Monday, May 28, 2012

A couple of new pages in my pair journal....

The first two pages are fairly finished (although my pair journal partner, Shirley, may well choose to add to them):

And these two are works in progress, am passing the ball to Shirley on these ones:

Can't wait to see how they end up :)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Rocking Your World Friday week 21

This is shocking, I’m on time two weeks in a row!

It’s only because work is a little calmer than usual at the moment and so I have actually been able to take lunch breaks – so that’s definitely the first thing for me to be grateful for this week :) Much as I do occasionally enjoy the adrenaline buzz of rushing around trying to meet impossible deadlines, it is also nice from time to time to take the foot off the gas a bit and take things at a more healthy pace.

On Saturday I spent the morning being Swindon’s answer to Banksy – ha ha!  Well, as it was stickers I was putting up, probably closer to Swindon’s answer to a young Shepard Fairey....but anyway – you can read all about it here – and don’t worry, they are only temporary, officer :)

 And then in the afternoon, we may well have got into the Guinness Book of Records!  We won’t find out for another three months if the adjudicators are going to let our new record into the book – but even if not, we did have a lot of fun taking part in a world record attempt for the world’s biggest lightsaber battle:

It all kicked off at the local railway museum, which is currently hosting a Sci Fi exhibition (without a train in sight).  There were tons of Star Wars characters in attendance (mainly just peeps in costume, but there were also two minor actors from the original movies there), and also, rather randomly, a Sylvester McCoy era  Dr Who lookalike, and Judge Dredd and Spiderman, all of whom looked rather out of place with lightsabers :)

We all got a cool certificate and badge for taking part, plus the boys got their photos taken with the whole cast for an extra fiver to charideeee.

It was ace!

....with our certificates

On Sunday, we had a nice lazy morning. Then in the afternoon we went geocaching along the Thames Path near Lechlade.  We started at the spot where Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Wiltshire meet, which was cool.  You kind of need three legs so you can stand with a foot in all three counties :)

giant ducks?  or little houses?
"does not wash" more like :)
We found two multi caches (the type where you have to decipher a number of clues around the area before you can find the actual cache – our favourite type) and one traditional (where you get given the cache co-ordinates straight away).  It was a really nice day for a walk along the river – not too hot not too cold, and not raining.  We all enjoyed it lots.

Old Father Thames

On Monday night I had a fun chat with my bessie mate Alison, mainly about how hunky (using that word totally gives away my age, doesn’t it :) I doubt anyone under the age of 40 ever says it) two certain actors are, and how “my vampire is better looking than your vampire”.  She has been poorly and out of contact for a while and I always miss her loads when she goes onto radio silence.  She’s the only person I ever have silly girlie chats with and they are always a riot :D  Luvs ya, bww!

(paraphrasing the bessie mate: "a middle aged lech????  I might be a lech, but if anyone calls me middle aged I'm going to cut them!" hee hee)

So - a very important straw poll.... - ladies, or indeed gents with an opinion, which dude is hotter, the brunette or the blonde??

On Tuesday the weather really picked up - it was gloriously sunny and so I went for a nice walk in the sunshine in my lunchbreak.

This gorgeous park is about 10 minutes walk from my office - I should go here more often!

The weather has been stunning ever since, fingers crossed it lasts, it really cheers everyone up, doesn't it :)

In the afternoon poor old Connor had a nasty fall off his scooter while attempting a trick – ouch!  He got a big graze all down one side of his face and a few other lumps and bumps :(  That clearly didn’t rock my world, but the fact that he wasn’t seriously hurt, and is being a super brave little soldier, does.

On Wednesday morning, I got an email saying that my lovely Berlin apartment booking had been cancelled.  Grrrrr.  But never mind, I have found an equally nice place to book instead, and in fact it’s even more handy for where we are planning to go while we are there.  So I guess they did me a favour really :) Only 40 days to go – sooooo excited!!!!  I’ve been busy this week planning our itinerary and it’s going to be a frantic couple of days – we will return home utterly exhausted I reckon :)

In the afternoon the Olympics came to Cirencester!

Well the torch did anyway, and the atmosphere in the town was fantastic.  Our boss was really nice to us and shut the office for an hour so we could all go outside to watch.

Our torch bearer was a very fit and healthy 73 year old, who was coping really well with running along in the heat.  In fact I think he was handling the sunshine better than me, and I was just standing there :)

On Thursday morning I woke to a funny photo on my Facebook wall that really made me smile.....I had sent some jubilee and olympics goodies over to Canada for my Anglophile pal Carol, and it looks like she had got her hubby to model some of it ...... Mike is a good sport :)

And that's a wrap for this week

I'm over now to Virginia's blog to link up with the other Rockettes - why don't you join us?

Have a great week everyone :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Mystery Project.....let's go public!

So, you probably have gathered by now that I'm a big fan of the Art House Co-op (they of the Sketchbook Project and various other art adventures)....and here is the latest one I have signed up for.....the Mystery Project.

In a nutshell, each of the 2,000 participants worldwide were sent a marker pen courtesy of Prismacolor, and a theme, and were to take inspiration from these to make some public art installation of some sort - it could be anything, a painting, a sculpture, a zine maybe.  As long as it was left in a public space.

I was really looking forward to this one ....until I got my theme.  "If tomorrow came yesterday".....whaaat?  That stumped me completely for a week or two.....

But then I was chatting via email to a fellow blogger - Karen from I am Rushmore who is also taking part in the Mystery Project (her theme is fabulous - "Help! Robots are taking over the local elementary school!" - I was sooooo jealous :) ), and I was explaining my thoughts about my theme....about how if tomorrow happened yesterday you would have already seen a bit of the future....forewarned is forearmed and all that.....   and that sent me off into thinking I could do something with a man with four arms....

It kind of makes some sense to me anyway..... kind of :)

So here's how my submission for the project came to life:

I took four A4 sized white stickers, and randomly sprayed them with yellow and olive green paints to start with, the olive green was chosen because it was close to the colour of the marker pen they sent me

Next I added another green, and tiny spots in bright pink...

...and chevrons in orange....

I cut out the silhouette of a man with four arms and used it as a mask, over spraying with white paint.  And then I also airbrushed around the mask a little with dark purple ink.

The word "forewarned" was but out freehand with a craft knife and sprayed on with blue paint

....and then I used the free marker to write a few words around the image - "if tomorrow came yesterday, the mystery project...."

Here are the finished stickers ready to go:

Only three of them because I kept the fourth, which now lives on my bookcase:

And here are the three of them out in the wild, in various spots around central Swindon (along with my street art accomplice, who thoroughly enjoyed the whole adventure :)  )

Please don't worry, any of you, about us having permanently defaced any public property.  The stickers didn't have much in the way of stick....they peel off incredibly easily, and I very much doubt they will survive the first rainfall....

But it'll be fun while they last....

Friday, May 18, 2012

Rocking Your World Friday - week 20

Hold the front page!  I’m posting on a Friiiiiday!!!

I feel totally smug now for being so organised :)  It won’t last I’m sure…

So – last weekend it was lovely and sunny – let’s hear it for fantastic weather!  We’ve missed you, sunshine!

We had a lazy day on the Saturday, including a stroll into town where we bought some cool duck pins for my memo board in Paperchase from the friendliest, loveliest shop assistant ever.  In fact I really ought to drop Paperchase an email to that effect.  Maybe a positive comment or two will contribute to rocking HER world :)

(**edited to add, feedback email sent, I hope it gets back to her and more importantly her boss**)

I spent the afternoon hand sewing some alterations to a couple of pairs of my other half’s trousers.  Now, I know that sounds more like a chore than something for the Rockin’ My World post….but I really enjoyed it!  As we don’t live together, I don’t often get a chance to do the domestic goddess thang for Jay, and I kind of enjoyed being useful for once :)  Plus I like sewing by hand, it’s relaxing.

And I was rewarded with a takeout from Pizza Hut in the evening, stuffed crust, yummmmm :)  We ate our pizza while watching the Britains Got Talent final and applauding Pudsey the dancing dog for his well deserved victory.

On Sunday we got up bright and early, had a delicious breakfast of left over pizza which always tastes better cold the next day (and which, for once, thanks to me duct taping all the boxes firmly shut and putting a heavy weight on top, had not been eaten by the cat overnight), and headed up the motorway to Sunny Shropshire.

We have annual passports for the Ironbridge museums that are due to run out soon, and although we’ve been up there twice already, there were still a few things that we wanted to see before our year was up.

First we made a return visit to the Enginuity science museum as the kids love that one.  They are currently hosting an art installation called Core which we went to have a look at.  You had to be taken in there by a member of staff as it’s pitch black inside.  I embarrassed the whole family by saying to the kids  “the man is going to take us in” and then on seeing the pony tail from behind “I mean the LADY is going to take us in, sorry”, only for the very much male ponytailed member of staff to turn round and glare at me.  Ooops.  At least I got it right the first time :)  Luckily he didn’t trip me up when we got into the dark room.

The installation itself was kind of cool – you are in this huge room (it’s an old Victorian engine shed) with 5 massive screens on the wall.  And they are all you can see as it’s all totally dark.  There’s a random kind of electronic music playing and there are all these translucent humanoid shapes tumbling around.  Jay wasn’t overly impressed, he said they just looked like giant Windows screensavers.  And he was right really :)  But they were really COOL giant screensavers :)

Next we walked up to the Darby Houses.  I didn't really know what these were but wanted to go and see them purely because my middle son is called Darby and I wanted to see his houses :)

It turned out they are two period houses once owned by the wealthy industrialist who built the iron bridge itself amongst other stuff.  The houses themselves were interesting enough to have a look round, but the real fun bit was in the last room - dressing up!!! yay!!!!

Connor - the daughter I never had :) :) :) --->

I loved my olden days dress - I wanted to keep it!

Next we went to the Tar Tunnel.  Any excuse to wear hard hats, and we’re on it :)  This is an industrial tunnel that was used back in the Victorian age – they built it and then noticed black stuff seeping through the walls.  It turned out it was natural bitumen – akin to tar – and they ended up making a fortune selling the stuff.

It still drips down the walls now and forms big sticky puddles – it was fun to touch but they did warn us not to get it on our clothes as even Vanish won’t get it out.

couldn't resist these little keyrings :)
After lunch we left Ironbridge and headed back down to Birmingham …. and followed the smell of chocolate until we got to Cadbury World – yum!!  This was a treat from Mr Tesco, as we paid to get in with Clubcard vouchers, which continually rock my world as they pay for almost all our family days out (see below....)

It was as ever lots of fun – me and the two boys are hardened veterans but it was Jay’s first time.  The kids had green screen photos taken surfing on a bar of dairy milk and having a soak in the Flake bath, we saw the drumming gorilla, wrote our names in chocolate, went on the abracadabra ride, made our own melted choc concoctions in the Essence experience, played all the interactive games, had our tour around the factory, and of course, helped ourselves to lots of free choccy bars :)

All in all another fun day out.  I do love the weekends.

Some positives from the rest of the week:

- on Monday Connor moved his Xbox out of the front room and up to his bedroom. For the first time in years I actually get some time to myself in the front room of an evening – I even watched early evening telly the other day (carrying on this week’s chocolate theme, I watched Choccywoccydoodah :)  ) – this is unheard of as usually he’s either playing games on the telly or watching one of the kids channels.  I don’t let him spend too much time up there, mind, because I miss the company really :)

- on Tuesday we hit the mid point in our ‘100 goals in 1001 days’ family challenge and it was fun to have a round up of what we’ve achieved so far

- also on Tuesday, my Canadian blogging pal Carol went to the Vancouver stop of the Sketchbook Project and checked out my book - yay :D   She wrote a fantastic blog post about it which was a treat to wake up to on Wednesday morning.

- my new Tesco Clubcard statement arrived this week - and they have a special offer on for a limited time on a lot of their days out.  So I cashed in all our outstanding points and I now have tickets for the whole family for Longleat, Alton Towers, and the Eden Project, and also £55 worth of their generic "days out vouchers" which are accepted at lots of smaller attractions.  All for diddley squat.  Fantastic!

- on Thursday, a pressie in the post from another blog buddy (you’re a nice bunch out there aren’t you :) )– a strip of vintage bus tickets (can’t wait to use these in a collage or the like) and some Cyrillic language tape (ditto!) – thank you Sue!  Love the envelope too!

- and this morning, more goodness in the post - a free Derwent art bar.  No idea why they sent it to me as I don't remember asking for a free sample.  But I'm not complaining :)

And that’s it for this week.

I’m hoping to have some actual things-wot-I-have-made to show and tell before we get to next week’s RYWF post!  I’ve been a bit lazy and unproductive recently, lots of early nights tucked up with a book or an episode of Eureka, not so much burning of the midnight oil which is when I usually get the most done.  Must shake myself out of that….

But at least I got my Friday post done on time, huh? :)

Linking up at Virginia’s blog in 3….2….1…..