Monday, 31 October 2011

Happy Halloween!


Happy Halloween Everyone!

This was going to be a post about John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany, but to be honest, it's been a long day and I would really like to not think. I just want to admire my pumpkin! :D

Saturday, 29 October 2011

200 and a Giveaway!

Happy 200th Post!

Christmas Advent!

I'm well into Christmas planning and crafting now. Yes, yes, yes, it's Halloween weekend, and my pumpkin remains un-carved, but Christmas, Christmas prep is a-go!

As it's post 200, and i'm feeling pretty chuffed with my stockings, I sewed up a third with some spare fabric (OK, with a piece I cut out by mistake...) and figured I would run a small giveaway. (Small, because my readership is limited and I figure anyone who does enter, stands a damn good chance of winning!)

Here it is:


Apologies for the poor lighting, but sunlight does not exist in this house. We are like in a sunlight no-go zone. Especially at 5pm!

So yes. If you want to win a home made Christmas stocking, made with love by me, maybe with a few other goodies thrown in, continue reading!

The Rules:

1. Post a comment on this post with your favourite Christmas traditions and/or handmade ideas for seasonal giving!
Make sure your email is entered into the field so I can contact you if you win!
2. Giveaway will close on November 18th at midnight and I will draw it on November 20th.
3. You can enter wherever you live.
4. If you would like, I would appreciate if you would follow this blog. Not a compulsory action, but a nice one!

All names will be thrown into a hat, and I will pick one at random to win. Easy peasy lemon squeezy right?

Have fun! Looking forward to seeing what traditions people have!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Catching Up


I've been a little lacklustre on the blogging front, and the everything front recently. I've not been feeling great, and I'm still not right, but I'm getting there. The nurse gave me some tablets to ease to sick feeling; some form of gastritus apparently, and already after one day, I feel less sick.

I'm still feeling tired, a combination of not enough sleep and too much hard work and stress at work; I still need to go see the opticians as my eyes feel tired and slightly blurry. I will get on that this weekend but I'm getting there. Fingers crossed that everything else bug wise stays away. Sadly working in retail kind of means I get exposed to so many germs! Yuck.

Testament to this is that I started tidying up after a couple weeks of doing pretty much no housework other than the minimum amount of laundry and washing up. I also started and finished another Christmas stocking today. So I now have mine done, Pip's half done and another spare one to which I will be doing something exciting with in blog post 200 (Post 200. Yikes. That's an insane amount of things that I have said that no one really needs to know!) either tomorrow or Friday. I also have a solution to my 24 mini stockings which will be unveiled closer to Christmas. Need to just find the perfect old school frame for them. Planning on going to a church yard sale this weekend to see what I can find!

Christmas shopping/planning has begun in ernest. I have my folks, I have all the stuff ready to put together for Alfie, I have half a stocking stuffing for Pip, and I know what he is getting. That's pretty much all I need to sort out. Cards though, home-made as always, are not even considered. I will be sending out/doing a card exchange again this year so keep your eyes peeled (or open with matchsticks as mine feel right now).

I'm going to stop rambling now. See you at post 200 for a happy time!


Monday, 24 October 2011

Christmas Crafting


Ho Ho Ho.

Santa can fill my stocking now.

Only, apparently I have to fill in an application form? Visitation rights from Santa. He needs to know how much alcohol I am willing to provide. Thanks for the form Mum, it's hilarious! :D Can be found here for anyone interested!

The stocking was relatively easy to put together. Just, it's rather thin in the middle, so pressies may be restricted. But never-mind.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Autumn Leaves


I love crisp and colourful autumn leaves. For now, they look ever so pretty. Less so when it rains and the mush of soggy leaves takes over. I miss living near the woods and being able to see such colours more often.

Have a happy autumn.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Crafting Adventures!


I have quite a few crafts ongoing right now, and several planned. And all really needing doing before Christmas!! Homemade Christmas is much more tricksy than I would have thought!

The 'To Do' List:

Christmas Stockings. The Fabric is cut, I just need to sew them together and attach the fluff!

Mini-Christmas Stockings. For Advent. Need to attach the decorations and figure out numbers. And how to display it. What started out as something cute to di with my reindeer fabric has grown out of control!

Pouches Found a tutorial for making mini-pouches. I got some zips, I just need to learn how to use my zipper foot!

Cross Stitches For cards!

I am also working on keri smith's Finish this Book. Much fun!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Free Day

Finish this Book

A free day from now.
The cleaning is done.
The laundry is drying.
Coffee is drunk.

Free Day.

What to do?

Monday, 10 October 2011

Screwing up


Other than at home, where crafts and life and tickity boo, I keep seeming to screw things up. Things that make me worry.

I keep making mistakes at work, silly things that panic me. I keep worrying about things I have no control over, like the mystery shopper thing. If it was me, i failed. I know that. The week they came was an appalling week for me.

I made a mistake in my job search when I somehow forgot to write a line of thanks in an email requesting a reference. Do not ask me how. I just had some form of life fail. The rest was super polite, maybe too much so, so fingers crossed the gentleman will still do it for me. Or won't notice. But i do wish there was an 'unsend' email button. I have never left something like that out ever before, so I don't know how it happened. It's just common sense to have thanked him. I'm so stupid.

It's not like I didn't even read it 20 times before sending, because I did. I always do. So how did it happen? Argh at myself for my own stupidity and there is only myself to blame.

I think that is the worrying thing. That I managed to do it at all. Completely unlike me, and hopefully the gentleman I asked knows that of me. I just sit and hope that he agrees to act as a referee for my fast stream application. Not that I will get through, but if I somehow manage it, as I didn't auto-fail, I need some academic references planned. I do have someone else i can ask if this went tits up though.

I feel out of sorts over things like this. Over my desperate applications to places for a job that won't feel like such a drain. because that is what I am slowly feeling like. An empty shell that only works and sleeps.

I need a holiday.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, 7 October 2011

Friday Nights

Double the happiness!

Thank God It's Friday. Although fingers crossed the weekend will be good. For starters there was a double rainbow, and I got in seconds before a huge rain storm! Yay! I've spent my evening making bunting, watching Merlin and drinking cider. Bonus. :D

Oh, and the laundry. But really, that's nothing...


Yeah, there is a lot tonight. And as of now, 10.30ish, I still haven't remade the bed. Opps. It's also covered in clean laundry. Well. The bunting is up now though! More important things had to be done!

I mean really, this whole week has been emotionally and mentally draining. I need to chillax (real word) and look after myself this weekend. No stress.

Except for those tests I will take tomorrow. Just to see. I might apply next year for real if I pass, spend some time improving my CV and all that. What do people do for extra curricula's once they have left school? Apparently second-time applicants have a higher chance of success. Which is odd. Mind you, the odds are something like 15, 000 apply, 600 jobs. So success rates are fairly moot!

Right. Shutting up now, watching more Merlin and waiting for my man to come home so I can get some snuggles!


Thursday, 6 October 2011

Many steps sideways: the update


This blog started as a way to track my life post university as I looked for work and some kind of career plan.

It's not going so great. The job hunt I mean. For sure, I currently find myself in a full time job, underpaid and overworked obviously! But I hope my life won't stop in retail. It's just not what I want to do forever. As a stop gap, it's great, as a career, nope.

However, having this job means I can actually apply for things I want to do. Places I might stay and enjoy. Those jobs are fairly few and far between.

In a kind if spur of the moment, oh that looks interesting type of way, I found myself applying for the civil service fast stream. It's pretty arduous, with months of testing, testing, interviews, applications and more tests and interviews. I did the practice tests, ending up with myself in tears at the numerical reasoning one. Pretty sure its not for me. To be honest, whilst I could see myself as a part of the civil service, I'm not sure I want to be at the top as a senior civil service. I spent five hours last night trying to conquer percentages over at the khan Academy. Again, it ended in tears (although, at around 11pm, I did crack my problem with decimal places. Kind of.)

On a side note, or a below note I guess, anyone with kids, or anyone who wants to up their maths game, should check out the Khan Academy. It is a beyond incredible resource that has ten minute videos, followed by exercises, with a fun points and rewards system. Really. Check it out. There is a ted talk on it someplace too. Watch, and witness educational change!

Back to the civil service. So I'm fairly certain I'm not competitive enough, nor do I have the drive to go for it full speed, so I'll take the tests to get so e practice on reasoning tests, and see what a competency questionnaire actually is, and them look for my failure notice! Even if I passed into the application process, I don't think a blank space for extra curricula's will look to good. Ha. Amused I am.

So what is the plan? What do I actually want to do? Something I enjoy for a start. And then, if I can, I want to be my own boss. I even have an idea floating around in my head. I just need to learn about it, prod it a little, and maybe one day, when I am older and possibly even wiser, implement it.

But step one starts as soon as I find a driving school. Yup. That's right. I'm heading out onto the roads. Argh. Actually, I had some 40 hours of lessons when I was 17. I was pretty much atrocious; I never even took the test, although it was booked! I'm thinking learning with the minidrivingschool would be fun. Although possibly more expensive than a mainstream school like the AA. I need to do some research. But learning will open up job possibilities above and beyond my current travel restrictions.

Stay away from the roads folks.

Finally, after quite a bit of rambling, I need you guys to do me a huge favour, particularly if you are in the uk. There is this great local (brighton) band called Bitter Ruin that remains unsigned and unmanaged and they are trying to get into the charts this week. For.79p from amazon or iTunes, you can help them achieve this! They are a fabulous mix of music, styled as a dark cabaret act. Think flamenco and rock mixed in an eclectic manner. I've seen them live in support and just wow!

This is the single. Listen, and if you like, consider helping them out! Please, with lemon icing on top!

Sorry for all the rambling. This was the second writing of this. There was an accidental hand pressing on the iPad that led to disaster. The first one was obviously far superior!

Anyway. Have a lovely evening!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, 3 October 2011

Getting the Season Started


Starting my Halloween prep with Pacman bunting! Completely awesome and entirely simple, I found the tutorial over here. All I had to buy was some black card, the rest I improvised from what I had on hand. Total cost: £1.19p. Amusement factor: Priceless!

I'm off to make some more bunting of some description whilst I catch up on Merlin. Have a happy Monday night!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Saturday Suck


Today has sucked. I meant truly and utterly. It started badly, and has continued to be a nightmare of a day.

A list of suck:

- I woke up late and grumpy.
- I took a numerical reasoning test and pretty much failed in a state of tears and desperation. I'm applying for the civil service, but if I can't I prove my maths before I take the real test then I'm not sure it's worth the effort!
- I was cooking a chicken, and the oven got turned off half way through. No idea how long it had been off for, or how long it would need, I figured I would go to the supermarket to get some chicken breast for the dinner. After fighting the ridiculous amount of people in Tesco, and getting some snacks, I walked home, only to almost get pissed on by a guy peeing over the subway. *shudders* I jumped in the shower as soon as I got in!!!
- home and pip lets me know, he won't be home before dinner, argh. although, after this, he did sweetly come home and help me cook, before dashing off again.
- in tidying up the one good thing of the day, I spilt my sewing box everywhere! Ack!

I'm now tucked up on the sofa in boiling temperatures that are more suited to high summer than autumn, watching dr who, merlin and the the dr who confidential! Also have some kiddie sweeties keeping me company!

The good though, I made a polka dot Christmas stocking. Awesome.

Hope everyone had a better saturday than me!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
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