Sunday, 19 July 2009


Sorry I'm late, but last night wasn't a night for blogging, it was one of those bleurgh sort of nights where the most enthusiasm I could summon up was to mooch around the web and eventually wander off for an early night. It must have done some good though as I've managed a couple of cards today, as well as sorting out a few bits for the upcoming trip.

First up is a birthday card for one of the ladies from the Cubby Hole who is currently laid-up in hospital after an operation. And yes, it's pink. I know that I don't usually do bright colours, but pink is one that I find fairly easy to work with. I wonder if that says something about me (and what comments I've just let myself in for?) :P

Next up is another Cubby Hole
birthday card. It's not as bright as
the other one, but still a bit outside my usual colour range. Although the design is totally different, the colour scheme was inspired by this card on Lydia's blog. Thanks :)

Last but not least is my entry for the July Tag Swap at the Cubby Hole. Back to
normal colours for this one, but two out of three ain't bad (where have I heard that before?). There's been a good response to the swap, with a couple of entries coming in by post (including one from overseas). I'm not 100% why, but it's probably because it's a quick and easy project to do and doesn't require the long term commitment of the journals and ATCs.

I doubt if there will be a blog next week as I'll be sat drinking wine on a beach in the Hebrides and trying to decide where to explore first. I'll blog as I go along, and post it if, by some miracle, I manage to get a decent broadband signal.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Catching up

Well I guess it's been a while since I last blogged, so I'd better get things up to date. Where to start though? I could tell you that I'm sat in a hotel bar in Edinburgh, drinking Italian beer having just dined on Thai chicken, but that would be getting ahead of myself.

I guess the first bit is the crafty stuff. CJ3 is now completed and stored away with the other journals that we did previously, but CJ4 is still ongoing and due for handing on to the next contributor on Saturday. The one I currently have is entitled “If I were a seamstress”. Ignoring the fact that I'd actually be a seamster (yes, I had to look it up too) it's a very different CJ than most as it requires us to use fabric as well as the usual paper based pages. After a bit of digging around I managed to find some blue fabric (I think it's polyester, but don't quote me) and a bit of white. It's quite heavyweight and would be perfect for making a suit. I did think of making a little suit to fit the page but somebody else has beaten me to that idea, so I decided to chance my arm and try sewing a suit. Obviously a full one wouldn't fit, so I went for a couple of bits – cuff and collar. For somebody who's sewing experience is normally limited to putting buttons back on things I don't think it's bad at all. The only other crafty stuff has been a set of Alice in Wonderland ATCs, but I didn't get a pic before I handed them over, so you'll have to use your imagination for those.

At the moment I'm very much the travelling man. Saturday was a very enjoyable day in Leeds, sharing a drink and catching up with friends, and meeting a couple of new faces, (plus a visit to Hotel Chocolat of course). Sunday was spent finishing off the CJ, and then packing a bag and jumping on a train for Edinburgh. I'm here for 3 days on an IT course. I had a choice of Manchester, London or Edinburgh – no contest!
I arrived on Sunday evening by train, after a scenic journey across the country. I don't normally like cities, Manchester is cold and hostile, London is too big and too full of it's own importance, and so on. But this place is different, it feels friendly, welcoming, and the architecture is stunning. My employer has a list of approved hotels and I'm in one, the Ramada on Princes Street. It's excellent. Good rooms, brilliant food, and I have a room which looks out over the city, from Carlton Hill, right round to the castle, including the astounding Scott Monument.
Monday night was a visit to the dome to meet up with friends for a drink. The Dome was originally a bank, but has now been converted to a bar/restaurant/conference centre. It is a truly imposing building, with most of the original décor, and still retains a sensed of grandeur. If ever you visit Edinburgh it really is worth a visit. Tonight is my last night so I've done the touristy bit. I've walked around the town taking pictures of the buildings and statues, bought shortbread in a tartan box for work and sat drinking my beer and gazing out of the bar windows over the city.
Tomorrow I'll finish my course and board the train back to Crewe. At some stage I'll have to do the next level course, and I'm really hoping they host one in Edinburgh. But somehow, I think that even if they don't I may well be back here sooner or later.

Saturday, 4 July 2009


Today was the day. After 10 months of blood, sweat and tears (and the occasional tantrum) the circle was complete and CJ3 journals were returned to their rightful owners. (For new readers who are unaware of circle journals have a look here or here).
Unfortunately one of our number had fallen by the wayside, and another had moved to deepest darkest Derbyshire, but the rest of us assembled at lunchtime for the return of the journals. This was accompanied by the ceremony of eating chip baps and drinking tea (there were also chocolate brownies - nowt to do wiv me guv, honest).

The journals were handed over with much solemnity and due dignity. Oh ok, we ripped them out of their wrappings and behaved like a bunch of kids at Christmas, but what else did you expect? There were tales of hardship and deprivation during WWII, intrigue surrounding a mysterious music box, a castaway story with a bizarre ending, the totally random story featured earlier and a tale of sex and drugs and rock & roll with an unexpected twist at the end.
And then there was mine.
"Once Upon A Time - The Case of the Tigers Eye"
Nothing glittery or flashy - a pulp fiction private eye story. Not my usual choice of reading material, but I've killed plenty of hours on duty reading these type of stories (if I'm bored I'll read virtually anything), and I figured it would be a challenge for people to work with a very basic format; no fancy colours or fonts and so on.
The story is fairly predictable. A good looking blonde with a foreign accent walks into the office of a hard bitten cynical PI and asks him to track down the Tigers Eye. Along the way we meet the overworked police Inspector, Russian goons, Chinese triads, and various other nefarious characters. It's never going to be a best seller, but it wasn't intended to be. It's a wondeful keepsake and I'd like to say a big thank you to the ladies who contributed so much time and effort to it. As well as the cover and rules I've added a couple of sample

In other news. after the wonderful weekend down at Exmoor, I'm back on facebook after some nagging:)
I'm on leave again at the end of the month and have decided to go and see the stones at Callanish. It's a long trek to get there, but it's a place I've wanted to visit for a while now, more or less since I started on my path. Who knows what the visit will bring?

Finally, the Saturday night menu:
Wine - Australian Cabernet Shiraz
Food - Green & Blacks Caramel
Music - Led Zeppelin. How the west was won.