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 31 December 2014

WOYWW #291- New Years Eve Edition.

Happy New Year to all my WOYWW buddies, may it be peaceful, happy, healthy and prosperous.
 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:
Both sets of Spellbinders were on my Amazon wish list- I have the Long Baubles(2011) version, this is the rounder 2010 one. The penguin stamps and die cut were  Beloved Hubbys find on the net- I see little groups of Penguins appearing on cards next year.
 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!
A little Christmas pressie to myself- The Craft Station had some Sweet Poppy stencils in their sale. They are mainly stencil versions of Lavinia Stamps, and I got 4 nice  fairy ones. Also, a Holly leaf die- can I claim that as a start on next years cards? lol.

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

Favourites of 2014

Just browsing, as you do, and I saw a post from last year with favourite projects of the year, so as I've been very lacking on the crafting front lately, I thought I'd have a look back at my crafting year again this year. I've not just concentrated on finished cards this year, but also on some techniques I've really enjoyed trying out. Possibly a good call, as I seem to have so many UFO's about, its ridiculous!
 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.

Second card used sponging again, this time with another technique I'd finally got around to trying out this year- Resist Stamping. It only uses two stamps- both from 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

WOYWW #290- The Christmas Eve Edition

Well, I've managed to get myself back in gear this week, for our pre- Christmas coffee and Mince pies over at The Stamping Ground, hosted as always by our much loved Hostess, Julia. I finally managed to get around to clearing all the stuff off my desk- most of it not put away, I hasten to add, just moved to another desk. Telling myself I'll get round to it over Christmas. There is something new on my desk for this week though, I treated myself to a few more Promarkers, from Cowling and Wilcox- best price on the net, either for single pens, or packs.
I bought the Winter 2014 set, and a small selection of single pens. Also, 3 Flex markers, which I've gradually been adding to my collection as they have a lot of really pale colours in them, much lighter than the Promarkers. I also noticed with the new pens that they are now putting a coloured sticker on the 'flat' end, which I had been doing myself up till now, to make it easier to find the colour I wanted.
 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've photographed it leaning against the bookcase so you can get a sense of the scale. Its at least 4 times the size I was expecting. So this could get interesting.
 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

WOYWW #288

 First of all, before going any further, I want to apologise to all of you that find a word verification on my comments section! Nothing to do with me, Blogger has apparently done some sort of upgrading which now puts it there, even when you say no. They reckon viewers can get rid of these by enabling third party cookies on their browser, but I have them enabled on mine, and I can still see it on my blog.  Contacted their highly inappropriately named Help Forum last night, and gave them a piece of my mind- only a small piece, I don't have that much to spare. But if it stays in place, then I'm switching over to Wordpress! If anyone else hasn't had this appear, or knows a way of getting rid of it, I'd be very grateful! Rant over, and back to the reason we are all here, our weekly coffee morning at Julias place, The Stamping Ground.Still nothing exciting on my desk, in fact thats probably the most exciting bit- I've actually managed to get myself together somewhat and clear away everything that was on it, and I've even gotten as far as getting my Crimbo pressies wrapped.Thanks mainly to regular dosings of Tramadol and Morphine, the mix that finally worked. Didn't help that the stress of being in pain so much the previous week ended up with a trapped sciatic nerve, just to make things worse. One thing I have discovered with this mix, if I sit down and close my eyes, I'm asleep! lol. I swear I could lean in the corner and go straight to sleep.
 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.
Absolutely amazing night, even if I did leave with a completely numb bum, lol. They really need to do something about their seating! So thats my cheating desk this week- can't  believe I've just lost the two weeks I was planning to use to get all my cards done by being in pain. One good sign I've noticed is my stamina coming back- I can walk up two flights of stairs in one go now. Have a good week everyone- can't believe how close Christmas is now.

*****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

WOYWW #287

Happy first Wednesday in December folks! Where the heck did that year go?No post from me last week, but it doesn't feel like two weeks since my last visit to Julia at The Stamping Ground,  for our usual desk round up. My desk is a complete mess. Honestly. Even for me.
 Unopened packages, mostly Christmas presents. A package or two I finally summoned up the energy to open. Some Wink of Stella pens that everyone raves about. A set of Hobby Art stamps- well, they were in the Black Friday sale.A couple of blending mats in The Handy Hippo sale, I went there for some magnetic sheets for my dies, and saw them cheap. Trust me, you do not want to see the rest of the room. Most of my purchases from the NEC are still on another worktop, unopened and unstored. My can't be asked-ness has reached record heights over the last week. I need to open all the Xmas pressies to make sure I've got everyone covered. Maybe tomorrow.
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.
A stamp I have, Snowy Postcard from Stampendous, I'm guessing done with film and Glamour dust, its so gorgeously sparkly.  Krisha, thank you so much xx.
 Sorry for being so long winded in this post, I will let you all get off now and visit some other WOYWWers.

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...