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, July 29, 2008


Hi to all my Blogging Friends out there! Yay.... after working on my PC since Friday night, I'm finally back on line and 'de-bugged' by the look of it (fingers, toes, legs and arms all crossed tightly).

It has been a real battle and test of wills and skills (more will than skill I can tell you). After wiping my PC and re-installing Windows (twice since Friday night) I had everything zipping along beautifully yesterday until I tried to install the re-location disc that AOL sent out to allow them to move me over to their new BB Network and then it all went pear shaped and I lost my Internet connection.... same on my lap top! A very, very nice PC engineer came out this evening and sorted the connection out and got my systems singing sweetly once again.

Now I just have to install Office and all my other programmes, printers, camera etc, etc. I will work my way through everything methodically. But one thing's for sure - I can get onto Blogger again and I even have an operative browse button to access my photo's and a hyperlink that works too... yessss!

So I should be back with you again very soon. I have lots of pics to download and newsy bits to update so keep checking back. Thank you all for sticking with me through this technological nightmare, I really appreciate it and for all your lovely comments left on previous posts.
Now, back to work. The sooner I get all of this sorted the sooner I can come out to play!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Still Having Fun - if not a lot of sleep!

Now Blogger's playing games - the date should read Satuday 19th July. I'm not the only one who can't keep track of time!

Before I get started I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who's left comments on the last couple of posts and for all the lovely things you've said about my Grungeboard Tags. I really do have an addiction to that stuff and there WILL be more to come. Thank you for taking the time to let me know you're out there! For all the Graphicus Guild members, look out for next months Guild Newsletter (August) - I'm doing a 'step-by-step' on creating the Grungeboard Flowers.

OK, let' get started. What a whirlwind month July has turned into. So much so that I am totally convinced it's still June, having written June three times in one day instead of July. I really can't get my head around the fact that we are more than half way through this year.... frightening!

To catch up a little with what's been happening I'll go back to the end of June and the beginning of July when we held our two day Retailer Retreat. It was one of those events that you think you have plenty of time to prepare for and then before you know it..... you don't!

It was held at the magnificent Headlam Hall Hotel between Darlington and Barnard Castle. What a beautiful setting. We had the whole of the Edwardian Suite .... complete with a reception room, conservatory, anti-room where coffee was served morning and afternoon and of course, the main room which was set up for workshops. We also had two days of really beautiful weather. I am so pleased that everyone who attended got the opportunity to visit the North East when the sun was shining (it does - just occasionally)!

Glenda, Lesley, Annette and myself were teaching workshops for two days solid. It was like speed dating only for crafting 'Speed Crafting' - great fun! The workshops were all based on the products that Elusive Images manufactures or distributes to the trade and although it was both mentally and physically draining, we had an absolute blast. Hop over to Glenda's blog where you can see some photo's - I was so busy my camera never even left my bag which is a great shame because at the end of day two just before everyone departed, Adrian treated us all to his rendition of the 'Gay Starfish' - don't ask, if you haven't seen it I couldn't even begin to explain but it is side-splittingly funny. Oh how I wish I'd captured that..... could have made a fortune.

Then there was the aftermath of the event with work being extremely busy. At the end of that week, Glenda had the Pick of the Week launching on Create and Craft TV with the new CD ROM: Peacock Summer Party and a live show with brand new themeplates, so life at Graphicus and Elusive Images was mad - totally and still is!

I promised last time to post a photo of the parchment necklace I made using the Ruby Tuesday and Diamante Delights themeplates. Thanks go to Carrie-Anne for the photography! It was made for the 'Glimmer with Glenda' show featuring these stamps and was also displayed at the retailer training event. It has given me a lot of food for thought and I have another venture planned on a much 'grander' scale, but you'll have to wait for a sneak peek as it's going to take some time to take it from the design stage to completion. This one's a long term project for the coming months.... keep popping back and I'll keep dangling the carrot!

Ok! It's time to make art....... and this is where it happens.

Another thing I promised, was to show you some of the finishing touches I added to the home studio. I'm a terrible collector of objet d'art (another reason why I need a bigger house - or loft, as that's where most of it seems to end up).

I love this tweety bird carving - it's so cute and rustic! The crystal metal 'thingy' was originally a light. It was the crystals that caught my eye and I thought they would make great additions to Stampbord pendants, altered jewellery pieces etc., I may even be tempted to get my soldering kit out for these.

Do I have a thing about birds? I didn't think so - but maybe I do.... just liked this one too! Hey, maybe I DO, especially after my 'Percival' interlude! Do Peacocks count?

These are my inspirational affirmations, they are now hanging on the wall to the left of the window so they're in my line of sight when I enter the room.

The little display unit also has a home now and so do some of the jars and tins of Prima flowers that I seem to have amassed - you should have seen my suitcase after my last trip to Las Vegas! I had to buy another one just to get everything home, not to mention all the ribbons too. One of these days I'll show you a photo of all the crafting goodies I brought back.

Another project in the making, I think I may decorate this little metal dress form with tags and small pieces of art.

And finally, a little rustic stand to display my CREATE word just waiting to be worked on. Why are there never enough hours in the day, days in the week, weeks in the month?
And that just about brings me full circle........

To bring this bang up to date, we've just had a two day sale at Graphicus, yesterday and today. To say that it was hectic would contravene the trade descriptions act..... it was crazy! We had some extremely happy crafters who went away with some amazing bargains. Friday passed in a blurr and I hadn't intended going to 'the office' today, but I've got a lot of prep to get underway this weekend and my PC is still not playing nicely. It's refusing to open PDF files with Adobe and I needed to print Artylicious papers so I popped in to work midday to do some printing and get some materials to work with. The place was heaving again. Ran into some lovely friends and acquaintances and did far too much chatting and even ended up demonstrating things like the Cuttlebug.
So with only 11 days left in July here's what I have to fit in...... tomorrow and Monday I will be prepping for two live TV shows and getting everything ready to hit the Peterborough road on Tuesday after we finish in the office. Glenda and I have to be at the TV studio at 7 a.m. Wednesday morning to set up for the first show which is live at 9 a.m. (who agreed to such an early slot)? I'll let you guess the answer to that one - only kidding Glenda! Then we get an hour to set up again before we go back on air at 11 a.m. for the second show. Fortunately, Adrian has very kindly 'offered' to chauffeur us there and back so we can get some sleep en route if necessary. If you're around on Wednesday morning, don't forget to tune in - we have MORE NEW STAMPS for you and some firm favourites too!
I'll arrive home on Wednesday evening and start prepping again and putting up the kits for our Christmas Workshop. Thursday we're back in the office, the sale area has to be packed away and the studio set up for our 'Christmas in July' workshop which takes place on Friday the 25th. It's completely sold out and so has the next one that we don't even have a date for at this moment in time.
Saturday, I'm teaching an 'Altered Canvas with Ten Seconds Studio' workshop. I am so looking forward to this one - I love teaching and enjoy all of our workshops regardless of the subject but this one I am REALLY looking forward to. Let me warn those of you who are attending, we're going to be getting down and dirty on this one. The music will be loud (I hope you like Aerosmith), bring your latex gloves and an apron because we'll be spritzing, spraying, waxing and metal working to name just a few of the things I have lined up for you! It's going to be WILD!
Now, I'm off to my little studio upstairs accompanied by Led Zeppelin and a bottle of wine to start some prep.... I mean the CD naughty, not the band!