I have had so much fun playing with this new stuff, it hasn't turned out as I imagined but I still like it. I have to stop for a while to do some scrapbooking and to tidy my 'studio' but I will definitely make more soon!
I was very spoiled over Christmas, some fabulous gifts and lots of 'me' time. One of my gifts from Steve was a parcel of arty books, one of which was how to make mosaic tiles. I have played over the last couple of days and used my tiles to cover an A4 canvas. It's all very wonky but I love it.
Alexander arrived home from school last night, he had a horrendous train journey, standing from Loughborough to London with a 70L Bergen on his back, tube in rush hour and then standing for most of the journey home from London. We went out for a lovely meal at our favourite Indian restaurant where I enjoyed listening to his tales of school life. He even brought some photographs home, under threat of no Christmas presents unless he remembered! They aren't brilliant but he assures me there will be professional photographs released at some point, I just have to be patient.
Alexander's term report was excellent, he has settled in as if he had been boarding all of his life. Quite a few people left including two of his friends after half term, basically because it was too much like hard work but Alexander knows he wouldn't get the same results left to his own devices at home and he loves being part of his house and the teams he plays with. I am so proud with the effort he has made and fit to burst when I read what his tutors and masters think of him.
Georgina says she doesn't miss him but she changed her usual seat next to me to go and sit with her big brother, she's pleased to have him home too but that might not be the case when the football is on TV and there is something else that she wants to watch!
Last Saturday I went to Scrapbook Sisters for a class taught by Julie, I have admired her book for months and had tried the binding on my own but couldn't make it work. Julie's original book is here and looks even better in real life. I love all of mine, I changed some of the layouts to suit my favourite films, The King & I and Anna & the King but they aren't too different from Julies, I had to use all of her lovely ideas for embellishments, I even bought loads of peel-offs!
This is the cover, the rest of the photos are in my gallery here
When I have done my magazine work I will start another book with photos of our day trip to Brussels on Tuesday. We had a very long but lovely day, Eurostar took less than 2 hours from Ebbsfleet. We shopped, walked all day and ate a gorgeous meal. It was lovely to spend the day with Steve, we thoroughly enjoyed each other's company.
Alexander is home on Friday, I can't wait to see him and hear all about what he has been up to. Our suite will be delivered on Monday, in time for Christmas. We are off up to Durham for a few days next week to visit Gill & the kids while Steve mans the fort and test drives the new posh living room!
I wrote an ATC article for Papercraft Inspirations a few months ago. To generate interest I offered to host an ATC swap, participants were to send in 3 cards and a SAE for the swap return.
Last week I took delivery of two HUGE boxes of envelopes for the swaps, hundreds of participants. I spent over eight hours sorting through them. I sorted the cards onto two piles according to their level, beginners or experienced as best I could so that the recipients wouldn't be disappointed with their cards. Some had no postage, some were from abroad with no SAE, some were too big and some had no details on the back at all. I put extra cards into the swap to make up the shortfall, I checked all of the cards with names to make sure that I wasn't sending people's own cards back to them. I paid for the postage for some out of my own pocket. I drove to the post office with two bin liners full of envelopes to post out. I tried my very best to make everything right for the first swap I have ever hosted.
There were plus points, I got to see some beautiful work, I took part myself and chose some gorgeous cards for my collection, the girls from the magazine team very kindly sent me a box of chocolates to say thank you.
This morning I was sent a horrid letter from one of the participants, complaining that she was so disappointed by the fact that she was sent one of her own cards back in the swap that she is considering cancelling her subscription! To say I am upset is an understatement. If it had been a friendly letter explaining my mistake I would have been more than happy to make an ATC for her and send it. At best she will get a civil reply but it will have to wait until I have calmed down before I write back. I could always make a special card using bogies as embellishments.....
I knew people write and complain to the magazine team about the most trivial things, I can't imagine how demoralising it would be to get several moaning letters or emails every day. It's just as well that I am not on a customer service team, I am obviously not tolerant or polite enough and would be sacked on my first day. Most would receive the same reply. GET. A. LIFE.
for a change!
I've had a fab weekend, the Scrapbook Sisters crop was great. I got a bit lost on the way and was late but found it eventually, if I had listened more carefully to the directions I would have found it easily. A very kind green and brown lady (sorry, I forgot your name! I'm useless at remembering stuff) rescued me as I stood at the doorway looking very lost, showed me what was what and then went to get me a table as there were no free seats for CJ and I to sit together. Thank you - I hope to see you there next time :) CJ decided to take the scenic route via London and was even later than me but we still shopped and did 2 layouts each. I'm booked in for a class next Saturday and can't wait to learn some new techniques.
On Sunday we had planned to go to Rochester with Steve's eldest daughter for the Dickens Festival. It was pouring with rain and blowing a gale but we decided we would still go. It was fantastic, the weather improved, we ate gorgeous food, I managed to buy three unusual Christmas presents and we took over 200 photographs, there was even fake snow.
Alexander has been away for the weekend on his first Army exercise, I was worried all weekend. If he hated it would it make him want to leave school, would he get injured, would he give up when it got too tough... I need not have worried, he called last night and I have never known him so animated, he was shattered, aching, tired and cold but he was as high as a kite. He loved it and the excitement came through in his voice, I was so happy to hear him and can't wait for him to come home in a couple of weeks to tell me all about it.
Today we tried to install out new TV and home cinema system. Unfortunately I don't have a degree in audio and video wiring, neither does Steve. We paid somebody to come and do it for us and he admitted he was stuck and left it half done. We have lots of diagrams, no idea what half of it all means and need an electrical knight in shining armour to come and install everything properly. Still, the picture on the TV is fabulous and will be great to watch when the new furniture is delivered.
My Cricut expression was delivered today, I peeped in the box but haven't had time to unpack it yet, maybe I can play tomorrow once my urgent 'things to do' have been done.