Wednesday, February 28, 2007

007 Mission

I'm Chrissie. Chrissie Bond. And I'm on a mission.

Somebody at Gloucester 2 in November made this book during Linz's class.

Was it YOU? Do you know WHO it was?!

Let me know!

Thanks ladies. Mmmwaaaah!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Sneak Peek Cha Cha Cha!

Brecons 2 Retreat is fast approaching and I'm getting all the bits and bobs for the classes sorted this week. And as I was so doing, I thought I'd give you little scrappy ladies a glimpsette of one of the classes...Fiona's to be exact.
Yes - it's a book.
Yes - it has pretty pretty beads on.
Yes - it involves ink.
BUT when I say MINI book, I mean MINI.
Tee hee.
It is lush and you are in for a treat.

Our Beach

We are lucky enough to live 20 minutes' drive away from beautiful mountain scenery in one direction (Brecon Beacons National Park), and 20 minutes from beautiful coastline. A quick car trip across Swansea and we've got our pick of some of the most glorious beaches in the whole of Britain.

Caswell has always been our favourite - it is just the most perfect beach...Enid Blyton-esque I always say. Caves, rock pools, beautiful sand, never ever 'Bournemouth' crowded, even at the height of summer. We visit it so much more often than any other, Celyn calls it "our beach".

So last Sunday I took my friend Clare, who was visiting from Reading for the annual Oscars party, for a walk down there (while Danny prepared dinner - heh heh *Chrissie raises her eyebrows up and down in a dastardly manner*). WHAT a day to visit. The wind had whipped the waves into 12 footers. Comically, all the surfers were literally running down the beach to get in it! It was soooooo spectacleeee-errr. I'm just so glad I had the forethought to grab my camera as we headed out the door. Nature is amazing, beautiful, awesome, and just a teensy bit scary in its power.

Clare and Celyn looking at the amazing surf. And you have to click on this picture below to see how high those waves were.

I also managed to take some lovely shots looking west, where the currents etc. hadn't caused a swell at all.

Clare was here, as I said, for our annual Oscars party, but I shall blog about that in my next post. Later. Because I have to do ordering for retreat and seminar class kits. And try and stop coughing (oh yes...still! 4 weeks and counting...). And have some breakfast.

Monday, February 26, 2007

To cheer and encourage

Some scrapping ladies I'm pleased to be associated with and I created an album for somebody. They know who they are. The recipient knows who she is. I'm just uploading the pics here so everyone can see everyone else's (and blogger is the quickest way to do it). The pages in order are by Fi, Sue, Chris, Gill, Lorraine, Claire, Amber, Rachel, Tina, Nat, Katie, Debbie, Helen, Julia and me. Not the best photos in the world, but I was snapping it quickly before I needed to package it up. Thanks to Penny for her helpful hand in this process - LOL :-)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

In Stitches!

Well I got back from the Craft Hobby & Stitch trade show at the NEC yesterday but it took me a day to recover so I'm only just getting round to yapping about it. For those of you who don't know, 'Stitches' shows off all the new scrapbooking papers and products that will be available to make gaaaaaaaaaaw-geous things with in just a few weeks. Maybe a month or so for some of them. There are other products on display too for people who knit and sew. But as I do neither...*Chrissie shrugs and curls her top lip in a "Am I bovvered" fashion*...I take no notice of those stands except to go "Awwww!" at the cute CUTE knitted things for children, and maybe think "I wouldn't mind a decent sewing machine so I can sew all over my layouts."

Well the day started off more or less to schedule. I stayed with Katie-Jane in Ystrad Mynach the night before and we got up and set off by 7.30, reaching Amber in Newport at 8 o'clock. And then that is where it all went the shape of a great big pear, as they say. There had been a bad crash on the M4 at the top end of Newport, and as we hit the motorway about halfway across Newport, it then took us TWO AND A HALF HOURS to move 3 junctions so we could zip off north up the M50. Man alive, it was boring! However, getting it into perspective, someone or perhaps several people were obviously seriously hurt or worse for them to have closed the motorway altogether, and so it doesn't really matter that we were inconvenienced for 2 1/2 hours, does it?
One of the first people it was lovely to see again was the delightful Marilyn from All My Memories (pictured here with Amber and Kate). She is just a sweetheart, and we chat up a storm about Utah and so on when I meet with her.

She even gave me a big hug this year when she saw me!! Cool! And, we have to say, the new AMM totes and trolleys are just deeeeeeee-lish. I can just see everyone e-baying their old desk totes so they can get one of the new colours (I like the black one with the stripe personally!), and the new Roller Bags are fabulous. I want one and I want one NOW! The bag part slips very very easily onto the handle so it makes a two-part trolley, and (as Marilyn said) you can take the top bag off to go merrily into your classes at crops and such like. "Ha!" said we. "If you were ever THAT ORGANISED - bwaahaaahaaa" said we. But still, very pretty product. They also have matching handbags and clutch bags to go with *sigh* and a bit of bling hanging off the zip...ooooo! The new AMM albums are also just a beautiful beautiful thing...made from softer faux leather, a bit padded, and lovely new colours (raspberry and navy)

We then sat and made a Rusty Pickle file folder book thing (I'm good with my terms - LOL) to love a little make 'n take (even though the girl doing it looked for all the world like she didn't want to be there. Perhaps she had jet lag...?) . Here's Amber Dawn proudly showing y'all her little book, in front of the new errr...well...a new collection anyway. Might be Cosmo...might be Crate. No doubt Amber will tell me *Chrissie looks sheepish and ever so slightly clueless*
Edited to say they are 'We R Memory Keepers' papers :D It MIGHT help to zoom in on the photo eh Chrissie...duh!

In our wanderings we then came across Timmy Tim Tim doing a demo surrounded by the obligatory clutch of excited fans. This photo of Katie-Jane peeking through the crowd does just make me laugh. I said hi to him and his manager Alain, and then we wandered off. I am not his stalker, despite what Amber says - LOL!

Other new products we loooooved: the new Basic Grey (no brainer), some lovely acrylic stamps called Studio G (but very irritating that we couldn't order 30 or so of the same stamp for our retreat kits...grrrr! Drives me MAD), I liked some of the MAMBI stuff, and the new Maya Road chipboard and ribbons. It seemed to me that there was a fair bit of turquoise and red about on everyone's collections, which is a bit lovely as it's one of my favourite colour combinations.

While we were chatting to the chaps on the Fiskars stand (or Friskars as Katie kept saying - mwaahaaa), the entourage that is Dawn Bibby came sauntering by. "You're following us" I bantered with her (for we had seen her about 3 times already that day). She then toddled off to partake in the champers and food they had on offer and I put my head down and said quietly to Amber, "Right. I'm going to get a photo of you and her together." You have never seen such wide-eyed urgently quiet hissy fitting in all your born days. "Don't you dare! Don't you DARE!" I was creased. I very nearly did do it too, but figured that annoying your staff (staff who have just completed a truly STONKING retreat class to boot) is perhaps not the best idea.

Later, back at the Scrapgenie stand we ran into Tracie Hudson, who I've chatted to a little bit and whose scrapbooking I admire very much. It was nice to finally meet her in the skin, and here's our cutesy photo to mark the occasion. She told me some very exciting news and I've told her that if certain things do happen, I want to be there! I'm not saying anything more...she knows what I mean :-) That news was definitely one of the best bits of my day.

I ended up staying at Kate's again that night as we were all completely and utterly shattered when we got back to Wales (and I had a blister on each foot from the miles we walked round and round the NEC). I couldn't face another hour drive home (plus stopping for petrol) and was asleep 30 seconds after my head hit the pillow in the Gilmour's spare room. Reports on the jungle drums of my Celyn really missing me made me get up and home before 9 so I could give her some Mummy love! I'm not one for schmoosing about my daughter on here, but (goes without saying) I love her so much it squashes me.

Can I also just say at this juncture that MacDonald's really have no concept of the term 'fast food'. Having to wait 7 minutes for a bagel (not a full-on meal with nit-picky 'no gerkins' or anything...just a bagel) in a drive through when one is the only customer and one is trying to get home is IRRITATING BEYOND BELIEF. Raaaaagh! I'm NOT lovin' it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Be sure, your sins will find you out

Yesterday I felt rough as a donkey's bottom and by 6 o'clock I had no energy, a child who needed a bath as she was beginning to resemble a guttersnipe, and a mother and daughter who were starting to chew their arm off they were so hungry and, oh yes, no energy. Not to mention that my house looked like something off of 'How Clean is Your House?' And I don't mean at the end of the show either. Kim and Aggie would have been walking around tutting, oh the shame. That's what happens when you've been ill for...blimey, how long has it been...? Two weeks. All of this, and Danny was working till 9. *pitiful sob*

I caved. I finally called a friend of mine from Church and said "Heeeeelp. I'm overwheeeeelmed" and she came right over. Bless her. While I made my mum and Celyn a bit of dinner, she emptied all my bins, unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, tidied the living room (even cleaning a bit of the carpet where Celyn had spilt something), and vacuumed my kitchen, living room, dining room, hall, stairs and landing. While I tidied up the toys from Celyn's bedroom, she ran Celyn a bath, cleaned the sink and toilet (and even part of the skirting board...that really is going the extra mile!), and then vacuumed Celyn's bedroom and the bathroom. She folded some of my laundry and transported dirty laundry from upstairs into the utility room. I even got a couple of encouraging hugs as she was working, and the pleasure of a good chat and her lovely company.

I did insist however that she leave before Husband got home (he's very friendly with her as well, but is of the opinion that one does not ask for help, no no no). He would only say that my actions were demeaning or somesuch rubbish and take the shine off it (if you'll forgive the atrocious pun). So off she tripped with a merry wave and a bar of Green & Black's Milk Chocolate in her hand, and 10 minutes later Danny arrived home to a house of calm, a clean child, and tidiness all around. I didn't liiiiiiiie. I just didn't mention that she'd been.


This morning as I was about to take Celyn out to school, Husband said *with a bit of a smile*... "So. Did you clean the house all by yourself last night?"
I laughed and said good naturedly, "Well, who else helped me? The House Fairies?!! Hardy har har."
He pressed further. "So. You didn't have any help then?"
"Why do you ask?" I trilled, in a 'what a very very terribly FUNNY question ho ho ho don't be daft' manner. "The House Fairies ARE my best friends after all. Hardy har har."
He got to the nitty gritty (he really should have considered work as a lawyer). "So. Are you saying then that you definitely did not have any help last night then?" *beginning to laugh at me with a slight accusatory tone, the pig*
I was cornered. I did what any self-respecting woman would do and said, "Ooo...come on Celyn, get your you go...right...come on, come on...we'll be late. Byeeeeeeee" and skidaddled my backside out of there.


When I was taking Celyn's coat off in the nursery cloakroom, I said nonchalantly, "Ummm...did you tell Daddy that Ann came over last night then Celyn?"

Picture the innocent eyes gazing up at you...

"Yeeeeees. Why Mummy?"

Rats and double rats. I'm rumbled.

Ah well...I don't care. It was sooooo worth it. I got up this morning feeling like I wanted to saw my head off (sore throat, sore headache) but life was just so much better because my house was normal again. Huzzah!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

You know that advert...

where all they can say is "Wow!"?

I had one of those moments this morning. And then a lot of happy dancing. And then lots and lots (and looooooots) of pulling everything out of its packet, stroking it several times, putting it away, and then getting it all out again. Even Husband was impressed.

The lovely lovely Lisa Bearnson (CEO of Creating Keepsakes, yadiyadiya) sent the prize that I was so excited to win the other day (43 people, including myself won a surprise package because we answered some questions correctly that she'd posted on her blog). So, this morning the UPS man arrived with a box from Utah (how great is that sentence?!), and this is what was in it... ahem... (are you ready?)

One 'Our Family Scrapbooks'...signed and with a personalised tag (C for me!) also with a message and signed on the back.

One full kit (from a CK Convention) to make a 'Then' and 'Now' flip flop album (including Chatterbox papers, cardstock, chipboard, monogram, charms, rub-ons, acetate, and tags.

One 8x8 album in a matching box (been hankering after those albums...completely beside myself to have one) with a complete set of everything to make up the whole album, including an instruction booklet (very cool)... AND...

A spiral bound fabulous book 'Scrapbooking with Lisa Bearnson' in a gift box that also includes a 6x6 album, all the papers and whatnot to make up the album including a set of chipboard letters AND a set of great big lovely stamps (top left of the picture).

And a happy Valentine's day to ME!

And she sent that prize to 43 people. Wow!

I am speechless. How generous is that?! After being so fed up with being ill, this has really lifted my week I can tell you. Thank you, thank you Lisa :-)

I had a lovely card from Danny this morning, but as we're both still feeling completely poo (cough cough cough cough cough cough cough...get the picture?) we've decided to go out somewhere on Saturday afternoon (in the hope that we'll both feel a little better by then).
Right. I feel the need to go and stroke my prize again...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Fed up, fed up, fed up...

I feel really ill again. No energy. Achy. Cough cough cough. And I'm FED UP of it!!!!

I went to the S Wales Crop on Saturday (nice day chatting with layouts done at all - LOL) and when I got home I felt flaked out and went to bed at 10.30 (unheard of for me). And yesterday I felt completely crud again. The crop wiped me out.

Feeling very sad and short tempered. Blah!

PS. Just looked at Valentine's week this time last year, and looky looky...I was feeling like a big old pair of pants then too.

That's it.

I officially hate February.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Heh heh heh

I saw this cartoon when I checked out Vicki's blog (who posted a nice comment on my previous message, thanks :-D ).

I dedicate this message to Fiona from the Scrappers Unlimited team, whose birthday it is today. She is (as anyone who knows her will testify) a naughty little minx who has OBviously been playing with the chemistry sets at school, because her scrapbooking is just too damn good (you should SEE her class for the Brecons retreat!)

Happy birthday Fi -- mmmmmwaaaaah!!!

Friday, February 09, 2007

It's Snow Joke!

Well, our family are nearly almost recovered. I still sound like a 40 a day smoker *hack, hack, hack* and Celyn's scheduled whinge happens at breakfast, lunchtime and just before bed as she has to down some banana flavoured antibiotic. She ended up with ear infections in both ears, bless her, which made her very poorly indeed. She's lost so much weight :-(

My mother is still feeling fairly ill, with a wheezy, crackly chest that you could probably hear in space. Will she see a doctor? Don't be damn stupid! Of COURSE she won't. She's 84!! 84 year olds do NOT go to see doctors of their own volition. 84 year olds need to be tricked into appointments (I do this on a regular basis. I am evil and should be destroyed, but hey *shrugs*)

Anyway, I am still here but this is why I haven't blogged for days on end. Once I'd started to feel well again (Wednesday), I was playing catch-up with lots of urgent retreat/seminar/crop business (the 30 spaces for our Shape-Up for Design Seminar in Reading in April sold out in 2 days :-D ) AND looking after Celyn and my mum. Celyn went back to school today, just in time for them to close just as she was leaving at 11.20! LOL After missing out on the first snow this week (friends were blogging the most beautiful snowman pictures and I was jealous!), today it dumped 4 inches of the stuff all over Pontarddulais in a " shouldn't grumble then, should you!?" manner.

We went for a walk in the park up the street on our estate this afternoon and at one point Celyn fell over and got a very wet bottom! LOL As you can see from the picture, she wasn't exactly happy about it! She soon cheered up when she carried on playing with the snow though, making snow balls and so on (which she threw at me, cheeky monkey!).

Danny and I bought a new (to us!) second car this morning. His old beat up Cavalier is due for the MOT and tax and we knew the process would cost us hundreds, so we figured we'd spend the money on a better (read "safer") car. Have you ever test driven a car in the snow? I don't recommend it. All I want to say is I need to repent of the rather choice swear words that uttered forth from my mouth as I started sliding towards the side of a honking great lorry as I was test driving the new (to us!) car just before purchase. It wasn't the most calm moment of my life, that's for sure. Not just careering into a lorry, but careering into a lorry in a car I was test-driving for pity's sake. Not to mention the revving of the engine and spinning of the wheels thing that happned as I tried to go up a hill. Anyway, we are now the proud owner of a shiny new (to us!) beigy-gold Vectra with only 70,000 on the clock and in excellent condition. AND I bartered money off as well. Ha!

Well, I need to go and wash my mouth out with soap now and then make the fam-lee some dinner. The South Wales Crop is ON tomorrow by the way (any S Wales Croppers who might be reading this). I just spoke with my neighbour who has driven from Birmingham to Swansea today and says the M4 is wet but clear (although grid-locked with traffic at the moment). So once I've negotiated my way to the main roads, all will be well and we shall crop merrily till 4, when everyone needs to go home before dark. Including me.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Happy Dance, Happy Dance!

Oh my word, I'm so excited!

Is it because I'm feeling better? No it is NOT *cough, groan*

BUT it IS because I entered a little competition a week or so ago on Lisa Bearnson's blog (the lady who started Creating Keepsakes). It was her 43rd birthday and she posed 5 questions, and said she would send a prize package to the first 43 people who answered the questions correctly.

And today she published the winners list. And I am number 38!!! I won, I won, I won!!!!

How cool is THAT?! *happy, happy, happy dance*

PS. I love Calvin & Hobbes. One of the best cartoons ever IMHO

Friday, February 02, 2007

Everyone but everyone is sick...

About half the people I talk to on UK Scrappers, some of the Swansea scrapbookers, and (more to the blummin' point), Celyn, me and my mum. Lying in bed last night with me moaning and coughing my lungs up on one side of him, and Celyn groaning and coughing on the other side of him, Danny said, with a resigned tone, "I don't stand a chance" and sort of stared into space, as if waiting for the achy muscles to hit.

Celyn was even hallucinating last night, her temperature was so high. And I slept with the window open all night (in FEBRUARY!) because I was so hot. My mum is also part of the 'we're not getting dressed today' brigade and has lain around in her bedroom all day, coughing away in a bronchial manner.

Germy children. That's who I blame.

Anyway. Tomorrow is the Crop & Create day at Caerphilly Leisure Centre, organised by Crafty-Ness, and I was teaching. Yes, you will note the past tense. I had to make the decision this afternoon to take a big breath and tell Vanessa I wasn't coming. I feel simply terrible about it, but I could barely walk down the stairs this morning and most of the day I've had to look after the two other invalids whilst feeling crap myself. And it also means that Celyn can't be taken to Nanny's house to be babysat of a Saturday morning as usually happens if Husband and I are both working, because she's been at 180 degrees on the sofa, as limp as a lettuce, for most of the day.

So, here are the two classes I was teaching, and perhaps I'll teach them another time at a crop near you!

Do you Believe in Fairies (which I, very annoyingly, forgot to put the question mark on, oh the horror) has a tissue paper/paint/inking/stamping technique all over the large photo.

The second class was this accordion book with 7gypsies products (love those stickers!). The photos were taken on my kitchen windowsill (outside...oh yes, I remember the days when I was well enough to go outside the house, she says pathetically).

Right. I need to go and lie about on the sofa again *cough*