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 27 January 2016

WOYWW 347 - the tattoo version

Happy Wednesday desk dashers - of course we are here to share and nose at desks through the magical portal that Julia has created over at The Stamping Ground

Today I'm sharing a different desk. It belongs to Max and he is a Tattooist. The reason for this is it's me having the tattoo!

Earlier today I finally got to have the tattoo I was going to have last year for my 40th, but with everything going on back then it didn't happen. I booked this appointment last October and have been looking forward to it ever since. So here's the pics - 

 So the guide transfer is put on.
Max started with the writing.
 Then he got to work doing the colour work.

The colour is stronger in real life. The patches of the giraffe are detailed with flowers or leaves. Hard to see on here I know. I love it and am so happy with it. It doesn't hurt me that much just an annoying scratch really. But then I am on strong painkillers for my conditions!

In my opinion Max is the best artistic tattooist in our area. He also did my Paris tattoo on my other wrist. Today's design is because of my love of giraffes, art and a quote I've always loved. 

So I hope you enjoyed this different desk today!
Take care Zo xx

Monday 25 January 2016

Featuring new notebooks - Creative Together

So over the last few weeks I've been busy colouring and decorating notebooks in the style of Bristol Rovers.

Last year I sold many of these particular notebooks to my footy friends to raise money for charity and I plan on continuing that this year. Here is a selection of the new notebooks I've upload to the stationery section of Creative Together

 An A4 version.
 An A5 version
 I actually made this one as I wanted to have plain paper sketch/notebooks.
 I'm also going to decorate some notebooks with other designs. 

I've a huge pile of notebooks waiting for me to decorate in the coming weeks. I need to get colouring! 
Take care Zo x

Friday 22 January 2016

Behind the scenes - notebooks

So I'm here today to share another Creative Together 'behind the scenes' type post this time featuring notebooks.

Last year I decorated notebooks to fundraise for my chosen charity and this year is no different. Profits from every notebook I make are donated to BANES Young Carers.

This wonderful charity supports so many young carers in our area including my own son, Keagan. Their support and the friendships made are invaluable and every penny raised goes towards continuing their fabulous work.

So notebooks - some I buy and decorate. Others I make myself especially plain paged versions. As my Bristol Rovers notebooks were so popular I'm bringing them back for this year. Though I will also decorate different themes I promise!

 So I start by covering the front with Centura pearl card followed by hammered card to create a nice base. I often draw stitches around edge as well.
 I cut out the letters using a Tim Holtz die. I have a little pot that I keep all of my 'Bristol Rovers' letters in. I tend to have a session of preparing lots of letters.
 I use this girl footballer - the image is from Some Odd Girl as you can see I colour up a whole batch all different. I have great fun colouring their hair. Their football kit is, of course, styled after Bristol Rovers home kit.
 As you can see I do have a vast collection of pens so I can pretty much choose any colour I want!
Once the base is dry I add the image. I create a shadow background using grey dots to ground the image so she doesn't look like she is floating.

Here are some of the notebooks I will be uploading to the shop soon.

Thanks for popping by
Take care Zo x

Wednesday 20 January 2016

WOYWW 364 - Notebooks

Brrrgh it's blooming freezing here. But then I bet it is in most places cos it's Winter! Lol

So as I do on most Wedensdays I'm here to share my desk as per the say so of Julia over at The Stamping Ground!

Pop over, have a nose and join in!

So my desk -
 So yes there are pens, lots in fact. There is a pile of girl footy images already coloured waiting to go on notebooks. You can see my wooden desk storage that Julia kindly made for my 40th birthday as presented to me at last May's WOYWW crop. Thought I'd show it so you can see I use it well!
 Window side is bathed in sunshine. I'm working on A4 notebooks for our online shop (Creative Together, link in top right side bar).
One is finished as was left there to dry while the other has just been covered. In the window is my WIP book art and planner plus my Cinch machine that I used to create blank page notebooks. Not everyone likes lined pages!

I've been quiet in blog land this last week as last Friday we travelled up to Newmarket to collect Keagan at 5pm for his only weekend off in 3 months! He was allowed to leave at 5pm Fri but had to be back for 7pm Sun. Myself and my dad shared the driving. I have an automatic car so find driving okay and I don't mind driving anywhere to be honest. Though I've never driven on the M25 around London before so am proud of myself for doing that!

Keagan had a wonderful weekend at home just chilling. It recharged his batteries for the last few weeks left up at The British Racing school, Newmarket. Here's a screenshot pic of him jumping. The horses he rides up there are ex-race horses so are pretty big and fast!! As you can see the horse cleared the jump by quite a bit!

Take care Zo xx

Wednesday 13 January 2016

WOYWW 345 - Book Art & colouring

Good morning desk dashers - I'm here to share my desk with you all as per our leader Julia's rules over at The Stamping Ground WOYWW.

Here it is - 
 So the right side is a bit messy. Lots of pens out and there my new pencil case box that I'm using to keep my pens in I use in my planner. To the left is the wooden storage that Julia made me I keep all my tools and things I use all the time in there.
 Window desk shows a new Book art WIP, Copics and a pile of images all coloured. I spent all weekend colouring them ready to go onto notebooks.
  They are all coloured wearing Bristol Rovers colours but with lots of different hair colours going on!

Take care Zo xx

Monday 11 January 2016

Behind the Scenes - Decorative Boxes - Creative Together

Good Morning everyone - I thought I'd pop in and share another 'behind the scenes' type post with you.

This time I asked Lisa to take some pics as she made the flowers to decorate the boxes we sell over at CREATIVE TOGETHER

Lisa punches and layers the flowers by hand - a time consuming task, but one I know Lisa enjoys and of course, it makes each box that bit more special in my opinion.

Lisa uses different punches to create each flower. She typically uses two colours.

Once Lisa has shaped each flower using a ball tool she begins to place the first layer of flowers onto the box.

Each flower is placed, layered and glued before the final touch of adding a crystal to the centre of each.

You can find all of the decorative boxes we sell in the Decorative Boxes category of the shop.

I hope you like these 'behind the scenes' posts. Please let me know if you wish to see something specific, however I will continue to post about our creations over the following weeks.

Take care Zo x

Saturday 9 January 2016

Friend - Book Art

Thought I'd share my finished 'friend' Book Art that I uploaded to Creative Together earlier in the week.

I used a paperback book as I knew I would decorate the outside therefore making it sturdier in the end. Plus not everyone has room for larger books. Here's the finished item -

The papers are from Craftwork cards and I added the gorgeous tape measure ribbon. I finished it off with simple ribbon which also keeps the book in place so that the word is shown at its best.

You can purchase this Book Art HERE

I will keep sharing different items we have in our shop so pop back anytime or visit our Facebook page

Take care Zo xx

Friday 8 January 2016

Friday Smile 152 - Sharing triumphs

Well I'm back today to share my Friday smiles with Annie and her group here's what has made me smile this week - 
 Had to buy Baxter a new bed as his other fell apart though it did last 2 and a half years so it did well. Here's Baxter sound asleep curled up in his new bed which is behind the door in my craft room.
My Aunt bought me this fabulous Yankee candle jar for Christmas - Sunlight on Snow! It smells divine. I have it on the top of my bureau in my craft room.

Other than that it has been hearing from Keagan that has made me smile. He still has a few more weeks away from home. He graduates from The British Racing school on Feb 8th. He is really enjoying riding and though the work is hard he is literally living his dream.
This is a screenshot taken from a video. His instructors ride alongside the gallops as Keagan races up them. They film the ride on an iPad and let the students have a copy to share and send to their families. They start riding about 7.30am this was on a beautiful clear day as the sun was rising.

Take care Zo x

Wednesday 6 January 2016

WOYWW 344 - dog on the desk!

Happy New Year everyone!

I don't know about you, but to me 2016 sounds quite futuristic. I don't know why. Just another random Zoe thing. 

Anyway I'm here to share my desk as per our leader Julia asks us to join in. Who am I to refuse?!

As you can see there's the usual Book Art WIP, a pile of coloured pens I use in my new planner and some stickers that I love accented my pages with. Yes that is a PG Tips box. It's a good size and design so I'm going to cover it and turn it into a stationery box type thing!

Then there's this - Baxter - sat on my desk watching the world go by. He thought he'd take advantage of the fact that I've been working on the laptop this morning. I've not done any actual crafting yet just sorted photos of a new item I've added to Creative Together.

At least he is sitting nicely unlike yesterday when horses went by and he started barking at them. Tail swishing, pens flying and other stuff was sent off the desk! 

I soon scooped him up and plonked him back in his bed which is where he is now as I'm typing - 

Take care Zo xx

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Celebrating for my friend - An Author with a tale to tell!

Just a quick post to share some news with you all. My best friend Kath has been writing for years. She enjoys telling stories and loves writing especially historical fiction. Many years ago she told me about an idea she had so I told her to write it!
Well she did and I'm so excited and delighted to say her novel will be released very soon. In fact she has just revealed the cover artwork over on her blog.
So I thought I'd share it here - 
Kath goes by the pen name of Mary Anne Yarde. You can read about her writing journey HERE
In fact I think you really ought to cos yours truly gets mentioned a few times!! 

You can follow Mary Anne Yarde news on her Facebook page and on Twitter
She also has a website

I just had to celebrate this news with you all because I'm pretty darned proud of my bestie. Can you tell? 
Take care Zo xx

Monday 4 January 2016

Creative Together - A Book Art project.

So I wanted to share with you all one of the items I have for sell over at CREATIVE TOGETHER

I've recently taught myself how to do the Book Art technique and can now design my own designs to book fold. 

The design is created first as a silhouette in my Craft Artist 2 Pro.

Then once the silhouette is finished I load it into the Book Art software, entering details about the book I'm using. This creates measurements for each page.

Then the fun bit - actually folding the pages. I'm very methodical and will count the pages working out the starting and finishing points so that I get the design right. Then it's a case of measuring each page and folding it. I also glue the folds as I go. 

At the end I decide whether to tie a ribbon around the book or not. Sometimes the design looks better left simple. Other times the book needs to be in a certain position so that it doesn't topple over with the weight of the folds. Tying a ribbon around it helps to not only keep it in place but adds an acent too.

Here's a finished book folded to spell out Read and it's for sale in our shop here - Book Art/READ

Hope you enjoyed this 'behind the scenes' type post. I will feature more of our products over the weeks to come.

Take care Zo x