Wednesday, 27 March 2013

My new house phone - not craft related but amazing!

I was getting mega annoyed with unsolicited phone calls from withheld and international numbers especially when I'm unwell or on my day off and I'm no where near my home phone as by the time I got to the phone they'd gone.

I called BT and asked what they could do as a disabled customer as I'd nearly fallen 'running' for the phone. Their response....they could block my phone from calling international numbers? And give me a new number so for a while I wouldn't get the calls? They can't block incoming international calls apparently. I gave up and was looking to get Truecall for £100 to screen calls but it was just so expensive. My husband said just dont answer the phone as if it was important they could call my mobile but it just annoyed me the phone ringing especially when I'm in bed with a migraine!

I explained my annoyance with BT on a craft forum (see it was kind of craft related in the end) and to see if anyone had Truecall and someone mentioned an article they'd seen about a new phone...from BT?! You could block international and withheld calls and at an introductory price at only around £40 for 2 phones it sounded perfect, why BT never tried to sell me this I'll never know.

I did have to wait for nearly a month due to no stock, but today my new phones arrived! The old ones are going to Lee's brother (my brother in law) as he has just brought a flat so they are going to a good home.

The phone is BT 6500. The phone is a lovely size and shape, sound is amazing too. The main unit has the answer phone functions but you can listen to the voicemail from any BT6500 handset connected. The phone had visual voicemail so you can choose which message to listen to and who its from and see missed calls. I like this as I always use to forget to call 1571 to listen to messages.

Now for the bit I brought it for - call barring! I set it up to block International and withheld numbers but wondered what would happen if someone really needed to speak to me....well I didn't need to worry, the barred callers hear the phone ringing and then get put through to the voicemail so if they do need you they can leave a voicemail! At our end the phone is silent but you can see on the phone that a withheld or international call is coming in, then when the voicemail kicks in you don't hear anything (usually the voicemail greeting would play out loud and you would hear the caller too).

Other features are shown below but I'm sold on just the call barring feature! Plus you can put the phone on 'do not disturb' setting but have a list of VIPs who can still get through.

I love our new phones and we've had no annoying calls yet since installing them!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Easter Egg Showdown - Cadbury v Aldi

A few weeks ago while watching Super Scrimpers they did a test on 3 Easter eggs: Cadbury, Lindt & Hotel Chocolat. I decided (after seeing Aldi was running a special on Easter eggs) to run my own taste test as I always go for Cadbury and everyone raves about Aldi chocolate (I've tried their hazelnut chocolate and its lovely).

Also living virtually next door to Aldi it was easy to source the chocolate.

We always have lots of chocolate in our house for emergencies, this includes some minstrels from 3 years ago which I must throw out (having just remembered).

Egg Statistics

Aldi - £2.99
Choceur Milk Chocolate Flame Egg 350g
Milk chocolate egg filled with a selection of chocolates
The selection of chocolates includes:
milk chocolate with apricot flavour centre
Almond nougat with cocoa pieces
Nougat in milk chocolate
Soft caramel covered with crisped rice and milk chocolate
Marzipan with almond in chocolate

Per 100g:
28.9g fat

Cadbury Dairy Milk Buttons egg
99p at Aldi (brought on 13th march 2013)
Hollow milk chocolate egg with milk chocolate buttons.
Per 100g
30.1g fat

Nothing will be better than Cadbury in my eyes (or mouth) but the Aldi egg is really nice and compatible to Green & Blacks. The chocolates that came with the Aldi egg are amazing and I think due to that the Aldi egg is my favourite. I also love rhe packaging as each half of the egg was wrapped and the chocolates were in the middle. You would definitely think this egg would be in the higher priced section of a supermarket.

My verdict: Aldi egg (but mostly due to the chocolates inside) but the chocolate egg is still delicious and much nicer than other other supermarket ones I tried before. Nothing will match Cadbury as it has its own taste but overall Aldi was better.

While at Aldi I also brought some marzipan eggs for my Mum who loves marzipan (as I do) and her feedback was that they were lovely! Might have to buy some more!

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

#CCBox9 has landed! SPOILER

When I found that CCBox9 had been posted on Monday I was all upset.....because I knew I had work Tuesday (today) and it would mean that my box would have to stay overnight in the sorting office waiting for me to collect it Wednesday but....due to the awful icy/snowy weather I had to take today off as holiday as it was too slippery for me to safely get to my car and to drive to work.

I have been waiting for Mr Postie alllll day and at 1pm I saw him walk past (can you tell I'm excited...I've not opened my box yet!) and stood in the hall waiting for him. He recently has not knocked with parcels (even when I've been in) and just left a card saying we weren't in so I was hoping that he actually knocked today and had the parcel....14 minutes later and the knock came on the door!

Now time to open my lovely box of goodies.....

I've just looked and I'm not going to lie.....I'm not really a fan of Steampunk :o( it's one of the only things I don't like and was a bit disappointed. I know quite a lot of people like Steampunk but it's just not for me. There are some nice bits in the box and I'll use them in someway I'm sure.

The box contains:
Art Card - from this I thought maybe it was a doll theme
CC Kit - Decoupage trinket box
3m Brown Leather Cord - may try and make a knotted bracelet with this
Pipe spacer beads
Crackle glaze
Metallic transfer foil - quite looking forward to using this on some cards
Bundle of leather scraps
Reel of wire
Bulb and clock charms
Lock clasps
Watch parts - My husbands a jeweller and works a lot with watches so may pretend I've taken one of his watches apart lol play a trick on him
Brown tweed fabric (can never have too much fabric! - bow tie for Bailey I think!)

It was a bit of an anticlimax for me but at least the steampunk box is out the way lol I'm sure others will love the box and the products are lovely and a high quality as usual, just not for me this month unfortuately.

Some of my uses of Crafty Creatives packaging

I love the Crafty Creatives boxes and one of the things I enjoy seeing is that months packaging paper/material.

For my valentines day cards I used the Halloween theme box rose material (I only sent one card but made cards for friends and family to give).

This month I loved the polkadot print and used it for my Mum's Mother's Day present (a handmade pin cushion and some flower head pins). I wrapped this with some twine (similar to that in the box this month but I have lots of reels of different colours from a competition) and also used a tag I think was in a past box. No tape needed at all either!

I've used the printed brown paper for small gifts previously too as think it looks so lovely and have used it in my Big Shot with my hedgehog die as it gives a great texture and colour for my hedgehogs. (The picture below shows this on our hedgehog's house sign, he is such a messy hog, he rearranges his cage at night)

What have you used your paper wraps for?

My New Cushion Cover using freebies and Crafty Creatives bits

Over the last few weeks I've been working on a cushion cover using bits and bobs I had laying around, mostly from free gifts. This started after getting a cross stitch from Simply Homemade which they showed on a cushion in the magazine. I did the cross stitch over a few evenings while watching TV with my husband and then got to work making it into a cushion cover.

I had some lovely fabric from Crafty Creatives box 8 which I used on the back of the cushion and for the front I used some Tilda fabric squares which I got as part of a subscription gift from Simply Homemade magazine.

To frame the cross stitch I used some Tilda ribbon and buttons.

The only thing I brought was the zip for the cover, and the cushion was an old one from round my parents house (it's quite small so perfect to go behind my back in my tub chair).

I was a bit annoyed that I didn't line the front up properly as the cross stitch isn't right in the middle but I wasn't following a pattern and was just having a play around with the fabrics but I do like the final result.