Thursday, 29 November 2007

Elements ATCs

Now that my good friend Debs has received my ATCs safely, so she can organise them and send the swap back out, I can blog them and not spoil the surprise!

The swap was on Willow Crafts forum, and the theme was the Four Elements. Here is what I came up with...

All the ATCs are basically the same - I covered one side of them with Xyron permanent adhesive, and then stuck on strips of paper/card that I felt represented the element.

I then stamped a representative image onto shrink plastic, and once shrunk, glued it on.

I stamped on each one the word, and clear embossed over the top.

Finally I added matching ribbon and either buttons or jewels.

I like 'em, even if no-one else does! Now I just have to wait for the rest of the swap to come back, and I'll blog them when they do....

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Some craft at last!

On Aunty's Forum I've been involved in a Christmas Topper swap. Now that the recipient has received it, I can finally blog it.... Woohoo!!!

It's made from an ATC which I covered with a christmassy paper, topped with a Christmas Tree die cut to which I added some bling. I inked the edges of the atc with some silver ink and then matted and layered it first to brushed silver cardstock, then metallic blue cardstock - et voila! Here it is.....

(Sorry about the flash glare - a hazard with metallic card!)

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Well I actually managed to get something crafty done last night, in a roundabout fashion.

I've started - again - on tidying up my craft room. It doesn't look like I did much (to quote DH) but at least all my Craft Stamper magazines are neatly ordered in magazine files and on a shelf. As opposed to being stacked up on the floor in a corner. A few other things have found permanent homes, and as a result I actually have a square foot of space on my desk, and the rest of it is only piled 4 inches high as opposed to 8... Little by little, I will get the room tidy and clear for the weekend so I can sit down and do some PROPER crafting! :lol:

Tonight I'm helping out at this fireworks do in aid of Trade Aid - at least the weather looks like being ok and I'm not going to freeze my thru'pennies off! DH has been instructed to do pizza and chips for tea, and I'll nuke mine when I get in.

I'd love to toddle over to the Daring CardMakers and Wednesday Stampers websites today, but as I'm not going to be able to make anything till the weekend, why should I torment myself? Ho hum, shouldn't be much longer...

Keep checking back folks - I'm sure I'll squeeze something in soonish!

Sunday, 4 November 2007

Fireworks and other stuff

I'm bad, aren't I?

Here's me, promising to blog more often, yet when I look at my blog it's been a whole month since I last blogged. Shame on me!

So what have we been up to?

Mostly unpacking boxes, putting up pictures, boarded out the loft, rewired the lighting in the loft. Oh, cut a new loft hatch that was twice the size of the old one.

Now we've dug up the front garden, moved some flower beds, widened the gateway, moved a fence and stuck in a load of new plants and bulbs. And I'm shattered.

Craftwise I have done nothing. I'd like to. But I still can't quite get into my craftroom to sit and do some work.

Mind you - I was a REALLY good girl on Monday of this week - I finally took my Mythical Dragon cross-stitch in to be framed. I get it back in about 8 days time, so I'll have to blog that moment!

Does that count as craftwork????

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

We've moved!

Well, it was actually a fortnight ago, but we're in our new house and suffocating under a pile of boxes!

Saturday, 1 September 2007

I've not been around....

.... and here's why.

23th June 2007 - Sadly, we had to have Mugsy put down as the old age/diarrhoea was getting too bad and not responding to treatment, and he was suffering.

25th June 2007 - Nick starts a new job for Larasian Ltd on their building team. It means we have to get up at 5.30am to walk our two remaining dogs, then be in at work for 7.30am. I get an extra hour at lunchtime as a result, to come home and let them out for a wee. It means we're too tired to go online much in the evenings.

We also start hunting for a house near work.

28th July to 5th August - Off with Wolfshead Bowmen to Drogo for a week. Get home to find Dad has been poorly in our absence, and been in hospital twice.

8th August - Dad admitted to hospital again

9th August - Dad has his bowel operation

11th August - go up to London to visit Dad in hospital

13th August - Dad has a minor heart attack

15th August - hospital discover Dad has a pulmonary embolism (blood clot on the lung), and has a leak from his bowel where they repaired it, and has peritonitis as a result. Starts to go into organ failure.

16th August - Dad has emergency surgery to try to save his life - he survives to the end of the operation, when he has a second heart attack. The surgical team try for 40 minutes to resuscitate him, but sadly he passes away.

Dad's funeral will be the 3rd September.

In the middle of all this, we found a house, put in an offer which was accepted and have since run around like headless chickens sorting out paperwork etc. We should complete on the purchase some time in the next three weeks. It's been a tough couple of months, full of sadness and anguish for us, but we will get through it.

Thank you all, those of you who knew what was going on in my life, for your support at this tough time.

Sunday, 17 June 2007

If Dogs & Cats Kept Diaries.....


6:00am - At last! I Go Pee! My favorite thing!
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
6:00 pm - They're home! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!


Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt
me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets.
Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless
body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am.

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event.
However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was
walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs. I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to
return. He is obviously retarded. The bird has got to
be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him
in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now...

Thanks to my friend Migs for sending me this!

Friday, 15 June 2007

Update #2

To continue.....

The other thing that I mentioned in one of my earlier posts (that is, late March) was that I'd started a new job. As of this coming Tuesday, the 19th, I will have been there for three months, and boy has the time flown!

I work for a company based in Fordingbridge, Hampshire, called Corintech Ltd. They are an electronics company, mainly dealing with microchips and printed circuit boards. My role there is - to many - quite dull and uninteresting, but I'm reasonably content. I'm an accounts and HR administrator, and it's a varied and interesting job. I mostly help with the purchase ledger (that is to say, the invoices and stuff to do with whatever we buy, rather than what we sell) and the payroll. I also deal with all the paperwork to do with contracts, recruitment, training and some of the not-so-nice aspects of human resources.

So there you have it. That's what I do for a day job.

Evening wise, I'm currently working on a stitch-a-long with Willow Crafts forum. I'm terribly behind on it though - we're doing a series of small stitched pieces based around the months of the year. Everyone else is either in the middle of, or has finished June's piece. Me? I've just started March's! Oh dear.....

I've also got to do a birth sampler for a friend. Her youngest son turned one this week, and will be having his christening in October. I've got as far as washing and ironing the fabric, marking it out to find the centre, stitching it onto the frame, photocopying the chart, and sorting the threads I need. Now I just need an extra day in the week so I can commence stitching it. I just want to get a little bit caught up with the SAL first..... ho hum. Place your bets now on whether or not I get it finished in time!

Tomorrow is going to be a tough day, as we're taking our oldest dog (Mugsy) to the vets for a check up. He's 15 and a half now (we're talking halves! Ulp!) and sadly is physically going downhill. He's a bit deaf (possibly selective only), eyesight is not as good as it was, he has weak back legs (drags his feet, literally not figuratively), is suffering from occasional incontinence and has almost permanent diarrhoea. That is not to say that he walks around pooping non-stop. It's just that when he does poop it's not a pleasant experience for all concerned, including him (remember the weak back legs? Can't stand for too long in one position either!), and we've tried all sorts of remedies. Bio yoghurt (vet's idea), rice, chicken, egg, no food for 24 hours, different food. To no avail. Occasionally we've got up in the morning to discover that he's wee'd or pooped in his sleep - and is still laying in it sound-O, not even aware of what he's done! It's getting to the point now where we've had enough, and I think he has too. Mind you, having said that, the front half of him seems to be doing fine. The other day, someone even asked me if he was the youngest of our three dogs! Personally I think they need their eyes checked! Sadly though we have to make a decision on how long to continue this tacit torment of him - and the decision needed is whether or not to put him down. We don't want to, so we're hoping and praying that the vet will have some other suggestions, or failing that some antibiotics, that will help. Hopefully I might get on here tomorrow some time to update you on how it goes.

The vet has agreed that Mugsy will probably not last long, but until that point we have been provided with enough pills and potions to either chemically preserve him, or hasten his end. I suspect the vet believes they will do the former, but who knows. So, mate, you have a month.....

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Update #1

AS promised, I shall now commence updating you on everything that has so far come to pass.

Or in English, let's catch up, eh?

First and foremost, I want you to cast you mind back to February 19th. Or rather, scroll down and re-read the post I made that day!

I never did get around to putting on here the pictures of the ATC's I got in return. Here they are......

At the moment, as they're not directly in front of me, I can't recall exactly who's they are. But a big thank you to the folks involved in that swap - I love them!

I've also been involved in another Inchie swap, this time on Aunty's Forum, and though it wasn't as many, it was still a bit of a challenge. The idea was to make 5 inchies, and send them on to someone. In return, you got 5 inchies from a third party.

Here's my offering....

Yes, I know there are 6! I made an extra one, so I could pick which I thought were the 5 best. They were made on 140lb watercolour paper, using Daler Rowney inks in blue and aqua for the background, stamped in Memories ink Cobalt Blue, then versamarked (once dry) and embossed with an iridescent EP. I then added fibres in matching tones to one corner.

In return I got....

I think they're lovely, and they make a great set. Thanks Jaine!

Thursday, 31 May 2007

Ok, a teaser.....

OK, I couldn't wait. I thought I'd share this with you. A wee taster, so to speak, of what is to come. I wrote this for Wolfshead Bowmen's newsletter "Arrowmail", which will be out in a month's time.

“The Noble Art of Flag Making”
“Ow, dat’s my finger!”
By Howling Mad Morti

1. Insanity is a requirement, however brief it lasts.
2. In a moment of insanity, barter with, or promise, another individual (Flaggee) that you will make them a Flag.
3. Decide on the most intricate design possible, or better yet, get Flaggee to nominate the most intricate design possible.
4. Calculate the length of time it will take to make The Flag, and make this promise to Flaggee well in advance of the date that The Flag is required, ensuring it is at an event.
5. Over the course of the following weeks, continue to promise to the Flaggee that The Flag is in hand.
6. Three weeks before The Flag is required, suddenly realise that the deadline for commencement of work was a month ago.
7. Race around the shops searching for exactly the correct shade of material to make The Flag.
8. Get home, unpack equipment & supplies, and then realise that you haven’t bought enough sewing cotton. Do no work on The Flag, as you convince yourself that it would be stupid to start work and then run out of thread.
9. Two days later, go and buy more sewing cotton.
10. Spend three days searching the internet for elements of the most intricate design possible.
11. Finally decide on the most intricate element for the most intricate design possible, create a stencil, and start cutting out the fabric.
12. Realise halfway through cutting out the first element that they take three times as long to cut as you had planned for. Groan at prospect of cutting a further 7 out…
13. One week later, finish cutting out all 8 elements.
14. The next night, cut out flag panels to commence stitching the elements onto. Commence stitching the elements onto their panels.
15. Realise halfway through machine stitching the first element to its panel that they take three times as long to stitch as you had planned for. Groan at prospect of stitching a further 7…
16. Decide to speed things up by using appliqué glue to hold the elements in place, rather than pins. Spend four hours peeling the elements off the paper they were laid on as you applied glue. Adhere the elements to their panels. Continue stitching the first element.
17. Re-thread machine after thread breaks three times, catch your finger on the needle a further four times, and remove glue that you used to adhere the element to The Flag from the needle half a dozen times, before completing the stitching of the element. Go and blubber in a corner for ten minutes.
18. Spend half your time stitching with no light, as the vibration of the sewing machine loosens the lightbulb within, but it’s too hot to tighten up again immediately. Promise husband when he rings from work on nightshift, that you are going to bed now – then after call, stay up a further hour. Go and blubber in a corner for a further ten minutes.
19. Continue to promise to Flaggee that The Flag will be ready in time.
20. Over the course of the next 7 days, repeat steps 17 and 18 until all 8 elements are stitched to their panels.
21. Three days before The Flag is due to be handed over to the Flaggee, commence stitching the panels together.
22. On completion of the first side of The Flag, realise that you have stitched the panels together in the wrong order, unpick, and re-stitch.
23. Two days before The Flag is due to be handed over to the Flaggee, stitch the second side of The Flag together (without incident) and stitch both sides together (also without incident). Stay up an extra hour to ensure all the tabs are stitched on the top and side. Only manage to complete half the tabs. Stay up a further hour to pack for the event at which you are due to hand The Flag over.
24. The night before The Flag is due to be handed over to the Flaggee, stay up an extra two hours to finish making the tabs and stitching them to The Flag. Cut loose cottons off, press lightly. Stay up another hour to finish packing for the event at which you are due to hand The Flag over.
25. Collapse in a corner, muttering quietly to yourself, and dribbling in an insane manner.
26. After half an hour, go to bed for about 4 hours.
27. The day of handover – pass The Flag over to The Flaggee with great reverence, and hope they don’t notice the blood (from where you snagged your finger on the needle). Accept praise for your hard work (wiping dribble away from mouth with sleeve) and solemnly promise yourself never to make the most intricate design of Flag possible, ever again.
28. After a year has passed, repeat steps 1 to 28………

They don’t make Flag a four-letter word for nothing……..

Oh my......

Oops indeedy.

Two whole months between posts?

I beg and crave your humble forgiveness, oh devoted reader!

So, give me a day or two, and I'll get back in here and update you on all that has happened since I last blogged. Might take me a while to get it all on here!


Friday, 30 March 2007


I've recently completed a set of Inchies for the UKStampers forum swap. I did actually make 26, but failed to take a photo of the whole lot together. You'll have to make do with a photo of 25 of them for now - thanks Sid! - the 26th one is being sent off with all the others for publishing in a magazine.

Otherwise I've been spending a fair bit of time stitching a couple of other projects, and working in my new job. More on that when I have the energy to expand on that topic!

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Apologies for absence!

Oh dear - I have rather left it a long time between posts, haven't I? That's not to say I've not been busy, either. Just that my computing Mojo upped and left the building.

Well, for starters, I've been working. My first full time office-based job in nearly 4 years. It's taken a bit of getting used to - going back out to work, but the money is very welcome. The hardest battle has been with tiredness, but I'm starting to conquer that. The other battle is that it's left me with very little inclination to spend time on the computer in the evening, as I'm staring at a computer screen all day. Again, we'll conquer that too!

Crafting wise, I've not done much either. I'm working on a stitch-a-long (referred to as SAL from here after) with a group of buddies from the CUTW forum. I've also done this....

for the March Topper Swap on Aunty's Forum. The recipient - Jaine - absolutely adores it, which is the most important bit of all! The funny thing was, I was totally stumped for what to do, so I left it, and left it. And one day last week thought - "Right, 5 minutes, lets see what we come up with". I rummaged through my stash, and found the stamped image of the girl, already done on sable coloured card in a russet brown. Next I found the writing background paper, and the key, and the whole thing just gelled. A square of cream card, a square of dark-brown card, four square antiqued brads and some brown and black ink later - voila! A quick topper that just fell into place. The reason Jaine loves it so is because she adores Earth tones - I didn't know this till I saw her post on the forum gallery along with the picture of the topper. Happy co-incidence!

I've also received my ATCs from the swap I made the ones shown on here for - I'll try and photograph them tonight to include.

Something else I made a couple of weeks ago, but haven't put up yet, is this....

It was part of the Five Swap on Aunty's Forum. I was sent some baby stickers, blue stars, blue "baby" organza ribbon, puffy shapes and a couple of slide mounts. In addition I used a book-card I'd made, a Hero Arts swirl rubber stamp, blue ink, white organza ribbon and some silver EP. I love it - now I'm waiting for someone to have a baby boy so I can send it!

Sunday, 25 February 2007

Been crafting some more

As promised, here's the picture of the cross-stitch I've done for Mum. It's called "Mai" and it's from Dimensions Gold Collection - Petites range of cross-stitch kits. Mum is a big fan of all things Oriental - I hope she likes this for Mother's Day!

Next, a card I made for the March 2007 Card Challenge on Aunty's Forum.... It's a pale blue card stock, with stripy vellum overlaid with pearlescent blue card. On top of that are four squares of gold pearlescent card, and four eggs from a Jolee's Easter pack. Topped off with peel-offs....

Monday, 19 February 2007



Managed to get some crafting done recently, and here's the photos to prove it.

On UKStampers, I'm taking part in an ATC swap - so if you've come here from there, and are also in the swap, it's probably a bit late to tell you there are spoilers here! Sorry.....


The theme of the swap was three fold, Green, Men, and Numbers. I chose to do one ATC of each. First up is:


Well, obviously it's green, but the Celtic symbol for me represents Ireland, and of course land of "The wearing o' the green". "Sacred", because, well, symbols are sacred. This has an extra meaning for me, because this is the stamp I used (from Blade Rubber) to create my wedding stationery. ETA - the embossing powder I used is from the Moon Glow collections - Tannenbaum Green-Gold. So, one way you look at it, it's green, the other way, gold. Cool!



Stamp is from The Stamp Man, using Memories brown ink, and ColorBox Chalk pads. Did ya notice the knot on the keys? A man's tie knot....

Finally - and my favourite...


This kind of happened accidentally. I was looking for numbers stamps amongst my collection, and found a freebie one I got with Simply Stamping. Not being a huge stamp, I used it to decorate the top left and bottom right corners. This left two great spots for images from Paper Artsy (and they're two different stamps in those corners). So, very simply just a piece of white card, three stamps, and some black stazon. Nothing fancy. But it just has that "wow" factor.....

See you again soon!

Friday, 16 February 2007

More Pet humour

And I really do promise to post something more interesting soon.....

How to Give A Cat A Pill
1) Pick cat up and cradle it in the crook of your left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat's mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
2) Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat in left arm and repeat process.
3) Retrieve cat from bedroom, and throw soggy pill away.
4) Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat in left arm, holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.
5) Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call spouse from garden.
6) Kneel on floor with cat wedged firmly between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head firmly with one hand while forcing wooden ruler into mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat's throat vigorously.
7) Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered figurines and vases from hearth and set to one side for gluing later.
8) Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil and blow down drinking straw.
9) Check label to make sure pill not harmful to humans, drink 1beer to take taste away. Apply Band-Aid to spouse's forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water and soap.
10) Retrieve cat from neighbour's shed. Get another pill. Open another beer. Place cat in cupboard, and close door on neck, to leave head showing. Force mouth open with dessert spoon. Flick pill down throat with elastic band.
11) Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Drink beer. Fetch bottle of scotch. Pour shot, drink. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus shot. Apply whiskey compress to cheek to disinfect. Toss back another shot. Throw T-shirt away and fetch new one from bedroom.
12) Call fire department to retrieve the cat from tree across the road. Apologize to neighbour who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill from foil-wrap.
13) Tie the little bastard's front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table, find heavy-duty pruning gloves from shed. Push pill into mouth followed by large piece of steak filet. Be rough about it. Hold head vertically and pour 2 pints of water down throat to wash pill down.
14) Consume remainder of Scotch. Get spouse to drive you to the emergency room, sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and remove pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on way home to order new table.
15) Arrange for RSPCA to collect mutant cat from hell and call local pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.

How to Give A Dog A Pill . . .
1) Wrap it in bacon

Friday, 9 February 2007

No Snow!

Well, as I've not posted for a few days, I figured I ought to stick something in here to keep my faithful few readers amused (lest they disappear entirely).

So, what news?

Whilst the rest of the country has been frolicking in 6 inches or so of snow, down here in the depths of Dorset we've had rain. It started yesterday morning, then stopped almost immediately (or so it seemed) and we had a day of blue skies and sunshine. Today has been a day of absolute miserableness (is there such a word?) with overcast skies and pouring rain. So miserable in fact, that I didn't even walk the dogs tonight. Pretty much unheard of round here, and the dogs are playing up even as I type this, wondering what's going on as there's been such a major break to their routine. Bless 'em.

On the crafting front, not a lot has happened. I did manage to get the latest CJ in my possession done and posted on, but as we're not sharing what we've done - to keep the end results a surprise - I won't post a picture up here yet. I have managed to get a little bit of stitching done on the piece I started for Mum last year. I really should have finished it by now. In fact, it was supposed to have been finished for her birthday last July. Then it was supposed to have been finished for Christmas. If she's really lucky, she may get it for Mother's Day instead. I can't even say that it's because it's such a big piece, because it's not! It is a little complicated though, but I'm actually almost finished and just have some backstitching to finish off. And then frame it. And then start another one for MIL. Watch this space for a photo when I get it finished.

The really nosey folks amongst you will have looked at my profile and spotted something about me doing Medieval Re-enactment. You may even have clicked the link over there to the right to "Wolfshead Bowmen" which is the society I belong to. Things are hotting up over there events wise this year, and we've just heard that the big Carew 500 event this year will also play host to the Mediaeval Baebes on the Saturday night. Tickets haven't been released yet, but already DH is nagging me to get them. I think he just likes the girls....rofl....whereas I'm more into the music. Should be interesting - last time we saw them was about 4 years ago at the Y theatre in Leicester, and just as they started one song the fire alarms went off and we all had to evacuate. Cue cute firemen.

I've been remiss in sending out birthday cards, lately, so Happy Birthdays should go out to Robin, Miranda, Bailey and Martin. Plus anyone else I've forgotten/don't know about.

What do you think of my new Avatar? I got it from and I think it's fab. If you decide to get one, list me as a referral (they know me as MadMorti) and I'll get some virtual coinz to spend on a better frock! Ha!

What's up for the next few days? Well, we're off to Dorchester tomorrow to have a nose around. DH wants to go and see Hannibal Rising - and I'm doing my best to dissuade him. I'd like to see it too, but looking at the reviews I'm loath to waste my money. Better to watch it on Sky Box Office in a few months! We didn't get to see The Da Vinci Code when it came out (we were in France, and there aren't many films shown there in VO, or "Version Originale"), and that's currently showing on SBO, so I may yet win.

Sending a wave to Skippie and her hat.....

Monday, 5 February 2007

which then led me onto this.....

I found this on MJs blog today, and thought I'd post it onto mine (complete with where she found it, so I'm not owning up to this being mine or anything!!) as I found it hysterical. Being the owner of 3 VERY large dogs (OK, ONE VLD and two mediums...) and previously having had cats.....

Dogs and Cats

To be posted VERY LOW on the refrigerator door - nose height.

Dear Dogs and Cats,

The dishes with the paw print are yours and contain your food. The other dishes are mine and contain my food. Please note, placing a paw print in the middle of my plate and food does not stake a claim for it becoming your food and dish, nor do I find that aesthetically pleasing in the slightest.

The stairway was not designed by NASCAR and is not a racetrack. Beating me to the bottom is not the object. Tripping me doesn't help because I fall faster than you can run.

I cannot buy anything bigger than a king sized bed. I am very sorry about this. Do not think I will continue sleeping on the couch to ensure your comfort. Dogs and cats can actually curl up in a ball when they sleep. It is not necessary to sleep perpendicular to each other stretched out to the fullest extent possible. I also know that sticking tails straight out and having tongues hanging out the other end to maximize space is nothing but sarcasm.

For the last time, there is not a secret exit from the bathroom. If by some miracle I beat you there and manage to get the door shut, it is not necessary to claw, whine, meow, try to turn the knob or get your paw under the edge and try to pull the door open. I must exit through the same door I entered. Also, I have been using the bathroom for years - canine or feline attendance is not required.

The proper order is kiss me, then go lick yourself. I cannot stress this enough!

To pacify you, my dear pets, I have posted the following message on our front door:

To All Non-Pet Owners Who Visit & Like to Complain About Our Pets:

1. They live here. You don't.
2. If you don't want their hair on your clothes, stay off the furniture. (That's why they call it "fur"niture.)
3. I like my pets a lot better than I like most people.
4. To you, it's an animal. To me, he/she is an adopted son/daughter who is short, hairy, walks on all fours and doesn't speak clearly.

Remember: Dogs and cats are better than kids because they:

1. Eat less
2. Don't ask for money all the time
3. Are easier to train
4. Normally come when called
5. Never ask to drive the car
6. Don't hang out with drug-using friends
7. Don't smoke or drink
8. Don't have to buy the latest fashions
9. Don't want to wear your clothes
10. Don't need a gazillion dollars for college, and...
11. If they get pregnant, you can sell their children.

This fabulous piece was copied from the great No Place Like Home Altered Art Forum, which is a fantastic site full of useful info and really friendly people.

Friday, 2 February 2007

Found this today....

.... and it's SO me! Well, there are a couple of eensy weensy issues with it, like I'm not neurotic at all....!!!!

Your Five Factor Personality Profile


You have medium extroversion.
You're not the life of the party, but you do show up for the party.
Sometimes you are full of energy and open to new social experiences.
But you also need to hibernate and enjoy your "down time."


You have medium conscientiousness.
You're generally good at balancing work and play.
When you need to buckle down, you can usually get tasks done.
But you've been known to goof off when you know you can get away with it.


You have medium agreeableness.
You're generally a friendly and trusting person.
But you also have a healthy dose of cynicism.
You get along well with others, as long as they play fair.


You have high neuroticism.
It's easy for you to feel shaken, worried, or depressed.
You often worry, and your worries prevent you from living life fully.
You tend to be emotionally reactive and moody. Your either flying very high or feeling very low.

Openness to experience:

Your openness to new experiences is medium.
You are generally broad minded when it come to new things.
But if something crosses a moral line, there's no way you'll approve of it.
You are suspicious of anything too wacky, though you do still consider creativity a virtue.

France Update....

I've just realised that I haven't updated my blog on the house sale, so here goes....

We had a good time, last weekend, staying with our friends Gay & Dave in their gorgeous house which is only 5 minutes drive from our old place. The ferry crossing over was awful - not because of rough seas but because we had sleeper seats and neglected to take on board any blankets or pillows. Nick didn't think we would need them, as ferries tend to be quite hot. They are, but not at 4am! Add to that the fact that we were sleeping (!) near the refreshments area in the sleeper lounge, and every half hour the refrigerators kicked in.... and the lights weren't dimmed enough.....

Anyway, I digress. On the Monday we sorted out a few bits and pieces, did a little shopping, picked up the last of our junk, I mean belongings, and went to the Estate Agent to sign the Compromis de Vente. The buyers had signed their part of it on the 18th January, so it was backdated to then. As there is a 7 day cooling off period, this means that there is no way they can back out now without losing their 10% deposit on the property (hmm, and also means WE can't back out without owing the same amount to them....!) so it's now all systems go and the various land searches are probably under way even as I type this.

Suffice it to say that the bubbly was flowing aplenty when we got back to our friends' house that night!

PS. I should add at this point that in France there are two contracts to sign. The Compromis de Vente is the first one, where the offer is accepted formally. As I said above, there is a cooling off period etc etc, and the buyers hand over a cheque to the Estate Agent for 10% of the purchase price which is held until the Acte is signed. Once all the land searches and "stuff" are sorted out (too boring to explain here), you then go to a Notaire (solicitor) and sign the "Acte de Vente" which is the final contract of sale and the keys get handed over with money going the other way. It can be a long winded process, particularly if any specific clauses are put in the Compromis - for example, you can stipulate that you will only purchase the property if it is possible to planning permission for something, so the time delay between Compromis and Acte is usually a minimum of 2 months, and can be anything up to 2 years (or more maybe!). It is usual, however, to stipulate a "no later than" date - we have the 18th April as our "no later than" date....

Thursday, 1 February 2007

Daring Cardmakers - Heavy Metal

I seem to be on a bit of a roll.... here's last week's challenge! I might even get tomorrow's one done a bit sooner (plus the current midweek Extra challenge, but don't hold your breath!).

"This weeks dare is entitled:
HEAVY METAL I don't mean rock music! I would like you to make a card on any theme you like with the rule that it must include something metalic...thats all!You could use wire, charms, foil or even metallic pens. "

Daring Cardmakers - Midweek Extra.....

So, I finally got around to doing this one......

"We have a recipe for you this time; your challenge is to make a card using the following ingredients:
7 brads or eyelets
6 flowers
5 letters"

Hope you like it!

Thursday, 25 January 2007

Daring Cardmakers - Apertures

"This week on Daring Cardmakers: Through the Round Window....This week its Rhi setting the dare, and I dare you to make a card with an aperture in it, it can be any shape you like and can be see through or have something covering behind it. It could be a ready made aperture card or lots of small windows punched out, diecut or handcut or one large window. It could be a shaker card and can be for any occasion. "

Talk about ducking in under the wire.....I didn't think I was going to get this one in, but the arrival of Kathy from DCM on the CUTW forum prompted me to actually take part for once!

OK, so I've kind of cheated with this one - I started it on the 12th January, teaching a pop-out card class on the CUTW forum, but I only finished it tonight, so maybe it just about counts!

The colours seem to have come up a bit orange - but that's the trouble with having fluorescent lighting... ho hum!

Monday, 22 January 2007

Where do I belong?

Hmmm, interesting, this. I saw this on another crafter's blog, Rachel (Taniwha's Lair) Millington's to be precise, and thought I'd have a go at it. And what does it come up with? I should be in Australia...... Hmmmmmm. Why not have a go yourself?

You Belong in Australia
Ace!Sunny, upbeat, and cuteYou make the perfect surf bumNow stop hogging the vegemite!

The question is, why is it so interesting? Because Nick & I would LOVE to go to Australia. Experiences in France haven't put us off living abroad, just put us off living in a non-English speaking country. Who knows, eh? Maybe in 10 years time......

Friday, 19 January 2007


Gosh - where is the month going? I look round for one minute, and suddenly it's the 19th!

Well, we have some excellent news - the house in France has sold! Not only that, but it has sold to a French family who have 5 horses, and they've signed the Compromis de Vente within 1 week of making the offer (and us accepting). Most excellent!

So, next weekend we're going over to meet them, clear out our last few things from the house, sign our half of the compromis, and give Nick a chance to say goodbye as he won't be coming over again for a long while.

So exciting!

I've done a little bit of crafting lately - a valentine's card for Nick, some Oriental ATCs (which I can't put up here yet in case it spoils it for someone) and a few other odds and ends. I'm also going to take part in both an ATC swap and an Inchies swap on UK Stampers - great fun!

The latest coffee filter CJ has arrived so I have to add my entry onto it and get that off in the post again.

Nick is working full time nights as a Shunter for a transport company in Southampton Docks, and he's been off work the last two nights as the Container Terminal was closed due to the high winds (99mph recorded at The Needles, IOW) making it dangerous. I'm glad he was home, under the circumstances.

That's all for now - will put more up here as and when it happens.

Friday, 5 January 2007

We've moved!

Well, actually, we moved three weeks ago....LOL.... but now I finally have enough time to sit and blog again.

OK, so the house we're in is a bit pokey (supposedly 4 beds, they just chopped one in half to create two small bedrooms!) so there are boxes everywhere, and we keep falling over the dogs, but we're here!

Nick has started working for a driving agency, and came home VERY grumpy tonight as he ended up doing a 16 hour day, no thanks to the loaders at Southampton Docks who are apparently on a go-slow for more wages at the moment. 8 hours to get a new container loaded on his lorry!

I've started the interminable job hunt. I really hate working in accounts/payroll, but it would appear that that's the only sort of job I'm going to get. I did hear about an EXCELLENT PAs job in Bournemouth, just the sort of thing I would have enjoyed doing, but the hours were 8am-6pm 5 days a week, plus the occasional late night and Saturday (the joys of working for three Executive Directors!), and if Nick is working nights I would never see anything of him. So, sadly, I had to say "No way!". I'm sure something suitable will come up pretty soon though.

Hopefully I might get some crafting done next week - that's if I can locate all my stuff!
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