Saturday, 18 December 2010

The best laid plans

So, I'm all ready. Family lunch on Sunday to celebrate Christmas, the menu's set, the shopping's done and been delivered. I took Friday off so I could cook and tidy at my leisure and today the heavens opened and it snowed. And it snowed. And then it snowed some more. The roads round me are treacherous but we've only had about 5 cm, where my brother lives they've had more like 18". So, lunch tomorrow is postponed and the freezer is now bulging with things intended for tomorrow. Never mind, worse things happen at sea!

The good news is a stay of execution on the job front. My department has been taken out of the general restructure and a decision on redundancies will be made in 30 days. Given that my post was marked to be 'disestablished' things can't get worse for me, better possibly though. At least now I can chill about it over Christmas. Yay.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Post musings

Well, the cards are in the post. This year I did two main designs. The first one is more complex, the second is much smaller and simpler.

I started off with this one, embossing some blue cardstock with a white core through the cuttlebug which I then exposed using a large emery board. The trees were cut using the cricut and decorated with globs of glossy accents and glamour dust, and Woodware's fluffy stuff. I stamped and punched the greeting - this one is all white but others I did mounted on a scalloped blue glitter disk for more emphasis. Then I put it all together with some silver ribbon and more glamour dust round the edges.

The second is a gorgeous Christmas tree stamp made up of ornaments, which I then embossed with silver. I finished them off with a stamped greeting and tied with a little stretchy silver cord. The overall design was inspired by card we made in one of Marion Emberson's Sugar and Spice classes. I'm hoping it gives a 'less is more' effect rather than a 'I'm too lazy to bother' one :)

I'm still waiting though for the delivery companies to catch up with the changing market. With people now ordering more and more from the web they still don't appear to have grasped that most people work, and aren't there during the day to accept delivery. Especially when you add in that normally people don't know what the date or time of delivery is for small value items. This either means the companies wasting resources (and therefore increasing the prices we pay) or compelling people to collect their parcels from depots.

Depots, I have found, don't tend to be located in easy to reach, central locations. So even with a car they're a pain to get to, and if you don't have one (which is a good reason for using the net to do your Christmas shopping) a real inconvenience.

When are they going to realise they have to focus on evening/weekend deliveries as standard? Minor rant over...

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Holidays are coming

Afternoon all. Well last Sunday I put a big batch of braised red cabbage in the oven for a slow, 2 hour cook. This is my first bit of Christmas cooking. it's based on a recipe my friend Lynne shared with me after a dinner at her house. It was fabulous, and I've cooked it every Christmas since, as well as for a few general roasts. It's really good, and freezes brilliantly which makes it an ace side dish for your big celebrations. All you have to do for the day is get it out of the freezer and allow it to defrost, then either reheat in a pan for 10 mins or stick it in the microwave.
The recipe is here and it's easy to adjust to your taste, more sweetness, less, more spices etc.

Friday night was the office do, and it was fabulous. Huge laughs, and you always know if a night was good when you get to the end and wonder how that went so quickly. Saturday then was a bit of a right off - and was spent on the sofa with some comfort bolognese courtesy of some previous batch cooking. Today I've managed a little more oompf, and the stuffing for the stuffed pork loin is done and in the freezer, and a batch of brownies is just cooling on top of the hob. Plan is to wrap and freeze those too so I can bring them out one at a time for desserts etc.

Had meant to do lots more, the sponge for the trifle, some fudge for gifts but it seems that's going to have to wait :)