Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Fluffy little Snowflakes...

Merry Christmas everyone! Hope everyone has a great Christmas with family and friends and that Santa brings you everything you wished for!

We are posting our last challenge of 2012 over at Elisabeth Bell's World today with the theme of Fluffy Snowflakes. I loved making this card, it took me quite a while for some reason, probably because I was faffing about with the colouring lol!

This is a new digi which is available this month in LissyBee's store and I coloured this with Promarkers and Flexmarkers.
I tried a new technique today - you can't really see very well on the photos but I used Tea Green around the edge of the image, using a blender pen to really blend it out smoothly. I could have used a Distress Ink instead but I then used the blender pen in the areas that were coloured with Tea Green to create snowflakes. I then took the Tea Green and dotted snowflakes into the white area closest to the image. This gives it a really soft fluffy look and enables you to cover the entire background without having to colour it if you get my drift. You might be able to see it better if you zoom in I hope. Finally I added more snowflakes with my white Inkssentials pen and distressed the edges. The only other things I used were some green Bazzill, die cuts and Martha Stewart punches and some gems for the snowflake centres. The sentiment and papers are my own from the Picknix 2 Collection.  Hope you like it!
I'll be back soon with some more lovelies for you to feast your eyes on, in the meantime Best Wishes for the Christmas season, it'll be over before we know it!
Merry Christmas!
xx

To you and yours...

We would just like to wish you all a very
Thankyou for all your support and friendship during 2012 - have a wonderful 
festive season and we will see you all again very soon!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

One day later...bathgate...

Thanks so much for all your comments on yesterday's rant - it seems it's touched a nerve with lots of you and I am not alone in my pain haha!

Well, he came back today and finished off.
His version of it that is.
Quite honestly I've decided I cant be arsed to moan any more, he's clearly incapable of doing a good job and doesnt want to, he was barely civil today ignorant git (Mr Doodles said he made a point of telling him he'd given up his Sunday to finish the job!! SUCH a good job he didnt say it to me I'd have ripped his mucky neck off if he had, it would've sent me over the edge! I'd already secretly considered keying his stupid van when I left the house and it was parked outside, almost wish I had done now!)

He's replaced the chipped tile (which to be fair I didnt even ask him to do). The worst thing is I had to go to work and he caught me on my way out and asked me to look it over to make sure I was happy...obviously when I got home and had a proper look I could then see it properly when I wasnt rushing out the door grrr...
One of my main complaints was about the window sill which would get standing water behind the trim because the trim was sticking up about 5mm above the tiles...he's redone ALL the windowsill and angled the tiles so they slope to the front to drain the water off...just one problem though - yep, you guessed it, the trim still sticks above the freakin' tiles FFS!! He must be thick as.....
So now for life, I'm going to have to dry off that bloody window every time I have a flipping shower. Ok, thats only once every 3 years ; ) but even so!!
He's boxed in the pipes but left a gaping gap at one side and another down the side of the loo so it doesnt really look that neat, and the boxing in has actually shown that the tiles on the wall dont even match up to the floor where they meet, at one side of the boxing it's about 2" out!  I didnt see this at the time he asked me to check as he was stood at the offending end, I shouldve pushed him out of the room so I could see properly, AGH, I'm so stoopid!   I've already got some polyfilla to fill in the gaps myself because I knew he wouldnt do a good job of it (bought from Tesco, not out of my makeup bag thankyou very much!).  He's put the bath panel on and that's not even on right either, it's all stuck out here and there, I'm leaving that for the nice plumber to see cos I know he'll be peed off at that and do it right (unlike his crappo cousin, he prides himself on his work!)  He couldnt even be bothered to sweep his mess off the floor today, dirty bugger, says it all really, especially when I'd swept it and cleaned it before he got here so he was working in a clean area.

Overall I'm sure everyone would think it looks lovely and it is 1000% better than it was and I'm probably being very picky, but I am a nightmare when it comes to straight lines and stuff, I have a very annoying nack of being able to measure very accurately by eye only to within a couple of mm's, so you can imagine how things not being levelled and matched up are going to bug me!

I'm just going to have to shut my eyes when I sit down for a poo and not look at that damned ugly tile under the lovely radiator! I might even replace it myself if I can be bothered! The one saving grace of this bathroom is that they've tiled over where the airvent was and that means we wont get so many bloody 8 legged freaks in there now! I never could understand why there were so many till I saw the size of the hole behind the vent which looked like Hagrid's Spider forest in Harry Potter! Never seen so many cobwebs in all my LIFE! I swear there were a million eyes looking through it! eeek!

So, the final piece of the jigsaw is to get the shower screen in later this week which the good plumber is doing, yeehahh! I know that will go without a hitch.
I then need to paint the ceiling, scrape all the grout and plaster off the window, clean it head to toe and then paint all the woodwork and get a door back on. Thank god we hardly ever get visitors lol! When my mum sees the tiling she'd better not dare comment (she does tiles rather well) or I will put her in a bloody home and leave her there till she croaks!

So if you see me in the January sales I will be hunting down a skinny tallboy cabinet and some accessories that are bargains because the Doodlebank is well and truly brock and bankrupt now lol!

Did someone mention kitchens? Maybe 2014 will be the year!! 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

What a saga, hell of a week and a lesson to all!

It appears I have a nack for making u all chuckle at my daily adventures so I'm bored pant-less at being made to stay in the house all day today and feel the need to share a little amuse bouche with y'all. Yes I did say amuse bouche, I do know what it really means but I love the word bouche. So fermer la bouche and read on lol! (sorry this will be a giant post, if you get bored easy then move to another blog LOL, but if you're about to have any bathroom work done read on!)

As most of you probably know by now if you follow my twitter madness, me and Mr D are having a new bathroom fitted. Now, I've been waiting 12.5 years for this new bathroom. When we moved here I hated it and vowed it would have to be changed within a year or two at most cos it was hideous and old. And here we are. Mr D is no DIY'er, that I can tell you. We're talking about the man who made shelves from a cardboard tube and to this day thinks it's a proud achievement. I used to love decorating and DIY when I had nothing better to do in my pre-craft days, but the task of painting dark beige farmhouse style tiles white in my kitchen 7 times in a week to get rid of the brown kind of sapped all the DIY'ness from my aching arms forever. I've never picked up a paintbrush since and the kitchen remains half-done from where I had to go back to work. 12 years ago. Serious! And quite honestly I would rather do anything than DIY these days, ugh, it really did put me off for life.

So, back to the bathroom. 2 years ago I tripped as I got in the bath for a shower and put my size 8 through the side of the bath, creating a nice big 3" crack up the side. We couldnt afford to replace it at the time as I was determined I wanted the whole room doing and as it's always been tiled head to toe in there it was always going to be a big job, so it was good old Pinflair to the rescue! About 6 months later   I dropped a big heavy bottle of shampoo on the crack and it had a nice extension! More Pinflair!  Then about 3 months ago Mr Doodles had a bath one day and it decided to go even more, so finally enough is enough, after 2 years of Pinflair holding it together we had to admit defeat!  As always these things happen when you're broke but by hook or crook we've managed to scrape the money together to get it done even though it's escalated ridiculously cost-wise. I've been looking for months for a cheap bathroom suite and finally got one on an ebay auction of all things! A mega wide P shaped bath (which is mahoosive), shower screen, taps, sink, toilet, wastes and everything a girl could need, delivered to the door for a bargainous price. So we managed to get a plumber recommended and he came to fit it for us. Only the toilet was all scuffed and the seat didnt match. So I phoned up, complained and got another FOC within 3 days - great service! In the meantime the plumber's cousin came in to start the tiling. Only he didnt do it himself. Big boo boo Mr Tiler man! Now we are talking about a room that is 1.7m x 2m big here. The wall where the bath goes has a large window and we are using those big tiles (cheapest we could get of course although in the end turned out to be a good choice over the more expensive ones), so in all they are only putting back half as many tiles as were on in the first place. Except this guy has to be one of the worst tilers ever. I think I could have done as good a job myself. The only reason I didnt do it is because from experience I am rubbish at doing the cutting angles thing - I did our laminate flooring but I bodged it a bit round the edges and I really wanted a good job with this - I'm gonna have to look at it for years to come.
Anyway, the first day I wasnt v impressed with the quality of the tiling work, the 2nd day I was thinking maybe it wouldnt look too bad when it was finished (hopefully). The 3rd day...well the 3rd day a tile fell off the window and took a big chip out of the bath right near the plughole. Ok, so it was an accident but WHY o WHY didnt he put a dustsheet in the bath to protect it? SURELY you would, right?? Well, I would anyway, especially on a brand spanking new shiny white spotless bath that had only been used once??? No, we're talking about a man here and a numpty one at that. So Mr Boss Tiler said he knew a proper pro repair man who charged £120 he would get in to do it. Fine! I wasnt happy but as he was going to put it right and I know they do a good job and it wouldnt be visible it was an acceptable solution (yes I know, I'm VERY amicable, right!).
So the next day I get home to an absolute STENCH in the house and could hardly breathe. Mr Doodles was already outside mid asthma attack from hideous fumes through the whole house and managed to wheeze at me that it was the solution he'd used to fix the chip. HE, not THEY. Mr Boss tiler had taken it upon himself to save himself a few quid, bought a repair kit and done it himself. Only it was awful!! The hole had filled but you have to spray over it to seal it all and the spray had obviously spread and covered half the bath. Now, a woman would have known to CLEAN the bath first and knows how much dust can settle when workmen come in. Men (sorry I know men read this, but I am talking about the other 99% of the male population) men just dont think of these things. So, the acetone spray stuff (which is like a car spray varnish so u can imagine the stink) has a dull finish, not the bright shiny spotless white finish on my bath! And to boot - all the tile dust had obviously settled and got stuck in the spray so all the bottom and sides of the bath were all rough and felt like they were pitted! My bath was ruined!! :O
To make matters worse I then discovered he'd also done another area which we hadn't even noticed, so there had been 2 holes and he'd only admitted to one. I just couldnt believe how awful it was and that he thought this was acceptable!! To ruin someone's brand new bath, try to repair it and fail and then walk away without saying anything - horrendous! Of course I was completely livid about the whole thing and then looked at everything else that was wrong in there. The first thing was the trim around the windowsill - there was a lip of about 3-5mm of trim, so when you have a shower all the water will collect behind it on the sill...previously the sill sloped a little bit so it all drained off, but there was no great big fat trim overlap! I went to bed raging about it and instead of going to work waited for him to arrive the next morning.
I TOLD you it was a saga didnt I!!
So when I got up next morning it was the brightest day we'd had all week and to my horror I noticed the centre tile in the middle of one wall was also chipped - absolutely no excuse, the guy must have been blind not to see it. THEN, as I was looking at my broken bath again in amazement I noticed a THIRD chip on the side which we'd all missed before! THREE!! No way Jose!! The 2nd one hadn't filled properly anyway so there was still a dip and the whole bath didnt look new any more because of the difference between the matt finish and the shiny one. If I hadnt been so angry I would have wept!
So Boss Tiler breezes in (an hour late) and promptly gets told I want a new one, no arguments, it needs to be replaced at his cost. He had nothing to say except for going bright red. Hi numpty tiler man beat a very quick retreat back to the van I noticed. He was also told about the other stuff that wasnt right too and sent off with a flea in his ear. Yay, go me! I hate confrontation but no way was i putting up with this crap!
So I ordered another bath (bear in mind we're already on the 2nd toilet). When the receipt was emailed to me I noticed something odd in the description...luckily...when I queried it the idiot at the other end of the phone had ordered me a new shower screen!! FFS!!!!!!! Are all these people just DUMB?? How the hell does NEW BATH possibly sound like NEW SHOWER SCREEN??? Even a lipreading deaf person couldnt make that mistake?? Thank god I noticed the anomoly, I'd have slashed my wrists if another screen had turned up!
ANYWAY (you still awake yet, my life is one whole saga like this constantly!)...
So today the tiler came back to take the tiles back off the wall so the new bath can go in and the plumber comes back to fit the new bath, the sink and the new toilet...
The Tiler is coming back tomorrow to finish off the tiles...at last...YAY, it will be finished tomorrow!...
Until the plumber finishes tonight and can't put the shower screen on because it needs to go where the chipped tile was and of course, the tiler took it off again....
And then the OH notices that they fitted the new loo but have put the OLD seat which is the wrong colour and doesnt match back onto the NEW toilet...(Mr D has said he will do it, we daren't say anything else lol).
OH.MY.GOD.
I LOST THE WILL TO LIVE AT 6pm TODAY.
OFFICIALLY.
The tiler comes back tomorrow to finish off his bits. I havent even spoken about the grout. I havent even mentioned the ropey cutting under the radiator that I'll have to look at for life now because I think if I mention it the tiler might kill himself, or how lovely the plumber is and that he has done a brilliant job and called the tiler's mate a numpty today.
SOB. I just want my bathroom done...pleeeeeeeease!!

Our next project is the kitchen. The kitchen has been waiting 12.5yrs to be done too. The kitchen too is tiled head to toe. The kitchen will NOT, I state categorically NOT be tiled head to toe in future! I can't face it, give me painted walls and a splashback or I will not make it to be another year older!!

Over and out. Literally. Passed out with trauma for the 2nd time in a week.



Sunday, 9 December 2012

Award update and a little something else...

I just wanted to give you all an update on the awards because so many of you are asking me if we heard anything yet?

The answer is not yet! The Awards are actually taking place nationally across lots of different regions, with each region choosing 3 winners.
There is then a further additional stage where 3 of those businesses will be selected to go head to head in a national competition, with the winner receiving a £10,000 prizefund and a years mentorship from Deborah Meaden of Dragons Den fame!  So we actually think the announcement will be on a specific date and all the regions will announce their winners at the same time. I'm sure it won't be too long though, they only gave us a week's notice to pitch as it was, so we will keep you posted!

Anyway, as you were all great enough to help us with our winning words (if you have no idea what the heck i'm talking about see the post below!).  As part of my pitch I chose 4 words which I believed represented what Polkadoodles is all about, and then asked you guys on Facebook and Twitter to tell me what words you would pick so I could see if we matched up.

The winning words were....

Inspiration
Creative
Dynamic
Original

We think Polkadoodles is ALL these things - and apparently you do too!
I made little flags with the words on, stuck them into chocolate muffins and placed one of each into an exploding box for each of the 4 judges...they loved it! (and stuffed their faces haha!).

SO....I promised everyone who helped with the words a little prize of their own for helping me and I'm a few days late but here it is. I decided that as everyone had helped you all deserve a little treat, so below is a free download I've designed specially for this task - and a big thanks to all of YOU for helping us and supporting us every step of this very fabulous Polkadoodles journey! Enjoy your download! xx
(just right click on the image and save it to your PC, it's a PNG file)

Monday, 3 December 2012

Exciting few days!

Hi everyone!
I just wanted to say a HUUUUGE thanks to all of you for your massive support over the past few days following the news we were up for a Local Business Award in the Yorkshire region - we've been overwhelmed by your support and well wishes!
This award scheme is supported by David Cameron (say nothing) and Deborah Meaden from Dragon's Den and is all about helping new businesses in local regions, with prizes of advertising campaigns and mentorships from some of the UK's leading business minds.

So today was D-day - or rather P-Day! Presentation day! I sent off the form for this way back in September and had totally forgotten all about it so when I received an email saying we'd got through to the final round I was speechless! The final shortlist in our area is down to 7 from 35 businesses and quite honestly I'm so proud of ourselves that even if we don't win I will be more than happy at this acheivement and recognition of the hard work we put into this business.

So today Mr Doodles and I jetted off to Leeds to see the 4 judges...I'd love to say it went without a hitch but as is always the case with Doodles and me, there is always some minor catastrophe which makes us chuckle and throws a spanner in the works! We had less than a week's notice to prepare for the judges and as we're busy preparing for a new launch next week it popped up when I had no spare time to prepare properly! We spent the weekend working on a presentation and went armed with some sample projects and our favourite products to help impress them.

In the meantime I asked my followers on Twitter and Facebook to describe 4 words which represent our Company and I would choose the best 4...(with a little prize for my winners).

So, I promised to take photos of why I needed the words and I completely forgot! (gutted.com!), but basically I made 4 exploding boxes (proper really good exploders they were, too!), placed a chocolate muffin in the centre and then made flags which had the words on them to stick in the top of the muffins.   The judges were VERY impressed that our customers had participated in this part of the process!
(I noticed out of my eye corner that they all scoffed them down, best way to a man's heart is his stomach every time, not that that was ever in my womanly manipulating mind haha!)...

The judges were all lovely and we were lucky to have someone who actually KNEW who Tim Holtz was as his family are avid crafters too - awesome! :D but there was a slight spanner in the works when there was no AV equipment in the room and they didn't give me any time to setup my laptop properly, so I ditched the technology and flew by the seat of my pants haha!(not really anything new there though lol).  My god I was bricking it! My voice was actually quivering and I was extremely Jazz Hands throughout the whole thing but I think I did ok in the end and they seemed quite positive, there were a few moments where they all scribbled fervently on their notepads which was good to see. So, in a flash it was all over and we were scurrying back to the muddy carpark.

So keep your fingers crossed for us my friends - we should hear very soon and if we win it will undoubtedly mean some great things for Polkadoodles so if u feel inclined to stick a little nightly prayer in there feel free! (however, the one thing they did say is that we give you FAR TOO MUCH product and need to increase our prices hahaha!! SERIOUS!) But I told them firmly to jog on with that suggestion, so you can relax on that one...for now at least! ; )

Anyway, as ever no day goes by uneventful in my world, especially with Mr Doodles and the Polka Pixie in tow (yes, she IS as mental as he is!) - so we get back to the muddy car park and find that one of the doors on the car wont close properly! So Doodles had to lock the seatbelt onto the handle but it still opened so he had to sit in the back seat holding the door all the way home hahaha, I was laughing all the way, especially when we went around the roundabouts - that was particularly amusing! Oh and it was quite cool on the M1 in rush hour too LOL!! So we get home, I go to get my bag, open the door and close it - and hey it was fine!! Whaddya know ay??!! He was completely distraught because he had arm-ache by this point lolol!
Poor Mr Doodles bless him. He does cheer me up with his Frank Spencer moments!

Right, I'm off - I will announce tomorrow who chose the winning words and the prizes and hopefully will be back with some great news to share! Remember to keep all those pinkies crossed please, and thankyou ALL so much for your enduring support, we genuinely love all our customers and try to constantly improve what we do in every way we can to bring you the best we can, always.
Much love from Doodles, Pixie and of course, from me xx