Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Slightly Stirred but Definitely Not Shaken

DH and I "got rid of" both Sons earlier today as they are spending time with grandparents for the last couple of days of Half Term.

As we drove away, having dropped them off, DH decided to be spontaneous - it does happen occasionally - and asked if I wanted to go and see the latest Bond movie.

As I've never seen a Bond movie for the first time in the Cinema, I decided to throw caution to the wind and agree to this activity, which these days involves taking out a second mortgage. Well, You Only Live......?

So having just got home, what did I think of the film? 

It was alright, ................ hence my title, ............ but should a Bond Movie be just alright?

I'll try not to give too much away because that wouldn't be fair, but if you really don't want any spoilers then look away now.

The lack of any gadgets is a loss for the boys and the lack of any real romantic interest and one extremely brief scene of Daniel Craig with his shirt off, is surely a loss for the girls. Both of these reduce this down to just any other action movie as far as I'm concerned.

Don't get me wrong some great cinematography, some good car chases, although none in which Bond is actually at the wheel, and some interesting fighting styles, but what makes it any different from a Die Hard or a Mission Impossible?

I know the idea is to convey more realism these days, but for me Bond, James Bond, is meant to be a larger than life character. That should be able to push the limits of believability a tad. When you think Ethan Hunt could beat Bond in a fight, you've dumbed it down too much, for my liking.

The other thing very sadly lacking, as far as I'm concerned, is Bond's sense of humour. I think I could count the funnys on one hand and most of those from other characters. Roger Moore went too far with the silly innuendos and smarmy quips, but there have to be some, don't there?

Poor old George Lazenby, it wasn't his fault he couldn't act, he was a model. Roger Moore, a bit too smarmy. Timothy Dalton, let's not even discuss it, waste of space. Piers Brosnan, not bad close to the right mix of authority and invincibility, with humour thorwn in. Daniel Craig, too dark, needs to lighten up and at the start of this film is out of shape and incompetent, something Bond would NEVER be.

So an Ok film, but my best Bond still remains Sean Connery. How about you?

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Breaking the Silence and Revealing All

Hi Folks, that's the longest absence I've had from my Blog since I started it and I nearly didn't make it back at all. In fact it still remains to be seen whether I do or not. A few different factors really, it started with a cold and I didn't feel like much of anything, except sleeping, then there was a week without access to a computer, and then the darkness descended!!!

I've had a really difficult struggle with some very negative thoughts, in part (I think?) caused by starting my EMDR therapy. Why is it that having waited so very long for it, now that I have started it, I am suddenly angry about how long it has taken, rather than feeling grateful? I am angry that it didn't come in time to, maybe, save my job. After the first couple of sessions of introduction and structure, came a couple of sessions of "History Taking". This consists of trying to articulate all the occasions and situations where negative thoughts and beliefs were fed to you as a child, in 45 minutes. It would take me a week to tell all of these, that's at least 168 hours, not less than one. Then re-living the traumatic incident and picking out all of the worst pictures and scenes from that in your mind and the negative thoughts that go along with them, in another 45 minutes. Gee, that was a FUN session. 

Discovering your fundamental belief about yourself is, "I am not capable", strangely doesn't seem to alter that belief in any way. Does that make me crazy? Not capable of choosing what clothes to wear, not capable of being a good mother, not capable of holding a responsible job, not capable of saving a life. Not capable of writing a Blog that anyone would really miss if it wasn't there. Yes folks, I did have a couple of mopey days, where after a couple of weeks of absence from my Blog, and not a single word from anyone, I felt like it was a confirmation of that. Thanks to Sandra and Rachel for bringing me out of that particular fug.

Hopefully, things will start to change when we get on to the "therapy" proper. I get to choose between having the lovely lady wave her fingers in front and to the sides of my eyes.

Whether to hold some little paddles, one in each hand, which alternately vibrate, at different speeds or listen to clicking noises moving from one ear to the other, or both of these together.

Or, which I think might be my favourite, and the one I'll go for, watching lights move along a bar. These can also be altered in different ways, speed, etc. I did try it and it was the one I found the easiest to concentrate on.

My negative funk, was also in part (I know) caused by a lack of friendship shown to me by folks I actually thought were 'real' friends. It seems I am able to be picked up when wanted/needed for something and put aside when not. Boy, that has the power to really sting, every time! Never mind "a sharp stratch", that one's a sucker punch to the gut!! 

So yes, it's been a struggle and I fear its not over yet.

But as I sit here and write tonight, I am in the throes of another virus, (my second in less than 2 months, my Mum would say I need a "tonic", I never really knew what that meant?), and every paroxysm of coughing is causing terrible pain in my chest, the back of my neck and across my shoulder blades. I am high on pain killers and I have no voice, so I cannot speak, yet it seems very apt that I should be here 'talking' and breaking the silence.

You probably think, I've revealed quite enough already but that wasn't quite what I was thinking of when I wrote the title. I thought I would end on a slightly more positive note with a crochet reveal. So not revealing ALL, at all in fact, phew!!

You have, probably, all forgotten this sneaky peak of a WIP, I gave you back here, at the beginning of August.

I'm afraid to say Mum, all your guesses were incorrect, not a Zebra or a Panda. A bit unfair really, as the photo obviously didn't show the colours too well - they are in fact, cream, lemon and chocolate brown.

The Finished Object is ..............................................

How long do they normally pause for on those dreaded results shows?.........................

before they tell you, which couple.......................................

is leaving this week ..............................................

IMHO, it's far too long ..........................................

to the point where you could scream at the telly .....................................

or just turn over.................................... NO, DON'T DO THAT!! I'm sorry !!! Here it is.

It is actually a car seat blanket and hat, which was a present for FrugalMummy's GD (and she truly is, very gorgeous). Hence the initial secrecy back in August. There is a little hole in the blanket for the car seat strap to go through.

Now, I'm always very honest, so I have a confession to make about the hat. I feel I'm still fairly new to the whole crochet craze, although I'm hooked. (Sorry!!) So I'm still at the stage where I just follow a pattern blindly, but I must admit to having doubts about the size of this hat all the way through. I'm not sure why I thought that the situation would improve, but I did feel it would work out alright in the end. However,......

As I don't have a newborn in the house, Alvin had to step up and model.

When the hat was a tight squeeze even on his head, I knew it was wrong. Eventually I found a willing newborn to try it on and it just perched on top of their tiny head. Uh,Uh, back to the drawing board. Undetered I started again and thought, well I'll just keep increasing for a couple more rounds, but again having no newborn to try it on, I didn't really know when to stop. In the end, I had to consult the oracle, Frugalmummy herself, surprise blown, but I'd rather GD had a gift she can use. 

After taking advice I did a decrease round which brought it in again, so the final hat ended up as a kind of beret! A slight depature from the original, but it didn't look too bad when the flower had been added. What do you think?

The tiny hat went in the present aswell, hopefully Baby's doll can wear it and I so hope the beret fits. If not I still have some more wool left!!!!!

All of it was wrapped up and given to GD at her fabulous Baby Shower and she seemed pleased with the final result.

Now to start the next project, or maybe I should finish another one or two first.

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

What's in your stockings?

NO, not those sort of stockings. Despite telling Frugalmummy, I loved her Christmas planning posts, but in my mind it is far too early to be thinking of Christmas, I did promise to post my ideas for stocking fillers for the men in my life.

I always fill all three of them a stocking every year and whilst I know the frugal amongst you may not want to do this, for those who do and are stuck for ideas, here are some I have used over the years. If you have any thoughts or things to add, please leave me a comment, as I am now starting to look for this year.

* Novelty handwarmers. I have bought different ones in the past, e.g. in car shapes, that you can charge in boiling water.
* Socks & Boxers. This is the time all 3 boys get any necessary underwear replacements.
* Tyre Gauge. It's surprising how many of these go missing and DH seems to constantly need one.
* Pack of their favourite Microwave popcorn. That's 2 sweet and 1 salty.
* Mints. My boys like peppermint creams and these are relatively easy to homemake.
* Electrical tape. Boys seem to get through a lot of this and they like different colours. (It's a man thing).
* In the same vein, Duct tape.
* Scratch off lottery tickets. They're the only ones we buy all year, so I allow the extravagance, you never know, one day we might win those millions.
* Batteries. All shapes and sizes, especially if they fit any toys you've bought.
* Cable ties / zip ties.
* WD40 can.
* Sanding block. These also come in different sizes. Even men who aren't into DIY seem to need these.
* Pez candy dispensers and sweets. We now have these in Jungle Animals, Star Wars characters, etc.
* Hot Chocolate sachets
* Small sachets of Aero mint dessert mix
* Jelly packet. Try and find a flavour they don't normally have.
* Car Shammy leather
* Car Sponge
* Aspirin or whatever they take for a headache.
* Toothbrush. I know you're supposed to replace your toothbrush more often but my boys only get a new one each year in their stocking. Although they get replacement electric heads now as the Hygienist insisted on electric toothbrushes.
* Dental floss and inter-whatsit brushes. I have also bought these tiny little brushes for between the teeth before to go in DH's stocking. We have to buy them, so they may aswell go in the stocking. I know it's not romantic, but hey, it's practical.
* Travel size suncream. Ready for summer camps etc.
* SD cards. These are good for their cameras, videos, etc.
* Matches, regular or extra long. Good for lighting the Bar-be-que.
* Glowsticks.
* Earphones 
* Little torches or Maglites. These also seem to be in constant demand, but no supply as they disappear faster than socks.
* Top trumps card sets. There always seem to be a new set out.
* Mini cans of deodorant.
* Mini pens, pencils, novelty erasers and those pencil sharpeners that collect the bits in the bottom.

If the guys have a particular hobby, then that can make things a little easier.
* Packs of seeds. Good for gardeners.
* Hockey ball. I just bought one of these for a stocking in the sale for £2.
* Guitar strings and picks.
* Fishing flies.

You may ask why I'm not doing the same list for girls? Two reasons, 1) girls are easy, they are enough hair accessories and nail varnishes out there to sink a battleship and it's normally the boys we struggle with and 2) I have boys not girls, get over it!!

What else have you put in?

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Beginning and The End

This morning was really lovely. I went to my very favourite Community Cafe and joined the gorgeous FrugalMummy who came to share her wonderful Crochet skills with some knitters. It was fabulous watching the Beginning of someone learning a new skill and one which can bring such happiness.

Two lovely ladies learning a new technique and some new crochet stitches. I just know they will crack this as they seemed very determined.

These were the circles in squares FrugalMummy was teaching with a join as you go method and some Triple Trebles, a new stitch to me too. FM seems to have got a lot further with her blanket than I have with mine!!

Here are my circles, on top of another Crochet Cowl, a WIP, and I ran out of time to join my circles together. Still, it's an excuse for another session with FM, hooray!!
 There was a fair amount of knitting going in the background, aswell, so the place was a total yarn fest. Wool, all over the place.

Sadly, I got home to discover that youngest Son's rabbit, "Bigwig" had died, presumably just of old age, as we were at the vets quite recently and he got a clean bill of health. He was 6 1/2 years old, and will be sorely missed by his buddy, "Speedwell".

M, is fluctuating between bouts of sobbing and feeling upset, then playing on his Wii and seeming not to care at all. I'm not sure which is worse? We held the funeral tonight, M decided he was the "Vicar", and started with, "Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today... what comes next?" Who knew he even knew that much. I blame the TV!!

I'm so gutted and trying hard not to let this knock me back disproportionately, but it has rather taken the shine off what was a nice day and I find I have nothing to say this evening. I only hope Bigwig will be happy with his final resting place and can pop down from Heaven to romp across the Moors at his leisure. Do animals go to Heaven? I hope so!!


Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Creative Stitches & Hobbycrafts Fair

I must bring you up to date on my lovely day out with my SIL and neice at the

                                                             Fair, last Saturday. (Sorry, lots of photos today).

As you may remember my SIL bought me my ticket as my Birthday pressie and, (as this was just before I came down with my dreadful cold), the three of us had a really super time. We started by booking ourselves onto a couple of the workshops we wanted to do and then we went back to the beginning, started at stand A01 and worked our way methodically up and down aisles A, B, C, D, etc, etc.

As we all had a budget each, we decided early on not to buy what we wanted as we saw it along the way, but make a note of what we liked or wanted, then decide at the end what we could afford and do a quick trip back to those stands at the end.

Along the way, I took part in a workshop to make a Macrame bracelet, using a knotting technique and beads. This was just a 15 minute workshop, so I only got time to learn the basic method and finished this one at home.

I also did a workshop to make a felt flower brooch. We got given a little kit with the felt pieces in and were shown how to stitich it together, but I did think the green leaf I was given in my pack was a bit too bright for my flower. If I was to make this again, I'm not even sure I would sew on the leaf. What do you think?

Just the petals sewn on and gathered in -->

<-- The completed brooch. Now I need to take it apart again so I can copy the pieces for templates so I can make more. I still don't like the leaf!!

All three of us also took part in a workshop to make a Peobo bracelet. You add drops of various colours and they had different reactions to each other as they dried. I don't particularly like my finished piece, but it was just an experiment to see how it was done and was interesting. Not sure I will take this one up as the components / materials seemed quite expensive to buy individually.

My SIL also added some flowers to the World's longest embroidery.

and my niece made a beaded and padded heart ornament.

As well as all the selling stands, there were also stands by the various Guilds and I watched some ladies Lace-Making for ages with absolute fascination. There was also various displays/exhibition type stands and I just loved the one with the actual costumes from Jane Austen films/dramas.

 On the left, the dress worn by Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma Woodhouse in "Emma".
On the right, Billie Piper's dress as Fanny Price in "Mansfield Park"

 Jennifer Ehle's dress as Elizabeth Bennett and Colin Firth's infamous white shirt as Mr Darcy. Both in "Pride and Prejudice".

 Left - Kate Winslett's dress as Marianne Dashwood, Centre - Alan Rickman's costume as Colonel Brandon, right - Emma Thompson's dress as Eleanor Dashwood. All in "Sense and Sensibility".

 I think this Kate Winslett one was my favourite with the velvet cape and bodice. Beautiful !!

You may or may not be interested in my actual purchases on the day, but here they are

The Rotary Cutter and Quliting Ruler are to help me make my charm squares ready for Frugal Queen's next workshop, (if I'm lucky enough to get a place again!).

The, hair accessory is not as nice as my African Butterfly one but was a lot cheaper at £7.00 rather than £20. I will try and take a photo of it in my hair so you can see the full effect.

The brown felt and gingham ribbon is for some Christmas makes which I will hopefully share nearer the time and the red gingham fabric is also for a Christmas make.

The very pretty white snowflake ribbon is just for adding to some Christmas cards as they get made because I loved it so much and it was only 50p a metre.

The sparkle glitter medium pots is for using with the stencils. I will try and show you what this turns out like when I give it a go.

I also loved these little mini stamps which you use on the clear plastic peg/stick you see in the middle of the photo and you can use these with the Christmas tree stamps and build them to make beautiful designs. That should have all of my Christmas cards just about sewn up.

I think that just about covers the whole day, (except for lunch, the coated nuts we bought, blah, blah........), but I've proably bored you with it enough anyway, by now.

Lots of Love Arwedd xx

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Hello Again and Thank You

Apologies for my absence, everyone. I have been struggling with the most awful head cold for over a week a now and whilst I am still coughing like a habitual smoker and sniffling away, I have been brought back to my Blog by Sandra at Rosedale.

Thank you. thank you, thank you for my lovely Belated Birthday pressie. My DH was very sceptical when a parcel arrived from New Zealand and wanted to know "What have you been spending money on now? and Don't they sell it in this country?". I assured him I hadn't ordered anything but was very intrigued.

When I saw the lovely wrapping paper, I actually cried and exclaimed, "Oh, how absolutely amazing is that!".

I was even more delighted when I opened the gift and the card to find some very beautiful specialty yarn, (not sure what I will make with it yet, but having fun looking at ideas) and a fabulous Australian cardmaking magazine. There is definitely plenty of interest to me within its pages, Sandra. Will share my makes with you soon.

My DH remarked, it was slightly odd that a close member of my family hadn't managed to send me even a card yet, and an almost stranger had sent me something personal from half way across the world.

Sandra, I am extremely touched, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Diolch yn Fawr.

Lots of Love Arwedd xx