Saturday, March 24, 2007

New printer

I am not going to mention the job because I am really hating it - the days are so long and boring, and going from being the teacher in charge to the nursery nurse who's biggest reponsibility was emptying the bins because the student was away is really difficult.

On a brighter front though the official wedding photos have arrived. The blokey chap has put the whole lot on a disc at high quality definition, and waived his copywrite. This is brilliant as it means I can play to my hearts content with them in photoshop. He has done quite a good job of them for the price (I still think mine are better) but many of them need cropping in as he hasnt always zoomed in and in many he hasnt really grasped the Rule of Thirds and eye level of people is way too low. Here is one I have already had a bit of a play with.

On thursday my all in one printer/scanner gave up the ghost, refusing to turn on or when it did refusing to communicate with the computer so on a recommendation from Scrapdolly I went out and got an Epson R265. I have never had a photoprinter before and am blown away with the quality of the photos it prints out. I cant wait for my next day off now because I think finally my mojo is going to return and I with all these new photos I am going to be back in my scrapping room cutting and sticking to my hearts desire!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Its a job

Thank you for all the lovely comments on the wedding photo's. I have been in that anticlimax state this week and not really felt like blogging but I do need to add some news.

I mentioned that I had a job interview. It was a little odd as it was for Deputy Manager in a local nursery but just before the closing date the Manager rang me to say that she was unsure if my QTS would cover NVQ Level 3. Apparently the qualification could be tracked and she kindly gave me all the contact numbers to do it, but she also said this could take up to a month to do, and she didnt want to risk Ofsted by employing me without being sure. So we left it at that but on Monday she rang again to 'offer me an interview anyway'. I found this odd if she wasnt going to employ me but thought I would go along for the experience. I didnt really think I would get it anyway as I have no experience of Management or Birth to 3 but you have to try these things.

It was a strange semi/casual interview with some questions quite strange. I didnt feel I had done well so was not surprised when she phoned on Thursday to say I had not got the job, but would I like to come and work in the pre-school room on a temp/cover basis. Now this is way below what I am qualified and experienced to do and the money is bare minimum wage BUT I would loose my benifits if I turned it down so I agreed. There are also some peculiar circumstances as to why I was offered the job as well (but that is confidential for now) but she did let me know that she was also interviewing 2 people who already worked for the Nursery for the Deputy job - it would appear that I never stood a chance in the first place. I have my suspicions that I am only being used for cover while the Manager has a two week holiday.

I must admit to an uneasy - no - panicky feeling about the whole thing. Not the actual job, I could do that in my sleep, but the strange situation, the hidden agenda that is obviously behind it all, settling for a job paying such a small percentage of my real earning potential, and yes, actually going back to work when it is a job I dont really want to do. But on the positive side it will mean I no longer have to state the school and all its problems as my last employer, its a little bit more experience and it earns some pocket money.

Watch this space!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Wedding day.

I am feeling much better today so as promised - photos and account of the day. Kelly 'left' from her bessie friend and chief bridesmaid's house so it was very calm at our house, for the morning anyway.
Back view of wedding gown

Laura (second bridesmaid) ha
d stayed over at Wayne's for the night and had promised to be back at half twelve to have her bath, get ready and drive us to the church. She decided on the spur of saturday morning though to go and have her hair curled so both her and Wayne turned up at 1 oclock, neither of them bathed or changed! Despite the panic to get us all ready and in the car on time we managed to look reasonably presentable as we walked out the door. We managed to get lost on the way to dropped Martin off at Helen's (thank goodness for mobile phones)and arrived at the church on time.
Laura, Wayne and the two grandfathers outside the church.

I did very well, only having to choke back tears when the wedding party walked up the aisle - but then I think that was my perogative since as well as my radiant baby in her beautiful gown,
there was also hubby in his tails and Laura the most prettyiest of the bridesmaids! The vicer was a lovely old boy who had lots of little jokes that broke the ice and got everyone relaxing.
Signing the register

The sun shone, the sky was blue, there was a little bit of breeze and there were tons of smiling faces.

Leaving the church.

Some little ironies/incidents:

The council must have a sense of humour - the building right next to the church is a home for battered wives!

5 Mins before leaving for the church, the chief bridesmaid discovered the zip on her dress had broken. She was upstairs and Kelly was downstairs in a hooped wedding dress and the only one free to move up and down stairs was Kelly's dad who no way was going to attempt to mend the zip on a semi clad young bridesmaid!!

The hotel had forgotten to shut the door seperating the dinning area from the drinks/meeting room so people wandered off to their tables without doing the meet and greet/kissing and hugs past the wedding party so no one got introduced to each other which was a shame.

The guys were really nervous about their speeches but they all did really well, and I didnt get the traditional bouquet as given to mother of the bride by the groom but a lovely wheelbarrow planter (flat packed though).

Then it was the fun bit, good food, laughter, lots of drink, and dancing. A brilliant day all round.

The only real downside was the hotel. We stayed overnight but in one of the rooms below us there was obviously some sort of after party (from the other wedding event being held there) going on and it didnt finish until the dawn chorus. So no sleep for me for the entire night, which is why I have been so totally exhausted.

But it was very near to red nose day so to finish....

Monday, March 12, 2007

Wedded bliss

Judging by the amount my stat counter has gone up, I guess I have had people dropping in to find out how the wedding went and to see some photos.

I promise I will get some on here but right now I am just sooooo tired I dont have the energy to keep my eyes open let alone mess about in photoshop getting the photos the right size to upload so please be patient I promise I will get them loaded as soon as I feel better.

Here's one of me in my outfit though - please note it looks purple here but irl it is no where near that colour but more a dusty dark pink
The wedding was a fairytale, brilliant, and there are heaps of little stories to tell about the day so I want to be awake enough to do it justice.

I also have an interview on Wednesday at a local nursery so lots to update but sleep comes first.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The BIG day

So its finally here. The day we give our little girl into the keeping of her new husband! Gosh where did that time go, seems only yesterday we were rushing off to the hospital - me in the ambulance because my waters had gone and hubby in his car, racing to catch up because the ambulance driver needed the loo in a hurry, and hoping not to get stopped because he had just come back from a pub crawl with his mates (I stress this was back in the days before we really realised the dangers of drink/driving).

So right now I am sitting here waiting for my nails to dry and wishing I had settled for slightly lower and more comfy shoes. Its very quiet here because Kelly has opted to leave from her chief bridesmaid's house. This is because she is getting married in her own parish which is half hour drive from our house and I couldnt see the point in her coming all the way back here just to drive back again. A little bit of me wishes I hadnt suggested this, and had made her come here but I know in my heart of hearts this is the more practical option.

So calm, calm almost boring here. We had some fun yesterday as the boys were going into town to collect their penguin suits and Kelly and I were collecting the dress and cake. This obviously needed 2 cars but as Martin went to start his, it refused and the RAC had to be called. The RAC were prompt but parked across the drive preventing me from getting my car out. So delays all round and slight panic as we were running out of transport options for today. Dad's seats in his car are all spoken for and Wayne's had failed its MOT, needing new suspension.

Anyway all cars are miraculously back on the road now so panic over. Suits were collected, cake is beautiful and dress safely delivered.

A futher hickup when I got Laura's poncho out the washing machine (needed just incase it is cold at the church as the bridesmaids are in strapless dressies) to find the washing machine had eaten a large hole in it. Back into town to M&S to buy a pashmina. We managed that after a strange 3 way phone call in the middle of the store between myself, Kelly and the other bridesmaid to check I got the right one.

So off at 2, ceremony at 3, then lots of kisses and hugs, tears and hopfully happiness to come today.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Forced to scrap!

My beloved favourite scrapping forum is down for maintenace, and has been since early yesterday morning. This means I ma chasing round lots of other forums trying to catch up with all my mates - and I have never read so many blogs as I have this weekend. Of course it doesnt help that the weather is really horrible so I cant get out in the garden (which really needs some work) and hubby was out all afternoon and evening on his future son-in-law's stag do.

So I was forced off the computer and into the scrap room. Gosh what a hardship. LOL

I haven't finished the paper LO yet as I had some trouble with the paint on my chipboard letters so I cant upload that yet but I was inspired by this weeks make and take feature on 2Peas so I decided to try a digi version.

The photo is my youngest DD having her first fitting for the bridesmaid dress (her elder sister gets wed next Saturday) but she forgot to put her strapless bra on for it. Hope she gets it right on the day

All the bits (apart from the heart brushes) are from Whatekatiedid's freebies (found on her blog) but I desaturated them to remove the colour and then altered the colours using variations in Photoshop so that they would match the photo.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Look what happens

When you get out of the habit of updating your blog daily -

1) You forget what the hell you have been doing for the last week
2) People stop visiting your blog and you fall off the blog chart numbers LOL

Now number 2 is just an observation because as I have said before this blog is just for me (see number 1 as to why LOL) but isnt it interesting how you give a few freebies away, and soar up to 25 or something ridiculous but then plummet like a stone when you stop giving away stuff? Gosh its a mercinary world we live in.

Mind, there has been a lot of blog activity in the scrapping world this week as some very talented and lovely ladies launched their new venture The Design Collective offering classes, private tutoring, a forum, crops and heaps of other online fun much on the lines of The Big Picture or Shimmelle's classes but far bigger, better and brighter with some big names from the scrapping world. The launch of this exciting enterprise didnt go as smoothly as it should have done though. Instead of welcoming new ideas that are going to help put British scrapping on the map, help newbies and old hands alike, and plug a huge hole in the market that the loss of our British scrapping mags left,there has been heated words, much nastiness, and some very hurt feelings. So there has been a frenzy of bloggworld reading as the scrapping community (nosy cows that we are) tried to find out who was saying what about whom.

Personally I wish the girls well in the new business. I would wish anyone brave enough to start up their own business good luck. The way of things in this country just now makes anything a huge risk with no support should you fall,even if you think you are in a 'safe' profession (just look at the state teaching and nursing are in right now).

I also think the scrapping world needs more diverse ideas, more ways in. When I started there were hardly any places you could get stash and certainly only online or at shows. I watched with glee and mounting excitment as more and more online shops and then real bricks and mortar shops opened, but then the competition and the profit margins became too much and sadly many of those shut down again. Now there are very few places selling a really wide range of goodies, and lots of those entraupenures are going over to specialising in kits or albums or such. You cant believe the problems I have had just being able to source Herma at a reasonable price because of this.

Then there is the advent of digi scrapping and now hybrid (which is basically what most of us have always done, I mean I started from day one printing out my labels and using clip art to make embellishments). Hardly heard of a year ago and now there are literally hundreds of sites and blogs giving away digi freebies or pointing you in the direction of kits for sale (Hey I know I tried it myself).

And this is why I ask we give more variety a chance. It seems our nature to either jump on a new idea and flog it to death at the expense of all the other good ideas, or dis it without even trying first. Yes kits are great but wouldnt it be even better if I could ALSO get some Herma from a shop without having to have a full pizza box of other stuff just like I used to when I started out?

Which is why I love the idea of what the DC are doing. It may not be a new idea to sell classes on line. It may not be different to set up a hints and tips forum or an on line cybercrop, but to have it all in one place without having to spend hours searchng online, to know that the class I am going to get is one in a style I will like (because I know the work the girls do). How many times have we all read posts or posted threads claiming to have 'lost our mojo' 'run out of inspiration'? What good is a scrap room full of stash if it never gets used or we dont know how to use it? now instead of having to google for hours, search huge galleries, flip through pages of mags until that little bit of 'me' time is gone and there is no time left to scrap anyway, there it will all be, with the talent and knowledge of these terrific girls but a click away.

Its something ELSE not INSTEAD of I can choose to spend my money on. And guess what? I am not stupid. I want value for money. So if I dont think it is what I want., if I dont like it or my spending priorities change then no one is twisting my arm up my back and making me buy. So if I do find that elusive Herma I can spend my money on that instead of a class.

If I like a class one month but dont have the right bits and bobs to make it I can use my following months money on stash and catch more classes the following month. How terrific is that? No more subbing up front for a year only to find the company has gone belly up two months down the line and no way of getting any money back. No more 'well I love the layout shown in this mag but I cant buy all the stuff they are sourcing because I've spent all my money on the sub'. No more 'well two months ago this mag really suited my style but now its gone all way out but I am stuck with it for another 10 months'.

They say no publicity is bad publicity, maybe that is true, maybe all the heartache the DC girls have gone through this month will give their idea one hell of a kick start. Lets hope so, lets hope that something good comes from all the pain, because this industry should be supporting new initiatives not putting them down. If the idea is bad or wrong then it will fall of its own accord (personally I dont think this one will). Businesses are hard to keep afloat and will only work if the ideas are sound, the managment strong, and the talent brilliant. I personally think the DC have all three of these things. Time will tell.

So to all the DC girls - good luck, and I wish you well in your new venture.