Monday, July 31, 2006


People I know and bloggin' love need to update their blogs. And not just now, but regularly. I shall not name and shame but YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE! The reason for this plea? I became so bored waiting for something new to nose at, I started wandering around Blogger Land. And...

Oh. My. Word. There are some nutty fruitcakes out there.

I think I'll just spend the rest of today pottering around my house, buying nice biscuits from Lidl, and doing a bit of scrapping. I need a bit of ordinary. These people just FREAK. ME. OUT.

Stop laughing!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Happy Anniversary Bert & Jane!

A year ago today my mates Rob and Katie-Jane got married (aka Bert and Jane). Lovely wedding. I must admit to an unrighteous amount of smugness in that department, as I had been telling Rob for years that Katie was such a lovely girl and what a fab wifey she'd be and that he really really should ask her out... *Chrissie polishes her nails on her top.*

Anyway...for their wedding present (late of course) Julia and I put together an 8x8 album of the photos I took of the day, and in honour of their anniversary (and cos I only just got hold of it to scan it...forgot at the time!) I've uploaded it at the bottom (right at the bottom, next to my regular gallery). Katie-Jane then added a few pages of her own after (the album did actually get her into scrapbooking (fi-hi-hi-nally) hook line and sinker!).

So...Julia put together: Just Married, Mr & Mrs Gilmour, Something Old..., Something Borrowed..., and Sarah & Jake (both pages). Katie created Siblings (Griffiths) & Others, Hazel & Pete, Rain & Shine (both pages), Mingle, Roar, You & Me (pictured above) and Happy Gilmour (love that title!!). And the rest of the pages were by me. It was very handy-Andy because she came to me for help picking the papers for her invites/order of service etc. etc. and we picked out Basic Grey Phresh & Phunky. Hence deciding what papers to use for the album was a walk in the park.

Take a look at that FAAAAAAAAB wedding cake (lots of little decorated cup cakes). And the bridesmaids were covered in gorgeous buttons (even in their hair! She was a scrapbooker just waiting to happen really!) I purloined some leftovers from the dressmaker (Rob's Sis in Law) and used them in the album.

Happy 1st you guys. Love you.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Gloucester 2 - It's All Going On!

The Scrappers Unlimited Gloucester 2 Time Out for Scrapbookers is less than 100 days away I noticed last night. I must admit to a surge of panic shooting through my body and bursting out of my head...but then I figured, ah what the's still 90 summat days to go... LOL.

But things are happening, things are happening...classes are coming together, the scrumptious menus for our dinners are being prepared (the food at this hotel is to die for) and games and challenges are being arranged. It's all good!

Anyway...thought I'd give you a sneaky peeky of one of the classes.

What? WHAT? What's that you say??? You didn't think I'd show you the whoooooooole thing now did you?


PS. Got those photos uploaded of the beach the other day by the way (scroll down, scroll down)

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Had to just share...

Was just looking up what's on at the cinema this very eve, as Daughter has gone to Nanny's for a sleepover (and at this juncture I would like to point out that I love her very deeply but WOO HOO...we're free, we're free...we can eat dinner in peace and go where we like...WOO HOO). And I came across this, which made me howl out loud.

Da Vinci Code, The

Running time: 149 mins (Contains flagellation and other moderate violence)

So. If you're up for some flagellation then the Odeon at 21:30 is the place for you. Personally I think you just don't get enough flagellating in films these days. Phnaaar, phnaaar, phnaaar.

Tiddly Om Pom Pom

I FINALLY managed to get the photos loaded - m'enfin! photo is a picture of my arm and thigh, just for the boys (hold yourselves back rushing at the computer screen). Oh...and Celyn's in it too. Second photo is at Joe's Ice Cream Parlour in the Mumbles - deeeeeee-lish. And yes, once again, you can see my arm and my lovely new top from M&S (all this excitement in one day). Third photo is Hannah and Celyn in the hippo hole. The tide was nearly upon us in that photo and the hole was about to be lost to the forces of nature...and we scarpered up the beach about 3 minutes after the pic was taken! And the last 2 photos are what happens when you say to Celyn, "Right...let's go in the sea then"...she just starts RUNNING - LOL! Many thanks to Debbie for taking and sharing her photos with me x

Oh I do like living near the sea. Yesterday (well...the day before yesterday if we're being accurate, as I am up writing this at silly o'clock) Debbie Smith (a scrapping bud from The South Wales Crop amongst other things) came up to my neck of the woods and we headed off to Caswell Bay for the day, respective daughters in tow. And what a happy day it was (except for the INORDINATE amount of time it took me to park, the details of which I shall not bore you with as I had enough boredom to last 3 lifetimes actually living through the ordeal).

First stop on our adventure was to introduce the Smiths to Joe's Ice Cream which is probably the best ice-cream in the world. Truly. Debbie's face was almost shocked upon licking her first lick. It is so gorgeously scrumptiously gorgeous that you just have to taste it to believe it (but you HAVE to get the vanilla).

And then I dropped them at the beach and had the car parking ordeal (I need therapy to get over it, I tell you) and then, oh happiness, we just lazed about on the sand all day. Not doing much of anything. Going in the sea fully clothed (as one does when one has been traumatised by having to wait for a bleedin' hour (more!) to park. Thank goodness for my Air Con and Debbie's latest copy of Scrapbook Inspirations , that's all I can say). Trying to preserve one's modesty YET AGAIN by getting dressed in one's cossie with the help of a large towel and a windbreaker. Reading scrapping magazines while the girls dug holes (one rather large, which became known as the hippo wallow hole and which was glorious for cooling off...thank you Hannah!). Splashing about in the waves was probably the best fun though.

Celyn LOVES the sea and was in heaven when we all went in together. Caswell is a good surfing beach and the waves are great, especially when the tide is coming in. There were a couple of really big ones ('big' being a relative term of course but big enough for me to yell "Ooo ooo OOO!! Crap on a stick!" as it headed towards us all - LOL) and she didn't stress out about getting splashed in the face (unlike when she's in the bath, which makes no sense to me whatsoever).

Anyway...I managed to avoid getting completely sunburnt (I'm so fair it's not even funny) and we were all thoroughly knackered by the end of the day (happy tired). It was fun spending time with Hannah too (Debbie's daughter) who is quite lovely but was fun to tease when she verged towards 'Yeah but, no I bovvered' behaviour. Oh the delights of teenagedom.

Today, 26 July, was my Mum's 84th birthday. Another happy day. I'm so grateful she's been blessed to live as long as she has. I lost my dad (so careless of me...mwaahaaahaaa) when I was 21 and I still miss him and the sad fact is I've lived longer without him than I knew him now. So I am always so grateful that I have been able to enjoy having my mum around for this long. She didn't have me until she was nearly 40, so I could very well have lost both parents relatively young and, in fact, she very nearly did die shortly after I was engaged to Husband in 1999. I remember standing in the middle of the street at 1 in the morning just waiting (for what seemed like an hour but was in fact about 3 minutes according to Danny) for the ambulance, saying a prayer "Not now, don't take her now...just not now." And He didn't. She gave me away at my wedding...and she's still here to bless my life. Happy birthday Mum xx

Sunday, July 23, 2006

We met across a crowded womb...

Well...busy old weekend, but on Friday I saw my womb. Now there's an opener.

So...if you're the type of person who calls anything below the belly-button "down below" then my suggestion is that you now run, run, run like the wind. If, on the other hand, you can sit and watch a real-life operation on TV whilst eating a plate of cod and chips, then carry on reading.

Personally I got a B in O Level Human Biology I'll have you know (which in new money would be an A....exams were more difficult in my day...but I digress), and that was partly due to the fact that my science teacher suggested I didn't take a science at all because I'd be lucky if I scraped a C and I thought, "Right you old moo...I'll show you." I am to this day very proud of my B! LOL To be fair, had I taken on a Physics or Chemistry O Level I expect her prediction would have come to pass. Physics and chemistry are a blummin' mystery to me and simply death on toast if we're talking interesting subjects. But ask me to study the alimentary canal and I'm your girl.

However, having said all this, I really have built up a thorough dislike of being in hospital and (call me silly) pain. Several run-ins with gynae wards and operating theatres over the last 10 years have got me to the point that if a consultant says I need to go on a day ward for a simple procedure, I turn into Mrs Basket Case. Imagine Scooby Doo literally being dragged somewhere he doesn't want to go and that would a fair description of what I was like on Friday morning. And grumpy to boot. I had elected to have this procedure, called a hysteroscopy, under local anesthetic (GENERAL anesthetic?? Are you CER-RAZY?!) the downside of which being that I'm awake and hence sort of notice any pain.

I was put on a day ward with 4 other ladies and I spent the first bit telling the nurses my name and date of birth about 20 times (they are nothing if not thorough). And then all of us were asked to put on the theatre gowns. Can I just point out these are all made one size. Slim sylph-like snippets of girls can tie them up and carry on watching Cash in the Attic on the ward TV with gay abandon. Big old lardy bums like me, on the other hand, are left having to skulk along the wall to preserve any modicum of modesty one might want to retain, and then get stuck to the plastic chair whilst also watching said Cash in the Attic because sweaty bums and vinyl plastic chairs are not a good mix. And I gave the hospital porter a bit of a thrill when I had to get in the wheelchair too. Oh the joys...

So by the time I was actually wheeled down to the theatre (at least they don't make you walk down there, backside exposed to the world) I was violently switching between laughing in a hysteria type manner and burying my head in my hands and wondering if I could make a run for it. The Theatre Sister (head honcho) took one look at me and thought, "Oh we've got a right one here". Now, this is where great NHS staff are worth their weight in scrapbooking stash. She was FABULOUS with me. She had a great sense of humour, talked me through what was going to happen, used all her diversionary tactics (I said to her, "I know what you're doing you know...but you just carry on...distract away!") and put a protective hand on my arm all the way through. I wubbed her so much I wanted to bring her home and feed her dinner and call her my Auntie Janet.

And then I saw my womb. In that operating theatre, legs up in stirrups (delightful), half the world, and a camera, staring up me bits. But it was so coooooool! And it's tiny! I imagined a great vacuous cave (I mean, 9lb 2oz Celyn was in there and I looked like HMS Gloucester sailing along at 9 months pregnant). But it was tiddly widdly...the size of a pear. And the pain wasn't too awful. Uncomfortable back and tummy period cramps and the odd pinch or two which made me shut my eyes, practise my Lamas breathing techniques and sing "happy place, happy place, happy place" in my head. But I coped. I told Theatre Sister I wanted a big sticker at the end of it all, to proudly display to all the world, "I visited hospital today." She seemed to think these were only for children. Chuh.

Back on the ward, as chirpy as a budgie now it was all over, I chatted with my other Ward 5ers some more. We had been nattering a bit before I went down, which had helped calm me (blimey, I'm such a wuss...I know you're all shouting this at your computer screens your worst, I've heard it all before), and the nattering continued. I really, really enjoyed meeting these fab ladies, and gave them my blog address, so hopefully they will be reading this (*Chrissie waves at them all*). I do love the fact that women can 'connect' so readily and so strongly in such a short space of is one of the strengths of our sex. The lady next to me was originally from North Wales so I was practising speaking Welsh with her *for 'speaking Welsh' please read 'mutilating the language to the point of lunacy') and she wrote down a message for me to teach Celyn, which was:

Rydwyf wedi bod yn yr ysbyty heddiw, ac wedi gwneud pedair ffrind newydd - Sylvia, Wendy, Pat a Dorothy.

which means (I actually understood this, praise be all things Level 1 Welsh!), "I went to the hospital today and made 4 new friends..." (or something very close to that)

I truly felt sad when I left! Such lovely ladies - we had such a nice chat and a laugh. We literally did meet across a crowded womb! Big hugs to you all.

I do think the NHS is marvellous though. It has its problems (which are all government related) but the fact that I can go in and have that procedure for FREE with such lovely staff (Ward Sister, Ward Nurse and Consultant were also excellent), is exactly as it should be (I did say July was political month!)

Anyway...other possible titles for this blog entry, as discussed by Husband and me on the way home in the car...

Womb at the top
A womb with a view
Budge up and give me some womb
Mushwombs on toast *
Womb to breathe
Tidy up your womb

* this one was actually Fiona's suggestion :-D Any others gratefully received....

Off to church this morning so need to get dressed. Later mates.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Ballet Beautiful

Yesterday was Celyn's first ever ballet recital. Vewwy excitin' for doting parents! It really was great to see our girl taking part in the performance in front of everyone, despite her shyness, and also fab to see how much she has learnt since beginning at Easter, and all the little dances and exercises they do in class. When I say 'shyness'...she really dislikes 'performing' in front of anybody, us included. Anyway, I got some really cute shots of it all (although the light in the hall was awful). I love this one of Husband holding Celyn...wish I'd got his whole head in, but never mind...I love it anyway.

I can't wait to scrap all of these pics...well, except in this heat all I want to do is blob on the sofa. I've got so much to do at the moment and I have the motivation of THE laziest sloth in the whole sloth kingdom. I need to stop being such a sluggard and get myself invigorated but *Chrissie whines* it's soooooo hot. Best thing about this weather though is that my washing dries on the line in half an hour flat and my tumble drier is having a summer holiday. Happiness (happiness with respect to the electricity bill, indeed). I love hanging out washing on the line. There's just something so joyous and satisfactory about it...especially white sheets. White sheets flapping in the breeze while I walk between them and peg up the smalls. Am I crazy? Am I the only woman who thinks this way?

Anyway...ballet piccies...knock yourselves out. They're so cute!

1. I personally love the little girl holding up her leg - too funny!
2. Kaaaa-jaaaa goo, goo, goo...
3. Concentrating on the teacher
4. I love this of the mums asked me to take some pics of her daughter too
5. Getting her ballet shoes on

Monday, July 17, 2006

It's Mine, Mine...All Mine!


Look what's arrived chez moi! Lovely Prisca Jockovic sent me my very own, personal, signed copy of her new book Scrap Embellissments (Scrap kidding, really, that's what it translates as...) and I am just in a delight.

So, apart from the excitement of getting something so lovely for free... and signed (did I mention it was signed?), I would say this book is by far one of the best on the market. And I genuinely don't think it matters whether you speak French or not (although I feel the publisher should rip the hand off of anyone who offers an English translation). There are over 100 beautiful (and I mean BEEEE-U-TIFUL) layouts and other projects in this book, which are inspiration enough without being able to read the text. Prisca is a master of the art form of scrapbooking; and her work certainly does warrant the term 'art form'. Another thing I like about her is that there is nothing of the diva about her. I can't be doing with divas. She is just sweet and humble.

The book is split into sections covering how to create your own embellishments and then how to use them on pages. There is also a workbook section at the back, in black and white, giving step-by-step instructions on how to create using different media and also more detailed information about products on the market.

Also, the book is a really nice size and uses great quality paper and printing. All for 15 Euros, which is about a tenner. Blummin' bargain.

And my one's signed. Did I mention that?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Productive day...

I made the Teaching Assistant's paper bag book this afternoon whilst Daughter was at school (same photos more or less; different papers). A productive scrapping day...most unlike me. I must be sickening for something.

The whole book is now added to the slide gallery to the right along with the Teacher's one. Papers are Chatterbox.

Lovely afternoon playing with paper and glue.

And then...

Celyn went to her friend Melody's house after school to play/have tea. I went to pick her up at the appointed time to find that she had (playfully) tipped juice all over Melody, who was sitting on the sofa at the time. Dirty Melody, dirty sofa covers *Chrissie stands there feeling mortally embarrassed* Well...I apologise profusely and then sat and chatted with Melody's which point Melody comes halfway down the stairs to inform us that Celyn has now piddled on the floor. *Pass me the smelling salts* I go upstairs and try to ask Celyn about the 'incident' but she is hiding in Melody's bedroom and on being (nicely but firmly) extracted from said bedroom she proceeds to have a full on, scream at such a pitch only dogs could hear her, hyperventilating, out of control, total and utter hissy fit tantrum. With Melody's mum and Melody looking on. *Chrissie starts fantasising about purchasing a one-way ticket to the Seychelles and lying on a white-sand beach with a book in one hand and a drink in the other*.

Hey ho.

She's okay now but I think I may take up yoga. Oommmmmmm....

It's amazing what you can do with a...

...paper bag. Or two.

Presents for teachers at the end of term, and cheap as chips! I'm going to be making another for the class assistant too (bless 'em all, and all who sail in 'em). When I was putting this together at the South Wales Crop last Saturday, one of the croppers who is also a primary teacher was most put out and kept whining, "Oooooh, ooooh...I wish I was Celyn's teacher. All I ever get is own-brand smellies!" LOL

I have put the full (wacking great 3 whole pages plus back and front cover - LOL) album on a slide gallery to the right. There are also a couple of tags that slot inside but I haven't posted those. All the kids' names have been smudged out, if you're wondering why there are dirty great black blobs all over it. Papers are a mix of SEI and K&Co by the way.

And hey,'ve got something to read at lunchtime now (my Scrappers Unlimited team member, Sue, tells me that reading my blog is part of her lunchtime routine and is disappointed if I haven't updated! LOL)

Monday, July 10, 2006

A miracle of modern times!

I went to two crops and (hold on to your big white M&S knickers) ...I ACTUALLY scrapped! C'est vrai!!! Last Friday evening (a humid and balmy affair) was the Swansea Crop (full to bursting) and I actually started off a paper bag book I'm making for Daughter's teacher as an end of school year pressie. I admit I didn't get very far with it because I was running around like the proverbial fly with an indigo posterior, teaching a class and what not.

And...while I'm on the subject...this (up there...there...up the top) was my class. Well...actually this was my class as completed by the fabby Nattie Grant who did such a scrummy job of it (FAB photo) that I asked if I could blog her layout as well as my original. I loves hers (said in an accent not unlike Linz Davis' *insert cheesy grin and start muttering liiii-laaaac to yourself*) Plus the photo of mine ( the right) is poop. I am liking that doodling malarky though. I'm just playing and experimenting at the mo, but finding I'm doing it all over the place, if you'll pardon the whatsit. Zoe is, by the way, the daughter of some of my friends in Reading. She is a delightful girl and is just a pleasure to be around...always smiling.

Anyhoo...Swansea Crop was all fab and wonderful and Anne and I managed not to get mugged returning the tables we'd borrowed back to their rightful home (phew!) so then the next morning I was off up to Newport for The South Wales Crop (only a couple off being full...which is a bit wow seeing as it's a summer month and people are orf on their holidays and such like and full for us down there means 40 scrappers). Although I was treasurer that day (BIG job...literally 2 hours later you sit down and then you've got to coordinate all your bits of paper and receipts and so on), I just thought blow this for a game of soldiers, and I pressed on with my paper bag book and finished the bare bones of it by the end of the day.

I'm damn marvellous I tell you.

Piccies of said paper bag book and some other bits and bobs coming up. And we'll be right back after this break. Don't go flicking channels now!

Friday, July 07, 2006

And on a lighter note...

I am very grateful to Kate in York (on UK Scrappers) who posted this link today and also Maggie in Scotland, as they gave me the best laugh of my whole week. Tooooooooooo funny.

Click! Click!!

The Secret World of Scrapbooking and then Scrapbooking Lady Strikes Again

A year ago today...

...evil visited London. And I quote Ken Livingstone who spoke so poignantly about it from Singapore where he was taking part in Britain's successful Olympic bid:

"I want to say one thing specifically to the world today. This was not a terrorist attack against the mighty and the powerful. It was not aimed at Presidents or Prime Ministers. It was aimed at ordinary, working-class Londoners, black and white, Muslim and Christian, Hindu and Jew, young and old. It was an indiscriminate attempt to slaughter, irrespective of any considerations for age, for class, for religion, or whatever.

That isn't an ideology, it isn't even a perverted faith - it is just an indiscriminate attempt at mass murder"
(see the full speech).

I was born in London and lived there for my early years. Both my parents were born and raised in London. 3 of my grandparents were born in London and all 4 of them lived there most if not all of their lives. Many other members of my family and ancestors have these connections to this city. I have visited it a thousand times. And so I will be thinking of the victims of the bombings during the 2 minutes silence at midday.

But acts such as these are more than just geography. And most of us are simply ordinary, nice people going about our ordinary lives. But that's the point isn't it? Don't live in fear. Be just a little kinder to one another. Be grateful for, and use, our freedom to move around and think and choose as we wish. Make Britain and any other place we visit a pleasant place to be by our actions and show those who take part in any way in this evil that they WILL NEVER WIN.

Gosh...July must be 'political month' for me. Wonder what else I can get talking about... :-D

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A friend of mine is writing a book at the moment (Butterfly Lullaby) which includes photos as part of the story. She asked if she could use Celyn and another of her daughter's schoolmates as models for the book. Mmmm...let me see...the chance to dress my daughter up in girly-girly clothes so she looks really cute and then take photos??? Naaaah. Not up my alley at all, that one. Bwaahaaahaa.

She also asked to use my Mum as there is a Great Grandmother Fairy character at the end of the book (and she loves my Mum's hair...she always wears it up in a French bun and it's still thick and lovely, despite being 84 this month).

So we set up a studio in my home and she snapped the pictures she needed and I snapped pictures too. And I completely love this photo I took. The lovely relationship between Celyn and my Mum is there for all to see and I'm sure in years to come this shot will be a treasure for us all.

I also took these pics of the girls as buzzy buzzy bees. Awwwwww.

Monday, July 03, 2006


I knew as soon as it went into extra time that it would end in penalties and I couldn't bear to watch them, so I left. I mean, for pity's sake, I could barely bear to watch them in the Germany Argentina game a few days before, so England taking, no, no...not happening. I also knew, as chips are chips, penalties mean we lose. So I couldn't bear to watch it...just got in my car and drove home. Julia and I had been teaching Colour for Design at Crafty-Ness and I'd been watching the game on Vanessa's little TV she has upstairs. Never mind. It's only a game. Sad though.

But something else has been on my mind and I've been thinking about this for two days now...whether to blog it. However I just need to get this off my chest.

In one way I am relieved the football is over. Why? Because I am so completely and utterly fed up of my country being maligned wherever I go. And those who do it laughably seem to think it's perfectly okay for them to do so. I have had people chat to me in my local supermarket and then, upon hearing my accent, say "Oh I'd better not let my friends catch me talking to you...I'll be in trouble." All said in jest...but it had an element of truth behind it and left me feeling fairly stunned. I've had people ranting on about their English neighbours putting up Crosses of St. George (putting up their own country's flag...what are they thinking?). I've been in a school where the half-hour video they've shown for Welsh lesson was an historical account of how the medieval English laws were "stupid" whereas the Welsh ones were much more sensible and fair. I've had to listen to people blatantly going out of their way to support any team in the football (replace this word with rugby or any other sport you care to mention) who might have a good chance of beating England. I've had to listen to the local news programme talk about a soldier who was "forced" ("forced!!!" I ask you!!) to watch England with the other English squaddies he was stationed with (he wasn't forced by the way...but why use such emotive language? Husband and I were laughing our heads off at the news completely ridiculous to even use such a word!). I've walked behind 9 and 10 year old boys chatting who've been ecstatic because another country has beaten England (why, at 9 years old do they hate England so much?). I've heard of teenager (a friend of a friend at church) who has "EnglandIsCrap" as her email address, and can give no good reason as to why she hates the country so much. And when I turned on the radio on the way home from Crafty-Ness on Saturday to see if, indeed, the penalties had panned out as I had expected, the first thing I heard was a Scottish listener on the phone to the Radio 1 DJ, completely jumping for joy because England had been beaten. I turned it off in disgust...not because I was upset about England losing but because everyone seemed to think that her whooping with joy was okay. That was okay to air, because it was only England after all. But...what if these people were talking about Jews? Or blacks? Everyone would throw their hands up in horror. The video in the school would never have been made, let alone shown in lessons. Law courts might even be involved.

And it has the effect of making me feel either (a) paranoid that people are always thinking such things and when someone is rude or unkind or thoughtless that it is, in fact, to do with my nationality, or (b) more and more and more patriotic because one's back is up (which then intensifies the anti-English feeling and so it goes on).

It's racism and I hate it. Whoever does it to whom.

Right. Done moaning.

Oh...and who do I want to win now? France (vous m'avez entendu, les francaises? LOL)