Friday Sketch #4

Saturday, 31 May 2008
I have finally been brave enough to take part in the Friday Sketchers challenge! It's week number 4 and this weeks sketch has been provided by Heidi.

Edited to say that I have just realised that this card also qualifies for this weeks Cute Card Thursday Challenge as the task was to use patterned paper.

I have used one of my favourite Penny Black stamps, Lazy Days. The backing paper is from Papermania and is the Amethyst Fusion Creative Tones set. The flowers are from Prima and the sentiment is from Hero Arts.

I'm looking forward to my "Lazy Days" soon. Jon and I will be off to Skiathos is just under 4 weeks and I can't wait!! It's our 4th year going there and we just love it. The people are fantastic and the food is out of this world.

Anyway, thanks for stopping by and I hope you are having an enjoyable weekend.

xx :0)

Jo's Blog Candy

Jo has some amazing blog candy on offer on her blog. To be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is make a birthday card that's pretty and pink!!

I thought I would take this opportunity to ink up my new Lola's Tea Party stamp which is part of the Sugar Nellie collection. The paper is from Pink Petticoat. Not sure if you can see the white dots on the paper due to the poor lighting! The flowers are from Prima and the sentiment is from Hero Arts.

Hope you like it Jo!

xx :0)

Where do you start?

Wednesday, 28 May 2008
After looking at so many wonderful blogs and cards this evening, I was just wondering what your starting point is when making a new card.

Do start with the sketch first, or do you choose your card and papers? Do you decide on your stamp and colours first and then choose papers to match?

I seem to just stumble my way through each card and am starting to think that I should try and be a bit more organised when making a card

Anyway, I would be interested to hear how you go about things.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope to have a couple of cards to show in the next few days.

xx :0)

Some More Cards

Monday, 26 May 2008
Thank you to everyone who has left such kind messages and words of support after the disappointing fair on Saturday. They have certainly encouraged me not to give up and to try again.

Here's a selection of the last batch of cards I was making these on the last couple of days prior to Saturday.

These ones are the last of the male cards.

I started making two cards at a time using the same image but changing either the sentiment or colour used to help increase my supplies. I kept the styles fairly simple but I hope they still look eye catching.

xx :0)

Very Disappointing.

Sunday, 25 May 2008
I really wasn't looking forward to writing this post and have been putting it off since I got home last night.

The fair was very poorly attended and where we were situated was away from the main hall so at times we got forgotten about.

I sold just 2 cards. The lady on the stall next to me told me not to be disheartened as it was not to do with my cards as they're lovely. She used to own a craft/sweet shop and makes cards, but currently concentrates on selling old fashioned sweets (not good as I spent £8 on there!).

She was really good at giving Nikola and I advice on where to try and other ways to sell our cards. We are thinking about maybe trying some local fetes in future.

I went with the intention of it just being a learning curve and not to let it effect me if I didn't do very well, but it's hard when people just walk passed you without even looking at what you've got on display.

xx :0)

A little bit scared!!

Saturday, 24 May 2008
It's 15 mins before Nikola collects me for the Art & Craft fair and I have to admit to feeling scared, nervous and sick!! When we set up last night, we had a look around a felt a bit amateurish when looking at everyone else's stall set ups. We also found that we've put fairly close to another card maker.

I've had nightmares about not selling anything! I was up at 6:35am this morning so managed to make a couple more cards. I've got a lot of photos to post of cards that I have made in the last few days in preparation.

Once this is out of the way, I promise that I will get back to checking out all your blogs again and hopefully participate in a few more challenges too.

Keep your fingers crossed for me and I will let you know how I get on!!

xx :0)

Highs & Lows of Life!

Thursday, 22 May 2008
Yesterday afternoon I was on such a high as I found out that I had passed the interview and got my promotion!!! The others that had been interviewed kept coming to ask me if I had got an email which was really starting to make me worry. Turns out the failure emails went out first and the passes went out a few minutes later. They were the longest few minutes of my life!!! I'm really happy as my good friend, Estelle, also got through.

Unfortunately Jon's team, Chelsea, lost in the Champions League final after a dramatic penalty shoot-out which put a dampener on the rest of the evening. Although Reading are my team, I do have a strong liking for Chelsea because of Jon so felt the defeat just as hard. I so wanted them to win it for Frank Lampard who so recently lost his mum. Seeing the big man, JT (John Terry) in tears last night was enough to start me off. I really hope they can pick themselves up from this and rebuild for next year. I also hope the likes of Frank and Drogba stick around too as the Premier League will be a sad place without them.

Craft Fair Cards - Part 2

Sunday, 18 May 2008
Okay, here's second set of cards that I have made today. I've really enjoyed myself, it's helped me take my mind off the results of the interview and the stress of my mum. I've got a few bits of decoupage completed so hopefully I should be able to make a few more quick cards tomorrow.

I hope you like them!

xx :0)

Craft Fair Cards - Part 1

Well, I've certainly been busy today, I've made 7 cards in preparation for the craft fair on Saturday. I can't believe how quickly it's come round, so I'm going to have work really hard this week to increase my stock.

Anyway, here are some of the cards that I have made today. Please excuse me if I don't give details on what I've done or used. If anybody has any queries, please just let me know and I'll happily let you know.

And they're off!!

Saturday, 17 May 2008
Thank you for all the good luck messages for my interview yesterday. I was more nervous waiting for that than I was on my wedding day!

I think it went okay. My mind went blank for the first question and I really don't know if what I said bared any relevance to the question!! It appears that my mate after me also suffered the same fate!! After that I think it picked up okay, but you can never tell for sure with these things. They hope to made their decision by the end of next week.

I had a great afternoon at the races after that, culminating in winning £50 on the final horse for a little £2.50 each way bet!! Between Jon and I we had 6 winners out of 7 races, both picking 3 a piece. Jon was so sweet, he gave me £100 at the start to bet with and I came out with £110 so I ended £10 up on the day, thanks to the final horse!

I was hoping to get back to some card making today, but we've been invited to some friends for a BBQ. I just hope it brightens up a bit more!

Fingers crossed I will be back with more tomorrow!

xx :0)

Down, but not forgotten!

Wednesday, 14 May 2008
Yep, come 4:45pm last Sunday my worst fears were confirmed; Reading FC were relegated from the Premiership after a 2 year stay. I'm not ashamed to admit that tears were shed at the final whistle! I'm still a bit down about it all now, but I'm still proud of my boys and what they achieved for a small club. Unfortunately there were just not good enough this season and paid the ultimate price.

I will be back there next season to try and lift them to try again. Hopefully Stevie Coppell will be too!!

I've not got any new cards to show just yet. I've been busy preparing for an interview I have on Friday. I'm going for promotion and it's my first interview in 11 years!! It's all changed since I first got the job. It's all competence based now and you have to show how, in your work, you've meet the competencies required!! It really is a case of selling yourself too as you're advised to always say "I", never "We" and you have to answer the questions in a STAR format:


I've been trying to revise/remember what I put on my application form for each competency. We've been told the the 4 that we will be questioned on.

As my interview is fairly early on (11am), I am taking the rest of the day off and Jon is taking me to the races at Newbury Racecourse as I've never been before!!

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

xx :0)

Men, Men, Men!!!

Sunday, 11 May 2008
I won't say that I'm moaning about Men in general, just about making cards for them!!

I thought I'd better make a few more men's cards for the fair, but really didn't know where to start so I paid Michelle's gallery a visit as I always find that inspirational.

The two I've made are fairly simple. I've made duplicates of birthday and Father's Day and then realised that I didn't have any FD messages so a trip to the shops will be in order!

I have the bowls stamp as my dad is an avid bowler and I used this for a card a couple of years ago and haven't used it since. I also love the PB stamp I used. The sentiments are Hero Arts.

I'm now off to listen to the Reading FC match and see if we can hopefully avoid relegation from the Premiership! I'm not too confident as it's out of our hands. Whilst I'm doing that, Jon will be watching the Chelsea match and hoping that they win and that Wigan can stop Man Utd from winning so they can clinch the Premiership title!! Talk about nerves today!!

xx :0)

Stamp Something #1 - Firsts

Saturday, 10 May 2008
A new challenge blog has just launched called Stamp Something. They will set a new challenge every Friday morning. Being their 1st challenge, the theme is "Firsts". It can be a first for you i.e. using a new colour combo or design or it can be a first as in a first birthday/baby etc.

I've chosen to make my first twins card!! It was also the first time I had used this new Sugar Nellie stamp, so I'm sure that counts too!

I embossed some white startburst card with the fabulous Swiss Dots embossing folder, added the new baby girl ribbon from Making Memories and mounted this onto pink cs. The imgae has been cut and mounted using my square nestabilites. I used Sizzix's Girls Are Weird alphabet to cut the word "Twins!"
xx :0)

I'm on a roll!!

After so long without making a card, I've made 6 in 24 hours!!

For the latest two I have used 1 of my new Sugar Nellie stamps. I fell in love with this when I received some stamped images as part of a swap. I've used the flowers and swiss dots embossing folders, some ribbon and prima flowers and finished them off with a couple of CWC sentiments.

Sorry if the photos are too dark. I don't know if you can see where I have glittered some parts of the image.

xx :0)

More Cards!

I made some more cards yesterday to help take my mind of what's happening with my mum. All I will say is it's not looking good at the moment and she isn't helping herself at all which is making it hard for the rest of us.

I have to build up my stock for the craft fair in two weeks time. I had a load of images that I had stamped so I set about watercolouring them once I had an idea on the colours I wanted to use.

I apologise for the the poor quality of the photos. Photography and photo editing is not a strong point of mine, no matter how hard I wish it was!
I'm hoping the top two cards will come across as male-type cards, but I'll just be happy if somebody wants to buy them!
I hope you like them.
I'm off to make some more cards now so be sure to pop back!

CCT #9 - Gems & Jewels

This week our challenge is to use gems or jewels on your card, it's as easy as that!

I used this gorgeous PB stamp which I watercoloured and cut out using my nestabilities. Not sure if you can see due to the poor quality of the photo, but the red card has been embossed using the Swiss Dots embossing folder and I have added a strip of white starburst card across the middle which has a heart gem on each side. The sentiment is from CWC.


Wednesday, 7 May 2008
Once again thank you to everyone that has left such kind and thoughtful messages.

I cannot believe the conversation I had with my dad yesterday. After the stress of the weekend worrying that my mum had a heart problem, it would appear that that is incorrect! My dad got my mum down to see her GP to discuss the ECG results from the hospital. After looking at it, she said that it showed exactly the same as the one that was done at the surgery a few weeks before which was given the all clear. Apparently, ECG machines give a verdict on the reading, which in this case showed an irregular heartbeat, but different machines interpret the same results differently. My mum does have additional beats in her heart, but this is caused by the anxiety and hyperventilating that occurs when she panics, but she does not have a heart problem!! It is also the hyperventilating that is causing the dizziness and feeling faint.

How can machines give different readings on the same report?!?! I've been worrying about this all weekend and am really angry by it all, but also relieved that my mum's heart is okay.

Anyway, the latest on my mum is that she is to start attending the hospital for relaxation classes and stress management among other things. She will go Monday to Friday from 10am to 3pm and it is meant to last for 6 weeks. Obviously she is a bit anxious about it all. It's a bit like being a child starting their first day at a new school. But ultimately it's what she needs to do to try and come to terms with what has been happening and find other ways of dealing with her anxiety and stress, and hopefully we will start to see an improvement. It also means that my dad can go back to work and try and regain some normality for himself. He needs space too and some time for him as he has been the primary carer since it began 3 months ago.

I'm hoping to start making some cards soon as I have this fair to get ready for. I've got some stamped images next to me that need water colouring and mounting, and then hopefully everything else will come back to me.

Thank you all for persevering with me and my lack of crafting. You are all truly wonderful people and I won't forget the support and kindness that you have shown me.

xx :0)

Update on Mum

Monday, 5 May 2008
I'm sorry it's been so long since my last post but, to be honest, I've not really had a lot to say.

Thank you so much for all the kind words of support you have offered, they are greatly appreciated.

Things with my mum have pretty much stayed the same. My dad has had to be off work all week as he's not been able to leave her, despite the Home Support Team saying that she should be left to fend for herself. How can you leave someone on their own for 7 hours when she keeps coming over faint?

Anyway, things have come to a head a bit over the weekend. My mum collapsed twice in the space of 24 hours. With the help of a neighbour, my dad took my mum to the Out of Hours clinic at the hospital on Saturday morning. After a thorough examination and an ECG, it appears that my mum has a problem with her heart; an irregular heartbeat. This has been exacerbated by the lack of fluids and food she has taken on board, and is partially dehydrated. This is the reason she has been collapsing, or nearly collapsing. The doctor could also not believe the low dose of antidepressant she was on and feels she should be on at least double, but that is down to the HST.

The HST came round yesterday and were talking to my mum about going to the hospital to their therapy rooms, but, apparently she became very argumentative and was adamant that she was not going. Unfortunately this is non-negotiable and I don't envy my dad when they come to take her down on Tuesday.

I still don't feel 100% either from when I was poorly the other week. Something has triggered off my BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) and it is making me feel even worse. I am unable to sleep or lay on my left side when I have this and any movement to my left can bring on a bout of vertigo.

Thanks again for listening. Hopefully I will have some cards to post really soon.

xx :0)