30 January 2011

I've had a relatively quiet week-end, which is always nice after a frantically busy and stress-filled week at the office. 

I went to Ely on Saturday and enjoyed lunch in a small Turkish place called Street Cafe.  Good food at reasonable prices.  It was really cold and besides the fact that it was nice and warm inside, the staff were great and it was really enjoyable.  I had a wander around the street market and bought myself two Dean Koontz books to read.  Have started the one already, it's called By the Light of the Moon, and I am already engrossed and don't want to put it down.  However, I did manage to put it down to get important things done!  :)

I made a card for my work colleague and friend, who has moved into a gorgeous little house with her fiance this week-end.  She works in our company's design department and is such a wonderful unique individual, brimming over with creativity.  Her dress sense is totally amazing and I just love how comfortable she is in being different.  I sure hope she likes her card.  I drew the shape out from a template and made my own card in a house shape - I think it turned out quite well.  The little charm hanging on the left is a miniature brass key - thought it was a nice finishing touch.  The door, window, text and heart stickers used are from Doodlebug.

This next card is for my dear friend at work who is going through such a tough time with her daughter being ill.  The second round of blood tests confirmed the first lot of results - a low white blood cell count.  However, the blood tests also revealed an overactive thyroid function. 

Now when it comes to thyroid problems, I like to think I'm a semi-expert, having suffered from an underactive thyroid for +15 years.  The only 'good' thing about the low white blood cell count (and I use the term 'good' loosely here!) is that an overactive thyroid is known to affect and lower white blood cells.  It's all due to the body over producing various hormones, and I am so very hopeful that the low white blood cell count will be due to the high thyroid function.  Little Charlotte has another hospital visit tomorrow - this time to see a paediatrician - and I am hoping so hard that it all goes well. 

Thyroid issues are treatable, and can be controlled well on medication.  I am feeling hopeful.  This card is for my friend, just to let her know that I'm thinking of her and keeping her in my thoughts.  The text on the circle says 'Thinking of You'.  Apologies for the crap lighting on the pics - that's the trouble with trying to photograph things at night time.  The dragonflies are done with the Xcut embossing punch, the scalloped hole punch at the bottom of the card is a Martha Stewart punch.  Can't remember where the ribbon is from. 

I have my crafting space even more organised, which is great.  Only REALLY annoying thing - I seem to have lost my ProMarker blending marker.  Don't ask me how, as I have no clue.  I've been down on my hands and knees looking under furniture in case it rolled under something.  I've been through every single drawer, tin, container and other storage item in my craft room . . . no sign of it!  I am very frustrated at this point and seriously don't know how I've managed to do something so daft.  *sigh*  I sincerely hope it turns up, but I somehow doubt my luck on that front.  Looks like I'm going to have to invest in another one. . .

Just a gentle nose rub to say hello =)

26 January 2011

I'm always amazed at how vast the world wide web actually is.  I could spend hours upon hours clicking on one link after another, and never stop finding amazing things to read, learn and see.  Not to mention inspiration beyond measure.  There are so many incredibly good-hearted people in this world, and I find all creative souls to be such people.
My Mom told me about a blog which I visited last night, called 'The Butterfly Effect'.  This is probably one of the most humbling and incredibly special projects I have ever heard about.  It is hosted by The Holocaust Museum in Texas, USA.
The main aim of The Butterfly Project is to remember the 1,500,00 innocent children who perished as a result of the Holocaust, by collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies.
In the spring of 2013, the butterflies will become an exhibition to serve as a memory of this event.  The project is based on the poem 'I Never Saw Another Butterfly' by Pavel Friedman who died in Auschwitz in 1944 aged just 23.
I have posted a picture link on the right hand top of my blog page - this will take you to Trudi Sissons blog, who is collecting butterflies from contributors around the world, photographing them, posting them on her blog, and sending them on to the museum thereafter.  Full details are on her blog, including direct links to the museum - there's a lot to see and read on there, including the poem I mention above.
Please pass this on - it is an inspiring and touching project, poignant and so very important.  I KNOW there are loads of creative people out there who would love to participate!  (I have copied an image from the blog which appears below, of some of the amazing butterflies created to date!)

Kindness is more important than wisdom,
and the recognition of this is the
beginning of wisdom. - Theodore Isaac Rubin

25 January 2011

I placed an order with a scrapbooking shop online.  They're not new, but they're new to me as I only recently discovered their site.  They have the most superb selection of 7 Gypsies goodies, besides all the other lovely products.  Anyway, I digress...  So I placed the order on Sunday night.  I received it today.  Wow!  Excellent service.  Look at some of the lovely new papers I ordered:

I was also pleasantly surprised by the free gift I received - a mini chipboard album, and three colours of ribbon...  What an awesome little gift to receive :)  These were all from 'A Trip Down Memory Lane' - they can be found at this address:   -  Thank you to Mel and Jill - you really made my day  :)

My friend at work will be taking her daughter to the hospital tomorrow for more tests.  I'm sending out loads of positive thoughts to them.  There is nothing worse than waiting and not knowing....

I splurged on a couple of papercrafting magazines today - was having a horrible day at work and decided to treat myself.  While I shouldn't have done it, I have been poring over them at the talent out there and the amazing things we can do with the products available nowadays.  So awesome.

A garden is a delight to the eye and a solace for the soul - Sadi

24 January 2011

The craft organiser unit I ordered online just after xmas, finally arrived last week Thursday.  Yippee!!  My sister helped me assemble it (thank goodness for her logical brain) and I thoroughly enjoyed getting my craft stash put away neatly inside.

Sad state of affairs though - it's completely full.  I had no idea I owned so much paper, board and other stuff.  Hehe.  I do believe I don't need to buy anything further for a long, long time.  Famous last words of course.  Anyway!  Here's a pic :

It's the unit on the left with the drawers with blue handles.  Pretty cool huh?  I'm really pleased with it, for sure.

I finally posted my OLW January pages on the Big Picture class website last night.  So glad I finally got that done.

Had an exhausting day at work, and need to sit and work out when I'd like to take some leave this year.  Everyone else has booked weeks at a time off, and of course sucker that I am, have nothing booked & can't seem to get anything decent off because I have to be there to cover for some of the others *sigh*  Interesting times indeed.

I was messing around the other day and took this photo of Maximus and I.  We had an awesome walk on Saturday, even though it started raining and we had to take shelter for a while.  Maximus so enjoys his walks.  There seem to be a lot of foxes around at the moment, and they have quite a haunting call.  Not quite a bark or a howl, but eerie nonetheless.  Especially at 5.30 in the morning when it's still dark outside!!

We frightened a poor little Muntjac deer who went darting off - I just hope it went somewhere that it was safe.  When they're frightened, I don't know what they might do and I see so many of the poor little things hit by cars.  Found some cute pictures on google for those who might not know what they look like (I didn't either, before moving to the UK!)

23 January 2011

Oh dear, I've been rather slack with my blog this week.  I know it's important to update regularly, and I generally do try.  Just seem to have required all my energy to comfort others this week, and I've been exhausted in the evenings.

I don't know who took this photo, but I think it is amazing.  Talk about contented and peaceful looking lions/lionesses.  They have such beautiful faces.

I lit a candle tonight for a little girl called Charlotte.  I work with her Mom and Charlotte hasn't been very well for a few months now.  The doctors ran blood tests and she has a low white blood cell count.  They are running more tests and it is a waiting game at the moment - but for a mother who has already lost one child to leukemia, I truly don't know how this amazing woman has not fallen to pieces.  I try and offer her kindness and strength and support, but she must be so distraught.

Another sad bit of news was V in our accounts department - one of her pet rabbits died this week.  It was a rescue and the other rabbit is now pining for it's sister.  V was so very upset and I found her sobbing in the kitchen about it.  I made a card for her that night, and included 'The Rainbow Bridge' poem inside, which I gave to her the next day.  I hope it made her feel a little better.

The Rainbow Bridge poem I used can be found here :

I also made a quick tag which can be used as a bookmark, for a friend who has been lending me a load of books to read lately.

Sue enjoys reading and she loves dogs as much as I do, so we always have a lot to talk about :)

Well, time to go for now.  Have a good week ahead - and a thought to carry you through :

From John O'Donohue (author)- a Beannacht (Blessing) from his book "Echoes of Memory"- "May the nourishment of the earth be yours, may the clarity of light be yours, may the fluency of the ocean be yours, may the protection of the ancestors be yours. And so may a slow wind work these words of love around you, an invisible cloak to mind your life."

16 January 2011

For some bizarre reason, Maximus doesn't like his picture being taken very much.  I try really hard, but most of the time as soon as he sees the camera, he turns away.  Luckily after a long Sunday walk, he is all tired out and I can sometimes get a few sneaky shots.  Hehe.

We had a good walk today, despite the howling wind.  Due to all the rain we've had, the fields and paths are either mini marshlands or mud puddles.  Half way across a large field next to a farm where we go walking, Maximus eyed a river before I did, and he went bouncing . . . bouncing . . . SPLOOSH!  Straight into it.  And ran along the entire length of it as happy as a pig in you-know-what.  It was so funny to see him bouncing along and half diving into this small river.  It wasn't too deep - reached his tummy only and he ran along it, tail up high, such a contented dog.  I laughed so much because it's still so cold, but he doesn't seem to feel it ;-)

I've had a wonderful relaxing week-end, which is just what I've needed.  I finally finished January's pages for my Ali Edward's One Little Word class which I am very pleased about.  I hate photo's of myself and am not too keen on posting that page, but I figure if all the other ladies doing the class have done it, I should too.

I made a birthday card for my friend Kelly at work.  It was her birthday on Saturday, but as we weren't able to meet up for a coffee, I shall give it to her tomorrow with her present :)

The stamp is 'Sitting Pretty' by Sugar Nellie and is coloured in with Promarkers.  Papers are My Minds Eye 'Quite Contrary' summer range.  The punch used is a Martha Stewart design.

A bit of good news - my asthma diary for this week shows that I only had to use my asthma pump once in seven days.  Yay!!

"We've got to learn hard things in our lifetime, but it's love that gives you the strength. It's being nice to people and having a lot of fun and laughing harder than anything, hopefully every single day of your life." - Drew Barrymore

12 January 2011

You're only here for a short visit.
Don't hurry, don't worry.
And be sure to smell the flowers
along the way. - Walter Hagen

10 January 2011

Ever have one of these kinds of days?  Where even if you get a bit of a helping push, it isn't quite enough?  I had one of these days today.  Desperately trying to catch up with work, being bombarded from all sides by people wanting more work.  I'm soooo tired *yawn*

I finally took a photo of myself for my OLW project.  Just need to re-size it and add the overlay supplied by Ali Edwards.  And then . . . ta da!  I can post my pages on Big Picture Classes.  Cool.  But tonight, I'm ready to head off now for a shower & to climb into bed.  I'm cold.  I'm exhausted.

I just have to mention that my heart goes out to the loved ones of the victims in the recent shooting in Arizona in the USA, where so many innocent lives were lost.  When did politics become a platform of intolerance and hatred?  When did people stop caring and start making targets of others?  This saddens me on so many levels and I can only hope that a tragedy like this will not occur again.

8 January 2011

I had a really bad week at work and am very grateful that it was a four day week due to the holiday on Monday.  One of my colleagues was on leave, and for some reason when she or I are on leave, nobody else covers our work.  So we try and help each other out and do what we can.  Of course, I've only been working for the company for just over three months, so it's still a big learning curve for me and sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed.  I know it can only improve as I learn more about the specifics of this particular type of packaging, so here's hoping!!

I finally got round to starting my OLW project this week - baby steps really as I have the whole month to do it.  I think that's what I appreciate most about this workshop/course is that there's only a few pages to do each month which is great.  I have completed my title page and the page which has 9 cards to fit in the Pink Paislee page protector.  It was a really enjoyable little project getting those done.  I held out for the week-end to take a photo of myself, simply because during the day the lighting is easier to get a photo than at night time with the flash.  So I'm hoping to take a photo tomorrow and I can then get that page done & post them on the Big Picture site.

I'm waiting for my Pink Paislee album and page protectors to arrive - I finally found a company in the UK that sells them and even though they were out of stock, the lady who owns it was quite willing to book a pre-order of them for me, for which I am most grateful.  So I offer a huge thanks to Lorraine Shipman from Scrap Revolution for her kind assistance.  The company website is:

Over the Christmas break I had a couple of days leave which I took so I ended up with a week off which was great.  I was quite industrious and got cracking with some card making.  My aim is to be able to give each of my friends a hand made card for their birthdays this year, and have some extras for other occasions as and when I might need them.  For friends in other countries, it will mean I will be able to post their cards on time & ensure they arrive in time for their special days.  I also like to think that it means more to my friends as I have taken the time to think of them & make a card full of meaning for them specifically.

The card above contains digital images which I purchased from a very talented lady on Etsy called Debrina, her etsy store can be found here:  Go check it out - she has amazing digital creations =)

I think the stamp I used in the above card can definitely be described as one of my favourites!  It's from Lili of the Valley -

 This was a quick card I made using the free papers etc which came with the Cardmaking & Papercraft magazine (Issue 86 from December 2010).  I literally copied one of the designs in the magazine for a quick card make (only took about 20 minutes).

I like how this card turned out, especially the butterfly paper embellishment.  It was a rather unusual find, as it's actually part of a cup cake holder and was a rather expensive purchase (especially as I had no intention of using this pretty paper for cup cakes!! )

The weather has turned really cold again, and I am expecting to see more snow soon.  I'm still not accustomed to the unpredictable English weather, so I'm never quite sure what will happen next.  I have at least gotten used to having to put a coat or jacket on before stepping foot outside in winter, although I do occasionally still forget!  Hehe.  I do like the snow, it always looks really pretty when it's freshly fallen. 

Sometimes people are beautiful not in looks.
Not in what they say.
Just in what they are.
~ Markus Zusak ♥

3 January 2011

I had to go for a check-up last week for my asthma.  As it's simply to see how my asthma is, it's with a nurse (as opposed to a doctor).  So she asks me to demonstrate how I use my pump.  Now at the best of times, I detest using my asthma pump because it tastes foul & makes me feel kinda shaky for a couple of minutes.  Anyway.  So I have to do it once, twice . . . three times.  And she tells me I'm not inhaling correctly and I have to practice.  I've been given a booklet where I have to record how often I'm using my asthma pump etc etc.  I've had the booklet almost one week, and I haven't had to use my pump during that time...  I have a follow up check in a month's time - I have a sneaking suspicion the asthma record booklet isn't going to contain much info.  lol.  Oh well.
Back to work tomorrow after a short break.  I've enjoyed some time out, and must admit not looking forward to returning to the manic environment of a sales office.  Oh well, such is life.  It pays to keep me in a steady supply of scrapbooking stash, so I shouldn't complain.  Hehe.

Everywhere has got sales on at the moment.  I've seen some beautiful things at reduced prices, but I'm kinda at a point where I don't want to add more 'stuff' to my life, but would rather clear some clutter.  I'm slowly working on organising the storage of my crafting goodies effectively at the moment.  I think once I've done that & I have items more readily available, I will be more inclined to do some scrapping a little more often.  

Still working on my OLW stuff - found some awesome quotes on Love today.  Compiling all my info and will go through my paper stash tomorrow night when I get home from work, to decide what colour scheme jumps out at me to use  =)

2 January 2011

Close your eyes and see from the heart

I decided to try something I haven't done before - I'm taking an online workshop/class with Ali Edwards, in conjunction with my chosen 'one word' for the year.  The workshop is called 'One Little Word' and can be found here:  Pretty awesome, and a big deal for me as I'm not very confident in displaying what I create for all to see =)

I am intrigued at how each person has interpreted January's lesson, and I look forward to starting mine soon (I'm a bit behind, only signed up today, only started downloading stuff today....)  So this is a whole bunch of awesomeness for me.  I really am looking forward to sharing with a whole lot of creative ladies and enjoying the process.  And of course, focusing my intentions on my OLW.

The Vick Dogs | The Best Friends Blog

It breaks my heart every time I see how animals are treated with such little importance, whilst Michael Vick still gets to walk the streets a free man... 
Here's hoping more is done to protect animals, and some powerful people start effecting this change in 2011.

When the President Calls About the Vick Dogs | The Best Friends Blog

1 January 2011

2011 - one word

I was watching the New Years celebrations around the world, on the news this morning.  I think Australia and Hong Kong had the most beautiful and impressive displays.  I would truly love to get to celebrate New Years in a different country each year - I think that would be fascinating.

I was doing a lot of blog hopping today, and came across some seriously amazing blogs which I will certainly have to make a point of visiting often.  One of my favourites is Ali Edward's blog,  I was reminded of something which Ali does each year - chooses one word as a 'theme' for that year.   Words are powerful, and can truly make a difference.  Ali explains it wonderfully on her blog post back in 2007, the link is here :

So I chose my word for 2011, kind-of on the spur of the moment today when I read Ali's blog.  My word is LOVE.  I have many reasons for choosing this word, as I believe sometimes when you are faced with difficult situations or what I refer to as toxic people (especially on an almost daily basis), the best way to deal with it is with love and patience.  I truly believe it has the power to change so much.  I have also been meditating on, and focusing my intentions, on filling my life with love.  I think it's a great choice for me =)

I finished reading a wonderful book today, loaned to me by a new friend (aren't friends great?)  The book is called 'No Place Like Home' by Pen Farthing.  The ISBN for this book is 978-0-091-92883-4.  Pen Farthing served in the Royal Marines and did a tour in Afghanistan, where he encountered many stray dogs.  Heart-breaking stories of dogs used and bred for fighting, and how badly they are treated.  He fought to bring home to the UK some stray dogs he rescued, Nowzad and Tali, to give them a home and the best possible chance.  As the book's dust cover states, 'It will warm - and break - the hearts of dog lovers everywhere.' 

Pen and his wife Lisa started a UK registered charity, called Nowzad Dogs.  He continually helps service men and women (not only British, he has helped several American soldiers and a Dutch soldier, amongst others, to get the dogs home that they have rescued).  The charity number is 1119185, their website is  Their postal address is : Nowzad Dogs, PO Box 3495, Corsham, SN13 7AE, England.

I cannot begin to explain how much a dog (or cat) helps and comforts a soldier.  I know how much my beloved dog Maximus comforts me, and I'm a civilian.  For all those brave men and women fighting for our safety in both Afghanistan and Iraq, an animal that they manage to rescue becomes an integral part of their lives.  I truly believe this is one of the most important charities you could ever support.  I say this because I have seen with my own eyes how a stray cat has provided my brother with such comfort while he is serving in Afghanistan.

"Love's greatest gift is its ability to make everything it touches sacred." ~B. De Angelis