Monday, 31 December 2007

HAPPY HOGMANAY!!!

Is it this time of the year again already? Can't believe it!!! The first half of the year is in a blur, and the 2nd half is not much better!!! :(

But hey, roll on 2008 - can't get worse I think? :)

Today we had a bit of a tidy around the house, had our traditional (?!?!) Raclette and now have moved upstairs to avoid any drunk revellers.

I am unable to find the "Dinner for One" Video for the 2nd year running (really have to make sure I have it for next year!!!) - DH googled it yesterday ... Interesting information there about the countries where it's being broadcasted! :)

I am still trying to catch up with Shim's Christmas Journal - will do that tomorrow while DH is watching LOADS of College Football! :) But I managed today's entry.

HAPPY HOGMANAY TO YOU ALL!!!

... wonder if I should suggest a little walk towards Corstorphine Hill to DH?

Monday, 24 December 2007

Nearly there!! :)

Right, cookies are done (just my Vanillekipferl are always going outwards and don't stay in the shape I make them in ... REALLY have to get that sorted ... shame my granny is senile so I doubt she will be able to discuss her recipe with me. :( ).

Mrs Claus' helper has brought in the tree and decorated it with just tiny help - next year he can do it without supervision. LOL.

Just printing the recipe for the gravy and then I'll tackle the BIRD (a duckling). :D

Quickly wishing everyone in Germany and on mainland Europe

MERRY CHRISTMAS

Will be back online tomorrow or later tonight. :D

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Exhausted!!!

Gosh, what a day! Got up at 8:20am (40 mins before my alarm!), got dressed and cleared the kitchen counter and the cupboard where our plastic tubs live. Then I put the Wolves Jerseys and pants from Sunday (washed and hung up to dry on Monday) into the team bag and moved that up. Quick breakfast and then I went upstairs to start on the Wolves Sponsors Christmas Cards. Wording??? NO idea, so quick (???) search online and then an e-mail fired off to the GM to check. Couldn't find my hermi roller so used double sided sticky tape for the photo (they are not made to last afterall) - and fortunately the photos were just a tick larger than the front of the card... so it took a bit of precision work, but was all ok (2 cards were 2 attempts but worked still ok). Dashed downstairs again to get some lunch and make some tea.

Still no sign of that dishwasher guy... Moved the mobile doorbell from the kitchen to the stairs as I couldn't hear one of our players ringing the bell on Monday. Got the e-mail back from GM with the wording. Working in MSWord for about 15 mins to create the card inlay - printing off a proof to check spacing ... and that's when the trouble started! Printer decided to need a new magenta cartridge. Not a problem really, as we have always cartridges in stock. Only problem is ... our printer doesn't automatically just print nicely once a cartridge was changed. NOOOOO! It starts to play up and needing about 30 mins cleaning/nozzle checking etc. And once that was working ok for the magenta it suddenly decided in a space of 5 minutes that the Blue cartridge and the big black one is empty as well (yes, they were showing as running LOW since this morning but usually you get another day out of it AT LEAST).

Then the electrician decided to turn up. I spent the time with him downstairs (about 1.5 hours) as I don't like leaving repair guys etc. alone in my house (well... me being on the 3rd floor = same effect!). Was a nice guy, we chatted a bit. Took quite a while to get the integrated machine out, because Chip had been very vigilant with the screws etc. :) Once the machine was out and the pump tested (was working fine) he tested some small thingy regarding the heater and THAT was the problem. Really, a 1" thing!! Causing such a hassle!!! :( At least he had one of those with him and exchanged it and the pump (just in case).

At that point my stepmum phoned from Germany - was good to hear from her, she got a broken ankle and is housebound for 4 weeks (after OP) already. We sorted out her Amazon wish (my Dad put her books on his own list so I wasn't sure) and chatted for 20 mins. Then DH phoned (again) to check whether the electrician had shown up.Another 20 mins with the electrician and I finally was able to go back upstairs to get the cards sorted (already 2:30 pm!!!)

Next step for the cards was to do the address labels ... got a pack of no-name ones and it took me 30 mins to set up a template for them on Word!AAARRGGH!!! Printed off the address labels, printed off the inlays and then found my other hermi (red) and was able to stuck down 3 inlays before the hermi decided to be empty!!!! Not a happy bunny (doublesided sticky tape is fiddly!!) but managed to get the cards done.

Then I finished my last 6 handmade cards for private use, wrote them and then used the labels for addresses as well - just to realise that I don't have a current address for Karen (KAZ) from the Memory Avenue Crops!!! She sent me an Xmas card ... but no return address.


DON'T YOU JUST HATE THAT??? WHAT IS IT WITH THE BRITS AND FEAR OF PUTTING DOWN A RETURN ADDRESS???


So, if anyone has her current address, could you please let me know? :)

And ... at 4pm I realised that I (and the GM) missed a very important sponsor - Condor Self Drive - because they didn't take part in the raffle but provided us regularly with vans to move kit etc. The photos were all used, so I had to print one off myself, hoping that the printer is doing its name justice (it's a Canon PIXMA iP4000) - which it did. I still had a leftover inlay and got the card done fairly quickly.

Then I wrote my last 2 cards (EFREC & my "Voodoo woman" Julia) and dashed out to make the last posting date for UK 1st Class!!!

PHEW!!!!

Now I am just shattered, and all my muscles ache from the tension of the day.

Hope I can catch up tomorrow and Saturday/Sunday with Christmas Journal entries.

Quick re-cap:
  • Christmas Cards - done (minus 1)
  • Christmas presents - bought/done (minus 1 but that's a quick one)

Monday, 17 December 2007

Some Crafty Things

Yes, I know ... I am wayyyy behind with the Christmas Journal ... or better: I haven't even STARTED this year's layouts. :o But I am planning on catching up the next couple of days. :)

BUT - I haven't been idle the last weeks ... I have been making Christmas Cards (see below). The ones with Tags (apart from the one with the Sizzix Stocking) were quickly put together - I had lots of Christmas Tags from a swap from 2005 (??) and just added them to either patterned paper or on cardstock embossed with the Cuttlebug embossing templates (the Snowflake one is courtesy of Lisa, the word one with the cute snowman is my own).

And I sooo hope that Santa will get me a Cuttlebug .. but somehow think shops are out of stock, so hopefully it's going to be my Birthday Pressie?!?! (hint hint hint LOL)

Baby, it's cold outside...

... was the 2nd day with frost! No snow yet though. Have been fairly busy today, mostly doing housework (again!!!) but also got the picture for the Wolves Christmas Card 2007 (for our sponsors). As none of them is reading my blog I can show it to you. Courtesy of my trial run on Photoshop Elements (and I think I'd really like this software!! :D ) - photo of Dave handing off at the game Wolves v. Tigers on 19.5. @ Meadowbank. I am going to stick the photo onto card blanks and then will write an insert for the inside of the card. I finally managed to get my Stollen into the oven as well... I'd done the dough on Friday already but didn't have much time to bake - and as I am still not 100% sure about my oven (fan assisted) I'd rather be in the kitchen while the stollen is in there. So this time ... NO burnt raisins, no dark brown top ... "just" a nice stollen, soft enough in the middle and just yummie!!! Doug said it's the best stollen so far! :) Wonder if I should try the tip from James Martin to use Creme Fraiche for liquid? I've bought a stollen form (metal cake tin shaped like a stollen) on E-bay and had hoped to get it in time for this year's stollen, but then ... I only bought it 2 weeks ago and with the Christmas Post I didn't really expect it to turn up in time. :) So that's something new for next year.

This afternoon I got a phone call from Curry's - YAY! They are going to send their repair guy round on Thursday. I just hope they can fix it here instead of having to take it away for repair... got the worrying thought that they'll take it away and return it on Christmas Eve while I am in the midst of cooking our Christmas Dinner!!! :o Keep fingers crossed for me!!!


And it's "turning Christmas" (my phrase.. ;) ) - our mail was delivered at 3:45pm today ... and not by our regular postie. Must have been one of the Christmas temps. Well, at least we got mail.

Now - I just LOVE winter for photography. Nice crisp evenings, the light and ice crystals. Here are some of the photos I've taken yesterday at training and today.


Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Shattered...

Not sure why that is... maybe because it's getting dark at 3 (!!!) pm already? Or because I am dealing with one of the most complex work "queues" on the 2 days at work? I am behind with my blog, am very much behind with the Christmas Journal (yep, guess what *I* will be doing on Saturday at the crop?!?!?!) and am JUST in time with the Christmas cards. :o

I feel like a cold is coming along and I think I suffer from SAD a bit ... :(

Have been taking a "leave of absence" from my girls at the FF Forum - there have been soooo many "BFP"s (Big Fat Positives) over the last 1/2 year and I just can't help but getting envious and bitter about things. Just thinking that we've been "in the mill" for 5 years and all I got so far was 1 blimming 5-week-pregnancy. Others have their first ever IVF and fall and STAY pregnant!!! Ah ... sorry ... it's sitting deeper than I thought, have been keeping the brave face for a long while with lots of help for the others, but think I am at breaking point and just CAN'T anymore. Will probably be back in May when we're back in the works.

Will be posting back dated posts over the next couple of days, including the Advent Calendar from the SBS Forum.

Friday, 7 December 2007

Productive day so far

... unfortunately all Housework!!! :)

Our ex-lodger & friend is coming to stay with us this weekend - even though his ferry from Orkney left 5 hours later than anticipated. So I've been doing a quick (emergency?) clean of the main bathroom and the spare bedroom.

I've also been putting on 2 washes, done the washing up and cleared one of the cupboard for the electrician to get better access to our dishwasher.

The guy actually turned up at 11:30am, had about 15 mins pressing buttons etc. and then declared the draining pump as DEAD. Avoid anything "made in China" - he said that China has bought scrap metal from the UK and US in the last couple of years, done something with it and then returned the goods to us. Unfortunately this includes our Kenwood integrated dishwasher (I NEVER had problems with Kenwood in the past). So he's going to get the headquarters to order a replacement pump. This usually takes up to 10 days ... so there's still hope that I get this sorted before Chrimbo!!! :D

I mean, I know that White Goods are not build to last anymore (usually 3 year turnaround from experience!) but to last only 7 months is a bit rich!! Ah well, at least it's still within guarantee so don't have to pay a penny (just have to make sure I get my work days shuffled if need be for the pump to be replaced).

Quick update on the advent calendars ... the Scrap Calendar got this nice wrapped pressie from NADINE in it. LOVE the idea with the cinnamon stick - but is that not very expensive to get 12 cinnamon sticks? Or do I just shop in the wrong places????? :o

The girls from the SBS Forum have actually asked for photos from the "Wartelistenkalender" (13 members only) and wondered whether we can set up a blog for it like Iris did for the main Calendar (25 members) here. So I've registered the blog already with Blogger and am going to play with it tomorrow unless someone else is quicker. :)

My tea today is "Mandarine-Vanille-Joghurt" (Clementine-Vanilla-Yoghurt). Wonder when I will be able to drink that. Tomorrow is the last tea for a bit until I get the parcel from my Mutsch ... so may have to catch up for a bit! :)

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Alles Liebe zum Nikolaustag!

Lots of love for St. Nicholas!! :)

That's a German thing - or maybe even mainland Europe. When I was a child you put a polished boot outside your door and when you got up on the 6th (St. Nicholas Day/Nikolaustag) you'll either have chocolates/oranges/clementines and nuts in your boot if you've been good, or you got a lump of coal or a birch (for whipping) in it if you've been bad. :) Aaaah... memories!! :) Sometimes, when the "Nikolaus" couldn't decide I found a birch in my boot which had small pieces of chocolate added. VERY confusing for a little child. LOL.

DH and I have slightly changed this and amalgamated the Christmas Stocking with the Boot. So instead of the stocking on Christmas Day we get a stocking on the 6th December. *DO YOU READ THIS, HUN??? IT'S THE 6TH DECEMBER!!!! ;)*

This year most of the items were delivered by the Nikolaus courtesy of my mum. YUMMIE Milka Christmas Chocolate Pack. :) I added 2 apples for DH in his Tigger Stocking.

At the SBS Forum we've done a "Nikolauswichteln" (equivalent to Secret Santa, just for St. Nicholas Day). I got my parcel already end of November and kept it without shaking it to figure out what's in it. Just added it to my Winnie the Pooh stocking.

Couldn't open yesterday's and todays Scrap Advent Calendar from the SBS Forum AND my stocking until after dinner today ... just far too busy. Have been trying to find the "August Rush" soundtrack everywhere on Princes Street but they just don't seem to have it. Gosh, they just don't know what's good!!!!

Anyway ... here are some pictures of the nice little things I got today. THANKS, ANJA (mywiel) for my Nikolauswichtel! LOVE IT!! It's chipboard pieces (self adhesive), a milka chocolate bar (eggnog flavour), 12 sheets 6x6 BG (Figgy Pudding?), 3 cards 7Gypsies, clips, eyelets, a prima (?) flower, snowflakes and a deco felt ribbon - never seen those before and LOVE them!!! :) Have already asked Anja where she got it from.



Oh... and my tea for today was ... Banana & Walnut again???! Happens I suppose. My Mutsch had to scour to get those tea tasters for my calendar. And it wasn't that bad last time. Quite liked it actually. :DAnd NO, I haven't done my journal entry for today (have to adjust with work and all that!) and I haven't been doing a batch of cards either. Just totally knackered just now. :(

But will have time enough tomorrow. We're getting some repair people turning up tomorrow to have a look at our dishwasher (which is out of commission since mid-November). And as usual we got the definite timeslot of ... wait for it .... BETWEEN 9 and 6!!!! GRRRR!!!

Just hope that guy turns up before 4pm as I have to get to our work Christmas dinner to Bonnyrigg. :o By bus this should take me about 2 hours to get there... OOOPS!

Addendum for yesterday

Right ... here it is ... my tea from yesterday was a fruity Christmas tea! :) I think it's one of the few fruit teas I actually like. :D Still have to drink it but can catch up tomorrow and Saturday with it. :)
And my Advent Calendar packet for yesterday was from Patzi. Just LOVE that cute reindeer clip!! :) Think I may just pass this on to my friend Josie in Germany. She LOVES reindeers! ;)


***ETA - Josie loves ELKS/MOOSES ... not Reindeers. But Josie - if you look at the pic, it looks more like a moose anyway, doesn't it?? :D

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

On the 5th day of December...

Today I was back at work and all was ok so far (if high volume of work as usual). Mvy friend from work has handed in her notice on Friday and will leave end of this month. AAAARGH! Shame really. But suppose, after more than 10 years at the same company she's probably looking for something else/different. You go girl!!! :)

As for me ... well, I went shopping after work, had a look for the Soundtrack from "August Rush" but HMV at St. James' Centre didn't have it and they told me that the HMV West End probably would have it... but it's £15. So decided against it. Got a pressie for DH instead and headphones for my MP3 and the DVD "Long Way Round" (Ewan McGregor & Charley Boorman) for me. :) I'd seen bits from it when it was on TV but haven't seen the full series. And after "Long way down" I got interested in watching the whole series. :)

Anyway, got home at 6:30pm, started doing dinner and then dashed upstairs to check Internet and all that.

Then started making cards after dinner at 8:15pm ... made them, wrote them and decided that I can send the newsletter by e-mail. At 9:30pm Doug went by car to DrumBrae Leisure, just to call me and let me know that they have done the last collection at 6:30pm. DARN!!!! AAAAAAARRRGGHHHH!!! What a CRAP!

Ach well...will just have to pay 2nd class postage for them. Good thing is that I can now add the newsletter afterall. ... How does the steaming the envelopes open work again???? :o

Sooooo ... FIRST BATCH OF CARDS DONE!!! (that's specially for Sharon! ;) ) Six cards done. Used the triple stamp from Dimension Fourth - Squiggly Tree/Baubles/Tinsel. Don't know why I always have those stupid smudges ... anyone got any tips?
And fortunately I had already the layout for day 5 done in 2006. Another cheating here ... but from tomorrow it's 3 days of scrapping my Layouts.

Prompt for today was "Countdown" - so my Advent Calendars. :) Which - would you believe - I haven't had the time to open today! :o Just the Chocolate one, but the Tea one is still untouched (well.. still having to catch up with yesterday's tea!), the Scrap Advent Calendar is still downstairs and the wooden one is not opened either. :O HATE this! :(

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

On the 4th day of December

Well... just a quick note about Calendars and Shimelle's class (I checked and I actually have layouts done until tomorrow and then 2 (?) more later on. So Thursday I will do my first "original 2007 layout" for this journal/album. :)

Today's prompt was "Perfect/Ideal Christmas".


I got my first Chrimbo Card at the Cross Stitch Group today (Thanks, Kathleen!!). None by post yet. :) And I haven't written mine yet, and tomorrow (1opm at DrumBrae Leisure Centre) is the last day for Scout Post!!! Have to go to work early and leave early so I can do the cards tomorrow! Probably will rush into the leisure centre for 9:45pm or so. LOL! Gosh, never been that disorganised for Christmas!!!

My present from the Scrap Advent Calendar today was from Heidi! THANKS, HUN! Love the vellum envelope and your drawings on it (and of course the contents of the pressie!). :)

And now to my daily tea ... it was a special black tea (not flavoured for a change). Darjeeling First Flush FTGFOP - shame that I am a day behind with DRINKING the tea ... and tomorrow I'm at work, so that'll be a bit longer as well... :o

A good movie! :)

Well...plans to do the christmas cards kinda went to pot today. :o Did have late-ish breakfast after a nice call from my Daddy, then put on a wash (guess what ... Wolves Jerseys again. ;) ) and then went upstairs to scan the league application form (for the team, annual thing) and complete the cheque. And suddenly it was 1:30pm and I had to dash down to get the car and drive to the cinema where I met up with the inlaws to watch "August Rush". VERY GOOD MOVIE!!! MUST SEE I'd say. Not a chick flick, and like MIL said - a Christmas Movie for the family (no swearing, no nudity). Loved the movie. And was surprised to see (once back home) that Jonathan Rhys Meyers actually did all the singing!! Thought he just acted it! GOOD music ... have to get my hands onto the soundtrack! :) Had a wee sniffle at the end of the movie ... apparently this is some kind of therapy to work out what happened last week, even though it's totally unrelated. :)



While I am not too keen on Jonathan Rhys Meyers (think his lips are a little female... ;) ) I think he has a FAB voice!!!



And for those of you who haven't seen the movie yet - get there!! :) It's the last week at Cineworld in Edinburgh (think it's gonna be replaced by "The Golden Compass").



I think Keri Russell looks quite a bit like the young Nicole Kidman in "Far and Away" or here. :)

Monday, 3 December 2007

On the 3rd of December....

Right .. nearly end of the day but have been spending most of today filling in the Team Application for the Wolves. NO IDEA why this always takes HOURS to complete (probably because the coaches don't provide information. LOL )...

Today's tea is BANANA & WALNUT ... and I haven't brewed it yet. Will do that tomorrow ... although I am not too sure on the Banana bit. Without the Walnut I would offer it to DH! ;)

And my Scrap Advent Calendar had this nice present here ... Shame I am not allowed to show a photo of the contents yet!!! :D Definitely going to take part in the Advent Calendar in 2008 as well if I can. :)

Off to bed now - want to do some cross stitching before I am dosing off. :)

Day 3 of Shimelle's Christmas Journal

Another cheat - just glad I have more time to get the house more or less sorted. Specially today, as I am currently sitting in bed with a thumping headache.

So here it is ... my layout for Day 3 (Christmas cards) from 2006. My cards will be different though ... I hope that I can do a batch this afternoon as well as the newsletters. Also hope to make my Stollen. :) Ach well, we'll see.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Day 2 of Shimelle's Christmas Journal

And yes, I am cheating again ... I've done this one last year already and because I am a bit short of time I am not going to re-do the layouts I've already done.

My original entry for it is here.

On the 2nd of December...

I've been doing some tidying and taking my break now. I managed to put up my tea advent calendar (but as you can see from this photo there are still more than 1/2 of the tea samples missing. Should be ok for a while though. :)

YESTERDAY'S tea was "Feuerzauber" (Magic of the fire) - Fruit tea with Rooibos and cinnamon. Quite nice - and that says a lot, as I don't like fruit teas that much. :)TODAY'S tea is "Amarettini" - A Rooibos tea with a hint of the Amarettini cookies and Marzipan. Quite like it actually.

I also arranged my Scrap Advent Calendar from the SBS girls and took quickly a photo. The packs are stuck to one of those sticky fabric thingies you get for putting up cards. It seems that it's not tacky enough anymore, so several of the small packets are falling off already. Shame really. Maybe I can get more of the stuff later this week?

Today's pack is this one - looks very nice, and the contents are very nice and will definitely be used! :) Thank you, Santa!

Saturday, 1 December 2007

On the first day of December...

I've opened my first gift from the SBS Forum's Advent Calendar. Beautifully wrapped ... and LOVELY gifts inside. Unfortunately, I cannot provide you the photo with the contents as we have to keep it hushed for the others in my group (and I know at least 1 person who reads my blog from time to time *waves to Andrea* ). But here it is wrapped ... love the idea with the slice of orange .. may do that next year!
Also had my choccie, but didn't have the wooden Advent Calendar down until late the evening as well as my tea advent calendar. So will posting today's tomorrow.

As I've done the "manifesto" for Shim's Christmas Journal already in 2006 here it is ... Unfortunately, the situation is still the same ... hoping that this will be the last Christmas only the two of us.