Thursday, September 28, 2006
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
I've been BUSY!!!
I had a week out with the demise of Pooter. Then A blinkin' O blinkin' L sent me a connectivity update the day after we got Pooter 2 up and running, and rather than making me connect in an updated fashion, it actually made it so I actually couldn't connect at all...actually. A very grumpy soddin' Chrissie a whole day later and many phone calls to A blinkin' O blinkin' L (including one to Customer Services imparting words of venom in as calm a manner as I possibly could muster in the circumstances) and I was back on line. And (would you believe) 45 minutes after being back online, they sent me the same connectivity update. Needless to say I did NOT accept it that time. Chuh. So then I spent all day last Saturday working like a thing possessed to catch up on Gloucester retreat stuff (literally 9am to midnight...I don't think I ate anything at all till about 3 in the afternoon when my stomach was telling me it would even eat a scabby donkey).
And then Monday and yesterday I was doing a layout for Scrapbook Inspirations, which I can't show you. Nothing new there then. But here's a picture of me holding it :D Bwaahaahaa. I did send them a more normal pic of me holding it as I felt they may not go for the 'mad witch' look. Plus my roots need doing...tsk.
So I thought I would show you a layout I finished at the South Wales Crop this month (grovelly thank yous to Penny for having pretty black punch out flower things on her class layout which I nicked, and to Fi for the use of her rather yummy stamp which finished the page off a treat).
Anyway...I repent of being a bad bad blogger and I shall mend my ways and be a good good blogger from now on.
So...two bits of trivia. Danny and I were discussing the fact that we'd not seen a Cadbury's Whispa in the shops for ages. I love those! Where in the heck have they gone then? So I emailed Cadbury (oh yes I did - I'm so laughing now at my own weirdness) and said, "Where are the Whispas?" and they said they'd discontinued them. Tsk! I think we need to start a campaign! They discontinue Whispas and yet keep some of their other rubbish choccie bars on the market. I'll show them...I'll eat nothing but Peanut Kit Kats which are made by Nestle and then they'll be sorry.
And who saw the new version of Jane Eyre on telly on Sunday? Ooo I do love a Bronte (Wuthering Heights being one of my favourite novels of all time). It's a 4 parter so if you missed it just join the party this weekend. It's directed by the same woman who did the wonderful Bleak House last year. Anyway I LOVED it, although it did make me laugh when Mr Rochester says to Jane "So Jane, do you think me attractive" and she says, "Oh NO Sir!" and I'm sitting there thinking "Big big pants on fire" as Mr Rochester is just sexy-yum-yums on a stick.
Right. Off to sort out the best retreat this side of the English Channel (La Manche for all you Frenchies who read this blog!
Posted by Chrissie at 09:28
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
It's a busy time at the moment, to be sure...but HECK CHRISSIE...6 days before you blog again? SIX DAYS!!!? What the...?
Well...busy, busy weekend, followed by a busy Monday when I was just about getting round to blogging when...then...at lunchtime...Pooter went "BANG!" Literally. It made THAT ACTUAL noise. My big black wheely chair screeched back so fast from the desk, its little castors didn't know what had hit it. And then there was the unmistakable smell of burning. Burning, 'bang!' and Pooter are not a good mix.
So. No Pooter for the rest of Monday. I felt like my leg had been cut off. Didn't what to do with myself. So I did what any self-respecting SAHM who happens to WAH as well...I made an apple pie with Daughter. Pastry and everyfink. Danny thought he'd come home to the Waltons. Monday is usually our Family Night too, so we had a little lesson teaching Celyn a song they sing at Church that she doesn't know very well, and then we sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (with Celyn accompanying us on the guitar).
(I will at this juncture just interrupt my Pooter story and point out that my daughter is no Mozart child progedy. So don't alert the media. She strummed her little guitar (proper one but little) with open strings. Sounded cack. But hey, we love her, so it was MARVELLOUS!)
And then for the game Danny had picked up a few conkers during the day and we threaded them on string and taught Celyn how to play conkers. Now. Here's another little side-track. I have been married for 7 years last month. In that 7 years Danny and I have played any number of games of all varieties. Absolute Balderdash. Monopoly. Scene It. Articulate. Silly word games whilst just vegging. Chess. Noughts and crosses. Hangman. Test the Nation. Gin Rummy. Boggle. The Oscars. Scrabble. You name it, we've played it. And of all those many many games, I can count on one hand the amount of times I have beaten him. Literally about 4 times. It's pretty flippin' annoying I can tell you (me being Miss Competitive and all). It drives me NUTS. He is an IRRITANT. So...Monday night...he plays Celyn and he wins (no big surprise there). Then he plays me. And wins.
I can't even win a game of blummin' conkers. I'm so depressed.
So I drowned my Pooter/Sore Loser sorrows by eating apple pie. With squirty cream (because Danny thinks squirty cream is actually how it comes out of cows. It's a boy thing). And Danny carefully placed his 'Twoer' champion conker with love and affection on the windowsill, ready for its next match.
Yesterday we visited a well known shop for all things Pooter and they said that, indeed, Pooter had popped its clogs. But the memory was all retrievable (oh joy, oh bliss...all those documents...all those photos...) but we'd need to buy a new Pooter.
So Pooter 2 has been born. He's black. He's got a plasma screen. He's got a funky green light on his base unit (I had a date like that once...).
And THAT is why I have not blogged for six whole days.
I shall blog later with some pictures I've been wanting to upload though. Who Do You Think You Are is on now. Must See TV.
Posted by Chrissie at 20:16
Thursday, September 14, 2006
I like to lurk on a website called Mormon Mommy Wars which is just a bloggy type site for Mormon Mommys to give mostly humorous account of life and children. There are some funny posts. I like it! But one post today reminded me of a couple of funny stories of my own, and while I recover my sanity for half an hour (I've been loading the classes for the Gloucester 2 retreat nearly all day yesterday and since this morning too and my brain is fried), I thought I'd share them with you.
My friend Kristin in Utah told me this story a few years ago. Her friend and her husband live in a small town in Arizona. Very small. Teensy. And she and her husband have PhD's, so they are both known as ‘The Doctors’ by most of the community there (although not of medicine y’know). Anyway she was pregnant and had a visit with her gynaecologist one morning.
So…there she was…lying on the exam couch, wearing nothing but her freckles and a paper gown…just waiting for the doctor to come in…chewing gum. Chewing gum!!! “Oh no” (thinks she). “This isn’t quite the ‘thing’ for one of ‘The Doctors’. I have a bit of a standing in this here community…I need to get rid of my gum!” Well, as she was pretty pregnant by now, and already on the couch, she just took the gum and stuck it to the inside of her paper gown. After all, it was only going to get thrown away. The logical thing to do....
So, Mr Gynae arrives for the exam and begins to prod about in the undercarriage area, shall we say, when he suddenly stops and says, “Oh. Ummm…your gum?!” “Oh I know…soooorrrryyyyy,” says she. “I didn’t have anywhere else to put it.” “Oooh. Oookaaay” says the doctor, and carries on, looking a little perplexed but professional through and through.
It was only when she was getting dressed afterwards that she realised the gum was not, in fact, attached to her gown…but to her…oh yes…there…you know…
It starts with a P and rhymes with boobs.
This second story was told to me by a friend at university a few years ago. I am not convinced that this is definitely true and may be an urban myth (please comment if you have ever been told this story). She swore to me it was a friend of hers it happend to though....
So...my friend (she said) had a friend up in Leeds (in the North of England for all you foreigners!) who was going for a smear test one fine day. Well, the mantra 'clean, clean, clean' was going through her mind. She'd had a shower, put on nice clean knickers, shaved her legs...clean, clean, clean. Anyway, about half an hour before the appointment she was in the town centre when she desperately needed a wee. Uh oh...bit of a problem...once she'd done the deed, she realised there was no toilet paper in the cubicle. 'Clean, clean, clean' thinks she, so she rummages around in her handbag for something...ANYTHING...to wipe herself with, and finds an old tissue at the bottom of her bag. Phew!
So...half an hour later she finds herself on the examination couch, legs up, things being inserted...when all of a sudden the doctor stops and exclaims, "Oh. That's a funny place to keep a stamp!"
It starts with a P and rhymes with boobs.
Posted by Chrissie at 12:34
Tuesday, September 12, 2006
The classes for Gloucester 2 are about to go up on the website (for delegates eyes only) in the next couple of days. Here's the last teaser for y'all before you see the full things in a few days. Fab photo eh? Fab papers too! This is Hulia-Julia's class.
There are only 7 weeks to go and the pace of organising and preparing will get faster and faster from now on. I'm just desperate NOT to be ill like I was last year, coughing up a lung and no voice left whatsoever on the Saturday morning. Oh my heavens I felt horrendous that morning, and my class started at 9am...and they had to come and knock me up (as we Brits say...tee hee!). I felt like creamed crud on toast, draaaaaging myself out of bed and teaching a class. Not fun. And Sue was high on caffeine, what with the coffee and the cold drugs she was taking...and Sue and caffeine don't mix. Do not. No-ho. Uh-uh! There was one hilarious moment when we thought our Susie-Woo, normally so placid and kind, had completely lost it. All due to caffeine. She was marking her territory on the table with venom (and a ruler, if memory serves me correctly) and we were so astounded all we could do was laugh. We remind her of it often!
Celyn's birthday yesterday was lovely, but very tiring. Her teachers said that they could tell who the children were that had come to her party...they were yawning their way through school all morning. One little girl (according to her mother) was so excited about it all, she went to bed cuddling her party bag! Bwaaahaaahaaa! Anyway...here are a couple of piccies of them all munching party food and playing. And Celyn on her new bike. Awwwww! That pic of them blowing the thingummies (whatever they're called) with her friend about to bash her over the head with a hammer is hilarious!
Off to start loading classes now...
Posted by Chrissie at 20:33
Monday, September 11, 2006
Danny and I had returned home from Germany the day before, where we'd been spending the weekend with a few of Danny's good friends from America and Europe. We'd stayed in the beautiful town of Bad Hamburg, just outside Frankfurt. It was a lovely weekend. We flew home on the Monday, and Tuesday morning Danny was back at work.
And then my mum rang. "Switch on the TV!! A plane has just hit the World Trade Center in New York!" Staying on the phone, we both sat and watched the events. A tragic and terrible accident? Very visual, whatever it was...the building being so tall and well known. And I'd seen them in real life a few times...they were completely, mind-bogglingly huge. Then the second plane hit. It was horrible. Reports of a third plane hitting the Pentagon, and another crash landing somewhere else. I was completely panic stricken. I have a very very dear friend, Lee, who works as an Art Director in an ad agency just a few blocks from the Trade Center (and who, in fact, designed my Scrappers Unlimited logo). At the time of course we didn't really know what was happening or when it was going to stop or whether, in fact, it would get worse and worse. All I could see on my TV was a sinister blanket of smoke choking the whole of Manhatten island and I knew Lee was in the middle of it...somewhere.
What he watched, what Lee saw, and what we all witnessed on TV was the murder of thousands of innocent people. Including this 28 year old 'proby' firefighter, assigned to Brooklyn Ladder Company 131 and covering for somebody else on the morning of 11 September. His name was Christian Michael Otto Regenhard. I am paying tribute to him just as one person chosen randomly from the 2,996 who died. There's more information about him here. He was a real person...not just a face and story... much loved by his family, who is no doubt missed and will be forever. God bless you Christian.
It was Lee's birthday the next day. It wasn't one of his best.
2002 - One Year On
11 September and I was in hospital. I was having an elective C-section because I'd found out the day before that my overdue baby was back to front, lying sideways, and had something blocking her path out into this world! My nursy friend Clare (who I spoke about last post) had on her NY t-shirt and was anxiously hovering around outside the theatre. Danny was with me, dressed up in greens (he said he looked like George Clooney in ER and I said things like, "I WISH!" and "In your dreams love!"). The weather was remarkably similar to the previous year's - bright and sunny and beautiful. Several of my friends had wondered whether I would perhaps change the section to the following day, as 9/11 seemed such a sad day to have a baby. "Hell no" were the words that sprang to mind. I was HUGE and I just needed to have this baby and soon!!
At 12.43pm my beautiful daughter, Celyn, was born. She was so, so beautiful. And completely perfect, weighing a fabulous 9lb 2oz. She was very much wanted and waited for and I loved her with all my heart from the second I saw her. And I thought about the people from the year before, and it occurred to me that bringing new life to this world on that day was somehow fitting.
And happy birthday Lee for tomorrow - love you.
Posted by Chrissie at 11:02
Sunday, September 10, 2006
This was the opening sentence of an email my very good friend Clare sent me today.
So...here's the thing. I subscribe to Bloglines which is a great way of checking which of the blogs I read and enjoy have been updated since I previously looked. There is a bit of a phenomena with Bloglines though. If you update your blog and then change your mind about your post and delete it, Bloglines will still register it and it can be read via that website (so be careful what you post - LOL!)
Anyway...about a week and a half ago someone whose blog I read had written a message and then changed her mind and posted about something else instead. However, I read the original post in Bloglines and followed the link she had put in her message. It is a very moving and somewhat upsetting link, and yet uplifting as well in a way. But very emotional. Perhaps that's why she changed her mind about posting it, and why I didn't post about it either at the time.
Blair Blanks is a professional photographer of (mostly) babies and children in the States. She had obviously had a colleague present at the birth of her second child, when the very worst thing happened and her baby was stillborn. The cord had become tangled around his neck. This link is a montage that they put together of that day.
Well, as I said, the person who originally blogged about this changed her mind but I still saw it. Of course it moved me deeply and I thought, "There but for the grace of God go I."
I felt I should send this link to my friend Clare, who works as Sister of a Special Care Baby Unit. She's very very good at and very passionate about her job, and we have talked in the past about the important things they do as a staff to preserve memories for parents if one of their babies dies. She told me in reply how lovely the montage was and what a treasure it would be for that family.
Today I received another email from her. She said:
"The photographs you sent me the other week were very touching, but I am rarely in such proximity to a whole family if their baby is dying. We have a private room they can spend as much time in alone as they want to. However, last Weds we had a baby who only lived 2 hours. Mum had had a section so was unable to come up to us. Dad really wanted Mum to be able to hold Baby while he was still alive so I put Baby into our transport incubator and went down to Labour Ward with the consultant. I had the presence of mind to grab our digital camera. I then found myself in the same position as that photographer present at the still birth. I spent a good hour in the room with mum, dad and Baby taking lots of photos - inspired by the images I'd seen. The parents were so grateful it was overwhelming....
"You know I don't know what I believe in the grand scheme of things but I can't help but feel you sent me that email so I could help that family. Was an amazing experience."
I don't know what else to say really to finish this story. I'm moved beyond words.
Posted by Chrissie at 15:02
Friday, September 08, 2006
Salut toutes des scrapbookers Francaises et Belges!! Je suis un peu occupee en ce moment la d'expliquer pourqui j'ai beaucoup de visiteurs Francophone aujourd'hui...mais j'ai voulu dire bonjour. Laissez un petit message si vous voulez...je parle Francais :-D
Posted by Chrissie at 15:03
Thursday, September 07, 2006
I hate that song, 'Isn't it Ironic?' I spend 90% of the time it's played on the radio (because heaven knows I don't OWN a copy of it) screaming at the direction of said radio: "Well actually NO it's NOT ironic...and you obviously DON'T know the meaning of the word you silly woman!" .
I know. I need therapy. But all she needed to do was look it up in the dictionary and her song would be a pleasure to listen to. As it is - snappy tune; stupid words.
Irony means an oddly contradictory situation. For example, if you trip just as you are telling someone else to be careful, that's irony. Irony is NOT that it "rains on your wedding day". That's just tough luck. And irony is NOT "the good advice that you just didn't take" either Ms. Morissette. That would be stupidity....
Irony is also if you transfer your blog to Beta Blogger and then realise that there are problems with people posting comments on your blog BUT never mind...you wax lyrical that "at least I can post photos at the speed of light now"...and then it won't let you upload any photos.
So, Alanis my love, stick THAT in your song.
Anyway...if you are having problems commenting on my blog now there are four things you can do to overcome this:
1. Update YOUR blog to Beta Blogger and then we'll all be happy (it IS way way faster when it is (normally) uploading photos; or
2. Create a second account that you then update to Beta Blogger and use THAT to comment on my (and any other Beta people's) blog; or
3. Just email me your comment - Chrissie@ScrappersUnlimited.co.uk; or
4. Scoff at commenting to me anyway, and go and write a letter to the Alanis Morissette Fan Club about my derisory ramblings just to get me in a heap of trouble.
Posted by Chrissie at 22:40
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
One of my favourite programmes...on my Must See TV list...is returning this very eve. And (better and better), on the line-up for this series is Nigella Lawson. Now...don't get me wrong...I am definitely straight. I like blokes. Big square shoulders and rippling stomach muscles are absolutely my cup of tea...not that I drink tea...but you know what I mean. But Nigella is mesmerising. She just exudes sex appeal. I think I'm so fascinated by her because I admire everything about her...her calm poise, her intelligence, her wit, the way she expresses herself, her cooking, the way she has handled tragedy in her life, her curvy figure (stick thin women do my head in) and that huge je ne sais quoi that makes her a sexy sexy lady. I know very few men that don't find her attractive.
Do any of you ladies feel this way about another woman (celeb)? It's not that you fancy them...but you are completely drawn by them? Please tell me I'm not alone - ROFL!!!
Anyway...also in this season's line up is Jeremy Irons (who I've met...and I'll tell you...THAT is a SEXY MAN. Phwaaaw!) (do you think I'm over-compensating after my Nigella worshipping - LOL?)...and also Robert Lindsay who I have seen on stage a couple of times in the West End and love. But whoever's on the line-up, this show is fabulous. I love family history, and it's completely fascinating to find out these people's roots.
So don't go phoning me at 9pm tonight. I won't answer. BBC 1. And it's Barbara Windsor tonight.
Other stuff: I've been completing the class sheets for the Scrappers Unlimited seminar on Saturday at Crafty-Ness. It's loads of work (people don't realise how much sometimes), but I enjoy putting these seminars together. Julia and I both agree...it's so rewarding because we actually TEACH something...design principles and skills that actually improve our delegates' work. Wouldn't it be fun to run a scrapbooking school...?
Right...off to sort out dinner (back to reality!)
Posted by Chrissie at 15:43
Monday, September 04, 2006
I've been tagged by Gems - yey! I love a good tagging!
Four jobs I have had in my life: Secretary/PA; Primary School Teacher; Missionary for my church; Scrapbooking business owner
Four movies I would watch over and over: When Harry Met Sally; It's a Wonderful Life; Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; Ferris Beuller's Day Off
Four places I have lived: Provo, Utah; Liege, Belgium; Reims, France; Reading, England
Four TV shows I love to watch: Desperate Housewives; Jonathan Ross; QI; Who Do You Think You Are
Four places I have been on holiday: Mexico; Greece; Italy; Germany
Four websites I visit regularly: Apart from all the blogs and scrapping sites...my internet banking site; www.LDS.org; www.bbc.co.uk/CBeebies; www.Tesco.co.uk
Four of my favourite foods: Creme Brulee; cheese and biscuits; roast lamb dinner; good homemade soup...leek and potato or mushroom or tomato or... or...
Four places I'd rather be right now: On holiday somewhere warm and beautiful (didn't have any holiday at all this year - boo!); At the theatre in the West End about to see something fantastic; In hospital giving birth to another baby; In a health farm where I'm losing tons of weight
Four things that make me smile: Feeling that my Heavenly Father loves me; phone calls from friends; When Celyn does something clever and amazing; Danny telling me mushy stuff
And I tag...ummm...Tina, Sue, Evie and Jakki
Right...off out for Family Night tonight and I need to get my clothes in the drier or we ain't going anywhere! Well...unless Husband thinks it would be okay for me to go to our friends' house in my knickers...
Posted by Chrissie at 16:57
Not that any of you can see them UNLESS you're coming to the Design for Design Seminar in Caerphilly this Saturday.
As usual (yawn yaaaawn YAWN Chrissie!!!) I can't show the whole layout just yet, but here's a snifter of the page I completed this morning, using the lovely Rob & Bob Studio papers and stickers. And some scrummy vellum. And my Heidi Swapp colouring pencils. And doodling.
I read THE FUNNIEST blog at the weekend. Two stories that had me in stitches. If you fancy a laugh, go check out I am not left-handed, which is Karen Burniston's blog (the post entitled Grossology - Part Deux).
School starts tomorrow...and Celyn is going to be attending in the mornings this year. 10 to 9 start. Oh she's going to HATE getting up. And Mummy's going to LOVE it...because she'll be flaking out earlier in the evenings instead of going, going, going like a Duracell battery.
Busy month this month too. Friday is the next Swansea Crop, and then Saturday is the seminar (as previously mentioned). The following Saturday is The South Wales Crop and then two Saturday's after that I'm a delegate (OH YEAH BABY!!!!) at the Kirsty Wiseman/Emily Falconbridge workshop at Crafty Pastimes. Scrappy Happy.
Right...Celyn keeps stealing bits of bread out of the packet on top of the kitchen counter. Methinks she hungereth. Off to be a mummy...
Posted by Chrissie at 14:12
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Posted by Chrissie at 16:06
Friday, September 01, 2006
Posted by Chrissie at 12:09
Posted by Chrissie at 10:02
Since Husband graduated from uni in July, he's been busy, busy, busy getting his own business up and running. He found fantastic (perfect really) premises in Fforestfach (for those of you who know Swansea) and we've all been painting, cleaning, choosing furniture etc. He has also sorted out his own web site, which went live yesterday.
Whole Tone Music is a teaching studio where you can go to learn lead guitar, bass guitar, drums, keyboards or vocals. For those of you who don't know, Danny is a really excellent guitarist - his degree is in Performing Arts - Popular Music, with an emphasis on Guitar. Essays on Punk Rock were de rigeur in our house...but as easy a degree as that sounds (it so wasn't!), I was always a little freaked out by his homework. 'Write a song' (was the remit) 'notated, with all instrument parts, and produce it in the studio' or 'Perform a selection of pieces showing your playing range before a panel from the Royal Welsh College of Music, including arranging a backing band'. Heavens to Betsy, give me an essay on comparative literature any day of the week!
Danny has always taught guitar in a way that kids and teenagers have really enjoyed (although he can of course teach adults too!). He finds out what music makes them tick (Nirvana, Girls Aloud...whatever) and then teaches via their songs...but of course teaching the skills and chords they should be learning. They are always excited because after a short period of time they can play the chords to one or two of their favourite bands' songs - which of course then encourages them to carry on. He'll also introduce them to other bands or styles of music, to broaden their range. And that's the way his business will be run too, with other teachers working for him teaching bass, drums, keyboard and vocals. On Saturdays they will have workshops where people learning each instrument can get together and practice with each other, so they get experience playing with others and under Danny's watchful eye to help them make the sound tighter. They're also going to have events with guest players teaching one day workshops. There is a lovely big reception area, two classrooms, a fairly large hall area (*mmm, thinks Chrissie...a CROP SPACE!!!*) and Danny's office.
Anyway...I'm very proud of him for getting this business going. It's been hard work for the past couple of months, but things are there now...he's started teaching already and people are ringing to book lessons too. I'm proud of his skills and I'm proud that he didn't just waffle on about perhaps starting a business one day perhaps...he went and DID IT!
So. If you or a member of your family is a budding rock star, and you live in or around the Swansea area, then get in touch. Take a look at the Whole Tone Music website for all the info.
I would upload some piccies I've got of us working on the painting, but Blogger is frankly doing my noggin in and won't let me upload AGAIN. Grrr.
Posted by Chrissie at 08:21