Tuesday, 21 December 2010

So Grown Up!

Doesn't he look smart and all grown up! John is off out tonight to his Snowball dance at school!

Not to be outdone it was Andrew's P7 Christmas Ball last week

As you can probably guess I have not managed to do any kind of Christmas Journal this year due to various things cropping up - not least getting a cold, having a tooth removed which then became infected. Maybe I will find time to do something with the photos I will (hopefully) take over the Christmas period!!!!

One bit of good news though - I passed my recent Open University exam with a Grade 2 pass, so I am really pleased. Only one more module to go not before I get my degree, a BA in Social Sciences. The module I am currently studying is Living Political Ideas and I am enjoying it so far.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Advent Goodies

It's now officially Advent, well actually has been now for a few days, and have I started doing any kind of journal yet - No! Its that time again - I have an assignment due in on Saturday and am only half way there. Needed a break to open some advent goodies though. Over at UK Christian Crafters we are having an Advent Swap again this year. We have to send 25 small pressies to someone to open one each day - only this year there was a slight twist as some of them had to fit certain challenges - and boy was it a challenge.

Here is my lovely parcel

And here are my goodies for the first three days:

Day 1: was for a challenge on Advent, something related to numbers - I got number stickers, wooden numbers and numbered tape ribbon.
Day 2: I got Bible stickers and a Dip Dap - oh to be like a child again.
Day 3: was for a challenge on Joseph, something made of wood - a wooden house that opens up and some Nativity 3D stuff.

It certainly beats a chocolate advent calendar.

Friday, 26 November 2010


Thought I would share this with you today

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Christmas is approaching

Yes, it is that time of year again, the shops are full of things to buy, Christmas music is playing all the time, trying to get us into the festive mood. Andrew is going about the house singing the songs he has to learn for the school Christmas Show. Do I feel in the mood yet? No!!!! Maybe because the house is still in a mess, the builders have finally finished the bedroom today - so I have started to put the stuff back into it - the decorating will have to wait until the plaster is really dry. No progress yet on the outside of the house - obviously scaffolding needs to mature before it is used.

Anyway back to Christmas - I have done a Christmas Journal now for the past 3 years and am not sure what to do this year. I found this site Create by Faith, they are doing an Advent Journal, which I have downloaded. It looks interesting but I know that I do not have a lot of time this year and art journals will really have to wait until another year.

Cheryl Johnson is also running 12 Days of Christmas photography workshop, which I have signed up for as it is FREE!!! I did one of Cheryl's workshops ages ago now and really enjoyed it so hoping this might inspire me to get my camera out again.

Are any of you doing any Christmas Journals this year?

Friday, 12 November 2010

At last

my builders have arrived! We have been waiting on them coming since June, but they have finally started. We are not really getting anything major done just lots of little things - which still seem to be causing a lot of disruption. Our bedroom has rising damp which they have to fix, window frames need replaced and painting need done. The windows are on the third floor so scaffolding is needed! The scaffolding went up on Wednesday, but nothing else done yet - I hope it is only because of the high winds and that they will be back on Monday. We emptied our bedroom of everything (luckily we have a large house) and yesterday they came to take the plaster off the wall and fix the damp - again hopefully they are coming back on Monday to replaster the wall. We are in a right mess at the moment.

Amidst all this our church held its first ever Messy Church . This is church with a difference - held not on a Sunday, but on a Saturday morning, it is aimed at families worshipping together by doing crafts, games, songs and stories and of course food!! Our theme was Creation and we made butterflies, animal masks, stained glass windows, bookmarks and planted bulbs. It was very well attended with lots of the mums from Toddler coming (and even bringing the dads). But one think I forgot was to take my camera! Roll on the next one - Messy Christmas.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Holiday in Moffat

 In half term we went to Moffat for a weeks holiday, which was really good. Moffat is a lovely town with some nice woollen mill shops and a super toffee shop! 

On the whole the weather was not bad for this time of year. Although on the Wednesday we woke up to ice and frost everywhere - we had to scrape the car windscreen. A bit unseasonably cold!

So of course what do you do on a cold day  - you wrap up warmly and go for a 3 mile walk along by the river! It was gloriously sunny - but freezing!!

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Some letters

The next prompt from True Stories was about letter writing. I must admit I don't really write many letters these days, I keep in touch with people mainly by email or telephone. I decided to have a bit of fun and write some short letters.

Dear Computer,
   Please don't break down on me. How did I ever manage without you. You keep me connected with so many wonderful people.
               Love  Me xx

Dear Fiona
    We are tired of lying around in this basket. We would really like to be all flat and folded in drawers. Please stop writing in that book and come and iron us.
    Love your ironing pile xx

Dear Washing Machine,
   I am so glad you are working again, that is wasn't anything too serious. We have been together a long time now and I would hate to be without you.
   Love your biggest fan xx

Dear Fiona
   Stop faffing about on that computer and come and read us. We contain all sorts of information and can fire your imagination and give you an escape.
    Love the books on your shelf xx

So who would you write a letter to today?

Mel asked me what I am studying with the OU. My current module is called 'Living Political Ideas' and will (hopefully) be my last module for a BA in Social Sciences. I have already done an Introduction to Social Sciences, Exploring Psychology, Living in Globalised World.

Friday, 29 October 2010

A day in numbers

Following another prompt from True Stories I thought I would share with you a day in numbers

7.15 alarm, had to get up
1 shower
2 children off to school
4 cups camomile tea
2 slices bread
2 loads washing
1 lunch with a friend
13 emails
15 kids at Scripture Union group
1 trip to doctor
1 skeleton taken to school disco
600 words written for assignment
4 pieces of mail - none for me.

This was on Wednesday and I am now glad to say that my assignment is finished and sent off - all 1,951 words of it!

This is the skeleton I took to his school disco:

Scrappyjacky asked me another question: What do you do when you are working?

In life BC (before children) I worked in an insurance company as a secretary, then when I thought I might go back out again after having the children, I retrained as a Nursery Nurse. Sadly Nursery Nurse jobs are hard to come by in this area and I have only managed to find short term supply work occasionally. I thought I would like to try and get back into an office - although this is proving hard as well. In Sept I managed to get a 6 week short term work in a school office, which I really loved, but this is now finished as well - so at the moment I am on the look out for work again.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Some answers and some numbers

Well I asked for questions and thank you to Mel and Rinda who have asked these questions.

Mel asked - Where is your favourite place that you've lived or visited?

My favourite holiday place has to be Gardenstown on the North East coast of Scotland, it is a very small fishing village set into the cliffs. We were fortunate in having friends who owned a house there and they let us go there for holidays for many years until they sold it. It was quiet, had a beach with rocks and water for the boys to play in.  I love watching waves crashing on the beach and over rocks and could watch them all day. My only regret is that I never managed to see dolphins any time we were there - although other people assure me that the dolphins come frequently!!

Rinda asked - I know you're active in your church, but I don't remember your exact position. What is it?

What reaction have you gotten to sharing your faith-based work in blog land?

I suppose as my husband is the minister of the church you could say that I am the 'ministers wife', although I have always tried hard not to be thought of as that or to think that being married to the minister gives me any position. Although recently I have begun to think about that differently and occasionally do things as the ministers wife. Being married to the minister is actually a strange 'no man's land' sometimes. You can't always fully join in with things and some people do treat you differently. I married the man, not the job! But God is good and the good times generally outweigh the problems.

As to sharing my faith-based work on blogland I have only have positive reactions thankfully. It is really only recently that I have actually started to share things about my faith in my blog, when I first started my blog I didn't. I belong to a Christian Craft forum, heART&soul, which has encouraged me in sharing my faith online.
Thanks to you both for your questions.
Now for the numbers. Yesterday's prompts talked about numbers and alphabets and I shall probably come back to this again. But my immediate response to the numbers was that I have an assignment due in on Saturday for the Open University - 2,000 words, of which I have done about 600 so far - so a fair number of words still to go.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

True Stories

As I am currently not working again I thought I needed something to do (well I don't really have anything do I??) so I have signed up to Shimelle's new class - True Stories, looking at writing and journalling. I have a lovely new fountain pen, which I got for my birthday, which I have been wanting to try out, so just to look for a notebook now - I am sure I might have one somewhere!!

The first prompt looks at questions, so while I go and think about what questions I get asked I thought I would be brave and give you the opportunity to ask me any questions. Not that I guarantee to answer them all, but I might. So ask away...

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Tulips from ..

Amsterdam, where else. Hubby and I went to Amsterdam at the start of September for a few days, and we had a lovely time.

We crossed from Newcastle on the DFDS ferry - suffice to day that neither of us will be going on a cruise holiday any time soon!! We were delayed for 4 hours arriving due to gale force winds overnight - thankfully the return journey was much smoother.

Our hotel was nice and very central, which was good.

 Of course we went on a canal cruise and enjoyed some lovely views.

 Everywhere you go in Amsterdam there are bikes and people on bikes - you have to really watch out or get run down by one.

We went to the Van Gogh Museum, which was really good and of course the Diamond Museum. We found a Museum and Handbag Museum, which we just had to go to - as I am rather fond of handbags!!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Where did September go to?

And not only September but half of October as well. The last time I looked it was only August.

The day before the schools went back I got a phone call asking if I wanted a job for a few weeks as a clerical asst in a school - well of course I said Yes Please!! So that is where I have been for the last six weeks and I have loved every minute of it. It was in one of schools in an outlying area and involved a half hour drive there in the morning and back again at night, which meant I had to get up early -eek!!! But I managed it!! It was a steep learning curve though and I was really shattered each night - hence my lack of blogging, or crafting in any size, shape or form.

But the six weeks are up and the job has now finished - they now have  a permanent clerical asst appointed (as a redeployment - a sign of the times!) and I am now back to looking for a job - oh and studying!! My exam is a week tomorrow - so if I vanish again this week you will know why.

Hubbie and I did manage a couple of days holiday in Amsterdam together for my birthday which was lovely and I will be back with some photos later.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

It can't be true!

I can't really be 50 - can I? I know I don't feel 50, although maybe my bones ain't quite as supple as they once were!!!!

On Friday last week I turned 50 and had a lovely day. I was brought breakfast in bed by the boys, even had fresh flowers on the tray (including an ant!!).

My sister arrived about lunch time for the start of the party - which lasted all day and included lots of cake and champagne for lunch and dinner. My husband did all the cooking and managed a lovely roast for dinner.

Thankfully I did not have to blow out 50 candles, just 5 - one for each decade!

Everyone, especially my youngest son, has been planning a box of 50 presents for some time now. It was a lovely idea and you can see them all here. Each present had been individually wrapped (and numbered) and it was great fun to open them all. They ranged from cotton wool pads, nail varnish, sweets, DVDs, some scrapbooking supplies, toiletries, earrings, a couple of links for my Nomination bracelet,  a mug, a cute meerkat keyring, a couple of scarves, a felted brooch and a felted pin cushion in the shape of a cupcake, a Radley umbrella, a fountain pen and of course the book "When I am old I shall wear purple". It was great fun. I also got some lovely jewellery and a watch. I am a 'jewellery person' and just love wearing all different kinds of necklaces and earrings.

My youngest son had a prepared a list of games for us to play during the day including Pass the Parcel (of course), Pass the Bomb (which is a word game), Pictionary and  a couple of fun games on the Wii.

On the Thursday I had made a cheesecake for the very first time to have at dinner. It was lovely and was really easy to make - so I shall be making more of them.

Also on the Thursday the boys made some cup cakes and decorated them.

All in all it was a great day - but am I really 50 now!!!!!

Monday, 23 August 2010

A week of Birthdays!

Last week was a busy week - a week of two birthdays. Andrew's was on Wednesday and mine was on Friday. Andrew was 11 and is now going into his last year at Primary School! Needless to say a lot of his presents had a ManU theme - bedlinen, fleece blanket, towel, clock. He had asked for money so he has now bought himself an Ipod Nano - a cool orange one! My little boy is growing up!

And for the cake - a football field of course!

I shall be back later with some photos from my significant birthday!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Glory glory...

Man United! The highlight of our holiday for Andrew was a visit to Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United Football Club. Over the past year he has become a fan and really enjoyed the visit. We went on the Stadium and Museum Tour and it was good. We got into various parts of the ground and there were lots of photo opportunities.

We got into the players changing room, where they have their shirts hanging round the walls.

He got to sit in the managers seat in the dug out.

In the Museum were all the trophies that the team have won over the years.

And of course there was a shop - a huge shop!!! So he had no trouble at all in spending his holiday money (and some of ours!).

We even managed to find a ManU cake in Tesco's on the way home - so of course we had to have that too!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Target Practice

What do you do on a sunny afternoon - some target practice of course! The boys got this garden archery set and as yesterday was really nice, and not windy, they decided to give it a go! They had great fun!

A photo of one of the marigolds that I planted in the garden this year.

We are off on holidays this weekend, so I shall not be around for a couple of weeks. We are off to the Peak District for a week and then to the Keswick Convention for a week.

Monday, 5 July 2010

So Stobo

Stobo was fantastic!! I had a great time and I now feel so chilled and relaxed. The facilities are great - pool, steam rooms, hydrospa etc. I had some great treatments - facial, body massage, manicure and pedicure. It was strange at first going about in robes, but you soon got used to it. We dressed for dinner though and the food was fantastic.

After dinner there was a lovely drawing room to sit in and relax and chat and catch up on each others lives.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

School's Out

for Summer. Yes the boys finished today for eight weeks holidays and of course it was raining buckets! I do hope the sun comes back. We thought we needed cake to celebrate so I baked this

I had a go at some needle and wet felting today and I made this

It was a multi-coloured bit of roving which I needle-felted, then wet felted to firm it up a bit and then finished off with some needle felting to shape it again. I thought it would make a nice trinket bowl for putting rings or earrings in.

This weekend I am off to here for a weekend of relaxation and pampering. I am going with a friend - we are off to celebrate our 50th birthdays - hers was last June and mine is August this year, so we thought we deserved a treat.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010


Woolfest is held in Mitchells Lakeland Livestock Centre near Cockermouth in the Lake District and is organised by WoolClip as a celebration of natural fibres and all things wool.

This was my first to Woolfest and I really enjoyed my day - although was exhausted at the end of it. The setting in the Livestock Centre is obviously very atmospheric and they have some rare breeds of sheep there too. Everything in the day is related to wool and sheep - even the ice-cream was from ewe's milk - and was lovely!!

As a fundraiser you could hand in a knitted (or otherwise) sheep to be auctioned. This was fun to watch, but I just couldn't bear to part with Woolly so he was not put into the auction - and no other sheep would do for me so I didn't bid either!

There was plenty of stalls with lots of lovely things to buy. Mainly for spinning or felting though this year. I have done a bit of felting but bought some more roving and think I will try out some wet felting as well. There was not that much actual knitting wool there, but I did still manage to find some to buy. A lot of the wool was either aran type weight or lace weight or sock weight and a lot of it was the expensive hand-dyed stuff. I managed to buy some merino 4ply, some sock wool and a lovely lace weight wool and pattern to knit a lacy shawl - no don't ask for a timescale of when it will be finished!!

Back at our B&B we just had to have a look at our lovely purchases.

I did enjoy the day, was a bit disappointed that there did not appear to be many demonstrations at the stalls though. The Saturday was busy but not too busy - in fact one of the staffholders said that the Friday had been busier, so we chose the right day!

The weekend was lovely though and we stayed at a super B&B near Keswick - so had to visit the Old Keswickian chip shop for tea on Saturday!
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