A Warm Welcome to all my visitors.
Thank you for taking the time to come and look at my blog, I really appreciate it. Please leave me a comment, even just to say Hi, It means I can come and visit you, and find new friends!
All my designs are original, so copyrighted to me. If they have been inspired by someone else, I have credited them in the info. Please feel free to use my designs, I just ask that you provide a link back to my blog, Thanks.
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
This weeks desk, I admit, is being done on Tuesday afternoon, as tonight we are off out to a concert- Slipknot and Korn at the NIA, Birmingham. So nothing will be happening desk wise tonight. As always, the reason for the desk shot is our weekly gathering over at The Stamping Ground, where our much loved leader, Julia, attempts to keep us all in order.
I came across mention of this on SCS, and e-mailed Ranger to ask the question, the reply I got back was Yes, all the Adirondack line, apart from Alcohol Inks, are being discontinued. They are putting out the Paint Dabbers under the Ranger name,and launching a new line of inkpads. I had a look at the first 12 colours on the CHA release, and some do look similar to Adirondack colours, some are definitely new. But they are all, so far, very strong 'brights', none of the paler 'lights' amongst them. So off I went in search of as many re-inkers as I could find to complete my collection. Countryview Crafts carries some, and Susan, who runs it, has very kindly ordered me the ones she doesn't carry from Ranger, which I though was fantastic customer service. I also found a few on Amazon.co.uk. The result was that whilst I was on Countryview Crafts site, I saw her January Sale section, and a bunch of stuff just fell into my basket, on the reasoning that they were extremely cheap,lol! See, I told you there was a logical connection here.
Final pic is back to embossing folders- Tim Holtz Debossing Christmas Words, and a Sizzix/Hero Arts pair of Snowflakes.
That's the trouble with Internet shopping- its far too easy, lol. Sitting in front of your pc with a nice coffee- warm,dry and comfy.
Now a quick mention of how things stand with me, and I am a very Happy Bunny today. Yesterdays appointment with the Oncologist yielded way better news than I expected. I was fully expecting a tough course of IV chemo, and losing my hair to it. The result is my IV chemo will be one two hour infusion, followed by two weeks of the same chemo tablet I had before, then a one week break. That's a cycle, and I have to have four, so it runs for 12 weeks in total. I really expected the IV chemo to be a lot more than this, a lady I know had it for a different cancer, last year, and hers was 8 hours a day for five days at a time, so I feel I'm getting off lightly. The best bit though, is that my chemo again does not cause hair loss. You have no idea how much of a boost that has given me. I do know that in the scheme of things that really should be a minor detail, but for me, it isn't. I think that its partly because this cancer problem still does not feel real. I don't feel ill, in fact the only problem I've had has been caused by the treatment, rather than the disease. So I find it hard to 'feel' like there is anything wrong with me at all. We also got to see the scan images, the first one from back in August, and the one from January. You can see shrinkage in it, so the radiotherapy did something, but its just bigger than the surgeon would be happy with removing. I also saw the coding T4,NO,MO on the screen, and did some research when I got back. According to the Cancer Research website, which lists all the codes used for cancers, this means that it has grown through the bowel lining, no lymph nodes show any cancer cells, and there is no spread to other organs, so this puts mine at stage 2B. That was another boost, as the stages are 1-5,with 1 being the lowest, and given how large it had grown, and that it could have been there for a very long time as I'd had no symptoms, I will be honest and say we seriously did not expect my staging to be lower than 3, and more realistically we were expecting a 4.
Well, I'm done now, so have a great Wednesday, and I will catch up with you later today.
Wednesday, 21 January 2015
A final note for you, I had my scans a couple of weeks ago, and a meeting with the surgeon last week. Mixed news, to be fair. Firstly, and the real positive from this, is that the cancer has not spread to my Liver or Lungs, its just confined to the rectum. On the downside, the radiotherapy has not shrunk it by as much as he would want before removing it, so I have to have another round of Chemo, this time IV. Don't know when yet, waiting for the Oncologist appointment to come through, so will have to wait to get more details of how often/when/how long for. The good side is that it will be at our local hospital, which is only a 10 minute drive away. Like I said, not what we wanted to hear, so a bit disappointing overall, but the news that it hasn't spread is fantastic.
Have a great Wednesday everyone, and if you are new here and wondering what its all about, get yourself off over to our Head of Desks, Julia, at The Stamping Ground, and join in the snooping!
Wednesday, 31 December 2014
Well, just where did that year go? I know we all say the years pass faster as you get older, but its getting ridiculous now! I feel like last year just went by in a flash.
But the year would not be the same without our regular meets at Julias house, The Stamping Ground, for our weekly snoopfest.
So, to the desk. First, a few crafty goodies in my stocking off Santa:
Two semi precious stone angels for my collection, I have a number of animals, angels and hearts.
Yesterday I felt like we are finally getting this pain/discomfort thing under some real control, and I actually managed to get something done. Sorted out my dies into themed folders- might save on the time wasted hunting for something. Also might mean they get used more!
Finally a really sweet pic, in more ways than one. We went into Birmingham to John Lewis, to look at TV's. After about 1/2 an hour standing around/ walking round various tv's, I was struggling, so Hubby took us off to the restaurant for a coffee. Sent me to sit down while he got the drinks (and cakes, lol). I had a very nice shortbread with my Mocha- I could eat shortbread until I was sick, honestly. But this was what Hubby saw at the counter, and brought for me: Monty, the gingerbread penguin! How can I possibly be expected to eat something so cute?
So that's my final desk for the year-I'm hoping and planning on doing a lot more crafting next year, and looking forward to our weekly meet up at Desker Central, under the watchful eye of our much loved Julia. Have a lovely New Years eve everyone, wherever and whenever you are.
Just remembered- the saga of the canvas! This was what it looked like:
It did involve taking down the 4 smaller pics that had been on that wall and relocating them, and fortunately Hubby loved it! Quite a bit of alcohol there, for cocktail making. Thanks to the painkillers, I've only had two cocktails all over Christmas- that was most definitely not part of the plan!
Saturday, 27 December 2014
First card I picked this year,was one I did for a guest DT spot on Chocolate Baroque.
Put myself on the spot by colouring with Promarkers, and I'd just started playing with gilding flakes, so added them in too.I made both backgrounds by sponging on Distress Inks, then second generation stamping images. Something again I hadn't done before, though admired it greatly wherever I'd seen it.
Visible Image, Love with your Heart phrase and Grunge Flourish. The flourish was randomly stamped around the edges of the large square in white, and heat embossed in white powder. DI in Salty Ocean and Dusty Concord sponged over the top. On the small square the phrase was treated the same way, then I overstamped the flourish in Adirondack Denim. The flowers are called Delicate Asters, a Spellbinders/Heartfelt creations die, that looks gorgeous, but requires a ridiculous amount of patience to get good cuts!
The Resist Embossing technique is one I played with quite a lot over the year, you can get some beautiful effects just by changing the sponging colours, and its so simple. What's not to like? I did the panels on a separate sheet of card, so the base card didn't buckle when I heated it, and just trimmed down to the height of my card base. Still pretty CAS, almost one layer cards though.
I stamped the ladybirds in black this time, and did mask them off for the sponging, and the overstamping with the fabulous Water Droplets stamp from Ryn, which incidentally can now be bought as part of an unmounted sheet available from Oyster Stamps. The cards made doing this technique, also led me to another card making discovery, for using up the offcuts, and the stuff that didn't come out too well.
Punch/cut down into small squares and mount in a grid system! The colours and stamps pull the whole thing together, and you get a bunch of cards in a few minutes.
It was definitely all about playing with the techniques this year, and one I found on Pinterest really grabbed me, called 'Northern Lights'. Just so simple, sponging on streaks of colour, letting them overlap and blend together, then finally bringing in a darker tone over them. Add your images, maybe a little colour to areas of the image, and you're done.
This was the start, with the basic sponged colours, and the overstamped images.
Same piece after the brightness has been toned down the addition of extra blue. All it needs now is some greys/browns adding into the rocks to tone that down, and its good to go.
Final one, just to show you don't have to get fancy to get awesome! Stamped in black on white, then matted onto black card leaving a really thin edge. To get the embossed oblong, I lay the stamped piece on the inside of the card front, and just lightly drew around each corner with a pencil. Then I marked about 1/2" away from those lines, and lightly pencilled in the oblong. Scored the lines on a scoreboard, then rubbed out the pencil marks.
So thats what I've enjoyed doing in 2014- heres to another year, and hopefully a lot more creativity on my part next year!
Wednesday, 24 December 2014
Next pic will give you all a smile.You know when something doesn't turn out to be quite what you expected. I live my life quite happily in the knowledge that I am probably the only person in Europe who still measures everything in feet and inches. Hmmm, well apparently I'm not. I saw something I wanted to get Hubby for Christmas, looked at the size, automatically assuming the measurements were in centimetres.
Beloved Hubby answered the door to the postie a week or so ago, then called me and asked me what on earth I'd ordered. I took one look at it and said 'thats bigger than I expected.' I'm quite good at understatement, by the way.
Its a canvas picture, and the 42 I took to be centimetres, turns out to be inches. What was supposed to be a small canvas is more along the lines of a room divider!
I also want to say thank you to everyone for the Christmas cards received, they are gorgeous, every one of them.
We seem to have the majority of my problems under control now, I just still get aching buttocks, which makes sitting for too long uncomfortable, no matter what I do. So, I've spent a lot of time lay on the sofa catching up on watching Stampscapes videos. And I still get tired easily, I've discovered. On Saturday we took my Mom to put a wreath and flowers on my brothers grave, then do her Christmas shopping afterwards, so I was probably on my feet for about 6 hours. I kid you not, over Sunday and Monday, I think I've slept for 40 hours out of 48! However, I think I have finally run out of sleep, so I'm on the up again. I do now have my scan appointments for January, my MRI on the 6th and my CT on the 9th, so I should get my case discussed at the MDT meeting on the 13th, and within about a week, I think we'll have a date for the next surgery.
So, from myself and Doug, may you all have a lovely, calm and peaceful Christmas, and we want to thank each and every one of you for all the love and support you've given us during the year.
Wednesday, 10 December 2014
However, we had finally got the pain under control by Thursday evening, which was good, as on Friday we had tickets booked to go and see Jeff Waynes War of the Worlds at the NEC.
*****Quick edit***** Di's fix works perfectly( in my comments.) Also, ignoring the WV works too, just click post comment, and it goes through anyway. Thanks Di, you are a star :)
Wednesday, 3 December 2014
The reason for my getting nothing done? As most of you will realise, last Monday was my last radiotherapy, and I expected to feel tired for a few days, and in truth, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I was sleeping 18-20 hours out of 24. What I didn't expect was that on Wednesday a whole new world of pain would open up. Clearly the radiotherapy is doing its job, and I know it keeps on working, but as I'd been in no pain before I didn't expect to get any now. Wrong! Not to put too fine a point on it, imagine your butt muscles squeezing in spasms onto something like a golf ball- and really hard. Tuesday night I took paracetamol, that helped a little. No problem till late Wednesday evening, so took some Paracetamol & Codeine I had left from when I broke my shoulder. That helped a bit, but still had pain spasms when I got up, so phoned the colorectal nurse to make sure this was ok- no-one warned me about pain. She said it is normal, just important to get the pain under control, as they don't want me suffering, That makes two of us, I reply. Off to Doctors, this is Thursday,come home with an anti-spasmodic, and co-dydramol. As I discover during Thursday night, this does not help. Dougs suggestion of a hot water bottle does help no end though, and I did manage to sleep when it eased the pain. Back to Docs on Friday, and leave with Co-codamol and Diazepam as a muscle relaxant this time. Actually get some sleep Friday night, then Saturday I wake up ok at first, then I get the stupidist pain imaginable. My buttocks hurt! I felt like I'd been sitting on a pile of rocks all night! That gets worse all night, painkillers not dealing with it, it finally eases off about midnight and I can sleep. Feel fine when I get up Sunday, than late afternoon it comes back in waves, getting severe about 10.00pm. Didn't matter what I did- sit, stand, lie down, walk- nothing eased it. Added to which I'm trying to keep track of what pills I've taken and when. Started a notebook with times for each type. Really easy to get confused about what you took last. Went to bed. Got up at 2.00am, as it was clear I wasn't going to sleep. Finally about 3.45 it started to ease, so went back to bed. Still there when I got up, so back to Doctors. I am now up to Tramadol- and at the moment, its working. For the first time in a week I am completely pain free. You know how serious your painkillers are getting, I've figured, by the size of the warning leaflet in the pack. This one was like unfolding a map of the world. Mind you, by now it could have said I had a 90% chance of growing a second head and I'd still have taken it. On top of this, my skin seems to have developed an allergic reaction to the adhesive on the Stoma bag! Possibly this is also a radiotherapy result, fortunately it looks worse than it feels. Not sore or itchy, though it looks like it ought to be.
At this point, I have to say that I know a number of our lovely WOYWWers suffer this kind of pain on a daily basis- my DIL does too. All I can say is that Ladies, I have the greatest admiration for you, I do not know how you cope. A few days and I have been climbing the walls- I'd have made a deal with the Devil himself on Sunday night. You are all wonderful to me, keeping me going with your support- but you lovely people with your permanent health problems are the true inspirations on here. You all know who you are, so I'm not naming names.
Finally, on a brighter note, I received our first Christmas card of the year yesterday, from Krisha.
Sorry for being so long winded in this post, I will let you all get off now and visit some other WOYWWers.
Wednesday, 19 November 2014
My desk for this week has nothing going on at all. Nada. Nowt. But I did realise, looking at last weeks picture, that when I showed the stamps I bought, pretty much none of them were visible. Bit pointless really. So I thought that as my desk was bare, I'd lay them out and show you.
A few more of my favourite Visible Image stamps.
This Clarity set looked like it would be a useful addition for scenic stamping.
Final item is something I forgot about last week, as it was still inside a bag.
Glitter. How could I miss that?
Some nice orange shades, which seems to be sadly lacking in glitter colours, although there are quite a few in the Barbara Trombelli range. A nice variety of purples- you can never have too much purple, I say. And the obligatory black.
One or two thoughts on the NEC- its getting smaller every time I go, I find. And there are less stamping companies attending every year. Quite a few of the big names were noticeable by their absence this time round, and a lot of others had much smaller spaces than they usually do. Looks like Hobbycrafts is pricing people out of taking part.
So that's me done, I'm not working tonight,(Tuesday) I'm absolutely shattered. So glad this is my final week of treatment, its getting to me now. I was quite wiped out over the weekend, I slept till midday on Saturday, then went back to sleep at 3.00 till 6.00, and was back in bed by 10.30, and slept till midday on Sunday. All I've been thinking about since I got up is going back to bed, so that's where I'm off now. Only 4 more treatments, and until at least Thursday, when I see the Oncologist, I'm off the Chemo tablets. One of the side effects you are supposed to tell them about is getting sore hands/feet, and for the last few days the balls of my feet have been quite sore. Like when you've been wearing heels for too long? Or had the seam of your socks/tights under the ball of your foot? Anyway, I phoned them and told them, and I've not to take any more till I see Dr Sothi on Thursday. And I also now have 6 weeks worth of Vitamin E tablets to take for it!
Wednesday, 12 November 2014
The rest of my room is gradually getting back to normal, I've got everything put back on my desk, and have a few drawers to put stuff away in yet.
Running update, I now have only 9 days of radiotherapy left, thats gone by really fast. Oncologist was very happy with me last week, and said that if I still feel ok this week, I don't need to wait and see her, I can just see her next week, and she will organise the CT scan for 6 weeks time then. Works Occupational Health Nurse was also happy, and said she recommended that I continue doing half shifts until my treatment has finished, and gradually go back up to full hours after that. Which I am happy with, I do find that I tire easily- thats how its affecting me, lack of stamina. I can't do anything for as long as I used to be able to. I am really glad to come home at 2.00am at the moment. Apologies to those I didn't get round to last week, Thursday was a long day, with treatment and having to see the Oncologist, as well as the Works Occupational health lady, and it was early hospital appointment, so had little sleep. Lost most of Friday catching up on sleep! I shall be doing better this week, lol.
Wednesday, 5 November 2014
This was the corner where the old desk used to be:
Hubby getting ready to construct- I'm still banned from lifting, and to be honest, I felt really worn out all weekend, just seemed to move from sitting down in one place, to sitting somewhere else. Which is why nothing as yet has been put back, my energy levels were on the floor!
By today, I am half way through my treatment, it has gone quite quickly. Didn't go in to work Monday night, as I still felt tired, but was feeling a lot better last night, so went back.
So that's my show and tell for this week, keeping my fingers crossed my energy levels stay up, as I've booked a ticket for the Hobbycrafts show at the NEC, I shall be going on Saturday, as Thursday and Friday I have my treatments, so they are out, and Sunday I will have time to recover if I'm tired. Anyone going Saturday, give me a heads up, and we'll meet up somewhere. Which also means I need to get my stuff sorted and put away, as I need to find the ticket I printed off!
Wednesday, 29 October 2014
Last weeks selection of Stampscapes, and a few oldies, painted with the glue and drying off.
I reckon this bottle will last forever, such a small amount needed, and I'm painting it on with a foam brush.
For those who don't know about it, its a sort of repostionable glue, almost like you find on the edges of Post It notes. Stays tacky for ever, almost. This way, they stick to the holder sheets, and your acrylic blocks, and generally take up far less storage space than using the foam EZ mount. I did at first put all my u/m's onto that, but over the years have found that it started to separate from the stamps, and quite some number have started to 'cup', which means they don't stay on the carrier sheets, or the blocks. So thats an ongoing project. Talking of stamps(!), Chocolate Baroque, every now and again, have a sale of what they call 'Broken Biscuits'. You can probably figure that out, its stamp sheets that didn't all come out perfectly, so the poor ones have been cut away, and replaced with a good stamp. It means you get all the stamps in a set, they are just not all joined together on a sheet when you get them. As you are going to cut them apart, that's no difficulty. And generally they sell them at roughly half price, which means I got an A4 set for £15, instead of the usual £24.96.The set I bought is called Artistic Affirmations.
I was expecting to get a bag of mainly loose stamps, but when it arrived, it was almost a complete sheet- just one stamp separate from the rest!
Not a lot of crafting done this week, we called in at IKEA on Friday, and I bought another couple of drawer units, a tall Alex and a wide one, so there has been some tidying and reorganising going on.
Last and final thing I want to show you: Beloved Hubby has struck again! The things he manages to find on the Internet never ceases to amaze me. I knew he had ordered something for me and Mikey, but had no idea what it was. Then on Saturday morning two packages arrived, and he told me to go ahead and open them.
This is what was inside:
Two cushions, with pictures of Ambrose on. One set for us, and one set for Mikey and KT.The fabric is suede- like, and the image quality of the prints is amazing. Got Mikey to pop over yesterday, with KT, said we had something for them. They were both chuffed to bits with them.
My treatment is plodding along, still so far, so good. The worst part is the time involved- 45 minutes there, the same back. The actual treatment takes less than 10 minutes, and three days last week I was called in within 5 minutes of arriving. Monday this week, we got there to discover they were running 70 minutes late! Not funny. Also this week, on Monday, I returned to work, doing half shifts at first to see how it goes.
Wednesday, 22 October 2014
I actually have a few pics of purchases this week, so the weak willed amongst you may wish to look away, lol.
First up, some new Stampscapes unmounted stamps. I do love my scenic stamps and these extend the range of scenes I can build up. The top two are intended to be snowy brooks, but can easily be grassy ones with a change of ink colour, and the next two down on the right are a right and left version of a river bank. Some small filler grasses and rocks, and a wading fisherman to add detail.
Next up is the engagement card I made for Mikey and KT.
Just a simple diamanté buckle threaded onto ribbon, and matted onto matching navy card, with a stamped and heat embossed sentiment.
Next up is a book I saw advertised in a Chocolate Baroque email, about Brusho paints. I still haven't got round to trying them out, been concentrating on the C- cards, but thought this might make interesting reading. Its full of various techniques for using them with other products, such as alcohol inks/gilding waxes etc.
Final pic is something I purchased thanks to Shoshi's post last week- some more mini misters. She had found an online store, Ampulla, selling them very cheaply. I went to have a look, and they turned out to be identical to ones I had bought from the NEC last year, just a lot cheaper.
These are the ones I ordered, and they are 54p each-and it works out to 49p each if you buy 25. I paid about £4.50, for a pack of three, at the NEC, and that's about average if you do an Internet search,so these are a lot less than a 'craft' version, as usual!
These are the ones I bought at the NEC, one set was branded, Mist-It!, one has nothing on it. The one on the left is the 'new' one, the two on the right the originals.
Can't find any info on the volume of the Tim Holtz ones, but I reckon these hold at least half as much again, at 8ml. Here they are side by side. And they do spray a lovely fine mist.
Last couple of pictures now. One from Saturday night, when we went out for a meal with Mikey and KT to celebrate, and also my Eldest son Ant, came along, with Becky and the grandkids.
From the left, clockwise: KT, Becky,Mortimer, Ant, Merlin behind Doug, and Mikey.
Finally,as all of those who know me on FB know, on Sunday, we had to have our much loved cat Ambrose put to sleep. He was 16 1/2, and in final stage of heart failure, all his organs were shutting down. Mikey is heartbroken, he and Ambrose were pretty much inseparable when he lived here, where Mikey went, Ambrose followed. I phoned him to tell him what the vet had said, and he and KT came over, so all four of us were with him and fussing him when he died. We all left in tears, he'd been a big part of our lives for so long. I do have to say the veterinary staff inside Pet City were wonderful, and could not be faulted. Later next year, when all this cancer thing is done, we will adopt a rescue cat from Cats Protection, and give another cat a forever home. Speaking of the cancer thing, by now I've had my first day of chemo/radiotherapy, and be having my second later today. I will post up on my page later in the week how its leaving me feeling.The chest infection has gone also, so that's all to the good.