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Saturday, 3 February 2007

Cover Me With Shades Of Disbelief ...

And while we are on the subject of Talk Talk (Geddit?) it seems my broadband is not already live, my new modem will not be delivered within 48 hours, or indeed 7 days, as promised by the very polite but, it seems, not entirely honest people at the call centre. Now I'm told, the new go live date is February 9th - three months from ordering and going by previous experience not a guarantee!

Not surprisingly, I have now had enough. One quick call to NTL & I have a connection date booked for a fortnight's time, confirmation of that appointment in writing within 48 hours and a couple of guys to lay the outside cable 5 days before connection is due. I have but a few short days to see whether NTL can deliver where others (or one other at least) cannot. The only problem is that my telephone number has to change - this is not an NTL problem it seems but rather when one takes a BT number to Talk Talk, they don't let you take it with you should you wish to change supplier. Oh well, you live & learn.

Other than that, a busy couple of weeks again. The new premises were viewed and snapped up the same day. Heads of terms are with the solicitors and we expect to see the paperwork next week. There's a little bit of decorating to do and the timing is not great! I'm away at the NEC, Brimingham for the trade show in a couple of weeks so February 24th is looking good for the grand opening (to be confirmed). Before that, we have to decorate, refit and restock - but then we moved and reopened in 48 hours last time!

I now have the first 4 parts of 'Get knitting' and have completed all the squares so far. I was particularly impressed that I managed to knit the last one! It has a small blue diamond in the middle of a white square, with a garter stitch border. It might not sound much but it means that I knitted in pattern AND added colour without messing the pattern up or having a load of holes around the colour changes, which is what happened last time I attempted colour changes. Granted, that was about 12 years ago - it was one of the Teenage Mutant Hero Turtle picture knits (in 4 ply wool) that were popular back in the 80's that I knitted for my eldest son (then about 5). I had to sew up the holes around the colour changes but he loved it & it fitted him for about 3 years - so I guess it was OK really.

Made a gorgeous altered book this week, with a secret drawer. I used the HOTP Earth's Palette Cardmaker's Creative Pack but, predictably, used the mauve & blue shades. I'm a bit obsessed with purple - from the palest lilacs to the deepest, almost black shades - I love them all & probably use them far too often. But it's what I like & I was very pleased with the results. It also gave me a chance to use the HOTP Artsy Collage metal collection (I wanted a lock & key) all I needed to add was a few fibres, blue glass beads and a black ink cube (is there a crafter anywhere that doesn't have a black ink pad of some description).

My only other make this week is a wintry layout for Saturday's class project. The great thing about scrapbooking is that, although it allows me to create something beautiful with all those old photographs, it also reminds me to take the photographs that I might otherwise forget. This is particularly poignant with my youngest (almost three now!) With the older boys, I tend to have only school, holiday, birthday & christmas photos. I take lousy photos anyway and didn't used to bother much.

And now the boys are older I wish I'd taken more pictures of them. So fish (the baby) has his every move recorded for prosperity. Last week we had snow. For one day only. Fish went out to investigate with his dad & together they built a snow cat (there wasn't enough for the whole snowman). Fish beamed while I took pictures of him throwing snow at the neighbours and with the finished snow cat.

So I had to do a snow cat layout & I know alot of my class ladies will have taken snowy snaps too, so it's a 2 birds, 1 stone sort of solution. I picked some yummy pastel pink and powder blue papers, ultra fine glitter (you could hear the cat sigh as he looked for somewhere glitter free to sleep!) and loads of die cuts as we've got some brilliant deals on Sizzix & Ellison dies this month - I've just treated myself to a new die cut alphabet set - which cuts chipboard beautifully. The easiest way to cover chipboard die cuts with papers is to cut a second die cut from the paper and just stick it on. You can then ink, paint or sand the edges - lovely!

I just wish I could load some photos here - and from next time it should be possible!

On the technical front - I've now learned how to resize photographs to put into my newsletters. I can't actually load them (a long and boring story involving some software that I can't download without broadband - trust me, you don't want to know) but I can get them in the body of an e-mail (one at a time) over to Gandalf the Crafty (my webmaster). I must say, I'm rather pleased every time I discover something new that I can do. I don't suppose I'll ever become a technical whizz-kid but it is nice to be a bit less phobic. Gandalf really helps with that I ask how to do something and an idiot proof e-mail with instructions or a useful link usually follows.

Happily, the improvements to the company I use for the HTML newsletters were just that! lots of great new facilities for me to use. I'm much more confident with it all now. So much so that I've decided to use it for the Member's Only Club monthly newsletter and I'm planning to start a regular one for the Personal Shopper subscribers/HOTP fans too! I know the next PS kits are due in v. soon - I can't wait to get mine. And if you've no idea what I'm talking about, pop over to & click on the personal shopper link. There's also some brilliant images of the cardmaker's kits in the gallery ;o)

I guess I'd better stop burning the midnight oil (it 2 am so I don't suppose there'd be much oil left anyway LOL) and get some sleep before tomorrow's class. And where can you buy candles that burn at both ends??

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