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The low down on the Strictly glam weekend

Tonight my blog is craft and art free. It’s all about Strictly. 

I am a massive Strictly come dancing fan and apply for tickets every year for every show in the hope that I get lucky. Once my friend got tickets so I went with her, and then last year I got tickets myself so the hubby and I went along for that. 

Imagine my joy in finding out I got tickets again this year. And just when life was pretty miserable as it was just after my father in law passed away…. the perfect pick me up! 

So on Friday the hubby and I set off after work and drove to Elstree. We stayed in the Holiday Inn hotel at Elstree and it was very nice. I had thought it was near the studios but it turned out that’s the Ibis hotel …. doh! So instead it was a 20 mins walk to the studios… not bad but considering I thought I had booked the one less than 5 mins walk … doh! 

Saturday morning we were up early and heading to the studio to get our tickets validated. Unfortunately when you are offered tickets you are not guaranteed entry so you have to get there early to be guaranteed entry. How early? Well we joined the queue at 7.50am and they start validating tickets at 9am. We finally got ours done at 9.50am and we were tickets 305 and 306.  They say it’s 720 people in the studio… but I think around 200 of them are production tickets so I would reckon on 500 being the public at a guess. So I would suggest for people wanting to guarantee entry don’t turn up past 8.30am or you will get very nervous. 

Anyway then you are sent away to do as you please till between 3 and 3.30pm. I think this time can change for each recording dependent on what they have to record. We got back at about 3.10pm and the queue was half what it had been that morning and was already progressing in through security. So quite quickly we were inside and handing our coats into the cloaks and getting my bag checked by security. No phones are allowed so people were handing them in to be collected later. We had left ours at the hotel as we knew there was no point in having them there just to get them taken off us again. 

So now we were in a large holding area in a marquee. There were toilets and a bar and a photo booth thing (we didn’t bother queuing for that) and seats. Not enough seats for everyone but we happily got seats for us for the next stage of waiting.  

Once the studio was ready for us, they then started feeding people into the studio in the number order that you had been validated. So you think maybe the earlier you are there the better the seat? Not necessarily the case. We were shepherded through to upstairs and had an amazing front row of the balcony view. It was brilliant.  Last year we had got there earlier and been a much lower number but were right at the back downstairs.  Definitely a better view for this time. 

Once everyone was in…. that took a while… they then started filming with the music act. In our case Barry Gibb. Not my cup of tea but the man is a legend so happy to say I’ve seen a Bee Gee perform live! The dance that Janette and Giovanni performed was stunning. They did two takes for this and then off went Mr Gibb and his band.

Next Tess and Claudia came out. They filmed some links and then rehearsed the beginning.  And then it was time to start the live show. 

Well that was amazing! Even the couples who didn’t dance brilliantly were still good to watch and the whole event was fabulous.  My hands and arms ached from clapping and my throat from cheering. It was so engaging and gorgeous to watch. The costumes, the music, the dancing and the personalities were all captivating. 

Before we knew it the two hour show was over and whist the celebs and dancers mingled on the dance floor and with their friends and families we got the opportunity to pop to the loo and were given a kit kat and a drink of juice. Because we were upstairs standing up was not allowed so there was only limited stretching possible and by now we most definitely had a numb bum!

Eventually all the cast disappeared and they started setting up to film the results show. Unfortunately for us the stunning dance we watched on TV yesterday night was filmed the week before so no professional dance for us to watch. Then the results were announced. 

Now I’m not going to get involved in the whole debacle of what then happened as I am not in the know of what went on backstage. What I do know is how upset both Anastacia and Brendan were and my heart went out to them both. Melvin was not as good in my opinion so was OK with him going. But the circumstances were unpleasant and also meant we had an extremely long wait as we were waiting for about 45 mins once the couples were announced till they came out and filmed the final part of the show. 

Anyway enough about that… who were my favourites… well Kevin is a favourite of mine and I loved the Vienesse Waltz that he and Louise did. I also was blown away by the Vienesse Waltz that Danny and Oti performed. Ed Balls’ Charleston was fabulous and a revelation. I also enjoyed Giovanni and Laura’s Waltz and Alijaz and Daisy’s cha cha… I have to admit I didn’t really see Daisy dance though… I was rather focused on Alijaz’s rather fine bottom !!!

We finally left the studio on the Saturday at 11.15pm and headed back to the hotel, tired, hot, hungry and happy! It was a brilliant experience and one I would happily repeat (although preferably without the drama of this weekends results!). 

And were we on the TV? Well yes we were. Not clear on this pic but the hubby and I were visible, if you knew where to look, on every wide shot of the studio. Whoop! 

I just in front of the lady in red with the hubby to the right of me.

Do does this make me famous? Famous enough to be a celeb for next year’s series? Well we will see! 

Here we are glammed up ready to go! We scrub up quite well!


Tomorrow normal crafting blogging will resume. 

But for now… 

Keep dancing!

Catherine 

Balloon, Balloon celebrations, Butterfly, Happy Thing, Life... but not as we know it, Papillion Potpourri, Use them or Lose them

Two sheet wonder

Firstly I have to start with a grumble. Depression sucks. People (myself included before I suffered from it) think it is sadness or unhappiness. It really isn’t that. It’s more that for me it is numbness, or emptiness, combined with despair and isolation. I can be surrounded by people who love me and I love back but feel so alone. It really is horrible. Then the anxiety kicks in and it’s like everything is there at once and you just want quiet in your head but you can’t find it. Sorry to put this in the blog but I think if this helps one person understand another’s troubles or helps another person to identify this in themselves and get help then it’s worth it!

I’ve been back to the doctors this morning. We’ve decided on an increase in medication to go alongside the other things I am trying and I need to increase my exercise (from almost nothing to something routine). I have managed a small walk to and from the shop but after only 5 hours sleep I am now shattered and heading back to bed. Not sure I will get round to any crafting so glad I have a project I can blog about already completed…

Yes as part of the yet of Use them or lose them I have another one sheet wonder (using two sheets of dsp). 

I started with some sketches from Freshly Made sketches …  number 1 to 18 to be precise and after roughly cutting cardstock and paper to size I then started teaming up brads as embellishments, black paper as the consistent matting and then card blanks… three different kinds in total.

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This is then how I left them… waiting for the right opportunity to add feature stamps and sentiments. 

A few weeks later I grabbed some coordinating cardstock scraps and black paper and the sentiment dies…
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And had a big old die cutting session. Didn’t end up doing the button dies for this project.

Next I took all the smaller cards and started assembling them with the die cut sentiment and in some cases a stamped image (or three!). Some I had added paper flowers to already so they didn’t need the stamped images and because of the jazzy backgrounds I didn’t want to overdo it!

These I will share today… the others tomorrow!

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Love how these all turned out… and how different they are because of the jazzy paper I probably wouldn’t have used for this type of project normally.

Pop back tomorrow to see how I finished the other cards from this two sheet wonder!

Happy crafting!

Catherine

Life... but not as we know it

A different kind of painting and paper!

For the last few days we’ve been in decorating mode…. not exactly the kind of paint and paper I am most happy with… changing the princess’s bedroom into a more grown up room that features her favourite colour – blue!

So no crafting for me… just plain old hard work from all of us (grandparents joined in today too!).

Although we still have a long way to go on sorting things out and putting things back on her room (ours is a disaster zone) the bulk is done and it’s looking cool!

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Love the chalkboard effect wallpaper.

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Cute flower lights she had already but they have now moved wall.

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Photo frame I did her for christmas is looking good too (along with new bedding and cushions).

So with just (she says so with plenty of irony) the sorting and putting away to be done I might get some crafting done and have some chill time.  I certainly need some!

Happy crafting! 

Catherine