Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Final Countdown

Can you believe that's another year gone? I swear they're making them shorter. There's some sort of conspiracy going on - all the governments around the world are secretly nicking days here and there and soon a year will be only 5 months long.

I'm not a huge fan of 'New Year' as an event. I don't go out - not that I tend to go out anyway, but especially not at New Year. There's no way I'm going to pay to get into somewhere that's free any other night of the year, pay extortionate prices for drinks and taxis and spend the night with my face in someone's armpit/cleavage as the venue is so rammed you can't move and you spend the whole night bursting for the loo, not daring to go in case you can't find the person you came with when you come back... Nah, I'd rather stop at home watching whatever passes for entertainment on the telly and watching the bongs at midnight. The drinks are free, I can stretch out on the sofa and there's no queue for the loo. This year I shall be at my parents with J, as D is conveniently at work on nights this week. Unfortunately, this means I have to get up at stupid o'clock to go and get him on Monday morning as he can't get home. Gah!

I saw this blog prompt on UKS and thought that it might be an interesting one to ponder. Have a think and blog your own answers, or leave me a comment.

What are you doing now, or what have you done this year, that a year ago would not have seemed possible?

  • Er, well. I've had a couple of promotions at work and a nice pay rise, which was unexpected. This didn't seem too possible last year, when I was unemployed (or taking a career break, as I like to call it!)
  • I've rediscovered scrapbooking, after a feeble attempt and the grand total of one layout I did last year. This has also led me to spend way too much on stash - also not possible last year due to the 'career break'... The scrapbooking led me to join UKS and now I've booked a place on a one day event that I would never have had the courage to do before on my own.
  • One of the best things that has happened is being asked to be on the design team for the Daring Cardmakers. This has been just fantastic and I have made some new friends, both on the DT and participants in the Dares and I've learnt some fabby new techniques. I've really been inspired to craft again - I was worried I was losing it and seriously considering chucking it all in last year.
  • Ooh, my blog!! I wouldn't have dared do this last year. Who would have wanted to read my thoughts and ramblings? However, I decided to go for it earlier this year and here we are! Still hanging on in there on the Crafty Blogs Top 50!!

I'm sure there's probably lots more, but I can't think at the moment. It doesn't actually sound like I've had a very exciting year from that, but I have! I'm back doing a job I love (most of the time), I love my husband more than ever, I have a gorgeous stepson and my bootiful bunnies and smelly hamster, my Mom and Dad are the best, I have proper hobbies that aren't just watching telly and make me feel clever and creative and I can honestly say I am happy. Yep, I still have my down days, but they are few and far between now and I feel better than I have done in a long time and that, for me, is enough.

Whatever you're doing this New Year, enjoy. I hope you've had a good year and if not, just think - things can surely only get better. Trust me, I know.... See you in 2007!! Kel xxx

Friday, December 29, 2006

Thanks For Christmas

Did you have a good one? It was all over a bit quick though, eh? 'Specially when you have to go back to work at 7.30 on the Wednesday morning. You wouldn't believe how many children were dumped on us at 8 o'clock - it's as if the parents have actually had to spend some time with them and they needed a rest! Whaddaya mean, they do?!

Right, Dare's up! A nice easy one for those of you with post-Christmas fatigue. We decided collectively that it would be nice to make some 'thank you' cards, but simple, stylish ones that don't take forever to do, just in case there's lots to send. Well, we can live in hope.

Technically, this wasn't as quick and simple as it was meant to be, but that's mainly due to my rather unusual incompetence on the PC! I used Jo's text box technique to make a background of 'thank you' in different languages. Once you've done this once, all you need to do is press print and hey presto! You've got lots of quick cards. I then cut the 'thanks' from DCWV mat stack card using Sizzlits 'Nouveau' alpha and stuck it on top. I really, really tried so hard not to ink anything, but couldn't resist using my black Stazon around the edges of the card blank - sorry! Ta-daaaaaa!! One simple (and hopefully stylish) thank you card. Once again, check out the blog to see the other creations the girls have managed this week and please have a go - it won't take you long, honest!

I plan to blog some of my Christmas, but the photos are on Mom's camera, so will probably get round to it sometime in June. Hope you all had a lovely time - can't wait to read all about it!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Home For Christmas

Woohooo! I've finished work for a whole 4 - yes, that's 4, days!! Hardly worth it, eh? Roll on Wednesday morning....

Still, it's been a good, if exhausting week. As a rule, I don't go out. Well, not often anyway. My social life is crammed into a week at this time of year and I'm feeling a little worse for wear now! Last Friday D and I went to a colleague's leaving party in town - it was great to catch up with lots of ex-colleagues of my own and I somehow managed to drink most of a bottle of champagne on my own - oops! Paid for it muchly the next day though... I went out for a yummy meal with my Mom and her work friends on Monday and was shattered at work on Tuesday, then on Thursday it was D's 40th birthday! Awww, bless him. The day before he kept telling me he was still in his 30s. Again and again. And again... We went out for a Chinese buffet to celebrate, then came home and had a couple of glasses of wine while we watched 'Bruce Almighty'. Early nights all round as we were both up early on Friday. Then last night was my works do in Solihull. It was a good night, although there is so much tension between the two nurseries owned by the bosses. If the others loosened their knickers a bit, they might have actually cracked a smile and enjoyed themselves... Nothing stops us when we get going though!

And so, yesterday was Dare Day! This was a first for many of us, as we had to make a card to celebrate the new year, following a recipe too - 3 brads, 2 patterned papers and a die cut or punchie...

For my card, I used a square blank, then tore two different DCWV papers into opposing triangles. I inked the edges and added a couple of brads in the opposite corners. My die cut was the tag, which was cut from DCWV mat stack and inked. The '2007' was cut from the Nouveau Sizzlit set. Added some green spotty grosgrain ribbon and the final brad and there you have it! Once again there are some fabulous cards on the blog and some of our players have already added theirs to their own blogs - do you ladies have nothing else to do or something?!! I'm sure there's something called Christmas around the corner!... Thanks for joining in though - it's so uplifting to log on and see the new comments on both the Dare blog and this one.

I felt so inspired by last week's dare that I decided to make some new Black & White cards to send out this year. The picture's not great, but they look nice in real life!
I used a scribbly tree stamp (see what you've started Keryn?!) and embossed it with black sparkle glitter. Did a few squiggles and mounted this onto some lovely Kings Foils from Little Lou's that I picked up at the NEC last year. This was then mounted over some lovely spotty ribbon from Paperchase. The greeting was printed onto the blank using the Greeting Card Factory program. I'm just so glad I got to make my cards this year, as buying them from Asda last year pained me!!

Not sure if I'll have time to blog before Christmas, or indeed anything to blog about, so if I don't, I'd like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas!! Thanks so much for reading my mundane mumblings - it means a lot to know you're out there. I hope you have a fabby time, whatever you're doing, and the 'Kalorie Kounting with Kel Klub' starts in the new year for anyone feeling guilty about overindulging like I undoubtedly will be...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas

So why do we often feature it on our cards now? Weird... Anyway, it's Dare time again. This week we decided to challenge you to make a Christmas card using only black and white - oh, and maybe a teeny splash of another colour....

This is my one and only attempt this week - things are just so manic and I'm really missing having a day off in the week at the moment. I used a white card blank, and a piece of black card, inked around the edges in black and white and used a piece of ribbon from Paperchase to divide the two. I Xyron-d some DCWV paper to an old cereal box and cut out some good old triangle trees, then inked the edges of those. Placed them on at 'jaunty' (love that word!) angles and drew trunks with white gel pen. The greeting is - wait for it - stamped with versamark and embossed using some lovely pearlescent embossing powder, then name of which escapes me at the moment. Ta-daaaa! Now, go make some more cards - you know you need to! Or is that just me?...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Slender Frame

Woohoo! I've just jumped on the scales (well, stepped carefully - didn't want them to scream in agony) and discovered I weigh a fraction under 13 stone, for the first time in years! Yay me! Of course, this may have something to do with the fact that I spent the best part of yesterday either locked in or not venturing far from my bathroom. Euch. I think it was a dodgy piece of fish that I had for tea on Friday night - serves me right for being lazy and going to the chippy instead of cooking good, wholesome food...

I go through phases with my weight and body image. I'm not slim, but I'm not what you'd call chunky either. I think I must be 'big boned' or one of those other cliches, as I seem to hide the weight well. Whenever the subject of dieting comes up at work, people are surprised to learn that I'm that heavy and take a size 18. However, I'm not unhappy. In my mid-teens, I weighed just 9 and a half stones and still took a size 14, but geez, I must have looked skinny! Then, after a series of events still too painful to talk about here, I put on a considerable amount of weight - I went up to about 15 stones and was in a size 22.

Nowadays, I tend to use sizes as a guide - the shops are all different anyway and I can buy trousers that fit in a 16 or a 20 from the same shop! I know I'll never be skinny, and I wouldn't want to be now anyway. It's nice to see my weight starting with a 12..., but it's not a problem if it creeps back up slightly. The main problem is that I know I'm unfit - I just don't have time for exercise! I get quite a bit running round after the kids at work all day anyway... Hey, if it aint broke...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Let's Make It

Eeeeek! I've just switched over to Blogger Beta. Did anyone else get reeeeeeally scared just before they pushed the button? I was petrified I'd lose it all, but everything seems to be here...

It's Dare day!! This week was Keryn's turn to set the challenge and I was a teeny bit worried - Keryn is a stamper!! So, no surprises when she said she wanted us to stamp. However, she then made it harder by telling us we couldn't use a manufactured rubber stamp or such like... Oh no. We had to use something - anything else to stamp with. Hmmmm...... Unfortunately, my creative juices were all used up at the Cyber Crop, so I was very unimaginative and these were the results...

I made a stamp by cutting a sizzix Christmas tree from Funky Foam ( I knew there was a use for it!) and stamped the background onto a card blank. Then I tore a piece of moondust vellum and layered it over the top. I stamped another tree on to scrap card, cut it out and inked the edges, adding a little bit of Stickles glitter for interest. This was mounted on to red card and a greeting added.

My second card was again made using funky foam stamps cut with a sizzlit flower die. They were cut out and layered on top of some torn and inked Basic Grey Gypsy paper which was placed on a pink Bazzill card. A rub-on greeting finished it off.

The other girls have had some great ideas - they're all so flippin' clever, I'm getting a bit embarrassed at my lack of imagination now. Check out the blog and have a look, but promise me you'll have a go - if I can do it, so can you!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Problem Child

Argh! I'm having trouble with me furries this week. I've got two days off work, as I have leave to use before the end of the year and no other likely time to take it, so I thought I would use it wisely and get some cards done, layouts scrapped - you know the drill. Housework - what's that?! Anyway, I got loads of little jobs done at the weekend so I could leave Monday and today free to lock myself away in my craft room. But no. My wonderful, gorgeous fluffy babies decided they needed some extra attention and thought a couple of vet trips were in order.

First up was Pickle. You remember her? Well, one of her front teeth had overgrown and I hadn't notice (I'm a terrible mother!), and this meant that her other teeth weren't wearing down properly and I'm not even sure she was eating very well. Off we trot to the vets - how embarrassing is it when they call you in by your pet's name?! *Note to self - think of more normal names for any future pets*. Offending teeth were soon clipped down and she behaved like an angel - didn't try to savage the vet or the nurse. Why does she find my fingers so tasty?

So, I get home and notice that Beany is sitting with her eyes closed - quite unusual for her, even when sleeping. After tea she was still like it, so I picked her up and eeeeuw!! Her eye is all gunged up! Ick! My poor little baby. My poor meagre bank account! Yet another trip to the vet, but considerably more money than Pickle's 'trim'. Gah! Bang goes my shopping trip for an outfit for Christmas parties.... How on earth they think I'm going to squeeze cream into her eye twice a day I have no idea. Actually, what is really sweet is that Radar obviously knows that something is wrong, as he's hardly left her side and keeps licking her eye (it's not just the taste of the cream - he was doing it before!) Not actually helping much though mate....

So, I've actually done diddly squat in crafting terms and now my mojo's gone walkies. Thank goodness I've managed a couple of cards for the Dare this week - to be announced on Friday at 10 am. Keep your eye on the blog though, as I think Kathy B has another 'Little Extra' up her sleeve...

Friday, December 01, 2006

De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da

It's my Dare this week!! Never one to shy away from a challenge, I decided it would be a good idea to dare you all to use a song title or lyrics on a card. Hmmm, not as easy as it seemed, I soon discovered. I had all sorts of ideas that were fantastic in my head, but when it came to committing them to card, looked, well, crap. So, this is my one and only effort for this week (and is for my young niece's birthday in a couple of days).

It was a lot harder to make than it looks! After much fiddling around in Greeting Card Factory Deluxe, I managed to print the first part of 'Twinkle Twinkle' around the edge of a square card blank, using Journaling Hand font. I tore some strips from a DCWV Mat Stack, stuck them onto scrap card and trimmed it to size, then inked the edges with black Stazon. The star was also cut from the Mat Stack on the Craft Robo (using a template by Cindy on UKS - thanks!!) and again the edges inked. The star was raised using 3d foam pads to give it some depth. Et, voila!

Please have a go at my little challenge this week and let us know when you've posted it somewhere we can see. We really, really love reading your comments and then trotting off to look at your blogs and websites.

Nothing much else to report really, as I've had a strangely busy week doing not a lot at all. I want to apologise to everyone for not leaving comments this week on your blogs - I am trying to read them all (there are so many since the Dares took off!!) but just haven't had the time to leave comments. I hope to go back and do it soon, but you know how it is... I did see this on Rhi's blog and thought I'd have a go:

Kel --


A person who enjoys the smell of rotten eggs

'How will you be defined in the dictionary?' at
Nice. Laters xxx