When you make a conscious choice to be happy, no one can take it away from you because no one gave it to you: you gave it to yourself.

A quote from April Green's - Bloom For Yourself Journal

Monday 31 December 2012

Looking backwards & forwards

Well here we are, the last day of the year and what a year it was!

I know I wasn't going to post, but seeing everyone looking back over their memories I thought I'd jump on board & share some of mine too!

Health-wise it was rubbish - I'm a lot worse now than I was this time last year, and I've had to accept changes and adapt even more than before. I've had to buy the blue wheels which I now use when necessary. But on a positive note - I now know so much more about my conditions and how they effect my body and am lucky enough to have a specialist hospital nearby who have supported me so much.

But this isn't about that, this is about my memories so let's take a look - 

Okay those of you with any knowledge of shoe fashion will notice those gorgeous red soles, oh yes, Louboutins! Though I confess not mine, but as the owner wears the same size as me I had to try them on, but I stayed sat down the whole time. I mean, me walk in those heels.........never going to happen!

Costa breakfast - over the last few months of going in to hospital me and my mum have enjoyed many of these.

The view from my seat at The Memorial Stadium, Bristol Rovers. Can't beat an evening game, something magical about those lights.

Saturday at The Mem - crisp cold afternoon, blue sky, though I confess there's been little to cheer football wise!

I love this picture and only wish I could have had a go!

A very happy day took place in October meeting up with fellow WOYWW crafter's. We had such fun and it was so lovely to meet many lovely ladies in person.

 Then in November myself & my good friend Debs went up to Milton Keynes to meet up with my fellow Crafty Boots Design Team, we had a fun, fab and crafty time.

A highlight of that weekend was visiting the very lovely and talented Gabrielle and visiting her studio! Wow, I loved it here we are together in the studio!

On a personal note, seeing my boy grow into a young man who now towers over me and become a kind and caring person has filled me with so much pride. Seeing him enjoy his horse riding, doing so well at school & choosing his GCSE subjects (scary stuff!) and for us both to enjoy so many football trips together.

And enjoy a few puddings too!

So what will 2013 bring? Who knows, but it'll be fun finding out I'm sure!

Whatever you are doing at Midnight, enjoy it but take care. Me..... I shall be tucked up in bed long before the bongs of  Big Ben so I'll bid you a Happy New Year now!

Take care Zo xx

Saturday 29 December 2012

Just catching up...

Hello everyone - hope you all had a super Christmas!

I've been rather quiet I know, having to rest up, but it was worth as we had a fab Christmas. So I thought I'd share some pics with you all.

My beautiful Christmas flowers.

Keagan trying to work out how to play his new game!

My mum sorting the aftermath of lunch.

Me and my boy taken Christmas evening.  Our friend's were down from Yorkshire so we went to their parent's house for the evening to catch up with everyone. 

We tend to have quiet festivities compared to some, and that'll continue for New Year, we'll be in bed long before midnight!

I don't expect I'll post again till next year now!!! I love saying that, so childish really but funny! 

Take care everyone and enjoy whatever you are doing over the next few days.
Zo xx

Monday 24 December 2012

LADS tags only

Good Morning, how are we?

I confess I am just a little excited about the visit of the big red man tonight! Eeek, I'm sure I've been a good girl (what do you reckon?) so hoping for a few presents, wonder if there will be any crafty stash type presents....

Anyway I'm here today to share with you my DT project for the latest challenge over at Crafty Boots Challenge Blog, the theme is LADS TAGS ONLY.

SO we want to see tags, obviously, and they must be for the boys, no girls allowed. Looking forward to seeing your creations.

Here's my tag - 

I'll be honest, I had no plan, I just played! I started by covering the tag with London Blue Dylusions ink, then laying down the brick mask and spraying Melted Chocolate Dylusions ink through. I dried it all and then got to work with stamps, randomly choosing different stamps from Wendy Vecchi and Dylusions.

This bottle was a stamp I had as part of a kit, I covered it with Picket Fence distress stain then once dry, I applied Crackle Paint over the top and dried it. Then I rubbed Chocolate pearl paint over it with my finger working it into the crackles before rubbing off the excess. I added brads and the label.

All over the tag I got to work with a white pen, randomly picking out details.  The chain is a leftover bit from a necklace I think and I thought I'd add it to this tag.

At the end I looked at the tag and realised I think my message is enjoy life, and perhaps take on board inspiration and bottle it up for another day! 

Hope you like it. Now I'm off to clock watch and no doubt I will go to bed really early as I'll be up before Keagan tomorrow insisting he gets up so we can go open presents! Yes I'm the biggest kid in this house.

Take care Zo xx

Wednesday 19 December 2012

No desk but thought I'd share some of the cards I've made for Christmas

Hello everyone.

As I've given out all my cards now I thought I'd just share a few of the ones I made. I confess I didn't make all of my cards this year.  My health has made making over 100 cards too difficult, so only special people got cards made by me!!

Here's a few - 

I made many cards with similar design of these stamped bauble cards, in lots of colours too. The character cards are from the Hunkydory and Kanban Christmas blockbuster kits. 

Right I'm going to pop by a few of your blogs and see what you've been up to.

Take care Zo xx

Wednesday 12 December 2012

WOYWW 184 - Oddies

Good Afternoon everyone!

Phew running a bit late with my desk today but I've been catching up on different things & easing myself into the day after falling getting into the shower earlier! 

I'm okay! Bit sore but nothing a spot of rest and a good old lie down won't cure I'm sure, well till tomorrow when I expect to be rather stiff and sore!

Right the desk -

It's all about Some Odd Girls, I've been colouring lately and generally playing with the stamps, I even made the hanging, you can see there on the desk, which you can see in full detail on the Crafty Boots site.
I love colouring these images, they are great fun & appeal to my style!

I've been trying to colour paler images as I tend to go for the bold and bright so on the pile of images already coloured is a paler looking Kaylee!

Right pop over the Julia's to check in for this week's desk hop that is a worldwide weekly wander of wonderful workspaces! (See that there alliteration!!!)

Lastly a huge thank you to everyone who popped by mine last week despite the fact I never got to anyone's desk :( sitting at the pooter is a trying task of late, one that means a full on lie-down after posting just this, not helped by that shower slip earlier!. But I have to grit my teeth and type this post to the end.....cos... well... it . just . has. to. be . done!!!!!

Take care Zo xx

Monday 10 December 2012

Crafty Boots does Christmas!

Good afternoon everyone - I'm back today to share with you all my project I made for the latest challenge over at Crafty Boots challenge blog. No surprises that the theme is CHRISTMAS!

I wanted to make a decoration to hang in my kitchen window, my colour theme is lime green, white & turquoise accents so I took some bauble stamps, dies to cut them out, appropriate colour ink pads & Crafty Boots deluxe card plus some white felt, gems & Star Dust Stickles to decorate and got to work to create this dimensional decoration - 

I basically stamped out the baubles, cut them out using the dies through my Cuttlebug and then took 3 at a time. Scored 2 down the centre & stuck them together and then stuck those 2 to the third. It's a very simple process once you get your head around it. Once all the bauble pieces were ready I roughly cut a circle to which I arranged the baubles using both flat & dimensional glue to keep the bauble at different heights, this last photo shows a closer look at how I arranged them. Once it was all dry I stuck a small circle which I had covered with the white felt I had die cut over the top to hide the centre area. Added gems and went a little mad with the Stickles!

To finish I attached ribbon to the main section and then glued it between the matching baubles to create a dangling display. More gems and Stickles were added. 

It is now hanging in my window and gently moves & twinkles and looks rather fetching even if I say so myself.

I can't wait to see what you all come up with for our challenge, how about thinking outside the box and coming up with your own decoration or something different than your normal style?

On a personal note, apologies once again for my lack of  blog visits & comments, I'm having to rest up lots & every time I try to catch up with things I end up going round in circles!! 

I'll get there! 

Take care Zo xx

Wednesday 5 December 2012

WOYWW 183 - stuff!

Hello my friends!

Firstly a quick apology for not getting round many of you last week, I just haven't been able to sit at the laptop for too long.  Another hospital appointment sees me struggling again after having my legs, knees specifically, bent every which way and pins stuck in me!! But that was good, cos it showed that it is my conditions causing problems not anything  horrible happening with my spine. Phew! My knees are a strange set of problems but I'll not bore you with those this time of the morning!

So the desk, poorly lit, but I confess I'm only showing half my work space because there are things on the other side I don't want people to see (Christmas presents!) -

So there's the box of Card Candi, a pile of .....erm.... leftover sheets I need to put away cos I've used some of the images from them. The rather lovely Creative Expressions project book which I bought cos our very own Gabrielle has a project in there (to be honest that's the reason I bought it!!). Then there's a character I coloured and a decoration I made!

Closer look at the colouring - I tried different colours to do the red hair after seeing different combinations on Pinterest. I'm rather pleased with it and love the vibrancy. Wish my own hair would look like that!

Time to see Keagan off to school before I go back to bed, yep being lazy. But on a serious note my fatigue has stepped up a few notches so I'm resting and sleeping when I can.  I've found if I do sleep in the morning  I tend to sleep better at night. So far anyway. I just go with what my body is telling me, though yesterday I could have slept all day! 

Right lovely people take care out there.
Love Zo xx

Wednesday 28 November 2012


Hello my desk hopping friends and, of course, anyone else who pops by!

Going to keep really simple this morning, the desk - 

So I left it like this last night and just took the picture at about 7.30 am GMT.  There's the Cuttlebug, some dies and some stamped images. Fans of Stampin'Up will probably recognise what I'm doing as for the rest of you, well you'll have to wait and see!!!

Now pop over to Julia's to link up for this week's WOYWW worldwide desk hop.

Take care Zo xxx

Monday 26 November 2012

Anything Goes - Crafty Boots


Today I'm sharing my DT project for the new Crafty Boots challenge which is Anything Goes!
Pop over HERE to join in the fun. I look forward to seeing what you come up with so go on, surprise us with a unique creation!

Okay so my project is a double Smash Book spread -

I'm using the yellow book to create pages to remember my trip to Paris. I'm covering any pages that don't fit my theme or I don't like with papers (don't forgot to pop by the Crafty Boots on-line store to see what yummy papers are in stock) and pages I've created.

I created this page using the 'I Love Paris' digital kit from Sarah Hurley. I added the real doily over the digi one and also added the Eiffel Tower die cut and flower.  Sarah has many gorgeous digital kits and embellishments - worth a look!

This page I added the pocket to keep some receipts I kept from our many stops at coffee shops.  We enjoyed the luxury Hot Chocolates and hot drinks on offer.  One place had a chandelier made of tea cups. As seen on the page in black and white.

I highlighted the chandelier using a Tim Holtz fragment attached with Glossy accents. I finished the pages with flowers, ribbon and card Candi before writing words that fit with the theme of the page. I feel it's important to hand write some things so that future generations can see our handwriting!

So I hope this inspires you to get Smashing! Let me know what you think and I'd love to hear if you have a Smash book or 2 (or 11 like me!!).

Take care Zo xx

Wednesday 21 November 2012

WOYWW 181 - leftovers

Hello again!

It's that day again when we share our desks and line up for the weekly register over at The Stamping Ground        with Headmistress Julia in charge.

So my desk and to be honest not much has changed since Sunday evening when I came home from my trip to Milton Keynes, which you can read all about HERE. The Crafty Boots ladies that came all had a super time as you can see! So the desk is really the leftovers from my trip as I put things onto it, though I did tidy away some of my new goodies and I did put finishing touches to my journal pages, but the rest of the time I've been unwell, the price to pay for having such a super time unfortunately.

Okay so the right side - there's the pile of stamps I'm going to sort into categories as I now have new stamps  by Dylusions, then there's the boxes containing Christmas kits from Kanban and Hunkydory which I've been sorting through choosing different toppers etc for family and close friends. Choices being piled on top of my pen storage, hmm wonder how long before it all comes crashing down! 

Move over and you find this - the tin foil/alcohol marker book covers we made following a demo by Gabrielle, a few bits I didn't get to do so will do them at some point to go in the book as we came away with instruction booklets where we all wrote up instructions for our projects, mine was a step-by-step colouring tutorial, and then the 'Zoe' bag containing all my swaps I was given and that precious booklet.

At the front are the journal pages we started following a demo by Sandra, I wanted to finish it using my new stamps so got to work on Sunday evening, glad I did otherwise they'd still be sat there waiting. These will go in the book covers along with the other tags etc. The beauty of using jump rings is I can add to this book as I play with the techniques we learned from each other as I know I'll have a go at them all again.

So that's me - as I said I've be pretty poorly since coming home, so bad in fact I had to cancel Hydro this week as I knew I wasn't up to it. I was expecting it to be fair, I've come to accept that such an adventure comes with a hefty price to pay physically. But do you know? I wouldn't change it. Meeting up with the ladies and having a fab crafty day was an absolute pleasure, one I'd repeat in an instant.

Take care Zo xx

Tuesday 20 November 2012

My weekend - Crafty Boots ladies meet up! (Lots of pics!)

As some of you know, I travelled to Milton Keynes this weekend just gone to meet up with some of the ladies from the Crafty Boots Challenge blog Design Team

Myself and my good friend Debs travelled up to Milton Keynes on Friday where we checked into the Travelodge at Shenley Church End.  The staff there were superb, and after a phone call earlier in the week they booked us into one of the Disabled rooms they had on the ground floor. The room was basic but comfortable with twin beds, a huge desk and decent TV. The bathroom was a dream for me as it was spacious, had plenty of grab rails and a seat if I wanted to sit down while showering. To be honest for the money I paid for 2 nights the service and room were fantastic. Next door was a Toby Carvery Pub/restaurant so Friday when we arrived we made good use of it and enjoyed a £5.99 carvery which was superb value and the food was yummy.

Our evening was spent watching TV and resting after the journey though neither of us slept as well as we wanted for fear of falling out of the single beds, both of us have double beds at our homes so we were afraid to wriggle too much!

Saturday was so good, I finally got to meet the most lovely, generous and caring lady that is Stephanie-Emma who runs the Crafty Boots on-line store and is the whole reason we were coming together, not only as her design team, but because of Stephanie-Emma's hard work and organising skills too. The day just wouldn't have happened otherwise, so Thank You lovely.

So here's some pics I took - 

So far left there's Emily & Freya having a chat, Thomas is eating a banana in the middle and Helen (Stamping by H) caught me taking the photo and posed! 

On the other side from me (left to right) sat the lovely Dionne, Candy ( Stephanie-Emma's mum) and Bex (Sandra's friend)
Just further round (left to right) there's the Red-loving Sandra then Stephanie-Emma and Sara

Just round from Sara is Bev and Thomas.

Think Freya and Emily knew I took this while Helen (at the front) looks to be concentrating!

Everyone working away on their felted flower I think!

This is me (right if you didn't know!) and the lovely Faye who had to put up with sitting by me, think I only nearly fell on Faye once! I had Debs sat on the other side and Debs is used to me falling on her anyway! 

Here's the super fab Stephanie-Emma at the end of the day totting up Debs crafty stash purchases, however my stash I bought is that rather large pile at the front of the photo! 

We had an amazing day full of fun, food, crafty techniques and friendship.

Me and Debs enjoyed another meal at the Toby Carvery that evening before chilling in our room where we watched a film before spending another night not wriggling for fear of ending up on the floor.

On Sunday morning the very lovely and super talented Gabrielle kindly invited us round to see her studio, now I've wanted to see Gabrielle's studio for so long, we kept talking about it in the months leading up to this weekend so I was thrilled to actually be there. I couldn't help but get a bit excited at all of the stamps, and stunning creations that adorn the walls.

Here's me and Gabrielle in the magnificent studio!!!

Our journey home was broken up by a stop at a retail park just outside of Swindon where we enjoyed lunch at Dunelm, shopped a little and even shopped some more in Hobbycraft. Well it would've been rude not to!

Thanks to everyone for an amazing weekend and a bigger thanks to Debs because without her support I just wouldn't have coped.

Take care Zo xx