My Family & Other Animals

Monday, 31 December 2012

"No More Champagne, The Fireworks Are Through..."

"Here We Are, Me and You
Feeling Lost And Feeling Blue
It's The End Of The Party
And The Morning Seems So Grey
So Unlike Yesterday
Now's The Time For Us To Say...
HAPPY NEW YEAR etc, etc..."
So for the final challenge of 2012/first challenge of 2013 (you decide!) over at the Kenny K Krafty Krew blog the theme is "It's Party Time". Obviously I have decided to go with a Happy New Year themed card (hence the charming ABBA lyrics) but you can of course come up with whatever you think is the most fitting way of depicting this subtle topic. I have used some beautiful brand new stripey Kraft cardstock for my background and gone with the a very zesty pink and chocolate theme. My images are Fourth of July and Frankie Knuckles and I have used Memory Box, Spellbinders and Marianne Dies, flowers are from WOC and the numbers are cut from a sizzix die, cut out four times each and layered up to give them a bit of depth and make them look a little more substantial.
There are some big changes coming over at the Krafty blog as from next week, each team will be losing members with some exciting new talent taking their places but I will give you their details next Sunday.
As for this week, I do have a bit of exciting news. For the first time ever I will be giving away some candy.
The Candy will run from 8 a.m. today (30th Dec 2012) to midnight on the 13th January. The winner (who will be chosen fairly and at random) will receive THREE Kenny K digi's of their choice. I have tried to get one of those Mr. Linky things on my blog today and after three hours of trying I gave up and have come up with a fairly simple method of chosing who can enter. You must add yourself as a Follower of this blog and then just send me your name and email adress to, I will add you to this post and when the time comes I will get someone to chose a number for me. Seems about the easiest way I can do it but I am sure anyone who has ever done this before will be able to come up with a much simpler method!!
So Good Luck, why not have a look at Kenny's latest additions "Heartbreakers", I'm sure you ladies will love them.
I would like to take this opportunity to welcome my two new followers, so nice to have you along for the ride - hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoy doing it.
Until next time, take care,
Hugs 'n Stuff
Entered Into: ATC's & Cards With Attitude Challenge #30 - Anything Goes/Celebrations
Crafty Catz Challenge #164 - Anything Goes
Inspire Me Friday's Challenge #90 - Anything Goes
QKR Stampede Challenge #20 - Anything Goes
Sparkle and Glitter The Rick St Dennis Challege #7 - New Beginnings
Stampin' For The Weekend Challenge - Happy New Year & Anything Goes!!!!
Stamping With The Dragon Challenge - Anything Goes
Sweet 'n Sassy Digital Challenge #86 - Something New
Totally Papercrafts Challenge #148 - Something New
Wags 'n Whiskers Chalenge #94 - Spmething New
Craft Us Crazy Challenge #34 - Something New or Inspiration Photo
Crafty Ribbons Challenge #36 - New Beginnings
Cute Card Thursday Challenge #250 - Something New!
Little Miss Muffett Challenge #51 - Anything Goes!
Milk Coffee Challenge - New Beginnings
My Heart Pieces Digital Stamp Challenge - Gettin' Girly
Paper Play Challenges 2013 #1 - Celebration
Pixie Dust Studio Challenge - It's All New To Me

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

"So Here It Is..."

Merry Christmas Everyone
Sorry I haven't been here for a while but with no card to add to the Kenny K blog until the New Year (keep you eyes open for some fabby candy coming soon!) I have been doing some Christmas cards for the loved ones.
Jo keeps asking me if I feel 'Christmassy' yet. We went shopping today and bought some last minute gifts and I still have no idea what that means! Things have been so difficult for us this year that it would take a miracle for me to just shake it all off and start feeling gooey inside because Asda manage to put a massive Days to Christmas countdown clock on their oversized tree! Even Jo who normally goes way overboard came up with the idea to not even swap cards this year, although her idea of giving each other a book which we can write in, wrap up and open on Christmas day seemed way better to me. Her reasoning for this was sound though, she said it didn't make sense swapping cards when we say everything we need to say to each other every day of the year anyway.
So this year will pass with us going to friends for Christmas dinner and not even bothering to put a tree, light or decoration up but that doesn't mean that we are not happy, because we are, we just left everything too late this year and so will probably end up going xmas-mental next year.
There has been a big change in my cardmaking though; instead of colouring with my Copics (which I have been doing practically ever since leaving the I ProMarkers team) I have gone back to my Pro/Flexi Markers again and I am loving my results too. All three of the above cards were done with P.M.'s and I particularly love the Tilda card which was done with a small handfull of Flexi Markers.
I am also still working on 8" x 8" cards as I really love the space they provide me with, I don't feel the need to fill every bit of the card up.
The Top card was made with Kenny K's 'Bow', the non-adult version (i.e. she's got her knickers on!!), my usual collection of dies and some really awesome sticky backed silver paper which I bought years ago, forgot all about and used for the first time only to find out I love the stuff. It cuts like a dream through my Cuttlebug and the sticky doesn't come off after a couple of days either. Of course the downside will now be that as I have had the stuff for so long, I am no longer able to recall where I got it in the first place!!
The middle card is made using a 'Make It Crafty' image. I bought the complete set of elves (i couldn't begin to choose which one I liked the most so got them all - way easier in the long run) and I have to let you know just how good M.I.C. are as a company. I ordered some chipboard laser cuts from them and they arrived here in just over a week! To put that into context, I ordered a book from (a company based in Jersey but who do all their packing and posting in the UK) for Jo's Christmas box on 4th November and it still isn't here!!!
The bottom card is my favourite of the three. Nearly everything on this card was used for the first time by me and yet I have had all the elements for it for an absolute age. I love the stamp and it was made more special for me because it was the first Tilda I have coloured for ages, I have been so busy doing cards for other blogs that I kind of put my own crafting needs to one side and it is now nice to just be able to sit down and colour whatever suits me.
Anyhoo everyone, that's about it from me for 2012 but I will be back soon with a Kenny K for the New Year, along with all the news about the changes in the team plus the already mentioned candy.
Have a great Christmas and New Year,
sending out love to each and every one of you,
Hugs 'n Stuff

Sunday, 2 December 2012

"Give Me An Old Fashioned Christmas..."

So before you call me Mean Mr. Grinch, let me state here and now that I love Christmas. I love the food, the excitement, the colours and the whole wonder of it all, I even love the religious side to it and some of my favourite memories have been those spent at Midnight Mass with loved ones all around me. So it is with a heavy heart I have to turn into one of those moaning Minnie's who bang on about it "all starting too early, in fact it gets earlier every year, if we're not careful they will be starting Christmas in July", you know the sort!
I went to work tonight and saw so many houses already looking like B&Q's lighting department threw up on them. I know that times change but I don't always think they change for the better. More and more we become like the 51st state of the USA and decorating our homes so that they look like you have had a nervous breakdown and any semblance of taste you ever had begins to look as though you are seeing the world through Jackson Pollock's glasses is one change I can live without. Like Halloween (a 'holiday' that used to be celebrated in this country by kids playing knock and run and that was it!!), we seem to adopt anything our American cousins do as long as it involves spending loads of cash!! How long will it be before we adopt Thanksgiving?
When I was a kid (not quite a million years ago) the tree went up a couple of weeks before the big day and the only lights anyone had went on said tree, only the folks living in the 'posh' parts of town had extra lights up and even then it was only maybe one window and they were put up in an original corner-to-corner x-design! My Mother and I used to make long streamers made of brightly coloured gummed paper (I can still taste that disgusting spirit gum today!) and every year she would dust off a battered and bruised brown cardboard box which lived in the cupboard under the stairs and she would hang our sorry collection of equally battered and bruised hanging decorations, year after year after year. Now it seems you have to go bigger and bigger every year, spending more and more money that is we were honest, we could all live without spending. We move further and further away from the true meaning of the holiday that all the real joy has been taken out of it for me.
I was lucky during my twenty three years in the Royal Air Force, I only had to work ONE Christmas day and that was because it was the first year after my divorce and I volunteered because I couldn't bear the thought of spending the day alone in the accommodation block. I have some wonderful memories of my son opening his presents and typically spending hours playing with the packaging that most of them came in! As I grew older and I remarried, Christmas became special to me all over again. My wife has the most wonderful, youthful spirit and Christmas is her favourite time of year, her enthusiasm started rubbing off on me and as long as we were together we were both happy. We started out own traditions; we always watch "It's A Wonderful Life" on Christmas eve and the Walt Disney Beauty and the Beast sequel "An Enchanted Christmas" on Christmas morning. We start the day with Bucks Fizz and we try to buy each other thoughtful, meaningful gifts rather than just throw money at each other.
This year, Jo and I are spending the day with friends, so hopefully we will be making some more great memories and in the meantime I will try to get into the spirit of the season, but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you!! Christmas should be more than just the one day and then it's over but while things are the way they are, I doubt I will ever buy into it again, the way I used to before. 
On to this week's Kenny K Krafty Krew Challenge (#122) and your challenge is to use Frosty Hues.
As you can see from my card, I have used lots of blues and silver and the image Toy Soldier. The dies are from Spellbinders and Memory Box, the tiny black tree is from Craftime and the plastic flowers were bought at a craft fayre. Papers used were all part of one of those stuff as much as you can into a box deals.
There are some big changes coming to the Kenny K Krafty Krew blog as we are losing some design team members at the end of the year and we will be welcoming some brand new talent and starting the year with a great giveaway, so keep your eyes peeled for the first blog entry of 2013.
That's all from me for a few days, so take care of each other,
Hugs 'n Stuff,
P.S. On World AID's Day (which I know was yesterday but that is when I am writing this - not sure which tense I should be using here!!), I would like to say to anyone still suffering or living with HIV, you are in my prayers.

Entered Into: Addicted To Stamps & More Challenge #5 - Markers
Sweet Stampin' Christmas Challenge #1 - Anything Goes
Crafting For All Seasons Challenge #41 - Use Flowers
Crafts and Me Challenge #113 - Anything Goes + Optional Extra
Creative Moments Challenge #5 - Anything Goes
Fab 'n Funky Challenge #150 - Not A Traditiona; Christmas
Freshly Brewed Challenge #125 - Christmas
Paper Pretties Wednesday Challenge #235 - Christmas Inspired
Penny's Paper-Crafty Challenge #105 - Anything Goes
Ruby's Rainbow Challenge #43 - Non-Traditiona Christmas Colours

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

"Watch Your Mouth Son Or You'll Find Yourself Floating Home..."

So first things first..., what song is this post title from? and can you guess what I want to talk about! Oh my giddy aunt, what is going on with all this rain at the moment? It feels like the big man upstairs turned a tap on to do the washing up a couple of months ago and then walked off to solve some problems, all the while leaving the rest of us to float to work in the car!
It is such a British thing to do, talk about the weather but this is the first time it has ever cropped up on this blog, normally I don't care what it is like but this relentless rain is really starting to drag me down.
As for all those poor people who are living in flood areas and are constantly having their lives turned upside down, I can't begin to imagine what it must be like for them. I would be bereft if I lost my books and scrapbooks and photos and it must be so annoying having to deal with Insurance companies who are notoriously slow at paying out! I think it is a damn shame that our Government isn't working with local coucils, Insurance companies and the various water boards to try harder to prevent the flooding. To the casual passer-by it could look like nobody cares one way or another!!
Jo and I have now started serious dieting as we are both suffering with our health and it has reached the 'enough is enough' stage that I'm sure a lot of addicts must reach too!
I liken us to addicts not because we can't get enough food but because we both go on, heads buried in the sand, denying what is right there in front of our eyes.
We go to the doctor once a month and we were both weighed a week ago and although we have only just started trying in earnest we are both going in the right direction. I am determined that I will not be fat and fifty, it's one or the other and as I plan on being around for a lot longer I guess something has to give! I will keep you updated.
On to my card and I have used one of the gorgeous Lily of the Valley images Fairy with Dove (available HERE for the princely sum of £4.50). For the first time this year I have started making 8x8 cards, you get so much more room and I have always loved a larger canvas to work on. I got the gorgeous blue Dotted Swiss A4 cardstock from Let's Create a few months back and the Cherry Blossom die is (of course!!) a Spellbinders. The flowers come from WOC and the corner pearls are another newbie to me, liquid pearls, which are so easy to use and give such a lovely effect. I finished the whole thing off with the ticket (Whimsy) and a piece of ribbon from my stash. Backing Papers were a gift from Jo! Hope you like it as much as I do, I am so rarely proud of my creations but this one feels very good to me this time.
Anyhoo, hope you aren't being flooded out and that life is treating you good. Hi to my new followers, great to have you join me on my journey.
take care,
Hugs 'n Stuff,
Entered Into: Creative Card Crew Challenge #24 - Anything Goes
Deep Ocean Challenge #39 - Pastel Colours
Through The Craft Room Door Challenge #46 - Anything Goes
Tuesday Alchemy Challenge #42 - Anything Goes

Sunday, 18 November 2012

"It's So Funny, How We Don't Talk Anymore..."

So before I start to tell you about the delightful little candle holder I made for this weeks Kenny K Krafty Krew Challenge, I wanted to talk a little about the growing number of charges, arrests and convictions for comments being made on Facebook, Twitter and texts etc.
A couple of days ago, one of the big stories on the BBC news was about a young man who had tweeted a picture of a burning poppy and had then found himself under arrest for sending a 'malicious communication'. There have been lots of reported cases of people setting up Facebook pages meant to memorialize someone only to find offensive and hurtful comments on them, left by people who are called 'Trolls' (the clue here is in the name!) and there was even a case of one idiotic young man who made crude and offensive comments about a missing child earlier in the year and then found himself in prison.
Now I don't for one second condone their comments, in most cases they are at the bassest level possible and are only going to be forwarded or engaged with by like-minded morons but I certainly think there is a 'bigger picture' to be looked at here in that since Tony Blair came into office as our Prime Minister, we have had more and more of our civil liberties eroded than at anyother time in recent history. We have even had rights taken from us that were guaranteed in the Magna Carta!
As a society we pride ourselves on not being like communist regimes who monitor and persecute people, politicizing free speech issues and stamping all over peoples rights but we are beginning to take away people right to 'free' speech.
Nobody has ever died from a hurtful comment!
I took issue with someone (very much an ex-friend now) over his use of the C word (in reference to David Cameron taking time off work when his father was ill) on one of his posts. While I disagreed with what he had to say and as someone who has no problem with that particular word, I pointed out to him that I may be on my PC and my Goddaughter could be there and see what he had written and that if he couldn't stop using such an inflamatory word then I would have to take him off my friend list. This then turned into a rather heated debate and the outcome was me taking him off my list and not speaking to him since! But at no time did I feel the need to call the police. Like Jeremy Kyle on morning TV, when I see something offensive, I switch channels and move on.
The men we memorialize with the Poppy who have fought and died for our right to free speech, would probably be spinning in their grave to learn we are now arresting people who are demonstrating those very rights, however incendiary or vile those words may be. When someone in this country is taken into police custody and questioned for six hours over a Facebook comment, because he said he wanted to 'kill Obama', I think we should all start questioning exactly where we are heading as a society.
I would welcome your comments on this issue too.
On to the above candle holder and this weeks challenge over at the Kenny K Krafty Krew is 'We Wish You A Sassy Christmas'. I have used Stud Santa and used some traditional Christmas papers from my (extremely large) stash. I made and glittered a couple of pinecones using my Tim Holtz Sizzix die and used some Diamond Dust on Santa's white bits. The letters were taken from a Basic Grey sheet of stickers that usually come with a 12x12 paper pack, these ones being given with the Wassail collection. As for the holder itself, I basically measured the diameter and depth of a tea light candle then mapped out the box on a sheet of card and finally added the back with the image on to finish the whole thing off. I know this is not exactly 'in-depth' crafting here but that's just how I roll i'm afraid, I am more of a crafter-on-the-go than a plotter and planner. My craft space is sooooo disorganised it has to be seen to be believed but I am sure that if you Google 'create a candle holder' you will find yourself bombarded with projects.
So that's my rant over, sorry if it wasn't to your liking but this really did bother me in the week and I thought I could share it with my lovely followers who constantly leave me lovely comments about my blog and what I write.
Hope you have a good week and I hope I see you again real soon,
take care,
hugs 'n stuff,
P.S. Hope you like the piccie too, Jasmine took it upon herself to check my work just as I took my picture and I really loved the image!
Entered Into: Challenges 4 Everybody Challenge #7 - Anything Goes
Dream Valley Challenges #45 - Anything Goes
Joanna Sheen Challenge - Cold and Frosty
One Stitch At A Time Challenge #140 - Use A Digi
Stamping Sensations November Challenge - Traditional Christmas
Sunday Stamper Challenge #232 - I've Just Seen A Face
The Crafty Pad Challenge #197 - It's Beginnining To Look A Lot Like Christmas
The Squirrel And The Fox Challenge #31 - Anything Goes
Craft Room Challenge - Die Cuts and Punches
Our Daily Bread Designs Challenge #131 - Thanksgiving or Christmas
Shopping Our Stash Challenge #78 - I'm Leafing It Up To You to Use Leaves!
Tuesday Alchemy Challenge #41 - Anything But A Card

Sunday, 11 November 2012

"I Want To Tell You..."

So a fond farewell was said to my work colleague James on Thursday afternoon but having worked a five hour shift before hand I was unable to make the service. I usually get home on a Thursday and can barely even move let alone get ready to go out again. I don't think Jim would have cared one little bit though, he knew how bad my back is and he was a very forgiving man too.
The good news is that I am now on holiday for two weeks - Woo Hoo! Jo and I went to visit my mum yesterday and that was a particularly nice afternoon out, she seemed quite full of beans and a little less befuddled than usual, of course she did spend more time watching Doris Day in Calamity Jane than she did talking (having said that, me, Jo and my sister all ended up watching it with her in the end!! Seriously, who can resist Doris in that film!).
Tomorrow is going to be an early start to the day (something I really cannot handle) as Starglaze are coming to fit a new bedroom window. We have lived in this house for ten years this year and apart from this being the longest time I have EVER lived in one house, it has taken a long time for it to truly feel like ours. Having spent over 23 years in the Royal Air Force I got so used to moving every three to four years, when I finally left the RAF I kept waiting for the moving bug to start biting and it just never felt right, staying static is what other people do, not me! We have done all the typical things you do when you move in to your first (owned) home, gutted the kitchen, changed the wallpaper, laid new flooring etc but for some strange reason having the new window put in is the one thing that makes me feel like I am properly putting my stamp on my home. I have spent the last ten years feeling like I was paying a mortgage on someone else's behalf! and now it finally feels like our home.
When I first got married (to the practice wife) everyone in married quarters knew each other. Neighbours spent time with each other, when you were away on tour you could feel safe in the knowledge that your wife would both feel and be secure in their own home. Today is nothing like that and I think the country is worse off because of it. Had I not done a University project where I had to contact my neighbours to photograph them I don't think I would know more than two or three still today. As it stands, we live in a cul-de-sac with thirty houses in total and only ten of those bothered to reply to me! a few of the ones I actually knew have moved on and now I think I know less today than when we first moved in!! I always smile, say hello and try to engage with the people around me but when it is always a one way street eventually you just stop bothering all together. Such a shame as I thing life was a little nicer when you knew who lived next door and you knew that in a crisis there was someone close by with a helping hand.
Anyhoo, moan over and onto this weeks card (or notepad in my case) for the Kenny K Krafty Krew. The theme this week is Monochromatic, so I decided to colour Atlantea in (50) shades of greys using my favourite medium at the moment - my Copic collection.. I love this technique as it usually means you can then put the picture into any kind of background you want and it will always really pop. Rather than make the usual card though I fancied having a go at something a little different. It turned out okay I think and I look forward to making a few more 'different' things between now and Christmas.
One final word on the Papelitos debacle. I resigned from their DT as soon as I heard the rumours about the images true ownership and I never enven received a reply from the lady in charge, whatever her real name turns out to be. I felt sick at being duped into helping someone perpetrate this awful act of thievery and will be a lot more careful about which Teams I join in the future.
Take Care,
Hugs 'n Stuff
Entered Into: Willow Sketchie Challenge: Sketch or Favourite Colouring Medium
Paper Crafting Journey Challenge - Anything Goes
Charisma Cardz Challenge #45 - Keep Your Cool
Craft Punked Challenge #46 - Anything Goes
Delicious Doodles Challenge #11 - Use Fabric Material

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Papelitos Challenge Blog

It has come to my attention tonight that there is a possibility that there may be a question about the ownership of the images being used and sold by the Papelitos Blog and Etsy shop. As I feel I must support the work of the 'real' artist where ever possible I have resigned immediately from the Papelitos Design Team and will no longer be using any of the images sent to me for future challenges.
I am sorry if my being a part of this team has in any way offended anyone but I hope you can be assured that I will always endeavour to make sure, if possible, that I only use images whose provenance can at least be confirmed via a reverse Google image search.
I am not saying that the images being used are stolen, but while there is a question hanging over the blog I just can not be a part of it.
Hugs 'n Stuff,

"Music was my first love..."

Hello to all my peeps, what a week I have had, firstly the excitement of actually visiting the cinema but to push things to an even higher level of excitement I BOUGHT a couple of CD's today, not digital downloads but physical, hold them in your hands Compact Discs! I genuinely couldn't remember the last time I bought an album, something I used to do by the bucket-load as a kid.
Like most people, I discovered music in my early youth, some of my early tastes being a bit dubious to say the least (The Wombles or The Rubettes anyone!!) but I really started to pay real attention to the charts and what people were listening to in my late teens, I was getting a bit of money from my paper-round and pocket money and I used to just buy whatever I could get my hands on.
Early tastes included Queen, Abba and Bucks Fizz, quite pedestrian for any teen but what can I tell you, I have a soft spot in my heart for cheesy throwaway pop. As I have gotten older I have tried just abouts every kind of music there is and my favourite types today are R 'n B and Hip-Hip (with a little Grime thrown in for good measure!) but I am not sure I like the way R 'n B artists today all seem to have a dance backing track, artists like Beyonce and Boyz II Men stay true to their roots while everyone else seems to have David Guetta on speed-dial.
I used to have a massive collection of vinyl and I honestly couldn't ever see myself parting with it but with necessity being the mother of invention, I had to part with nearly all my personal possessions in order to just live when me and the practise wife split up.
I made the move to digital in 1991 when I was living in Gibraltar and then with the advent of the I-Pod I started just 'buying' downloads and transferring all my CD's onto my PC to make some room in our very overcrowded bungalow. But that all met with a temporary hiatus this week with the purchase of the new Robbie Williams album 'Take The Crown' (a little disappointing if I am honest with you, but I will persevere as it may be a grower) and JLS's new album 'Evolution' which is absolutely fantastic, every track could be a single and there are no fillers on it at all. I got the JLS album because I like the band but also because it was signed and I thought it might be worth a few quid in the future, turns out the cover is only signed by three members of the band and the missing member just happens to be Aston, the one everyone loves!! Don't know what that will do to the value of it but I can't really complain as it is signed as promised!
Anyhoo, on to this weeks card over at Kenny K's Krafty Krew and the Challenge (#118) Sparkly Snowflakes. I have used the image Reindeer's which is one of the older images on the site and my papers are my favourite Basic Grey Christmas papers 'Wasail' from a couple of years ago. I have used glitter on the ends of the wooden snowflake but as usual it doesn't really show up very well. I have also used the Sizzix die (Tim Holtz range) of the Pine Cone which is really easy to make up and they have also been glittered on the edges to give them a bit of glamour. Finally I used the Marianne die of the lamppost which is also the first time I have used it and I love the way it looks. The card is 8x8 and I made it using two pieces of dotted swiss card which I got really cheap at a craft fayre last year.
So that's it from me for a few days, see you again soon with my next Papelitos creation,
tale care,
hugs 'n stuff
Entered Into: Anything Goes Challenge #79 - Anything Goes
Bearly Mine Challenge #60 - Anything Goes
City Crafter Challenge #134 - Stars And Sparkle
Going Grey With Scrap-Creations Challenge - Do It Digi
LEJ Designs Challenge #28 - Use Die Cuts or Punches
Loves Rubber Stamps Challenge #25 - Anything Goes
Papertake Weekly Challenge - Anything Goes
Sweet Stamps Challenge #90 - Christmas
Kaboodle Doodle Challenge #144 - Anything Goes

Thursday, 1 November 2012

"Skyfall Is Where We Start..."

So I told you a couple of days ago about Jo and I going to see the new James Bond film Skyfall. We have always been regular cinema goers but that has seemed so out of our reach this year that we haven't even tried to go but yesterday was really good. Either I have grown or the seats have shrunk a little (I know which one I think it is!!) but apart from being wedged into place for two hours, the whole experience worked out really well and has given us both the confidence to try again and there are some amazing films coming out soon so plenty to look forward too. As for James Bond, all I can say is three words; A-May-Zing. Not only does it have one of the greatest, most credible villains EVER in Javier Bardem (again sporting a dodgy-do from hell!), the women in it aren't just wallpaper for Bond to look good against, they can actually act and have a purpose too.
Sam Mendes has made a modern Bond movie that has a great retro feel to it and has created some genuinely beautiful scenes in a movie that has the capacity to move it's viewers to tears. Daniel Craig IS Bond, time will make this man the very best there is and I will stand by that. In every poll, the best Bond always comes out as Connery and the best film usually goes to Goldfinger but I think Casino Royale could well overtake as best movie and I am damn sure Craig will eventually win out as the best Bond, he plays the character with sensitivity but with an overwhelming sense of self.
Before I move on to my card I just wanted to comment on something I heard on tonights news. Apparently, the credit crunch has given rise to people abandoning their pets! What kind of low-life just walks away from a family member because their food has gone up by a couple of quid? We have three cats and I swear to God, Jo and I would feed them before we ate. I just do not understand what makes a person look at the animal that has given them so much loyalty and love for however many years they may have had them and then just decide one day that they no longer care about it because it's ONLY an animal! Shame on them, I have always believed in Karma and I know in my heart that what goes around comes around, it just takes a long time for some people to get theirs, but they always do in the end.
On to brighter things and here is this week's Papelitos Challenge (#18 - Music) plus there is a Design Team call too. I have gone for a rather hippy-looking dude and for a change I have used some holographic (sticky-backed) paper which I felt was in keeping with the theme. The banner is a Spellbinders and the alpha is a Sizzix with a few gems added for that showbiz glitz. Once again, I hope you like it and I will be back soon with my next Kenny K.
Take care and Hugs 'n Stuff,
Entered Into: A Gem Of A Challenge #58 - Polka Dots/Spots
Allsorts Challenge #179 - For Men Only
Basic Grey Challenge #80 - Anything Goes
Catch The Bug Challenge - November is Anything Goes
ATC's With Attitude Challenge #26 - Add A Sentiment/Anything Goes
Card Crafters Circle Challenge #47 - Patterned Papers
Card Makin' Mamas Challenge - Anything Goes
Raise The Bar Challenge #119 - Anything Goes!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

"They Can Read All About It..."

This weeks challenge over at the Kenny K Krafty Krew blog is  (#117) - Anything But A Card and as you can see, I have made a couple of bookmarks. The top image is one of Kenny's latest images and is called Bow (adult) (available here), the reason for the adult tag is there are two versions of this incredibly sexy image, one features the same lady but facing in the opposite direction and she has a few more clothes on too! I of course couldn't resist the gorgeous chickadee with the garter and a smile. As soon as I showed the finished product to Jo she comandeered it for a friend, so mentioning no names, someone is getting a little homemade bonus in their stocking this year! The second image is called Happy Hour (available here).
The week has gone without any major hitches (for a nice change!!) and we actually have something to look forward to. Unless you have been hiding under a rock this week you must be aware of the fact that the new James Bond movie Skyfall has now (finally) opened. Bond, as a movie franchise at least, is celebrating it's fiftieth anniversary this year and I can still remember the first one I saw in the cinema. That film was "Live and Let Die", so for me Roger Moore was always my favourite Bond, but as you grow older your tastes definately change (something I always thought was a myth but can now confirm to be 100% true!), over the years I have seen EVERY Bond film in the cinema (the only place to see them at their best) and can not wait to see the latest one as it's reviews are phenomenal so far. I think Daniel Craig has the potential to be the best Bond ever and he has certainly boosted the number of women viewers to the franchise. He brings a level of danger and menace to Bond that has always been missing, when he draws his gun you just know someone is going to die and that he won't even blink an eye. Jo and I are hoping to see Skyfall on wednesday morning, the kids are at school and it shouldn't be too busy, so until we have seen it I will remain in a state of permanent excitement!
So until the next time, hope you like the crafty bits and I hope you have a great week ahead too,
take care,
hugs 'n stuff,
Entered Into: Anything But A Card Challenge #5 - Incorporate Black into your Project
Challenges 4 Everybody Challenge #6 - Anything Goes
The Corrosive Challenge Blog Challenge #161 - Know When To Fold 'em
Stampalot Challenge - Punch Away
The Crafty Pad Designs Challenge #194 - Christmas Is Coming

Sunday, 21 October 2012

"Where's Your Head At ?...."

I must start this post by saying how sorry I am to have not been around for a while. As most of you know, I have had some difficulties in my personal life recently and to make things even worse Jo and I went to ASDA on monday to get some milk and I was taken to one side to be told that one of my colleagues in petrol had been found dead that morning!
James Hunter was a lovely man. He had just retired due to ill health and had had a horrific year with one illness after another, all culminating in him breaking his back after a fall at home. He was a very proud and private man who approached everyone with a wink and a smile, his voice was loud, proud and unapologetic and he seemed to touch the heart of everyone who knew him judging by the outpouring of grief at work.
I found myself sobbing when I was told and was immediately taken aback at how strongly I felt about his death. I hadn't realised just how much he meant to me and I have to say, the last thing I wanted to do this week was sit and make cards so that is why I haven't posted anything recently.
I am feeling a lot better now though and have been colouring again this afternoon, so expect some new cards to appear on this blog in the very near future.
Kenny K's Krafty Krew are having a new challenge this week and the theme of the challenge is "That's Just Frightful", so you can guess what kind of card we are expecting to see from you. On a happier note, I met Mike today at the Sincerely Yours show at the Lincolnshire Showground. Who's Mike you ask?, well he is on the Krafty Krew A Team and it was really nice to meet someone whose work you have admired week after week. So if you are reading this Mike - Hi, it was a real pleasure today and I hope we can meet up again sometime.
I hope you like this card I made a while ago but never got around to posting. I got the image from my Creations CD-Rom and the sentiment was made with a Sizzix alpha which I haven't used in a lifetime! I donated the finished card to a Help For Heroes sale at work. The card was snapped up rather quickly and went for £5 so that's not too shabby is it!
I hope you have a good week ahead and I will be back again soon with some fresh makes, promise!
Take Care,
Hugs 'n Stuff,

Entered Into:
The Emerald Faeries Challenge Blog & A&T Digital Designs Challenge #34 - Anything Goes
Elke Kaart een Feestje! Challenge #138 - Red, White & Blue
Brown Sugar Challenge #13 - Anything Goes
Crafty Catz Challenge #156 - Male Card with an Option
Fussy and Fancy Friday Challenge #74 - Anything Goes
Inspire Me Friday's Challenge #82 - Anything Goes
The Poodle's Parlour Challenge - Anything Goes
Stampin' For The Weekend Challenge #20 - Anything Goes
 Charisma Cardz Challenge #42 - Don't Be Square
Simply Create Linky Party #8 - Anything Goes
DigiStamps4Joy Challenge #53 - Anything Goes with a Masculine Twist
Paper Pretties Wednesday Challenge #229 - Masculine!

Sunday, 14 October 2012

"Save The Last Dance For Me..."

Guess what I have just been watching!! Yes, Strictly Come Dancing is back and I couldn't think of anything more horrendous than a world without music and dancing in it, as human beings there can not be a better way to express why we are here on earth than to dance! As the years have been crueler and crueler to me by making my back as much use as a chocolate teapot, all I have left now are the wonderful memories of all the places I have danced in (and a couple of nightmares too!).
When I was around five or six years old, I had a lot of trouble just walking and our local GP diagnosed 'weak ankles', something you don't hear every day I'll bet. His suggestion to strengthen my ankles was to send me to dance classes and as luck would have it, out next door neighbour's daughter was already enrolled in a local school. After tagging along with her and checking it out I decided to give it a go and that was me - hooked. I started off doing Ballet, then joined the weekly Tap class and finally finished it off with Modern Dance. I was soon zipping through the awards and I entered a pile of competitions, for which I still have a collection of medals (shame my mother threw all my other medals and trophies away, they were the only thing I have left now!). I had some great partners over the years and I genuinely thought I had a chance to carry on and make it as a professional when I grew up.
I suspect that that my dad was always a little disappointed in me, especially when I would come back from class all full of beans about what was happening, only to have him close any conversations down as quickly as possible. I also remember him calling me a 'little poof' more than once, but he didn't understand my world and so it just became something we never talked about. As I grew older too, I found my self-confidence was gradually being eroded away by a few older boys at my school who knew I went to dance lessons and rejoiced in telling anyone with ears what a little freak I was.
In the end I let everyone else's opinion weight me down and I just cracked under the pressure and gave it all up, but I never lost my love of dance and wherever there was a dancefloor, you would find me on it, shamelessly letting anyone who cared to watch know that I was relentless in my moves and really didn't give a fig what anyone thought about me anymore, if I wanted to dance then that is exactly what I would do.
During my twenty plus years in the Royal Air Force I spent a lot of time on a lot of different committees as local in-house DJ for hire (I even managed to get a job on BFBS Radio when I lived in Gibraltar!) and the surest way to get people dancing is to be the first one on the dancefloor - that was always my job!, making sure the evening went with a bang not a whimper. As I said earlier, all I have now are memories as I just can't dance any more (but it has yet to stop me from at least trying!!) but I love to watch others dance and every year on Strictly Come Dancing (the US version "Dancing With The Stars" really needs Craig Revel-Horwood as the judges overmark EVERY dance, I am convinced it is because the yanks can't handle criticism!) I watch each dance and before Len or Craig get to tell the contestants what they are doing right or wrong I have already dished my identical advice out! I love a good fleckle and yet you would only need to take one look at me to know how out of sorts that statement is with the way I look.
Over the last few years I have put on a massive amount of weight and yet I still dream of one day being able to join a dance school agan and maybe learning some ballroom, who knows what the future holds and I haven't thrown the towel in just yet!!
As for this week's card, the challenge over at Pepalito's is (#15) "Anything Goes" Sorry it is so late being posted here but I have had a rough week and this is the first day I have felt able to put something up that wasn't a rant against my pain! My image is the very wonderful Tom (availabe here) and he costs a very reasonable $3.50 (about £2.24). I have used a Basic Grey DP, a Marianne Die. A Magnolia die (the fence) and a Make It Crafty chipboard swirl.
I woud finally like to say a big hello to my new followers, thank you so much for joining, I hope you like my work as much as I love doing it! I also want to say Hi to Carol, a craft-club friend who told me yesterday that she reads my blog regularly, the poor woman must have a dreadful social life!! No, seriously though, It is so nice to know that people come back time and time again just to read what I am writing, I must be doing something okay!!
Anyhoo peeps, that's me off now, Downton Abbey is on soon and there's no chance I would miss that!
Take Care and Hugs 'n Stuff,
Entered Into: Challenge Up Your Lifec#24 - Autumn/Halloweem

Sunday, 7 October 2012

"I'm Being Taken Over By The Fear..."

Why such a dramatic blog title you ask? Well that's what happens to you when you have an ambulance called out for you at 4:30am.
I went to sleep at around 3:30 (about average for me I'm afraid!) and an hour later I was sat bolt upright with the most horrendous burning sensation in the back of my throat. I have had gastric reflux for decades now so I knew it wasn't just that and after guzzling about half a bottle of Gaviscon and a half a pint of milk I knew I was in trouble when the burning sensation turned into racking coughs which made the throat worse and I was also beginning to struggle to get my breath as well!. I would have just let it go, been a martyr and just suffered through it but Jo was having none of that. She rang 111 which is the first port of call for emergencies that aren't really that bad and after talking to a nurse and then a doctor (who recommended the ambulance!) the decision was made and a few minutes later a Paramedic was hooking me up to all kinds of monitors.
Anyway, I'm still here (although wheezing like a Pawn Shop Squeezebox!) and it turned out to be nothing more than a very serious bout of indigestion. I think it was set off by a very fatty pepperoni pizza; if you folded the slice in half it literally dripped with a runny, red fat, so I won't be eating any more of those for a very long time indeed.
The worst thing about the whole situation though, was that I was off work again, one whole shift after returning to work on Thursday morning. I couldn't have managed to go even if I had wanted to but it made me feel so bad, I can only guess what the managers must be saying about me! I do feel fine today though and will (God willing) be back to work (again) on Thursday morning.
If you cast your mind back a couple of entries ago, I made a tin for the Kenny K blog as a thank you for my friend at work, Tina. Well she loved the tin so much she instantly put it on Facebook for everyone to see and she told me I had a very big heart, which was really nice to hear. She was the only person who called to see how I was while I was on the sick. She is a lady of infinite class and she has a heart of gold, something she so clearly demonstrates whenever any of her friends are found wanting. I value her more as a friend with each passing day and I am so glad she is in my life, I am really blessed.
This weeks card at the Kenny K Kraft Krew blog is for the challenge Black & Orange + one other (autumnal) colour. I have used the very gorgeous Download Diva and a mixed bag of things which were all lying on my table at the time (it's usually covered in crafting goodies anyway, I am the messiest crafter on earth I think!),I have used a chipboard swirl I got from MIC, a black lacy rub-on from Joanna Sheen, a Lily of the Valley sentiment and a couple of my new Spellbinders dies. I like the colours and am quite happy with my colouring of the image but I don't particularly like the finished card, it's not really me and felt a bit rushed, still, you can't love everything you make can you? we all make the odd turkey sometimes and this is my Thanksgiving offering for 2012!
I am off to bed now, there are new episodes of American Dad on BBC3 in five minutes so I can't miss those can I. Anyhoo, I will return soon so take care and hugs 'n stuff,

Thursday, 4 October 2012

"Living Next Door To Alice..."

Here she is, my very first card for the Papelitos Challenge blog. This particular young lady is part of their new releases and as soon as I saw her I knew she would be the one for me. If you are new to Papelitos then I can highly recommend them to anyone who likes their images on the quirky side (Kenny K, Saturated Canary, The Octopode Factory, etc.), you can check their etsy shop out here. Their images are very reasonable (£1.90 - £2.20) or you can buy ten for the princely sum of $10, which works out to be £6.35 in UK money, which I think is an amazing bargain for such creative work
I have kept this card relatively simple and besides the image, I have used some Basic Grey DP, flowers from WOC and one of my brand-fire new Spellbinders which I bought on C and C last week. For the first time ever they had the entire first run of the new dies, before the US even! and as soon as I saw them I just had to have them. Jo has bought them for me for Christmas (but I get to use them now, I don't do waiting!!) and so now I have to try and find something for her for the equivalent value - so good luck to me then eh! I think I am paying for her to go away on a weekend crafting retreat in February, it's a ladies only affair and she loves it, plus I get the house to myself for a whole weekend so it's just win/win all round.
Anyhoo, that's it from me for now, be seeing you again soon,
take care,
Hugs 'n Stuff,

Sunday, 30 September 2012

"Thank You For Being A Friend..."

Hello again. I am so glad to be back with you if I'm honest, I have missed you but I have been busy getting the house ready for our visitors on Tuesday, I just hope that they make it all the way here or Jo and I will have put ourselves in a lot of pain for nothing!
So, news first and a couple of announcements from Kenny K.
Today over at Kenny K's Krafty Krew we have a fabulous chance for 10 Brand New followers to win 5 Digi Stamps from Kenny K Downloads and all you have to do is follow the Kenny K's Krafty Krew blog and leave a link to your blog in the linky .
The 10 winner's will be picked at random and announced on Sunday 14th October 2012 on the Kenny K's Krafty Krew blog!
Good Luck Everyone!!!
Also, this week we have some FANTASTIC NEWS!!!

Kenny K Downloads is having a SALE!!!
For just one week you can get a Whopping 30% off all Digital Stamps with this coupon code:


So now's the perfect time to nip over and grab some bargains.

So a massive thank you goes out to Kenny and Elena for their unbelievable generosity and Kenny wanted everyone to know that he has been super busy lately and so hasn't had enough time to put out a full new release set of images for September but keep your eyes open for a bumper set towards the end of October, so there's something else to look forwards too eh!.
I wanted to share a memory with you. This one goes back to when I was living in Redcar and I must have been about 10 or 11 years old. Both of my parents used to work and an unfortunate incident with a frozen sausage and a bar heater meant my mother no longer trusted me on my own in the house, consequently I was bansihed to roam the streets until one of them returned home from work. As there aren't a lot of places to go in Redcar during the Winter months I discovered the local Public Library, a place that not only had heating but a coffee shop (this being the early 1970's, by coffee shop I of course mean one cantankerous old woman with a kettle, a jar of instant and halitosis to spare!) and more books than I had ever seen in one place in my life before. I was already an avaricious reader but this place seemed magical to me. They didn't mind which books I looked at or indeed, in which section I wanted. There were a few librarians who took me under their wing and even suggested books for me. On one fateful day, I was given a copy of 'Stig Of The Dump' to read and from that moment on I was an addict. No one had yet to tell me that you could 'legally' borrow books by way of library cards and so on occassion I used to take the book home to read (I ALWAYS returned it though, I just put it in places only I could find so that when I needed it again, I would know exactly where it was!).
Our house (was a very, very, very fine house) was a 3 bed, semi-detached at the end of a street that would honestly have made Coronation Street look glamorous! My bedroom was shaped like a Dairylea triangle and would have made the term box room seem positively Majesterial. It contained a single bed, a small chest of drawers and a tiny wardrobe, adding me literally made the room seem overcrowded. I was never trusted to have a lamp, Mother knew I would have stayed up all night reading! So instead, in order to read at night, I used to harness the power of a street lamp. Fortunately my chest of drawers had a mirror on it and if I left my curtains open just a wee crack, the light from the street lamp would shine onto the mirror and with a bit of angling on my part, I could get the light to bounce onto my bedroom wall and I then had a constant, strong source of reading light (for free!), best of all, Mother never had a clue in all the time we lived in that house!
I used to read 'Stig' so often I swear I knew some of the pages off by heart. It never occured to me that you could actually buy a copy of it, so my love affair was only with the Library's copy and it began to feel like I was lending it to them rather than the other way around. Eventually, I of course purchased a copy of my own and to this day I still love that book and try to read it at least once a year, it only takes a day or two to read and the copy I have now was bought for me by Jo for our first wedding anniversay - the paper one.
I don't know what made me think of that but I really wanted to share it with you, my blog is kind of evolving into a shared therapy session and the feedback I am getting is really poitive so I will carry on sharing until you no longer want me to.
This weeks theme over at the Kenny K Krafty Krew Challenge Blog is #113 - No Squares Allowed! As per usual, I have put my out of the box thinking into overdrive and come up with this decorated paint tin which I bought from Create and Craft a couple of weeks ago. The image used is Princess Pia (available here) and all cardstock is from Core'dinations. The crocheted flower on the lid was made by my good wife and the flowers on the tin and tag are from Wild Orchid Crafts and my stash. I have made the tin as a Thank You for the one workmate who took the time to see how I was doing while I was off sick and I am going to fill it with some choccies for her when I return to work this Thursday for the first time in six weeks.
So that's me then. Another entry finished and I hope it wasn't too much to take in in one go. I will be back in a few days with my first card for Pepalito's, so keep an eye out for that.
Take Care and Hugs 'n Stuff,

Sunday, 23 September 2012

"Pretty Maids All In A Row..."

So another week rolls by and over at the Kenny K Krafty Krew challenge blog (#112) the theme this week is 'Hey Fruity!'. Well I read the challenge and the first thing that came to mind was something my dad always used to say, whenever my mother got a little 'frisky' he would say she was being fruity! So these girls with their sassy attitude reminded me of what he used to say. Of course, most people will go the literal route and use fruit in their images but my mind just doesn't roll that way! The images I have used on my card are (from Left to Right), Boogie Down, Brooklyn Babe, Hot Weave and Download Diva. I used a Memory Box die behind each girl and used Core'dinations cardstock. Of the four girls I think my favourite is Download Diva, she looks so real to me and I think she is the most eye-catching of the four. I don't do a lot of Blondes, so she really is a work in progress for me and I will endeavour to keep trying to do blonde hair as I was quite happy with the finished image.
I do have a bit of news to share. I entered a competition at Papelitos Challenges this week and they had a call out for Design Team members. After scrolling down their own members cards I decided that I loved the images so much I had to put my hat in the ring and have a go - I'm guessing that by now you have worked out I got the place on their team, and you really should check out their images at their Etsy page (here), they are designer by an artist called Jordi Muntaner and they are very reasonably priced. The images are a little left-field for some people's tates but there are some amazing images you can use on Halloween cards - go give them a look-see, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
On a happy note, my wife recently received an email from an old friend who she lost contact with over thirty years ago. After emailing and talking over the phone, her friend Christine and her husband are coming to visit us on the 2nd of October. It is so nice to get in touch with people you thought had left your life forever. I made contact with someone who now lives in Australia and I haven't seen him since the early 1980's when he left the UK on a posting to Germany. Over the years I spent in the Royal Air Force (23 and a half), I made lots of friendships, but as is the Military way, you tend to lose contact with most of the people you serve with as over the years you just accumulate too many frindships for it to be viable to maintain them all. But there are always people who make a big impression on you, usually because they act so kind towards you at a time when you really need someone. My friend Neil was one of the first people who took the time to talk to me and because he was a couple of years older than me I think I looked up to him as a big brother. He took me clubbing and he introduced me to his family on a weekend away to Thornton Heath, a weekend that has lived with me ever since. Being in contact wiht him again has given me a sense of peace that was missing for such a long time, so if you have someone out there who you would love to get in contact with again then I highly recommend you give it the old college try and attempt to bring them back into your life, it will be worth the effort.
So that's me then, ready to start work on some great new images and to face the week ahead in a really positive way, there's some great stuff on the horizon.
Have a great week too, take care, Hugs 'n Stuff,
Entered Into: ATC's and Cards With Attitude Challenge #23 - Anything Goes
Inspire Me Fridays Challenge #78 - Anything Goes!
Pattie's Creations Design Challenge #53 - Anything Goes
Stamping With The Dragon Challenge - Music
Craft Us Crazy Challenge #27 - Halloween or Anything Goes!
Crafty Ribbons Challenge #29 - Anything But Square!
Cute Card Thursday Challenge #236 - Letters & Numbers!
Little Miss Muffet Challenge #44 - Anything But Square
The Paper Shelter Challenge #83 - Anything Goes!
Simon Says Stamp Challenge - Anything Goes!!
Stamp 'n Doodle Challenge - Anything Goes
Stampin' Royalty Challenge #143 - Use Your Big Shot/Die Cuts!
Whimsy Inspirations Challenge #51 - Anything Goes

Thursday, 20 September 2012

"Oh The Times, They Are A Changing..."

Tilda Hugs a Heart

Kind of loving the new-look Blogger, just working out a few kinks before I'm fully confident in what I should be doing but in the meantime I have put up this new card I made using a new (to me) Tilda and my latest Marianne Designs die, part of their Anja range and I think it is one of the prettiest dies I have ever seen.
As for what I wanted to talk about, well I was watching a show on Channel 5 tonight (I know, Channel 5 - I was experimenting!!) about a hospital that makes prosthetics for people faces. There was a woman who had no nose (I could do the old joke about "How does she smell?", but I am better than that; shame on you for thinking it though!), a young boy who had terrible burns on his face and there was even a man who had a detachable false ear.
Now I do not consider myself a technophobe, I own an iPad, an iPod, a mobile phone and a Blu-Ray player with Hi-Def TV (any burglars reading this please note we have EXCELLENT security and some fearsome cats), but I am constantly amazed by the world I live in. I am 48 now and if I think back to when I was a teenager, you had to
 be from a middle-class family if you had a TV in your bedroom. If you wanted to phone Australia it cost you several pounds per minute and you had to book the call! Computers came in the form of a Spectrum which had a cassette (remember those!) with your game on which took ages to load and even then that wasn't guaranteed!!
A few weeks ago I used Facetime or whatever it's called on my iPad to talk to my brother in Weymouth. Not only could I see how much weight he has lost recently, he also took his laptop downstairs to show me his new cat! Kids take this for granted now, they can't even imagine a world where this technology doesn't exist and yet it blows my mind. I know people were expecting the world to be a massively different place by the year 2000, flying cars and jet boots etc, but realistically those visions of the future in movies always have gleaming new cities that tower above everything and yet during the parade of Olympians through the city of London you could see the hundreds of years of history in all their buildings, you don't just tear that down no matter how far in the future you go.
I think the most amazing thing of all though is the Internet. Every time I log on I am astounded at what I can get from the web - for free. However much I pay Virgin for my broadband it's just not enough. I now have a blog that has helped me reach people all over the world with my cards, something I just sit at my dinner table and work on. People have built worldwide corporations - from their bedroom!!  So take a minute sometime, think about the world you are inhabiting and just how far it has come in the short time you have been alive (short is a relative term!).
Back to the card and it was coloured with my ProMarkers and I have used the flowers I bought  from Wild Orchid Crafts, they really are the best on the web at the moment.
Anyhoo, hope you like it and I will be back Sunday with my latest Kenny K creation, a card I am really proud of.
See ya soon, Hugs 'n Stuff
Entered Into: Challenges 4 Everybody #3 - Anything Goes
GingerLoft Challenge #48 - Embossing
Joanna Sheen Challenges - So Sweet
Sweet Magnolia Challenge #52 - Anything Goes
No Matter Which Challenges #2 - Die Cuts/Punches
Totally Tilda Challenges #56 - Bingo Grid

Sunday, 16 September 2012

"I Put A Spell On You..."

Hi-De-Hi Campers, it's been a long week but I'm back again; new card, new challenge at the Kenny K site (more of that in a bit) and a fresher outlook on life for the first time in months.
Why so chirpy you ask?, well it's all chemically induced but I'm in no position to complain and if I'm honest with you I wouldn't want to anyway, for the first time in months I actually feel like my head is clear and I am even sleeping better, so yay to anti-depressants eh!
Jo and I have had a lovely day today, we have been at a friends' house all afternoon after being invited for dinner. We don't get out much these days as evenings are spent in bed watching the TV and friends all work during the day, so slowly but surely we are losing touch with people. We are very lucky that the friend we saw today is willing to put herself out for us. She picked us up and brought us home again and is the type of friend who says "you only have to ask you know" and actually means it!
I have spent a lot of time this week doing my colouring for future cards and am nearly finished a fantastic Make It Crafty image, one of their new(ish) releases of their lovely 60's inspired 'it' girls. So far it has taken me about six hours and it should be done tomorrow within a couple of hours, I just have one girls' hair left to colour and I can't believe how long it has taken me. I always knew I was meticulous but I am surprised at how slow I am! I tend to get lost in my own world when I colour, I am usually surrounded by my pens (the more you get, the less room you have for yourself!!) and I like to have a bottle of cold water on my left and a cat on my right (the cat is optional!, they have a tendancy to do what they want which can be annoying). I am completely self-tought and yet I would love to go on one of the Copic courses so I can get certified. I am being asked to show people how to colour all the time and I think I could make a bit of money showing others as everyone wants to show their work off to it's best don't they?
I want to get ahead of myself with Kenny as I just discovered a pile of Sugar Nelllie stamps I bought months ago and would love to work on, but judging by the pile of finished images I have I should just bite the bullet and crack on with any card that takes my fancy and worry about the latest Kenny once a fortnight, but since starting with the team I like to enter every challenge.
Anyhoo, back to this weeks card and the challenge over at the Kenny K Krafty Krew site is (Challenge #111) Black and White + one other colour. As you can see from my card the other colour is orange (we are having a challenge in a few weeks Black & Orange + one other so might just enter this card twice!!), it's a bit of a cliche I know but I do love the colours and when something works it works, I don't know what else to say. The image is called Trixxie Trouble and she was part of Kenny's last wave of releases. There isn't going to be a release for September as Kenny is really busy at the moment but he has promised a big release in October so that's worth keeping your eyes peeled for. The dies are a cross between Memory Box and Sizzix and she is coloured with my Copics on Nenah cardstock.
Well that's all from me for now, hope to see you again soon,
take care,
hugs 'n stuff
Entered Into - Crafting For All Seasons Challenge #36 - Things With Wings
Fab 'n Funky Challenge  #139 - Things With Wings
Paper Pretties Wednesday Challenge #224 - No Designer/Patterned Papers
Stamp 'n Doodle Challenge - Anything Goes
T and A Stamps Challenge #201 - Myth and Mystery
Whimsy Stamps Inspiratioms Challenge #51 - Anything Goes
Creative Craft Challenge - Anything Goes
Digital Tuesday Challenge #178 - Things With Wings
Papelitos Challenge #12 - Anything Goes
Through The Craft Room Door Challenge #36 - Anything Goes

Sunday, 9 September 2012

"All The Leaves Are Brown..."

If only Mama Cass had followed those lines with the words "and polka dotted too" then this would have been the perfect post title...ever! As it turns out, she didn't have the foresight I credit her with and all we are left with is this week's card! The new theme over at Kenny K's Krafty Krew is (Challenge #110) Autumn Hues. I have used a stunning image (Farmer's Daughter) which I think has such a lovely retro feel to it, when I saw her she kind of made me think of a simpler time and 1950's Americana, the only thing missing is a hay bale. I had a go at handmade flowers this week and it has to be said that they aren't exactly difficult are they, don't know why I waited so long to give them a try. Dies come from Marianne and Magnolia and the leaves are Anita's See-Dee's stamps which I haven't used in forever.
On a personal note, I don't have a lot to say this week except that my new pills are beginning to kick in and for the first time in weeks I don;t feel like the world is one one big gaping wound. I've been watching loads of new movies as my concentration has finally been able to cope with something that lasts more than twenty minutes. I saw Men In Black 3 which was quite good, better than 2 but not as good as 1. The latest Bourne movie was brilliant, a real shot in the arm for the franchise and hopefully thae start of a new trilogy. Finally I watched Martha Marcy May Marlene which was just brilliant, a thriller that moves at a drama's pacing and has a real indie sensibility to it. If you like your thrillers to give you all the answers then this one isn't for you, it goes at it's own pace, it has non-linear plotting and has no famous faces in it but it left me breathless at the end, a real original for the new millenium.
So that's all I have at the mo, I have been colouring all week so hope to be putting some cards together this week. Take Care and Hugs 'n Stuff,
Entered Into: Bearly Mine Challenge #52 - Anything Goes
City Crafter Challenge #126 - Polka Dot Palooza
Crafty Sentiments Designs Challlenge - Leaves
Creative Card Crew Challenge #19 - Tree
Through The Craftroom Door Challenge #35 - Anything Goes
Use It Tuesday Challenge #39 - Anything Goes!
Colour Q Challenge #154 - Colour Inspiration

Lexi's Creations Challenge #73 - Autumn Colours

Lollipop Crafts Challenge #89 - Fall Frolic

Make It Monday Challenge #106 - Anything Goes

Stamp and Create Challenge - Anything Goes

Tammy's Scrappin' Story Challenge #27 - Fall Inspiration

Sunday, 2 September 2012

"Reading, Writing and Arithmatic Are The Branches Of The Learning Tree..."

Good morning, what a beautiful day (I hope the same can be said of where you are right now too), the Challenge at Kenny K's Krafty Krew this week is (#109) Back To School and that of course got me to thinking about my own school days.
I attended the obligatory reunion around my 40th Birthday and was amazed to learn how many people there were looking back through rose tinted glasses. There was a girl at the bar when I arrived and she was stunned that she didn't know me from our school days, she couldn't believe that we had never been in the same social groups or that she didn't at least remember my name. I had to point out to her that the reason for this massive oversight on her behalf was due to the fact that she wasn't in the same class as me (and I don't mean socially!) and as my memory served, she spent most of her time with her girlfriends being a Grade A bi*@h to every boy who even dared to enter their radar! I pointed out to her that there were an awful lot of people at school I stayed well clear of for that very reason and I was amazed that she had been able to rewrite her own history, no longer was she the 'Mean Girl', now she was Miss Congeniality!
Of course British schools in the 1970's were nothing like the cool, modern, whitewashed buildings of US movies. They were grey, tired prefab buildings with the permanent stench of cabbage and desperation about them. They were filled to the brim with embittered teachers whose soul had been crushed by the weight of their pre-pubescent cannon-fodder whose only hope of escape from the area was to join the Armed Forces or hope that they were 'discovered' (for what though still remains a mystery!!), failing this they had a life on the dole/at the local steelworks to look forward to, until the grim reaper too their final breath with one last lash of his sythe.
Was it this grim? Probably not, but I really don't have a wealth of positive memories to draw from. I was bullied for a while but that stopped when I finally had enough and actually stood up for myself. In retrospect, I probaby asked for it, as I imagine I was quite a distant child who (as in adulthood) only had a few 'real' friends and these people were fiercly guarded from intruders taking them away from me. I had a particularly heinous homelife and used to gravitate towards kids from 'happy' family homes. I liked to surround myself with friends who came from large/ish families and who had siblings to share their hopes and fears with. My sister is nine years older than me (I'm sure she's delighted that particular cat is out of the bag!!) and as such was never really around while I was growing up, plus she really didn't like me either!
Of course it wasn't all bad. School gave me the one thing that has been with me throughout my life - art. I wasn't a particularly academic child (I could have been if I hadn't set my sights so firmly on joining the Royal Air Force where I knew I didn't need any qualifications to get into the areas I really wanted to join) and I hated sport with a passion, we had a Sports teacher who would watch us play rugby from the comfort of his Ford Fiesta, ocassionally rolling the window down to let the steam from his flask of soup obscuring his field of vision totally. But art class was where I came alive. My imagination was fired up and all I could see were an endless world of possibilities, one filled with every different type of medium known to man and colours that could make you weep. I loved to paint and draw and my favourite medium to work in was charcoal and pencil. It wasn't a particularly well funded art programme (this being the industrial North East, where men were men and the children frightened!) but we had teachers who went above and beyond for us and I will always be indebted to them, so let me take this chance to say Thank You now and I hope I have repaid their generosity with an ongoing yearning to keep learning about something so precious to me.
As for the day to day stories, I am going to save them for another day. I must remember to tell you about the time I was arrested for breaking and entering - into my own home!! But that's for another time and now I feel I should tell you a little bit about this week's card. I have used Kenny's Sexy Teacher (available here) and I have kept my colour palette very neutral this week, this card could easily be sent to a man or a woman and I love the argyll striped ribbon which I found at the bottom a drawer earlier in the week.
So that's it for this week, I will be back with some more projects soon,
take care and Hugs 'n Stuff,
Rntered Into: Incy Wincy Designs Challenge - Back To School
Critter Sketch Challenge #131 - Back To School Is Cool
Hooked On Craft Challenge #24 - Cards For Men
Love To Create Challenge #31 - Back To School
Paper Pretties Challenge #55 - Create A Square Card
The Cutie Pie Challenge #26 - NO Flowers!
Di's Digi Designs Challenge - Back To School
QKR Stampede Challenge #4 - Back To School
Daring Cardmakers Challenge - Colour Inspiration
Art Impressions Challenge #79 - School/Office Supplies