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]

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


OMG! I blinked and the end of November came steaming round the corner and hit me full in the face... Yikes, it's frightening how quickly the days are passing and there's so much to do that I really don't want to do, like cleaning and decorating the house so that it's all fresh for the Christmas decorations to go up.

There are also so many things that I do want to do but haven't got time to, like crafting. Isn't it funny how you get so many ideas running wild around your head when you just don't have any time to play? I've had a note pad and pen surgically attached to me so that I can make quick notes of all my ideas which tend to pop into my head when I'm at the top of a ladder with a paint brush in my hand or elbow deep in sudsy water washing walls and windows.

And yes, my poor blog has suffered badly in the last few weeks. What with all the extra work at home, together with 'work' work and running backwards and forwards to the Doctors, the hospital and the Musculoskeletal Clinic while decisions are made about my knees that it's left me severely devoid of blogging inspiration.

However, the time taken going to all the different appointments has not been time wasted I'm happy to say. Once referred to the specialist clinic for assessment, it wasn't too long before they told me what I already knew.... I am way past any interim help or treatment. I have now been referred for knee joint replacement surgery and have already had my pre-op assessment meeting and completed all the necessary form filling and health checks to make sure I'm 'fit' for surgery.

Last week I trekked off to the hospital for all my blood tests.... honestly, they took so much of it that I thought they'd made a mistake, thinking I was there as a blood donor (I have quite a rare blood group and they are always trying to get their hands on it)!

So now I'm just waiting for my appointment with the surgeon and then I should have a better idea of when they will operate. I'm not looking forward to it but I am looking forward to eventually being able to get around without being doped up to the eye-balls with pain killers.

I have found some time (just a little) to do what I love best.... playing with stamps, inks and wonderful papers, yey! And of course, I taught several workshops in November, all of which have been great fun with fab people and an opportunity to paint canvasses, make accordion journals and concertina keepsakes with origami boxes.

With only four weeks 'till Christmas, almost everything is now geared towards the festive season. I've been working on a 31 day tag book. I'm about half way through covering plain white tags on both sides with lovely Christmassy papers, to which I will add smaller tags with embellishments, stamping and the date. The 'plan' is to take photos every day throughout December regardless of what I may be doing...... housework, shopping, gift wrapping, putting up the decorations, baking..... well you get the idea. I will then add the photos and journalling to the tags as a pictorial record of December 2008. I will let you see how it's coming along when there's something more to see.

Talking of photographs and putting up the deco's, several people have asked me if I'm going to do what I did last year and include our Christmas preparations on my blog? Well, as I'm planning on taking photo's every day for the December Album it should be easy enough to combine the two. So if you don't like Christmas I'd look away now and pop back in January when I'm all Christmassed out! I'll apologise now...... as anyone who knows me, knows that I love the festive season and totally enjoy every aspect of Christmas, even all the extra work. It's well worth it. So from here on in be warned, I'm in festive mode and loving it!!!

If Christmas had a flavour for me it would be epitomised by Starbucks Gingerbread Latte, in their words - 'a sweet and spiced latte with the aroma of freshly baked gingerbread'. Yummm it's delish! A couple of weeks ago while out shopping with DH, we popped into our local Starbucks and tried out the Christmas menu. I couldn't resist buying these lovely festive mugs so that we could make our own scrummy hot chocolate at home:

and this is what it looks like......

So now that I'm on a chocolate high, it's back to the painting (walls.... not canvas) oh poooo!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Have You Seen the Headlines?

It’s been a busy couple of weeks with not a lot of time for crafting on a personal level as I have been knee deep in prepping up workshops and teaching of late.

Thursday saw us having fun with concertina albums filled with interactive tags. We used book board, some fab papers, lots of glue, Tim Hotlz’s Hitch fasteners, stitched envelopes some great fibre ribbons, brads, tags, hessian and a whole heap more super stuff. I have to say the finished pieces were incredible.... really neat work and a lovely bunch of crafters made it such a super day.

The weather was extremely unkind to us on Saturday, it was simply vile but despite the conditions we had people who travelled from far and wide... by train, on the motorway and across country to attend the Waxing Lyrical workshop. We had a blast and it goes without saying that Canvas and Wax was involved, you may have read about it in the newspaper yesterday......

......ummmmm! I shall say no more. If you would like to see the results of the workshop hop on over to the Graphicus Blog here and take a look.

I have been giving a lot of thought to the Christmas preparations that lie ahead and really must start to get cracking on jobs that need to be done this month, where the days are going I just don't know. Christmas Eve is seven weeks tomorrow - aghhhhh! I've got a few ideas in mind for recording events throughout December and I'll share them with you as soon as I have something to show you.

One of the girls on Saturday's workshop has finished all of her Christmas Cards! Oh how I wish I was that organised. One of the few things I've made with a seasonal flavour so far is the Glimmer Mist and Glimmer Chips tag tree:

Just a small selection of tags made with Glimmer Mists, Glimmer Screens, Glimmer Chips and some of the new Elusive Images Christmas rubber stamp themeplates. This was such a fun project to do and has loads of scope for Christmas banners, gift tags or even hanging tree decorations for the 'real' tree. The reverse side of the tags were all covered with papers printed from the Artylicious Season's Greetings CD Rom.

If you've already visited the Graphicus Blog to take a look at what we were doing on Saturday, you will have seen the canvas I was working on:

I have included a couple more shots here so that you can see some of the detail on the canvas, such as this cute little bird nesting in a bed of feathers, waxed and etched back....

.... images stamped onto tissue paper and applied with hot wax so that they look almost transparent on the canvas....

....stencilling with Stewart Gill's 'Galactica' applied with a pallet knife, yumm....

....dripped wax, Pearly Doodles with bronze beads and oil pastels! I will finish this piece soon now that I know exactly where I'm going with it and I'll let you see the finished results.

Happy Crafting!