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 30 July 2012

None for ages & then a whole load!

Good afternoon! Well the craft desk has been in a whirl of activity this weekend. My slump in health and general well being has meant little has got done and I find myself on the verge of August with hardly any cards/projects ready.

So this weekend I got my act together and sorted out what needed to be sorted and got stuck in. I've still got some cards to make that a friend has asked me to make, but most of my own personal cards are nearing being finished - well most things are ready to be put together at least.

I turned to Craft Artist Pro for some cards though and designed digitally, printing out the whole card in one go, it meant many were finished at a touch of a button. Okay so it's not glue and ink type crafting, but needs must and I have a whole lot of cards that need doing.

Here's a small selection of what I've done so far - 

I've made similar inserts for the rest too, continuing the design to the inside.

I have many anniversary cards to make for August including cards to make for my friend.  Many of the cards are going to the same couple so making different cards is going to be a challenge!

This card is from the free Hunkydory card kit from Create & Craft (members club).

This garden card is one of the cards I've been asked to make - am really pleased with it, must remember to take a pic of the inside as I stamped a sentiment and some butterflies.

Touches of glossy accents here and there and some extra layers printed out have meant the cards look fab, I've also turned to some kits I have to put together other cards.  While I love making something from scratch, you know colouring the image, creating the background etc, sometimes I just don't have the time nor energy so digital and kit crafting is what I do when needs must.

How about you? Do you plan and make sure you have time to do things from scratch or does your health/life mean you end up taking the 'easy' option?

Is it an 'easy' option or just another form of crafting? What do you think?

Go on tell me, I won't be offended!
Take care Zo xx

Friday 27 July 2012

Fashion museum & Princess Diana's Dresses

Back in July 2010, me and my fab friend Debs (Deb's Pen Pot) went into Bath and visited the Fashion Museum. Our reason was clear, an exhibition of Princess Diana's dresses were on show and neither of us wanted to miss out on that opportunity plus it was a chance for Debs to do some research for her writing.  Both of us love clothes, shoes, bags ....yep normal girls. So off we went. Many areas we were unable to take photos due to the protected nature of the exhibits including the Diana dresses, but other areas were ok and I took a few pics of things that interested me including a picture of a black dress Queen Victoria wore. Wow! I mean really. I'll get to the point, these photos have remained on my puter for 2 years, I've looked at them but they aren't the type of picture I'd print off for an album until now, until Smash* came along!

I recently bought the lush papers and journal cards and die cuts of the Happy Days range from Papermania. The ones with tape measures, mannequins/dress forms etc and so I thought they'd work well with my photos, I also remembered some embellishments I'd purchased........take a look and see - 

At the top you'll see a piece of black lace I had in my stash, I thought it went well with the photo of the black dress worn by Queen Victoria.  I was amazed by this dress, she obviously wasn't that tall, but the dress was a lot wider than I'd imagined her to be. 

Here you'll see the see-through pocket in which I've put the postcards I bought, showing some of Diana's dresses on display. It was a strange experience seeing Diana's dresses and remembering seeing her wear some them on the TV etc. I found it had an effect me, not quite full on emotional but it made me reflective, it definitely sent shivers up my spine at times.

The rest are photos of displays that I liked for whatever reason.  I've added lots of embellishments, lace and washi tape and some flowers too. It felt right to heavily decorate these pages.

Look what arrived today - 

My first actual Amy Tangerine products - ribbons.  I've got an Amy Tangerine digi-kit which I love, but these are my first 'real' Amy Tangerine goodies to play with. These ribbons will be kept for special projects and my smash pages. Aren't they 'Gert Lush' as we'd say here in Somerset!

So there you go another little sneak into my world. Thanks for all the comments recently, they've meant a lot, I know I haven't been able to pop by all of your blog's in return, I hope you forgive me for that. I am feeling better, but that just means I have to start catching up with what's been not done over the last weeks, months, years....ha ha not quite, but you get the idea.  Seriously though I am doing okay, taking each day steady and just doing a little at a time.  Sometimes it's the most boring of things like filing away bills, but I do feel like I've achieved something at the end whereas before they were just stashed away. 

Take care Zo xx

Wednesday 25 July 2012

WOYWW 164 - did you miss me?!

Hello! Did you miss me? Really? Nah I don't expect so!

It feels ages ago when I last joined in, yet it was only the other week. You'll be pleased to know the new medication is actually helping some what, so I am having spells where I am feeling better. Yay for that!

Ok the desk, hmmm can't show you that cos it's got a DT project on it that's drying and I can't share it yet so I thought I'd show you all my shelves. I haven't shared them with you in a while and things have changed a lot.

You'll notice the blind is down, well that is to protect my pens and things from being scorched in the glorious sunshine that is streaming in. Ok very top you'll see 2 lovely heart hooks that have my Some Odd girl stamp hanging - I usually keep all my stamps on laminated sheets in folders but the packaging is so sweet I didn't want to throw it away so I decided to use them as a wall feature. I think Saturated Canary stamps will join them when I get my hands on some!

Top shelf is full of jars - full of buttons and wooden embellishments.

Then it's the Smash* Shelf, oh yeah I have quite a collection. The basket holds all my Smash* accessories and bit's and bobs I want to use in the books.

Then you get a glimpse of the desk and my Copic collection.

So there you go. That's mine, why not show us yours by popping over to Julia's and linking in with the world wide desk snoop/hop/nose!

Take care Zo xx

Monday 23 July 2012

Crafty Boots - Babies

This fortnight's challenge over at Crafty Boots is Babies, chosen by the lovely Kerry.  This theme is so important and I ask you all to pop over and read the story behind the theme choice. Kerry and her partner tragically lost their baby daughter, Rhianna Lily, but because of rules and red tape they can not register her birth nor death. There is a link on the challenge site for a petition to get this changed and I kindly ask you all to read the story and then please sign it. Thank You. 

Right onto my DT project - 

I made a framed card using images from the Beatrix Potter CD-ROM. I chose this lovely image as I thought it could be used for a boy or a girl or indeed multiple births for twins etc. At present I've left it plain, but I could add letters to it to spell out a baby's name to personalise it. I could add ribbon to it to make it hangable. 

I really enjoyed putting this together so I hope you all like it.

You'll all be pleased to know I'm feeling a bit better and now am on new medication which so far seems to be helping. Fingers crossed that it continues. 

Take care and I'd love to hear if you do indeed read Kerry's story and sign the petition. It means a lot to us DT girls to support Kerry and her partner in this.

Zo xx

Friday 20 July 2012

Finally - I made something!

As you know the last few weeks have seen little creativity at my hands. Apart from colouring I've not really completed a project. Mainly due to my conditions stopping me from thinking, sitting, walking you get the picture, but over the last few days I've started to feel a bit better, feel a little more able to do things so last night I started to make an ATC concertina book from a kit I bought from Gabrielle from her website Crafty Thoughts. One day I'll make it to an actual class, but for now I had to make do with a postal kit, which was fantastic. It contained all of the elements I needed to make this project apart from the glue, embossing powder and ink, and came with full instructions how to make my book step by step.

So I took my time, followed the instructions and I made this - 

The Front cover

The Back

One side

The other side

Individual pages

I used Tim Holtz summer Distress inks - picked Raspberry, Mowed Lawn and Salty Ocean, I added glossy accents, crackle accents, ribbon, couple of extra elements like the corners and corrugated card along with the words to the stamped images that came with the kit.

I so enjoyed this - it was great fun to create and to get inky but also to have some direction, something to follow to keep me on track. 

I'm really pleased with it and know I'll make some more of these little books. I can imagine making them with different papers and themes, maybe even make them as a gift. 

So there you go, what do you think?

Right I've got to get sorted as I'm off to see the doctor to hopefully sort out some new medication based on the recommendations of the consultant. Fingers crossed!

Take care Zo xx

Monday 16 July 2012

New Blog Header!

Woohoo go me - just designed my new blog header using Craft Artist Pro and I'm pretty darned pleased with it. Those of you who know me well will know it's very me what with the coffee cups!  Saw this digi-kit on Daisytrail and had to have it. Love the designs and colours. Chose a new picture of me and Keagan too. We took this on Tues 5th June  while we were watching the Queen's Jubilee. 

No crafty make to share today - been a bit lacking in that area but I thought I'd share this picture of me that Keagan took on Saturday evening before we went to our friend's wedding evening. I don't dress up very often so this is not something you'll see again for a while!

Not the best picture of me but it's the only one we took in the end, I took the camera but never got it out of my bag. I don't usually go for the leggings and top (yes it's supposed to be a top, but on me it's more of a dress!) look but just loved the design of this floral pattern. 

So there you go!

Enjoy your day whatever you're doing, take care Zo xx

Friday 13 July 2012

Digital design & nails!

Hello, I was going to say good morning but it's not, it's just gone noon!

Just wanted to share a couple of pics with you all and to say I will get round to visiting you soon I promise but I'm having to sleep lots lately.  Just the way it is - I'll get there eventually!

Anyway between sleep I've been digitally crafting using a prize I won from Sarah Hurley, she sponsored the Smash* UK group on Facebook and my name was drawn when the group hit the target of members. So I chose many fab things from her store but this 'Say Cheese' digi kit has to be my favourite! Here I designed a card using Craft Artist Pro, printed it out and then used Some Odd Girl stamp Photo Kaylee (bought from Crafty Boots) along with the little photos, all stamped using Card Candi stamps (also from Crafty Boots!) to complete it.

It's actually all flat apart from the girl, just for you photos and the wooden camera. The rest just looks 3D cos of the clever effects in CAP.

I designed this insert to match and finished off the back of the card too.

I had such fun - just shows Hybrid digital crafting can work!  I thought this kit would be perfect for my Smash books, which it is but saw the potential for more. Will definitely make more cards/projects with it.

I'll finish off with a picture of my new nails!  Those of you who popped by for WOYWW knew I was having them done as a treat, to have a pamper to cheer me up. It worked, I feel quite glamorous with these, pity the rest of me doesn't match!

Take care Zo xx

Wednesday 11 July 2012

WOYWW 163 - I think!

Hello - I missed you all last week, but had to step back and rest. Busy old week, you know the story but here's a quick reminder * Saw Consultant = things being done = positive.  Didn't have minor op in the end = Doctor no3 disagreed with Docs 1 & 2.......oh well!

Ended up having a week of Not so Good Zoe = Not so Good & So Tired Zoe this week!

Anyhoo you're here for the desk and as always it's tidy, but even more so because I was the lucky girl to win the gorgeous Bling Bin from The lovely Jan aka Lunch Lady Jan

All my bits and bobs, like pencils, pokey tools, scissors & stuff that normal stays on my desk are now housed in their oh so pretty new bling bin hanging off the side of my desk. How fab does that look!

Here's what's on the desk -

My latest Smash* pages in the black book, dedicated to all things craft. So this is just a selection of my Some Odd Girls images that I've been colouring over the last week or so. I finally finished the last one yesterday so I stuck them all in yesterday evening and left the book there to dry.  I did show a sneaky peek of the page layout in the post before this one.

That's it folks, me done, I'm off get my jobs sorted before nipping next door to have my brows tinted and my nails faked!  So handy having a Beautician living next door. Bit of a pampering never hurt anyone I say.

Pop over to Julia's to share in the wonder of the desk hopping world wide!

I'll be back later, with perfect nails, groomed brows and that all important cup of coffee.

Take care Zo xx

Monday 9 July 2012

What I've been doing.

Morning all - as you know I'm a little quiet of late, just resting up and trying to get done what needs to be done.  I've had a few family and friends cards that need making so I've just been working my way through them as well as doing a little colouring for a page I've got ready in my Crafty Smash book. So today I thought I'd share just a few pics of what's been going on here between the resting & doing as I'm told!

The 1st is a card for my friend who has just moved which I designed on Craft Artist.

This is the design of the pages I'm working on in my Craft Smash book using Heidi Swapp Sugar chic 6 x 6 papers that I cut up along with the bunting. 

And these are the Some Odd Girl images I've coloured so far to go on those pages. Don't forget you can buy Some Odd Girl stamps from the Crafty Boots on line store, there's a link to the shop on my side bar.

This is a card my friend asked me to make, the recipient is a huge F1 fan - I designed it in Craft Artist - it's all flat apart from the cars which I printed out extra layers to decoupage up to make the cars 3D.

I've a wedding card to make this week and a few birthday cards to sort too, so I'm just taking it steady and not rushing anything, it'll get done in the end, I know it will!

Anyway even though I've not produced a DT project this time there is a new challenge over on the Crafty Boots challenge blog
Why not pop over and join in - Bingo anyone?!

Take care Zo xx

Thursday 5 July 2012

Fine & Dandy!

Hello - just thought I'd pop on here & let you all know I'm fine!

Luckily (or not as it may turn out) I didn't have to have anything cut out in the end, Doctor number 3 decided he disagreed with Doctors 1 & 2 and that he didn't feel anything needed cutting out, even though the problem remains. Thinks it will disappear of its own accord - we shall see, but I'm keeping an eye on it and if it doesn't magically disappear I will be going back to see my own doctor. Not impressed at all, after all that psyching myself up to go through it! 

Monday was a very long day for me - the consultant was amazing and very thorough, you should see all the blood they took, okay, too much information I know.  Anyway due to the combination of all of my conditions unfortunately I have deteriorated from 3 years ago, so he's referring me back to the specialist team based in The Mineral Hospital, Bath.  I spent many months having 1-to-1 care with a lady from this superb team when I was first diagnosed - The Min (as it's affectionately known) is only one of 5 hospitals in the country who specialise in one of my conditions, how lucky am I to have this only half an hour away from where I live?!

Sounds daft but I am looking forward to going back in, as I know I'll gain so much from it, and will get all the help and support I need, including seeing the OT's, so that they can make sure I have any gadgets/aids that I need. But it will also be very demanding on me physically. The travelling in/out each time, the impact of the physio/hydrotherapy and general being prodded and pushed around will take its toll on me. Last time I spent 7 months going in/out nearly every week! 

We shall see - got to wait now for the first appointment to come through, fingers crossed it's not too long before I hear.  Once I do start going, I may frequently disappear from my blog, though I'll try not too, like this week I've just had to step back and rest, away from it all.

Anyway let me finish off with a card - while resting/relaxing I've done a lot of colouring, I mean, I can't be totally idle can I? Lol

I've made this for my friend's little girl who's birthday is this month - 

Yep another Saturated Canary image - Party Hardy - isn't she adorable? I coloured her with Copics and am really pleased with my red colouring which can be really difficult, those bows look pretty cool, even if I say so myself! 

Thank you all for your well wishes and much kindness you've all shown me, I really appreciate it, puts a smile on my face and shows me what a fab bunch you lot really are!

Take care Zo xx