Sunday, June 30, 2013

When is a Challenge NOT a Challenge?

For me the theme of this fortnight's Challenge at Here Come The Boys was no Challenge at all... it's "Use A Digi" and I LOVE my digis :-)
As some of you may know, my son Matt is in hospital at the moment having seriously injured his foot (he has had two toes amputated last week, more surgery to follow) I thought this cute little fellow from The Stamp Fairy would cheer him up - as much as possible.  Gem of a Challenge has Teddies as their challenge theme so I'm entering there, 
I used the sketch from  Papertake Weekly, this is "this week's" sketch though they have a Sketchie Free For All so I could have chosen any one of their previous fab sketches :-)
Now, one of the reasons I LOVE digis is their flexibility. This image (Get Well Barry) actually came with the bandage on the other foot - by simply flipping the image horizontally in Word the bandage appears on the right foot, which is the right foot as in the same foot that Matt has injured.  Hobbycutz wants us to use something Beginning with H - my teddy is "Hurt" so I'm entering there with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek - and I'm entering Cards for Men Let's Get Sporty challenge on the same basis; even though Matt was hurt at work (he's self employed so, no, not Workers Compensation!) and not doing sport :-)
I thought this was very clever, exploiting the mirror image effect, until I looked at this card I made for an engagement some time back when I flipped the image simply because I liked the look of it better that way... then realized that it means the young lady now has her engagement ring on the wrong hand!! OOPS! Nobody said anything, ah well got away with that one :-)
I coloured with Copics, and made the sentiment in Word - Matt is confined to bed with his leg elevated on a James Cushion 24 hours a day and he can't put any weight on the injured foot for another seven weeks, longer if the doctors decide tomorrow he needs more surgery so I'm sure he's looking forward to getting back on his feet.
The papers are from Kaisercraft's Up Up and Away Collection, The stripy horizontal panel is one of the die cuts from the pack.  The chocolate cardstock is Bazzill, I  think. I used more of the same inside.  All the panels are cut with Nestabilities Wonky Squares, I don't know why, I just think of them as most suitable for masculine cards, lol.
Simon Says ChallengeStampin' for the Weekend and Stamping With The Dragon all have Anything Goes challenges so I'm entering them too.
That's about it for my card... I think I spun a long enough tale about a card that has absolutely NO embellishments on it, lol.
Pop over to the Here Come The Boys Blog and check out the rest of the team's inspiration - awesome as always!  Hope you get a chance to enter the challenge too, Use a Digi... what could be easier?!
On a personal note, I'd like to thank all you kind people that have been sending Cyber Hugs for Matthew and us - it means a lot.  He has lost his toes completely, including the webbing, which is a disappointment but he is handling it very well, which helps us to do the same.  
He misses his babies, (I thought I'd add the pictures I took on my phone to send to him the other day, we send pictures and videos every day, thank goodness for iPhones and the internet!) but we all met in Fremantle today so he could come out of hospital for a few hours to have a cuddle with them - the first time he's seen them in nearly two weeks, it brought a very large lump to all our throats.  With any luck, for which we are surely due, he can come home at the end of next week and hopefully get signed over to a surgeon at a hospital closer to home for any future surgery and rehab.  
I am taking my parents down tomorrow morning to see him, they haven't seen him for a week - it's just so hard to coordinate it all, then I'm bringing them back home and going to Matt and Elaine's to do the afternoon shift feed/bath/bed routine with the babies.  My hubby will have to fend for himself - he may savour the peace and quiet after the hectic three weeks we've had, lol.
Anyway until next time, Happy Crafting (and have some for me while my craft time is so restricted!) Donna 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

and on it goes

Just a quick update for those that are interested;  Matt is still in hospital, unfortunately he lost the battle to keep his big toe - it was amputated yesterday.  At this point there is about an inch of toe left, but the skin did look necrotic today so he is going to have debriding surgery tomorrow, if the skin is not viable they will remove more of the toe, which is getting perilously close to the foot; the socket is still the most important part and everything possible is being done to save it.
The second toe is also doomed; it is being amputated tomorrow, how far down will be determined in surgery.  He is coping well, I call him my little soldier, even though he's 32 and not 5 :-)  I'm not sure how I'm coping - I think I was doing alright until hubby rang this afternoon (after dropping into the hospital to see Matt) and telling me he felt like crying,  his boy is suffering and he couldn't do anything to help him.  I've only seen my husband cry once and it was devastating as he is our rock.
We are, at least, being kept busy - the usual round of baby sitting meal making business running and hospital visiting doesn't leave much time to dwell; Matthew on the other hand is confined to bed with his leg elevated 24 hrs a day he must be bored out of his scone (don't you just love that Aussie term, lol)
I'm dropping into your blogs when I can, I don't always get time to comment but I am keeping tabs :-)  I am working on a DT card for the weekend - if nothing else it can get billed as the world's slowest card, lol
I'd better get to bed now, back down to the hospital tomorrow - I have found parking skills I forgot I had and an ability to drive to places I've hitherto considered too challenging.
Then I'll go and watch the babies so Elaine can go to Matt.  He was scheduled to have a "day release" yesterday so he could have the babies spend some time with him, but as he had surgery he wasn't allowed; it seems to be the only thing that has really got him down so far.
Enjoy your crafting... and your toes; seriously you don't realise how important the "little things" are until they are taken away :-) Donna

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summer Fun with Di's Digi Stamps

A new challenge starts today at Di's Digis Challenge Blog, the theme is "Summer Fun"... which is kind of ironic for me as it's Winter here and with everything going on with my son life is anything but Fun... however that's not to say that it's not a fabulous theme for the rest of you :-)
I made a card, it was really good to have a break from hospitals and babysitting / housework - I finished at 2am as I couldn't sleep (exhaustion isn't necessarily the answer, lol)
I used the image Seaside Ted, available here - one of many images Di has that fit the Summer Fun brief :-)  Fab'n'funky Challenges has Animals and  Corrosive Challenge has Animal Antics so I'm entering there. Craft Your Passion has Let's Play Dress Up, my little bear is dressed up so I'm in! 
I've coloured with Copics.  Deep Ocean ChallengeKaboodle Doodles, Creatalicious Challenges Cute Card Thursday and Paper Pretties have Summer themed challenges so I'm entering them all!
I've used the sketch from Pile It On  this time around; you know me, I love a good sketch :-)
The paper is a digi pack from Shery K Designs, it's called - believe it or not - Summer Fun! Papertake Weekly has Hot Hot Hot and Without Words has Hot Colours as their themes, so I'm entering there too.
The green cardstock is DCWV, I embossed the horizontal band with Tiny Bubbles Cuttlebug folder, I thought it suited the Seaside theme.
The sentiment on the front is from Sentiments 4 You - I don't know if they're still operating - I cut it with Standard Circle Nestabilities, coloured the "rim" and matted it onto Lacey Circles Nestabilities, Digi Makeover has Punches and Dies as their theme, so I'm entering there.  The brad in the centre (well not quite in the centre, but it should have been in the centre, lol) is from HOTP and the Card Candi is from Craftworks Cards. 
I used some matching cardstock and paper to decorate the inside of the card, the sentiment (from one of my favourite sites, Create with TLC) is perfect for Father's Day :-) Creative Craft Challenges,Ready Teddy Go, HobbycutzTotally GorjussJoanna Sheen and Cards for Men all have Father's Day or Masculine themes, so I'm entering there.
Inky ImpressionsStampin' for the Weekend and Stamping With The Dragon have Anything Goes challenges running, so I'm entering there.
That's about it for my card today, why don't you pop on over to the Di's Digi Stamps Challenge blog and check out the rest of my teamies inspiration; as always there's some real eye candy :-)  I hope you get a chance to enter the challenge, there's a great prize on offer from My Time Made Easy and if you use one of Di's super cute images you get a chance at an extra prize!!
I'm typing this post on the way to the hospital to see Matt, he was readmitted on Wednesday as he has developed a serious infection.   When he was readmitted he was prepped for surgery to remove the two toes the next morning, but when the surgeon who's been on the case since the beginning came in first thing he told Matt that he still thought it was worth trying to save at least part of his big toe. His foot looked very bad on Wednesday, but was looking a bit better yesterday afternoon so hopefully the Case surgeon is correct in his assessment.  
The really daunting thing is that he also said Matt may be in hospital for seven to ten weeks before the final decision.  We talked to Matt about trying to get moved to a hospital closer to home (there's a lovely hospital 15 minutes away from home rather than the ancient pile he's in now an hour away) but where he is has some of the State's top surgeons and in addition "his" surgeon is motivated towards keeping the toes whereas the surgeon he saw on Wednesday just thought it was too hard and scheduled amputation; Matt's worried that if he changes hospital he may get a surgeon more inclined to the swifter solution.  An operation is inevitable but even if they can save an inch of the big toe the outcome is significantly improved in regards to rehabilitation.  
So, it looks like his poor wife will be making the two hour trek while juggling breastfeeds and we'll be at their place babysitting and keeping their place going for some time to come - I'm not looking forward to it, but obviously want to support Matt and Elaine in their decision; if they want to give it their best shot then it's the least we can do.
He is missing his babies terribly, they have reached the "cute" stage of smiles and coos, Elaine won't take them into the hospital, she is paranoid about germs, but I think she is becoming more open to the idea of taking them in to the hospital gardens and letting Matt have some contact with them - I think it will be good for ALL of them if it happens.
Anyway, enough of my dramas!  I'm not able to do a lot of crafting, but I am still trying to keep up with your blogs, so have some crafting for me, lol.
Until next time, Happy Crafting, Donna  

Monday, June 17, 2013

Here's One I Made Earlier...

First of all I'd like to thank all of you, Followers and not, that have left Well Wishes for my son Matt, I really appreciate your support :-)
Well as I said on Saturday, I had a card made and ready to blog when called to the hospital (again) with him.  He is home again now, and looking much better than he did yesterday; his foot is still an awful colour and he has some necrosis, but after how unwell he was yesterday (vomiting and sweating and almost incoherent) losing a toe or two seems inconsequential.  His pain level is also much more manageable today, so it is as they say as well as can be expected.  He has to go back on Tuesday for a scheduled appointment, we'll go from there.
From our point of view the around the clock assistance goes on - I'm on mornings then evenings, Elaine's Mum afternoon then night shift, lol.  Thank goodness we all live close by.  The babies are sleeping 6 to 8 hours a night now, so Elaine just wants someone there in case she needs to take Matt back to hospital, I hope she'll relax a bit soon - as yet she can't deal with the thought of being alone with him and the babies for even an hour; but we, the pit crew. are getting quite tired now.
On to jollier things, a card I made for a friend of ours who turned 75 earlier this month, I've used one of my favourite folds, with the front of the card "cut away" - in this case the vertical striped paper is the edge of the card and the polka dot piece is attached to it - if you know what I mean.
I used the fabulous "Happy Hour" digi image from Kenny K, it's one of their Retro collection and I think it's perfect for a lady of my friends age - especially as she is just not "old" in any way but chronological, lol. Charisma Cardz wants us to use Digi Stamps, never a problem for me, I'm in.
I've coloured her as a brunette, only because I don't "do" blonde very well, Colour Me Copic has a Gorgeous Brunettes theme, so I'm entering there.
I flipped the image, which is why the copyright info is a bit hard to read (I didn't think of that), and coloured with Copics adding gloss to the Martini glass and Stickles to her shoes.  
The papers are Kaisercraft's Bubblegum Hills. I love this colour combo, I think it's classy but still bright and fresh, Crafty Friends has Favourite Colour Combo as their theme, I'm in, and The Paper Shelter has Pink and White or Blue and White - my card is mainly pink and white (if you don't count the black cardstock, lol) so I'm entering there.   Without Words Hot Colours, so I'm entering there.  The ribbon is from my stash.
I made the sentiment on the computer, adding Stickles to the "75" on the inside.  Fab'n'funky Challenges and Divas by Design both have Birthday themes, so I'm entering them, Oozak has Anything Goes With a Sentiment, so I'm entering there too. 

I made the doily border around the image panel by cutting a border strip using a Nellie Snellen border die, clipping into it at each peak then "stretching" it around the oval; I took a picture of the back to try and show what I mean - the reason the foam dot's on it is that I forgot to take the pic before putting it on the card, oops!  
The mat for the inside was cut with Nestabilities Floral Ovals, as were the mats for both sentiment panels, which were in turn cut with Standard Oval Nesties like the image panel, phew! My Mums Craft Shop has Dies Dies Dies for their challenge theme, I'm clearly in!
Bearly Mine Challenges and Aud Sentiments both have Anything Goes challenges so I'm entering them too.
That's about it for today's card, I'm not sure when I'll get time to make another one... I'm trying hard to get one up for my Di's Digis DT on Saturday and really don't anticipate getting there before that; I could always share some of my art, cakes or other crafts - I take photos of just about everything I do so it will come down to having time to write a blog post :-)  I really am missing my craft time, I didn't realise how much it relaxed me - I woke up in the night and my fists were balled up so tight they were aching, I really didn't know I was that tense!
Until next time, whenever that may be, Happy Crafting, Donna xx

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Nearly got a card up

I'm still not crafting at the moment as my son's situation has not improved much - in fact we are on our way to Fremantle Hospital as I type; the Silver Chain nurse that came to dress his wound today took one look at it and told him to go back to Emergency immediately - we were out doing quotes (our usual Saturday routine) so our youngest son is taking him - thank goodness he was "up" in our area and got him within ten minutes as we are, ironically, close to the Hospital. We are meeting them there, we were hoping we could take him to our local Hospital, which as well as being, well, local, is much newer with better facilities, but he has to return to the Hospital that treated him originally so back to Freo we go!  Matt's wife has stayed home to feed the twins, her Mum has gone over to help her out... Elaine's sister stayed last night to give her Mum a break and a friend was going today to give me a break but she's young and not experienced with babies at all so needs help herself.
I will be back later with a card I made earlier this month... I just need time to type the post.
See you then, Donna

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Not Quite Wine and Cheese

Those of you that read my previous post will know that I was (supposed to be) in my favourite place... Margaret River... doing my favourite thing "Wine and Cheese".  Things haven't quite worked out that way.
We were woken (we were sleeping in) by the manager of the cabins we stay in to tell us that our son had called (there is no phone in the cabins and no mobile coverage) to say that he was in hospital, but sounded okay.  My husband drove down to the road, where there is coverage, to ring him back.  We presumed that he had taken my Mother back to hospital as she was there last week.  That wasn't the case, he has had a serious accident at work - rolling his excavator and trapping his foot between it and the kerb.  Luckily there were several young men on site, they lifted the excavator off him and the owner (who thought she was having her pool dug that day, poor thing) took him to Emergency - again luckily only two streets away.
They admitted him straight away, he had surgery at 1.10 to try and save his foot.  He has multiple fractures and splits under his toes and on the sole of his foot, which are not the problem, and crush injuries: these have resulted in loss of blood supply to his big toe and the one next to it.  He is still in hospital - the unfortunate thing for us is that it is an hour away, the unfortunate thing for him is it is a very old hospital and in the throes of being replaced by what they call a Tertiary Hospital being built nearby, consequently not much is being spent on keeping Fremantle up to scratch.  He has top cover Health Insurance but can't be moved until they establish the extent of the gangrene in his toes.
We drove up from Margaret River, three hours away, waited until 5.30 for him to come back to his room (which had to have a mega clean as the previous occupant had an MRSA - not what I wanted to hear!) then we went to the site where Matt's truck and excavator were - my husband then drove the truck back (he's never driven it before) and I followed him in his car; which is a 4WD that I drive rarely and never at night, which it was by then.  We brought the excavator here as my husband will now have to do the 4 day job that Matt was there to do, then took the truck back to Matt's, picked our dog up from my Mum's (having picked up Matt's dog as well as it's too much for his wife with the twins and everything going on) finally getting home at 9.30 pm.  Toast for tea (fridge was empty as we're on holiday remember) fall into bed.  Up at 5.30 for work.
I'm now alternating with Elaine's Mum to watch the twins while Elaine goes down to visit Matt, she comes back feeds the twins goes back to see Matt, comes back to feed them before bed.
To say we're exhausted is an understatement, we have scaled it back a bit today - I'm going down this morning then I'll watch the twins this afternoon/evening while Elaine goes down.  Hopefully her Mum can come and help in the late afternoon or evening as bath time with a split feed (we're trying to keep to their routine) is bloody tiring - or perhaps not if you weren't 54, lol.  Elaine's mum did the first evening I did the second (had to ring hubby and tell him to come to help straight after his shower) so maybe we'll draw straws for tonight!
Anyway, I have to go.  Hopefully Matt can come home tomorrow - the amputation is something that can happen later apparently.  He is however off work for three months.  That's very hard when you have your own business.  He has good business interruption insurance, that will cover his debts, but once you lose customers it's hard to get them back.  Oh well, what can you do?  We'll do as much as we can, servicing Matt's clients as well as ours where possible.
Right I've had my "Whine" off to find some cheese!!
Until next time, whenever that may be, Donna

Saturday, June 08, 2013

Beautiful Borders

There's a new challenge starting today over at Di's Digis... we want to see your Beautiful Borders.  I made a card for my Mother to send to the hospital she was in last week, the staff were lovely and she wanted to thank them - as do I, so "Thanks" to the staff at Joondalup Health Campus :-)
 The image I've used is Nursing Ted, (from Di's new website, here) so sweet, Robyn's Fetish wants us to use a digi this time around - no challenge for me, that's for sure! I've coloured with Copics.  Creatalicious Challenges theme this time around is For the Girls, so I'm entering there too.
I've used the sketch from Sketch and Stash this time around, it's a great sketch and there's plenty of stash on this card - the pearls, braid, cardstock and patterned paper are all from stash.    Crafty Friends has a Bingo challenge, I've used Pearls, Ribbon and Yellow.  Cutie Pie Challenge has a 3 2 1 recipe challenge; I've used 3 pearls at the top, 2 papers and 1 image - the 3 pearls may be a bit tenuous, so I'll understand if it's not allowed!
The paper is from a pack I got from Spotlight ages ago, really good value though some of the sheets are designed for scrapbooking, the spotty sheet I used is one of them, I just used the part of the sheet that didn't have a big teddy on it - if that makes sense ;-)
Joanna Sheen's challenge this time is to use Spots and Stripes, so I'm in and Pile it On has Stripes and/or Plaid, so in there too.    
I cut the mat behind the image and sentiment using Nestabilities Lacey Squares, and the border die is Nestabilities Classic Scallop Borders - I tried to use my new Memory Box Nottingham Border die, but I just can't get it to cut cleanly - I've had a similar problem with one of their butterfly dies, I hope I can solve it because they're beautiful.  Bearly Mine ChallengesMy Mums Craft Shop and That Craft Place all have Dies and Punches challenges so I'm entering there.
The sentiment is a chipboard die that I received as a freebie from the lovely Zoe at Make It Crafty when I bought some of her chippies recently - the store is no longer going to carry them so I made sure to stash-up, lol.  I embossed it with Sky Blue Versamark ink and Iridescent Embossing Powder.  Aud Sentiments has Any Sentiment for their challenge, so I'm in and Great Impressions has Leave a Little Sparkle, so in there too!
For the inside, I followed the sketch and used more of the papers from the front.  Catch The Bug, Little Claires and Papertake Weekly have Anything Goes challenges running, so I'm entering there.
Well that's it for today's card, pop over to Di's Challenge Blog and check out the rest of the team's "Beautiful Borders", I hope you get a chance to enter the challenge too.
I'm in the car on the way Down South for a week's break... Margaret River is one of my favourite places in the world, 260kms from Perth in the middle of Wine Country with fantastic wineries, cheesemakers and artisans nestled in hidden valleys; we stay in a mudbrick cabin with a log fire (it's winter here, and while not cold definitely cool enough for a log fire if you like one, which we do) and bush all around.  There's little or no phone coverage, except in the town 5km away) the only downside for a blog addict is that the internet coverage is dismal, so I won't get much opportunity to visit you all until Friday when we get back home - to be honest the odd glass of excellent wine will probably help me cope, lol.
Until then, Happy Crafting, Donna

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Don't Sweat It...

There’s a new challenge starting today over at Here Come The Boys… we want you to use some ribbon; now you may think that using ribbon on a “guy” card is hard, but it really isn't!
When I made a card for my Brother in Law’s 40th  recently (here) I was tossing up between using the image and sentiment I used or this one, obviously I used the other one and – luckily as it turned out, I will explain later – it meant I had this one ready to roll.  The sentiment (made on the computer) is "Don't sweat it...Pushing 40 is exercise is enough" it's available on my freebies page if you want it.  
The image is from Digistamp Boutique Shop, one of the fabulous “Alf” images, coloured with Copics, which means I’ll be entering Digistamp Boutiques Monthly challenge.  Creative Craft ChallengesDelightful SketchesCupcake Craft Challenges and Paper Crafting Journey Masculine Cards, so I'm entering them and Crafty Creations has Super Hero - I feel this fella qualifies, so I'm in :)
I’ve used this great Stella Says Sketch - I do love a good sketch - so I’m entering there.  I wanted to use one of my favourite “folds”… where most of the front is cut away; in this instance to keep to the sketch I needed only a narrow band of card on the left, so I made the front of the card from acetate with only a little of the black card... so the card will still stand up.  The scalloped edge is a Fiskars Apron Lace punch, the image panel is Nestabilities Labels Twelve, I cut the green and black mats freehand.  That Craft Place has Dies and Punches and My Mums Craft Shop has Dies Dies Dies, so I'm entering there.  
Obviously you could see the glue through the acetate, so I added card to the inside with a jotting panel.
The papers I’ve used are from Kaisercraft’s Chapter One pad, I don’t “do” a lot of green, but I really love this shade.  The green cardstock for matting is DCWV, Stampin' for the Weekend has a Monochrome challenge so I'm entering there.
The ribbon is from my stash, I added knots instead of bows to make it more masculine; Deep Ocean Challenge has Ribbon and/or Lace and Divas by Design Tie a Ribbon so I'm entering there.
I added some black pearls, making sure to put some on the inside back-to-back with the ones on the acetate.
Now back to why I say it was lucky I had a "spare" image ... I have spent the best part of the last four days at Hospital with my Mum… 7 hours in Emergency on Wednesday before being sent home at 10.30pm though she is 82 and obviously unwell, then 6 hours on Thursday in Emergency until she was admitted at 9 pm (then taking my Dad up to visit etc) It would seem that the recommended 8 glasses of water a day are NOT recommended for my Mum, partly because she is only 46Kg and some of her medication has a diuretic effect leaving her potassium and other electrolyte levels dangerously low.  Anyway she is home now, looking so much better today, compared with the very unwell lady she was the other night, so thank goodness for that! We can deal with the ramifications when she has picked up a bit.
Anyway that's it for today, pop over to the Here Come The Boys blog and check out the rest of the team's inspiration - it shows ribbon CAN be for boys, lol, I hope you have a chance to enter the challenge, there's a great prize provided by Woo... a Tiddly Inks voucher - YUM!
Until next time, Happy Crafting - oh, and "Don't Sweat It", Donna