Tuesday, 28 April 2009

A Baking I Will Go...

Last week I thought I would bake some cookies... simple recipe and I have used it before and they turn out lovely... but something must have been different this time, Arabian flour for one thing, and Arabian sugar for another!! The mix seemed stodgier than I remember and it didn't behave the way I expected it to... when I plonked lumps of it on the cookie tray... it stayed in lumps and what is even worse, even after baking them they didn't change shape into flat round cookies... they came out in those very same spoldges as they went in!! But... we don't judge a book by its cover, do we? So I tried one... ummmm, ok, the cover of this particular book was trying very hard to tell us something ahead of actually eating it!! Chris came home from work and inspected them, and bless his cotton socks, in the 10 years we have been married he has bravely eaten everything I have ever cooked, so he ate one and then offered to take the rest to work to distribute through the office 'to get rid of them'.... He brought the container back from work after a week... still with splodges pretending to be cookies inside!! He apologised but said he couldn't give them away!! Oh dear, that's my reputation trashed in the new job.... but Chris says its not so bad as now people feel sorry for him and give him stuff that there wives have baked!! LOL

Well, not being one to give up too easily this morning the 3 bananas hanging off the banana tree thingimebob were looking particularly sad and over-ripe and Chris suggested cooking something with them rather than waste them.... so I did a search on the Net and found a recipe for Banana Bread... checked cupboards and had the ingredients so started mixing... it takes an hour to bake banana bread.... that's one entire hour with your house filled with the most delicious baking smell.... then you have to wait for it to cool down!!
So I cut a slice off, take a bite and it is divine!! No ways am I sending this stuff into the office.... it will be nothing short of a miracle if there is any left when Chris gets in from work tonight!!

Monday, 27 April 2009

Jigsaw Puzzle Piece 3

Another piece completed! This piece belongs to She and her request involved browns and 'grunginess' and oh... yes, a mini book!! LOL Well, I figure I got 70% of it covered... as I haven't a cookin' clue how to make this appear 'grungy' and in the words of a Meatloaf song 'two out of three aint bad'....
This is the mini book, which is attached with magnet so She can remove it if she wishes.

I made the pages little pockets and put tags inside them (and yes, you can see the size of the little beggar as that is my thumb nail in a lovely shade of green polish)!!

These are the tags, not having a remit for a theme for the mini book I have used quotes from the brilliant book by Kobi Yomada titled She.... which I figured was appropriate!!
If anyone wants to see a absolutely stunning version of this, they should take a look at the one that Shaulean (a fellow DT member of Angels Crafts) made.

So, I'm off to start on another jiggie piece... what's the betting she wants a mini book too??!!

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces Version II

So, another jiggie piece completed, this is Juliwan's and her chosen theme is China and surprisingly, she wanted a mini book on hers too.... (do you see a pattern here)???
I was going for an ancient Chinese look... so I hope its what she had in mind!
The mini book is attached with magnets so it can be removed and read. I have to admit I was perplexed as to what to fill the mini book with and in the end used an old favourite song by T'Pau 'China in My Hand'.... and yes, I do know that the china of the song has nothing to do with China the country... but I love the words so hope Juliwan does too!

On the backs of the pages I have used Chinese symbols - let's hope there are no Chinese readers of my blog that will now tell me they are upside or sideways or something! ;)

Hopefully she will like it....

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces Version II

So, being a complete nutter, I joined this year's Jigsaw Puzzle Swap on UKScrappers and this is my first piece. This is Paddy's and she chose the theme of Christmas and decided she wanted a mini book on her piece! (Can't imagine why)!! ;)

The jigsaw pieces are about 5" x 5", with the obvious bits missing! The mini book is 2" x 2" and anyone who has worked on books less than 6" x 6" will tell you... there isn't a lot of space on those pages, so you can imagine what it was like playing with these little devils!! Well, least said soonest mended, as my old Granny would say! (The air in the scrap room was blue on a few occasions)!! ;)

LOL... I even wrote inside that teeny weeny card!! (its ok, the men in white coats are coming by tomorrow).

Monday, 20 April 2009

I've been playing....

When we were in Jubail looking at the shops last Friday I found a brilliant shop... it was packed from floor to ceiling with tat!! You know, the awful plastic clocks made to resemble Mecca, shelves of everything India and China export in a major way... I love those shops, you never know what you are going to find... and I found this little set of drawers... it stands about 8" high by 6" wide and was untreated and really cheap!!
So here it is now... I quite like how it turned out! The papers are BG and I used Adirondale ink dabbers to get the colours on the wood.

I plan to paint my scrap room at home in pale pink and green when I get back so this will blend in nicely!

And its perfect for holding all my mini book closures.....

Ummm, yes, I have quite a few of them... I love them and when I actually find a place that sells them I buy quite a few to keep me going! ;)

Saturday, 18 April 2009


OK... yes, I am old enough to be humming the words from the old Petula Clark song.... and I really don't think she had downtown Jubail in mind when she was singing it!

Friday... and it was Chris' one day off for the week and the shops don't open till 4 in the afternoon, so we thought we would drive into downtown Jubail and have a look around. Just one problem... so did everyone else! I actually thought that it would be hard to know if you were in Calcutta or Jubail when I got out of the car....
If you removed all the Indians, Pakistanis and Filipinos from Saudi Arabia.... the Kingdom would come to an untimely end... these guys sign up to come here and work, they stay without any form of leave for 2 years, then get to go back to their families for 2 - 3 months before returning for another 2 years. I find it hard to comprehend how difficult this must be for them as well as their wives and children back in their homeland... even though I do something similar, but in a very easier and comfortable way. The queues at the place that wires their money back home runs for about half a mile up the main street, so many of them spend hours of their one day off a week in the heat and dust waiting to send thier pay packet home....

And you may have noticed something missing from the photographs.... go on... take another look!

Figured it out yet? No? I was the only female there!! (All other members of my sex must have more sense than to attempt a shopping trip in downtown Jubail on a Friday afternoon... but even though I was looked at, it wasn't uncomfortable, it was just curiosity on their part or perhaps sheer surprise)!!
Its totally reassuring to know that if ever my Internet goes down that I can pop into town and check my emails at the local Internet cafe!
One thing marred the event and that was when we returned to the car ( a nice shiny brand new Mazda 6 that is 5 weeks old and I have only sat in it twice, kind of car) had been keyed across the rear boot and down the two passenger doors to the front wing... how sad... why would someone do something like that?

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

ATC Swap

I joined a swap on UKS recently involving the use of Arnold the garden gnome visiting various places and this was my offering - Arnold in the desert with the camels!

Monday, 13 April 2009

Dance Like an Egyptian... version 2!!

Jetlag, being blonde and suffering from senior moments are a really bad combo to deal with... when I did my post yesterday I knew what photos I wanted to use to go with the post title... but I couldn't find them!! I realised this morning that they were actual photographs and I needed to scan them in first.... doh!!
The Sheik and a couple of his women....

One night on the Nile Cruise we had to dress up for the galibiyah night, this is the long gown that Egyptians wear and most everyone in the party got into the spirit of it and dressed up... I have to admit that Chris made a scarily accurate Saudi sheik.... methinks he has perhaps been here in the Kingdom a tad too long!

Chris, Mum and I dressed up for the Egyptian Night

So there were various games and challenges going on that people got picked for out of the different groups and the little guy comes up and puls me out on to the dance floor... and then proceeded to pick out a bunch of really young nubile looking creatures from the other groups... and tells us we are in a belly dancing competition!! Yikes... well, heck, I have the belly but the dancing bit was going to be a tad more difficult!!
I think I might have had a chance if everyone else wasn't a couple of decades younger!! ;)

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Dance like an Egyptian...

I'm back!! LOL Did ya miss me? Did ya? Nah? PMSLing...

Mum, Chris and I in front the Great Pyramid.

We had a fabulous trip to Egypt, stopped in Cairo for 3 days and saw the Sphinx and the Great Pyramids, went to the Cairo Museum and drooled over the treasures of Tutenkamun and visited The Mohamed Ali Mosque and had a quick scout round the Kalili Bazaar. Now, I live in an Arab country and have lived in Arab countries before but I have never witnessed the sheer pushiness of sellers to the degree of those in Egypt... you are attacked on all sides by people shoving stuff in your face and demanding you buy it at outrageous prices... its very offputting and I think I bought the least amount of stuff I have ever bought on a holiday just because of the sheer aggressiveness of the sellers and I am used to bartering for stuff and dealing with the occasional beggar, so I cannot imagine what it would be like for the average tourist off the plane.

Looking for treasure... Kalili Bazaar, Cairo

The Great Pyramids

Chris....pppick up a pyramid!!

We also visited Sakkara and Memphis and saw the huge step pyramid and popped into a tomb, before travelling onto Aswan where we stayed in a beautiful hotel on a island in the River Nile.

Giza, the Pyramids.

Then it was a visit to Lake Nassa, the Aswan Dam and the Philae Temple and a really early morning start (2 a.m. get up) to make our way by bus to Abu Simbel.

Chris and the Sphinx

Mum, Chris and I at the Memphis Sphinx

Off on a 3 day cruise down the Nile visiting Edfu and Esna and onto Luxor to do the Valley of the Kings and Valley of the Queens. Chris got sick so we missed those but Mum managed to do them and Chris and I returned to the hotel by taxi... the taxi was an ancient 1970's model something with no working speedometer or any other gauge come to mention it, the seat covers were old badly cured sheepskin and the suspension was a distant memory if it had any at all!!

Chris and I went for a balloon ride over Luxor and viewed the temples from the sky... it was BRILLIANT!! I have always wanted a ride in a hot air balloon so we couldn't miss the opportunity when it came up... sunrise in a hot air balloon is magic....

Its so quiet and the view is amazing... and I wasn't scared at all!

In Luxor we visited Karnak and Luxor Temples before returning back to the UK... for a 3 day stint at home in Scotland - where British Airways managed to lose our luggage... luckily it turned up the next day so I had time to wash everything before re-packing it to fly back to Saudi.

So, here I am, back with lots of new stash to play with and hundreds of photos to scrap!!

Update on Gypsy... so many people have asked about little Gypsy. We left her in the compound at Murjan when we moved and my next door neighbour is feeding her. She has only ever known life in Murjan Village and I wasn't sure she would want to move with us, plus, if we moved her here before we went on holiday there would be no one to feed her and she would have been in a strange place. Now we are back I am informed that she misses us, turns up at our old house every night at 5 pm for her food and chats to Odelia. So, Chris and I are off tomorrow to find a pet store where I can buy a litter tray and cat cage and we can then go over to Murjan for a bit of catnapping... I hope she settles here in the new house, she just wants to belong to us and be an indoor cat with occasional ventures outside... so wish me luck that she comes to me and lets me put her in a cage!!