My Family & Other Animals

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,