Thursday, 30 September 2010

Urban Belles accordian fold + Winner of CD

The winner of the Polkadoodles CD has been drawn - as my sister is staying with me and doesn't craft at all, I have been furtively slipping out to get my daily fix of playing with paper. I had a lightbulb moment and set her the task of writing down all the entrants for the CD, cutting them up, putting them into a bowl and we had a ceremonial pulling out the name of the winner
Congratulations Cheryl, email me with your address and I will get your prize in the mail
Now on to today's card, which is an accordian fold. I used Martha Stewart paper, and the stamp is an Urban Belle by Kanban coloured with promarkers. The stamp is one of a set of 4 clear acrylic stamps available from QVC (UK)

the sentiment is one from a stamp swap, so I don't have the name of the maker

Flowers are Prima and the sentiment oval is by Craftwork Cards

Promarkers used:
skin blush and pale pink
clothes denim blue and powder blue, tan and sandstone
Hair buttercup and primrose

To make an accordian fold card, take a piece of 11 x 5 1/2" cardstock
Place the long edge on your scoring board
Starting at the left hand side, score at 2 1/4"
then score at 4 1/2"
then score at 7"
then score at 8 1/2"
Fold into valley or mountain folds, following the picture of my card as a guide

See you tomorrow

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Live Simply - Rabbit Card

I am a bit addicted to these Lite Cricut cartridges, yes they are expensive ($40 for 50 images), yes, it's irritating that they are only available at Walmart in the USA so you can never find them on sale, but the layering on the ones I have is superb. I couldn't resist picking up 'Live Simply', here's what I made with it as soon as it came out of the box.
The rabbit was cut at 4", and the flowers at 3 1/2". The double sided red check paper is from a pack I picked up at Tuesday Morning, sentiment by Craftwork Cards

I rather like the effect of the reversed checks, and how it looks on a black background

Mike has arrived in the US. His plane landed on Sunday evening, and of course I went to pick him up, a bit nervously, as last time I went to the airport I got on the wrong road and had to drive across a 15 mile long bridge to turn around. This time I got there okay, aided by my sister who is better at reading American signs than understanding the spoken word. They have a system in Tampa airport when you are picking someone up that you can only park for about a nano-second, after which a fierce looking chap starts blowing a whistle and making frantic 'move out of here' signals with his arms.
So because I didn't want to take the scenic route again, I was early, missed the turn for the short stay car park, so drove very very slowly past the gesticulating man, round the block, slow down..................... stop and ignore the whistle, jumping in mock surprise when he bustles up to the window and tells me to move on. 'My husbands plane has landed' I plead 'he will be out in a minute'. 'Where from?' he barked, then pointed to a huge display that I had totally overlooked telling us that the plane wouldn't land for another ten minutes. 'Move on' ordered the bossy little man. By this time I had been around the block so often I was getting giddy, and I perfected a way of driving that meant I only moved at about an inch every minute. Clever stuff. So I out-witted the whistling man by taking about 20 minutes to drive a few yards. Every time he whistled and waved his arms about I was able to demonstrate that I was moving. In the end he got fed up and went to harass someone else. Small victories are so sweet............

Monday, 27 September 2010

Miss You............

A sweet little offering today, made with a Lili of the Valley stamp. The X stitches were done with my Paper Pizazz stitching template, the scallops were cut from a sheet of DCWV paper, tiny letters are by Making Memories, and the big letters are Thickers by American Crafts.

Promarkers used:
Skin blush and soft peach
grass - pear green and marsh green
clothes - marine blue
log and shadows - tan, warm grey 4, warm grey 3, ice grey 1
Talking of missing people, I saw some cute Halloween window clings in the dollar bin at Target, which I thought Kiki would love. So I popped them in a padded envelope with a card, and trundled down to the post office. It cost $7 to mail something that cost a dollar!
My sister is still having a hard time with the American accents. As I have never had the slightest problem, I just can't understand it. It got worse in the stores today, the assistant serving her couldn't understand her either. So there they were, both appealing to me 'what did she say?' I think I may apply for a job as interpreter for the United Nations - I am getting plenty of practice.
There is still time to pop your name under the Polkadoodles post (scroll down) to win the CD

Friday, 24 September 2010


Today sees a brand new challenge over at Polkadoodles - a card or project with a hidden element. My hidden element is that you can guess what is inside the box I made. In my imagination it is filled with skeins of luscious silks in glowing colours, in real life it would hold a tangle of unravelled cotton reels and a split packet of pins.
I used an MDF BOX (from Hobbycraft) and painted it with antique white acrylic paint.
All the papers and elements were printed from the Sundae of Seasons CD

the scissors were printed out then cut around, I inserted a little brad which makes them look real
I twisted some real cotton around the paper cotton reels

Want to win a Polkadoodles CD? They are so easy to use and full of really fabulous images, you can print them out as shaped cards, or use the elements on their own. Coordinating papers, tags, you've got it all
Nicky is going to be sponsoring the blog on a monthly basis, so each month you will have a chance to win some scrumptious Polkadoodle goodies, and I am delighted to be able to share some of these great products with all my lovely blog followers.

Just some of the decoupage elements/shaped cards you will find on the CD

To see projects made with the CD, pop over to the inspiration gallery at Polkadoodles, and don't forget that there is free shipping worldwide, and no added sales tax. The CD's cost around $25 (with no tax or shipping) at today's exchange rate
To be in with a chance, just leave your name on this post, making sure I can identify you if you win. I will draw a winner by on Wednesday 29th September. Enter any time before noon EST (5 p.m GMT) on that day.
Email subscribers, to enter, click on the going-buggy link at the bottom of your email, to leave your name
Good luck

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Doily Card - Cindy Loo

Here's one of two doily cards I made for Scrappy-go-Lucky today, head over there to see my 'to a deer friend' doily card
This one uses the little bird on a branch doily, and the circle border is from the same cartridge. The doily was cut at 3 1/2", and the border at 1 1/2"
Background paper by Making Memories, sentiment circle by Craftwork Cards - huge congrats to Sue, the owner and designer for Craftwork Cards who has just won a businesswoman of the year award. Congrats Sue, it will be a visit to Buckingham Palace next.............

Well, we are back from our trip, we stayed around beautiful St Augustine, after deciding that the drive up to Savannah would be a bit of a jaunt. We only got lost three times, and I discovered two new things:
1. My sister cannot understand American accents at all. I don't know what it is with her, but she keeps making the most inappropriate replies to questions. So a server in a restaurant, seeing her plate sitting there empty says 'All done?' 'No thank you' she replies, smiling sweetly at him. 'Okay' he mutters, walking away shaking his head slightly. Turns out she thought he was asking her if she wanted more. This went on over and over again, I had to act as translator everywhere we went, although of course we did giggle about it!
2. I have discovered that I would make a hopeless tour guide. We bought tickets for one of these trolley bus things that you hop on and off, to see the sights. One guide kept imploring us to be careful not to hang any of our body parts out of the trolleybus! I quickly realised that I would have no patience whatsoever with Hank and Doris, who dithered around 'shall we get off here honey' dangling a body part or two off the side of the bus so that the driver couldn't move on. I would have yelled 'get your body parts off my flippin bus'
I would also get very very very bored of telling everyone the same old stories over and over again, dozens of time a day. I would be fired very quickly, for trying to rewrite history. I just know that I would not be able to resist adding some colourful anecdotes, salacious details, and scandalous gossip - none of them true of course, but it could make the day quite enjoyable for everyone - maybe even Hank and Doris would have folded their body parts back in to hear more.
See you tomorrow

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Under the Weather

Here's a get well card made with the new Sundae of Seasons cartridge by Polkadoodles. All papers and elements of the card were printed from the CD, apart from the sentiment, which is by MFT stamps.
Some hot news for you, Nikky, the owner and designer of Polkadoodles is going to sponsor Going Buggy, and give me goodies to give away to you each month. How great is that? The first giveaway will be announced on Friday, and you won't have to jump through hoops to win either. So be sure to check back and see..............

I splashed blobs of glossy accents quite randomly, to look like raindrops. and made the wellies nice and shiny too....

Still travelling - back home later today

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

In the Doghouse

Here's another decoupage doggie, made with a Nitwit decoupage sheet. I used a kraft card base, the big scallops are cut with the Cricut from Cindy Loo, and the pattern paper is Martha Stewart. The stitching was done by pen, using a template that my friend Joan sent me. The template is called Easy Stitches, and is by Paper Pizazz - it's a great way of doing faux stitching if, like me, you are too lazy to get your machine out, or simply don't sew.

I like knotted twine on cards, especially those cards which are unisex.

Still on my travels, so will chat more later in the week.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Friends Forever

Here's a card made with a sweet little image from Lili of the Valley, coloured with Promarkers. I embossed a background piece with a cuttlebug frame. The rosette is a 1/2" strip of accordian pleated paper and the sentiment is by Craftwork Cards

I added a bit of bling to the flowers. I coloured the image on the plane, and forgot to make a note of the Promarker colours used, sorry.

My sister and I (oh, that makes me sound like the queen!) are off to St Augustine for a couple of days, possibly heading up to Savannah as well. I have to do the driving, and she is even worse than me at map reading, if such a thing is possible, so expect a tale or two later in the week.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Sundae of Seasons - New Polkadoodles CD

There's a brand new Polkadoodles CD just come out, it's got images and papers representing the four seasons, and is simply fabulous.
This card is one of the samples I sent to Nikky, the owner and designer of Polkadoodles CD's, and was taken from the Spring collection
every single element on the card is taken from the CD apart from the raffia the giant buttons were printed onto cardstock, punched out, and threaded with raffia

I am probably going to destroy any credibility I may have as an intelligent, computer savvy person by telling you the hassle I had when I came back here to the USA on monday, but hey, who cares about reputations?
We have a broadband connection here, which we are able to 'switch off' when we are back in the UK, which saves a few dollars. I had carted my laptop over from the UK, plugged everything in.............nothing, no internet connection. I called our service provider, they talked me through all sorts of complicated stuff. Still nothing. So they arranged for a service call the next day.
Later that day, as I pondered about the complexity of life in this day and age, a thought struck me - shouldn't there be a little lead from the box to the computer? Of course there should, and there it was, hiding on the floor. I plugged it in, instant access, and just in time to cancel the service call.
So next I switched on the TV, no picture, just a big blue screen with the words 'this cable box is not functional. Call
for assistance'. I always do as I am told, so I called for assistance, and got a very nice woman, who, once we had got past the pleasantries (I LOVE your accent, it's so cute.....) did all sorts of stuff at her end. 'Do you have a picture now?' 'No'........ more fiddling around, still no picture. This went on, and on, and on. She was perplexed, she was bemused, then she had a sudden thought. 'Is there a green light on the box?' 'No'
She was very nice, and tried really hard to sound truthful when she promised that she wouldn't tell everyone about the idiot woman from the UK who called for technical support without switching on the box. Of course she will, I would be the first one to publish it for all the world to see

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Computer Game Card

It was Father's Day recently in Australia, and Mandy from Scrappy-go-Lucky asked me to make a couple of male cards.
You can't get simpler than this. The background paper is from the Generation Tech stack by DCWV, the pacman is a circle cut at 2.5" using George cricut cartridge. I doodled around the edge, and added a googly eye. The little circles were punched, and the sentiment was cut from the Designers Calender cartridge.
This would adapt for a birthday card of course

I am still getting unpacked as far as craft stuff goes, it's a funny feeling as I can't remember where anything lives, so I am a bit disorientated at the moment.
It will all come back to me soon enough.........

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Fun Card

I found this Inky Antics stamp, it made me laugh. I have a friend who likes to 'match' everything, she once went out dressed (in her mind) rather nattily, with a lot of black and shocking pink. She felt quite good, until she heard a small boy say to his mother
'doesn't that woman look ridiculous mum'
rapid deflation of shocking pink ego.........

So here I am, back in the USA. My sister has come out for a couple of weeks, we travelled together.
On the second leg of the journey (we flew to Newark, then on to Tampa), I was told that I had been upgraded to first class. So as we sat having a coffee in Newark, I bought two doughnuts and magnanimously handed them to my sister. 'These are for you to eat on the plane' I said kindly ' because I am in first class and will probably be dining on caviar and smoked salmon.....'
On the plane I spent the first half an hour trying to work the very complicated multi position chair. I didn't want to look like a person who is not used to travelling in first class, so I hid the instruction leaflet under a blanket and tried to fathom it out, furtively pressing buttons, the chair stayed stubbornly upright, although I could see others relaxing with their feet elevated on a fancy footrest. At this point, a rather camp chap in a navy blue apron sidled up, 'ah, here come the smoked salmon canapes' I thought. No such luck, he just wanted to tell me 'this is a beverage only flight madam, can I get you a beverage'
A cup of coffee appeared, and all of a sudden the doughnuts sitting in the back of the plane seemed quite appetising, so I went in search of my sister, on the pretence of seeing if she was okay, but really to steal a doughnut. Back in the seat, fortified by a few thousand calories, I renewed my attempts to recline my seat. This went on for two hours. As we made the final approach into Tampa airport I must have pressed some hidden button, and the seat became a sort of zig-zag bed, so there I was, with my legs sticking in the air at a rather unbecoming angle, navy apron man bustled up and hissed 'seats must be upright for landing madam'. So madam gave up all pretence of being a first class jet setter, and asked meekly for help.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Putting a spring in it....

So I found these little spring thingys by Papermania. They have an adhesive pad at each end

Then when I was buying some decoupage sheets (for a USA friend who has asked me to do some shopping for her) I saw this little dog decoupage (I don't usually use these sheets at all) and thought it would be a perfect way to try out my springs,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,so here he is, his head is mounted onto one of the springs, so he looks like one of those little nodding dogs people used to put in their cars.

The springs would be wonderful to use in explosion boxes, and I have a couple of those to make, so I will be playing around with that idea.

I am quite glad to be able to report a eccentric person story today, otherwise when I get back to Dunkin Donuts next week it looks as if all the ermmm eccentrics (I was going to say crazies, but that's not very nice is it?) are in the USA, and believe me, we have our fair share of them over here in the UK as well.
So there was a woman sitting on a bench in the centre of town, smartly dressed, with a lot of shopping bags. Her daughter (??, making an assumption here, she was the right sort of age) came up carrying a Poundland bag, from which she produced a plastic washing up bowl. She disappeared into Starbucks, and came out carrying the bowl, which appeared to be full of water. I watched in fascination as the older woman took off her shoes, and put her feet in the bowl. So there she was, sitting on a bench, soaking her feet, as happy as Larry. I had to leave, so I didn't get to see how she dried that takes a considerable amount of self assurance to sit there soaking whilst watching the world go by, so I felt a sneaking admiration for her. Me, I would hobble and crawl before having the nerve to do that. How about you? On the way home I mused about just how far this self-assured person would go. Would she whip out a nail clippers next and start cutting her toenails? Or maybe, nip into Boots for a bottle of nail varnish and give herself a quick pedicure? Or horror of horrors, start getting rid of the hard skin on her soles with one of those giant nail file things.

Polkadoodle Friday

A sketch challenge over at Polkadoodles today, I used the Creative Christmas CD and turned the sketch on it's side....
I really layered the flowers. The scalloped circle was cut using the Lacy Labels cricut cartridge at 5"
Having the sentiments all ready to print and cut, looking all layered, really saves time, but if you want, you can type in your own sentiment onto the labels

The house is littered with lists, I am packing up my craft supplies. Another job that I have to do before leaving is to change over my wardrobe from summer gear to winter. There is nothing more depressing than arriving home on a bitterly cold day and opening your wardrobe in search of something cozy and snuggly, to be faced with T shirts and flip flops!
See you tomorrow

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Quick card today

Here's a quick card I made with a freebie stamp given away by Creativity magazine, here in the UK. I used some papers from the DCWV All Dressed Up stack. I stamped the bags separately, coloured them, and popped them on with a foam pad. The sentiment circle is from Craftwork Cards

Promarkers used:
blush, soft peach, cocktail pink, pastel pink, fuschia, black, warm grey 5, shadow ice grey 1
Time to draw a veil over the sorry saga of the cruise. It was a repositioning cruise - the ship was sailing from the Caribbean where poor souls had been island hopping on it during the winter months, to the Mediterranean for the summer. What they didn't tell us was that the entertainment crew would be leaving the ship in Brazil, so for ten long lonely days we crossed an ocean with no shows or entertainment of any kind. As we got close to Tenerife, the weather changed and the sea got rough and choppy. Not many people went to dinner that night as the ship tossed and rolled. At 2.30 a.m the abandon ship siren sounded.
I leapt out of bed, people were screaming, a few were rushing down the corridor fumbling with their lifejackets, one woman was being sick in between screams. So after spending a minute or two deciding what to wear (people who know me well were not at all surprised to hear this....), we grabbed our lifejackets and made our way to our lifeboat station. We were halfway there when the tannoy pinged 'Oh dear' said the captain 'sorry about that folks, false alarm, please make your way back to your cabins'
We still had a week of this torture to get through, and spent all our time ashore in Tenerife searching desperately for a flight to get us home. We didn't manage it, and endured the rest of the time on board - by this time we had met some like-minded people and we all ganged up together to form a sort of protest group, so we spent many happy hours debating quite ridiculous ways that we could get our own back on the crew.......
Ah, home sweet home

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

WOYWW - My Promarker Storage Solution

Time for another 'What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday' - if you haven't checked it out before, be sure to hop over there, it really is great to nosey around other peoples work spaces without the danger of being arrested for loitering....... and check out Julia's blog at the same time, she is so funny and talented too.
I have spent the best part of two days getting my Promarker storage sorted out, I really needed a compact way of transporting them to the US when I fly back next week. I got the idea HERE - thanks so much Nicky.
So I set off in search of the CD box, I tried Curry's first. I was browsing the storage and a salesman came up to me. He watched as I opened boxes and peered inside, 'none of them are big enough' I said
'You have a big music collection then' he said, obviously impressed.
Well, no actually, a couple of Neil Diamond, some Billy Joel and a smattering of Michael Buble - if you are laughing, that means you are the same age as my kids!
So on to computer world where I found this little beauty
A professional DJ's CD case - I got respectful looks, and a few disbelieving ones too as I marched proudly out with my find..........

I printed out the excellent blank chart from the Passion for Promarkers blog - thanks girls,
and stuck that to the lid. The placement of the pens is in the exact order shown on the chart, you can get 7 markers in each sling file, and it would probably hold 9 slings on each side, but they would be a tight fit, so I stuck with 8.

I needed to identify the colours from the top, so I bought some 4mm sticky circles from Staples, coloured them with the appropriate ink and stuck them on. I had a feeling they would peel off, so I covered them with glossy accents, which acts as both a glue and a varnish......

My chart has a complicated sort of filing system, known only to me, basically the CD sleeves had numbers on them that I didn't notice until I was half way through, so some of the pinks are in sleeve 14 and so on................ The crossed out ones are the ones I use most often, for skin, hair and so on, I have ordered one of Letraset's wallets to take these. The greys are going to live in two of the little rubber thingies that Letraset sent me. I am lucky enough to have the complete set of Promarkers, so I am really pleased with my new storage. Edited to say I have had a couple of emails about storing the pens vertically, here is what Letraset have to say on the subject:

Regarding storage, Promarkers can be stored both vertically or horizontally. The ink molecules are so fine that ink is evenly distributed throughout the marker even when stored vertically

Well, I started, so I better carry on with the cruise saga. So on we sailed to the highlight of the cruise - Rio de Janeiro. We had booked to go on an excursion to visit the statue of Christ the Redeemer overlooking the city, and Copacobana and Ipanema beaches. The trouble was the oh-so-efficient cruise staff had forgotten to book coaches for the excursions. So we all milled aimlessly around the ship for an hour or so, then piled onto the coaches. You take a little railway up the mountain, unfortunately the oh-so-efficient cruise staff had forgotten that as well, and we didn't have tickets, so we had to hang around the foot of the mountain for almost two hours, by which time, it had started to rain. We eventually got to the top, to find the 30 metre tall statue shrouded in mist, honestly, you couldn't see it, I stubbed my toe on the base of the thing, peering through the fog. Of course the legendary views of Rio were non-existent as well. At one stage, the mists lifted momentarily, and there were joyful cries of 'ho, ha, ah' (think Japanese accents for those), and the clicking of a thousand cameras, until the mists shrouded us once more. We queued miserably for another hour for the railway to take us back down, and onto the coach, which drove at a hurtling pace past the beaches - oh, so that was, blink and you missed it
to be continued...................

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Mr Fixit.................

I needed to make a couple of male cards and found this little acrylic stamp set by Papermania UK hanging around. Papers are by Martha Stewart, the screw brads are from Oriental Trading in the USA. I put glossy accents on the paint cans so they are nice and shiny

Promarkers used
sandstone, tan and caramel
powder blue and denim blue
lime zest, poppy and grass
Ice grey 1 to shadow
Back to Brazil..............where was I? Ah yes, trying to get on board the dratted ship. I will gloss over the fact that when we set sail, our cabin sprang a leak, there was a lot of water coming in over the bed, not a great thing to happen when you are on an ocean. They couldn't move us until the morning, so we spend the first night, cold, damp and thinking Titanic type thoughts.
So we arrived in San Salvadore..........if you haven't been there, don't bother. The buses were rather amusing, I have never seen so many people hanging onto a bus, they clung like limpets onto windows, doors, and there were even some sitting on the roof. Apart from that, the most striking thing about the city was the number of dead dogs - they were everywhere. Honestly, everywhere you looked there was a poor deceased mutt lying in the gutter. We must have seen about 20 altogether. Not a great tourist attraction really. I have no idea if they were dead because some disease was striking them all down, or if they had just got fed up of living in San Salvadore and laid down to die. I have to say, that if I lived there I would probably have joined them............................... I do hope nobody from the San Salvadore tourist board is reading this!
to be continued.....

Monday, 6 September 2010

Sketch challenge for Craftwork Cards

Today sees the start of another sketch challenge over on Craftwork Cards, you will have to pop over there to see the sketch as I have been having computer problems, anyway, here is my offering
I used vintage rose papers, and cut the base card shape using two shapes from the Storybook cartridge welded together using my gypsy. I cut a 1 1/2" strip of pattern paper and accordian pleated it to make a rosette, and finished it with some card candy. If you have never heard of card candy, they are ingenious little domed circles of cardstock, that you stick on with a foam pad or silicone glue, and they look like perfectly coordinating brads, with none of the hassle of punching holes

Have you missed me? As I said, I have had computer problems and we have been babysitting in London this weekend, so crafting has had to take a back seat. I need to get my skates on to get stuff done this week though...........
A lot of you seemed to empathise with my ramblings about holiday packing, which made me think...............................did I ever tell you about the fateful cruise we went on a couple of years ago to Brazil? We set off in high spirits for a long long plane journey to Brazil. We arrived in Sao Paulo and were ushered into a huge embarkation hall, where we all milled around aimlessly for almost three hours whilst the cruise staff organised, or rather didn't organise, getting everyone on board. The place was stiflingly hot, there were no cool drinks, we were tired, it was misery. Eventually we got to the head of the queue, just behind a meek little man on his own
'Name?' barked the charming crew member
'Mr Jones, Roger Jones' he replied
They made a great play of flipping over papers, running their fingers down lists, and announced
'Sorry, you aren't booked on this cruise'
'WHAT?' he spluttered 'but I booked and paid for it a year ago'
They did more flipping and running of fingers
'ah yes, Mr Jones, here you are. Your wife is already in your cabin'
'I hope not' he replied 'she died ten years ago'
It set the tone for the rest of the cruise
to be continued........

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Floral Fantasy for Funky Hand

The first of the month always means a brand new challenge over at Get Funky. This month it was Kathy's turn to set the challenge, and chose
Floral Fantasy
She wants lots of dimension on the projects, hop over there and take a look at the truly fabulous creations that the design team have come up with
I used the Colour Me Happy CD, and printed the background paper directly onto a scalloped card base, I love doing this, it can be tricky making putting pattern papers onto these scalloped cards, but this works beautifully. The flowers were cut from one of the pattern papers, with punched circle centres, all put on with foam pads. The branch was cut in black at 4" from Wildcard with my Cricut, and the bird is a digi stamp from the CD. The sentiment is an old one I have had for years.

I coloured the bird with Promarkers to coordinate perfectly with the papers. This is a BIG card - 8" x 8", it was one of the samples I sent off to Anice for her show on Create and Craft TV, and I have learnt that small cards just get lost when the presenter is flipping through them. Why not join in with the challenge? As always, there is a £20 ($30) Funky Hand voucher for the winner.

A paragraph in the paper yesterday caught my eye. Apparently a team of researchers from some university have been doing some research for the past year, and have published their results. Women do not wear all the clothes they pack for a holiday
That's it? They have been working for a year to come to that conclusion? Well, I could have saved them the trouble, and the taxpayers some money, next time, come to me. I have all the necessary information you need right at my fingertips.
However much I plan for a holiday, making endless lists, I never get it quite right. If I pack carefully chosen 'outfits', you can bet that at the last minute a wave of panic comes over me 'oh no, I am going to be overweight at check-in'
So I hurl various items out of the case. There, that's better. Except that when I get to my destination, I have the oddest mix of stuff you have ever seen. An orange skirt (looks fabulous with a tan and that pretty top, hmmm, the top seems to have been culled in the last minute panic). Two odd sandals - more victims of the cull. A green top that I have not worn, ever, because I have nothing that matches it. How did that get in there when vital stuff has gone missing? Will it go with the orange skirt? Well, if I want to be mistaken for a mobile traffic light it would I suppose.......................................and so it goes on.
So every year I read articles in newspapers and magazines about capsule holiday wardrobes. What planet are these people on? They reckon that all you need is a swimsuit, bikini and a silk sarong (handmade by a million silkworms in Outer Mongolia and a bargain at only £560) and you have the basis of a whole week's wardrobe. You knot the silk sarong artfully in various ways to make a beach cover up, evening dress, a slinky top and probably a raincoat in case you get caught out by a monsoon or hurricane. Well I don't know about you, but I have to have a good supply of 'just in case' stuff. I have to be prepared for eventualities of Biblical proportions - you never want to be caught in a plague of locusts wearing the wrong clothes do you?
See you tomorrow