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]

Monday, May 18, 2009

Playing Catch Up - Part One

Sorry I didn't make a return to the blog last night but my back didn't hold up long enough to get done all that needed doing. However, I now have a lovely cup of latte at my side and a very 'hot' water bottle that I'm half leaning and half sitting on so what more can a girl want? It's quite comforting really!

Moira, I hope you have your cuppa and biccies ready! There's an awful lot to cover going back over the last few months and I'll recap in stages but I want to start with an event from the weekend before last... yes, we had another two 'open days' at Graphicus on Friday the 08th and Saturday the 09th of May.

'Hello' to everyone who attended and boy, was there a lot of you. What a fantastic turn out, particularly on Friday - it was quite a crush. I was a little late arriving as I had a review with my Surgeon before I could get underway to Barny which meant I didn't arrive until about 11.20. The event opened at 11.00 and by the time I got there is was heaving and there was nowhere to park near the building and my boot was full with all my demo kit. I managed to squeeze my car into the tiniest of spaces in front of the big roller door but had a real problem getting stuff out of the boot as I'd had to go so far back. I want to say a huge 'thank you' to the two ladies who came to my rescue and helped me lift my rolling trolleys out of the little hole I'd managed to get myself into... I really appreciated your help.

It was a fun event with so much going on. Glenda was doing wonderful things with awesome paints, inks, stamps, Tattered Angels NEW stamps and all of EI's new stamps too. Lesley made a fab job of reviewing Glenda's new CD Rom which will be coming soon and she made lovely arty samples with sneeky peeks of some of the papers. Then there was our Judith playing with her latest and greatest toy... Suze Weinburg's Melt Pot. Wow! what truly amazing stuff she was doing, the most glorious UTEE beads and some even had centres made with the new CD Rom papers! You have to see Judith's stuff it is wondrous and she's got so many requests for workshops with Melt Pot Jewellery so look out - they'll be coming up in the next workshop timetable. Annette had a real bumper demo going on featuring the Cuttlebug, Cricut's (Personal Cutter, Expression and the Create), the Cricut Juke Box and the brand new Slice from Making Memories. Wow, I was so impressed and both Annette and I have added the Slice to our shopping lists. It is such a brilliant little machine and so portable - just what you need when you want to sit in front of the TV and craft or if you are going to craft away from your normal work area.

I was playing with all things Ranger, Tim Holts Ideaology, his stamps and Wendy Vecchi Studio 490 stamps with a sprinkling of EI too - in other words 'totally awesome' products. Here's a look at a few of the things I made along the way:

A Maya Road tin (Ribbon Sliders) which has been inked with Adirondack Alcohol Inks, although the colours I used were from the original sets we had just taken delivery of the brand new colour ranges. At least one person I know bought one of every colour.... yes Jo, you know who you are and I'm green with envy - aren't they gorgeous colours? Another 24 items to add to my shopping list!

I tore an elegant picture from a glossy mag, trimmed it to fit and slotted it into the little metal tabs on the inside of the lid, yay no glue needed! Idea for the Christmas table: one for each place setting with a special little something inside and a photo of the recipient on the lid - maybe a childhood photo could be fun. They will make great place settings with a difference!

Onto my fave product: Grungeboard (GB). Unfortunately, I couldn't demo Grungepaper as we just can't keep it in stock. The minute it comes in it goes out and the suppliers seem to be having exactly the same problem but hopefully, there's more on the way from the USA as I write this. This flower is a real mish-mash of stamps: I used EI's Big Flowers for the largest layer but stamped on the back of the GB, cut it out and stamped the front with one of Wendy Vecchi's (WV) large background stamps - so usable. The second layer is a WV's Studio 490 flower and back to Big Flowers for the top layer. Inked with Distress Inks and finished with Distressed Stickles and Tim's Metal Foliage = Yummy!

A Butterfly pin cut on the Cricut, embossed with the Cuttlebug, inked with Distress Ink and smooched with Distressed Stickles again. Ideaology pieces to finish. [Thanks to Ranger for the lovely idea for this piece]!

Tim's stamps, this time with Distressed Inks a little Grungeboard and the lovely Metal Foliage again.
Back to Wendy Vecchi's super stamps for this tag but I've mixed them up with Tim's. The Grungeboard Flowers and tag are inked with Distress Inks.

Lovely sentiments on these stamps....

Now, here's a complete mix of Wendy's stamps for the flowers and leaves, Maya Road chipboard swirls stamped with a WV background stamp, Grungeboard for the flower heads and leaves and a pin back attached to the reverse side and you have your very own designer corsage! We were making these in a workshop a couple of weeks ago. I have some pics from the day which I'll get onto the Graphicus blog soon.

I really do love Wendy Vecchi's 'Studio 490' stamps, they are designed especially with products like Grungeboard and Maya Road Chipboard in mind and are manufactured beautifully by Stampers Anonymous - quality through and through and worth every penny!

When I first came across WV's blog at the back end of last year I almost had a heart attack. I saw some tags there and instantly thought 'what're my tags doing on this blog'? Then I looked again and saw that they weren't mine but we obviously have very similar tastes both in products and designs that it's frightening. Then came the stamps which I instantly fell in love with but didn't buy for fear of my work looking even more like Wendy's (only Wendy's work is outstanding - have you seen the stuff she did for CHA Winter)?

On my birthday this year I'd just come out of hospital and was recovering from the surgery at home when Glenda and Adrian pitched up loaded with goodies for me. A chocolate birthday cake from - wait for it:- 'Thornton's', some of Tim's brand new stamps and yes... some of Wendy's too! (Pic above with some of the lovely gifts I got from fabulous friends.) Oh I was in seventh heaven - how generous and kind and that's not all, Glenda kept me going sending me aid parcels on a regular basis filled with new releases from Elusive Images and new papers from Artylicious together with many other fabby things.... am I making you drool? Do you need a new knee too?

Well, it would have been so rude of me not to use the WV stamps wouldn't it? They are so wonderful for using with GB, I just had to come up with things that hopefully don't look the same as Wendy's and I had to stop reading her blog on a regular basis too for fear of her lovely work influencing what I was doing. I do sneak back occasionally in hope that she will give a sneek peak of some more of her lovely stamps that are on the way, presumably for CHA - Summer Show. How will she top what she's already done? Do give them a try.... they're not just for GB but I do love the way you can give your flowers dimension by curling them.

My lap top's started playing up again so I can't link to the products at the moment - it keeps telling me that the 'link is broken' when I know it's not. The pc works fine but I can't sit at it at the mo with my back problem, I need a comfy sofa that absorbs the compression on the discs so I'll try to edit this later and insert the links so you can find stuff easily if you want more info on what I've used.

Thank you to everyone who has stuck with me through my prolonged absence on the blog and for all the lovely welcome back messages... I'll be back with another installment soon, I just hope I don't bore you all to death!

For now, I have to go practice balancing on one leg while I get dressed to go out, can't slob around in these exercise pants for a minute longer I'm afraid. Thank goodness you can't see me, you'd never come back! I'm off to the vets later this afternoon with Diesel for his annual EPI check up (he was diagnosed with Canine Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency when he was four), in other words his pancreas doesn't work and therefore he can't process his food and without daily meds he would just waste away. It's all under control but Derek, our fabulous vet, keeps a close eye on him to make sure all his organs are fit and healthy and that he continues to do well. It's not something that he can be cured of but with very careful nutrition we can keep him well and looking good.

Catch ya later..... Happy Crafting all!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Pre Blog Warning

Look out folks.... I'm back in the land of the living!

I have such a lot of catching up to do on the blog and so many thank yous to send to everyone who sent kind thoughts, positive support and beautiful cards and gifts while I recovered from my surgery. I've also got lots of pics for you (some not so nice taken from my hospital bed wearing no make up - eeeek! frightening) others which are prettier and of the more artistic type.

So while I get my head into gear, edit the pics and make notes so that I don't forget what I'm going to blog about, stay tuned..... I'll be back soon - hopefully later tonight or the wee small hours!