Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
We decided to take her to Ely, she's a very religious person, in fact she used to be a missionary in the Philippines and the course she's on is something Church-y. She mentioned she'd never been to Ely so it seemed a good place to start and the Cathedral is a beautiful building. We weren't very impressed with the charge of £5 per person they wanted though - so instead of 3 people each going in and giving a donation to their coffers, Hubby and I didn't go in at all (we've been a couple of times before anyway) and Aunt just went in to say a prayer - the Cathedral didn't get a bean. I know that it's expensive to keep these places open but I really do think they've got a nerve to require payment to visit a church - if I remember rightly from Sunday School days, Jesus threw a bit of a wobbly over people trading and making money within the synagogues hmmmm......
We had lunch and a wander around Ely - and a quick poke around in the maddest shop ever - The City Cycle Centre - which sells bikes and toys, DIY and models - and lurking right at the back a little crafty area with lots of fabric, haberdashery, a bit of card-making and all sorts of interesting bits and pieces - a real Aladdin's Cave of a place!
Then off to Denny Abbey near Waterbeach, which is an English Heritage site. It's got quite an interesting history, having been a Benedictine Church, then it belonged to the Knights Templar, then the Franciscan Nuns the Poor Clares, then after the dissolution it became a farmhouse and was owned by a succession of families and companies including at one time Chivers - the jam people. This is one of our regular places to visit as the setting is so pleasant and peaceful. There's a farmland museum there, and also a cottage which has been decorated in the style of a farmworker's cottage of the 1940's, complete with it's little cottage carden and a "privy".
Next stop was for coffee and cake at a Garden Centre near Huntingdon, after which I managed a little look-see in their craft department (well it would be rude not to, wouldn't it?) I bought some sort of skin coloured card with which to have a play with my new QK dies, a couple of the lovely 6x6 Making Memories paper pads which I love. I got a bargain pack of interlocking plastic pots for £6.99, there are 5 stacks, four different sizes of little pots and very useful for all those teeny weeny bits and bobs. I've got quite a lot of the smallest size already - they are the ones you can buy in Boots and they cost me over £2 the last time I bought some, so I'm well chuffed with my new purchase! Dropped Aunt off back in Cambridge and headed for home. Just got back before the now seemingly daily thunderstorm......phew!
Thursday, August 17, 2006
I also had a Christening card to make, so did that first - to ease me into the groove - OK I did it first because I like making those more than kids cards.... Oooops, just noticed that the little silver cross is lying the wrong way on the photo - took the pics in a hurry and should have checked it was hanging correctly - too late now - but it hangs loose on a silver thread so honestly, it's not wonky in the real!
Sam is a little boy who loves techie stuff like mobile phones and remote controls - I was asked to make him a card last year with a mobile phone on, and apparently his taste in playthings hasn't changed so I decided to do something different but still use some phones. I made the letters - cut them from thick card, covered them with paper and used Glossy Accents over the top. The papers are from MM's "Kid's Collection- Sam" - I couldn't resist the link with the recipient's name.
I really liked the first one I did for Roan's birthday - that was the one her mum ordered and I used one of Jane's lovely little nresses and a Pink Princess theme - there's a photo somewhere further down my blog, I think. This is for her Grandma to give her and I'm not so pleased with this. I was told that Roan likes butterflies, but I found it hard to come up with anything! The card has a glittered vellum overlay with butterflies on it and I cut out another butterfly and used it to make a fluttery one for the tag.
I've even been out and posted them off - had to dodge the thundery showers to go to the postbox too.
Got some new QK dies today - I've bought the new Paper Doll set, the photo corners and the little dog - the one with bows, though I'm not planning on using the bows too often! I've been so busy with the card order and making some others that I needed to get in the post today that I've not had time to do any more than open the package - now that's hardly fair is it?
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
So where are you all? Feels like you're all at a party that I've not been invited to.
Maybe you are.
I'm not paranoid - they REALLY are after me.....
Monday, August 14, 2006
We don't switch our heating off in the summer as it's controlled by a thermostat gadget thing but the last few days it's actually been coming on in the mornings. It's August for heaven's sake - last evening I found myself thinking about digging out my joggers because it was so chilly!
We were up and about earlier than we like on Saturday as the rain woke us up beating down on the velux window which is abve the bed! Youngest of the Nieces has a birthday coming up so we headed for the grim, grotty place that is Stevenage town centre - a place we go maybe once a year but for quick in-and-out shopping trips is easy. If we want to browse we go somewhere nicer! Bought a pretty girly top in Next and then in the cheap books and stuff shop next door found loads of crafty bits and pieces which she'll like as she's into making cards and doing arty crafty stuff. I bought a canvas and some acrylic paints as I have a project in mind for a present for Middle Niece for Christmas (not going to say any more because it'll probably never happen anyway!), Then a quick call into the crafter's favourite cheapie shop - Poundland (- yes, everything's £1). Yay they had foam tape and pads so I could stock up on those, and on rolls of double sided tape too. Happy Bunny here.
Not a great crafting weekend despite spending what seems like most of it at my desk. I managed to finish two cards, that's all - and another couple got to the "OK now what do I do with it" stage and went in the box with all the other half-made ones waiting for some inspiration to finish them off - more often they just stay in the box.
Did make the card for Niece's birthday though so just to prove my weekend wasn't entirely fruitless on the craft front here it is.
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Friday, August 11, 2006
This is my 2nd ever scrapbook page. I started it a few weeks ago, but various things conspired to prevent me getting on with it. I've not felt much like crafting for the last couple of weeks but at last I've felt more in the groove and in the last couple of days I've finished my CJ pages, and even sent it off, and now I've got this done too. Now all I need to do is make some cards for the latest template challenge!
to finding the name of this plant, so here are a couple more photos. The flower is dying off and that's the only one there is.
Now I've had a closer look at the leaves they don't look like a peony after all. I think it's probably a perennial rather than a shrub, but I'm not sure.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
After I'd taken some photos of my blackberry "vines" I roamed around looking for more stuff to photograph. Found this beautiful yellow rose and this other flowering shrub that I don't know - so guess what today's question is? Anyone able to enlighten me?
A few years ago we went to The Algarve for our holidays and I bought a packet of "Seeds of Portugal" There were various types and they all grew - but gradually I've managed to kill all except two bougainvillea plants which despite all the odds have survived and flower regularly. They are enjoying their summer break out in the garden at the moment and deserve to have their photos taken as they look pretty against today's blue sky.
I can't settle to anything for more than a few minutes and although I'd really like to do some crafting - and maybe getting creative would help get my head together I just can't be bothered to clear the desk of the stuff I bought last Friday. All I've done is tip it out of the bag!
So, I've pottered around the house and the garden a lot over the last few days. I got the loppers out and made inroads into the wilderness of overgrown trees and shrubs on the left side of the garden, and now I can actually see the ground, which is good (I think). Yesterday I shredded my way through all the branches I'd cut down.
When my aunt was here last week she spotted blackberries growing up in these tall trees and shrubs - they are more like a vine than a bush. Before they'd been here for a couple of hours she was making pastry for a blackberry pie - my aunt LOVES to bake! I picked loads more, I made blackberry muffins on Saturday, then they picked enough to fill a box to take away with them when they left for home on Sunday. Since then I've picked a load more and frozen them for future use, and there are still masses more - anyone want some blackberries?
Actually, thinking about it, even though I feel as if I've achieved nothing this week I've not done so badly, what with gradually getting through all the extra laundry, virtually catching up with my ironing mountain, and all that gardening.
Hey, that's not so bad!
Sunday, August 06, 2006
We passed the 2000 visitor mark - wow! Thanks you for visiting, I hope you've found something of interest to read and that your visit hasn't been so boring that you'll never come back.
I think this is the longest that I've ever managed to keep a diary and I'm doing better than some of you lot on my links list....Are you listening Puss?, Lucy?, Turtle2?
Just a couple of the cute model village in Bourton on the Water - it's a model of the village itself, and there's even a model of the model village there too!
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Not a good start to our little holiday. Especially as it was Thursday already, and one of the busiest weekends of the year, and knowing from experience how difficult it is to find somewhere nice to stay even when we did have more notice......
So instead of spending Friday afternoon packing, and the evening travelling, we stayed home and spent hours on the phone and internet looking for somewhere, anywhere, to stay.
Eventually we got booked into the last room at the Chester House Hotel in Bourton on the Water, deep in the Cotswolds - lovely. We headed off after lunch on Saturday and the drive was really good, roof off the car, sun shining and the traffic behaved quite well. We headed off the main road once we'd got past Milton Keynes and instead drove along the country roads, through some beautiful little villages - it was all very pleasant.
The hotel was fine, nice and comfy room, though not a great view from our room - but what could we expect with our such last-minute booking, The staff were very helpful and friendly and the hotel is completely non-smoking, which is such a treat. While we were wandering around the web we found a place that looked amazing, but they couldn't offer us the 3 nightz, or the particular room hubby liked the look of so we're saving that one for another trip later in the year hopefully!
Bourton is soooo pretty, with it's river running right through and all the tiny little bridges over it. A plethora of tea-shops and antique shops if that's the sort of thing you like. A lovely place to wander around - very much on the tourist trail but quieter in the mornings and late afternoons when the tour busses have left.
We had quite a lazy few days exploring the area. We went to Hailes Abbey - ruins of a Cistercian Abbey, up to the Broadway Tower - folly built on the 2nd highest point in the Cotswolds, the Lavendar farm near Snowshill, and the Model Village of (and in) Bourton on the Water itself. Apart from that we toured around the beautiful villages of the area including Snowshill, Broadway, Burford, Bibury, Lower Slaughter and others. Photos will follow.....
On the evening of our anniversary we went to La Villa Romana Ristorante near Stow on the Wold and had a delicious meal. I had a starter of assorted mushrooms in a herb sauce with garlic croutons, then veal escallops with dolcelatta cheese and a tomato sauce. I should have stopped there but couldn't resist trying the tiramisu - which was fantastic, but tragedy of tragedies I couldn't finish it! The restaurant is lovely, very plush indeed and the food was fantastic - and very generous - to be recommended if you're ever in the area.
Well, we had a wonderful break, the weather was pretty good - a few late evening showers and a torrential downpour on Monday night, but somehow we managed to avoid all that. One day we'll get up to Pickering, but on this occasion tbh I think we were better off being looked after in a hotel rather than having to do any of that "house-y" stuff up in Yorkshire. When it comes down to it there's nothing much nicer than having your breakfast cooked for you, is there?