Friday, 30 April 2010

Blog Hop: Moustache-Mania


Have you hopped in as part of the
Banana Frog blog drop? Or rather ... have you dropped in from the blog hop? Either way - hello, make yourself at home.

The theme for this month's hop around the design team's blogs is 'Spring' and to be honest I've taken a rather convoluted approach to it [who said they weren't surprised?].

Let me begin by introducing you to the guys:
Handsome. Don't you think?

I've had so much fun making these I can't even tell you!! And one of the best thingsabout them is that they're all made from scraps and leftovers. Which is where the theme of 'Spring' comes in ... I was spring-cleaning my scrap box!Some of the scraps were leftover from the layout I made for this month's 'Colour Focus' feature on the Banana Frog blog, which was also the reason I had a pack of stamps out on my desk.

While I was sitting there drinking tea and frittering away my time on Twitter working hard, my eye lighted upon my set of 'Superlicious' stamps. Suddenly one of the stamps just yelled out 'eyeball' to me ... and an idea was born! I'm already a well established googly-eye user [you know, the kind you buy in the kids' craft section?] so when I saw that stamp I knew they had to go on some sort of face! Then, lo and behold, I spotted that scrolled flourish stamp next to it ... or should that be ... the handlebar moustache stamp?

Inspired by this vision I opened up my scraps box, picked out lots of clashing patterns to stamp on and layered them up into a set of retro notecards. The style of the finished item reminds me of various things ... from the costumes on Life on Mars to my Dad in the 70s to ... well, as I phrased it on Twitter I:

"Made some cards which turned out a cross between Sgt Pepper, The Magic Roundabout & a pile of vintage fabrics. And I'm *not* even on drugs".

Now, despite me not being on drugs, I did however stamp the neat little 'tache[above] using a petal/leaf design from 'Super Dreamy' then, finally, I stamped this rather grand pair from the 'Circus Stories' set:
And by no means am I finished finding facial features in my Banana Frog stamps [try saying that fast 3 times!]. No, for a start I've got my eye on a nice big bracket from the 'Big Punctuation' set which, when turned on its side is going to make someone's top lip proud! Then ...

.... I'm going to move on to creating some female company for my fab four up there ^^^^.

Check out my 'Project of the Day' on the Banana Frog blog on May 14th to see whether or not I give the ladies facial hair too .....

Now hop on to fellow DT member Jo Firth Young's blog to see what she has for you on this fine day.


Thursday, 29 April 2010

My Month in Numbers: April

Hello, hello.
How's your month been? Better than March?
Not as good as you plan on May being?
Are you just desparate to turn that calendar over and watch April fade away into history?
I realise today is not the end of the month but, one day early, here's how my April numbers added up:

3.2 = the number of miles we cycled on our first fair-weather biking escapade of the year. We now have a device which tells us just how far and how fast [or not] we've travelled. What it can't confirm is whether or not I'll end up walking like someone on the moon when I'm finished.

4% = approximately how much of Hilary Mantel's Booker Prize winning Wolf Hall I have read. Saying I've read at least 4% is slightly less daunting than saying I have 96% left to read!

At 650 pages long it certainly a fitting addition to my big book collection.

Call me a literature snob if you will [I am, so it's fine] but I think my subconscious tells my purse that buying a huge book will be a great investment. After all ...if it's that big ... it must be

Heavy Reading

10 = the number of minutes one of my students swore he needed me for. Just 10 minutes. Personally I was doubtful ... how could he only need support for the first 10 minutes of an exam? But he re-iterated it several times. Turns out the tutor had other plans and I ended up staying 2 hours. That's 120 minutes. Not that I minded, especially seeing as how for the whole evening had the makings of a corny old joke. Picture the scene ....
An English woman [me], a German student and a Spanish tutor walk into a room ... [insert your own punchlines here].

10.5 = the temperature in degrees C on 17/04/10:

OK, so maybe I wasn't in any danger of getting sun-stroke ... but it was just about warm enough to finally enjoy being outside fro the first time this year photographing things like thermometers, the neighbours' dog and laundry ...

19 = the number of days later than last year on which I first pegged my washing out on the line to dry.

Springtime last year was so much warmer than this and seemingly by March 12th 2009 I could face wrangling all that wet fabric on to the line.

But I waited until April this year.

In case you're wondering how on earth I know exactly which day I first hung out the laundry ...well, I am a scrapbooker remember? One who, without children or pets to photograph takes lots of shots of domestic life ... and digital photos have a date stamp so I can see when I took it ...and hey! Enough explanations! ;)

Don't ecologists keep track of developments in climate change by documenting the first blossoms, buds and frog spawn sightings? Perhaps they might like to add 'the first time Julie pegs out her washing' to that list? Just a thought ...

26 inches = the 'ideal height' [according to the artist] of two stacks of paper in the centre of this exhibition room in the gallery we visited. Each sheet of paper within the stack had a phrase printed across it and visitors are invited to select a stack from which to remove a sheet to take home with them.

In doing so the audience has a role in altering and contributing to the work even though this means effecting the 'ideal height'. [You can read the full explanation here].

The sheets of one stack read 'Nowhere better than this place' and the other 'Somewhere better than this place'. Which do you think I decided to take home with me?

Well, after I made my mind up which I wanted, I asked James what he'd decided. He replied "Well it has to be 'nowhere better than this place' doesn't it?".

And so it did: Which would you have chosen?

So, it's 'Adios April' with your re-introductions to the outdoor life and your teasing turn toward double-figured temperatures.

And it's 'Hola' May with your promise of lots of crafting assignments slotted in between one birthday and anniversary celebration after another. And no. I'm not complaining.

Fiesta, fiesta!

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Overheard: Fun on the farm

Last Spring we went to an open day at a local farm. Scattered around the farmyard were some adorable signs hand-made by the farmer's children directing us around the various points of interest ranging from the pig sheds to the place where the family dogs were kept! We saw several extremely newborn calves and then ate home-reared beef burgers [talk about the circle of life] whilst sat outside on hay bales .... in short, it was a grand day out.

Not that everyone there might have come to the same conclusion ...

As we hovered around the cowsheds, I heard the following rather tense exchange between two parents:

Man to woman wh, until then had been peacefully observing the newborn calves: Didn’t you hear your son? [Do you reckon he's always only 'her' son when he's being naughty?]

Woman: No. Why? What was he doing?

Man: He was shouting…. very loudly!

Woman: [mildly exasperated]: So? He’s outside. On a farm. He’s alright.

Man [clearly annoyed began looking around him for further evidence that she was in dereliction of motherly duties...until he smugly declared] Well, he’s near some chemicals now!!

Turns out there weren't any chemicals, just some containers of water ... but you've got to wonder if the husband would've been happier if the child had fallen into a vat of fertiliser ... just so he could have taught his wife a lesson!

Photo details: Lamb on the farm open day 29.03.09

Monday, 26 April 2010

Quote: Swings and roundabouts

Life is made up of marble and mud.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Photo: J's hand + some sea-coal. 

Sunday, 25 April 2010

365 Patterns: Nothing but a houndstooth

Hello, hello.

I'm squeezing in a pattern-collecting post now as I've got lots of other blogging coming up in the next few weeks.
  • On Monday I'll be delivering the 'LilyPad Lesson' over at Banana Frog where I've prepared a free to download tutorial and a giveaway ... clearly I'm spoiling you.
  • Tuesday sees me taking on my 2nd post as a scarlet woman - in my newest design team role at Scattered Scarlet ....
  • Wednesday I'm hoping to get a touch Copy and Paste-y and
  • Friday is Banana Frog DT blog-hop day and if you want to see what all this is about: "Made some cards which turned out a cross between Sgt Pepper, The Magic Roundabout & a pile of vintage fabrics. And I'm *not* even on drugs" .....which I tweeted after making my blog hop project, then drop by and see me on Friday.

Add into that my regular 'Quotes' and 'Overheards' posts here and you'll see how it's a busy blogging week for me .... not to mention the guest post at Scrap Whispers on Saturday .... oh and planning the Copy+Paste 3-day-weekend-blog party the following week .... I'm going to stop there as it's making me palpatate just thinkng about it.

I'm beginning to see why James said I was like Davros from Dr.Who ... except I was part human and then laptop from the waist down [I didn't know who Davros was ... but I could tell it wasn't a strictly complimentary comparison ...]

I've got seriously sidetracked now as I was really only dropping by here to show you how the new Crafty Templates Quirky Kit inspired my pattern choices for this week: For more details on the 'What's the Story' kit click here.
When I opened the box to find a roll of Pink Paislee houndstooth check 'Artisan Tape' and a pack of matching chipboard alphas I could have squealed with delight [in fact I probably did!] because I adore houndstooth check designs.

Truly! Look, here's the proof:

Houndstooth Checks

I've added 10 houndstooth checked items to my 365 Patterns Flickr gallery collection and the only surprise has been that I haven't got more. I wonder if there's any lurking in the back of a drawer somewhere ...

Right, I'll leave it there, I need to preserve my energies for the marathon ahead, not that I'd leave you without the now-traditional musical accompaniment to my pattern posts. So here you go, what else could I have chosen but.....:

Until tomorrow then [and the day after, and the day after that ....]


Thursday, 22 April 2010

Overheard: Don't blame me!

Again, this is something I heard whilst in a Games department lecture. The lecturer in question had a really good rapport with his students in lectures but you never quite knew when he'd land a question or challenge upon someone in there. At times, despite me not being a student ... that included me.

Remind me to tell you sometime about the moment, during an exchange I had with him, I got a dangerous taste for making an auditorium full of people laugh. An event which, for quite a few weeks, caused me to entertain the idea that I could give stand-up comedy a go.

Luckily that urge has now passed ... I think ...

Anyway - back to the overheard:

Lecturer [half jokingly]: Well maybe if you took your headphones out you’d have known what I said!

Student: Oh, I can hear ... I just wasn’t paying any attention.

Heard on: 24.02.09

Illustration: Headphones sketched in pencil, outlined in black fineliner and coloured with Letraset Promarkers.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Just 7 more things ...

One of my Twittering friends, the very lovely Green Gal, tagged me in one of those blog award type things and now I have to carry it on by telling you 7 facts you might not know about me. So here goes ....

1. I say a variation of the phrase "Have I ever mentioned how much I love Twitter?" on an almost daily basis. In fact, I'm probably overdue one today, so ... have I ever mentioned how much I love Twitter?

2. I recently spotted this crate in the garden of the elderly couple next door:

Is it wrong and/or odd that: [a] I've got a crush on an old crate, and [b] I didn't stop James taking a photo of it for me?

3. when I was a Learning Mentor I once played a double cowbell in a [very short] Samba recital [long story]. Now I can never hear this song, which I utterly adore, without remembering that performance!

4. When we replaced our garden gate I kept bits of the old broken fixings because they reminded me of birds' feet .....

5. Once, when I was going through a rough time, I woke in the night and couldn't get back to sleep. I put in my headphones and turned on the radio just as this was playing [not this exact version - but a live recording of it just the same].

I already loved the song but stumbling upon it at that particular moment in time was really quite special for me. Don't think I'll ever forget it.

6. I'm dog-phobic but have rather fallen for our [other] next door neighbour's new puppy. She whines when I go into the garden and tries to scrabble through the fence to reach me and while obviously I'd die if she managed it, I do quite like how she pines for me:
[I know what you're thinking ... what's with all the photos of my neighbours' gardens? I don't know .. it's not a deliberate collection ... let's just agree not to tell them eh?]

7. I've been living out one of my philosophies during the last fortnight. The one which says "Leap and the net will appear" [with a touch of "If you don't ask, you don't get"]:

I asked [please insert the word ' the amazing' before each of these] writer Jack Thorne; art journaler Dina Wakley, comedian & writer Alex Horne; textile artist Cathy Cullis; artist & illustrator Corrina Rothwell; photographer Carl Mole; the ladies at Sumptuosity and Miss Cay the food blogger for Domestic Sluttery to all contribute something to the blog party we're having over on Copy + Paste next month.

And they all accepted my offer [thank you, thank you, thank you!!]. So all other things being equal it's shaping up to be a fantastic party weekend - do drop by and see us. Do.

Now you know 7 more factual things about me ... but I bet I've given away a few more indirect ones too ...


Monday, 19 April 2010

Lyrics: Now My Feet Won't Touch the Ground

Coldplay: Now My Feet Won't Touch The Ground

Let me go, boys, let me go
Push my boat from the highest cliff to the sea below
Rocks are waiting, boys, rocks await
Swoop down from the sky and catch me like a bird of prey

Now my feet won't touch the ground
Now my head won't stop
You wait a lifetime to be found
Now my feet won't touch the ground

Singing now my feet won't touch the ground
Now my head won't stop
You wait a lifetime to be found
Now my feet won't touch the ground

Now my feet won't touch the ground

Here's the actual song. Try it. You might like it:


Saturday, 17 April 2010

Party planning

You know how I have another blog? The one that Kirsty and I sort of vaguely call a challenge / inspiration / motivational-prod blog? The Copy + Paste Project?

Yes / no / maybe? Well, next month that other blog will have been up and motivationally-prodding for a whole year and in lieu of either us having children's birthdays to base festivities around, we're holding a blog party/ virtual soiree/ get together/ 'do' / mingling opportunity over the weekend of 7/8/9 May and, obviously you, my home-team, are invited.

So let the flag waving commence:

[See that small-boy-look-a-like with the flag? That's me. When I was 1. The flags were for the Silver Jubilee street party celebrations. There was even bunting. Real life bunting. Now that's a proper party!]

The Copy +Paste party is going to be packed with special guests who we've personally [holding our breaths in hope they'd say 'Yes'] asked to contribute something to the occasion. Fortunately for us [and our lungs] we are both now breathing again as, one by one, they've begun to accept our offers.

Until we have everyone confirmed and shuffled into an orderley queue we're trying to keep their identity a bit of a mystery. Basically we want to whip you into a frenzy of speculation and anticipation.

My apologies if you feel used, but it's a blog-eat-blog world out there ...

But, seeing as how I like you, how about I give you a few clues as to who our special guests might be? If you fancy stretching your powers of deduction then why not dust off your best Miss Marple hat or Columbo rain coat and see what you can interpret from this:
  • We've invited a wide range of amazingly creative people to take part.
  • No two people I've personally invited work within the same artistic field.
  • Some, I've met in person.
  • The others ... I've always wanted to meet. But ...
  • All of the people who I've invited [and who've accepted my offer] are people I follow on Twitter.
If you want to go sleuthing with that last snippet of information...... then my Twitter profile is here. To see who I'm following just click on the link titled, appropriatley enough 'Following' and you'll get the full list - then you can try to guess who I've invited!

However we've kept two places free for one blog reader and one @CopyPasteTweet Twitter follower to join us. If, after having a guess at who I've invited, you like the idea of seeing your work alongside theirs - then do read the details of how to you can achieve this here.

We're really looking forward to seeing you over there ... you can even bring your own flags if you feel like it! We'd really like to develop The Copy + Paste Project in our second year and have some plans and many dreams already. We're also open to suggestion as to what you think we could offer so please, if you have even the slightest of opinions, both Kirsty and I all ears.

Feel free to hurl your advice; requests; preferences and party-guest-speculations into a comment for me. Just don't try to trick me into giving anything away about our special guests ... yet ...


Friday, 16 April 2010

365 Patterns: Buttons, fat-quarters and sunglasses.

Earlier this week I showed you this:

... the fat-quarter / fat-half [sorry, I never tire of saying that!] bag I made in a day.

Inspired by its materials, the additions to my '365 patterns' project this week include the fabrics I used, some button-y cushions and a sunglasses patterned T-shirt:

Buttons; fat-quarters and sunglasses ... not much of a title is it?

As for the sunglasses ... I threw them in there because I didn't think I'd have a themed week specifically for fabrics with sunglasses on them anytime soon. Although, if there's a sudden rush on them this summer ... I'll stand corrected.

Now please, all hail the return of the patterns + complimentary showtune feature. Sunglasses aside, I've gone for a 'buttons' inspired tune. So please enjoy a little something from Cinderella:

Cinderella. Buttons. Pantomime? Get it? You see what I did there .....? Anyone ....?

Now, don't look at me like like that, it's not as corny as the other option I was going to go with ....

See what I mean?



Thursday, 15 April 2010

Overheard: Crouching Squashball, Hidden Dragon Fruit

I was waiting in a corridor outside a lecture theatre when my trained, overhearing, ears tuned into a group of students having a rather [deliberately?] pretentious conversation. I gathered they had a presentation to give in which they had to come up with suitable metaphor as a means to describe something. I didn't quite catch exactly what it was they were finding a metaphor for .... I'll hazard a guess that it was a metaphor for 'Life' in general ... but you can make up your own mind:

Male student: "We should say it's like a game of squash, where the black ball smashes into the white wall of 'Hope'".

Female student: "I thought we could say it was like a like a dragon fruit. You know? ....Pretty on the outside and ...".

Male student, apparently put-off his stride and rather surprised that someone else had an idea:"What's that got to do with squash?".

Female student, slightly wary: "Nothing, it's a dragonfruit".

Illustration: ProMarkers, fineliner; white gel pen.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

No Rain, No Rainbow.

When T.S Eliot wrote that "April is the cruellest month" do you think he was referring to how hard it is to judge the correct weight of coat to wear this time of year? Or perhaps he was bemoaning the havoc that springtime showers wreak on your hair?

Or perhaps not.

But it is that showery time of year and while it may very well bring with it frizzy hair and damp cardigans, it sometimes leaves behind a rainbow.

I'm not sure if that's what had happened to create this in the sky:

This photo, of a beautiful, entirely unusual meteorological phenomenon for this neck of the woods, is brought to you on what I'm calling my first fully digi-layout'. Because, well .. because it is my first fully digi-layout.

A while ago now I made my first ever digital page, but I ended up printing it out [this is the result in fact], mainly because of my desire to touch 'real' paper than anything else!

But a few weeks ago, when I found the Kitschy Digitals 'Vintage Cameras' digi-kit on offer on Jessoca Sprague's 'One Buck Wednesdays' ... I had to have that rainbow Polaroid camera! To satiate my paper craving I've printed out lots of the items from the kit to include on hybrid pages at a later date.

If you check out my Project of the Day :

... over on the Banana Frog blog sometime between today [April 14th] and April 26th, not only do I have another rainbow-themed layout, I also have a pot of gold waiting for you .. or at least a chance to get your hands on a set of stamps! Just hop over there and read what you need to do to be in with a chance to win.

Right then, before you go rushing off, I'll leave you with the song behind the title of this post. You've had your rainbows now here's your 'No Rain'. Ahhh it takes me back a few years to a wet, muddy but rather fabulous Milton Keynes Bowl ....

... but that's a story I'll save for a rainy day.



Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Sewing: The Fat Quarter Bag

See that bag? The one up there ^? I made that!

Last week a my crafting friends and I hired out the room in which we usually crop for a marathon 6-hour, 6-sewing-machine bag-making day.

[Purely by concidence, on the same day my fellow Copy + Paste blogger Kirsty was posting about a challenge in which she created a patchwork project in a set time limit too - the results of which you can see here].

So we've all been working under strict time pressures it seems lately and as Jan commented, once all our machines were set up, the room swiftly took on the appearance of a bag-factory sweat-shop:
Darcy brought in a 'Melly & Me' pattern for a handbag using four fat quarters of fabric. After some deliberation I chose which colours I wanted to use and brought with me 2 fat-quarters and one piece which was twice the size, which I reckoned made it a 'fat-half' ... even though that sounds quite wrong ....

Anyways ... one of the first steps was to quilt the bag. I chose to do freestyle curvy lines rather than a straight line grid, purely because if you call it 'freestyle' no one can tell you've done it wrong!:

After the quilting part, there was lots of ironing and fiddly things to tackle and the idea that we'd walk away from the day with a complete bag seemed like a pipe-dream. Something of a panic set-in as it began to feel like we'd spent all day making a rather elaborate ... place mat:
From it's humble place setting conception, several hours and three homemade Mars Bar crispie cakes later ... a bag was born:
Isn't it cute?

I'm really proud that, while it wasn't possible to get it finished in the time we had the room booked for, after driving home I unpacked my machine, plugged it in and kept going until it was complete .... which took until 10:30pm!
For a small bag it's surprisingly roomy and really rather pretty inside.

I'd been saving that fat-half of button fabric for something special and I think this might just have done it justice. I also managed to sneak on a few extra [real] buttons too:
So there it is the 4 fat-quarter, 12-hour-shift [with tea breaks and showering time included] handbag! While frantically trying to complete it in time, [before a rather strident caretaker evicted us!], I actually broke into in a sweat!

Until then I'd not been aware of the possibility of turning to sewing my own accessories as a means to keep fit.
Aerobic crafting ... it's the excercise of the future dear reader ...

Dare I ask which crafts leave you perspiring and breathless?

Monday, 12 April 2010

Quote: Plucking Treasures

Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.

Robertson Davies

Photo: Terracotta sculpture Newby Hall Sculpture Trail 21.06.09

Friday, 9 April 2010

Small stories: Service with a smile [and a double entendre]

Just a few minutes walk from our house we have a 'proper' old-fashioned butcher's shop, a shop where the butcher [whose name, 'John MacDonald' even has a solid, old-fashioned, feel to it] knows most of his customers by name. It's that kind of shop.

One of my partner's ambitions is to one day approach the counter and be greeted with the phrase "Good morning James, what can I get you today?", but I've warned him that that's not so likely:

"How's he ever going to learn your name in the first place?" I ask. "What are you going to do, walk in one day and say '6 pork sausages please and by the way, my name's James'?".

The thing is ... it's just the kind of thing he would do, so I don't really press the point ... I don't want to give him any ideas which could result in hime making some sort of public spectacle of us. No, I leave that to others .....

I walked into the square last week to get a few things to make a sandwich with and, as if it wasn't bad enough having to ask for "4 brown fadgies" in public:
... this happened ...

After being served my aforementioned 'fadgies' and six slices of ham and while waiting for the shop assistant to add up their cost on the back of a paper bag [yes, they still do that there too!] I looked away from the serving counter to open my bag. When I looked up again, my bread had vanished. I looked around confused, thinking maybe the assistant had taken them back for some reason when the elderly man to my right pointed to the bag in front of him and asked:

"Are these yours love?"

"Erm, yes." I replied, which resulted in him sliding them back toward along with a stream of apologies and explanations:

"I thought they were mine! I asked for some and then I moved place and I thought she'd put them down in the wrong spot. I'm sorry, I thought they were mine."

"It's fine." I said smiling.

"I thought they were mine" he repeated.

Just then, as if to relieve his embarrassment in a full shop, the lady who was serving him spoke up ... and it was my turn to wish I wasn't in a crowded shop:

"Did he pinch your buns?" she asked with mischief in her voice.

Me: "Yes". She turned to him:

"Did you pinch her buns?"

Him: "Yes, I thought they were mine. I pinched her buns".

Her: "Eeeee he pinched your buns".

Him: "I did, I thought they were mine".

By which time I personally was quite happy to put the 'bun-pinching' behind me and leave!

Then, on my way out, past the elderly man, he once again looked up proclaiming: "I thought they were mine, I'm sorry love" ... and once again I smiled, looked him in the eye and told him it was fine.

I then left the shop ... grinning. The last time I grinned upon leaving a large supermarket was more to do with being glad to get out rather than having felt a warm sense of community in there. Bun pinching or no bun pinching.

How about you? You're always welcome to share any similar small stories with me.

Thanks for reading.


Thursday, 8 April 2010

Overheard: Please, spare me the details.

Again, this is not strictly an 'overheard' as it's something I heard in good faith while taking lecture notes in the weird and wonderful goldmine that is ... the games department.

Sometimes, mid-lecture tutors divert from the information they're delivering, drift into the past and begin recounting 'back-in-the-day' type tales. Some such tales are more worthy of being caught writing them down than others.
I consider this nasally offensive nostalgia trip particularly worth it:

Lecturer, reminiscing:
We even had a scratch and sniff text based game.

It was disgusting….


There was even a ‘lewd’ mode ….

Thankfully [or perhaps not] he left the precise details of what scent that entailed to our own imagination.

Photo details: Advertisement in Elle UK magazine.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

365 Patterns: Spring greens.

We had plans for yesterday.

Plans which involved the great outdoors and great outdoor sculpture at
Yorkshire Sculpture Park. But when awoke to the sound of wind and rain our plans turned to something a little more indoor-oriented like baking and blogging.

Seeing as how we were going to be stuck inside all day it seemed the perfect time for J to try out the banana and chocolate cake recipe I'd pulled out of a magazine for him. Obviously this was purely so he could further add to his baking skills. I'm considerate like that ...

Once all the mixture was poured into the main tin there was just enough left-over to make a cup-cake. A cup-cake whose case [oh so happily and coincidentally] co-ordinated splendidly with my new nail varnish!
The nail varnish is actually called 'Ninja' but I prefer to think of it as something rather seasonally spring-like. [Plus, I didn't know you could get green ninjas and have just had to spend precious moments of my day Googling such a thing. The definition of 'green ninja' given by the ever-blunt UrbanDictionary read: 'a moron, a witless boob'. Ha! Next time someone annoys me I think we both know the insult I'll be hurling....!].

Where was I again? Before the witless boobs? Oh, yes, allow me to illustrate my bright, happy springtime thoughts with some verdant patterns from my 365 patterns project:


I love green. It's quite possibly my favourite colour [But I do love all colours, so very much, how could I choose? It's like a mother having to choose between her children! Harder even .... ;)].

If you want a closer look at any of the above patterns or to see how my entire pattern catalogue collection is building up the do have a browse here, there are 104 photos in there to date! That's not too far away from a third of the way through the entire project, which puts me in mind of how quickly the year is passing and also how I still need to find 261 more patterns before December! It's daunting but somehow I think I'll manage it. I'm already planning a week of 'patterns from inside a man's wardrobe' which, if you read my post last week about James's trousers, you'll know a man's wardrobe can throw up a few patterned surprises!

Oddly enough [or not, considering how you all know by now that I'm a pattern-a-holic] after I'd made the above mosaic I realised it was rather similar to these:
'These' being the cupboard doors which I use as notice boards in my craft room. I decided to prettify the plain white doors by PVA-ing lots of scraps of my favourite patterned papers on to them - so much better than having them hidden, unseen, in a box:
A year on, they're still in pretty good shape [i.e. nothing has dropped off yet!].

I could have almost sworn that I'd showed you these before - they featured on the Scrapbook Inspirations blog once - but I thought I'd used them on here. Apparently not. But then, I'm not the only one with a memory lapse around those doors. Last week my sister was in the room and said 'Oh, you've covered your doors'. Of course she's right, but I did actually cover them 12 months ago ... I'm not sure how she forgot that .... but I love her anyway!

OK then, I'll get onto the now traditional segment where I provide you with a showtune accompaniment to the theme of my pattern updates. Except .....

....seeing as how the theme of today's post was 'springtime' there's only one, obvious tune which sprung to mind. I can't emphasise enough the internal battle I've had over whether or not I should offer you a certain aptly named show-stopper from Mel Brook's The Producer's ... but instead I think I'll just leave you with a dignified silence.

[Insert your own spring greens themed showtune here].

Until next time,


p.s: got my Scrapbook Inspirations Ideas Book today ... and it's very pretty!