My Family & Other Animals

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

"I'm A Genie In A Bottle Baby..."

I Love this image! I can vaguely remember the series 'I Dream of Genie' with Larry Hagman (R.I.P. J.R.) and so do not have any strong feeling about the show, but this little lady does remind me of a simpler time, a time when I was fast approaching (but not quite there yet) the horror that is THE TEENAGER!!!!
I have written in the past about my childhood. I grew up in a little seaside town called Redcar. It's approximately nine miles away from Middlesbrough and it is one of those places that most people have heard of but have no idea where it is. It is probably most famous for the Horse Racing track, which regularly plays host to the befuddled oaf that is John McCririck and causes major traffic snafu's whenever the races are on.
Redcar will always have a very special place in my heart, I lived there for virtually my entire childhood and while I may have left at breakneck speed to join the Royal Air Force, when I turned sixteen and a half, I have returned to her many, many times over the years and I'm still not finished with her, our love affair may just continue for a few more years yet...
Having said all that, rest assured that the romantic, wind-swept image you may have of a life lived by the coast is a total fallacy. Summer's were full of adventure and the chance to break free of the confines my parents put on me the rest of the year. I spent most of my time with school mates, going to the Regent cinema or just messing about on the seafront. I had a blast!
Winter on the other hand is a totally different kettle of fish. Not only do a lot of places close during the season, the seaside is just plain awful when it is freezing cold and there is a Gale Force 7 wind coming in from the North Sea. During these months I spent most of my time hiding away in the local Library. Both parents used to work and I was given the label of 'Not To Be Trusted!' by my Mother, because I foolishly tried to cook a frozen sausage on a three bar heater when I was about 7 years old. Now I don't want to say that she can bare a grudge but I turn 49 in June and I still don't think she fully trusts me even now (only kidding mum, love you x x x). As a result of her mistrust, I was never allowed a house key of my own. If both parents had to be at work and I wasn't at school, then I just had to tough it out until someone came home again. This resulted in me getting up to all sorts of mischief and one particular incident when I was fifteen was thrown in my face by a woman at the US Embassy seven years ago but that particular story is for another day entirely!
On to the card then. It features an image called Jeannie (available here for only $3.00), she is a Kenny Kiernan image and she is a lot of fun to colour too (especially with my Copics!). I am still doing the 8x8 card (which reminds me, I need some more of those when we go shopping!) and I have embossed the background using my wonderful new e-bosser. The umbrella die is a Marianne, the flutterby is Spellbinders and the alpha's are various types of Sizzix die. The only other elements are my DP's, which are Basic Grey (on a serious note, where would we be without their particular brand of gorgeousness?) and the gems are from my stash.
Hope you like it and I will be back with you very soon,
take care,
hugs 'n stuff.
Entered Into: Alphabet Challenge - F for Fantasy
Left Of Centre Creative Challenge #4 - Bling It Up
Stampin' For The Weekend Challenge - Die Cuts and/or Punches
Stamping with the Dragon Challenge - Spring Has Sprung
Art Impressions Stamps Challenge #108 - Layer It Up!
C.R.A.F.T. Challenge #204 - Queen For A Day/Fantasy/Bling It Up/Land Of Make Believe
Copic Marker Europe Challenge #16 - Girls Aloud (Only Female Images)
Cute Card Thursday Challenge #266 - Can't Stop The Rain
My Heart Pieces Digital Stamp Challenges - Add Embossing, Dry or Wet
Shelly's Images TTT Challenge - April Showers Bring May Flowers
Addicted To Stamps And More Challenge #42 - Make Your Mark
Baffles Creative Shop Challenge #19 - April
Crafting By Design Challenge - Anything Goes
Creative Belli Challenge #168 - Spring
Nutcrafters Challenge #41 - Anything Goes
Penny's Paper Crafty Challenge #124 - Anything Goes
The Sisterhood Of Crafters Challenge - Anything Goes

Friday, 19 April 2013

"Their Tears Are Filling Up Their Glasses..."

Howdy Cats and Kittens,
what can anyone say about the horrendous attack in Boston that hasn't already been said! I despair sometimes of the world I'm living in, how do you get to be so angry that your only outlet is taking the lives of total strangers, innocent of having committed any sins against the cowardly perpetrators. I have spent quite a bit of time watching CNN today (I love how TV journo's love to speculate on absolutely nothing!!) and it has been revealed that one of the suspects has been killed in a shoot-out with the police whilst the younger brother of the deceased is being hunted down like the cowardly cur he is. I hope the outcome gives some peace to the families of the deceased but I doubt it will, unless they get to find out why they felt the need to do what they have done, fingers crossed things work out.
So to everyone who lost somebody or had someone they love caught up in the horror, then to you I send my love and prayers.
As for the palaver over Margaret Thatcher, I can't believe people can be so insensitive towards grieving children and grandchildren alike, whatever the woman's failings (and my opinion is that history will show what a true trailblazer she really was) how can you use her death to further your agenda. The display of those stupid kids dancing a reel on the News made me sick, they wanted five minutes of fame and nothing else, they weren't even born when she was in office! I know that this may be divisive but we are all entitled to our opinion and it's my blog and to quote Bart Simpson 'Don't have a cow, man!'.
On to my latest creation. yes it's another Kenny K design but I can't help myself, I love his images so much and I have every single one so I just have to use them. I have started colouring a lovely Tilda this week and I have made a card today (not quite finished, I need some U Mount first!) using a Nellie Snellen, so I am capable of using other people's images!! This lady is called Paige Parasol and is available on Kenny K downloads for the princely sum of $3.00 which is a bargain compared to the price of acrylic or rubber stamps today. I have used my Copic Markers to colour her and some Spellbinders dies. I decided on using the beautiful background die instead of using designer papers as I wanted to keep my colour palette quite tame in order to show Paige off! Flowers are from Wild Orchid Crafts as usual and the Washi tape on the corners of the image came free with a craft magazine a couple of months ago.
So rant over, I hope you like the card. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my two new followers who have put me over the 200 mark!! I can't believe it!
Have a great weekend,
Hugs 'n Stuff,
P.S. Jo says she will be posting tomorrow so thank you for your patience x

Entered Into: Wags 'n Whiskers Challenge #102 - May Flowers
Copic Marker Europe Challenge #16 - Girls Aloud (Only Female Images)
A Little Bit Crafty Challenge #1 - Anything Goes
Country View Crafts Challenge #2 - Butterflies
The Cupcake Craftroom Challenge - Summer Blooms
Emma's Crafty Challenge #15 - Butterflies
Ladybug Crafts April Challenge - Let's Leap Into Spring

Monday, 15 April 2013

"Hey Good Lookin', What You Got Cookin'?..."

I am a firm believer in junk TV. We all love it and we all have our weaknesses, whether they be Reality Shows, Soaps (especially Australian ones!), Jeremy Kyle type shows (the absolute worst of the worst in my opinion!) or Cookery shows. My particular drug of choice is the Reality show, especially the ones where 'reality' couldn't be further from the truth. I must confess to being a little addicted to 'The Only Way Is Essex' but before you start reaching for the favourites bar, spare a moment and consider just how 'high-brow' your favourite shows are.
We live in such a toxic world today that we need that chance to escape to a place where all people do is throw parties for ridiculous reasons ("Ooh look Tiffany-Amber, someone just received an Invitation to collect a parcel from their local sorting office, let's throw a Postman and Letterbox party to celebrate!!"), we all love it when a bunch of louts who having met each other in the audition queue. decide to form a singing group despite the fact that not one of them could carry a tune in a bucket. get buzzed off stage by the least talented man in the music industry!, it makes us feel better about ourselves, at least we aren't them eh!
Jo and I are also just ever so slightly a lot addicted to Big Brother and that means BB in all it's formats! Having been glued to the first series, which despite what anyone may say, was an interesting anthropological study of human nature disguised as light entertainment. Now of course it is just an excuse to gather societies disparate outcasts and parade them around for our amusement, but I still love it and don't even get me started on the Celebrity version!
So the next time you start judging someone for watching brainless dross on the old Gogglebox (another new addiction I'm afraid, a show about people watching TV shows!, what's not to love about that?) then spare a thought for the dross you watch yourself, it may just make for a more harmonious world.
So now I have got that off my chest, here's another creation for you. It's another Kenny K image (she is just called Chef - available here for only $3.00) and if you are going to nip over to Kenny's Download site them don't forget to collect your April freebie 'Tracy Chapstamp', a super cool guitar rockin' chick.
I have coloured my digi with my ProMarkers and my FlexMarkers and I have made another 8x8 card which is covered in lush red core'dinations cardstock and I have used the following dies: Leaves and sentiment banner by Marianne, Knife and Fork by Magnolia and the lattice work is a Martha Stewart punch. I used a doily from my stash (Joanna Sheen I think) and flowers from Wild Orchid Crafts. I finished the whole thing off with some gems (from Create an Craft) in each corner. The overall look of the card is quite different for me but I am very pleased with the finished product, I hope you like it too.
I will be back again in the very near future, so until then,
take care,
Hugs 'n Stuff,
Entered Into: Kenny K's Krafty Krew Challenge #139 - Dies and Punches
Card Mania Challenge #18 - Punches and/or Die-Cuts
The Crafty Bloggers Network Challenge #10 - Anything Goes
Papertake Weekly Challenge - One Paper Taker
Paperminutes Challenge #265 - Emboss All Layers
LEJ Designs Challenge #49 - Emboss It
Going Grey With Scrap-Creations Challenge - Flower Power
Whimsical Designs Challenge - Smell The Flowers
Stamp 'n Doodle Challenge - Anything Goes
The Paper Shelter Challenge #108 - Make It Bloom
Nutcrafters Challenge #41 - Anything Goes
Crafty Creations Challenge #218 - No Patterned Paper
Addicted To Stamps And More Challenge #41 - Anything Goes

Friday, 12 April 2013

"Doctor, Doctor, Gimme The News..."

On the medical front we have had a bit of a nasty week really, I told you that Jo had been in bed for four days straight and that she was kind of improving but really, she was still quite poorly. I nagged her into submission eventually and she saw the doctor on Wednesday morning who said it was a good job she came in when she did as she could have lost an eye! Turns out she has got Shingles (which for some bizarre reason I keep calling Rickets!!). I thought only people who made long journeys on Pirate ships during the thirteenth Century got Shingles so it show what I know!!.
The poor lamb has had a horrible time of it and having seen what she has been through I would hate to get them myself. The Doctor did say though that she really should have come in a lot sooner, apparently she just took one look at Jo and knew what was wrong. At that time she only had a few mild spots but now her forehead is covered with really red, angry blemishes bless her. She has done well though as she hasn't touched her spots once, so there should be no permanent damage to her skin. Even today she is spending a lot of her time asleep even though she is now on anti-biotics, so she is clearly still has a ways to go before she is fully recovered. I have to give her eye-drops every two hours which is fun (not for her though!!), her eyes flutter like mad whenever you get near them and I have been having to put them in using stealth mode as she gets freaked out whenever she knows they are coming!
Those of you who are following her blog (here) will have to be patient but I am sure that as soon as she is feeling a lot better she will be all over it like a rash (no pun intended).
The above card was finished today and I coloured my little Kenny K nursey ages ago, she has been hanging around waiting for a card to go on while the card was partly made and has been waiting for an image so they seemed like the perfect marriage. I though I would make an easel card as I haven't done one of those for a long time and I used my new wavy Spellbinder border die on the inside.
Anyhoo, that's it from me for now, just thought I would keep you updated on Jo's progress and I will be back again really soon, promise.
Take Care,
Hugs 'n Stuff,
Entered Into: Kenny K's Krafty Krew Challenge #138 - Easel Card
Brown Sugar Challenge #37 - Step or Easel Card
Card Crafters Circle Challenge #70 - Die-Ing To Impress You
Simply Create Too Challenge #35 - Use Your Stash

Monday, 8 April 2013

"Little Boxes On The Hillside, Little Boxes..."

Hey hey hey cats 'n kittens, as promised, here is the finished box I made using a Yorkshire Tea box. I haven't managed to do the inside yet as I don't feel there is any rush because to be honest with you I have no idea what I want to use the box for yet! I will have to keep it on my crafting table though as I am well happy with the finished product, for a first effort at distressing I think I have done a passable job.
I used some really, really old paper from my stash which if someone held a gun to my head I would probably say was a K and Co. paper. The stamps on the back of the box were free with a Do-Crafts magazine and the rub-on's are my old favourites Basic Grey. I have used a couple of the hinge die from Tim Holtz's Sizzix range and the buttons came free in a magazine last month (as did the Washi tape which is used to neaten the edges of the box), while the cameo arrived in the post a couple of days ago from Create and Craft, the final thing I used was the Walnut Stain Distress ink pad. If I have missed anything then I can only apologise.
Hope you like it and thank you to Clare from Horncastle (Distressed Miss) for the inspiration on her wonderful blog. I may not comment on everyone's blogs but rest assured I visit you all quite often to see what you have been up to. Big shout outs go to Eileen, Annie-Bee, Carla S, Crafty Kendalian and my sister for the wonderful comments you leave me on such a regular basis, I always get excited when I see you have written something so please keep it up.
I have had to take a sleeping pill tonight as I just knew I would never be able to sleep when I received an e-mail today telling me my e-bosser is on it's way, Yipeeee.
Anyhoo, hope you like the project and I will be back again soon with some more new cards too.
Take Care,
Hugs 'n Stuff,
Entered into: Art With No Boundaries Challenge - Anything Goes
Critter Sketch Challenge #159 - Washi Tape/Fabric Tape/Paper Tape
Bearly-Mine Challenge #81 - Anything Goes
Creative Craft Challenge #7 - Alter It!!!
Timeless Tuesday Challenge #215 - Around The House!
Inky Chicks Challenge #1 - Use a Background/Object Stamp
Magnolia-licious  & Wee Stamps Challenge - Buttons, Bows or Beads
Crafty Boots Challenge - Recycle
Created With Love Challenge #37 - Recycle/ReUse
Artistic Inspirations Challenge #37 - Anything But A Card
The Shabby Tea Room Challenge #162 - Pretty Shabby
Three Scrappy Girls Challenge - Earth/Nature/Recycling
WhoopsiDaisy Challenge - No Squares Allowed!

"You're In The Arms Of The Angel..."

Bit late posting this today but once again I write to you of another illness!
 Jo has been in bed for the last four days but as to what is wrong with her I will just have to say - Pass! All I get out of her when I ask how she feels is "sick". She isn't usually poorly and even if she does get ill she doesn't like giving in to it but I have to confess to being quite worried about her, even though she refuses to let me get the doctor out! If things aren't any better in the morning then I will have to just ignore her wishes and call someone, so a few kind words on her blog wouldn't go amiss I'm sure!
In other news, has Spring finally arrived? I actually opened the bedroom window today!!! Our eldest cat Georgia immediately jumped into the front garden and spent a half hour looking for a nice bit of grass to suck on (she really is missing her teeth bless her!).
To pass the time spent on my own today, I found myself altering an empty Yorkshire Tea box. I'm not one for messing around usually, I normally know exactly what it is I want to do but today I just grabbed some papers and my Distress inks and started putting something together. It's not quite finished yet (and even when it is I have no idea what I am going to do with it!!) but when it is I will be sure and let you have a look at the finished product, just don't expect too much as it's not really my usual thing, I'm still a bit of a learner on the distressing front.
My new card is one of  my new Tilda's (coloured with my trusty PM's - loving the new Spring/Summer set too much at the moment!!). It's an 8x8 and the rose in the corner was made using a little Spellbinders set that I have never used before and I love the finished product. A friend bought me a lovely little set of different coloured mini gems for Christmas (even as I write that sentence I feel the need to once again confirm, yes I AM a man!!!) and even though they don't really show up very well on the picture, I made a swirly design using all the pinks and I think it makes a nice change to having a stem and leaves on the flower. Papers are all Basic Grey and the embossing folder is an 8x8 Die'sire Embossalicious folder called Regency Frame. Not a fan of anything Crafter Companion (I can't stand how everything they bring out is just a cheaper imitation of something better already produced by way more talented people!) but no one else is making larger embossing folders at the moment so Yay to them, they've actually come up with an original idea I can get behind. Flowers are from WOC (as per usual) and to finish the little angels off I used my quickie glue pen for the first time ever to give their wings a bit of a make-over.
I will finish this post on a bit of a high note. Last week I was literally given the push from the Kenny K design team and yet I start this week as one of their Top 3 for my Blue 4 U card below!! How awesome is that?
Hope you have a good week, I will put my little box up as soon as it's finished and as soon as Jo is up to it she has some lovely cards to post on her blog too.
Have a great week,
Hugs 'n Stuff,
P.S. welcome to my new Follower, The-Butterfly. Check her blog out here, I love it.
Entered Into: Bearly-Mine Challenge #81 - Anything Goes
Papertake Weekly Challenge - Bingo (Glitter, Die Cuts, Blooms)
Sweet Challenge #112 - More Than One Stamped Image
Passion For ProMarkers Challenge #193 - Cut Out Your Image (Fussy Cutting)
Scrap-Creations Challenge - Flower Power
Die Cuttin' Diva's Challenge #110 - Pastels
Deep Oceans Challenge #49 - Flowers and Fantasy