Friday, 9 September 2011

Oof Oof's (Monkey's to you and me!!)

The weekend before last me and Tim took our 2 year old niece to the Monkey Forest at Trentham Gardens.

It's near where I'm originally from, but it wasn't there before I moved - it's such a cool place!

Our niece really likes monkeys, she takes a toy one to bed - he's been named Oof Oof by her (think of the noise that you make to try anf copy monkeys and thats how is pronounced).
Oof Oofs is also her word for all monkeys, just to confuse!

Here's the blurb from the website (because it explains it so much better than me)...

Get up close and personal at Trentham Monkey Forest set in 60 acres of beautiful Staffordshire woodland and meadows where 140 monkeys live in total freedom. You are plunged into the fascinating world of the Barbary macaques as you hear rustling in the trees, chattering in a strange language and see the monkeys crashing through branches.

The three-quarter mile winding forest path takes you through the monkeys home and gives you a great insight into this fascinating primate and how they live in their native Morocco or Algeria. Guides along the path will give you information on the monkeys and what they are getting up to and don’t miss our hourly feeding talks to see some more monkey antics!

All of the monkeys have a really large area of the forest to range in, and their only restriction is a perimeter fence.

Humans aren't allowed off the pathways, and you have to giveway to crossing monkeys!

Here are some of the monkey's...

Feeding time

Part of their woodland home

a comtemplative monkey elder 

teenagers just hanging around

Despite the blue sky in that last photo it was throwing it down with rain for most of the time we were there. We were prepared for rainy weather because its always rains in that area!!

Our niece had her croc shoes on and was loving splashing in the puddles until she stepped into a particularly muddy one and her feet got stuck. We had a change of clothes for her, but the socks were missing, so we had to make a trip to the gift store for fresh warm socks :) 

It was a really fun day, and we ended up having dinner at Frankie & Benny's - yummy Calzone for dinner, brilliant!

(I have some very sweet pictures of our niece but I've not asked her parents for permission to post them, so don't feel that its right I should share them x)

Day 9 - Weekend Plans

Weekend Plans...

- Make Sloe Gin (start it off) - which means mixing up Gin, Sloe's and Sugar, then waiting 3 months!
- Relax with Tim

- Pick up dress for formal 'do' with work
- Visit Nanna and take her shopping
- Look for jewelry to go with my dress

- Visit Brother-in-Law and his family
- Play with 2 yr old niece for the day
- Probably draw lots of cats for my niece (she loves them!!)

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Day 8 - Things that remind me of my childhood

- The smell of paint (my dad was a painter and decorator and the smell of paint always reminds me of him!)

- 'Tomorrows World' & 'The Krypton Factor' TV shows

- Stationary (I've always been obsessed with it) all of the desk drawers in my bedroom were full of stationary and I would quite happily spend hours in Partners!

Day 7 - I'm not very good at...

- Singing - I so so bad at singing, but I still sing aload in the house and sing so load in the car that I end up with a very bad throat after a long journey!

- Finishing craft projects

- Telling Jokes - I can never remember the punch lines

- Mornings - I really hate the getting up part! Once I'm up I take ages to actually wake up and my husband is banned from talking to me in the mornings for atleast half an hour (weird I know but I've always been the same. Once I'm awake I love mornings, but the waking up bit is hard!

- Being tidy - I'm good at tidying up, but then the tidyness goes wrong very very quickly.

- Watching programs I've recorded on sky plus - Tim insisted I add this one

Day 6 - Favourite Colour Combinations

- Autumn Colours

- Deep Pink, Chocolate Brown & Green

- Purple & Brown

- Natural shades of Green

- The colours of the rainbow (but they have to be in the right order, they can't be mixed up!)

Day 5 - I need an App for...

- Doing the housework

- Cooking healthy meals that are also delicious!

I really struggled with this one as even though I have an iPhone i don't relaly have much use for a lot of Apps.

Firstly - I'm on catch up here, I've been writing my lists through the week, but I've not had chance to get online at home. may I should have added an app for blogging to this list.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Day 4 - Things to do on a Sunday

Things to do on a Sunday...

- Snuggle
- Read a book
- Eat a yummy lazy breakfast
- Watch Sunday morning TV

After I took the photo I also added Visit Family x

I hope everyone has a wonderful sunday x

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Day 3 - People I Love

- My Husband, Tim
- My Mum
- My Nanna
- My Closest Friends
- My Family

- Neil Gaiman - for his amazing imagination and skills as a storyteller
- People who create - anything no matter how big or how small (that creation is)
- People who choose to share their knowledge with others

Although we are only three days in I'm really enjoying writing these lists.

Even though we got the prompts quite early I've been waiting until the daily list is announced to write my particular list, as I want these lists to really show how I'm thinking on a particular day.

If you are joining in with 30 Days of lists, how are you going about the writing of them?

Friday, 2 September 2011

30 Days of Lists - I'm happiest when...

This was a bad choice of pen colour, I'm happiest when...

- I'm with my husband Tim
- I'm learning new things
- I'm reading
- I'm with good friends
- I'm snug-a-bug warm
- colours are in the right rainbow order (especially pens and pencils) - just to clarify this Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, blue, Indigo, Violet!
- crafting
- watching a good film at the cinema

I don't usually think about this conciously so it was really nice to do so :) 

What makes you happy?

Thursday, 1 September 2011

30 Days of Lists - Day One

September is here and with it the start of 30 Days of Lists which I've really been looking forward to!

I'm looking forward to seeing everyones lists, I've just been having a look at everyones lists and I'm already inspired by them!

Here is my first list...

1. Start making some christmas presents - I have the supplies for several things that I'm making this year (I've been on a mission to start early for this christmas, I usually leave it too late to give as many handmade gifts as I'd like!)

2. Read atleast 2 of the books I've borrowed off friends and family - I have a mini stash of such books, and at the minute this stash is building as I'm doing most of my reading on my kindle.

3. Return the books to friends and family once they are read! - I usually end up keeping them for ages, in fact I have one outstanding return at the moment that I need to get to my friend

4. Settle into my new work routine properly - I'm in my 3rd week of my new job now, and the change has really thrown me! All of the learning I'm doing is really fun, but very tiring and I'm doing next to nothing with my evenings. I want to get into a new routine that means I can enjoy my evenings without being too tired for work the next day!

5. Do some things to customise my blog - it's all template-y at the moment, and I have a plan for a banner and a few other things which I want to update on here!

6. Make at least one of the free kits that I get with my 'Mollie Makes' subscription - this is a relatively new UK based crafting magazine which I fell in love with straight away and subscribed to. There is a free mini kit with each issue and I haven't made one yet!! They are too cute to be left in their packaging un-used.

7. Carry on my healthier eating start to my new job - healthy eating is something that I'm not great at, and I get into bad habits really easily! Starting my new job has helped me change a lot of bad habits and I really want to keep them up with the hopeful side effect of loosing some weight!

My list book was originally going to be handmade, but my Mum randomly brought me this cute book and its perfect for lists so my 30 days will be within this...

I hope you enjoy reading my lists!

g'night x

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Blog Neglect

The week before last I started my new job - woohoo!

but it really really threw all my routine out of whack, so I been neglecting all my blogigng activities of the writing and reading kind.

I've got a lot of posts to catch up on...

yep - that's 989 blog posts to be reading!

I'm on a catching up mission now.

One of the main reasons my new job has really knocked my routine is becasue I've been so so tired when I've got home for the evening - it a good way, because its all from learning new things which is really a good thing.

My spare time has mostly been spent in a half asleep state for the past couple of weeks, but I'm back in a normal routine now.

I have spent some time reading - its my go to hobby when looking for something that's not brain and I read some books to relax, so I have a read a couple of the past couple of weeks.
I've finished A Feast for Crows by George R R Martin 
Also I've finished Heart Sick by Chelsea Cain, and Summer of Love by Katie Fforde.
Three very different books, but I really enjoyed all of them.  I've started Cottage by the Sea by Ciji Ware which I'm enjoying too!

I'm hoping that everyone has had as enjoyable couple of weeks as I have!

Monday, 15 August 2011

Too tired for photos... brain is too full up to concentrate on them!

I started my new job today, adn my brain is overloaded!!! I didn't really do any of my proper work, but the company I've joined have a really good induction program which last for a couple of weeks. So today I've been doing HR, Health and Safety stuff and meeting lots of people - I was pleased to see that everyone has name plates on their desks which will be a huge help while I learn everyones names.

Today has reminded me how tiring learning new things is, but also how much I love learning.

What have you been learning recently?

Friday, 12 August 2011

Tiramasu Sundaes

On Wednesday night me and Tim spent the whole evening watching a lot of episodes of How I Met Your Mother - again!  I think its taken us three weeks to watch 4 seasons of it. Its legendary.

After tea Tim decided that he wanted something sweet to eat, and we don't keep sweet stuff in the house (otherwise I eat it far to quickly). So he decided to nip to the shop and came back with all of this!!!!

which was (minus the raspberry sauce) then turned into this!

It was delicious but I had a major sugar rush afterwards.

Last day at the office

On Monday I start my new job at a new company. I had my last day at my old job today.

I left feeling a mixture of sadness and excitement.

It's become tradition that people leaving take in some home baked goodies so I went with Chocolate Brownies - the went down well - this is all thats left of a full tin!

I've got a full craft day ahead of me tomorrow, I'm hoping to finished a quilt that I started months ago and get started on a lap quilt for my nan. Sunday is going to be a relaxing day preparing for my new job!

What has everyone got planned for their weekends?

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Not an early night...

I was planning on one, as I'm working hard at my day job handing over my work to the guy who will cover for me after my last day there on friday! (I'm excited and nervous all at the same time about starting my new job on monday!) Who'd have thought that thinking was so tiring!

So after a trip to Costco to buy chocolate brownie making supplies to take to work for my last day, I've been spending my evening reading blogs.

There is a give away on Wild Olive

Some brilliant links on mylifeasateacup

I particularly love the whole book on a page link to Spineless Classics - I really really 'need' one of these!
I know its early, but I will be dropping some major hints to my husband for one of these for Christmas!!

The most exciting are the ComicCon posts on A Tale of 2 Monkeys - I love Comic Con!!! Every year I love catching up on the goings on and its great to read stuff from the point of view of a non-press person :)

I can't over emphasise how much I reallly really really really really want to go to ComicCon!!!!!! I would love to come visit America and my ideal would be to go to ComicCon as well!! Would love it!


I've been trying my hardest to comment on several blogs, and unless there is an option to put name and URL its just doesn't work!
I've managed to post a couple of comments using Open ID, and attempted using my google account but it just keeps circling to the login page! I'm hunting for a solution on line but not coming up with much - its driving me crazy!!

A Little Thank you...

to you lovely people who are following me :) 
I'm really having fun starting my blog, and over the next few weeks I'm hoping to gradually make some changes to make it a bit less 'template' and a bit more 'me'.
I hope you're enjoying reading me, and you'll like what changes I hope to make (the hope is due to my lack of technical computer-y skills which I'm trying to remedy)

I'm off to bed now, I wish everyone one a good night x

A Wild Olive giveaway!

One of my favourite blogs has a giveaway at the moment!

The wonderful Mollie of Wild Olive blog has created some very sweet cupcake magnets and a mini painting too and is giving these away amongst other things...

Why not head over to check out her blog and enter too?

( and check out her yummy shop! I could easily buy one of everything off here!! I'm making a start on doing that in fact and slowly building my collection of Wild Olive embroidery patterns!)

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Lazy Sunday

After a busy day out yesterday, I've had a lazy sunday!

One of Tim's mates has been round for the day so they've been playing geeky games. I sometimes play a board game with them, but instead I've spent my day reading blogs and stitching.

I've added a whole lot of blogs to my feeds mostly from bloggers that are also completing 30 days of lists.

Blogs are so inspiring, I'll share some of my favourites new finds over the next few days!

I've been stitiching today and I've completed a set of sewing accessories, here they are...

A pin cushion, a needle book and a scissor keeper!

I came up with the patterns as I stitched and I've really pleased with how they turned out, let me know what you think?

I hope everyone had good weekends x

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Day Trip

Tim planned a day trip for us which took us to Stratford-upon Avon which is the birthplace of William Shakespeare.

This morning, we went to the pub just down the road from us and had a Full English Breakfast - it was a bit more like brunch because we didn't eat 4pm after that!

After the Tim drove us to S-u-A which is only just over an hour away.

The last time that I went was about 15 years ago with school! This time we didn't go into any of the visitors centres, which I'd like to go back and do at some point, so we spent the day wandering around the town.

We saw a street artist taking a bow

Tim spotted some blackbirds while I was shopping for ribbon.

Olde Worlde houses.

Walking throught town there is a jester statue.

The walking out of town we ended up visiting this church which is the place where Shakespeare is buried.

We walked back down towards town which was along the river and stopped for our picnic.

This is the main monument to Shakespeare which is in very close the Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre which is right on the river.

Close by we saw these lovely flowers, and a bumble bee collecting pollen

and here is the theatre which is on the river also!

I had the best day I've had in ages :)

Scary spider!!

Last night while we were watching a lot of episodes of How I Met Your Mother the biggest spider wandered across the lounge floor.
It was so huge we saw it in the dark and then Tim proceeded to trap me in the bathroom by placing the spider right outside the door - I was very freaked out!

I hope this isn't scary (Tims finger is there for scale!)

Tim set the spider free on the green in front of the house!!! eek!

30 Days of List - September Edition!

A few days ago I joined the 30 Days of Lists September edition :)

Tomorrow I plan to have a hunt in my craft stash to make a book to write my lists up in.

I've got plenty of scrapbook papers so I'll find something pretty amongst them!

Here is the link and I've added a funky button to my side bar (I'm quite impressed I worked out how to do this!!)

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Coffee, Pizza & Cinema

I had a nice evening out yesterday with my friend from work, having a catch-up about goings on and enjoying yummy AMT coffee J

By the time that I got home I just wanted to slob out and watch tv, which is a rarity for me as I’m usually worried about wasting time so need to be doing ‘something’ all the time.

It was nice just to have a quick catch up on the blogs I read then to switch my brain off!

Tonight me and Tim are going out for with his brother and sister-in-law for to the Cinema to see Captain America – yey!

I’m very excited about watching this film, but not as much as my husband who is going a bit mental about it. I always know how excited about a film he is by how many reviews and trailers etc he watches: - the more excited he is the less he watches / reads occasionally to the point where he doesn’t even like looking at stills of the film!

I’ve got to say this has kind of got me a little bit because I’ve started to do the same now – I do find that it’s that little bit more exciting because then the whole film is completely brand new, rather than there being a lot of stuff that you’ve already seen or had glimpses of!

And even better for my double date tonight we are going for Pizza before the cinema – yey!

Monday, 1 August 2011

Shopping Spree!

Over the weekend and tonight, I've had a crafty shoppng spree.  I love buying supplies as much as I love crafting, there is nothng better than a massive crafty stash!

As part of my crafty purchases I had a couple of very late Christmas in July purchases. Every year I have tonnes of ideas for handmade items, but end up leaving it too late to actually make them. This year I'm on a handmade christmas mission.

For my Nanna I'm going to be making a lap quilt which will help to keep her toasty warm through the winter.
I bought a Moda Luna Notte Charm Pack for this, which I'm planning on making up into fairly simple blocks becasue of the busy patterns.
In the store I got this from they had some lovely soft fleecy material which has a kind of polka dot texture, I'm going to head back once I've made the topper as I want some of that to back it.

My next purchase was a bit sneaky! Its christmas in July but for me! This fabric is so adorable I 'needed' to get some. This is from Red Roosters Fabrics 'Winterberry Lane' Range, I really want the
I'm going to make a throw cushion with this, at the moment I'm planning to fussy cut some panels from the snowman fabric and embellish them with some embroidery then border this with the snowflake fabric.
That may well change once I start sewing!

This next one was brought a couple weeks ago when I was visiting my Mum. This a Makower fabric, but I'm not sure what range as the panel was pre cut. This is destined to be festive drinks coasters!

Next we have mini jam jars (they are around an inch and a half tall)! When I spotted these in Cost-co I put them in the shopping trolley then came up with a crafty planm to justify buying them. Tim didn't take much convincing that he needs to eat all the jam so that I can have the jars (he started this weekend by having some on Rich Tea biscuits, which didn't look very tasty really). I think that there are 24 jars in total and for only £2.99 I thought that was a bargain addition to my craft stash with free jam included ;-)
Some of these are destined to hold cupcake decorations as part of a baking kit for my friend and her children. I'm not sure about the others yet, but I think they'll make pretty packaging for anything small enought to fit.

This last one isn't crafty, but it's a christmas present for my Mum - a very pretty cake slice form Portmeirion pottery. They have a very sweet cake stand that goes with it so I will be buying that at some point ready for christmas.

New-to-me Craft Store

On Saturday,  my main partner-in-craft, Kathryn, suggested a trip to a craft store that she found out about which is about a 30 minute drive from her house. Not one to refuse a trip to a new crafty place, we headed over and found a treasure of a place, which is where I brought the Moda Charm pack and Winterberry Lane fabric from.

The store is called Heaths Country Store and has a big range of fabric and yarns - there was so much that I could of bought but I was restrained.

My Dad

Today would have been my Dads 62nd birthday, so I wanted to say a Happy Birthday to him x x

He passed away very suddenly 15 years ago, and I miss him loads.

My memories and other peoples memories of him always inspire me and I wish I was old enought to get to know him as a person as well as my Dad x x

Friday, 29 July 2011

30 Days of Lists...

I'm looking forward to registering for 30 Days of Lists.

This is the state of my usual lists - I tend to write them on post its at work and then they get stuck in a book.

I will definitely have to make a nice book or collection of notelets to write my 30 lists on :)

I found out about this on from Yellow Bird, Yellow Beard - when I started reading this blog, I read
whole load of the archive posts and Janee who writes the blog had completed the original 30 Days of Lists, so I was intrigued!!

I got looking at the original and saw there was one coming up in September - pre-registrations starts next week! I will definitely be there!

p.s. While I was out the room getting my camera Tim wrote this for me; -

Louise's Husband loves her very much

He's all tired and cute at the minute x

Monday, 25 July 2011

Really useful 'Really Useful Boxes'

Really useful boxes are the most genius things ever - and they come in purple!

Me and Tim both have an obsession with these boxes and they're our go to choice for storage - it didn't start out like this buy design but all mine are purple and Tims are clear. It's probably a good job, otherwise we'd argue over who brought what! (I hate to admit it would probably be me starting it despite the over abundance of various boxes - I have a box of boxes!)

I bought these ones over the weekend from Hobbycraft, to make myself some embroidery floss card storage.

I like the sectionalised boxes that the various thread companies make but I wanted something slightly different.

To make my boxes I measured the interior (these 1 1/2" deep, 4 1/2" wide and 6" long) and decided to split them into 8 sections.

Tim had some card leftover from making some scenery for his hobby which he let me have (he's is definitely not a stasher when it comes to supplies!), so I used my quilting ruler and an old blade in my rotary cutter to cut the pieces out.

To make the slots I just used some scissors.

Then I slotted them together to get this insert :)

Oh, before I cut the slots in I played about with the layout and decided that I wanted the cards standing up.

Sooo... Ta - da!! Here it is!!

There are 44 cards in here which is a snug fit, but I want to keep this floss group together. I got this grouping from Aimee Raes Doodle Stitching - The Motif Collection
Its a bit of a cheat for me because its a ready made rainbow, but I liked how bright and cheery the group is. When I put colours together myself I tend to choose really deep colours, but I do love brightness so this is ideal!

I have three of these boxes made up now so I just have to get filling them up now which won't be too hard.

On being poorly
On Thursday and Friday last week I had some kind of random sickness bug that really made me feel poorly for those couple of days - I think I was actually starting with it on Wednesday because when we went to the cinema I didn't finish all of my Ben & Jerry's ice cream!!

I was off work all of Thursday and splet for most of the day, so the weekend was kind of busy because I was catching up with some bits that I should have done in the week.

Hopefully its gone now, because I have a busy few weeks ahead at work - I have just under 3 weeks left at my current job where I have to do a lot of handover work. Then on the 15th August I start my new job so I have a hell of a lot of learning to do!! Eek!

Monday, 18 July 2011

Over the weekend me and Tim went to visit my Mum and Step-dad, and stopped over on Saturday night. Their place is about 2hrs drive from us so we always try to go when we can stay over!.
Because we were visiting I didn’t take anything crafty with me for the weekend, although I did end up reading an awful lot, because we have to wait around a lot for my Mum as she takes an age to get ready to go anywhere.
I’m reading the A Clash of Kings the 2nd book from the Song of Fire and Ice Series, of which A Games of Thrones is the first.
We watched the HBO series of Games of Thrones when it was on TV not so long ago and really enjoyed it. I love fantasy books and it was really good to see an adaptation done so well on screen, I really think that fantasy benefits from having a whole tv series rather than a film adaptation because you can explore the characters almost as much as a book can.
Dragons are by far my favourite mythical creature, I really like the many different ways they are portrayed in literature and on screen. I don’t have a favourite incarnation, I like everything from cutesy imagery to them being mage’s to being fierce warriors!
Here are some pics of the various incarnations of dragon that I have around my home!
A blackwork dragon that I stitched a couple of years ago…
This is one a bluey-grey linen fabric stitched with black DMC cotton blended with a deep red Kreinik blending filament. Blending filaments are one of my favourite ways of adding a bit of sparkle to embroidery as they don’t cause me as many problems to stitch with as other metallic threads.
Pocket Dragons
I’ve got a small collection of these little guys that I’ve had for about 10 years. I don’t like to have massive collections of the same range of things so I keep most of these packed away and rotate the ones I have on display – at the moment it’s the ones in the photo's.
Warhammer dragon
I’m really proud of this one because I painted him myself.
Tim used to work for the company that makes Warhammer, and I was kind of getting into the game so have an army myself. Here is the main website for the company if you want to see more.
The army that I have is the High Elves, but this dragon is about the only model out of the army that I have painted!!
My friend is heading round for a pasta dinner so I'm off to get cooking!

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Pincushions & Photography

I was really worried that my camera was broken, and more than happy to discover that it was just a dud battery :)

£10 lighter rather than the expected £50+ I have my camera back!

So now I can start getting some decent photos, here is the first...

These little pincushions are hopefully the start of something that I have big plans for :)

The are very much the beginnings, but I'm pleased with how they are looking so far!

On photos

I'm definitely a beginner in the photography stakes, so was intrigued by a magazine that I spotted in Tesco the other day - Photography for beginners

Without having my camera working its a bit tricky to practice some of the tips, but just from reading through the magazine I've spotted a few interesting things that I'd like to try out.

I've also decided to invest in a mini tripod, because a lot of things that I photograph really need a steady hand!

I hope peoples are having a good evening, I'm off to my friends for some good old spag bol now, goodnight x