Wednesday, 28 March 2007

Major Operation

I'm starting to understatand how planners at Defence feel when the national leaders announce that we are going to invade someone in a large dusty country with a hostile populace.

Mrs Grendel is going on a scrapbooking retreat and the logistics of the operation would put a peacekeeping force to shame and would not be dissimilar to the recent arrangements for 'W's' War.

There is a pile of equipment, emergency rations, odd shaped cases and a highly secret folder of sensitive scrapping materials.

Then there are the transport arrangements - heavy cargo transports for all the gear and people movers for scrappers.

I've been drafted into the Home Guard for the weekend and will do my utmost to defend our home - with frozen swedish meatballs if necessary.

I have a large stock of coffee beans (well to tell the truth I ALWAYS have a large stock of coffee beans) for roasting which would have kept me at home except I have to make a skirmish to a kids party at one of those really loud kids party places on Saturday.

Now, where's my IPod?

Sunday, 25 March 2007

The Perfect Scrap

After intense analysis of the science and art of scrapbooking I have determined the parameters of the perfect scrapbooking photograph.

  1. It must be something you can write about
  2. It must have colour or movement
  3. It must have children, animals or both
  4. It is best set outdoors, preferably in a rural environment
  5. Props are a must
  6. Funny helps too
And thus I present today's Masterpeice - 'Grendel's Patent Scrapbooking Image- Model 1.0'

Saturday, 24 March 2007

An Easter Tale

I'm going to cross-post this on both my blogs so if you read both, sorry for the repetition.

Junior Grendel Number One is 5 and attends pre-school at the local Catholic School which is round the corner from our place. They have been doing the Easter Story in class preparing for a pre-school Passion Play at Easter.

Yesterday as we drove past the School Junior Grendel Number One and Junior Grendel Number Two were talking in the back when they noticed where we were.

Junior Grendel Number Two: "Wook Awacky - there your school"

Junior Grendel Number One: "Yes, and there is the big X we made today"

"Big X" says Grendel "what big X?"

"The big X the soldiers put Jesus on" says Junior Grendel Number One.

Then in the appropriate sing-song he continued: "Jesus came and said 'I'm the king of the castle and you're all dirty rascals' and all the other kings got really mad about this and told their soldiers to hit Jesus really hard and hammer him on the cross"

At this point I am straining against the seat belt and Mrs Grendel was swerving dangerously across the road as we collapsed in laughter.

It is amazing how kids intermingle what they learn in class with what they hear from their classmates, but that one was a classic.

Friday, 23 March 2007

The Scrapping Room

For some reason I now seem to be referring to what was 'future site of a home theatre' as the 'scrapping room'.

I think I'll have to make a push for the more neutral 'The Office'.

Still needs painting in there! Mrs Grendel keeps filling the weekends up with kids parties (or is that the kids filling our weekends up with their parties?)

I've never known two boys that get invited to so many parties.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

The Five Stages of Scrapbooking

Anyone who took psychology as a minor subject will have received the basic psych package that included Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need and the K├╝bler-Ross model of five discrete emotional stages when dealing with loss.

While not entirely convinced of the applicability of either of these models to humans generally, there are in fact echoes of each of these models within the world of scrapbooking.

They are symbiotic and synergistic – that is, neither of these models could exist or operate independantly of the other. The models reflect the positions of two individuals within a relationship with the addition of a third factor that might be argued by some as catalytic although some hold the view that this third factor is best represented as a reactant.

The two individuals have oppositional roles, but in some cases can appear more collaborative than competative. This greater cooperation does not appear to impact on the models as they will be described further.

We shall term the first individual as the ‘scrapper’. Their role is essentially a creative role – using resources to creat aesthetically pleasing objects.

The second individual is the ‘non-scrapper’ or ‘scrapper’s partner’. This role is one of finding resources and providing these for the scrapper’s use.

The behaviour of the two individuals can be loosely bounded by two distinct continuums that define stages as they progress in shaping their own role. It must be cautiously noted that not all scrappers, or scrapper’s partners may pass through each of the stages or in the order that they are described. In a general sense, observed behaviours do however follow these patterns.

For a Scrapper: The role of the Scrapper we shall describe as ‘Grendel’s Hierarchy of Scrap’

Tangible – “What am I going to do with my photos?” or perhaps “I need a hobby” or even
“Hey that album is a lot nicer than my old one”

Perpetuation – “I’m not sure I like this hobby much, I’m terrible at it, but I’ve spent so much money on the tools and paper that if I don’t use it all he’ll be grumpy for a month!”

Positioning – “I’m getting good at this – my layouts are better than most of those in the magazines!”

Esteem – “I’ve been published – my layouts ARE better than hers!”

Transcendence – “Oh no, I don’t bother to send layouts in for consideration anymore, I’m just doing it for the art.”

For a Scrapper's Partner: The role of the Scrapper's Partner we shall describe as ‘Grendel’s Five Realisations of Being a Scrapper’s Partner’

Denial – The usual first stage – “This won’t last, it’s just a brief (expensive) fad”

Fear – “My god she’s been at this for six months and shows no sign of slowing up!”

Bargaining – “Perhaps you should think about a Scrapping related business to help sustain the hobby? Then it would also be a tax deduction!”

Retaliation – “Time for an expensive hobby of my own”

Acceptance – “We can’t keep this up, I’d better sell the fishing boat/golf clubs/glider/drag racer/Harley/Satellite communications array. . .”

(as a final note, the peak of Maslow’s Hierarchy is ‘self actualisation’ and the creation of aesthetically pleasing objects is usually considered one way of fulfilling this need so it might be argued that scrappers have full lives that meet all of the lower order needs. Make of that what you will!)

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Scrapping lo-res

We don't have access to the usual camera at the moment so all photos are being taken on our 2-megapixel phone cameras.

I enjoy the challenge, but Mrs Grendel does not so much.

I haven't googled it yet - but I wonder if there are any scrapping styles to incorporate 'grainy' stuff like this one from my camera:

I actually reckon its an interesting shot - but as it features no people at all I don't see much hope of it ever being scrapped.

Monday, 12 March 2007

Why the Dinosaurs did not survive the flood

And the Lord said to Noah, "You must build an Ark large enough to accommodate a male and female of all the creatures of the earth. I’ve dressed some timber for you down by the water edge so that you can get a good start – whaddya say to that?"

And Noah looked upon the pile of lumber the Lord had wrought and said “Oh most mighty lord, do you think you could perhaps perform they mighty milling work a little more, perhaps about 40% more dressed cedar and oak?”

The Lord was puzzled and said “My Child surely you do not doubt my calculations for the amount of timber you will need for a vessel that will hold two of each of the creatures of the earth?”

“Oh indeed not Lord” quoth Noah, “but did you consider the shelving I’ll need for the Noah family scrapbook albums, the Ark’s scrapbooking studio and 40 days and 40 nights worth of paper, embellishments and bindings?”

"Hmmmm" considered the Lord, "I seem to be a little short of good lumber, show me that boarding manifest again. . ."

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Scraplight Zone

Harry Potter, boy wizard and nemesis of the evil Lord Voldemort is able to slip between the muggle world and the magical world with great ease - including into a magical Dickins-esque shopping precinct known as Diagon Alley.

Today, I too was transported between worlds when Mrs Grendel asked that we stop on the way home at a scrapbooking shop.

Now there seems to be no end of names that people come up with for scrapbooking stores, all of which seem to manage to include 'scrap'.

Up until fairly recently any store with the name 'scrap' in its title could usually be reliably assumed to be inhabited by hairy, unwashed blokes and their pit pull cross breeds one of which is almost certainly named 'Satan'.

It is a somewhat different experience then to cross over into the alternate universe that is a scrapbooking store. They are, as a rule inhabited by non-hirsute and very hygienically inclined ladies without a canine presence to be found.

Today we were in a store name 'Scraptivate', one of the better efforts in the nomenclature of scrapping retail in my opinion. All of these stores seem to come with a website - must be part of the franchise. . .

It was also ordered in a way that even a non-scrapping partner such as myself can understand and it had a nice selection of tools, albeit pastel coloured and undersized but recognisable facsimiles of the real thing.

Mrs Grendel goes into shivers of ecstasy in a place like this, wall to wall racks of paper, thousands of embellishments - miniaturized and flattened objects, so that like the ancient Egyptians we can be launched into history accompanied by everything that might be needed in a 2-dimensional afterlife.

The scrapping universe is feminine and dominantly so, even the papers colours and patterns preclude predilections or penchants for this pastime by masculine partners.

There was a little habitat into which children can be placed for short term storage. That was great for the junior grendels - plenty to keep them entertained for at least half an hour.

Personally, I think a habitat for husbands is needed.

Thursday, 8 March 2007

5 Uses for 12 x 12 paper

So, as a non-scrapbooker, occasionally I find myself in need of a piece of paper and nothing is lying around - except that sheet of Basic Grey (please insert preferred paper supplier) she left on the kitchen table.

These have in the past been used for:

  • Rocket bodies for the kids (nice stiff paper is essential!);
  • Wedges for the door on a breezy day;
  • Emergency funnel for funneling coffee beans into a pack;
  • Place mat for a spagetti dinner; and,
  • To paper over the escape hole that has taken me years to chip through the walls. . .
Ok, the last one isn't strictly true, but might become necessary if I ever again use the WRONG SHEET OF PAPER!

Tuesday, 6 March 2007


If there is a Creative Memories of households then it is Ikea.

No, wait - that would be Amway.

Lets try again.

Ikea - love the meatballs (with the LingonBerry jam of course!), don't like the scary shoe things but they do have interesting kitchen objects and some quite handy furniture, which once you have blasphemed at for a couple of days actually turns out to be servicable and not-to-bad-looking.

Mrs Grendel has been visiting Ikea. I know because I found a little round apple-corer-peeler thingy and a new 2007 catelogue on the computer desk when I got home. Also she told me she was going - but lets not spoil a good story. . .

Ikea has (up until now) been a place of annual pilgrimage for us. Around the time our tax check comes in each year we take a little of the money and follow the arrows along the convoluted journey that is the Ikea experience.

I must confess that last time I was there in an act of singular rebellion I walked the length of the store AGAINST THE ARROWS!

This was met with frowns from the pram pushing families and chargrin from the arrow-following swedish tourists (why would they come to Ikea - it is like McDonalds for Americans - just that little hint of home?)

But it is March, and we have been to Ikea 3 times already in 2007. The products have all ended up in the scrapping room and I sense this latest foray into the flat-packed paradise is merely a precursor to a big hit on the house remodelling budget for the front room (formerly the site of the home theatre and now, alas almost certainly to be a den of scrap-iquity. . .)

Worst of all though is that Mrs Grendel went while I was at work so I missed the meatballs!

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Queer eye for the straight line

The Fab Five are back in a new series in what may well be a repeat of the Bravo Cable network's greatest success story - Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

Ted, Kyan, Thom and Carson have all signed on for the new series which provides their colourful blend of advice and joie de vie to the world of scrapbooking.

They will travel the United States seeking out scrapping 'tragics' and help them to makeover their albums.

Former Queer Guy Jai Rodriguez, who has a morbid fear of paper cuts will not be joining the Fab Five for this series. His spot will be taken by Haas van der Swoon, a paper design expert.

The new series to be broadcast on Sunday nights is to be called Queer Eye for the Straight Line, apparently in reference to the difficulty that many scrappers have in ruling and cutting straight edges.

The first season starts on April 9 and a full season of the show has already been recorded

Friday, 2 March 2007

Long ago,

In a scrapping room far far away. . .

The evil forces of the Empire of Scrapbooking Room hold the galaxy in their sway.

A small band of rebels continues to hold out against tyranny but their cause is fragile and their leaders are in hiding.

The Empress has hired 'contractors' to re-shape the galaxy to her design and the rebels, having a much smaller budget have also managed a 'contractor' who was willing to be paid in beer.

Having regained some balance the rebels are now poised to consolidate their position but have discovered that the Empress plans to travel to the planet of Ikea where she will purchase the weapons to destroy the rebel forces once and for all.

The rebel forces had planned to 'max the card' by buying a new coffee weapon so that the Empress would have purchases declined on the planet Ikea.

Unbeknown to the rebels, the Empress has created a secret account from which she will purchase the weapons to seal their doom.

The rebels only hope is to establish their own base of operations from which they may one day reclaim the Front Room.

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Intercepted Communication

From: Field Commander PAL, HTLF - Garage Division

To: Home Theatre Government-in-exile


The initial foray of the Home Theatre Liberation Front (HTLF) forces into the territory of Garage has been a success.

Initial scouting reports indicated that a significant quantity of debris may have been an impediment to free movement but while clearing this material we found much that was salvageable and will serve our cause.

We have established a bridgehead within the Garage and have pacified the South West of the territory. Our base camp, while only recently established was today consolidated by the arrival of the workbench.

Attempts by the forces of Scrapbooker to seize this workbench for their own use in the newly established Front Scrapbooking Room were repelled.

Heavy tools have been placed on the workbench to ensure it cannot easily be seized if by chance the garage is overrun.

I recommend that a battalion of engineers be sent to assist in developing the infrastructure of Garage and further pacifying its interior.

May you always have Peace, long life, 5.1 Dolby Surround sound and High Definition picture quality.

Yours in Stereo,