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]

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Distant Memories

In my last posting I got as far as the grand opening at Graphicus but what I didn't get round to recording was the other hi-light of that weekend. We had tickets for the Sunday evening performance of 'Dancing On Ice' at the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle. As soon as we saw it advertised I said I wanted to go but didn't get round to buying the tickets until some time later and then they were sold out. My husband's boss Ann, does a lot of advertising for her company on TV and radio and they have taken us to the Arena on previous occasions. So Stuart asked if she could help to locate tickets for us and yep! she did it again. Complementary tickets arrived the week before and late Sunday afternoon we set off up the A1M for Newcastle.

When we arrived at the Arena we had a quick bite to eat and then tried to locate the direction of our seats. Our tickets didn't seem to correspond to any of the directions in the foyer so we asked an attendant where we should be. She told us to go up to the second level where we would find our seats. After trudging up all those stairs we finally arrived at the right level and asked again and were directed to the front row of the balcony. It was a sell-out performance and we had pretty good seats, almost centrally on to the length of the rink. We were seated early and the TV cameras were there as they were filming this performance for the DVD, so the audience was warmed up and rehearsed which was all good fun.

There was a group of girls seated to our right and they kept getting very excited, they were looking up above and behind us and pointing - they had located 'Dec' from Ant & Dec and a famous footballer which had them almost passing out. I hadn't a clue who they were talking about.... I know who George Best is (was) and David Beckham and, well that's about as far as my knowledge of footballers go. Anyway, these guys were obviously in the very expensive hospitality boxes way above our heads and I wasn't going to give myself whiplash trying to celebrity spot. Stuart told me that it was Peter Beardsley who they were getting all hot and bothered about.
With that, four more people arrived in the front row for the two remaining seats. Two of these people had seats 12A and 13A which were our seats. I knew this was too good to be true, they'd over-booked! We exchanged tickets and sure enough, the same seat numbers appeared on both sets of tickets. I was just about to stand my ground and refuse to move when one of their party pointed out the our tickets were for the Suite and not the Balcony. So without further ado we collected our things and went off in search of where we should have been.

Back outside, we found another attendant and she apologised for the error in directions and ushered us into the hospitality suite with, you've guessed it! some famous faces to our left and right. We were greeted as we entered, drinks brought to our seats for us and as soon as our glasses were empty they were replenished without asking. What a night! It was a fantastic show..... Torville and Dean performed several solo spots, a lot more than they do on the TV show, they were outstanding.

The show was very much the same as it was on
TV and even had the same panel of judges.

It was very polished and great fun to see. The
professional skaters were superb. They covered the ice with speed and grace and some of the performances were just incredible. It was a very exhilarating show which we both enjoyed. It was a fab night and being in the VIP Suite just put the finishing touches to it. Ice skating was how Stuart and I first met and we ended up as Ice Dance partners during our competitive days. We remember watching Torville and Dean competing at the British Ice Dance competition in Nottingham when they were just coming onto the British skating scene. Ahh memories!

Well, that's enough reminiscing. Back to the future or at least now!

I promised to post my latest ATC's in my last entry. I have been playing with some brand new stamps from Elusive Images. They haven't been released yet and will feature as part of a 'Pick of the Week' on the Create and Craft channel next month. They are absolutely amazing..... I love them! This is just a sneak preview and on my ATC's, they are used in conjunction with other stamps from both EI and other companies. This is going to be a superb show and when you see the other products that are coming.............. well, you'll have to wait a little longer for that!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

More haste - less play!

Oh boy! - I can't believe how long it has been since I blogged! There's a whole stack of stuff been happening since my last entry and I just seem to hurtle from one deadline to the next. I'll cover the early stuff in this session and continue with the next.

I suppose the biggest hurdle was getting the shop ready for the grand re-opening at work last month. It was all hands to the pump and I was totally amazed that we actually made it. There were some late nights and early mornings to get there but the two days we had nominated for the opening were a huge success. We had customers who travelled from far and wide, some from Scotland, others from Manchester, Blackpool, the East Midlands and beyond. We had a champagne reception (ooh I enjoyed that part) on the Friday afternoon and a finger buffet on both days. Everyone worked flat out but it was fab. There was a great turn-out from the local area and lots of our loyal friends and customers who'd followed us from Bishop Auckland.

In between, there have been TV deadlines, demonstrations for retailers and another Bank Holiday which was very welcome.

I've not had a huge amount of time to spend playing but I have been doing some merchandising for the shop and preping for workshops.

This is a layout I did of my best buddy Diesel enjoying himself in the spring sunshine and trying to entice me out to play. I use the 'Funky Doodles' Fresh and Retro rubber stamp themeplates from Elusive Images.

The Front Cover

This is my first completed project using 'Ten Second Studio' materials. I decided not to do things by half and tried all sorts of patterns and techniques in my first piece. The concept was inspired by a very old box of natural (unbleached) coffee filters that have been sitting, unopened in my studio for some years. I'll tell you how old these filters are, the box came from Safeways supermarket which disappeared some time ago and I think I must have bought them at least 12 years ago when I actually owned a coffee filter machine.

The Back Cover

I formed the book covers using the filters as a template and used a sheet of platinum foil and several moulds to collage the designs. My trusty Crop-A-Dile ate its way through both the book board and the metal foil and I used some heavy duty brass eyelets and chrome book rings to put it all together.

To finish the inside of the covers I have used 12"x12" papers from Lazar Studiowerks. There's still a lot of work to do on the inside so more to follow later.

I have some photo's of ATC's that I have been making using some brand new stamps from EI which I will share in the next few days. But for now.............. that's all folks!