Friday, 16 September 2011

I'm back

After what is most probably a very long time, I am finally back to blogging. It seems that a lot has changed since I was last here. For a start a few blogs that I was following seem to have gone by the wayside! Bl;ogger has also decided to make some changes; which seems to now keep logging me out if I try to make any changes to my blog!
Well, quite a bit has happened in my life since I last blogged.
We had to have our lovely dog put to sleep last November, he had a brain tumour which couldn't be treated. We decided that it was fairer for him to go instead of suffering for any longer. It was so sad and I still miss him dearly and even now I catch myself looking down to the floor under my desk when I move my chair. I always  used to check I wasn't going to run him over with the wheels of my desk chair whenever I moved it.
This is a picture of my lovely and dearly missed dog, Skip. R.I.P Skipton, we all still miss you. xx

This year has seen me complete my 3 years at university. If you remember I was studying for a BSc in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Well, I have recently heard that I passed with First Class Honours, I am really proud of myself considering I thought that I wasn't cut out for studying at uni level! I just wish that my parents were still here so I could let them know. I am sure they would have been very proud of me. I graduate in November and can't wait :-)

I am still a Teaching Assistant at my local S.E.N school, but am now going for my accreditation to become a Lead Practitioner in ABA (Applied behaviour Analysis). My school is opening up an ABA unit next September and I have been invited to be a part of that. All I have to do is get through this year now! I thought I would be o.k with still just being a T.A until this unit opens up, but I just feel undervalued now and feel that the school is taking advantage of my knowledge without any recognition of my worth. Maybe I am just being silly and expected too much when I finished uni, but that's how I feel.

Craig is now going into his third year at Hertfordshire uni, he loves it and we are so very proud of him.
Becky passed her photography course in 6th Form and again we are so very proud of her, she is a natural with the camera, refusing to use auto for any shots she takes. I on the other hand won't take my camera off the auto setting!

I have been busy making cards and doing a bit of sewing since finishing uni in July, but my scrapbooking has taken a knocking, I have only managed to do one layout in the last 4 months, my mojo having got up and left me ages ago! I really need to find it again as I have so many photos that need scrapping.
I will upload some of the cards I have made soon and hopefully I will also be able to upload at least 1 layout as well :-)
Well, that's about it for now, oh if my sister Kath reads this... Well done on starting your teaching degree and best of luck with it all. x

Monday, 16 August 2010

I've had my lamp posted on another blog!

In my search for other blogs about re-doing old, found and ugly items I came across Better After , A fantastic blog about all things redone. My ugly swan lamp has been featured on there and I am so pleased. I absouletely love all the items that are shown on there and it makes me wish that I lived in America. Their second hand shops are so much better than ours in the U.K and they seem to find lots of lovely furniture on the side of the road that others throw out, I so wish I could find stuff on the side of the road.
Anyway, I love that my lamp is there for others to see, I am just hoping that people like my 'after' :-).

The kitchen is being redone and at the moment it is an empty shell, but the electrics have been done and the walls have been plastered. I am hoping the units will be fitted tomorrow and that the whole room will be nearly complete by Friday. The whole house is full of dust, but I can't see the point in cleaning too much until the majority of the dirty work is done.
I have lots of projects I want to get on with, but they will have to wait until the kitchen has been done.
The projects I have to do include:
spray paint the 2 red metal drawer units in my craft room.
repaint the cute chest of drawers I got cheap.
Paint 2 wooden candle sticks.
Paint and retile the old kitchen unit I got really cheap ( I know I am getting a new kitchen, but this unit will house my electric kitchen equipment in one place and it's cute:-)).

I am hoping to get these done before I go back to work in September, wish me luck!

Better get to bed now, workmen restart at 8 a.m in the morning!!!!!

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Free lamp and cheap finds.

I joined a local group pn Facebook where poeple posted items they wanted to get rid of. A woman was getting rid of a lamp and when I saw it I loved the look of it. I picked it up last weekend and it has sat in my lounge waiting for me to do something with it.
Here is the lamp as it looked when I got it.

You can just about make out a swans head on the right hand side near where the plug is tucked. The opposite side has been knocked off so when I got it home I carfeully sawed the head off to make it equal both sides.
I then put a bulb in it to check that it actually worked. Yippee, it does work :)
Yesterday I went into town with Tony to buy some spray paint and primer. I have wante to try spray painting for a while so thought this lamp would be a good starting project. I also bought a shade for it as it was missing it's hat.
Here is the finished lamp. I'm not sure about the shade, I think I need to get a shade with some fringing as it looks a bit short as it is. Either that or I will find or make some fringing to put at the base of the shade. The shade has clear beads sewn into it, so I could make a bead fringe to match. What do you think?
The outside ends of the twisted parts is where the broken piece and the swans head was. I love the pattern on the body of the lamp.
This is the base of the lamp, I love the scrolls on the feet.
Anyway, for my first attempt at spray painting I think it has turned out ok. I used Plasticote antique cream and apart from the smell and the fact I had no mask, it was easy.
Other stuff I have got cheap at bootfairs, secondhand shops, or charity shops include 2 brand new low bookcases for £6, a large computer desk that I have been searching for for ages as the one I have my PC on is only big enough for the PC, not good as I am at uni and need space for books and note making. I got the desk at my local British Heart Foundation furniture shop for £25. I got it for that price as it had just turned up and was in 3 pieces and I said I would have it delivered like that ( I checked that all bits were there). I also got a cute chest of drawers that has already been painted white. The chest has 8 drawers, there are 4 wide down the left and down the right there are 4 narrow. I will get new handles for the drawers and may repaint it, but not sure yet. The chest of drawers is being delivered tomorrow and the desk is arriving Tuesday.
In other news, Tony is now off work for 2 weeks and after we have sorted out the desk area on Tuesday we plan to take the kids out, just for day trips, Hever Castle on Saturday for definite, but we still need to sort out where for other days. London is usually a good bet as we all enjoy going to London :)
School is now shut for the summer, so I have nearly 6 weeks to myself, so some crafting will take place here. I will definetely make Becky a tote bag as she keeps pinching the one I made for myself and I want to make some cards and do some scrapping; which I haven't done for ages.
Tony also wants me to make some coconut muffins, so they will get made this week sometime.
Anyway, time for a coffee, let me know what you think of the lamp and what I can do to the shade to make it look better, please!

Friday, 9 July 2010

Been shopping!

Today I thought I would go shopping, not for craft stuff though. I decided to have a wander around the local charity shops to see if there was anything I liked. I am so glad I did, I found quite a few bits to go on the dresser in the dining part of my lounge.
I bought 2 glass sugar bowls, a white porcelain chicken shaped gravy boat, a white porcelain basket, a small jug and bowl, a glass cake stand, a handpainted staffordshire mug with July on the inside (my birth month), a small porcelain bowl of cherries and a pin holder...

I also found this adorable little teddy, he is a Boyds Bear and his name is Billy Bob (on his label), I'm not sure if he is worth anything, but he is cute and only cost me 50p.

I have always wanted a jug and bowl, the sort that used to go on wash stands, but have never found a big one cheap enough, so when I saw this little set I couldn't resist. It only cost me £1.00, bargain.
This sweet little bowl of cherries cost me £1.00 as well.
Now this is my best find :-) The battery is there so you can see how small it is. I bought it as I have seen others use these to display their handmade cards. I searched all of ebay for one, but couldn't find one, I asked in florist shops, but they don't use them anymore, something about the fact the bases are made of lead!!!. Well, as Iwas paying for a couple of books for Craig in one shop I looked in a basket that was by the till and noticed the little box. It had a 50p sticker on it, so I grabbed it quick :)
I am really pleased with my finds and I am hoping to find more bargains at the bootfair that I am going to in the morning.
I also found 3 Virginia Andrews books to add to my collection. I have read her first series and have just got back in to her style of books. Sadly the secondhand book shop I go to doesn't have any of her books anymore, so I am constantly searching charity shops and bootfairs for any titles.
Craig came with me on my shopping trip and he found himself 5 books, he goes through books faster than me. I am dragging him to the bootfair tomorrow with a promise of buying him more books :-)
I'm not too sure if Becky will come with us, she's not happy about getting up at the crack of dawn to go trapsing around a bootfair! Tony will stay here as well, but then he has shelves to put up for me in the kitchen.
In other news...
We are getting new windows and a new kitchen fitten in August. What fun that will be. The dog will be going mad with all the strangers in the house and that also means that I will be stuck indoors during the summer holiday.
I handed my portfolio into university a couple of weeks ago and have had feedback from my tutor. He says that it will be in the 80+ range for marks, I am so pleased. The work I did for it was great and I am pleased that my write up portrayed that. I am on track for a first for this years work, yippee. I will be told formally in September.
My hand is healing ok, I am back at work on Monday after being unable to work for ages. I have fracture clinic in August to make sure the scaphoid fracture and the knuckle fracture are healing ok, but I am just so glad to be able to get back to work before the summer holidays.
It was my birthday on Monday and I got money! Mainly as no-one knows what to buy me... craft stuff? stuff for the house? handbags? shoes? books? etc, etc.
Tony bought me a lovely bracelet, but I can't wear it yet as I can only wear bracelets on my right wrist and at the moment I have a splint on that wrist! Can't wait till I don't have to wear that anymore I can tell you, hopefully Monday.
Anyway, I had better sign out now, early start tomorrow and all that! Have a fun weekend everyone. x x

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

My hand, my craft room and other news!

First off, I will tell you all about my hand. I have 2 fractures, one in my wrist, the other in my knuckle of my little finger. Both are on my right hand and guess what? I am right handed, so this is being typed with my left hand.
I was injured at work, no-one's fault, but my God does it hurt! Anyway, I am currently off work due to this injury, but can't even fill the time with any crafting. I am sooo bored!

On to better things now :-)

Even though I can't do any crafting at the moment, it doesn't stop me wanting to sit in my craft room flicking through my mags and books. As I was bored with the way my craft room looked, I enlisted the help of my darling hubby to redo it for me. I had a pine table that is used as my desk, but it was that horrible orangey pine colour, so I got Hubby to paint it a pale cream colour (lots of coats) then sand the edges, then smother it all in layers of varnish. I also got him to do the same to an old side table and decorative shelf unit.
I spent a morning at a bootfair where I found bits to go in my room and while I was helping Craig to find a desk for his bedroom, I came across 2 sets of old index drawers. Well, I just had to have them, they were screaming out to be filled with my wood mounted rubber stamps. I paid £50 for both and I love them. Hubby and Craig think I am daft paying that amount of money for wooden drawers, but I don't care, they are mine :)
Here are some photo's of my room. It's not finished yet, I have 2 sets of red ikea metal drawers that are going to be painted cream and I need a curtain pole put up, so I can hang curtains instead of having the blind.
Other news- I got 63% for my latest uni assignment; which I am really pleased about as the assignment went completely wrong and I had to do something different to the required elements. I have nearly finished my second year at uni, just need to get my portfolio finished then that can be handed in, hopefully within the next week it will be completed.

Craig has completed his first year at uni and he got fantastic marks for his exams, including 3 marked at A1. I am so proud of his attainments.

Well, that's about all my news for now, hope you have enjoyed seeing my craft room.


Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Been away for such a long time!

As the title of this post says, I have been away from here for such a long time!
A lot has happened since my last post. We ahve had more snow than I can remember, I have had a bout of depression (of which I am now coming out the other side) and I have managed to get my #3 assignment done and handed into uni on time (just about).
On the uni side of my life I have been really enjoying my degree work, but this last assignment was hard for me to do due to the depression, I hate depression. It gets in the way of so much stuff, so much stuff I should be doing. But I managed to get it done with very limited concentration and handed it in on time. I was convinced that my marks would be rubbish for this one and had warned my tutor that it was rubbish. Imagine my surprise when I had an individual tutorial with him and he told me it was good and in line for a distinction mark!!! The only word I could say to him was 'really?'
Work life is crap at the moment! I was put forward and offered the role of temporary Senior teaching assistant, covering for the STA who was on long term sick; which I happily took. I signed the temp contract on the Tuesday only to be told on the Thursday that the STA would be back at work the following Monday!! Just my luck, the ink hadn't even dried on the contract!!!
Well, to cut a long and incredibly boring story short, she has now handed her notice in and far from being offered the job permanently, I have found out that I have to apply for it, along with anyone else who wants to go for it. Fair enough, but how am I going to feel about applying for it and not getting it. It would be like a slap in the face. I was good enough while they needed cover, but not good enough to do it permanently!! I am now not sure if I want to put myself through that.
On the home front life has been up and down! C came home from uni last weekend, it was nice having him home and he brought 2 uni friends back with him. The thing is, we didn't really see much of him at all :( Good job it's Easter soon and he will be home for more than a weekend this time :)
B is fine, she is still enjoying photography in 6th form, she also still hates Maths with a passion, she just doesn't get it and yet they are making her resit her GCSE because she got a D in it last year! So ok, a D isn't as good as an A, B or C, but come on, she has Aspergers and she has always had real difficulty with Maths. What's even worse is the fact that her school have done nothing since the day she started there to help her improve her maths skills. As far as we are concerned a D is bloody great for her and instead of making her resit it, the school should be celebrating the fact that she got a D even without their bloody help! Never mind though, the people who matter to her are very, very proud of her achievements :)

The dog is still as nutty as ever and still loves to pinch shoes and take them under the stairs to hold in his mouth, he doesn't chew them, he just holds them. Attention seeking behaviour? oh yes indeed it is!

Anyway, time for a coffee before bed. I just can't seem to stay up late these days, is it due to my age?
I do hereby promise to update this blog slightly more frequently than I have been doing of late!

As a last comment, my life if o.k at the moment, long may it stay this way :)
Niki x x

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Need to practise more!!!

After seeing Jackies rag doll that she made today, I told her that I would put my raggedy doll
here for her to laugh at!!! Here you go Jackie, get the Tena Lady ready!!
Her name is Ruby, due to her ruby red hair!!! She wears a red gingham dress with pink apron over the top.

Anyway, onto other things. I had a great day out today with Kath. We went to Hythe and had a mooch around the charity shops, I got Rubys hair from one of them! I also got a small table top ironing board, that will save me having to get the full sized ironing board out just to press a hem or seam! Along with Rubys hair I also got a lot of other coloured wool, a rag doll, a raggedy doll money box, 3 sheets to use for quilting, a cup cake momey box, a cup cake trinket holder where the top lifts off and some primitive style christmas ornaments. We then went to the fabric wharehouse in Ashford where I bought 2 metres of cotton curtain lining, a metre of calico, 2 x 1 metres of gingham, 4 metres of quilt wadding and a metre of iron on interfacing. I also got some leather sewing needles for my machine, some denim needles, some bobbins, a taylors chalk and a set of doll needles!
I am really pleased with my purchases and now all I have to do is find soemwhere for them all to live!! A job for tomorrow maybe!
I am now going to show Tony my doll and let him have a good laugh before he goes to bed!!
Night all x x.