Friday, 30 April 2010

Farewell, little fella

Dear blog friends,

I have some sad news to share with you. Today, quite suddenly and unexpectedly, The Hamster died. He'd seemed completely fine yesterday, full of character, eating as normal, trying to escape as normal, but this afternoon I found a sad little heap in the corner of his cage.

Farewell, little Smoky. We'll miss you, and we'll always remember what a fun character and bundle of cuteness you were. RIP xx

Those Wordles!

OK, several people were asking questions about Wordles after my post yesterday; I don't claim to be an expert by any means but I'm quite happy to explain how I do them for the benefit of anyone who's interested! :-) (Please note though that I use Blogger so certain steps and images are specific to that.)

So, I go to the Wordle website and click on Create. My blog address goes into the second box.

When I first tried to create Wordles, I'd click on Submit and then I'd just get a blank screen! It turned out I didn't have the most up-to-date version of Java, so when I'd downloaded that I was fine :-)

The Wordle might start off looking something like this:

Next then I change the Font, Layout and Color settings to my liking. If they're all set and there's still something I don't like about the Wordle (an unfortunate juxtaposition of words, perhaps!) then I can just click Layout -> Re-layout with current settings. (In practice I don't do this with my blog Wordles, I like to just see what happens with them!)

Once I've done all this, I scroll down slightly so the whole Wordle is visible on my screen, and I get a 'screen grab'. If you haven't come across this term before, it just means a copy of everything on your screen at that point - all the images above are screen grabs. To get one you need to find a key called Print Screen (mine says Prt Sc for short). I find that holding down Ctrl and hitting Prt Sc works to get the image copied to the clipboard, but I understand that for different computers you may need Shift and Prt Sc, or maybe Alt and Prt Sc, or even Fn and Prt Sc... (If you know of another way then please mention it in the Comments as it may help someone, thank you!)

Next up I copy the screen grab to a new Paint document, save it as a JPEG, and then use my usual picture-editing software to crop out the bits I don't need. For some reason copying straight into my picture-editing software is a faff, you may well find you can do it without any difficulty and cut out that step. After cropping I end up with an image of about 835 pixels wide, which I then display at X-Large size here on my blog!

So, that's how I create my Wordles. I hope it answers some of your questions. If anything I've said isn't clear, do please ask about it in the comments and I'll do my best to help!

Just one final thing. Be warned, these Wordles are addictive..... ;-)

111 of 365

The booking form for The Girl's birthday party, together with the receipts that secured the booking!

By April 21st I was able to try some 'real' food again - I made a simple soup (based on that we'd had in Maramures) by cooking vermicelli pasta and a few pieces of carrot in chicken stock:

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Weekly Wordle: 17 of 52

I'm most concerned to see 'another porridge service scrapped', it's enough to encourage a 'blossoming swear' in anyone! I think the 'Girl's Club' might be more than 'just games' though. I approve of 'work children'... Though 'often children part roast' might be going too far! I see a 'ready made book' in there, a 'children's author', some 'coffee giving', and a 'beef pudding', not sure about the last! And I look forward to a 'get together' with a good friend this weekend - we plan to 'make pages'. There may be a 'day's cookies' and even 'soon chocolate' :-)

I make no comment on the 'two secrets'... ;-)

110 of 365

I was still feeling pretty rough on 20th April so had a quiet day; I managed to visit a few blogs and read a bit of this book though. It's the first in a trilogy about the journey taken by the author when he was 18 and took it into his head to walk from Rotterdam to Constantinople (as it was then - this took place in 1933). It's a fascinating glimpse into a world between the wars; in particular, his journey through Germany during a time when the Nazis were starting to take hold is of great interest. I finished book one that evening and made a start on book two (which covers Hungary and Romania) the following day. Sadly book three has not yet been written and as the author is now in his 90s it seems unlikely to ever make it into print.

I was managing to eat a little bit by now - a few apple pieces, and later a bit of dry toast.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Another &*$%£^!@ confession!

I think I've mentioned before that I don't swear?

Swearing just isn't part of my daily vocabulary. That doesn't mean I NEVER swear - pain or extreme stress can induce a word or two, though not in front of The Children. Or in front of anyone else, really. And I'd prefer not to do it even then. I figured this layout told both sides of that story - plus it used up various giant punctuation brads that I hadn't yet found another use for!

I think that'll be the last confession for my I Have To Confess project - that doesn't mean I don't have any more deep dark secrets, but I'm not sure any more of them are fit for sharing in public.... ;-)

109 of 365

On April 19th I was poorly sick :-( I spent the day in bed feeling rotten and not giving any thought to taking photos, so this was taken retrospectively to represent the day!

And the only thing I managed to eat or drink all day was some water...

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Scrap Your Day: 4 of 12 (the day)

Um. Haven't actually scrapped the photos from March yet, but I've ordered some more printer ink so I can print them off together with these and make both pages at once.... Here's a glimpse into my day on April 25th!

First up I put the dishwasher on (having forgotten to do so the evening before), then made our usual Sunday breakfast of porridge. There are two saucepans because I like mine with just oats and water, but The Family prefers to have milk and sugar in theirs.

Had my porridge (oops, made it very thick!) and a cup of tea for my breakfast.

Off to church, past the beautiful blossoming trees! First we went to the hall to get ready the resources and snacks for the children's groups - this is part of our role as co-ordinators of Sunday Club.

Then over to church for the first part of the service, during which we had to give a brief verbal report about the children's work as part of the annual meeting. The children go to their groups after the first 15 minutes or so of the service; this week I stepped in as a helper when one of the leaders on duty couldn't make it. We learnt about Samson.

Because of the meeting we also arranged children's activities for after our usual session, including a drumming workshop for a group of the older ones and a Veggie Tales video for younger children (there was also football outside but I didn't go anywhere near that!!)

I managed to grab a quick cup of coffee too:

On the way home I picked up a few items of shopping, including newspaper, yogurt, and a fresh crusty loaf for lunch.

Lunch was a piece of the bread with pate and some salad, and another cup of coffee.

I'd missed the sermon in church because of helping with Sunday Club but I knew it had been about Philippians 2:1-11 so I did read the passage at least.

After lunch I made some orange and cranberry granola and then settled down to some photo-editing, uploading a layout to the Something From Almost Nothing class forum and composing a blog post while the granola cooked.

The granola was ready now. (Note to self: there's a difference between greaseproof paper and non-stick baking parchment. Check the packaging...)

Then I started preparing the roast dinner.

The Hamster was very pleased to get some trimmings of carrot and broccoli!

I had what was left of a carton of cranberry, blueberry and cherry smoothie then put the dishwasher on again (The Doctor had emptied it in between times).

I took my monthly photo of the trees near our house. Lovely to see some blossoms now!

I did a bit of online shopping, then stir-fried some beef, ginger, garlic, carrot and broccoli in preparation for the next day's packed lunch.

Dinner was ready now: beef, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, carrots, broccoli, spinach and gravy, and I had a few grapes for pudding.

After dinner I made a scrapbook layout (look out for it on my blog tomorrow) and then did a bit of work to finish my preparation for a science lesson the next day.

The Children in bed and out of the way, I bought and downloaded the games that they were giving each other for The Girl's birthday (we have a tradition that the birthday child gives a gift to their sibling, too). I printed off graphics from the games and put them in envelopes so The Children had something to open. I also wrote The Girl's birthday card, put up some bunting and finally got round to wrapping her gift!

I finished putting my own packed lunch together and assembled the various bits and pieces for The Children's.

I also got the equipment and ingredients ready for my breakfast banana, honey and oat smoothie, to save time in the morning!

Then I had some orange hot chocolate, with a couple of cranberry and orange cookies...

...while watching QI with The Doctor.

I also flicked through the day's newspapers and read a few pages of my current book, Between the Woods and the Water by Patrick Leigh Fermor. (I often read in front of the TV!)

Really tired now, so I got my outfit ready for the next day and set the alarm then went to bed...

Hoping to get this one - AND March - scrapped soon!!

I must also say a big thanks to all of you for your kind comments and congratulations on my win yesterday :-) I certainly hope to be showing you some more digi layouts very soon! xx