Ladies Camera Club

30 Dec 2011

Well, that went quick

Christmas, that is. Whilst I was experiencing it, it kind of jogged at a steady pace but looking back.....well, it was gone as fast as the blink of an eye.

There was lots of vegging of course (taken as I was putting the tree up - Mark clearly exhausted from watching me try and ram 300 baubles on a 6 foot tree!)

The boy on his blankies and sporting a santa hat that Ellie snuck on him.
Then comes Christmas Day. Ellie was delighted with her bunch of gifts (mainly bubble bath; crazy, I know. And jammies and littley bits to open and treasure). Mark and I exchanged one small gift each and as much as we were going to go shopping in the sales for something bigger for each other, we just couldn't be bothered. We don't desperately need anything and my bike can wait until warmer climes. I was happy watching Ellie being happy. Saying that, I swiped this in the sales with my own money with 50% off and under a tenner! JOYOUS!

We spent this Christmas at my in-laws. Its a nice gathering but its not the same as being at my parents. Being with mark's family doesn't make it wrong whatsoever but when you are at the mercy of relatives who don't see each other for months on end, conversation blends between small talk and who can talk the loudest. Still, the variety kept the season consistent and lots of Trivial Pursuit battles kept the momentum on an even keel. I have to say, Christmas dinner was probably the best part of the holiday. It was divine, minus the sprouts (vom).

If I'm honest, I wasn't at optimum well being between 23rd and 27th Dec. I was forced to go to the emergency doctors on Christmas eve (so thankful for staff that work these days - tireless, giving and humble) and was given Anti's B's. Trouble is, I love a glass of wine on Christmas day so I didn't start my treatment until Boxing day but I'm right as rain now. And it didn't spoil the fun even though I was in dire pain. Its just one of those crazy little ailments that you kind of deal with and get over it!

Ellie took to baking. We found a lush bunch of gluten and egg free cookie recipes (Im going full gluten free from 1st January to ease my digestive system). SHE LOVES TO BAKE!

Lovingly mixing the choccy chip cook-a-roos
Pressing the cookies with her beautiful hands and nails.
On the 28th Dec I travelled down to London for the QVC craft sales day. I went by train as I couldn't rely on"Christmas travel by road" plus I didn't want to be late because of it. You need to turn up early at these QVC days because they are CRAZY! I bought my ticket online, like I always do with Virgin Trains. Its convenient, quick and reassuring. I always do it this way as it guarantees me a seat on the speediest of journeys at 2 hours straight (When I drive, it can take 4 hours; not good when coming back after a hard slog on the telly!). I can't tell you how many times I've bought my ticket this way online but anyway; I did it and for a bargain price of £35 return.

My train was due to leave at 0611am and Mark dropped me off at 6am. I went to the counter to ask the guy if he could print my tickets for me.
He said "No!". Just like that.
I said "What do you mean no?".
He said "You should have printed them at home. You bought an e-ticket".
"I don't know what you mean by print them at home. Ive never printed them at home. I buy online, I come to you, I show you my transaction number and YOU print them. I don't know what en e-ticket is. I just buy online like I usually do. You are meant to print them.".
He said "No I don't".
I said "Yes you do".
Blah blah blah for another two minutes, all the while I'm having a frigging heart attack. I showed him my transaction details and code on my phone.
He said "No good showing me that, you cant get on the train without a printed ticket".
I asked if he could do it and he said "No. Company policy".
Company policy, my eye, I thought.
I said "Can't you print one at all? I'm due to be in London to go on air at 3pm. Ive paid for my ticket, here is the proof. I'll pay for it to be printed". I wouldn't have cared if he would have pocketed the cash at that point - I was frantic!
He sat there with an evil grin on his condescending face and said "NO! Unless, of course you pay for a ticket now which will cost you in the region of £165".
"What? Even though you can read here (on my phone) that I've paid for a ticket, you want to charge me for another one?
He said "Yes". At last, the man can say (but not really lol)

Well I just couldn't believe it. The colour drained from my face and the reality of not turning up for my show dawned on me. I was going to get done!

At this point I admit, I used profanity in a high pitched vociferous fashion as I went to stand outside the station, in the rain. All the while he stared at me with an evil grin. I was so enraged I could have literally committed murder. Outside the station I was stood bewildered and I actually started to cry. The frustration was blinding any sensible thought processes. Moments later, an off duty Virgin train staff girl walked passed me and asked if I was ok to which I replied "No. Your man in there wont help me". I quickly explained the dilemma but felt it was going to be a dead loss. Surprisingly, she was really nice and said "if you run like hell fire up to platform 4, Billy will help you". I was gone before she had finished saying "Hurry!".

I have never ran so fast in my life whilst carrying a ton of QVC samples and product (weighing approx 15kgs) in my wheely tote. I ran up two flights of stairs (carrying the dead weight), saw Billy immediately and quickly explained to him the prob. He was BRILLIANT. With the train about to pull up in 90 seconds, we ran to his office, I logged onto his PC (sh*t, I forgot how to use a PC....its been so long!) and logged onto my Virgin account. I located the transaction, clicked print and whoosh - ticket in my hand. I almost kissed Billy and snogged Kat (his assistant) as I just about made the train about to depart. Thank the frigging lord.
Now I could write a very long paragraph about how easy it would be for Virgin to review their policies in light of honestly bought and paid for tickets. But I wont. What I will say is that sometimes you just have to go beyond your jobsworth to HELP people. I do it, I LOVE helping people. And people like Billy and Kat and off duty Virgin girl should be commended on such lengths of service they will go to UNLIKE the knob head with the evil grin thinking he had ruined my day (he didn't). As an ex employee of Richard Branson's epic business model, you would think I might have been treated a little more kindly. But no. However, he will be hearing of this story so he can perhaps re-knit the team at Wigan North west station and perhaps give the chap behind the counter a lesson on "good will".

Aaaaaaaaanyway. I sat on the train drinking coffee that tasted like mud but feeling superior in the knowledge that I was finally on my way. I got to London at 8.30 and was in QVC for 0950. I went straight to "backstage" to try and organise my day which was eventful to say the least (I smashed the only working studio oven to smithereens - don't ask; I'm still dying inside). The highlight of my day was being with the FANTASTIC backstage staff, meeting Jill Franks after a 3 year hiatus (I love love love Jill) and being on air with Catherine and Dale. Not to mention the 2 ladies in my crafting life; Amy and Maz (I nicked the pic off Maz; thanks Maz!)

You see the big red circle above a blue, panelled cupboard? Behind that lays a very broken oven. RIP oven, you roasted/baked/cooked/grilled so valiantly to the viewing public until I killed you :(
After my last show had finished at 8pm, I was out the door, heading for Euston with a printed ticket (how novel). I slept all the way to Wigan where mark collected me. I got home at 1150pm, went to bed 2 minutes later and woke 15 hours later. I KNOW!!!!!

Its hard work breaking an oven, I can tell you ;)

Kirsty x
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27 Dec 2011

QVC Outlet sale - 28th Dec (Today)

Come join Amy, Marion and I today (starting midnight 28th Dec) for 11 hours of craft sales.
Its a blowout; a place where your christmas spondoolies can be spent with savings made to boot. You can watch QVC LIVE on the internet using their livestream HERE.

Hope to see you there!

Kirsty x
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25 Dec 2011

Tum ti tum ti tum

I fell asleep tonight (Xmas Eve) on the sofa and woke at 1.30am.
Needless to say I was wide awake for AGES so I thought I'd actually scrap a page. I honestly don't know what came over me. As Ellie doesn't get up until late morning (seriously, our girl prefers family spirit to presents and that is the god's honest!!), I can afford to scrap until 4am and still get some sleep. We alternate our Christmas's by having one in Wigan with Marks parents and then next time we go to my parents. Ellie loves both sets of grampies and is happy to spend Christmas day listening and laughing. I think that's such a treat for me; more than opening my own gifts.

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All she has asked for is bubble bath this year (could cry at the simple things she asks for) but I couldn't just buy that for her. She will have enough smellies to last a year but in the mix Ive bought her lots of jammies (her fave items of clothes), slipper boots and a few DVD's as well as money to put in her piggy which, if I know Ellie, will last her forever as she is the kind of kid that makes considered purchases. **sensible**

Right, I'm off to just check in on the pressies under the tree to see if Santa has snuck in something secret for me. Ive asked for a folding bike which I want to buy a dog trailer for so that Eddy and I can go to the seaside in the car and so that I can go on long cycling sessions along the promenades and make stop offs so he can have a walk and a sniff at intervals. I'd dearly love a duchess bike, like this one:
but its just not practical for transporting.**one day, hey?** A folding bike will just have to do; they just don't look as swish as a Duchess with a beautiful wicker basket, huh?

Anyway, I'm waffling so I'm off to bed.
Have a simply wonderful Christmas and enjoy being with the ones you love. If you can't or won't then you can have some from me

22 Dec 2011

What the........?

Wreaths! I love them and I love Pinterest where I can ogle over the best of them.
Here are a few of my faves.

Source: via Rebecca on Pinterest

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

Source: via Emily on Pinterest

Have you made one - can I see it?

20 Dec 2011

Calamity pain!

Well you think you have it all planned out until techy cyber gremlins attack you at will, forcing you to take cover under a cloud of mayhem.
Yep, that was Amy, Maz and I tonight on Ustream.

We had all planned to take 15 minutes each to showcase quick and effective creative makes as a collaboration to treat the QVC Crafts facebook members for their loyalty (click on the link and come join us!). I was airing from Wigan, Maz from Essex and then back up to Amy in Blackburn. Only when things should run smooth; they don't. Oh I did laugh. And I mean proper snort and grunt like a hog. It's was a complete farce and fortunately our viewers were patient and forgiving. What should have taken 45 minutes took us 2 and a half hours. The shame!

Here are the three things I managed to showcase in 15 minutes (relying on "here's one I made earlier" to speed up the process). The bauble came by way of SJ who pointed me to the idea on Pinterest a few weeks back. They are the easiest things to make on this planet - EVER. They also look beautiful. Its made from a polystyrene ball, paper punched flowers and pins.
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The tree? Man! That was even easier. Made from book pages and takes seconds to create.
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And the card? Well not easy but simple...... so yeah, kind of easy, LOL. These are also my christmas cards this year to my most loveliest of friends x
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I was going to make this but I ran out of time. So I made it later this evening. Its a broach but you **could** use it as an embellishment for your papercraft projects x
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Ive also been busy making this card for my friend Beth. She loves Bee's, so I erm.....obliged x Happy Birthday, Beth. The hybrids are courtesy of the amazing Rhonna Farrer.
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And lastly, its a Happy Birthday to my hubby today (a whopping 45 years old. That's, like.......v v v old). Happy Birthday Grumpy x
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And that is my crafting frenzy ground to a halt.
Until tomorrow ;)

Kirsty x
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Butterfly Kisses and Christmas Wishes

Dammit! I knew those pesky butterflies could never stray far from my mind. I guess you could say that the butterfly punch is here to stay. And there was me thinking I'd burned all my butterfly ideas out. Puh! So here is a quick card to round off a crafting hiatus (3 days!). I've not been at my best. These dark days really do make me want to hibernate. Not even a UV lamp can take away these blues although its going to take more than sunshine and lollipops to get rid of this funk.

All I needed was a little craft time to lift me up a little, I reckon.
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Is is really 5 days to christmas? Bluergh, how come it takes so long to get ready for it and then it be over in a flash?

Kirsty x
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17 Dec 2011

Colour Combos

This season screams traditional reds, greens and whites; even for birthday cards. But not in this craft room. One of my top 5 fave colours, Coral, is a colour I rarely use in crafting so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I hand glittered that flaming card (took forever) but I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

look at my I win a prize?

And that is all from me tonight cos I'm just not feeling bloggy enough. I went christmas shopping earlier to pick up my final odds and ends and as much as I want to say I'm relieved its over, I'm not. I'm struggling with a few things this season and I can't say I'm really "feeling" it. What if I'm turning into the grinch? Yeeeps!

QUICK! - somebody tell me a cheesy cracker joke to cheer me up!

Kirsty x
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16 Dec 2011

Big old Camp Cinderella

Its has been literally 30 years or so since I went to a pantomime and even then it was with Brownies. The thrill of dance, song and gags will always remain etched on my mind from that time at the theatre in Castleford, West Yorkshire.

Fast forward 30 years and to tonight. Belles and I plus her Nanny and Pops tripped over to Manchester to Watch Cinderella.Im not sure what I was expecting as a whole but knew that the part played by Louie Spence (Dandini) would be a laugh a minute. And it was. The props and costumes were gorgeous. The gags, the songs and the acting were spectacular. It was a real thrill for the adults and Ellie. She really got into it and it was lovely seeing her being enchanted by the whole evening.

If you are thinking of going, take my advice. Dont book over the phone with ATG (the ticket sellers for this show). They tried to charge me £48 a ticket. So I booked online and got them for £29. And they catergorically stated that £48 was the cheapest ticket available. I still think I £29 is hideous but in hindsight, it was worth every penny.

15 Dec 2011

In time for Christmas

I have a special offer on my Online Classes for one week only (well, until last post). If you buy any of my online classes (two have been greatly reduced), I will gift wrap them with a message of your choice. The classes can be accessed ANYTIME by you or your recipient and fill instructions will be mailed accordingly. If that wasn't gorgeous enough, the P&P is FREE!!!!

Come and see the classes here

No time to craft today; too busy making Hybrids for Scrapagogo.
January's kit colours are BEAUTIFUL.
And if you are after a kit next year that is recession friendly, you really ought to go and check out what MASSIVE changes they have made to the kit club, here.

I wanted to leave you with this picture here.
Dont ask me how I found it, I just did. Random searching for one thing and found another.

Kirsty x
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13 Dec 2011

I kind of fell in

Today has been a retailers dream. I felt nauseous waves of panic every time I went to pay for things today and only half the pressies are bought. First of all Boden are having the sales of all sales. Boden and I are in love. Boden will be shocked that I am buying a size smaller than previous too; that's how much I deserve a shopping spree. I earned it. Go me!

Then I went about the net to buy gifts (gotta love Amazon). Then I went food shopping and when you shop at Asda; a pair of brown leather boots kind of just land in your shopping trolley. And a skirt. And purple tights. Its retail sabotage wars on customer trolley's; it's not right, is it?

I also fell into a craft shop, too. We don't really have a dedicated craft shop in our immediate area but on our way back from a college introduction meeting today; I passed one. And I got sucked right in. I've known Wendy at Cardio (Pemberton, Wigan) for years but never seem to be in that area of town. Its quite a faff to just go on little sneaky trips to buy glorious and wondrous treasures. So when I fell in the shop late this afternoon, I thought I'd only spend a tenner. But no. The treasure that lay within was so sparkly and ching-chingy that my purse started to shake in my bag from the fear of the impending damage. Fortunately, I was quite sensible and bought a number of little oddments plus......

this baby here - complete with treats stuffed in every orifice ;)
Isn't she magnificent?
(archive picture, mine isn't as colour co-ordinated as this!)

So, this college visit with Ellie? Wow, it was fantastic. We have been told that this particular college has THE best pastoral care in the county. Its a Catholic college (mainstream, not special needs) which usually means that its a high achieving. They have ZERO tolerance on the issues that Ellie faces from her peers in the classroom at school, which can only mean one thing. Ellie is going to fly. I so know she is. The small classrooms (between 6 and 10) per lesson is going to allow her to flourish and be heard and recognised and fine tuned into this amazing person I know lays hidden under that school-beaten shell. Ellie came away with such a happy little face; she couldn't wait to tell her grandparents on the phone when she got out. She said that she is going to try extra hard at school to try and gain a higher entry level. I totally believe her. The college don't know how much they made her feel "mainstream" today. And they made me feel sane into the bargain. You ask any Momma of special needs children if they ever think they will be sane again; I know the answer for sure. Maybe all special needs Momma's need to look at this college! Its the elixir of getting a piece of sedation!

Today was a good day.

So good that I made this with one of my new stamp and punch sets from that crazy punch trend setter, Martha x
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There ain't no way I'm making a run of these for my cards this year cos threading those baubles took me 739103958573821 hours and almost sent me Doo-lally!

Kirsty x
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12 Dec 2011

A little digi scrappin'

I wanted to scrap today but I have no cartridges for my Selphy, therefore no photo. So to get my scrappin' fix, I can always rely on my trusty digi scrapping. I just LOVE digitising a page; you can't make a mistake or force yourself to cut into a paper that you wanted to save forever......with digi papers, you can use them a million times. I LOVE THAT!

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All digi credits go to Rhonna Farrer from her Chevron collection to Christmas Junque Pieces and Borders. Lest we forget the beauty of the Quatrefoil collection.
Go and grab a digi load of lusciousness.

Kirsty x
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Old ones are gold ones

On Saturday, I went, with Belles, to see somebody who I have been friends with for 19 years. Lee and I served at the same Forces careers office in Hanley (Stoke) back in 1992. She was my Sergeant at the time and we have remained to be good friends. I've watched her daughter, Victoria, grow into this amazing girl as Lee has grown to watch Belles flourish into a sweet teen. Friendships like that are golden and rare. I offered to take some up to date shots of Victoria; here are three of my favourite.

Isn't she beautiful?
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Tonight, I had to use up some poured ink that I had no chance WHATSOEVER of getting back in the bottle. I was FORCED to make loads of rainbow pages. Subsequently, I made this in a snap; for my simple art journals.
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And lastly, a couple of cards

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The a card above uses one of Rhonnas AMAZING hybrids.
Come see here for a plentiful selection.

Kirsty x
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10 Dec 2011

Off colour

I have not been feeling tip-top today. This time of year has so many reasons to be happy but also so many reasons to take stock of the year gone by. The enormity of it hits you like a truck; I totally empathise with those whose feelings that slip and slide. Its days like this where I shut down from the outside world, cosy up with the laptop and search for some happy.

Care to see some happy with me?

Source: via Stacia on Pinterest

Source: via Ashley on Pinterest

Source: Uploaded by user via Kristen on

Source: via Liza on Pinterest