Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Where's the time gone?

Blinkin' eck....  just when I thought I was on a roll, the time has once again come up on me!!

I can't believe this time last week I was taking a bit of a relaxing day, and now, it's twelve hours to countdown!!

If you haven't heard, I've been asked (quite a shock!) to appear on Create and Craft with Sheila, as she does the Pick of the Day for Docrafts. I mean... what an honour! It's a bit daunting... but I'm sure I'll cope. lol.

Obviously, I can't tell you what the release is... but Katy did a sneaky peek on her blog and here it is..

Any guesses to what it is? lol. I'll tell you what it is.. it's awesome! It is sooo lovely! I am really enjoying playing with it and have lots of print outs.

So, it all becomes clear at around 9pm tonight... so will I see you there? I very hope so!! Haha.

I will be taking photos of the cards I've made that are going to feature on the show, so watch this space!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Parchment craft

For those who know me, they would know that when I first started venturing into cardmaking MANY years ago, I began with parchment craft.

So today, I thought I'd share this older card with you.


I used a hand drawn doodle to create the centre section of the card. The lines around the card holding the main image were done randomly, and then I pricked around the inside of the lines.

I hope you like it!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Bloggy makeover

I'm having a bit of a makeover on my blog at the moment.. so please excuse the mess until it's done. xx

Busy Busy Busy

Oh it's a busy week this week in the Creation Station!

There's a new Pick of the Day coming up on Create and Craft with Docrafts, and I've been asked to make some samples for the show. Well, of course I said YES! And the product is so lovely - I'm sure you're going to love this one loads!!

I've also had a few birthday cards to make this week, as well as try to sort out some projects for filming in Bath shortly, and also sort things out for the Craft Class I had on Tuesday.

Tuesday's somehow seem to come around far too quickly, and when it's Craft night, my room looks like someone's broken into it and had a good rifle through my stash! This past week we created stamped candles, a card box and a selection of cards using card sketches. Everyone loved the candles and found it easier than expected (there were some panicky faces when I told them what they were doing.. lol) and the cards the group came up with were beautiful.

Still.. it's not as bad on Tuesday's as it is on Wednesday's when I unpack. So yesterday I had to have a very good tidy around so I could settle to work!

But I thought I'd get a little update on here to what's happening - in between appointments, car repairing, doggy walking, christmas window shopping, and doing the books for the self assessment, you can definately say things aren't boring!

I promise I will try to get a few projects uploaded - after all, I do have some samples made with the new Docrafts product that was released this past month. So, please check back for an update.

Until then, Happy Crafting.. !

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Springer rescue

I so agree with this... I found it earlier on a Springer Rescue forum that I frequent... lol.. 

“Rescue Spaniels aren’t broken, they’ve simply experienced more life than other Spaniels. If they were human we would call them wise, they would be the ones with tales to tell and stories to write, the ones dealt a bad hand who responded with courage. Don’t pity them, do something, help to rescue, donate, volunteer, foster, adopt. Be proud to have their greatness by your side.”

Especially for Scooby and Truly, my two rescue spaniels. xx

Thursday, 17 November 2011

I've been colouring!

Remember my little monkeys that I drew for the Odds and Soxlets blog? Well.. I decided to have a bit of time for 'me' last night and did a bit of colouring.. here's how they turned out!

I decided to use my Birdsong papers (still love these!) and kept the layering to a minimum to show the images better.

I used glitter for the raindrops, and even added a polka dot to the coat..

This was the second image I did, where monkey is sat on a tree trunk.

I used inks and a baby wipe to create the background sky, and grassed areas. Here's the close up.

I must admit... I've got a little bit of a passion for these little guys.. take a look at Erica's blog and site, you'll not be disappointed... beautiful handmade, soft toys, made by Erica herself. Perfect for Christmas.

And if you want to see our little edition to the Austin household, here she is - lovely eh?!

Pin It

Anyway, I must get on.. I'm trying to get on top of my jobs for this week as we have the Live Crafty Chat session tomorrow over on the Docrafts forum. I've just spent the last day or so finishing off some projects for the Docrafts Advent calendar for this year, and I even did a bit of designing on Photoshop... so watch this space! Sadly, I can't reveal what I've made just yet, but I'll share as soon as I can!

Happy crafting everyone!

Jo xx

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Pulling teeth?

No just pulling blog posts.. I'm seriously going to get this Networked thing to work if it's the last thing I do... lol.

Networked blogs..

I'm just trying this, because I've tried before and it didn't work... xx

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

less stressed ....

Oh boy - what a day yesterday turned out to be.. everything was going fine until early afternoon, then everything that could go wrong did go wrong!

So.. what's a girl to do when things get a bit stressy? Draw! That's what. And that's exactly what I did..

I have just got my little monkey from the lovely Erica from Odds and Soxlets, and whilst browsing her site, found that she runs a monthly challenge... and the one this month is for a drawing. So, I enjoyed coming up with these the other day, and thought I'd enter.

This was the work in progress, and I loved getting my drawing pen back in my fingers.
This is the finished sketch for the one above, but I couldn't just stop there... so I did this one too.
I hope you like them... nip over to Erica's site.. there are some beautiful things on there... I've got a basketful already waiting to be paid... and a daughter who's looking forward to recieving her bits and pieces. 

Happy Crafting  - or drawing - whatever the case may be.. lol. 


My time to Craft

It's Tuesday, and that means just one thing for us Challengers over at the My Time to Craft Challenge.... it's challenge day!

Today, funnily enough, it's another Take Two challenge, and here's my card for today.

I used two borders, two papers and two santas.. and these are the lovely Enchanted santa's.. aren't they lovely?

I used the toppers this time, instead of stamping .. just for a change.. but I like the card, although it doesn't look its best on the photo..

I hope you can play along - it would be great to see your entries this week.

Do you like to Chit Chat?

Then why not pop over to the Creativity Club section of the Docrafts forum, and come chat with us?

We're going to be there from 10am to around 11am on Friday morning, so pop on over.. make your list of questions and we'll do our best to answer..

See you there!!

Doodling or something else?

Near enough all my life I have had a pen in my hand, and if I'm doing anything - be it schoolwork, college work, or just general notes and diary filling, I doodle. I remember years ago, the front of my paying in book for the bank was plain white, and over a period of months I gradually filled it with lines, swirls, dots, doodles and anything else in between.

I doodle when I'm thinking of what to do, in those blank moments when your mind goes 'errrmm.....' and I find it a bit of a release somehow. I like to keep the fingers busy and doodling is perfect for it.

To me, it is doodling... to everyone else, it is now known as zentangling. Why is that?!

People are making money from it, writing books for it, teaching people to do it, and honestly... it's been around for years! So what's the difference between doodling and zentangling? Not alot me thinks other than I can doodle on anything I wish, whatever size I'd like.. and zentangling is more structured.

I love the look. But I will keep calling my 'tangling' a doodle because that's what it is. Some people doodle houses, squares, circles, shapes.. I do all of them together, then doodle inside the doodles.

If you're unsure of what I'm on about, check out this site HERE to find out more about zentangling.

Monday, 14 November 2011

From the Independant... in memory of Cyrus Thatcher.

If I say so myself, there is nothing more fulfilling than making up boxes to send out to those out in the Field..  and today, on the Facebook page I belong to, there was this post about Cyrus Thatcher.. it's quite sad, so get the tissues ready. The first few letters are before he was killed. 


In the spring of this year, the 2nd Battalion, The Rifles deployed to Afghanistan. Halfway through the battalion's tour, it has lost nine soldiers, with dozens injured.
Of those to have given their lives, four were teenagers. Here Rifleman Cyrus Thatcher, who was 19 when he was killed by an explosion near Gereshk seven weeks ago, tells his own story, through letters home and the last letter he left behind to bid farewell to his family – his mother Helena, father Robin and brothers Zac, 21, and Steely, 17.
Following are the words of a proud soldier described by his officers as possessing "a rucksack full of potential", and by his friends as a rascal always cracking jokes and helping to keep morale high. Most of all, they are the words of a young son to his mum, dad and brothers. 
Terri Judd
27 April 2009
Hello Mum
I've just got your bluey [letter] (the 1st one) yea you are right it does get fucking hot, I can't work out wether I'm tanned or just burnt to fuck!! I've spoke to you on the phone so you no what I've been doing. I'm well proud of you loosing all that weight. Suppose you've got a pretty good insentive. We'v had the same shit maybe a month now. Everyday a Monday out here. You kind of loose track of days. I cant quite work out if its going fast or slow. This pen is shit its doing my head in!!
Iv been thinking of loads of things and places to do, go and see. Me and Elliott are gonna go to Amsterdam after this. THINK WE MAY HAVE DESERVED IT!! It should be a good day (November 5th) [their homecoming parade]. On the 6th we can go Belfast Iv'e got loads of sad things I wanna buy ie Sky+ Big TV. Get the old man to help me rearange my room and help me fix my shelves. Im not the DIY type normally resort to celler tape or blue tack. HA HA HA. Hope everyones safe at home. Complete detox out here – water no drink. So my dance moves might involve a bit of stumbling when I return! Im coming home 2 weeks earlier now so that's kinda good, it might be worth Zac picking me up give me a bit of chill out time so I don't try stab a gobby civvi plus he's a good listener, sumtimes I wonder if he's listening or thinking of sumthing completely irrelivant.
Well pass this round the family so they can all admire my extream spelling (infantry eh!). Lots of love to all the nearest and dearest. Love Ya!! Xxxx
1 May 2009
Hey Mum + family
Ill always address my letters to you cuz I no your probley the only one who gets to the mail!! You'll have to let me no how quick these are getting you ill keep writing the date?? Everything is good up this way getting hotter, still moving at a million miles per hour (HA HA HA) I think Iv'e stopped burning Im slowly going brown and my hair is getting ridiculous just wait till I come home ill look like a fucking wooky?! I was gonna write to granny + grandad but to be honest with the few spare hours I get Id'e rather write home ey? BTW send my regards to Daphne, Joan, Brian etc. Let em no how Im doing?
Every so often we get old people and churches send us little gifts like baby wipes, razors, sweets and stuff so its quite a good bit of moral. Got some really good photos ill have to bring my camera back so we can get that Kosovo collage on the go, to bring back on the 5th of November. If you saw what and where Ive been sleeping you would be shocked!! So pictures will back me up!
Unfortunately 3 blokes died 2 days ago in an IED explosion in one of the FOBs [Forward Operating Bases] bout 2 kilometers away – we visited that FOB 2 days before the attack – fucking mental quite scary actually! We'v had a rest day so Im doing a bit of hand washing and fitness! God you'd be so proud Ha! Ha! Ha! We've still had spam, rice, beans and unflavoured noodles every day – promise me actually I promise you if I see spam in the house ill fucking destroy it!! Im getting pretty good at making flat bread and we bout a goat of a local for 200 dollars and we slaughtered it. I got a good video. Its either catch it, kill it, or make it out here or else you go hungry LOL!! The showers are also freezing whilst Im on the subject of moaning?? Id'e best go again BUT ill keep writing when I get the time + ill be home in a couple of months. Love you'zzz all don't worry bout me to much. Theres only 3 things that kill people over hear BULLETS, BOMBS + EGOS so I might go down with a bad case of swollen head!! Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha. Love ya xxxxx

12 May 2009
Hello Mother
Yesterday was a massive day for moral an american chopper came in yesterday. I got 5 blueys one from Zac, Daphne, I think Sharpie sent one and Dad?? With some pictures that was great. I stared at them for about an hour I cant explain how good it is to get pictures and stuff you get grown men close to tears at the sight of there kid or a good night out its really strange how this place fucks with your head and emotions. A BIG ONE that I NEED you to try do (get started ill help when I get back) is appeal to local charitys, churches, major companys ie Zoo, Cadburys, boots you name it. Write to them and explain my whereabouts and they do send gifts, chocolate, sweets, magazines you name it trust me a lot of the lads parents did it and they've got clothes, the lot. Trust me Red bull, lucazade, fags AND SWEETS are wicked just keep sending them and URGE people to send photos they keep the moral SKY HIGH. I thought Steely and Zacs [poses] in the garden were quality. I can only prove how much a letter or small parcel means by finding time to right back – that's probley the most precious thing I have and Id'e trade hours for a letter.
On some much sadder news one of our rifleman died a few days back, we had a parade and a few minutes silence its so strange how many emotions you go through living in these conditions its like everything wants to beat you and rewin your day. Its about not letting it get to you and don't worry nothing fucking gets to me. Well Im off I love you all loads thanks for my parcels and letters. Lots of love xxx

14 May 2009
Hey Mum!
Its just gone 10 in the morning here Im on a stag rotation for the next 7 days guarding the FOB. Its 6 hours on 3 hours off so not much sleep. (Im already an hour in). If you could see what Im looking at now you'd be pretty shocked. Its pretty stunning to be honest. I could probley sling shot a stone from where we were last contacted [shot at] from Ha! Ha! Ha! Pretty fucking crazy huh? I shouldn't really tell you this but its safer than on the phone – were leaving this place. Its gonna be a fucking massive operation moving this lot + a lot of helicopter rides. So when I come back after R&R [leave] ill fly to [the main British camp] bastion then out to our new FOB. You don't really do much on stag. Swetting my tits of its gonna hit 50 degrees today. AAAAH Shit my grenade just fell out of my [body armour] – we wont mention that to any higherarcy will we now.
I think you said you were going to a weight loss thing a few days ago hope that well? (Just keep going) 37 days ill be home – not that Im counting or anything??? THINK there's a bird coming in today at 13.30 so this bluey will probley arrive with the others – well as always gotta go ill try ring when I get a top-up of minuets on Monday. FUCK knows what day it is I thought it was Sunday today. Ha! Ha! Well lots of love to you all!
Cyrus Thatcher was killed on 2 June 2009. This is the letter he wrote to be delivered to his family if he died:

Hello its me, this is gonna be hard for you to read but I write this knowing every time you thinks shits got to much for you to handle (so don't cry on it MUM!!) you can read this and hopefully it will help you all get through.
For a start SHIT I got hit!! Now Iv got that out the way I can say the things Iv hopefully made clear, or if I havent this should clear it all up for me. My hole life you'v all been there for me through thick and thin bit like a wedding through good and bad. Without you I believe I wouldn't have made it as far as I have. I died doing what I was born to do I was happy and felt great about myself although the army was sadly the ending of me it was also the making of me so please don't feel any hate toward it. One thing I no I never made clear to you all was I make jokes about my life starting in the Army. That's wrong VERY wrong my life began a LONG time before that (Obviously) but you get what I mean. All the times Iv tried to neglect the family get angry when you try teach me right from wrong wot I mean to say is I only realised that you were trying to help when I joined the army and without YOUR help I would have never had the BALLS, the GRIT and the damn right determination to crack on and do it. If I could have a wish in life it would to be able to say Iv gone and done things many would never try to do. And going to Afghan has fulfilled my dream ie my goal. Yes I am young wich as a parent must brake you heart but you must all somehow find the strength that I found to do something no matter how big the challenge. As Im writing this letter I can see you all crying and mornin my death but if I could have one wish in an "after life" it would be to stop your crying and continueing your dreams (as I did) because if I were watching only that would brake my heart. So dry your tears and put on a brave face for the rest of your friends and family who need you.
I want each and everyone of you to forfill a dream and at the end of it look at what you have done (completed) and feel the accomplishment and achievement I did only then will you understand how I felt when I passed away.
[To his brothers:] You are both amazing men and will continue to be throughout your lives you both deserve to be happy and fofill all of your dreams.
Dad – my idol, my friend, my best friend, my teacher, my coach, everything I ever succeeded in my life I owe to you and maybe a little bit of me! You are a great man and the perfect role model and the past two years of being in the army I noticed that and me and you have been on the best level we have ever been. I thank you for nothing because I no all you have given to me is not there to be thanked for its there because you did it cause you love me and that is my most proudest thing I could ever say.
Mum, where do I start with you!! For a start your perfect, your smell, your hugs, the way your life was dedicated to us boys and especially the way you cared each and every step us boys took. I love you, you were the reason I made it as far as I did you were the reason I was loved more than any child I no and that made me feel special.
Your all such great individuals and I hope somehow this letter will help you get through this shit time!! Just remember do NOT mourn my death as hard as this will seem, celebrate a great life that has had its ups and downs. I love you all more than you would ever no and in your own individual ways helped me get through it all. I wish you all the best with your dreams.
Remember chin up head down. With love Cyrus xxxx

It's Monday... and that means one thing....

Yes, it's time for the Crafty Bloggers Network Challenge!!

This week is our number 3 Challenge and the theme is All the Two's... so here's my entry!

I have finally broken into my Timeless Forever Friends collection that I got the other week, and I must admit... I'm loving them!

The papers are pearlescent and come in a range of cream, beige and white tones... so I decided to combine them with a couple of stamped frames from the stamp sets, and a couple of little images. And my two's? Well, two pieces of paper, two embossed borders, two images, two frames.

Hope you like it! Why not nip over and play along.. we'd love to have your entries this week.

Happy Crafting!

Friday, 11 November 2011

To do or catch up?

I'm getting better! Gosh, I hate feeling full of cold and throatiness... and I really don't like sounding like a fella! lol.. but as I say, I am getting better and hopefully normal service will resume on the blog shortly. So.. do you have a To Do list or a Catch Up list? Mine is more the catch up sort of list.. lol.

I have been busy this past week or so, creating projects for the next issue of the Creativity magasine, and also for the next set of demo's that I have leading upto Christmas.. although, thankfully, not all the kit contains christmas items! We have such a fantastic quilling kit, some beautiful Black and Gold Forever Friends papers, and the most awesome Urban stamps that you'll just love!

.... and after a busy day of crafting, this is the state of my workdesk.. lol. This is just the one side!

I did tidy it up a little too after the mammoth crafting exercise, but I still don't have too much room on there. Hey ho. It's a working area, what can I say. And can you see the Creativity mag on the desk? Well.. it beholds a joy of fantastic christmas projects in there, the felties on the front are no exception! They are beautiful.. and a definate on my 'To Do' list.

And I never did give you a run down of the NEC did I? Oh what a blast we had. I was there for the few days with Tina, editor of the Creativity magasine, and Emma, who is in charge of PR at Docrafts.. and we had such a great time. We laughed. We slept. We laughed.. sort of in that order.

This is a piccie of me, Ema Goddard and Emma from Docrafts. It was really lovely to see Ema G, as she's on the DT at the Crafty Bloggers Network, and also an avid member of our forum over on Facebook.

This is Tina and Emma... I love this pic of these fab ladies.

And last but not least, two other special ladies.. the one on my left is a wonderfully creative lady who comes down to my demo's at Derby Garden Centre. Her daughter is an awesome cardmaker too, which I think is lovely. The lady on my right is one who you need to keep your eyes out for. She's going to be featured in the January issue of the Creativity magasine, and I for one, can't wait!

To the other peeps who came over to visit us on the Docrafts stand, THANK YOU! It was lovely to see so many folks pass by for a chat, a question answered, or simply to pass by and sign up to the Creativity mag on subscription (yes.. we do a subscription now!).

I will be back to have more things to show you over the weekend... I'll photograph the samples I've made when I get my battery charged up in the camera.

Until then, happy crafting!!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

A little project....

Hi everyone!

Sorry for the lack of posts for the past few days, but I've been a bit poorly since coming back from the NEC.. just full of cold and a bit sicky - nothing too serious, but my tummy feels like it's been through the ringer!

Anyway, I just wanted to share a quick link with you today. I was asked a while ago now to do some tutorials for a fab new site HERE and I created a couple of little albums.

Here's the link to the tutorial - please visit, leave a comment and I'll pop by and visit you too. Enjoy!!!

I also wanted to say a very big Thank you to Becky who came along to my Craft group yesterday to do a little Workshop for us... it was fab, and everyone enjoyed it! Thank you so much to all my lovely ladies who attended, and thank you to Becky.

Monday, 7 November 2011

R Kelly.. turn back the time

Just sharing cos I love it!

Friday, 4 November 2011

NEC weekend.

I'm having a weekend away this weekend. I'm off to the NEC to work for Docrafts on their stand, and it's going to be a tad exciting I'm sure! I love the NEC show, but it's a few years since I last went.

Here's the Docrafts stand, set up the other day (photo from FB)

Doesn't it look lovely?

So, if you're passing, why not pass by and say HI!! It would be lovely to see you.

I'll hopefully update again whilst I'm there, that's if the phone stops being a nelly and actually does what it's supposed to do! lol.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Keeping it simple - in more detail..

I thought I'd show you my card for the new Crafty Bloggers Network Challenge that came live this week..

This is the card I chose to do, and I kept it simple by using a minimum number of colours and the design was simple too. I scored the sunrays on the score board, and the hearts were cut from some fab new XCut dies. I edged them in pink, then ran them through the Big Shot with a spotty embossing folder.

I added a couple of PM irridescent gems to the hearts too, well... you have to have a bit of bling don't you!

I hope you all find time to play along with us this week - it would be fab if you did!

Rainy Days

It's Tuesday... and that only means one thing... it's time for the MTTC Challenge. The theme this week is Rainy Days, and I chose to use a brolly for my version.

I cut the card at an angle and matted the papers onto it. The image was stamped, coloured, cut out and stuck on to the panel at the top.

Of course.. just because I could, I added some glitter glue to the edge of the brolly for that bit of sparkle.

So, for the rest of today, I have to travel to Sheffield Hallamshire to see the consultant, then get on with some much needed work! I'm also getting prepared for the weekend, as I'll be at the NEC show with Docrafts on Saturday and Sunday.. it's gonna be fun!

 I love it when times are busy.. lol.

Whatever you're upto today, Happy Crafting.. and I'll be back soon!
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