Sunday, 27 May 2007

Small People

Mrs Grendel is off at one of those Scrapbooking and Craft fair thingies.

This one has been going for 5 days which is just waaaaaay to long if you ask me. 5 Days to get around Disneyland I can understand, maybe even 5 days in Sydney or Melbourne, 5 Days trekking in coffee growing country - absolutely! - but a 5 Day craft fair?

I'm waiting for the leak from a scrapper about what REALLY goes on.

Anyway I think the strain is too much for some scrappers - particularly some of those from the 'Creative Reminiscences' side of the game (think Amway for scrappers).

Mrs grendel was working near to a stand where a well known scrapbooker had been invited (as opposed to purchased space at the show) to display her work. It was one of the attractions of the fair - and very popular (well to scrapbookers, to scrapper's partners it was yet one more place to pass by on the way to the bar).

I digress.

It was a large and well thought-out display and the artist was there to meet and greet. Apparently some of the 'Amway-of-scrappers' crowd decided that they had had enough of the limelight being given to someone else and they took it upon themselves to come past and 'revile loudly' the display - they were, I heard quite nasty in their comments, cruel in fact. And loud.

From what I can understand - there are some in the CR crowd who are CR zealots and for them there "is no scrapbooking but CR". And anyone who uses product other than theirs is:

a) not really a scrapbooker
b) not a good person
c) probably eats babies

I know some people who use and sell CR (including my sister) - they are not like this at all, so I would like to go to great pains to say that I don't believe that this was anything but small minded pettiness on the part of 4 or 5 individuals, the aforementioned zealots. That being said, it can't help but reflect badly on CR if their partisans act in this way, publicly and loudly.

There must be thousands of CR people in Australia, all lovely, polite and considerate, but the 4 or 5 not-so-nice ones in the country just had to rear their out-of-joint noses eh?

Scrapbooking fundamentalism - I've touched on it before and in ANY field at all there is always a small group of people who seem to delight in dragging others down - in this case I'd suggest that pettiness and jealousy are not good sales pitches.

It rhymes you see.

With pitches.

Oh that was fun - shall we do it again for next year's craft show?

Thursday, 24 May 2007

Sustainable Scrapbooking

Is scrapping sustainable.

Do scrappers have carbon offsets/credits?

The market is ripe, really, really ripe for some clever entrepenuer in the scrapbooking world to create a line of sustainably produced, fairly traded scrapbooking products.

A fellow coffee lover, 'Vawz' had a link on his blog to this place: A Year of Living Generously.This was a great discovery for me and while I relieved to find that I am already doing a number of the actions, I was appalled to see how many simple things I could be doing and am not.

I know that within the realm of coffee I am making more efforts than in the past to select beans that are from sustainable growers and that are fairly traded. Also when possible I buy dry process beans (less water) but generally coffee is a fairly good crop in terms of water use. Decaf, and 'Instant coffee' are more of a problem - lucky for me that I drink neither!

This is a great opportunity for people to commit to small actions that can make a difference, and to make others aware of actions they can take.Worth a look and if you live up my way you are welcome to join the Grendel 'Household' Brighton (South - as in 'not the UK' Brighton).

Saturday, 19 May 2007

Scrapper's Emails

Scrapbookers have amazing communications networks, the kind of networks multinational organisations would drool over and that are only approached in complexity by the Mafia.

Emails seem to fly back and forth and I estimate that of total global bandwidth Scrapbooking comes a close second in total consumption.

The first naturally is pornography.

Arriving in the mailbox today was this:
That would explain the tread pattern I find on our sheets each morning. . .

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Busy, busy, busy

I've been too busy with my hobby to blog about Mrs Grendel's hobby. In fact I've been so busy with my hobby even she is blogging about my hobby.

The Coffee For a Cause fundraiser is tearing along and we have delivered almost all the beans.

I never thought coffee would be such a hit as a fundraiser but it seems to be - much to my relief.

Now I am just waiting until someone can come up with a way to use coffee beans as embellishments (not easy as they are full of oil and quite acidic. . .)

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Horrible Thoughts

In my office at work I have a lovely red framed drawing by Junior Grendel Number One.

This is his first drawing of a person - Mummy in fact.

Being the partner of a scrapbooker I have suddenly had a horrible thought.

"Did he use Acid Free paper and textas?"

You see what scrapping is doing to me!

Monday, 7 May 2007


Well, after months of waiting, lots of dollars and much painting by Mrs Grendel her new "Studio" is ready for her to start shifting into. I'm not sure how it happened, but somehow we now have a "Studio".

Funny - when it was in this room we called it an "Office" but now, quite definitely it is officially a "Studio".

I'm not sure how that change in nomenclature bodes for future shared resource use in the "Studio" but we shall see, we shall see. . .

Sunday, 6 May 2007

F F F F F Fashion

One thing I have noticed about scrapbooking in general and Mrs Grendel in particular is that like clothing, scrapping has its fashions.

These can relate to the way things are placed on a page, the style and length of journalling, embellishment types, sizes, numbers and materials, paper style, paper colours, paper patters, album types, tools, stamps, stickers or any perplexing combination of these.

So why does Mrs Grendel buy so much paper in one go? Oh I understand the economics of the bulk purchase, but is there the risk that a sudden change in vogue will leave her holding massive amounts of stock that have no currency in the new regime?

Oh yes, I am talking about the big one - just like the stock market crash of 1929 can a scrapper be left holding wads of essentially worthless paper?

I worry a little because while Mrs Grendel is enjoying the new space in her scrap room, from my position on the bed in the master bedroom I can see right into the scraproom and see the rows of paper - surely there must be some actuarial activity to determine the level of risk we are facing should current favourites fall out of favour?

I suppose it might be possible to just hold onto the stock and hope it gains some kind of 'scrapper's cred' again, or sell it on Evilbay to those who haven't caught on to the shift in the market but I would be lying if I said that this wasn't causing me sleepless nights and the occasional cardstock nightmare!


I got 'tagged' a few days back but not knowing about tagging it has taken me some time to get around to responding - I won't go on to tag others simply because I don't know that many people to tag who would not already have been tagged, anyway I am prevaricating about the bush. . .

This is all Chrissie's fault so you can blame her!

The rules are to list 7 random facts/habits about yourself. The next rule is to choose people which I am wimping out of - so just the one rule really!

Seven random fact eh?


  1. I always imagined that being a public servant was for thick lazy people who just couldn't hack it in the private sector. Oh boy is THAT a wrong assumption. I'm working with some of the sharpest minds with energised and dedicated people who KEEP TURNING DOWN OFFERS from the private sector because they want to make government better.

  2. I loathe politicians that follow the crowd as much as I loathe those who think they are leading with vision even though their eyes are blinded by their own high opinion of themselves.

  3. I've always been a coffee snob and I didn't know it until 3 years ago.

  4. I have never been back to the place I was born.

  5. I can ask for a beer and directions to the toilet in 12 languages (the essentials!).

  6. Writing is something I like to do and would like to do more of - even though my job is largely writing.

  7. If I don't read 2-3 books each week it usually means I am having a bad week.

Saturday, 5 May 2007


Those of you who have been reading here from time to time may be aware that I am a Coffee Snob - and more, I write a Coffee Blog (shameless plug link).

Mrs Grendel was concerned for a number of years that I had no hobbies - and this was mostly true - I used to have hobbies but when we moved to the city they just weren't convenient any more.

For example I used to build and launch rockets. This was fine out in the desert where I could launch from a sparse ironstone plain with no aircraft to worry about and nothing to catch fire.

Then there was shooting - it was easy to get out to the range when it was a 10 minute drive away, but in the city, with no car it is just not the done thing to grab your rifle, jump on the train and ride out to the range on public transport (people seem to get a little nervous).

Fishing was great when we lived on the coast in the tropics, but here you need to own a boat - unless you have a penchant for plentiful herring that can be caught off the beach, which I do not.

Mrs Grendel has thrown herself fully into scrapping, but here was I, with nothing to do but read (bliss!).

The hobby bug bit me too though when I just could not get good coffee and started to roast my own. I think that my hobby is pretty different to scrapping (OK - of course it is bloody different) after all, after I create a roast, we drink it and it is gone, never to be seen again and I can never ever replicate the same roast exactly.

Like the sand mandala of Tibetan Buddhism, a coffee roast is transitory so you strive to make each one as beautiful as you can, enjoy it fully while you have it and have no regrets when it is gone.

Scrapping though is more permanent - you are preserving moments in time, fixing them into place.

From one perspective it would be possible to suggest that the philosophy oh Mrs Grendel's Hobby and my Hobby are in opposition, but since she so often works on her layouts while drinking my coffee I think I prefer to see them as complimentary.

Friday, 4 May 2007


Is scrapbooking the tapestry of the 21st century?

Traditionally there seems to be an art form that defines an era - often the art form is determined in part by the materials available - rock paintings when basic earth pigments were in vogue, clay statues when hand molding was fashionable, marble when sculpture was all the rage, Tapestry when you lived inside cold grey stone walls that just cried out for SOMETHING, ANYTHING to go with those sconces. . .

Painting has been the mainstay of the last 2500 years or so - although the Roman flirtation with mosaics certainly left some wonderful (if somewhat ribald) examples of what it is possible for one human to do with another. The Greeks certainly managed a similar level of self-expression on their pottery which has perhaps led to some popular misconceptions about the masculinity of young Greeks - my theory is that the more obscene pieces were more likely to survive down through the ages because they had been so well hidden away at the back of closets, under beds or in attics of ancient Greek dwellings.

The Egyptian culture seems to try to tie it all together with sculpture, paintings, papercrafts and - mummification. Since you had to be dead to have all this lavished upon you, and then it was all buried, it does seem unlikely to have been a desired personal selection of crafts - the main criteria of 'death first' would have guaranteed that most people would have avoided taking up these hobbies for as long as possible. I must say though that once they did it was all done with some flair.

Paintings today are not cheap to acquire or to create so photography remains the most common way to decorate the walls in many homes.

Scrapping - including 'off-the-page' examples seems to be taking on a growing role in the home but we have not (yet) seen the likes of the Bayeux tapestry from the scrapping world - I just guess we are waiting for the right cardstock for that one.

I have earlier raised the ire of some scrapper by asking "Is Scrapping a Fad" but rather than venture back into that uncertain wilderness I will instead ask "How much bigger will scrapping get" and do scrappers really want it that much bigger anyway?

How much is too much before what is a popular hobby for many becomes something that you do because everyone does it - or will that never happen?

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Done like a Dinner

I reckon all the scrapbookers can go over and gloat here with Mrs Grendel because the green paint is on the walls, the desk has been moved in, shelves filled with albums and not a surround sound home theatre system to be seen.

Yes, Mrs Grendel's scrapping studio is finished - apart from some electrical work and a little drilling on my part.

Junior Grendel Number 2 got in on the act by helping with the painting as only a 3-yr old knows how and while we still have to paint the doors and the hall and install the cooler it is substantially finished.

The whole re-arrangement means that we now have a designated play area for children and a play area for adults. My next project is out in there garage where I want to get it all cleaned up and a good stainless steel bench installed to place my coffee machine on.

That, however may have to wait until our next IKEA visit.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

The Scrap Room

Mrs Grendel has been busy painting the scrap room and it is almost ready for her to move in - we are still needing the sparky to come through and wire up lots of new lights and power points but apart from that it is nearly done. I however am in my 4th week of sinus headaches and it does not seem to be getting any better. This has put a crimp in my writing as it is hard to write when you have a headache. Off for a CT scan so the doctor can have a better look inside my skull.