Wednesday, 31 March 2010

British Summer Time???

Clocks changed this week so we're now officially in British Summer Time. BUT, the whole country seems to be covered in snow apart from a small patch around us. Snow on the hills to the south, snow on the hills to the north and gale force winds. The weather forecast for yesterday was as follows -
"Sleet and snow turning heavier and more persistent this evening, some heavy falls. Combined with gale force North winds blizzards will quickly develop widely with severe drifting. Very severe conditions inland over upland areas with severe blizzards in places. Minimum temperature 0 °C."
BRRRRRR, it's just sooooo cold!

Digital Communications!!

I attended a Networking and Information breakfast meeting run by Perth College’s Centre for Enterprise on Monday morning. The presentation was given by digital communications and marketing experts, Precedent, who told us how we should all have websites and be using such things as Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Flickr and yet another new one to me, Linkedin. We need to know how to keep track of our online presence and raise our profile so search engines will find us. I attend these things because of our holiday cottages so I can, hopefully, find out how to best market them and raise their profile in a fast expanding market and after several seminars, workshops, information meetings, I still find it all a bit baffling, not to mention very time consuming. We need to spend at least one hour a day on our computers to keep up, says the man. Does he mean one hour of time for an expert like him or one hour of time for a mere beginner like me? Most of these things are easy to set up and free, you don’t need to spend lots of money to do it, says the man. What about the old saying ‘Time is Money’? Time spent at the computer for me means less time to do all the other pressing things I need to do and usually means working into the small hours of the morning, like now. I do have a blog, Facebook, and Twitter. The blog, I manage to update occasionally, Facebook, I tend to avoid as I spend most of my time deleting ‘stuff’ people send and we have 38 real acres to look after so I won’t be accepting any invitation to Farmville and I won’t be helping anyone with their Farmville crops! I really don’t need to know that a friend has had a good lunch (although I’m pleased that some of them have time to sit down and eat) or that they’re tired and are off to bed early (it’s just so exhausting doing those Farmville chores). It’s all very well telling us what we ‘should’ have but I need someone to actually take me through it all. I have a twitter account and have managed to link it to one of my Facebook accounts but I can’t remember which updated which and I don’t know how to get ‘tweets’ on my phone although I did manage to send one out from it. I even gather a Twitter follower occasionally – how do these people find me and why do they add me? I have no idea who they are.
I’ll stick with my blog for now, I know whose on it and linked to it, although there could be others who ‘lurk’ but that’s OK because I do that too. Can’t leave everyone a comment. Computers are OK but I’d much rather be scrapbooking or doing therapy! And yes, I go for some too. :o)

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Pussycat with Purrsonality

Here's another layout I did at the weekend retreat. Again no journalling yet. This is Ruby and she's my daughter's cat not mine. Ruby is very affectionate and also very vocal, especially when she wants fed. She also forgets her place in the household as the other pic clearly shows. I found her in my bed one day, under the covers with her head on the pillow! I actually pulled the cover down a bit to take the pic as all I could see were her ears.

When we first bought the farm and were still living in Edinburgh, we travelled the 60 miles every weekend to Perthshire to work on the farmhouse and the dogs and Ruby came too. Ruby, especially, loved the trip in the car and as the noise she made when restricted to the cat basket became unbearable we bought a harness and lead for her and she would go from person to person using them as a platform to see out of the car windows. When we moved here permanently I think she wondered when we would be going 'home' again and used to jump in any car with an open door or window. My son took her down to the supermarket with him one day as she jumped into his car and installed herself on the back window shelf, refusing to come out again. She still likes to take short trips in the car and is fascinated by all she sees.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Crop Retreat

Well I survived the crop retreat and actually managed to get some LOs done for a change. The retreat was held in a hotel near Peebles and organised by 'Aunty P'. She did well to find such a good venue and great value too. From 2pm Friday to 5pm Sunday with full board (lunch & dinner were 3 course) it only cost £130. I haven't seen any other crops advertised for that kind of price. Well done, Phyllis. I was already tired when I got there so didn't stay up too late, or get up too early. My friend and I started scrapping after breakfast (which we didn't have 'til 10am) so nice and leisurely. Phyllis had brought along some jars and alcohol inks so anyone who wanted to could make a journal jar. As I'd already made about twenty, I stuck to doing LOs but it was really interesting seeing the way everyone else chose to decorate their jars.
I did these two LOs of my little schnauzers playing in the garden when we lived in Edinburgh and tried to incorporate lots of embellishments. I'm not doing Shimelle's class but I've been following the prompts on other people's blogs. Both dogs loved to play football and Lizzie loved trying to catch the water as it came out of the hose but Sam always steered well clear of it. Lizzie also liked me to dig a hole and bury her tennis ball so she could dig it up again and bring it back to me to repeat the process. Happy days!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Craighall Castle

Not long to go now before Craighall Castle changes hands. It's been the family seat of the Rattrays since 1533 and the current Laird has sold up and will leave at the end of the month. Sad day. The balcony outside the main drawing room is suspended over the cliff about 200ft above the river and standing out there isn't for the faint hearted. The gorge is believed to be the second deepest in the country. Stunning house and stunning location.

Decisions, Decisions!

I'm going on my first Scrapbooking retreat this weekend and I've had one attempt at deciding what to take in the way of stash which wasn't very successful. I decided to go through my pics instead, choose some to scrap and then go back to choosing papers, etc. Didn't work either. Far too many pics in the pile! Oh dear, back to the craft room tonight to have another go. I don't know how the scrappers who come here cope with the decisions. lol. How do you choose?

Monday, 8 March 2010

Beautiful Buzzards

Just had to share this clip of the buzzards flying around in front of the house. They were much closer but had moved away a bit by the time I got my camera out. They eventually flew down to the trees behind the stables to annoy the crows. We had a couple of people stayed in one of the holiday cottages last year who went on a Highland Safari specifically to get some pictures of buzzards but I didn't find that out until the day they were leaving. Although they enjoyed the trip, they didn't see any buzzards and it was a pity I didn't know sooner or I could have sent them on a ten minute walk to where some were nesting on the farm!

Quickie Christmas Cards


As usual I ran out of time when making my Christmas cards and resorted to using Costco gift tags instead of stamped images. Here's the result. I also made a stack of sour cream cartons to put sweets in.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Journal Jars

I decided to make Journal Jars to give as Christmas presents since it was the year of 'Homecoming', but I bit off more than I could chew and still haven't finished them all. Christmas will be very late this year for some old aunties.

Things I Can't Do Without

I took these pictures last year in response to Shimelle's Prompt (no. nine I think). Most people would have posted Scrapbooking items since the class was all about Blogging for Scrapbookers but these are my current essentials - quad bike plus trailer and poop-scooping tools and wellies! I tempted fate, however, by taking the pictures as the quad then broke down and I had to revert to our dinky toy one which struggles to pull the trailer when it's full or in wet conditions.