Saturday, 12 March 2016

Ellies For A Friend

Today is the launch of the LC Designs March stamp challenge and the theme is "anything goes" which is even better than usual because you can go wild with your crafty imagination and submit anything made with a stamped image. This is the fantastic prize you could win if you enter the challenge.

 I have made a this card as inspiration for all you crafters who might be having trouble with your mojo. I have used muted colours which I think looks a little bit shabby chic and a fantastic fun stamp of Elephants. I have used a Craftwork Cards die cut flower pad to make the big flower and I just assumed that it would still be on sale but when I have looked on their web site it isn't and I don't know what the design is called so I do apologise. Craftwork Cards do still sell die cut flower packs and the colours of some of them would work with this card or the Tim Holtz Tatty Flowers die is quite a large flower die and you could use some of the other papers in the Nit Wit paper pad to make the flower.

what you will need:
LC Designs digi Elephants in Squares stamp
Woodware Clear Magic sentiment stamps
Nitwit Collections Pastel Dreams 8" x 8" paper pad - blue spot
Craftwork Cards die cut flower pad in pinks and blues
6" x 6" white base card
good quality white card to print onto
pink card
black Versa Fine ink pad
pale pink bakers twine
pink glitter card scraps
blue card scraps
silver brad
silver heart charm
small flower punch
small hole punch
Tim Holts Tumbled Glass Distress Ink

Cut a piece of pink card to mat and layer onto the white base card and stick into position.a
Cut the Nitwit Pastel Dreams blue spot paper to mat and layer onto the pink card but do not stick down.
Cut 2 pieces of pink bakers twine long enough to wrap the ends around the back of the card.
Tie the two pieces of twine together with a knot about 1/3 down from the top.
Place the bakers twine to the blue spot paper so the knot is about 1 1/4" down and 1 1/2" in from the right hand side of the card, spread the two pieces of twine and secure the top of the twine around the back of the card with tape.
Thread the silver heart charm onto the right hand thread and then spread the threads apart and secure with tape at the back of the paper.
Leave the charm loose for now.
Mat and layer the blue spotted paper onto the base card.

Open your Elephants in Squares digi stamp in your graphics program and re size so that the image measures 2 15/16 from side to side.
Print the image onto good quality white cad.
Trim the image down to size and colour it in.
Mat and layer the coloured image onto pink card.
Stick the image onto the base card at a jaunty angle.
Punch 6 small flowers from the pink glitter paper (I used a Fiskers border punch to make the small flower), stick into position on the topper.dots using the blue card and the small
Punch 6 dots using the blue card and the small hole punch, stick one dot at the centre of each flower.

Pop out 3 of the Craftwork Card die cut flowers and shape them.
Shade the edges of the petals with the Tim Holts Tumbled Glass Distress Ink.
Stick the flower layers together.
Place a silver brad at the centre of the flower.
Stick the flower onto the base card.
Stick the silver heart charm to the blue spotted paper.

Using the Woodware sentiment stamp Best Wishes and the black Versa Fine ink pad stamp the sentiment onto the base card.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

A Little Self Indulgence

Hello to all my blog friends, today I thought it was time to write a short post about my past year as I feel I`ve reached a mile stone and can put the past behind me. So if you want to share in my self indulgence please read on.

 It all started around the Christmas of 201 when my lovely crafty cat Roger had an operation for skin cancer on his nose and we were told by the vet that it was a success and all was well but then he became ill again and by this time last year he was no longer with us and my heart was broken. I could`nt enjoy the garden any more without Roger by my side and the house was empty, my only escape was at work and I hated my job although the people who I worked with were just amazing. The house I had lived in for the past nine years had never been a happy home and only bad and sad things had happened to Stuart and me since we moved there, so that was when I decided we needed to move house.
RIP big Roger

The house was on the market and sold within a week (which was a complete shock) and so we started looking for a new home. Around this time redundancies were announced at work and I put in for it as the money from that and me taking an early pension when I hit 50 in April meant that we could move to the country which was a dream I had held for as long as I can remember. We went to look at a house in the Lincolnshire Woulds and that was it we fell in love with the area although the house was not for us. I took the early pension but the redundancy was not offered to me and I missed out on a substantial amount of money and yet again I was really upset, but as before the people who I worked with were just marvellous and when the time came for me to leave (after 29 years working there) they gave me a good send off.

So I was free at last to go out and buy the house of my dreams and start again, but as liberating as it was it was also really scary and I am so grateful that I have my Stuart who is my voice of reason and rock of stability. We rented a little cottage in the middle of no where and set about looking for a new home but every time we thought we had found it something bad happened. We were gazumped twice and then the surveyor found a problem with another house and that fell through so I have to look back and think they were not meant to be although at the time it was both heart breaking and expensive. Finally after almost six months we found a house that we thought we would be happy to call home and thanks to the owners who were so easy to work with it was ours in no time and the lovely owners are now our lovely neighbours.

I had achieved everything that I wanted when I set out on this quest and along the way I have a new job and met lots of new friends and the "life experience" even the bad bits have been worth while in the end although I do still miss my crafty cat Roger. My motto now is "everything is for a reason" and I am at last aware that we do not control our destiny no matter how we try to influence it because what was meant to be will be. I am more patient now although Stuart would disagree, and I am truly grateful for the good things that happen and I know that even when bad things happen there is a bigger picture being painted and I just cant see it yet.

So to the final part of this story, just one thing was missing and it was Roger and even though I looked for a positive in his not being with us (we couldn't have rented our cottage if we`d had a pet) I did still miss him so much and it had a big impact on my crafting because he would always sit with me in my craft room and now I was crafting alone and I didn't like it. Last Saturday Stuart and me went to the Lincolnshire Cat Trust to see if we could adopt a couple of adult male cats to fill up the big furry hole in our hearts and as I have said before we are not in control of our destiny so why did I go with a shopping list of wants. We came away with two little, and I mean tiny (although to be fair Roger was a huge, big cat) brother and sister called Roger (how strange is that) and Rosy and they are only 18months old. They are adorable and playful and cuddly and chatty and after a year without our beloved big Roger they make our house a real home.

My life has completely changed and for the better (much better in every way), I have left behind a life in the fast lane and a job that was making me so miserable and been lucky enough to follow my heart. It was a leap of faith and frightening from the start but I knew that if it all worked out it would be worth it. I would advise any one to follow their dream because to not do so would be soul destroying, I realise I am lucky because my dream had a happy ending but there were times when I wished I hadn't bothered and the amount of tears shed could have stopped a drought in a 3rd world country but I didn't give up and I am so glad I didn't.......