Sunday, March 30, 2014

Time's Just Flying By!

Well my life is still flat out hectic... can you believe my beloved Twinnies turned ONE yesterday - pics to follow (but you knew that, lol)  Hard to believe a whole year's gone by already.  They had a big party today, for which I made a cake; even though I say so myself it was pretty super - I'll post pics when my son sends me them.  All of this Twin-based activity has cut into my crafting time (well along with the building of rock walls in the pool area and the making of my hubby's birthday invites - he turns 60 in two weeks OMG! talk about time flying... and yet another cake to come up with for yet another party) 
This doesn't change the fact that a new challenge starts today over at Di's Digi Challenge.   It has the nice and easy theme of Welcome Spring, I managed to make time to alter a little notebook for it, here it is
It started life pretty plain, just like this one (only green!)  I love the nifty little pens that came with these notebooks.  So clever. 
I covered the front and back with this pretty floral paper from Prima (Faerie Florals, I think) then coloured up the lovely Daisy's Delight image with Copics, adding some (hard to see) Liquid Pearl highlights to the centre of the flower and some Stickles to the butterfly and bows on Daisy's shoes.  Then I fussy cut the image out and stuck it on the book.  Instead of trying to do impossibly intricate cuts (such as the one between Daisy's face and the leaf and her leg and the stalk) I leave the white background in and colour it to match the background paper... it works particularly well on a mottled background such as this one.  I also add some Copic shadows around the image to help ground it and make it look more 3D - especially when you are trying to keep the whole thing physically flat, as you would with something like a notebook going in and out of your handbag all the time.
 Here's a link to another one of these altered notebooks, completely different but just as simple.
Anyway that's it for this little project, I'm entering in the following challenges
Anything Goes
Anything Goes
#167 Flower Frenzy
#253 Garden
#251 Spring Delights
#216 Dreaming of Spring
Spring and Easter
21 Spring is in the Air
Theme: Greens Stash: Anything Green
I hope you get a chance to enter the challenge, great prize (from Really Reasonable Ribbon) on offer as always, and if you use one of Di's fab images you get entered into an extra draw... what are you waiting for?!
I'm trying hard to get some Blogging time in to post some of the projects in my drafts - not having that much success tho', lol.  With any luck I'll be back in the swing soon, Until next time, Happy Crafting, Donna

Sunday, March 16, 2014

New Challenge at Di's Digis

And a good evening to you all :-)   I just haven't had five minutes to "blog" recently, but this evening I've managed to get on here and remind you that there's a new challenge starting today at Di's Digis.  This time we want you to include a Person and an Animal;  Di has so many images that fit the bill, the hardest part for me was choosing one!
 I thought I'd do something a little different (well, different than a card, lol) this time... I've altered a little box I bought in a discount store.  
The cuter than cute image I've used is Daisy with Basset, and it's available here.  I've coloured with Copics and Prismacolor pencils, which gave a nice texture to the dog's coat, and added some Viva Decor Pearl dots randomly around the image - it gives a sort of dreamy effect I feel, not sure WHY I feel that, but I do :-)  There's also some Pink Stickles on Daisy's petticoat and some Glossy accents on the Basset's nose.
The silver corners started as chipboard (from Make It Crafty, sadly no longer available), I heat embossed them with silver EP and run some silver cord between them to better frame the image.  The dragonfly (again, from Make It Crafty) got the embossing treatment and a bit of Pink Stickles just to jazz it up a bit more.
I covered the outside of the box with some lovely lavendar handmade paper, which has silver threads in it, then added some gros grain ribbon around the lower edge of the lid.  I added some silver cord above that as it just didn't look "finished" then embossed a chipboard slider (from, you guessed it, Make It Crafty) with silver EP and added that as detail on the "front" of the lid - it covered the join in the ribbon.
I added some lovely textured pearl card to the inside of the box, it is so much nicer IRL, finishing the top edge with more of the grosgrain ribbon and the inner corners with silver cord. And that's it!!
I'm really happy with the end result, I'm going to make a couple more with some of my horde of printed images - great to have on hand and they get those images coloured (the part I enjoy the most) and out there where they should be!
I hope you get a chance to check out the rest of the team's work , awesome as always, and a chance to join in the challenge too; there's a fabulous prize on offer from SVG cuts, and as always if you use one of Di's gorgeous images you go in an extra draw with a prize of two digis.
I'd like to enter the following challenges with my "altered" box

#194 Animals
Animal Antics
#228 Truly Dimensional
Mother's Day, Special Girl
115 Mother's Day, Special Lady, Female Birthday
89 Show some skin
312 Girls, Girls, Girls
Mixed Media no cards
Anything Goes
Colour It
Anything Goes
Anything Goes
#102 Anything Goes

On a personal note, I'd like to thank those of you who left me comments re my recent accident (or as my husband refers to it, clumsiness!), your well wishes were much appreciated :-)  I received a letter from the hospital in the week giving me the results of my MRI; the osteoarthritis in my hip has reached end-stage, bone on bone (which I knew already) the fall caused Bone Marrow Oedema... let me tell you, it hurts!  The MRI and some blood tests are showing some markers for Rheumatoid Arthritis too, which I'm not happy about (Osteo is no fun, but I'm sure RA is worse)  After being treated for ten years for Osteoarthritis, you do wonder why they've only just looked at the possibility of RA.  I have to go to a Rheumatologist now, as well as the Orthopedic Surgeon to discuss the inevitable hip replacement - all of which is seriously cutting into the little crafting time I have left, with the continuing pool area renovation we're knee deep in soaking up huge chunks of time... and energy!  Oh well, at least I'm not bored, lol
I'm trying to get a cake made for the twins' birthday too - can you believe they turn ONE in two weeks time, now THAT year went fast!!
Until next time, Happy Crafting, Donna

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Make It Green

eta: sorry about the tiny font... I clicked on something and I can't change it back!
Well after my dramas earlier this week, I didn't think I had a chance of getting a card made for the Challenge starting today over at Di's Digis... but I did and here it is :-) Actually it's quite a simple card; the background paper (from Kaisercraft's Sweet Nothings pad) is pretty busy in a soft pastel kind of way so I didn't want to add too much else.  The image is Sweet On You (from here), I'm lovin' these little meeces - too cute!  The Paper Shelter has Animals for their challenge, I'm in, Crafty Calendar has Animal Antics and Sweet  Stampin' has Cute as theirs so I'm in there too.  Gem of a Challenge has Happy Anniversary so I'm entering there and Allsorts Challenges has Spring is Coming so in there too.I used the sketch from Catch the Bug (flipped) and  coloured the image with Copics adding some detail with Prismacolor pencils.  I cut  the image panel with Nestabilities Floral Ovals die, I finally got around to adding ejection foam to this die... but not until after I'd picked out all the little bits, grrrr.I inked the edges of the card with a gold metallic ink, adding the same to the edges of the image panel and the lace, which is from my stash.  The green ribbon is from my stash too, and I have only just got the little rhinetone/pearl button thingys one of which is in the middle of the bow,I added some pearls from my stash (toned down a bit with a Y28 Copic, which gives them a better aged appearance) and some Shaved Ice Frantage (which is also new to me, very glittery indeed!!) and that was it!  Divas by Design want us to Make It Sparkle, the Frantage and the rhinestone edged pearl mean I'm in there with a vengeance, while Crafts 4 Eternity and Cuttlebug Mania are interested in Texture so I'm in there too. I finished the inside off with more paper from the Sweet Nothings pad and another Floral Oval mat to use as a jotting panel.  I didn't have enough of the green ribbon left so I cut it in half lengthwise and made a slightly skinnier bow out of it too. The pearl detail in the middle of this bow is a brad.  Well like I said, pretty straightforward card, I happen to love it... it just came together so well :-) Tuesday Throwdown and Digi Sketch Challenge both have Anything Goes challenges running, so I'm entering them Why don't you go and check out the rest of the team's inspiration, fab as always :-) I hope you get a chance to enter the challenge, you'll probably be just like me and think you have no green paper or embellies... until you check, lol.  We have a great prize from  My Craft Shop, and don't forget if you use one of Di's fab images you go in the draw for an EXTRA prize, gotta love that :-)The twins are coming over tomorrow... with their parents of course :-)  I haven't seen them for a whole week as I was in hospital on Tuesday when I normally go to their house and only came home Thursday evening when they would usually come to ours for dinner/bath/bed and I wasn't up to it.  They have colds at the moment, Emily's is hanging on but Nathan has improved a lot today (apparently... love those smart phones -just got a pic of Nathan being super cheeky - he pulls the childproof furniture bumpers off the edges of the TV cabinet and chews them while holding the remote control, I think the only "safe" thing about them is that they're non-toxic... or so we hope!)Until next time, Happy Crafting, Donna

Thursday, February 27, 2014

GDT for Little Miss Muffet, and never a dull moment

A couple of weeks ago the lovely Faye from the Little Miss Muffet Challenge offered me the opportunity to be Guest Designer for the challenge starting today... of course I jumped at the chance :-) It's an Anything Goes theme... Here's my offering
 I took the opportunity to make a birthday card for my niece's little boy... he turns 3 the same day as my darling twinnies turn 1, so I know I'll probably run out of time if I leave it until closer - 28th March will creep up on me, I'm sure :-) 
I used the adorable William With Blocks image, one of the Polka Dot Pals available here; the great thing is (apart from the obvious cuteness!) that it is actually a set of images; there's William with blocks, without blocks and the blocks without William :-)  I made my own little scene up by adding some of the blocks to the picture of William, easily done in Microsoft Word with a little cropping.  I coloured with Copics and Prismacolor pencils, adding some Stickles to the star on his shirt.
The red glittery cardstock I used for the mats is from my stash, I added some Red Stickles to a wooden "3" also from my stash... I can't believe how well they match!  Clear It Out has a Birthday theme and want to see Bling from our Stash... I'm in! and Divas by Design has Make It Sparkle, so I'm  in there too.
The stripy paper is from Kaisercraft and the one with balloons is from a Merci pad.  My Mums Craft Shop has a Spots and/or Stripes challenge, so I'm entering there.  The blocks spelling Nic's name are from a discount store pack designed for necklace making.
I used the sketch from Sketch and Stash this time around, I do like a nice straightforward sketch :-) I just realised I took the horizontal element right across my card - hope it's close enough!  I used the sketch for the inside too - nothin' new in that!  
Crafty Creations and Delightful Challenges want us to Keep It Simple; you don't get much more simple than this little card so I'm entering there.  Colour Me CopicThrough the Craftroom Door and Tuesday Throwdown all have Anything Goes challenges so I'm entering there too.
Well that's it for my card today, thanks again to Faye for having me as your guest :-) Pop over to the Challenge Blog and check out the fab makes - you won't be disappointed.
It was just as well I got my card done early as I had a little mishap with our new under-construction swimming pool - or as my son Chris now calls it "the Crime Scene"; it is half finished (as in the sand is halfway up the outside and the water is half way up the inside) so on Monday evening I thought I would step from the solid ground over the excavation onto the edge of the pool to shine a torch in so we could get a preview of what it's going to look like when the underwater light is fitted - shouldn't have been a problem, we've been in the industry for over 20 years and in my younger days I helped my hubby install literally hundreds of pools requiring stepping onto edge beams from solid ground thousands of times..... of course the primary thing to note here is "in my YOUNGER days"! 
Hubby and Rocky at "The Crime Scene"
I have arthritis now, and it does restrict some of my movement, particularly my hips. I didn't allow for it, failed to bridge the gap, one leg went into the excavation and my momentum carried me over the edge beam into the pool - I was so glad it had water in as I landed head first and would have done some serious damage falling six feet and landing on my head!  As it was I did do some damage.  I was in serious pain in my hip, and ended up in hospital for a couple of days after an X-ray showed a fracture to the neck of my femur.  I thought it unlikely that it was a fracture as I could put some weight on it the next day but had to have a CT scan to check, which failed to confirm either way but showed something else so I had an MRI.  The conclusion is that my arthritis has progressed much more quickly than I thought, knees and spine are Severe and the hip has End Stage OA meaning the only thing left is a hip replacement.  I am technically too young to have one, they are designed for the activity level of a seventy to eighty year old and the concern is that the pain-free me will wear it out too quickly, but the Orthopedic Surgeon says we should start planning for it now and try everything to delay it - including, ironically I think you'll agree, Hydrotherapy!!!  Actually, it was one of the reasons we put a pool in again (after removing our last one 13 years ago!) I find the treadmill and other weight bearing exercises very uncomfortable but swimming is much less so, so good exercise.
So as the title of my post says, there's never a dull moment here - sometimes I long for "boring" lol
I came home from hospital last night, good pain meds, physio and crutches for a few weeks - that's going to slow me down in the help-to-landscape-the-pool-area department!!  We were trying to get it all finished for my hubby's 60th in April, mmmm, we'll see.
I'm trying desperately to get to my DT card for Di's Digis, so hopefully I'll be back with that on Saturday (if not I'll drag one of my drafts out)  Until then, Happy Crafting, Donna

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Happy 33rd Birthday Matt

Well, as I have cards dating back to September that I haven't blogged yet, I thought I'd share this one.... that was for my son Matt's birthday - on Monday!!  I will get around to those in my drafts, one day :-)
 When we asked Matt what he'd like for his birthday, he replied 'sleep" - both the twins are sleeping through the night most nights, just not the same nights!  It's silly season in the pool industry so the overload at work and frenetic pace at home that is life with twins is making him appreciate the little things, like sleep, lol.   He didn't book any work for Monday and he and Elaine took the twins to the zoo for the first time (Matt and Elaine love the zoo, it was where they had their first "date")
All of this added up to this image (Relaxing Dad from the sadly now-defunct Digi Doodle Shop, coloured with Copics) being perfect and the animal print paper from Die Cuts With a View's Animal Crackers pad being perfect too!  The spotty background paper is also DCWV, from the La Creme pad and the green arcs is from Merci's Tangerine Tang pad. A Little Bit Crafty has "Man Up" as their theme, so I'm entering there.  Fab'n'funky ChallengeGem of a Challenge and My Mums Craft Shop all have Spots and Stripes for their challenges so I'm entering there and Digi Sketch Challenge has Glitter It as theirs, all the animals and the stripes are glittery IRL, I just can't get it to show in my pics, so I'm entering there.
I used the sketch from Friday Sketch Challenge, turning it 90 degrees so my animals weren't sideways, lol.  I added the sentiment before I printed the image and added some Antique Brass brads from my stash to the corners of the image panel.  Everything was matted on dark brown Kaisercraft cardstock and popped up on foam dots.  Papertake Weekly has Lovely Layers as their challenge theme so I'm entering there.
I finished the inside to match the front with more paper from the Animal Crackers pad. Through the Craftroom Door and Colour Me Copic have Anything Goes challenges so I'm entering there too.
That's it for Matt's card, super busy here, we excavated our pool on Monday so it was a minor miracle that I managed to get Matt's birthday cake (Black Forest Gateau, his fave) made... and the makings for woodfired pizza ready for lunch and again for dinner (well we fired the oven up to do lunch for the labourers and just kept it going till tea time, but getting two lots of food ready AND helping with the dig then having Matt, Elaine, the twins, Chris, my Mum and Dad for dinner did leave me pretty shattered and very glad for my bed on Monday night!  Here's a few pics of "before" and "during"... the "after" shots may take a while :-)  Sorry I can't get the pictures lined up in Blogger :-(

First ones from the shed along the back of the house towards the pool area

Second ones up the garden from the al fresco (with the old pool fence in the foreground)

Third lot the spa and pond.... now you see it, now you don't
Until next time, Happy Crafting, Donna

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Tic Tac Toe-tally Happy With You

There's a new challenge starting today at Di's Digi Challenge, we have a Tic Tac Toe board with a great range of combinations.  As it's our anniversary (36 years!!!) on Tuesday I took the opportunity to make an easel card for my hubby :-)
As soon as I saw this image, "Seaside Moments" I knew it would be perfect for a card celebrating "us"... one of our very first dates was a day at the beach.  As we had eyes only for each other, I failed to note that my under-sunscreened legs were protruding from under the umbrella, as a consequence they got roasted - when I got home I got another roasting from my Mum for being so careless!  I've made sure that the lass in the image has got sunburned legs... it will be interesting to see if my husband recognizes the reference :-))
The line I have used from the Tic Tac Toe board is Digi/Sentiment/Embossing... or is it Embossing/Die Cuts/Stitching? Both!!  The image (coloured with Copics and some Prismacolor pencils) isn't the only digital element on this card, the papers are digital too - Shery K Designs Summer Fun collection.  The purple and black card are from my stash. 
I cut the wave with my new Memory Box Oceana Border die, which I embossed with Cuttlebug's D'vine Swirls folder - I think it gives a sense of movement to the "wave".  I also heat embossed the top edge with white chalk ink and Bridal Tinsel EP - very glittery IRL.  Craft Your Passion wants us to use any of their themes from the last year; I've used #195 which is Fancy Borders, Cute Card Thursday has Clever Cutting so I'm entering there.
I also embossed the Memory Box clouds with Cuttlebug's Tiny Bubbles folder, inking a little to give depth.  2 Sisters Challenge is Embossing, so I'm in.  The corner die is, you guessed it Memory Box (Macarena Corner). I pierced around the panels then used a black gel pen to faux stitch them, I added some tiny seashells (real ones) to the bottom corner of the image panel then made the sentiment on the computer... card finished :-)
Fab'n'funky ChallengesDivas by DesignPaper Crafting JourneyTotally PapercraftsCard Mania Challenges,   The Crazy ChallengeCorrosive ChallengeCrafty Calendar, Crafting for all SeasonsWhimsy Inspirations Challenge  and Cutie Pie Challenge all have Love themes so I'm entering them, Kaboodle Doodles has For My sweetheart, which my hubby is :-) so I'm entering there too.  Colour Me Copic and Through the Craftroom Door have Anything Goes challenges - I'm in :-)
Well that's it for today, pop over to the blog and check out the rest of my teamie's work, it's awesome :-)  Hope you get a chance to join in the challenge - easy peasy and a great prize from Love Bug Creations to boot.  Don't forget that if you use one of Di's great images you go into an extra draw to win some more.
We started excavating for our new pool yesterday, of course we have to "undo" the garden first so it looks so much worse than it did, ah well, you have to break a few eggs when you make an omelette.  I'll post photos of progress, we're hoping to have it all but finished in time for my husband's 60th birthday in the middle of April, for which we're having a party here; we're still crazy busy with other people's pools so wish us luck, lol
Until next time, Happy Crafting, Donna

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