Friday, 29 February 2008

Well that was a complete waste of time then! The table-top sale at Boley earned me the grand sum of about £2.75!!! By the time the table was paid for and kiddie had bought cake, drinks and MY Mother's Day present(!?) there was nothing left. The problem was definitely a case of the sale being neither one thing nor another. People expect a table sale to be an indoor car boot with lots of second-hand goodies going cheap. If it's a craft fair you need to advertise as such and have ONLY hand-made stuff on sale. This event was a mix of both so we lost out on both sides.

What I did sell a few of were my badges. Hooray! It's better than nothing but they were miles too cheap having said that.

One good thing was I actually met 'crafty claire' from the UK Craft Forum. It's great to finally put a face to a name and meet someone in the flesh. She was quite encouraging about my stuff as well.

I am now going to concentrate on my dolls for a bit. I am trying to develop the pattern to make a belly dancer for Maria's 40th prezzie and I am also going to produce a few 'Red Hatters' to try on eBay. A school mum saw them at the table sale and was quite interested in one for her mum's 60th birthday, so I will try to get ahead of the game and make one in readiness.

Even these I haven't costed properly but I fear it will be the old story - charge even a reasonable rate per hour and they will be prohibitively expensive to buy. We'll see. I'm going to have a bash at batch production and time the process, then we shall see...

Maria presented us with a certificate and a bouquet of flowers for our 'special award' in the belly dancing exams. The only problem was neither of us was well enough to go to the class!! Julia popped in to tell her we wouldn't be there so she brought mine and droppped it off. Next level we will have to not try so hard. Someone else needs a chance to get the top award and we can't keep sharing! It's getting really embarrassing!!

Wednesday night was the Smarty's Fashion Show for the PTA. I was one of 7 catwalk models for the clothes and we had such a laugh. I don't know if it's down to the belly dancing or whether it's getting older but I just don't get nervous about performing in public and stuff like that any more. Some of the others were so worried but me and Julia (Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee we've decided!!) had to go down as a pair and we had a blast - posing and shimmying as we went. Everyone kept coming up to me afterwards and saying how good we were (parp parp! - blowing my own trumpet!). If I could just get the height and the figure I would take it up professionally - ha ha!

We must have done OK tho' as they made about £600 on the night which is fab! I borrowed the dosh off mum and bought onbe of my outfits in the end. A Per Una multi coloured skirt and a dayglo greeny-yellow t-shirt which sounds foul but many peeps told me how good it looked and I'm a sucker for compliments.

Right - back to the dolly. I have to research gothic belly dance head gear - turbans, dangles, tassels and flowers. Weeeeeee!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

I'm back. It's cold. I'm panicking.

Well we're back from lovely hot Egypt to freezing cold England. When the pilot said it was -2 degrees outside we thought he was joking - but no. Our car was completely iced up inside as well as out and we drove home at 2am in tempertures of -7!!!! Quite a shock to the system when you're wearing 3/4 length trousers and Crocs!!!
Anyway, we had a fab time. Me and kiddie went out on the dive boat 3 times. On the 2nd day we saw a real live wild sea turtle! We also saw parrot fish and puffer fish when we snorkelled off the beach. Ate lots of nice food. Drank lots too.
The picture shows the 2 intrepid snorkellers heading off for Jackson reef in the Straits of Tiran with a fairly recent wreck in the background. I (very sensibly) stayed on board as offical photographer to record kiddie's first venture onto a 'proper' reef. She loved it but got cold very quickly. Next time we must get her a shortie wetsuit.

So that's the cold bit covered. The panic is because on Saturday I have a table (well two actually)booked at a craft fair/table top sale and I have made virtually nothing for the craft fair aspect of it. I have turfed out loads of toys, clothes, etc for the second-hand recycling table but the other side will be a bit empty. I spent the afternoon making cards but they are c***. I think I will have to make a portfolio of dolls, etc and advertise that I can do commissions. I've got some badges, my ceramic shoes, my shoe drawings and some silk ribbon panels... I can probably scrape enough together but not as good as I had hoped.
I also need to make some business cards or fliers. Julia has been a dead organised person and got hers done. Huh!! No fair!
I also have to do more planning for Monday cuz it will be here before I realise it. My first day teaching!!! Aargh!! I really need to get 'genned up' on the units and grading criteria a bit more. I also need to go into personnel and get all my paperwork sorted. Where does the time go? Better not 'waste' any more on blogging. :0)

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Oh I'm so useless at keeping this thing up to date. Even my idea of "little and often" didn't work out. Oh well -my blog is just going to have to be an "as and when" affair instead!!
Got the results of my belly dancing exam on Thursday. God I'm a creep - Julia and I shared the 'special award' which was the best in the class, better than highly commended. Aren't we just fab! There will be a presentation after half term when we will receive our certificates and medals. What with that one and my two HND certs, I'm going to need more wall space.
The event of the week has been that I've FINALLY sorted out and tidied up my workroom. I've got rid of the huge trestle table and replaced it with a square kitchen table. Hopefully this way I can keep the surface clear to work on rather than pile it high with 'stuff'. I just need a couple of shelves inside the wardrobe so I can reorganise that. It is so much better now. My fabric is all pile up on a huge shelf but it's accessible to rummage through so it WILL get used. All my ribbons, braids, trimmings and so on have been sorted out too. I'm just itching to get in there now but will have to wait until next week now as......

.....tomorrow we fly off to Egypt for the week. Woo hoo!!! How excited is kiddie!? And me to be honest. It's not quite the same because the weather has been so good here today, but going somewhere hot in the middle of February is so decadent! lol Only problem I've had is a distinct lack of summer clothes. I've been hitting eBay like a madthing (strike? what strike!!) buying shorts, tops and bikinis for me and for kiddie. The postman has been laughing at the amount of parcels we've had delivered. He hasn't known what's hit him.
Well I must leave it there - packing still to do!!

Friday, 1 February 2008

February?! Who stole January While I wasn't Looking?

Here I go again! Another week to update. I think it's cuz this week has been so frantic that I haven't had time to sit and write. I realise from looking at other blogs I need to do a little bit every day. I just have to get into the routine. So where to begin....

Monday was my first day meeting Emma (who I'm going to be covering for at college). I spent the lesson going through each student's work with Emma and the student to get a feel for what they are doing and how they are getting on with it. Some of 'em were a bit hard going - mono-syllabic answers to every question. Some have got real potential tho'. I got quite enthused looking at the stuff they were doing. I want to get the soluble fabric out and do a bit of free-machining!!!

Tuesday was the dreaded INJECTIONS!!!!! Spent the day fretting about how I wouod break the news to DD when I picked her up from school. Of course, I needn't have worried - she was fine, well a bit upset but she didn't freak out like I thought she would. She came away with 2 dead legs and a £17 mermaid chariot from ELC!! I just got 2 dead arms and a slightly bigger overdraft!! Today I started the "2 bowls, 2 meals" diet. Cereal for breakfast, cereal for lunch and real food for tea. I know I wont make much of a dent in things before holiday but I need to get kick-started somehow. We'll see how it goes...

Wednesday was my graduation ceremony. I am a real graduate now. Unfortunately mum couldn't come cuz she has really bad vertigo. If she had had to sit in the Symphony Hall she would probably have fallen off!! I let 'him indoors' off from coming as ethel's other half wasn't attending either. So it was just the girls together.

What a long and tedious day!! It consisted of lots of hanging around, lots of sitting and clapping, 3 seconds up on stage shaking hands and not much else, including not much food or drink!!! Refreshments were supposedly provided but by the time we had given back our robes there was nothing left bar stewed coffe and 2 manky Danishes!! Nice. Sadly we were both too broke to afford to go out for our planned meal at Chez J. Once I've been paid we are going to go for def.
Thursday was parents evening and then belly dancing. Mrs G is very pleased with DDs progress. All is well there. Maria worked us very hard at belly dancing. Hip shimmies - side and straight - and then upwards 8s which are SOOOO hard. Really expected to suffer next day (today) but was not the case (kind of disappointingly). I really want to believe this is doing me some good apart from the enjoyment factor.
Friday is today. Nice postal delivery today - white satin belly dancing outfit and pattern to make whole range of belly dance costume pieces. Good old eBay! Went to Burton to try to get gold stuff to make an outfit for the party tomorrow. Dunelm was quite disappointing - gold strung sequins and gold organza and that was about it. So I wandered into town to try Primark for something cheap and ready-made. Aarrgghh!! Where has it gone??!! I forgot that it had moved until I found it accidentally whilst on my way to Next. Phew!! Unfortunately nothing gold but I got a great haul of goodies ready for Egypt. Also bought a really scrummy maxi dress from Monsoon for £15! A bargain! Spent some of my Waterstone's voucher on a fab book called 'I Love Knitting'. Gave it all up as a bad job in the end and went back to Dunelm where I bought 10meters of strung sequins and 4 of organza and tomorrow I have got to cobble something together REALLY quickly!