Thursday 31 January 2013

Thank you...

Well, it's been a few hours now since we lost our Kiara, and my mind is still playing over things. So I thought I'd do a little blog post.

I wanted to share a few cards for inspiration, from my show last weekend, but this week has taken a bit of a nosedive, and today has been horrendous with losing Kiara. However, I would like to say a very big Thank you to my buddy Tracey, who came to visit this evening. It took my mind off things and was nice to have a cuppa and a chat.

I also wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has left me messages, mailed me and facebooked me. It means alot to me, the hubby and my son and family, who loved Kiara dearly.

So. On a brighter note, onto my card for today. And as it's a brighter note, a lovely bright card!

This sailing ship is from the Build a Scene dies. I. LOVE. IT !!!!

I think this makes the perfect card for a young lad, or lassie, and is equally suitable for children and adults alike. This card was sooooo easy to make too - and it fitted perfectly onto the front of the 8 inch square card.

 Just look at the details in the dies - the skull and cross bones, the waves, the design of the ship.. it's just extraordinary.
Now, I love this little palm tree and the island. Just amazing..

I opted to go for a lovely sunset scene with a cut circle and some stunning sun rays - everyone loves a little bit of sun don't they? I know I could certainly do with some today.

I really hope you like today's card. I'll try and get back on later to share a little bit more. Until then, you all take care, and I'll leave you with this little poem we came across at the Pet Crematorium earlier today.

Though her purr has gone forever
And her paw we cannot touch, 
still we have so many memories
of the cat we loved so much.

Her memory is our keepsake
with which we'll never part, 
God has her in his keeping
we have her in our hearts.

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Goodnight Kiara

Today is a very sad day in the Austin Household. Today is the day we lost our little furbaby, Kiara cat.

She was a funny little character, always full of fun. Some days you didn't know how to take her - maybe she'd act like she wanted a love and a cuddle, but when you tried she would make it plain and simple that she absolutely did NOT! lol.

In her later years - she would've been 14 in June, Kiara had a habit of sitting in things, or on things, maybe part due to the fact that we found her at around two weeks old, dumped in a carrier bag with her siblings. She was raised by us, and the only person she really loved was her daddy Leyton. Anyone else... forget it!

Over the past year, she spent time outside, sitting out on the patio, or just outside the door. Never wanting to venture more than a few yards outside. Mainly to lick the concrete ( yes, told you she was a bit strange!) and to flop around. Here she is looking perfect, just like we should remember her.

And then this is the usual pose... flat on her back, tummy to the world.

One of Kiara's other loves was her daddy. Here she is, making it obvious that SHE is the most important thing to him... not college work.. just her! She became the most loving, perfect little cat. A far cry from the scratchy, clawy, little vindictive horror that she was when she was little.

RIP Kiara Puss... as Leyton said - You found each other, You loved each other, You'll always be together. Always.

Play nice over Rainbow Bridge my little darling. Run free and out of pain with all our furbabies up there. You were uniquely amazing. We will never forget you. Love you forever.

14th June 1999 - 30th January 2013

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Something a little pressing....

Evening all!

Another late one from me, as I've been busy creating in the Craft Room - something to show you in a few days when it's finished me thinks.. but it's looking mighty cute tonight!!!

How've you all been? This weekend has been a busy one for me - I was demoing at the Range in Rotherham on Saturday, lots of snow around after the downpouring on Friday night, and hence not alot of folks wanting to venture out. Can't say I blame them - it was bloomin' freezing!!!!

Sunday was a better day, after the rain on Saturday evening, as it had washed most of the snow away so it was a good drive to Peterborough for Create and Craft. I was showing the XCut Build a scene dies on the Tool Shed... my oh my, I love these dies.. and I promise I will be back with photos tomorrow. They are on my camera (yes! I took them with the actual camera because *I think* they are wonderful!)

Today, I've had a lovely day with the hubby.. doing usual boring stuff like shopping. I even got creative in the kitchen too and made a rather scrumptious chicken, ham and leek pie!!! Hairy bikers eat your heart out!

So onto tonight, and other than creating my little (or not so little!) masterpiece which needs finishing off and dressing up tomorrow. That's going to have to be a post for later in the week. So, I'm afraid, it's just a little card firstly.... 

 This was one that I had on Create and craft when we had the Pick of the Week. We had some wonderful embossing folders and stamps on the show, and with this one I decided to do a little bit of a distressed letterpress technique.

Now, I'm not a grungy sort of crafter, but loved the old feel this had to it.
To do this effect, just ink up the inside of the embossing folder, place your card inside and run it through the machine. It gives you a totally different look to the folder. When I had finished the embossing, I just ran an ink pad lightly over the top to shade the letters in a different colour.

 Lovely eh?

The topper for the card was done using the Botanical urban stamps - another of my favourites...

This second project for today features a layout I did on the Digital Designer using the Birdsong DVD. Love that disc!! And I can see me keep using it for many things. It's just soooo pretty and the colours in there are fab.

This layout was done using the buntings, and overlay, papers and photos.
Here's the texture on the photo... my daughter took the picture in Kent, and I thought it would look lovely as a canvas, so I went into the overlay section on the program and pulled one over. It completely changes the look of it from a flat style photograph.

 This corner was one of the ready made decorations on the disk. Don't forget if you're wanting a ready made scrapbook layout to drop your photos into, you can do this digitally too using the Ploppers section. There are a few to choose from!!

Well, I hope you enjoyed these samples that I've been sharing from the Birdsong DVD. Tomorrow, I want to share some inspiration using the new XCut dies. So until then...

Happy Crafting!!

Friday 25 January 2013

Two posts in one week?

Well, surely that must be some sort of miracle for me lately isn't it??

How are we all anyway? I've had a relatively good day, lots of die cutting and sticking done here. And although I'd love to show you, I really can't just yet. After Sunday I can share.. **wink wink**.

Today, however, I have a little card or two to share with you...

 These are two that were featured on my Pick of the Week, and as you can see, I've combined the Birdsong papers with some of the Urban stamps that were on the show.

With this one above, I've stamped the botanical urban stamps in chocolate Artiste ink, then inked the edges in the same tone. They give a wonderful background and look so delicate. The butterflies are also stamped from the set, and then inked with dark yellow inks.

This one below uses a few different things.

I backed the card with the birdsong papers, then die cut the bird cage from an Xcut die - aren't these pretty? The bird and key are from the Urban stamp set, and just coloured over with different inks. The birdcage was embossed in enchanted gold, black and copper powders.

I hope you like the cards today. You never know, I may be on again tomorrow - I'm hoping too, although I'm working down in Rotherham tomorrow at the Range, then on Sunday I'm back at Create and Craft from 12pm.. Hopefully the snow won't stay around for too long so my journeys are both successful!!!!

Wish me luck. Whatever you're doing over the weekend, I hope that you keep nice, snuggly and warm, and keep safe.

Happy Crafting all! xxx

Thursday 24 January 2013


Hello again!

Sorry it's taken me a few days to update my ol' blog with a few more things for you to look at, but this week has been a bit of a hard one for us.

Our little cat Kiarra, is very poorly, and we've had to make the hard decision of what to do for the best.

She went to the vets two weeks ago because her top teeth had fallen out in a matter of a couple of days. They thought there were underlying causes, but most importantly, she had a bad tooth which they needed to get out. 

Now, because of the anaesthetic, they decided it was best to do a blood test as she is nearly 14, to make sure it would be safe. She had also lost 10% of her body weight since September which is apparantly quite alot. 

Anyway, to cut a long story short, a phone call from the vets last week questioned the fact that the results were indeed right as the levels of red and white cells were very high (and I mean REALLY high - so high that the vet, nor the lab, had ever seen anything like it!) And repeat bloods were done straight away. 

They've concluded that the first set were right, and unfortunately she has leukaemia. This is quite a shock to us, as you can imagine, as we thought she was just looking her age. But the photo today, I think, shows just how poorly she is looking. It's a hard decision to make - that final choice - but I'm sure we'll manage to make it. Today, she was sat on knee, photo above, wanting lots of cuddles and pawsie holding. She loves to hold your fingers in her front paw. 

Anyway.. on a brighter note, today, I thought I would share a little card with you from the new Birdsong DVD that was our Pick of the Week this week. 

 I think I'm a bit in love with this disc, I must admit... I mean, just look at this card. Beautiful lacy edges, wooden panels, fantastic greeting.. what is there not to like?

I added an overlay to the bunting and printed them out, so I could create a 'proper' card. I carefully cut around the outside of the lace as to not lose any of the stitching detail.

The flowers were done using the bloomers flowers on the disc and then cut into and curled with a pair of tweezers to give them more dimension.

Look at the greeting.. isn't it just perfect? I love this style of card... and you know what? I think I may just make some more!!

Onto my next project for you.. and this is a quick, very easy, scrapbook page.

I started with a plopper from the disc, and just pulled in my photos and placed them behind the frames. This is going to be the front page of a 2012 album to record my very pretty flowers that I grew all by myself!!!

The only thing I had to add on to the page - other than the photos, was the lettering  DIARY and the journalling up at the top.

I have TOTALLY  loved working with these two new discs - Happy Birthday to you, and Birdsong. I am sure, if you managed to grab yours, that you will fall in love with them too!!

Monday 21 January 2013

A thoughtful post...

Hello again....

Today, I had quite a bit of time to think whilst heading down to Peterborough again, as I'm doing another week at Create and Craft with Docrafts DVD Pick of the Week. Driving is the perfect time for that isn't it?

I often listen to the radio whilst on a long run in the car, and Radio 2 is what I have on most often. Today, I was missing the short five minutes food for thought (or whatever they call it!) as it was later in the day when I travelled. 

Funnily enough, tonight I was browsing a few of my favourite blogs and came across a fantastic idea for Random acts of Kindness. (RAK) It just reminded me of the Radio 2 show, when you hear, or read, something that sparks that feeling inside that you can maybe bring a smile to someone. 

The first blog was one of someone I have known for a few years, and had the utter priviledge to work with at a large craft show in Liverpool. The blog belongs to fellow Docrafts demonstrator Keren Baker. The post I want you to look at tonight is HERE. Just read through it and you will realise what an amazing person, mother and all round good person she is. I totally love the idea of just sending a random card in the mail to a postcode you choose. What a wonderful idea!

This prompted me to investigate further the idea of the Birthday Project, and I found a few different things on Google... including this site HERE. I'm definately in thinking mode now - so watch this space! A little bit of kindness may be coming your way - you never know!!! 

So, what act of kindness have you done today? I'd like to think I'd done a few.... Over the last two days, I hope I've bought a smile to a few faces, and alot of people have bought a smile to mine. You know, that's the lovely thing about working within such a close community like Create and Craft, or Docrafts - different strokes, different paths, different people - but all happy in their work, and share their cheery-up-iness with everyone else. True, you do get some grumps, but overall it's a happy place!

Sometimes, it's nice just to stop and think about what you've got in life. Be thankful for those things you have, and I am truly thankful for those I have in mine - my husband, my children, my sister in law Tilly, my special Sis Lesley (aka Wilma!) and my many wonderful friends. 

And if something isn't working for you, then be strong enough to change it. I changed quite alot of my life around three years ago, a big decision I had to choose to 'make or break'.. and I chose 'break'. It was THE best decision of my life and one I wish I'd made years ago! You live and learn eh? But looking back... without putting up with all the s*** for most of my life, when I did make that break, I wouldn't have realised how fantastic life could be without it (or them, as the case may be! *wink*)

Again, to finish off my pondering, thoughtful post, I came across these quotes. I hope you like them. 

Goodnight!! xxx
  • "I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I'm out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best" Marilyn Monroe.  
  • "I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together." Marilyn Monroe.
  • Keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life's a beautiful thing and there's so much to smile about. 
  • When it comes down to it, let them think what they want. If they care enough to bother what you do, then you're already better than them!
And just in case you want a few more... check THESE ones out here! Enjoy!!

Thursday 17 January 2013

balloon's away....

Hi de Hi.... How are we all?

Urgh... isn't it cold this last couple of days? I'm sat here in bed, wrapped up in my duvet, complete with fluffy pyjamas and thermal socks and the electric blanket and heating on, and I'm still cold!!!! 

I'm sure I'll warm up at some point, although yesterday I had a little adventure in the snow! I took my furbabies for their daily walkies and little Truly - the Ginger Whinger - decided she wasn't going to sit in the back of the car and wait for her lead, she was going to take herself-a-venturing! 

Now, those who know my little collection of woofers, would know that Scooby and Holly - perfect off the lead (they probably don't even know what a lead is for!) but Truly, well, she can be a little bit of a tearaway. 
Here she is looking like a rogue that she is - waiting to have her tummy-rubbles. 

She is going blind - albeit she is only 6 - but her degenerative eye condition isn't helping her.. so when she gets off the lead she just runs... and runs.... and runs..... and runs. Get the picture?? In fact, the only time that she comes back to me (yes, she suffers from selective hearing and ignorance too!) is when she feels like it. I remember being sat up in our local woods for near on three hours until she decided to return - all the time, poor Scooby thinking his throat had been cut as he'd not had his dinner, and little Hollypops wondering what all the waiting around was for!

Anyway, I digress. My adventure. Yes, Truly decided to help herself out of the car and leg it down the park! My heart went in my stomach as I thought "here we go... another three hour stint" but alas, she was running, then came back to me. I popped her on her lead and told her she was a good girl, then we walked a while before I went with my heart and let her off her lead again, just to try her. And she legged it! Again! Ratbags!

She wasn't too bad until she got a whiff of something and off she went, out of sight, running down the path.. I was getting frantic, trying to sound calm and positive... I put the other two in the car and went on a Truly search. But no longer had I took a step back onto the park, than she came running up to me, looking around for Scoobs and Holly, and sat near my feet. What a good girl! I'm so proud of her for being good and coming back to me, but my heart sinks when she isn't on the lead as she is a bit of a worrier and she is easily panicked if she can't see the other two. 

We eventually got home and I set to work creating lots of loveliness for Friday's Pick of the Week on Create and Craft. I can't show you any samples yet, that would just be unfair, but I will show you this lovely creation. 

When I saw the hot air balloon, I thought it was going to be a bit difficult to put with my more prettier collections (!) but I decided to colour it in, layer it up as it was designed and place it with my spots and stripes. I know it's quite simple but I like this style of card. It's just 'me'.

I was going to share it with you yesterday, but with one thing or another, by the time my body hit the bed, and I picked up the laptop, my eyes were plaiting and I couldn't focus. I was soooo tired. Surely it's the weather isn't it??

Well, I hope you all get inspired looking at all the sumptuous projects using the lovely Chronology range. Remember, it isn't just masculine - you can make it look girly and pretty too!

If you use it, I'd love for you to leave a comment or two so I can nip over to leave you some blog lovin' too!

until next time - Happy Crafting!

Monday 14 January 2013

Catching up... or starting anew??

I'm really not sure where my head has been this past few weeks, but it's really not been connecting with the old blogging malarky... lol.

However, as one of my Resolutions for 2013, I am going to practice being more organised, and try not to leave everything to the last minute. For those who know me, know I have always had Procrastination as my middle name. It certainly doesn't help with the stress at times, and I know it doesn't help with my anxiety problems.. !

So.. I'm here. Making an appearance on my blog. Something relatively new to me for this year so far.. but I really wanted to share with you a few more projects, as I often get asked to at my demo's.

Firstly, I want to share a card I made for a recent show down at Create and Craft. I was working with a few of the wonderful Capsule Collections from Papermania / Docrafts, and the Parkstone Pink is one of my favourites. I just really like the subtle shading of the pinks, the plaids are so pretty and the extra embellishments you get work really well.

Here you can see that I've used some of the Blitters (glittery flowers) and one of the borders. I've also added a strip of the glitter papers as these are really lovely!

I was asked at my demo on Saturday, by a few ladies who had watched the show, how I created the leaves as they had missed the start of that demo. Quite simply, fold a piece of green card in half, cut a rough leaf shape from it and plonk it in your ribbler and wind it through.

Now, for those that don't know.. this is a paper ribbler -

I'm pretty sure you will find one at a craft shop near you. They are relatively cheap but are great fun!

The next card I want to share with you is this one..

I have combined a couple of paper ranges for this card, namely the Lincoln Linen capsule collection and the Vintage Notes. I have done a little bit of inking edges and distressy-scratchy-rippy type of effect on some of the layers. Not my style usually, but I think that it works really well with these papers.

I've added a few embellishments - bows and blitters again - to give it a bit of pizazz. I hope you like it as much as I have enjoyed making it!

So.. tomorrow, I'm continuing with my cutting out - today was the day for printing, printing, printing of some new Papermania CD's that are due to come to your screen this week.. and tomorrow will be the cutting, sticking and the general fun part!!

I will promise to try and do a new post everyday. I am planning my blogging routine in my head as we speak.. and as soon as I am done here, it will be going down on paper! How organised for me eh?!

Well.. I hope you get to see some of the new ranges of papercrafts in a store near you ... pop along and see some of our Docrafts demonstrators for a few ideas and a little bit of inspiration. I know you'll enjoy your day. You can check out the events section on the Docrafts website - to see where your nearest one will be.

Until next time,
Happy Crafting everyone!!!

Saturday 12 January 2013

Wednesday 9 January 2013

A right l'il cutie!

First things first... I just need to say I AM IN LOVE!

As you may - or may not - be aware, I absolutely love anything cutey-fied... so, it's absolutely no surprise that  the new characters from Country Companions, bought to us by Docrafts, was on my 'need to have' list as soon as I saw them!

These are quite small stamps, so absolutely perfect for those little cards you want to make, but as you can see, they are a beautifully stamped image, which are honestly an absolute doddle to colour in!

Here's my card.

I have taken the opportunity to get my mitts onto the Vintage Notes papers again - love love love this range so much!! Such beautiful delicate colours and isn't this background blue rose paper stunning??? Did I tell you I love it?!

As you can see, the Vintage Notes has a wonderful textured feel to it too. The colours are delicate, the patterns soft, quite perfectly pretty vintage! I scratched around the edge of the papers and card layers with the craft knife (blunt of course!). A few gems just finished the label off.

You like my flowers? Well.. you can buy these too.. ready crocheted and ready for your cards. I can do these, but why would I waste a valuable 20 minutes when this is all it would take to finish my card?

I added some of the new fab Bakers Twine to the button too as a decoration. The buttons are Vintage Notes too - a mahoooooosive bag of multicoloured, multisized buttons at a totally ridiculous price! Go check   it out... you'll see what I mean!

The leaves were cut freehand from a folded green card, then run through the ribbler to create the veining.

And finally.. my bunny!

Isn't he the cutest little thing? I've coloured him in with the Artiste brush markers - the vintage colours were perfect for my little guy. Once coloured, he was then matted and layered onto white and blue to match in with the card.

I have linked to all products within my post so you can check them out.. I really hope you like my card. It will be making an appearance at a demo near you soon! lol.

Until next time,
Happy Crafting!!!

Anxiety anyone?

Just so I don't lose this bookmark, I thought I would share it on my blog... I will write more about this issue I - and it seems lots more folks - are having with anxiety.. but not tonight.. I'm just too tired... lol.

Here you go.
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