Friday, 28 May 2010

Oh Freebies

Just a quickie ...... doing a bit of blog hopping whilst MP snores loudly on the sofa and came across these amazing goodies up for grabs

if you fancy being in with a chance to win, pop along to the Charmed crafts and cards blog - Crafty goings on (here)

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Well it didn't last long!

4 days of sun ...... is that it? Has summer been and gone?

What a glorious few days it was though.

Saturday MP and I set off early and went to see 'The Dream' over at St Helens. A massive marble head on the top of an old disused colliery, now a nature type park. Worth the short walk from the carpark even in that heat and great photo opportunities.

MP showing how big it is (he pretends to be about 6ft)

Friday saw the last ever episode of Ashes to Ashes, I will so miss Gene Hunt! It did bring it all together and tie it up and whilst I understood the ending I not sure if I liked it or not. Still I was glad to find out that Gene wasn't the baddy, creepy guy was making out and no offence, but it was a relief that Bolly was dead (didn't really like her character very much).

Couldn't let it go without a photo of Gene Hunt and I live in hope that I'll get a guardian angel like him, well him actually :o)

Well time for bed now. Having to do a full week of work this week but spurred on by the fact that Sunday is Sarah's cards crop and Monday is a Bank Holiday :o)

Till next time ..........

Friday, 21 May 2010

Here comes the sun do do do da

What a nice week its been.

Sunday I was at a monthly crop over at Whittle Le Woods, got a few bits done, ate loads of cake and some chatting :o) Good day was had.

Tuesday I took a days holiday and went up to see Dyan at Art from the Heart in Harrogate for one of her excellent classes. The new studio is great, so light and airy and it was a hot sunny day so we didn't miss a thing.

The class was learning about backgrounds, so we started with mixing some of Claudine Helmuth's paints to create backgrounds for some tags. Swapped them round the table and then used old book pages and Stampotique stamps to create some masterpieces. Mine weren't so much but I had a great time.

The afternoon we used some other techniques to decorate a sheet of watercolour paper. This was great fun and so messy :o) We used gesso and tissue paper to add some bits of texture, diluted paint dabbers for the splodges on the first layer, paint dabbers to paint around heart templates, colour wash to spray stencils and add more texture, more gesso, pens and oil pastels to highlight bits. Did I say it was great and messy? This was my finished piece and definitely something I'll have another go at (probably this weekend if I can get MP to go out on the bike).

Cool or what?

Today I have been on a study day supposedly Patient Safety and Research. It really wasn't what it said on the tin and the sessions I attended on engaging clinicians weren't really, in fact there wasn't any and certainly no tips on how to, so a bit of a waste of time really BUT I stayed until the end because .................. James Reason was the last speaker.

Now this probably doesn't mean much to you but to me and those of us who are really really into patient safety, James Reason is a God or Guru. The man who invented the swiss cheese model, brought human factors into healthcare and a leader in patient safety in the UK, also based at Manchester University. His swiss cheese model is now used as a major consideration in incident investigations not just in healthcare as this shows. I've heard him speak before and he is excellent so I go to hear him any chance I can. Today he did not disappoint.

I've also managed a few layouts since my last post:

This is a lift of Taniwah's interpretation of one of the UKS cybercrop classes

One of MP's previous bikes

This was a class from a Scrap a Go Go day I did last year and only just had the right photos to finish it off

a cup of coffee and a cigarette

Jenna, Me, Marc (only a few days old) and Lauren

Well nearly time for the last episode of Ashes to Ashes so thats all for now. Thanks for looking and see you soon.

Monday, 10 May 2010


It hasn't been a good week since my last post!

The roast dinner was lovely as was the company and back at work on the Tuesday. Hadn't been there long when I started to feel a bit like I'd been kicked in the stomach and then I couldn't seem to get warm. I sat there looking like a numpty in my red duffle coat, shivering until about 2pm when the lurgy hit. I wont go into details but it wasnt pleasant. My colleague Vicky kindly ran me home and I climbed straight into bed, where I stayed for the next 3 days.

I have never felt so ill in my life and I had company. MP was also taken ill on Tuesday too. So the pair of us suffered together - well the man did say in sickness and in health!!

Bad news was that Dad also became unwell on the Wednesday and had to take to his bed for a few days.

Dad is blaming it on the pork but MP and I think it was a viral gastro thing (we googled it).

It's taken nearly a week to feel better and I think it will take some time to get over it fully and back to our normal unhealthy diet :o) but we are getting there.

So there has been no scrapping or anything since the last post, apologies. Normal service should resume shortly.

Monday, 3 May 2010

I Love Bank Holidays

How lovely to wake up on a Monday and not to have to go to work, another day of chilling and scrapping - wonderful. Oh and for a change it isn't raining!

Since my last post I've been busy scrapping. Last weekend was a cybercrop on UKS so there were lots of great ideas floating around. I find the day itself a bit too much but I downloaded some of the classes to do at my leisure. I also like to see what everyone else is doing in the gallery. So here is the fruits of my labours so far

Not sure why this has come out so blue but it should be aqua and brown!

Blue again! This is one of the classes from Sarah's cards retreat - changed the pink background for green - much more me

Sack the photographer - this is beige, brown and pink in real life

I've done a few more but havent taken any photos yet so will post them later in the week.

I've also been busy baking. I was asked to make 2 chocolate cakes for my friend Caroline's twins Libby and Joe for their birthday parties. It was quite specific - plain chocolate sponge cakes and chocolate on top - here's how they turned out

tip of the day - use a spring form tin, makes it much easier to decorate :o)

The secret ingredient in these was coca cola, which whilst appealing to the kids is also supposed to make it moist. It was a resounding success. For those who want to give it a try, here is the recipe:


Oil for greasing
250g self raising flour
generous pinch bicarbonate of soda
3 heaped tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
300g Golden caster sugar
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g butter
200ml cola
75ml milk

For the frosting:
100g butter
2 tbsp cola
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder


1. Pre heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Grease a 24cm loose bottomed cake tin.
2. Sift the flour into a bowl. Mix in the bicarb of soda, cocoa powder and sugar.
3. Stir in the eggs and vanilla extract.
4. Put the butter in a saucepan and melt over gentle heat.
5. Add the cola to the butter and and stir to mix, making sure the mixture does not boil. Stir in the milk and remove from the heat.
6. Quickly whist the cola mixture into he dry ingredients. Mix gently but thoroughly.
7. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Bake for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean (mine took longer)
8. Leave to cool in the tin for about 15 mins.
9. Make the frosting. Place icing sugar into a bowl. Place butter in a saucepan and melt over a gentle heat. Stir in cola and cocoa powder. Bring mixture to the boil. Pour over icing sugar beating until smooth.
10. With the cake still in the tin, pour the frosting over it and leave in tin until completely cool.

I decorated mine with melted chocolate instead, topped with maltersers, slices of mars bar and mini marshmallows. You can do all or non :o)

Before I go to make lunch, the folks are coming over for a full roast pork dinner and all the trimmings ....... I wanted to tell you all that I am the proud owner of half a BMW 1200GS.

Last weekend MP and I went to Southport where there just so happens to be a shop that sells motorbikes. MP just so happened to have his bike gear with him so whilst he went off on a test ride I hit the shops. Loving the bikes the rode he agonised all the way home but the decision made, off he went back to Southport on Sunday and placed an order for a shiny new one. I got to choose the colour (well it was the least he could do). So what do you think?