Ahoy-hoy!

My place to share lots of photographs of my random crafty, makery, bakery and cookery projects, as well as random thoughts that might strike me and are too long for Twitter...

Monday, 24 March 2014

Raising Awareness...

Right now, wherever you are, raise your hand nice and high if you are NOT aware of cancer. No-one? Thought so.

So can we please stop the stupid Facebook games to "raise awareness of cancer"? For one, they are genuinely stupid. They tend to spread through women, so for the guys out there, here is what usually happens...

You get a mass PM. Followed by several further PMs from people in the group who didn't understand the game, or "I don't want to play publicly but mine is blue." (Stop. Just stop now. Don't do that). The original PM usually goes something like:

"LADIES! Let's play a game and raise awareness of cancer at the same time! This is ladies only so don't tell the guys! lol! All you have to do is post the colour of your bra (NOTHING ELSE, just the colour of your bra) as your Facebook status.  If a woman asks what you are doing, clue her in by forwarding this message! If a man asks...DON'T TELL THEM!! Haha!"

Which leads to Facebook being full of:

Woman A: "BLUE!"
Guy A: "What?"
Guy B: "Blue what?"
Woman A: "I can't tell you....lolz!!"

Great job lady! You just raised awareness of BLUE. Excellent job. And where exactly does clogging my FB feed with colours and the ensuing debates raise awareness of cancer? Anyone? No-one? There you go then. Awareness-raising FAIL. The "Where do you put your handbag?" one is basically the same, but with places rather than colours.

The latest one is make-up free selfies. You know what? I complained bitterly about the make-up free selfies when they first appeared. I even took some criticism for it. But on the surface it did appear to be just another stupid FB idea, because no-one mentioned in public that they were also texting to donate at the same time (IF they were...The campaign certainly didn't start off that way until it was criticised for doing no good). Again, unless you were clued in, from the outside it tended to just turn FB into an endless stream of this (snippets from various posts on my timeline):

Woman A: [terribly-lit mobile phone quality selfie of woman with no make-up on, accompanied by blurb about tagging friends and "raising awareness of cancer". Bonus points for actually mentioning "cancer" in the status this time though *thumbs up*, MASSIVE minus points for mentioning nothing about also making a donation]
Friend A: "Twit-twoooooooo!"
Friend B: "Hawt"
Friend C: "You're so pretty!"
Woman A: "Noooooooooooooooooo! I look awful!"
Friend D: "Stop it babz, your gorgeous!"
Woman A: "No! stop lyin! I look sooooooooo rough!"
Friend E: "GAwwwww-jussss!"*
Friend F: "Pretteh gurl is prettehhhhhhh!"**
Woman A: "Stop it!! I look horrible!"

So I'm thinking "If you want to fish for compliments, just do it. Don't hide it as doing good and "raising awareness". Because you're not really raising any awareness there at all. You're fishing for compliments or feeling "brave" because your friends, who have seen you in a far worse state if they are really your friends, are seeing you with no make-up on." because no-one was also mentioning if they were donating. Then a couple of days of indignant screen-cap posts of donation texts after media criticism.

If you can't afford to text and donate, that's OK!! We've all been there. But PLEASE share a link to Cancer Research UK (CRUK), or Macmillan Cancer with your selfie. Share a poster of how to check yourself for breast or testicular cancer. Share the adverts on TV at the moment about prostate cancer. That will all help raise awareness and save lives, if that's what you really want to do. You might not get as many likes but you might save someone's life.

If you just want someone to tell you that you look pretty with no make-up on, just post a picture of yourself with no make-up on. Chances are people will tell you that anyway, because you probably ARE genuinely pretty without make-up on, you just never give yourself the chance to find out. (Natural light is your friend, don't take them in the bathroom).

From the looks of it the campaign is actually now raising money and sharing some useful self-checking posters too (and in some cases adopting polar bears...), so good on you if you took part properly.


*If you've ever spelled that word that way, slap yourself in the face for me. Thanks. Now NEVER do it again. It's not a hard word to spell properly. Post from your phone if you get stuck. Auto-correct is your friend.

*If you've ever used that ("[adjective] [noun] is [same adjective]") sentence structure, slap yourself super-hard in the face. It's idiotic and annoying.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Really, Internet? Really?! "Brow Arch March"?!

Today many (FB, Twitter, a blog site) internet places informed me that I should be readying myself for "Brow Arch March". Quite how a person does that, I'm not sure. None of the sites clarified. Am I supposed to grow them out, in preparation for all the brow arching to come? Am I supposed to have them arched and ready for March, so I can spend March basking in eyebrowy glory?

I have no idea. I do know that it sounds like a stupid marketing ploy by someone or other to sell more...Whatever you use when you care about your eyebrow architecture.

But it did get me thinking, we could have an entire year of personal grooming themed months (*side note* who doesn't personally groom in some way every day?! OK, I take that back. Maybe it's just from working in retail, but I can think of a few people who definitely don't groom every day/week/month/year).

On with the marketing for a Year of Beauty (marketing experts, please give credit when you inevitably use my genius marketing schemes...):

Jelly-Bits January: Time to tone up everything that escaped your attention at Christmas. Gym attendance already soars during the Post-Christmas Shame Period, why not cash in a bit more?

Philtrum February: Tone that Cupid's Bow! Pucker up for Valentine's Day! Work that infransal depression, girl!

Brow Arch March: Whatever.

Armpit April: It's Spring! We're gearing up to vests, and the like (or, wishing we were as we stare out at the rain). Alternatively, raincoats make you sweat, focus on deodorant sales.

Moustache May: Bleach it! Wax it! Work it! It's your choice!

Joints June: Get your knees and elbows all smooth for summer! Alternatively, get ready to flash those ankles in a fit of Victorian flooziness.

Jawline July: Get defining, ready for your holidays! Sunglasses need to be balanced out by a perfect jawline...Or something... (there are VERY few body parts beginning with a "J", OK?!).

Ass-Crack August: Bikini season isn't all about the chest cleavage, you know. Let's get #ButtCleavage trending for Ass-Crack August.

Septum September: No-one notices the septum until you don't have one, eh Daniella Westbrook? But with cold and flu season upon us, it's time to take care of the most neglected part of the nose.

Obliques October: We can have "The 30 Day Squat Challenge", so let's have "The 31 Day Awkward Twisty Sit-Up Things Challenge".

Nails November: Obviously there has to be a whole month for nails, and what better month than the one leading up to Party Season?

Decolletage December: Quite. We all know how December goes. Party on!

Monday, 27 January 2014

Something Different...Graphics.

I was saying the other day that I hadn't done a craft post for a while (seeing as this was meant to be a craft blog and is sadly lacking in that aspect lately!). Truth is, I haven't really done many actual crafts. November and December are always hellishly busy for me, working in retail, and January is usually spent putting myself and the house back together and doing all those things that get neglected during the festive period!

So, whilst not strictly a craft, I thought I'd post a few creative things I've been doing, as suggested by the friend I have done  most of them for!

I love playing with Photoshop, whether that's touching up and editing photographs or making graphics from scratch. Lately I have been making graphics for a good friend's wrestling efed, and the people who play there. I won't explain the whole thing, basically they create characters, those characters have "pic-bases" who are (usually) celebrities, and have banners to go with it for use on forums, etc. So yes, I know the celebrities in the pictures have the wrong names. Creative licence. Just enjoy the pictures. :)

*HEADS UP* Some of them aren't wearing very much. Make your own NSFW/PG13 decisions please. I trust your judgement.

This is the first one I did, for one of my husband's characters. I think he was a little doubting over whether or not I could actually work to the graphics standard he was used to. Given his face I surpassed it. 

That was the first style background I learned to do, and is still one of my favourites. I possibly over-use it slightly. ;)




Backgrounds are easily the most fun bit.

This one is one of my favourites, I'll not go into how to do it, basically google is your friend...If there's an effect you want, someone will have already put a lesson up on how to do it!

Here it is in use. Sad thing is a lot of the awesome backgrounds get covered up!



Spot the difference! There were actual details given for the character's outfit for this one. I love the crumpled lettering...Never done that before.

The finished product.

My favourite effect is DEFINITELY metallics...

Before and after. The font makes a lot of difference...

This wasn't for the efeds, it was a design I submitted for a friend's company logo.


This logo is NOT my original design, I just edited it and added effects.

This one is my original, and one of my favourites. :)


This is one of my all-time favourites. The font is altered/added to, which caused massive problems when I wanted to use it again, because I couldn't recognise it! Free font sites are my downfall. I LOVE fonts. I try to have a different font for each character, though obviously I have my favourites!



Obviously I didn't make this image (or the "R"), just the rest of the text!

One of my other favourite fonts.






So there you go. Sorry for the whorey display of boobs and asses. It seems to go with the territory.

If you are interested in commissioning some graphics of your own, drop me an email or leave a comment below. :)

If you are interested in joining the efeds (and you can fill out an application form correctly, eh Mark?), you can find the best ones here and here.

I don't have characters...I just wanted a pretty graphic! ;)


















Saturday, 25 January 2014

Remember When Everyone Was Doing Those "100 Things" Posts?

Well I found one in my Documents folder, so I did it. You're welcome. :)

001. Real name → I'd tell you, but then I'd have to kill you... ;)
002. Nickname(s)→ Floss
003. Zodiac sign → Aries
004. Male or female → Female
005. Elementary -> Whitehill
006. Middle School → Whitehill
007. High School → Brinsworth
008. Hair color → Brown
009. Long or short → Lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng!
010. Loud or Quiet → Little bit of both!
011. Sweats or Jeans → Jeans for going out, sweats for staying in.
012. Phone or Camera - Camera.
013. Health freak → No.
014. Drink or Smoke? → Not really.
015. Do you have a crush on someone? → Who doesn't?
016. Eat or Drink → Both!
017. Piercings → Ears
018. Tattoos → I could tell you, but where would the mystery be then? ;)

HAVE YOU EVER?
019. Been in an airplane→ Yes
020. Been in a relationship → Yes
021. Been in a car accident → Not a serious one.
022. Been in a fist fight → Not a serious one.

FIRSTS:
023. First piercing → Ears
024. First best friend → Abigail, we were 2yrs old.
025. First award → Erm...I really can't remember! First medal was for doing the Playtex Moonwalk marathon though.
026. First crush → Sean Bean.
028. First big vacation → Bournemouth, that I can remember.

LASTS:
029. Last person you talked to → The weird-but-friendly assistant at WH Smith.
030. Last person you texted → John.
031. Last person you watched a movie with → Myself, right now.
032. Last food you ate→ Sushi!
 033. Last movie you watched- *checks TV listings* Legally Blonde. :P
034. Last song you listened to → "Popular" from Wicked.
035. Last thing you bought → Sushi, a sympathy card, and a stuffed toy of two peas in a pod.
036. Last person you hugged → John.

FAVES:
037. Food → Chinese
038. Drinks -> Juice, Lychee or Mango for preference.
039. Clothing → Pyjamas!
040. Flower → Roses, they don't make me sneeze.
042. Colors → Purple
043. Movies → Love Actually
044. Subjects → Art, English, Music, Sociology.

CHECK ALL THAT APPLY :] :

In 2013, I....
045. [Y] kissed someone
046. [Y] celebrated Halloween
047. [N] had your heart broken
048. [Y] went over the minutes/texts on your cell phone
049. [N] someone questioned your sexual orientation
050. [N] came out of the closet
051. [N] gotten pregnant
052. [N] had an abortion
053. [N] done something you've regretted
054. [N] broke a promise
055. [Y] hid a secret
056. [N] pretended to be happy
057. [Y] met someone who changed your life
058. [N] pretended to be sick
059. [N] left the country
060. [Y] tried something you normally wouldn't try and liked it
061. [Y] cried over the silliest thing
062. [N] ran a mile
063. [Y]went to the beach with your best friend(s)
 064. [N] got into an argument with your friends
 065. [N] hated someone - I don't tend to "hate" people. If you've done something that bad, you're probably just dead to me, it's far less negative and energy-consuming. :)
066. [N] stayed single the whole year

CURRENTLY:
067. Eating → Nothing
068. Drinking → Cherry Coke
069. I'm about to →Put some bedding away. Rock'n'Roll!
070. Listening to → The TV.
071. Plans for today → Hockey, maybe wash my hair later.
072. Waiting for → John to wake up after his night shift.

YOUR FUTURE:
073. Want kids? → Eventually.
074. Want to get married? → I'd do it all again tomorrow. ♥
075. Careers in mind → Something craft-related, and probably self-employed. When I'm rich enough to not need to work, that is!

WHICH IS BETTER WITH A BOY?
076. Lips or eyes → Ideally both (all four?!) but I'm not discriminatory.
077. Shorter or taller?→ Taller, but I'm only 5'2" so logistically not too tall.
078. Romantic or spontaneous> Bit of both!
079. Nice stomach or nice arms → nice arms
080. Sensitive or loud → Bit of both.
081. Hook-up or relationship → Relationship.
082. Trouble-maker or hesitant → That's a weird option..

HAVE YOU EVER:
083. Lost glasses/contacts - Only sunglasses.
 084. Snuck out of your house → No. I live here, I can come and go as I please. When I lived at home? Still no.
085. Held a gun/knife for self defense → No
086. Killed somebody → No! (WTF?!)
087. Broken someone's heart → Probably...
088. Been arrested → No.
089. Cried when someone died → Obviously.

DO YOU BELIEVE IN:
090. Yourself → *pokes middle* Yes. I am undoubtably real.
091. Miracles → Of course!
092. Love at first sight → Yes.
093. Heaven → Yes.
094. Santa Claus → Yes.
 095. Sex on the first date → No.
096. Kiss on the first date → Maybe...

TRUTHFULLY:
097. Is there one person you want to be with right now? → Yes.
098. Are you seriously happy with where you are in life? →Short of a lottery win and/or a dog? Pretty much! 30 this year, married, got our own house, employed, great family and friends, life is good.
099. Do you believe in God → Yes.
100. Post as 100 truths and tag 10 people→ If they want to take it from here, they are more than welcome.

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

So Long, 2013!

'Tis the season, the season I no longer shy away from the post box ("MORE bills?! *runs away*)! Christmas cards! :D And, of course, the newsletters.

Victoria Wood does a fantastic routine about the family newsletters in Christmas cards. I can't find the Youtube video, but it's funny. Take my word for it. Frankly, we get a few, and I quite enjoy them! Of course there are the ones that are blatantly just "not-so-humblebrag" newsletters..."This year unfortunately we've spent a fortune on fuel, even though we got a super-economic new car, driving to New Haven, but it's worth it to visit Binky at Yale! Did we mention our little Binky got into Yale?" But if you've done something to be proud of, why not tell the world? Just tell us!

We don't do a family newsletter, but if we did, it might run a bit like this...

January: I gave blood for the first (and currently only) time. They made a terrible mess of my arm, but I would do it again in a flash. Unfortunately I had some iron issues and then flu, so I haven't managed to donate again since. I plan to in 2014 though.

February: Valentine's Day! I can't remember precisely how we celebrated. Welcome to married life, y'all.

Pancake Day! Not normally newsletter-worthy, but this year I discovered pancakes with home-made chocolate orange ganache sauce and whipped cream.

Commence Droolage....Now.


March: I hit the big 2-9! :D I took a few days off work, and had a couple of road trips, including taking myself to the Harry Potter Studio Tour at Leavesden Studios which was AMAZING. If you want to go, I will go with you. I want to go again. Christmas would be good, they do special trips and there's snow and...Anyway. Travelling companion available! :D

Amazing. Scale model of Hogwarts at HPST.


April: Play-Offs!! We spent a great weekend with family friends in Nottingham.



Meat Loaf! We went to the Last World Tour, and it was brilliant.



Yes I do pick my seats based on Paul Crook's stage side. Sorry Randy, love ya, love Paul more.

May: We went to see Mick Foley again. His stand-up show is VERY funny, I would imagine moreso if you are into wrestling, but still, he's a funny guy. I also went on my friend's hen do, and got the drunkest I have probably ever been in my life (which isn't hard to do, because I don't really drink, but hey).

June: We went to Manchester to see Bon Jovi (again!).



Rumboldfest! We had a great time at our friends' awesome campsite wedding in Wales.


BFF and I got up stupidly early to queue for tickets for Michael Buble's "surprise" gig (public dress rehearsal) in Sheffield...AND GOT TICKETS!! Awesome show as usual, and we got to see for £25 what would have cost us £80 in London. Plus every penny of profit went to local children's charities. What a lovely man.


July: I did the "Insanity" programme (July and August too). Even though I had to finish a little early because of an injury, I finished eventually!


We celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary, by not doing very much at all. Ho-hum. The traditional 6th wedding anniversary gift is sugar.

I went to London for a girly weekend to see Rascal Flatts. Awesome show, and Laura Bell Bundy was the support act. Bonus! This was one of those weird circumstances when someone I don't know that well and haven't seen for months tagged me in a status because I was the only one of her FB friends in England who also liked the Rascal Flatts fan page and said "Hey! I have tickets! Want to see Rascal Flatts?" and I said yes, and then awesomeness happened.

Second row standing, people. Second. Row. Standing. Which as we all know, for short people, soon turns into FRONT row standing. I spent the evening wearing a stranger's cowboy hat, which he passed up to Laura Bell Bundy to perform in, and then put back on my head. SSSF (Stranger's Stetson Sisters Forever).

August: Family Holiday to Norfolk. Great times, even though John had to come home early for work. We still had a fantastic time and I LOVED having a dog again for a week. :D



September: John's birthday. I fear I set myself up for a fall when I made the Big 3-0 birthday so spectacular (his day included a trip out to buy a Blu-ray player, meal out, cinema, hockey, takeaway).

The cake came later. First there was a Birthday Cookie.


October: We started the Christmas shopping! First time we have been able to be this organised but 2013 has been kind, LOTS of monthly payments have ended (YAY for steps closer to being debt-free, even baby steps!), and John worked extreeeemely hard and got lots of lovely overtime, and hence Christmas was a lot less panicked this year!

We also had a visit from one of my best friends and his wife from Canada, who we've been looking forward to meeting for years. We had a great week showing off our favourite places in England and getting to know Lisa. Before they came I missed one friend in Canada, now I miss two! I'm lucky that all my friends choose awesome partners. Yay!

November: Disney on Ice! Rapunzel is one of my favourites, so I had to see Dare To Dream.



December: I worked. John worked. When the stars aligned with a prevailing wind we actually saw each other once in a while. Christmas was quiet with both families, and New Year celebrations will be similar. As usual we will be ringing in the new year at home tonight, just the two of us, good food, some treats and the TV.

Next year we are looking forward to my Big 3-0 Birthday, which will hopefully include a girly trip to London amongst other activities. Hopefully we will also be able to afford to put a deposit down for my Big 3-0 Birthday Trip to Walt Disney World (actual trip delayed to 2015) when we will hopefully be travelling with friends and meeting up with at least one more! It's weird planning so far in advance, but we also have our eye on a trip to Canada (hopefully in 2015), visiting friends in Quebec and Toronto with a road trip to New York (state not city). Quebec/Toronto/Ontario/NY peeps, get ready! At some stage, we're coming!! This will be timed to coincide with hockey season, obviously. ;)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I hope 2014 is happy, healthy and brings you everything you deserve.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Listography: 10 Really Annoying Things That Are Still LESS Annoying Than Sniffing.

It's sniffing season. I hate the sound of people sniffing. Just blow your nose!! I even hate having to sniff myself, I actually irritate myself. I have gone so far as to offer tissues to people who are browsing at work because their constant sniffing was driving me insane. I'm just being helpful, maybe you forgot a tissue...It's not that I'm wanting to smack you in the head with something to stop the Chinese-water-torture-esque noise (honest!).

Few people realise how much it irritates me. So in no particular order, I give you 10 Really Annoying Things That Are Still LESS Annoying Than Sniffing:

Screaming children.

Rave music.

People who cut lines/traffic.

Cold-callers.

Running out of toilet roll.

"There's an unexpected item in the bagging area..."

Kids faking American accents.

Smudging/chipping a nail.

Jazz Music.

That stupid Flora "Wrestling" advert.




Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Listography: 5 Things I Inexplicably Love

In no particular order of preference:

1). Notebooks.



My name is Sarah, and I am a notebook addict. There. I said it. If there was a Stationery Anonymous, I would be a founder member. I love notebooks. The day they opened a Paperchase in Sheffield was easily one of my happiest. I am obsessed with Paperchase notebooks (and Paperchase in general), especially the big chunky ones with decorated pages, like the one above. I think it all started when I used to get little scented notebooks (do they still sell those?! I want one) in my Advent calendar when I was about four years old.

2). Paisley.


I think paisley is much under-appreciated these days. Yes, it can be garish and hideously bright and busy, but that really is all part of it's charm, don't you think?? It's exciting! It makes your brain wince a bit and, if the pattern is patterny enough, it's a bit baffling and your eyeballs get a bit bamboozled, but in a good way. I love it. As if you didn't all feel sorry enough for my husband, we have not one but TWO sets of paisley bedding in our collection (I say "our", obviously I mean "my". As long as there are covers of some description he doesn't really care either way...and I think he only cares that there are covers because I shout if there are pillows that don't have cases on).

3). Brown labels.



Paddington Bear. Old vintage suitcases. Bottles that say "Drink Me". Black and white photos of small children on station platforms in dufflecoats. We should use more brown labels. They're awesome.

4). Leather bookmarks.

I don't have this one. I wish I did. Always expanding the collection...


I guess the inexplicable thing is that I collect leather bookmarks (as in, I have over 100 of them), but I never USE leather bookmarks, because they make your pages stay too far apart. My bookmark of choice is a tissue or a square of toilet paper (purely for size, not reading location!!!!!). I don't actually own the bookmark above, but I chose it for illustrative purposes as it also covers some of the obscure places that have their own bookmarks. I have bookmarks from places that don't even exist any more. For as long as I can remember when we went anywhere with a gift shop, my Grandpa would buy me a leather bookmark. Then whenever I went anywhere they didn't that had a gift shop, I would buy myself a leather bookmark. It has become my souvenir of choice. Now, other people also buy me leather bookmarks. I'm concerned and disappointed that Walt Disney World do not sell leather bookmarks. John was more than a little concerned that I am concerned by that.

5). Pointless glass objects.


Image copyright www.glass-sphere.com
Yup, love them. Not all of them are pointless, some are vases, glasses, etc, but I LOVE pretty glass things. Colours, bubbles, shapes, snowglobes, jars, candle holders...Love it all.