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 25 May 2016

WOYWW #364- The Birthday Edition.

It's here at last, our incredible 7th birthday, and I'm betting our beloved Julia had no idea what she was starting, all those years ago. Today, of course, we're linking up at the home of LLJ, whilst Julia enjoys her pre surgery break.We're all thinking of you Julia, and sending loads of love and healing thoughts your way, and to Hubby too, a few of us knowing only too well how hard this is on the partners. And, should you have been living on a desert island for the last few years, and wonder what this is all about, it's the biggest, greatest blog hop of crafters from all over the world, sharing all sorts of wonderful crafts, and some of the messiest desks its ever been your misfortune to stumble over. So, a crafty peek at whats been on my desk for the last few days- yes, I did leave it that late!
A number of ATC's enveloped up ready to post, and a few leftovers. All the people I've already arranged a swap with are done, I have one set aside for my swap in the list, and I have 4 left, so if anyone else would like to swap, let me know in the comments.
So what else has been happening? Well, our garden finally has 6ft fencing the whole length- thats 150 foot of it! It's taken forever, a lot of the time we've been here, it's either been wire fencing for the first few years, then trellis fencing, and due to having the neighbour from hell, it's taken a while to get it done.  I do have photos, I will do a post maybe next week sometime. Now we just have to re-do the decking- when you see the photo's you will realise the scale of the job. It is a long garden, and on quite a slope, which has meant a fair bit of terracing needed to be done.
 Last Saturday I paid a short visit to what was formerly Pink Tulip Crafts, in Studley. The owners had had to give up, as it was becoming impossible for them to manage, but at the last minute a couple who run a business called Crafty Ideas stepped in and bought the store, so they had a grand opening/sale day.  Judgement is being withheld at the moment, I shall go back in a few weeks and see how it is then, but I was very disappointed with the contents of the shop on Saturday. A couple of Lavinia Stamps, and a few heavily discounted Christmas Stamp sets were all I bought- and when looking online for images of the stamp sets for my catalogue, it seems they are a few years old and long discontinued! I've also noticed now, having looked at the stamps since I got home, they are clear stamps, but are quite yellowed, so were obviously stored badly. If I'd looked at them in the store, rather than just at the pictures on the package, I wouldn't have bought them, but I wouldn't have expected a craft shop to have stored them in sunlight, which is clearly what's been done. Anyway, thats all my news for today, and everyone has lots of visiting to do, so I'll see you later.

Wednesday 18 May 2016

WOYWW #363

Wednesday again, that week flew past! Time for another wander round the desks courtesy of Julia, over at The Stamping Ground. Sending you love & hugs, Julia.Not a lot happened on my desk, to be honest with you. It saw no action over the weekend, as the weather was nice, and we had some fencing needing to be finished. We now have a load of decking to rip up and replace, so hoping the weather stays dry this weekend.
 I was putting away my stamp purchases, and managed to get sidetracked. Not very far, just in organising my stamps a bit better, and in a number of cases stripping off the dreaded foam on the backs.
 A long time ago, 10 or more years, when I started collecting stamps, I started buying bare rubber, and mounting it onto foam backing myself. Seemed like a good idea at the time. However, as time went on, I started to get problems with stamps cupping- forming a concave shape, which meant they wouldn't stick well to the storage sheets, or the acrylic blocks. Then, a few years ago,I discovered in some cases the foam just peeled straight off the stamps.So I started to defoam a load of my stamps,but left the ones where the foam was quite secure.
 Now I find those are starting to peel, so I'm stripping off a load more.
Here's a typical example from this weeks batch. So, one thing I'd say to anyone about to go down this route, is think very carefully about using mounting foam. For starters, you can store more stamps without the foam, and secondly, it's not a once and forever job. Eventually the glue will break down, it will start to peel off, or it will start to cup. And it's not a humidity problem, here in the UK, we don't have humidity, lol.
 So now, all my stamps are getting repo glue on the backs. Right now, I'm using Tombow Mono Multi- it's a permanent glue if you stick something down whilst it's wet, but wait for it to dry and you have a removable item. I was using Aileenes Tack it Over & Over, but  it needs to be diluted, and everyone seems to prefer a different dilution, and I couldn't find one that really worked for me.
All this organising required some more storage sheets, and for these I just laminate odd sheets of card. The laminator I got cheap in a sale at Tesco a couple of years back, and I had been buying my pouches from Poundland, in packs of ten. Did a quick E-bay search the other day, and got 100 for £5.49, which is effectively half what I was paying. Bonus. I started laminating my own sheets after I purchased some storage sheets online, and when they turned up, I realised that's exactly what they were-just laminated cardstock.
The upside of getting sidetracked is finding stamps I'd forgotten about, so I'm trying to make a printed out catalogue, which I will be able to flick through in future.

Wednesday 11 May 2016

WOYWW #362

I'm Back!!!!! Yes, after a week on the high seas, minus internet & phone access to anywhere, other than when in a port and settled down in a bar somewhere, lol. There was wi-fi available on the ship,but at an eye watering £56 a week! This was our home for a week, and it was a very nice ship. We had a good holiday, saw some interesting places, but I don't think we'll be doing it again, apart from maybe a Northern Lights cruise. Not really our type of holiday, in the end. But it was a good experience, lovely crew and very nice fellow cruisers.Oh, and we got an invite to dine at the Captains table one night, which was fun. We arrived home last Tuesday, the  3rd of May.The weather has been extremely warm ever since we came back, I think we may have just snagged the sunshine and towed it back with us. Unpacking and washing, as you do for the next couple of days, then re-packing an overnight case for our trip up to Port Sunlight for the Happy Stampers Festival. 
What can I say, but Wow! If you've never been, if you're a stamper, you really must. Fantastic show,almost all stamping related, and I came across some new companies I'd not  heard of.

 We also got to meet our Neet,( Hickydorums) and Chris, (Pearshapedcrafting). I got to meet some other lovely crafters, friends of Neet- one of whom, Lyn, recognised our name from FB posts, lol. Neet brought me a lovely book, full of celtic designs she thought I'd like, and a smashing rubber stamp. Has a plain side, to stamp a background, and on the other side is a gorgeous rosebud.
The pic above was taken at our lunch break- about 1.00pm, we all stopped for a reviving drink, and some food.Much purchasing of stamps was done-now I just have to catalogue and store them all.

 Love these cats and dogs from Indigo Blu- and you may spot a bit of a cat/dog theme here.

Some Sweet Poppy stencils- a steampunk cat, and dog(!) amongst others.

Hobby Art stamps here, this time we have Cats & Owls, along with a scenic set.

Over to Cardio, and a selection of stamp sets here. Bunnies, some flowers, and a scarecrow set, with a really sweet little snail on it, in a few sizes. There's also an Oriental set, with a few sizes of Hummingbird on.
I also picked up a set with a number of fairies in small sizes in a variety of positions, and I think quite a lot of these stamps are a perfect size to mix and match with the Lavinia Stamps I have, which is always good.

Inkwell Stamps, I have seen before at the NEC, but not really had a good look at what they do. A set of stylized cats(!) grabbed Dougs attention, as well as the Pebble People stamps. A cute penguin and snowman Christmas stamp, along with a NOEL stamp in the sale.

A few from Crafty Individuals- The loose stamps were 5 for £3, a bargain. I think they are oddments from some of their larger sheet sets.

 I've heard of these Cover A Card stamps, but this was the first time I'd seen them. The Holly one, which was reduced in a sale, will be great for Christmas backgrounds, and the Spiders Web one I have loads of stamps it will go with.

A visit to Helen and Mark at Visible Image provided these stamps, and a nice chat.  I'd been chatting to Helen on FB when we were starting to drive up, and thanks to her info about the state of the M5 & M6, we stuck to back roads, and made good time.

A few from Lavinia stamps, I have a large version of the dancing fairies already.

These came from Stamps Away/Clevercut. I'm always on the lookout for sentiment stamps, trying to get a variety of sizes, and scripts.  Liked the handwriting font for these, and they are a bit larger than normal, without being too large.

This is a company I had never heard of before, Honey Doo Crafts. They have some amazing, beautiful stamps. If you don't know them, go have a look. They have a huge range of stamps, and loads of other crafting goodies.

  This one was a freebie, I think it was buy 4 large stamps, get a small one free.

 A few stencils from Glitzcraft, and some Scenescapes cards from Lavinia Stamps.

An awesome little Dinky stencil of Bats.

Then a handful of basics- some Stickles, some pearls, a new pot of Glamourdust, some Puffy Stuff- I thought it might make interesting snow texture- and some glue.

And the final purchase was some deckle edged 8x8 cards, and envelopes. 4 packs of 15 for a tenner.
 All in all, quite a haul there.So now all I have to do is pack it all away, and of course I need to get going with my ATC's for this years Birthday bash. Anyone who would like to swap, just leave me a comment, and if we haven't swapped before, drop me an e-mail with your snail mail in. That should keep me quiet for the rest of the week, lol.Hope you all have a smashing Wednesday, and I'm sending loads of love and healing thoughts to our much loved leader, Julia, as she has a nice break before her surgery.

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...