Tuesday, February 27, 2007


The wonderful Tori Amos announced last week that her next album will be released in May this year – yay! I’m not sure how keen I am on the title “American Doll Posse” and the promotional picture to go with it, but I am sure I will love it regardless. To coincide with the release of her album, she’s going on tour and I have tickets in my possession already :oD Obsessed me? Never.

As a bonus, Within Temptation have a new album out next month too. If it’s anything like “The Silent Force” it will be divine. Cue: much tribal dancing in living room!


Monday, February 26, 2007

Crafty Weekends

This weekend was a bit craft-centric on the whole.

On Saturday, Rhian and I went to the Stitch and Craft Show at Excel. Getting there turned out to be an adventure in itself. We got on the wrong DLR train and ended up at “West Silvertown”, along with many other confused looking crafters. I’m sure it is somewhere but it looked like an industrial wasteland to us. It was easily remedied though and we got to Excel eventually. It was my first time on the DLR and I’m still a bit dubious about the whole driverless train thing. It felt like being on a model railway!

Anyway, the show was a bit disappointing in terms of papercrafting goodies. Not a bit of Basic Grey in sight :o( I did, however, invest in a new corner rounder (I’ve worn the other one out – ahem) and some double sided sticky tape. I still enjoyed myself and it was lovely to see Rhian. She kept trying to get a picture of me with Dawn Bibby in it. I have to say though, as much as I am not a fan of Dawn’s work, she is gorgeous. The TV does her no favours.

As I got back to the flat reasonably early in the afternoon, Graeme and I then went to an architecture exhibition at the V&A. It was called “Over the threshold” and was looking at housing design, particularly the exterior and how the building promoted interaction with the community and environment. It was quite interesting actually and it was nice and short, so my attention didn’t wane.

Saturday night was a Battlestar Galactica fest. It was a struggle to pull ourselves away and go to bed (which really is saying something).

Sunday was dedicated to working on my team CJ for UKS. I’m really pleased with how it’s all turned out. Now, all I have to do is work on my own entry and it’s ready for posting!

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Friday, February 23, 2007

We have blooms!

Our little gardening adventure is paying off. We've now got three lovely irises blooming outside our flat window :o) They are truly gorgeous with little yellow/black stripes on their purple petals. I think the mini daffodils will be in bloom in a few days too.

Now, we're trying to think of what to put in some more window-boxes for the summer months :o)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Weekend update!

Finally, some time to post! I had a lovely weekend last weekend. Graeme and I did our first spot of "gardening" together. We've got our own little patch of grass (or more accurately, weeds) out the front of the flat and we wanted to brighten it up. So, we put together a nice window-box. The box itself was lying in the garden with a brick in it. Hmmm, I don't know what that says about previous tennants! We had a little trip to Homebase and I bought some herbs and bulbs. So there's some lavender and thyme in there, along with some mini daffodils and irises. The lavender will be lovely in the summer when we have the window open. The smell will just waft through the flat :o) It's a small start but I'm hoping we can put together a few more boxes and pots over the coming month.

On Sunday, we went to the Chinese New Year celebrations in Trafalgar Square. I was really looking forward to it but I felt quite disappointed in the end, as it was just so busy. Trafalgar Square was obviously too small a venue to hold such a popular event. It was a lovely atmosphere though, and it was nice to see so many people from different cultures getting together to celebrate with the Chinese community. One of the big highlights for me was getting to see a Dragon dance. They are just so amazing - the performers must have so much energy. Graeme managed to get some piccies too :o)

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

Especially for Kat!

An ATC made with Stewart Gill paints! It was made for a challenge on an altered arts forum. The challenge was to use only paints on white card to make an ATC. I used paints mixed with loo roll to give the textured effect. I also used the two colours I hadn't used before to see how they looked out of the pot. I think they look fab, however I expect the orange/red will look much better on dark card. Might have to go another ATC to compare :o)

We were allowed one word on the ATC too. I picked "soar". Why? Well, it's all I long to do at the moment. That and the backgound, although simple, evokes a number of feelings in me. It makes me think of sunsets/sunrises, new beginnings and all sorts of other things.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I am in love...

…with Stewart Gill paints. I went to my first class at Blade Rubber Stamps on Saturday and I really enjoyed it. We were playing around with the lovely Alchemy and Byzantia ranges. Strangely enough, I thought I’d like the Byzantia more but actually, the Alchemy are just utterly divine. I bought three of them to have a play with at home. I love that they are fabric paints as well. If I ever get the sewing machine up and running, I’ll be able to decorate what I make!

It was really lovely to be back at craft classes. I've booked another one for the start of March called "Soldered Charms". It's all about making jewellery and embellishments from microscope slides and various other things. I can't wait! I've been wanting to try it out for ages but I don't have a soldering iron. The lady teaching the class is going to demonstrate using things other than solder to hold the pieces together. I can see me getting hooked on these things :o)


Sunday, February 11, 2007

The past from the air.

Graeme and I went to see “The Past from the Air” exhibition at the British Museum today. Typically, we had left it to the last minute as it finishes today, so it was really busy. It's an exhibition of Georg Gerster's work (http://www.georggerster.com), which concentrates on his photos of ancient sites. I love his work in general and I would love to be able to take photographs like his. Taking photos of these places from above just gives you the ability to appreciate the site as a whole and see them in context of their surroundings.

One thing that struck me was the impact that both humanity and the environment were having on the sites. Some of them were being farmed on, while others were disappearing under the sand dunes. It's odd that it seems ok for nature to reclaim the land, but if humanity is destroying the site then that's wrong.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Successes and struggles.

This week has been a bit of a mixed-bag really. We had cause for celebration tonight when Graeme came home. He’s been awarded a £2K a year payrise and a £500 bonus. I am so pleased for him – it’s obvious that his work values him and appreciates all the hard work he puts in. We celebrated with some lovely pink champagne and chocolates!

Unfortunately, it has amplified my already unhappy feelings about my current job. I spend everyday completely and utterly bored. It’s not that I don’t have work to do, I have plenty. I just have no interest in the job. I thought when I decided to take this job, that it would actually challenge me as a postgraduate scientist. Instead, I’ve found it to be little more than an experienced admin position. Everyday I sit there working through the excel spreadsheet mountain, I feel like I am wasting valuable hours of my life while my brain rots in my head.

I just feel up and down like a yo-yo all the time. Some days I can cope (mostly by shutting off inside) but most days I am screaming inside. I’m just fed up with the constant bombardment with boring tasks and the way I am made to feel like a little cog in a machine. Graeme wants me to go to the doctor about my depression because things are bad again – constant sore heads, tight chest, panic attacks. However, I’m a bit scared as I am not familiar with my doctor here. My Edinburgh doctor was a wonder – she was a great support and I knew that she understood I wasn’t trying to waste anyone’s time. I know I need help as my whole world view has become so terribly distorted by the last few years. I just don’t know that I believe anyone can help me find the answers.

Hmmm, I really do need to keep my diary again. All this personal venting and angst used to go in there and never bother anyone else.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Crafty afternoons and quiet houses...

Hmmm, am writing this post for the second time after Blogger decided to log me out and lose my first post. Grrrrr! Did I mention I was thinking of moving to Typepad - lol!

Anyhoo, I've had a rather productive day today. I finally managed to set aside some time for crafty pursuits. Firstly, I made some ATCs for the AlterNative monthly swap. The first set are to celebrate Imbolc, which was yesterday. The snowdrops are embossed in Blonde Moments embossing powder, which has a lovely green-yellow sheen to it. They are then coloured in using Twinkling H2Os. Unfortunately, the lovely shimmer from them never seems to come out well in a photo. The second set were just me playing about with some stamps and an Indian theme. I'll get them posted out to their new homes next week.

My second project was playing with my new See-D morsels. I now have four sets as they are just so cute and great value for money. I made some cards with them and I'm really pleased with how they turned out. It's amazing how effective they are once they are layered up.

I'm at a bit of a loose end now. Graeme is off to see his family in Bedfordshire and I decided to stay here. It's £50 return for us to get there, which is far too expensive to make it a regular thing. I really enjoyed having the time to craft earlier on but now the flat just seems too quiet.

What I really want to do is watch more Battlestar Galactica. I bought Graeme the DVDs for Chrimbo and we started watching them again last night. Sooooo good! I suppose I'll have to wait until Graeme comes back really.

Maybe I'll play some Sims instead. I've just seen the video for the new expansion pack and it looks fab :o)


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Terrific traybake!

Recently, there has been a spate of traybaking occuring in our kitchen. I can't say it's a bad thing really. It's simple, it's quick and it's scrumptious! I used to do traybake all the time - Rocky Road was my speciality - but since moving here I've not done any. I think it's because I used to bake for the crops and other things I participated in. Now, that I don't have that here, it's just stopped.

Not any more though! I intend to hunt out all those old traybake recipes and get back to it. The first foray back into the world of traybake was the old classic - Mars Bar Cake.
Mars Bar Cake

3 Mars Bars
2 tablespoons Golden Syrup
50g butter
A box of Rice Crispies
150g Milk Chocolate

This makes about 12 pieces. I have to say this is a very rough recipe. I just tend to make things up as I go along regarding quantities.

Anyhoo, line a baking tray with cling film. Pop the mars bars, syrup and butter in a bain-marie (or a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water, if like me, you are not posh) and melt together. Once melted, fire in as many of the rice crispies as the mixture will coat. Mix well and spoon out into the baking tray. Squish mixture down to fill baking tray. Melt milk chocolate as before. Spoon melted chocolate over mixture and spread until surface is coated. Pop whole thing in fridge overnight (or until nice and solid) and then tuck in.

Easy as that really :o)