Monday, 31 December 2012

Christmas Trollbeads

This year I have not really bought myself any Trollbeads - there have been other spending priorities. However my collection has still grown a little, mainly thanks to gifts for Christmas.
Artisan bead - Beach-combing (my only purchase this year)

Left to right: Giraffes (birthday gift 2011), Beach-combing, Hydrangea (Christmas gift) and, behind, Three Siblings (Christmas gift from my three nephews)

The Dog and The Beach

Newly groomed, it was inevitable that Wicket would find the quickest excuse to get mucky again. He had plenty of opportunities on the beach. Mawbray is a fabulous place for a dog walk; a lovely wild stretch of beach with ever changing colours and moods. Considering the time of year, it was relatively mild and the wind was not too biting.

This time last year it was blowing a gale, and bitterly cold. Wicket, at just 3 months old, was quite quickly over the excitement of a new place and looking for a lift in my arms. This time we managed a good hour running around on the beach with Snoopy and he showed no signs of having had enough. Both dogs were reluctant to return to the car.

Snoopy shows off his confidence in jumping small streams. Wicket doesn't.

A beach-eye view of Scotland across the Firth.

Wicket digs a hole to stick his nose into.

The sunset painted a Turner sky.

While the dogs played on.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Just Call Me Mummy...

Five years ago I was heartbroken at the prospect of never being a mum. I was starting to resign myself to the fact that I might never have children. In May 2010 I made a decision not to resign myself to childlessness, but to adopt a child who needed the kind of loving family I could give.

At the end of March this year, to mark the end of three days of prep group training, we all placed a star in a cake and made a wish for the future. Yesterday I came one step closer to that wish becoming reality. I recieved the phone call which confirmed that I have officially been approved as an adopter.

Today there is no doubt, I am going to be a mum, now it is just a question of when.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Latest Trollbeads

I was very lucky again this Christmas to receive 3 more Trollbeads to add to the 2 beads I treated myself to in November. I'm still trying to build up my collection of silver beads whilst expanding my range of colours in the glass beads - yellows and oranges next I think!

Centre silver bead - Treasures
Left to right - Grandma's favourite (new), Dichromic Ice (old), Green Stripe? (Xmas gift), K (Xmas gift), Silver Mountain (Xmas gift)

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Sweet Moments

This Christmas I wanted to do something a bit more personal for my main gifts to people. I thought about cupcakes but they would not have stayed fresh for long enough. So, with a bit more thought and some inspiration from mum I decided to turn my hand to making sweets.

This was a new experience for me, having never worked with hot sugar before, but I seem to have the knack and I discovered a new skill. I chose six different sweets to make: Scottish tablet, lemon and white chocolate fudge, Turkish delight, peppermint creams, dark chocolate and rum truffles and peanut butter cups.

I was very pleased with the results and the sweets were well received. I think I might be doing the same next year as well then!

Welcoming Wicket

Back in November I fell in love. It was instant and from the moment I heard the words 'he's for sale', I knew he had to be mine. Yes, I know - oldest trick in the book. Take cute puppy into the school playground and see who bites. Truth is, I've thought about buying a dog for sometime and until now have always pushed it aside as impractical with my lifestyle. As soon as I saw Wicket I just had to make it work.

And so far we have made it work. He is a beautifully natured Shih tzu/ poodle cross. He is learning fast and already at four and a half months old, has most of his commands down. We are still working on house training but he is nearly there, and today he experienced snow for the first time and ran, loopy, round the garden. I have a friend and a dog walker helping me out with lunchtime walks while I am at work and I can hardly remember what life was like before he arrived.

So why Wicket? Well Star Wars fans will probably be there already but for everyone else: see below!

Wicket the Ewok
Wicket the Ewok

Wicket the puppy
Wicket the puppy

Blogging, But Not Here...

I realised recently that although I have been blogging and tweeting away, my own personal blog has been left looking rather neglected. It is not that I have had nothing to say, only that I have been saying it in other places!

For the last term we have been trialling a set of 6 iPads in the school. Our year two children have loved them and have created some excellent work with them. The results of our project can be found on the Redbridge Games Network blog.

In the middle of this trial we had a single day subject inspection by Ofsted. The subject they happened to inspect was ICT; the subject I lead. It was a fairly hectic run up to the inspection but we were all very confident of our good status in ICT and I am pleased to say that the inspector agreed. You can read a copy of the report here.

I have also been strongly involved in the fight to keep Redbridge Drama Centre from closing due to council cuts. The council plan to reduce their funding of the centre to zero over the next two financial years (a cut was already made this year) but the next cut may well prove fatal, and we are working hard to make the blinkered council acknowledge this. At the moment they seem to believe that the centre will stay open regardless of core funding from them, being cut. Sadly, this is not the case. The campaign has kept me busy blogging for The Friends of Redbridge Drama Centre and you can see our site here.

Finally, my work on the design of covers for Trifolium Books has continued and we are currently on the verge of publishing a third book. This is also the third author added to our little family. I am thoroughly enjoying the design work and it gives me a good outlet to get creative. I have created a new, fresher looking work website for myself and I will keep posting to my portfolio there.

So you can see that although my blog has not been busy, I have. I've said it before, but I will try to keep this one a little more up to date from now on.