Monday, July 25, 2016

Devastated

 have no craft to share today, only terrible news.


My Darling Mum, who is my best friend, died yesterday morning
My father and she were going for a quick drive to the bank on Friday - despite their advanced age they are fiercely independent - and in a horrendous sequence of events the car rolled into my Mum as she was getting into it on their driveway, the door knocked her to the ground where she hit her head.
She managed to ring my sister Fiona (We live two minutes away but had gone Down South 300km away for a few days, my sister was en route to her home 400km away - she had been up for one of her regular visits, leaving my Mum and Dad's only 40 minutes before.)  Mum managed to dial my sister's number, Dad (who is very confused sometimes these days) told her that Mum had hurt her head.  My sister got her son to go to my folk's house. he was there in five minutes - the ambulance was called and arrived five minutes later.  Mum was still conscious at that point.  My sister had arrived back at their place by then, she didn't get a chance to talk to Mum as she was being put in the ambulance - when she got to the hospital with my Dad my Mum was unconscious.  she had a CT scan which showed a large bleed in her brain.  She never woke again
My husband and I had packed up at the cabin and came back up as fast as we could, we knew by that point there was no hope, I prayed only that Mum would wait for me.  Such was her love and consideration for others, she did.
 My sister and I stayed the night with Mum, playing her favourite Nat King Cole songs and slow swing music. My husband brought my Dad, who has gone to pieces, back up to the hospital at 7am.  Mum took her last breath at 9.46am, she was certified as dead at 11.12
My heart is broken
Mum has bravely battled in the minefield that is old age, with her own health problems and Dad's, she has done this with dignity, grace and love and totally without complaint. She was the most amazing of people; the more so because she really didn't realize just how special she was
I know this terrible pain will pass, we all have so many beautiful memories of her... but right now it's not enough and I am bereft
My sister is staying with my Dad for the foreseeable future; I don't think she is aware of just how much my Mum's life was dedicated to his wellbeing, but for the time being she will do her best to keep Dad in his own home... I have done the lion's share of helping them for the last four years at least, I am tired. I hope I can cope with this next challenging time
I don't know how much time or inclination I will have for my Blog, time will tell
Until then, love your parents... tell them you love them, give them an extra kiss and try not to roll your eyes... ever.  One minute you have all the time in the world to do those things, the next minute the chance is gone, forever

Sunday, July 17, 2016

If You're Hot, You're Hot

New challenge starting today (yup, another fortnight flew by!) the theme this time around is "Hot, Bright Colours".  No challenge for me at all this one, I LOVE colour and I'm not afraid to use it, lol.  Here's my card
The oh-so-cute image is called "Slumber Sunflower Time" and it's available here.  I printed it up pretty big (another thing I love about digis) so I could make a big card, actually I made a big card so I could print the image bigger than average... so much easier to get some detail into it that way!  
As You Like It want to see our Favourite or "Trademark" style and say how or why we consider it so; I love digis, use them ALL the time, love colour and this minimally embellished but not really CAS look is as close as I get to "a" style; I love colouring and like the image to be the star of the show.
I coloured with Copics, with just a tad of Prismacolor pencil shading and a big dollop of gloss on the ladybird.   
I used the sketch from Catch the Bug's Stella Says Sketch challenge.I found some My Minds Eye papers in  local craft store super cheap... I bought this sheet then decided I loved it, went back next day... yep, you guesed it all gone!  I did buy ten sheets of other patterns, but this is my fave.  The card base is kraft and the red cardstock is from my stash... as is the ribbon.
  The fence is a MFT die, the sentiment is computer generated.  I added some stitched borders to the image panel with Paper Smooches Dots and Dashes dies, the flower brads on the corners are from my stash, as are the orange rhinestones.
As usual I decorated the inside of the card to match the outside.  The brads looked out of scale so I used mini buttons instead... and that was it :-)  
I'd like to enter my card in the following challenges;
Polkadoodles  Summertime
Fab'n'Funky Challenges  Add A Sentiment
4 Crafty Chicks Flowers
Pile It On Use Your Favourite Colour(s)
OSAAT Elements of Nature
Animal Friends  Animals with Punches and or Dies
Creatalicious Challenges Anything Goes + Opt: Add a Flower
Simon Says Stamp Create a Scene (hope my fence is enough!)
I hope you get a chance to check out the rest of the team's Hot Bright work, hope you get a chance to enter the challenge too; great prize on offer as always - from the Crafting Desert Diva, and as always if you use one of Di's cute digis, or one of the Candibean rubber stamps you get entered into a draw for an extra prize!
I'm going away on Tuesday to "our" cabin in the bush (Margaret River, wine country... rammed earth house, GOOD wine, nice cheese... aah; rubbish internet though!)  I hope to put up a post or two when I'm down there, though I'm taking my colouring and that's easier to do!  So, until next time, whenever that may be, Happy Crafting, Donna

Sunday, July 03, 2016

It's Christmas Time... well it is at Di's Digis

I'm ba-ack!!  Here I am with my DT card for Di's Digi Designs Challenge. The challenge starting today has a "Christmas in July" theme, so I got to make another card for "The Pile"
The image I've used is called Pass the Parcel Mice, and you can get it here.  I coloured with Copics, adding detail with Prismacolor pencils and Ranger's Glossy Accents to the berries.
I softened the edges of all the panels with some brown ink, the circles are cut with Lifestyle Crafts nesting circle dies. 
I've used the sketch from Stella Says Sketch, I haven't used a sketch for a while, it's nice to get back to it, lol.  The background paper is ancient (it was a 12" sheet) the feature paper is from my scraps box; it's Kaisercraft but I'm not really short which pad but it has nice glittery features on it :-) I used some pearlized brown card for the image mat, the rest of the brown card is textured... I think it's Bazzil but I'm not certain.  I used the last of my favourite lace on this card, snipping it a little to facilitate getting it around the edge of the circle, I used the same brown ink to help the lace stand out against the background paper.  I've popped all the layers up on foam dots. 
I kept the bells from the Lindt bunnies my son bought us (and everyone in the family) for Easter; I was fishing them out of the recycling bin when they all left home, lol.  They are really nice tinkling bells, they came with different ribbon - this one is from my stash and is bright red; I toned it down with a Maroon Copic.  
As always I've used elements from the front to complete the inside, the sentiment is one of my favourite Christmas sentiments... it was from Tickled Pink Stamps, but they're sadly defunct now. It's stamped with Archival Ink in Cocoa Brown (I think)
That's about it... easy peasy. I'd like to enter my card in the following challenges: (sorry the formatting has gone haywire!!)

Inky Chicks Christmas in Summer
Addicted to  Stamps Anything Summer (Christmas IS Summer here)
Winter Wonderland 3+ Embellishments (Bell, Lace, Ribbon)
Crafty Hazelnut's Christmas Challenge Anything Goes (Christmas)
The Crazy Challenge R is for… (Red, Robin Redbreast, Round, Ring, as in bell!)
As You Like It Markers Ink or Pencils (Markers because they blend well, Pencils for crisp detail)
Polkadoodles Use a Diecut
Animal Friends Animals with Punches and or Dies

I hope you get a chance to check out the rest of the team's work... and that it inspires you to get into "Christmas Card" mode; it's funny, Christmas IS in Summer here so this theme may seem odd to all of you in the Northern Hemisphere- but it's not odd to me at all, lol.  In fact my son has a Christmas in July party every year (the weather then being more conducive to Christmas Fare) that this year - due to circumstances beyond management's control - it will be in August!
Hope you get a chance to enter the challenge too... there's a great prize on offer from Magnolia-licious, with extra opportunites if you use one of Di's fab digis (I know I use her cute meeces a LOT, but there ARE a whole load of other characters for you to love in the Digi  Store) or a Candibean Rubber Stamp available at Little Darlings
On a personal note: I nearly didn't get this card up in time.... I spent the evening I WAS going to spend making it worrying about my darling hubby.  His heartbeat was soooo fast and erratic from dinner time on Thursday, he has had an episode of Atrial Fibrillation before, 12 years ago so we had an idea that that that's what it was.  We went to Emergency at 9pm, they took him straight in - they decided that defibrillation (or cardioversion) was the best course of action; as he'd eaten at six we had to wait until 11pm (because of the risks with eating close to having sedation) long story short they let me stay with him, gave him the IV anesthetic (I held his hand while he "went under) then let me stay in Resus while they "paddled" him at exactly midnight. 
I am not generally fazed by medical procedures, though I have to say having the love of your life defibrillated in front of you was a bit more confronting than I thought it would be.  The staff were amazing; the doctor explained everything, told me he would convulse (which I was ready for) but didn't warn me his face would contort as it did - bit distressing.  The nurse checked I was okay straight after the procedure, so that was kind. 
It WAS amazing to see though; his heart rate IMMEDIATELY dropped from an erratic 160bpm to his normal steady 65 with the first charge, they let me help wake him, which was lovely and we left the hospital with him feeling fine (a bit sore, but SO much less-ill than when we went in) only half an hour later!  We didn't get home until after 1am but he still got up and went to work - allowing himself an extra half hour in bed and getting up at 6 instead of 5.40!  our son, who COULD have done his work for the day was taking his family on a 800km trip that morning and it would have been very disruptive for him to pick up the slack (which of course he would have done if necessary)  The fact he went ahead with his job for the day could be testament to hubby's work ethic or his combination pig headedness/denial ("all good here", I'm fighting fit yadayada") who knows, lol
Anyway, until next time, Happy Crafting, Donna

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Guest Designer at Cute as a Button Challenge Blog

I recently won a challenge over at the Cute as a Button Challenge Blog, WooHoo!  They asked if I'd like to do a Guest spot on the DT... of course I jumped at the opportunity :-)  I got to use this cuter than cute digi to make a card for the challenge starting today with the theme "Summer".
The image is called "Surfing USA" and you can get it in the Etsy store, here.  I am SO pleased with my colouring on this one, it's hard to see the detail in the pics because the quality of the pic reduces so much when you reduce the size of the file for uploading... you know how it goes! Either way, I'm happy with it :-) 
I coloured with Copic markers and Prismacolor pencils... and added absolutely NO shine or glitter, which is unusual :-)  The sky was inked in using a home-made stencil and Versamark ink.
I used papers from Kaisercraft's Seaside Collection.  The floral paper has gloss detail, the top of it is cut with Memory Box's Nottingham Border Die... I thought the flowers matched the hibiscus on the surfboard and patterned paper.  I inked the edges of all panels with a bit of brown ink to tone it all down a bit.
The sentiment tag "Life is a Beach" was from the same pad, I attached it with a brad - my thinking being that I can more easily change it out for a more celebration-appropriate sentiment if I want to later.  The image panel is popped up on foam dots so it's easy to access the brad.
The horizontal scalloped border is from the same pad again, and the blue twine is in fact paper string... I got a couple of packs in different colours in my local $2 shop, the enamel dots (well acrylic, but enamel-look, lol) are either from the same place or my Mum and Dad bought them back from Malaysia.
As usual I decorated the inside of the card to suit the front, using more of the same papers and elements.
I'd like to enter the following challenges:
Cuttlebug Mania Midsummer (Flowers and or Wreaths)
Addicted to  Stamps Anything Summer
As You Like It Favourite Markers, Inks or Pencils (I like 'em all... well, I haven't really tried inks, but I use Markers AND Pencils on practically every card, love the smooth blending of markers and the fine detail you can add with pencils!)
Polkadoodles Use a Diecut
OSAAT Flowers
So that's it for now, check out the Cute as a Button Blog , fab inspiration!  I hope you get a chance to enter the challenge too - you could win some of Francesca's fab digis!  Thnaks for having me as your Guest this time around, 
I'll be back later with another DT card, Until then... Happy Crafting :-)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Summer is Here at Di's Digis

Time for a new challenge at Di's Digis Challenge Blog, the theme this time around is "Summer is Here"... even though it's NOT Summer here, lol.  Here's my card

 I've used an image I've used before, mainly because the fortnight just flew by and I didn't remember to grab a new image from Di - she has lots - in time to make my card... but Henry Hazy Days (available here) is soooo cute and PERFECT for the Summer theme, that it's "all good" I reckon :-))

I coloured with Copic markers and Prismacolor pencils, inking the sky with Versamark ink and a homemade stencil.  I'm really happy with my colouring on this one, but still struggle to capture it in photos 
The paper I've used is from Merci - it's from Big W, but the quality of these packs is fabulous; the paper is heavy, really rich/intense colouring and has a texture, really good paper, and not just good-for-the-price either!  I used a punch to cut the edge of the panel at the top, then decided it was too fussy with the print (especially with the mat having a print too) so I just freehand cut along the edge of one set of scallops on the print, it only took about two minutes, ironic really as I faffed about with the punch for AGES!!
The gold metallic trim is from my stash, I've had it for years and am down to my last few centimetres... wonder if you can still get it, mmm.  The wooden butterfly is from my stash; this may be Merci too, but I'm not sure.
I bought a few "generic" dies from ebay recently, the "hello" cut from gold foil card is one of these... I 'll have to track the source down for these too as they have a few more styles that I fancied but I thought I'd wait til I got these to see how they cut; the answer is "brilliantly" so I'm going to get some more.
I finished the inside of my card with elements from the outside, don't I always, lol. That's about it for today's effort, I hope you get a chance to check out the rest of the team's inspiration... so much Summer it makes me long for some... no, not really, winter in Perth is the BEST :-)  I hope you get a chance to enter the challenge too, great prize (as always) this time from Crafty Ribbons, and extra opportunities if you use one of Di's Digis or a Candibean rubber stamp, if rubber is your "thang".
Thanks for looking at my card, I hope you like it... until next time, Happy Crafting, Donna  

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Favourite Colour Combo

The new challenge starting today at Di's Digis Challenge Blog has a really easy theme; we want to see YOUR Favourite Colour Combo... not ours, yours, too easy!  I love autumn colours, not that we get THAT much in the way of autumn here in Western Australia - though I've got three really gorgeous Japanese Maple trees in my garden that are looking glorious right now, they don't realize it's nearly mid Winter, lol.  The combo I've used today focuses on the coral/burgundy end of the spectrum.
The cute image is called "Little Mice Blooms", and you can get it here - I really am hooked on these meeces, who wouldn't be? :-)  I coloured with my usual combination of Copic Markers with Prismacolor pencil providing extra detail. 
I did do something a bit different with the vase though... I added gold leaf (well its that flaky stuff you get that has gold, silver, copper and some coloured foils in.  I rubbed it into the glue I painted the vase with so it wasn't too chunky looking, it actually looks really good in real life - hard to capture the richness in a pic; hopefully you get the idea.
The truly gorgeous chiyogami paper is from my go to speciality paper store, Starfish Lane; this was one of the papers I got for my birthday - my eldest son and his wife (and the twins of course, lol) gave me a huge bag of goodies; usually it's my youngest son that does that for me... but he gave me a lovely photograph of the twins instead this year.  He's a photographer and has just updated his camera - I'm feeling the need to upgrade mine now as I'm having problems with the clarity of my pics... which could just be user error, rofl.   The card for the matting and the embossed cream pearl card at the top are from Starfish Lane too, the embossed one matches the peal card I used as a base and the burgundy has a lovely texture.
I cut the image mat with Lifestyle Crafts Circles and the coral colour and burgundy mats are L'il Inkers Dual Stitched Dies... I cut the burgundy one as a frame and cut the outside of the coral one the same size as the inside of the frame to fit inside the burgundy one... all stuck to a piece of white card at the back to hold it together - maybe this pic explains better!
The metal and rhinestone "ribbon" across the card came from our Malaysian trip a few years ago... or Mum and Dad's this year, they got me some more :-)  The gold flatbacks around the frame are from my stash, the small flowers in the top left corner are from a punch that also came from Malaysia.
I cut the sentiment with a die (from a company called M Crafts) I got on Ebay... it cuts BRILLIANTLY and was as cheap as chips, so I'm going back to see what others they have!  I cut it in burgundy and in gold and stuck them slightly off centre (yes, on purpose, lol) so that it looks like a shadow.
As always (well, most of the time, lol) I finished the inside of the card to coordinate with the front, I didn't have any more of the coral card I used to mat the image so I used another scrap from my "Orange" folder - it's nearly the same colour and has a nice fine glitter through it, adds a little something I feel.  I've followed a sketch this time around, from Stella Says Sketch, I didn't add the gold flatbacks to the frame on the inside, but they're on the one on the outside, so I think I've been more faithful to the sketch than normal.
That's it for today.  I'll be sharing my card over at Crafty Hazelnut's Patterned Paper Challenge, but as I'm on the DT I won't be going into the prize draw... just so you know, lol ... and finally I'd like to enter the following challenges: 
The Crazy Challenge Your Favourite Colour
Bunny Zoes Crafts Lovely Layers
The Paper Shelter Flowers Everywhere
OSAAT Stitching, Real or Faux
Aud Sentiments Anything Goes    + a sentiment
I hope you get a chance to check out the rest of the team's work, and a chance to enter the challenge too; great prize on offer as always, and don't forget there's extra opportunities if you use one of Di's Digi images or a Candibean rubber stamp.
We had the saddest news yesterday, our good friend Roger has passed away - I can't really believe it.  You may remember me talking about him previously, he had a massive stroke at 58 and I used to go up to their home in the hills to help him when he was re-learning to read/write shop etc - he struggled and triumphed in so many ways over the next 7 or 8 years, winning a State award for his efforts from the Speech Therapists Association, only to get Melanoma 3 years ago... which in turn, and against the odds he beat early this year.
He died on Wednesday from a bowel blockage, a ghastly death.  I am so sad that this was his end, he deserved better.  He was more my friend than my husband's as I got close to him during my weekly sessions volunteering with him, he had the best attitude to his adversity... he truly humbled me.  The world is a poorer place without people like him in it.  His funeral is on Wednesday, his wife is just so worn down by it all she is struggling to even grieve, sad in itself.  Tomorrow we are going to scatter my husband's nephew Brad's ashes as it would have been his birthday this weekend - I really could do with something cheerful happening - luckily my nephew and his partner had a baby boy this morning "Lucian" was born at 5.06am weighing in at 3.54 Kg or 7lbs 13oz and measuring 52cm or 20.5" so meeting him will help I'm sure.
Until next time, Happy Crafting