A warm welcome to all my visitors,

Thank you for taking the time to come and look at my blog, I really do appreciate it. I would love you to leave me a comment, even if it’s just to say Hi. It means I can come visit you!

All my designs are original, so copyrighted to me. If I have been inspired by someone elses work, I have named them in the post, and where able, I have provided a link.

Please feel free to use my designs for inspiration, I just ask you to credit me, and provide a link back to my blog.

Thanks, Shaz XX

Wednesday 24 September 2014

WOYWW #277

Hi folks, back for another Wednesday Coffee morning at Chez Julias, otherwise known as The Stamping Ground. Where are these weeks going to? 3 parts of the way through September already. Well, the beads got sorted, after a couple of days of 'getting around to it'. Then over the weekend, I thought it was time to sort out the filing cabinet. Just a small 2 drawer one, but it had got to the point that I couldn't cram anything else in, much less find stuff. After shredding wage slips/bank statements etc going back as far as 2007, it has a considerable amount more storage room now. Why on earth did I keep stuff that long? 7 years, that really is daft. Anyway, everything is down to current year now, although we did go paper free bank statement wise, earlier this year. So, whats on the desk? A little bit of retail therapy- some jewellery findings for starters. After the sorting last week, I discovered I didn't have a single jump ring, and was missing a lot of matching fasteners etc. The Tim Holtz mini applicators- I've seen a lot of people raving about how easy to use for smaller projects these are, and that it is much less likely to end up with accidental lines than the oblong ones. Enough justification there, I think.I'm also thinking that I may be able to cut spare foams from cut'n'dry foam with a circular die, and add some felt to the back. We shall see how that pans out. A few new stamps, like I really need any, and a re-inker and an alcohol ink colour I don't have.

During the course of tidying, I re-found these. I ordered some Brusho paints a couple of weeks ago, and spotted these little paint pots with lids on E-bay. I thought they would be ideal for them.The postage seemed a bit steep, to be honest, as the pots were £2.69 and the postage £2.70, but they did come secure in a little box, and it still only made it just over a fiver for the 20 pots. They have all sorts and sizes of these pots as well as spray misters/bead vials/ little screw top pots etc.

Everything still going well, I'll be updating my other page tomorrow night, as we have an appointment with the Oncologist tomorrow afternoon, at 6.00pm. So that should give us the timeline for the chemo/radiotherapy.Had a nice surprise too in the post during the week:

A lovely card, and the most amazing slab of chocolate I've ever seen!Janet, (Fairythoughts), thank you so much. I must admit, I'm enjoying being able to use 'medical condition' as a reason to eat chocolate, rofl!  Despite choccy snacks- Bourbon biscuits are another indulgence- and eating 3 regular meals a day,I have so far lost 5 1/2lbs in two weeks. They did say I would lose weight after this op, which went into the 'pluses' column. Possibly because my meal size has dropped by half- I can't eat as much before I'm full now.So thats my show and tell for this week- its even possible that some crafting may get done in the near future. Trying to psych myself up to starting the C cards- I really should, while I have the time on my hands, especially as I'm pretty sure that fitting them in will get almost impossible later in the year. I've been looking at cards I've Pinned for inspiration, and have found a couple of possible designs so far that I have similar stamps/stencils for. Christmas cards from me in September? Whatever next? If we get plagues of frogs,typhoons and earthquakes, that'll be my bad! Catch up with everyone later, have a great Wednesday.

Thursday 18 September 2014

Beads and stuff....sorted

Well, after two days of procrastinating, or maybe that should be procraftinating, the bead tub is finally sorted. Found things I'd forgotten about, and found I was missing a few necessary things, like jump rings. E-bay soon sorted that out though. So this was what I started with.

Found out my bead mat I made ages ago, just a piece of velvet stuck onto some thick card. Stops the little buggers rolling everywhere. I've also got one of those bracelet/necklace maker /holder thingys- you know, the grey one with the channels for various lengths, *somewhere* sigh.

A case of chuck it all out and start sorting.

Making headway.

Mainly my beads are the semi precious stone type.

Now to pack all the trays away.

A tray full of findings................

.....and one of beads.

And job done. I have a feeling that if I manage to get to the NEC for the Hobbycrafts show this year, I may be adding to this stash.

Wednesday 17 September 2014

WOYWW #276

Hi folks, back again. This is whats on my desk today, and probably for the rest of the week. A 12x12 Really Useful Box filled with assorted tubs of beads and findings.Didn't realise what a mess it was till I went to put something away last week.
 Went off to Staples and bought some of the insert trays that fit the A4 boxes, and I shall be sorting them all out over the next few days.

Hopefully by next weeks desk, they'll all be tidily housed in here. That's the sort of gentle stuff my bodyguard, aka Beloved Hubby has said I am allowed to do, lol.
 Right now, I need to tell all of you that left messages via Jan that I hope you know you had me in tears on Sunday! I phoned Jan on Saturday evening to tell her they had let me home for the weekend, and she said loads of you had sent good wishes, and were thinking of me on Wednesday. So, Sunday afternoon I popped over to read them. Halfway down the comments, I had to get up from the computer, and went into Hubbys room, where he was playing on Rocksmith, in tears. He instantly thought I was in pain, until I explained I'd been reading all your comments, and started crying. I am so touched and moved by all of you, and all your thoughts, prayers and good wishes clearly made wonderful things happen,as you can see from the picture. I went down for my surgery at 11.00am, was back on the ward by 1.15, and by 4.00 I was sat up and had had a cup of coffee!. I feel perfectly fine, and have done since Wednesday evening. I keep getting medical staff tell me that I am not supposed to be this well!

Monday evening a friend from work came around, as they'd had a collection for me. Brought me a huge bunch of flowers, and some lovely gifts.

The small box holds a lovely necklace with a wolf and celtic knot moon.
 I also came home to these beauties on Saturday, from Debs Willis a brilliant Goth Fairy- no idea why she thought of me with that image, rofl.
And from Debbie Rock this lovely Get Well tag.
Thank you both so much, made my homecoming even more special.

If you have read the other page, you will recall that I commented about the passing of wind! No warning and absolutely no way of stopping it,its been a real conversation stopper at times since Wednesday. All we can do is laugh about it. Doug said I'd been fitted with my own personal whoopee cushion. It has calmed down a bit over the last few days, does not happen so often now. However, this arrived in todays post. When Hubby got home last Wednesday, he was browsing the net, and came across this vest top, with the Biohazard symbol on it, and thought it fitted the situation perfectly.The back is quite cool too.

 This was me on Thursday afternoon, with my well earned Costas Mocha!The bag on the floor Hubby brought in, containing amongst other stuff, my bar of Bourneville chocolate, as dark chocolate is recommended for helping things to be regular. You have no idea how hard it was to force myself to eat it. NOT!

And yesterday afternoon, no make up and hair looking a bit dishevelled, but as you can see, looking like there's nothing wrong with me (again).

Monday 8 September 2014

Creative Blog Hop

TCBH started when some clever blogger suggested a game of blog tag, where each person posts once on a Monday, then nominates 3 other crafters to take part. Sadly the name of the person who started this idea has been lost, but there are a lot of crafters involved, from all different areas of the crafty world. Artists, spinners, stitchers, knitters and paper crafters like me!

Debs, over at Debs Designs, asked me if I'd agree to be one of her nominees, and I must admit that I wasn't sure about agreeing to this at first, mainly due to all thats going on in my life at the moment. I do love sharing what I do though, so said yes.
 So, a little bit about me:
 I share my life with my Beloved Hubby, Doug, who is the centre of my world.Can't possibly describe how much he means to me.This is us on our Wedding Day, which will be 5 years ago this year, although we've been together since 1993!
We share our home with a tankful of tropical fish, and a black cat called Ambrose.I've done various crafts at different times- cross stitch, glass painting, jewellery making, candle making. I like embroidery, I know how to knit but don't enjoy it. A bit of a Goth (who me?), and a massive Heavy Metal fan.Love reading, have ever since I was a child, and still have an enormous collection of books, although I do use my tablet for reading mostly these days, I still love to hold a real book in my hands and turn real pages! I'm not a TV watcher, in fact other than watching films,and the odd TV series (True Blood/ Falling Skies/Under the Dome for example) our TV rarely gets turned on. Favourite Authors: David Gemmell, Anne Rice,Frank Herbert,Terry Pratchett & Robert Ludlum amongst others.For a day job, although I use that term loosely, as we actually work permanent night shifts, lol, we make bolts for aircraft/satellites/helicopters.Yes, we do work together too. As well as sharing a birthday- both of us born on August 14th, just a few years apart. My blog came about due to Beloved Hubby, who kept telling me I should do one- eventually I did as I was told, and found a whole new world of friends, mainly thanks to Julia & the Stamping Grounds WOYWW.

 Where I do what I do:
View of my room, which I took over when my Youngest Son left home- now he can't possibly decide to move back, lol.Beloved Hubby decorated it for me then built all the IKEA units- if you want to see the story, its all on one of the pages in the tabs at the top.

So, the questions I am supposed to answer then.

1. What am I working on now?

 To be brutally honest with you, absolutely nothing. My head has not been in any place to do any crafting lately. If you are a new visitor to me, my Rectal Cancer page will bring you up to speed.
 What I do have is a lot of stuff I will be doing over the next few weeks of recuperation.
 My UFO box, and two very nice books bought for my Birthday by Beloved Hubby.

 I reckon I can get most of my UFO's used up in the next few weeks- they're mainly stamped images that need turning into cards, or backgrounds awaiting being stamped on.

Half finished stuff that I just didn't know how to finish at the time.

I also have a 12x12 Really Useful box full of small tubs of semi-precious gemstone beads &chips, all the findings etc, that needs a sort out, so I will probably be sat doing that for the first week or so.

And I treated myself to a set of Brusho paints, I want to try creating backgrounds with them,then I was seriously Enabled on a visit to Sam at Hettiecraft recently.She had some stamps to fit  a set of Nestie Christmas ornaments, the round ones. I have a set of the 2013 Heirloom ornaments, and like a fool I had to go see if they did stamps to fit them. Of course they do! So there is a vague possibility some of the c-word cards might- I did only say might- get started over the next few weeks.

2.How does my work differ to others in my genre?

 Really don't know how to answer this one- I'm not even sure if it is very different. I don't really enjoy colouring, not having much confidence in my colouring ability, so I tend to create coloured backgrounds that I can stamp onto, rather than images that need to have elements coloured in. Far from finding colouring relaxing, I find it stressful, usually because I can't recreate what I can see in my head.
 I love the Stampscapes line of stamps, and was fortunate to be one of the first Design Team on Craft A Scene, a challenge blog for scenic stamping. Thats something else I have to do, a whole list of Kevin Nakagawa's Stampscapes tutorials on You Tube to watch!

3. Why do I create what I do?

These are not easy questions, when you actually start thinking about the answers!
 Occasionally it will be because someone has commissioned a card from me, I do get a number of requests from work colleagues. Often I will want to use a certain stamp, (you would not believe how many I have that have never seen ink), sometimes to try out a technique or CASE something I've seen on Pinterest, When I do CASE, I try to re-create a design, but by using stamps I have that will work, rather than the ones in the inspiration piece. I create because its usually relaxing, and for the sheer enjoyment of it. If I'm not enjoying it, I put it aside. I've made so many great friends through this hobby, that alone would be good enough reason to keep doing it.

4.How does my creative process work?

Darned if I know, lol. Seriously,it might be the stamp that provides the inspiration, it may be something I've seen on Pinterest thats given me an idea.I have so many things pinned on Pinterest,it'd take me half a dozen lifetimes to get through them all.It may be a technique I've seen on someones blog that gets my interest. Sometimes its the  'I wonder what would happen if?' train of thought that will start me off.It may be a card thats been requested- in which case I try to have a pretty clear image of the end product in my head before I start.
 It all comes back to the enjoyment-if its not fun/interesting I put it away.

 Well, thats me, in a nutshell. I will apologise here and now to anyone who visits, that I won't be able to visit back, until at least the weekend.  Tuesday I am being admitted for my first round of surgery on Wednesday morning, and all being well I will be home on Saturday. Whether I will be up to sitting at my PC and blogging is another matter. It may well be next week, so thank you in advance to everyone who does visit and leave me comments, I really appreciate it.
So now to introduce you to my nominees. I apologise for only having two, as my third could not do it, and I felt it was a little late by then to spring it on someone else.
 My first nominee is Maggie, Silvercrafter. , although I know her as Marg. Those of you who know us through WOYWW will know that Marg and I are co- Mothers in Law, Margs daughter being married to my eldest son. I suppose it is unusual for in laws, we are very, very good friends and have known each other for more than 20 years. My Beloved Hubby does all her IT too,lol. Here is Margs bio:

Hello to all of you.  My name is Margaret, but in my crafty life I am more often known as Maggie (Silvercrafter).  I have lived most of my life in Redditch in Worcestershire, just south of Birmingham.

I have always done some form of crafting, starting with embroidery in junior school, knitting, crochet and dressmaking.  As a child I loved drawing and colouring, but I was put off that in high school, where I had to paint thick poster paint all over my little intricate pencil drawings and basically told I was rubbish at art.
My next craft was cross stitch, taken up because it allowed me to do something whilst having to keep my head still during a severe attack of vertigo.  That was the start of my first real SABLE - Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy.  Going round the craft shows at the NEC, I said “I will never get involved in stamping, what is the point of that?”
Paper crafting came around when our son asked me to do his wedding stationary in 2006.  I had been doing some digital card making when I could not find the cards I needed, so it was off to buy loads of cream cards and envelopes and masses of peel offs, which was what they wanted.  In my enthusiasm, I forgot that you do not need one invitation per person, but for each couple or family.  I was left with a huge box of cream cards and gold peel offs.  I had enough Thank You’s to stock the NEC, so had to do something to use them up, which meant buying some new stuff to go with them.  You know exactly what happened after that!  Oh yes, I now have a huge stash, or should I say a SABLE?
I did a lot of decoupage, creating some of them myself from photos.  I started watching the craft on a Tuesday afternoon on QVC, then found Create and Craft.  I soon learned that the wonderful kits usually left me with a load of stuff I would never use.  Then, it happened!!  I first saw a very clever lady who could create fantastic designs and scenes with a couple of see through stamps and pieces of torn paper.  Forget this business of never doing stamping!  Barbara had me totally hooked.  Even my husband, who was very artistic too, would sit down and watch her programmes and he always tried to work out who had done which sample before we were told.  He encouraged me (not that I needed much encouragement) to follow Barbara and buy some of her stamps . He probably never really knew just how many I acquired.
I still use my computer to supply images I have no stamp for, either drawing and printing images myself to then add the Clarity stamps to, or using ready made digi stamps.  Over the last couple of years I have gone back to drawing.  These days, I scan my drawings and print them out to colour in. That way, I protect my originals and I don’t worry about losing them or messing them up.
My second nominee is another WOYWWer- Chris, AKA Bishopsmate, with her blog Cardius Bloggus.  The first time I spoke to Chris, I asked her if she was a fellow Monty Python fan- she asked why I thought that, and I replied her blog title made me think of Biggus Dickus (Life of Brian), and I'm rolling about laughing at that again right now!
Hello there! My Blog – Cardius Bloggus – started as a secondary Blog to record my card making exploits and only card making. I don’t think I detracted from that, well ... not much anyway! The name was invented by my DH, Peter, I pick his brain sometimes cos he always thinks outside the box.
I have a very busy lifestyle as I am first a gardener and then a crafter. I have spent most of my life being both but I could not tell you which I prefer.
My cardmaking days began when I called myself a cross stitcher as that was my main hobby, ending up stitching squares for the Yahoo Group Quilts for Breast Cancer. Then I made a couple of cards using cross stitch kits, a few recycled items and then ... started the fatal thing of buying!!!
I have recently been introduced to ATCs and ... they are sooo addictive ...I love creating them and trying out so many different techniques small size so I needed a third Blog – ATC Wannabee. Now my retirement from paid employment is very busy and it seems that I am always trying to catch up
Thank you Shaz for inviting me to join in this Blog Hop, I loved watching you create at the last WOYWW crop and I am fascinated by your work. I am looking forward to meeting up again next year, if not before!!
Please go visit these very creative ladies when they do their posts next Monday(15th).

An End of an era

An end of an era

I write this with a broken heart, that only time can heal My beautiful, wonderful wifelet Shaz (Silverwolf) passed away peacefully in the ea...