can get that stupid rectangle above my header to go back to being a strip. Don't know what I did but it's really annoying me!

Thursday, April 27, 2006


My bloggy mate, Jools, is in desperate need of her mojo. S'gawn. So I've proferred a challenge to help her find her creativity. But then I thought, hey...blow the's a bank holiday weekend so let's live a little. I'm opening this up to anybody who reads me blogalog and I'll offer a prize to my favourite. But you only have till Tuesday morning (up until midday) to email me your offering (to Come on all my scrapping can do it! I'll post all the entries on here too.

So...create a layout using one photo of yourself when you were a teenager. You should include journaling on the page, and also you must use HEAT to create your layout (interpret that how you wish...but there are several ways you can do that of course).

On your marks, get set...GO!

Thoughts for Thursday

I'm in the middle of printing off 150 programmes for Reuben's funeral tomorrow. Thanks to Jools and my new-found skills on Adobe Photoshop, I was able to adapt a poster my church produces and that his mum wanted to use for the front cover.

Good principle to remember I think.

More later peeps...I had a FUN day yesterday with Celyn and a mackerel...

Monday, April 24, 2006


Just got this picture text from Danny who's travelling about on the trains today. Big huge warm fuzzy feelings!

I have, however, fiddled and faffed with F is for Fun Fair (and Fiddled and Faffed come to that!). Better I think. It just needed the circles pushed together and several more cut. Oh, and I gave the photo just a thin mat in the yellow, to draw attention to it.

Anyway...back to my list.


Look what a lovely (although somewhat beardy) man just delivered to my house.... Slobber, slobber...stroke, stroke (book...not man). And, of course, I have a list as long as your leg of things to do otherwise my friend who's visiting from New York at the weekend is going to call me a filthy slattern and check himself into the nearest hotel. So I'll have to slobber and stroke for now and save my book for sitting in a decadent manner in my spotless house.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


I am in the process of tidying our office (a lot of the untidiness being mine and all things scrapping). Tedious but will be great when I'm done (by the end of today? By the end of today if I don't want to slip into a coma of boredom). Anyway...I just found this story that I'd typed out a couple of years ago when Celyn came into the office with this book and started 'reading' me the story. I thought I'd blog it as a comparison to her "and the pea did be squashed..." story a couple of weeks ago and also because then I can keep the precious info and yet throw this annoying piece of paper away! Mwaaahaaahaaa.

She was almost 23 months old (2 August 04):

"Elmer went and it was dark one day. And Elmer went to school. And Elmer likes school. 'Let's go home everyone.' Elmer is all back with his friends in the school. And he went to school one day. Two minutes for the elephants to sneeze. And Elmer and they sneezed altogether. Elmer is already home and goes to school. And go back to school with the house. All back. And this is with his friends. All the friends have all gone home and they got a birdie. Five more minutes and Daddy's home. And a tiger...RAAAAA! Ssssh! And already with the green green ready. And yellow red ready. This is the colour yellow. La La always goes home."

I love the tiger noise!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Life is real...

Life is real! Life is earnest!
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Feeling a bit melancholy as I found out mid-morning that my good friend's son, Reuben, died early this morning. He was 23 and had severe cerebal palsy, but it was nevertheless a bit of a shock as there was nothing 'wrong' (for him).

I know he's now free of the constraints of his mortal body and that must be so wonderful for him...but of course (of course) it's all still very sad. My husband has been asked to play the guitar at his funeral.

God bless you Roo.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

F is for Fun Fair

Carrying on Celyn's ABC album, I've created this layout this morning, based on this fabby Coke ad which I've been wanting to rip off for ages. I still might have a bit of a play (add a few more spots...looking at the two of them on here next to each other makes me want to push the circles closer together etc. Thank goodness for repo glue!) but basically that's another page done. Only another 23 letters to go!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

It could only happen to Fiona...

If you want a really good laugh, please read this which is my Scrappers Unlimited Team member, Fiona's blog entry for today. I swear, I was weak with laughter.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Tried a new recipe I saw whilst reading Stacy Julian's blog (that somebody had sent to her). Mostly because the very day that I saw it, Celyn mentioned that she wanted to eat asparagus, and I thought "aha!" It's pretty simple, but my word it was good.

Simmer the asparagus for about 3 minutes until they are tender but not soft and soggy (for that is bleuh...which is a term used in haute cuisine). Then toss them in about 3 or 4 tablespoons of ranch dressing. Put them in an ovenproof dish and cover them with a mix of cheese (original recipe said parmesan but I used Cheddar) and crushed up Ritz crackers. Bake them in a pre-heated oven, 200 degrees C, for 15 mins. Deeee-lish.

We had to bribe Celyn with a WHOLE chocolate Easter egg to get her taste them. She did...under duress. This involved the mandatory 'chew 5 times' thing and then wailing "I don't like them" inbetween making 'peueee peueee' noises in spitting the offending asparagus out. She liked the cheese topping though!

Well, the adults in the house thought they were yum.

Monday, April 17, 2006

It's all gone MAD I tell you...

I only announced our next Time Out retreat last Wednesday and already 30 places have gone. It's GREAT!!! We've already got some fabulous classes in the pipeline (see Vanessa's blog entry for today for a sneak peek at something Fiona's going to be doing...not that ACTUAL one but one of those is my point). And my little organisy brain (thanks for that Jakki G!!) is already whirring about fun things to do for pre-retreat challenges etc. etc. Anyway...I'm missing Peter Kay on I mad??? Byeeee.

Plait Hair

In Crickhowell, at that shop where I wanted to steal things, they sold gorgeous dolls with lovely big bloomers for knickers (why do we ALWAYS look!?!). I bought one for Celyn and had her sitting atop my Artbin the whole retreat then. So if you were at Brecons, this photo, taken when she was fast asleep (I love my new camera which has proper F stops!!) is just to show you how my girly-girl loves her new doll, 'Plait Hair'... named by Celyn about 1 minute after owning her.

No one said my girl was original on the naming front. LOL Another doll she owns is called 'Pinky Pink' (the doll's hair is pink!).

15 out of 10 for "awwww" factor though eh?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Scrapping

Just a simple layout of my girly-girl when she was nearly 7 months old. Heavily inspired by a layout from one of the Autumn Leaves books. And I'm completely irritated because I can't find my DMC threads for adoration nor sixpence, so I can't finish off the little thingummies (name escapes me for the moment). One of the classes at The South Wales Crop yesterday was Fiona's 'C is for Chocolate Cake' (my version below) and I had the thought then to create an A B C album for Celyn to edge her along the road to reading. She actually did read the word 'Yum' on this layout (didn't know the sound for Y (it's pronounced 'ih' in her name of course) but once I said that letter phonetically she put it together with 'uh' and 'mmm' and then said the word). So this is going to be 'Y is for Yum Yum' (I'll do the other part of the title on the side) and I'm going to carry on and get the layouts done quickety-quick (otherwise, at my usual rate, she'll be about 10 by the time I've finished it, and probably reading fairly well by then! LOL

I know a lot of people would say my handwriting spoils the layout but I really do have a thing about getting journaling down and getting it down in your own scrawl. As I say in my 'Journaling With Doughnuts' class, your descendants aren't going to give a rat's bottom whether your handwriting is stunning or not (they'll just love that it's something of you). Nor will they care that it may not have the eloquence of Oscar Wilde.

Anyway...enjoyed having a little Easter Sunday scrap. Been feeling a little bit low today so enjoyed the self-indulgence.

Later 'gator

Friday, April 14, 2006


I think I love Easter much more than I love Christmas (especially when
it falls in April). The flowers and trees are all bursting back into bloom, baby animals are in the fields, the sun begins to shine (after a long winter it's such a welcome sight!), and the promise of long summer days beckons. Not only that, but Easter to me is about the living Christ. For me it's not really about chocolate eggs and bunny rabbits (although these things are nice!) but about my love for a Saviour who bled at every pore so that I might be forgiven, and who rose from the dead so that I might live with my family and friends forever.

If you fancy a bit of uplifting Easteriness, please watch these short films. Happy Easter everyone

(Tsk! These people that bring religion into Easter *roll eyes*)

A few more pics of Brecons...

Most are mine, and some are fellow Breconees'...

They don't make sheep quite the same way on The Wirral as they do here in Wales!

Linz and Rach

and Imogen, Linz and Katie-Jane

Gill and Chris (well...Chris' bum anyway...)

Another of that gorgeous view (and we had gorgeous weather too)

I was really rubbish at getting off my backside and actually taking photos at this retreat...I've not got photos of so many people. Bad Chrissie, bad, bad, bad. So if you've got pictures, please email them to me at

Oh. Happy Easter by the way.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

A Chunk of Chutney...

Sitting it out. Am I bothered...bothered?
I stare - brace the shot. I'm in company.

I had a letter yesterday from one of the girlies who took my Journaling With Chutney class last Saturday at the Brecons Retreat. (A letter I tell you! They still exist! And they are still lovely to receive.)

Katie-Jane had used this photo as inspiration for writing some iambic pentameter poetry journaling, to use when she actually scrapbooks it. This photo of her then boyfriend (now husband) Rob (on the left) was taken at a wedding in Paris. Rob is a good friend of mine too. The other guy in the picture is a French friend of Katie's from when she lived in Greece. Oh stop your whinging! It's not THAT complicated!

The point of all my ramblings is that this is literally the ONLY photo she has of Rob from their dating days, simply because he absolutely hates having his picture taken. She took some the other day on their digi camera and when she went to print them, found that he'd deleted the lot. He only bore the annoyance of this snap because he was with Katie's friend!

I asked the ladies in my journaling class to write a couple of lines of blank iambic pentameter (taught them how first, of course!) for 5 photos, just to get the feel of the metre. And the letter contained the lines I've written above.

I don't think her writing would have been so good had she not had the structure of the metre to work with. Fab isn't it? I told her on the phone, " we have to talk about ceasura and enjambment..." Heh heh heh...

Get Me!

Ain't I just da bomb with my new header? Thank you, thank you Jools for your kind help using Photoshop. I am a baby Photoshopper but fast heading towards toddlerdom. Mwwwaaah x

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


I love ellipses...

Anyway... we had the best time at the Brecons retreat. What a great group of ladies. I'm not going to single anyone out... except...the kids. We had 3 children at our weekend in Wales, and they were just so lovely. Charlotte and Dan came down from London with their parents, and I spent a whole dinner persuading Charlotte to try food (just try it...put in your mouth, chew 5 times, spit out if necessary) because she is of the 'I'll only eat plain pasta with a bit of cheese' brigade. Great fun! And her little brother was a complete delight and made me cry at the end of the retreat (tsk!). He gave me one of his layouts "because you didn't win anything". So so so sweet. I shall post that layout on here tomorrow.

And then we had 11 year old Bethany who was just so polite and lovely (and loaned me her pens for doodling).

The classes were great. Personally I just loved taking Sue's clipboard class. It was so fun AND I've already used it. Twice! We had a great classroom on the first floor, overlooking 'that view', with huge Georgian sash windows (read "LOADS of light"!). My journaling with chutney class went well too (which is good, as it was the first time I'd taught it). I've received 3 verses of iambic pentameter from ladies who took that class this week, one of which I will again post later cos I luuuurved it. And my other class, 'Glamour Girl', was've never seen so many people punching 1" circles in all your born days - LOL

Here's a couple of the other classes too. These ickle photos just never do them justice.

I shall also post challenge winners entries later as well (grief, I'm going to be blogging till kindom come at this rate).

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

How funny is THIS!?

My fingers idly tapped out today to hunt for a book I've been wanting on scrapbook design (thinking in the back of my mind to get my mum involved in purchasing books for herself...her passion...and then wait for the inevitable, "Oh, I'll buy that one for you."

Oh WHAT?!! Give me a break. At least I'm honest!).

Anyhooo...I typed 'Scrapbook Design' in the search facility, and the first book on the resulting list was this! It's a crime novel based around scrapbooking. Toooooooooo funny. This one is due to be published in June, but there are 3 others. And I quote the first couple of paragraphs of Chapter 1 of Keepsakes Crimes (ahem...):

Carmela Bertrand spun out a good fifteen inches of gold ribbon and snipped it off tidily. "This" she told the little group of scrapbookers clustered around her table, "gets added to the center panel." Heads bobbed, and eager eyes followed Carmela's hands as she punched two quick holes in the scrapbook page, then deftly threaded the ribbon through.

The ladies had been asking about wedding scrapbooks, and Carmela had come up with a layout that was easy for beginners yet elegant in appearance. Color photos of a bride and bridesmaids were alternated with squares of embossed floral paper, three down and three across, like a giant tic-tac-toe board. A diamond-shaped card, perfect for personal jottings, was positioned in the center.

How hilarious. *Chrissie makes a mental note NEVER to create that layout*

Now...back to getting my mum to buy the actual book I want...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

All I can say is...

Look at that view. And the hotel we were looking at it from. Sheep (and boingy, tail-waggling newborn lambs) baaing in the morning as you woke up. Daffodils everywhere. And the little tiny town of Crickhowell just 5 minutes down the road was just happiness. Sue and I popped down there on Friday morning and we were both completely tempted to stay a lot longer...drawn in by a very evil art gallery type shop which made us spend money and had beautiful beautiful beautiful things in it that I wanted to run out of the shop with under my arm shouting, "Quick Sue...get the car!!!"

Oh. And the food. Outstanding food. Food served pleasantly and in a lovely restaurant or in the terrace room (with big squashy sofas and windows looking out on that view!)

Hotel staff...well, one of the Scrappers Unlimited team said she felt like you could put on your jammies and wander around like that for most of the evening and they wouldn't bat an eyelid. It was like staying in someone's house, it was so relaxing, and yet we were very well looked after. They were so helpful and friendly. I felt like giving them a hug at the end...they were like pals you were saying goodbye to. My bed (and I can of course only speak for myself) was the best hotel bed I've ever stayed in.

And that's just the hotel...

More later on the scrapbooking. All of that and scrapbooking for 3 days. I tell was just HAPPINESS!!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Just killin' time...

While the hair dye I have on my hair takes. Just another 5 minutes...

Can't go to the Brecon Beacons Retreat looking like a badger now can we??

Oh my goodness me, I was up till 2.30 last night and I just could NOT wake up this morning at 7 when my (mobile phone) alarm went off. I woke up an hour later holding my Pebl nice and warm under the duvet with me - LOL. It had a little kip pressed to my bosom - bless. Everybody needs a bosom for a pillow...

I am starting to get excited now. Will feel a heck of a lot better once I'm in the car driving, which I hope will be in about 1 hour. So to shower.


Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Well the Brecon Beacons retreat is tomorrow (and breeeeeeathe...) and both my classes are ready and I'm all excited about them. I finished work on my journaling class yesterday and thought I'd share...a bit...just a smidgen...just a tantalising morsel...

So we're going to be Journaling with Chutney. (I also do a Journaling with Doughnuts class too!). Why chutney? It's something to do with using poetry in your journaling (I can almost hear everyone clicking their mouses to shut down this blog RIGHT NOW - LOL). But believe the end of this class my ladies will be writing in iambic pentameter with imagery and all sorts. We'll be playing the piano, saying words out loud in various accents, looking at Picasso drawings, knowing what 'opsimath' means, and tapping out ti-TUM, ti-TUM, ti-TUM, ti-TUM, ti-TUM on the table. We'll be reading poetry from Wordsworth to Roger McGough, talking about volcanos, and staring at photos.

It's going to be a BLAST!! (I. Love. Teaching!)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


is a marvellous thing. I've got tons to do for the Brecon Beacons retreat and I'm faffing about on here changing my blog template. Tum tee tum.

Okay, to pack goodie bags (you're SUCH a nag).

Once upon a time...

By Celyn. Age 3 (and a half) (written down, word for word, this morning)

"This is a story all about Father Christmas.

Father Christmas was stuck in the snow. Then a little pea came rolling, and then Father Christmas went to sleep. Then a camel was passing down the road. Then there was a zebra and the camel went and put a zebra suit on by mistake because it was a camel.

One day it was night-time. Everybody was alseep but only little girl was going out. The girl taked seven toys out of his bag. A cloth, then a bracelet and then a necklace was rolling, and it stopped on the street. A night-light was up and there was a little thing that was over there. It was a foot that was broken off and it was Humpty Dumpty's leg. He fell off the wall and broke his head off. Then his lips froze together and nearly his eyes fell off. His eyebrows just winked. His ear sank right into his forehead and then into his chin and it went right into his beard.

And then the pea did be squashed by a big enormous apple. And then a little nose just came to school and then went back again by mistake because it wasn't home time.

The end."

(So, at which point did YOU start laughing? Only 3 year olds can get away with stories that bizarre and not be hauled off by men in white coats).

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The biggest buzz!

As mentioned before, Julia and I taught a Scrappers Unlimited seminar on design in Reading last weekend and we gave our delegates some challenges upon their return home.

I've just had this in from Tina who lives in Aylesbury. I'm just so chuffed! She says:

"I just wanted to thank you for a totally inspiring day on Saturday. Like so many scrappers, I was at a place where I wasn't keen to 'scraplift' other people's work, yet unable to come up with strong designs of my own.

"When I came on Saurday, I was hoping that I would come away with a few ideas to help develop my own design skills, and I have to say, the seminar more than met my expectations.

"I drove home desperate to start collating my ideas, and certain that I needed to restart the habit from my college days of keeping sketchbooks full of ideas and inspiration. Having done so, I have scrapped with more confidence and speed than ever before! No more dithering about wondering where to put things; it was just a case of choosing photos and papers and cardstock to match. I have halved my use of 'repositionable' adhesive, and stuck things down without agonising for days first. What freedom!

"I have actually made several LO's based on the things that I started to learn on Saturday. Since music has always played a hugely important part in my life, it occurred to me that album covers with their 12" format would be an ideal starting point. So I attach a LO based on an album cover for you to look at. I hope you like it!"

When people respond to what you THAT's the biggest buzz in the WORLD!