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 26 August 2015

WOYWW # 325

Hi folks, and before I forget, those Dragon Eggs last week? Built up on a coconut! They were split in half, emptied, then glued back together before adding the scales.So, time to show your desk/floor/tray- whatever you're currently crafting on, for worldwide inspection, courtesy of Julia at The Stamping Ground.
The weak willed amongst you may wish to hide your eyes at this point! I'm almost certain one of you enabled me with the Quietfire/Elizabeth Craft Designs Happy Birthday die last week! There is also a Happy Christmas (that's on backorder).
 The Alpha die (Die-namics) was reduced to half price as a clearance line, so I just had to.By the way, looking at it, are you as confused as I was? Usually, they are in the order of the alphabet, I've found. This one is random, clearly to make the most of the cutting space they had, but it really threw me when I first looked at it.

 The Happy Birthday die is really quite large:
I've laid a couple of rulers next to it, to show you. I loved the script style though, thought it was gorgeous.

I like how the back of the packaging for the Alpha die gives you all the sandwiches for various machines.

I forgot about these Brusho's a couple of weeks ago. 8 new 'Autumn' colours.

The rest of my week so far has been taken up with organising 'Things to keep me occupied' whilst I'm in hospital. To that end, I stamped out a batch of images to colour- these are some of the Gorjuss stamps, not probably normally my thing, but I think they're kinda creepy, rather than cute, as well as some of the Visible Image character stamps. I've also packed my colouring books, Promarkers & DI markers, and both the Art Journalling magazines that Diane sent me. I've been downloading You Tube craft videos to go onto my tablet, as well as some comedy stuff- Michael Mcintyre, and my absolute favourite comedian, Eddie Izzard.
Loads of music, E-Books and Audio books too. So I think I'm fairly well stocked for entertainment of all sorts. I'm not packing my suitcase yet, as we're having this weekend away, to help keep both our minds otherwise occupied. The plan is to drive down to High Wycombe, and stay there Friday night. No particular reason for there, just that it's roughly half way to Kent, which is where we're going on Saturday. I've tried to organise this weekend so Doug only has a couple of hours driving at a time. Then on Saturday we are going to pop in to see Jennie, at The Artistic Stamper.Yes, I may possibly buy some craft supplies (whistles, looking innocent!)
 Saturday night we'll stay at Whitstable, then on Sunday, drive over to Southampton and stay the night there. Monday we will start heading back up towards the Midlands, possibly via Avebury- LLJ mentioned it last week, and I realised it's been a few years since we last went there. So we'll be back home Monday evening, then Tuesday I will pack to go into hospital on Wednesday. I will put up a blog post next week, if I can't link before I go out, then I'll ask LLJ to link me in. I'm going to have plenty of time on my hands to visit you all!
 Also, if anyone wants to text me to chat/see how I am, either FB PM me, or email me (link in sidebar) and I'll send you my mobile number. Hubby has also put Skype on my tablet & phone- shazsilverwolf@gmail.com. As far as I know, the hospital has wifi Internet access, so I won't be out of touch for long,lol.
Tomorrow morning is my pre-op assessment- how on earth has this come round so fast? Have a lovely Wednesday folks.

Wednesday 19 August 2015

WOYWW #324

It seems truly horrible to be starting a second post this year, paying my respects to one of our lovely WOYWWers who has passed on. As many of you will have seen from Julias Tuesday post, we have lost the lovely Janet, Fairythoughts. I only actually met her in reality once, at the 5th year crop,  but she was so friendly to one and all. Then, this time last year, when I'd had my stoma surgery, and mentioned that I had been told that eating plain chocolate was a good cure for if it stopped producing, a few days later I got a gorgeous card, with a lovely supportive message, and an enormous block of plain chocolate from Janet. Thats the pic I posted at the time, and it's way thick, honestly. So much so, believe it or not, I still have a quarter left.I will think fondly of her, as I slowly finish it. Then, earlier this year, a magazine had had a freebie set of feather stamps, and the following month, a die set to match. I mentioned on Janets blog, that I hadn't been able to find it around here, and the lovely lady went out and bought me one and sent to me.  Two examples of her kindness and generosity of spirit, and to someone she only knew through the blog hop. Those who knew her personally must have many, many wonderful memories of her. Goodbye Janet, you will be sorely missed. To her family and friends, much love from us, and our deepest condolences.
 So, on to the reason for our weekly gathering around the world, what's on our desks! I'm actually going to start with Whats On The Fishtank? Answer- Birthday cards.

Two stunning cards from Shoshi, for me and Beloved Hubby. Mine also incorporates an ATC.

Two awesome tags from Debbie- Tattered Rocks.

Two very dimensional, gorgeous cards from Marg, Silvercrafter.

Two from Margaret,Glitterandglue,and her Husband John. Possibly not easy to make out in this pic, but the one on the right uses the Sheena Douglas 'Arches' embossing folder, and it is incredibly detailed.

A lovely gift from LLJ, and will be put to good use with all my bits and bobs for going into hospital.

Very me, isn't it? Has a fantastic black with white spots lining too.

Finally, the card my Mother in law gave me, and on the right, the one she actually wanted to give me. She said she had to get one with 60 on, as Doug told her she had to! But she thought the other one I would appreciate.
 Which brings me to a funny! I need to go into Tesco, and shake the hand of whoever orders balloons, and thank them from the bottom of my heart for being out of stock of balloons with 60 on them last Friday. Doug had planned to get as many packets as they had, inflate them and fill the dining room for me to find when I got up.

This was my card to Beloved Hubby- those Birds get everywhere. Good use was also made of the Poppy Stamps die I was enabled into!

Speaking of gifts, as I was a moment ago, Eldest son Ant, and DIL Becky made us these-

Dragon Eggs! All the scales were hand cut, and painted with nail varnish to get the shimmer on them. But can anyone guess what they are layered on? Answer next week, as long as I remember, lol. The 'nests' are made from slate chippings.

 These were two gifts from Beloved Hubby- the penguin is a pencil sharpener. The crow is now sitting on my PC desk, keeping Spike the hedgehog company.

Returning to Shoshi,and gifts! A parcel had arrived from Shoshi, and when it was opened on Friday revealed an amazing Box of Delights- ( anyone else remember that programme?). It's full of papers, card and embellishments to get me crafting after I've had my surgery.

There is so much gorgeousness here, I am totally overwhelmed by Shoshi's kindness. If anyone wants to see all the goodies, and how much work she has put into the things in this box, she has been posting 'making of' posts on her blog this week.

We had thought about having a weekend away, but the weather seemed a bit indifferent to be honest, and we do have some fencing needing replacing in the garden. Normally, Doug and I would do it, but as I can't lift the sort of weight that the panels are any longer, his brother Rob is helping him do it, and he was free this weekend, so came over to make a start.

 It's the hardest part of the garden to fence too, as it involves three steps down in level. Amounts to about 50 foot of fencing, and also needs some retaining walls built.

Most of the fence posts are in now,they've been braced together just to keep them true whilst the concrete around them sets,and the footings for the walls. There is a lot of concrete involved, as we are an end house, and slightly higher than the houses to our left, and all the gardens are very exposed- we have the only trees in the car park to our right.Which means that when it's windy, it blows straight across with some force, and we don't want any of it blowing over. It also turned out that some of the top level of decking needs replacing, as a couple of the support joists were showing signs of rot. So the job just got bigger!

Sorry, Julia, I know this one got a bit picture heavy!
 One quick update, then I'll let you all go, lol.I added an update to my post last week, that I'd had a phone call from the secretary of the Orthopaedic surgeon who was going to do my op, with an appointment to see him last Friday.Early visitors probably didn't get that bit. I've put full details on my Cancer page, but in short, he was a lovely, friendly, funny man who I took to straight away. He said he likes to meet the patient first, so he can put a face and personality to the name, and decide if he likes them. Heaven knows what happens if he doesn't. I didn't ask. Just in case! I've also had my letter of admission, and next Thursday, 27th, is my pre-op assessment. How fast this is coming round is scary.

Wednesday 12 August 2015

WOYWW #323

And....there went another week. Blink and you missed it! Some stuff on my desk this week:
What a stunning ATC, arrived this week from Bridget Larsen. This photo does not do it justice, the sepia tones are so rich, it's beautiful. Thank you, Bridget.

The dies are the result of a couple of enabling WOYWWers- you know who you are, ladies! The bottom Happy Birthday was the one I was enabled by, the second Happy Birthday just fell into my basket by accident, honestly! The snowflake die is gorgeous, almost Celtic to look at.

Part way through a second Bird Crazy card, this time I used some coloured letters for the Happy bit. Must admit, I'm loving how the Bird dies cut, they do a great job.

Final thing is a card I needed to get done, for a work colleague who gets married next month. They'll be going home to Poland to get married, so the girls at work need the card early to get everyone to sign it. Lots of gold, white and doves- all popular themes for Polish wedding cards, apparently.

So thats my desk, and it's looking a bit neater than last week.
Be a bit of a crafting flurry tomorrow, as I have Beloved Hubby's card to finish before Friday, and it would be better if the glue was all dry when he opens it, lol.
 Neet, thanks for the link to the moulds, just been and had a look. Can't believe how many she has- loads and loads. Lots of masks and faces- I love masks! Oh dear, I feel another enabled session looming on the horizon, lol. Fortunately, she's on holiday at the moment, and not shipping, so I have plenty of time to browse!

 Right, update time, and we finally have a date for the surgery- Wednesday 2nd September. Thats 3 weeks today.
 The appointment went much better this time, he even managed to make me laugh a couple of times, so we are on a better footing. I took the bull by the horns, (who, me?) when we first went in, and told him how unhappy I'd been when I left last time, and asked him if he realised that we had had no idea of the nature or implications of this surgery, last time he saw us. He admitted that no, he had not known that, and apologised for how the appointment was handled, which I have to admit immediately improved his standing in my eyes.He was very nice this time, carefully explaining everything, and indeed, so thoroughly that in fact he'd answered half my questions before I had to ask them. The Epidural, which I need, and was one of my big worries- the idea of someone approaching my spine with a needle really freaks me out-he assured me I didn't need to worry about, that was done only after I was under the anaesthetic.I admit to being slightly shocked to discover there will be him doing the bowel surgery bit, an Orthopaedic surgeon to remove the bone, a Neurosurgeon to look after the nerves, and a Plastic surgeon to move some muscle and skin! He was also very good when I asked if I could be admitted the day of the surgery, so I didn't have to be on my own the night before, as he had wanted to admit me on the Monday. He agreed to this, if I would be prepared to go back between now and the surgery to see a couple of the surgeons beforehand. As he put it, and one of the things that made me laugh- 'they like to see their prey, as it were, before they meet them on the table'! So, not feeling so stressed as I had been, but I'm sure that will change as we get closer.
I also had an MRI appointment for the 22nd of this month, but then Monday I had a call from the MRI dept, they'd been told to bring the appointment forward, and I had that yesterday morning. So now it's just a matter of seeing these surgeons, then the pre-op assessment appointment, and we'll be good to go.
 And that's another WOYWW post from me,  kept in order as always by our much loved Head Desker Julia, over at The Stamping Ground.

ADDED UPDATE:    Just had a call from the secretary of a Mr Grainger, who apparently is the Orthopaedic surgeon who will be participating in my op. I now have an appointment to see him on Friday. I phoned my DIL to let her know, and she was really pleased I was seeing him, and he'd be doing my op. She's had spinal problems since a child, and is also a trained nurse, and has seen him many times. She said he is very good, and in fact was one of the two best Ortho's she hoped I'd get. I've also had my admission letter  in the post (ours often arrives about 2.00pm), and a date for my pre op assessment, which is the 27th of August. This is now getting quite scary- for ages the op has been a vague blob on the horizon, now it's all becoming horribly real

Wednesday 5 August 2015

WOYWW #322

WOYWW? again, and there is quite a bit on my desk this week. Actually, this is the tidiest shot, there is worse to come. Been playing about with my new alphabet & Bird Crazy dies, 2 posts down, and made a card with them and the Bird Crazy stamps, in the post below this.

  So, the next to worst photo:

Everything bar the kitchen sink, but there was no room for it!
And now, in all its terrible glory- those of you with a nervous disposition may want to go and hide behind the sofa, and peer through your fingers-

As I said, I made one card yesterday, and had idea for a couple more, so I'm working in the tried and trusted 'push it to one side and carry on' style. Except I'm about to run out of side.

This little fella will be taking a starring role, supported by a cast of die cut text.

In case you don't get down to the card post, here is my weekly enable: Sharpie markers are on sale in Tesco- multi colour packs, black packs, neons, all sorts. LOL. So thats my show & tell for this week, I'll be linking up with you all via Julia at The Stamping Ground, and see if anyone has made more mess than me!
 Oh, by the way, the PET/CT scan went fine last Thursday, just waiting for the MRI appointment now, expecting it to be early next week.
Quick update:  Had a phone call this morning, and I have an appointment to see Mr Radley at the QE tomorrow afternoon.Apparently, he's on holiday for two weeks from next week, and wanted to see us beforehand. Fingers crossed this appointment goes better than the first, otherwise me and him will be having words!

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Crazy Bird Birthday card

This is the card I was working on yesterday, inspired by something I'd seen in a crafting video. Can't remember whose it was, I've watched so many lately! It was the die cutting of a word, and placing a coloured paper behind it that had got my attention.

This one used a piece of the Brushos test pieces behind the 'Birthday' cut out.
 One thing I know now I need is a proper magnetic plate for holding the letters, and I've ordered one from Amazon. It's intended for the Spellbinders Wizard, but in one review, the person uses it in her Cuttlebug, and the size looks right, (5x7) so I know it'll work in both machines. Way cheaper than the Sizzix one, and that will not go through a 'bug.
 I did find a work around, but it's not perfect- that 'B' looks a little wibbly to me.
This was my work- around. The X Cut alpha set came with a magnetic storage sheet, so I drew some lines on it to line the letters up with, using a Sharpie permanent fine tip (by the way, all the Sharpies are on a special at Tesco at the moment, lol). I placed it on top of my steel shim, to give it a bit more stability. It does hold the piece in place, but not as firmly as you would really like. Especially when you are trying to find the right shimming to get clean cuts.
So after a bit of faffing about, trying to figure how I needed to place the card to get the word in the right place and orientation, I finally had the start of my card front.

 Tip here, be careful not to lose any of the filler bits to the letters B,R,D & A- you will need them later on.

Next step was to trim down a piece of one of the Brusho backgrounds, which was attached behind the cut out word with DST.

Now you can see why you need the little waste bits- to fill in your word.

I knew I wanted balloons, but was pretty sure I'd never bought a balloon stamp- so, on the off chance, I looked amongst the 'freebie' stamps you get with magazines- lo and behold, a balloon stamp! I stamped it onto the remaining piece of Brusho background, and cut out just the balloons. To give them a little shine, I added some Glossy Accents, just a drop, and smoothed it over with my finger.
 Put them aside to dry, and turned to the Crazy Birds.

Stamped him in Memento Tuxedo Black, onto one of the scraps from when I was trying to get the word orientation right.
Before I started colouring him, I used some Masking Fluid on his eyes, so they would stay white.

I applied Distress Inks, with finger daubers, my home made ones, to colour him.

 Here are the various pads I used-the Squeezed Lemonade for his tummy, and Fossilized Amber & Wild Honey on his beak. Mermaid Lagoon on his body, then Faded Jeans over that on his wings, and the edges of his body.

Now, to die cut him. I added some low tack tape to hold the die in place, but was pleasantly surprised at how easy this one was to line up.

Die cut, and only a tiny little bit of white around his beak, which I solved by going all round the edge with a black marker. Even the legs cut out well, so far I'm impressed with these dies.

 Now I decided to add the word 'Happy' to the front, so I cut the letters from the same card as the card front, and stuck them down with Pinflair Glue Gel, for a 'white on white' look.
 I stamped the strings from the balloons onto the card front- I don't trust my drawing!-  so they'd look like he was holding them in his beak, then stuck the balloons on top, with Pinflair again, then stuck my bird down,balancing him on top of the 'Happy', and having removed the Masking Fluid first.
I shortened the height of the card front, and matted it onto a dark blue piece of cardstock, as blue seemed to be the dominant colour on the images.

 I wanted a top fold card for this, but as an A4 sheet isn't big enough to fold this way, I cut two pieces of white pearl card, the one about 1/2" longer than the other.

The longer one was scored across the top, then that flap folded over, and DST added on the back.

The shorter piece placed under the fold, and stuck down.

Card front added with DST, and it's done.

I used one of my Brusho pieces behind the word, but obviously you can use anything. It occurs to me that this would be a good way of using those sheets of backing papers that are always left in the pack because we don't like them for whatever reason. You only see a small portion of the design done like this, and you can use different words- Sorry,( a belated birthday card), Love, Friend,Hi, Hello, and so on and so on.
 I can see a number of these being made over the next few days- they are a lot quicker than this long post implies, lol, and perfect to send to almost anyone, male or female.

Monday 3 August 2015

Some new dies - Alphabets and THOSE Birds!

 I have my Bird Crazy dies! Been waiting a few weeks to get these, but actually a lot less time than I expected,as they were not expected over here till the end of August. However, Jenny at The Artistic Stamper had them early, last Monday, so here they are. Apparently also, according to Jennies Facebook page, Sizzix are considering doing an accessories die set- hats/masks/ etc etc- they have been asking for customer feedback to see if it's wanted.
 The other two sets came about thanks to a video I watched the other night, which featured a card made using the die set on the lower right, a set called Coles ABC, by Lawn Fawn. The only die alphas I own are for my old Quickutz Squeeze tool, and whilst they work fine for cutting out individual letters, if you want to form a word, it becomes a nightmare, as you cannot see the actual die position.
For anyone not familiar with them, this is what they look like. You can see the cut shape on the cutting side, but the back of the die is blank, making positioning letters in a phrase or word a bit hit and miss.

The Lawn Fawn set, from Crafty Devils Papercrafts, are all joined by little legs, which need to be separated, by twisting them apart. I also used a pair of wire cutters to remove most of the excess.

The size of the letters is almost 1", 23mm, high, which I think is a good general size for most cards.

 It includes a question mark and exclamation mark, but no numbers or ampersand.

The second alpha set is by X-cut, and also from Crafty Devils.Its called 'Wedding Alphabet & Numbers'. The dies on this one are slightly larger than the Lawn Fawn set at almost an inch and a half, or 34mm.
 It also includes the numbers 0-9, an ampersand, exclamation mark and question mark.

 The addition I really likes was 'st''nd''rd' and 'th'.

 I already have a card in the making, which I will share tomorrow when it's finished, using the Lawn Fawn set, and based loosely around the card I saw.

   Final dies to show you are the Bird Crazy ones from Tim Holtz/Sizzix, to go with the Tim stamps.
You get the 6 dies to match the stamps, then a further 12 dies, of eyes/beaks and wings.
I've already used one of the dies to cut out a bird I stamped, and I was surprised how easy it was to line up, and how well it cut out.. You'll see that in tomorrows card!

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...