Having Fun with Fusing Beads (Hama/Perler/Magic)

Image

Sorting little mans craft box and found these (£6.99 at Sainsbury’s) – so thought I would have a play…. then inspiration struck, have been looking at ways to liven up my scaffold piercing and beads are used in jewellry – bingo! New adornment.

Image

Next it was over to Pinterest to search for inspiration – if you search Hama Beads or Perla Beads there are lots of ideas to inspire you. Unfortunately the boards that came with the kit are only 15 x 15 and the designs I liked (and pinned) are too big.

So ‘Being Sharon Greenwood’ I decided to have a go at designing my own and this is what I came up with:  A Roller Derby Quad Skate.

Image

Ta Dar – the finished project – not bad for a first attempt.

Image

My Flamin Roller Derby Skate, the team I skate with is called Code Red and our branding is flames, and this is modelled on my own Riedell Dash skates with Poison wheels.

Why not come over and find out more about Roller Derby and like my team at http://www.facebook.com/coderedrollerderby

Thanks
Sharon

 

Pinterest should come with a risk of Addiction Warning.

Image

Image

A few months ago I discovered Pinterest, this website has been described as “the new Google”, “like getting a new magazine in the post everyday” and as “electronic hoarding” – well I use google as my preferred search engine, love reading magazines,  and have subscriptions to cooking, women’s and gossip mags land on my doorstep weekly, and I am a hoarder, so I guess this is why I like this site so much.

Now just in case you are not aware of the Pinterest phenomenon it is an online pin board/notice board where you can save and share, well anything and everything, and there are a lot of categories to browse through. Now as the name implies you ‘pin your interests’ and it is a ‘visual’ site, it uses images, in a simple format and layout so that images that appeal to you capture your attention. There is an option to add a description of up to 500 characters to an image, but I rarely see anyone using the full capacity.

pinterestpage

Now I love coffee table books, recipe books, and in general any media that shows me ‘images’ of the outcome. It is said that “a picture is worth a 1000 words” and it always amazes me how  our brains, just by viewing an image can quickly take in so much detail and content – it takes seconds, whereas reading a paragraph of information takes longer and (for me anyway) is not always as interesting. If a picture appeals to you, your eyes are drawn to it, whereas words on a page are only words until you make an effort to read them.

One of the things I like about this site is that you can save from most websites (apart from Facebook), you can upload your own stuff, browse other peoples ‘pins’, follow boards, follow individuals and repin other peoples ideas to your boards – all with the click of a button. Pinterest is not just for individuals, you will also find popular magazines, brands and business have boards too.  It is a place to store (albeit publicly) your ideas, wishes and dreams.

My favourite things to pin are recipes, however  I have boards relating to all areas of my life, fun ideas for little one,  things I think are Good Ideas, things that  are Useful to Know and 44 others. I am working through my browser bookmarks at the moment and adding them to the applicable board, so much easier to find what I am lookng for by scanning images, than going through a 40 long list of drop down folders and around 900 bookmarks.

pinterest_saidnooneever

I currently have 47 boards, have pinned 933 ideas, and have 71 people following my pins. I scan my main page and those I am following every couple of days, and if I am on a website and something catches my eye I will pin it, a lot of websites now have a button for you to pin directly, but you can add a ‘pin it’ button to your tool bar which is a really handy tool. I even follow links in subscribed foodie emails now as I have a place to store the recipes without adding more to my browser or having to log into each different websites ‘My recipe folder’. Its great when I am inspired by something or have an idea for a project that I can just find the method or solution for online and save it to a board for future reference.

pinterest_myprofile

So you know that I check out the site everyday, and have pinned 933 items, so how many of these have I actually done? Well I guess around 20, mostly recipes, which isn’t too bad – hubby has loved a change from my usual repertoire of dishes, and little man has enjoyed trying new crafts and games that I had never heard of before finding Pinterest, and I have had fun pinning and planning, I know that I will never cook all the 93 recipes in ‘food glorious food or bake all the cakes in ‘Let Them eat cake‘ but the ideas are there if I fancy trying something different, and I have ordered some craft supplies to make some decorations for Valentines this year, and have printed off the instructions for a sock monkey and a memory bear, things I would not have thought about doing before becoming a pinner.

pinterest_iactuallydonesomething

If you are a fellow pinner enjoy my boards and if not I hope I have created enough interest for you to go an have a look, so go on and have a go – just click here – but be warned, if you are a hoarder, read lots of magazines and use the internet rather than the library to search out information, you are likely to become addicted.

Happy Pinning
Sharon x

gonepinning

facebook

 If you are DZ101er, a blogger, or just interested come and ‘like’ my social page on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/SharonsSocialPortal

Day 101 – January 2013 – 977 days left, 7% Complete

Well here we are, nearing the end of January and as I did not do a resolution but 101 instead, I can actually say I am keeping up my end of the bargain. So how has my 101 been going.  Well deciding my first 67 of 101 was not too bad, I like lists, and had a mental list of things that I wanted or planned to do, however, I never really got on with anything on this ‘mental’ list because my other lists always got in the way – as you can probably tell I am a list person. For the remaining 34 of 101 I looked at other 101 lists, on Day Zero and on Blog sites, and also made a list of ‘things’ I should be making an effort to do – mainly related to my 4 year old son. So pretty soon I had my list, and a print out in my hand. Actually having it in black and white and for myself and others to see has given me the motivation I needed to actually achieve some other things.

 january_list

OK, so the challenge is to complete 101 preset tasks in 1001 days, and the criteria is “Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).” So I sat down with my print out to ‘make a plan’ and that is when I realised that some of my tasks where not specific enough, some would cost me a small fortune, and some needed time frames added. So a few were amended, realistically I cannot afford to put £2 in a pot every time I complete a task, this month alone I have completed 9, so have reduced this to 50p, £4.50 is a lot more manageable than £18 and I will still have £500 when I finish my tasks. Setting a good time frame is a must too, I read somewhere that if you do something for 2 weeks it becomes a habit, and as I want some of these tasks to become habit they now have a two week time frame. (For my own personal interest I am going to do my best to cost up how much doing my 101 has taken).

So what have I completed:

Create a Day Zero Account – some would say that this should not be a task as you have to ‘do it’ to ‘do it’. That may be the case but I read about 101 on a blog and started making a list to see how difficult it would be to find 101 things and was dithering whether or not to sign up, putting it on my list reinforced for me that I was going to do this.
Cost: Time Free

Find 101 things to put on my list – again you have to ‘do it’ to ‘do it’ but finding 101 meaningful things to do is not actually that easy, I could only come up with 67 of my own, and then this was added to the list as it was a ‘task’ that required me to do some work.
Cost: Time and Brain Power Free

Make a Family Memory Jar – this is a relatively easy and fun thing to do, and I had thought about doing one before but never got round to it, so we now have a 2013 memory jar, with a few things in already, and I really hope I can keep this going every year now so that I can put them away as time capsules for my little boy.
Cost: Pennies as used stuff I already had lying around. Free

Memory Jar

Create a blog – you are reading it. I had wanted to blog for a while, as love reading other peoples, but not sure if I really had anything to share. In the past I had a couple of false starts creating blogs, I would create blog, publish one thing and then forget about it or have nothing to say. Now I have to find something to say as it also ties in with another of my tasks which is to publish 30 blog pieces.
Cost: Time (wordpress free blog) Free

Make a inspirational quote into a piece of home decor/art – have always wanted to do a funky ‘family rules’ for my kitchen and over the years had saved lots of images onto my hard drive of them, so I took all my favourite bits, put them into a word document, made it bright and funky and then printed it out. I had an old picture frame so I cleaned this up, used some spotty wrapping paper as backing and then cut out my rules and popped them in.
Cost: Pennies as used stuff I already had lying around. Free

Family Rules

See if I can sign up someone to day zero: I thought this would be quite hard, as it is quite a challenge to take on, but I posted on Facebook about mine and a friend saw the post, took a look at the day zero site and signed up.
Cost: Time Free

Learn how to Create an ebook: I love my kindle, and love all the free eBooks I have been given and was curious how to go about creating one, so set myself this as a challenge. It took a lot of research and reading, and hours to find the right (free) software, conversion tools etc but I could now confidently create an eBook that would work for kindle and other eReaders.
Cost: Lots of time Free


Coming soon to Kindle
eBook Cover

 

Buy Martha Stewarts Encylopedia of Crafts: Yep this is an odd one for a 101 list. This has been on my wish list for about 3 years now, but as I am not really a crafter and just wanted it for ideas and inspiration to make me into one, I rarely buy books anymore especially not coffee table ones so it was never at the top of my frivolous shopping list.  Am glad I have finally got around to getting it as it is a beautiful book with some lovely ideas and inspiration.
Cost: £12.99 £

Invite F and N to Dinner: I often feel that I don’t spend enough quality time with friends, and have been meaning to invite F and N over for a while but never got around to it – putting it on my list means not putting it off any longer and an invite has been issued.
Cost: nothing for the invite but dinner will be £££.

Well that’s 9/101 and £4.50 for a the Jar this month, add the £12.99 for the book and we have a respectable £17.49 spent this month.

At this point in time I have 18 tasks marked as ‘work in progress’, these are tasks that have definite dates, e.g. Valentines, or where the task is a monthly or ongoing thing – two new recipes a month, read a book a month, A-Z movies, A-Z music – and I look forward to sharing the what, whys and how’s with you as I complete them.

Activities done towards ‘Work in Progress’ tasks:

Movies – The Hobbit, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Book – Your Heart Belongs to Me, Dean Koonz

Savoury Recipe – Garlic Dauphoniose Potato

garlicdauphinoise

Library image, mine was browner on top

 Sweet Recipe – Jammy Coconut Tarts (Essentials Magazine Clipping)

coconutjampies

Little Man Craft – Cloud Dough (Pinterest – http://pinterest.com/shazziegee/fun-for-little-one/)

charlieclouddough_january

dayzero

Find my list here: http://dayzeroproject.com/user/ShazzieGee/list/64563

facebook

If you are DZ101er, a blogger, or just interested come and ‘like’ my social page on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/SharonsSocialPortal

Roller Derby Part 3 – Roller Derby & Retail Therapy

If shopping was an Olympic sport, and not the mundane grocery type but the full on retail therapy type, then I would be a contender for a gold medal, especially if I was sponsored. When taking up a new sport, especially a full contact one, I needed to be prepared to spend some money, clubs do have loan kit that you can borrow until you decide to commit and buy your own (and I would recommend this), but from past experience I know that if I am borrowing kit I tend to drop out of the sport after a few weeks, and for me having my own gear is a sign of my committing myself to whatever I am doing. I am an ‘all or nothing’ type of girl and roller derby is an intensive and serious sport and I know that I am more likely to stick it out if I have spent money – the upside of this is that I have kit I feel comfortable in, that suits my style and it means I can SHOP and indulge my inner ‘Retail Demon’, the downside, I never have any money.

Image

I had already been recommended skates and hubby had kindly got them for me as an early Christmas present, I just went for some cheapish Anarchy Mayhems as OWG have those as spare kit and they would be good enough for learning to skate and passing my mini-skills, at which point I assume I will upgrade, and have already been virtual shopping and bookmarked some Super Grip Rock Flames in Purple (nom nom). But anyway, that is jumping the gun a bit, and it will be a while before I am ready to upgrade let alone have the cash to do so, but a girl can dream, and I have a birthday in July.

Anyway I digress so should get back on track (no pun intended). In reality you don’t really need that much kit to get started and some websites do some great ‘Fresh Meat Packs’ where everything is in for one price – so your basic kit will be:

Quad Skates
Knee/Arm Pads – (Aggressive skating)
Wrist Guards
Mouth Guard
Helmet
Toe Guards/Snouts

When you are a newbie, there are other optional extras you can get too, like knee gaskets to give extra protection and support, padded shorts, and of course you will want to buy a team t-shirt (I am so looking forward to rocking up to the pub in my OWG Tee) and going forward your full team kit and some scrim t-shirts. If you want to skate outside of training you will also need to invest in some outdoor wheels. Then there are all the ‘frivolous’ things you can buy, OK you don’t really need it, but for a shopaholic like me it is great fun finding things I like and then saving for them, or persuading darling hubby to treat me. My frivolous purchases have included no fear eyes for the back of my helmet, leg warmers, and more recently a lovely purple no fear 18″ suitcase for carting my gear around… and I still have a list of things that would be nice/fun to have.

Image

Now luckily for me I found roller derby in November, and up till that point did not have a Christmas list, so one suddenly appeared, and by donation the mother in law bought my pads and helmet, my hubby got me my skates and Father Christmas bought me a whole stocking of roller derby inspired gifts –  stripy tights, funky pants, a Workout DVD, an RD Book, a balance board and a skipping rope (apparently great for working on core stability).

Image

So for now I have everything I need, not everything I want, just everything I need and I will just keep on dreaming and  pinning all the lovely derby things I would like onto my Roller Derby board on Pinterest. http://pinterest.com/shazziegee/all-things-roller-derby/

Image

To finish off here are some Shopping Tips/Lessons Learnt:

* Always buy the best you can afford
* Ask your team what they like/recommend
* Special deals – ask your team and look on forums for any special deals (I got a half pricestarter pack of pads thanks to a link Pina Collide Her posted)
* Borrow different skates and Pads
* There are some good groups on Facebook where you can get advice/recommendations – try UK Derby Dialogue
* When it comes to mouth guards go for one like a potech dent™ – you will be able to talk and not have to keep emptying out spit.
* Google Shopping – enter the product into google search and then hit the ‘shopping’ tab – a great way to see who sells what you want and compare prices.
* Team Discount – ask your team manager as some teams have arranged discount with retailers.

I ordered most of my stuff online going for the lowest price seller for the product I wanted so ended up buying from different companies/stores. In all honesty they have all been good, quick delivery, no complaints or problems with the gear.

Coming soon, Part 4 – Training. 

Image

If you are DZ101er, a blogger, or just interested come and ‘like’ my social page on Facebook atP: http://www.facebook.com/SharonsSocialPortal 

Always have a PLAN B – and if not, make the most of what you have.

Well here we are, the first day of 2013, and last night the inspiration for this blog occurred.

 Here is my last Facebook status update for 2012.

Image

Here is the story behind the post.

 Plan A

This is the plan, and also a bit of a tradition. Having Scottish heritage, Hogmanay is a big event for my family and me. H is a superb host and an excellent cook and enjoys hosting our annual Hogmanay dinner, and I love being with H and her hubby S to bring the New Year in.

30th December: Head to big sisters (H), have a date night with hubby (J) while H looks after C.

31st December: have a leisurely day with sis – a little retail therapy, have a bath, do nails, get glammed up ready to see in the new year.

1st January – do nothing apart from eat, if you can find the room.

2nd January, think about heading home (this can be quite difficult as H and S make you so welcome and comfortable that you don’t want to go).

Well that was the plan, until H gets sick, and I mean really sick, H does not do sick, I have never known her to take a day off or cancel anything; she is a fighter and soldiers on, but not this time, whatever has got her, has got her good and hubby and I decide that we will leave her in peace and head home, so with a double check that she does not need anything (and her hubby S on standby) we jump in the car for the journey home, carrying a third of the pork shoulder that H was going to cook us for supper and a punnet of fresh raspberries. My sister has a very good heart, and was worried about those who had been invited (hubby and me and two other couples) so asked S to split the meat and give us each a portion to cook at home. I wish I could be that thoughtful when feeling that ill.

So J and I arrive home with little man C, who after hearing us talk about it for weeks, wants a Hogmanay Party … he is only 4 and this is the first time he has been aware of New Year, and Old Father Time and I would like to celebrate too, this will be my first ever New Year at home.  J and I just stare at each other, OK what do we do? We have very little food in the house (I don’t grocery shop for Christmas and New Year as we are away most of it) and NO PLAN B!

Do not despair, all is not lost – we have a shoulder of pork, raspberries, carrots, apples, onions and half a bag of Aunt Bessie Roast Potatoes … we also have a Co-op store around the corner. Ha ha, plan B is taking shape.

OK, I have never cooked a pork shoulder so first things first … Google Pork Shoulder Recipes, after looking at a few and realising that for each one I was a couple of ingredients missing I decided to do a combination of the recipes – herb combo from one, butter glaze from another, and apples from another … a new dish is born Sharon’s Caramelised Butter Pork and Vedg Roast – ok you can read caramelised as burnt if you want – with roast potatoes and carrots.
Image

Ready for the Oven

Image

Cooked and resting.

OK not much of a New Years Eve feast but it’s a start.

Now my favourite part of any meal is Dessert! Hubby suggested Eton mess as I always have cream and meringues in the pantry, and although I like it, I much prefer a chocolate dessert on a special occasion. So hubby kindly offered to go to the co-op and see if they had any of the gorgeous brandy profiteroles that they do, alas they didn’t, however, they did have a key lime cheesecake and hubby also bought a rather expensive bottle of Pinot Grigio to make up for the lack of chocolate (God I love that man)

CAM00367

Great we now have two courses, but no dining table as it is currently hosting a crafting project of J’s and now I am in the mood I want this to be special and different for C than a normal supper, and to be honest I really want to make an effort for and with myself too, so with 15 minutes on the oven timer before I have to put the potatoes in I jump in the shower and put my party dress on (no time to dry and straighten my hair) then back into the kitchen.

CAM00359

A delve in the fridge, looking for the carrots, unearths a small Camembert cheese, ha inspiration hits, and on investigation C’s snack box still contains some mini bread sticks – that will be our starter then. So bread sticks get poured into a bowl and the Camembert gets shoved in the oven.

CAM00340

I am on a roll so start hunting out anything that will make the table look special, I find a white table cloth in a drawer but on its own it looks to stark, not a problem, I bought a red linen effect table cloth for my Mums party a couple of weeks ago and cut a length off as it was too big for the table, its not in the best shape, but is sufficient enough to act as table runner for my impromptu dinner party. As a bonus I also find three lonely Christmas crackers left over from the party and some mini sparklers – crackers for the table, sparklers for the desserts – I am a happy girl.

CAM00339

OK what else do I need to make this table pretty, simple, a few wine glasses, a few baubles and a few tea lights, an idea inspired by the hours spent on Pinterest, put them together and you have a table centre – or in our case and off centre as little hands tend to grab.

CAM00338

We are ready to ‘rock and roll; dinner is served.

CAM00342

Well, I really feel like I achieved something – I managed to turn around what could have been a miserable evening with a take-a-way into a fun one, with a nice dinner (not as good as my sisters though) – what great way to end the year.

All it leaves is for me to say

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU

And just remember for every problem there is a solution, you just need to find it.

PS My big sister H taught me (nearly) everything I know, especially how to smile through pain or disappointment and more importantly how to make the best of your  circumstances and what you have. Get well soon H, I love you.

facebooklogo follow me on facebook:-   http://www.facebook.com/SharonsSocialPortal