My Family & Other Animals

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!