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

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

Sunday 18 November 2012

Crafty Boots DT crafty get together - Swaps

Well good evening!

I'm home! I've been away since Friday as I went to Milton Keynes to meet up with my fellow Crafty Boots Design Team for a crafty day.

I decided to travel up Friday and stay till today just so I had some rest in between. My good friend Debs came with me to help with navigation, carrying bags and to keep an eye on me because I need someone to keep me in check and to make sure I don't over do things and, most importantly, to share some laughs and this weekend enjoy the crafting too! Oh and Debs helped with the driving which was fantastic as well.  I'm so lucky to have such friend who makes trips like this possible.

We had a super time and I'm pleased to say all of the ladies were amazing, so lovely and every bit the kind caring and super talented people I've come to know through their blogs, Facebook and Twitter.

Before the day some of us agreed to do a swap, to make a tag, ATC etc to swap with the others. This is what I made - I used my favourite colours of blue and lime green Dylusions inks combined with Wendy Vecchi and Stampin' Up stamps.  I laid all the tags on my mat and sprayed them all together randomly moving the brick mask. This meant all of the tags were the same but different if you know what I mean!

I dried them before lightly spraying some lime green Radiant rain shimmering mist over to give the sparkle. I added the stamps and then used a black and white pen to highlight, doodle and add detail. I used Picket Fence distress stain for the first time too. Great fun and it seemed the ladies liked them!!

We had an amazing time during our crafty day, trying new techniques and having fun.  On the way home today me and Debs stopped just outside Swindon at an Outlet park to have lunch in Dunelms, do some shopping and we popped in to Hobbycrafts, well it would have been rude not to, you know to finish off the weekend!

Now I'm off to bed once I un-pack, I'm shattered and hurting lots but it was so worth it.  I'll share some more photos soon. Take care Zo xx

Monday 12 November 2012

Remember - Crafty Boots challenge

Good morning everyone, it's a really wet horrible grey day here in Somerset, but at least it gives me an excuse to stay in and craft!

Anyway over at Crafty Boots Challenge Blog a new challenge is launching today and the theme was picked by the lovely Bev, who chose REMEMBER. A very appropriate theme considering it was Remembrance Sunday yesterday.

So we want to see your cards, tags, art, journals, whatever you choose as long as it has the theme of Remember.

Right my DT project is a little different perhaps, but very personal to me - 
 You'll have to click on the pictures if you want to read the details.

This memory/family history page relates to my 2nd cousin 2x removed.  My 3x great grand father is Joseph Edwin's great grandfather. I found out about him through my family history research. I started searching maybe 8 years ago and spent 4 years of none stop research, I even volunteered and transcribed part of the 1861 census for an on-line project. To date this is my only relation who died during the first world war, Joseph died while fighting as a Bombardier with the Royal Garrison Artillery.  I felt the theme of Remember was a perfect opportunity for me to do something with my research instead of keeping it in a file.  I do plan to create more pages with the information I have, and believe me, I have so much!

The poppies are Sheena Douglas's Paint Fusion stamps which I stamped using Distress inks onto watercolour card.  They are coloured using the inks, after they had dried I did use my Copic markers to define the lines.

I kept it simple - a relationship chart to show how we are related along with the details I gained from the CWGC who have information relating to service. 

I hope you find this interesting and that you'll join our challenge this fortnight.

Take care Zo xx

Friday 9 November 2012

Crafting for ME!


Those of you who read my WOYWW post Wednesday will know I've decided to craft for me and not do the 1 fair a year I've been doing. My health means I focus all year on this 1 fair, making things when I can, planning months ahead and then it makes me bad cos of the sheer amount of work involved. This year's  fair was so busy I only managed to have 1 quick breather to pop to another stall and buy a lovely handmade phone case! I was literally on the go (stood up on my sticks) the whole day, how I don't know, as people swarmed the hall and my stall. While it was so lovely to get so many fab comments, it hurt me so much physically and I was so tired. I saw a chap yesterday I know who actually bought something from me around lunch time and he told me I looked absolutely shattered then, and he could see I was barely coping physically with it all. It's just not worth it.

Anyway decision made - so the other evening I set about my 1st crafty project - at the WOYWW crop Pam was putting together this wreath that I has seen on the front of the Stampin' Up seasonal catalogue. She showed me in more detail and I knew I needed those stamps and dies. So once I got my hands on them (thanks to Stampin' Boots Stephanie Emma) I couldn't wait to play and this is my first attempt! 

Wow I surprised myself at how I managed this - the dies made it so easy to cut out the stamped baubles and I just stuck it together the best way I could. My fab friend Stephanie-Emma sent me instructions to follow as well so that made it a lot easier for me as I do tend to forgot! I like the fact it can be made slightly different each time depending on colours and embellishments.  I'm so going to make a blue version!

So my friends, this is what I shall be attempted again, hope you like it!

Take care Zo xx

Wednesday 7 November 2012

WOYWW 179 - I'm here & all's well

Hello everyone, happy Wednesday to you all, or whatever day it happens to be if, like me, you tend to visit fellow Woyww-ers any day following!

Right get on with it Zoe - so desk, erm, not sure I can share it but, hang on - light's are on cos it was dark and I took these pics last night, so I just pushed things here and hid that bit, okay you can look now.......

(If you look closely you might see my new pen storage far right but it might be a bit dark!)

Usual things present - inky things, pens, glue and mucky craft mat. Piece of kitchen towel is hiding my swap I'm making for my fellow Crafty Boots DT members who I'm meeting up with very soon. Super excited about that.

So you see normal signs of a happy crafter. 

I suggest you pop over to Chez Julia's Stamping Ground to take on a worldwide tour of desks galore if that's your thing.

On a personal note, I know I've been a rubbish blogger.  I'm finally feeling better after my virus but it really knocked me and I've taken some time out to get myself well enough to continue with my Hydro which I had yesterday.  I'm very sore and tired today, I know I have to rest but it's frustrating. But I am crafting and I even managed to do a Craft Fair on Saturday as some of you know.  

I only managed this with the help of Lisa (yes my trusty sidekick who came to the WOYWW crop) who carried all my stuff in and kept an eye on me. Also the ladies in the kitchen who made sure I was supplied with coffee and food (sounds familiar, doesn't it Julia & Jan!). I did rather well and sold many things but physically it was too much leading me to decide I'm not doing any more and am going to concentrate on crafting for me.  Up till now I feel my whole year is focused on this one fair and I then find I've no time for the crafty ideas I want to do for gifts. So tis decided - no more!

Right I've gone on for far too long, I'll be getting told off if I'm not careful.  But I do feel that as this is my 200th post (yes really!!) I am allowed a little leeway! 

Ooh look too what I have ordered - 

Very moi, don't you think!

So take care & get crafting!

Zo xx