April showers bring forth flowers

A change of scene. I finally put my hook down and caught up with some paper cutting. This is the latest but possibly not the final version but is a good start. Unless it’s totally not what is wanted… then meh. I will remove the name, date, etc and use it some other time. This isn’t yet cut. I sketched it, then traced it in Illustrator. It’s welded but have an unwelded copy should elements need removing, resizing or whatever.

I listened to Shogun all afternoon while working on it. The costumes were amazing. The Japanese characters looked like Quality Street chocolates come to life. Or Roses. I nicknamed the Japanese girl ‘love interest’ as Strawberry cream, the regular soldiers, the Jaffas, as, very obviously, the orange creams, and there were various chocolate truffles, golden cups and guest appearances from Ferraro Rochas and Raffaelas.

Doesn’t the weekend just whoosh by? Tomorrow I’ll be back on the train hoping nobody clips their fingernails (yes – it happened and was a little too personal even though they clipped into a tissue), or puts their make up on anywhere too close to me. For no rational  explanation, I just feel disturbed by somebody applying  full face make up next to me on the train.

And hope my little train doesn’t get bumped off the rails by the Drogheda train. They are often due at the same time on the same track, which obviously isn’t possible. Nine times out of ten, the Drogheda train turns up first. I can only assume the Drogheda train bumps it off the track, face first, into some bushes. My train invariably turns up some 5 minutes after the Drogheda train, rubbing its eyes and brushing bits of twig and  woody things off its face when it turns up. Poor thing.

My heart will go on

To Yarndale. This is the heart I’ve made to go on its way to Skipton to help raise money for Mind at the Yarndale event. I have to coat the back with a solution of PVA to stiffen it as it will (hopefully) become part of a beautiful chain of crochet heart bunting. The link? Here you go: Crochet heart with daisy centre

Here is my gorgeous gal, Jess. Her eyes are open just a fraction, just peeping, but she’s really chilled out and totally relaxed. Gracie was probably out on Neighbourhood Catch patrol. That said, she’s becoming much more of a home body than she used to be. Settling down a bit, I think.

Am so adoring my new monitor. It has built in speakers so I can remove the ones at the back. It’s like having a telly on the desk! It’s a 32″ and just fabulous for working with big apps like Photoshop, Illustrator or even Framemaker – those apps with loads of pallettes that can clutter up the workspace. So spoiled. You can see what my interest is here!

Had some happy luck lately – found a euro on the station platform Thursday evening and another one Friday morning! My car insurance dropped enormously! I was a named driver on Mr Bird’s policy until a year ago and you know how these car insurers don’t/won’t credit you for no claims… cost a fortune to insure me as the primary driver on my car. Well, it was up for renewal and – my giddy aunt – the cost came down by €1,500 euro!!!!! And last, but not least – Little Chick 1 passed the third of five exams he needs to qualify for a promotion at work!  I was over the moon for him! So proud!

What shall I bend your ear about today?

Well, I tried to stage the photo but I don’t have the eye – yet… maybe never… I’m sure some of the techniques can be learned so I will study magazine shots and see how they achieve that ‘look’. Anyway, it’s supposed to be showing off the crochet heart – a new and gorgeous addition to my crochet heart pattern hoard.  It’s  quick to make and has no complicated stitches to deal with and you can find the pattern by Nancy L Drew here and here on Attic24’s blog.  You may remember, I crocheted a little wooly sheep for Yarndale last year. The sale of the sheep was to raise money for hospice care for terminally ill children. This year the Yarndale exhibition in Skipton is raising money for Mind, a mental health charity in the UK, and the organisers are asking all us knitters and crocheters to make ONE heart for them to sell to raise money for it. If you are interested, the details are here: yarndale.

I also made these little daisies – slightly blurred…. lost in the depth of field a bit. You’ll notice the  leaves are nicely in focus and sharp. If you want the crochet pattern for these, you can find it here.

This is a better shot of them.

My wooden froggy still hasn’t had his crochet hook adjustment and still sits around looking like he’s smoking a fat Churchill cigar. Then again, the large dresser that I want chopping up (it’s too big to get out of the house – originally there was an extra door which got blocked up and has fitted cupboards on the other side so can’t just be opened up again) is still sitting there like a leviathan in the living room. Sadly, someone would love it and I’d gladly give it away for nothing but it just can’t be taken out. Because it feels so criminal, and breaking it up an act of vandalism, it has stayed our hand for a long, long time. Now, I just want it gone and get on with finishing the decorating and getting new flooring down.

My daisies continue to proliferate and will one day take over the world.

And Gracie wanted to be in on the action so here she is. I haven’t taken a picture of Jess for a while. She likes to have long sleeps on the bed and doesn’t run in and out like Gracie does. It’s certainly not favouritism, they are loved equally and I’m crazy cat lady about both of them.

My halo has had a bit of a polish. The train I catch from Dublin to home terminates in Newbridge and as I got off  I saw a bloke fast asleep having a little snore. I gave him a bit of a shake and told him the train was at the terminus – he said ‘Good on you!’  Now I know I’m going to heaven! Not that I know what it’s like to fall asleep on that very  same train, that empties at Newbridge then is ‘Out of Service’ till the next morning and flew like the clappers, like the devil was chasing, back to Heuston station (for example). No, I wouldn’t know anything about that. Or banging on the driver’s door to let him know there was someone on the train and worrying where the train was going to end up… Nope. No clue…

This weekend, I have been technology terminator. First my phone went totally bonkers – time was wrong then it said there was no something-or-other service, then it popped up an alert every two or three ruddy seconds – grr. Try typing a message when you have to click OK to dismiss the stupid pop up that frequently. Then my keyboard died. Then the mouse! Talk about Internet of Things! It was like they’d ganged up on me and decided to go on strike. Anyway, this afternoon I went into Harvey Norman (always declaring War! on prices) and bought a new keyboard and blew a fat wedge of cash on an impulsive buy. There was this honking monitor, a 32″ HP Envy with Bang and Olufsen speakers built in. OMG. For a very long time I’d been whinging about the size of my monitor and how the screen was too small for Photoshop and Illustrator work, well, not comfortably. I’d thought about two monitors. At work I have three, although one is a tiny postage stamp sized laptop that I use as a hard drive. Having multiple monitors is useful but you can lose the mouse. The cursor disappears off the face of the planet and goes handbag shopping for a while and drives me mad. Two –  more manageable but still a bit of a PITA – AWOL cursor troubles…

This single, huge monitor presented itself as THE solution to my problems and here I am typing on my new (but not brilliant keyboard) with vast digital real estate in front of me. The monitor is a joy. I watched some You Tube stuff – Habibi Lal at one of the Tribal Fests, Feeling Good by the Muse and some other stuff. Superb. The keyboard is a bit Meh. The keys don’t always depress – I think it’s if I catch the keys on a corner instead of pressing more centrally. Unfortunately, I don’t really type too brilliantly so am a bit fat-fingered in the typing department.

I bought a new phone – not expensive for a phone – Galaxy J5 but all in all I have spent a lot of money today. So, great and super but an unexpected expense and then there’s the setting up of various things on the phone – a chore but not too awful. As expected, the installed ring tones were lame. Luckily, I have a machine with Linux on and a lovely application called Audacity which edits audio files. So, the opening riff of Gimme Shelter by the Stones will soon be clipped and installed. (I don’t like that track beyond the intro, imho, I think it’s boring).

So there you have it – weekend millionaire! Lol. I’ll be eating baked beans for the next 6 months!

I will, however, enjoy getting on with a papercutting that I’m in the middle of designing on Illustrator using my fab-u-lous new monitor!!!!!!!! I’m lovin’ it!

Naughty Naughty

I popped in to Boots get some VO5 gel spray and was checking out the price. There was a raft of ‘special offers’ on the VO5 range but the labels were slipped behind some clear plastic on the edge of the shelf and overlapped so you couldn’t see the details. I prised the plastic away from the edge to slide the labels along a bit so that I could see better and spotted this great deal. So great I slid the label out so that other shoppers wouldn’t jump to take advantage of it.

Buy one and pay €3.99. Special deal, buy 2 and Boots will charge you an extra 52c. What a great deal!

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