Friday, October 31, 2008

Yaaaaaawn! How can life be so boring?

I haven't blogged because there hasnt been anything to blog about. Life really has been one long whirl of filling time, mainly with housework. I havent yet degenerated to day time tv but feel it wont be long :(

Today lots of good news though. Laura has made it up with Wayne and her engagement ring is back on her finger, they have sold the house and moved into rented - a fairly decent sized two bed bungalow opposite to where they were already living - and are waiting on planning before starting on the new building project.

Jan came over to visit and update on Joey's progress. I last spoke to Jan in June, just after Father's Day when Jo was able to turn over on her own and was progressing with her speach, so I was really overjoyed to hear that she has made enough progress to be able to come home for weekends, is doing lots for herself, walking with the aid of crutches and getting out and about a bit in a wheelchair. Brilliant brilliant news!!! :D

Poor Jan is run off her feet looking after Jo, three horses, the rest of her family and house as well as holding down a full time teaching job. Its a bit ironic since I am climbing the walls from bordom.

Anyway I have been crafting and its about time I shared.

About 6 weeks back I discovered the wonderful wonderful talent of Irene Tan, who has a brilliant blog full of new and exciting techniques. I thought I would try a few out. I worked on this Lo for 6 days, and then before I had finished it Irene was chosen as a guest for Pencil Lines. Rather dispiriting for me she said in her interview that a LO takes her from 1.5 to 2 hours! I was still working on mine so I was a bit reluctant to share. I really am pleased with the result though so here it is for me to crow!
Full details and credits on my other blog!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Not to be square

Last year I made a few of my homemade christmas cards in a square formate but they are still sitting in my box this year because I couldnt find any matchinge envelopes for sale. I could get them online but for the few envelopes I needed the postage was going to be more than using them was worth.

So this year I started out using C6 formate, but as I trawled all the card making blogs, sketch challenges and card forums it seems that more and more people are turning to square cards. While I admit working on a square is much easier than a long rectangle, and it does seem that all the new stamps are sized more ready to use on a larger square card, its still a matter of economics to me.

It stacks up like this, an A4 bit of card (bought in a £4.99 box from the papermill) will cut into 2 rectangular cards but only 1 square card. Since I am still wading through paper scraps from 2 years ago to decorate the extra I need on a larger card wont really count, but then we come to the envelopes. The cheapest place I have found them on line is 6p an envelope which when bought in a bulk lot of 100 comes to £7.20 with P&P. I still cant seem to find any square ones to buy locally but C6 envelopes bought in my local market at the stationary stall (where incidently I can see the quality and colour before buying) would work out at 98p!!!!!!!

So here are a few I have made which are going to fit in my cheap envelopes :lol:

Thursday, October 23, 2008

No new job

I had an interview yesterday.

I was in two minds about the job as it was full time and I dont really want (or think I can cope) with a full time job but in all honesty there are so few teaching jobs about in this area at the moment. I dont know how the government work out their figures but there is certainly no shortage of teachers where I live. 4 years ago the local Teaching Uni prided itself in getting 96% of its students into posts by September, 2 years ago the figure had dropped to 45%. Vacancies that struggled to get 3 or 4 applicants now have double figures. So all in all I was lucky to be even shortlisted.

When I arrived one of the other candidates were there. We each had to be observed working with a group of 10 children from reception. I had bought a tried and tested book and intended doing some drama with them. The other lady had been very brave and bought ice balloons!!!!!

My lesson went ok, but it wasnt brilliant, however I hope I showed my skills in communicating with the children, coping with the two who crawled all over me, the book and the computer I was using. They all joined in and seemed to enjoy it.

The formal interview was very laid back and didnt seem to have any hidden questions. They seemed to concentrate more on how I worked with other adults than how I taught or my experiences.

But at the end of the day the inevitable phone call arrived saying someone else had been chosen for the post. When I asked for feedback the Head struggled to come up with something, going back to consult his notes, stuttering, long silences before he finally said that in my lesson I could have read the text rather than paraphrased. Showed how much notice he took, as the only parts I paraphrased were the pages I couldnt see for the youngster who was attempting to take the book from me (there was no chair in the room and I had had to sit on the floor with the children), oh and I could have put the text on the pictures I was using on the powerpoint - again nit picking since the pictures were not to enhance the story but to discuss ready for the drama bit, so text here not relevent. And that was it - no other reason for dismissing me and giving the other woman the job.

So once again I come to the conclusion that as the more experienced teacher I am also the most expensive. The other candidate had years and years experience as a TA and was newly qualified. So with as many years working with children behind her as me but at only a third the salary, I can see why they would go for her over me (plus lets face it she had been brave enough to bring in ice balloons!)

She was a lovely lady, I liked her the minute I started to chat with her before the interview, I wish her lots of luck. But I am soooooo fed up with the whole process. It takes me a good day to write an application form. If called for interveiw it takes another day to prepare the lesson and to drive round to find where the school is. Another day in interviews and then waiting for the results phone call.

I have now sorted all my hero arts stamps from ebay, I stamped images onto the back of cd cases and they are all stored away. I am covered in stazon ink for the trouble but there are some fantasic stamps and I have filled 12 cd boxes, an A4 RUB and still have a set of acyrilic stamps in a wallet to add to that little lot.

I have been busy altering stuff for the advent swap and stocking swap that I join every year with my Pad pals so although my desk is a total mess there is nothing I can share yet.

Now I wonder if I will get called for supply today ........

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Lots of cards

Rubbish photos - I really must try taking them in daylight.

This is a scraplift of a card by Tracie on the Penny Black Saturday challenge site. I made the snowflake background paper by using studio g stamps and green and red cats eye chalk inks. The red scalloped edge I cut using the rounded corner punch technique and then run it through the swirl cuttlebug folder in my zipemate. The decoupage reindeer is a free download from

Last years papermania christmas paper pack, Stampendous retro stamps and Studio g sentiment stamp, coloured with watercolour pencils, stickles added for dimention and a peice of floss to hold it all together.

I'm rather chuffed with this one, a bit more work. Paper is Foofala from 2005, layered onto green cardstock, ontop a strip of ribbon. Santa is image from weeds and wildflowers 'A Wildflower holiday' Stamp is another Studio g, pointsette is quickutz cut from tissue paper.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Down in the village

I dont usually mention the schools I have been working in, confidentiality and all that, but I have just had 2 days of such a wonderful experience that I wanted to blog about it.

On Monday I got a rather late call asking me to go to a school quite a way away from me. I looked it up on multimap, printed out my route and set out. Having managed to fight my way through Canterbury I was soon way out in the countryside, and someone had taken all the road name signs away! Now when I say way out, I mean way out, soon all I could see in every direction was fields and hedgerow!

When I finally found it, there was one road (which incidently was a dead end) about 15/20 houses, a village hall, a very very small school, a church and a cricket field! And is was all very Miss Read, with only 3 classes for the whole of the primary, and in total 56 children.

On my first afternoon it was games, and I took a total of 6 children along the country lane to the cricket ground to play tag rugby. It was fantastic, like taking your own children to the park!

I had a wonderful time there.

And on my last day it was book week, so I got to dress up as Mrs Twit!!!

Other good stuff this week:

I have an interview for a full time permenant job on wednesday.

Laura has moved back in with Wayne, they are renting a bungalow until the next new build is finished.

I've acually managed to get my dad something for his birthday (mum and I went shopping in Canterbury on Saturday

A big box of Hero Arts stamps that I won on ebay turned up, I am still wading my way through them all (sadly guy put the wrong price on the shipping form and I got stuck for customs charges but hope to claim those back)

I found a brilliant blog and have been trying out heaps of techniques from it. I will blog more as soon as I take a photo of the LO I have been working on for 8 days now. I have had such fun trying out new stuff.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Days out

Autumn is being so much better than summer ever was this year, so much so that Martin and I have had two days out this week, and a third day spent at home in the garden.

With beautiful blue skies and no supply work booked (I only managed to get work for Friday this week) we decided to take advantage of our English Heritage membership again and took ourselves off to Upnor Castle (via the Papermill for some card making supplies I may add.

Upnor is a rather strange little village, right on the bank of the river Medway, well its actually on St Mary's island in the middle of the river, but who is counting. The Castle itself actually juts out into the river as it was built as a sea fortification. The village consists of about 10 houses, 2 pubs and a castle, all set along a cobblestoned road.

We didnt take up the audio tour this time as they wanted to charge us, and since in every other EH building we have been in, it has been free we put up a principled stand. A shame really as it would have been nice to be a bit more informed about the few rooms we were walking through. There was an interesting re-enactment model of a sea battle against the Portugese though.

Then today we decided to just get in the car and go... well we didnt know where but to help us decide I grabbed our two circular pub walk books - not intending to walk you understand, just as a hint on where to go. We ended up in Pluckley, the village where Darling Buds of May was filmed, as it is not that far from us. As we meandered along the country lanes we passed a pub full of classic cars. And not just any classic cars, but sporty convertibles!!

Well it was a pub, there were cars ... Martin stopped.

Having looked our fill at the wheels, I happened to mention that the pub starred in one of the walking books, and before I knew it we were strolling across fields, crossing railway lines

and walking through woodlands

At this point I have to point out that not one time when following the instructions in the books have we managed the whole route without getting lost. And today was no exception. We thought we had followed the book to the letter, but found ourselves in a delightful field of mooy cows, with no sign of the promised style, gate or farm buildings in sight.

I think we managed an extra mile trying to find the road back, and that included barbed wire, a bridge out of Indiana Jones, and some pretty rough arable fields.

But the sun was shining, the sky was blue, the birds were singing, and the pub was shut when we got back desperate for a drink!! Oh and we did the whole thing in tee-shirts because it really was that hot. Who would believe it was October.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

That was the week that was ...

reasonably uneventful.

Oh apart from thevery short lived stay of Danny the dog.

This is the sad story of Danny

Little Danny seemed a lovely little lad, very friendly, easy going and just suited. Mum and Dad bought him home and settled in with him.

On Sunday he had a bit of a growl at my mum for attempting to get him down off the furniture but nothing much so they thought it just settling in nerves.

In the afternoon he chased a cat into the garden and ended up in the pond. He allowed my mum to dry him off with the hairdryer, even letting her pull up his tail and dry underneath. He was as good as gold.

Then he got on his blanket, but he was still wet and his bedding needed sorting out, so my mum called him back out of his little corner. He refused to move, my dad tried, he still refused, my dad made motioning instructions with his hands re-inforcing the instruction.

And the little dog went mental, grabbing onto my dad's arm with his teeth, growling, the lot!!! My mum tried to beat him off with the newspaper, in the end it was only by covering him with the table cloth that he finally let go of my dad's arm.

Monday a very upset pair of parents had to take him back to the sanctuary Reading between the lines, my mum seems to think this may not be the first time he has been returned to them.

My dad says he doesnt want a dog just now.

I did a day and a half supply work in a lovely little village school, I did some gardening, (winter pruning and tidying up) I made a few LO's, did a little bit of scrap shopping (new tapes for my ATG gun and some Bo Bunny papers) and we sanded and re-oiled the kitchen work top.

So the week that was reasonably uneventful.

A double Layout using some really old Junkits and even older freebie paper from a mag. Technique for frame on my scrappy blog.

More from the Goose fair, at Challock. Lots of Crate Paper this time round.

And finally this week's Pencil Lines sketch.