Tuesday 17 January 2012

10 things about ...... just me!

After checking out my favouritest blogs this week, I came across this FAB idea by the ever lovely Emma Collins... click on Em's name to go to the page..

Basically, post 10 things about yourself for your blog readers.. so here goes me!

1. I started my blog - on a whim - in May 2007, and the name has changed quite a few times as I have a tendency to change my mind ... lol. So, I purchased my .co.uk link so I didn't forget where I was looking! I love blogging, when I have chance, but this year I am aiming to blog a little bit more often than I had been late last year! I also want to be a bit more chatty and interactive, so if you have any ideas - let me know! (mmm.. this one's failing drastically as it's taken me about four days so far to do this post...!)

2. I began my working life as a hairdresser. I did my apprenticeship with a lovely lady called Jean over in Chesterfield. I then moved to Doncaster and did hairdressing, Marks and Spencers clothes machinist, lots of cleaning jobs, working in a chippy, became a qualified (with letters after my name!!) photographer, then got offered my job as a demonstrator with Docrafts and the rest, they say, is history. I love what I do, it's the best job in the world, but I'm never totally happy with what I make. However, I always say that when I do get to that position, then I'll probably stop doing it because the challenge isn't there anymore.

3. I married my lovely hubby way back in 1987... and this year we are celebrating our Silver Anniversary. We have three wonderful children, but after my second in 1990, I had really bad Post Natal Depression (and it was really bad!) but I survived it. I still have the bad days even now, but I pull myself out of it and tell myself that I really have nothing to feel bad about. I also find that cleaning and crafting help those bad days.Cleaning?? Really....?? Well, it works for me!

4. Two out of three of our beautiful wooflets are rescue spaniels. As you may guess, we have three spaniels. Two springers - Holly and Scooby, and a cocky cocker - Truly. Our alsation had just died and after just six weeks, Holly was bought on the spot when my son and I saw her (much to the hubby's disgruntlement! lol). It was just lovely to hold a puppy in my arms and losing Asti was still raw, so it didn't take much convincing! Scooby came to live with us six months later. He was 18 months old at the time and his owners didn't want him anymore for various reasons, so he'd been put into rescue. Truly came to us six months after this after arriving in England from Ireland. She'd had a bad start in life, and even now, years later, she is still pretty much the oddball she ever was and has a few 'problems' shall we say..... I will do a post about each of them very soon so you get to know them a little better!

5. I have been a 'cuddly' size for years.. but 2012 is the year this is not the case!! After telling myself for years that being a slightly larger than average ( !! ) size is okay, and I'm fit but fat, and I don't mind being big.. all the usual things! ... now I can see that it simply isn't true. For years I told myself that other people who had lost lots of weight didn't know what they were on about, and how could you feel different.. it was a load of tosh.. and I was DEFINATELY happy how I was. They're just saying it was what I thought. But no. I do feel better, and I realise that I wasn't happy how I was and it was exhausting just trying to stay jolly! I am currently around 7 stone lighter than what I was in July 2011, and I still have a way to go. But I'll get there!

6. My name is Jo Austin and I'm a procrastinator! How bad does that sound?! But yes, confession time - and this is definately one of my failings. I tell myself that I am trying to be organised, but in reality it's procrastination. Again, 2012 is the year this is happening no more! I am being mega organised with the help of the Day Timer blog, and my favouritest filofax blog.

7. Organisation isn't one of my strongest points. (what .. you mean I have a strong point???) I try to be, and on occasions I succeed.. but with the development of mobile phones with calendars, reminders and organisers, surely I'm getting better? Well, simply. Nope! After trying most forms of techniques to keep me on the straight and narrow, I still come down to my trusty A5 filofax. I've tried various sizes of diaries, but this one suits me better. I scribble, doodle, make notes, do reminders, sort out my day, plan my month, check the bills... all in one place! I love my filofax, but I love the philofaxy blog even more!

8. I am not just a cardmaker. I dabble with scrapbooking - albeit not all that successfully - and other crafts. I also take photographs (lots!) after becoming a qualified photographer and also teaching the subject. But I also like to draw, and paint, and play around on Photoshop. I've always been quite artsy, always keeping my hands busy with something, be it crochet, knitting or cross stitch. So I guess it was inevitable that I would start cardmaking at some point. Cutting, sticking and colouring in is great fun!

9. I love people. All my life I've done jobs where people are the main focus, and I love observing their ways, how they interact, seeing what makes them tick... and I find it quite amusing sometimes. I often find myself saying 'I'm glad I'm not like that'.. or 'I wish I was more like that'.. but generally, I'm just me. Like it or lump it.

10. Blimey.. number 10 has been hard to get to!! There are so many things about me that not alot of people know, and I quite like it like that. I have been told many times I have a brick wall, my own little bubble.. but you know what? I like my bubble! It's safe, warm and welcoming (most of the time!!). And yes, it's complicated, confusing, funny, awkward, sarcastic... but that's just me!

Saturday 14 January 2012

It's all becoming clearer!!!

I've been spending the last few days, in between work prep and tv stuff, trying to neaten up my blog. It's been getting very cluttered recently, and I have lost a few links and stuff with all my editing..

  • My links are now all in one place under 'My Favourite blogs' .
  • My demo's are on a new Page under 'Things to do, places to be'.
  • My labels are intact (although need clearing up!) and everything is now 'getting there'..
If anyone is missing who wants linking, please let me know.

Have fun looking through my blog listings - these were mostly ones taken from my blog during my Stampin' Up days... which are well and truly over!

Thursday 12 January 2012

Positive thinking..

This morning, I've had my usual jot around Facebook and noticed a crackin' post by Emma Collins.. which was talking about another post on a Blog, and it was all about Positive Thinking.

I have been trying since the New Year to think more positively, and things are starting to pay off. I do try to be positive most of the time, until it drastically fails, but last year found things getting to me sometimes, and then I started to get a little more temperamental (ahem.. ) than usual. It does tend to inflict on your life sometimes when things start to 'get to you'.... and this is where my other resolution of 'out with old, in with the new' came in.

I also think that when you have had depression, which I have in the past, when you start to feel that things aren't going to plan, or things start to get you down, you do get those really bad days where things seem worse than they are. The 'dips' seem worse than they would for others.

Now confession time - I did have one day this week where I buckled to my own resolution and made that call I said I wouldn't do... and I kicked myself for doing it.. never again! Never, ever!

Anyway. Enough waffle. HERE's the link to the Positive thinking post.. it will make you think, it certainly did me.

Thank you Photofairy for the fab post!

Monday 9 January 2012

Are you keeping up?

I did my Resolutions list on my last post... and so far is so good! I'm keeping up with them.. well, to a degree.. the 'being organised' one is being done today - but better late than never eh?

The 'Out with the old, in with the new' is going okay. And I'm not regretting it for a minute, and so far have been working on the OLD bit.. I'm keeping my promise to myself and feeling great about it too. The New side of it will be commencing this week when I get a minute! lol.

I am really pleased that this week I was down at Create and Craft doing three shows (more on this later.. ) and I met the wonderfully lovely Jane Greenoff. What a really nice lady! We were both talking about the New Year, and our Resolutions and we both said that we were going to be more organised... I'm not sure how Jane's is going, but mine isn't doing too bad. I've got plans to write up for the Blog, and lists that need to be listed!!

De-cluttering - well... this one is going superbly well!! I even spent an hour yesterday sorting out my demo bag for this past weekend, and put everything where it should be. All little bits of paper that I won't use have been thrown away, and my clutter has been tidied.. result!! It is a fantastic feeling walking into a tidy craft room, already to start the next crafting episode!

Now... the photography side... well.. that hasn't happened. However, I've been playing with my new Flip video over the past few days to get more used to it - so hold on to your horses.. more video tutorials coming soon!!! It's fab. And I love it. Soooo easy to use.

Let me know, how are you doing with your Resolutions!? Are you keeping them?

So.. onto Create and Craft, and I had a great time. Thank you so much for your emails. Sorry if we didn't get chance to read them all out, but I did see them. There was a lovely picture sent in from Nicola (NJ) and I was in awe of it. Nicola, if you're reading this, please send it to me so I can show it on my blog.

The first show I was doing glass painting with Martin, the second was acrylic painting with Leonie and the third was with Howard, and a mix of glass and acrylic painting.

The three hours went very quickly, but it was great fun. As I said, I'd been talking to Jane in the Green Room, in between our shows, as we were both there all day, and she is a lovely person. Very calming, and very funny. She was showing me the new Cross Stitch designer program for the computer - and I must admit, I'm quite tempted.. But. I haven't done much cross stitch for a few years, and the pieces she showed me has totally inspired me to start again!

So, on Friday, I picked up a needle, some threads, some linen and started stitching. Just in the evenings, but it's been nice to keep my fingers busy and be sat in the room with the wooflets and hubby and have an hour chillin' and sewin'.

I'll show you the finished results when I'm completed! lol.

I've also this week had my first demo for 2012.. I was really excited to be visiting Craft Central again, because I knew the lovely Jackie was going to be there. She is such an inspiring person, so friendly, and genuine, and a pleasure to know.

The demo went really well, and I had a great time with new and old customers who came to see the new Docrafts products being shown - and what a lovely range there is this month too!! Such freshness for January - the pinks, the blues, the royal colours.. just fab!! And the Diggity Dog... oh wow... lovely woofers - evidently I love this range!!!

And if you fancy winning some of the new range of papers, Docrafts are giving away 23 sets worth over £40 each... just click HERE to enter.

This month's prizes include all paper sizes, mini buttons, blitters, ribbons, bows and more.. Here's a peep..

Fab eh?

Right.. must make a move - it's Craft Class tomorrow so I need to get sorted.

Until next time, Happy Crafting!!

Tuesday 3 January 2012


Come on.. own up.. who stole my time??

It seems so long since I managed to get online to share any projects - although what I've been working on for the past few weeks I can't share as yet.. some were for the upcoming Creativity magasine, others are for some Create and Craft shows that are on on Thursday.. so as you can guess, things are anything but quiet.

I had also wanted to nip on to wish you all a very Happy New Year.

Thank you so much for all your visits this past year, it's been lovely having you visit me ol' blog, and leaving wonderful comments and emails along the way. Link
I will be sorting out my blog over the next week or so, there are new things going to appear on here, things are being reorganised and sorted all ready for 2012! So, watch this space..

I've also made my list of Resolutions - some of which are the same as last year..

1. Get more organised.
2. De-clutter as I go.
3. Out with the old, and in with the new.
4. Take more photographs - and maybe scrapbook them?!

There are others there as well, but the first three are my priority.

Number one - will be helped with my favourite blog, Philofaxy. There is always loads of information on there that is useful, as well as links to other organisational blogs. And of course, I loves me filofaxes!

Number two - well, I started this just before Christmas. I sorted and categorised some of my stamps that are always hung in the craft room. I also threw out lots of bits of paper that I'd kept 'just in case!'.

Number three - well, where to start with this one? This is my main promise to myself.. Out with the old..... I've often kept in touch with folks because I felt I ought to. This year, carrying on with something I started a few years ago, I am no longer going to keep trying with friendships that simply aren't working. And I am going to treasure friendships made along the way, where despite everything, are still special.

Sometimes, it seems to be ME that makes all the effort, and for my own sanity, this has to stop! I can't keep calling people to say HI because they said they'd ring me and they haven't.... So for 2012, this is not going to happen.

As for the 'in with the New'... well, the opportunities are there to be taken, and they will be. I have been asked to do a few things in the last couple of months that I thought were a bit out of my comfort zone, but in fact, it's just confidence in myself that was lacking. I often over-think things and end up sending myself dotty! But now, I'm going to try not to over think. Just get on with it. Be more positive about my abilities. And go forward!

I have achieved so much this past 12 months, as I say, and it's obviously just a mind over matter. So, watch this space..

Whatever your Resolutions are, please share them with me.. it would be lovely to hear them.

And any hints and tips on organisation - let me know! I need all the help I can get! And of course, a new Page is going to be created to give hints and tips I find out. lol.
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