Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Pins and Needles

What on earth is it about haberdashery ( and stationery for that matter ) that is just so ridiculously appealing ? I can't be the only one to drool over little packets of beautifully wrapped sewing items, can I ? Please say I'm not .
Even the word is beautiful - haberdashery .

John Lewis have just brought out a special range of delectable sewing notions ( see there's another beautiful word ) to celebrate 150 year in the business.  And here are some of the little beauties. I would also have snapped up the traditional tape measure were it not for the fact that , post Christmas cracker, I am now awash with them and nail clippers , spectacle repair kits and shoe horns come to that .

When I die , the house clearance people are going to assume that they're in the house of a deceased seamstress or maybe the fact that every packet will be pristine and unopened might give me away as a fraud.

Friday, 18 January 2013

A little Anecdote from my past ...

Another interminable conference , prefaced by a tedious drinks party . Whilst the invitations to these events suggested voluntary attendance, you were nonetheless ticked off an imaginary register of corporate fidelity. Dull suits , shabby shirts,  loud ties and very occasionally a smattering of women in the suit equivalent of a smartly tailored black dress.

“So, what do you do ? “ asked a grey-suited delegate, attempting the kind of small talk required at such a gathering. Was he genuinely keen to know or was this just a blatant attempt to gauge my status within the ranks ? It was a thinly disguised interrogation to establish my seniority and salary potential. He was relatively junior , judging by his age but clearly ambitious and would undoubtedly have ‘worked’ the room , eager to establish useful connections that might nudge him up the promotion ladder.

I told him nonchalantly that I worked for the Chief Executive of the company hosting the event. I could see this information being logged in a part of his brain that would tell him whether further conversation would be useful or not . “So you must get to type a lot of very interesting letters ? “ he laughed scornfully as if I were party to the kind of correspondence that might, intellectually, go over the top of my head. I was , after all, a woman , I worked for a senior figure in the company, QED I must be a secretary . These were his assumptions based on the limited facts he had at his disposal.

When I told him that I didn’t type he was clearly puzzled but at that moment he spotted an eminently more important guest , over my shoulder and he was off without so much as a backward glance. I could hear his voice booming at his new, unfortunate victim “ So , what do you do ? “ Clearly an unimaginative conversationalist.

The evening wore on in much the same vein of stilted snippets of office talk and polite enquiries. Sly glances at watches were made by the impatient , attempting to calculate an acceptable time of departure . Bores were quickly passed over by the more discerning guests and those with an appetite for alcohol were just beginning to loosen up and make fools of themselves. I could hear my earlier garrulous inquisitor move around the room, making his presence felt with indiscriminate laughter at his own jokes. 

Finally, the chinking of a glass with a sharp object as the universal code for ‘silence please’  heralded an announcement from our Chief Executive . “ Ladies and Gentlemen , may I have your attention please. I would like to introduce our esteemed guest speaker for the evening ... “ and as the polite applause gently subsided following his introduction, I stepped onto the podium to deliver my keynote speech. I noted , with sheer joy, the look of disbelief on the face of my , now silent and no longer laughing , grey suited bore . It felt exhilarating to have the very last laugh.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

God Bless the patron saint of organisation ...

... Martha Stewart that is. I hope I'm looking that good when I'm in my seventies and that rich. I've been helping to line her pockets by buying some of her organisation items from Staples . They're a lovely turquoise colour and covered in a material fabulously called Shagreen . You couldn't make that up could you ?

I fear I may never emulate her giddy heights of uber organisation though, as life is too short to have a wall planner that includes entries such as  ' clean hyacinth vases '  and  ' pick sloes to make sloe gin '  although I came perilously close to that last one when visiting Emma and Kate before Christmas. Trouble was we were too hung over on the Sunday morning to attempt a hedgerow raid so I had to buy the shop bought variety instead .... shhh ... don't tell Martha. Still the path to good intentions is lined with something or other.

So , here we are - photos of my lovely Project Life corner all set and ready to go on my desk with everything in its place and a place for everything. Just looking at it makes me feel tired at the thought of filling in 52 double layouts on a weekly basis. I wonder if Project Lie-in would ever catch on ?

Friday, 11 January 2013

Up and Running

... well my Project Life album is ... not me personally . I'm still wheezing and sleeping a lot and I never want to see another Lemsip.

My Becky Higgins page protectors arrived today so I now have no excuse to get started. I have finally succumbed to the pressure and decided to have a go at Project Life. It strikes me that the hype and hysteria that seems to surround this new way of scrap-booking, is just a canny ploy by manufacturers to drum up some new business and get us spending on a slightly different size of stash . But I'm a sucker for new gimmicks , so what the hell.

I've also been trying to find ways of acquiring Project Life stash on a shoestring . There's a wealth of free downloads available online from some very talented designers. I'm always overwhelmed at their generosity in sharing with the crafting world - so thank you girls .

And just to satisfy my shopping addiction, I did actually purchase a few bits and pieces to get the ball rolling - not actual papers or cards but digital downloads. Wow - what a great way to scrap. I decided on the Seafoam kit and downloaded a set of journalling cards for $3.99 ( about £2.50) . No postage , no waiting for postie - I had them printed, curt and corner rounded in less than half an hour and the quality is fabulous. I printed them in PSE using some smooth, white, premium cardstock which I already had . The real bonus is having the ability to print off as many or as few as I want in the future. Now that's what I call a bargain. The core kits are very expensive to buy as 'hard' copies and being fickle , I imagine that I'd soon tire of the same design , if I had to stick with it for the entire year. This way I get the best of all worlds.

Here are the pdfs of what each kit includes ... er.... yes I did go and buy another straight away - the first and last cards, which were also $3.99.

There's a huge selection of both 3x4 and 6x 4 cards in both kits.

Now all I have to do is something interesting with my life,  that I can photograph , that doesn't involve Lemsip and this hacking cough !

Hmmm... having difficulty uploading pics - looks like they're protected or something .
Anyway ... if you can't see the phots above, you can take a peek here over at AC digitals ....