November 2008


i am wiped. Totally.. totally wiped. I’ve spent today stamping the back of all the xmas cards i’d made (with a “handcrafted” stamp), signing it with “kethry”, in some cases decorating the envelopes, where i’d not done it before, and sliding them into clear plastic sleeves. I then made 12 more cards. I’ve now got 91 cards: enough.  3 are reserved for Mum – she gets first pick of another 15, and after that, if i sell the lot, great, if not, then i’ve plenty of cards to do my own with! (and if i do sell the lot i’ll have to come home and make more.. gah!).

Still, i saved the best for last, i think. I really really like the new designs. I did two designs, six of each, totally handmade. I think they rock. Take a look, see what you think. (behind the cut of course).

Oh, and i booked the Turkey today. As in previous years, we’re having Christmas day on our own, and Mom/Dad/Gran are visiting on 27th Dec, and the Turkey is for then. Maybe Lamb for xmas day, not sure yet, and i might get a ham too. We’ll see. But a conversation with the butcher revealed that he’s keeping his prices the same as last year, which i was very surprised about, and actually expressed concern about (I know. I’m too nice). “Can you afford that?” i said. He grimaced, i get the impression he didn’t feel he had much of a choice. Poor guy. its been a tough year for butchers. Might see if i can give him a bit of a bonus.

tomorrow: I’ve got to make a Scottish Whisky Dundee cake (was going to make it today but the fruit needed soaking – its soaking in whisky now!), Rich and Boozy Christmas Pudding, both to take with me down to Mum and Dad’s on thursday, bread (for Michiel who is staying behind – dog/flat sitting), hemming a skirt and repairing a zip on my coat. Hopefully i’ll have time. Oh, and packing as well, since i’m heading out reasonably early on thursday morning (and no, Mum, I won’t forget the tickets this time…). I’m looking forward to getting there. i get to have a rest… Returning on Tuesday 2nd Dec, I may blog while I’m away but not sure. And when i get back.. i get to start on xmas presents!

(oh and for anyone reading this from the US: happy thanksgiving!)

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more cards… I know i’ve been tagged by a few people (thankyou, Sharon, Donna!) but right now its just not possible for me to do them.. i’ll catch up soon tho’, i promise.. current total of cards = 79. (Mom, before you go bananas, this includes not only the ones for the fair but yours and mine too so relax, ok?). tomorrow i’m running into town to get clear cellophane envelopes for all the cards, and a gold ink pad (i ran out today), then around 10-15 more and i’m done. Then i just have to stamp them with the “handcrafted” stamp and put them all together.. *phew*. photos behind the cut.. I haven’t put them all on here as i’d be here all night (and it would be boring to look at) but if you want to see them all, then look here, and you can…

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more christmas cards. my life is getting boring now – christmas cards and not much else.. lol. still. not for much longer. I’ll try to post something other than xmas cards soon.. Current total: 52.

Photos behind the cut, as per usual.

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I returned today to the tried and tested method of using old christmas cards to make new ones. I can run cards up quite quickly this way, and i wanted to bump the number of cards i’d made up a bit. i succeeded – i made 11 today – which brings the total to 44.

Photographs of the cards are behind the cut, as per usual.

I’m possibly going food shopping tomorrow (got to get the booze for the xmas cake/pud) but i’m not sure if i will – it depends on the weather, its promising to chuck down tomorrow and not on friday, so i may postpone it and work on cards again. if i do and i get a similar number done then i’ll feel much happier, i think. we’ll see. 🙂

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today was Freezer Day – i finally got around to defrosting the graveyard, aka the large upright freezer in the kitchen. leftovers disappeared into it with alarming regularity, and never came out of it – a situation that couldn’t really continue indefinitely!! this was made worse when Michiel accidentally left the freezer door open last May (when i was visiting Sez) for a few hours – i hadn’t realised at the time, but something partially defrosted in there and had dripped all over the contents, thus introducing the possibility of cross-contamination. Which basically meant that anything that was in there before May had to go, and anything i wasn’t sure about, had to go. anything unlabelled had to go too! Sadly i ended up throwing out far too much, but i was determined to wipe the slate clean. Defrosting took around 6 hours, we did it with bowls of hot water, nothing else – we simply cannot afford to replace a freezer at this point, so we didn’t really dare use any of the other methods, i was so paranoid about piercing the coils. Still, it is now frost free, and the food i did keep kept frozen very well in a cool bag in the garden for the 6 hours it took, thankfully. i’m planning a shopping trip on tuesday to bulk buy stuff to fill it up again – freezers need to be kept reasonably full, in order to minimise the amount of electricity they use. (although of course, switching them off altogether uses still less, yes, i know…)

In between all that running back and forth with bowls of hot water and reboiling the kettle (I dread to think what our electricity useage is going to look like tomorrow) i managed to get some more christmas cards done. I was lucky enough last week to lay my hands on a large poinsettia medallion papermania stamp from Fred Aldous, and i’ve been playing with that. My first attempts were a sort of decoupage: cutting out the different layers of the poinsettia, and layering them ontop of each other, seperated with the use of double stickysided foam pads. I think they work well, although its difficult to see the decoupage stuff. (Sez reckons its not decoupage, which is fine by me, but .. what is it if its not decoupage?). Whatever the technique is called, they do look damn good, and i’m pleased with them. I may make a few more using this technique.

Photos behind the cut, as usual: tomorrow, more cards, i hope, and i’m going to make a home made quiche for the first time in years (Mum, i don’t suppose you have the recipe for that lovely bacon and tomato quiche i used to make do you? it was one of those cards. Looked in the files, can’t find it. bah.) for tea. that was supposed to be today but the freezer had other ideas…

Total cards produced so far: 35. Need to step up on production a bit…

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Today’s Remembrance Sunday. I think its also Veteran’s Day in the US; but Remembrance Sunday is celebrated right across the Commonwealth; the nearest Sunday to 11th November, the day when World War I ended. Tomorrow is especially poignant because its 90 years since the end of WWI; or to be more exact, Tuesday will be 90 years to the day. The 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918.

I’ve changed the header to reflect this. Although i don’t come from a military family, I was brought up to respect and admire the sacrifice that they made, those who gave their tomorrow for our today(1). There wasn’t a family in Britain, France, Russia, Austria or Germany who wasn’t affected by the conflict – including mine – one of my great-grandfathers, i was stunned to learn very recently, served in WWI, and lost a leg there, although I’m not sure where.

And of course, WWI was supposed to be the “War to end all Wars“, but of course it was anything but. More men and women gave their todays, resting in a corner of a foreign field(2), in WWII, and in the numerous wars since then, and are still doing so today, in the numerous conflicts around the world.

I want to end this with a quote from a poem that’s always meant a great deal to me ever since i first read it as a teenager. Its by another WWI poet, Wilfred Owen, and its called Dulce Et Decorum est – which is latin, meaning “It is sweet and noble to die for one’s country”.

“My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro Patria Mori”

Please: Buy a poppy. Take a moment, a minute of silence, at 11am, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, to remember them, remember their todays, and honour their sacrifice.

(1) paraphrased from “When you go home, tell them of us, and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today” – from the Kargil Memorial.
(2) taken from “The Soldier“, by Rupert Brooke – “If i should die, think only this of me: That there’s some corner of a foreign field that is forever England”.

Postscript: Just spotted on the BBC: Monday is apparently the 70th Anniversary of Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass, which many consider to be the start of the Holocaust. Although its not traditional to remember those who died in war or in the holocaust but who weren’t soldiers as part of Remembrance Sunday, i personally will be remembering them too.

they started building a huge bonfire again this afternoon, in much the same place as last year’s. Of course, with the camera i’ve borrowed from mum having the ability to record short videos i had to go along and see what i could film… and i thought i’d share two of them here. Enjoy!

Finally: stupid call center people. When i’m asked for a phone number i often give them Michiel’s number so they can at least leave a message. When his phone rang and they asked to speak to me, he said, “no, you can’t, she’s deaf.” “oh, i see, its inconvienient, i’ll call back.”… Michiel: “No, you don’t understand, she’s deaf, she can’t hear you, she’s non-hearing.” them: “yes, yes, its inconvenient..” and they hang up. and a spitting mad BP came into the kitchen to rant and rave about stupidity and discrimination. LOL. I’ve never seen him getting mad on my behalf before, not like this anyway. made me smile. but it is pretty silly isn’t it?

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