Friday, May 31, 2013

Wip It


This is the concept and this is where you can find it ...........From DLHammonds and Elise Fallson ......Our idea is that on Friday, May 31st, we will provide a forum to allow anyone interested a chance to tell the blogosphere about their most recent [W]ork [I]n [P]rogress. We’ll guide you by providing a few prompts to answer in your own post, and even give you the opportunity to solicit CP’s (partners who exchange material for detail critique – usually chapter by chapter) or Beta Readers (test readers who read entire manuscripts and offer broad opinions) if you’re looking for that

WIP Title: Legacy Dawning (book 2 in Legacy novella series)

Word Count (projected/actual so far): 30,000 Have written a good chunk of the book, but not yet gone through it, taken it apart, and rewritten most of it LOL

Genre: Young adult supernatural, but not a vampire or werewolf in sight!

How long have you been working on it?: 2 years

Elevator Pitch (if you came across an agent in an elevator ride, what couple of lines would you use to summarize your book):I honestly haven't a clue - obviously need to make this a priority :)

Brief Synopsis (250 words or less):
LEGACY [leg-e-se] something passed through a family, handed down as from an ancestor.
That’s all very well, but what happens when you don’t want it? Is it possible to deny your legacy? I don’t know if I can, or even if I should. But I think I must try. My life is not preordained. Surely I must have some small degree of control over what does, and does not, happen to me? 
Dark family secrets are set to rock seventeen year old Joshua's safe and comfortable life.In the second in the series Joshua is struggling to come to terms with the aftermath of the fire and the seemingly supernatural circumstances of his survival. Whilst dealing with this it seems his dreams are getting stronger and refusing to be ignored.

Are you looking for a Critique Partner?:I don't think any of the chapters are good enough yet to share!

Are you looking for a Beta Reader?: I am lucky enough to have an extremely talented 17 year old that reads it, offers ideas, and corrects where the lead character sounds 50 not 17! The first novella in the series is finished and although I am really happy with it, I think maybe I need to move some of the text around to draw people in. The beginning is a bit weak because that's how Joshua is, but as his life changes the book becomes much stronger (I think anyway!) but if I'm sending it out to publishers they won't get that far! So any help with that would be great :)
Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Get Healthy Blog Hop

Today I'm joining in with the Get Healthy bloghop here :) Just have to jump in the shower and sort out the youngest one's breakfast, then will be back with a 'proper' post .........And back, have half an hour before visitors descend. So me and health? How about a timeline?

Born at 7lb 7ozs - and was actually 13 days late, so I suppose I would have been around 5.5lb if I'd been on time. Up to 18 was always on the lowest percentile but not underweight - being 5'1" when I stretch meant that one sorta counteracted the other. But apart from trampolining I hated sports. I mean seriously, what can you do well when you are always the smallest in the class? Running? Netball? Swimming? Exactly!
Then I went vegetarian. Thirty years ago there was nothing, except for a few 'foods' (and I use the term in the very loosest sense of the word!) and they tasted like cardboard and cost a months rent. Couple that with a boyfriend at the time who, even when I lost so much weight I weighed under 7stone in a winter coat, used to tell me I was fat .....well, you do the math.
So my 20's evened out. Average weight - if you wander over to Throwback Thursday here you'll find a few of me looking Miss Average :)
And then the children came along! Yep, you're getting it, even a few knowing nods I imagine. Only put on 3/4 stone with Joseph which I lost straight away. Bit more with Joshua. And then Benjamin. Well you could have laid me on my side and rolled me down a hill!
And now we're at today. And I realise writing this I have spent the last 20 years being overweight.
But I am finally doing something about it. Hitting 50 this year (well, this week actually) and having that heart scare has given me the serious kick up the butt I needed.
I have lost 10lbs since January and am working on my next 10 by July. Tests show my heart is okay, no diabetes but slightly raised cholesterol. So I have dragged My Fitness Pal by Wii back out and dusted it down, am dieting, and Joshua even brought me some weights for my birthday!

It doesn't make sense for me to be overweight. I eat well, especially being veggie, no red meats for me, and lots of protein in Quorn. I love walking. I think my downfall is just lack of willpower in both exercise and eating. If there's nothing bad for me in the house I don't miss it, but if I know Jeff's bought chocolate and biscuits then I have to eat them *downcast, embarrassed face* But, hey, onwards and upwards :)
Sunday, May 26, 2013

Crafty Monday

So, crafting? I am liking this Monday crafting page - I'm liking all the planning tbh, seems to work. Although my friend Debbie has also decided to plan posts better and has decided to call her Making Mondays - what a bloody good idea. I mean I did Wednesday Writings and Friday Free for all, but didn't think of finding something to go with M. Oh well.....
I digress, as always, wouldn't be me if I didn't. I bought this little basket in a charity shop last Monday for £1.50.
I had some cream Rust-oleum left over from when I spray painted the frames last year and thought spraying would be easier. I also put a top coat of Crystal Clear Rust-oleum on top to protect it. I filled it with paper rose petals, and then handmade the two small ring cushions - yes you've guessed it - for the vow thing next year (Going to get fed up real quick of writing vow renewal celebrations!). I finished off by tying a few different ribbons onto the edge of the handle :) Everything I used I already had in my crafting stuff, so £1.50 total!
At the same place I bought this mirror. It was originally £3.50! I sometimes think the people that price things in charity shops have no idea of how much to charge. It had then been reduced to £2.50 and by the time I visited the shop it was £1.00. Now £1.00 I will pay for a second hand mirror - £3.50 I won't! What I loved was the rope because I thought it could be used as a handle :)
So. Yanked the flower off - boy was that stuck so much, Jeff had to prise it off for me LOL. I then took the pins out of the back and removed the mirror. Painted both the frame and a piece of wood the same size as the mirror initially in Zinsser - you know how I love that stuff! The board then just needed two coats of Chalkboard Paint (again by Rust-oleum) and that part was finished. We did have to fork out for that paint, but I know I'll use it again and again, and a little goes a long way! For the frame I added some brown acrylic paint to the joins and then crackle glaze on top. I wanted it to look aged and that's where the wear and tear would appear naturally. Top coat of cream Valspaar (lots left from decorating earlier in the year) and hey presto. Do you like the writing? I'm thinking of the perfect little girl to hold that during the - yeah, that thing next year! LOL!
I am really pleased with both these items :) I promise not to go on and on about next year, and tbh wasn't even planning on making these yet, but when I saw the items in the shop, well the urge came upon me like a tidal wave  .........:)

A Very Special Sunday ......

.....Cos I am 50 today! There, I've said it, no going back. Although I am typing this a week early and scheduling it to post next week, so got a week to pop back in and change the 5 to a 4 ;) Pushing it a bit, don't think I'd get away with shaving 10 years off, 5 maybe :) Maybe? Just a small maybe?

So the reason I am attempting my first ever scheduled blog is because Jeff has planned something for my birthday and I have no idea what. I'm hoping it isn't that awful and that we're still married at the end of the weekend, otherwise will be a bit peed at the money and time already spent on our ceremony next year! This convo, copied from facebook, makes me a little anxious - okay, flaming big anxious!!
Chatting to my sis-in-law yesterday.
Me "no, can't do next week, Jeff's planning a surprise for my birthday."
Jo "I'm sure whatever you do it will be special ...... Also, tell Jeff, yes it's fine, he can borrow Steve's spare parachute for you."
Eeeeeeeeek, she's joking, right?

ETA-awesome weekend. Jeff has been putting in some overtime so that he could treat me.And boy did he treat me! He'd booked us into a 5 star hotel, had an Indian meal, and then ......... he had got us tickets to see Les Miserables.  And not a parachute in sight! I am one very happy, spoilt bunny this weekend :)
So, what else happened this week.

Ella had a meltdown Friday. Funny, I felt one was on its way. Not nice, but neither was the sobbing afterwards when she had calmed down.

We went to another car boot last Sunday - well, with the awful weather we've been having for like ever, got to make the most of a few dry days. Just got a few bits - nothing on the scale of last Sunday's post!
Isn't this beautiful? It's swarovski crystals in amethyst and AB (can't spell aurolis borialis!) and is for Ella to wear for us next year :) Best bit? Only £3.00 - I know, and you should see her wearing it :)
I also got all these. I just imagined with a vintage theme I can really do something stunning with them - not sure what yet mind! Although they look quite impressive just piled up like that!
With the brown/gold ones I also had to get these as they came in a job lot! But £5.00 for the lot isn't so bad. The baubles are all glass, some are obviously hand painted - and they're huge! The brown and cream ones are like 6" diameter! Bit different from the packs we get most year from Poundland LOL!
Dad and Sandra gave us a glass table for the garden, but it was too big for the current decking, so Joshua is extending the patio bit to make room for it :)
A few photos of Joshua he has sent to some modelling agencies. Keep everything crossed for him, he needs a break.
Lunch with Jeff, Josh and Ben to celebrate my birthday.
Governor budget meeting Wednesday evening.

Watched Django and Gambit. I was pretty sure I'd like Gambit, easy watching, Colin Firth and Alan Rickman :) Wasn't sure about Django. I know it got nominated for several Oscars, but Quentin Tarantino isn't exactly known for his lovey-dovey films! Desperado comes to mind. But I have to say I was blown away - like the connection? - by some of it. I can't remember the name of Django's wife, but I thought she was freaking amazing :)

And that's it, pretty average week followed by an awesome weekend! Laterz!
Monday, May 20, 2013

Monday Crafts :)

Been busy with one main project this week, creating a mood book of ideas for our vow renewal next year. It's ended up more mixed media, but I love it and can't wait to add to it!

Firstly I bought the notebook from Tesco's. I loved the cover, thought I wouldn't need to do much with it.
I took the spine off and inked the edges front and back of every page, didn't take a photo of the carnage! -  and yes, it did take ages, and ages, and ages! I used 8 different ink pads of various shades of brown to give the book at bit more depth. Then I used my old wooden stamps to stamp fonts around the edges! Talk about a martyr for the cause.
Once I had put the book back together I decided I wanted to tab the pages A - Z (so not only is it perfect for the planning of the celebrations, but I can use it for my theme next year for the A-Z Challenge - clever, right?). I have various tabs, but I was worried whether they would stay on with the constant manhandling. So instead I used washi tapes. That way I could use a much longer strip and make them firmer. Found some old alphabet stickers that had the right look and attached them to the washi tabs.
Now the book was ready for breaking down into headings. I have stamped and/or used alphabet stickers to write words associated with each letter of the alphabet. Used the brown inks, but also included some pinks and lilacs. And, oh my, I am positively embarrassed at the quantity of alphabet stamps I have! I only picked the ones that I felt had a vintage feel - I won't tell you how many sets were left in the pile not used!
So far I have pieces of material, post-it notes, clippings from papers, and copies of the save the date cards. On the back page I'm keeping a running total of how much we're spending!
Ashton suggested I have it on display during the weekend, which I think is a lovely idea :) And the cost? Well, the notebook was four pounds and absolutely everything else I used was already in my stash - result :)
Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sunday, Sunday, so good for me....

Let's start with some bargains - you all know how I love a bargain :) Car boot trip yesterday was probably one of the most successful - EVER!
Bargain 1 - seller with a selection of bathroom stuff. On closer inspection Jeff reckons may have been seconds, as there are a few scratches on the shower pole. But, hey, I can live with a few scratches when we've got a new metal pole, rain spray shower and hose, for a tenner!!! Seriously, it's a Grohe, and we reckon new would be well over £180!!
Bargain 2 - Twilight fleece blanket for Ella to wrap up in in the car, or at footy, for a whole pound! She is however having to wait for it 'till we've washed and dried it - well, you know, you gotta haven't you?

Bargain 3 - I've been looking for some lighting to put across the newly decorated units. These are Cotton & Cable balls, absolutely gorgeous, for £2!! The lady had left the receipt in the box, they're 2 years old, but who cares? They're still available on their website and currently cost £32!!

So, like I say, best car boot bargains - ever! We spent £13.00 and reckon walked away with over £200 worth of stuff that (a) is in excellent condition and (b) we actually wanted!

Amazing how a bargain lifts the spirits :)

In other, brief news, cos it's Jeff's one weekend off in 3 so don't want to spend hours blogging:

The local council are offering the carers grant again, not as much as last year, but hey, it's one of the few positive things that local councils do so we're not going to knock it :)

More governor interviews, but think that's it now till the autumn term, well, fingers crossed it is! Now just got the budget, school appeals, blah, blah, blah. Why do I do this again?

Josh has been approached by a couple of football teams, pleased for him. Was livid his last match of the season when his manager made him play the full 120 minutes (extra time) even though he was only just getting over the wound infection on his leg, wasn't match fit, and was limping. Even the rest of the team were like, come on boss, take him off, but he didn't. Not impressed.

Filling in more job applications - what a waste of time that is. For every job there are so many applicants you don't really stand a chance. And when you visit the business beforehand, and still they don't even have the decency to drop you a 'thanks but no thanks' note. Well, just plain rude. No excuse for bad manners. All it takes is a bog standard email, doesn't even have to cost anything. Mini rant over!

Oh, whole separate post coming next week on applying for Job Seekers Allowance. All I can say is no wonder the country's strapped for cash when I've witnessed how ridiculous and expensive the system is to run! A copy of said blog post will be sent to our MP. Yeah, I know, won't make a blind bit of difference, but will make me feel better :)

And that's it. Quiet week in the house, so no complaints. And I've just managed a whole week on my new schedule, not bad hey? Well, for me it's impressive LOL!

Laterz xx
Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday Whingings, sorry!

My mum always taught me, and I have with the boys, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all ...... so a very short post today! I am not having the best day and am wallowing, so will wallow on my tod, no need to bring everyone else down!

Instead we'll have a image post! All google images when I googled 'if you can't say anything nice' ......
Who doesn't love Thumper ? :) And own up, who's saying it in their head in Thumper's voice?! LOL
Statler and Waldorf - Jeff's favourite Muppets ...........Hmmmm, Jeff/Grumpy Old Men ....wonder why they're his favourites ........... ;)
Like these cards when they appear on my wall on facebook - which brings me neatly onto the next one ...
A lot of people could take that advice!
And finally, a good quote that sort of contradicts the first four.
Although constructive criticism can be a good thing, it's not when just plain meanness is wrapped up in a constructive wrapper.

Back in a few days with hopefully a better head on xx
Monday, May 13, 2013

It's Monday so must be Crafting!

Had 2 projects on the go this week. The first one took a couple of hours, the second a couple of days! So the quickie first ;) Remember the firescreens I bought for a pound each from ebay?
Well I finally got started on turning them into information boards which was the reasoning behind my buying them. I've only done one side so far, but I used it at the craft fair last week. I plan to paint the back, rather than paper and daub so that it has a cleaner, more suitable look for the Spirit-Mind-Body. But I was pleased with the end result, considering I literally threw it together in a couple of hours :)
Thanks to cheap Truprint printing of the photos - and using all old craft supplies, this A-Board cost pennies, and even got some interest for parties :) Which was the object of the exercise!

Onto the longer project. The theme is vintage, and the colours are dusky pinks, lilacs and cream. Halfway through making them I must admit I texted Jeff ranting about what the hell possessed me to start the project, but the end result was so worth it.
So first the RSVP cards:
I printed the words on plain A4 paper, would have been nicer in cream, but didn't have any, and this whole project is supposed to be on a budget! Used a Cats Eyes pad for the edges and general old look. The background stamp was a V & A one, stamped with a Tim Holtz Distress Pad. The words were so my own LOL!
The easiest bit - Bazzill cardstock again, inked and written.
I then attached the RSVP card and the quote card together with a bit of cream garden twine :)

I made the Save the Date cards into bookmarks. The colour is misleading, the colour is the same as the dusky pink cards in the photo above. Again typed up with an old style font, and thought the photo both fun and relevant (vintage). Same inks and stamps. I hand stamped the Save the Date across the top using a couple of stamp sets I have had for years - and as for the fibres - they have been around for even longer, so nice to be able to actually use them!
Again, colours are off.

To finish I included a return addressed envelope with a gap where the names are for the guests to write an alternative start than Mr and Mrs X.

I am so glad that I persevered. The remit was vintage, involving the guests and as cheap as possible. And I don't think I could have created the set for much less! Including paper, card, ink, etc, I don't reckon they came to much more than a fiver :)

What do you think?
Sunday, May 12, 2013

Sunday Round Up

Tuesday visit to Harry Potter World - post about it here

Lunch out with one of my oldest - but not 'oldest' girlfriends. She insisted I add a second photo to show that she doesn't have quite the same hairstyle she had 20 years ago LOL! Ironically, until I had mine cut the other week, mine could still look like it did when I got married! I had far too much to drink and had a blast!
Trip to Bristol meant that Jeff insisted we go over the Clifton Suspension Bridge - not actually as scarey  as it looks!
But it reminded me of when we 'accidentally' ended up crossing the Millau Viaduct in France a couple of years ago!

Went to see this Quince Players production with Jeff and Joy. We choose charity night as the charity was for Martha :) I offered to help with raffle ticket selling and managed to persuade the audience to part with £91.00 - oh, and 20pence that someone found on the floor! Not bad I thought :) The play was excellent. And as the audience we were also the jury and got to vote at the end. Jeff and I differed - he used his head, I used my spider senses - his vote got the majority vote - at which point I shouted 'travesty' - rather loudly apparently, oops! - then it turns out I was right - so the moral of the story is always trust the missus and her spider senses :)
Just a photo of Ella I took a few weeks ago and forgot to post - I love it :)
My Josh - not wanting his photo taken - the wind kicking up the backdrop was a right PITA!
His team played a semi-final cup game on Tuesday. The other team was in the league above, but they held them to penalties - which they then lost. Rotten result, overall they were definitely the better team. Oh the other team? Wokingham, which the boys were involved with for years - so for me and Jeff that was interesting.
Governor hat on this week involved in staff interviews
Jeff and I managed to get a lunch together - after we had washed up following the grubby property we had been to see!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Harry Potter World!

About a year ago Patrick, Angela and I all mentioned we'd like to go to the Warner Bros Studio Harry Potter Tour. Jeff sort of mumbled vague interest. Well, you know life tends to be very inconvenient and get in the way, but we finally managed to sort out a date for this Tuesday. Angela and me on the bridge that Seamus blew up :)
I ordered the tickets and Jeff had kittens when he thought 116 quid was the price for 2 tickets. He still paled slightly at 29 pound each and I was sort of with him on that one. I wouldn't pay that for a theme park as I really do not like the rides - I know, add that to the already long list of things I wimp out of LOL. But I was keeping my fingers crossed for the money being worthwhile. Patrick and Angela on the Night Bus.
We agreed just adults - and, OMG how nice was that! No offence kids but it was so the right decision! No boredom, whinging and whining, and generally spoiling the day. Ella would have been bored within 10 minutes! And we must have saved a fortune on not spending money on them ;) James and Lily's house - I love this style of house!

The car drive there was pretty painless and the welcoming committee on the gates were very, well, welcoming. The parking is a bit OTT - like a parking attendant every 20 yards and you have to wait for the car in front of you to completely park before you can. Then if you have the misfortune to not park exactly how they like they make you re-park it! Oh well, good for the employment figures I suppose. Jeff seeing how things work!
Getting the tickets out of the machines was a doddle. The entrance was spacious, clean and well organised. After a visit to the very clean toilets. Strange thing to write? Trust me women care about that sort of thing! Then you queue. Not for too long. One thing I did think was really positive was the staggered entrances every half hour. We never felt squashed and bothered. There was only ever a couple of minutes waiting for most things, which was no biggie. Only queue when we were there was for the photo's on the broomsticks. Outside Dumbledore's office. This one and the next didn't come out brilliantly, but I like the photos and guess what? My blog, my choice :)
Then we got onto the actual experience. I won't spoil it - but it was great - worth every penny. And although we were there 3.5 hours I think we could easily have done a couple more hours. Same again - I decided to take my little Fuji point and shoot camera rather than my heavy camera, but obviously it's not so good for indoor shots.
One of my favourite photos of the whole day :)
Patrick and Angela enjoyed seeing the Durdsley's house - and compared it to the real thing!
Jeff was looking at the huge wand display of the main players and said "I'm gonna choice the wand I would have." To which I replied "You don't choose the wand Jeffrey, the wand chooses you!" Well I had to didn't I?!
Outdoor photos came out much better :)
Jeff reckoned he was terrified - he had nothing to worry about I have never crashed a motorbike :) .... Okay, well yes, I've never actually driven a motorbike, but my record is 100% perfect nevertheless ;)
This clock belonging to Mrs Weasley was always one of my favourite props.
The closest we got to the wand - so bloody expensive. Actually, probably my only rant. Warner Bros have a captive audience. They don't have to charge the world for the extras - and yet they do. A photo on a 'flying broom' was 12. So, okay, that's pretty normal. But a DVD of your 'flight' that only lasts a couple of minutes starts - note starts - at 40!!! I mean what do you think is special about they DVD's? Inlaid with gold?! Cos I bought 100 blank DVD's for Joshua the other week for about a tenner. And don't get me started on the gift shop. Obscene prices.
This model is out of this world. Enough said.
I love this photo. Jeff can take or leave HP, but came with us so I wasn't on my tod :) And actually he enjoyed it - the engineer in him was fascinated with how things were made.
Just too funny a photo not to take. These are just a small selection - have about another 100 on the computer, but didn't want to send you into even more of a stupor than you probably already are :)
I remember riding buses like this - before Elf 'n' Safety ruined everything. And yes, this is the closest I shall ever get to pole dancing ...... I heard that sigh of relief ;)
So, synposis - I loved it, so glad we went. Thanks to Patrick and Angela for joining us on a fab day out :)