Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Busy doing nothing

I mentioned in my previous post an art journal diary thing I had joined through a forum on UKS, well here are my partially done January pages

I am not much of a doodler or artist so there isn't a great deal and the pages aren't finished yet as I said. I have to be honest I am really enjoying this so far and it has taken quite a while to do this much, but I am liking what I see.

I have never really kept a journal or diary before (except my filofax and I don't think that counts) and having done this much I can see why ............... my life is soooooo boring! All I seem to do is go to work (don't say a word mother) but in fairness January has been even worse for social activities due to the S**W. Lets hope February is better.

And talking of February, I have started my pages already ........

I have gone for a 'romance' theme, not because there is much in my life but it is allegedly the season for it.

I've also been cracking on with the Nancy Lefko class and this is stage one of the workshop, preparing and priming the base:

I've used chipboard 5x7, covered it with distressed old papers and music sheets (printed off the internet and distressed with Tim's Old Paper distressed Ink and a stencil brush) and primed with Claudia Hellmuths matt medium. Next stage to decide on my theme and paint accordingly, which has meant I have had to invest in some new acrylic paints :o)

Finally, I've also done another 'Christmas' tag for my colleagues at work. At this rate the others will be getting them for Christmas 2010 but hey ho. So here is the one for my boss, It has a slight 'romance' feel about it as she got married last year. The backing paper is the musical score for the wedding march which I found on line, down loaded, printed and distressed. What a wonderful thing the internet is ...

So as you can see I have been busy doing nothing ...................

Thanks for looking

Saturday, 23 January 2010

So Happy :o)

I have never been so delighted to be kept awake half the night as I was last Friday. The wind was howling and the rain lashing down on the conservatory attached to my bedroom - wonderful. What made that so fantastic you might ask - well, the met office got the forecast right and it was getting rid of the snow!

So, on waking up Saturday and looking out the window grass could be seen! I was not the only one delighted to see the green carpet outside, my neighbours chickens (who had not been seen for weeks) made a mad dash down the field when let out obviously to find the best spot. I love it when the let the chickens out in a morning it's like the wacky races and those little critters really can move.

It also meant that I got out of the house for the first time in nearly a week, having taken holidays or worked from home, that MP and I could go and buy some coal, the nice coal man could deliver our pre Christmas order, we could get our post and most importantly we could arrange to get gas delivered Monday morning.

So as I sit here now, a week later, I sit in a warm house :o) (well as warm as it gets). The gas people delivered (only half a tank but the rest is coming), the fire is lit and blazing away, we can cook meals in the oven instead of the microwave and WE CAN SHOWER again - bliss :o)

My days off were put to good use though. I am participating in a monthly tag swap on UKS so I managed to get both the January and February tags completed and my entry for a CJ I am in. So not wasted.

January Tags

February Tags

I've also completed stage one of the Nancy Lefko class and started a monthly journal diary, mentioned in one of the groups on UKS. Will post photos later.

The other wonderful thing about no snow - I can finally get to the hairdressers and get my roots done and the mop cut and as I have the first appointment of the day, I had better get a move on.

Thanks for reading and back later all red and glossy.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Oh the joys .......

What a day!

About an inch of snow fell here overnight but it was really windy. MP was going to take the car part way down the hill yesterday but decided against it, we thought it wouldn't be too bad and we'd chance it this morning.

So we set off about 5.45am, gingerly got to the top of the hill (about 250m from the house down a dirt road), crossed the cattle grid and stopped to see how bad the top was. The top of the hill is quite exposed and if the road blocks with drifts it's usually here.

There were a few drifts wall high (about 3ft) at the left of the road, but MP thought it was passable ...... that was until we got stuck about about 20 foot down!! No going anywhere and I couldn't get out of the car due to the snow. MP tried for a few minutes, I rang the out of hours service at the local Council, (have it in my phone for just such occasions) and asked for the snow plough, then having climbed into the drivers side and out of the car, we walked home to get the shovels to try and dig the car out.

Over and hour later, after much digging on my part and MP's, much sweating and even more swearing from MP, he managed to free the car and reverse back up to the cattle grid. After trying to get back to the house forwards he gave up and started reversing up the lane, twice nearly ending up in the ditch at the side, but he finally got the car back to the house safe and sound.

After a quick coffee, MP set off again with shovel to try and clear the top of the hill. I stayed in the house and sent messages to work to tell them I wouldn't be in :o) He rang a while later to say some neighbours were also digging out the hill with him and had offered to pull his car through if needed so he could get to work. So he dashed back, got his car and set off down the hill. He made it to the bottom (no pulling required) only to find a few miles down the road it was jammed with traffic and he had to turn round, come all the way back towards home, past it, and onto the motorway to get to work. In the end he got to work just before 10am having left here to dig at 7.30am. Men!!

So I have had a nice holiday at home. Luckily my boss is pretty cool and the organisation I work for easy going when it comes to the bad weather, think it's because a) it's the NHS and b) everyone is pretty much in the same boat, but should get in tomorrow. Just been to the top of the hill and although it doesn't look obvious, I think the snow plough has been up.

Hill down to the road at 3.45pm today

Having just read back through my blog, I can't believe I haven't mentioned it before now - we are over 2 weeks now without any central heating, hot water or cooking facilities!

We have an LPG tank here, living off the beaten track, and when we checked it before Christmas it was getting low, so we rang the suppliers for a delivery. Unfortunately, the snow arrived before they did and despite one valiant effort between Christmas and New Year, where they got about 20 ft from the tank before the lorry slid and they couldn't get the rest of the way, they haven't been able to deliver. By the look of the weather, it will be some time before they manage to deliver again.

Usually our council are really good at gritting our hill. It's classed as a level 1 road so gets gritted when the main roads have been done, but this year due to the national salt shortage, we aren't getting gritted (as you can see from the photo) so until the shortage is over or the snow melts (whichever comes first) we are unlikely to get any deliveries of anything, including post.

The house has been freezing and me with it. The coal fire in the lounge helps but doesn't warm much so we have had to purchase some more radiator heaters (to go with the little heaters we have) and what a difference they make. So we move them around the house trying to keep rooms aired and warm if possible.

great little heater from Argos

Cooking is somewhat limited but we are learning to be creative :o) MP tried to use the stove burning to fry something (the top gets really hot) - wasn't too sucessful, so most of our meals have to be prepared in the microwave, the slow cooker or a sandwich toaster.

My culinary repertoire

I am not even going to explain what happens to personal hygiene in hard times, lets just say ........ I haven't washed my hair in the sink since I was a child and it was sooo lovely to get to my parents at weekend for a bath!!!

So enough of the drama's. I will keep you updated on the gas situation as I post.

I have found time for a little scrapping this weekend although you do feel the cold when you sit still.

Quick LO of MP - unusual to get a photo where he isn't pulling a face

My entry for Sarah's cards December sketch competition (still needs a little something)

I have signed up for a mixed media/collage backgrounds workshop online, run by the very talented Nancy Lefko. Class should start today and I am eagerly awaiting the first email and video, so watch this space.

Right, enough now. Got to go turn the dumplings over (beef in ale done in the slow cooker) and I am messing about with an art journal (page 1 isn't looking too good so far), so till next time, keep safe and keep warm :o)

Monday, 4 January 2010

I don't believe it!

We haven't even got rid of this lot and there's more snow on the way!!

What is happening to the weather? Last year we had a little snow in December and then nothing until February, which was pretty bad but it just seems to keep on coming. Still making for some nice photos though and as I was off work today I took the opportunity (whilst the car engine ran for 1/2 hour) to take some pics. Luckily for me, 3 of the boys decided to come and keep me company and run around like idiots in the snow, so plenty of photos taken.

View across to Stoodley Pike

Oscar and Harley (deadly enemies)

Handsome Travis

So all in all a reasonably productive day. Few jobs (not too many), bit of scrapping (finally managed to used part of one of Sarah's scrapbooking monthly kits - only about 10 to go!), uploaded some CD's onto my ipod and made MP a nice dinner for when he got in from work.

So with more snow forecast for the early hours, lets hope we get down the hill and more to the point get back up it tomorrow evening. At the moment, the hike home might literally kill me!

Fingers crossed ......

Friday, 1 January 2010

Happy New Year

May the best of 2009 be the worst of 2010.