Friday 23 April 2010

Back at school...good times.

That first week back at school is always tiring. I find that no matter how short the holiday, I drop out of the routine and find the first week back difficult. Largely because I have strange dreams about my classes not doing what I tell them.

Fortunately such scenarios stay in my dream and I have had a fabadab week at work. Here are a few highlights for posterity (in case I ever do write those memoirs).

Before the holiday, one of my sixth formers who happens to be a house captain asked if I wanted to join in a staff space hopper race for charity. Now on the one hand, it's flattering to be asked as one of the 'young, cool' teachers but on the other hand, it's not really the done thing in school for the staff to ritually humiliate themselves before the students. So I hedged. However, approval was obtained and this week I allowed myself to be talked into on the condition that said student would provide me with a space hopper so that I could practise for the big day. A couple of other maths teachers are doing it too and so this suggestion met with approval and not a little competitive edge. Screw competition, I just don't want to fall flat on my face.

While sailing around the playgrounds on break duty I accosted the student (what is break duty for after all) and managed to snaffle a space hopper. It's pink. Bright pink. And it has a face. I also claimed the foot pump for the maths teachers' cause, inflated the hopper and Christened it Morris.

Space hopping in the maths office is tricky, there being no space. Added to this is the fact that there is no way that space hopping can be accomplished without disturbing everyone else. Although they were all very nice about it, and somewhat amused. Especially when yours truly managed three hops, two on the space hopper and one straight over the space hopper into a heap on the floor.


More fun than marking though. And this proves that my insistence on practise time was both wise and necessary . No paranoid.

Actually, now that we've inflated it a bit more and aching muscles aside and more space established in the corridor once all the students have gone home, I love space hopping and I'm relishing the race. Bring it on!

We also discovered some graffiti in the female staff toilet this week. This is unusual as all the students are boys and it's unlikely that any of them would want to go to the effort of sneaking into the ladies, and writing, in quite small letters "Beyonce was ere" in one of the cubicles. After some debate on the subject, we exhausted virtually all possibilities and finally in an attempt to end the constant nattering, Mr R interrupted to point out that we had overlooked the possibility that maybe Beyonce really was there. Gosh.

Done minimal to nothing on the scrapping front however. Must remedy. Just not sure when. Also, need bed now due to aforementioned tiredness.


Sunday 18 April 2010

Handwriting Challenge

The challenge this time, once again from Shimelle, was to create a page featuring your handwriting. Well I have never printed journalling on a LO, partly because I don't own a printer (go figure!) and partly because I love the personal, hand written look. So I didn't find this very difficult. I wanted to make a page with a lot of writing on and this definitely fits the bill and is something I'd like to do more. It means I can get lots of writing on a page without being confined to a dinky journalling card. Apart from the writing, the rest of the page is pretty sparse. So I need to think about combining lots of journalling and including other elements together without resorting to hidden journalling which doesn't appeal.

Anyway, Shoreditch, and my writing!

Sketch Challenge

This page is my response to a challenge on Shimelle's Blog Party to use 4 pieces of patterned paper as a background. I LOVE patterned paper - it's my ultimate favourite supply. I found this quite tricky however and even now, I wish the photos 'popped' a little more. I may well come back to this page and add to it but it's done for now.

It features my Year 9s attempts to come up with mnemonics for SOHCAHTOA which tells them the trig formulae we need. Sometimes Our Human Creators Are Hellish To Our Animals. That's deep for a 13-year-old boy!

My Five Favourite Pages

There are my current 5 favourites, selected courtesy of a challenge on Shimelle's blog. And it was tricky picking them! They are mostly recent but as I usually find that the pages I have made most recently are my favourites, this is hardly surprising. They are favourites for lots of different reasons but it seems that I like pages with several little pictures and areas of white space. And I'm sure in a month's time, I'll pick a completely different five pages.

Sunday 11 April 2010


The Big Stamp and Scrapbooking Show was lovely. I stocked up on several alphabets, got some cute buttons and brads, some gorgeous ribbons and quite a bit of Bazzill Dotted Swiss. I also picked up the Martha Stewart Loop edge punch which is everywhere at the moment and very swishy! All I need now is lots of October Afternoon (there wasn't much at the show so I'm going to splash out online) and I shall be set for a very long time!

And here's a layout of some very yummy Ginger Buns, if I say so myself, which totally make up for the muffin fiasco.

Off to Yorkshire for the week where internet is minimal so this could well be it for a bit. Going to cook lots and maybe scrap a bit if I can figure out how to pack cleverly.

Kisses xxx

Saturday 10 April 2010

Full of the Joys of the Easter Holiday

Well, week one is down and I'm having a lovely break from school. On Thursday, I spent the day meandering around Shoreditch with a friend and we found some amazing little shops and boutiques. There was a vintage clothes shop slash cafe with free sample brownies on the counter that looked straight out of the fifties. And the best find of the day looked nothing from the outside but as we found it's description of itself amusing - antique prestigious chimney pieces - we had a nosey inside. It was absolutely incredible. More like a museum than anything and full of incredibly beautiful fireplaces and other accoutrements for the stately home. I was like getting lost in a beautful mansion and it was so atmospheric as the building turned out to be a converted church so it was huge. It was called Westland London and I recommend a visit.

Got lots of photos of the day and will scrap them with all due haste I hope. And today is the Big Stamp and Scrapbooking Show at Ally Pally!!!! I've been looking forward to this for ages. It;s definitely time for new stash and my Mum has come down so we can go together. Then Doctor Who this evening. What more could a girl want?

This LO was my first proper attempt at a multi-photo layout using the 8-to-a-sheet setting on my printer. I was worried they'd be too tiny to use but actually they were perfect and I used all eight! I also used loads of scraps and odds-and-ends and I'm really pleased with the result. It's really true to my style which I think I'm really starting to develop.


Wednesday 7 April 2010

Granana Muffins

Granola+ Banana = Granana. But they are a but dry and definitely overcooked. I'm sure bad cooks blame their recipes so colour me hypocritical: it was a bad recipe! I got up nice and early at half six and had breakfast, did a little reading, baked muffins and all so that I wouldn't miss Royal Mail delivering a packet that they couldn't get through the door last week. Well they haven't come yet. So I'm still waiting.

I've also finished reading 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' which is one of those books that I don't understand but about which I harbour a sneaking suspicion that nobody does, including possibly the author, partly because if anybody did understand it, the whole thing would immediately become too depressing for words so it hides behind uncomfortable blackly comic interludes.

It is also very possible that I am just not intelligent enough. I shall wiki it shortly which is definitely a literary cop-out but sometimes helpful.

Here's a LO that I made over the Easter Weekend about my stroll across Hamsptead Heath - misrepresented to me by Londoners as a long, wild, country walk but in reality a tame hour's stroll. Enjoyable but not 'proper'. Said with all the superiority of a Yorkshire Lass!

Kisses xxx

Tuesday 6 April 2010


I had one of my LondonBaby days today and undertook a little host of ideas. Following a hearty, home-made fried breakfast (I am a Yorkshire lass after all) I spent the morning in the Science Museum, tooling about the galleries and admiring some of the amazing machines they have. In particular some of the early planes and cars were lovely, and there was a collection of 18th Century measuring instruments that were delicate and beautiful as well as functional. Then I watched a 3D Imax film about Dinosaurs!

I went to the Hummingbird Bakery in Kensington for lunch. By which I mean I had tons of cake! I had a doorstop of triple layer red velvet cake. It was expensive and, I'm sorry to report a little disappointing as beyond being sweet and copious, it didn't have a great deal of flavour.

I did a little second hand book shopping on Charing Cross road before attending the matinee performance of 'The Mousetrap'. It was very good - I was on the edge of my seat and they created a good deal of tension.

So no scrapping today, but here's the other LO I made yesterday. It's unprecedented for me to make 2 in one day, and I'm really pleased with this one. It's pretty much my style and it's the first time I've ever scrapped my work.


Monday 5 April 2010

Chocolate Bicycle

"Sometimes I like to make a chocolate bicycle out of Wagon Wheels and Chocolate Fingers. And then I can park it in a Toblerone bike rack."

~Bill Bailey

Is that genius or what?

I've been having a nice, relaxing bank holiday Monday. Although I slept through my alarm by 3 hours which is slightly worrying. Must still be catching up that term-time sleep deficit. Anyway, for most of the day I've been scrapping, reading a bit and trying to win a Digital Radio on Classic fm which, as far as I'm aware, I haven't. Mainly I was listening to the Hall of Fame which was lovely (even if V-W did take the number 1 spot, again).

I made a LO about work which I'll pop up tomorrow maybe, and I spent all afternoon and evening trying to squish as much stash as possible onto one LO as part of the Something From Almost Nothing class from Shimelle. It's a challenge, and it definitely was for me. I like to have lots of white space on LOs and I spend quite a long time usually positioning and re-positioning things and then changing my mind and wondering if things really go together...

Well, I managed to get 152 elements onto this page which I reasonably pleased with. It's not my usual style but I did make myself use some things that I have but wouldn't own if they hadn't come as part of a kit, as well as making a dent in the Basic Grey Scarlett's Letter papers which I have quite a few of as they're beautiful but are so detailed it's difficult to know how to use them. Although in the final analysis they got a bit swamped.

It's themed around Alice in Wonderland. Maja took this picture of me peering through the keyhole of a Door in Christchurch, Oxford, parts of which inspired certain scenes in Lewis Carroll's book. I managed to get the door handle in along with several keys, flowers (although they don't talk) and a pocket watch even though there is no white rabbit.

Excellent plans planned for tomorrow. Looking forward to it!

Kisses xxx

Sunday 4 April 2010

Easter Sunday

This is a page I made following the patterned paper prompt from Shimelle's Something from Almost Nothing class. I have a penchant for gorgeously patterned papers by Basic Grey and never get around to actually using them as they're too nice to use. This attitude is, naturally, ridiculous as the point of buying beautiful supplies that I love is so that I can make beautiful pages that I love. However, along comes that nagging doubt that I will never again find papers while I like so much and so I must hold on to the ones I have. Another ridiculous sentiment as tastes inevitably change over time and not only will new things appear that I can succumb to with equal glee, but I may find that I fall out of love with them and then won't want to use them.

So I waded in merrily and used lots of Basic Grey pieces for the patterned strip. I hand-sewed over them for good measure. I don't have a sewing machine (and nor do I have the space to use one - maybe for Christmas?) but I do love the stitched look. Then, in for a penny, in for a pound, I made a button boarder. I love buttons - I don't think you can have too many and they are nicely whimsical on any project.

I'm quite pleased with how it came out - I just have to look up and add the date.

I pottered along merrily to the supermarket this morning to get all the ingredients for the dishes I was going to cook and found it closed. Alack-a-day, normally the supermarkets pay not a blind bit of attention to the workings of the Christian calendar. But never mind. I found a little supermarket and still managed to make Nigella's gloriously rich chocolate-peanut-butter-fudge sauce. I made enough for three, sloshed it merrily over one bowl of cookie dough ice cream and cheerfully scoffed the lot. Smashing!

Can't really make up my mind what to do tomorrow. I think it will be another day in as I've got lots planned for Tuesday, but on the other hand I'm becoming a little stir crazy. I know when that happens because I talk to myself more than normal. In that I wish that I would shut up and normally I can tolerate my own company with equanimity at the very least.

I spend half of term time wishing I could spend more time in the house and 4 days in I want to go out! Still, I am incurably domestic and I think all I lack is a little company.

Kisses xxx

Saturday 3 April 2010

Man Eats Fish Custard

Well, another lovely day has been had. I popped over to Hampstead but forgot to take the duck after all. So that was a no go. On the bright side, I stumbled across a rather marvellous bookshop. It was run by an Irish woman and her mother, and they bickered most of the time about where to put the stock. And fair enough because you couldn't move for books. The aisles weren't wide enough for 2 people to pass and if you wanted to pass someone, one of you have to elect to back down to the end of the shop. Then there were books stacked several deep on the shelves, in front of the shelves and at the ends of the aisles so that you couldn't see the books for the books. Then when you find one you want, you have to shift 12 books to get at it and then when you prize it from the shelves another 15 books fall on top of you, causing you to knock the step ladder over which in turn sends what can only be described as the full weight of literature crashing down around you. It was brilliant! I got 8 books for 12 quid, total bargain. The Irish woman seemed to pleased to flog my little clutch to me and pointed out to her mother that her placement of the paperbacks seemed to have worked after all. Alas, I am become a victim of marketing strategies. I left them arguing about whether to put the clearance 50p paperbacks outside or not. Apparently they sell better where people can see them but as the public don't let them know when it's raining (as they did in bygone days) and they can;t see when it's raining from inside (the windows being full of books), they thought the stock might get wet.

Can't wait to go again.

I decided Hampstead was too expensive for elevensies so I got a Wispa from Tescos and gobbled it up on the tube home. Same effect.

This afternoon, I scrapped, noted sadly that Oxford lost the boat race (I'll have to go and cheer them on in the flesh next year I think) and excitedly awaited the arrival of Doctor Who.

By six I was feeling particularly childish with excitement, so when it started, you can imagine my glee. I LOVED it. I was very sad to see the delicious Mr Tennant go but it seems that Mr Smith is going to hit the camp enthusiasm mark perfectly in the centre. The writing seems a little bit bigger, badder and darker and laced with eccentric humour (and who doesn't love a little maths joke) and I am willing next week to arrive. Hurrah!

Anway, scrapping: a very simple LO with buttons galore.

Tomorrow, I am going to cook. Yummy!

Kisses xxx

Friday 2 April 2010

Good Friday

And what a very Good Friday it's been. Having got all the less-that-brilliant things done yesterday, I spent a rather enjoyable day scrapping. I confess to being a slow scrapper. I like to get all my things out and look at them and sort them into little piles and so on and all that takes time. And multiple cups of tea.

I don't think I have that much stash comparatively. And most irritating is the fact that I haven't really got anywhere to scrap - it has to be done on the bed or on the floor next to the bed. The joys of renting! When I eventually move into my flat, these days will be a distant memory - when I suffered for my art! I have a couple of pizza boxes of paper, a little basket full of various embellishments like buttons, brads, stickers, chipboard etc. and that's about it.

But it still seems like loads and so Shimelle's Something From Almost Nothing class has been a great inspiration for using bits of it up.

This afternoon, I watched the Sound of Music, revelled in the fact that it is now the Easter Holidays so no school and finally was able to get down to some serious scrapping. I wanted to do a couple of the challenges having missed the other ones due to charging around like a mad thing over the weekend.

I got my New Year's Resolutions page done (better late than never). Actually, I've already made a dent in the resolutions, even if it took me a while to get the page done. But then I've always loved to tick things off lists and New Year's Resolutions are like champagne on an empty stomach to list-makers. This page was in response to a challenge on a blog whose name escapes me, but the challenge was to use clouds and 9 other embellishments on a page.

Then I made this page for the Scraplift Challenge based on a LO from one of the prompts. It documents Me at 23 (it was my birthday last weekend, hence some of the charging about).

So a lovely day, all in all. Off to Hampstead tomorrow, with the camera and a plastic duck in tow.

Thursday 1 April 2010

Day The First.

This isn't really going to count as my post for the day. It's more of a to-do list. Ahem:
  • Hoover
  • Tidy
  • Washing
  • Sort stash into "kits"
  • Shimelle's challenges for Something from Almost Nothing
  • Print photos
  • Watch HIGNFY
  • Make pasta
  • Sort recyling
  • Empty Rubbish
  • Put post-its on the recipes I want to cook this holiday
First day off from school and yep, it's Spring Cleaning. As I said, proper post later.

Edit: Boring ones done. Just need to put the washing to dry and then it's onto the fun!