Life is short. Break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile. We're not quantified; there's no chart of desire. When the roaring flames of your heart have burned down to embers, may you find that you have married your best friend. [Steven Tyler]

Friday, December 14, 2007


The decorating is coming on. Today I have finished the swag above the French windows and the tree in the dining room so I'm quite pleased with myself. We also dressed the stairway with a swag and lights this evening but there is still the tree that goes in the entrance hall to put up and dress.
I will post more photos as the rooms are completed - hopefully, this weekend should see the majority of the decorating finished!
In my last post I mentioned my addiction the the Bind-It-All from Zutter and how useful it has proved to be for making little memory albums. I have photographed one of the albums I made especially for my dog Diesel.

The cover has been painted with Ranger's Paint Dabbers before being triple embossed and stamped into using Elusive Images Funky Doodles Hearts Themeplate. I used Hambley overlays and their screen printed vellum's to add interest to the album pages and kept all the other pages black for maximum impact. The colours haven't come up too well in these photo's, the cover is actually quite a bright pink. All of the stamps used on the pages are from the Funky Doodles collection which are great for scrapbooking and all general stamping projects.

I was really pleased with how the Dotty Swirls worked so well as decorative photo corners. I added page index tabs using two jumbo punches from McGill. Of course, Diesel posed so beautifully every time the camera was pointed in his direction!

The whole thing was finished with a rainbow of coloured ribbons tied to the 'O' ring spine of the book and believe it or not, this was made in a morning and there are quite a few more pages that I haven't shown here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Just where is the time going? I don't seem to have stopped all week and there is still so much to do. The outside of the house is decorated, all the lights are up and there's just the fresh wreath to source for the front door.

The inside? Well that's a whole other story. Still wading through baubles and putting up trees and swags and I haven't even started the shopping yet. But am I bovvered? Nah!

One thing is for certain, I'm going to have to buy the Christmas Cards this year. Definitely no time to make them. In fact, I can't even get into my craft room at the moment there is so much stuff being stored in there until we can put all the empty boxes that have been housing the Christmas decorations, back into the loft.

I am getting withdrawal symptoms. I haven't crafted since the 01st of December during our Christmas Open Day at work. But I'm looking forward to getting everything done in the house and then I will have time to play and make stuff between Christmas and New Year. I have so many projects in my head that I want to do, I've had to make notes otherwise I'll forget what I have in mind.

One of my favourite tools of this year has to be the Bind-It-All and I have been making lots of little tag books and albums with it. It is so versatile and easy to use and as I also love scrapbooking, it's great to be able to make my own albums to the size and thickness that I need.

This is a little Christmas Book with Cream, Green and Red pages..... just waiting to be filled.

And this one is my 'Fun' book. It's going to house photos and journaling from our event days at work. We have certainly had some FUN in the past few months, just wait for some of the photos!

Both of these books have been covered with papers printed from the Artylicious 'Season's Greetings' CD ROM and the chipboard letters are by Maya Road. They have been coloured with the Ranger paint dabbers, triple embossed with UTEE and then stamped into with the Holly Background stamp from Elusive Images Holly Flourish A4 Themeplate. Everything is available here:

This is a sneak peak of some of the pictures that may feature in this little book, taken at our Children In Need Crop which took place in November..........

Fun..... Fun...... Fun!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas.......

Well... maybe not a lot, not yet anyway. But it's all started in earnest.

I've been cut off from the outside world without a connection to the www. Let me explain.

Every year at this time I start by clearing the whole of the ground floor (with exception of the Kitchen) of all ornaments, furniture etc ready for the carpets to be cleaned. That happened last Friday and since then we have been flat out washing cushion covers, curtains, hoovering, dusting, some painting and so it goes on.

One way of ensuring that I don't get distracted is to disconnect the pc - essential really as it has to move for the carpets to be cleaned, the trick is not to reconnect it until I'm well under way with the cleaning.

So tonight, I've been giving the fire surround a coat of emulsion while WH has been tackling the big Christmas Tree that goes in the lounge. Last year it was a swine, it is a pre-lit tree and the lights really played up. It takes about a week of evening work to get it assembled, arranged and decorated so we have to start early to allow us time to enjoy all the hard work. It's half way up at the moment and whilst touching wood.... I shall say 'all is well at the moment'.

Hopefully, I'll have time to take some photo's and record the work as it progresses.

So, having got myself revved up and whilst humming the odd Christmassy tune, I'm really beginning to get all warm and fuzzy about the coming festivities, providing the tree continues to behave itself that is.

Something else that I am REALLY looking forward to is our two day Christmas festivities at work this Friday and Saturday. Graphicus is having a Christmas Bash with all sorts of crafty things going on and all of our friends and lovely customers are invited to come along and celebrate with us. I'm sure that I will find something appropriately stupid, I mean 'festive' to wear. After the last event where I was dressed as 'Andy Pandy' and riding a mini quad bike, it can only get better! Can't it?

I hear that dear old Santa Claus will be putting in an appearance...... must get my Christmas list drawn up and give it to him personally. It's a long one this year - with all the lovely products that have been coming into the shop just lately the only paper long enough to hold my list was a toilet roll! I hope he won't be offended!

You should see all that lovely stash.... there is the most amazing selection of paper and bling from My Mind's Eye and just arrived hot from the USA is an eye popping, drooling, got-to-have collection of drop dead gorgeous ribbon from May Art Ribbons. There's also a fab stash bag from K and Company and the most adorable little storage bag and tool kit for the Bind-it-All machine and.... and that's enough! I shall be hyperventilating at this rate. All I can say is if you're near enough or game enough to join in the festivities at Graphicus then be there - or I'll keep all the goodies for myself!!! I'll be taking my camera with me on Friday so look out for more antics at a later date.
Just to get you in the Christmassy mood too, I'm posting a couple of photos that were taken in Las Vegas in September during a visit to the big stores in the Fashion Show Mall.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Wonderful Walk on the Wildside

This morning, I drove about half of the way to work in thick fog and looking at the forecast, it's going to be much the same tomorrow. The weather, although quite cold at night, has given us some glorious Autumn days of late (once the fog burns off).

Sunday was one of these days. Although I had planned to work in the house all day, the call of the crisp autumn air and the wonderful watery sunlight beckoned in the afternoon and I couldn't resist it. I bundled my DH and Diesel, our German Shepherd into the car and we took off to Preston Park (camera attached to my hand of course).

We covered some ground! The trees are just turning and leaves are beginning to collect on the pathways. I love this time of year!
Having walked all through the park and stopping to look at the peacocks, ducks and fluffy bunnies in the viewing area we decided to go off-track and followed the River Tees that winds its way towards Yarm.

It was a truly beautiful afternoon. Diesel had a whale of a time in the fallen leaves and seemed hell bent on trying to get Stuart to join him 'on the floor'. He really was quite naughty - he usually walks well on the lead (after many expensive hours of obedience training HE SHOULD)!

But today, well? I think the autumn air had got to him too and he was full of it. Only on the way back to the car did he start to settle down. We will forgive him his moments of madness today as I think he's just letting off steam and in his own way, celebrating his 5th birthday which was on Wednesday. Happy Birthday Diesel! Now behave for the rest of the year!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Viva Venetian

What a strange but incredulous place Las Vegas is. This exquisite Venetian mask was in the window of Il Prato, an enchanting store housed within the ambiance of the Grand Canal Shoppes in the Venetian Hotel.

Il Prato is home to many beautiful things, Masks of all descriptions, elegant Murano Glass Pens, hand made beads and handsome hand bound books - just perfect for journalling your adventures in Las Vegas. I was fascinated by this shop and would have loved to bring one of these masks home with me but seeing as it probably would not have made it in one piece in the hold of an aircraft, a photograph was the next best thing.

Having taken the photo, I just had to preserve its beauty in a digi layout...... what fun! What a place!!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Twice in 24 Hours - WOW!

Yeh! I'm posting twice in one 24 hour period, must be something wrong with me.
There is..... I have an addiction and it's called digi scrapping. I was so annoyed with Blogger last night for not publishing my LO that I decided to have another go this morning (I should be putting another pile of washing in the machine and cleaning the dressing room, but what's another 30 minutes with a cuppa).
Well, after two attempts I have finally got it to load. These photos were taken last Christmas and when I saw some of the background papers available on Memory Mixer I just knew what I was going to do with them.
Now I need to get to grips with the Las Vegas photos, just need to find the time. But that's the beauty of digi scrapping, I can snatch a few minutes here and there and if I use the lap top it can even be done on the run.
I shall keep this one brief and get back to the housework (gruntle gruntle).

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Two Months..... Too Hectic!

Has it really been two months since I last made time to post an entry on my blog? Yes! it has!!!

Life has been so hectic in one way or another. Most things were geared to going away in September. Oh gosh, life's soooo hard, I HAD to go to Las Vegas, work of course. You understand that I would have much preferred to have stayed at home. (Well, that's what I told my DH).

We (Glenda, Glenda's husband Adrian and I) travelled out to Las Vegas to attend Memory Trends, a trade only show which features Scrapbooking as its main focus but has many wonderful crafty things to drool over. And drool I did - big time.
I also fell in love while I was there....... with Digi Scrapbooking. I have dabbled a little in the past with this form of scrapping, having bought pc programmes like Scrapbook Factory Deluxe. Then more recently I found a free download called Smilebox which I liked so much more than SFD and it was really very simple to use. Of course, I still love the good old hands on paper, adhesive and embellishment method too, there's room for all. But while we were away Glenda and I had the opportunity to meet a wonderful bunch of people who had travelled from some far-flung places to attend a lap top crop and that was it, it was hooked, lined and sunk.

Now, I don't profess to be anything like an expert where pc's are concerned. In fact the word 'expert' 'me' and 'pc' in the same sentence is somewhat of a joke. I am an absolute whizz at CAD (computer aided design) I used to do it for a living and can make 'Planet' sing sweetly for its living but most other applications on a pc are just pure hard work.

Enter a digital scrapbooking programme called Memory Mixer and I'm in seventh heaven. Since I got back I have been spending a lot of my free time getting to grips with what it can do and I am impressed. I really enjoy digi scrapping and think that I will combine digi with hands on in something called 'hybrid' scrapping, using the pc to do the basic LO and adding scrumptious embellishments by hand.

I will publish some of my finished LO soon but Blogger is playing silly beggars tonight and keeps coming up with an error notice instead of publishing my LO. I will also be back with more news on our Las Vegas adventure, it really was a fabulous action packed trip ......... just too much to tell you in one go.

Since arriving home it's been all systems go. In the same week that we flew back we had two open days at work which were great fun. Then Glenda's new CD ROM 'Season's Greetings' featured as the Pick of the Week on Create and Craft TV so it was super busy at the office, we had 'An Elusive Images Christmas' workshop last week and some very exciting plans in the pipeline which we're working on at the moment. In addition, there are two TV shows coming up in the next couple of weeks that have to be prepared for.

On the home front, my Mum goes in to hospital tomorrow for another eye operation. The last one went well so they are doing the other eye this time. Fingers crossed, she will be home the same day all being well. Our little four-legged boy Diesel has a birthday this week, he will be five on Wednesday - that's about 35 in our years I think! So, we will have to come up with something special for him. To top it all, Christmas is coming and all too quickly. I have a list as long as both arms of jobs that need doing in the house in preparation for the festive season and if I'm going to get everything done I will have to start now. No kidding... so I may not get as much play time for doing arty stuff and digi-scrapping as I would like unless I give up sleeping and I've done that before too.

Only in Las Vegas can you be in Paris (at the top) and Venice at the same time!

Monday, August 06, 2007

Two Bright Days in A Row.... Summer Must Be Here!

It could have gone either way this morning. At one point it was looking like rain was on the way again, turnaround and hey presto - the clouds had gone and it was beautiful. In fact, quite warm when the wind dropped, but ideal for yet MORE washing. Just how much washing can one do in two days? 'Mountains' it would appear.

Then there was the supermarket shop! Oh how I hate shopping for food which is strange really because I really do enjoy cooking as long as it's something creative. Of course Morrisons was full of parents and children, surely they have better things to be doing on their school holidays than screaming their heads off in a supermarket (and that was just the parents)!

A fruitless trip to Borders followed and then home. Managed to get a little more time to play, just an hour but it's better than nothing and I may be able to do more this evening.

These are plain luggage labels sprayed with several colours of Sticky Fingers spray inks, sometimes in layers and dried thouroughly before stamping with VersaMark Ink and embossing with gold embossing powder. All of the materials are from and the stamps are by fastened together in colour groups using book rings. The collection on the left are the Autumn Inks and the Summer Inks are on the right.

In the first photo I have painted some of the stamped images with twinkling H2O's which complement the inks really well as they have the same iridescent finish.

This collection have all been made using Ranger Distressed Inks, Cut and Dry foam to apply the inks and then over stamped with small stamps (all by Elusive Images) to build the collage. I used a copper Krylon pen to edge the tags and some Glossy Accents to create a glass-like finish on the fob watch.

Now I'm off to do some more with the new Sticky Fingers Lustre Inks and the Damask Stamps from EI. Just before I go I must share a photograph of a fabulous 'late' Birthday pressy I got from the wonderful Carrie Anne.....

All made by her own fair hands! I love them. They have pride of place in my studio. The cylindrical bag houses a tin that holds colouring pencils and the open box is where my tag collections live.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Secret Society of Invisible Blogging

Yes! I'm the founder member of the Secret Society of Invisible Blogging - I hope you have been enjoying my invisible posts, I thought they were very imaginative. But now I'm back with some visible blogging and have quite a lot to ramble about. Maybe if I didn't spend so much time Blog-Hopping I would get more updates posted.

I have been doing some arty things since I was last here, have had my brother visiting a few weeks ago, had a good TV show in July, I've taught some really enjoyable workshops and since the weather improved, we've actually been able to get out and about a bit. So this posting is a real melting pot of events and photos.

Work has been really interesting, lots of new ideas, plans and products. With Christmas looming before we've even had a summer, thoughts have turned to new Christmas stamps and a brand new seasonal Artylicious CD ROM. Can't say anymore at this stage but wow! they are amazing.

I've been playing and having great fun with the new Bind-it-All and DreamKutz machines from Zutter in the USA. I haven't finished my projects yet but will post a photo when they're ready (I can really recommend the Bind-it-All, don't know how I managed without one) . They sold out in one day but there are more on the way and should be with us within the next two weeks. Then on Thursday the Cricut Expression arrived! Well, it didn't stay wrapped for long. They arrived mid day and remained un-tampered with for all of about two hours then Glenda announced that she would have to open one and that was it - play time! What a machine, very impressive and the two new cartridges that are included in the bundle are really fab. My original Cricut is sitting along side me as I write this and looks soooo small compared to the Expression with its potential cutting area of 12"x 24". Looks like I'm going to have to have a bigger studio at home!!!

There was a live TV show in July featuring the new Paisley Elephant Rubber Stamp themeplate together with Damask stamps and Damask Delights CD ROM. The papers are just perfect for card making and scrapbooking and I had these lovely photos of my brother Clive which were taken on a visit to the Taj Mahal and some of the papers are very typical of batiked fabrics so they made the ideal backdrop for images from India.

I used Glenda's Waterfall Card idea and adapted it for a scrapbook layout and incorporated papers and small photos together then printed off some of the tags and frames from the CD ROM and used them for titles and journalling. It was so simple to do having downloaded Adobe Reader 8 which allows you to change fonts, font size and colour. I also added some handwritten titles using a Sakura pen in the same colour range as the papers.
Another use of the photos was in the Origami Mini Album which I love making and was a big hit following the TV show. I'm now working on another version of the album for the pre-record of the show to be filmed later this month.
While I'm on the subject of my brother Clive, he came up to visit last month and we managed to spend some time together while he was here. Although there never seems to be enough time to fit everything we want to do into one visit.

He did take some fab photos of me and my new car though......

Tee Hee!

My little Punto Sporting (keeping a low profile in the background) is pretty cool too!! 16 Valve and 6 speed gear box makes sure it really moves but it can't quite keep up with this 'Slinky Monster' but it's a lot more economic on the motion lotion doing the almost 60 miles round trip to work each day.

Well, that will have to be all for now if I'm going to find time to 'play' today. The weather is so beautiful, a little breezy but warm and sunny and I feel guilty spending it indoors but we were out and about all day yesterday. I'll try to get back later this evening with more from yesterday and some results from 'play time'.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Wherze I Bin?

Artistically speaking, I think I've been in outer space wandering and going nowhere. I seem to have completely lost my inspiration. Don't get me wrong, the ideas flow as fast as they ever have but by the time I get home and ready to start, my motivation has got up and gone without me.

I have been doing some arty work but nowhere near the amount I normally do. I dable at this and that but can't get really stuck into anything particular at the moment.

Just before taking some holidays from work I went to Paper Paradise in Grimsby to do a retailer demo day. It was fab! Sue and Paul are such lovely people and made me oh so welcome, as did all their customers. I was so surprised and delighted at the number of people who came and supported the event. It was a really enjoyable day!

Sue and Paul have been supporting a local charity event and have dedicated a huge amount of their time and energy to ensuring that it was a huge success. The event culminated in an auction evening. Elusive Images donated some great wood mounted stamps and I made a Stampbord necklace for the auction.
The event was incredibly successful and there is loads of info and pics over on their website do take a look, it's well worth it.

We didn't go away while on holiday, just days out here and there, mainly because kennels were fully booked. We went to Skipton and Harrogate and a couple of trips to York and Whitby.

Whitby always ends in dinner before coming home and The Magpie and Trenchers are just as good as they always have been. You still have to stand in line for the Magpie but it's worth it!

We went to the Railway Museum at York and had a tremendous day. My husband is a very keen (that's putting it mildly) model railway enthusiast. He also loves the real thing and this museum doesn't disappoint. Even it it's not your bag it's worth a visit. Just to stand along side one of these huge iron horses and wonder at the enormity of them........ I could almost feel the whoosh as they sped by........ it really took me back to my childhood.

The Flying Scotsman was in bits being completely overhauled but there were plenty of other exhibits to see. I was showing the photos to my parents after the visit and was reminded by my Mum that we had travelled on the Scotsman to Kings Cross on several occasions. Long before the days of British Midland to Heathrow! All I can say is 'thank God someone had the foresight to buy up and preserve these magnificent machines'. We had a truly wonderful day.

All too quickly, our leave was over and it was back to work. Now, that's not a bad thing as whilst I was off some fab stock arrived from the USA. 'Dreamcuts' and the 'Bind-It-All' from Zutter came in I couldn't wait to have a go and of course, I've just had to have one. This little machine has so much potential for scrappers and stampers alike. Just imagine, being able to make your own little books, of any size and thickness and containing just about anything you want. It will punch through and bind card, base board, chipboard and plastic including credit cards and CD's. Wow!

I have some stuff cut out for my first book and will post the results when I have something to show.