janewilliams20: (geek)
Hello. This is dated in the future so it stays visible, and for most people, it's probably irrelevant.

Dear potential burglar. It might occur to you that you can use my online information to work out when I'm away from home, where I live, and therefore when would be a good time for you to visit.
Yes, you probably can.
Hint - don't waste your time.
Quite apart from the friendly and watchful neighbours, I have a husband who is a professional security guard, and who likes playing with computers, networks, cameras, and mobile Internet. I don't know myself from one day to the next what he's got installed, but I do know he was getting all excited recently about being able to not only view the cameras from abroad, once the alert to say someone's been spotted has arrived, but also steer them. This isn't because we've got a lot of stuff worth nicking, he just likes to play.
We've already had one arrest resulting from this little lot (well, in so far as one can arrest a kid under 18). You don't want the next one to be you. You're a professional, right, not a kid who wants to play with a "challenge"? Go and find a softer target. There's plenty around who don't have this sort of nuisance to get in your way.

janewilliams20: (Default)
Something needs to be done. It isn't my job to do it, not by several levels of indirection, but.... and the obvious passive-aggressive answer won't help anyone, least of all me.
I still go along to MIND as a service user - just. On a bad day, it gets me out of the house. The Friday session is purely social, the Wednesday one is analysis / therapy (I'm told - it's new, and I haven't been there yet), and the Tuesday one is where the WEA come in and run courses for us. Free courses. Well, free to us... I know how much WEA tutors get paid, and someone is paying quite a lot of money for this. We have excellent tutors, I'm learning a lot and having a great time.
But.
Some people turn up on Tuesday and don't take part in the classes. OK, their loss. A few terms back, they'd go off to another room, and Do Nothing there (I assume - whatever they did was out of the way). Now, unfortunately, they stay in the classroom.
This wouldn't be a problem really, as long as they remember that they're in a classroom. But they don't.
Every week for the last couple of terms, we've had irritating background noise. Sometimes they only stay for an hour, and we postpone doing any serious work for that hour, as we can't really hear the tutor. Sometimes they stay for the full session.
To start with, the staff who run the place agreed that there was a problem, and tried to keep things in order. But then they stopped trying.... and the noise got worse... and the "extras" stayed hanging around for the whole of both courses...
And every week, we and the tutors pointed out, again, that we had a problem, and the staff, at best, said "yes, we know", and still did FA about it...
and then this week it got to the point of one of them bellowing as if he imagined he was at a football match or in a pub of the "live sport" variety" rather than a classroom, while the rest made animal noises. And the staff did FA.
So the tutor took action. Which involved practically screaming to make herself heard. And STILL the staff are doing absolutely nothing about this. It's ridiculous. Someone, as I say, is paying good money for this, and it's being wasted because of a group who can't be bothered to make the most of it and can't act like civilised human beings. If they'd just keep their conversation to the level you'd expect when not drunk, all might be well, but it's like a group of oversized toddlers who haven't yet learnt volume control. I've had  - shall we say educationally challenged? - people like this in the courses I act as classroom assistant on, and keeping them quiet so that others can study is half the reason I'm there. So why aren't the staff here doing that?
I can't work out what to do about this - as I say, it isn't my job to do anything anyway. Nor is it the WEA tutor's job, but they had no choice, because the MIND staff weren't doing theirs. I could simply not sign up for the course next term, and say why - that's the passive aggressive option. I'd been wondering about dropping MIND anyway, I'm usually beyond the point of needing it, and stress like today is a backward step.
But... I'm an adult, I have responsibility to do what I can for the world around me. What, in this case, can/should I do?

janewilliams20: (Default)
I can't now remember why I decided I needed a multi-lingual limerick, and this isn't a very good one, but...

Un vieillard de joli Paris
Whose deafness was legendary,
Said "Ich höre nicht
Aber ich bin nicht dicht
Parla piu forte, si si!"

Edited with a little help from a sister who's better at languages than I am.
and third time lucky?

janewilliams20: (Default)
A decision has been made. My craft room / games storage room / painting room / computer room / study is going to have to become dedicated, full-time, to this thing of being a craft teacher. It's no good having the things relevant to that being in piles because all the shelves are full of Stuff.
A "shelf" is an area about three feet long, here.

So, I need to find homes for....
About two shelves of roleplaying books and notes, mostly Gloranthan.
Why do I have so much sheet music up here, when all the instruments are downstairs? Well, apart from the instruments I'm part-way through making, but that counts as "craft".
A quarterstaff? Really? And is that a sword I see lurking in the corner?
Boardgames. No room to play them in here anyway. Looks like about half a shelf.
Two shelves of armies. Ah, looking round at the piles of boxes on the drawers by the door, make that three shelves. How many armies do I have???
About a  shelf and a half of computer manuals - they're all over a year old, so obsolete by definition
Hardback fiction - probably about a shelf. 
Just realised this last two categories are double-stacked. I have no idea what's at the back.
About three shelves of "I have no idea I can't see it behind the boxes"
Paperbacks, 2-foot shelves - ah, one of those is also RPG books. About one shelf-worth is craft books, and can stay. The other 7... hmm.

But I don't want to lose any of this!


janewilliams20: (Default)
The answer to a lot of questions. On Friday it was the answer to "what am I going to do with all these slightly manky bits of things, and that out of date can of pumpkin?". Stick them in the slow cooker and eventually apply a stick blender, that's what.
Tonight, it was the answer to "I fancy a curry". Ladle a portion out into a bowl, add spices, microwave hot, eat with a chapati. Note to self, that random jar of Thai Five Spice Mix is quite hot.
Tomorrow it will probably have some meat added to it. Looking at what's in the fridge, that means chunks of black pudding.

janewilliams20: (Default)
Reading Burns on the subject, and taking note of the warning. On the whole, I think Aldi is the way to go.

Humphrey, the Sinister Haggis

The heather was blooming, the meadows were mawn, 
Our lads gaed a-hunting ae day at the dawn, 
O'er moors and o'er mosses and mony a hill, 
At length they discover'd a Haggis to kill

Chorus.-

I rede you, beware of the haggis, my son,
I rede you, beware of the haggis, my son;
Take what you may get, 
as it fa's in the net, 
But ne'er chase the beast the way Phoebus do run

Sweet-brushing the dew from the brown heather bells 
His white tail betray'd him on yon mossy fells; 
The nooses and trappings, the nets that they bair
They placed them with cunning downhill of his lair.
I rede you,&c.

As still as the fairest he sat in their sight
The horn it was sounded, to put him to flight
But the crafty wee beastie did not as they kent
He had supped wi' the de'il, and widdershins went!
I rede you,&c.

They chased it oe'er gowans, they chased it round hill,
The best of our lads wi' the best o' their skill;
And into the gloaming, and almost to night
Around glaizie craigies continued its flight
I rede you,&c.

Auld Phoebus himself, came and stared in surprise
His rays sae did glitter, it dazzled their eyes
They ne'er saw the cliff till t'was under their feet
An owre they warsl'd: by Haggis well beat!
I rede you,&c.

janewilliams20: (food)
 I seem to have found a few videos on ways of doing this, and all the methods I've seen so far have been faster than the one I know.

Next to no knife work, same end result as I get.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=563&v=nfY0lrdXar8


Turkey. This splits it at the breast, not the back. Pliers to pull tendons out - that's a new one on me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAbUFQxRq8M




Both of these separate the fillets from the rest of the breast, where I usually try to leave them in place.

Thats econd video has links to all sorts of interesting things, which I wish I had time ot be distracted by. But
 will resist.
janewilliams20: (Default)
They said it couldn't be done. I disagreed. 
I went to a card-making group - I couldn't have the cake on offer due to sugar overload. "What can we do for you next time?" they asked.
"Don't worry, I'll bake."
So far, so easy. But another lady also wasn't eating cake. Her limits are:
  • No gluten
  • No eggs
  • No dairy
When it comes to sweet things, she eats chocolate.

So, after a bit of research, an Experiment hasd come out of the oven.

200g gluten -free flour (I happened to have white bread flour in stock)
20g Splenda
50g / ml coconut oil
3 tsp bicarb of soda (not baking powder, that contains flour)
About 200g finely chopped apples
250ml boiling water.
Cinnamon.

Mixed the lot, sprinkled the top with Xylitol to make it caramalise, in at 200 for 45 minutes.
The quantities filled Small Loaf tin and Tiny Loaf Tin.

It's cooling now. We'll see.


janewilliams20: (Default)
Dear Me,
"I cannot do all of these things" does not mean "I cannot do any of these things". Especially when the only reason I can't do "all" is a shortage of hours in the day. Pick one thing you can do, do it, pick the next one, do it, and by the time you hit the "oh god I can't do that!" one, confidence may have returned. Or it'll be lunchtime. You can make lunch, right?
Also, that job application you're panicking about not being good enough for? It's only been up 23 hours. Plenty of time to deal with it.
Thing to remember: when the New Enterprise people reviewed your business plan and how much of it was already in operation, they were amazed at how much you'd already done, and done well. Drop your standards for productivity to only, say, three times human norm, OK?
Luv, Me.


janewilliams20: (Default)
Today, I have attended four different "go out of the house and meet people" things, one of which was to a previously unknown location and group.
I have done two different craft projects using techniques previously unknown to me.
I have paid bills, followed up emails, sorted out the diary
I have linked an Ebay account to a Paypal account to a debit card and a bank account (and the foot bone's connected to the....)
I have had some book-keeping tuition from my financial advisor.
I have sorted the crochet projects on the go, and put spare yarn away
I have done a shopping trip, and got good bargains.
I have cooked/prepared four meals (yes, four, Dave and I eat separate evening meals when he's on nights).

Why am I feeling guilty about having done so little?

janewilliams20: (Default)
I'm working on it, but....
The new business, Porcine Aviation Crafts, needs its own bank account, Paypal account, and Ebay account.
So I go to the Barclays page, and get promised that since I'm an existing customer, setting up a new account will be trivially easy. Would I like a personal account, or a business  account?
Well, "business" is the obvious answer, but....
As a special favour for a new startup, all sorts of charges will be free for the first year. Wheee! So I read through what those charges are, thinking "I have to pay for this?" If I just open a normal current account, all those things are free, period, no question. So, other than the free financial advice (which I have coming out of my ears already), why would I want to choose an account type that has the word "business" attached to it, and apparently nothing else in its favour? I'm sure I'm missing something important here.

janewilliams20: (Default)
 Mended a pair of trousers.
Prepared for, and attended, a workshop on how to start up one's own business
Acquired three more craft/art books (workshop was at the library, library was disposing of excess stock at 3 for £1)
Read a document about how to start a craft business, and whimpered slightly at the insurance implications.
Been told that while I'm on this new scheme (start up own business), I can get JSA without having to job-hunt
Arranged time-place for next job interview
Read description of a couple of jobs that initially looked promising
Chatted to IT recruitment agent about possible part-time IT roles
Read templates for business plan and assorted other financial things
Arranged to attend another parallel workshop on setting up a business for Thursday (about an hour after the job interview and 40 minutes drive away)
Sorted out envelopes and packaging for various commissioned cards.
Ordered most of the party food
Cooked three meals (plus enough leftovers to cover tomorrow as well)
Finished off two brooches I'd been making, and put them plus the previous few into plastic bags ready for sale
Assessed possible methods of acquiring cheap raw materials for business, put some into motion
Felt guilty about how little I'd got done today.

I think I deserve a glass of wine. And after that, back to work - I have a letter to write and another card to design, make, and enter into a competition.

edit: it seems that I also have to work out why LJ doesn't echo to Facebook any more :( So I'm deleting this and reposting, having altered a few settings.
 
janewilliams20: (Default)
Still worthy of celebration. It's subject to references saying the right things, and a DBS check, but those shouldn't be a problem. MIND in Luton are going to take me on as a volunteer. OK, so three hours or so a week, unpaid, isn't exactly a "job", but it's experience, it's the DBS check done, and it's useful.
So dinner tonight was accompanied by a bottle of Kriek.

janewilliams20: (Default)
 Catalogue entry here

This is one of the three die-sets that make a "flipper" card, the others being Circle and Label. It just (only just!) fits in the normal BigShot, and produces a card size of 4¼" x 5½" from a piece of card 5½" square.
You also get a number of small dies to go with it
  • two more snowflakes, one 2½" across the diagonal and the other 1"
  • banner, 2" long and ½" high
  • heart, 1¼" across
  • Xmas tree (or simple arrow) 1½" each way excluding trunk. Smaller than that in the Festival Of Trees Photopolymer Bundle.
  • words: "Brr", "joy", "snow"
These all come mounted on a piece of cardboard, held down by sticky tape. A bit of a let-down - some magnetic sheet would have been a nice touch.

The main die does a nice job, including scoring the cardstock where the folds are needed.

The banner, heart, and tree are simple shapes, easy to use.

The snowflakes and words are more complex and delicate, and I'd suggest good quality card-stock. 100gsm worked well for me, but you do need to be sure of something that won't tear apart, and when cutting, keep the die near the centre of the cutting plate. The snowflakes would also be useful as a "negative" cut, but not the words.
janewilliams20: (Default)
Having made one envelope, I woke up thinking about dimensions, and paper wastage. 12x12 paper ain't cheap, and I don't like using a whole sheet on an envelope, especially with wastage.
First thought - could I get two envelopes (or indeed two anything) out of it? 6" across... go and look up the chart on the envelope punch board. That'll do a 3x4 card. Bit small.
All the paper size for all envelopes are square. (Which seems odd - I'll test out some long thin card shapes later). So, what's the biggest square I can get out of A4? 21cm, 8.25". Check that chart again. Oddly, it lists only dimensions, no marker saying "this one's A6". Marker added.... and that's the biggest card I can fit into an envelope made from A4 paper! A card made from half a sheet of A4, exactly! Happy!

janewilliams20: (Default)
My starter kit for my life as a Stampin' Up demonstrator has arrived. Time then, not to play with new toys and go SQUEEE!, but to test out the tools of my trade and do a fair, objective and coherent review.

I have punches, two sorts of stamps ("clear-mount" and "photo-polymer"), an envelope punch board, a silicone craft sheet (intended to be glue-resistant), a snowflake die that makes swivel cards, papers, ink pads, and pens. Those last three are all in the five new colours for this year.

First impressions of all of this are that my fellow demos are right in saying that Stampin' Up products are a cut above the norm.
The punches aren't just the normal "insert paper and press", they have locks that hold them closed when not in use.
The ink pads don't just have lids that you pull off (and that fall off), they have a sort of slide and seal mechanism. No clear lid to let you see what's inside, but a nice label on the top, in the ink colour, giving the name. What's more, if you want to store them on edge and see the names from the side, there's a peel-off label supplied that you can apply whereever you like - it'll fit on either of the ends.
The stamps, both sorts, come in a DVD-sized case, with labels giving the name, and pictures of what's in the set.

So far I've played with the envelope punch board. It has a chart (in inches and cm) listing the card sizes you might want to make an envelope for, and the size of paper each will require. Looking this up for the 6x6 card I had in mind, I realised why their "envelope paper" is 12x12 - 9.5x9.5 is a lot bigger than A4. The instructions are nice and simple, everything works easily, and you end up with a nice envelope with all corners rounded, and overlap for gluing that's just the right size for a tape dispenser.

While producing that bit of 9.5x9.5, I realised why my fellow demos had recommended the Stampin' Up Trimmer, rather than my fairly standard guillotine.  See that extending ruler? That's what I needed. Next order, I'll be getting one of them.



janewilliams20: (Default)
Yesterday, instead of the usual MIND social, there was a MIND Council meeting, with a suggestion that I might like to go along as a "service user" rep for Biggleswade. So I got in the car, set up the sat-nav, did a 30-min drive to a place I'd never been to, and attended a meeting of 30-40 people, most of whom I'd never met. I did the round-the-table intro without a problem. In coffee break, one of the actual real staff from Biggleswade suggested that I might like to give the report to the group on how Biggleswade were doing.Who, me? Yeah, all right then.
Not that I had much idea what to say.... so I listened to what other groups reported on, noted interesting differences, jotted down a few illegible reminder notes, and gave mini presentation as requested. Both staff members present agreed that I hadn't missed any points. No panic, no stuttering, no more nerves than might be considered normal for someone asked to do that at short notice. We agree that it's time for me to move on from being a "service user" to being a volunteer, complete with training and resulting qualifications - though I'd stay a user at Biggleswade, and a volunteer at some other centre (have car, will travel).

Today, I got a reminder that the local Green Party were meeting for lunch at the Stratton. So I went there (local, but never been inside before) and joined a group of people who again I'd never met before, and chatted, and came up with ideas, and generally networked. Again, no problems at all.

That's right, no problems. Not just problems, plus methods of handling those problems, but nothing there that needed handling. It wasn't the drugs covering it, either, I've been cutting down, and for the MIND meeting, I hadn't had any for three days.


janewilliams20: (Default)
 Up at 5 to drive the already-loaded car round to the car boot sale. Last time we did this, I froze to the extent of buying an extra coat and hat from other stalls, so this time I was in walking boots (found at the mack of the garage and miraculously, they fit!), fleece, extra fleece gilet, and had an extra coat, hat and gloves, in the car. So, of course,  it was a beautiful sunny day.
The G&M growers site has the advantage of being next to a duck pond, so there may be ducks. I wasn't expecting the groups flying over, nor the skeins of geese (mostly Canada), nor the house martins or swifts, and certainly not the magnificent views of a red kite hunting directly over the stalls. If only I'd had a camera....
I managed to walk round the complete area, all rows, and without a stick. Those supportive boots made quite a difference.

Slow start, but we ended up making £90 or so - it's being saved as "holiday money". I may have been the only person there to manage to sell all the loom bands I'd taken with me, and I managed my first ever sale as a professional crafter! I have sold a card! Having had feedback from the last time about what people wanted, I'd adjusted the range on offer, simply by using up oddments from other cards I'd made recently, and one of the last ones, put together at about 1am, was what went. "It's different," said the happy customer - yes, my cards are.

Onward to put things away, and start research for the latest card commissioned. I'll do a few that meet the criteria, giving me more spares for sale, plus running off all the ones I was asked for today and didn't have. Also, I want a proper display/storage box for them. I got it half-way designed while I was there (wandering around stalls looking at the competition), and came up with some other ideas for things I could make - things that other people might have been selling if their presentation had been better. Sorry, but showcasing your output by screwing it up at the bottom of a dirty box labelled "all items 10p" is not good marketing.

janewilliams20: (Default)
Well, maybe not the next to start, or to finish, but the next to look into. I need teaching qualifications, but I also need something at "level 3" in the subject I intend to teach. Which is crafts (but not art) in general, particularly those that the student can carry on with without needing expensive equipment.

On advice from the WEA tutor I'm learning from at the moment, it'll be a City & Guilds Creative Techniques (7113).
It's a modular course, so I can pick and choose to some extent, assuming I can find places that teach the module I want. Some will be simple proof that yes, I can do this, others will improve my knowledge, one or two will be picked just because I'm pretty sure I can whizz through them in no time (web site design?), and one or two look like incredibly useful information about how to run a small craft business.
It seems that a lot can be done as distance learning, or even completely online, which will make life far easier.

Space2Create look like good people, aiming at doing exactly what I want.
WSTA do some distance learning courses - textiles and embroidery. Possibly a little more specialist than I'd want, but well worth a look.

janewilliams20: (Default)



Your
Ultimate Roleplaying Purity Score
CategoryYour ScoreAverage
Hacklust64.15%
Enjoys the occasional head-lopping
53.8%
Sensitive Roleplaying32.91%
All the game's your stage
54.9%
GM Experience31.88%
Closer to a novel than to a campaign
69.3%
Systems Knowledge93.64%
Played in a couple of campaigns
90.4%
Livin' La Vida Dorka33.33%
Carries dice in pocket 'just in case'
63.4%
You are 54.72% pure
Average Score: 68.9%




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janewilliams20

June 2016

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