Monday 31 August 2009

oooh.. loving this CS2!

I really need to thank my lovely friend Rosie for helping me track down a reasonably priced Photoshop CS2.

My hubby and I (oooh do I sound Royal?) called in to see Rosie and drop off a few things last week on our way to Kent, and it was a lovely visit - even if rather rushed! Now I'm planning to go and spend a day with her in the very lovely craft room (I could live in that room.. I really really could... !!)

anyway, back to the subject.. I've been working on Photoshop 7 on my older laptop for quite a while now, but since updating my lappy the other week, it wouldn't reinstall on this one.

Too old a copy for the graphics card on the new laptop. Darn it!

So.. I quizzed my darling Rosie about it (she is the Queen of Knowledge!) and I'm now upto date again, with CS2 and Lightroom after much recommendation! Wahoo!

They arrived on Thursday last week, and I've gotten around to installing them.. can't get to grips with LR.. but have relished in playing with my new CS2. One feature that I have found I really really love is photomerge.

This is what it spat out a few minutes after opening all the piccies - I took a few of the Channel Tunnel entrance in Folkestone, with anticipation of piecing them all together myself later.. but photomerge helped me out without much effort..

Thanks Rosie.. you're a star! Love you for eternity for showing me the way to CS2!

Here's the pic. Now.. you should be able to click on it to enlarge. The settings were on auto for this quick pic, so that's why there is a few different shades across it. Sorry x

Sunday 30 August 2009

Port Lympne

Sorry for the delay in uploading photos for you all from our short break away.

I've been quite busy since we got back - my Docrafts demo kit arrived (yeay!! It's fab!) Lots of Forever Friends, which I love and some lovely lovely stamps and other bits and pieces. I just need to get playing with it this week for my demo over in Brigg and then I can upload you some cards.

We also took a day out yesterday to visit a falconry centre over in North Anston. They also have a tropical world and other bits there so it makes a great day out. 

Anyway, here are the photos from Port Lympne that I've managed to get sorted to upload. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed being there.


I love the blur on this lion - I wasn't too sure about it at first, but he was washing his leg and I think the movement adds a little 'something'.. don't know what! lol.


This little puddy-tat was sat in a little pond of water when we arrived. It was a hot day and I think he was looking at the birds in the trees.


This little beauty was sat looking at me - I reckon he wanted me to pop him into my camera bag and bring him home.. what do you think?


This was taken from our Safari wagon which goes around the park. You have to pay extra to go on it, but it's well worth it! This wasn't the closest the giraffe came, but I'm saving that special picture for another time.


Their legs are soooo funny... especially when they're youngsters.. lol


Now this is the reason why we went to Port Lympne - the gorilla collection. I love the silverbacks, and this one is a stunner. He's an adolescent male, around 12 years old, who is living his batchelor days with other fella's. Doesn't he look contented? I could spend all day with these guys.. they're adorable, so lots of photos of these, but I won't bore you all with them.. lol.


And this little lady - isn't she a stunner? I'm sure this one's around 10 years old, and didn't have a care in the world.

I hope you like the pictures. I sure as heck enjoyed my day there!

Back later with a card or so... promise!

Thursday 27 August 2009

Did you miss me?

Have you missed me?

I've just got back from a well-earned break down in Kent. Apparantly whilst I've been away, my emails have gone haywire, so if you have emailed me, and haven't had a reply, just let me know and I'll get back to you.

What a lovely time I had. It was just me and hubs, and we travelled around a bit. We got to Port Lympne wildlife park, which is just fabbydabbydozee! I love it there. There are gorilla's, monkeys, big cats. Well worth a visit if you're down that way. We have been there before, but just have to revisit. I have plenty of photies to share too.

We also sat up on top of Cheriton hills overlooking the Tunnel entrance. God that place is soooo busy! There wasn't a minute's break from one train coming in and others going out. What a fascinating place. Again, we've been there before many times as Paul used to farm the ground that the tunnel was built on. Happy times...

We bought fish and chips and sat up on the Leas in Folkestone to eat them.. yummy they were too, but not worth the pain I had the following morning from eating the batter.

We travelled around the heart of Kent, across the Romney Marsh, Hythe, Dymchurch and called off just outside to buy some Discovery apples and plums, fresh from the farm... booootiful! Oh how I missed me lickle plum tree whilst I was away.

We also had a trip to Alkham Park, which is just stunning. Full of wildlife and beautiful walks.

The World of Butterflies is just great. Not as big as the ones here in our area, but still lovely. It broke my heart to see a little beautiful brown butterfly fly straight into a cob web and couldn't get out.. we couldn't reach it either. Sob sob. There were some lovely large butterflies in there, some of which posed quite happily for their photos, others didn't.

And then home.

Back to my children, back to my pupsters, who'd missed me and hubs an awful lot - and are who now fast asleep as they have been most of the evening. (catching up on their sleep as they didn't whilst we were away). Hehe.

The house was so tidy. The girls had had a blitz, but warned me that mum's home, so it can go back to normal now - NOT!! I got dinner cooked too, steak and salad - yum. Dishwasher is loaded ready to go, washing is done, and my beautiful bouquet of flowers which were here to greet me when I got home are now in their vase.

A fantastic few days... Thank you Paul for being the love of my life. Thank you Carley and Martina for taking care of everything whilst we were away. Thank you Leyton for walking the furballs - I love you all. xx

Saturday 22 August 2009

Truly Scrumptious...

Oh this girl is sooooo lovely.. She's like a cross between the hyperactive teenager and a cuddly-wotsit.. adorable. Yes. I'm talking about little Truly. Our very own little Ginger - Minger!


It's difficult to get photos of her generally, as she's like a whirlwind and runs around at 100mph everywhere, never standing still for more than a second! I was lucky to get this one though, as we had been playing at the top end of the garden which the little furballs are not generally allowed on (c'mon.. I need some grass!) BUT we do go up there most days to have a play. I love the above piccie.. it's SO Truly. Snooty-britches to a tee!


This is a unique moment, where she was actually sat quiet in the shade, enjoying the warmer weather.

And just so the other two hooligans don't feel outdone by this post, here they are.. for once - sat together. Aren't they just sweet? love em!


Friday 21 August 2009

Wonderful daughters..

Yep. My daughters are great!

Martina - the serious one - loves her baking, and would like to be a Baker when she leaves school, but doesn't want to do cookery. lol. She's quite serious, and stroppy (teenager!!) but is quite funny with some of the little quotes that she comes out with from time to time! Hilarious.

Here she is being potty over near the local remains of the power station.


I was taking photos of the sunset, which I shared the other day, when Martina asked if she could have her photo taken whilst she was jumping up and down.. ! Of course I obliged and added in a little flash so that she got a little bit of blur... this is the result.. Love the feet! It's hard to get a good photo of Martina without her sulking - she had her photo taken soooo often when I was doing my photography ND that she doesn't much like the camera now.. just like her sis!

Carley is the older sister. Mature, elegant, peculiar sense of humour.. lol. Here she is being elegant - she was off out with her boyfriend the other day, and kindly offered to pose for some photos.. so I duly obliged!


I didn't do alot with this picture, just altered the saturation a little.


I fiddled with this one to make the photo take on a 70's sorta feel.. love the look.

And why exactly do I think they're wonderful? Well.. me and hubby are away this weekend for four days next week and Carley and Martina are looking after the woofers, and each other. Mmmm.. will wait and see if this works out! Leyton is at work so out of argument zone hehe. And Carley is being mummy by sharing the cooking with Martina. Carley is really a good cook, so no worries there.

Hope you like them. xx

A wrapped up little parcel...

This morning, Holly went out to do her 'business' and found herself a little friend..


Yep.. a cutesy lickle Hedgy.

We had a badminton net up in the garden, which had fallen over overnight, and as the hedgie was walking around, she got herself tangled up in the net so tight she couldn't move. We cut the net so she was loose, then took her to the vets to get the rest of the net off her. They checked her over and gave her the all clear. She weighed 350g, so is just a little tot really. Cute or what..

Here are a few more pictures I managed to get of her before she packed up her suitcase and carried on her travels - and the badminton net? Well, that's wrapped up and put away.





Just a little card to share this morning.. I decided to use my distress inks on this image, as I have the majority of the colours and never, ever use them.. I think it's because I haven't played with them enough really.. and much prefer my prisma's, copics and brush markers.

Anyway, this little card winged it way over somewhere or other to say a thank you. I know the card got where it was supposed to get to, so thought I'd show it on here -


The papers are MME and I love these colours.. so spring-like and fresh. Here's a little closer-upper for you


Thursday 20 August 2009

Plum Pie anyone?

Wow.. what a load of plums I have at the moment in the garden!


I gathered around 2.5kg of plums a few days ago, and today there must have been more than that! The little plum tree - she does well!

It is a dwarf plum tree that I have in the garden, and only reaches around 6 - 7 foot high I think, but it does need trimming back this year as the branches are starting to bow and break under the strain of all the blinkin' plums! At least the waspies, snails and birdies have had a good feast this year.

Last week, Martina made a plum pie.. yesterday she made a plum and oat crumble.. lickle ol' me couldn't have the oats though, but the plums are delish!!

Wednesday 19 August 2009

A few little challenges..

I coloured these images up a while ago, so thought I'd use them to take part in a few challenges this week.(I will find the links out properly later and add them.. )

The first one was for Kathy's Sketch File CRISP AND SIMPLE - 15, and a great sketch to work with again.


I used the fantastic new products from Lili of the Valley - not much time now until you can get your mitts on 'em.. so why not nip over and take a look? I also used the new Mandala Reflections board, which I absolutely love.. it's perfect to work with your stamped or die cut images as you can see.

Here's a close up of the detail on the die cut - I used flower soft around the strings of the swing.


I also decided to have a go at the Mojo Monday challenge. This time it was a sketch to work from, and I can see me using this one quite a bit - a great one to work with. It also covers on the Copic Colour Challenge, so two challenges in one.. good or what!

Here's my card,


I used copics for the image, which you can see here in close up..


The image is one I got in a stamped image swap, so couldn't tell you much about it, but everything on it is Stampin Up apart from the little flowers, which I punched, shaped and finished with a rosey topper and a bit of sparkle spray.

For this last card I used the 2S4Y sketch for this week. Simple and stylish


The papers are Stampin Up again, as the colours matched in perfectly, and the colouring was done with copics again.


So... that's it for today.. see you soon and thanks for visiting.. xxx

Tea please - no milk or sugar!

Well... what a day yesterday.

I've been feeling a little off it for quite a while now since 'the' accident, and after doing a bit of self interrogation, me and hubby decided I must be intolerant to wheat. So, for the last few months I've been following a relatively wheat gluten free diet. I don't mind it, I can still bake with the gluten free flour, and check labels on things. However, I have still on occasions felt worn out, headachey, sicky, etc etc.. So yesterday I went into town to have my food intolerance test done.

I was there most of the morning, and to my suprise, wheat isn't my problem.. barley is. Along with yeast, dairy products, oats, rye, (so basically gluten!), broccoli, oranges, tomatoes, carrot, peaches, tea, coffee, aspartame, soya.. and the list went on and on.. but looking at the symptoms I had mentioned - and suprisingly he hadn't dropped to sleep! - he thought the main problem I have was dairy products and yeast, along with tea and coffee.

So from now on, I'm only drinking herbal tea (which I don't mind, as I drink nettle tea regularly anyway), dandelion tea in the morning to get rid of the bloating and water retention and rice milk as an alternative to cows milk, I can't have soya as I do have an allergy to that anyway if I have too much. Watch this space - there'll be a mad woman blogging on here shortly! No caffeine = not happy Jo! Sigh.. if it makes me feel better eh?

The yeast was a suprise.. but made perfect sense. I don't eat regular bread, but still very occasionally have the gluten free stuff, or make my own with gluten free flour. But I still have yeast. Obvious really when you think about it.

Anyway.. here's to a more positive Jo, who hopefully will be feeling better after ingesting all my healthy acidophalus probiotics (dairy free!) and physillium husks.. sounds great doesn't it?

Wish me luck...... !

Monday 17 August 2009

Bloggy makeover

I have had a busy morning.. lol.. I decided it was time for a new look to my little bloglet, so here it is.. new header, new layout.. All the usual links are at the top and the archives and followers etc are now all at the bottom..

What do you think??

Sunday 16 August 2009

Rosie Dee's Challenge blog

It's Sunday.. and that can only mean one thing... Rosie Dee Day! The new challenge is revealed, and keeping on with the holiday theme, we are now wanting some projects for the theme of Sun.

I can reveal to you my card from last week, which is here -
I loved making this card, and the little flip flop charm finished it off a treat. The image is a Magnolia and the papers and card are all Stampin Up.

Here's also a sneak peak for this week's challenge.. don't forget to check out the blog to get inspiration from all the other fantastic DT members.

I used the colours of the sun as inspiration.. more details will be added on the card next Sunday.

Enjoy the challenge everyone..

Saturday 15 August 2009

What a lovely day

Just a very quick post before I take myself up the wooden hill. Did you ever call stairs this? When we stayed over at my nana's, we always got told to 'get up the wooden hill before the 10 o'clock horses came.. ' Memories eh?

Anyway, I went out this evening with Martina to do a spot of sunset watching. It has been a lovely day, and the sunset wasn't a disappointment either..

Here's my best shot of this evening.

Night all.. sleep tight... mind the bed bugs don't bite!

Playing catch up..

This week has been bonkers in more than one way! After a very pleasant morning, I settled down whilst hubby was watching tv and having lunch, to make my card for this week's Lili of the Valley Challenge.

I am a little late with it - it should have been done on Thursday, but other things took priority and I let Mummy Fairy know that my card would be late.

Anyway, without further ado, it's here...

The theme this week is So Charming, so you must use a charm on your blog. Mine was a christmas theme card, so I used bells. And... did you notice? I also used peel off stickers - yuck! But they actually added something to the design... not something I usually use for my personal cards.

The card image is one of the new sets from Lili of the Valley. You really must check out their web site as the new products are just FANTASTIC! There are new stamps and die cuts from some brilliant designers, Annabel Spenceley, Chris Gaisey and Tricia Harrison. But due to the demand of these lovely images, they are taking preorders and will be sent out from the 22nd August. Good things are worth waiting for eh? There are some of the other new products featured on the challenge blog, so why not pop on over, join in (you could win some of these) and get some inspiration.

Here is a close up for you.
I used cuttlebug embossing folder and the new Mandala Reflections board to create the image layer. The snowflakes are a mixture of die cuts (sizzlets) and dimensions stickers from Docrafts.

Friday 14 August 2009

Celebrations and fluffers.

I have had a right old week of it this week - what with trying to get my commission done for the mag (all done and ready for posting today) and with hospital appointments, life is certainly never dull! As well as this, I'm trying to get stuff from my computer so it can go in for repairs. Again.

A very relieved me got the all clear from the hospital yesterday after a worrying few weeks after finding a lump in my boob. It's the same boob that got battered by the air bag last year in the car accident on Arran. Anyway, I spent a not-so-lovely afternoon at the hospital having a mammogram and an ultrasound and the result was quite positive.

The lump is an oil cyst, which is a result of the accident, as the impact has killed off quite a bit of my breast tissue, necrosis or something. Anyway, the oils from the tissue have to go somewhere and they formed cysts, so I have quite alot of them apparantly. Anyway, they aspirated it yesterday and said that it would be fine.. only to find when I got home, they hadn't done the lump that I went about.. the sore one.. ! So I am there again in four weeks. Oh joys!!

Even though I was quite sore I relished in the delight of taking my little fluffballs for their much loved walkies in the woods last night. My significant other, me and my son had a lovely long walk and the dogs were shattered.. lol. Here are some pictures of the evening.





The reveal..

After a few weeks of waiting patiently, I can now reveal my cards that I made for the lovely Phyllis  for the new board which has been released.

Here is the board -
It is a translucent board, which you can use with or without a lightbox to make your embossing easier.. and let me tell you - it's fantastic!! It is sooooo easy to use and you can stamp your images and then centre them onto the board without the hassle of having to use the nesties or anything else. What a lovely way to mount your images.

Here are some of the samples I made -

This one uses the border and the frames from the board. The little messy rabbit is one of Jo Sheen's fantastic little fella's and I coloured him in with promarkers.

Of course I had to have a dabble with a little bit of parchment craft didn't I? All shapes from the board, the little flowers were hand drawn in the centres of the circular shapes.

And this one has to be my favourite. I just love this stamp. All the products in this card are stampin up. The frames have been used to create the top layer which the flower sits on and I have used the corners for the outside edge of the card.

So... what do you think? Do you likey likey?? Well, if you do, just get in touch and I can supply the board - and of course the Eazi Score and Eazi Box if you need them.

Monday 10 August 2009

I'm on cloud nine... for now!

What a great day..

  • one card done for my magasine commission... two to go!
  • Camomile and Honey tea - soothing and calming. Makes a change from Nettle tea.
  • Kettle chips - the obligatory salt and vinegar flavour (1st one for a few weeks!)

How much better can things get? Well.. alot better if this bloomin computer's cd drive actually worked! I'll never buy another Samsung laptop again! Good job I got myself a new one a few weeks ago. hehe..

Saturday 8 August 2009

Rosie Dee's Sneaky Peak

Hi everyone.. by 'eck... it's been a busy week.. I don't know where my head is again.. lol. Never mind, I won't complain. I will be having a day off on Thursday though.. I have an urgent appointment at the hospital in the afternoon which is likely to take a few hours.. but more on that at a later date.

Anyway.. onto my sneak peek for the Rosie Dee Challenge this week.

The theme is continuing with HOLIDAY and this week we'd like you to make something along the lines of AT THE BEACH. I was going to make a holiday memory box, but couldn't find my bloomin' shells.. so had to resort to a card.. hope you like it. You can see the full version of it over on the blog.

 And just because I love you all... here's another little peeky for you..

How cute is this charm? I wish I could remember where I got it from because I love it!

How about a cup of Rosie-Dee?

It's that time again... Reveal time for last weeks challenge over at Rosie Dee. You still have time to enter the sketch challenge for this last week if you're quick.. Here's the card I made in full.

The papers are My Mind's Eye.. lovely and summery, and they have a lovely texture to them too.

A little Scooby-Doo...

Well... how could I resist? He was looking so adorable this morning.. my handsome boy. I've uploaded the photo from my photobucket account so that I can take advantage of my nice, wider main section of my blog.

I made it into a black and white photo just for a change.. Hope you like it. 


Thursday 6 August 2009

A few great quotes

One of my all time favourite sites to spend time on, is the one that belongs to Miz Booshay. She is a fantastic photographer and her shots are absolutely stunning.

Here are a few quotes I found on her site this morning.. I'm not into religious or anything like that, but ignoring that aspect.. this is so true. Enjoy!

"When someone asks me how to paint a good picture, I sometimes answer by comparing creating art to cooking a meal. Let me explain. These days there are many cooking programs to be seen on television. A chef from a famous restaurant comes out and talks about his special dishes, his secrets, his techniques. And it is true that if you follow his directions, step by step, you can make a meal just like his, and it will be delicious. In the case of art, too, by following an expert artist's directions and copying her methods, you could probably produce a picture exactly like hers. But such a picture would have no artistic value. There is really no simple "recipe" or method for creating a good drawing or painting, such as there is in cooling.

Our habits and tastes are also formed by the culture we are born into...People in different cultures have different tastes in art, just as they do i food. One style is no better, or more advanced, or more primitive than another.

But in developing one's own individual artistic style, I believe that the culture that is part of your being from childhood is of great importance. If you look deeply into the culture you were brought up in, you will find there the inspiration and the roots of your own power to create good pictures. Your ability to see and respond sensitively to the beauty of the world around you will, in turn, be transformed into the ability to create art that other people will find to be beautiful. As long as you have the visual sensitivity, you will discover that the actual techniques you need for drawing good pictures are very easy to find.
They are within you."

Mitsumasa Anno

from: Artist to artist
23 Major Illustrators Talk to Children about Their Art.

And there was this one too..

"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."

by Dr. Kent M. Keith

Roses are red...

Dilly Dilly... this must have been the first piece of music I played on the piano - many many moons ago now - Aaaaaaahhhhhh memories!

Right. Down to business.

I have taken a bit of time out this week before starting on another big magasine commission, which has given me time to get a bit of personal crafting done.

Carley's 'mum and dad in law-ish' were celebrating their Ruby Wedding Anniversary this week and they all went out for a lovely meal. I made them a special card, and this is it -

Making wedding anniversary cards is about the only time my Bookatrix board comes out of hiding. In fact, I have most of the older Keepsake boards, but never use them as I prefer to use the Eazi Box and Eazi Score boards.

I decided to make the colours a lovely ruby red and cream, which I got from the Papermill and on the cream card I went over with a wheel from Stampin Up which had been rolled over a ruby red ink. The topper was created with paper flowers, and here it is in more detail.

I used some pearly beads to finish and to add a little bit of height. I haven't made one of these cards for a while now, and I reckon it turned out quite nice.

It's also been someone's birthday this week, and I'll show you the card I made -

The lady who is recieving the card loves to bake, and apparantly makes the most delicious cakes, so I thought I'd use this cutey decoupage from Forever Friends. Here it is in close up -

This is all for now.. hope you like them.

Take care,
Love Jo x

Wednesday 5 August 2009

Especially for Phyllis..

Here's a little video especially for Phyllis, who wanted to know how to make a double pocket card. Sorry it's wonky... not sure how to turn it round.. but at least you don't need to stand on your head this time.. haha.

Tuesday 4 August 2009

Phew... six hours of work already!!

Blimey - - - I can't believe I've been up and working since half past five this morning! I was asked if I could do a bit of a blog makeover, so I've been making headers, scallop borders, buttons etc.. and just put it together on a private blog for the lovely lady concerned. I'm now sitting with my fingers crossed hoping that she'll like it.. lol..

Now, I'm just going to go and feed the hungry woofers and sit with a coffee for an hour.

Love Jo xx

Monday 3 August 2009

Card Workshops

I have at last managed to sort out a brilliant venue to hold some card workshops for all the lovely folks that ask me.

The venue has ample free parking and is very spacious for us. The classes will also be held in the evenings on a Wednesday, so .. if you would like a place, contact me and as soon as the workshops are sorted out, I can let you all know about the costs etc..

thanks everyone.

Video Tutorial - how to create an inky background

I have been asked a few times how to create this type of background, so I decided to do a little video for you - I'm quite enjoying doing these, so if there's something you need to see.. just ask!

This is the type of card which uses this background -

And here's your video.. enjoy! **just watched this myself.. and blimey, I do waffle on.. I really need to be less chatty and slow things down.. lol.. hahaha***

A Stampin' Up swap video.

I made a little swap card that me and a few fellow stampers from In Love With Stamping did a few weeks back..
I forget - like an idiot - to take a picture of the finished card, so I have borrowed this one from the site.. Mine is in the centre at the top.

Anyway, I was asked quite a few times how to make it because I wasn't that organised and forgot to add the recipe.. lol. 'Eck.. this last few weeks have been such a muddle.. haha.

So.. for all those that asked, here's the video on how to make it. It's about 8 minutes long, so hopefully it works for you.

I have done another little video too, but will upload that one mid week..
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