Saturday, 27 November 2010

Blue, Blue Christmas Workshop

Thursday 11th November - Afternoon session with Jane ... yep, that very talented lady ... again!

Hero Arts Clear Design stamp set used for both cards - Tree-Mendous.

The first card was an A5 card base covered, patchwork style, with squares cut from a variety of blue DP.  Nestability Labels 4 were used for the white and navy blue mats.  The tree, which was stamped in dark blue ink, was adhered to the mats using foam pads. The same ink was used for the greeting and to stamp a few of the snowflakes onto white card which were then punched out with different sized circle punches.  The Woodware Big Holly Leaf punch  was used to add detail and, to finish, blue/gold peeloff dots were used for the holly berries and to embellish the tree and the centre of the snowflakes.

The second card, A6 sized, landscape card blank and again used a patchwork design of blue DP but used in a more abstract way.  Martha Stewart Snow Flurry edge punch was used on a strip of DP with the punch outs saved to add extra embellishment once the main card was finished.  The tree was stamped 3 times with dark blue ink and then each cut out with a narrow white border.  This tree is not symmetrical and the border being left helps to disguise the fact that it can't be matched exactly.  Once cut, each tree was scored down the middle and one tree was stuck, both sides, to one of the others so forming a 3d tree. This was stuck over the patchwork on the base card.  Glitter glue, gems and punch outs were used to further embellish.

Ideal cards for using up those oddments again.  I think the monotone theme of these is the eye-catching feature and changes could be rung by changing the main colour.


Friday, 26 November 2010

Good news ...

  ... it's not in the bones. Paul's cancer, that is.
Bad news ... yep, it's not all good news ... it's an aggressive cancer (for those in the know, Gleason scale 9, 4+5) and has to be treated. Seems some Prostate cancers aren't treated but just 'watched'. Paul's has to be treated else it will spread and it will kill.
Good news ... treatment started immediately after we were given the news. He's started on hormone therapy and the consultant tells us that from the first pill it starts to kill the cancer. There are side effects to the hormone therapy, or likely to be, not least menopausal symptoms ... hot flushes and the like. Brought a smile to my face, I have to say. As long as he doesn't suffer mood swings I think we'll cope! He might suffer more than I did going through that stage of my life 'cos I had it pretty easy compared with a lot.

He's still to have an MRI (next week) to check out the surrounding soft tissue so we're still keeping fingers crossed that it's not found it's way into that. We're after good news again. Treatment is now transferred to an Oncologist who will decide, once the hormone therapy has started to really do it's work, whether he needs radiotherapy. If he does he'll be looking forward to about 8 weeks of daily visits to the hospital to be zapped (except for weekends and Bank Holidays ... of course) in a few months time. Hormone therapy is likely to be for life and given by injection every 3 months.

Dad - well, what can I say?  He had more than a couple of stitches in his head.  From what I saw it was more like a dozen.  Youngest son ended up going to keep him company at the hospital because carer had to go in the end.  I'm told he kept the other patients amused.  Seems he thought he'd lost a leg.  When it was pointed out he still had a leg he decided it was a foot he'd lost.  My son, his grandson, became his son-in-law whose name was Russell (his name is Wayne),  Could understand that to some extent if we had a Russell in the family but we don't and don't know anyone with that name either.  Hospital wanted to make sure he could walk OK before they discharged him.  Loaned him a walking frame and decided he couldn't possibly go home walking the way he was.  Wayne asked if they were going to keep him permanently, in that case, 'cos the way he was walking was as good as it got - lol!
Today (yesterday now 'cos I'm typing this at nearly 5am in the morning!) I spent the afternoon at the hospital with him.  Scheduled appointment at Trauma and Orthopaedics to have them consider knee replacements.  Finally got him to agree to consider that option if they would do it.  It's only taken about 20 years from when he was originally offered that option and refused it ... because he might end up in a wheelchair!  Thinking they'd say, no way José, they've not blown the idea out of the water but he has been referred to a specialist unit and a specialist knee surgeon.  Xrays show he has no knees to speak of.  They have disappeared under years of neglected osteo-arthritis.  It's possible that they are too bad to do anything with, hence the referral to a specialist unit.  If it is possible, and they're prepared to do it, then it will be both knees, fully replaced, at the same time.  Keeping fingers crossed that they will give it a go and it works.  He can't be any worse off it it doesn't, that's for sure.

Still trying to get time together to update this blog and to start blogging properly again but it just doesn't seem to be happening.  One day ....

Thanks for dropping by .....

Bubbles, Buttons & Bling Workshop

Friday 5th November - Afternoon session with Jane.

This session was all based around Jane's Woodware, Christmas Bubble Tree stamps set. Not a new set as it was released 2 years ago now but still packs quite an impact. Once again there are peeloffs also made in the design and available in gold, silver, black and white but this workshop just used the stamp set. As with the bauble and wreath cards the bubbles were filled with anything blingy to hand ....

The first card was a pyramid card cut from a template provided by Jane.  The greeting was another of Jane's Woodware stamp sets - Christmas Sentiments  A variety of snowflakes were punched ... any make of punch ... from the same card used for the card blank.  The tree was stamped onto the middle panel and filled with the bling then snowflakes were stuck on around the remaining card sides with a couple of half snowflakes stuck to the middle panel.  The card will fit into an A5 envelope.

The 2nd card is A5 but landscape.  To obtain the blank an A4 piece of card was cut in half across the short side.  One piece was scored and light folded about an 1.5 inches from one edge and that was then stuck to the other piece of card.  DP was cut to size, stuck in place and then 2 holes were punched with a Crop-a-dile to thread ribbon through.  The tree was stamped onto a piece of cream/ivory Bazzill which had been cut to size to fit front of card.  A toning chalk was used over the stamped image before the tree was blinged up.  A strip of matching DP was adhered near the bottom of the card and a greeting, matted, layered and popped with foam pads for a bit of dimension.  The greeting was made using the Crafts Too embossing folder - Christmas Greetings.  I particularly like this card.


Thursday, 25 November 2010

Beautiful Bubble Baubles Workshop

Friday 4th November - Morning session with Jane Gill (I love that designer - lol!)

2 cards made in the morning session.  One using the Woodware stamp set Bubble Wreath designed by Jane and the other using a Woodware peeloff of the same design.

This card was originally an A6 card (approx 6x4 inches) but I've altered it since I bought it home and it's now a 7x5 inch card.  A piece of A6 size cream card was embossed with the Crafts Too embossing folder, Baubles. A peeloff of one of the bubble ornaments (available in silver, gold, black & white) was stuck on and then blinged with anything to hand ... buttons, brads, sequins, gems, beads, microbeads, glitter glue, peeloffs - anything blingy that fits and glitter to fill the odd shapes.  The ornament string was drawn in using a toning Sakura Gellyroll pen.  After I got the card home I decided to cut the front off, ink the edges, layer it onto some toning mirri card and mount it onto a 7x5 inch pearlescent card blank and added a greeting. 

The following card used the bubble wreath from the stamp set previously mentioned.  The card was an A4 sheet folded in half lengthways.  The wreath was stamped onto the base of the card and, as with the peeloff, was blinged up with anything suitable to hand.  Narrow 3mm ribbon was stuck down for the string and a small bow tied and added.  A peeloff greeting was added for the finishing touch.

Once again photos are bad because of poor light.  It's the reason these are so late being posted because I've been trying to get pictures that do them justice.  I've given up!  You'll just have to believe me when I say that they are soooooooo much better in real life - *lol*


Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Christmas Trees Workshop #2

Saturday 30th October - Afternoon at the Glitterpot with Jane Gill.

More Christmas trees in the afternoon but this time different and based on Jane's Woodware clear stamp set ... Rocket Christmas. It is an extremely versatile set.  You can use as many or as few of the sections that make up the tree as you wish so you have choice as to what size your finished tree is.

With this card the tree, using some of the sections that make up the tree, was stamped with Versafine onto pearlescent cardstock and embossed with silver embossing powder. The inner parts of the tree sections were cut out and the pearlescent card was mounted onto some contrasting card stock.  The base card was covered with DP and the matted tree adhered to card.  A border was made from a piece of card matching the backing of the tree and punched with a Martha Stewart edging punch before being trimmed with a toning ribbon and placed on card.  The rosette was made from a 12 x 1 inch strip of DP matching the base of the card, scored  at regular intervals (approx 1/8inch or 1/2cm), fan folded then joined and flattened, adding a snowflake to cover centre hole.  The sentiment was stamped onto a shrink plastic label and, once shrunk, was tied to the tree with a piece of ribbon matching that used on the border.

The following card was so different but made using the same stamp set.  This card is ideal for using up those scrap oddments we save and then rarely do anything with. 

The base card was a piece of A5 card folded in half lengthways so, where the cards in the previous post were BIG, this one was quite small!  The base card was covered with a piece of Bazzill after having it's edges distressed.  A selection of the shapes were stamped onto the wrong side of Bazzill card in a variety of colours.   The shapes are then cut out, distressed with ink and a tree shape, of sorts, formed.  A couple of the pieces were put on using foam pads and a ribbon knot tied to one of them.  The tree pieces were then decorated - in this instance with glitter peeloffs and gems.  Quick, simple, funky and effective.  This tree could be larger or smaller and is certainly one to keep in mind for that oddment box!


Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Christmas Trees Workshop

Saturday 30th October - Morning workshop with Jane Gill

Large cards.  A4 card folded in half lengthways.  Trees were made using templates designed by Jane.    The base card was covered with a DP and the base of the tree was cut out in Bazill.  Further layers were added having been bordered with Martha Stewart border punches, holly and a snowflake.  The snowflake punch outs were kept for further decoration (would be good in shaker cards as well *grin*)  Extra decoration was added with stickles and eyelets, using Cropadile to punch holes and set eyelets.  The 'Christmas' was a stamp and the 'tree' was made using a Crafts Too embossing folder and the letters cut out.

Unfortunately I had to go buy envelopes for this size of card as didn't have any in my stash but don't reckon it was too much of a hardship as I'm sure I'll be making more this size.  I love it!

 Sorry, photos are not good - light bad as we're having such dismal days lately :0(


Thursday, 4 November 2010

Christmas with Sizzix Workshop

Thursday 22nd October - afternoon at the Glitterpot with Jackie Huckstepp.

Using Sizzix dies in the afternoon, again with a selection of DP.

Sizzix Original dies - Reindeer #2 & Gingerbread Man #3
DP - Basic Grey
Bazill card
Gems, paint (for icing sugar), gems, brads, bell & ribbon.
Large scalloped circle punch or nestie.


Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Over a month ...

... now and still no nearer to updating blog. Real life is truly getting in the way! Some of the s**t mentioned in the previous post has sort of resolved-ish but some is still happening and will be around for a while it seems. It needs a lot of positive thinking at the moment but hubby has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, confirming the bit of s**t - his suspicions - that he hit me with that day. Biopsy's and scans have been done in the last two days and results are now awaited. Fingers, toes and anything else that can be crossed are firmly crossed. We know it's very common. We know it's completely treatable if caught early enough. We know that most men have it, even if they don't know it, and are never bothered by it. We're in a 'don't know' phase for all of it but mainly we don't know if it's been caught early enough. We do know that an operation isn't an option.

While we were waiting for hubby's hospital referral appointment to arrive we managed to celebrate our Silver Wedding. As our anniversary fell on a Saturday (16th October) we had a weekend away on the Isle of Wight. Neither of us had been there in the 25+ years we've known one another. Have to say it was a marriage most people didn't think would work. My 2nd, his 3rd. He's 11 years older than me. We met in February '85 but didn't date until the end of May. We got engaged the following weekend and married just 4 months later. Now we've celebrated our 25 years against all the odds? It would have been Mum & Dad's 62nd anniversary on the 16th as well .. had Mum lived. They also met in the February and married in the October but something tells me that the chances of us seeing 50 years, let alone any more,  is pretty remote.  Age, and health, is against us - lol!

Our family ... as it was at the time.

What a difference 25 years make ... in many ways! 
Neither Mum is still with us but brother has since married and now has 2 step-children and grandchildren and a son of his own.  The lads were adopted by hubby (their birth father was, and has been, conspicuous by his absence) and both have since married and given us 5 beautiful grandchildren. Sadly eldest son's marriage ended a couple of years ago but we're soon to have a new daughter-in-law and 3 step-grandchildren. Youngest son married his childhood sweetheart and, in the process, gave us a beautiful daughter-in-law.  Unfortunately hubby became wheelchair bound within 5 years of the 1985 wedding photo.  A month after that was taken he had his first laminectomy and it was all downhill from there with respect to his mobility and ... both of our weights have escalated!  Once, we were slim!

It's been reasonably quiet on the Dad front until today! Today he's had another fall and this time he's ended up in A&E. He fell and cut the back of his head. Unfortunately he's choosen a day when I can't be with him as I'm full of bugs and don't think that the hossie would be too happy with me going in and spreading my particular type of cheer about! He's not on his own though as one of his night carers has gone to be with him, bless her, so he has somebody he knows. Hopefully, once they've sorted the cut - which is thought needs a couple stitches - he will be sent home again. He went willingly, which is a miracle, so he must have realised that he really needed treatment this time.

I need to go through my photos from June onwards and schedule time to update.  I need to start to get some sort of normality back in my life as it seems a bit out of control at the moment.  I enjoy the times I have 'booked' as it takes my mind away from the problems.  Perhaps I should treat blogging time in the same way but ... it could be that this blog will come back into it's own again in the coming months.  I'm so hoping not!
Thanks for dropping by .....

Embossable Christmas Workshop

Thursday 22nd October - morning at the Glitterpot with Jackie Huckstepp.

Yep, 2nd day running and another workshop at the Glitterpot. This time with Jackie using Crafts Too embossing folders and another selection of designer papers, punches, dies and embellishments.  Again, I'm not sure of the DP used but guess it's not really important as long as you can find what you like.

Embossing folders - Crafts Too: Noel,  Christmas Greetings & Cuttlebug: Swiss Dots
Core'dinations card for embossing/distressing
Nestabilities Labels One
Punches - Selection of snowflakes, corner rounder
Gems, ribbon, stickles, brads
DP - Noel card, Echo Park.


Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Christmas Flowers Workshop.

Wednesday 21st October - with Jane Gill at the Glitterpot

Getting a bit behind with my posting. Life keeps getting in the way! This workshop was an all day one and was based around the Woodware Christmas Flower combination punch (Jane's design). We made one card and matching tag in the morning and the same in the afternoon. I'm unsure of the ingredients of these cards but a selection of designer papers, nesties, Martha Stewart punches and stamps were also used.

Ingredients (as much as I remember)
Martha Stewart punches - Modern Garland & Lattice (although any would do)
Scallop circle and plain circle nesties.
Stamps - Merry, Merry Christmas from Woodware Rocket Christmas & Penny Black Christmas Text
Papers - Basic Grey
Stickles & Liquid pearls.