27 May 2010

New look

Not a big post as its late & i'm tired, but here is my first custom made background. The header is still a work-in-progress, but all i'm waiting for is time at home in the daylight so I can take the perfect picture.

Hope you like the changes

26 May 2010

Let them have cake!


25 May 2010

The Reality of Unreality

When I first came across the idea, I really liked internet food shopping. Not for me the constant putting off, the endless drudge of dragging myself around the kitchen, trying to remember what wasn't there, trying to think sensibly about food whilst being absolutely starving, dragging myself and the OH around the supermarket and then the jenga-like experience of hoisting heavy bags and trying to squeeze all the food into the car and wondering how on earth it all fits every week. And then when you get home you realise you forgot the one thing that you really needed and was the whole reason for buckling down to the chore in the first place.

Nope, I could wait until after dinner, potter around the kitchen and then sit at my computer for a mere 10 minutes whilst eating my pudding and having a drink. And the next day a nice man would deliver it all to my door.

I still like it in theory, because I still do it every single week. What started as a fall back position during the busy wedding planning months has now turned into a weekly ritual, and like all weekly rituals has easily slipped into being a chore. But what amused me this evening as I completed our shop, was that I am still coming across the problems that I faced whilst doing a shop in person.

Obviously the first hurdle to completing any chore is actually getting around to doing the chore itself. And, in this example, shopping in person actually wins. Because with Internet shopping, you don't really get same day service. So you push it and push it and make do with the very last remnants from the freezer, and then finally get around to putting on the order for tomorrow, only to remember that you also need to have saved something to eat because the shopping wont be arriving until way after dinner time.

The second problem is repetition. I am very much one of those people who buy the same thing every week. You see that it is missing from the cupboard, so you put it on the list, buy it, eat it and the circle goes on and on. With a personal shop you might, might just happen to see something different, pick it up and find you have a brand new food favourite. With internet shopping that is a definate no. All your purchases are saved so you can simply tick through a list every week and replenish your cupboard with the same old favourites.

And when I say all, I really do mean all !! As a couple, we share the chores and are quite happy to do so. But if my OH is doing the shopping, he can see all the things I buy at lunchtime. The sandwiches, the little melon packs, the grapes, the cakes, the chocolate. If I use my store card when I'm shopping, all those little things get added to the favourites list. So now if I'm buying things I shouldn't, then I don't use the store card. So I don't get the points. Which was the point of the store card in the first place!!!!!! Its the antidote to the flexible friend; the flexible irritating busybody!

There is a benefit to the favourites list however. Because there will be things that you do wish to always have and its nice to use the list as a "springing off point" Now whether you shop in person or on line, you have to trawl through your list, which is never laid out either as the store is, or the favourites are, and so you will always forget things. But with internet shopping you can just skim back up the window and click. As many times as you want. Wandering around the shop however, that looks odd. Especially if you keep needing to go up the same aisle. Four times.

And now we come to the latest similiarity. Which is the reason for picking shopping as the topic for todays blog class lesson. Checkouts are checkouts whether you shop online or in store. The only difference was that with online shopping you never had that annoying moment with the cashier where they pointed out that if you had brought three lettuces then you would have got one for free. Well thank you, that's marvellous. Except to get me to eat one lettuce a week is enough of a feat. To eat three in one week would ensure that I never ever wanted to eat a lettuce again.

But look, now I can have that option online too. At the end of my shop, before I can pay, I have a lovely new screen which shows me all the ways that I can save money by giving me another chance to access all the offers I was trying so desperately to ignore and letting me buy
twice as much food as I really need. Marvellous, well done. Of all the improvements that you could have made, you thought that this was the best one.

So, when I log on to do my shopping next week, I am fully expecting the website to be equipped with the sounds of screaming children, irritated parents, out of date music played too low to distinguish, which is interspersed with loud and unintelligable tannoy announcements and even louder adverts. Just so I don't feel left out. Thank you.


24 May 2010

The Craft Room

With the impending move also comes the excitement of having my own craft room. Although I have space in our study room at the moment, it will be nice to be able to spread the mess withouth complaint, be able to put my music/dvd's on without thinking that I am disturbing OH (or having his music/dvd/game disturb me) and mostly be able to decorate one room to my hearts content.

I had forgotten the fun that I have in planning decorating schemes; thinking of the perfect idea, discarding elements, going off on tangents and then coming back to my original ideas with only slight changes. This room is a challenge as I want it to be a working room and a resting room, and it also will have to do double duty as a guest room from time to time. All of the big furniture pieces are sorted, aside from 1 item, it is only left for me to decide on the
little things. So I thought I would share some of my ideas with you, and then later we can see what time and budget came up with.

Item 1 - Vintage style clock
I love, love, love this style of clock. So I have used it as the starting point from which my design should
spring. I really want to go for a classic and vintage look. Something that is slightly more sophisticated than other rooms that I have designed and decorated. I am taking the colour scheme from this clock as well, so the walls will be a very nice, very light beige/buttermilk colour. This should keep it light enough for workig and provide a suitable blank canvas for me to hang some of my layouts on to.

Item 2 - Gliding Rocking Chair
This is the only major piece of furniture to obtain, and I am fairly hopeful of getting it for free!! I was intending to have a futon, but after some consideration, the futon was too expensive for a piece for furniture which will would have to be removed should I ever hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet. However the gliding rocker would be an ideal piece of furniture for a prospective nursery. The one I have got my beady little eye on is currently a shade of pale green, and I think is in dire need of recovering. So it will be transforming into a cream chair, either by a careful re-cover or the cunning use of throws and blankets. The reason for the chair is that aside from wanting somewhere nicer to sit than my office chair, I have promised that come the move, my favourite cuddly toys will be removed from the bedroom.

Item 3 - Hatstand
I, like some of you perhaps, have one of those little doll type things which have many hooks to hold necklaces and bracelets. I was looking at this the other day and decided that a larger version would be ideal to store my belts, scarves, hats and bags. And of course the larger version is a hatstand. I have found this really lovely one which ties in perfectly with my "vintage" look and now have only to save my pennies.

Item 4 - Notice Board/Date Planner
I like notice boards. They are fun and convenient, and if you are in a particularly bad mood, a very quick form of voodoo. I currently have a small cork one which hangs above my desk. It is perfectly serviceable, but dull in the extreme. Whilst delving in my dim and distant memory I came across the idea of a padded fabric covered one, a relic of either Changing Rooms, House Doctor or some other quality home decor show of the late 90's/early 00's. So that is what I intend to have, a very big, padded notice board with ribbon strips and all my bits and pieces pinned up with very large dress pins. And a matching date planner so I can clearly see whose birthday/wedding/anniversary it is and hopefully make a card in time!

Item 5 - Wall Art/Layouts
Whilst at the Big Scrapbooking and Stamping show at Ally Pally this year I picked up some jigsaw pieces from Capture the Magic, which I intend to transform into some wall art with pictures of my and my 3 closest female friends. I also intend to do some purpose designed wall mountable layouts rather than just sticking up random pictures, which should allow me to experiement with scrapbooking at different sizes rather that sticking rigidly to 12x12 or 8x8. There should be more to follow on these projects once moving day has been and gone.


20 May 2010

Bad Friend = Good Friend?

Yesterday I narrowly avoided a "Bad Friend" moment. This situation occurs when there has been no contact on my behalf for over two weeks, and most nights end with the thought "Oh bum, I meant to phone.... but I forgot. I'll do it tomorrow." Not so drastic as it might have seemed at the start, but when you live very far from your close friends, strict rules need to be in place to avoid such moments.

It is very easy to creep into Bad Friend territory. A hard day at work, followed by a late dinner. Then the tv goes on, and before you know, its 10pm and much to late for a phone call (unless you are happy to start your conversations with "its ok, no one has died")

Or there is the ever so subtle, "I'm not going to phone him/her. He/she hasn't phoned me in ages" In certain circumstances, this is an adequate reason (i.e. all contact in the past 12 months has been made by you only, and when you do call, 10 minutes is needed to remind them who you are and how you know them) But it is very likely that your friend is equally getting caught up in Bad Friend moments of their own, so it would be very unfair to blame them for something that you are not able to manage yourself.

Bad Friend moments are only applicable to certain friends. Within groups of friends, there are some that will carry a Bad Friend potential and some that will not. And with those that do, the length of time before you hit Bad Friend will vary. (This seems to be my experience. Friends, please correct me if I am wrong!) So long as you can maintain the right level with each friend, and they with you, then it doesn't really matter if you speak to friend A every week, friends B & C every two or three weeks, friends D, E & F on a monthly basis, and everyone else when you manage to come together for the requisite amount of time.

As an example, I recently went back to where most of my friends belong for a few days and saw my really close friends twice, my family twice and some other friends once. I also managed to see two old school friends; one who I had seen at Christmas, and one I hadn't seen for two years. By the time the end of my visit had arrived, no-one had said "Why haven't I seen you since so and so", but lots of people had said "It was good to see you"

So, in conclusion, I find that the stricter I am with labelling myself a Bad Friend, the better I am at maintaing my status of Good Friend. Not "Best, most fabulous friend" maybe. But there is certainly nothing wrong with being a called a Good Friend.


19 May 2010


I am a messy person. That is a fact, thoroughly supported by all that know me. My levels of mess sometimes appear to be magical; I can put something down and it will honestly disappear for a few minutes, hours or even days, depending on how hard I search and how desperately I need said item.I am so messy that, even now as I type, my arms are resting on open notebooks, a mini mini-album I am making for a friend, scissors, gel pens, Forever Friends cutouts for another half started mini-book.
As part of the "doing and showing" plans that I started yesterday, and instead of the entry that I was supposed to be giving as part one of the online blogging course, I have done a quick-ish digi page to share. The digi-kit was downloaded free from Two Peas in a Bucket, called Boho Chic designed by Brandy Buffington. The photo was taken in January when I got sidetracked into the digital SLR photo bug. I was nearly finished making a birthday card for a close friend, and had reached the picture-taking phase. However my desk was so crowded with crafting gear it would have seemed far too much to clear it. So I decided to place the card on top, triumphantly emerging from all the clutter, and took the picture - mess and all!

See what you think about the layout. Comments always welcome. Next post should see a return to the blog course.


18 May 2010

First Post *small fanfare noise*

Blogging is something that I have umm-ed and aah-ed about for a little while. Partly because I believed that I had very little to say, but mostly because I have a feeling that it is something that I will start in a blaze of inspiration and then either forget about or get frustrated with when I remember that I have burdened myself with another time consuming activity. But for the moment I am stepping into the blogosphere, enjoying all the attacks it is making on the unsuspecting English language, and throwing my two-penneth into the pot.

As way of an introduction, this blog is partly just a record of things that appear in my head so as to ease the burden on my OH who suffers through an unrelenting stream of random and often unneccesary bonkersness, but also to prompt me to transform some of that bonkersness into the form of Scrapbooking. This blog will promote the idea of "doing and showing" rather than just "organising to do" and "commenting on the organisation that preceeds the doing" which has previously been my habit. The reason or inspiration for starting this blog now has come via spotting an online class for blogs relating to scrapbooking or scrapbooking related to blogs done by Shimelle Laine. So we'll see what I can manage. I am hoping for something that looks pretty, is slightly informative and at the very least will increase my "doing" total for the year.

Elliefantasy xxx